He could hear the whizzing sound from the wings filtering soothingly into his ears as the plane flew at an altitude of over 30,000 feet above the earth level. He was effervescent; always so when he travelled on long journeys by air; more profoundly because now, he shared a seat beside an attractive woman. That was a privilege his destiny seldom accorded him in his numerous business journeys.
Today he had it!
But the woman beside him seemed to have a remarkable tranquility about her. Save for the incessant shuffling of legs, and a random batting of her forlorn eyelids, every other human action about her seemed to be comatose.
She was beautiful. Sophisticated. White.
He produced a heavy sigh; a kind subsumed in the most intense attempt to make it silent.
“I’m sorry to bother you, but it looks like you’re not interested in talking,” he intoned.
They’d flown for three hours without exchanging words and there was still a five-hour flight time ahead. He was simply bored.
The white lady merely shook her head.
“Or maybe you’re just not used to speaking with black people?” he probed further.
The woman adjusted her seat and looked him in the face—the first time since the journey started. She replied with a tone more forceful than the look of impotent rage in her face.
“For ten years I was happily married to a black man. I’m going to his country now to mourn him. I lost him five days ago.”
The rest of the journey was made in silence.