“Excuse me. Is that seat taken?”
I look up and find an average man standing in the aisle of the plane. It was not going to be a full flight. Why did this particular person have to sit next to me? I moved into the aisle way and allow the man to get into his seat.
“Names Micah.” He stuck out his hand to shake mine. I shook it without responding. His eyebrows rose slightly, but he didn’t ask any questions.
I pulled out my headphones and blasted my music. Ten minutes later he tapped my shoulder.
“Ma’am, did you want anything?” I look up to see the stewardess tapping her fingers against her clipboard.
“Ginger ale, please.”
She imputed the data on her clipboard without a word and passed to the next aisle. I sighed as I started to place my headphones back on my ears.
“What are you doing?” Micah asked before I could put my headphones back on.
“Reading.” I move the headphones back towards my ears.
“Oh, I love to read. Have you read the Lord of the Rings series?”
I tried not to role my eyes. Every time some said they enjoyed reading, they picked a series that had been made into a movie. It made them smarter than they really were.
“I like to read all sorts of things.” He continued talking. “I like to read fiction, non-fiction, atlases, and obituaries.”
The last word spiked my interest. I looked closer at him. He was slightly older than my twenty-five years and he wore an expensive suit and watch.
“My work kind of requires it.”
It was my turn to raise my eyebrows and him to ignore my hidden question.
He looked familiar. Was he the man that was on that newscast story that I saw just before checking out of my hotel? My heartbeat began to pulse. I tried to remain calm as he began talking to me again.
“My whole family is in the business. It is kind of an ugly business, but it pays real good.”
He flashed his smile at me and I felt like I was going to puke. He was the murderer.
“Oh.” I tried to keep my breathing calm.
“I’m actually on my way to a job now. Los Angeles is a great city. Don’t you agree?”
I was beyond stunned. He seemed to take my silence to mean that I agreed.
“It was where I grew up and I wish I hadn’t needed to move away from there, but it is so expensive to live in LA.”
I pulled my seat buckle off and got up.
“Excuse me. I need to go to the restroom.”
I walked quickly to the lavatory and looked for the stewardess. I looked back towards my seat to see that Micah was looking at me.
I walked into the lavatory and closed the door. I breathed in and out. I was just imagining things. He wasn’t the man on the TV. He couldn’t be. How would he have made it through security without someone spotting him?
The stewardess was standing by the restroom when I got out.
“Ma’am, is something wrong?”
“Yes, I mean. Well, the man sitting next to me. I think he might be a suspect.”
“Yes, him.” I look down the aisle to see that Micah was still looking at me.
“He told me that he reads the obituaries and…Who reads the obituaries?”
“Ma’am, I think that maybe you should go back to your seat. I’m sure that you are just imagining it.”
She didn’t believe me. I moved back towards my seat.
“Is everything all right?”
“Yeah, just not feeling good.”
“Okay.” He flashed his grin at me again and I felt my stomach lurch. Did he smile at that woman before he killed her too?
“What did you say you do?”
I tried to keep the tremor out of my voice.
“I didn’t say.”
“Oh, then what do you do?”
He narrowed his eyes slightly, but then relaxed.
“Oh, I buy up the property of people that have died and have no heirs then I sell it.”
I breathed a sigh of relief and stilled my tremors. He wasn’t what I thought he was.
A loud noise sounded and I woke up to see an average man asking if the seat next to me was taken.
It was going to be a long flight.