Out of Oxygen - Judy Albietz

Richard likes to listen to Rose’s version of how they met. That was fifteen years ago. She was on a business trip. He was coming back from a long vacation. The way he likes to tell it he was caught off guard since he was so relaxed—or maybe he was just jetlagged. Rose describes how she spotted him at the ticket counter. A green day pack slung over one shoulder, he was tall and lean in his worn blue jeans, t-shirt and tan blazer. When he turned around, she saw he had a heavy day’s growth of beard. She didn’t see him again until she got on the plane and saw he was sitting in the row right behind her. She usually didn’t talk to anyone on an airplane, but that day she did. She even talked to him through the crack between the seats. Finally, he moved up to the empty seat in her row. What did they talk about? That’s not part of her story. Next she tells how the seat he sat in refused to recline and he threatened to move back to his seat for the long five-hour flight. “So what did I do?” she asks. “I fixed the seat.”Then she goes on to describe how he swept her off her feet. After a long sigh, she slowly lifts both hands in the air, palms faced away from her, to illustrate her surrender to him—or maybe she was showing how inconvenient it was to meet him. After all, once they met, fell in love and decided to live together, she was the one who had to move 3000 miles to a new place, get a new job and leave all her friends.