A Tight Space
Jessica was particularly worn-out from her training when she boarded her flight. The seats in coach were small and tightly pressed together, and to make matters worse, the flight was fully booked. When a strange man approached her, he did something so unexpected that she was at a loss for words.
Jessica sighed, looking around her at all the people crammed into the small space with no leg room to move. She knew it was going to be a long flight. She walked down the aisle until she found her seat, and when she saw it she felt her body tense a little more. Jessica had expected to be uncomfortable.
Suddenly, a man started to walk straight toward her, blocking her. She was confused at first, but when he spoke she knew exactly what was going on. She knew she had to act.
Jessica had undergone intensive military training, and it had prepared her for every situation. But when the strange figure strode toward her she seemed to forget everything she had learned. She started shaking.
What did this day and this particular flight have in store for her?
Finding Her Seat
Many people find flying overwhelming. Being cramped up in a small space among other passengers with no room to get comfortable can even be frightening. Still, it is the most efficient way to travel from place to place in the shortest amount of time, which is exactly what Jessica needed. Her flight was completely booked that day, so she knew all too well that there would be no extra room for her to stretch her legs.
Little did she know, someone was about to grant her wish.
Protect and Serve
Jessica fights all the odds on a day-to-day basis to protect her country and its citizens. She is a brave military officer, and she has made enormous sacrifices to ensure that everybody is safe from threat and harm. We should all appreciate her efforts a little more.
But on this particular day, one man knew just what to do.
Due to the price of business and first-class plane tickets, they are a luxury only afforded by some, and even though we would all love to be able to travel in comfort, many of us just can’t.
Bearing this in mind, Jessica had a good idea of just how uncomfortable her flight would be, but she never imagined that she was not going to be as uncomfortable as she had initially imagined.
Jessica slung her heavy bag over her shoulder and made her way to the back of the plane. She looked at her ticket, which stated that she was to be seated in 31-B, so she still had to walk quite a way before she could sit down.
She glanced over to the spacious business class seats longingly, but she knew she could never afford them!
Kept in the Dark
While Jessica was trying to find her seat, she had no idea that someone was quietly talking to the air hostess about her. She lugged her belongings down the aisle until the row of 31 seats was finally in sight. She hefted her shoulder bag into the overhead compartment and sat down, waiting for takeoff.
But ten minutes soon became fifteen, and then twenty. The plane’s takeoff was running late.
Usually, flights are delayed because of bad weather conditions, but today the sky was a clear, crystal blue. Jessica had a strange feeling that something wasn’t right about this flight, and no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t shake it. Looking for a flight attendant to ask why the flight was delayed, she was startled to see none in sight.
Then, she heard a nervous whisper from behind. Just what was going on?
Craning her neck, Jessica spotted the cabin crew and noticed that they were also acting strangely. They all rushed to a corner of the plane and huddled, speaking in furtive whispers. What on Earth was going on?
Then, Jessica realized that they had all been talking about one of the passengers, and he was moving with purpose, straight toward her.
It was obvious to Jessica that the flight attendants were talking about her. They gawked and giggled, covering their smirks with their hands. She had grown used to the whispers and stares that her uniform drew, but there was something different in the air today. And she didn’t like it one bit.
But she decided to ignore the unwanted attention, for now, but she still couldn’t help but feel on edge.
Eyes of a Soldier
Although her muscles were tired, they knotted with tension. All of Jessica’s training in the army had given her a keen sense for trouble, and she didn’t want any today. Even while she was off duty she was always scanning her surroundings for any kind of threat, and at the first sign, her training would kick in like muscle memory.
Then, she saw him approaching.
As the man approached her, Jessica took his appearance in. He was tall, with fine features and sparkling blue eyes, immaculate in a dress suit and tie She couldn’t help but notice that he was rather handsome. The thought briefly entered her mind that he was going to ask for her number, he had a confident gait and sense of purpose — she had been approached by men like him many times.
But all her life experience and training didn’t prepare her for what he said next.
Jessica’s mind raced as the man strode toward her. It seemed like an age before he finally reached her. Then, he opened his mouth to speak, and she thought he would confirm all her suspicions — she thought she saw his intentions written on his face.
But then, he said something completely unexpected.
The tall stranger gestured to Jessica’s seat before taking a step closer. Then, he matter-of-factly informed her that her seat was taken. Jessica looked around for assistance before shaking her head, incredulous. Her eyes widened as he insisted, saying “I’m in your seat.” How dare he? she thought angrily.
What was he talking about? Now exasperated, the man rolled his eyes and said: “What does your ticket say?”
“What? No – I’m 31 B,” Jessica argued. She looked at her boarding pass again, and she was right. It was clearly printed 31-B. She wasn’t about to be bullied by this man — who did he think he was? Just what game was he playing?
She looked at the flight attendants who had gathered around her, but they just nodded their heads.
The stranger started to explain to her that, because she was a military officer, she couldn’t have that seat. Then he said that he admired her for all her hard work protecting her country, but he needed her to sit somewhere else.
Jessica listened, confused, and then she was completely blindsided.
The man, saying that he would be obliged if she took his seat in business class instead. He wanted to repay her for all her hard work. Jessica tried to refuse the man’s generous offer, but he was persistent.
Eventually, she relented and made her way down the hallway.
Jessica was incredulous at the day’s unexpected turn of events, and as she saw the large, plush seats in business class she realized just how tired her body really was.
She had been training for days on end, she felt tender everywhere, and her body craved rest.
On Her Mind
Jessica couldn’t wait to get home so she could finally have some much-needed rest, but then the generous stranger had given her the best gift she could ever have asked for.
As she stretched her legs out in front of her and reclined, she couldn’t stop thinking about the man who had given up his seat for her.
Repaying His Generosity
The tall stranger had been much broader and larger than she was, and she reasoned that if she was uncomfortable in the small economy seats, he was going to be even more cramped.
She felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, so she thought carefully about how she could brighten his day.
She wondered about what she could do for the kind stranger, and then she spoke to the flight attendant. Unfortunately, it seemed as if there wasn’t much she could do as she couldn’t send him a glass of champagne from business class to economy.
She had to come up with an idea – and then she did.
A Thank You
Jessica could only guess at how uncomfortable the mystery man could be in his new seat, but there wasn’t much she could do about that. She could try to give him his business class seat back, but she was sure he would refuse. So she grabbed a piece of paper, attached a $20 bill, and wrote him a note.
She gave it to the stewardess and asked her to deliver it.
A Gesture of Kindness
When the man opened up the note and read it, his eyes widened in disbelief. It read: “If everyone treated people the way you treated the servicewoman, the world would be a better place.” And the attached $20 was included so he could have a drink and a snack.
But the man refused any kind of repayment.
However, the man was quick to send another note back to Jessica. When she read it, she had no choice but to smile. Even though he wouldn’t accept her offer, he had another proposition instead. He said that he would be honored if she agreed to meet with him over dinner when their flight landed.
Was he asking her on a date? Her stomach started to flutter as she wrote her reply.
Jessica accepted the offer from the generous stranger, after all, how could she decline? It was his act of giving up his seat in business class that had made all her exhaustion melt away as she lay back and got some much-needed rest.
The pair met at a restaurant shortly after their flight landed, and Jessica never could have dreamed that that fateful flight would turn into something of a fairytale romance.
Jessica had never thought that her bad day would yield so much goodness. But the mysterious stranger hadn’t just caught Jessica’s attention, there was another passenger on the flight that day who took notice.
She snapped a picture and shared it to Facebook, where it quickly went viral.
Another passenger by the name of Jessica Titus had witnessed everything that day, and she just had to share the story on social media. She was incredibly touched by the man’s display of compassion and empathy, and so were all who read her post.
Within the space of an hour, her Facebook post had been shared over 4000 times!
Hundreds of people from all over the world commented and shared similar stories. One woman named Kate Nixon said that someone had done what the stranger had done for her military husband while he was heading back to Kansas, too.
She was so overwhelmed by the goodness of some people out there that she had to share her story.
Faith in Humanity
This story about a kind stranger proves that there are good people out there, but unfortunately, we are not aware of their small gestures for others. When Jessica’s story was shared on social media the anonymous man received all the thanks and credit he deserved.
We need more people like that in the world today!