A second bag of pretzels

The plane was delayed, which I’ve come to expect. This delay was particularly unfortunate since it meant I was now going to be in the air for dinnertime. That’s okay. Whiskey is a fine entree, but every entree needs a side dish. I was thankful to be flying one of the few airlines that still gives out peanuts and pretzels.

I was stuck in a window seat. Cramped, but at least I know what I’m in for. The aisle feels roomy until people keep slamming into your shoulder as they go back and forth in the aisle. I don’t mind the window.

This night I shared the row with an older couple. Him on the aisle, her in the middle. They each had tablet computers on which they were reading ebooks in the largest fonts possible. Good, I thought, this will be a quiet flight.

I was parched and hungry as I anxiously awaited cruising altitude. Finally, the flight attendant, an older guy, took my drink order and handed me a bag of peanuts and a bag of pretzels. Yeah, this dinner would be just fine.

As I was opening my peanuts I noticed that the flight attendant handed the woman next to me a bag of peanuts and TWO bags of pretzels. It was the sort of thing that might have looked like a mistake, like the two bags were stuck together or something, but the way he nodded at the woman made me think it was on purpose. The way she looked at the bags and smiled made me certain. That second bag of pretzels was a code or  a symbol or a reminder. It was certainly not just a second bag of pretzels.

When the flight attendant came back to collect the trash I watched closely as the woman handed over the empty bags. Their hands lingered just a second too long as the flight attendant took them from her. I could hear deeper meaning when the woman looked up at him and said, “Thank you.”

The poor clueless husband just kept reading. He missed the whole thing.

This is a Fiction Friday story. Read other flash fiction and creative writing here.

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