1.Don't make me chase you
Endless announcements, forever busy stalls and counters, well groomed air hostesses in their perfectly pressed clothes, bustling passengers moving in and out to reach their destinations and there goes me, in the middle of one of the busiest airports in L A trying to make my way through the hustles to reach the baggage counter.
Finally, I reached counter number seven and was waiting for my bag. I spotted my neon green ′don’t make me chase you′ luggage tag which made it easier for me to identify my black bag amongst the other black ones coming my way on the conveyor belt.
As I put my hand on the handle of my bag, a warm calloused hand was placed on top of it. My eyes travelled up to meet the owner of those hands. The all too familiar chocolate brown eyes made my breathing process cease for a fraction of a second.
‘Zaeden Maxfield.’ To the world, he’s a Rockstar. But to me, he’s still the six year old boy who loved my Mom’s cookies, the three foot two inch toddler who wanted me to teach him playing guitar and the fourteen year old teenager who promised to come back, for me.
A tinge of recognition flashed in his eyes which was quickly replaced by a frown and he shook his head slightly.
He turned his attention back towards the bag and set it down.
He didn’t recognise me. I blew out a breath I was holding. Looks like my respiratory system came back to it’s senses and I started breathing normal again.
Along with oxygen, a feeling of relief coursed through my body since he didn’t recognise me.
It was quickly followed by an adequate amount of pain that had the potential to make my chest feel constricted, because..... he didn’t recognise me.
How would he?
8 years..... It had been eight years since he’d last seen me. I’d changed a lot in these eight years. Both physically and emotionally.
Guess puberty hit me hard. Now when I look back at my old pictures, I’m almost unrecognisable. Not in the ′ugly duckling turned into a beautiful woman.′ kind of way, but in a different way.
I grew taller. Obviously. My face wasn’t that chubby anymore. My once long blonde hair now ended at my jaw dyed in brown and some other minor changes which made a major difference.
But he looked the same. His dimples still popped the same way when he smiled and those crinkles that formed at his eyes when he laughed out loud which I loved endlessly. His warm hands are now even more warmer and fingers a bit more calloused. Maybe the guitar did that.
Everything was same. If anything, he only became even more handsomer with those extra add ons of beard and muscles.
He put the bag down and I mumbled a thank you. He blinked with a cute little frown but nodded anyway.
He pulled the handle and started dragging my bag. Now it was my turn to blink. “That’s ok. I’ll take it from here.” I spoke standing behind him.
He turned his head and replied, ” Nah! I don’t let the ladies take the trouble.”
He bent his knees a little and leaned back so that he’s close to my ear. "Just trying to be a gentleman.” He added with a wink.
We reached outside the airport, with him dragging my bag and me walking, well jogging to catch up with his giant strides.
After reaching the exit, he looked left and right and then asked, no, scratch that, demanded, ”Where’s the car?” I blinked.
“You mean a cab?” I questioned confused.
He threw his head back, face palmed himself and mumbled a name that sounded something like ′Mark’.
Meanwhile I hailed a cab and as I was about to take the luggage from his hand he gestured with his palm for me to stop.
He blew out a breath and gestured again, something that remotely resembled to ′ thats ok. I’ll-′ What? Are we in sign language terms now??
He took out his shades and put them on. As I was telling the cab driver the address, he pulled the bridge of his shades down with his index finger and asked, ” Aren’t we going to my place?”
Is this guy for real?
Crossing my arms and raising an eyebrow, sassy much? Yeah I know. "And what makes you think that I’d come to your place?” He palmed his forehead and exhaled loudly. ” I meant the office woman.” He clarified.
Now he’s seriously testing my patience.
" And why the heck would I go there?” I semi-yelled if that’s even a word.
Now it was his turn to yell. ” And why the heck wouldn’t you?” And then in a more calmer tone he added, “Because you’re my assistant darling. Since you came to pick me up, it’s your job to take me to the office right?” He explained using his hands as if he’s talking to a kinder gartener.
This guy didn’t change even a bit. “You’re still the dumbest person I’ve ever known Zaedy.” I almost stomped my foot.
Wrong move. Holding my breath, ′ please don’t notice. Please don’t notice.′ I chanted a hundred times in my mind.
" What did you just call me?” Vain. He had noticed.
“What?” I feigned ignorance. ” You called me Zaedy. Didn’t you?”
He took a step closer, making me take a step back. “I-i said Zaeden.” I stuttered. “You’re lying.” He accused.
" Why would I?” I tried to defend myself.
"Cookie?” Hope, vulnerability, happiness,fear. There was a flicker of all these emotions on his face when he called me that. He remembered it.
He still remembered the name he’d given me.