don’t think about relationships the same way. Especially in college. So, when I
caught the girl sitting next to me on the plane reading a magazine article on
how to get out of the friend zone, I did something I never do – I got involved.
of me faded.
girls without the latest trendy clothes. My friendship with Court started as an
opportunity to get inside the male mind, but it turned into so much more.
force people to love you back. No matter how much you long for them.
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seats weren’t even the worst of it, although admittedly not a perk. The real
problem with sitting in the back of the plane was the comradery among the other
passengers. In first-class no one tried to chat about the weather or ask the
dreaded “Are you visiting or returning home?”. No, in first class we sat in our
large, reclining seats with plenty of leg room, cold drink on the tray table,
laptop open, and we minded our own damn business.
needed to flaunt my better than average salary around. I did it because I
preferred the silence. Also, I traveled so much it was almost always a free
upgrade. Not today.
the girl sitting in 8B. She didn’t look up as I shrugged off my suit jacket and
placed it with my carry-on bag in the overhead bin. She stared down at the
magazine in her hands, a pen gripped in her mouth.
were drawn together in deep concentration. The only indication I had that she
knew her seat neighbor had arrived was the way she shielded the magazine with
an elbow as I slid into my seat. Her stance reminded me of those smart kids who
strategically placed their arm around the edge of the desk so that no one could
cheat off their test answers.
the glossy pages only catching the headline: How to Get Out of the
Friend Zone and Land the Guy of Your Dreams. My eyes trailed up to the
young woman so enthralled with such a ludicrous title and I studied her closer.
definitely couldn’t see her being banned to the friend zone. Her blonde hair
was piled up in a bun on the top of her head, face clear and tanned even in the
dreary March weather we’d been having. A faded, oversized floral dress was worn
over leggings and sparkly shoes completed a look that was a cross between a
preppy sorority girl and an artsy free spirit. She dressed in a way that told
me she didn’t know she was beautiful or if she knew, she just didn’t care
enough to conform to a style.
myself intrigued and unable to focus on anything but 8B. I glanced over
politely, hoping she’d look up and make eye contact so I could get a better
look at her. No luck. She kept her focus on the garbage reading material in
front of her as the cabin doors were closed and the flight attendants prepared
for departure. When we’d reached twenty thousand feet and she still hadn’t so
much as side-eyed me, I gave up and pulled out my laptop to do some work.
reading a word, before I gave up and closed the laptop with a snap. She jumped,
startled, and I turned to give her my attention. When her eyes finally found
mine, I inhaled sharply.
eyeliner or eyeshadow, whatever it was called, in a striking blue. I couldn’t
decide if was a fashion statement or a fashion disaster, but her eyes held mine
captive and my lips parted to speak, only no words came out. We stared for a
moment too long, neither saying a word, until she glanced down at her exposed
reading and flipped it shut.
college basketball fanatic, and Hallmark channel devotee. A Midwest native
transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and
singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the
girls who love them.