Chapter Fifteen

1K 81 9

As it turned out, the first lessons in flying didn't include flying at all.

The next morning Juan snuck into her cabin and dropped a load of textbooks onto the foot of her bed, startling her into waking up.

"What the--"

"Mornin' sunshine," He grinned wide as he went to pull open the shade over her window. Bright sunlight streamed through, piercing her eyes.

She threw an arm over her face to shield herself and fixed Juan with the meanest glare she could muster.

"Don't you give me that look St. Rachel. You're the one who begged me to train you, remember?"

"I didn't ask you to sneak into my cabin and scare the life out of me." She grumbled.

"I think the words you mean to say are thank you. I'll pretend that's what you said and we'll move on. Now get up, you've got a lot of work to do."

Soon after that, in the blur of days that followed, the textbooks became a third appendage to her. She carried them with her everywhere she went—Juan had even gotten her fabric book covers to shield the front and back of the textbooks so no one would know what she was reading.

The books went with her to the dining hall, where she sat alone and towards the back to avoid the ogling eyes of any passersby. The books followed her into the bathroom. The books slept beside her like hardened paper pillows. The books even haunted her dreams.

When she groaned to Juan about it being torture, he patted the top of her head, smiling wryly.

"This is nothing. Wait till you get to basic training."

When it came to textbook learning, Juan was the worst teacher ever. He'd come into her cabin and spend five minutes with her, just long enough to make sure she was doing her homework. And when she'd ask for help clarifying something he'd shrug and say, "Sorry, can't help you there. The only reason I passed was 'cause I copied off Hector on every test."

Aircraft systems, flight regulations, control panels, instrument operation, aerospace physiology and navigation, flight planning, aviation weather—all these words formed a tornado of jumbled thoughts inside her brain.

When she couldn't take anymore, she shut the books and left her cabin in need of fresh air.

A throbbing headache had permantantly lodged itself at the back of her head and down the sides her neck.

It had only been a few days. But she'd wanted this. She still wanted this.

Groaning, she made her way up the stairs and onto the deck where few rays of sunlight peeked through thick storm clouds. Watching the guys and the three girls that made up the pool of trainees soaring through the air, she wanted nothing more than to put the textbooks behind her and be able to train alongside them.

A storm seemed to be brewing on the horzion. She watched the gray clouds amble across the sky, how the sun wove in an out of the clouds as if playing a game of hide and seek, finally succumbing to the weight of the clouds around it.

It was the rain pelting her skin with icy drops that finally forced her inside.

Storm warnings never made her nervous. She'd survived far worse but the entire ordeal was at the very least, exhausting.

Most of the ships population gathered in a room a few floors below where the heater pelted them on full blast. Petra and the girl that had taken Rachel's post in the kitchen had set out steaming mugs of cocoa and finger foods.

Marked ✔️Where stories live. Discover now