Coffee, Tea? Or me?

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IS IT WRONG?- Part I

IS IT WRONG?

I guess it’s symptomatic of a slight infatuation

Stalking you has sort of become like my occupation

Is it wrong? Is it wrong?

If it’s wrong I don’t wanna be right.

I

Lucy opened the Instagram notification and read the message:

Hello Lucy, this is James. I really wanted to thank you for making sure my credit card got back to me. You really saved me! :)

She read the message again then typed:

Landing day must be really boring for you, Jakie. Bet you wish you were me!

And she snapped a quick selfie sipping on a champagne flute.

The reply was instant

I’m not sure who Jakie is but I’m James, the guy you spilt red wine all over...

Lucy read the message and thought for a second then brought up the sender’s profile page: various on-set pictures of the famous actor, a couple of selfies with friends and a few movie promos. She typed

“....the length you will go to entertain yourself! Go to sleep. Ps: I had a very fun trip, glad I was called for it! Xxx.

James opened the new message, glancing over at his agent to check if he was looking at him: he was still deep in his phone conversation.

He read the text a couple of times. Obviously, the girl didn’t believe it was really himself writing. Why was it so difficult? He checked her selfie again: she was wearing no makeup and her freckles were prominent under the fluorescent light, her hair tucked behind her ears. A pair of reading glasses gave her a completely different look. She was really pretty. He noticed the book she had been reading on his flight on the shelf next to her. He typed

I’m glad you and Jackie had a great time. I hope you had the time to finish your book. Were you right about the killer?

Lucy opened the new message with slight annoyance; how long was Jack going to continue with this charade? The red-headed flight attendant collected her flute and ensured her seat belt was fastened as they were now taxing to the runway. She read the text and felt her hear sink briefly. Did Jack know about the book? She recalled mentioning to her colleague that she and the actor had talked about various things including books, but also vividly remember the flight attendant dismissing the whole thing as booring with the wave of a hand.

She could have sworn she hadn’t gone into details about the killer thing and the crime shows which lead to James calling her pretty (Lucy had purposely avoided that as she didn’t want to stir the pot). Could this possibly be really James Kent? She opened the internet browser and Google’s the actor’s official Instagram account: the same name and pictures came up. Her heart started to beat a bit faster, like the plane now turning on the runway.

Lucy opened the message page again and tentatively typed

You’re very welcomed for the credit card. And no, no time for the book but I intend to finish it on the flight tonight. Hope you didn’t work too hard :)

She held her breath and pressed sent

A few seconds later.

I didn’t, I was just being dramatic, I’m an actor after all. Well, you have a great flight! And let me know how the book ends if you finish it! :)

Lucy wanted to reply but the plane had left the ground and her connection was gone.

***

James stared at the screen for a few seconds waiting for a reply, but nothing came.

He started to second guess his actions. He locked his screen and played it cool, telling himself she will have texted back whenever she landed. To what purpose though? Had he been stupid? What was the worst-case scenario? She would send those few texts to a friend or two, and then for some reason, these could have reached one of those online gossip sites. If so, nothing was incriminating in their conversation, just a man politely thanking a professional for resolving an issue. Except he was an actor and she a flight attendant. Was this the 70s?!

And besides that, he had basically tracked her down, stalked her a couple of times and slid in her DM.

Nice one James!

***

Lucy read the whole conversation a couple of times.

What the actual fuck was going on?

She wished she had access to the internet to do some thorough research and put any doubts to rest, but she had to live with the uncertainty until the next day. If she didn’t die of curiosity before. Why had he texted her? But most importantly how had he found her? He must have gotten her last name from the bank and researched her full name with her airline and there she was!

Nicely played James Kent.

But why had he gone through the trouble? Why didn’t he just send a Thank you letter through the airline? Was Jack maybe right?

Her train of thoughts was interrupted by the red-headed flight attendant preparing her table with a white table cloth. She shook her head and put away her phone as there was nothing she could have done until an internet connection would have allowed some good stalking and an emergency meeting with her best friend. She opened her book and started to read but at the end of the page she couldn’t recall any of the words, it was pointless.

The flight attendant placed her starter and a glass of wine on her table and wished her bonne appetite. Lucy thanked her with a smile.

Since reading was of no use she focused her attention on the big entertainment system in front of her: the airline was recommending some new additions to their collection so she pressed the movie icon. Several blockbusters and popular TV shows came up on the list, Lucy scrolled down looking for something she hadn’t seen yet until a familiar title caught her attention: Last man standing. She clicked on the icon and read the plot, something about Viking invasions; then she double-checked the actor list and there he was: James Kent. She had never really seen him in anything other than the X-men and now she was curious; it wasn’t really the distraction she was looking for but her index finger was itching to press play. Screw it, she thought and started the movie.

***

James woke up really early on a rainy LA morning, sleep had gone and didn’t want to come back after he had been abruptly awoken in a dream.

Scarlet lips and freckles were inches from his face, Lucy smiled calling him Delicious, the same way he had loved; then she started going down, lower and lower until he had woken up in a sweat. He was now staring at the ceiling, waiting for his heartbeat to come back to normal.

The alarm clock on the bedside table showed 5 in the morning, 1 in the afternoon in London, he estimated. He checked his phone: a message from his brother and an Instagram notification from his friends, he put the phone back on the table with a slight disappointment and covered his face with his hands. Those lips immediately came back to haunt him. He jerked the duvet aside and quickly got out of bed in need for caffeine to wake his brain still fogged by the sleepless night; when the coffee maker in the bar area beeped he poured the dark steaming liquid in a mug and sat on the big sofa in the lounge area and opened the news app, reading through the titles to see if anything new had happened, but only more nonsense politics and frictions between countries. Depressing.

He stayed like that for a little while, just enjoying his coffee and looking outside the big window. The sky was still dark with only a very thin bright line at the horizon, raindrops resounding against the glass in a slow rhythm, the only sound coming from outside before the city came to life.

Finally, he switched the table light on and reached for the script on the coffee table which his agent had sent to him to read and give his opinion. It was about a famous serial killer that terrorized Seattle in the ’70s. It was very well written and he loved the psychological insight of it so he was considering auditioning for the role. With a highlighter at hand, he picked up where he had left and covered the parts that he found most interesting and that would have needed some research on his part.

Halfway through the scene, a buzzing sound took him from his daydream, he glanced over at his phone and saw a notification light up on the screen.

He picked the phone up sipping on his coffee Lucyindiskies sent you a message.

He quickly opened the notification, almost holding his breath.

I finished the book. Turned out I was completely wrong about the killer!

Another sip of coffee through a smile.

Well, it must have been a great book then, kept you on the edge.

He thought for a few seconds, biting his lower lip then added:

Enjoyed your flight? and pressed send.

He waited for a minute for a reply and when nothing came he tossed his phone back on the sofa and went back to his script.

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