A woman on a flight to Paris with her husband is startled awake when she hears the pilot's voice over the intercom and recognizes him as someone from her past.
"Paris? For two weeks?" judge Jesse Lawson lowered her glasses and paused from working on her laptop as she scrutinized her husband Vic.
"Yes, Jesse! Just the two of us! For two whole weeks! Isn't that exciting? Anyway, after Hailey went to New York, we've barely spent any time together!"
"Well, Vic. All kids leave their parents' nest at one point, and so did our daughter. Now I don't see the connection between Hailey moving out and us spending time together. You know I've got a lot of cases to go through this week, and I hate to say this, but—"
Jesse and Vic planned a trip to Paris for two weeks. | Source: Shutterstock
"For heaven's sake, Jesse, please! You can ask someone else to handle the cases for two weeks. Come on, don't be such a bore! It would be a welcome vacation for both of us. Plus, we haven't really spent 'our' time together. They say Paris is known as the 'City of Love.' Perfect for couples! For you and me," he added, smirking.
Jesse cracked a grin. "Oh God, Vic! You're still a child! Seriously? That's how you're convincing me?"
"So do I take it as a yes, ma'am?" he asked, dropping down on his knees and reaching out for her hand. "Please?"
"You're such a drama queen, Vic, I swear! OK, fine! But, there is one condition—"
"No! Not at all, Jesse! You're not bringing the case files on our trip!"
"Well, that's what you get for marrying a judge. Sorry, Vic. If I can't take the case files, I'll have to—"
"Woah, woah, woah, ok cool! Take those files with you! I don't care!"
Vic was thrilled for their vacation to Paris. | Source: Unsplash
"Thanks, Vic. You never say no to me. That's why I love you so much," Jesse said as she leaned over to Vic and pecked him on the lips.
"You mean woman!" he grumbled, and she couldn't stop laughing.
Three days later, Jesse and Vic were on their flight to Paris. Jesse was furious since Vic didn't inform her that the flight was just three days away, so she'd been studying the case files even on the flight to complete the "minimum work" she should have done before handing over the case files to her intern Andrew Lester. No wonder she dozed off on the flight...
"Ugh, turbulence again?!" she groaned, jerking awake as she heard the pilot's voice over the microphone. "Oh my God! I fell asleep while reading the case files. Why didn't you wake me up, Vic?"
Vic glared at her. "I swear I hate coming on this trip with you, Jesse! Like seriously, you're working even on the flight? I swear I want to set fire to those case files! Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, Jesse! Trust me, I hate to see this workaholic side of yours!"
Jesse was a workaholic. | Source: Pexels
"Look, Vic, I get it..." Jesse had just begun speaking when the pilot's voice over the intercom alerting everyone to stay in their seats with their seatbelts fastened caught her attention. "Wait a minute... That voice... It sounds really familiar!"
"Oh really? You finally found something more interesting than your stupid files?" Vic scowled. "Tell me, what's so amazing about it, huh? That's something you hear on every flight."
"I'm not talking about the directions, Vic! The pilot's voice...it reminds me of someone in a case I handled 20 years ago!"
"A case?" Vic asked curiously, putting down his magazine and listening intently.
"Yeah, there was this kid... he was about 19 at the time....poor soul; his life was messed up... His father was a drug addict who used to get drunk and hit his wife and son. So the boy and his mother fled from their home, and the boy...he got involved with the wrong people for a few dollars to support his mother."
Jesse told Vic about a 20-year-old case. | Source: Pexels
"And you think he's the pilot on this flight?"
"Well, maybe… I mean, you never know! His case was incredibly intricate, and I'll never forget it. He and a few other boys his age were involved in petty thefts, but he wasn't the one who stole. He was more of a lookout person, alerting the other guys if there was a cop nearby...you know, to avert a raid...
"But one day, things got out of hand... All of the boys fled the night the cops were about to apprehend their gang, and the whole blame came down on him. But nobody believed it. It took a long time to find all of the other boys. He was innocent, Vic; he just fell into bad company…you could see it in his eyes. So I did a background check on him, and I actually gave him a fairly lenient verdict."
Life surprises you when you least expect it.
"So you basically let him go?"
"Ah, you could put it that way. In any case, he wasn't to blame, so I didn't want to put his future in jeopardy. And you know what the most intriguing part was? When he walked out free, he was waiting for me outside the court. He was sobbing uncontrollably and thanking me for being so kind to him. He had assured me that he would make a good name for himself and make me proud one day. Ahh…it's been a long time…Wait a sec, what was the pilot's name again?"
Jesse recognized the pilot's voice. | Source: Pexels
"Well, we can ask the cabin crew," Vic proposed.
"Oh, right! Let's check to see if it's him. If it turns out to be him, I'd be so happy...."
And so, Jesse decided to seek assistance from one of the flight attendants.
"We have two pilots with us today, ma'am. Capt. Aaron Young and Smith Johnson."
"Thank you so much," Jesse replied with a smile before the stewardess walked away.
"So, is he one of them?" Vic asked.
"I'm not sure about the surname, Vic, but I think it's Aaron. If I'm not..."
Before Jesse could finish her statement, a voice over the intercom announced their arrival to Paris. Jesse decided she'd ask the stewardess if she might meet the captain, so she called her again.
Jesse asked the cabin crew for help. | Source: Unsplash
"See, I understand it's against the protocols, but can I please see him?" she asked. "You can inform him that judge Jesse Lawson wishes to meet with him."
"I'm not sure if it's possible, ma'am, but let me have a word with the captain," the stewardess replied before departing.
A few minutes later, she returned with Captain Aaron, and when he saw Jesse, he immediately recognized her. "Oh my gosh, Judge Lawson! What a pleasant surprise! I can't believe you're here! See, I promised you I wouldn't let you down!"
"I'm so glad to see you, Aaron. How's your mother doing? I'm hoping things are a lot better now."
"They certainly are, ma'am. And it's all because of you. I mean... You did me a great favor..."
"Oh, I am so glad to see you like this, Aaron! This is my husband, Vic. I was just telling him what happened in your case…He doesn't really like my job, but he was so intrigued when I started speaking about you!"
"Oh, it's a pleasure to meet you, sir," Aaron replied as he extended his hand.
Aaron changed his life for better and became a pilot | Source: Unsplash
"Nice to meet you too, Aaron. It's fascinating to hear how far you've come. Great job, boy!"
"Thank you very much, sir. I'd love to invite you two around for a lovely dinner at my house someday. Mom would be thrilled to meet Judge Lawson! She's just heard stories about her."
Jesse smiled. "We'd really enjoy that, Aaron." With that, Aaron gave Jesse his address and wished her and Vic a good stay in Paris. Jesse's eyes welled up as she saw Aaron walk away to the cockpit. I was right to give him another chance. He deserved it! She thought to herself.
What can we learn from this story?
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