Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Miles To Go Before I Sleep by Jackie Nink Pflug Read Free Book Online

Book: Miles To Go Before I Sleep by Jackie Nink Pflug Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jackie Nink Pflug
do not want more bloodshed. I am responsible for the safety of the passengers and crew. I hold you responsible for any more killings.”
    Nitzan screamed and resisted every step of the way as the two hijackers dragged her to the front door and put the gun to her head.
    â€œHe is killing another one,” Captain Galal said desperately.
    Two loud gunshots rang out. The hijackers wanted to make sure each of their victims died. Following the gun blasts, we heard the same dreadful sound of a body thumping down the staircase.
    There was more shouting, soft whimpering, and crying among the surviving passengers—then an eerie quiet.
    Some of the passengers closed their eyes. Others gently rocked back and forth in their seats. I heard a woman two rows back softly saying her prayers.
    I couldn’t watch or listen anymore. It was too horrible. I closed my eyes and put my hands over my ears whenever it was someone’s turn to die. I had to block it out.

    After shooting the two Israeli women, the two hijackers forced the security guards to help identify the American passengers. The three of us were Patrick Scott Baker, 28, of White Salmon, Washington; Scarlett Marie Rogencamp, 38, of Oceanside, California; and myself.
    As the two helpers approached each one of us, the hijacker at the back of the plane pointed a gun at us and signaled us to stand up. The helpers then walked us to the front of the plane and tied our hands behind our backs with neckties.
    â€œI’m sorry,” I heard the reluctant accomplice whisper in Patrick’s ear.
    We stepped past the body of the hijacker killed in the midair gun battle which had been laid over some seats.
    They shoved Patrick in the aisle seat. Then, because I had been sitting behind Patrick, they pushed me toward the middle seat.
    I was going to take the middle seat, but something inside me said, Take the window seat. I didn’t understand. Why the window seat? Though it made no sense, I listened.
    Patrick was in the aisle seat, Scarlett in the middle, and I sat by the window. During the next few hours the three of us waited on death row. Patrick, Scarlett, and I became close to each other in a way few people ever do. It was a short, but very intense period in our lives. We didn’t say much, but I felt a deep, deep connection with their spirits. It’s too bad , I thought, but it often takes a shared tragedy to really share our hearts with others.
    Scarlett was a tall, beautiful woman with striking red hair. She told me she was from California and had been living in Athens for the last year. She was visiting Cairo on vacation, planning to see the Pyramids and other historic sites. Scarlett was a fairly quiet and reserved woman. I liked her. She reminded me of my sister Gloria with her sense of vulnerability mixed with strength.
    Patrick was someone I really identified with. He was a tall, thin, energetic young man with a dapper, dark mustache. A real live wire. Patrick was out to see the world and pursue his passion for photography. I could tell he’d be lots of fun, that I’d enjoy knowing him under different circumstances.
    I was glad when Patrick offered some comic relief after the three of us were seated. “I’m Patrick Baker,” he said, introducing himself. “So, where are you ladies from?”
    â€œWhat a thing to say at a time like this!” Scarlett said.
    I laughed, grateful for the opportunity to release some of my nervous tension.
    Scarlett was terrified, as was I, but she let more of her feelings show. I could sense her deep, deep despair. She didn’t say much. At one point, she complained that her hands were tied too tightly. She wanted the hijackers to untie the rope so it wouldn’t hurt so much.
    They don’t give a darn about whether your hands hurt , I thought to myself. I worried that Scarlett was drawing too much attention to herself. “Work with it a little bit,” I advised. “Maybe if you play

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