Fly With Me
Chapter 4: One RoomIt wasn’t until we were halfway through Pennsylvania and I was getting ready to pull into a Holiday Inn for the night that Brandon realized that he had nothing but the clothes on his back and a small backpack full of notebooks, pens, pencils, and his wallet.
“I don’t even have a toothbrush,” he lamented, running both his hands through his medium brown hair while simultaneously sighing heavily. “Turn around; I need to get my stuff.”
I parked near the entrance, and turned in my seat to stare at him, “Look, you want to get your stuff, be my guest; but I’m not going to drive you all the way back to New York.”
“Then how am I supposed to get back?” He frowned, his dark eyebrows disappearing behind the large frames of his glasses.
“You have thumbs, don’t you?” I smirked as I pushed my door open and stepped out into the brisk, autumn air.
Small piles of damp, colorful leaves had settled along the edges of the pavement leading to the entry-doors. The giant, green ‘H’ cast an emerald hue over the dark cement and leaves, distorting everything’s color. Behind me, Brandon had finally shut up and exited my car, a sour look on his face. A sudden gust of wind blew through the parking lot, making the both of us shiver.
I walked quickly into the lobby of the Holiday Inn and pulled out Priority Club card. I had stayed at enough Holiday Inn: Expresses to rack up enough points for one room. When he heard me request only one room, Brandon’s frown dissipated and was replaced by a look of complete shock.
Once we had returned to my car to get my bags, he turned on me. “One room?! Why did you only get one room?” Struggling to remain calm, I unlocked the car and popped the trunk before removing my two suitcases.
“Because that’s how many points I had. Chill, dude, it’s got two beds.”
“It’s. Only. One. Room.” He repeated, frowning as he took both of my suitcases from me.
I rolled my eyes and walked through the doors and down the carpeted hallways of the hotel until I reached our room: 165. Quickly, I unlocked the door and stepped in, Brandon followed suit.
It wasn’t much to look at with its green and red patterned carpet and plain, off-white curtains. I had kind-of lied when I said there were two beds—there was one bed and a couch that folded out into a bed. Brandon noticed the absence of the second bed and the little crease between his eyebrows deepened, the corners of his mouth turned down further.
“Two beds, eh?” His sarcasm was biting. He carefully set down my bags near the couch, probably signaling that he claimed the bed, and crossed his arms over his chest. “You… are a liar.”
Striding over to the couch, I pulled the cushions off and began to unfold the trundle. “Technically,” I paused as I finished pulling out the folding bed. “I’m not.” I grinned and mimicked his posture, “There you are, sir, the second bed.”
That frown seemed frozen onto his face. With a sigh, he plopped himself down onto the only ‘real’ bed, kicked off his shoes, then laid down completely with his back facing me. I laughed quietly at his puerile actions and sat down on the pull-out bed. The springs groaned under my weight, and I frowned down at it, willing it to shut up with my mind.
“Could you be a tad bit quieter, I’m trying to sleep.” Brandon’s voice sailed across the room, condescending and mocking.
“Why are you so freaking grumpy?” I laughed, turning over on my side so that I could look at him.
He turned over as well so that he was lying on his side, his elbow propping his head up, and frowned at me from behind his glasses, “Shall I list the reasons alphabetically or in order of importance?” He didn’t wait for my answer, but pulled his glasses off roughly, set them down on the small nightstand nearby and flopped back onto the bed on his back. He sighed heavily and his bangs flew up off of his forehead.
I really shouldn’t have, but I egged him on further, “Alphabetically, definitely alphabetically.”
“The question was rhetorical, Calypso,” Brandon groaned, now sounding more tired than irritated. “Just let me go to sleep.” Another sigh, “It’s been a long day.”
Like the great person that I was, I remained quiet.
Silence settled over us like a heavy blanket for several minutes. Despite the fact that I was still fully clothed and had my shoes on, I felt myself drifting away into dreamland. My dozing was abruptly cut off when Brandon spoke again.
“So how long has your name been Calypso?”
My eyes snapped open and I stared at him incredulously, “Excuse me?”
“How long has your name been Calypso?” He sat up in the bed and rested his back against the wall. “It can’t have been very long, or not very many people call you it. Did you legally change your name or is it just a pseudonym?”
Seriously, why did the nerd have to hit me with a door? “It’s a pseudonym.”
“Oh… Then what’s your real name?”
I sighed and pushed myself back so that my back was resting against the back of the couch. “Does it really matter?”
Brandon picked his glasses up and pushed them back onto his face. “Well, yeah.” His mouth twisted slightly and his nose wrinkled, “I don’t want to be calling someone by a fake name. It’s weird.”
My face screwed up to match his, “I don’t like my real name.” I had already lied to the guy, why not chalk another few fibs up there?
“Oh, come on, it can’t be that bad.”
“Trust me, it is.” My head lolled back to hit the wall with a bang and I let my eyes slide shut.
“Just tell me,” he begged.
“Calypso, just tell me!” I heard Brandon’s own head hit the wall with a similar sound that mine had made.
“Amanda.” I snapped, “That’s my real name: Amanda.”
“Worthy of love.”
I grimaced, opened my eyes, and frowned at him, “I know what it means, Mr. Broom Covered Hill.”
“It’s prince, actually. I prefer the Irish meaning.” A small smile lit up his nerdy face and I couldn’t stop the smile that appeared on my own face in response. For a total geek, he was oddly charismatic.
I laughed a little and let my head fall back again, “Alright, Prince, goodnight.”
The bed he was on creaked, and I opened one eye to see him walking over to me. “What are you—“
“Take the bed.” He sat down at the foot of the pull-out bed and gestured me over to the actual bed.
“What? Why?” “Because it wouldn’t be very gentlemanly of me to let you sleep on a couch, now would it? Now take the bed.” He moved up next to me, then very gently shoved me off of the couch and onto the floor.
I glared at him for a second, then kicked off my shoes and hopped on the bed. “Are you sure abou—“
“Okay, then…” Carefully, I reached one hand over to light switch and flicked it off. “Goodnight, ‘Prince’.”
He chuckled in the darkness, “Goodnight, Amanda.”
I fell asleep with those words echoing in my mind.
It was the first time I had been called Amanda in over a year.