Copyright 2016 by Judith Porter Cooper
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Chapter 1. Progress
Melianna was amazed how her life had changed in just nine months.
Less than a year ago she had been finishing her second year at Junior College and wondering what she was going to do with the rest of her life.
She knew she liked people and didn’t like studying, but other than that she didn’t have any sense of direction.
Then her friend, Jodie, asked if she would come with her to an interview a new airline was holding on campus.
Mainly to provide moral support, Melianna went with her friend. Jodie ended up not getting the job and Melianna did.
After that, life had been a whirlwind. Cecil Airlines flew her to San Antonio, Texas on June 12th to start training. For a girl who had barely been out of New Jersey, San Antonio was a different world.
She made several good friends. The best friend was Jenny Chu who also was based in San Antonio.
They ended up sharing an apartment with two other Cecil flight attendants – Jan Sims from the Midwest and Marina LeFleur from New England. Marina even took vacation time to show Meli New England. What a trip that was! And rooming with more experienced flight attendants was so helpful.
It was surprising how seldom all four of them were in the apartment at one time.
They were always flying off here and there.
Melianna was assigned the route to Boston.
At first it was a little scary and she didn’t know what to do in such a big city. Now she was getting to know it like the back of her hand and had been to some of the sites more than once, like the Parker House for their delicious Boston brown bread.
She was also getting to appreciate the airline’s system of company vans and reserved rooms at motels. It would have cost a ton of money to have to pay for taxis and motels on her own.
Marina had told her there was an express train from Boston to Washington, D.C.
Melianna was thinking of using a day off to take it. Especially now that it was spring and the dogwoods were starting to blossom.
Chapter 2. Plans for the Express Train
The more she thought about it, the more excited Meli was getting about taking the train.
She had never been on a train in her life. Sure it was slower than flying, but there was something appealing about getting up from your seat and walking around whenever you wanted.
Also, there were a snack car and a dining car. So if you were hungry, you could get up and eat.
She had two free days coming up the first week in April. She called her mom to tell her about her plans.
“Remember Mel, that you get an industry discount. No sense spending all your hard-earned money if you don’t have to.”
“Thanks for reminding me, Mom. That’s a great idea.”
“Also, remember that your Uncle Jimmy lives outside DC. I’m sure he and Lana wouldn’t mind showing you around.”
Uncle Jimmy was her dad’s younger brother. He worked for Treasury in DC.
“I’ll send you his number.”
“Thanks, Mom. I’ll be sure to call him.”
Melianna hung up feeling content. Her plans for her first train ride were coming together.
Chapter 3. First Train Ride
Unfortunately, things did not work out exactly the way she had planned.
The company did not give her the two days off she expected and she had already told Uncle Jimmy she was coming.
Uncle Jimmy said not to worry, they would work her visit in. So she went ahead with her plans.
She was working an early morning flight to Boston, taking the express train and arriving in DC in the evening, then working a morning flight from DC to San Antonio the next morning – but in first class.
Meli had never worked first class, but her supervisor, Alicia Johnson, felt that after nine months in cabin, Melianna was ready.
It was true that Melianna did know the list of beverages and the seatbelt speech forward and backwards, but first class! Important people sat in those seats – especially from Washington, D.C.
Well, time to get some rest – tomorrow was going to be a big day.
The alarm went off at 4:00 A.M.! Aaargh. Luckily Melianna had already packed her overnight bag with her PJ’s and traveling clothes. By 5:00 A.M. she was in the company van on the way to the airport. There were so many flight attendants living at their apartment complex that the van picked them up at the office. No car necessary.
By 6:00 A.M. the plane was taxiing down the runway.
She would be in Boston in five hours.
The flight was pleasant. Cabin service this morning. First class tomorrow!
“Cream with your coffee?”
“Scrambled eggs or muffin and fruit?”
Getting from the airport to the train station was new. Melianna barely had time to change out of her uniform and into her traveling clothes in the bathroom of the employee lounge.
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Now that flight attendant, Melianna Moore, has gotten accustomed to her flights to Boston, she is ready to branch out. A trip on the express train from Boston to Washington, D. C. sounds exciting. It is so interesting, she tries it not once, but several times. Join Meli as she discovers some of the wonders Washington has to offer.