The Big Day

January 15, 2009
By Andrew Lau, Grandville, MI

The big day, it was finally here. Today was the day my family and I were leaving for Hawaii. Our flight was at 11:00 so we didn’t have to rush. I got more than enough sleep the night before, but I always get tired when I get on a plane. Throughout the morning, I kept wondering to myself, Why are we going to Hawaii? Is this all just some ploy to get rid of me? I’ll have to be on my toes today. Breakfast went normal, all my bags were packed, I was ready. My mom had checked my bag to make sure I had everything. Wait, why had she checked my bag? I’m seventeen years old, I’ve done this before, I wouldn’t have forgotten anything. Maybe she planted something in my bag to get me flagged at the airport. Then security would take me away to Cuba for being a terrorist. I ripped open my bag and emptied the contents on the floor. After brutally searching my things I was relieved to find nothing. It must have been a trick. She was messing with me, and to think that this was my own mother. I’ll have to keep my eye on her. We packed all of our bags into the car and headed for the airport.
We parked in the expensive parking lot closest to the airport. That’s strange; usually someone drops us off. Maybe we weren’t planning on returning. Oh well, I told myself I wasn’t going to worry about it. I wanted to have a good time, I had been looking forward to this. We entered the airport smoothly, nothing seemed any different. Then we walked over to the place where you check your bags. I patiently waited in line with my family. The man who checked us in was nice. Before my mom could write my name on the tag, I snatched the tag from her and said, “I’ll do it. I want to write my name.” As soon as she turned her back I wrote down my brother’s name on the tag. If security found anything suspicious in it they would think that it was my brother’s and I would be safe.
As we walked over to the metal detectors I started to get nervous. I forgot to check my clothes for anything that would trigger the alarm. I couldn’t leave either, that would look too suspicious. I walked up and grabbed a bucket. I placed my shoes in first, then my cell phone, then finally my wallet. I set my bag on the conveyor belt. Now it was my turn to walk through. I walked up and hesitated for a few seconds, I walked through. Beep, beep, beep. I felt a thousand eyes piercing me, all wondering what was going to happen next. “Step back though, sir,” the security person said. I started to sweat, I felt clammy. I could feel my heart beat increasing, my temperature rose. My eyes quickly scanned the room. “Please check your pockets, sir.” Another security person said. My brain started to play out my escape options.
I could try to run through the swarm of people behind me. No. That wouldn’t work. I could run straight through the biggest, meanest, ugliest man I had ever seen. No. That wouldn’t do either. I froze. “Are you wearing any jewelry? Any rings, bracelets? a belt?” A nice security woman said. I stopped sweating immediately and my heart beat dropped down to normal. That was it, my belt. I forgot to take it off. I removed my belt and placed it in a smaller bucket. I walked through again. Silence. I was safe. As I picked up my bag from the conveyor belt and put my shoes on I thought, You’re going to have to try harder than that if you want to get rid of me.

We met my grandparents at the gate. My dad casually told them how I almost met my demise as if it was a joke. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I thought I sensed a slight disappointment in their laughs. I sat down in a chair and waited to board the plane. I could calm down a little once I was actually on the plane. Or is that what they were waiting for, waiting for me to let my guard down? Well, that certainly wasn’t going to happen. Finally, it was time for us to get on the plane. We got on and found our seats. I was in seat 4F, the aisle seat. It was perfect for a quick escape. My brother sat to my left and across the aisle was my grandmother.
After everyone was seated we sat and waited for almost twenty minutes. I knew something was wrong. “They” were on to me. “They” knew what I did, even though I had no idea. “They” were going to take me away and lock me up and throw away the key. Just then the captain’s voice came over the intercom. “We’re just waiting for our runway to clear, nothing to worry about. Just sit tight and we will be airborne in no time.” Even though I didn’t hear anything, I imagined the groans from everyone on board. I could see the agitated look on all those faces. I looked across the aisle to my grandmother, oddly enough she didn’t look upset at all, in fact she turned to me and smiled of all things. Our plane was delayed for an eternity and she smiled. Maybe she didn’t care when we took off. Maybe she didn’t care about when we were going to land. Maybe she wasn’t planning on landing. I thought that it would be pretty hard for an old, senile woman to hijack a plane. Then I thought it would be very easy for a retired person, who has a lot of time on their hands, to construct a bomb and smuggle it on a plane. I put my headphones on and blared my music. I pretended to close my eyes, but really I was watching my grandmother.
As the boy in seat 4F nodded off the captain announced, “Alright folks, the problem has been taken care of. We will be taking off soon and before you know it we will be in Havana.” The boy’s grandmother’s fake smile quickly changed to a look of utter delight

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