EIGHTEEN

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On Monday morning, everything was a rush. I was packed and ready, but my bones felt sluggish even after a cup of coffee, and paired with the nervousness of being stuck in a foreign country with Lana, of all people... I just felt sick.

To make matters worse, after the boys picked up their friends Brandon (the Asian kid) and Ralph, they had to drop me just outside the parking area at LAX to make sure I wasn't seen with them, which resulted in me trekking all the way to the check-in.

Not. Fun.

Not when you're not a morning person.

Once I'd checked in my bag, gone through security, and made it to the waiting area, it began to truly sink in that I was alone at the airport. Lana and Audrey were on their way, but I didn't really count them as ideal company. Somehow, it was painful that Wesley and Kurt were so close, yet so impossible to reach. I couldn't risk going to talk with them in a place like this.

I'd flown from Princeton to LA, but never overseas. I didn't know what to expect, apart from a stuffy, cramped plane and a flight so long that using the toilet on the plane would be inevitable. Peeing on planes was something I liked to avoid—I didn't like the bathrooms.

Our ticket didn't state our flight number because we'd arrived fairly early, and the plane hadn't even landed yet. It was supposed to show on the mounted screens closer to our departure. So, to kill some time, I wandered over to The Hollywood Reporter and browsed through their magazine section. News, gossip, scandals— it seemed like that was what made the world go round nowadays. How could people thrive off of it? And was I a hypocrite for feeling that way?

A defensive part of me didn't regret feeling that way— I couldn't help it. I was scared for my wellbeing. The last thing I wanted was to be on the receiving end of yet another scandal. I felt like drama was all my life had revolved around these past few weeks.

Beside me, a hand appeared and casually picked up a magazine. I glanced towards the figure, and my heart stopped when I realised it was Wesley. 

"What are you doing!" I hissed, my gaze snapping back to the public terminal, scanning for any sign of Lana or Audrey. Wesley simply buried his head in a magazine. His voice echoed out from behind it, muffled.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just a customer, casually browsing."

He flipped a page of the magazine. I continued to glare, bewildered.

"You're reading Vogue, Wesley."

He shrugged, clearly convinced that his disguise was more than adequate. "I like looking at the models. Is Kendall Jenner in this issue?"

I sighed wearily.

"What do you want?" I asked finally, turning back to the magazines and praying we weren't noticed in here.

"I came to check up on you— you were looking a little pale," he replied, still flicking through the magazine. But when I looked back, he spared me a brief glance, and his gaze was sincere and questioning.

My heart skipped a little, and a strange sense of comfort came over me.

"I'll be fine. It's not like I'm flying solo," I replied, picking up a magazine of my own. As I began flicking through the glossy pages, he shuffled a little closer and brushed his arm against mine as he put the magazine back.

"If it gets too much, we're just a phone call away. I'll text you our hotel address and room number as soon as we get there."

I nodded once, appreciatively, and he I expected him to leave. But instead, he hovered, and when I looked up, he wasn't even trying to be inconspicuous anymore.

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