The rhythmic rumble of the airplane lulled most passengers into a pre-flight slumber, but for Maya, a knot of unease tightened in her stomach. Today’s flight from Mumbai to Goa was anything but routine. A quick glance at the passenger manifest confirmed her fears – Rahul Sharma, her high school nemesis, was on board.

Memories of cafeteria pranks and stolen homework flooded back, leaving a bitter taste in Maya’s mouth. She steeled herself, professionalism her armor against potential embarrassment.

The flight took off smoothly, but as Maya served drinks, turbulence struck with a vengeance. Glasses clattered, passengers gasped, and a rogue tequila bottle, knocked from a tray, went airborne. It landed with a satisfying CRASH right on Rahul’s head.

The entire cabin erupted. Rahul, drenched in the pungent liquor, sputtered in outrage. Laughter mixed with shrieks of surprise as Maya rushed to the scene. Mortified, she apologized profusely and offered wet wipes, bracing herself for a verbal tirade.

To her surprise, Rahul burst into laughter, the tension dissipating. “Well, Maya,” he chuckled, “seems karma finally caught up to me, remember that time I…”

His words trailed off as a mischievous glint entered his eyes. Maya, a flicker of recognition dawning, remembered the time she’d anonymously switched his chemistry project with a prank one. A blush crept up her cheeks.

Laughter filled the air as Maya confessed her decade-old crime. Passengers, initially shocked, joined in the amusement, the tension replaced by a shared sense of camaraderie. For the rest of the flight, a playful banter replaced the expected animosity. Maya learned Rahul had become a marine biologist, his passion for teasing replaced by a genuine enthusiasm.

As the plane touched down in Goa, a surprising warmth filled Maya. Who knew a tequila-soaked reunion could be the start of something new? Bidding farewell to passengers, Maya caught Rahul’s eye. A silent understanding passed between them. Maybe, just maybe, this wasn’t the end of their story.

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