We were somewhere over the Atlantic, the cabin lights dimmed, as I made my way from the lavatory back to my seat. At 3am Pacific Time, most of the passengers on our flight from San Francisco to Zurich were sleeping or at least attempting to do so. All was quiet but for the white noise of the air pressurization system and the steady rumble of the engines.
I reached my row, where my husband, Matt, slept upright in the aisle seat, covered from chin to toes in a thin airplane blanket and wearing a sleep mask. We were on the first leg of our journey to Cape Town, just me and Matt on a rare vacation without our two daughters.
As I stepped by him to squeeze into my window seat, I placed my hands on his knees, leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. Startling awake, he ripped the sleep mask off his face and looked up at me in bewilderment. This man, I then saw, was not my husband; the real Matt stood gesturing at me wildly in the semi-darkness one row down.
“Over here!” He urged in a loud whisper.
With a hasty apology, I bolted out of row 33 and back to row 32 where I belonged, climbing clumsily over Matt to get to my seat. It wasn’t the romantic moment I had intended, but we had a good laugh and there would be more time for kissing in Cape Town.
Photo taken during our layover at the new and highly recommended Swiss Air Lounge at Zurich Airport’s Terminal E.