The alarm rang, furious as ever, at four. "Who the hell wakes up at four o'clock in the morning?" I raged internally. My eyes flashed open and within a second, I was out of bed ready to go to the toilet and start my new morning routine.
My name is Lia and I've recently been given a fresh start. Things were getting quite difficult back in Spain, with the beginning of a big financial crisis. I used to work with my father, but his company wasn't making as much profit as before. As a small family business, money was getting pretty tight for us. So instead of waiting and watching the ship sink, I decided to make a move.
I applied online for a job that looked pretty decent and got an email back within the next hour inviting me to attend an interview. I did, and to my surprise I was accepted. A few months later, and after a long process of medicals and background checks, I packed two large suitcases and left my country, family and friends, to do an intense six-week training course. On the last week of training I managed to find a house, all due to the wonders of social media. I found a room in an apartment right in the city centre, close to the bus station. I would be living with two other foreign crew members, Natasha and Rose.
Rose was also from Spain, and she was like my guardian angel: I met her online and she helped me with everything since I arrived, three days ago.
I'm now living in Italy and I'm a qualified flight attendant. Today is my first operating flight, and I’m not sure what to expect, but my stomach is rumbling and just the thought of approaching that crew room makes me feel sick. I already know where I'm going because yesterday Rose and I went on a tour to get my airport ID and to find the location of the office and all the relevant details that I might need. The base is small and only has four aircraft, nothing compared to the London bases with twenty aircraft.
I have a quick shower, brush my teeth and dry my hair. I manage to tie my long black hair into a neat ponytail, pulling a strand of hair from the ponytail and wrapping it round the bobble to hide it, finally securing it with a hair pin. My makeup is simple: some foundation to cover my carved eye bags, gold eyeshadow and mascara to define and accentuate my hazel eyes, finishing with a red lipstick and a light blush on my cheeks. The red lipstick is so not me, but I have to wear it, as it’s part of our grooming standards and we learned in training that presentation is taken very seriously. "You are the face of the company." Those words are still stuck in my head. So I need to face the fact that I have to wear it, ignoring and getting over my hate of red lips. My head bounces, not believing how I actually look like a human being. "The wonders of makeup," I thought to myself. Facing the mirror to see the final result, a light smile of excitement appears on my face.
Next, was my uniform: nude tights and a nicely cut, dark, elegant dress. I got dressed, and after maniac efforts of twisting, bending, jumping up and down, I managed to push that zipper up. "Yes, I did it!" I let a small giggle escape, a breathless one, filled with joy. Picking up the red silky scarf, I placed it carefully around my neck securing it in a bow tie. Finally, I grabbed the red coat that carried my wings. What a beautiful set of golden wings it was, the company logo in the middle of a perfect circle with two glorious wings spreading open, it was impossible for anyone to miss it. I walked to the door, completely ignoring the kitchen – I wasn't hungry at all, just the thought of food was unbearable. I grabbed my company handbag, fished my lanyard and put it around my neck. Putting on my Piccadilly crew shoes, I grabbed my trolley and made my way as fast as I could to take the bus.
To my surprise, the bus station was very quiet; only a couple of people gathered around their trolleys, obviously heading to the airport. I parked myself and my crew bag right in front of a bus that said "Airport" in large unmistaken letters. It was still closed, and empty inside. I heard the sound of a trolley approaching quite fast. When it stopped, I heard a random male voice.
"Hey you! You’re the new girl, right?!" I turned towards the voice of a man maybe in his mid-thirties, with bleached blond hair, blue eyes, and a funny accent. He was speaking and looking directly at me. I flinched for a moment but decided to answer – I could see that his uniform was the male version of mine, so I didn't want to make any enemies on my very first day.
"Yeah, I suppose that's me!" I replied, with a smile plastered on my messy red lips, lightly shrugging my shoulders. I extended my right hand for a shake and continued, "I'm Lia Gomez, nice to meet you!" He stared at my hand, then shook his head and with a smirk.
"Way too formal, babe! Come here, give me a hug!" He pulled my body to his, gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and a body-cracking hug. My face froze, showing no emotion, only pain in my bones. Then he pushed me back and still grabbing my arms he continued with a bright smile. "So… My name is Gonzalo, but babe you can call me Gonzo or Gonzito. We are flying together today; I'm going to be your cabin manager. I promise to be as nice as possible. But let me warn you that the passengers do my head in, I tend to lose my cool. Anyway... I want to know all about you, where did you come from? How old are you? What did you do before this? And your tastes! Are you into men or women? Oh tell me it's men, please! We’ll find you some on-board! Or set you up with someone from the crew village! But maybe you have a boyfriend already – have you!?
My head was spinning. The amount of words this guy could utter at this time in the morning was something astonishing – I mean I was barely there, my body was present but my spirit was all the way back in my new comfy bed. Yet, with no air left in his lungs, he still found the strength to continue: "But I suppose that we have time during the day, and babe, you can tell me all about it. Don't be shy, I can tell that you're becoming quite shy! OK, later then, I won't force you... Now let's go, the bus is ready! We don't want to be late on the first day, do we?!" His words and tone of voice made it quite clear in my mind that Gonzalo (Gonzo or Gonzito) was indeed gay, the most stunning gay guy I've ever seen. I was smiling right at him, and I even lost track of what was happening around me. The bus was ready to go, and I could feel that the day was going to be fun.
"Sure Gonzo! Let's go, I really don't want to be late." With that we got on the bus.
Once we arrived, we made our way through the airport together, through security and downstairs to the crew room, which we got to at 05.25am. He swiped his ID and opened the door for me. Inside, I could hear a lot of different voices, all talking in English, which was a change to the outside world. I followed Gonzo in, as if he was my fairy godmother, never letting him out of my sight.
Crew members started to acknowledge his presence, giggling and throwing jokes that I didn't fully understand. I went straight to the computer to check in, print the voyage summary like I had been taught to the previous day, a ritual I had to complete every single morning, then searched wildly through my handbag for a pen and my supernumerary documents. The state of that bag made me pinch my nose in frustration; it was already bursting with all my belongings.
I was then back to square one with my nerves killing me, watching everyone here in their uniforms, it felt even more real.
On one side of the crew room were all the cabin crew and on the other all the pilots. They were glued to the computers, reading and printing piles of papers, only silence and concentration on that side. The only differences among them were the golden stripes they wore on the shoulders: some had two or three and some had four.
Back to our side, and focusing on what was in front of me, the only thing I could hear was Gonzo's voice shouting "Yee-haw!" Like a cowboy, he was now pretending to ride a horse in the middle of the crew room with a pilot hat on his head. The amount of energy coming from that man at 05.35am was exhausting. The two ladies and the guy looking at him were laughing their heads off. They were laughing so much that I could see the tears building in their eyes. Suddenly, he saw me and shouted, "Come here babe! What you doing there, all by yourself in the corner!?" he signalled with his hand for me to come closer and placed his arm on my shoulders. "Guys, I present Lia! Lia Gomez! She's our new girl! And our supernumerary today." They all looked at me and introduced themselves.
"Hi, I'm Gio! Piacere," the male said, stretching his hand out for a shake.
"Buongiorno! I'm Nico. Nice to meet you!" A brunette with a sweet smile waved at me.
"I'm Vicky, nice to meet you! Oh dear, you look nervous, come here!" The last one smiled, stretching her long arms out for a hug. She was tall and very curvy with amazing blond hair and green eyes.
Accepting her comforting hug, I looked round at them. "Nice to meet you all too! Thank you! Yeah I am a bit nervous, but I will try my best to learn today!"
Gonzo clapped his hands and picked up the voyage report from the printer. "Briefing time, Bambinos!"
We went through the briefing list discussing all the topics, including passenger figures, checked luggage, assigned tasks for each one of us to complete, flow of service, and finally crew positions were distributed. It was a very serious time, everyone was actively listening while Gonzo meticulously planned the day ahead. Because of me having my first day as a supernumerary, it would be slightly different, and they would have to adapt their work so I could learn every detail.
After Gonzo finished he had to ask some questions to test the crew’s knowledge. "OK! So... Can we all remember what NITS stands for?" With a weird smiley face, swinging his arms in a weird dance, he pointed his fingers at the ceiling, then incorporated a Maestro pretending that the wand was his own finger. He pointed at Vicky.
"Nature,” she started. He continued swinging his finger and dancing along. He pointed at Gio, who blurted out.
"Intentions!" Still swinging and dancing, the finger landed on Nico's shoulder.
She smiled at him. “Time available."
Continuing with the finger dance he finally pointed at me. To which I quickly answered, "Special instructions." He nodded and simply winked.
Leaning towards me, this time with a wicked smile he said, "So Ms Gomez, tell me now, according to your knowledge and to our precious manual. How would you perform a... perfect... blowjob?"
My eyes widened like saucepans. I wasn't sure if I had heard correctly; staring at their serious faces, all eyes on me, I could swear that my cheeks were now on fire and I could feel a sweat drop travelling down my forehead.
Vicky, Nico and Gio, after 30 seconds of silence and very serious faces, just exploded with laughter. Gonzo followed – they were holding their stomachs, laughing so loud that the whole crew room was looking. Sensing my embarrassment, he put his arm on my shoulder and shook his head, calming himself down enough to be able to say, "Safety first, babe! You will do it... But safely of course!"
"Are you giving your new crew member a hard time, Gonzo?" A deep manly voice asked right behind us. His accent was British and very strong. Turning around, my eyes could not believe my sight. In front of me was the most attractive man I had ever seen – I mean he could surely have been a model if he wanted to. He was about 6 feet tall, with deep ocean blue eyes that pierced into mine, his hair a mix of brown with natural blond highlights, wide shoulders, his shirt tight enough for me to see that his muscles filled it perfectly, his trousers just about the right size to see his toned legs underneath. I tried but failed, to avoid his gaze, and after what felt like a year he finally turned to Gonzo with a malevolent expression and an arched eyebrow.
Gonzo's eyes widened, but when he turned around his expression changed: he was now wearing a relaxed playful smile. "Good morning to you, Mr. Jason! Didn't see you coming for us! Since when you’re back?! The answer to your question is no. I was just breaking the tension with a bit of fun. Anyway darling, this is Lia Gomez our new crew member today!"
I came back to my senses, but his eyes were once again piercing through me. Trying not to blush I looked straight at him, with a smile plastered on my lips, and waved my hand in the air, acknowledging his presence.
He smiled sweetly. His smile was indescribable: his teeth perfectly aligned and white, lips so defined they looked precisely sculpted on his face. This man was something else to another level. "Hi Lia, I'm Jason Williams. ” he introduced himself, “I'll be your First Officer today. Hope you feel comfortable enough to and come and visit us in the flight deck. We can show you how to land that flying tin out there!" He extended his hand, and I politely shook it. His hand was incredibly soft, and I could feel that he hadn’t applied even half his strength to the handshake, but it was tight enough to shoot some sparks and a tingling feeling right down to my core.
"Goddamnit Lia! Get over yourself!" I shouted internally. Before this handshake I didn't even remember that I still had a sex member somewhere between my legs, and to be honest it would be better for humanity to keep it that way, after my last epic disaster. "Hi Jason, it's nice to meet you!" I vocalized, straightening myself up and staring right into the sparkling blue rocks in front of me.
He broke our handshake and staring contest that was now taking way too long and getting way too weird and turned to everyone. "Well hope you’re all OK! To answer your first question, Gonzo, I was back yesterday. It was nice to be home for a while, but reality calls. About today..." He started to read the paper in his hand. "Daniel, our captain... is a bit late so he asked me to brief everyone." Laughter followed and Nico just said, "Dan being Dan!" Everyone smiled.
Jason continued, "So we’re going to Geneva today, the weather is set to be OK, a beautiful sunny day and a nice temperature. No turbulence scheduled. Flight times are 1h 30 the way there and 1h 40 back. That's pretty much it... Dan will meet us at the aircraft." I could see Gonzo writing it all down on the summary that we all printed before.
Then he enquired, "What do you want to drink today?"
“Coffee, white no sugar please. For Dan, I believe it is still the same, coffee black one sugar?" He asked, searching for any type of confirmation from the crew, but they all looked puzzled, staring at each other .He shook his wide shoulders. "We’ll confirm that with him once he arrives. Shall we go?" in one go he reached for his bag and coat, motioning his arm towards the door. All of the crew nodded and started to make their way outside.
I stayed slightly behind, not knowing how to put my supernumerary papers into my overflowing handbag. Jason was staring at his phone; after a chuckle he started typing furiously into it. When I was ready, I made my way outside.
Reaching the door that had just slammed shut from the crew that was ahead, my mind and judgement went blank. I was trying to open the door, but the door was simply refusing to open for me; I moved the handle up and down, pushed and pulled on it, but no success. Exasperated at this point, I decided to give the door my sweet talk: "What the hell! Just open yourself to me, you stupid door! Please?! " Both hands close to my mouth, I prayed for that evil door to open. I could have sworn that I was having a man-to-man fight with a door and the bloody object was winning.
Then I heard the sound of a pretend cough and a light chuckle coming from behind me. That’s when I remembered I wasn't alone. I felt a hand on my lower back, and a huge body leaning to my right. An electrical shock went through me again. Frozen, I felt my cheeks go red and hot. The scent of his fresh summer cologne invaded my nostrils, which lead me to close my eyes. "Easy there, tiger! That door will be the end of you." Said the husky voice right into my ear.
I could feel his breath on my neck; my breath-rate increased drastically, my heart pounded with the proximity. I whispered to myself, in my own language, "La puerta no, pero tú..." (Not the door, but you...) Looking down at my feet, trying to ignore all of my senses and the alarm bells ringing loudly in my head, I let out a deep sigh.
"If only I knew what that meant... Here, I'll show you how to open it..." I looked to my right and managed to give him a smile, totally intimidated by those blue gems and quite lost in that smile. Handing me his ID, he gently placed his hand on mine, lifting it towards the little black screen. We swiped the card together and it beeped. A green light appeared, he pushed the door open and waited for me to go through.
"Oh, I forgot that part. Thank you, Jason." I gave him a quick smile and basically strolled away as fast as I could from that evil door, and also from him. That man was fire and I needed some safe distance to keep my cool. I could see the crew now, waiting for us outside; together we walked towards the aircraft.
We arrived and all I could see was a giant metallic bird, parked right on top of yellow lines. We all stopped in front of a set of steps attached to the front door. Jason climbed the steps with his bag and opened the door, disappearing inside. We all followed and stepped inside of the aircraft, the lights suddenly came on and we could see the whole cabin perfectly. Nico and Gio walked towards the rear, leaving me, Gonzo and Vicky at the front. "Babe, you can stow your crew bag at the back, in the lockers. After you do that come to the front and we will guide you through the pre-flight checks. I think today you should shadow Vicky; you need to learn everything related to her position." I nodded and did as instructed. Went to the back, stowed the bag, removing the papers that I needed, and when I was coming towards the front once again a strident sound broke through the whole plane, making me jump.
"WHAT'S UP, TEAM?!"
Gonzo and Vicky were now looking at the door, where there was another man in uniform with four golden stripes on his shoulders. He was leaning on the crew seats holding the interphone and speaking directly into it.
Behind me, I heard Nico and Gio shout "Buongiorno Dan!" Slowly, I let the breath I was holding out of my lungs, and relaxed my contracted body. It was only the Captain. I continued my walk to the front calmly. Once there Gonzo did the honours:
"Dan, this is our new crew member. She will be with us today! Her name is Lia Gomez." I promptly stretched my hand out for a shake.
"Hi Dan, nice to meet you!"
Trying to hide a shy smile, Dan held my hand and shook it briefly. "Hi Lia, welcome! Are you ready for the day?" He waited for my confirmation, to which I just nodded. "Hope Gonzo goes easy on you. And please join us for a landing or two! You will never be able to do it again, so why not?!" Coming out of the flight deck, Jason was already staring at Dan with a devious smile. Noticing another set of eyes on him he exclaimed, "JAY MATE! How’ve you been!? You’re finally back!"
They both crashed into each other’s arms and all I could hear were the loud pats of their back slaps. "Good, mate, good!" After this emotional moment they detached from each other.
"Have you briefed them already?" Jason simply nodded to confirm, doing a quick scan of us. His eyes once again landed on me. Dan tapped him once again on the back, leading him back in the flight deck. Trying to avoid and escape everything that would come with those eyes, I turned to Gonzo.
"Gonzo, I have this paperwork for you." His eyes landed on the papers and his smile turned into a frown. "I know, I'm sorry, but what can I do to help now?" After listening to his instructions, I followed Vicky’s every move. Together, we checked all the life jackets on board and all the seat pockets in our area. Moving towards the galley, we checked if the defibrillator was present, intact and sealed. In the front galley, she pressed the ‘on’ button on the brewer, then removed all of the seals on the trolleys and cannisters, turning them around.
"That’s it, Lia, our checks are complete! Now we just need to let Gonzo know, and because we are extra nice we will open the canisters for him," she said with a smile. "GONZO, CHECKS COMPLETE!" she shouted; he only nodded to acknowledge that the information was received. We started to open the cannisters, revealing black cooler bags. She opened the zipper and inside were two cartons of milk, a set of four cups and lids, and a carton of orange juice. She passed them to me and I placed them carefully inside the cupboard located next to the brewer.
Gonzo grabbed the interphone and, speaking to the man in the hi-viz jacket, informed us: "OK. We expect 174 passengers, two babies and three PRMs. Are you all ready?"
Thumbs up from the back, and in no time the passengers made their way into our plane.
During boarding I helped and assisted with the luggage, to the point where my back was getting quite sore. Vicky saw my struggle and addressed me sternly, "Lia! What are you doing to yourself!? You won't have a back by the end of this day if you continue to help everyone put the bags in the locker. Here's my dirty little secret... When they ask me if I can lift their bags, I politely say, ‘Of course, but maybe we could do it together!’ And with that, they usually "help" me, which is basically me placing my hands on the bag and them using all of their strength to lift it," she said with a fake smile on her lips, spreading her arms open like a tv presenter. I let out a small giggle. This girl was an absolute genius – my back and I were forever grateful to her.
"Oh, I see... That's an amazing strategy! You have the brains, Vicky, hands up to you! I'm quite glad to learn that, because my back is killing me now."
She leant on my shoulder, "Girl any time! In Life, Love and Work I can lead you... Anything for an easier and happier life."
I smiled and went with her and Nico to distribute life jackets and seat belt extensions for the babies onboard, watching them closely brief the mothers on what to do if their babies were crying on descent, which apparently was usual and easily sorted with a dummy or a drink, and on the whereabouts of the nearest toilets with changing facilities. After that, I watched Vicky brief her overwings.
When we reached the front, we found the door already closed. Gonzo turned to face me with a smile and, tapping away on the screen to his left, he instructed me, "Babe, you can now arm your door – I mean Vicky's door." Then through the interphone he said, "Cabin crew, arm doors for departure." After the doors were armed and cross-checked he winked at me and said excitedly, "Safety demo time!"
It went well, I mean, I placed the life jacket the other way around and I couldn't reach the tube or the toggle for inflation, never mind the light or the whistle, and the bouncing of the plane taxiing to the runway made me fall at least three or four times, while I heldon to the bulkheads for dear life. I kind of froze at the end, but all the passengers were having a good laugh at me – it was like a live never-ending comedy show.
Afterwards, I secured my area and waited for more instructions from Gonzo. "Well done, babe. Now... You go down to the back and have a seat next to Gio, and we will meet up here once they release us after take-off!"
Reaching the rear, I sat next to Gio. He was kind enough to help me strap myself in. "That's it, you’re ready to go!" I smiled and let my back rest on the seat. suddenly the ragging sound of the engines started and it was only getting louder, I felt myself moving slightly forward, thanks to Gio's excellent job with my shoulder harness and belt, eventually, I felt it locking securing me at a safe angle.
Through the window, I could see that we were starting to move quite fast, and I was shaking with the endless potholes on the ground. In no time, I could no longer feel them as, gliding upwards, I was pulled and lifted freely into the open, deep blue SKY.