Sully’s Passenger

My deep sleep got interrupted with the awfully annoying sound of my alarm on my Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. I slowly got up on my feet and went to the bathroom. I washed my face and brushed my teeth until they became totally covered with black toothpaste. I put on comfortable clothes to be ready for my flight. Then I checked the hours of breakfast and my calendar. January 15th said the small screen on my phone. It was the big day, the day I would start my life in Seattle. I made sure my one-way ticket was in my purse and called room services to check out.

Laguardia Airport looked beautiful from inside. I was not surprised when I saw the inside, which was as pretty and charming. As I pulled my two huge suitcases I thought about the journey ahead of me. I had left my trumatic home where both of my parents had left this earth and my useless and monotonous job as a hairdresser in a saloon outside of New York. I had sold the house and every piece of haunting furniture inside to have the funds to start a new life. This really is a one-way ticket, isn’t it? I asked myself. 

I took out my phone and plugged in my earphones. Music is and will be my drug forever. I am in love with how connecting a cable can disconnect you from the whole world. Not only this, also music can save you from distress and sadness. The changing tones in classical music or the repetitive and fun words in pop music… Whatever you enjoy…

As I boarded the plane I was greeted by the usual smiling and welcoming crew. I smiled back to all of them and started to look for my seat. I had bought an economic seat as I wanted to have as much spare money as I could when I land. One of my deepest concerns was the worry of not having enough money- I didn’t want to start my new life with debt. When I found my seat, I sat down and waited for what would happen next.

The captain made the routine announcements and when the stewardesses completed the safety procedures the engines were turned on with a loud noise. During my last seconds on New York I thought about all the good memories I had here. Nothing… There was nothing good that I could think of. My depressing thoughts were interrupted by the impulse that hit me when lift off happened. 

My peaceful music was interrupted by a sudden jolt. I was terrified when I heard the announcement made by the captain. I could not believe what I had just heard! I took a look outside and I was shocked when I did so. Black smoke was closing the blue skies and sunlight had no power against the smoke. A whisper wave started in the plane and everyone was looking outside from the circular windows. I realized how far we were from the airport. The cabin crew was instructing us to “remain calm” however that was not working at all. 

I watched as the plane’s left engine slowed and eventually stopped. I was panicking a little so I took out the safety leaflet and read it carefully. I finally took out my earphones and was hit with scared noises all over in the cabin. When the plane turned towards a river, the Hudson, I came into realization that I hadn’t bought a one-way ticket to Seattle, it was a ticket to death! 

While the plane was slowly descending towards the river I was confronting myself as if I were my own God. My thoughts were, again, interrupted my a sound. The captain first mentioned his name: “Sullenberger”.  Then he told us to listen to the cabin crew on how to “brace for impact”. This expression had all of the passengers shook up. Surprisingly, all the passengers calmly obeyed as this was their only chance to live. 

I closed my eyes in the bracing position and with a sudden and violent bump we were finally slowing down. The captain gave the order to evacuate and the plane became an ants’ nest with all the bustle. I was one of the lucky ones as I didn’t have any hand-baggage and ran directly to the nearest exit. I slid down from the plastic, inflated slide and hit cold water. That is when I saw some boats coming towards us. People sliding were constantly having an impact and filling the slide with freezing water. I looked around myself.

A desperate mom and possibly a total stranger were trying to get the baby blankets form people’s handbags to warm the woman’s baby. A dad just behind me was trying to comfort his child and himself by talking. Some people were crying by their own, some were checking their luggage for signs of water…. It was total chaos. All the passengers were relieved when they saw boats coming towards the plane. 

As I got up on the plane I looked back at the crash and saw a figure waving hands and running from one side to another. I came into realization that he was the captain when I saw his insignia. I contemplated my situation and empathized with Mr. Sullenberger. What a nightmare I thought. Neither me nor him were aware of what difficulties awaited the captain of the plane that landed on the Hudson and saved 155 lives…

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