Through His Lens (edited version)

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Cabin crew..seats for takeoff

I have to say Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year. I love being wrapped up in hundreds of layers keeping me warm, but also the chill in the air that make me look like Rudolph the red nose reindeer. I don't even mind the endless Christmas parties to go to which just proves how much I love it because hello, I'm lazy and antisocial!

I always knew it was going to be weird having Christmas here in California. It was cooler than usual but still I wanted ankle deep snow. The palms trees seemed out of place and there was no joy out of wearing a Christmas jumper in mild weather. However as far as I knew there was no choice, this was my lot. We were going to spend Christmas in Colorado so at least it was wintry there. So what if the lead up didn't feel quite right? At least I had Christmas Eve, day and Boxing Day wintry. It was just over a week before then, a few days before we officially broke up for school, so it wasn't long. However, what I didn't know was someone had other plans for me.

'EVIE, PHONE FOR YOU.' Lindsay shouted from downstairs. It was 10pm on Friday night and I was currently watching a film in Taliah's room. I groaned as I got out of bed and made Taliah promise to keep the film paused until I got back. It was typical, we're at a pivotal point in the film and we had to pause.

'Hello?' I said as I answered the phone.

'HELLOOO.' A voice screeched at me. I automatically winced and pulled the phone away from my ear.

'Hi, can you hear me?' I asked when I got my hearing back.

'EVIE, IS THAT YOU?'

'Yes Gran it's me. No need to shout. Why are you awake? It's like 6am at home.'

'Oh doll you know me, I like to get to breakfast nice an early. Wouldn't want to miss out on anything.' A woman after my own heart.

'Sounds about right.'

'It doesn't sound like you. Why're you talking funny?' Gran said.

'I'm not talking funny.'

'Well you never know with this international calling malarkey.'

'I promise Gran, it's me Evie.'

'If you say so love.'

I pulled a face but I refrained from saying anything.

'Now I'm just calling because I want to know when you're coming over.'

'What do you mean Gran?'

'Well it's almost Christmas. You'd think my last remaining grandchild would come and see her elderly relative over the festive period.'

'Gran, I think you're forgetting I live in another country, not down the road.'

'Well that's a rubbish excuse if I ever heard one. I'm old you know; I might not live until next year. I'm not like you youngsters, I'm on borrowed time.'

'Gran you know I'd love to come and see you but it's too late to organise something now.'

'Well. I hope you know how disappointed my friend Mary is going to be.'

I frowned as a racked my brain to put a face to the name.

'Who's Mary?'

'You know Mary! My friend from the retirement village. I told her all about you and she was so looking forward to meeting you.'

'Well I'm sorry to disappoint Mary Gran but that still doesn't change anything.'

'Humph.'

After another 10 minutes of being bombarded by questions, Gran rang off. Apparently she could smell bacon and that was more important than talking to her granddaughter that she so desperately missed, not.

'What was that about?' Lindsay asked as I put the phone down.

'My Gran wants me to visit her for Christmas.'

'Well do you want to?'

'I'd love to. Even if it was just a few days before Christmas itself but it's too late now. Unless I went like tomorrow.' I said as I filled up a glass of water.

'Anyway, I better get back upstairs before Taliah gets the hump because I'm taking too long.'

'Have fun.' Lindsay said as she went back into the lounge.

...

It was 7am the next morning when a knock at my bedroom door jolted me awake. Without even waiting for me to answer Lindsay barged into my room and made a beeline for my wardrobe.

'Morning?' I said groggily, as I rubbed sleep out of my eyes. Taliah and I ended up staying up past midnight so an early wakeup call was not treating me well.

'Do you have any warm clothes?' She asked throwing my wardrobe doors wide open.

'Warm clothes for what?'

'It's snowing outside. You need to bundle up warm.'

'Snowing? In California?' I looked around my room checking I was in fact awake and this wasn't a dream.

'Not here silly, in London.'

'Wait what?!' I said jumping out of bed. 'Do you mean-'

'That you, me and Taliah are getting on a flight this afternoon to London Heathrow? Yes, that's what I mean.'

I screamed out loud and tackled Lindsay. She spun me around and laughed at my outburst.

'Now hurry up and start packing. I've still got to tell that other snoring mess across the hall.'

'Wait we're seriously going? What about school and Colorado? And your job?'

'All sorted. Neither of you have any exams left so I don't see anything wrong with a couple days off school. It works out that we'll have just under a week in London and then we'll fly straight to Colorado on Christmas Eve. Work is also fine. It's my own company so I think I deserve some time off over Christmas.'

'I can't believe it Lindsay. Thank you!'

'You're welcome sweetheart.' She said ruffling my bed head.

'Now get packing and I'll awake the beast.'

I did as I was told and started packing some random clothes into a suitcase, just in time for Taliah to scream across the hall and come running into my room where we jumped up and down for a solid 10 minutes.

'I'M SO EXCITED!' Taliah screeched. 'What am I going to wear though?! This surprise has totally ruined my normal organisation routine that I've perfected so I don't forget anything.'

'Oh god don't get her started on her lists.' Harrison said as he wandered into my bedroom. I texted him as soon as I found out but he got here surprisingly quickly.

'Taliah, I think you're forgetting that we do have shops in England.'

'Yeah but...my system.' She said like someone with ocd looking at a crooked picture frame.

'Best get on with packing then.'

'You're right. Why am I standing here with you losers when I've got some much to do?!' Taliah said as she ran out of my bedroom and into hers.

I chuckled and turned around to wrap myself in Harrison's arms. He picked me up and kissed me like he hadn't only seen me yesterday afternoon.

'Morning.' He mumbled against my lips.

'Morning.' I said back, before giving him a quick kiss again and then let him set me back down.

'How did you manage to get here so quickly?'

'Lindsay may have told my mom and I last night when she was booking the tickets, so when you texted I was already on my way over.'

'And you kept it a secret!' I fake gasped.

'Only because I wanted to see the look on your face this morning. It was definitely worth it.'

'Fine, well then make yourself useful and help me pack.'

'Sure. I'll start with your underwear draw.' He said wiggling his eyebrows.

'On second thoughts I think you making yourself useful is sitting your ass down and being quiet.'

'Sounds good to me.' He said flopping down onto my bed and switching the tv on.

'Evie! Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets is on! It's like they knew!'

I glanced over at my boyfriend who looked more like a child on a sugar high right now than a 17-year-old boy. I couldn't resist myself. I walked over to when he was sat ran my hand through his hair.

'You're adorable.'

'Thanks.' He said as he slapped me on the bum.

I rolled my eyes and carried on packing. Thankfully it didn't take too long. I knew I had a lot of warm clothes back home so there was no point packing too much. After having a shower and changing into comfy clothes I cosied up next to Harrison and we finished watching Harry Potter together. Before we knew it we were all shoving our suitcases into the car and saying goodbye. I knew we were only going for a week but I was really going to miss Harrison. Even Taliah was on the phone to Lucas trying not to get mushy.

'I wish you could come with us.' I said as we stood by Simon's car.

'You know I'd love to but I can't miss any school.'

'Yeah I get it. I'm going to miss you though.'

'I bet. You're not going to have this body to cuddle up to.' He joked with a glint in his eyes, before hugging me so closely to him it was like we'd become one.

'I'm going to miss you too London. Text me when you take off and land.'

'I will. Bye.' I said before pecking him on the lips and getting into the car, letting him shut the door behind me. He waved us off and soon enough we were on the freeway on the way to the airport.

'Are you excited?' Taliah asked.

'I'm so excited! It's going to be..weird though.'

Taliah smiled and took my hand it hers.

'Yeah it will, but we're going to be with you.'

I squeezed her hand and went back to looking out of the window. She was right. With Taliah and Lindsay with me I felt like I could do anything.

The airport was busy but luckily it didn't take too long to get through to check in and security. Once we were through, we sat down at a restaurant eating and drinking until we had to go to the gate.

'Ok girls I might have one last surprise.' Lindsay said, with an excited look on her face.

'A good surprise?' Taliah asked.

'Of course.' She said, playfully shoving her daughter.

'When do we get to find out this surprise?' I asked.

'Soon.' Lindsay replied before walking away to join the queue to board the plane, leaving Taliah and I still standing there like idiots.

'I guess that means follow me?' Taliah shrugged before lugging her bag onto her back.

The queue went relatively fast and before we knew it one of the cabin crew was asking to see our ticket.

'Ah Laura's friends?' The woman asked Lindsay.

'That's us.' She replied, whilst ignoring the glances she was getting from Taliah and I.

'Right this way ladies.'

Instead of directing us right with the cattle class, she opened a curtain revealing the gloriousness that was first.

'You've got to be kidding me.' Taliah said as her jaw almost hit the floor.

'Is this the surprise?' I asked just before another crew member offered me a drink from a tray filled with different juices.

'Ok, so you know my friend Laura who works for American Airlines?' Lindsay directed to Taliah.

'She did this?!'

'Yep. She owed me a favour so I thought what better time to use it then a 10-hour flight?' Lindsay shrugged like it was no big deal and sat down in her cube like the queen she was.

'Lindsay, I can't tell you how much love I have for you right now.' I said as I too melted into the comfiest plane seat ever. I mean, I've flown first class before, but it's never been this nice.

'Yes and so you should.' She said sipping her orange juice.

'Now girls I'm going to put on a face mask and have a nap. Wake me up when we get there.' She pressed some kind of invisible button that lifted a shield between her and us.

'I'm getting a taste for ultra-rich lifestyle right now and I don't think I can ever come back from this.' Taliah whispered to herself mostly, I think.

'Oh Taliah you haven't seen anything yet.' I leant on the divider between our seats. 'The film selection is better than Netflix.'

Taliah turned to me wide eyed.

'Well that's it then. I'm screwed.'

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