Here’s a thing I learned a long time ago… guys and girls don’t think about relationships the same way. Especially in college. So, when I caught the girl sitting next to me on the plane reading a magazine article on how to get out of the friend zone, I did something I never do – I got involved.
One look into her electric blue eyes and the darkness inside of me faded.Light and hope radiated from her like a neon sign.
Guys like me know how to get the girl, but we rarely get to keep them.
Girls like me fade into the background. Nice, quiet, smart girls without the latest trendy clothes. My friendship with Court started as an opportunity to get inside the male mind, but it turned into so much more.
His touch sent current coursing through my veins.
His kiss jolted my heart.
But here is something I learned a long time ago… you can’t force people to love you back. No matter how much you long for them.
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Flying coach was bullshit. The crying babies and the cramped seats weren’t even the worst of it, although admittedly not a perk. The real problem with sitting in the back of the plane was the comradery among the other passengers. In first-class no one tried to chat about the weather or ask the dreaded “Are you visiting or returning home?”. No, in first class we sat in our large, reclining seats with plenty of leg room, cold drink on the tray table, laptop open, and we minded our own damn business.
I didn’t sit in first class because of some ego trip where I needed to flaunt my better than average salary around. I did it because I preferred the silence. Also, I traveled so much it was almost always a free upgrade. Not today.
At least I’d been lucky enough to snag an aisle seat. Unlike the girl sitting in 8B. She didn’t look up as I shrugged off my suit jacket and placed it with my carry-on bag in the overhead bin. She stared down at the magazine in her hands, a pen gripped in her mouth.
Pink lips were wrapped around the blue pen and her eyebrows
were drawn together in deep concentration. The only indication I had that she knew her seat neighbor had arrived was the way she shielded the magazine with an elbow as I slid into my seat. Her stance reminded me of those smart kids who strategically placed their arm around the edge of the desk so that no one could cheat off their test answers.
Intrigued, I settled in and peeked over her arm and down at the glossy pages only catching the headline: How to Get Out of the Friend Zone and Land the Guy of Your Dreams. My eyes trailed up to the young woman so enthralled with such a ludicrous title and I studied her closer.
She was beautiful, but not in an in your face way. I definitely couldn’t see her being banned to the friend zone. Her blonde hair was piled up in a bun on the top of her head, face clear and tanned even in the dreary March weather we’d been having. A faded, oversized floral dress was worn over leggings and sparkly shoes completed a look that was a cross between a preppy sorority girl and an artsy free spirit. She dressed in a way that told me she didn’t know she was beautiful or if she knew, she just didn’t care enough to conform to a style.
Judging by her reading material I was sold on the first option.
As the other passengers filed into their seats, I found myself intrigued and unable to focus on anything but 8B. I glanced over politely, hoping she’d look up and make eye contact so I could get a better look at her. No luck. She kept her focus on the garbage reading material in front of her as the cabin doors were closed and the flight attendants prepared for departure. When we’d reached twenty thousand feet and she still hadn’t so much as side-eyed me, I gave up and pulled out my laptop to do some work.
I stared at the reports in front of me for five minutes, not reading a word, before I gave up and closed the laptop with a snap. She jumped, startled, and I turned to give her my attention. When her eyes finally found mine, I inhaled sharply.
Bright blue eyes were outlined with a heavy hand on the eyeliner or eyeshadow, whatever it was called, in a striking blue. I couldn’t decide if was a fashion statement or a fashion disaster, but her eyes held mine captive and my lips parted to speak, only no words came out. We stared for a moment too long, neither saying a word, until she glanced down at her exposed reading and flipped it shut.