Brig was being shaken violently. He opened his eyes, unclear where he was. Eventually realizing he was on a plane traveling to Hong Kong, his first thought was that the plane was going down. He curled into the fetal position and screamed.
“Mr. Young, wake up!” someone yelled.
Brig opened his eyes wider and shook his head. Cliff’s stern looking face came into focus. Behind Cliff stood a large man in uniform. Military? Police?
“Mr. Young, wake up!” Cliff repeated. “We’ve landed in Hong Kong and it is time for you to deplane.”
Brig felt the world spin. He sat up straight, trying to slow the motion, but to no avail.
“Oh my God. Don’t you dare,” squealed Cliff, realizing what would happen next.
“Quick. Grab his arm. Let’s get him to the bathroom,” ordered the uniform. It was the ship’s captain.
But it was too late. Brig managed to open the seat pocket in front of him before retching inside, covering the in-flight and duty-free magazines as well as the bag he was looking for in vomit.
The captain retreated towards the stairs. “I’ll send up the clean-up crew.”
“That’s the thanks I get for serving you all of those drinks!” Cliff hissed.
Brig retched again, though this time to his left, on the seat next to him, where Ken had been sitting.
“Can you at least try to keep it all in one place?” Cliff begged.
Cliff threw his hands up in surrender and backed away as Brig prepared to get off the airplane. He slid his laceless shoes on. There was vomit everywhere – on his shirt, on his shoes, on his pants. He wanted to lie down, but more than that he wanted to get off the plane.
Brig choked back the next urge to retch and stood up. He grabbed the seat in front of him to steady himself. He wiped his hands on the top of the chair and walked towards the stairs that led towards the plane’s exit. Halfway there, he stopped and retched again. Realizing he had forgotten his carry on, he turned around, went back to his seat where Cliff stood in stunned silence, opened the overhead compartment, yanked out his backpack, and said “See you next time.”