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My parents often warned me about the type of people I would meet in this world. The mischievous ones who would take you for granted, and the selfish ones who never cared about what you thought or felt. But they never warned me about the ones that seemed perfectly normal. The ones, that no matter how deep into their soul you dug, you couldn’t find anything out of place. Until one day their personality flipped so fast, if you were even to begin to blink you’d miss the transition. These aren’t the type of people they stressed about, but I wish they had. Maybe that kind of knowledge would’ve kept me alive.
I peered out the window to catch a glimpse of the weather that awaited me. It was heavily snowing and the wind was making the trees beat furiously against the window. ‘Great, going to an airport in the middle of a white out. Mine as well just wait until tomorrow to leave. Or I could just stay…’ I thought. I wasn’t ready to go on this trip, and I knew a few others weren’t either. Thump. “Ah!!” I couldn’t help but let out a scream as a black silhouetted figure sprang across the pane. I channeled my inner Usain Bolt and headed for the living room where my parents were sitting.
“Mom! Dad! There’s someone outside my window!” I said, panicked. My parents ran down the hall as my dad grabbed a shovel. Suddenly, before my parents could reach the door handle, there was a knock.
“Who is it?!” yelled my dad, who tried to keep a manly stature.
“It’s Brett, sir!” My dad unlocked the door.
“Gheez, Brett. You about scared Mikayla half to death. We warned her about all the psychos out there. What are you doing here?” asked dad.
“Sorry again, sir. I just came over to save you and Ms. Beverly the trouble of having to take Mikayla to the airport. My dad just helped me put the snow chains on my truck, so it’ll be a safe ride. That is, if you both and Mikayla are okay with it.” said Brett.
“Thanks a lot, kiddo. Sure, we’re fine with it. Kayla? What about you?” said dad.
I peered at Brett with squinted eyes as I turned to grab my bags.
“Sure,” I said over my shoulder, “whatever.”
As Brett loaded my bags into the truck, I bid farewell to my parents.
“Bye Mom, bye Dad, see you guys in a few months.” I said, barely keeping my voice from cracking. My parents were my rock. They were the only ones who I could be myself around and just relax.
“Bye Honey, have fun!” they both said in unison. I hopped into the car and started to adjust my seat.
“Oh, you don’t have to do that,” said Brett, “I already adjusted it for you.” He smiled.
“Thanks,” I said coldly.
“Listen, are you going to have this attitude the whole time? I’m trying to be nice here, I want us to have a good time on this trip.” Said Brett.
“I’m sorry, I just don’t want to go on this trip. I had a lot of good things planned, until things changed. So now I have nothing planned. If only she…”
“I know, Mikayla. I know you don’t want Michelle to come, and I know you had things planned for us, but we can still have fun!” He smiled what seemed like a genuine smile and started the car.
“I doubt it,” I mumbled under my breath.
“Nothing ba-….Brett.” That was the fifth time this week I almost slipped up and called him “baby”. I really wish things were back the way they were….
Two years ago, Brett and I began dating. I was so happy, and I could tell he was too. We had our entire future planned out. We would both apply to Georgia Tech, go through college together, start our careers (he a civilian contractor, and I a genetic engineer,) and have a family; a boy named Brett Jr., and a girl named Aubrey. It was the perfect plan, but all good things must come to an end - or so I’ve heard people say. One day, Brett and I had broken up over a huge argument about this girl named Michelle. I swore up and down to him that something was going on between them, and he swore up and down there wasn’t and that I was just being jealous. Five months later I’m still single and he’s dating Michelle. I knew I wasn’t jealous, I was just right. And as much as I love being right, this time I really wish I hadn’t been.
The ride to the airport was slow and awkward. In my gut, I knew the trip would probably feel the same. The trip was a two-and-a-half month escapade to New York City for a Model UN competition. At Model UN, we role-play as diplomats solving world problems. I’m not into this type of thing though, it’s more Brett’s style. I joined in hopes of getting closer to him, but so far I’ve failed. Sometimes I feel like Rachel from Glee trying to win back Finn from Quinn. We’re both fighting so hard, and no one notices. I won’t give up, I know I love him and it’s wasn’t just some fling. Maybe I just need to be away from him for a while….
We arrived at the airport. “Just go ahead inside, I’ll take the luggage to the desk and park the car. I don’t want you out in this weather.” Said Brett.
“Are you sure you don’t need any help?” I said.
“Ha, do you really think you can lift my suitcases with your scrawny arms?”
I chuckled. “No, I guess not. See you inside. I’ll meet you by Gate 3.”
“Gate 3, got it.” Brett replied. “It’s a date.” He winked his beautiful blue eye as I smiled and shut the door.
I hurried across the sidewalk and went inside the airport. ‘Oh my gosh, look at all the people. People on the stairs, people in the chairs, people in the gates, people standing to wait. Ha, Dr. Seuss would’ve been proud of that last line.’ I thought. There was no way we were going anywhere tonight. Despite the obvious delay, I made my way towards my gate. There wasn’t very many people on this flight, so maybe I’d get lucky and get out of here fast. I scoured the waiting area for two open seats. As I spotted a pair, I made my way over. I plopped down on the chair and looked at my watch: 11:23pm. It was late and I was starting to get exhausted. Our flight was the red eye so I was hoping our delay wasn’t too much longer than that.
As I sat there calculating times in my head, a gorgeous young man who looked about my age came and sat over. “Hey, I’m Jackson. How are you?”
“Hi, I’m Mikayla. I’m good, just a little tired haha.” I said, not sure if I should really be talking to a stranger. He was really gorgeous though. And his teeth were so white, oooo I wanted him to talk more.
“Mikayla, wow, that’s a pretty name. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that before.” He said.
“Really? It’s a pretty common name. Like Amanda. That’s a very common name also. I have three Amandas in my creative writing class. It’s crazy.” I said.
“Well the school I’m from has no Mikaylas, so you’re a first for me.” He looked at me like I was the most interesting thing he’d ever seen. It was a little awkward getting stared at, but did I mention he’s gorgeous? Yeah, he’s gorgeous.
“So what brings you to the airport in the middle of a snowstorm?” he asked.
“I’m flying to New York for a competition. You?”
“Same. You wouldn’t happen to be going to Model UN, would you? He asked, looking anxious to find out.
“Yes, actually, I am. Are you heading there too?”
“I am. I’m heading there with Robert Central High. We’re about half an hour away from here.” he said.
“Robert Central? I’ve never heard of that school before. Where’s the rest of your group?” I asked, suspicion being clear across my face.
“It’s a small school, not many people have. And my group is somewhere going through security. I got here an hour earlier than they did, so I’m ahead of the game.” He had a slight smirk on his face as he stated the last sentence.
“Oh, well okay.” I said.
“Where’s the rest of your group?” he said.
“I’m not sure. I haven’t heard from anyone yet. I’m here with a friend of mine, Brett. He’s at the front desk getting our flight information situated.” I said.
“Oh, that’s cool. Do you know when he’s coming back?” he said as inched closer to me, still half-smirking.
“Nope, so I better go see what he’s up to. Catch ya later Jackson.” I said hurriedly as I got up and walked towards the flight information counter. I don’t know why I just rushed away like I did. Maybe I wasn’t ready for a new relationship, maybe I still wanted Brett. Sigh, what am I saying? Of course I still want Brett. Not even a gorgeous guy named Jackson could change that. But Brett’s moved on, why shouldn’t I? As much as I didn’t like the moving on option, maybe that’s just what I’d have to do. As I got closer to the counter, I scanned the line of people for Brett. No sight of him. ‘We split up 20 minutes ago. Why isn’t he in line yet?’ I thought. That boy is never on time.
I made my way towards the front entrance when I heard my name called from behind.
“Kayla! Over here!” I turned around and saw Brett waving his arms.
As I approached him he handed me our tickets and we went to go sit down. I scanned the waiting area for Jackson.
“What are you looking for?” Brett asked.
“This guy I met earlier. He was really nice and really good looking. He’s boarding the flight for Model UN also, I thought it’d be pretty neat if our two groups got to know each other.” I said, looking out the corner of my eye to see his response.
“Oh, you met a guy? That’s a little weird isn’t it? I mean, we’re about to go to a big competition. Do you really want the stress of taking care of someone else on your mind? he said with a drop of jealousy.
“You’re bringing Michelle aren’t you?” I said. My response shut him up and I resumed my search for Jackson. I couldn’t find him anywhere. Oh well, maybe I accidentally fell asleep earlier and just made him up in my mind.
“Mikayla, I need to ask you something.”
“Are you making this Jackson kid up just so I’ll get jealous? Because if you are....”
“If I am, what?” I asked, intrigued and slightly irritated I was accused of making someone up. Although, now that I think about it, that’s a pretty smart idea.
“If you are, it’s working.” he paused to look at me. My heart skipped a beat. Did I really just hear what I think I heard? I made him jealous? He actually cares if I date someone else? He actually cares about....ME? I looked at him. I didn’t know what to do, so I just followed my instincts. I leaned in and kissed him. After a couple seconds had past and he hadn’t thrown me off of him, I knew he didn’t mind this spontaneous action.
I leaned away, keeping eye contact with him the entire time. “I love you,” I whispered.
“I....I don’t know.” he said.
“What??” I said, trying not to sound panicked.
“I have a girlfriend Mikayla. I’m dating Michelle.”
“Yes, but you should be dating me. We should have never broken up and you know that. You may not want to admit it, but you know it’s true.” I said.
“Yes, it is true. But I’m not a cheater Mikayla.” he said.
“Oh really? Because as I recall, you started dating Michelle not even three weeks after we had broken up. Tell me again you’re not a cheater.”
“I’m not, there were no feelings between me and Michelle when we were dating, I rpomise you that.” he said.
I turned away, knowing he was lying. Just as I turned, Jackson re-appeared.
“Mikayla! Hey! I found this really cool spot outside where you can see the snowfall over the city. Wanna come see it with me?” Jackson said.
I glanced at Brett, then back at Jackson. “Sure, let’s go.”
“Kayla what about the flight?” Brett said as I started to gather my things.
“I’ll hear them announce it on the intercom. Worry about Michelle, I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.” I said with a tone so icy, it was colder than the weather outside.
I turned and walked to the rooftop terrace of a nearby restaurant with Jackson.
“Boy troubles?” he said.
“Ugh, you have no idea.” I replied. As we were on the terrace, we talked about everything. He was so easy to talk to, and everything just seemed to flow with him. We were kept warm by the insulted glass walled room and hot cocoa.
“So Mikayla, does anyone besides Brett know you came up here with me?”
“Nope, just Brett. And to be honest, he’ll probably forget all about me being here. He’s already pretty much forgotten me already.” I said with a sigh of sadness.
“Great,” he said. He twisted my arm violently and stabbed me deeply on the right side of my body.
“JACKSON?! WHAT THE?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! SOMEONE HELP!!” I screamed. He stabbed twice more and stole all my valuables out of my luggage as I lay on the ground.
“My name’s not Jackson, and I’m not going to Model UN. But I hope you have a good time there, if you make it.” he laughed a gut-wrenching evil laugh and ran down the stairs. I tried making my way towards where my purse was lying, but that was taken too. No cellphone. No way of calling for help. I was in too much pain to move, and I began to feel lightheaded. I didn’t know what to do. He seemed so normal. Why did this just happen to me? I should’ve just stayed with Brett. I wish he was here....
Suddenly I heard a shout in the stairwell leading up to the glass room.
“...kayla! Mikayla!!” It was Brett. If I wasn’t already crying from the pain, I would be crying because he was here.
“Mikayla! Oh my gosh baby, are you okay?!” He sat me up on his lap and dialed 911.
“Hello, 911?! Please help, my girlfriend has been stabbed. She’s bledding badly, please help! We’re on the rooftop of Air Food, the restaurant across from the airport.” He hung up the phone and grasped me tightly.
“Yes baby, yes?” he said frantically.
“ You just called me baby.....and your girlfriend.” I said with a weak smile.
He smiled, “I did, didn’t I? I’m so sorry about earlier, I love you, and that was a long-awaited kiss you gave me in there.”
“Well, I’m glad you liked it.” I chuckled and grimaced in pain. “He was a stranger, a complete stranger. My parents warned me about people like him. He just seemed so...normal.”
“I know, but don’t worry about that. Just focus on something that makes you happy. What makes you happy?” he said.
I placed my hand on the back of his neck and drew him closer, “ You.” I said.
I remember seeing cheesy moments like this on movies before, but now I know why they’re so cheesy. These are your loved ones’ last few minutes of life. Who cares about being cheesy? You speak your heart so that person can know the whole truth before they die. Cheesy-ness is good, cheesy-ness is what allows you to die happy. And that’s just what I did. I died happy knowing the one thing I ever truly loved loved me back. I was happy, truly happy.