Hey everyone! What I have for you today is in response to another Writer’s Digest prompt, that I decided to write into a longer story, with multiple chapters. If you enjoyed this or wanted to write your own story, you can find the prompt here. Here we go, I hope you enjoy the first part of Flight!
Nobody I knew loved to fly more than me. I love the feeling you get during takeoff and the descent, when your stomach feels like it’s sinking and full of butterflies. I was flying to see some family in Georgia, so I would land at the Atlanta airport, with one layover in Chicago. The first flight to Chicago was beautiful- sunny, smooth, uneventful. The old lady next to me sat and read a romance novel next to me, as I focused on watching whatever movie I had picked to pass the time. When boarding the plane in Chicago, I was seated next to a handsome stranger, and I couldn’t just not speak at all. Sure, it was only an hour ride, but I’m sure talking with him would make the ride feel like just a few minutes. I stuffed my carry-on into the small bin above us, and hastily sat down next to him, fussing with my hair for half of a second before observing him slyly.
He was gorgeous, and from somewhere beachy, without a doubt. He had the shaggy blonde hair that he combed back out of his deep, dark blue eyes. He was hunched over the seat table in front of him, clearly engrossed in whatever book he was reading. The flight attendants made final rounds on the plane, making sure everyone had their seatbelt on and that all the seat tables were up until we were in the air. “Sir,” she snapped, “You need to put the seat table up right away until we are in the air, we will announce when you can put the table back down.” He nodded politely and quickly put his book away, when he finally acknowledged my presence.
“What’s a pretty girl like you doing flying all by herself?” He smiled lazily. My God, I cannot resist, but I can’t tell him about my real, boring life..
“It’s the only time I get any privacy from my security team,” I chuckled. “Technically, I’m not even alone, the team is stationed all through this plane, mostly sitting in the back.” I smiled. “I’m Diana, by the way,” I continued as I extended my hand. He shook it slowly and gently, and smiled again before responding.
“I’m Nick,” He paused, “It’s nice to meet you, pretty girl Diana.” I giggled as I pulled my hand back. “Tell me something about you,” he insisted, “Pretty girls are always so interesting.”
I sighed dreamily, before launching into a fake life story about how I was a rising author, and how I got my start by writing blogs and advice columns for the local paper in my small town, before my agent whisked me away to live in sunny San Diego. I ended with the fact that I’ll be in Atlanta for a business trip regarding book signings and other housekeeping items for a new book I was writing, before departing back to San Diego early next week. He was completely mesmerized by me, and didn’t stop me or question me once about the possibility of my story being true. I felt bad for lying to a beautiful stranger who seemed so into me. “So,” I added, “now that you know why I’m in Atlanta, what will you be doing here?”
“You know, I always just wanted to explore the city, see the South,” he replied. “After one of your all important meetings, miss Diana, I’m sure we could explore the city together, maybe have a night on the town with dinner and a drink?” The offer was nice and genuine, but knowing I just lied straight to his face, about the most ridiculous things, I wouldn’t be able to go on a date with him. There was no way, and he would find out I lied. What’s a relationship without trust?
“Nick, that’s really sweet of you, but I really am terribly busy,” I hesitated before responding. “I mean, if I did happen to have some free time, I would totally accept, but-”
“Then it’s settled,” he cut me off, sweetly. He opened the contacts app on his phone, and handed it to me, holding his hand out for my phone. I smiled and agreed, and we plugged our phone numbers into the phones. As I typed mine in, I felt seriously guilty, and when he asked for a picture with me to set as the contact picture, it continued to escalate. Luckily, we were just waiting for the doors to the plane to open, before I could grab my luggage and run, run away. He shook my hand one last time at the baggage claim, as he reminded me that he looks forward to hearing from me again. Great job, Diana, I scolded myself, you’ve really outdone yourself now!
The naive part of me wanted to believe I would never see him again, and that he wouldn’t have to worry about the crazy lies he was told, but the adult in me knew there was no way I was that lucky. He would find out, and he wouldn’t trust me anymore, and then I would hit a downward spiral and be an alcoholic at the age of twenty five. Okay, don’t get crazy, Di. You’ll be fine, you’ll figure it out… Right?
I didn’t have much more time to think about the massive lie I just told, because my sister, Rachel, squealed and mauled me like an overly excited puppy. “Di!” She squeaked, “I’m so glad you’re here I’ve missed you so so so much! Mom and Dad are making dinner right now, your favorite!” She sighed before carrying on again. “It’s been weird since you moved across the country, Mom and Dad have like obsessed over me and like, where I’ve been and stuff! How’s a girl supposed to sneak out to parties and her friend’s house if she has parents breathing down her neck all the time?” She whined, as I suppressed a snort. “Di, it’s not funny! I’m so party deprived and I have all these cute clothes and can’t even wear them!” She made puppy dog eyes at me as we walked arm in arm out of the terminal. Rachel has always been a party girl and a social butterfly, and for her, even half a day without leaving the house was too long. Of course, I can imagine how she practically blocked Mom and Dad in the driveway so that way she had to pick me up from the airport.. Clever girl.
Rachel chattered at me the entire way home, not giving me much of a chance to respond, which made my job easy. With my mind swimming of thoughts about Nick, and lying to him, and oh, God, what if I really do see him again? What if-
“Earth to Di!” Rachel called, snapping her fingers in front of my face. “You’re totally going space cadet on me, and I totally need your opinion!” Basically asking for boy advice, which, if I did have a chance to talk to her, she would realize I’m not the person to be dishing any advice at all, and that I could use some of my own. My phone started to ring, and when I saw the picture that popped up on the screen, I froze. “Ohmygod! Di! Answer that call then you have some serious dishing to do!”
I glared at her as I fumbled to plug an ear and swiped at the screen. “H-hello?” I stuttered. I felt my cheeks burn bright, hot pink as I waited for his response.
“Hey, pretty girl! It’s Nick- from the plane,” he sounded as nervous as I felt. At least I wasn’t totally alone.
“Oh, hi Nick! What’s up?”
“See, I thought about it and, I don’t want to wait for when you’re not busy, I want us to at least go for a drink and a walk around or something tonight,” he blurted. I took a deep breath as he kept going. “I know you have big, important, author dinner plans but, I don’t want to take the chance that I’m not going to see you again. Plus, I really do want to explore the city and.. And, uh..” He sighed. “I really want to explore the city with you. You seem really genuine and I had such a blast talking with you on the plane, I want to know everything about you.”
I was silent as all the color drained from my face. Quickly, I stuttered as I tried to figure out a response, but I figured it would be best to tell him the truth. “Oh, uh, yeah Nick, that sounds great!” I took a deep breath. “Where do you want to meet up? I’ll be there, just say the word.”
“How about I pick you up from your hotel? I’ll pick you up at say, nine?”
“I’ll already be out and about, so let’s just meet at the bar across from your hotel, how about that?” I blurted it before I had a chance to think. “Nick, I need to tell you some things, but it needs to be in person-”
“More author life stories, I like it!” he exclaimed.
“I’ll see you then, bye!” I hung up the phone and took a deep breath, with my hand on my chest, as if I didn’t breathe through the entire call. Rachel had pulled into the driveway, and I could feel her confused eyes staring into me, waiting for an explanation. Here goes nothing.
“So, miss Diana, are you gonna tell me what that was about, or not?” She urged, waiting for me to spill the beans.
“Okay, you have to promise not to tell the parents, or so help me, I’ll make sure you don’t leave the house until the new school year.” I grumbled. She let out a small gasp and her eyes widened as she frantically shook her head no, her long red hair shimmering in the sunlight.
“I swear! Now, spill!”
I was about to tell her everything when my parents ran out of the garage and launched themselves at me, trapping me in a giant parent sandwich-style hug. “Hi, baby! Oh, I’ve missed you so much!” My mom cried, wiping happy tears from her face before kissing my cheeks. “Come in! I’ve got a buffet of food and am thrilled to have both of my girls at the dinner table again!” She smiled and squeezed Rachel’s cheek, who smiled back at us. My dad beamed down at us, all of his girls, all together again. Honestly, I wanted nothing more than to stay here forever, make the move back from the terrifying big city to the home I knew so well. Maybe moving home wouldn’t be so bad, I considered, just as long as I have my own place… I want to come home but not back home to Mom and Dad’s, I need my own space…
Dinner was fine, and there was no mention of Nick or the phone call. Mom and Dad settled into the living room, and Rachel’s friends came to rescue her from the protective watch of my parents, and until it was time to go, I just stayed in my old room, pacing, stopping in front of the mirror to check myself, and then back to pacing. What am I going to do? I already knew what I had to do- fess up and tell the truth. How would I tell him? I’ve never told a lie this huge in my life! I would tell him somewhere public or where there are at least a couple people around. I figured he wouldn’t hurt me, but I couldn’t completely trust someone I had only just met hours ago, and that I barely knew.
My phone rang and pulled me from my thoughts, causing me to jump. It was just Rachel. “Hey, Rach, what’s up?”
“Don’t think you’re getting out of telling me what’s going on with you and mister hottie-tottie you’re seeing tonight. I want all of the juicy details when we both get back. And when we’re both home, we’re going for a drive, so we can chat, uninterrupted!” She chattered. She was obviously excited, but she’s also always been a nosy girl, and it got her in trouble quite a bit. One day she will learn, but it won’t be today. I quickly agreed, then hurried off the phone and out the door. Nick wasn’t staying too far away, so I could get there and still have time to think and make a plan of action. The only plan you need is to be honest, girl! I scolded myself. I ducked into the bar, and found a table close to the window, so I could see when he walked over. I waited for what felt like hours before checking my phone for the time, and saw that he was fifteen minutes late. Annoyed, I locked my phone screen and turned it over, and took a swig of my margarita. My phone lit up and starting ringing, and sure enough, it was him. “Where are you?” I asked, “Don’t you know it’s impolite to keep a girl waiting?”
“Hey, I was never the one keeping someone waiting,” he laughed. “I’m here, turn around and you’ll find me.” The call ended abruptly and as I turned around, sure enough, he was there. When did he get here? Did he sneak past me when I was staring at my phone or something? I grabbed my drink and my things, and plopped down in the chair across from him. “Any good?” He asked while pointing at the margarita. I smiled and nodded, scared to speak in fear I would squeak an answer instead of speaking like a normal human adult. “I’ll be right back.” He went and ordered a beer from the bar, and was back within two minutes. He took a couple gulps of his beer before talking again. “So, miss Diana, you said you had things to tell me?” He inquired.
“I lied to you.” I didn’t even have a chance to think of how to gracefully say it, or even beat around the bush. I was ashamed, and looked down at my margarita as I stirred it. I could feel his eyes on me, and was surprised to hear his giggle. “Wh-why are you laughing?” I stuttered. I was beyond embarrassed and didn’t think that people laughed when they were lied to.
“Diana, I knew you were lying. I just let you run with it, since I could see you just wanted to talk to someone,” he paused, “But I definitely would have kept talking to you anyway, no matter if you told a lie or the truth. I just didn’t know how to start the conversation, to be honest,” he admitted. I looked up and met his sparkling eyes. My God, he was seriously so handsome. “I figured that this would give us a chance to start over, and to clear up anything that wasn’t true.” He smiled.
“Well, basically everything I told you except my name was a lie,” I let out a nervous giggle. “To be honest, I have always wanted to be an author, writing has always been a passion of mine. I think that’s why I clung so much to that story.” He studied me before replying.
“I think we should start over. Hi there, I’m Nick,” he said politely, offering his hand across the table. I shook it gently as I giggled.
“Nice to meet you, Nick. My name is Diana.” I held his hand and his gaze for a few seconds from across the table, before realizing that we still were holding hands and that I should probably let go. I dropped his hand quickly as I tried to gather my thoughts while sipping my drink. The only thing I knew is that he was handsome and funny, and gave me another chance, without hesitation, and to top it off, he made me weak in the knees.
Boy, am I in trouble.
TO BE CONTINUED…