This story's long, but I am really really proud of it. I would greatly appreciate it if you could read it and leave a comment saying that you read it (and, if you feel like talking, what you thought about it). Thank you! :3
My hands desperately grasped the armrests of my chair as the turbulence shook the plane, my knuckles turning ghostly white. My head pressed hard against the chair while my eyes stayed closed tight and I tried to control my breathing while feeling the cool breeze from the air vent above my head. My mantra played over and over in my head: “More people die from donkey attacks than plane crashes. A donkey is more likely to kill you than a plane. Stupid a.sses will attack before I die on this plane.” My heart gave a jolt as I heard a chuckle from my left. My eyes cautiously opened to take in the person sitting beside me. A smile from his laugh still lingered on his lips while thick blonde hair lay across his forehead in a mess. He looked at me with bright blue eyes as my mouth opened in confusion as to why he had laughed at me.
“You said that last part out loud,” he said, answering my wordless question. My cheeks blazed into a hot, deep red. The plane shook once again distracting me from my embarrassment and causing a small squeak to escape from my throat.
“You’re right, though,” the boy said, a soothing calmness to his voice. “You’re not going to die on this plane.” My hands loosened on the chair, his sure words making me believe him. Somewhat. My heart, though, was still at an alarming amount of beats per minute. I swallowed hard, my dry, nervous throat hurting once it happened.
“I don’t like planes that much,” I replied in a barely audible voice. The boy chuckled once again, lighting up his whole face. I couldn’t look away from his piercing eyes.
“I guessed that much,” he said. “I’m Nolan.” I peeled my hand from the armrest to shake his extended one, his rough hands sending tingles up my arm.
“Sophie.” My hand released his and flew back to the armrest as another jolt shook the plane.
“It’s nice to meet you,” he said. His words and facial expression gave no feeling of mockery. I was not afraid of Nolan judging me with my unexplainable fear of flying. I had felt this way while flying since I was little. Not having control, being in the hands of the pilot and engine and wings and oxygen masks that would pop out if there was an emergency – that was what scared me, yet I had no legitimate reason for the lack of trust I had while flying. It’s just how I was.
I didn’t feel with this boy, though, that I needed to explain all of that. I was just grateful for those few split seconds of comfort that he had given me.
“Is Seattle your final destination?” he asked, shutting the shade on the window so the setting sun didn’t blind us. I nodded in reply.
“Yeah. I go to school there,” I said, playing with my hair, my hands relaxed now that most of the turbulence had stopped. “How about you?”
“Just a pit stop.” He smiled distantly, glancing down the aisle at the stewardesses who had begun to serve drinks. My heart had dropped with his answer. I wanted it to be his final destination, too. Now I felt as if he would disappear, this boy whom I had no reason to feel connected to. Nolan glanced at me and smiled again while a warm feeling rushed through my body.
“Do you go to school?”
“Nope,” Nolan replied, shaking his head. His reply had a nonchalant quality to it, but his eyes told another story, like he wasn’t accepted to college or hadn’t had the money. I didn’t dare ask for an explanation for the unexplainable, though. I wasn’t a hypocrite.
My heart skipped a beat as a stewardess with bright red lipstick and black-dyed hair dipped her head down to our level, breaking the two of us out of our quiet, peaceful conversation. “Would you like a drink?” she asked, smiling wide. Nolan ordered a soda while I settled for water, knowing that the bubbles of the soda would only disrupt the little comfort I had developed in my stomach while talking to Nolan.
We sipped on our drinks while he reopened the shade on the window. The sun had gone below the clouds, illuminating them to bright pinks and reds, the beautiful image making me question why I was afraid of flying.
“What’s the pit stop in Seattle for?” I ventured. Nolan’s eyes stayed on the remnants of the sunset while he answered.
“I’m visiting a friend. I haven’t seen him for years.”
The pilot interrupted us, announcing that our descent would be in a few minutes. I frowned. I wanted more time with Nolan. I didn’t want this feeling – of contentedness – to end. My mind wandered, imagining the two of us together off the plane, exploring the city of Seattle, cuddling by a fireplace as the snow fell during the soon-to-come winter, going to concerts of the obscure bands I knew from college because I loved them and he loved what I loved. These thoughts ran quickly through my mind as turbulence once again disturbed the atmosphere of the plane.
My hand shot out to grasp the armrest, completely knocking over my water. I scrambled to clean up the mess with my dainty napkin the stewardess had given me while Nolan assisted with his tiny napkin, too. The edge of his sweatshirt rode up on his arm as he reached toward the other side of my tray, revealing the soft patch of skin on the inside of the wrist.
I stopped trying to fix the spill as I stared at the skin, one long, thick, pale colored scar running sideways on his wrist, breaking the flow of his tan skin. Nolan stopped cleaning as he saw me looking. I glanced away to the other side of the plane as his arm retracted, pulling down the sleeve.
“Sophie,” he said, quietly. I tried to control the sadness and shock on my face. “Soph.” It was my nickname that finally got me to look into those beautiful blue eyes, full of hurt.
“We’re all scared of something,” he said.
And I nodded.
No explanation needed for the unexplainable.