“Ma’am,” a soft voice says. I am being gently shaken. Cracking open an eyelid I see that one of the flight attendants is leaning over me, a concerned frown on her face.
“We have landed.”
I smile and then realise that the rest of the plane is quiet. There is no one else left.
“I am sorry,” I say.
“Not to worry. You were out for the count.”
I nod and stand straightening my grey pencil skirt. “It’s been a long couple of days.” I reach up and grab my bag and jacket. Ineffectually I run a hand down my blouse, but the dusty pink shirt looks like I slept in it. Which I have, but I do wish that I’d worn something that didn’t look quite so rumpled.
“What’s the time?” I ask.
The woman looks at me with a sort of blank expression. Then it is as if a light goes on and she glances at her wrist. “Eight in the morning.”
“Great, thanks.” There is something a little off about the woman but I’m not sure what. She seems nervous. “Are you okay?”
The woman nods and walks toward me, crowding me and making me step back. I get the message and walk toward the door. I go through and wait for the ‘thank you for flying’ speech. But there is nothing. Instead I hear a dull thump and realise that she has closed the door of the plane. In fact, I can hear the engines rumbling louder.
I run along the corridor, looking for the solid ground of the airport. The glass panelled doors are in front of me and I barrel right through. Panting, I brace my hands on my knees. The geometric blue carpet of Heathrow fills my vision. What is going on?