sweet natalie.

February 11, 2012


another plane…another “going home.” many goodbyes said, only to be soon followed by many warm hello’s. i hate the close quarters on airplanes these days… they seem to have shrunk since my earlier years of traveling the sky. i usually don’t make eye contact with too many people…trying to keep a smile and approachable demeanor as to not come off a complete jerk. overall though, i go into socially awkward mode. we’re all just so close to one another! i feel like a sardine who does not know any of the other sardines in my can. i stay friendly, but to myself – usually not looking around too much. today, i looked up…only to find a beautiful young woman across the aisle from me, maybe into her 20’s by now. she was holding a doll and stroking a small, very well-loved piece of cloth. immediately i knew, i was a friend to her, and she to me…and she knew it too. her smile was consistent in an unabashedly genuine way. her joy was absolutely contagious. i got up to let the gentleman beside me out of my row…she looked up at me with her eyes of unconditional acceptance and from no more than two feet away, smiled and waved. i smiled and waved back. i took my seat again – she gently poked me,
“your seat belt, sir.” (never mind that i’m a “ma’am” …my short hair covered in a ballcap along with my baggy, comfy travel clothes didn’t help me in this area i guess.)
“thank you!” i responded.
we looked at each other periodically out of what i knew to be curiosity. i wanted to know her story, and my guess is… she wanted her story to be known. i glanced in her general direction feeling her eyes on me… another smile. with my attention directed at her, she quickly pointed to her little pink dvd player resting on her trade table, softly sharing with me,
“pirates of the caribbean!”
we talked about which of the trilogy was her favorite, why she liked them, and who her favorite character was – jack sparrow, of course. she held out her doll to show to me, which i quickly realized was edward from the twilight movies.
“i like him better than dracula,” she said.
“me too!” i agreed. “i’m allison. it’s nice to meet you.”
“i’m natalie,” she responded, holding her hand out to shake mine.
i reciprocated.
“you’re nice.” she innocently declared.
“thank you, natalie. you’re nice too.”