Day Four 7:00am
Day Four 7:00 am
“Are we taking your car?” I ask Warner as his fingers click on the keys to unlock the doors.
“Yeah, it’ll be cheaper than getting a taxi.” He replies.
“What about parking fees at the airport?” I frown.
“Fuck it!” He laughs, still abiding by his no rules motto.
I don’t bother replying; instead, I place my suitcase neatly in the trunk next to his. We only have an hour until the plane is supposed to leave, but luckily it’s just over a twenty-minute car ride to LAX.
I can’t remember the last time I got on a plane. I’m very fortunate in the fact that I have left America before, spending a few weeks in Italy on a family vacation. I feel like my trip to Italy was a pivotal moment in my interest in Art. Italy floods with culture and artwork everywhere that you look. It holds such a rich history that even the least artistic person can feel somewhat mesmerized.
But other than that trip, I haven’t been on a plane in what feels like forever, especially since the car crash. I have family in Canada, from my father’s side, but we haven’t spoken to them since he died. His family blames my mom for the crash, as she was driving, and they haven’t checked up on her once.
We never visited them when my dad was alive either, and overall, they never approved of my mom. It’s a shame that we won’t be on good terms when the world ends in under a week, but you win some, you lose some.
“Radio or no radio?” Warner offers, raising his eyebrow.
Listening to the radio is a lottery in itself. You either listen to your favorite tunes from years ago, singing at the top of your voice, or sit feeling depressed at some tragic world news. Just like the news broadcast four days ago, they never give a warning as to when they will play the news. It hits you when you least expect it.
“Can’t I connect via the aux? I promise I’ll play the best songs I can find, none of the art crap like Beethoven or Mozart, as you like to call it.” I bat my eyelids while mocking it.
“Fine.” He laughs while passing me the cable.
Scrolling through my playlist, I decide on a chilled, summer aesthetic mood. With the first few beats of the song, Warner begins to bop his head, drumming his fingers against the wheel, something he subconsciously does to show his approval.
Although the sun had begun to rise hours ago, it’s reaching the point at which rose-colored streaks crossed the sky, highlighting the now faint orange sun. With only limited amounts of sunrises left, I wonder how many of them I will get the chance to watch.
I’ll have to make sure I watch it on the 20th. Sunsets and sunrises are the one thing I’ll miss the most when I leave the earth. It’s the most natural and beautiful artwork you’ll find a painting like no other.
As we approach the airport, hints of the sea glisten under the sunrise. The seagulls are diving down to the water, bopping along the surface. We continue to drive in silence, admiring this morning as if it’s our last.
“We have reached our destination, Miss Carter.” Warner says, breaking me from my scenic stare.
The parking lot is busy with bodies of people hurrying towards the terminal. Everyone wheels suitcases, making a beeline to get around crowds of people.
“We’re not too late, are we?” I hesitate, biting my lower lip.
“Hopefully, not. Do you remember when we went to the shopping mall, and I told you to stick with me? We need to do the same now. We’re practically walking into the lion’s den, and people don’t give a shit about anyone else at the moment.”
“Right.” I reply, absorbing in all of his information, gulping down my fear.
As though we’re in a military operation, Warner edges out of the door, eyeing up everyone around him. Carefully lifting the trunk, he lowers our cases to the ground before opening the passenger side door, offering me his hand to help me out of the vehicle.
We scurry across the parking spaces, following the waves of people towards the terminal entrance. Occasionally I catch snippets of people’s conversations, and it seems as if we all have the same idea.
Fight our way onto the plane.
The spinning doors push us into the check-in area, which is heaving. Panicked workers sit behind the desk, trying to get through passengers as quickly as possible. One side of me is surprised that they’re here working and putting up with people’s crap, yet, on the other hand, they have guaranteed seats on the plane, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
“Next!” A young lady shouts, beckoning us towards her desk after fifteen minutes of waiting.
Even at the point of offloading your luggage to the workers, your place on the plane is not absolute. The real jungle is going to be at the gate, but the sooner you get through passport checks and security, the bigger chance you have at getting on the flight.
The lady quickly looks at our passports, not caring enough to check if they’re legitimate. I suppose it doesn’t matter anymore.
After checking Warner’s picture to see if it matched his real-life appearance, the young woman’s stressed attitude changes to a charming one, wooing over Warner and fluttering her lengthy eyelashes.
No matter where we go, Warner still manages to attract female attention.
Internally I curse while externally I can’t help but scoff, looking away in disbelief. Warner smirks at my frustration and his new interest.
“My fiance and I are heading on what should have been our honeymoon.” Warner gushes, throwing his arm over my shoulder, drawing me into his chest before kissing the top of my head.
His touch makes me jump, and my reflexes go to push him away in disgust, yet the disappointed look on the girl’s face is all I need to see to play along. This is the only time when Warner and I can come together. I hate how girls fall at his feet, and he love’s annoying me, and somehow they come together perfectly in moments like this.
Her eyes dart to my hands, where the supposed engagement ring should be causing me to shove my hands in the pockets of my denim shorts.
“Are you going to tell everyone that, bunny?” I tease, mimicking Summer’s high pitched, whiney voice.
Warner looks down at me with a broad stare, nervously laughing while dying inside, and I can’t help but feel a sense of achievement at beating Warner at his own game.
“Of course I am sweetie pie.” He responds, his smug smile overpowering and ruining my moment of joy.
“That’s all sorted, now just make your way towards security.” The girl interrupts, not daring to look at us as she hands our tickets and passports over, pretending to be busy with her computer.
“I hate you!” I scold as we walk away from the desk.
“No, you don’t.” Warner chuckles, throwing his arm around me again.
My body doesn’t react in the way it did before, this time it accepts him, somewhat melting into his hold. I can’t tell if I want to smile or cry at the thought of being okay, potentially happy at Warner calling me his fiance and putting his arm around me.
It’s made my heart race, for sure, but I’m going to put that down to the suddenness of it because I refuse to admit it’s anything else, especially anything like feelings.
I only felt that when he almost kissed me, and I reckon I was just overwhelmed because of the museum. I’m sure that if he tried it again, I wouldn’t even be interested.
Scanners beep around us as we walk through security, but just like the check-in desks, the workers aren’t overly fussed.
Checking over my shoulder, I begin to notice fewer and fewer people coming through the desks, which explains why a sudden uproar of complaining customers is echoing around the building.
“I have an awful feeling that we’re one of the last people they let through, which means we’ll be at the back.” My face drops as Warner also looks at the lack of people behind us.
“Take my hand.” He demands a determined yet mischievous look on his face.
Usually, I’d fight back and question him, but with only twenty minutes until the flight departs, I’m left with no choice other than agreeing with him, something I’m slowly getting used to doing.
Placing my hand in his, Warner pulls me forward, and before I can even comprehend, we’re running, dodging in between people.
Just as we did last night, we run away from anything that prevents us from living life to the fullest. Like Tom and Jerry, we run, adrenaline coursing through our veins, ready to conquer everything if it means getting to the top.
People shout and complain as we whizz past, laughter filling the tense air. Before Warner, I wouldn’t dream of doing anything like this; cutting lines and pushing my way to the front. But, right now, this vacation is our lifeline and if we miss out, Warner’s plan to make me spend the last ten days to the fullest, won’t live up to its potential.
With no consequences, things like this don’t matter. We only have ourselves to look out for, and for the first time, minuscule stuff like this doesn’t worry me anymore.
“Look, it says we have to go to gate 5!” Warner says, trying to catch his breath as we look at the screens in the departure lounge.
He retakes my hand, not waiting for me to make a sound and continues to run with me through the airport.
As the hallways narrow, we begin to slow down, realizing that we’re reaching the gate as well as being guaranteed seats on the plane. People carry faces like thunder, both from a lack of sleep and being pissed about people like Warner and me.
A few more people who have run stop behind us, silently forming a queue. Members of the cabin crew scan tickets, and just like security, they don’t seem overly bothered by safety measures.
“Ticket ma’am?” A lady asks, stretching her perfectly manicured hands out towards me.
She quickly searches it before the machine beeps, confirming our hopes that we have made it in time to go to Santorini.
“Have a safe flight, Miss Carter.” She flashes me a grin before allowing me past.
Warner waits for me to reach him before walking by my side through the tunnel.
“I’m impressed.” He says.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“We’ve made it with fifteen minutes to spare.” He jokes.
Walking through the plane, we grab the first two seats together that we see. Families and couples buckle their seatbelts excitedly as more people fill the flight, and it isn’t long before it’s almost full.
“16 hours stuck on a plane with me.” Warner gloats, smirking.
“Why do you think I have these?” I wiggle my earphones in his face, causing a saddened pout.
“We could share?” He pleads.
“Not a chance!” I scoff.
Placing a bud in each ear, I shut my eyes, feeling the ground move beneath us as we head towards the runway.
“Ready to depart.” The pilot announces over the speakers to the cabin crew.
Santorini, here we come.
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