- Colossal planes on the tarmac and an endless wait! I was at gate 33 of the international airport waiting to board a long haul red-eye. And then, I saw her!
In the reflection of the glass walls of the viewing deck—a weary mother, travelling alone, with a toddler who was blissfully asleep, cradled in her arms.
She sat slumped. Dressed in flats, a baggy cardigan and comfortable stretch pants, it made for a practical dress sense to travel with a playful child. Her limp hair was tied in a messy bun with strands and wisps escaping from it.
As she was clenching and unclenching her calf muscles and rotating her stiff ankles, I approached the young mother and gently laid my hand on her shoulder.
She looked up at me in surprise. She had faint dark circles from lack of sleep. I took a seat beside her and offered to hold the baby for a while to give her some respite.
She looked relieved and smiled at me gratefully.
Those travelling with childen may board first, came the announcement eventually.
A kind lady sat beside me. She had an ethereal look and she offered to hold Megan for awhile.
I couldn’t have asked for more. My arms were being pulled out of their sockets. She made some small talk and her voice was so soothing, it took away all my exhaustion.
Finally! The moment of boarding had arrived!
Holding Megan close, I walked light-headed and my legs as heavy as lead.
I sank into my seat and realized that I had the entire row to myself. The kind lady was sitting in the aisle across from me.
It was an hour into the flight when things suddenly began to go wrong. Somewhere over the Pacific, a violent storm came out of nowhere and shook the plane.
The storm whipped up into a wild frenzy.
The passengers were jostled and some awoke to the chaos and thudding. The panic stricken screams and cries from children and adults alike rent the air.
Outside, a wing was up in flames, fast engulfing the windows.
Oxygen masks started falling from overhead.
We are doomed! We are going down!! What was it they said? Save your child first…? Then save yourself…? No…It’s the other way round…or is it…? I must save Megan…
She was tugging at the oxygen mask and covering her baby’s face with it, all the while gasping for air. She was on the brink of losing consciousness when she took a gulp of air just in time.
I had my eyes on her all the time but I couldn’t leave my seat. I was on a mission after all…
“You are going to your loved ones…You will always be with your loved ones…There is nothing to fear. I am with you.” A voice seemed to float inside my head.
Strange! I was alone on this entire row….Who was that?? I must be hallucinating…
Instantly, I felt no pain and terror.
A blinding light engulfed me…and I was swinging between dream…sleep…wake…
There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
I awoke to a brilliant flash of light at the back of my eyes. I was jolted out of deep sleep!
What on earth was that…! It was an uneventful flight and I had an undisturbed sleep…
But for that…mysterious blinding red-hot light!
The woman across my aisle was smiling at me. A fleeting sense of deja-vu, like a wisp of mist escaped my groggy, clouded mind which still had remnants of sleep. I smiled back and waited for descent.
She narrowly opened her eyes to gaze at her surroundings and then at her Cartier watch. It was almost time for touch-down. Maybe in another thirty. Sunlight was streaming in through the window and she admiringly rested her eyes on her 18 month old baby.
A star-status bestselling author. At 5’8”, dressed impeccably, she looked like she belonged on the cover of Vogue. Her skin was a glowing Ivory, without a blemish. She stretched her endless legs in her First-Class cubicle and glanced at me.
She stepped out into the daylight. Her lustrous, raven-black hair underlying with streaks of mahogany, radiant with health, cascaded down her back and danced to her confident strides.
Her entourage of staff followed her with the baggage. I followed at a discreet distance. Walking ahead with her cherubic baby in a stroller, she stepped out through the glass doors.
She was greeted with the media and the paparazzi with their flashing cameras ready.
As she held up her palm and waved to all in a friendly greeting, a sunbeam glinted off the expensive gem studded ring on her well-manicured hand.
Peering out of her handbag was a personal copy of ‘Alternate Lives, Parallel Universes’ which was going to be her book launch and her very purpose for this trip.
She had made the headlines on every newspaper which screamed out a Book Autograph Session with the popular star.
I stood admiring her from a distance. Feeling my gaze closely upon her, she turned to face me.
“Oh! I remember you now…I’m so sorry…we met at Gate 33 yesterday…didn’t we??? We had lots to talk about! You were also across the aisle from me and saying something about me being with my loved ones always…. I remember that vaguely as I was drifting off…”
I flashed her one of my benevolent smiles. I have known, guided and reassured her across all time, space and across all dimensions, infinitely and in an omnipresent manner.
Nodding at her while waving goodbye, I blended in behind a throng of her eager fans, discreetly dispersed into my amorphous being,… and ceased to be visible to all…
In the blink of an eye!
Death is just an illusion: We continue to live in a parallel universe—Robert Lanza.