forty four

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C O N N O R

I was sad to be leaving the UK, but as we were walking through security at the airport in London, I also felt a bit lighter in my chest. A bit relieved, one might say. Because no matter how much I loved being away from home, I loved my family, and I had kind of missed them. But I also just wanted to stay a bit longer. I didn't want to go back to the routine of school and sports and trying to fit in time with Troye somewhere whilst also making sure I wasn't abandoning my friends. Because I felt like I'd been doing that too much lately. Really, I didn't mean to. I wanted to spend time with them, but school and practice took most of my time already, and the small piece of remaining time was time I also liked to spend with Troye. I mean, he didn't always have time either, and as we didn't really spend time really together in school, I valued the time we could spend outside of it.

The airport was busy, with people dashing through the crowds to reach their gates and not miss their flights. There were elderly people strolling around, not paying attention to anyone or anything and thus ever so often almost running into others. If it weren't for Troye guiding me through the airport and seemingly knowing exactly where we had to go, I would have been lost myself.

-

On the plane, I tried sleeping. Really, I tried. Because we were flying to America, and the time difference was making us "go back in time", we would arrive at what felt like one in the morning or something. Honestly, I hadn't really figured out time zones yet. Whereas I didn't really succeed into sleeping, Troye did. His head was leaning on my shoulder, his leg pressed against mine and his left hand dangling on both of our legs. My fingers were loosely intertwined with his, but I wasn't really holding on to his hand. His mouth was slightly agape, and he stirred once in a while, making me wonder whether I had moved too much and was waking him up. I ran my hand through his hair slowly, letting the curly bits spring back into place. He was so soft.

I must have fallen asleep at some point in the flight, because there was now a flight attendant towering above me and Troye, waking us up and telling us that we had landed. I rubbed my eyes and yawned, shaking the boy next to me- who was fast asleep- awake softly.

"Hmm?" He mumbled, not quite opening his eyes.

"We've landed, c'mon, angel." This made him blink a couple times and then let out a stretched yawn, making me laugh despite the fact that I was only just awake again.

- (sorry for the small segments of nothingness)

Troye's mom, Laurelle, had come to pick us up from the airport, along with his sister Sage. When they spotted us, the latter immediately latched herself onto Troye, who let go of my hand to give her a hug.

"Missed me, Sagey?" He teased her, to which she mumbled a defiant "maybe a bit". I just stood next to them and awkwardly greeted his mom, who didn't have any of it and just gave me a hug.

The ride back was spent with loads of chatter, and even though Troye did most of the talking, I was speaking quite a lot too. They wanted to hear everything. How it had been, what we'd done, if our stay at Zoe's had been nice and what I'd thought of London and if I could get along good with everyone. And I was happy to tell them.

When we arrived at my house just over an hour later, Troye and I both got out of the car. He told his mom that he'd just be walking home later or that he'd call or something. That he "just want[ed] to make sure they weren't mad at [him] for taking their son on a sudden trip to England and that [I] was home alright."

From the look Sage gave us, I could tell that she just thought it was some bad excuse to kiss me and probably do 'other' things now that we were back. We both just rolled her eyes at her, waving them off.

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