Ср. Июл 24th, 2024

Kayla, mourning the recent loss of her grandmother, was about to head home after the funeral, unaware of the nightmare awaiting her on the flight. Mistaken for someone else, Kayla had to rely on her wits to navigate the trouble she found herself in.

Exhausted from days of grieving, I longed to collapse into my own bed. Six months pregnant and emotionally drained from my grandmother’s funeral, I needed rest.

The funeral was tough, a poignant farewell to a woman who had been my rock throughout my life.

“Are you sure you want to leave today?” my mother asked as I packed my suitcase. “You can wait a few days if you need to just sit with this loss.”

I smiled at her sadly. “I know, but I need to get back to work and back to Colin. You know my husband barely manages without me.”

“It’s probably good for you to return to your comfort zone,” she said. “But your dad and I will stay until the end of the week to sort out Gran’s house and finalize anything that needs to be done. I know Dad can’t wait to get home.”

“I just wish Gran could have been around to see the baby,” I said, rubbing my belly. “That’s what I’ve wanted all along.”

“I know, honey,” my mother said. “I wish you and Gran could have had that moment, but at least you were here when she needed you most.”

Navigating the long lines at the airport, I hated flying, but it was easier than driving home. I couldn’t handle a twelve-hour car ride with my bladder constantly fighting me.

Finally, I boarded the plane, ready for the journey back to my husband.

“I’ll take that, ma’am,” a flight attendant said, reaching for my bag.

“Thank you,” I replied, settling into my seat, my body aching for rest.

“Oh, I hate flying,” the woman next to me said. “It’s the worst. But I hate driving too. I should have just stayed home.”

I almost laughed because I completely agreed. Turbulence made me feel uneasy and anxious, as though I was losing control with each jolt.

As I sat back, ready for takeoff, I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was staring at me. Turning around, I noticed a man a few rows behind, intently watching me. His gaze was unsettling, but I dismissed him as someone judging a pregnant woman for traveling.

The hum of the engines became a soothing background noise as the plane began its ascent.

“Finally,” the woman beside me said. “Let’s just get home.”

Little did I know, a nightmare was about to unfold.

Ten minutes into the flight, a flight attendant approached me with a stern expression. “Excuse me, ma’am. Could you please come with me?” she asked, her perfume overwhelming.

Reluctantly, I unbuckled my seatbelt and followed her to the area near the bathroom. Immediately, her demeanor changed.

“You need to get on your knees immediately!” she commanded, nodding to someone I couldn’t see.

“What? Why? What happened?” I exclaimed, completely shocked.

“Now,” she said simply.

Shocked and confused, I complied. As I knelt, I couldn’t understand what was happening. I hadn’t done anything wrong.

The man who had been staring at me earlier approached. “Where is the golden necklace you stole?” he demanded, his voice threatening.

“What are you talking about? I didn’t steal anything! I’m just returning from my grandmother’s funeral!” I protested.

He made a clucking sound and produced a set of photographs and documents. “This is you at the museum two days before the exhibit was moved to the hotel. This is you at the hotel foyer where the necklace went missing. We tracked you to this plane after you ran away from the hotel.”

I looked at the pictures. They were hazy but bore a striking resemblance to me, though there were clear differences.

“Look,” I said, pointing to my wrist. “The woman in these photos has a tattoo or scar on her wrist. Look! I don’t have anything like that!”

The man examined my wrists, his icy hands pulling roughly. “See? No tattoos. No scars. Nothing. You have the wrong person!” I insisted. “And I’m pregnant! The woman in the photos isn’t!”

I felt a sudden wave of fear for my baby. In the heat of the moment, my baby lay still.

“But that could be a disguise,” he replied, not entirely convinced.

I wondered if the police would be waiting for me at the airport and if I could escape this situation. I just wanted to get home to Colin.

As if thinking about my husband had summoned the baby to wake up, a sudden kick in my stomach made me act impulsively. Without thinking, I took the man’s hand and placed it on my belly.

“No, you can’t fake this,” I said.

He sighed, looking visibly relieved but also very embarrassed. “I’m so sorry. You look very much like her. I was convinced we were on the right track. I have to wait until we land to deal with this.”

“Look, I get it,” I said. “But I’m not her. I’m just trying to get home,” I said, feeling calmer as I tried to stand.

Then, the nightmare took a darker turn. The flight attendant pulled out a gun. “Enough! Both of you, hands behind your backs!”

She reached into her pocket and pulled out zip ties, tying the man’s hands first with her back to me.

“You’re not as foolish as you look,” she said to him. “You were right about tracking me to the plane. But you had the wrong person in mind.”

Another surge of fear for my baby made me act. With her back to me, I saw an opportunity and kicked her as hard as I could. She stumbled and fell, dropping the gun. Distracted, she hadn’t finished tying the man’s hands, so he tackled her.

As he did, we caught a glimpse of the gold necklace hanging around her neck.

“She’s the real thief,” he said, securing her. “She’s been posing as different people to avoid capture. I have no idea how she managed to board this flight as an attendant.”

“You are so brave for doing what you did. Thank you for stopping her before she tied me,” he said.

“I was just afraid for my baby,” I said, sighing. “I acted on instinct.”

The rest of the flight was a blur of apologies from the man and explanations to the crew and authorities.

“I’m Detective Connor,” he said, shaking my hand afterward.

The woman was arrested upon landing, with about fifteen police officers waiting at the gate.

“I am truly sorry for what you’ve been through,” Connor said.

“Just explain what happened,” I replied, needing closure before heading to find my husband.

“We’ve been tracking this woman for months. She’s been stealing valuable items and using disguises to evade capture. I received a tip she would be on this flight. When I saw you and your hair, I just thought…” he trailed off, clearly remorseful.

“You thought I was her,” I finished for him. “Well, I’m not. And now you know.”

“Yes, and I’m very sorry for the mistake, Kayla. I hope you can forgive me.”

Despite the ordeal, I felt a strange sense of relief.

As I walked through the doors and saw my husband standing there with yellow tulips and a wide smile, I instantly felt at peace.

“Welcome home,” he said, pulling me into a hug. “I’m so glad you’re back.”

We drove home in silence, enjoying each other’s presence. When we got home, I sat down with Colin and told him everything that had happened on the flight.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his eyes wide. “Are you shaken? Should we take you to a doctor to make sure everything is okay?”

“No,” I replied. “I’m absolutely fine. I just wanted to come back home to you.”

My husband put his hands on my stomach and smiled at me. “I’m glad you’re home,” he said again, kissing my stomach.

What would you have done?