Three Americans in Paris: Part 1

“Come on Bea!  We have to get going!” Purity wrestled her sister awake.  Bea yawned and looked around.

“Where are we?” Bea asked.

“We’re at Los Angeles International Airport!  Our flight is boarding!  Come on!” Purity grabbed Bea’s backpack as well as her own.

“Where are we going?” asked Bea.

“You won the Teen Project Runway Sweepstakes in Paris!”

“Really?! Wow! Where’s Prudy?” Bea asked.

“On her way from the line at Starbucks.  You know how she likes her coffee,” Purity confirmed.

“Come on girlies!  We are boarding!  Take your drinks and let’s get on that plane,” Prudy whizzed up, giving her younger sisters their drinks and grabbing her own carry on bag.

They each grabbed their purses and slung them over their shoulders.  As they walked up to the gate, they produced their tickets and passports for inspection.  Prudy pushed her youngest sister ahead first.  Then Purity’s passport and ticket were dealt with. Finally, Prudy was herself through the gate and they tramped down the gangway in preparation to enter the airplane.

As Bea entered the plane, she noticed how narrow the aisle was between the seats. Also, the air seemed unusually sterile – kinda like a hospital.  They found their seats in first class and fell contentedly into the huge stalls equipped with reclining chairs, arm rests, and outlets to charge electronic devices .

Before long, Bea put on her earbuds and started listening to her ipod.  As the music began, she started to envision all the fun she and her sisters were about to have in Paris, courtesy of Teen Project Runway.  Bea was excited that her very own design of Halloween Couture was going to be shown at a swanky runway show at the famous Le Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, high above Paris.  She nestled into her reclining seat.

Just then, Purity noticed her seat back monitor.

“Do we all get our own TV to watch?” asked Purity.

“No, we all get our own TV/Movie/Audio inflight entertainment.  You can watch TV, a variety of movies or listen to a bunch of different music,” said Prudy.   For the next twenty minutes, the girls were engrossed in seeing ALL the choices they had on their seat back monitors.  Finally, Bea settled into listening to a Justin Bieber song that she enjoyed hearing from time to time. She was surprised however to hear her heart throb singing in French.


Even after her song was over, Bea noticed the plane had still not moved.  Then – it lurched backward, slightly.  Bea kept her earbuds on as the plane backed out of its parked position at the terminal and started taxiing toward the runway.  When Purity and Bea took their earbuds out, they noticed a loud buzzing sound.

“Why is it so loud?” asked Purity.

“It’s the plane’s engine.  It will be louder when we take off, “Prudy smiled at her little sisters.

“Cabin is ready for departure,” the stewardess announced to the captain.

“Thank you,” replied the captain from his cockpit.  “Well, folks we are second in line for departure on American Airlines flight # 276 from Los Angeles to Paris.  We’ll be on our way in just a few minutes. If you look outside the aircraft as we climb to 8,000 feet, the aircraft will turn east and you’ll see views of El Segundo, Dockweiler State Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes Estates. We’ll arrive in Paris in approximately ten hours and twenty six minutes. I hope you have a pleasant flight. ”

Purity and Bea were glued to the window waiting for the plane to move down the final runway.

They waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Then… the plane began to move.

Bea sat closest to the window.  She hugged her oldest sister very tightly as the plane lifted off the ground.  Purity also gripped her big sister’s right shoulder.  Neither had ever been on a plane before and the sensation of leaving the safety of the ground was a bit disturbing to them both.  But, if they had to brave this new experience with anyone, their big sister was the one to do it with.  Prudy smiled throughout the take off.  She didn’t seem the slightest bit uncomfortable.  And this helped Purity and Bea feel a lot more at ease.

Later that evening, Bea needed to use the restroom.  She climbed over her sisters’ legs and headed for the front of the plane.

“The birthday magic is strong today!” announced Prudy. Prudy had followed behind Bea realizing she needed a bathroom visit too.  They stood waiting for the person ahead of them in line to finish.   “I know how important this birthday is for you.”

“Yes, I’ve been waiting for it so long.  But I’m so glad to see you again, Prudy.  She hugged her sister.  They stood and held each other like that for a long time.

When the hug ended, Prudy held onto her sister’s face.  She stroked her cheek softly. Bea was taller than her older sister now.  “You are so tall, Bea.  And so lovely.  I hope you have the most beautiful birthday ever, Prudy said.  “That is my wish for you.” They each took their turn in the airplane bathroom and went back to their seats.

“Would you like something to drink?” asked the stewardess.

Dr. Pepper and Sprite were brought for the girls.  Bea noticed the extra American Airlines napkin that had been left for her.  She shoved it into her little purse in case she needed it later. Purity noted the extra napkin AND Bea’s need to take it.  Purity wisely said nothing.

After several hours of flying, talking, eating and giggling, the three girls fell asleep in each other’s arms.