Welcome to Gay Paree: A Short Story

Closing the cockpit curtain the Stewardess walked promptly over to the intercom a present smile on her face as she picked up the microphone and brought it to her mouth. “Please buckle your seatbelts Ladies and Gentlemen” the Stewardess announced using the microphone at the head of the plane. “We’ll be arriving in Paris, France and landing shortly”

For Lois Symone this month long vacation to Paris was the trip of a lifetime. Since she was a child growing up in the French Quarter or New Orleans Paris was the ultimate destination. It had to be one of the most romantic places in the world, there was so much to see, so much history and culture and of course the fashion. She could remember as a little girl her Mama telling her about all her adventures there before she came to America and it was all she could dream about since.

Sighing Lois closed her eyes to keep from looking out the windows as the plane began its decent not wanting to ruin her first look at her beloved ‘Gay Paree’. She had no desire to enjoy that moment on a tiny charter plane no she wanted to experience the city the way it was meant to be. Her eyes clenched so tightly together that they hurt but the smile she wore on her face grew even wider when she felt bump that indicated the plane landed on the runway and rather roughly to be honest she thought to herself as her right hand went up to her suddenly fluttering heart and the gasps of the other passengers echoed throughout the plane. But none of that mattered she was in Paris and ready for adventure, the flight over she’d dreamed of what this moment would be like, the sights, the smells, and the people. She was practically bouncing in her seat a whole lifetime of dreaming coming down to one moment, she was finally coming home to Paris.

As the plane eased to a slow halt she opened her eyes with a shuddering breath, a sudden case of nerves coming on so strong it was overwhelming. Reaching for her purse under her chair she took out her engraved gold cigarette case and gold lighter that her Papa brought for her for the occasion. Opening her case she took out one of the Embassy brand King sized cigarettes and brought it to her lips with shaking fingers quickly lighting it then taking a deep relaxing inhale. The Stewardess’s voice coming through the microphone once more had Lois quickly putting it out a few exhales later as she scrabbled to put everything back into her purse and sit back in her seat to see her clearly making sure to take in every word.

“Ladies and Gentleman may I have your attention please!” the young Stewardess spoke into the mic loudly to be heard over the chatter then waited while the ten passengers riding the Stratocruiser Flagship charter plane settled down. “We have now arrived at our destination and are about to leave the plane. I would ask you all to be patient and form a single file line and ask that you be careful coming down the rollaway steps. On behalf of Stratocruiser Flagship Pan-American I would like to thank you all for choosing us to fly with and we hope that we have made your time with us pleasant. Bienvenue √° Paris: Welcome to Paris merci” hanging up the small microphone she walked to the plane’s exit and opened the door and stepped out smiling at everyone’s cheers and claps.