Fear of Flying
Everything in bold was written by me. The rest is auto-continued by an artificial intelligence called GPT-3.
Lormis had been afraid of flying his whole life. He didn't know where it started. But he noticed the fear grew stronger with every flight.
When his daughter announced her wedding in Shanghai, Lormis knew he had to fly again. It was still two weeks ahead, and he tried to think of other things. But as the day neared, so did his fear.
A night before the travel, the door bell at Lormis' house rang. Lormis got up to answer it.
"Who is it?" he asked.
"It's the mailman."
Lormis opened the door.
"There's a package for you."
"I didn’t order anything."
"I'm delivering it to you."
"Hmm," Lormis took the package, "Thank you."
It was a rectangular box with a sticker on it. It said the sender's name was 'Sandy'.
Lormis took the package to his desk. It was about a foot long and seven inches wide. The package had no return address. He opened it.
It was a flight jacket. It was a light brown color. He didn't recognize it.
Lormis looked inside the pocket. His heart stopped. It was a note. A handwritten note. It was addressed to him.
I'm sorry I can't tell you who I am. But I know you can feel my presence. I'm from your past.
I know you're afraid of flying. I know you're afraid of everything.
I've known you for a long time. I know you.
I'm not going to tell you to stop being afraid. That's not my job.
I'm your friend. Your best friend.
I'm here to help you.
This flight jacket. I want you to wear it when you fly to Shanghai. Wear it on the day of the wedding.
Trust me. I'm your friend.
Lormis tried to think about it. Sandy. He tried to remember, but he couldn't. He couldn't remember any friends named Sandy.
He looked at the flight jacket again. It was old, but it was in good condition. He took it to his closet. He tried it on. It fit him perfectly.
When Lormis arrived at the airport this morning, his nerves had calmed. For some reason, the flight jacket made him feel protective.
The boarding call rang. Lormis took a deep breath, and walked towards the plane. He sat in his seat.
"Are you alright, sir?" the flight attendant asked, "You don't look well."
"I'm alright," Lormis replied.
He buckled his seatbelt.
"You're wearing that on the plane?" the flight attendant asked, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," Lormis replied.
The plane started moving. Lormis took a deep breath. It was a long trip after all.
But he was okay. He was fine. He was protected.
The plane took off. Lormis closed his eyes.
After a few minutes, Lormis opened his eyes. He looked around the plane. Everybody was calm. Nobody seemed to be worried about the plane.
Then Lormis looked behind himself.
A flight attendant was standing behind him. She smiled at him.
Lormis looked back at her.
"You can relax now," the flight attendant said, "You're safe."
"You're safe," the flight attendant repeated.
"Who are you?" Lormis asked.
"I'm Sandy," the flight attendant replied, "I'm your best friend."
Lormis sat back in his seat. He looked outside. He was flying above the clouds.
"When I was a kid," Lormis said, "I didn't like flying. It scared me. Everybody would be yelling 'We're going to crash! We're going to crash!' And I would just sit there. I was too scared to say anything."
"You're not scared of flying anymore, are you?" Sandy asked.
"No," Lormis replied, "I'm not."
"I'm glad," Sandy said, "I'm glad I could help you."
"What did you do?"
"Nothing," Sandy replied, "I didn't do anything. I just gave you a jacket. It was the only thing I could do for you."
Lormis looked at the jacket. He stared at it for a while.
"Do you know what this means?" Lormis asked.
"What?" Sandy asked.
"I'm not scared of flying anymore. If I get on another plane, I won't be scared. I won't be scared of anything."
Lormis took a deep breath.
"I'm not scared of flying anymore," Lormis said, "And I'm not scared of anything."