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All I Wanted Was a Drink 1

With her oversized pocketbook in hand, Aggie held it in front of her, trying

not to bop anyone upside the head. She followed closely behind Betty, inching

their way down the aisle of the airplane.

“Remind me again why we’re not seated in first class?” Betty asked,

plopping down in the assigned seat matching the number and letter combination

on her ticket.

“We booked late, dear,” Aggie sighed, sitting down next to her friend of

twenty plus years.

Getting up with her knees bent and stooping so as not to hit her head,

Betty straightened her purple pantsuit and gasped, “Would you look at that?”

Aggie followed her gaze to the couple seated across the aisle that was

glued together at the lips. The silver haired man, seated next to the window, was

probably in his late fifties and the blonde woman, whose back was to them, more

or less teetered on the brink of adulthood.

“He’s having an affair,” Aggie said matter-a-factly, pulling her seatbelt

across the top of her black and white checkered skirt, fastening it.

“What?” Betty whispered. “How do you know?”

Aggie grinned. “Look at his hands.”

“Yeah, I see them,” Betty said. “He’s groping her back, and every other

part of her body with them.”

“No ring.” Aggie grabbed the Sky Mall magazine from the pocket on the

back of the seat in front of her and flipped it open.

Betty squinted to get a better look at the roaming hands.

All I Wanted Was a Drink 2

“See the white tan line?” Aggie asked without looking.

“My word,” Betty sighed, leaning back in her seat. “You notice the

darndest things.”

The flight attendant marched down the aisle checking the overhead

compartments to make sure they were all securely latched. Aggie smiled up at

her as she passed then quickly scanned her fellow passengers. It looked to be a

full flight. There were three seats per row on either side of the plane. The

kissing couple now had an old lady sitting next to them on the aisle. From what

she could see the only seat still available was the one between herself and Betty.

“Excuse me,” wheezed a large man with a red-tipped bulbous nose and

black-rimmed specs. He scratched at his belly protruding from a two sizes, too

small, black and yellow striped shirt. “That’s my seat.”

“Hmmm?” Studying him, Aggie realized he looked like an overstuffed


The man smoothed his thin comb-over of straggly black hair and nodded

toward the seat situated between Aggie and Betty.

“Oh, dear. If you’d like,” she offered, “I can scoot over and you can have

the seat on the aisle?”

“No.” He tugged the seat of his black pants exactly where Aggie

envisioned the stinger would be. “My ticket says that’s my seat.”

“I’ll move,” Betty said, gathering up her things. “Why don’t you take the

window seat? That way my friend and I won’t be talking over you.”

“No,” he said again. “I get motion sickness.”

All I Wanted Was a Drink 3

Betty scrunched up her nose and cringed. “Oh, we wouldn’t want that.”

“Indeed not,” Aggie agreed, hopping up from her seat, then standing in the

aisle to let the man squeeze by. From behind she felt a hand grip her shoulder.

“Please take your seat,” snapped the flight attendant. “We’re about to

take off.”

The couple across the aisle was staring at Aggie. The old lady on the end

with the Coke-bottle glasses probably was also. It was hard to tell through the

thick lenses.

Several minutes later, Aggie was seated, strapped in, and the aircraft was

up in the air. The two flight attendants, one blonde and one brunette were taking

drink orders working the large cart down the aisle.

Unexpectedly, Aggie had the sudden urge to use the restroom and

glanced up at the fasten seatbelt sign above. She then eyed the big rolling

beverage cart coming her way.

The man seated next to her, who had introduced himself as Gary a few

minutes prior, was snoring up a storm. His head plopped down on her shoulder

with a thud.

Using the tip of her index finger, Aggie pushed the round, greasy face

away. Gary snorted in the process and fortunately settled on his own headrest.

Realizing she couldn’t hold it much longer, Aggie defied the fasten seatbelt

sign and released the latch of her belt. Getting up from her seat, she noticed the

brunette flight attendant glaring at her.

All I Wanted Was a Drink 4

“What are you doing?” she asked as Aggie approached the cart. “You’re

supposed to be seated.”

“I’m sorry,” Aggie whispered. “But you see it’s urgent. I need to use the


“The fasten seatbelt sign is on,” the flight attendant stated loudly so that

everyone could hear. “I don’t care that you have to go to the bathroom. You

should be seated.”

“Please,” Aggie begged. “It’s urgent.”

“Oh, all right,” the woman decided. “Just go.”

“Thank you.” Aggie held her breath trying to shrink her 5’9” frame, turning

sideways, squeezing past the cart while apologizing to the passengers seated

behind her. She tried extra hard not to squish the nun who was getting up from

her seat.

Taking a quick look over her shoulder, she noticed the nun heading in the

direction of the drink cart that was now at Aggie’s row. She would miss her

chance for a drink and was dying of thirst. She was tempted to ask the nun to

request a bottled-water for her, but instead headed for the bathrooms.

When she made it to the two restroom doors, the ding of the fasten

seatbelts sign turned off. If only she’d waited a minute longer.

Upon leaving the restroom, the blonde woman having the affair with the

older man, was waiting impatiently to get into the stall. Pushing past Aggie, she

slammed the door behind her.

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Shrugging her shoulders, Aggie stumbled down the aisle just as the old

woman with the bottle cap glasses headed towards her. She turned sideways to

let her pass, again almost squishing the same nun, who was now back in her


“I do apologize,” Aggie said with a remorseful smile.

The nun nodded her acceptance and Aggie continued to her seat. Upon

reaching it, she plopped down next to the snoring bumblebee and a sleeping

Betty. She turned and gazed at the silver haired man across from her. He

caught her eye and smiled, taking a sip of a bubbly beverage. She noticed the

tray to the seat belonging to the old lady held an almost empty plastic cup with

the same color liquid as the man’s, minus the bubbles.

Probably apple juice, Aggie thought, wishing she had something to drink.

She returned her attention to the Sky Mall magazine to try and get her

mind off of it. She’d just have to wait for the next round.

“Hi!” a voice squeaked.

Aggie looked up to see a young boy of about five standing on the seat in

front of her. He was peeking over the top.

“I’m Tim! I like dinosaurs! Roaaaar!” He brandished a small plastic T-

Rex. “I drank soda!”

“Very nice,” Aggie said, mouth parched from thirst then skimmed an

advertisement for a watch with every function imaginable. It explained that it

would be the very item you’d want with you when deep sea diving.

The boy roared again.

All I Wanted Was a Drink 6

Aggie ignored him, not looking up from the magazine.

“Hey,” he said desperate for attention. “Look what I found under my seat.

It’s magical.”

Aggie looked up at him with a kind smile. He reminded her of her

grandson, Shawn. He too liked dinosaurs.

“Oh my,” Aggie gasped when the sparkling diamond ring caught her eye.

The little boy certainly found a way to catch her attention. “Is that your mother’s?

You don’t want to lose it.”

“No. I found it. Now it’s Bruno’s,” Tim said. “I’m going to make it into a

magic collar.”

Aggie pulled out her pocketbook from beneath the seat in front of her and

rummaged about. She found a green rubber band in the side pocket.

“How about we trade? I’ll trade you this green rubber collar for that ring.”

She dangled the rubber band from her index finger.

The boy examined the ring.

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “Bruno really likes this one.” He tried

with all his might to screw the ring over the dinosaur’s head.

“Okay…hmmm,” Aggie said, glancing back into her pocketbook and

wondering what her grandson would like. “How about I sweeten the offer?”

Now she really had the little boy’s interest. He peered over his seat

looking into her large pocketbook. Aggie pulled out a stick of gum and held it up

along with the rubber band.

“What flavor?”
All I Wanted Was a Drink 7


“Got any bubblegum? That’s my favorite.”

“I’m afraid not,” she frowned. “I do have a cherry Jolly Rancher.”

“Okay,” Tim said. “Bruno likes cherry. You’ve got a deal.”

As they traded, a sudden shrill scream echoed throughout the plane.

“She’s dead!” the blonde woman shrieked. “I was…she was…she’s


The plane became noisy with chatter and chaos as the passengers began

conversing and getting up from their seats to see for themselves what all the

commotion was about.

“Everybody, please take your seats and stay calm,” the brunette flight

attendant’s voice floated over the intercom system. She was standing at the

front of the plane. The blonde woman was sobbing into the other fight

attendant’s shoulder.

The silver haired man quickly made his way up the aisle.

“It was terrible!” the blonde cried throwing herself into his arms.

“What’s going on?” Betty asked groggily. “I dozed off then I thought I

heard a scream.”

“Bzzzz…ccrrrlll…bzzzz,” the bumble-man let out one last snore before

awakening. He wiped a string of drool from the corner of his mouth with his


“I’m not quite sure,” Aggie said, her nosy nature getting the best of her.

“I’ll find out.”

All I Wanted Was a Drink 8

She shot her hand up in the air along with the other passengers that were

asking questions. The flight attendant avoided Aggie’s waving and evasively

continued answering the other passenger’s questions.

Annoyed at this, Aggie stood up. “Excuse me,” she said, wildly waving her

hand. “Excuse me!”

The brunette threw her a sour look. “You’ll have to wait your turn.”

“Who died?” Aggie asked. The passengers quieted down and listened

intently for the answer.

“No one has died,” she said sharply. “If you’ll please take your seat.”

“Agsie, dear,” Betty began, “maybe you should take your seat. I’m sure

they’ll tell us soon enough what’s happened.”

“I will not,” Aggie whispered. “Someone died and I want to know who.”

While the flight attendant was engrossed in conversation with a row of

passengers, Aggie marched up the aisle. She pushed past the pinched-faced

flight attendant and approached the sobbing blonde woman still in the older

man’s arms.

“What’s happened, dear?” Aggie asked.

“I opened the bathroom door and she was dead,” she cried. “The old


“Oh my,” Aggie gasped. “You poor dear.”

“She’ll be all right,” the man said. “Aimee has a way of overreacting.”

“I’m not overreacting, John.” She glared at him. “And I don’t care if I’m

drawing attention to us.”

All I Wanted Was a Drink 9

“Did you know the woman?” Aggie asked. Both Aimee and John stared at

her. “Was she traveling with you?”

“No,” he answered. “She was seated next to us.”

“It was so terrible,” Aimee said again.

“I hope you don’t mind my prying,” Aggie said, smiling sweetly at the girl.

“When I left the lavatory, you were waiting for my toilet.”

“Yes,” the girl admitted. “But it ran out of toilet paper.”

“I see.”

“I checked the other for some and that’s…that’s…when I found her.”

The man patted Aimee’s back as she turned and buried her head in his


“Oh, dear. How awful! Now, how do you know she’s dead? Did you

check her pulse?”

“No!” the girl spat. “I can just tell. She was just sitting there slumped

over…like she fell there.”

“The door was unlocked?”

“Yes, I told you that already.”

“So she must have just entered the bathroom and died. Heart attack,


“How should I know? I’m not a nurse.”

“No, you wouldn’t be. You’re much too young.”

“Now if you’ll stop drilling my wife,” the man interrupted, glowering at

All I Wanted Was a Drink 10

“Your wife?” Aggie asked. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were married.”

She glanced at Aimee’s ringless finger.

Aimee followed her gaze and scowled.

“You haven’t lost your ring, have you?” Aggie dug out the diamond ring

from her pocket.

“Where’d you get that?” John looked disturbed. He immediately scanned

the faces of the people sitting nearest them.

“It’s not mine,” Aimee said snottily, wiggling her long slender fingers.

There was no trace of a tan line or an indent to where a ring used to be. “Not

everyone wears a ring, you know.”

“What are you doing up here?” asked a now familiar, stern voice from


Aggie turned to see an angry, red-faced flight attendant with her hands

planted firmly on her hips and her right foot tapping. Her nametag introduced her

as the designated friendly flight attendant, Maddie.

“Just heading back to my seat, Maddie, dear.” Aggie patted her bleached

blonde hair piled on her head. “Thank you for your concern.”

“Something doesn’t sit right with me,” Aggie told Betty when taking her


“Well, what is it?” Betty asked, over the bumble-man. “What happened?”

“The old lady that was sitting next to the kissing couple died.”

“No,” Betty mouthed. “How?”

Aggie shrugged. “I don’t know, but she found her in the bathroom.”
All I Wanted Was a Drink 11

Gary, a.k.a., bumble-man, turned to face Aggie. He slid his glasses off,

tugged at the bottom of his shirt, stretching it just enough to use a small portion

to wipe the lenses.

“You have a house?” he asked, holding the lenses up to the overhead light

in search of smudges.



“She lives in a condominium,” Betty volunteered.

Aggie shot Betty a sarcastic thank you look. But Gary hadn’t noticed.

“A condo?”

“Yes, why?”

“You garden?”


“Oh. Well, no need. Do you prefer black, green or blue?”


“Pick a color. Any color. I bet I can match it.”

“Okay. Red.”

“Red. Um, no, won’t work. How about yellow? You like yellow?”

“Are you going somewhere with this?”

“You’ll be amazed.” Gary held up a beefy finger and waggled it at her.

“Just wait. People are always amazed.” Trying to get up from his seat he

reached a hefty arm up and over in the direction of the overhead compartment.

“Um, could you get my black bag for me?”

All I Wanted Was a Drink 12

Not bothering to ask why, Aggie got up and pulled at the latch on the

compartment above. After a yank or two it flung open. Two small bags and one

good sized black bag came flying out. One bonked Aggie on the head, rolled

onto her shoulder and flew backwards, landing on the blonde woman’s lap.

Startled by this, the woman screamed.

“I’m so sorry, dear,” Aggie apologized. “I really am.”

“What’s wrong with you, lady?” bellowed the silver haired man. Jumping

up from his seat in a fit of rage, he bashed the top of his head into the overhead


“What’s going on here?” barked Maddie, the friendly flight attendant,

hands planted firmly, again, on her hips. “I should’ve known it was you!”

Aggie smiled sheepishly. “I was just retrieving this bag.” She lifted the

heavy black bag from the aisle and set it on her seat. Gary took his precious

cargo and protectively hugged it to his chest.

“And this fell,” she explained, taking the small bag from the blonde then

handing it to Maddie. “And the other,” she pointed in the direction of the

restrooms that were at the front of the plane, “it rolled that way. I’ll just have a


Maddie’s jaw dropped. Her mouth opened and closed, opened and

closed, but nothing came out. She just stood there holding the bag that Aggie

shoved into her hands.

Aggie took this as an opportunity to head to the front of the plane and do a

little snooping.
All I Wanted Was a Drink 13

“Be back soon, dear,” she whispered to Betty and turned on her heel to


“Oh, you sell hoses,” Aggie could hear Betty say. “And in every color.”

Gary had unzipped his carryon and was pulling out samples.

“It’s a very lucrative business,” he stated.

An idea suddenly came to her. “Gary, the couple seated over there are

newlyweds. And everyone knows that a couple just starting out needs a hose.”

“Yes, indeed,” Gary said, pushing up his glasses with his middle finger,

“thanks for the tip.”

As Aggie scurried up the aisle she could hear Gary introducing himself to

the couple asking them what their favorite color was. She looked over her

shoulder just in time to see him planting himself in the now vacant seat that

belonged to the recently deceased. She could then hear him ask if he could sit in

between them because the aisle seat would give him motion sickness.

That should keep them busy, she thought. And give me a little more time

to investigate.

Bending over she retrieved the bag that dropped from the overhead

compartment. It had burst open dispersing the contents on the floor. Aggie

picked up a digital camera, a hair tie, and a make up bag.

“Oh phooey,” she sighed. When she lifted the make up bag the magnetic

clasp came undone spilling everything.

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“Excuse me,” she apologized, chasing down a tube of lipstick and a bottle

of pills. She squeezed between a man and woman. “I’ve lost something and it

rolled under your seat.”

Politely the man retrieved the lipstick and handed it to Aggie.

“Oh, dear, there’s a bottle of pills, too.”

The man reached down to grab them. His fingers brushed against the

bottle and it rolled under the seat of the passenger in front of him.

“Excuse me,” Aggie addressed the nun. “I’ve lost something and I believe

it’s rolled under your seat.”

The nun looked down and grasped the bottle of pills. Her eyes practically

popped out of her head while reading the label.

“What are you doing with my bag?” She grabbed the handle and tried to

yank it away. “These are mine!”

That’s when it clicked. At that very moment Aggie knew what happened to

the old lady. She’d been murdered.

“Not you again!” friendly Maddie spat. “Take your seat.”

“No,” Aggie announced, “this woman is a murderer.”

“What?” the nun clutched the bottle of pills to her chest.

“She put the pills in what she thought was her husband’s drink, but

screwed up and put it in the old lady’s by mistake. The victim drank the pill-laced

apple juice, suddenly felt sick, headed for the bathroom and died.”

“Why I never,” the nun said.

“Is this yours?” Aggie held up the bag she had dropped from the overhead.
All I Wanted Was a Drink 15

“Yes,” the nun said. “But that proves nothing.”

“I bet your camera is loaded with photos of your husband and his mistress.

You’ve been doing a little spying, haven’t you?”

The nun stared daggers at Aggie. “He’s cheating on me!”

Aggie fished the diamond ring from her pocket. “Does this belong to you,


“Where’d you find that?” The nun held up her left hand revealing a naked

ring finger with a white tan line.

“You took it off because it didn’t go with your nun costume and you were

afraid it would give you away.”

The woman checked her empty pocket that was once occupied by the

ring. She had the same startled look plastered on her face that her husband did

when Aggie showed him the ring.

“Now, dear, hand over the pills.” Aggie held out her hand.

“No.” The woman shook her head. “You can’t prove a thing!”

“I believe the camera adorning your fingerprints, and the fact that your

husband is here on the flight and can ID you, is enough. Oh, and not to mention

the pills you’re holding.”

“Hand it over, sister!” Maddie interjected.

Defeated, the disgruntled wife handed over the bottle.

“Digitalis, for the heart,” Aggie explained.

Maddie gripped the disgruntled wife’s arm. “I’m gonna call this in. And

you’re gonna to sit where I can keep an eye on you ‘til we land. Move it!”
All I Wanted Was a Drink 16

With a satisfied grin, Aggie headed to her seat. The bumble-man was still

demonstrating his array of colorful hoses to the couple in the row across from

her, Betty was sound asleep and the murderer would be taken care of.

Now she’d be able to relax and enjoy reading the Sky Mall magazine, and

place a few orders with the payphone in the back of the seat in front of her. The

only thing still missing was a gosh darn drink.

All I Wanted Was a Drink 17

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