Image for Overheard


Christine Ann Jacobson | Terri Kelleher

Two hours into the cross-country flight, the woman in C3 suddenly realized how lucky pedestrians are. Even though they still become unwilling victims to the drama of the outside world—from screaming homeless men to veering drivers—they can continue forward, free to move on.

Here, she was trapped. Never able to sleep on flights, she felt forced to be a consumer of the sights, sounds and smells of this plane. Despite her attempts to block out the sensory assault, one conversation from row D kept cutting through.

“I’m so unbelievably upset,” said a sniffling female voice. “What the HELL are we going to tell our kids?”

The man next to her cleared his throat. “I’m so sorry. So goddamn sorry. I honestly have no idea what else to say.”

“You know,” she said in one of those angry, audible whispers, “It would be bad enough if it were just me. Bad enough if it was just me sitting here, feeling like the wind’s been knocked out of me. Like I have no goddamn clue about the man I married. Or whatever you are. But the kids. God, Jerry, what about our goddamn kids? How could you DO this to them?”

“Keep it down! Do you want the whole plane to overhear?”

She responded immediately.

“Well, maybe you should have thought of that BEFORE you betrayed our family!”

The woman in C3 couldn’t hear anything else after this but sniffling and nose-blowing. Finally healing from her own marriage ended by infidelity, she wished she hadn’t heard anything at all.

About Christine Ann Jacobson

After graduating from Stanford University with a degree in American Literature and Italian Literature, Christine was sure that she would pursue a career path that would allow her to continue to pursue her love of writing and stories. But reality set in and she enrolled in law school; after leaving partway through, she took a marketing job and charged forward. About a year ago, she had a profound realization that creativity was missing from her life and enrolled in UCLA Extension's creative writing certificate program. After one short story class, she realized how much she was missing.

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