Of course that is not my answer. Marc, the guy I met ten minutes ago, doesn’t need to know that I’m afraid of airplanes, and that I am having a panic attack as we speak.
He needs to hear about my plans to become a worldwide known writer, or maybe to meet the love of my life, or maybe about world peace and stuff like that. Yes, that’s what I should talk to him about.
‘Uhmm… I don’t know. What about you?’
He says something, but I’m not listening. I’m thinking I could have answered anything, but I didn’t. Why? Because I’m scared. I’m afraid that if I told him a wish, maybe the universe would hear it and make it happen and I’m not sure I’d like to spend my only wish that easily.
‘Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to LAX Airport. Local time is 6:15 AM and the temperature is 93 degrees Fahrenheit.’
The pilot welcomes us to Los Angeles. My heart slows down to its normal beat.
‘How much would that be in Celsius?’
’93 Fahrenheit must be around 32 to 33 Celsius.’
I’m making small talk, trying to erase the memory of me asking the stewardess for tomato juice, while Marc was talking about his dreams.
Marc is from the UK, I’m from Greece and the only thing we have in common is the fact that we both flew from Heathrow to LAX. I don’t know anything about him and he doesn’t know anything about me. I don’t even know the reason he took this trip. We just shared the experience of flying over the Atlantic Ocean for seven hours in a tin can.
*People come and go, they come and go, come and go… Half of them are in a hurry, the other half looking for something. Where they’re going to pick up their luggage from, where they’re going to meet their loved ones, were the taxi rank is… Nobody is waiting for me, I‘ve already picked up my suitcase from the baggage claim, and I’m pretty sure that I will find a taxi right outside these automatic doors. In the meantime I’m enjoying a banana-strawberry smoothie and watching people as they pass me by. I open my handbag, take out a notepad I bought at Heathrow and start writing. My handwriting on every first page is always exquisite. Then you turn that page over and start wondering how my notepads turned up in the hands of a drunken doctor.
What would happen if each and every passerby had a speech bubble over their head, like the ones in comic books, conveying their dream in life? Would we help them live it, would we laugh at them, would we rule them out as potential life partners?
I’m reading what I just wrote. I will never be a writer.
I know it’s Marc, before I look up. That is because he pronounced my name wrong and also because I don’t know anyone else in this country.
‘There you go.’
‘Are you waiting for someone?’
‘No, I’m just… sitting here.’
Do you want to go get some coffee or something?’
Coffee? Why would he want to have coffee with me?
He’s standing right in front of me, holding his suitcase. Behind him, the automatic doors open and close, letting in the sunlight, that brings out the shape of his body. I keep looking at him and start actually seeing him. He’s tall, with brown hair and loose curls that hide his dark green eyes and a body naturally fit and not after hours at the gym. He is handsome and English, which means that every word coming out of his lips sounds like an invitation to the 18th century. Maybe coffee isn’t such a bad idea.
Half an hour later, we’re having coffee at the outdoor area of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, where I’m going to be staying for the next ten days. I find out that Marc works at a worldwide known publishing company and spends half his time in the UK and half in the USA. I don’t know what kind of game fate is playing with me, but I’m ready for it.
‘Do you want to take a look at something and tell me what you think?’
I show him what I wrote at the airport. As he reads, I gaze at his eyes, his hands and the crooked smile starting to form on his lips. I really like him.
I lean my head back, close my eyes and let the sun shed its red light upon my darkness.
I wish to feel like this more often.
About the Author: Dafni Mathioudaki is an aspiring writer from Greece. She studied in the Hellenic Cinema and Television School Stavrakos and over the years she took many creative writing courses. She also worked as a copywriter, find her on Facebook and Twitter.