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chapter one: the seating issue

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  "Some people can't believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first."  

~Good Will Hunting


 The McCarren airport in Nevada was much bigger than Kelsey had anticipated. She'd already gotten lost once—no, twice—since she'd arrived from Kansas.

Finally, she found her gate, and although her stomach longed for something to eat, she decided not to risk leaving her spot.

She clutched her laminated tickets tightly and kept folding them in half. The layover between Nevada and L.A. was only an hour long—she'd be boarding in fifteen minutes.

Kelsey swallowed hard and tried to harness the butterflies running loose in her stomach.

When she arrived in California, she would have officially moved away from home.

After finishing culinary school last year, she'd worked off and on at restaurants around town in Kansas. She sent in applications for internships all around the state in hopes of being able to hone her skills in a more formal atmosphere.

Then she got a call back from an internship in L.A.

On a movie set.

With a real Italian chef.

And she would be getting paid.

Kelsey could only shake her head and cry whenever she thought of it. It was almost too good to be true.

The steward behind the front desk began calling for handicapped passengers or parents with infants to board the plane, so Kelsey hauled her carry-on onto her shoulder and stood in line.

She clumsily pulled her phone out of her pocket and began to type with one thumb.

-Hey Sandy! I'm heading for L.A. now, should be there in an hour or so.

She'd just put her phone back in her pocket when she remembered something else.

-Oh, and don't be freaked out when the moving truck gets there. I promise I don't have a ton of stuff, they just put the five boxes in a giant van, lol

The steward called her group and Kelsey awkwardly waddled forward, showed her crumpled tickets, and hurried down the passageway.

Walking to the back of the plane was always the most awkward thing about travel. No matter how closely Kelsey held her bag to her chest, she always bumped people's shoulders or stepped on their feet, while saying "excuse me" or "I'm sorry" a thousand times.

Finally, she collapsed into her assigned seat and shoved her purse under the chair in front of her with a hard kick.

She blew a stray hair away from her face and pulled out a big cookbook—hardcover. Probably not a smart idea to carry around, but it was her favorite, and Kelsey figured she'd need a little familiarity as she trekked into the unknown.

She spread open the pages and skimmed through them until she found a recipe for pommes dauphinoise. She knew how to pronounce the recipe in her head, but always tripped up when she tried to speak it out loud. The creamy, cheesy, potato-y dish had a language all its own, anyway.

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