The Flight

By Maggie All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Humor

Hour 2

Every song in Some Girls played in my headphones while I read, Nick is about to meet Gatsby for the first time – One of my favorite parts of the book – But then I feel the cart of the stewardess stop in front of our seats. I was really deep into the story and I was looking forward to keep reading, great timing to stop by. I take my headphones off and look at the lady with a smile, the smell of different kind of foods instantly fills my nostrils.

“Should we wake him first?” She asks me with a polite smile, hiding her giggles.

I glance at the sleeping boy next to me, he looks so peaceful while sleeping but if he doesn’t eat right now he will not eat until they serve the next meal, which is probably an hour before landing and that is nine hours from now. If the rules on the plane weren’t that strict with the times they serve the food I would have let him sleep a little more. He really looks adorable while sleeping.

“Yeah, sure.” I say, pressing the pause button on my iPod and putting my book inside of my bag. “Jack.” I say, poking his arm slightly.

He doesn’t move, I think he didn’t even feel my finger on him.

“Jack.” I shake his arm now, his lips leaving small sounds of protests. “Jack, wake up. Time for dinner.”

"Mmhm.” He groans, hugging the pillow tighter and trapping my hand in it.

“Um... Please, release my hand.” I try to take it out of his tight embrace, I’m already nervous around him and the contact does not help. He groans one last time but after a few seconds of protesting he releases it.

He opens his eyes slowly, light-green bright eyes looking directly at me. He looks confused for a moment but then he comes back to reality, a small smile appearing on his lips. I can’t help but look at him and return the smile. What is going on with me?

His cheeks are a bit rosy from his nap and just his stare makes mine blush as well. He furrows his brows, yawning without covering his mouth.

“Good morning.” I say trying to control my nervousness, a smile plastered on my face. He looks really cute when he is sleepy.

Frances, control yourself.

“What time is it?” His voice is raspy, his body is still laying horizontally on the made-up bed that is our seat.

“Would you like vegan, chicken, steak or salmon?” The hostess asks, taking him by surprise.

I hide my laugh when he jumps on his seat at the sound of her voice, turning to look at her from his spot.

"Jesus!" He looks at her, widening his eyes and moving a hand to his chest. I let a small laugh out, shaking my head and placing my iPod and headphones away.

“I’ll take the steak, please.” I say to the air hostess, she instantly kneels taking a plate from her cart and placing it in front of me.

“Would you like red wine with your food, miss?” She asks politely, I shake my head.

“I’d love to but I’m not legal yet.” I say while I move the sleeves of his sweater that I’m wearing up my arms, taking the napkin and placing it over my thighs.

“There’s no age limit on airplanes.” Jack says to me, looking amused. Well, I didn’t know that. “She’s having the wine.”

She looks confused at first but then she places a glass of wine in front of me and fills it. The table is big enough to hold everything in it and there’s still a lot of empty room. The life of the richest, the space is definitely a luxury in planes.

“And for you, sir?” She asks Jack, who is still a little sleepy but his seat is now in its previous position, now sitting straight.

“Chicken, please.” He licks his lips before speaking, holding his head on his hand.

“Would you like white wine with it?” The hostess asks, but he shakes his head.

“Just a Pellegrino.” He says, clearing his throat grabbing his fork.

“Right away, sir.” She says moving the cart front and walking away.

We both start eating in silence, just the sound of our cutlery against our plates filling our booth. It’s still strange to me to have him sitting beside me, I know he is just a normal person but I don’t know how to act. What should I say to him? I decide to just focus on my food and have a little small talk, it’s the best option here.

“Did you sleep well?” I ask, taking a piece of the steak in my mouth. This may be first class, but the food still tastes like airplane food, which is not that good.

“Yeah, I did... Until someone woke me up.” He looks at me narrowing his eyes, taking the bottle of water the hostess just placed on his table, opening the tap.

“Well, in my defense...” I swallow my food, turning to look at him for a moment. “You were snoring.”

“Really?” He chuckles, putting the bottle down and starting to slice his chicken.

“Yeah, soft little snores.” I say, trying to make more conversation. “You must be really tired to snore.”

I start moving the tomatoes out of my salad making a little disgust face; I have never been a fan of tomatoes. He seems to notice what I do in my plate because without my permission, he pinches the tomatoes with his fork and moves them to his plate, taking one of them to his mouth. I stop moving my cutlery for a moment.

“Not so tired really, my septum is not aligned with my nose so I don’t breathe properly.” He explains, taking another tomato out of my plate, like if it was the most normal thing to do.Okay. “So... You like The Rolling Stones but you don’t like tomatoes? That’s weird.”

“Andyoulike to touch everyone’s food, I see.” I turn to look at him hiding a grin. “And snoop in their iPods.” I press my lips together; his expression is way too funny. “And I’m the weird one.”

“Touché.” He chuckles, taking the last tomato from my plate and then focusing on his. “Any other food you don’t like?”

“Mmm...” I move my lips to a side, pinching a potato in my plate and playing with it. “I don’t like anything that’s bittersweet, it just doesn’t make sense for me.”

“I bet there’s an explanation behind this.” He says stopping his cutting, looking at me.

“I mean...” I’ve been doing so great at hiding my nervousness but actually feeling his eyes on me is kind of intimidating. I take a deep breathe before speaking. “You can’t be sweet and bitter at the same time. How does it even work? It’s like bipolar food.”

“So you don’t like gummy worms?” He looks offended out of a sudden.

“Nope.” I say returning my eyes to my food.

“Lemonade?” He tilts his head to a side.

“No...” I take a bite to my mouth.

“Okay... What about...” He moves his fork in the air, a piece of chicken pinched on it. “Brownies.”

“No, I- Okay, maybe brownies.” I give up, you can’t say no to brownies. “But its like the only thing.”

He remains quiet for a few minutes, just eating in silence. I do the same; my plate is almost empty along with my glass. Without me asking he calls the air hostess for a refill, she comes right away with the wine filling my cup once again. So far, he has been really attentive towards me. It’s kind of cute.

“Thank you.” He says to the lady once she finish filling my cup, leaving us right after.

“Thank you.” I say to him grabbing my glass, moving it up and taking a sip. Since I was eighteen, my parents have let me have a glass of wine with meals, it’s one of my favorite drinks and it goes really well with steak or pasta. “And what about you? You don’t like wine?”

“Not really.” He takes his final bite in his mouth, leaving the fork and knife over his plate. “I’m not a big fan of alcohol in general.”

“Oh, that’s... Strange.” I raise an eyebrow while looking at the rest of my food. I literally can’t take another bite. “Why?” I can’t help but ask.

"It just doesn’t make sense for me.” He looks at me mocking me with my own words, making me roll my eyes.

“Come on, get serious.” I chuckle, turning to look at him from my seat.

“I don’t know, I just don’t like it.” He shrugs, moving his eyes to his empty plate. “People use it as a way to have fun and I don’t need it. Plus, it tastes horrible.”

Well, that’s a surprise. I totally thought of him as a person that gets wasted every night and day, partying non-stop with his band and causing trouble in hotels or so.

“Wine is pretty good.” I say, taking the glass close to my lips. “So you don’t drink, at all?”

“Of course I do, from time to time.” He chuckles, staring at me. “I’m not that lame. I just prefer not to.”

“What’s your favorite drink?” I ask, taking a sip from my glass and leaving the cup close to my mouth. I don’t know where did the question came from but he doesn’t seem to matter.

“Piñas coladas.” He says with a funny Spanish accent. “I bet you weren’t expecting that.”

“I definitely wasn’t.” I take another sip, suppressing my laugh.

The air hostess stops once again in front of our booth, taking our plates and cleaning the little tables. I sip the rest of my drink in a gulp and I give her the empty glass, asking for a bottle of water as well.

“Want any dessert? We have strawberry cheesecake and crème brulee.” She looks at the both of us expectantly.

“Crème brulee for me.” I say, I know I said I was satisfied but there’s always room for dessert.

“Mind if we share one? I don’t feel like eating one by myself.” Jack asks me, stopping my hand from grabbing the spoon the attendant just placed in my table.

“Uh, sure, yeah I... I can share.” I say nervously, feeling his touch on my hand.

A few days ago when I was packing my bags and thinking about the flight, I would have never thought I was going to get transferred to first class, let alone sit next to a rock star like him. The weird thing is, he doesn’t act like the celebrity I thought he was. So far he is not obnoxious, he is definitely not self-absorbed, he is very nice. I mean, he just asked me to share a flan with him. We met an hour ago or so.

In any other circumstances, I would have refused his offer. But... For some reason I don’t mind. After all, its just dessert.

“Two spoons then.” The hostess says placing the plate in the middle and another spoon for him. “Enjoy your dessert.”

“Thank you.” He says for the both of us. “Ladies first.”

He moves his spoon over the plate, waiting for me to break the crust on top first. I do it hiding the excitement in my face, it’s a strange pleasurable feeling to break the caramel of a crème brulee. We both start eating right away. For being an airplane dish, it tastes amazing. We take turns on taking bites, a silence filling our booth, just our sudden ′mmm′ sounds thanks to the exquisite flan.

“Did you notice...” He says suddenly, licking his spoon and looking around of us in the cabin. “That we are rounded by old Chinese men?”

I look around taking a look to the passengers in the cabin. He’s right. By the look of their outfits they look like businessmen, all of them are wearing suits with matching ties and neatly made toupee pompadours. I guess I have been too focused on other things that I didn’t take a look to the rest of the people in here.

“We are.” I say with humor in my voice, he is narrowing his eyes looking at the distance.

“What if we are trapped in a Jackie’s Chan movie?” He moves his eyes all over the place in a suspicious way, moving his hands up in a Kung-Fu way, the spoon still between his fingers.

I burst out laughing, covering my mouth and trying not to spill the bite I just take.

“You’re insane.” I control my laugh, grabbing the bottle and taking a sip.

“Maybe they all are ninjas waiting to attack us when we are not paying attention.” He looks at me, widening his eyes. I can’t control the giggles; he is acting like a little kid. “I will protect you, damsel in distress.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s the job of prince charming.” I laugh, placing the bottle on the table. “Not Kung Fu Panda.”

“Alright, okay.” He moves his hands up, hiding a smile on his lips. “You can protect yourself then.”

“Girl power.” I say, making him laugh this time.

Soon enough the attendant came to clear our tables asking us if we needed anything else but we politely said no. I rest my back on the seat, closing the table in front of me. He does the same, stretching his legs in front of him.

“My stomach is going to explode.” He sighs, moving his hands to his tummy.

“Same.” I say, grabbing my phone to check the messages.

We both keep ourselves busy in our own things for quite some time. I check my phone finding some messages from my sister asking me about him but the truth is, I don’t know how to respond. It also feels awkward because I have him sitting right next to me.

How does he smell like? Why is that important? I reply with the truth. ‘Like... Some after shave.’

Is he as beautiful as in the pictures?He is not unpleasant to the eyes.

Who am I kidding? He is hot. I decide to answer with the truth.

Is he hitting on you?I decide to now answer that, just because it makes me feel uncomfortable just by thinking of it. He is still a stranger after all.

After answering her questions I find myself scrolling through my camera roll, pictures of sunsets and the view from the valley almost filling the entire gallery. I can’t help but sigh; those are memories that are going to stay with me forever.

I remember calling Becca, one of my friends from high school that sadly moved away right after we graduated, to go surfing every Saturday at six A.M. There wasn’t a single Saturday I didn’t spend on the beach until noon, it was my little routine. After she moved away I kept going by myself, my sister came with me a few times but it wasn’t the same.

Then I started college, I made some new friends that were not into surfing so I was destined to go alone. Having a different group of friends really changed me, to the point that in the last year I only went surfing a few times, I can count those times with my hands. It wasn’t their fault, or Ben’s, or anyone really, I just changed to the point of not recognizing my face in the mirror. It’s something that really disgusts me. And now looking at my old pictures I start to realize how different I’ve become.

I put my phone aside, all that thinking is getting through my veins. I need to distract myself. I look around the cabin, most of the people here are focused on the screen in front of them and some of them already sleeping. My eyes stop at the guy sitting next to me; he is playing a game in his phone with a very focused face.

“I’m bored.” I say out loud, he raises an eyebrow not moving his eyes away from his phone.

“So?”

“So... Maybe we could watch that boxing movie you told me about.” I bite down my bottom lip, suddenly feeling like I’m bothering him.

He huffs after a second, rolling his eyes. “I told you it’s not just about boxing.” He stops his game, finally looking up.

“You could be lying.”

“Now I have to prove it to you.” He slides his phone inside the pocket of his jeans, moving his hand to his screen looking for the movie.

“Sounds fair.” I do the same in my screen.

I plug my headphones in and accommodate my body in the seat, resting my head in the pillow and rolling the sleeves of his hoodie down my arms making sweater paws. I still don’t understand why he made me change but at least I’m more comfy with his big sweater on.

“Ready?” He asks and I nod my head, pressing play to my movie. “No... No, let’s try to synch it.”

“Oh, okay. At the count of three?” I glance at him for a second.

“Yeah. One, two...”

“Three.” He presses it when I say three but I didn’t. “I thought it was after the three, not during.”

“Okay, let’s try one more time.” He says pressing stop and then again.

We try a couple of times, but each time failing for a couple of seconds. It seems to stress him but it’s quite comical for me.

“You know what?” He turns off his screen, moving closer to me. “Let’s just watch it in yours.”

Without my permission he takes one of my earbuds out of my ears and puts it on. I stay there without moving, just looking at him.

“What? It’s better this way.” He says moving his shoulders up and down accommodating in his seat, scooting a little closer to me.

Does he know anything about personal space? No? Okay.

“Ready?” I ask this time, moving the thoughts of him being this close to me off my head. Not that I mind...

The movie starts, my eyes are trying their best to remain focus on the screen. The movie rolls introducing Frankie, the character played by Clint Eastwood, he is a boxing trainer that owns a gym. In the first twenty minutes of the movie he loses his pupil that leaves him to train with another manager. So far the movie its just about boxing.

“Clint also directed the movie. Isn’t that impressive?” Jack adds, hugging one of the pillows to his chest.

Through the movie he keeps adding small fun facts about the production, like how much did the actress train to get ready for the role or how many awards it won. I guess he really likes this movie to know this much about it.

The movie keeps going, his comments have stopped and I just focus in the movie. Frankie finally accepted to train Maggie, she dreams with being a champion in boxing, that’s very impressive.

Somehow, I feel a little jealous of Maggie’s character. She has all her goals in life set up, she seems really secure about herself. And there she is, working really hard to make her dreams come true, training and throwing punches non-stop. I can’t help but think about myself, a lost girl that doesn’t even know what she wants. I move the thoughts away and just watch the movie, not helping the slight frown on my face.

Soon enough the fights came, and with that, the blood. There’s something I can’t stand and that is the red color of the dripping thick blood, even when is fake. I squint my eyes at each punch, finding myself closing my eyes shut during the fights.

“You should have told me you didn’t like box.” He says more in like a whisper, is now that I’m realizing how close we are from each other, his mouth at the same height of my ear.

How did this happen?

“I don’t mind it... It’s...” I glance at the screen for a minute, still finding a red blooded face. “It’s the blood.”

“Oh.” He grimaces, returning his eyes to the movie. “I’ll let you know when the blood scenes stop.”

“Thanks.” I say lowly, still covering my eyes with my hands.

“But you should know there are going to be a hell more.” He adds, letting a small chuckle out.

The movie continues and he was right, a lot of blood was included in the movie, especially in the fighting parts. ”Blood." He said every time a scene that included blood appeared on the screen.

I don’t know how did I end up laying my head in his shoulder while I cover my eyes but he doesn’t seem to mind - And I don’t mind either.

After more minutes of fight scenes, I start to grow sleepy. I don’t know if it was because I kept my eyes closed a lot during the movie or because the lights of the cabin turned dimmed, but in the middle of a discussion between Maggie and Frankie, my eyes started to feel heavy. The movie is really interesting and he is right, the movie is not just about boxing. You get really into the life of the characters and the plot, but I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

And with that, right in the middle of the movie, I drift to sleep, my head laying on his shoulder like if it was the most natural thing to do.

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