Chapter 2 :: Takeoff
As I walked towards the plane, I had butterflies in my stomach. Just like the day I was adopted. This brought back many bad memories. Even after so many years and plane flights, my phobia for planes is still active. I told myself, nothing is going to happen, nothing is going to happen.
I sat into my first-class seat, and turned on the touch-screen entertainment device in front of me. I started watching The Hunger Games. I almost finished the film, but the plane still didn’t take off. Apparently, due to a massive traffic accident in the road to the airport, over a hundred passengers couldn’t arrive.
I looked at the person next to me, who just sat down. He had a limp on his left leg. Even at such a late time, the person was typing away at his computer, full of energy. He was a rather chubby, yet tall man. From what I could see, he was in his thirties. I saw his ticket stub lying on the floor. His name read, “WONG/BENJAMIN SOKLEI.”
“Hi, Benjamin,” I greeted. He looked at me in amazement.
“How did you know my name?”
I pointed to the stub on the floor. “I see. Nice to meet you. Why you go Hong Kong? What is your name?” He spoke in a heavily Hong Kong-accented voice, missing a few words in his sentences.
“I’m going to Hong Kong to go to a conference, but I’m going to miss a huge part of it, because of the delay.” I sighed.
“Oh, that’s sad. I live in Hong Kong, and am returning.”
“How’s Hong Kong like?”
“It’s a pretty nice place, except for one time, when I was scared to death. I was at an art museum with two friends. We touched the window of a painting, and suddenly, an alarm was triggered. I thought we triggered it, but apparently, no one was going after us, so we disregarded it as a false alarm. When we walked out of the exhibition room – they had a little room for each picture –, we noticed that there was no one outside. ‘Hello?’ my friend asked. After that, we glanced at the window outside, and saw a bunch of people gathered outside. What the heck was happening, I thought. We continued walking for a while towards the exit. Suddenly, I heard my friend scream, and fall down in a pool of blood. I looked behind me, and saw a muscular, masked man holding a gun. He said, ‘Who the hell are you, and why are you here?’ I dashed for the exit alongside with my other friend. We ran as if there were a ghost behind us.”
“When we reached the exit, we told the police officers what happened. The police officer told us to go to the hospital right away, and we wondered why he said that, and so we asked him. He said, ‘Why? Look at your leg! James, take them to the emergency room now!’ I stared in horror at my leg. There was a big hole inside it. Oh, shoot. Then, the police officer took me to the hospital on a special medic motorcycle that had a long box that could fit two people. Fortunately, the hospital was close. The officer drove right into the ER, and told the doctor what happened. The doctor said that had the hospital been 300 meters further away, we could have not survived.”
“I had to stay in the hospital for many days, doing nothing, and in writhing agony. The bullet was successfully removed, but after they removed it, there was a big hole in my left leg. They injected lots of fluids inside it, which made the pain even worse. Eventually, after seven months of excruciating pain, I recovered. However, I would be left with a limp for all of eternity. However, when comparing myself to my two friends, I feel very lucky – they both had to have their legs amputated.”
“After that, I was never much a fan of museums anymore. I swore to never, ever go to one again.”
“Wow, that’s quite enticing. It almost sounds like something that happens in action movies.” I commented.
“How did you know? It actually happened when I was acting in an action movie. The limp was from an accident when I tripped over a camera set!”
“That’s amazing. What films did you act in?” I questioned.
“I acted in a couple of films. One of them is even on this entertainment system! The one containing the storyline I just told you about is called Armed Robbery. I acted as a character called Bill.
“Well, nice to meet you. I’m kinda tired, so I’m going to sleep now.”