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Stones of Summer: Instinct (Part 4)
I had my hands in the sink water, up to my elbows, rinsing and washing the dishes.
"I talked with my sister and I told her that I wasn't comfortable with the idea of you flying all the way out there this summer." Mom kissed my cheek as I just stared off in shock. "Maybe next year."
That settled it. Tomorrow night, I was leaving, whether they liked it or not. She had just made up my mindI stared at the clock as I drained the water. I murmured a 'goodnight' without really meaning it, moving quietly and quickly to my room. I locked the door behind me. I pulled the box from under my bed and counted the money I had saved. Three hundred American dollars, my allowance well saved from an age when my parents thought I needed an allowance. It had been sitting in this box for the better part of four years, just waiting for an opportunity like this.
A knock on my door startled me. I threw the money back in the box and shoved it under my bed.
"Jance? Can I talk to you?" Dad. I jumped into bed and threw the blanket over me. The door was locked!
"Uh, yeah, just a second." I stumbled, trying to quietly unlock the door and launch myself back into bed.
"Come in." Dad walked in and sat next to me, leaning over to kiss my hair.
"Thank you for not dragging this out. You know how your mother is. This will pass, give it time. I'm proud of how you handled it tonight." I nodded, feeling like the complete liar.
"Sure dad. N.B.D." He chuckled.
"If it was no big deal, why the blow up the other night?" I blushed, in anger. I shrugged, trying to play it off as embarrassment.
"I was just so psyched, mom kind of rained on my parade, ya' know? It got outta control." He chuckled and patted my knee.
"Boy, do I know." He kissed my head again, stood and bid me good night. He pulled the light's cord as he passed and pulled my door closed. It was left open a crack, enough for the light of the hall to shine through and land on my eye. I could only stare at it. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and this light felt like an interrogation. If they had only know what my soul was deciding, that every word I spoke was lies.
The light went out. I hadn't been dissuaded. This was going to happen.
The next day came and went. I played doll for my parents who were making final adjustments to their trip as I made mine. That night, after being out all day with Sasha, I scurried around the house to my bedroom window. I couldn't face my parents tonight. I couldn't be moved tonight! Earlier, I had stared at the clock above the sink, counting out the hours I had until I left. I was leaving in the morning, earlier than any of them woke. I grasped the edge of my window sill and pulled, forcing myself through the opening. My body stopped half way.
I was stuck. This had never happened before. I had always been able to scramble through my window. Apparently not! I yelled at myself. My legs and bottom were hanging out of the window and I was stuck. No way to go back, no way to go forward. Look at the bright side, things couldn't get much worse!
Suddenly my legs were being lifted up and a firm hand on my back-end sent me tumbling feet over head to my bed. I could only look up in shock as Chris's head poked through the window.
"Next time, I won't be so nice." He said with a frown. I flushed despite the fact that he may not have meant what he said in a sexual way. Still I muttered 'pervert' and slammed my window closed.
"You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it."
Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)
It was earlier than I had ever been up, but it was necessary. The runway was nearly five miles away. I could sleep on the plane if I needed too. I stuffed three days worth of clothes into my bag along with the wad of money I would give the pilot and Aunt Julie's blanket.
Went to London.
I left the note on my made up bed.
The card would most definitely make mom or dad call Aunt Julie when I got there, and since I would be there already, they would have to let me stay. I'd just ask them to send my things.
I grabbed my inhaler off the self, stuffing it into my pocket.
I crawled out the window in my room, cringing when the door was blown fully closed by the wind. My feet touched the ground and I already felt free. I would never have to look at any of this stinking mess again. Everything was old, worn and in tatters. I wouldn't miss anything, that much I was sure of.
The walk was longer than I had thought, and that was still pretty long. The rays of the sun peeked through the darkness and I spotted the small plane on the tar mat. I was beyond grateful that I hadn't run into any denizens of the terrain. I had more bug bites than I thought possible but that was the worst of my ailments. There was a small collection of trucks at the far end of the runway, near the plane.
"I wish I had someone to drive me..." I complained. Finally I reached the plane and handed him the note Jun-Lee had given me. I counted out the money and pressed it into the captains grubby hand. A woman next to me stared the plane over turning to look at the captain.
"Yer' sure this plan' is safe?" He nodded, smile and gave her multiple encouragements. I didn't care if it was safe or not, it was my only way out of Asia. As long as it got me to Britain, I was fine.
I was the first on and picked my seat. They were hardly luxury seats. They consisted of a nylon belt with metal buckles for seat belts, and looked to be seats taken right from my parents truck. I sat in the middle and pulled the belt around me. It wouldn't fasten. I moved on to the next row feeling like this was a really bad idea. I mean a really, this is going to hurt, bad idea. I ignored the instinct to get away as the other passengers boarded. The next seat I picked, thankfully, was fully functioning.
There were six of us altogether, including the stewardess and pilot. I was forced to sit next to a man who was sweating profusely. He gave me a small smile and pulled the buckle around him. It strained before finally clicking into place.
"Hello and welcome. We are going to be taking off now, please fasten your belts and keep all bags in place." The pilot spoke over the cheesy loud speaker that looked nailed their with a hook.
The plane started and I thought I went deaf. The sound was utterly enormous, if a sound could be called that. The plane started moving at it shook ruthlessly as it took off. I was damn near sure we wouldn't make it three feet off the ground before it fell apart. We made it, and the ride smoothed out. I let go of the breath I had been holding releases my grip on my bag.
I closed my eyes in an attempt to calm down and tune out the sound of the motors.
I dozed for a while but was shaken awake by, well, the plane shaking. The plane continued to shake as the consistent drone of the engine coughed a few times and then stopped altogether.
Fearfully, I locked eyes with my seat mate.
"That doesn't sound good." As if to punctuate my words, loud piercing alarms started to sound in the cockpit, followed by bright lights.
I vaguely heard the captain say 'mayday' three times before stating our coordinates. I bit my lip and squeezed my eyes shut. I was dreaming, I had to be dreaming!
The plane was going down!