Flight 76 by Emily Young

Our flight took off from Dulles International Airport at 5:30am on July 23, 2018. My best friend Morgan and I had just graduated a month ago, and we are ready for our first adventure together without our parents. We boarded the plane with great excitement and anticipation. As we stuffed our carry-on bags underneath the seats in front of us, we sensed that something was wrong, but we ignored it because we were so ecstatic. I took the window seat because Mo, that was her nickname that I had given her in  the 6th grade, would get sick if she looked out of a window too long while moving. We settled in and were ready for our trip to Nepal to begin. Our plane was delayed for about 20 minutes, but that was no big deal. The engines fired up and our plane took off. Our 16 hour flight began, and it would be the death of us.

About four hours after the plane had taken off, a flight attendant came around and served us dinner. Dinner was composed of lemon chicken, risotto, and sauteed garden vegetables. It is a good thing it was a great dinner, because it would be the last one we would ever have. We did not know that at the time, but we would find out soon enough. We were full, happy, and now very sleepy. Mo and I both fell asleep shortly after dinner. We woke up about 10 hours after we had left the airport because of what we thought was turbulence, and that was when all of the excitement started. Everybody started screaming and then the captain came over the loudspeaker, “We’ve been hit by an unknown object, both of our engines are malfunctioning. Brace for impact.”

This is what Mo and I feared the most, those words ‘Brace for impact.’ Mo and I began to panic the minute after the captain uttered those words. We looked at one another in the eyes, because our lives were literally flashing before us.  As we were losing velocity, quicker than anyone could ever imagine, the breathing masks came flying down from the ceiling. It was getting really real, really quick. I began to have a strange sensation take over my body. I did not feel scared, or like I wanted to cry. I felt calm, and like it was all going to be okay in the end. Mo and I still managed to find ourselves holding onto each other, crying.

During hour 14, on July 24, 2018, we crashed into the Himalayan Mountains. Everything was silent for about 10 minutes after we hit the side of the mountain. I guess it had either knocked everyone out, or killed them. I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out if I was alive, or dead, or maybe even dreaming. As the people that were not dead started to come to, the situation began to feel real. I looked around and found that there was blood everywhere, there were babies crying, and people screaming. They sounded like screams of pain, but also screams of fear. I quickly looked at Mo, and she was still knocked out but thankfully breathing. Both of us had survived a plane crash. How did that happen? I took the breathing mask off of my face, and I took the first breath of fresh air I had, had in about 10 minutes. It was the most refreshing breath of air I had ever taken. Mo woke up a bit skittish and freaked out. Eventually, I calmed her down by explaining what had happened, and that we were going to be okay. My phone had been smashed into a million pieces, although, Mo’s phone somehow survived the crash but of course, we were high up in the Himalayas; we had absolutely no service. Great. We were in a crazy plane crash, and as if that weren’t enough, we had no service.

We had to find a way to get out of this plane. Gas was leaking, and the plane was bound to blow up at any time. One of the passengers on the plane was a retired Navy Seal. He directed us out of the plane, and we were now stuck on a freezing cold mountain, with nothing but each other, a few of our items, and a burning, useless plane. We had to figure out a game plan because it was that or we were all going to die up on this mountain, and no one would ever know what happened. They would never find us either. Mo and I had just graduated, and we had our whole lives ahead of us. God had let us live through this plane crash, so Mo and I knew he had a plan for us, that didn’t involve dying on a mountain.

The days were long and cold. Mo and I thought for sure we were just minutes away from going mad. Food and water supplies were running out and so was the patience of the other passengers. Some of the younger and arrogant people went out on their own to try and get help. They died and never returned.  The worst part was when the older people on the plane began to die. There was no smell of death because it was too cold. The bodies just froze. Some people resorted to drinking their own urine, and then one thing happened that would scar Mo and I forever. Some of the men from the crash went mad, they began eating the dead. Mo and I told ourselves that we were not resorting to that, and if we die, we would die together.

We spent my 18th birthday on the cold, deadly mountain. Mo and I cuddled, trying to keep each other warm. We would ask each other math and trivia questions to try and keep each other on top of things. Mo and I knew our days were running out, so we would talk about old times, and we would both smile uncontrollably. We accepted that we were meant to die on this mountain. It is what God wanted, we guessed. We figured this is the way God wanted us to go out, fighting and most importantly, together. On July 30, 2018, my best friend Mo, and I passed away in each other’s arms due to starvation, and sickness. We were best friends from the start, to the end.

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