We had landed in England. I glanced out of the window to see other planes and several airport workers on the tarmac. 

‘OUCH!’ 

Kate had been trying to pull out her hand luggage out of the overhead compartment in one swift swoop. Instead, she took hold of one bag and let the other fall on my head. 

‘Oops, sorry!!!’ 

I rubbed my head with my hand. Hopefully, a nasty bump wouldn’t form. One time in fifth grade I got hit on the back of the head by a locker door. My classmates said they couldn’t actually see the bump, but I still knew it was there. I spent a whole week acting as if I had been maimed. 

‘Yeah, whatever, it was an accident,’ I said dismissively. 

Kate gave me a mock expression of surprise. Well, I thought it was a mock expression. 

‘You’re not going to yell at me? Are those anger management classes kicking in?’ she joked. 

‘Well, I’ve suffered a blow to the head, haven’t I?’ I shrugged. 

‘Was that a joke?’ 

‘Maybe.’ 

For the record, I don’t take anger management classes. I suppose if someone suggested it, I would…well, get mad. Besides, I’ve always thought that having a short fuse at times made me a more passionate debater and public speaker. My speeches in school were always more convincing when I had the urge to really hammer the opposition (figuratively speaking, of course). 

I took my own bags out of the compartment. I slung one over my shoulder and carried the other in my hand. I inwardly cringed at Kate’s Louis Vuitton bags. What was the point of having the real ones if there were fakes everywhere for ten dollars? Even Paris Hilton couldn’t tell the difference when they asked her on TRL. 

Not that I care what Paris Hilton thinks. 

That’s if she thinks at all. 

The good thing about being in the first row is that you get to leave first. The bad thing about there being a good looking guy in the fourth row is that you don’t actually want to leave. I snuck a peek at Tom. He was 

helping his mom get her hand luggage. Another passenger was asking him for an autograph. He obliged with a smile. 

‘Come on, let’s move it,’ somebody said, while pushing me in the back. 

Have you ever been pushed in the back by an irate seventy year old woman? I have now. 

I thought about giving the elderly woman a dirty look for pushing me so hard but I thought better of it. Just in case she had the urge to push me again. Instead, Kate and I walked briskly to the plane exit without looking back. Once into the airport, we followed the directions to the baggage pick up. 

‘What was that lady’s problem? She was so mad, her nostrils flared,’ Kate said. 

‘I have no idea.’ 

‘I wonder if she’s even aware her nostrils flare like that. It’s not very attractive.’ 

I gave Kate a blank expression. 

I looked around the baggage pick up area. Tom had just come out of the gate area. He and his mom were talking animatedly. They seemed close; the only times my mom and I talked with such enthusiasm was when we were in an argument. A few bystanders near him were giving him that ‘don’t I know you from somewhere?’ look. I wondered if he found the attention annoying or if he just took it in his stride. 

Kate poked me in the arm and I turned in time to see our bags coming towards us on the conveyor belt. We yanked them off the conveyor belt (Kate did so quite ungracefully, her suitcase landing on her foot), and we made our way to the arrival lounge. 

As soon as we stepped into the arrival lounge, I heard a squeal and then I was trapped in a bear hug. 

‘Yay! You’re here, Ivy,’ Ivana said when she released me from her grip. 

‘Hey!’ I said, rubbing my arm. I think Ivana underestimated her own strength. After all, I wasn’t an athlete like her. She was wearing her University tracksuit and she had put her brown hair in a bun. 

She turned to Kate. ‘Nice to meet you, Kate!’ 

‘You too!’ 

‘Well, come on. Follow me. We have a bit of a drive. Unless, you need another coffee fix first, Ivy,’ Ivana said, walking towards the exit and signaling for us to do the same. 

‘No, I’m fine.’ 

We exited the airport and started walking to where Ivana parked her car. I relished the fresh air. Well, as fresh as the air in a car park can be. The airport was still moderately busy at this time of night, so there were still people around either coming or going. The wheels of our suitcases made a bit of noise as we wheeled them across the asphalt. 

‘So, how was the trek here?’ Ivana asked. 

‘Not bad, actually…’ Kate began. 

I looked over at her. She looked as if she had just decided to bite her tongue and not say anything, but then she clearly indicated that she had changed her mind. 

‘…Ivy fell in love.’ 

‘I did not!’ I exclaimed. I prepared myself to be on the defensive. 

Kate stopped in her tracks. This made Ivana and I stop too. Kate flung her arms out in a dramatic fashion and with a philosophical look on her face, began speaking in a drawn out English accent. Here we go. 

‘Love sought is good, but given unsought is better,’ she quoted from Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. 

I rolled my eyes. Ivana laughed. A few people who were milling around the car park looked in our direction. 

‘Don’t say sh*t like that to me in public. People can hear you,’ I quoted from ‘10 Things I Hate About You’. 

‘And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony,’ Kate continued in her Shakespearean moment. She pretended to wipe a tear from her eye. Ivana laughed again. 

‘I’m not in love with him. He was nice to me and I only spoke to him for like five seconds’. 

‘A woman would run through fire and water for such a kind heart,’ Kate replied, her accent getting even more accentuated. 

‘Stop it,’ I said. ‘You’re just showing off just because English Lit is your major.’ 

Kate dropped her arms. And hopefully the accent too. We started walking again. 

‘Drama queen,’ I muttered under my breath. 

‘Takes one to know one,’ Kate countered. 

‘Who was this guy anyway?’ Ivana asked Kate, while getting her car keys out of her bag. 

‘Oh, just some guy….whatshisname…can’t put my finger on it…oh I just had it…hhmmm…give me a second…Tom Daley… or something like that.’ 

‘No way!’ Ivana said. 

‘Yes way!’ Kate responded. 

‘He’s a nice guy, isn’t he?’ Ivana said. 

‘You know him?’ Kate asked. 

‘He’s a helper of my diving team. He helps us with our form and our workouts. In fact, we have a breakfast for the team, friends and family tomorrow. He’ll be there! Of course, I’m taking you two with me,’ Ivana said. 

‘Well, I’m not going,’ I declared. 

‘Of course you are, you’re my guest,’ was Ivana’s reply. 

‘Besides,’ Kate began, with her English accent back on, and her arms twirling. ‘It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.’ 

I hit her with my handbag. 

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