Imperfect Fiction



Before we take off, the young woman in the window seat is on her phone.

“Did you get my text?” she says and pauses. “Did you get my text?” She pauses. “No, I didn’t get your reply.” She pauses. “I feel so awkward right now.”

After takeoff, she turns to me.

“Where are you from?”

I tell her.

“Where you live with...?”

I tell her no one.

“Are you divorced?”

I tell her yes.


I don’t reply.

She says, “This morning, my mother told me that my grandfather was very sick.”

I say I am sorry to hear that.

“Don’t be sorry. My mom was upset. I don’t know how to talk with someone who is upset.”

I suggest that everyone struggles with that.

“Really? You just made me feel better.”