On this particular morning, I was sent to the door to check boarding passes and direct people to their seats. A guy—the guy—showed me his boarding pass, looked into my eyes ... and I swear it was love at first sight. The real thing: My palms got sweaty, my heart did a triple axel, and I had to fight the urge to jump into his vintage-shirted arms. Instead, I made a mental note of his seat number, 47F, and after takeoff, planted myself at that end of the airplane.
I was 25 and had been working as a flight attendant for four years. Even though I’d had the aforementioned dates with passengers, I had never been the pursuer. This time was different. After I served him his manicotti, I asked him why he was heading to New York. “I’m moving there,” he told me. “Today?” I said. “Yup,” he said. He had curly brown hair, a face so chiseled it belonged in a museum, and was moving to my home base.
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“Great!” I told him. “If you ever need anyone to show you around …” He just smiled, revealing his—yes—perfect teeth. I wasn’t surprised when I learned he was an actor. For a lot of that flight, when I wasn’t flirting with him, he was reading the New York Times Book Review or working on the Sunday crossword puzzle: the exact things I would be doing if I wasn’t pushing a heavy liquor cart up and down the aisle of a DC-10. Before landing, I found him staring out the window. “You probably don’t even notice these anymore,” he said, “but look at that sunset.”
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OK. Gorgeous. Funny. Smart. Romantic. And about to walk off the airplane. I quickly scribbled my name and phone number on a cocktail napkin, then ran down the aisle to intercept him before he deplaned. I made it just as his cowboy boots landed on the jetway. “Hey!” I called, waving the cocktail napkin. “You forgot something.” “I did?” he asked. I handed him the napkin and he read it, a slow smile spreading across his face.
A couple of hours later, in my tiny apartment, I kicked off my shoes and pulled my cat onto my lap, and the phone rang. “Ann?” a voice said. “This is 47F.” Now it was my turn to smile.