Good afternoon passengers. This is the pre-boarding announcement for flight UI9511 to New Delhi. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers requiring special assistance, to begin boarding at this time. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes time. Thank you.
It was time to board the flight back home. The once upon-a-time Ritika who walked in & out of airports around the world everyday, today was sitting quietly in one corner oblivious to her surroundings. Ritika hadn’t spoken a word since she came face to face with her best friend 3 nights ago. Ajay on the other hand, didn’t force any information out of her, he knew her well, she would herself come and approach him when she was ready to say something.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on-board Flight UI9511 from Kolkata to New Delhi. We are currently third in line for take-off and are expected to be in the air in approximately seven minutes time. We ask that you please fasten your seat belts at this time and secure all baggage underneath your seat or in the overhead compartments. We also ask that your seats and table trays are in the upright position for take-off. Please turn off all personal electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones. Smoking is prohibited for the duration of the flight. Thank you for choosing United Airlines. Enjoy your flight.
As the flight was getting ready for takeoff, she held Ajay’s hand tightly.
“Everything’s going to be alright Ritika” as she tightened her grip further on Ajay’s hand. He didn’t know what to make of it.
“I don’t want to go home Ajay, I want to get off” she finally spoke
You would think it would be too late to get off the plane when it was on the runway and about to take off in like 5 minutes.
“Please stop the plane, we need to get down..my friend isn’t feeling too well” Ajay spoke aloud, the same was conveyed to the pilots and the plane came to a gradual halt on the runway.
It has been 5 years since that day. Ajay & Ritika are happily married, though now and then she is troubled by those memories in the middle of the night, she is still been unable to narrate that part of her life and how she got there in the first place, though Ajay is able to pick up bits-n-pieces from the few words she mutters during those nightmares.
She has not once spoken about New Delhi or any of her family members. Ajay is now her only family and Ritika, his.