6. Riley’s Paper Planes
Riley was whistling down the hallway happy as can be at her new discovery. She was that much closer to finding the person, all she needed to do was check the other years.
She has never been this excited to see someone that wasn't her family or Lillian. After her less than stellar elementary school life, Riley had given up on making friends altogether as no one really wanted to be around her. They either found her strange, boring or too smart for them and avoided her.
She was heading towards the stairwell to go down to the first floor where the freshman resided when she stopped as something hit the back of her head.
Turning around she saw a lavender coloured paper airplane on the floor next to her. She looked up just in time to see a black shadow turn the corner down the hall. Feeling her heart leap into her throat Riley scooped up the paper plane and ran down the hall.
"Hey! Wait!" She called.
When she reached the end and turned the corner she only met an empty hallway and just as joyful as her heart had gotten, it sank.
She looked at the lavender plane and opened it up, feeling insanely curious at what could be written.
It seems you will find me soon. Here's a clue— I'm in the year above you. If you find out who I am before the end of the day we will finally meet. - Adon
As expected there was an extra letter, Adon? A year above? A senior? Riley couldn't believe it, a senior was seeking her out but why and for what? Feeling her hands clam up she gripped the paper plane before putting it in her bag.
Now that she didn't need to waste her time on the other floors she made the trek up to the third floor where all senior classes were. Riley didn't understand why a senior could be looking for her or why they were giving her these notes but she felt her heartbeat thumping louder at the anticipation that she would finally meet this person.
He sat at the back of the classroom, mind elsewhere as he folded the colourful paper. He smiled to himself at the thought of the pretty, smart and talented Riley who had caught his attention sophomore year.
Frequenting the library almost everyday and reading many books off the shelves for hours as if class was the furthest thing from her mind.
Striking up a conversation with the librarian after finding multiple spelling errors in a book and questioning the schools book source or correcting other students unconsciously if she happened to hear anything she found factually wrong. His grin widened at each ridiculous thing she said and did yet seemed greatly important to her.
He folded more paper airplanes as if nothing else mattered and to him nothing did as he put the finished ones in a large jar, each holding sweet and silly notes addressed to her with things he wanted to tell her.
Knowing that today will be the day they finally meet face to face made his heart leap, although he knew that his feelings probably won't be reciprocated he still wanted her to know how he felt and try to gain her weird but loveable heart.
He wrote on the last paper plane and tucked it in the jar, closing the lid. He hoped she would read them when the time came that she could accept his feelings. He looked at the writing on the paper wrapping around the jar.
'Riley's Paper Planes'.
"Hey Adonis! Someone's looking for you" He looked up at the sound of his name and when he glanced over at the doorway his smile grew and his chest thumped.
There Riley stood, awkwardly holding her bag as her eyes widened as she looked at him. He picked up the jar and went over to the person that his heart beat for.
"And that's how your father and I met" Riley finished the story.
"So what did you say? Did he confess!?" Hailey, her daughter, probed with glistening curiosity in her eyes.
"Yeah, what happened next?" Adam, her son, questioned as well; Offering her furrowed eyebrows and listening intently.
Riley smiled as she looked at the big jar of paper planes sitting between the two that she's long since read and had put away in the attic after all these years. The kids had come across it while they were cleaning up the space.
"Well of course she did, how do you think you two are here?" Adonis's smooth and soothing voice filled the living room the three were sitting in.
"Dad!" The two children exclaimed and ran over to give him a hug as he walked in the front door. He dropped the grocery bags he was carrying and scooped them up.
Riley smiled warmly at the sight. Although she was smart in almost all areas and graduated with many honours, she used to be on the lowest scale of knowledge involving romance and after that day, Adonis pursued her passionately albeit she was clueless for a time until her first year of college when he had gifted her a hand crafted mahogany and gold telescope with engraved words near the top:
'I love you - A.'
They had been out at night to test it and when she turned around, there he was holding a bouquet of white flowers that shone in the moonlight atop the college roof repeating those words.
In that moment she had really looked at him for the first time and when she stared into his eyes that held genuine adoration and love, Riley had felt a flutter in her stomach and the racing of her heart.
"Dad finish the story! Tell us what happened when you went to meet mom face to face" Hailey said.
Adonis laughed "alright, alright. I'll tell you while we make lunch".
Riley went to pick up the jar of paper planes and sighed happily as she looked at them. Remembering all those sweet words and silly notes that warmed her up back then sent giddiness flowing through her and she hugged the jar close.
Adonis looked at her with a bright and gentle smile before leading the kids away.
"After I confessed your mother brushed it off and immediately asked for a puzzle match only to lose miserably" his smooth voice fading as they headed down the hall.
Riley frowned at that. "I did not lose, you cheated! How dare you give our children false information!?" She shouted after them and she heard her husbands hearty laugh from the kitchen.
Riley grumbled at her husbands ridiculous lies and shook her head before the blearing of a ringtone entered her ears. She looked over near the door and saw Adonis had left his cell in the key tray. She picked it up and checked the caller ID only to smile fondly at the screen.
"Adonis your mother is calling!" she exclaimed as she looked at the picture of Lillian before picking up.
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