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Three Words Unspoken
Elizabeth gave him a tight hug, trying to choke back her tears. This was the day. Her best friend Bobby was moving. She went with the Grash family to the airport so she could say her last good-byes. Elizabeth gave Bobby a quick peck on the cheek and told him she’d miss him. He said he would too and that they could never loose touch. She agreed as he handed her a slip of paper. It read: email@example.com. “What’s this” she asked. “My parents agreed that since we were moving I was finally allowed to get an email address. To keep in touch.” Liz clutched the paper to her chest and absorbed all of him. Bobby was tall with messy brown hair. He had excellent muscle tone and a light tan. Just as she was about to say the three words that have been in her head for the past few weeks, an announcement was made. “Flight 103 to Nebraska is now boarding.” Quickly, she ripped a piece of paper out of her Mad Lib book and scrawled her email address on it. Liz said good-bye to each of them once more and watched as they began to board the plane. Bobby looked back one more time to catch a final glance at his best friend before he disappeared down the terminal. When the family was out of sight Liz began to cry a quiet sob. The only person in the world who understood and accepted everything about her was now on his way to Bellevue, Nebraska. She went to the bathroom and tried to pull herself together. The thing Liz was most upset about was that she hadn’t been able to tell Bobby how he really felt about him. Liz undeniably had fallen in love with her best friend. She looked at herself in the mirror and saw a heartbroken woman, with “I Love Lucy” pajamas on staring back at her. She went into the star bucks, ordered an extra large chocolate chip cookie, and called her mom. When her mom picked up Liz tried her best to maintain her composure.
“Hey mom. Can you come pick me up?”
“Their plane has left all ready?!? I thought it wasn’t until 9:00am.”
Liz glanced down at her watch and saw it was 8:45am.
“Yeah, well my luck I guess.”
Sensing the sadness in her daughters’ voice, Stephanie decided not even bother with asking how Liz was, knowing it was probably the hardest thing her little girl had ever done.
“I’ll be right there honey.”
“Thanks mom. I love you.”
“I love you too sweetheart.”
As soon as Stephanie hung up with her daughter she jumped in the car and started making her way to the airport.
Liz was glad her mother hadn’t pushed, knowing that if she had she would have certainly cracked. As she chomped down on her monster-size cookie, Liz did a little people watching. She saw a group of business men and woman coming off a plane carrying leather suitcases. A young couple holding each other as though it were the first time they’d seen each other in months. An elderly group of women checking out the young cashier at the bar. She imagined how she must look to other people, or if they even cared.
Suddenly a guy about Liz’s age plopped down next to her. She looked at him and found he was rather attractive. He had tousled black hair and bright blue eyes. He was really attractive she thought and then immediately punished herself for the thought remembering why she was at the airport in the first place.
“Did you know that the best stories are created here in the airport? So much emotion is created here. I sometimes come here just to get ideas for stories. ”
Liz looked at him wondering if this guy was crazy and if she should just walk away now.
“Like them” he said pointing to the young couple Liz had noticed before. “They have a love story. Maybe while he was away on some business trip she was here in L.A. alone. And maybe to satisfy the loneliness she hooked up with her ex-boyfriend from college. And now that her lover is back she feels guilty and is considering telling him about, but unsure if he’ll understand.”
Liz was bewildered. “You can tell that much about them from just looking at them?”
“No. But if I had to write a story about them that’s what it’d be. But I’m a writer so I like to make up stories. My name is Bryan by the way.”
“My name is Elizabeth but everyone calls me Liz.”
He stuck out his hand and said “Nice to meet you Liz.” Liz then listened to him make up stories about people for the next twenty minutes. Some of them were funny, others almost made her cry. Finally she asked the question.
“What would be my story?”
Bryan took a step back to get a real good look at her. He noticed how naturally pretty Liz was, even in pajamas and cookie crumbs in her lap. She definitely was here for someone close to her, otherwise she wouldn’t be dressed the way she was. He began.
“You came here early this Sunday morning to see off someone you love whether it is a family member, best friend, or a lover. You were extremely upset and you decided to stuff your face with an extremely large chocolate chip cookie.”
“Is that all?” asked Liz rather disappointed.
“No. In fact I’ve barely started.”
“Is that so?”
“Of course. This person was very close to your heart, and you are unsure if you were the same for them. Seeing this person board that plane was the hardest thing possible for you. But now instead of fixing your loneliness like the young woman and her ex-boyfriend from college and do something about it, you sit. You sit and wallow in your own self-pity and constantly drive yourself crazy with the thoughts of this special person. You do nothing.”
Liz was boiling. But what could she say? That it wasn’t true? Unfortunately, she knew how amazingly close to the truth Bryan had gotten. Thankfully, just as Bryan was about to begin again Liz received the text from her mom that she was outside waiting.
In the steadiest voice she could manage Liz said, “I have to go.” Bryan offered to walk her out to the car and Liz quickly declined. She picked up all of her things, brushed the cookie crumbs off her lap, and walked out with as much dignity as she could manage. As Bryan watched her walk off he felt this strange empty feeling in his chest. He waited until she was out of sight before she turned and walked away.
Liz rounded the corner and ran to find her mothers white van, choking back tears. When she saw it Liz flung open the door and threw herself in. She finally let go of the all the emotion that had been bottling up and let out a fierce sob. Her mother pulled her close and softly stroked her hair. They sat in the parking lot for a while hearing nothing but Liz slow cries. When Liz finally calmed down her mother drove them home in silence.