Sunday, March 14, 2010

Airplanes and books

“This is ridiculous. Ridiculous. The plane was supposed to leave an hour ago! It's not even here yet!” Jack stormed down the row of seats for the thousandth time, glaring darkly at the big airport windows overlooking the tarmak. “It's ridiculous. What, did the airplane run out of wings?”

“It probably hit some bad weather,” Amy said for the thousandth time, not looking up from her book. “Sit down.”

“I will not sit down! The plane should be here already!” He kicked the row of seats, vibrating it all the way down to where Crash was sleeping with a magazine over his face. The taller man groaned, and rolled over. “Why isn't it here?” The terminal was fortunately mostly deserted, save the occasional sleeping businessman, and two college students playing games on their phones on the opposite end of the big room. Nobody took notice of the blond man as he strode back and forth, gesturing wildly and ranting about the plane. Small blessings, Amy thought.

“Any number of reasons,” Amy replied calmly. “Most of which we went over an hour ago, and some before that.”

“But it's been an hour! When is that stupid plane going to come?” he asked, turning to her as if she knew.

“It'll come when it gets here. Now sit down.”

“I'm not going to sit down,” he pouted, crossing his arms. “And that's final.”

“Fine.” She turned the page of her book. “Suit yourself.”

Jack glared at her for a moment, then collapsed in the chair next to her. “It's supposed to be here already!” he complained. “I just don't get why it's not!”


There was a moment's pause. “Can I have another sandwich?” he finally asked, hesitantly.

“Those were supposed to last the entire flight,” she sighed, setting down her book and digging through her carry on bag.

“That is entirely Crash's fault,” he pointed out as she handed him the sandwich. “I've only had one.”

“And he's only had three, so you're only one behind him now.” She closed the plastic bag with one hand, picking up her book again with the other. “What happened to that book of sudoku you bought from the gift shop?”

“I finished it,” replied Jack as he slouched against the hard gray plastic of the airport chair, his mouth still full of sandwich. “Too easy.”

“It was the hardest one they had...”

“Marketing.” He waved the sandwich in one hand. “All marketing. Crash could've done those puzzles.”

“The gift shop is still open, you know. You could go get a magazine...”

“I don't want a magazine!” He exclaimed. “All they have is lame stuff like TIME, and Newsweek. Who cares about stuff like that?”

She sighed again, having rather unpleasant flashbacks to her highschool days of babysitting her neighbor's seven year old. “Fine.” She snapped her book shut, and handed it to him. “You read my book, and I'll go get myself a magazine.”

He blinked, choking on a bite of pastrami. “But...”

“No buts. If you won't get yourself something, you read that.” She was two aisles away before he managed to swallow.

“But it's a romance!” he objected, turning around in his seat. “I can't read...”

“No buts!” She shouted back. “Read it or stop whining!”

“...Ok.” He turned back around. “Wasn't whining,” he muttered. “Perfectly legitimate complaint. Plane was supposed to be here an hour ago, should've been halfway to San Francisco by now.” He stared dismayedly at the cover of His Rose, which featured, in addition to some of the most illegibly beautiful pink cursive text he'd ever seen, a swooning woman in the arms of a man with his shirt half open. He raised one eyebrow as he read description on the back.

Rose is beautiful,
it read, but terribly lonely. Spending her life under the control of her widowed stepfather, she feels she is doomed to die a spinster. Until one day, a handsome stranger collapses at the edge of the gardens, and she finds herself...

He covered his eyes and guessed at the rest of the paragraph. “...Strangely drawn to the mysterious enigma of a man. But will their love survive her stepfather's suspicion, or will the dark secret that brought him here destroy them both?” He opened his eyes. “Oh, enigmatic mystery of a man. Got it.”

“Don't even wanna know what you're talking about,” muttered Crash from the opposite aisle of seats.

“Shut up,” replied Jack cordially as he opened the book.

Amy returned a few moments later to find Jack calmly engrossed in the romance novel, and Crash asleep with the travel pillow over his eyes. She set down two motorcycle magazines easily within Jack's line of sight and reach, and opened up her own copy of Celebrity Homes and Gardens. She glanced up, a few minutes later. No good.

She pouted inwardly. She'd just gotten to the good part. With any luck he'd finish the novel as quickly as he'd finished the sudoku book.

It was nearly half an hour before Jack spoke again. “Oh, come on!” he exclaimed. “Using a poker in a swordfight is good and all, but it'd cool down by four minutes in! There's no way Morringston could've burned him!”

She very calmly attempted to ignore him, turning the page of an article on water gardens and acting like she was very engrossed in yet another picture of koi. Unfortunately, Jack had never been a quiet person.

“Come on, man, how are you missing this? She just freaking stole a horse to come find you, least you could do is say thanks,” he muttered. She glanced up at him, mildly annoyed. He didn't notice. “And she somehow magically knew to bring medical supplies. Yes. Great. Way to miss the moment, dude.”

“Jack, they can't hear you,” she reminded quietly, hoping he'd get the point.

“But he's a moron! He likes this Rose girl, and it's so obvious that she likes him, but he just doesn't see it! He's being all 'oh, she'd never want to be with a scoundrel like me,' and every conceivable piece of evidence is all like 'yes, dude, she does. Duh' and I'm guessing it will take her either getting kidnapped or terribly wounded before he finally admits this!”

“Well, it is a romance novel. If he got it right away, the book would be over already.”

“Dude's a moron.”

“They always are,” she muttered, going back to her magazine.


ivy said...

Poor, poor Amy. I don't know what to feel more sorry about--Jack being a two-year-old when it comes to things not going his way, or Jack being completely oblivious to the emotions of other people, especially her.

That being said, Amy being her patient self makes Jack hysterically funny on top of relatively annoying. Add in Crash (that "shut up" exchange is my favorite part), who always has my favorite interactions with Jack, and this scene is an overall win.

Danda said...

Hahahahaha...Jack is so funny. And I like your writing about the romance novel; it's rather true, and Jack's commentary on it made it even better.

I have to agree with Ivy's sentiment: Poor Amy. Their conversation here is great. I could see this happening in an airport just the way you wrote it; very nice!