Craig decided to speed the entire way to the airport. It was understandable though, because we left my house at 9:00 and our flight was scheduled to leave at 11:30pm. For once, I understood where Craig was coming from.

The entire drive, Craig had the radio cranked and was singing along to every song, from Demi Lovato to Passenger. He claimed it helped him stay alert, but I had a strong feeling that he would be singing no matter what time of night. As awkward as everything was between us, I missed having him around, and I decided that I wanted him in my life, even if just as a casual pal. His energy was so contagious. For the first time in weeks, I found myself smiling and laughing, and yelling lyrics out with him. It felt like I was a real person again, like I was myself. And it was great.

We made it to the airport by 11, and we managed to go through all of the processes and board our plane on time. Success. However, there was a 15 hour plane ride that I had not taken into consideration. Craig had paid for my ticket, so I had money with me, but we had no extra time at the airport for me to even buy a magazine or something. I also forgot to pack sleeping pills to knock myself out for the flight. But, with Craig sitting next to me, I knew things wouldn't be too dull.

For the first hour or so, we kept our conversation lighthearted and goofy, playfully insulting each other and commenting about how we hoped Mark would do well. But, after a breif pause, I saw a serious look overtake Craig's face and I knew the deep stuff was coming up. Sure enough, he cleared his throat and began.

"Liz, thanks for doing this. Really. You have no clue how torn up Mark was without you. I mean, he'd never admit it but he was a wreck. I think you being there will be awesome for him." He stopped for a second, and I jumped on the opportunity to ask a question that had been burning my tongue since he showed up at my door.

"Well, I know it might be good for Mark but...how is this for you?" I hated asking, but I just really needed to know. I cared about Craig, and I didn't want things to be weird between us forever. He turned beet red, and I felt myself changing color too.

He took a moment to collect his thoughts before answering. "I guess I could lie and say that this is easy. But I won't, because you're the kind of person who'll see through my bullshit Liz. When Coco texted me and told me come get you, I wasn't going to. I wanted to help Mark, but the thought of facing you...it was hard. You shut me down girl."

I know he was trying to play it off like no big deal, but I took his words to heart. I truly never meant to hurt, or embarrass Craig.

I think he saw my shame, and he tried to recover. "It's not your fault though, I was stupid for even bringing it up when I knew you had something with my brother. Honestly, what kind of person does that?"

I couldn't let him beat up on himself, so I stepped in. "Craig, I think it was great for you to tell me how you felt. And...I wish that I could have said that I returned those feelings but...with Mark...everything was just so complicated..." I trailed off, unsure of what to say.

Craig reached out and grasped my hand, but not in a flirty way. It was a friendly gesture. "How about this. Why don't we just move on and start over fresh? 'Cause, I don't know about you, but I miss talking with ya everyday bud!" He grinned and nuzzled my head, and I knew we were good. Playfully, I punched him on the shoulder, to show I was back to being my usual self around him.

We talked for another hour, until he fell asleep. Once he started snoring, I turned to look out the window at the black night sky, glancing down at city lights glowing below us. This was my first time on a plane, and I hadn't even been paying attention! So, I continued staring out the window until I finally nodded off too. I fell asleep, with my heart singing as I thought about how soon I would be seeing Mark again.

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