Wide-awake now, he unbuckled his seat belt and jumped out his seat. She must have headed towards the back, he thought to himself. He would have seen her if she had gone forward. He hurried to the back, determined to get to the bottom of this ever increasing mystery. There were three toilets and the galley at the back and he quickly determined that she wasn’t in the galley. There were two attendants cleaning up, so he got their attention.
“Excuse me. The red headed flight attendant, I’m sorry, I didn’t catch her name, did she come back here a minute ago?”
The attendants gave each other a puzzled look. “I’m sorry sir, did you say a red head?”
“Yes, you know, good looking woman with lovely red hair. What’s her name?”
Again with the puzzled looks. One of them cleared her throat and looked embarrassed.
“Sir, none of the attendants on this flight has red hair.”
He blinked at them. They must be having him on, he thought.
“Um, okay, I’ll admit I was nodding off when she spoke to me a minute ago, but I’ve seen her three times now and I can assure you she has red hair.”
He looked at them expectantly and they both averted their eyes, clearly wondering what to say next. He was starting to get irritated and decided not to pursue it any further. He turned to head back to his seat and then realized he hadn’t checked the toilets. Two were unoccupied, the third was locked.
Ah ha, he thought to himself. She has to be in there. He leaned against the bulkhead and folded his arms, waiting for her to come out. A minute later the door was unlocked and an elderly gentleman toddled out.
“I hope I didn’t keep you waiting long,” he said, and then made his way back down the aisle.
Grant couldn’t believe his eyes. He looked inside the toilet just the same, but of course it was empty. He stood there dumbfounded for a minute and then headed back to his seat. This just can’t be happening, he thought to himself. I know I saw her. At the ticket counter, before take off, and just a few minutes ago. She spoke to me. I know she did.
He tried to do some more reading, but it was hopeless. There was a huge mystery going on, and Grant was not the sort of person who could just shrug such things off. It simply wasn’t possible that she wasn’t on the plane. He fretted through the rest of the flight. He kept looking around, expecting to see her, but she wasn’t there. Several of the people who were seated near him could sense his agitation and noticed him constantly looking around. No one wanted to say anything, but a couple of them were clearly concerned. They hoped he wasn’t planning anything bad.
After the plane landed he reluctantly got his carry-on luggage down and shuffled down the aisle with the rest to the door. He half expected her to be at the front with the other attendants saying goodbye to everyone, but she wasn’t there. He started down the ramp and on an impulse turned back one more time and there she was.
She looked him directly in the eyes and mouthed the words change your return flight. He was astounded and nearly bumped into several people in his haste to get back up the ramp. Everyone was annoyed with him, and he couldn’t see the door any more, but as he got closer and could see again he noticed that she wasn’t there. He stood and stared until people began making comments to him and then turned and followed the crowd to the terminal. It was almost more than he could bear.