Calipea boarded the airplane, her carry-on luggage a little larger than normal. As she struggled to make it fit in the overhead compartment, a friendly flight attendant grinned and said, “We have room further down. I’ll handle it for you.”
“Great,” Calipea thought. “Now I’ll have to wait for everyone else to clear out before I can walk down and get my bag.” Her headache continued to increase in intensity, and she longed for the lights to dim and the flight to take off. She found her window seat assignment, pulled out her eye mask, and tucked her messenger bag tight under the seat in front of her. She rested her head back and took one last look at the snow-capped mountains to the east. Raising her hand to the window, she pressed it gently, closed her eyes, and whispered, “Thank you.”
The unexpected, yet familiar, voice startled Calipea enough to slam her elbow against the armrest. As she rubbed the soreness from her now tingling funny bone, the soon-to-be West Coast resident glared at her one-time boyfriend and evidently, her flying companion.
“Brayden, what are you doing here?”
“I’m headed to California.”
She struggled to keep her voice low. “Why?”
And that right there was one of the main reasons she’d ended their relationship. He played emotional games more than any guy she’d ever met but could always come off seeming charming. It annoyed the crap out of her.
“You expect me to believe,” she replied with anger brimming, “that you decide to visit California the same time I’m moving out there?”
“I didn’t say visiting. You said visiting.”
Her head pounded with enough ferocity to make her ears throb. She rubbed her temples and closed her eyes, hoping this was all some horrible nightmare.
“Still here,” he retorted. “I’m exhausted, though. Can we catch up later?”
He laid his head back, sighed, and closed his eyes.
Calipea watched him for a minute, making sure this was actually happening. Inching closer towards the window seat, she tried to distance herself from her ex. She glanced down at the turquoise bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother and sought strength from the wise elder. Though Calipea always had a fascination for the city of Angels, she never swayed from the rich Native American culture that provided wisdom and spirituality. Looking at the man asleep in the seat next to her, Calipea knew that she’d be in need of both very soon.
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