Pushback

“I’m sorry ma’am but your reservation isn’t showing up,” the woman on the other side of the counter says to Rachel.

Michael leans in close to Rachel, “Did you get the right number?” He pulls out his phone, opening up his email, “Let me double check the reservation number…”

Rachel cuts him off with a raised voice to the airline attendant,”Would you please check it again? We made this reservation over a month ago.” She holds up her left hand to Michael’s chest, seemingly keeping him held back.

The airline attendant’s too white teeth disappear behind her lips. Her twinkling eyes following suite, disappearing behind half lids. “I’m sorry ma’am, I’ve already checked that reservation number twice. Is there a different name I can check under perhaps?”

“This cunt thinks she can do whatever she wants. She thinks she can talk to you however she wants,” Joey almost growls from behind the two of them. He pushes his head forward between Michael’s right shoulder and Rachel’s left, his snarling lips twitching, literally with rage.

The airline attendant turns to look straight at Joey, staring laser beams at him. She doesn’t flinch, doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t move an inch. She just stares at him, seemingly throwing her will, burrowing into him with her piercing blue eyes. “Sir, you’ll have to wait your turn.”

Rachel starts to turn back to Joey, she wants to tell him to stop talking, she’s got this, she’ll handle it. That’s when Joey raises his big hunter’s knife, serrated edges stained red, sharp edge dulledfrom cutting bone, gleaming in the overhead fluorescent lights.

“This cow thinks she’s special. This bitch needs to be put in her place. Let me cut her, Rachel. Let me open her up from lips to lips. Let me stomp on her guts, stab until there’s nothing left,” Joey snarls, pushing against their backs.

The airline attendant slams her hand down into the counter, covering the piece of paper Rachel printed out with their airline reservation on it, making Michael, Rachel, and Joey all jump at the sudden movement. She’s still staring at Joey as she slides it forward to their side of the counter.

“You’re going to have to leave, sir. Do not make me call security,” she tells them between clenched teeth. She stands straight up, opening up her eyes and beaming a big smile, “Have a great day! Next customer please!” She bends to the right at the waist, shouting out past the trio.

Rachel and Michael both turn to Joey, glaring at him at him brandishing the huge knife. Joey looks back and forth between them, slowly lowering the knife, his eyes looking down at his feet. Joey puts his left hand over his right, the knife seemingly disappearing, “I’m so-”

“Goddamnit, Joey,” Rachel and Michael say in unison.

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