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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. A year and a half 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 4 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, smartasses, 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 customer service desk. In total, there were probably 60 other people waiting. Primarily ordinary people you wouldn’t bother being around you because they somehow seem to know what the word ‘boundary’ means. But of course, I get to stand between the oversharing Pop and a maybe 16-year-old guy who, for some reason, finds it amusing to poke his pointed finger into my back. The older fellow in front of me was 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.

Only 5:25 pm. You usually could see arriving and departing airplanes on the runway through the big windows to the left. Now, there was just a dark black void, turning the glass into mirrors, throwing back the sad, tired after-holiday spirit of people stranded in an airport. I slightly turned my head to get a look at the reflection of that prick behind me. His head jutted out of the masses, with his black short side long top hairstyle with bangs. A thick red winter jacket was waving in his arms as if he was a torero attracting a bull. I wanted to get a good look at his face because, somehow, something about him seemed familiar, more than some random dude usually would. But there was no use. The image was fuzzed by snow constantly hitting the windows.

As he started to move his poking game from my upper back slowly downward 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 will be able to live in peace in an instant.

“What the fuck is your problem. Are you gay or what?”

“Would that be a problem for you?”

As I finally fixated my eye on his face, the guy was smiling at me as if he was crazy, and by the guy, I mean someone I used to know. Fuck. He didn’t just look familiar. He actually was. I closed my eyes for a moment to realize who was standing right behind me. Conor Hart, my former linebacker on our middle school football team and my best friend until… well, we fell apart, one could say.

“What the… What are you doing here?”

“I’m waiting in line and thought it would be fun to tease you, Ash.”

Conor didn’t look like the guy anymore that I outed in front of our whole group and shoved into a swimming pool the last time I saw him. Yep, that’s what I did—destroying his friendships, self-confidence, and probably his phone after he betrayed me. Not one of my proudest moments and probably not his fondest memory either. How can he then be so amused to see me right now?

“How long have you….”

“Almost 20 Minutes, but you are still self-focused as always,” he laughed.

I wasn’t in the mood for that. In fact, I wasn’t prepared to meet someone from my past who probably wouldn’t want to share the nostalgia with me. And I certainly wasn’t ready to meet him, of all people.

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 his head 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. I put in my headphones to pretend to listen to something until the guy in front of me finally finished telling the service dude his life story.

I wanted to rest my eyes on something aesthetically pleasing, but… Why are airports always so fucking ugly? Every wall around me was either white, grey, or plastered with commercials. The white lighting doesn’t help. At least it was not as crowded as it got 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.

Just as I wondered if the man in front of me was done before we all passed away of boredom, he walked away, already on the lookout for his next victim. I grabbed my backpack and stomped up to the airline dude. It was finally my turn to scream at him.

“I hope you had a nice Christmas. How are you today?” he asked with a smile that was so professional that he seemed to be either a psycho-killer or heavily drugged. I hated everything about his perfect 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’m pissed. 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 the age of 14. 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 go for yourself.” First, I was overwhelmed by the joy of being allowed to travel, not knowing that I had to be accompanied by some annoying Airline Guardian who kept telling me what to do and treating me like a high-security criminal. She made me wait in a play area with 8-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 15, I could opt to go alone. And thankfully, my parents allowed it.

“I’m 16. No,” I answered harshly to the Service Dudes’ insult. “I’m probably more used to flying solo than you.”

“Yeah, I bet,” Conor commented so loud 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 a year and a half, he seems to have become way cockier. Slowly, I stomped in his direction, but the Service Guy interrupted my beginning attack straightaway.


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

“The storm will probably have worn off 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.”

As he hacked the necessary information into his computer, I rolled my eyes while trying my best to ignore Conor’s chuckling behind me.

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 wide 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.

Wandering around 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 best 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 look at me when I don’t know where to put all these stupid emotions. ’Calm down.’ ‘Don’t behave like a child.’ ‘You are such a drama queen.’ I heard them all. As if that would help. All it does is make me even more furious.

I was strolling in front of 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, slowly approaching from behind. Thanks to my 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 slowly 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 immediately 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 go to a motel together. Unless you would want that, of course.”

I huffed. What was he trying to do here? I peeked at my watch—still, almost 14 hours to go. It was a tough call: Possible awkward conversation vs. a whole night of utterly boringness. Ugh, fuck it. I can always leave if it gets too unpleasant.

“Okay, what the heck. 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?

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