Chapter 19

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Over the next month I spend as much time with my friends and family as I can. On the day that I leave for the tour, Mum drives me there, with my father in the car.

Mum drives around the airport car park a few times before she finally finds a park near the entrance.

Mum turns the gear into park. "Okay," she says, turning off the ignition, "we're here."

Mum climbs out of the car, followed by my father. I spend a couple of minutes in the car, waiting as they pull my things out of the boot.

"Jess," Mum says as I hear the boot close, "Time to get out now."

As if I'm going insane, I say goodbye to the car, like I did to the house and my bedroom and everything else. "Goodbye, my darling friend The Car." I open the car door and climb out into the fresh November air.

"Let's go," my father holds out his hand and I take it as we make our way to the airport, me with my carry ons and my parents with one of my suitcases each.

We stand in line for several minutes before we get called up to the counter.

My suitcases weigh between 18 and 21 kilograms each. Mum rolls her eyes as my father just laughs. I guess they kind of expected that, seeing as I'm going away for three months.

We go through the metal detectors without any problems. By the time we reach the gate, my flight is starting to board.

Mum has tears in her eyes as she says goodbye to me. "Goodbye, sweetie," she says tearfully as she hugs me. "Have a good time."

"I'll miss you," I say, "And I wish I could be there to help out."

"Don't worry about me," Mum says, "or about anything that needs to be done. I do have other people around me, but they're just not as amazing as you."

I smile as Mum strokes my hair. "I'll call you as soon as I can when arrive in LA."

"Your first time going overseas," Mum says."

"Yeah," I say.

As soon as I let go of Mum, a female voice comes through the speaker.

"QANTAS flight number 557 is now calling all remaining passengers for boarding."

I walk over to my father to say goodbye. I think of how great and how lovely he's been over the past month.

Without thinking, I give him the first hug I've given him in sixteen years.

I must shock my father a bit. "Whoa, sweetheart," he says, "Careful you don't knock me over."

I laugh a little. "I'll miss you too," I say. I don't really have much to say to him, seeing as we've only spent about a month together.

"Your father will miss you too," Mum says, giving him a slight glare. Jealously, maybe?

I let go and take a step back a the woman's voice comes across the PA again.

"QANTAS flight 557 is now in its final stages of boarding."

"That's me," I say, trying to add a bit of cheer. I give them both a final hug. "Bye Mum, bye Dad."

Dad smiles. "That's the first time you've called me Dad."

I smile back at him.

"QANTAS is tracing Jess Hansen for QANTAS flight 557. Could you please make your way to Gate 18 and board your flight? That is Jess Hansen."

"Well," I say, "I'd better not miss this flight."

Mum and Dad blow me kisses as I hurry away from them and over to the gate. The lady scans my ticket and hands it back to me.

As I walk over to the terminal, I wave at Mum and Dad one final time before walking down to the large plane.

As soon as I get on the plane the door shuts behind me and I'm quickly ushered to my seat.

I have an aisle seat next to a blonde girl who looks almost like one of my cousins. On the other side of her is a brown haired guy who also looks like one of my cousins. I can't tell for sure if we're related since I can't exactly see their faces. If these are my cousins, I think they'll have trouble recognising me since we haven't met up in almost a year.

I look down at the couple, neither of them noticing me until I sit down.

"Jess?" The boy asks, almost as I he can't believe it. The blonde turns around as well to look at me.

"Jess?" she asks as well.

I sit down and shove my carry ons under the seat in front of me. "That's me," I say, "it's great to see you two again. We haven't seen each other in almost a year. How's your family?"

By the time the plane is at its highest descent, my cousins Rosalie, Jeremiah and I have spoken about why we're on the plane.

We spend a majority of the flight to Los Angeles talking and catching up. I figure out that my other cousin, Lorraine, is having a child and she only found out three days ago. The last time I actually caught up with my cousins was when Lorraine got married last year.

Jeremiah, who's twenty and four years older than me, remembers my Dad. When I bring him up, Jeremiah seems to remember who he is. Rosalie is the same age as me, so she doesn't even know who he is.

As the flight descends into LA many hours later, I quickly exchange phone numbers with Jeremiah and Rosalie so that we can catch up sometime. I shove the paper containing their numbers into my bag as the plane rolls in to the gate.

Rosalie, Jeremiah and I wait until the people in the biggest hurry to get off are walking down the aisle before we join the group. It takes a couple of minutes before we finally get off the plane and onto the floor of the terminal.

"How are you getting to the place you're staying?" Rosalie asks.

"Cody's family's picking me up. They arrived yesterday."

We exit the terminal into the mob of people. Jeremiah leads Rose and I out of the mob and over to a more desolate corner. My eyes search frantically for Cody, Alli, Tom or their parents.

"Jess!" a familiar voice yells, barely audible over the sound of people reuniting.

I look for the source of the voice until Jeremiah taps me on the shoulder. I look at him and follow his gaze over to where Alli's standing, frantically waving for me to follow her.

I run over to Alli with Jeremiah and Rose hot on my heels. I quickly introduce Alli to my cousins before we walk over to where her family's waiting.

"Jess!" Cody traps me in a hug and kisses my head. "Its been so long!"

I laugh. "It's only been two days."

Cody laughs and takes my hand. "Who are they?"

I introduce Cody to Jeremiah as Rosalie and Jeremiah and Rosalie to Cody. We all walk down to the baggage claim area together.

"We're going to have so much fun," Cody says, "I'm so glad you're finally here."

I look up to him and smile before letting my lips meet his. "I'm so happy I'm here too."

And with that, we walk to the baggage claim area, claim our luggage, and leave the airport, the holiday just beginning.


I'm sorry that I didn't update yesterday guys. My brother ran out our Internet and I was really busy. I don't think I'll complete this before Christmas so I'm gonna try for New Year. A new story will come in early 2014 then :)

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