Seated by the window of the plane, I stared into the dark clouds.
I was on a late-night flight.
I had taken the advice of a friend to fly Ibom Air.
My spirit was downcast, I was depressed. It was the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and the world had gone crazy.
I had lost my job and my businesses had nosedived. I was struggling to keep my head above water.
The social distancing seating arrangement in the plane ensured I had as much room as I wanted to move around but that didn’t excite me. I took up my earphones and plugged it into my phone. I opened the music app and began listening to a playlist.
R.Kelly’s “I believe I can fly” flooded into my ears.
“I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky”
I inwardly chuckled at the fact that I was flying literally on a plane and listening to a song about flying.
Within some seconds the plane became dark, I could not make out the shapes of objects or see people in the plane. Then the plane disappeared!
I found myself suspended in an alternate universe, a cave-like enclosure with blue walls. I was dazed by the unexpected change of scenario and didn’t know what to do. I was conscious of myself and yet felt I was hallucinating. The R. Kelly song was still playing from all directions. The sound was intense and captivating.
I began walking along the tunnel desperately searching for a door, any opening I could use to exit the environment and return to the plane.
The more I ran in the tunnel, the longer it became. I halted and stood panting for breath. Suddenly, a bright light shone in the tunnel. The light rays streaked in from all directions and I quickly used my hands to shade my eyes from the bright glare.
A hand tapped me from behind and I quickly turned around.
A young man was standing beside me. He was draped from head to toe in a white robe, his eyes were beady and fiery, a long beard grew down to his chest and he was on barefoot. His appearance was ethereal, something out of the ordinary.
“Who are you? Where am I? What am I doing here?” the multiple questions poured out from my lips.
“You came here by your own choice” He replied.
His deep baritone voice echoed in the tunnel.
“But, I was on a flight on a plane….what’s going on?” I inquired.
“This is the tunnel of despair! This is the tunnel of hopelessness! You must stay here!” He ordered me.
“No!”, I shouted, “take me back to my flight!”
“It’s up to you” he laughed and began walking away.
I hurried after him, “Please I can’t stay here! Help me!”
He spoke angrily to me, “Are you the only one who has lost his job? Are you the only one who has lost money? Are you the only one who has been affected by the covid-19 pandemic?”
“No Sir, I am not the only one!”
“Are you dead? Has the virus killed you?”
“No! God forbid!” I exclaimed.
“Then why do you make it look like there’s no hope?” he queried and continued, “Why do you think you have lost everything?”
I kept quiet at his reprimand.
“Do you know how many people wish they could fly Ibom Air? Listen to the song” He ordered.
The music was playing and the distinct lyrics resounded in my head.
“…if I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it
I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky
The strange man moved closer to me and said, “As long as there is life, you must not lose hope. If you believe you can fly, if you can see beyond this dark tunnel then you can return to your flight”
As soon as he said the words, he vanished with the light!
I gasped in awe and fell on the floor of the tunnel. I sat in the darkness and closed my eyes. I began to picture happy scenes in my mind. I began to see hope and a bright future.
I sat for a long while and then opened my eyes.
I was back in my seat on the plane. I gazed wildly around, everything was normal.
I rubbed my eyes with the back of my right palm and yawned.
I had fallen asleep while listening to the music on my earphone.
But I was back from the encounter with a new mind. I could now see a bright future. The depression had disappeared, leaving me energized and enthusiastic about making things to work for me. I was flying literally on the plane and flying on the wings of success in my mind.
Don’t forget to fly Ibom air!