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Airports suck.

"Zeke!" my dad yells to me from the Auntie Anne's he's standing near. I'm being one of those moody teenagers - you know the kind - and staring out the window, intensely focused on the airplanes outside. Standing near one of those big ass windows is kind of satisfying since I can see basically everything. Makes me feel like I could rule the world or something.

I don't turn to face him. "Yeah?"

"Ready to head back?"

"Not really," I respond and his groan is almost audible. He knows I'm not particularly thrilled to be back in the States. First off, being forced to leave my super hot girlfriend is crime enough. But making me leave Austria in general is too much for one boy to handle. I've been an immature jackass about it, but I think I have a little right to be since I wasn't given a choice to stay. I'd spent most of my freshman year there, along with all of my sophomore and junior years of high school. I was finally getting used to life there. Now I have to come back just in time for my senior year.

Just standing in the Dallas airport is depressing me. I am entirely underwhelmed by this place.

"I've had enough of the airports, let's just get home." Dad is almost begging now. We have a forty-five-minute drive home ahead of us which neither of us wants to do. It was a nearly twenty-five-hour process flying from Austria to here including layovers and the seven-hour time difference isn't helping.

I look out the window, watching as luggage gets pulled on one of those little carts over to a plane. "How much do you think the guy driving the cart gets paid?"

Dad approaches the window, pulling his bag behind him. "Probably not enough to make up for working at two AM on a Monday."

I nod in agreement and readjust my backpack. "That guy probably went to college for engineering or something. And here he is, driving a little cart around and loading luggage onto a plane."

"I'm sure he has a degree that pertains to this."

"A degree that pertains to loading luggage onto a plane," I say flatly.

"Something within it at least."


College has been on my mind a lot, mostly since I just assumed I'd be looking into schools in Austria, or at least Europe in general. Now my plans are changing again and I'm not sure where I'll end up. I could easily just go to the same college my older sister, Arden, goes to or I could somewhere totally different. I could always just end up far out of state, away from this place that has treated me pretty kindly, but I'm not in the mood to admit it yet.

Dad turns to look at me. "Can we go home?"

"So I can stay up and watch TV all night?" I ask him. My body is telling me it's nine in the morning and after spending both of my flights knocked out, I'm ready to run a marathon. Besides, there's something really motivating about being in an airport with all these people running around. Families going on vacation and coming home from them, returning at ungodly hours with exhausted toddlers and seemingly endless bags. Since the only time I'd ever really gone on a vacation was moving to Austria, watching this is so interesting. It bums me out that I never got to experience it firsthand as a kid.

"I'm sure once you get home you'll be tired," Dad tells me.

"I guess I could just call Emaline," I say and Dad doesn't respond. Emaline is the most incredible girl I've ever met, but Dad is iffy on her, probably because he knows how teenagers are. He kept dropping hints as he and I were packing to leave that I should just break up with her ("it's for the better"). But we're persistent. And realistically, even though I'm not sure she's the love of my life or anything crazy like that, we've been dating for nearly a year. She's my first real girlfriend, the first person I had sex with, all of that stuff. She's a big deal to me.

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