After her dispute with an Arab man, Catherine removes him from the plane. But she has no idea about the trouble she has invited until…she learns he’s the airline’s new owner.
“Sorry, sorry!” Catherine dashed into the airport, her apologies spilling out quickly as she wove through the bustling crowd. Recognizing her uniform, some travelers in the line made way for her as she hurried over to the security checkpoint.
Catherine wouldn’t have been this late if it weren’t for her son. Adam was only six, and she couldn’t leave him alone while she was at work. This time, she would be away for several days, and their neighbor, who always looked after Adam, fell sick this morning.
Catherine then had to make a slew of phone calls to arrange someone for Adam. She wouldn’t need to manage things as a single mother if her husband hadn’t just walked out on them.
“I have to catch my flight. I’m working on it,” she told the guard at the checkpoint, showing her ID. “I need to get through fast.”
Catherine heaved a sigh of relief once she was on the plane. “Sorry about the delay,” she informed the captain. “Couldn’t find anyone to take Adam. It was all so last-minute.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he said calmly. “Get ready; we’re about to start boarding.”
Catherine and her colleague, Tina, positioned themselves at the plane’s entrance. As the passengers arrived, Catherine and Tina welcomed them onboard, their smiles never faltering.
“Heard about the new boss?” Tina asked her in a quiet moment.
Catherine shook her head and welcomed another passenger.
“Well, they’re going to introduce him to us in Dubai,” Tina chirped. “And I’ve heard he’s not bad on the eyes at all.”
“Guess it’s time to use your magic and set me up?” Catherine laughed. “After John, I’ve been a little out of the loop with all that.”
The passengers soon settled.
Catherine started with her rounds, ensuring the travelers were comfortably seated and the overhead bins were closed. Suddenly, a subtle commotion caught her eyes.
A man of Arab descent had taken another passenger’s bag from the overhead shelf, placing it unceremoniously on the floor to make room for his own.
“Excuse me, sir,” Catherine approached him. “I’ve noticed you’ve moved someone’s luggage to the floor from the shelf.”
“I think it’s best if we ignore the little switch!” he snapped and took his seat.
Catherine’s brows furrowed slightly. “The bag belongs to an elderly passenger, sir. She placed it there herself. What you’re doing is not fair.”
“My bag is worth five grand, and the things inside? Easily over a 100 thousand. I want my bag here, close to me,” he asserted.
“But sir,” Catherine persisted, maintaining her calm, “the value of your items doesn’t give you the right to displace someone else’s belongings. We treat all passengers’ property respectfully, regardless of its worth.”
Some passengers noticed what was happening and jumped in to support Catherine. However, the man wouldn’t back off and continued to behave aggressively. Catherine realized she had to remove him from the plane somehow. So, she came up with the idea to accuse him of being drunk.
“And sir,” she added, leaning in slightly. “I believe I can smell alcohol on your breath. That’s a safety concern for everyone on this flight. I will have to ask you to deplane, or I will be forced to call airport security.”
The man finally got up from his seat. “You’ll regret this,” he sneered at her as he grabbed his bag. Then, he stormed off the plane.
The rest of the journey was smooth.
After the flight, Catherine and Tina checked into their hotel room.
“I swear if our new boss is under 40, I’ll fight for him to be mine!” Tina said as she plopped on one of the beds, kicking off her shoes.
Catherine narrowed her eyes playfully and smiled at her friend. “Sometimes, the over-forties have more zest for life—and other things—than some young bucks!”
Their conversation was cut short when Catherine’s phone rang. It was the captain asking everyone to assemble in the hall downstairs. The new owner was already there. When Tina and Catherine arrived, the VP was giving his speech; it was the same as every other year—a lot of thank yous for hard work and discussion about the results. The two friends grabbed seats adjacent to each other.
“…And now,” The VP said after a 20-minute long speech, “please welcome our new owner. I believe he’d like to introduce himself.”
The hall erupted in polite clappings as the new owner stepped onto the stage. But Catherine felt like she was in a vacuum where she couldn’t hear anything. Her new boss was none other than the man she’d ejected for safety concerns. His gaze swept the room and, for a fleeting moment, locked with hers. He smiled at her.
As he began his speech, Catherine was focused more on her fears than his words. She was sure he would fire her after what had happened, and then she’d have to go through the tedious procedure of finding a stable job.
No, she thought. She couldn’t take the risk. What if she didn’t find a job soon? She didn’t have much savings. She would just apologize to her boss, Omar, and it would be fine. So, as the crowd dispersed after his speech, Catherine scanned the room for Omar and approached him.
“Good afternoon. I think you remember me,” she said politely.
“Ah, the woman who most likely doesn’t work in our company from today?” he replied sarcastically.
Catherine’s heart skipped a beat. She apologized for the incident on the plane, hoping he would understand. But he was quiet, and then he said the most disgusting thing.
“You know what, you’re beautiful. I think I’d like to see you in my hotel room tonight. Depending on how our meeting goes, I’ll decide whether to forgive you.” He then leaned closer to her to whisper into her ears. “If it goes really well, I might as well give you a promotion.”
Omar smirked and left the room, leaving her horrified. Catherine could not give in to Omar’s demands. What would Adam think of her if he found out his mother had slept with a man like Omar? No!
Catherine returned to her hotel room and began thinking of ways to pull herself out of the mess. She would definitely find something about the man online. After what felt like hours of searching articles and news about him, Catherine found Omar’s social media. He had a wife!
Catherine then noticed something in one of his social media pictures—his wife’s phone number was visible.
She thought about calling Omar’s wife and telling her everything. She even called the number but then decided against continuing the call.
“What if she doesn’t believe me?” Catherine thought. “What if Omar managed to twist the story, painting her as a liar?” She would definitely lose her job then.
Catherine made up her mind. She would go to Omar’s room, but she’d discreetly call his wife so that if Omar said something like, “Take off your clothes. I’m going to accept your apology right now,” he was exposed.
Catherine’s thoughts were interrupted when the hotel room door burst open. Tina tossed her phone on her bed, dashed to the bathroom, and locked herself in the bathroom, crying.
“Tina? What’s wrong?” Catherine knocked on the bathroom door. “Why are you crying? Talk to me!”
“I’m fine…I-I just tripped, that’s all,” Tina replied, but Catherine knew her friend was lying. This wasn’t like Tina at all.
Catherine knew what she did next was wrong, but she checked Tina’s phone. She scrolled through the notifications on the screen.
“I’m waiting for you in room 386. Can’t wait to see you, sweetie!” read the most recent notification.
386 was Omar’s room.
Tina emerged from the bathroom, and she didn’t have to say a word for Catherine to understand what had happened.
“Whatever it is, I got you, OK?” Catherine assured Tina and hugged her. The silence when she handed over Tina’s phone was enough for both friends to understand how disgusted Tina felt due to Omar.
“You will regret this, Omar. Mark my words,” Catherine promised herself. But as she stood outside room 386, her heart was pounding. The bodyguards outside the room gave her a quick once-over before allowing her in where Omar stood with his smug smile.
“Come on in,” he said in a tone that made her uneasy.
Catherine stepped inside and quickly scanned for an easy escape route when Omar interrupted her, “Your phone. Put it in the safe, please. Can’t be too careful these days, right?”
“M-my phone?” she asked nervously. “But I-I need it for emergency calls, you know?”
“No exceptions because that’s how I do things,” he said with a smirk.
Catherine couldn’t protest and did as she was instructed. But she needed a new plan because now she couldn’t call his wife.
Catherine excused herself to the bathroom and quickly looked around. She noticed an open purse near the sink. A bottle of sleeping pills lay inside it. Catherine had an idea. She stuffed about 10 pills in her pocket and left the bathroom.
“So…did you want to apologize?” Omar moved closer to her, which grossed her out.
“Yes, yes, I wanted to. But…how about some wine first?” Catherine asked, trying to appear calm.
“I’d like that,” he said, and she faked a smile.
Catherine made her way to the minibar, prepared two glasses of wine, and sneaked the pills into one of the glasses. At some point, she turned to fix the AC’s temperature, and when she turned around, Omar was holding the glasses.
“Shall we drink?” He extended her a glass, and blood drained off Catherine’s face. She didn’t know which one contained the pills. Panicking, she reached for her drink, but her other hand collided with it in a seemingly clumsy gesture. The glass landed on the floor, wine bleeding through the carpet.
“Oh, how clumsy of me. Let me get another glass,” Catherine excused herself and made herself a drink. She eagerly awaited for Omar to doze off any minute, but he seemed unbothered as he sipped his wine and edged closer to her.
Catherine eventually realized the pills were not in his glass. She started small talk to buy more time and devise an alternate escape plan. But Omar was growing impatient, and, at one point, he noticed a pill on the floor.
“What is that?” He glared at her.
He slammed the wine glass on a table and dashed into the bathroom. When he saw the bottle of sleeping pills was left open, he pieced things together.
“Ah, you’re a tricky one, aren’t you?” he hissed, glaring at her.
Catherine could see his intentions—evil and disgusting—as he came closer and closer to her. She didn’t have time to lose. He must’ve been just a step away when she grabbed a vase from a nearby table and struck him on the head with it. The impact was so strong he passed out.
Catherine was shaking from what had just happened. But she began thinking about how she would leave the room and get past security.
“Boss, are you alright?” A guard’s voice shook her. He must’ve heard the crashing noise!
Catherine’s heart sank. In the spur of the moment, she started to moan loudly. The guards got a hint the boss was probably ‘busy’ and backed off from the door.
Catherine thought. She could still get back at Omar.
Catherine grabbed Omar’s phone, unlocked it using his fingerprint, went to his social media page, and started live streaming. Then she hid the phone in an inconspicuous place.
It was time for Omar to wake up. A series of slaps and water splashes to his cheeks followed. And he was awake.
“You witch!” He snapped as he sat up. “You hit me!”
“It was self-defense! You blackmailed me!” Catherine revealed everything, and Omar wasn’t aware his reputation was tarnished until she approached the windowsill and removed his phone.
“And now everyone knows the kind of man you are!”
Omar’s karma had caught up with him. It was too late for him to make amends.
In the aftermath that followed, not only did his father cut him off from the business, but he was also tangled up with legal issues. Moreover, the women’s rights group that had taken up Catherine’s cause was relentless, ensuring that Omar’s misdeeds were matched with just consequences.
As for Catherine and Tina, they received compensation from the company, after which both friends moved to Miami. Catherine started fresh with Adam and began blogging, which helped her make good money.