Author's Note:So this is based on a true story. Just wanted to get that out there, for those of you that read BYS and said it sounded so realistic. Minus the guys (or most of the guys; some of them really exist). But most of inside jokes, embarrassing moments, stupid comments? Really happened. Yeah. My friends kind of insisted, so here it is. Dramatic-zed and with members of the male species.
Chapter 1- What Are the Odds?
Requirement: Tell at least one person on the short flight that you are going to London. Bonus points for someone good looking and of the male variety.
I tried to ignore the stares that I was receiving, but a girl can only last so long with two people staring at her as pointedly as Katie and Lizzy were staring at me. I hadn't even had time to fully settle into the fact that the boy I was sitting next to was completely and utterly gorgeous.
I didn't know whether to consider myself very lucky or very unfortunate. On the one hand, all of my friends were sitting on the opposite side of the plane while I sat by myself next to a complete and utter stranger for a two hour flight. On the other hand, the complete stranger was a very attractive boy around my age. Not to mention that he would let me get my plane requirements out of the way. But he was cute, which meant that if I did fulfill my requirements, I would be embarrassing myself in front of an attractive male.
But it was only a matter of time before he noticed that four – yes, it was now four instead of the original two – teenage girls were staring at him. Better to go ahead and get it over with before the whole plane started staring. I turned to the boy next to me as soon as the plane was in the air (the take off was the best part of the entire flight, and I was not missing out on it for them) and tapped him on the shoulder. He pulled his headphones out of his ear and looked at me curiously.
"Hi. Okay, this is completely random and slightly embarrassing, but I need you to guess where I'm going," I said.
He blinked, startled. "Um… what?" Obviously, it wasn't every day that a random girl demanded that he guess where she was going.
"Guess where I'm going," I said with more enthusiasm.
"Er… Chicago?" he asked uncertainly.
"No, no. After Chicago." Poor boy. He was so confused.
"I dunno, where?" he asked, obviously confused and uncertain about the entire situation.
"London!" I exclaimed cheerfully in my best imitation of Lizzy's OMG-We're-Going-to-London voice.
He looked slightly surprised, although I really didn't know what there was to be surprised about. (Unless he was surprised by how high pitched my voice could go, but he had every right to be surprised by that because I'd even shocked myself.) "Really?"
I nodded. "Yeah. I'm excited. Obviously. And my friends and I agreed to tell one person on the plane that we were going to London. And, lucky you, you were my victim."
"I'm going to London too."
Someone please shoot me. To say that I was surprised would have been putting it simply. "Really?"
He nodded, grinning. "Yeah. My dad's family lives over there. He's meeting me in Chicago and we're going from there." Great. Wonderful. I would pick someone that was going to London too. What were the odds of that? Only me. Oh well. At least he was cute. "So where are your friends?" he asked, looking behind us for some reason.
"Across and up two," I said. "The first set of two girls sitting next to each other. The one of the aisle is wearing a blue shirt."
"The two staring at us?"
I grinned. "Well, there are actually about six staring at us, but they're the ones most blatantly staring, yeah."
He turned back to me, grinning widely. And brilliantly. And… very cutely. "I'm Owen."
"Leigh," I said. The situation was turning out to not be as awkward as it could have been. In fact, it was considerably less awkward than it could have been.
"You know, I've never had a complete stranger my age talk to me on a plane before. And I fly by myself all the time."
"I can honestly say that I've never done that before. But there's a first time for everything. 'Course, it was a requirement. So, congratulations, you're the first victim of twenty things to do over Spring Break."
"Twenty things to do over Spring Break?" he asked, obviously amused.
"Yeah. We made a list of things to do while we're over there. You know, stupid ways to make Spring Break more fun and interesting. Try to get the guards to laugh, eat a crumpet, tell multiple people the muffin jokes. Stupid things like that."
"Sounds like you guys are going to have fun," he said, laughing slightly. "I would probably get that excited about it too if I didn't spend most of my breaks over there."
"That must be cool." Okay, this boy was pretty much amazing. Hot, he didn't mind a random girl talking to him, and his second home was London.
"Are you with a school group?" he asked, apparently noticing the glances in our direction for the first time. Okay, they were more than glances. They were more like… almost blatant stares.
"Um… yeah." There were seven sophomores on the trip. Six of them somehow managed paired up on one side of the plane, all in a row. The seventh one was stuck next to a boy named Owen. "Sorry about the staring."
"It is a little weird," he admitted. I caught Lizzy and Katie's eyes, the two most blatant of the starers, and made a violent slashing gesture that the other four caught onto as well. He laughed, obviously seeing my gesture. "What school are you from?"
"Pope John Paul II. It's in—"
"Hendersonville, right?" I nodded, slightly surprised. "You guys have the golden boy."
Ah, not so surprising after all. "Yeah," I said, nodding. He lost a few points for automatically connecting my school to the overly athletic idiot that could get away with practically everything. "What school do you go to?"
"Well, I went to Blackman last year," he said, pausing slightly to see if I knew where it was. I nodded for him to continue. "But my mom got remarried and we moved out to Brentwood, so I'm at Ravenwood now. I actually have a friend that goes to Pope. Do you know Conor Eriksson?"
"Heard the name, but I've never talked to him," I said. "He's a junior, right?"
"Yeah. He plays soccer, for some god-awful reason."
And the conversation just went from there. We talked about virtually everything that two teenagers can talk about. We talked about schools and cities. We talked about friends and families. We talked about music, television, books, hobbies, and all other forms of entertainment. Neither one of us turned on our iPods except to force the other to listen to something.
I discovered that he was a junior, played lacrosse, and loved a lot of really obscure bands. He found out that I was a sophomore, would be turning sixteen in a month, hated being Catholic, and wrote about as much as I breathe. He admitted to sucking a lot at most things that involved coordination, I admitted to be a huge nerd. I told him I was adopted, he told me he had two step sisters, a half sister, a half brother, and another unidentified half sibling on the way.
When they announced that the plane would be landing in a few minutes, both of us were startled. Then we laughed at the looks on each other's faces. "Hey, do you know what flight you're taking to London?" he asked.
I shook my head. "Can't remember. And our teacher has the tickets." Okay, that last part was a lie. The ticket was in my bag, I just didn't feel like fishing it out. He wouldn't know. "Why?"
"Because I was wondering if we would be on the same flight," he said. "Maybe you could text it to me or something when you find out."
Was that his way of asking for my number? Cute, gorgeous, smart, funny boy wanted my number? I might die before we ever get to London. "Sure. But I need your number or you need mine."
"Got a pen?" he asked cheerfully. I pulled one out of my pocket and handed it to him. He grabbed my hand and wrote a very legible number on it, complete with area code, before adding his name at the bottom (like I could forget it).
I looked at the spelling curiously. "E-O-H-W-Y-N?" He nodded. "Did your parents want to torture you?" I asked without thinking, making him laugh.
"I guess so. My dad's half Irish. I'm named after his great uncle or something."
Family names. I knew what that felt like. "It's just... The spelling is so…"
"Archaic was the word my step-sister used," he said with a grin.
I laughed. "I was going to say different, but I guess. Hand." He gave me the pen and his hand, and I wrote my number on his hand in return, being sure to add my name at the end. "I can be forgetful sometimes, so you might have to text me. Just to make sure."
"Of course." He looked at his hand and grinned. "Looks like I'm not the only one with a different spelling."
"My mom takes the blame on that one. It's a family name on her side. What, Lizzy?" I demanded, looking past Eohwyn and across the aisle to my friend. She made a bunch of dramatic hand gestures and mouthed something excitedly. I couldn't understand what she was saying, but I got the general idea. I rolled my eyes and nodded. Apparently she didn't understand the concept of cute-boy-you-may-or-may-not-see-again-despite-trading-numbers.
"You understood that?" he asked, turning to look at me when Lizzy turned back to Katie.
I laughed and nodded. "We've known each other awhile. You have to learn how to translate it eventually."
"Girl stuff?" he teased.
He grinned. "You sure you don't know the flight number? Flight time, maybe?"
"Around six-ish?" I said uncertainly, shrugging. "Something like that." The seat belt light clicked off, and I slung my ridiculously hideous tour bag over my shoulder as I stood and stretched. Eohwyn caught sight of my bag and snorted.
"Bet you don't get lost in a crowd with that."
"I wouldn't know, we just left Nashville."
He chuckled as we climbed off the plane. The plane was one of those teeny planes that are so small they won't pull up to the terminal and make you actually fight the elements to get inside. And Chicago was windy and cold. I just reminded myself that it was probably a lot colder in London and hurried my way inside.
Eohwyn disappeared when we got inside, probably to go find his dad and sisters. As soon as he was out of hearing range, I was attacked.
"He's a hottie," Katie said, grinning.
"Did I see you two trading numbers?" Autumn asked.
"You two looked a little close there," River said.
"What's his name?" Lizzy asked.
Ah, a question I could answer from a person I actually wanted to answer the questions of. "His name's Eohwyn, but it's definitely not spelled how you would think it would be spelled. And yes, we did trade numbers. He's going to London too."
"Really?" Delia asked.
I nodded. "He has family over there. Or something like that."
Our whole group dropped our bags off in the terminal we thought our plane might be leaving from in few hours. After that, the group split up so that we could go get food. My group (River, Katie, Lizzy, and Suzanne) debated over where to eat for a few minutes before finally deciding on the crappy pizza place instead of the completely shitty Chinese place. As we waited in line, I started putting Eohwyn's number in my phone before I accidentally washed it off or something. In the middle of putting the number in, my phone rang.
"I don't recommend the pizza," the person on the other end said.
I knew who it was. Who else could it be? "Are you stalking me now?"
He laughed. "Just thought I'd warn you. You know the flight number yet?"
"Suzanne, what's our flight number?" I asked the girl standing in front of me, figuring she would know.
Lizzy answered for her. "7484. It leaves at 6:07."
"7484, says Lizzy," I said into the phone. "And it's supposed to leave at 6:07. What about y—Hang on." I held the phone at my side to make my order before putting the phone back to my ear. "Sorry."
"I just met you, and already you're putting me on hold."
I had to pay before I responded. "If you don't like it, come over here instead of stalking me."
"Where is here? We kept walking. And won't your friends attack me or something like that?"
"No, they will not attack you. And here is the little seating area next to the pizza place."
"Are you sure? I mean, the looks they were giving us have me thinking that they might."
"Aw, that's kind of cute. You haven't even met my friends and you're already afraid of them.
He laughed. "I'll come over there eventually, if you're still there. As soon as RACHEL MAKES UP HER MIND!" There was a yell on the other end, followed by his snickers. "But yeah, I'll come over there later."
"What's your flight number?" I asked as I sat down with all of my friends. They looked up, looked at each other, and smirked at me.
"7484," he said, obviously grinning. "Talk to you in a bit. Bye."
"Jerk," I grumbled, flipping my phone closed and sliding it into my pocket. I looked up to see all four of them still staring at me. "God. What? Just say it if you're going to say it."
"Did he call you already?" Suzanne asked. "You just talked to him not even ten minutes ago."
"Me thinks he likes you," Lizzy said, grinning.
"Me thinks you're crazy," I retorted. "He called me to warn me about the pizza and to get my flight number. I highly doubt he likes me like that. I mean, c'mon. I look like shit. We all look like shit." Which we did. We were all dressed to be on a plane for seven hours, not attract boys. (With a few exceptions, of course.)
"He must be attracted to your stunning personality," Suzanne commented.
I laughed. "Oh, of course. Can we drop this please? Talk about something else. Like—"
"There's a hole in the United States?" Katie asked. All of us stared at her. River was the first one to get it and burst out laughing.
"The map. On the wall over there." A steel map on the back wall had one of the Great Lakes cut out of it to glorify it or something stupid like that. But with the lake cut out, it did look a little bit like there was just a hole in the United States.
"Yep, that's right," Lizzy teased. "You'll just be walking along and all the sudden you'll fall into a hole in the middle of the United States."
We spent the next half hour or so teasing Katie, laughing at stupid things, talking about random stuff, and eating the not-as-crappy-as-originally-believed pizza. All the sudden, Lizzy blurted, "Do you know what Michael W. Smith looks like?"
All of us stared at her, wondering where it had come from. "He sounds familiar," I said slowly.
"He owns Rocket Town," River said. Rocket Town was a local hang-out/club/center of the music scene. Well… the center of the music scene is a bit extreme, but a lot of bands went through Rocket Town. Even the non-Christian and non-Country ones. "Why?"
"He's a Christian artist too," Katie added.
"Oh, yeah," Suzanne said. "I've heard of him, but I don't know what he looks like."
"I think the guy behind us just said that he's Michael W. Smith," Lizzy said, starting to sound a little excited in the typical Lizzy way.
"Seriously?" Katie asked, started to sound excited herself. "We should get his autograph!"
"Are you sure he said he's Michael W. Smith?" Suzanne asked. "Does anyone know what he looks like?"
"Like the typical Christian artist," I said, trying to listen to the conversation at the table next to us. "They're talking about God. And he has a guitar case with him."
"I bet he is!" Katie said excitedly. "We should get his autograph!"
River shrugged. "I'll go with you, but I don't really want it. Other than to meet the owner of Rocket Town."
"You go first," Lizzy said. "I'm not going to look like an idiot."
"You were the one that heard him say that he was Michael W. Smith," I reminded her, laughing.
"I thought that was what he said," she insisted. "But I'm not sure. So you can ask him if you want to, but I'm not exactly sure that's what he said."
We spent the next few minutes trying to convince Katie that, if she really wanted his autograph, she should just go up and ask him herself. Finally, after we had all thrown away our trash, Suzanne, Lizzy, and I watched as Katie and River went up to talk to the guy we thought might be Michael W. Smith. Well, we watched as well as we could without being completely obvious. Katie hesitated with River a few feet from the table, trying to gather up enough courage to actually ask him if he was who we thought he was.
"What are you doing?" Eohwyn appeared literally out of no where.
I looked at him in surprise before answering his question. "Watching Katie make a fool out o f herself. Where did you come from?"
"Around. Why is she making a fool of herself?"
"She's asking that guy if he's Michael W. Smith."
"Is that one of the requirements?"
"Requirements?" It took me second to realize what he was talking about. "Oh. No. Just extra fun stuff."
I turned back in time to see Katie do the actual asking. Even from where I was standing, I could hear his, "No, I'm not, but…" I burst out laughing as soon as he said no. Lizzy wasn't much better. Suzanne managed to contain her amusement (we were too close to the table for all of us to be laughing), but not by much.
Katie and River rejoined us a few seconds later, Katie clearly embarrassed and River laughing. Katie's embarrassment only got worse when she noticed Eohwyn standing next to me and trying not to laugh.
"What did he say?" Suzanne asked.
"He's a songwriter for Michael W. Smith," River said, still laughing.
"Oh. That must've been what he said. My bad," Lizzy said, shrugging.
"What are the odds of that?" Katie asked. "A songwriter for him?"
"Don't worry, I'm sure one of us will embarrass the hell out of ourselves soon," I said cheerfully to Katie. "It's just a matter of time."
"I hope so," Katie said.
"As long as it's not me," Lizzy threw in happily before leading the way back over to our terminal.