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Pain. It was the only thing that she could feel as she sat there still belted in the seat. Taking a deep breath, she counted her blessings that she was arrive, and swore that she’d avoid planes for the rest of her life.
She let her eyes drift over to the left, to the pilot and one person that she truly loved. She hadn’t heard a sound out of him yet, and could only wonder if he was alright. She had felt the force of crash, and knew that he had taken the blunt of the blow.
Seeing his chest moving up and down brought her a sigh of relief. At least he was breathing, and there wasn’t any blood anywhere that she could see.
Glancing around the cockpit, she debated what to do next. She didn’t know much about planes, and didn’t know how to handle events that happened of this nature. She saw the control board and the radio, but couldn’t even begin to remember how it all worked together.
Planes weren’t something that was her cup of tea and that showed as they had gotten ready to leave earlier in the day…..
“So, are you ready for your Chase Elliott Motorsports debut this weekend?” Chase asks as they load their bags on to the plane.
After spending the weekend together and finishing things on the car, Sarina had joined Chase in North Carolina for the week while he continued to prepare for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series season. Now that it was Thursday, it was time to fly back to Georgia for some last minute preparations for her debut on Friday, followed by a weekend of racing.
“I can’t believe that you managed to keep it a secret,” she answers as he smiles.
If anybody was to read the entry list for Speedfest, they’d notice the familiar No. 9 entry was missing. Chase had filed the entry late, which was no problem with the series but allowed it to miss the press deadline. He wanted it to be a surprise as many were shocked to see him not running Speedfest. For the most part, though, people had chalked it up to being busy with his upcoming Sprint Cup Series season.
“I have my ways with people,” he offers. “I can’t wait to see the look on everybody’s faces when we roll in and they see that you’re driving.” Sarina had to admit that she was nervous about that, given the warnings from others about possible issues surrounding people’s thoughts on their relationship. However, she had a plan – win the race and quiet the critics in one quick motion.
“It’s going to be interesting.” She then glances back at the bags, mentally going through her checklist in things that she needed to make sure that she had.
“Do you have your firesuit, helmet and HANs in one of these bags?” She looks over at him and shakes her head yes. “Okay, that’s good. I’ll have to get you a firesuit before New Smyrna so you look snazzy.” She then gives him a simple smirk.
“I thought you enjoyed my pink and black suit as it brings out my curves.” He then pulls her close, kissing her lips.
“I do, but I wouldn’t want others to get jealous or have their eyes on you.” He then kisses her lips once again as she smiles.
Chase then goes over his own pre-flight checklist, going over everything notable for safety concerns and beyond. With the craziness of his schedule and wanting to have ease in being able to travel when he wanted, he had worked at getting his pilot’s license to be able to fly himself, just like his father had done and suggested. He was easily about to get his license without a problem, and had since worked at putting in enough hours that he could fly with others onboard the plane, and not necessarily having to have eyes on him. It was something that worked out perfectly, as he could now take Sarina with him as warranted.
The more they could work out time together, the easier things would be given how hectic things were set to get this year.
With the checklist complete, the pair climb into the plane together, putting on their headsets. Sarina had to admit – she hated flying. She had heard all the nightmares about it and always found herself nervous as she buckled her belts and glanced out the windows. Though a look to her left made her feel safer, knowing that she was in good hands with Chase.
“Ready?” He asks and she simply shakes her head yes. “Are you still nervous?”
“Just a little,” she answers shyly as he reaches over and grabs her hand with his.
“Trust me – we’ll be fine. It’s a short flight anyway, and you know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, right?” She shakes her head yes as she takes a deep breath. “Alright. Let’s do this.”
Everything had gone according to plan – they took off without any problems, and the weather was perfect. As Chase told her, it should be a simple, normal flight without any problems. In just a matter of hours, they’d be back on the ground with nothing to worry about.
About a half hour into the flight, a sense of ease had finally drawn over her as she found herself captivated by the view. She could honestly see why Chase enjoyed flying, and the peace that it brought forth with the view beneath them. She glanced around at the rolling hills, the mountains, the land of purity.
That was a bliss that seemed so far from the pain that she felt now, and the worry that was building from having not heard a word from Chase yet. She could only flash back to the trail of events that took place as she sat there now.
“What was that?” She immediately questions, her eyes looking over at Chase.
“I don’t know,” he answers calmly and honestly, as he begins to look over the instrument panel, seeing if all the settings were set accordingly to the levels that they should be set at.
“Chase…” Sarina could feel her nerves growing increasingly rapidly with each passing moment. “Chase…”
“Sarina, just be quiet, please?” He then takes a deep breath as he goes over everything again. “It could’ve been some turbulence, there could be an issue. Let me look over everything, okay?” He then hands her a map, unfolding it. “I have the flight path traced on there as it’s common for me. Find the nearest airports and give me locations.”
“Okay…” She wanted to remain calm and follow the instructions, but yet found herself too nervous to focus on the words on the map below her.
From that point on, it was purely a disaster, as the plane lost power and found its way down to the ground – seemed to be some random fields in the middle of nowhere – without so much of a warning.
As she sat there belts fashioned tightly, she felt pain riveting through her entire body, from the back of her head to her shoulders from the belts keeping her clinged in the seat despite the forces. Further down her body, she knew that she could use a good back massage, and could only predict the bruises that would be on her legs from the whack that they took.
“Ugh….” She hears beside her, instantly capturing her attention as she looked back to her left. She found herself locked on a pair of eyes that now looked back her, filled with pain and agony.
“Chase?” She questions quietly, hoping for some sort of answer. At least she could find some comfort within her pain as she now had company, and knew that he’d probably be okay.
“Are you okay?” Despite the pain that plagued her currently, the answer to the question came easily.
“I’m sore, but I’m okay. Are you okay?” The question felt more complex than it should as Chase listened to it escape her lips.
He felt a headache, a little dizzy, and more pain than he wanted to realize. The worst feeling for him, though, was not remembering the spell of events that led to their current position as all he could think of was the moment the bang happened. From then on, it seemed everything was in a fog.
He knew that he needed to move and find help as given there was no one around yet meant that everything would depend on what they were able to do themselves. He felt the belts holding him in, and went to reach for the button to let them come off. Though the immediate movement brought forth even more pain, and the feeling that something else was holding him back.
“I’m sore, but I should be okay,” he finally tells her. “I can’t move…something…” Sarina found herself looking around him to see why he couldn’t move. The answer immediately came to her, though, as she looked at the way they had crashed. They had hit the ground on his side first, resulting in the plane tilted to the left right now. Her eyes then followed the body and everywhere, seeing how the plane had crushed around him.
“Your right leg is caught by the one bar, and the roof is right near your body. Given the impact, you’re trapped…” She felt her breath hitch in her throat upon hearing the details, losing hope by each second. She didn’t know how to work controls. She didn’t know what to do. How would they find help now? “We need to get help, but how?”
“Can you reach the radio?” She slowly released her belts, bending forward to reach where the control board was. As her hands reached the board, she looked over at him. “Where’s my headset?” She looked around the scattered, battered plane, finding the headset lying by her. She picked it up, holding it out to him. “Put it on. Press the button and call mayday and the tail number – 924.”
She then followed the instructions, repeating the mayday call three times. She could only cross her fingers that there was an answer.