Story Title: The Sinners (+19)
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The motorized stairs came to a stop underneath the open hatch of the airbus A321 plane, the name of the airline company were displayed boldly in blue italics on the fuselage, since the demise of the Nigerian national carrier in 2003, there had been a boom in the number of privately owned airlines in the country. This was the oldest in a fleet of three owned by a retired Senator and self proclaimed self made businessman; he had bought this particular aircraft from a Russian outfit looking to offload some of its older machines to make room for new ones.
The others had followed after the huge success of the first. The condition of the fuselage belied the true age of the domestic airline, one only begun to see its true age by the condition of its interior; the worn seats and browning luggage hold were the first giveaways but the sound of the engine was good enough to fool even the most seasoned of travelers and most learned professionals in the field. The plane might be old but its owners treated it like a prized possession.
Eager passengers scrambled out from the gate, luggage in tow, rushing to get to on the airplane not because it was final call but basically because it was the Nigerian way; people were always in a hurry to get nowhere, the plane wasn’t scheduled to leave for another thirty minutes but it looked like the passengers could not wait to be free of the automated atmosphere of the airport.
The cabin was a alive with activity, passengers clamored to locate their seats and stow away their luggage, a burly man who looked to be in his early thirties was trying to force his small carry-on into the vacant space in the luggage hold just above, his potbelly hitting the young man seated below the luggage hold with each shove. A rancid smell wafted out from his sweaty armpit causing the passengers below to cringe in disgust.
Unable to take the onslaught in his private space, the man said abruptly, “Oga e don do, make I help you.” An offer the burly man gratefully accepted and sauntered to his seat. “Gosh!! That man smells!” He exclaimed softly, pushing the bag into place. The girl seated beside him giggled.
The engine of the plane continued to purr gently, under the noise of people trying to settle down with the hostesses doing their best to ensure calm in the confined space. Soon the electronic voice of the pilot came over the PAS, cool, calm and collected, reeling out pleasantries and assurances, it was followed by the equally beautiful voice of the Flight attendant, who went on a litany of air safety precautions, while a tall beautiful lady of about twenty five dressed in the white and orange colors of the airline, with jet black hair cascading down to her rib cage and a face fit for the runway stood at the end of the gangway bringing the Flight attendant’s words to life with hand gestures.