On the landing approach with the throttle back and flaps down and forward momentum dropping, Manny’s anxious wait is irritated by his body weight causing his seat belt to tighten.
With the altitude dropping and a short burst of thrust to stabilize the attitude responding to a gust of crosswind, the aircraft settles in to a slight squat in anticipation of touchdown.
Selma, still thinking about Manny’s proposal, gazes out the window. The paved runway is rushing up to meet the rapidly spinning tires of the extended landing gear.
“Well OK, then. Yes. We’ll get married and see what happens next.”
Her rapid response was more or less obliterated by the squawk of the rubber on the runway and the roar of the reverse thrust of the engines to lower the landing speed but Manny heard it and his heart beat dropped back to normal.
Now once more under manual control the aircraft moved at taxiing speed towards its designated parking spot at the terminal for unloading passengers and their baggage.
Before the aircraft came to a complete stop, as always a few of the passengers ignored the Flight Attendants warning and were already standing in the aisles, reaching for their hand baggage.
“Don’t forget our bags in the overhead bin or under the seats, Manny.”
“Never. Can you just carry your own briefcase?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Great. I’ll get the rest.”
Waiting for their turn in the aisle to leave the aircraft, Manny and Selma were alternately aggravated and entertained by the idle chatter and noise. Sacred exclamations of relief and profane bursts of frustrated muttering about wrestling with over-sized bags filled the cabin as they filed forward toward the exit.
“I’m ready to be on the ground again. How about you?”
“I wonder if the Courthouse will be open today.”