Glossy eyed and sleep deprived, he gazed down at his hands. His companion beamed at him with a childlike glow of anticipation. She held his hand, keeping it warm, walking him through the process of loneliness, of being alone, as though to lighten the pang of solitude that tends to accompany a thirty hour flight. Layovers can be dismal.

She was slim and radiated a brightness that lit up a dark room. Elegant in style and petite in bodily structure, she maintained a poised composure, communicating everything she needed to say via her gaze. As the moments swaggered on, I observed their every move, analyzing the exchange between them, questioning whether or not there was a sincere affectual reciprocity hiding in their touch. And though they appeared to be comfortable in each others presence, a physical fondling of the fingers seemed to console them in what I assumed to be their lack of passion.

I watched as he caressed her face, a theatrical display of endearment that left her illuminated and vibrating for his touch. “This is how we are made to respond,” I thought, a female’s conditioned reaction to male attention.

They sat there like that, killing time before departing, enthralled in a kind of private ceremony displayed for public viewing.

Then, jolting him from his trance like state, the loudspeaker sounded. Thick with Portuguese accent and a well practiced intonation, a nervous stumbling voice announced the boarding of flight 720 to Manchester. With this, the man quickly stroked his index finger across her face one final time. Freeing his hands, he eased her into the breast side pocket closest to his heart and finally boarded his flight.