I boarded the plane and walked down the aisle looking for my seat. I hoped the flight won’t be very busy, so I could have the seats on my row all to myself. I wanted to be alone with my thoughts.
I found my seat by the window and settled in, arranging my bottle of water, ipod and reading material. I was looking forward to this trip for many reasons. This was the first time I was returning to Ghana in eleven years. But more importantly, I was going to meet my love interest for the first time.
I’d been introduced to Kofi through Facebook by a mutual friend. We became friends and started corresponding occasionally, but over a few months our discussions became more frequent. Soon we exchanged phone numbers and Blackberry PINs, keeping in touch, talking, chatting or texting each other throughout the day. My feelings for him grew and I was happy when he confessed that he had been interested in a relationship with me right from the start. This trip was going to be the beginning of something really special; I could feel it.
I was disappointed when an elderly gentleman stopped by my row and glanced at his boarding pass. He was allocated the seat next to mine. He smiled at me, as he stopped to put his cabin bag in the overhead locker. I didn’t want to return the smile, he looked like one of those men who liked to prey on young, naive women. I nodded faintly and turned my face to the window.
He sat down. “Hello, young lady.”
I turned to look at him and said a cold hello back.
“How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you.” I didn’t want to be rude, but I wanted to put an end to the conversation. I started reaching for my iPod.
“Sorry, do you mind me asking? How old are you?”
I frowned and turned to him warily. Then I noticed his eyes looked sad.
“That’s good. I have a daughter about your age.”
“I’m travelling with her today.”
I looked around in confusion, half-expecting his daughter to join us.
He must have guessed what I was thinking, because he said, “Oh, she’s not in the cabin. She’s in the hold.”
The realisation dawned on me. For the rest of the flight, I forgot about my own issues, and talked to the father who was grieving.
Tolulope Popoola is a writer, blogger and a passionate lover of books and literature. Tolulope grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to the United Kingdom in 2000. After venturing into a career in Accounting and Finance for a few years, she started blogging under the pseudonym ‘Favoured Girl’ in 2006 and rediscovered her love for writing. A few writing classes and an online fiction series soon followed and in 2008, Tolulope quit her Accounting career to become a full-time writer. She now writes short stories, flash fiction, and articles for many print and online magazines.
She set up Accomplish Press in 2011 to publish her first novel, when she realised that there were not many mainstream publishers in the UK willing to take a chance on “ethnic” writers like her. Accomplish Press offers publishing and consulting services to writers, as well as services for hybrid authors.
Her first novel, “Nothing Comes Close” was published by Accomplish Press in 2012. Her latest collection of flash fiction “Fertile Imagination” has recently been published.