Updated: Aug 2, 2021
“ We stay locked together as the plane begins to land, and right before it does, he puts his head on my shoulder and we both sigh. "
I sit in the window seat of the second leg of my trip to Palm Springs. The seat in the middle, which was intended for Ryan, is as empty as it was on the first flight. It must be a full plane, because down the aisle comes a young, ginger-haired guy in a tank top and torn jeans, and our eyes catch so I know he is gay. He smiles awkwardly and puts his bag down under the empty seat. They have given Ryan’s seat to him. He sits down, and he is shy when I ask if he wants some of the gum I take out of my bag. “Sure,” he says. The 70-minute flight begins and he is fidgety, and his arm sometimes brushes mine or our legs touch. He is young and has a hundred text chains going on his phone. I read a book a friend gave me for the trip. It is a quiet flight until twenty minutes before we land. The turbulence tosses us and our arms are pushed together. I smile toward the window when he does not pull back. Then he bravely pushes his leg into mine and holds it there. As we get closer to landing, he slips his hand inside mine and I hold it tightly. He brings his other hand up and touches my arm. We stay locked together as the plane begins to land, and right before it does, he puts his head on my shoulder and we both sigh. We have not said a word. We are two people who need each other in a moment neither understands about the other. Sometimes when you need to be reminded to turn forward again, that there can be magic in the air right in front of you, that magic takes you by the hand and makes sure you understand.