V. Welcome to the Big Apple
I can feel her nodding on my shoulder. “Please, keep that in mind, sweetheart.”
Mom let me go, and I released a deep breath of air and grabbed my luggage. Rolling it down the blue and white tiles, I hold tightly onto the plane ticket. My body turns, seeing my parents along with my brother standing there, staring at me.
“Send me cool games!” Alvin screams.
I snort and nod before handing the lady my ticket and ID. Tucking a strand of hair behind my ear, I roll the luggage into the narrow hallway. When I enter the plane, a man greets me, and I smile. My eyes lurk around, scanning the room, realizing there were only eight seats, many occupied by businessmen.
“Woah,” I said, looking at my plane ticket, realizing it’s first class. “Joshua!” I hissed his name under my breath since he was the one who sent me the ticket.
A man helped me push up my bag, and I hesitantly sat down. A lady in a neatly worn blue outfit arrives. “Is there anything you would like today, miss?”
“Water, please,” I reply, with a grim smile.
Releasing a breath of air, I look in front of me and jolt back. There’s a guy who seems to be in his teens years, staring at me. He rests his elbow on the seat, legs cross, and everything about him screams - I’m better than you.
I avert my eyes, feeling his burning on the side of my temple. He tilts his head, causing me to get a better look at him from my peripheral view. I tilt my head slightly. “Can I help you?” I ask, wanting to disappear into the comfortable seat.
He ran his fingers across his luscious, looking lips. “No, but I can help you.”
I lift a brow. “What?”
“You seem stressed.”
Truthfully speaking, I am stressed. I’m moving across the country, leaving my friends and family behind to be with my best friend, who I like, but he is way out of my league.
My leg began shaking as I bit my nail, wanting to punch the guy across from me who keeps smirking. “What?” I scowl.
He stands up and flops beside me. “I’m Ahmend Laghari," he grins.
I leaned back and smiled awkwardly. “Nice to meet you...stranger.”
His brows furrowed together. “I’m Ahmend Laghari,” he repeats his name.
I nod, “I heard...you’re Ahmend Laghari.”
He rests his elbow on the armrest, placing his chin on his fist. “You don’t know who I am?”
Ahmend bit his knuckles, eyes examining me. “Well, this is refreshing,” he smiles, leaning back on the hair.
I smell the air, “Yeah; I guess it is refreshing in here.”
He laughs, slapping his hand on his thigh while I sit there, staring at him. I look around, wondering if I should move to a new seat. Just when I was about to stand up, he sat up straighter, long limbs blocking me. “What’s your name?”
“Why should I tell you?”
He smirks, “A boyfriend needs to know his girl’s name.”
“I’m not your girl,” I state.
“Then, who’s girl, are you?”
My mouth gape open, and Josh’s face slam into my mind. I shake my head. “I’m nobody’s girl.”
He rests his cheek on his palm, tilting his head slightly to the side, causing the tip of his hair, covering his eyes. “So, what I’m hearing is...you’re available.”
I pucker my lips lightly. “I’m not interested in you.”
Ahmend frowns. “What’s wrong with me?”
I take a few blinks, eyes scanning his features. Ahmend is a perfect looking guy, there isn’t anything wrong with him, but something about him rubs me the wrong way. “Nothing is wrong with you...I’m just not interested,” I shrug impassively.
He pounds a fist on the armrest once. “I like you. You’re going to be my next girlfriend,” he said with confidence, then pulled out his phone. Ahmend places the phone beside his ear and clears his throat. “Babe, it’s been a nice run, but it’s over between us. Don’t contact me, and if I were you, I’d stop sleeping with your dog walker because I’m pretty sure he has STD.”
A loud girl yells on the other side of the phone, throwing out foul words. The lovely lady brought me a cold water bottle, and I thank her as she looks at Ahmend with concern. “Sir, you need to put your phone away. We are about to take flight,” she said, and he nodded, placing a finger over his lips then waving her away.
“Yes, that’s exactly the reason why I stop having sex with you. I don’t want STD,” he emphasizes, and I hold my bottle of water tightly, wondering if it’s too late to get off the plane.
Ahmend shakes his head, and a scoff leaves his throat. “I stayed with you because your maid baked awesome cookies! Now that I got her, I don’t need you! Bye!” he said, then ended the call.
Ahmend turns towards me and smiles. “So, future girlfriend...want a cookie? I have a maid that bake awesome cookies.”
I’ve heard weirdo.
I shake my head, then turn it towards the window seeing the plane motion. Ahmend would sit beside me, intense stares burning on the side of my head as I ignore his consistent poking.
The five hours spent on the plane were the worst hours of my life, as Ahmend kept trying to bother me. He would poke me and teased me as if we were in elementary school. At one point, I snapped and threw the water bottle at him, where he tattle tell me to the flight attendant.
Finally, roughly five hours pass. I’m anxious to run out of this plane and meet Josh. He told me he would come to pick me up today. When the plane stop and the pilot states how we are in New York, I jump out of my seat. Stepping on Ahmend expensive-looking shoes, I hurry to grab my luggage.
Just when I was about to leave, Ahmend grabs me by the shirt and pulls me back. “What?” I ask.
Ahmend crosses his arms and points a single finger down at his shoes. I look down to see a dirt mark then back at him. “Do you know how much these shoes cost?”
My college tuition.
I close my eyes and point a finger in the air. Inhaling a deep breath, I opened my mouth then ran out of the plane. I’m glad I listened to mom and packed light. “Hey! We aren’t finished!” Ahmend shouts but didn’t chase after me.
Rushing passes everyone; I avoid their curious eyes. My eyes were cast on the dark pattern carpet until my shoes hit the white tiles floor. I looked around the enormous airport and saw him.
He’s taller than I remembered, hovering over most of the crowd. His hands tucked inside his faded blue jeans, a loose white shirt covering his defined muscles, and a dark cap. I giggled as he blew a light pink bubble and began chewing, pulling out his cell phone. I pull out my phone, receiving a message from him.
Joshie Pooh: Are you here yet?
My lips tuck over my teeth as I sneakily hide behind the plants. Josh searches the airport, and once he faces me, I duck down. I want to scare and surprise him.
A man passes, furrowing his eyes when he notices I’m kneeling on the floor. I smile and wave at him, who smiles slightly in return. “I’m trying to scare my friend,” I whisper and chuckle deviously.
Turning back towards Josh, I began zig-zagging around the room to get closer to him. Once I’m a few feet away from him, anxiety crushes me. Scrunching my hands on my shirt, I wonder what Josh would think of the new me. Pulling out a mirror, I pull out the hair tie allowing my hair to flutter over my features. I grab some chapstick and roll it over my lips, smacking it together. Looking downward, I wonder if I should’ve worn a dress or a more trendy outfit.
My phone rang and scared the shit out of me. Instantly, Josh whips towards my direction and throws myself on the ground, hitting my head in the process. Quickly, I slide my phone on, peeking at him through the cracks of the chair. “Hi.”
“HayBug...Are you here?” he asks, and my heart skips a few beats as he resumes searching the airport once again.
I look downward, fingers rushing through my hair and cough lightly. I knew I should’ve just regularly walked up to him. The longer I look at him, the more anxious I get. “Yeah...I’m h-here,” I said, feeling the loud thumping inside my chest. I turn back, noticing Josh is gone. I pop up from the seats, looking around the airport.