Pushover security guards and unsuccessful goodbyes.
I'm running as fast as I can through the dark forest, tripping over fallen branches and tree roots in the process. The moonlight illuminates the path in front of me as I run, but not very much. The farthest I can see is a couple feet ahead as I make my way deeper into the unfamiliar woods. My skin is sleek with sweat, the hair on the nape of my neck sticking to the skin underneath. I feel more frightened than I ever have and all my mind is telling me is to keep running, regardless of how much my aching muscles protest. But what am I running from? My right knee gives out and I collapse onto the ground. I try to catch my breath and stop the frantic panting that is barely escaping my exhausted chest.
"Ohhh, Frankieeee, I know you're out here. Come out, come out, wherever you are."
The raspy, slurred voice echoes through the forest and sends shivers down my spine. I try to get up and keep running but my body just won't obey my pleas. I'm too worn out to even lift my head off the mud encased ground I'm sprawled out on.
"Where are you, you little bitch? The sooner I find you, the sooner this will be over with."
The voice edges closer and all I can do is lay there and face my fate. I try to hide underneath some leaves, but I should have known that wouldn't help. Without warning, a boot clad foot kicks me sharply in the side. I let out a yelp of both surprise and pain.
"There you are! Who the fuck do you think you are? Huh, cunt? Don't you dare run away from my when I'm trying to teach you a lesson."
He punctuates the sentence with a punch to my small, 6 year old chest.
"But daddy, I didn't do anything wrong! You were hurting mommy!"
"So what? Your mommy got everything that was coming to her."
I try to sit up but he punches my cheek hard enough that I collapse once again. I begin to cry out loudly, my body hurting too much to keep the sounds in.
"Shut up you brat, some'll hear you!"
I can barely hear his drunken speech through my loud cries of pain. He continues to brutalize me until I go numb and everything fades to black.
I awake in a shaky panic and quickly take in my surroundings. Oh, right, I'm still on the plane. I take a few deep breaths and try to calm myself down. I try to lean back against my seat but feel something holding on to my waist instead. I turn around and face Gerard who I must have fallen asleep on while we were talking. I feel my face go red at the fact that I cuddled up to him without realizing it, but judging from his arm that currently has a firm grip around my small frame, he didn't mind.
I smile at the idea that Gerard wanted me to be close to him in that way but it instantly fades when he lets a sigh out in his sleep and I catch the strong scent of alcohol on his breath. Just that stench brings back the horrible flash back I had while I was asleep and gives me the push I need to escape his embrace. I still feel sweaty so I decide to go to the restroom and wash up before we land, which telling by watch, is pretty soon.
To my disappointment, I don't awake in the same position as when I fell asleep. Frank is no longer leaning on my shoulder, arm wrapped around his waist. He's no where in sight and in place of his absence, a killer headache has taken over my senses. I groan and drop my head into my hands, trying to rub soothing circles into my temple.
I know that perky voice. Oh god, no. Why won't she just leave me alone? I lift my head up slightly and meet eyes with Stacy.
I meant to say 'yeah', but apparently that brief answer is all my throbbing head will allow. She lets out one of her annoying giggles and I think my head might just explode.
"Here, take some pain killers, it'll help."
She pulls out a bottled water and a travel pack of advil from seemingly no where and I briefly wonder where it came from. I take it gratefully regardless and quickly swallow the two pain killers.
"No problem hun. We'll be landing soon so you might want to start getting your things together."
I nod my head in acknowledgement and thank the heavens when she continues down the aisle, leaving me in peace. Just as the pilot comes on the PA to instruct everyone to get back into their seats, Frank returns. He takes his seat and buckles up without a word.
I look him over and notice that he looks a bit shaken up. Must be the nightmare he had. It killed me to see him so hurt and helpless like that, especially while he looked so innocent asleep.
"Hey, are you okay?"
Frank gives me a confused look.
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"
I ponder for a second if I should tell him about the dream or not, he more than likely will be embarrassed by it. On second thought, I wouldn't mind seeing that adorable blush of his.
"Well, I think you had a nightmare while you were asleep. You were crying."
And just as I predicted, Frank's normally slightly tanned cheeks are slashed with a rosy shade of red. He shakes his long fringe in front of his face and tries to hide it from me. This just makes it look that much more adorable.
"Oh, um, uh- sorry."
"No need to apologize, it happens to the best of us."
I offer him a smile of reassurance and he smiles back in response.
A couple minutes later we have landed and everyone is unloading their carry ons from the over head compartments.
"Need some help?"
I ask Frank with a cheeky grin, recalling his reaction the last time I asked him this question. This time his answer is much more civilized.
I open up the compartment and hand Frank his bag with ease. He shoots a joking glare in my direction and I giggle at his childish behavior.
After departing the plane and going through customs, we file in a line to get our bags checked by security. Gerard is in front of me and I'm having an extremely difficult time diverting my gaze from his ass. 'Stop being such a pervert Frank, geez.'
Luckily, one of the employees stops Gerard after checking his bag, giving me a sure fire distraction. Or, maybe that's not so lucky for Gerard.
"Excuse me sir, do you have a prescription for all this medication you have on you?"
I stand on my toes and look over Gerard's shoulder to inspect his opened bag. Hidden under a pile of clothes are a bunch of small orange bottles filled with different colored prescription pills. To anyone else, you'd think Gerard just has them to treat some illness or perhaps deliver them to someone else. But after being around my father's addictions for so many years and observing Gerard earlier, I know these must be his drug of choice.
Shit, I was hoping maybe Gerard was just a dumb stoner or something less harmless. But, prescription pills? That's one of the most dangerous addictions out there. Doesn't he know he could kill himself? After starring into the ever present dead look in his eyes on the plane however, it seems that he already is dead. On the inside at least.
I suddenly panic, wondering how Gerard is going to get out of this run in with security. He obviously doesn't have a doctor's prescription for these. How did he even get through airport security back in America with this on him?
"Um, yeah, one second."
Gerard searches through his bag calmly as if looking for the papers. Throughout the whole process he keeps a straight face and brings his eye brows together in concentration. Wow, I wonder if Gerard has considered a career in acting?
The security guard waits patiently by Gerard. He seems like he's trying to act annoyed at Gerard for holding up the line, but he's not nearly as good an actor as Gerard. You'd have to be blind not to notice the way the security guard is checking Gerard out and practically drooling over the skin that is shown in between the space of Gerard's low rise jeans and the t-shirt that's currently ridding up, exposing smooth, pale skin.
"I must have left it in the airport back in New Jersey."
Gerard looks up at the security guard through his eye lashes, obviously trying to get him to let the situation go. The employee looks at Gerard skeptically before answering.
Gerard looks back at me and I nod at him, a silent agreement that I'll wait until he returns. I step out of line to let others pass and lean against an iron gate in the direction that Gerard left. Gerard and the security guard are still within eye shot so I see the whole conversation. I can't hear what they're saying but it's clear that the guard is still putting up his tough guy routine. Gerard talks for a while, probably making up some bullshit excuse as to the whereabouts of his prescription and the guard does nothing but stare at Gerard's lips as he speaks, mesmerized by the way he speaks from the corner of his mouth.
Gerard must have cracked at joke because the guard erupts in laughter, loud enough that I can hear him from where I'm standing. Gerard flashes one of his sideways grins and the guard visibly melts. He loses his stiff composure and starts to resemble a giddy teenage girl. It's amazing to see the effect Gerard has on people. Is that how I look when I'm around him?
Before long, Gerard is making his way back in my direction, an accomplished grin placed firmly on his lips and the guard is trying, and failing, to keep his eyes off Gerard's ass as he walks behind him.
"Thanks again, Brian. I promise this won't happen again."
"No problem, Gerard, I'm sure it won't. But incase you have any trouble in the future, here's my card."
The security guard, who is apparently named Brian, hands Gerard a white business card with his number printed on it. Two numbers in one day? That's impressive. And very irritating to watch.
Gerard offers Brian a friendly smile for his efforts but it's obvious that's he's dieing to end this conversation. Brian says his goodbyes, and after checking my bag, let's us enter the airport.
That was way too close for my liking. If that Brian guy wasn't such a flirt, that may have ended badly. And he gave me his number? He can't really think I'm interested in him, can he? Not that he was unattractive or anything. I just don't think it's wise to get involved with anyone at the moment. I don't think he'd appreciate reading headlines about his new boyfriend in a couple weeks, found dead in his apartment, two bullets to the back of the head. Well I haven't decided how I'm going to do it yet, but you get the idea.
Besides, I was just flirting to get out of that tight situation. I'd much rather be flirting with the beautiful teenager that was nice enough to wait for me, wide, hazel eyes awaiting my return. It's going to be so hard saying bye to Frank. I'm aware that I've only known him for half a day or so, but he's different than anyone I've ever met. Not to mention the way I feel around him. No one, not even my loving baby brother, has been able to get a smile out of me for weeks, maybe months.
If I let go of Frank and never hear from him again, I'm certain that I'll go along with my plans. But even if he does, by some far off miracle, linger in my pathetic life for a bit longer, won't I still go through with this? Before I boarded that plane, I left with the intention of never coming back. But there's something about Frank that has lit a small ounce of hope in this dreary existence I live in. He's the far off light house in the midst of a treacherous thunderstorm, trying to guide lost ships out at sea back ashore. But can I follow that beam of promising light or will I give in to the current and lose my soul forever?
At this point, we've reached the doors leading outside, into an unfamiliar country filled with strange faces and new sights. The idea of wandering off on this journey to who-knows-where alone suddenly seems very intimidating. Frank and I stop just outside the doors, surveying the on going traffic.
Frank looks up at me, glowing orbs filled with sadness and looking just as lost as I feel. I speak up before the awkward silence can stretch on any longer.
"So, I guess this is good-bye then?"
Most people would have said that as a statement, but I twist it into a question, hoping that Frank will some how prolong our departure. He looks up and his face molds into a frown.
"Yeah, I guess so..."
Just as those words leave Frank's lips, he catches sight of a building behind me, and his lips turn up in a smile. I turn around to see what he's looking at, and spot a Starbucks.
"I don't know about you, but I'm really craving a coffee right now. Want to join me?"
I look up at him, slightly bewildered that Frank seems to want to spend more time with me just as much as I do. He must have read my expression incorrectly because he starts to stutter a correction.
"I-I mean, uh, if you w-want. I'm sure y-you have better things to do. I must s-sound like an idiot right now, craving coffee at midnight. I-I mean -"
I cut off his cute little rant of embarrassment before his cheeks can glow any brighter; it may obstruct traffic.
"No, I'd love to get some coffee with you. I have no where to be right now, and I'm huge coffee addict myself."
Frank flashes a childlike smile, gleaming white teeth and all, in my direction.
We make our way down the street to the Starbucks and all I can do on the way there is thank the heavens for giving me more time with their precious fallen angel.
I wanna know what you guys think about the direction this story is heading in :)