A Sudden Crush

By: Camilla Isley



“Excuse me,” I say, trying to attract the attention of the man sitting next to me on the plane.

He ignores me.

I try again. “Um, excuse me?” I have to sort this out before we take off.


Is he brushing me off on purpose?

I decide to gently tap my index finger on his shoulder. “Um, sir, excuse me…”

This time I get a brusque, “Yes?” back.

I start my pitch with a smile. “Hi, sorry to bother you—”

“Then don’t.”

I’m taken aback by this guy’s rudeness, but not enough to desist. “Sorry again. It will take only a minute, I promise.”

He rolls his eyes in an exaggerated gesture, but I ignore his body language and continue. I have to try.

“I got married today,” I say with a dreamy, I-cannot-believe-I-am-this-happy smile, “and we, I mean my husband and I, were held back at the reception for so long, the goodbyes took forever, and then there was an accident on the highway—“

“You have a point?” the man interrupts with the same gruff attitude.

“Yeah, of course.” I try to keep my cool, as I need to ask this ogre a favor. “My point is that we arrived at the airport super late and there were no seats left for us to sit together, so I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind switching places with my husband. He’s over there.” I point at Liam.

The grumpy ogre takes a casual look at Liam and snorts loudly.

“Was that a yes?” I ask hopefully.

“No, miss, it wasn’t.”

“It’s Mrs., actually, and—”

“He’s sitting in an aisle seat,” the ogre says. “I want to be in a window one. Anyway, if you ask me, your husband doesn’t appear too bothered with his seating accommodation.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That he seems pretty comfortable chatting with the top model next to him, not worrying too much about his annoying wife not being there to hold his hand.”

“That…you’re the rudest man I’ve ever met!” I’m puffing with indignation. How dare he say those things to me? “You don’t know me, how can you say—”

“I’ve known you the whole of ten minutes, and already I’ve had enough. I can’t help but imagine the poor guy is happy he’s having a break.”

With that last nasty comment, the troll turns around, presenting me with his shoulders, and goes back to staring out the window.

I turn to look at Liam. Admittedly, he seems pretty engrossed in his conversation. I can’t see the woman very well. They’re on the opposite side of the plane to the right, four rows down from me, and in first class four rows is a lot of space. I crane my neck backwards, but I see only the top of a blondish head. She must be tall for her head to pop out like that; it’s almost even with Liam’s, and he’s six-foot-two. What are they talking about? And why isn’t he trying to have her switch places with me?

I push the request-a-flight-attendant button. This is not how my honeymoon was supposed to begin. So far, this journey has been a nightmare. We left the reception too late, and Liam got mad at me for wanting to say goodbye to everyone. And I will admit that at home my bag wasn’t exactly one-hundred percent packed. I was maybe eighty percent done, at the very minimum. But how was I supposed to know the movers had completely ignored my directions for packing, and that none of my things were in the right boxes at our new house? It took me forever to locate the stuff I was missing.

Then there was traffic. Again, it was hardly my fault that some idiot decided to speed up on I-294, lose control of his car, and create the most prodigious traffic jam in Chicago’s history. But Liam is so fastidious about his pre-flight buffer time that, for him, arriving one hour before the departure was almost as bad as missing the plane altogether.

To be fair, when we finally showed up at the airline desk we were the last two people to check-in, and we had to make do with whatever places there were left. No matter how much I whined with the clerk about it being our honeymoon, she said there was nothing she could do at this point and that we would have to try to switch places with someone else on the plane. Which is what I’m trying to do. Only I’m sitting next to a brute.