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By Jane Gilgun
Shirley gunned the engines of the new 1971 Lear jet. She loved the roar. It filled her up. She felt larger than life. After seven months of special training for women, she was a pilot for Lear Jet. She laughed and raised her eyebrows at Jim, the pilot and her secret lover. Jim kissed her long, slim nose and brushed against her collagen-enhanced lips. They had met while she was in flight school. Instant attraction and quick to bed, the two were soul mates, not like Jim and that sour wife of his. Not like her and that wretched man she had married, drunk half the time and bringing home herpes. She had made it. She was jet pilot and only 27 years old. Not many other women flew jets. All right, a co-pilot. Just a few minutes before, she had stood at the stairs leading into the plane. Jim stood beside her. The two were a good match. He was a tall, graying man with the stiff straightness of a retired Air Force officer, which he was. She slim and regal, an inch shorter than Jim, with strawberry blonde hair swept up in a bun. The 1
contacts she wore turned her eyes a crystal blue. When she looked at men, they felt seen. Most couldn’t get enough of her. She got felt up quite a bit but she didn’t mind. Comes with the territory. Not for nothing was she Homecoming Queen in high school and college. Not bad for the daughter of the town drunk and a mother people called a saint for putting up with her husband and raising five children, all straight-A students and now all college graduates. Men in suits walked toward them. They gave Jim the once over and stood straighter themselves. Their eyes widened when they saw Shirley. The effect on them was just what the Lear sales department wanted. A beautiful, sexy woman flying the Lear Jets they sold. No wonder men whipped out their checkbooks after flying with Shirley. Sex and power sold jets, all right. “I’ll go check on the cargo. Think you can handle the ship without me?” Jim guffawed his response as Shirley stood and stretched. She surveyed her marks as she framed herself at the cockpit door. A man in a navy suit and red tie drew in his breath at the sight of her. “What do you think of the jet?” Shirley lowered herself into the plush seat in front of the man and crossed her long, bare, tanned legs. The man licked his lips as he eyed her legs. Shirley leaned forward to be sure he could see into her eyes and down her blouse. “It purrs.” The man sounded hoarse. “The jet sounds like a contented kitten.” The man sighed and gazed at Shirley. Were there tears in his eyes? He didn’t look sad, but he did seem to be off somewhere in the clouds. Shirley heard the “chi ching” of a cash register. Another sale in the making.
Shirley couldn’t understand what all those other women were hollering about. Street demonstrations. Rallies about women’s rights. Stop rape? What’s wrong with them? All you have to do is follow the rules. Respect authority. Do what they expect. That’s what Shirley did. Look at her now--a pilot for Lear Jet. She had made it and on her own terms. What’s all the fuss about women’s rights? About the Author Jane Gilgun is a writer and professor. See Jane’s other stories, articles, books, and children’s books on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and other internet booksellers.