FLIGHT 72✈✈

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14

A long three hours whizzed by with me staring blankly through the window for the entire period, pondering over the entire ordeal. Now that I was thinking about it, I didn't even feel that it was that scary of a hijacking after all. I almost felt as if we were under the control of three dummies who had no clue as to what they were doing. They literally had no motive behind his ordeal. They were more like three lost souls who had somehow lost their way and ended up in a different profession. The hijacking was that unnatural. Maybe I am feeling this way because its all over now and I am extremely secured now, knowing that I am heading back home safely.

Nevertheless, scary or not scary, it was still a hijacking which involved casualties and that trait itself makes this hijacking terrifying. But it was in such a terrifying situation that I got to know of Clara a little bit more. As ironic as it may seem, It was because of a hijacking that I started developing love for a certain someone. Everyone else would probably loathe this petrifying incident and shun it away from their minds for the rest of their lives. For me though, it was somewhat a bittersweet experience - mostly sweet only because of her. And her alone.

This was one such incident that taught me a great lesson. Even the worst of disasters can sometimes be a boon to many others just like me in this case. Just like how a coin has two sides, there will always be benefits and demerits of every event. The long and nerve-wrecking hijacking incident was indeed a benison for me as it allowed me to spend more time with her, get to know who she really was. I sighed, missing those good old times.

Within a few minutes, the plane had touched down on Vale and as soon as we did so, the crowd erupted into a great commotion - one not of fear but with ecstacy, knowing we were in safe hands now and the terrifying ordeal had ended.

Mrs Amy clapped along too, thanking the heavens that we had made it out alive. We were no longer trapped in a plane lying on an unchartered foreign territory. We were now in our hometown Vale and what is the worse that could happen? Now we had full confidence that nothing evil would come near us. Ever again.

Just as the case was in Catah Island, a theong of reporters and journalists had crowded near the tarmac of the massive airport terminal, carefully shooting what seemed like the biggest news coverage they had ever done in their lives. Obviously, we weren't soo happy looking at the same scene yet again. It was really baffling to imagine how one's suffering has become sort of an entertainment for others to watch. But thankfully, a squad of police personel had formed a barrier between us and the journalists as we made our way into the terminal building.

The airport had temporarily stopped its flight services due to our arrival. Just as we followed the crowd through to the arrival section of the terminal building, I could sense an almost inordinate number of people gathering at the entrance, eagerly waiting for our arrival. A combination of both anxiety and happiness were etched on everyone's faces as they eagerly hoped the arrival of their relatives. Some survivors had already been united with their family members as they hugged them before bursting into tears. It was a rather chaotic environment and Mrs Amy and I scanned the environment, just having a tinge of hope that my parents would have turned up to receive us.

"So do you think they are here?" Mrs Amy asked me while still searching the massive crowd that was in front of us.

"It would take a miracle to bring them here.."

"Why?"

"They were already very furious at me when I was at home doing nothing.. now I hadn't even told them about this entire trip.. I cannot face their wrath.."

"You should have listened to me when I asked you to tell your parents about this trip.. look what has happened now"

"Yeaa I am sorry.. I should not have been that adamant about that decision that I made.."

"Anyways I think they would be here.. no parent would have the heart to not come and visit their children when they have survived a freaking hijacking incident.."

"Fair enough.." I replied though with a complete lack of confidence. I was pretty sure that their anger and frustration hadn't subsided even now. Nothing can make up for that. Still, we began searching around the crowd with just a glimmer of hope that a miracle would happen somehow and we would find my parents over there.

With such a chaotic environment, searching for them was like an uphill task. It was like searching for a needle in a heap of haystack. Minutes had passed and all we saw were others being united happily with their family while we were just like lost puppies, walking aimlessly around the entrance of the airport.

Not going to lie, but the entire scene had invoked a feeling of jealousy in me. Seeing others over the moon while me just standing alone made me want to cry. It was not as if I was an orphan.

But I felt like one at that point.

Unable to swallow this difficult pill anymore, I sat at the ground below, as I started to break down into tears. Such was the feeling that it even made a grown man cry.

"Don't worry Aaron, they should be here somewhere.. don't cry.."

"I am a hundred percent sure they are nkt here.. They still hate me!"

"Stop being so negative!"

"Not like as if people had loved me ever in my life"

Mrs Amy looked stunned for a second as she have me a rather perplexed look.

"Say that again"

" I said not like as if people had loved me ever in my life"

That was when I stopped too as I realised something peculiar had happened. My eyes widened as well as I realised what I had done and why Mrs Amy was so shocked.

I had uttered the exact same phrase as Clara did when the hijacker had selected her to be dead [Chapter 7].

"This can't be.. I am in the same shoes as Clara. I feel not loved just like Clara"

"Well there is one stark difference.. You are feeling this way after not seeing your parents for about 3 days. Imagine Clara's plight who had to live through with this feeling for more than 15 years.."

It was really an eye-opening moment. It was such a pity that Clara hadn't even experienced the sensation called love ever in her life. Compared to her situation, I consider my parents as blessing in my life. It made me to be more greatful towards my parents no matter how strict they were towards me. At least they didn't abandon me when I was a child unlike Clara. At least they had showered me with abundant love unlike with the case with Clara.

It also subdued my anger that Kenneth had been united with Clara. At least with Kenneth, Clara would finally be loved by someone else and have a person to have a listening ear too. I didn't know if I would have made a good pair with Clara. Obviously Kenneth was a better choice as they were in the same profession. And I had confidence that Clara would be more happy living with Kenneth than me. That fact that it made Clara happy made me satisfied too.

"Alright Mrs Amy.. I guess we have to borrow a phone from someone and call my parents" I suggested, reminding Mrs Amy that our phones had been burnt along with the doomed plane as well..

"There is no need for that" Mrs Amy suddenly raised her voice as she started to sound elated.

"Why?"

"There!" Mrs Amy chirped as she started to point somewhere in the crowd. I started to feel energised, hoping that 'that miracle' had happened.

Indeed it had happened.

I saw my parents somewhere on the crowd as they were looking in another direction, full of grief as they wondered what had happened to their son. My mother was sobbing heavily as my father tried to comfort her by patting her shoulders gently. It was the first time that I had ever seen my mom in tears. She was usually a blunt and strict person who rarely showcased her emotions. After everything that had happened, I finally got to see the true motherly love. The love that she doesn't usually express openly. That was the moment I realised how much my parents had treasured me. Though they do not show everything explicitly, its in them. The tough situations had indeed brought out the raw emotions.

Without wasting a single second, I started jolting towards my parents. I couldn't wait any longer as I started shouting. Finally, I was loud enough to catch their attention.

The joy we experienced was simply indescribable. I instantly hugged my mother and both of us started to cry uncontrollably.

"Aaron, how are you dear?" My mom asked, her palms gently rubbing my face, examining if I was alright. Tears of joy flowed from Mrs Amy as well as she finally saw us united.

My family had showered me with abundant care and love - more than what I had experienced all these years. Their anger had subsided and vanished into thin air after seeing me unscathed.

"Why did you do this, Aaron" my dad questioned, his face full of concern.

"I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have left without telling you.. but how did you know I had left?"

"We realised your passport wasn't at home.. that was when we knew you had gone abroad"

"You could have at least told us Mrs Amy.." My mom started to which I immediately disagreed.

"Don't blame Mrs Amy.. she wanted me to tell you about all these.. I was the one who insisted on not telling you.. It was all my fault"

"I should have been more responsible.. It was my fault" Mrs Amy uttered as both of us started playing the blaming game - both of us insisting it was our fault. Mrs Amy finally asked a question to break this chain.

"But how did you know we went on this exact flight?"

"The news.." My father replied. Indeed news coverage had spread so fast. In a way, though I hated them for directly filming our sorrow, I was somewhat grateful for them for showcasing our plight to the whole world. By telecasting in the news, it made us feel that we were not alone in our battle and we had the support of many others outside. Indeed my perspecrive of the media had been changed completely and I was starting to understand the benefit of it.

"Finally, let's leave this place.." my dad said as we began evacuating the place. Mrs Amy had placed her arm around me as we walked towards our car. As we did so, I turned my head once again towards the airport, roughly in the same direction as the toilet where I had first met her.

"Its time to move on, Aaron.. yoh have more important things to worry about.." Mrs Amy comforted. Taking a deep breath, we began going inside the car.

The engines roared to life as we started making our way back towards the direction of our house. Home was an hour's drive away which meant that Mrs Amy had the opportune time sharing everything. And so she started narrating the entire ordeal without missing a single detail - of course she didn't expose my secret love. While she did so, I sat back near the window, reflecting everything that had happened in the last 2 days.

Suddenly my mom turned to me and asked if I was okay.

"I will never leave you again" I uttered as my mom wiped away the tears forming in my eyes.

"Promise?"

"Promise"

After that small pause, Mrs Amy continued her narration till home..
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