Reaching New Heights Of Friendship

, , , , | Friendly | July 13, 2019

(My freshman year of college, my roommate is an aviation major. During the fall semester, when she’s not allowed to fly, I’m helping her memorize all the checklists. She finds out that I’ve never flown in an airplane before and vows to fix that. Sure enough, in the spring semester, she starts flying and will not relent in her quest to get me to go with her. I eventually agree to go with her to get her to stop begging me. One Saturday morning, we get up early and get ready. She tells me that it’s a very good day to fly because there’s not a lot of wind. We catch the bus to the airport, and she’s excited that I’m going to get to see her in action. At the airport, I meet her flight instructor, I sign the paperwork, and we go out to the tarmac. I’m extremely nervous the whole time. Eventually, we’re all buckled in and take off. It should be noted that I have a fear of heights. Every single time she makes a turn, I feel the g-force on my body and I whimper. I am not enjoying myself at all. Then this happens.)

Instructor: “Okay, [Roommate], pick a crash field.”

Roommate: “Okay… I got one.”

Instructor: “All right, now stall the engine.”

Me: “Huh?”

Roommate: “You got it.”

(She then proceeds to point the nose of the plane up until the engine stalls out and goes silent. The aircraft starts to fall. A few seconds later, when it’s level again, the engine starts back up and we are bounced around for a little bit.)

Instructor: “Not bad. What did you think, [My Name]?”

(I have flung my arms and legs out to try and grab anything to hold onto. It takes me a moment to realize it’s safe to move. I slowly curl up into a ball.)

Me: “I… Don’t…”

Instructor: “I don’t think we should do any more stalls today.”

Roommate: *disappointed* “Oh, fine.”

(I am too freaked out still to talk. I end up looking at the bar that’s attached to the wheel the rest of the trip, not saying a word, and still whimpering at the slightest movement. Until I’m back on the ground, I pray to God to let us safely land very soon. Eventually, we do land, and I bolt out of the thing. I wait for my roommate and her instructor to finish up their post-flight checklists. When they do, my roommate comes over to me.)

Roommate: “So, my lesson isn’t over yet. We’re about to go up again. Want to go again? We aren’t going to stall the engine again. It’s probably just going to be taking off and landing over and over again.”

Me: “No!”

Roommate: “But–”

Me: “No! No, no, no! I’m never getting in that thing again!”

Roommate: *slightly hurt that I don’t love flying* “Okay, I guess. You’ll have to wait in the lounge, then. There’s no one here now since it’s Saturday. You’ll be all alone. And we’ll be at least an hour.”

Me: “Is there Wi-Fi?”

Roommate: “Yes?”

Me: “I’ll be fine.”

(I had my laptop with me since I was going to meet up with some friends to study for a test right after. I sat in the lounge and studied while also messaging my mom and telling her how my roommate tried to kill me.)

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