Not As It Seems
Author's note: I started to write this piece a couple years ago before putting it aside. I found it a couple... Show full author's note »
Iceland“So where am I going?” Adam asks, pulling out of Lilly’s long driveway. He drives slowly, waiting for direction.
“Well…” she pauses, “Just keep driving this way and I’ll call Dylan.”
She dials in the number from the piece of paper and puts it up to her ear, the ring filling her ears. On the first ring, Dylan’s accented voice speaks through the phone,
“That was quick,” he says.
Lilly sighs, “So where am I going?”
“You’re gonna go south, to Rumford, Maine, okay?” he says.
“Okay,” Lilly pauses, “Why?”
“You’re going to catch a plane there- don’t worry it’s paid for, just tell the ticket lady that you are Elizabeth Marie James, it’s all figured out. And I got an extra ticket in case you ended up bringing anyone,” he says.
“Where is this plane going?” Lilly asks.
“Iceland,” he says.
“Nali is in Iceland?” Lilly asks, surprised.
“No, but that’s the most secluded place I could find, so we’re going there,” he says.
He interrupts her, “I’ll explain when you get here, just get to the airport,” he says, handing up without a goodbye.
Lilly looks at her phone a moment, startled by his coldness at the end. Shaking it off Lilly turns to Adam.
“Drive to Rumford,” she says, “then we’re going to Iceland,” she smiles.
He looks shocked for a moment before he nods.
“Rumford it is,” he smiles, before catching one of her hands as she tries to stop them shaking in her lap. Pulling her hand on the armrest in between them he plays with her fingers, one hand on the wheel. She sighs, enjoying the warmth of his warm fingers wrapped around her cold ones. She leans back and closes her eyes, enjoying the moment.
“It’s gonna be okay Lil,” he says earnestly giving her small fingers a slight squeeze, “we’ll get through this. Why don’t you get some sleep?”
“Okay,” Lilly says, falling into obliviousness with Adam’s warm gaze fluttering through her dreams.
“Lilly?” Adam’s voice seeps into her head as she blinks, finding her bearings in the dark, “We’re here,” he says gesturing with his chin towards the large building and sign.
Lilly nods and she gathers her stuff quickly as Adam locks the car and grabs the bags. Walking in silence, they make their way to the airport, their breathing prominent as they exhale the cooling air.
As Lilly squints against the bright fluorescent lights she walks towards the ticket station, and up to the middle aged blond who is helping the customers.
“Can I help you?” she asks Adam, smiling sweetly.
Adam looks around at Lilly, question in his gaze. Stepping forward she thinks back to what Dylan told her on the phone.
“Hi, I’m Elizabeth Marie James,” she goes to continue until the woman’s eyes widen slightly.
“O-Oh, yes, hello Ms. James, I have your tickets right here for y-you,” she squeaks out, face pale as she hands over the tickets,
“Mr. Hale said to let you know that he will be meeting you at your destination,” she continues breathlessly.
Lilly stares at her a moment, hiding her astonishment as she takes in the terrified look on the lady’s face; the way her eyes keep twitching around; how beads of sweat are forming on her pale forehead.
“Thank you, Ms.…” Lilly searches for the woman’s name tag, “Margret Arnold.”
Her face lights up when Lilly says her name, “Not a problem, oh and just show this to the security guards and you’ll be let through with no problem,” she says, handing Lilly a card, about the size of a drivers license, with many different symbols that are all gibberish to Lilly as she stares down at them.
“Have a nice night,” Adam says as he takes Lilly’s arm gently and pulls her through the crowd of people and finally, after many scared looks from security guards, and annoyed ones from other people, they board their small plane.
The plush, tan, leather seat is comfortable under Lilly as she slides in next to the window. Putting their bags in the compartment above them, Adam pushes the door closed loudly causing the couple additional passengers to look at him.
Lilly smiles as his cheeks flush slightly and he sits down, clearing his throat. He taps his fingers against his pant leg as the plane takes off and Lilly tries to ignore him.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Lilly forces herself to stare at the ridiculous evacuation instruction booklet she found in back of the seat in front of her.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Lilly fiddles with her cartilage earring as she bits her lit.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Swinging her gaze around at Adam she goes to snap at him before restraining herself.
You’re the reason he’s even here, she tells herself patiently, don’t nag at him.
Lilly sighs silently until a few taps later she reaches out instinctively and grabs his annoying taping hand, about to tell him to quit it.
As he lightly squeezes her hand, she bites her tongue and lets his warm calloused hands caress hers for the second time that night.
“My bad,” he smiles apologetically. He stares at their intertwined hands for a moment before smiling at her. Lilly goes to meet his eyes before she realizes, he’s not looking at her, but past her.
“What?” she asks turning and finding herself facing the bland cover over the window. He reaches around her, pulling up the shade. She watches, and as he lifts it, she looks at all the night stars above her in the dark sky, twinkling down at her.
“It’s beautiful,” she says as she stares out the window at the unbelievable beauty.
“Thank you,” she tells him later, her head leaned sleepily on his shoulder as they get closer to Iceland.
“For what?” he asks, body still.
“For coming with, and helping me,” she whispers, starting to close her eyes.
He stays still for a moment before shifting in his seat and resting his arm so it slightly brushes hers, “Anytime.”