Manipulation - A Short Romance By L.B. LewisTwo attractive, similarly looking strangers were assigned neighboring seats on a flight from Charles De Gaulle Roissy Airport to San Francisco International Airport.  They watched quietly from their row of two as the plane slowly filled.

The woman turned to the man and asked, “Do you live in San Francisco?”

“Yes, I just moved there last year to take a job. I was visiting my family in Grenoble. And, you?” he politely replied.

What ended up starting out as small talk quickly progressed and, within fifteen minutes, she shared her family history including details about her grandmother’s small village in the south of France.  This family history was necessary to lay the foundation of the new relationship. But, to be clear, even though that one time her family called her a princess for not wanting to share a hamburger, she didn’t consider herself a princess and remembered where she came from.

He listened with quiet attention for the next few hours until the four cheese tortellini, hard roll, carrot salad and chocolate pudding were served.  They both opted for the after meal coffee and as he took sips, she continued to talk about how bad the food was in America.  He wouldn’t say much because he didn’t seem to want to interrupt her.  Then, she got up to use the restroom and lifted the center armrest as he moved into the aisle. He looked at her from behind and watched her walk all the way to the center of the plane where she had to stand in the already formed bathroom line.

She came back after some time and the armrest continued to stay in the upright position.  The monologue continued as soon as she sat down.  He started fiddling with arm rest on his left. Her gaze seemed more intent and she definitely was risking a possible neck cramp.

The man went from rubbing his leg, to moving his hand up and down his thigh, to migrating to the groin area. His head was now resting on the back of the seat and his left hand rested on his crotch. He still was not saying much as he held the coffee in his right hand.  Then, he got up to use the bathroom. To occupy the void, she took out a crossword puzzle magazine. He came back and now the conversation turned towards completing the puzzle in a forced team fashion.

After the six hour continuation of the predictable repeated exchanges, the captain made an announcement that we would be landing in an hour.  She got up with her makeup case to go to the bathroom.  Returning to the row with blush, lipstick and mascara now applied she crouched down next to the man’s seat looking up at him, touching her hair while he read a magazine.  He looked down at her and they laughed together about some reality show star that was on the open page.

The plane was now ready to land and she took her seat next to him. The flight attendant put down the arm rest for the landing and adjusted his seat to the upright position. For the first time, she looked out the window and then back to him to let him know it looked like a nice day.

The plane landed, people pushed to get off but the two new friends waited, seated for everyone to pass them by. They collected their bags and deplaned together, walking to customs and continuing their conversation.  Once they passed through customs and got their bags, with their phones in their hands, they politely gave each other two kisses.

As they exited the restricted area to ground transportation together, she was met by a dozen roses and a tall, handsome man who embraced her passionately while the plane friend walked towards the BART station alone.

Manipulation – A Short Romance By L.B. Lewis for September 8, 2016. Copyrighted. All rights reserved. Read more stories here.