by Blythe Reid
“Love is overrated,” I said with authority. “The only things women want me more for are my body or my money. I’m happy to share my body with them, but my money? No. It’s not worth it.” “It could be worth it,” Adam argued. “If you found the right girl.” “No such thing,” I said. “They’re all the same. Just gold-digging naggers.” Adam laughed. “Damn, that’s harsh.” “Maybe,” I said, “But it’s the truth.” “I don’t think so, man,” Adam said. “Love is real. There’s someone out there for everyone, even you.” “You sound like such a chick right now,” I groaned. “What the hell happened to you?” He laughed. “Nothing. I’m just not you.” “Clearly.”
We fell silent for a while, just waiting for the minutes to tick by. When I checked my watch, I saw that we had half an hour left. I groaned and leaned my head back against my seat. Adam handed me a magazine and I nodded gratefully. I wasn’t at all interested in reading, but it was better than staring at the ceiling.
I flipped open the cover and mindlessly turned the pages. Nothing caught my eye. I closed the magazine with frustration and glanced around. Adam was captivated by his magazine, and I didn’t want to bother him. Instead, I looked around the terminal, searching for a bar. When I found one, I half-rose from my seat until I heard a nervous voice coming from my right. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. I have a ticket. Why can’t I get on the flight?” I glanced over to see a girl about my age standing at the ticket counter. She had her hands on the counter, and her green eyes were wide with fear. My eyes were instantly drawn to her long, red hair. It flowed down her back smoothly, and I found myself wishing I could run my fingers through it. Shaking my head, I got rid of those thoughts and focused on her conversation.
“We’re overbooked,” the gate attendant said. “I’m sorry, but there’s just no room on the flight. We have to bump someone and since yours was the last ticket purchased, it has to be you.” The girl stared at the gate attendant in horror. I could tell she was at a total loss. She’d clearly never been in this situation before. Judging by the way she kept tapping her foot, she was incredibly nervous.
I didn’t know what compelled me to do it, but I was suddenly on my feet. The girl just looked so lost and helpless that I couldn’t resist. I hurried toward the counter and stepped up beside her. Smiling kindly at her, I turned my attention to the gate attendant. “Is there a problem?” I asked. “No sir,” the gate attendant said. “I’m just explaining our policy to this young lady. There’s no need to get involved.” Her voice was firm, and her eyes were set. She didn’t want me to cause a scene in the middle of the airport, but I wasn’t happy about the situation. This beautiful girl was standing alone at the ticket counter, asking for help, and no one came to her rescue. So, I did. “And what policy is that?” I asked. I kept my voice level, calm. “Sir, we’ve overbooked the flight,” the attendant explained.
“So, unfortunately, we have to bump someone. I’ve just informed this young lady that she’s been bumped.” I nodded. “I see. Well, my friend and I actually bought an extra ticket because we like to have space on our flights, but if this woman needs the seat, it’s all hers.”
“You don’t have to do this,” the girl whispered to me. I glanced at her and smiled encouragingly. She smiled back, her cheeks blushing slightly. “You have an extra ticket?” the attendant asked with a frown. “I do,” I said. I pulled out my boarding passes and handed them to her. She nodded. “I see. Well, that seems fine then.” I smiled. “Perfect.”
The attendant typed something on her computer and then printed out a new boarding pass for the girl beside me. She handed it to her, and we turned away from the counter. I looked at the girl kindly and waited for her to speak. She was blushing brighter than ever and seemed to be at a loss for words.
The sight was incredibly endearing. “You really didn’t have to do that,” she said softly. “I mean, thank you, but it wasn’t necessary.” “It’s not a problem,” I said. “That policy is total bullshit anyway. Why would they sell more tickets than they could accommodate? It doesn’t make sense, does it?” She laughed.
“No, I guess it doesn’t.” “What’s your name?” I asked, stepping closer to her. “I’m Scarlet,” she said. I smiled. “Well Scarlet, I’m Lucien.” “It’s nice to meet you, Lucien.” She smiled and extended her hand to me. We shook hands, and then she looked down at her feet, nervous again.
I fought the urge to laugh at her discomfort. She was already embarrassed, and I didn’t want to make her feel even worse about herself. She looked so innocent standing there in the airport. With her dark red hair and emerald green eyes, she could have been a model, but she seemed completely unaware of her beauty. I could tell by the way she shifted her weight from one foot to the other that she wasn’t used to this much attention from a man, especially not one as attractive as me.
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