Captain Cordin spotted Airman Kessin’s foot dangling from the doorless cockpit of a two-seater Cessna in the otherwise empty maintenance hangar. “Working on Sunday?”
Emily Kessin’s black combat boot stiffened at the ankle, then she eased her head from beneath the pilot’s console. She sat up and plinked her wrench onto a red rag beside her hip. Tears blurred Emily's view of Catherine Cordin, whose own reddened eyes filled up again.
The captain took the copilot seat, looking cautiously at hydraulic jacks supporting the plane’s fuselage. “This thing stable?”
Emily stared straight through the pilot’s windshield at gray hangar wall. “It’s fine. Look, Catherine, even if you weren’t straight, married and an officer-”
Captain Cordin finished for her. “You’d still love your girlfriend, and you’re committed.” She tried to suppress how her hands shook. "Once it’s gone this far, to admitting it, I mean, do people really stop?”
Smiling squeezed teardrops all over Emily’s cheeks. “These two people, you and I will.”
“You're going to tell her, aren’t you?”
“I’d want her to tell me. Makes it easier, that you and I haven't even touched. Will you tell him?”
"No." Catherine bent forward and put her face in her palms. When she uncovered it, new determination shown there. “Yes, these two people will stop. But first, I get five minutes. For five minutes we will sit here together, alone, with it in the open.”
At the hangar door, the captain watched the airman’s foot dangle from the cockpit.
© 2006 Margo Moon