James had just received his pilot’s license. After nearly a year of training, of studying, of books and manuals and wind charts, he had finally done it. A goal accomplished. A feather in his cap.
He took off for his final leg back to Palo Alto, his first real trip as a pilot. He was looking forward to seeing Molly. She’d been waiting for this day. Not because she so badly wanted him to be a pilot, but because she wanted her fiancé back. She wanted him to get his nose out of the books and back against the nape of her neck where it belonged.
Molly knew that she should take some of the responsibility. She too had lost the fire that used to rage inside her. She forgot the feeling he used to give her when he walked through the door. When they were young, their evenings flowed like watercolors on a canvas, blending perfectly from one moment to the next with past, present, and future feeling like they were all happening at once.
Now, dinner meant dinner and bed meant bed.
On their third date, Molly took James to see “The Notebook.” He didn’t know what it was but went along because he didn’t care what they did as long as he could slide his hand over hers.
As the credits rolled, James wiped a tear from his stoic face and Molly knew that there was something about this guy that just felt honest.
"I need to get back to that," Molly thought and opened up her laptop.
Somewhere over the bay, James banked towards the sunset, basking in his moment.
Molly clicked “Buy Now” and somewhere in a factory in Brisbane a series of gears and levers began to move. A robot arm climbed 40 feet into the air to clutch the 3rd paperback reprinting of “The Notebook,” by Nicholas Sparks.
James banked left, starting to head towards the city, towards Molly, towards home.
Clear tape stretches over a hurriedly folded box. With one book inside, the package moved nimbly over the rolling metal cylinders and into the distribution pod, where it was almost immediately collected by AD471, a delivery drone on its third delivery of the day.
Up, up and away.
"The Notebook" and James were both headed rapidly towards the city, alone each in their vessels, but not alone in their willingness to change everything. James knew he would walk through the door and lift Molly up and tell her that he wanted her to be his co-pilot, forever. His co-pilot for life.
James pitched down and pulled the throttle, beginning his descent. AD471 banked sharply right to avoid a usual patch of wind as is recorded in the Amazon Drone Delivery manifest.
"What’s that?" asked James, to no one in particular.
And it was the last thing he ever said. AD471 had been sucked into his left engine, igniting a fire, and sending James and “The Notebook” hurtling wildly towards earth, bound together forever in fear and desolation.
As he fell, he noticed the cover and had a fleeting glimpse of a charred Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, holding each other as he would hold no one ever again.
The phone rang and Molly quickly answered it.
"We’re sorry ma’am," a voice said.
"Oh no, what’s wrong?" asked Molly.
"Well, the copy of The Notebook you ordered was damaged en route. Another one will be on the way shortly. Sorry for any inconvenience. We have waived the delivery charge."