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Your Picture On My Phone

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A snowbound airport. Two teenage boys. Unspoken Feelings. — The last time Asher saw Conor, he outed him in front of his friends and pushed him into a swimming pool. Not because he hated him. But he was young, felt betrayed, and didn’t know how to handle his anger. Two and a half years later, now living on different coasts, they find each other again in an airport. Thanks to a snowstorm, they are trapped and decide to spend the night together. Will they manage to leave the past behind them and confront their deeply buried feelings for one another, or will they lose each other forever?

Romance / Other
Sam Hensley
5.0 5 reviews
Age Rating:


I have always hated traveling alone, but to be honest, I hate almost everything. That includes but is not limited to winter, waiting in line, canceled flights, having nothing to do, small talk, smart-asses, my parents, and people that try to test my patience for whatever reasons.

Good for me that almost all of these things were part of my reality while I waited alone in line at the airport customer service desk.

My smartphone reminded me that it was only 5:25 pm. You can usually see arriving and departing airplanes on the runway through the tall windows to the left. Now, there was just a dark black void filled with snow, turning the glass into mirrors—throwing back the sad, tired after-holiday spirit of people stranded in an airport.

In total, I could spot about sixty people behind me. Most of them seemed to be just as annoyed as me, which made me feel better for some reason. In front of me was only one guy. Oversharing Pop-type. His black trench coat was so long that it made him look like the retiree version of a Matrix character. And his hat (one of those black ones with a wide brim and a grey band wrapped around them) just looked stupid. It drove me nuts how he was living his best life, joking with the airline dude as if it was funny that all of our flights got canceled due to the heaviest blizzard in the last decade. I groaned, hoping he would notice that he wasn’t the only person in the world. But his trolley case waiting behind him was almost like a wall, shielding the entire world from them.

Just as I was about to bawl at him to finish his shit up, I got distracted by someone behind me, who, for some reason,found it amusing to poke a pointed finger into my back.

I took a deep breath. I can’t explode at a kid. Not again. Don’t want to have that call to my parents a second time. So I turned my head to the windows to get a look at the reflection of whomever the culprit was. But it wasn’t a kid. That prick behind me was about my age! His head jutted out of the crowd, with his black short side long top hairstyle with bangs. A thick red winter jacket wagged in his arms as if he was a torero attracting a bull.

But something about him isn’t...

I wanted to check out his face because he somehow seemed… familiar. More than some random dude usually would.

I focused my eyes on his reflection. But it was of no use. The mirror image was fuzzy, thanks to snow constantly hitting the windows.

What’s his deal? Why is he poking at my back? If he wanted to talk to me about something, that’s what he’d probably do.

As he started to move his poking game from my upper back down into the direction of my butt, I lost it. I had to do something about it.

Turn around, give his ass a motherload full of shit, and you can live in peace in an instant.

“What the fuck is your problem! Are you trying to come onto me, or what?”

“Would that be a problem for you?”

When I finally got my eyes on his face, the guy smiled at me like he was crazy.


Not only did he look familiar, but indeed he was. I closed my eyes for a moment to realize who I had just screamed at. Conor Hart, my former linebacker on our middle school football team and… my best friend until—

“What the… What are you doing here?”

“I’m waiting in line, Ash. Just like you.”

Conor wasn’t the short guy anymore that I outed in front of all of our friends and shoved into a swimming pool the last time I saw him. (Yep, that’s what I did after he betrayed me—destroying his friendships, self-confidence, and most certainly his phone. Not one of my proudest moments and, in all likelihood, not his fondest memory either.)

How can he be so amused to see me now?

“How long have you….”

“Almost thirty minutes, but you are still inattentive as always,” he laughed.

Why does it have to be him, of all people? I’m not prepared to meet someone from my past who probably wouldn’t want to share the nostalgia with me.

I gruffly replied with a “Fuck off” and turned away to see if the older man before me had finally found his ticket. Conor smiled so presumptuously that even the indistinct reflection in the windows couldn’t hide it. Without warning, he leaned toward my ears and whispered, “Wanna grab a bite after waiting in line?” I winced as his breath tingled my ears.

“Why would I?” I barked without looking at him and plugged in my headphones to pretend to listen to something until the guy in front of me finished telling the service dude his life story.

I wanted to rest my eyes on something aesthetically pleasing, to get my thoughts away from what just happened, but… Why are airports always so ugly? Every wall around me was either white, grey, or plastered with commercials for dream vacations in Hawaii or dog food. The white hospital lighting didn’t help, either. At least it was not as crowded as it had been last year after the holiday season. Probably because most people were smart enough not to come here in the first place. Thanks to my cheap but nonrefundable ticket for a connecting flight with a stop in this shithole of a town, I didn’t have that choice.

I wondered if the man in front of me would finish his gabfest before we all died of boredom. With his right hand, he raised his black hat and curtseyed to the service guy as if he wanted to woo him with his last-century behavior. Locking his view on the airline dude’s everlasting smile, he stepped back, not realizing that he had his last-century trolley case set up as a trap behind him. And, of course, he stumbled backward and lost his balance.


I jumped forward, throwing my arms around his back, and pressed my whole body weight against him so he wouldn’t break his neck. And it worked. But almost as if he enjoyed lying in my arms, he didn’t even try to get back up on his feet.

I hate having to save other people from their own stupidity.

“Come on, you’re heavier than you look,” I grunted and pressed my feet into the grey floor tiles to push him back onto his feet. His hat, which had been squished behind my chest and his body, fell to the ground. I squatted down and picked it up.

“And here I thought my days of working as a stuntman were over twenty years ago,” the old dude joked.

Oh no. He’s not going to tell me his life story, too now, is he?

“Well, thanks for your assistance, young man,” he laughed as he snatched his battered hat out of my hand. And as if he could read my thoughts that all I wanted was for him to finally leave, he walked away without another word.

I glanced over my shoulder, and everyone in the line (including Conor) was staring at me as if this guy tripping into my arms was the most exciting thing that had happened in the last century. Conor smiled gratefully at me.

Stop this nonsense. I have no time for that.

So I marched up to the airline dude. It was ultimately my turn to scream at him.

“I hope you had an enjoyable Christmas. How are you today, young lifesaver?” he asked with a smile that was so professional that he seemed to be either heavily drugged or a psycho-killer. I hated everything about his flawless appearance: his dark blue suit, his wrinkle-free white shirt, the red tie, and his disturbingly white blend-a-med smile.

“Yeah, no small talk. I was supposed to fly to DC in half an hour.”

He kept creepily showing me his teeth as I handed him my ticket and ID.

“Unaccompanied minor?”

Those two words raised some unpleasant memories. The first time I traveled alone was at fourteen. I wanted to visit my grandparents, and I still remember how my Dad towered over me and declared with a stern face, “Sure, but we don’t have time for that. So you have to be a man and do it alone.” First, I was overwhelmed by the joy of being allowed to travel,not knowing I had to be accompanied by some annoying airline guardian. The woman (who looked like she could have been the customer service dude’s sister) kept telling me what to do and treated me like a high-security criminal. She made me wait in a play area with eight-year-olds. I was so furious that I kept purposely farting, only to blame one of the kids for it right away. When I turned fifteen, I could opt to go alone. And thankfully, my parents allowed it.

“I’m almost seventeen. No,” I barked in response to the Service Dudes’ insult. “I’m probably more used to flying solo than you are.”

“Yeah, I bet,” Conor commented so loudly that several people around us started snickering.

“You got a problem?”

I glared at Conor because he was seriously starting to piss me off. After not seeing each other for two and a half years, he seemed far more cockier. Slowly, I stomped in his direction, but the Service Guy interrupted my incipient attack straightaway.


I looked daggers at him, ready to pounce if he uttered the wrong word.

“We expect the storm to be over by tomorrow morning. There is another flight scheduled for 7:50 am where seats are still available. Is that all right with you, Sir?”

“Ugh, fine.” I rolled my eyes while trying my best to ignore Conor’s chuckles behind me as the service guy hacked the necessary information into his computer.

After what felt like an hour, my rebooked ticket and ID were handed back to me.

“Thank you for choosing Delta Airlines. Have a great day.”

“Yeah,” I growled and wandered off, trying to get away from him, Conor, and everyone else as far as possible. What now? It was 5:53 pm, and I had fucking 14 hours to kill in an airport in the middle of nowhere.

Roaming through the concrete airport building was boring and infuriated me even more. Overpriced shops with unfriendly people working in them, looking at every customer stupid enough to walk inside as if they were at fault for the staff’s bad mood.

I would have liked to do something athletic now because that always cools me down—running, swimming, tackling someone to the ground, anything. If only I could.

I know it’s not my most attractive feature, but I always freak out about the most superficial shit. Maybe someday I will find out why that is. But what is the funniest thing about this? I loathe being angry. I despise how people peer at me when I don’t know where to put all these stupid emotions. ’Calm down.’ ‘You’re acting crazy.’ ‘Don’t behave like a child.’ I heard them all. As if that would help. All it does is make me even more furious.

I was strolling past a massage parlor when my phone vibrated—a text message from Mom.

Any news? And please, DON’T LEAVE THE AIRPORT.

You don’t have to use all capital letters on me, Mom.

I tried calling her earlier, but due to the snowstorm, the connection was lousy.

I typed a message back, explaining everything, as I noticed someone setting their eyes on me, approaching from behind. Thanks to my high school football career, I have a sixth sense for stuff like that. Looking through the corner of my eye while pretending to be still writing, my hunch was confirmed. A hand inconspicuously moved toward my bag, and just as it was within reach, I grabbed the perp’s wrist and twisted it around with full force.

“You are not going to rob me, little Fuck.”

With a sudden counter twist, the culprit freed himself and laughed.

Of course, it was Conor.

“No need to be so aggressive, Ash,” he remarked calmly.

“Why do you keep sneaking up on me?”

“Why shouldn’t I?”

He patted me briefly on the shoulder as if it was just fun and games.

“Do you also have real answers, or did they get lost when you moved away?”

“I’m hungry. We are both stuck. Perfect opportunity to catch up, isn’t it?” I eyed him to find out if he had an ulterior motive. “Come on. It’s not like I’m asking you to check into a motel together. Unless you want that, of course.”

I huffed. What was he trying to do here? I peeked at my watch—still, almost fourteen hours to go. It was a tough call: Possible awkward conversation vs. a whole night of utter boredom.

“Nice move, by the way, saving the older man.”

“Ugh, fuck it.” I can always leave if it gets too unpleasant. “But don’t try anything funny on me!”

“You wouldn’t like that, would you?” He smirked at me with a dirty grin. Why is it so fucking easy for him to talk to me like that after everything that’s happened between us in the past?

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