Sheila was a flight attendant on Alaska Airlines for many years. She was known for her positive attitude and a large smile. She always did her job well. Most of all she was very observant and caring. These two traits proved very helpful on one specific plane ride.

On a flight from Seattle to San Francisco, Sheila noticed something odd. In two seats were a girl and a man. The girl was young, maybe 14. She looked disheveled as her clothes were a mess and, on closer inspection, Sheila noticed what she thought might be bruises on her body. Next to her, the man had a much cleaner cut and was wearing expensive clothing. His demeanor was extremely stoic.

Sheila immediately sensed that something was off. She approached the two and attempted to speak to them but the man quickly shut down any conversation. Sheila had a gut feeling that something was very wrong but needed confirmation. She hurriedly wrote a note on a piece of paper, folded it up, and subtly waved it at the girl.

Once she saw that the girl had seen it she put it in the airplane bathroom with a pen. The girl asked the man she was with if she could go to the bathroom and said yes. She walked to the bathroom and soon after made it back to her seat.

Sheila rushed to the bathroom to check the note. On the front, Sheila had written “Are you ok?” and under it, the girl had responded with “I need help”. Sheila walked calmly to the front of the plane where she stepped into the cockpit and explained the situation to the pilot. He radioed ahead and police were summoned to meet the plane at the gate.

Once the plane landed, the man was arrested. Sheila had successfully saved a young girl from human trafficking. As the girl was escorted off the plane by police and paramedics, she turned and smiled at Sheila, the best way she could, in her traumatized state, signify her immense gratitude at being given a second lease at life.

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