A Small Kindness (or maybe not so small)
What had started out as a perfectly fine time was shaping up to be a miserable trip. I was nicely settled into my seat on the plane, had a movie ordered, my ear-buds on, writing and reading stuff out - all the things I might need for a cross-country trip when suddenly the poor girl next to me started to become violently ill.
Long story short, we did some seat shuffling but it had to be done hurriedly and in the dark by then, with no time to repack all the junk I already had out; I could hear my wallet and various other sundry articles skittering under the seat in front of me but most people were sleeping now, and there was no way to go poking around trying to grab stuff so it was pretty much a case of let it go for now and hope for the best.
When I realized my passport was missing and a credit card, plus my iPad, and a book I'd just bought to read, I was pretty despairing but also exhausted in the way one gets sometimes when there's nothing to be done - plus of course, I was no longer in front of the screen for the movie I'd ordered, so I more or less passed out sleeping - feeling awful for the girl beside me and awful for myself but still hoping somehow all would be well by the time we landed.
Hours later when we were starting to make our descent into Edmonton, I began to get very anxious about all the things I couldn't find when I heard a voice about four seats ahead of me saying,
"Hello? Did someone back there lose this book?"
Sure enough - I peeked my head up and a woman was holding up my new Jodi Picoult novel. I nodded and smiled and she had people hand it back to me.
Then the people right in front of me poked my wallet, my passport, and my credit card through the division between their seats at me, asking at the same time if I had dropped them. Apparently they'd tried to give them to me earlier on but I'd been fast asleep.
When I thanked everyone and said how I'd dropped everything and didn't even know for sure what all I was missing, several people had their kids get down and crawl around to look - they came up with my iPod and iPad, some pens, my address book and some stuff that wasn't mine but that I turned into the flight attendants.
When we finally got landed, I tried to thank everyone properly but they all acted like it was nothing. It might have been nothing to them but to me it felt nothing short of life-saving.