Author's Note: Contrary to popular belief, I am very alive and very well. I haven't had time to update recently because of my super hectic summer schedule, and I've run into a bit of a writer's block with the list. But I hated leaving you guys all hanging so I whipped this up really quickly. It took about two and a half hours to write; it went really fast because I had so much fun with it. I came up with this idea on the plane, of course ;)
Hope you enjoy!
Note to self: If you hate flying, don't sit next to a ridiculous cute boy with a hitched smile, a freckled face, and an obnoxious laugh… especially if it's a boy you dropped a suitcase on.
"No, Mom! You're not doing this," I protest, my eyes wide. "No, stay. Please." A whining note crawls into my voice and I sound like an obnoxious toddler but I don't care. No way in hell is she leaving me here alone.
"You'll be alright, dear." My mom purses her lips and peers at me through her wire-rimmed eyeglasses. "Come on, honey. You'll have to go by yourself one day."
This is embarrassing. Not only is she making me sound like I'm being potty-trained but she is leaving me here in the Lucifer's creation itself. I think about back when I was old enough to hold my breath and throw huge temper tantrums and my mom would have to succumb to my fits. I must have lost the adorable charm once I crossed the bridge from twelve to thirteen. Damn it.
"Mooooom," I whine, contemplating if I should stamp my foot to show my conviction. "You can't do this!" I blink hard, wondering if I can create fake tears and guilt my mother into staying here with me or not sending me away in the first place.
"Honey," my mom says in a serious tone, her voice firm. "Your aunt is waiting for you in L.A. You'll be fine."
"I… I…" I protest blindly, trying to find a legitimate reason for acting this way. My eyes connect with the dirty, linoleum floor. Isn't the fact that I hate airports legitimate enough?
"Bye." My mom pecks me on the cheek with her lips and runs off as fast as she can. She probably expects me to follow her.
I bluster weakly as I watch her fade off into the distance and I turn around to face my fate. Airport. Damn airport. The light glare from the floor flashes into my eyes. I've only been here for about ten minutes and this place is already trying to blind me.
I look around the airport and stammer until I see where I'm supposed to go. Flight leaving from Denver to Los Angeles.
See… I can do this by myself.
At least that's what I repeat as I walk over and get in line, my heart slamming in my chest. I lug my suitcase clumsily along; I'm sure it rolls over the feet of pedestrians but right now I'm too jumpy to care. In front of me is a crabby looking old grandma yelling at her grandson to stop misbehaving. I sigh. This is going to be a long wait.
I tap my foot impatiently on the ground, while fishing out my cell phone. I glance at it and wonder if I should call Mom to call her and whine and complain until she is forced to either come with me or just take me home so I don't have to leave home and go to Los Angeles. I mean, I've heard things about Los Angeles. What if I get shot or something? And I die? Then she'll be really sorry that she forced me to go by myself.
As I wallow in self-pity (and get a sad amount of satisfaction from it), the line moves on. There's a loud "ahem" from behind me, and I turn my face up to see a ridiculously cute boy pointing at the large space between the screaming grandma and me, his finger like a straight arrow. Crap.
"Sorry," I mutter, trying to pull my suitcase along. Unfortunately, the wheels don't move; they're stuck or something. I curse this stupid suitcase under my breath and try to pick it up.
I have this problem of separation anxiety. I am really only comfortable at home. So as a result, even when I am only leaving for a one-week vacation, I pack about everything in my room plus a multitude of comfort foods so that I can make my surroundings as close to my house as I can. As a result, my bag weighs exactly 49.4 pounds—pretty close to the 50-pound limit they have at the airport.
You're probably wondering why I'm telling you this.
Well, as I pick up my bag, it is so heavy that I drop it on the ridiculously cute boy's foot. Oh no.
His face scrunches up in pain and I find myself wondering if he's going to scream. A small, strangled yelp comes rushing out of his mouth and I am forced to choose between giggling (because he sounds so funny) and apologizing profusely.
I decide that apologizing is more appropriate.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" I wave my hands around, flustered. This waving doesn't help the situation at all but it somehow makes me feel better. "I am so, so sorry!"
I struggle to pull my stupid bag off of his foot; I grunt and jerk and finally the bag flies off of the cute boy and hits me square in the stomach, knocking me down to the floor on my butt.
I just lay on the floor, trying to catch my breath, my face burning bright red as people turn and stare at me. I wonder if I can possibly humiliate myself any further.
When the boy points at me and starts to—not scream, but laugh—laugh so hard that he starts to wheeze, I decide that I hate my mom. And I'm never going to an airport by myself again.
About an hour and seventeen minutes later, I'm ready to board my plane. Today has most likely been the worst day of my life. Really.
I'm nauseous and tired. I look really bad. This just sucks. Honestly.
A voice comes out the loudspeaker. "Anyone traveling on Flight #117 to Los Angeles leaving from Denver should board now. This is the last announcement."
With a sigh, I turn off my iPod and trudge over to the boarding gate. I hand my ticket to the worker—what are they called?—and grab my ticket, adjusting my carry-on backpack as I get on the plane. My ticket stub says 37A, so I try to find my seat right away, pushing past the smiling blonde flight attendant with a nametag Julia.
Ugh. This is so bad.
I push my way past people in the aisles and zero my eyes in on the numbers. 33… 34… 35… 36… aha! 37!
"Excuse me." I scoot my way around the woman in front of me putting a suitcase in an overhead compartment—I'm pretty sure I smack her in the face with my carry-on, but at this point I'm too tired and disgusted with planes to care—and look down at my seat—which is luckily a window one. Then I look at 37 B to see whom I have to sit next to and endure the company of on this miserable, long flight.
You're kidding me.
I blink about ten times to try and clear my vision; maybe my mind is playing tricks on me. But no.
There he is, in the flesh. The ridiculously cute boy that I dropped a suitcase on earlier.
He recognizes me and a hitched, lopsided smile spreads over his face. His sparkling eyes are grinning and it looks like he's actually trying to suppress a laugh.
I bristle, puff up my face into a look of disdain, and move stiffly to my seat without a word.
It makes him laugh even harder.
Okay, I'm going to be completely honest. This boy is the most obnoxious person I have ever laid eyes upon. Forget what I said about him being adorable, even though he has dancing hazel eyes and dark chocolate colored hair and the cutest freckles and—damn it, that's not the point!
He's driving me crazy!
He just keeps peering at me and when I turn to confront him and catch him in his Peeping Tom actions, he turns away, twiddles his thumbs, and whistles, playing complete innocence. Stupid, stupid, stupid boy!
If I wasn't strapped into this seatbelt, I might strangle him to death. That would wipe the stupid smirk off of his face.
We've been sitting on this godforsaken plane for about fourteen minutes and I'm already going mad. I almost started to scream at the flight attendants modeling how to put on seatbelts and showing us where the inflatable lifejackets are—they just make me even more nervous! We haven't even started moving and wait…
The pilot's voice comes over the loudspeaker. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying with American Airlines today. My name is Michael and I will be your pilot to guarantee you a safe flight from Denver to Los Angeles. We will now begin takeoff so please make sure your seatbelts are fastened securely."
NO, NO, NO! Now I'm going to die for sure!
The plane starts moving and my stomach lurches. I've been scared to death of planes ever since I was little when my best friend's aunt was killed in a plane crash. Usually my mom is here for me to latch onto; I hide my face in her shirt and she calms me down, but this time, no, this time my mom wants me to be "independent." I'm going to die now and she's going to feel so sorry.
The plane rolls forward and all thoughts of hatred towards my mom disappear and thoughts of death fill my mind. I hate planes. I hate the smell. I hate the stupid people like the stupid cute boy and—hey!
The airplane rumbles, my ears start to pop, and without thinking I grab onto the teenage boy next to me and hide my head inside his soft, cotton grey shirt that smells like boy and fabric softener. Good. At least he's not dirty.
I feel him jump up in shock but I just grab onto him for dear life—literally—because the plane is going to fall out of the sky any second and I don't want to see it hurtling towards the ground. Every time the plane moves the butterflies in my stomach multiply and I close my eyes; one of my hands is wound tightly around the boy's and my other hand is kneaded into his shirt.
I can't stop thinking I'm going to die.
But the airplane just keeps ascending and before I know it, the seatbelt signs have dinged off and I'm still curled up. I pull my face out of the boy's shirt and tentatively let go of his hand.
Oh God. So, so embarrassing.
Looking down at my hands in my lap, my iPod clutched in the right one, I mutter a quick apology. "I'm sorry. I don't like planes."
My face flaming, I take a chance and look at him. The boy's eyes are amused; his hitched smile is even wider now.
He's making fun of me!
He's still laughing at me!
"I'm sorry," I huff again, and then turn away so I can stop looking at that impudent, freckled face.
I shove my headphones indignantly into my ears and keep my eyes off that smug, sarcastic face.
If I had any muscle in my scrawny body I'd pound him. But I don't.
Plus, it's probably a bad idea to start violence on a plane.
I close my eyes and let the music take me.
Huh? Somebody's touching me. Instinctively, I whip out my arm and incidentally slap the boy in the face.
He jumps back, his eyes shocked. He shakes his face to get rid of the burning sensation, while I shake my head to try to get rid of my burning face. He's probably scared of me and how accident prone I am. This is just getting ridiculous.
A small smile rests on his lips. He looks at me, his eyes still laughing. God, maybe I'll have to take an axe to this boy before he stops teasing me.
"Um, drinks are ready," he says. "Did you want something?"
He points at the flight attendant waiting impatiently in the aisle. It's the smiling blonde one named Julia but she doesn't look so happy anymore.
"What would you like to drink?" she asks in a false, crisp voice.
"What do you have?" I ask.
She gives me a look of the utmost disdain and starts viciously pulling out the drawers, gesturing at the Coke, Sprite, V8, and other beverages.
"I'll just have orange juice," I say in a small, meek voice.
Julia rips out a carton of orange juice and pours it into a small plastic cup, thrusting it roughly at me. I grab it and set it gently on my pull-out table. The boy looks curiously at me as he sips his cup of ginger ale and then impulsively gestures his cup at me.
"Cheers," he chortles, his voice brimming with happiness.
I give him a dirty look, which makes him laugh more.
Does this boy ever stop laughing? We could die any second now and as the plane rolled down into the ocean—wait, there is no ocean from Denver to L.A., is there?—he would still be laughing. Laughing in his grave even.
But Mommy raised me to be polite so I gesture my cup back and growl a "cheers" in return.
Which is when my plastic cup decides to tilt itself over and empty its orange contents onto his lap.
And lo and behold, the satisfied smirk is gone!
The boy stares in horror at his stained crotch and the smile that has crept onto my face suddenly retreats into some kind of black cave as his eyes meet mine.
"You did that on purpose."
"No, I didn't!" I protest wildly. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I'm babbling now like an idiot, but it's okay because I could not possibly mess up any more.
…When my mom bails me out of jail in L.A. she is so going to regret sending me off on my own. She should really learn to listen.
I bang the flight attendant help button and Julia is there in a flash. Her blonde hair is impeccably fashioned into a flight attendant bun, but as she takes in the scene, one strand falls out. She may be losing her calm. She wouldn't be the first flight attendant to have enough of me.
"Can I have some napkins?" I blurt out, pointing wildly at the boy's wet crotch.
Julia sighs indignantly, reminding me of a flustered horse. She storms off down the aisle and comes back with a handful of napkins, which she practically throws at me.
I sheepishly hand the napkins to the boy, who grabs them and begins blotching away at his crotch. Luckily he's wearing jeans instead of white pants.
The orange juice seeps orange through the thin napkins, and pretty soon, the ridiculously cute boy is sitting there helplessly with a bunch of what looks like piss-stained napkins in hand. A gorgeous teenage girl walks by and gives him a snooty look as he tries frantically to cover up his pants.
He turns to look at me and I cover up my face protectively with my hands.
"I'm sorry," I squeak helplessly.
He grunts and looks away. How unattractive.
I think I have apologized on this plane ride alone more than I usually do in an entire week. I hate Wilbur and Orville Wright. Somebody should have shot them before they could invent the plane.
I pull my sketchbook out of my carry-on and run through a few pages. I have to say, I'm actually half decent at drawing. I glance at a portrait I drew of my mom, lightly running my fingers over the graphite. My fingers itch for a pen, so I set my sketchbook aside and pull up my carry-on.
Where on earth are my pens?
I scrounge around in the bottom of my bag, pull open zippers, searching wildly for any type of pencil or pen. Tell me I did not pack a sketchbook to bring on the plane and nothing to write or draw with. Tell me I am not that stupid.
I scratch past a Rice Krispies bar, some makeup, a book. I must be that stupid.
Sighing, I reach to take my sketchbook and put it back in my bag, but I freeze when I realize it's not where I left it.
I glance to my left and sure enough Laughing Boy has it.
He notices me staring at him; his eyes crawl down to look at my bound sketchbook in his hand, and he gives it to me, a smile still playing on his face. He also gives me a pen, as if searching for consolation.
Grudgingly, I take it.
I flip open my sketchbook and go through my pictures—this boy better not have smeared or messed anything up—and when I get to the seventh page—the page I've gotten up to—I stop and freeze.
My eyes trail down to the crudely drawn picture in the corner of the white page. A scratched in stick figure is smashed underneath a suitcase—I'm guessing it's me because it's a girl; you can only tell by the long hair. And next to the squished, screaming figure is a boy with curly hair—his stupid stick figure face has a big mouth and as if the hint isn't enough, there's a speech bubble next to him with a big "HA HA!" inside.
God, he even looks stupid on paper.
My head snaps up and I glare furiously at the boy next to me, trying to intimidate him, but instead he just claps his hands gleefully, like a little Kindergartener who is proud of his handiwork.
I should call his parents and tell them to pay more attention to him.
I uncap the pen and go to work scribbling in a stick figure with a freckled face and a goofy smile, and draw in clothes. I make sure to doodle an obvious stain on the stick figure's pants.
I hand the sketchbook back to him.
An indignant look washes over his face.
The plane is jerking up and down. I am going to die today. I really am going to die.
This is so scary. The pilot announces that we're having a bit of turbulence but if you put on your seatbelts everything will be okay, but he's a big lying fogey. People die on planes all the time. And today I'm going to die sitting next to some obnoxious idiot who will probably cackling with laughter all the way down.
My head bangs against my seat and results in a killer headache.
I glance over at Stupid who seems completely calm and at ease. He rocks back and forth in his chair, listening to music.
My face crumples up and I bury it in my hands. I hate this. I hate this.
I try to think of happy thoughts but pictures of plane crashes I see on TV and in the newspaper keep interjecting my flow of rainbows and bunnies. And then my bunnies grow fangs and wear flight attendant costumes and have Julia faces.
I think I'm going to cry.
A thick sob wells up in my throat and I grip the sides of my seat hard, squeezing my eyes shut. If I'm really going to die, I'd rather have it come as a surprise.
I feel a slight touch on my shoulder, and it turns into a reassuring grip. I open my eyes slowly and Obnoxious is looking gently at me, as if he's promising things are going to be okay. He reaches down and squeezes my hand.
He's still smiling, but it's not an infuriating smirk.
I squeeze his hand back.
He stares straight ahead and doesn't laugh.
This dumb flight is finally almost over. The pilot Michael's voice announces that we'll be landing shortly in about 17 minutes. It's about time.
I busy myself packing up my stuff so I don't think about the landing. It's embarrassing enough that I had to hold on to some complete stranger's hand for one third of the plane ride already.
The plane begins its descent and I fight to control the incredible beating of my heart. I breathe in and out, in and out, and keep my eyes shut.
A jarring noise grates my ears and we are here. We have landed. We are alive.
Haha, this evil plane has not yet brought me to my demise. It's going to have to do better than that!
I nearly jump out of my seat when the seatbelt signs finally turn off and the plane has stopped taxing. I grab my backpack and stumble into the aisle, tripping over the unfortunate victim.
It's him, of course.
His eyes smile, and I know he's going to start laughing like a hyena again. He offers me a hand, a chuckle building up in his chest. I take his hand, an accusing look in my eyes.
He pulls me up, and before I know what I'm doing and get my balance back, I crash full force onto him, my lips pressing hard against his.
Oh my God.
I jerk away, breathless, stammering. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Major case of déjà vu, by the way.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to…" I blabber. "I'm sorry-"
His stupid smirk crawls onto his face like a caterpillar.
"Don't be," he answers, and pulls me back to kiss him again.
Author's Note: Fin. I'm not sure how much I liked the ending, but I was going for a cute tactic ;D
Be sure to check out some of my other stories. I'm planning on updating when I find time in my schedule.
P.S. Don't forget to review!