The Other Side

Grieving for the recent death of her parents, 17 year old Simran flees from place haunted with memories to seek the comfort of whom she calls family. But death is closely following her, she is the last one left- who wants her dead? The truth is far beyond her wildest imagination...

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3. Chapter One

Heathrow Airport 2012

I shut my eyes and snuggled deeper into the plush seat as the flight took off. The roaring of the engine burned my ears and the smell of fuel floated lightly. I could believe this was happening to me, I pinched myself and the prickling pain told me that this was no dream. Tears stung my eyes and bile rose to my throat. I gulped and inhaled a deep breath and forced myself to stare out the tiny oval shaped window. The city of London looked like a toy land and my life so trivial in comparison.

"Ahem", someone cleared their throat beside me, I turned around. "Do you mind if I borrow your magazine?" asked a man, indicating at the flight boutique catalog. "Sure," I reply handing over from my seat pocket. He gives me a quick nod and mutters 'thanks'.

For the first time, I look around and absorb my surroundings. The aircraft was populated with Asian families, not surprising since the flight is scheduled to land in Chennai, India. However, the man seated next to me was white, probably in his late forties, judging him by the wrinkles on his forehead and the thinning grey hair that left slightly bald patches on his pale scalp. He wore golden spectacles and a grey suit. I distracted myself by guessing his possible career. Not a businessman, his suit was quite shabby, hardly Hugo Boss. Probably a doctor, or an engineer; or some other stressful job considering his frowning expression.

"Here you go, cheers", I jumped out of my thoughts as he replaced the magazine back into its grey pocket. I flushed with embarrassment, glad that he could read my thoughts. Thankfully, he was far too busy stopping an air hostess and ordering a Double Shot Coffee, murmuring about it being 'bloody expensive'. I smiled. It was the sort of thing my mom would say, she hated flight food. She thought they were overpriced pile of junk that was only worth making her sick. Thinking about her made me feel a familiar ache in my heart. I'd always yearned for freedom, and that's what I got, except an over dose of the amount.

I plugged in my earphones to my iPod: selected a random song and turned the volume to maximum and shut out the world. My iPod was my best friend, it was a drug that eased my pain and anaesthetised my distress. The loud blaring noise throbbed my ears, but the distraction felt good. It stopped thoughts and memories sneaking into my head. I felt a headache blossom on my forehead, I groaned inwardly. Not again.

I was interrupted by a tap on my shoulder; I paused my music and blinked. I was met by a pair of icy blue eyes, the man next to me was watching me with the strangest expression flashing on his face. He cast that aside and slipped into the professional mask mode and gave me a stiff smile. "Well, sorry for interrupting you, but I couldn't help notice that your music was rather loud."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I ..er... I'll turn it down", I apologised feebly.

"My name's Paul, Dr.Paul Steward," he introduced himself unexpectedly.

"Simran," I politely said in response to to expecting look. This man was starting to annoy me. "Where are you parents?" he inquired casually. A lump formed on my throat. "I'm eighteen," I snapped defensively, furious at his curiousness for many reasons. I know I looked quite young for me age, about a head shorter than anyone in my previous sixth form. Did he really think I was a little kid separated from her parents on the flight? Where are my parents? How am I supposed to answer that question? I'd never really paid attention in RE lessons on afterlife despite achieving A*s GCSE in all fifteen subjects, including RE.

He looked confused and I was far to angry at him to explain. Why should I? It was none of his business anyway. I looked away, plugged in my earphones and hit 'play' indicating that our conversation was officially over. I managed to ignore him for most of the flight journey but his question rung repeatedly in my ears. I sighed. It was a long story.

 

*****

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