A 40-year-old pilot who had flown hundreds of planes and had been responsible for hundred thousands of people, for the first time in his life was sweating.
He had just received a call from some men who had taken his wife. They had threatened to kill his wife if he didn’t crash the plane.
There was a politician, an international diplomat, on board. They wanted to kill him.
The pilot’s flight had been caught up in a political feud.
There was no question. Without a doubt, he would crash the plane.
It meant saving his wife.
The love of his life.
He had asked to speak with his wife. And to provide proof of life they had let him. His wife knew they wouldn’t let them have much time. So all she asked was, ‘how many are there on the plane today?’.
‘It is okay. I can save you.’
‘I know you can. Question is: Can you make me proud?’
And they had disconnected the phone. He thought that he would do it in a heartbeat. He couldn’t imagine a life without her. He thought he would crash the plane.
But then he remembered the 10-year-old boy who had gotten on the plane to meet his mother after 2 years, he had said so as he boarded the plane.
He remembered the 18-year-old girl who was off to start her undergraduate in a university.
He remembered the 70-year-old grandfather excited to meet his recently born granddaughter.
He remembered a reporter returning home from a 3-month long project and excited to be received by her husband.
He remembered all those people with aspirations and bright futures.
He also remembered that he loved his wife far too much for her to unload so many deaths on her mind.
The arrival of the plane was announced at the airport.