by Maggie Rush
"Wishing" Chapter Nine~ ouo
|“Storm?” a voice called lightly. “Hey, Storm, wake up!”
“Dad…?” I mumbled, blinking. Then I saw his red hair and all the people standing behind him, and remembered where I was. “Oh. Gordon.”
“Hey, we’re here.”
“Here...? We’re in New York City already?” I blinked. That was fast.
He laughed. “You were asleep most of the time.”
I groaned. That meant I had been asleep for… at least seven hours. Good bye, sleeping patterns! Well, I probably wouldn’t get much sleep tonight anyway, so nothing lost.
He held out his hand. “Come on, we need to hurry and get off before we’re run over by all these people.”
Hesitantly, I took his hand and allowed him to pull me up. I stared at my feet, hoping that I wasn’t blushing at how close we were. He pulled me out into the aisle.
I looked around frantically. “Where’s Megan?”
“She was one of the first ones off the plane,” he said, shaking his head and chuckling.
I laughed. “Wow, she really has bad claustrophobia, that’s for sure.”
Gordon grabbed our bags from underneath our seats. Meanwhile, I glared at all of the people trying to shove us out of the way. Rude, much?
I’m not exactly claustrophobic, but it was sure a relief to get out of there. I stretched my arms as I yawned, not realizing that Gordon was still carrying both of our bags.
I stood on my toes, trying to see Megan over the heads of all the people departing the plane. Eventually I got fed up with all of the pushing and grabbed Gordon’s arm, attempting to pull him out of the crowd.
It took about ten minutes to find Megan, who was sitting in a chair at the end of the gate. Her arms were wrapped around her bag, hugging it to her chest. Luckily, we only had carry-on bags, so we didn’t have to go and wait for our luggage.
I collapsed into the chair next to Megan. At first I didn’t realize why I was tired, and then realized it was an aftereffect of sleeping for so long.
“I called a cab,” Megan said as Gordon sat on the other side of her.
I looked over at the giant windows that overlooked the runway. It was dark outside. I didn’t check my phone, but I guessed it was around 7:30. I think that’s the time we were supposed to arrive.
“Where are we going tonight?” I asked lightly.
“We should probably just crash in a hotel tonight,” Gordon said, rubbing his temples. “In the morning, we can try to get in contact with… them. Do you have C’s number? Or any way to contact her?”
I cannot begin to describe my relief that Gordon didn’t say anything of importance out loud. Maybe it was just paranoia, but I always feared that somebody could be listening in on our conversations. Somebody bad.
“We have nothing,” I muttered. “C just talked to us, gave us the plane tickets, and shoved us out of the room. But, knowing her, I’m almost positive she’ll find us at the hotel, one way or another.”
Megan laughed. “Yeah, she will. I mean, she knew where Storm lived.”
“Stalker…” I heard Gordon mutter.
I stood up, grabbing my bag from Gordon. But before I could take another step forward, Megan’s arm shot out, grabbing my wrist and pulling me back into my seat.
“Storm,” Megan hissed. I was taken aback by her sudden tone. “Look at that guy over there.”
Thank God, she didn’t point at him. But her eyes gave away who she was talking about.
A man sat in the row of chairs facing us, though he was down the row at least ten chairs. Not close enough to hear us, unless he had great hearing. He had a mostly bald head, but black sideburns. He wore a brown leather jacket and jeans.
“What about him?” I looked at Megan like she was insane.
“I saw him on the train.”
I paused. “…Back in Illinois?”
She shook her head. “I don’t think he got on there. But I saw him getting off in Sylvania, so he must have gotten on the train on one of the other stops.”
I shook my head. “Megan, there’s no way that he could be the same g-“
“I know it is, Storm!” Megan assured, her brown eyes big. “I remember. He ran into me while we were getting off the train.”
I didn’t respond, my eyes flicking back to the stranger to study him. I realized he was on the phone, looking away from us.
“Just a coincidence?” Gordon offered. I had almost forgotten about his presence.
I closed my eyes, flicking my hair back. “There’s no such thing as coincidences.”
“Hey, he’s getting up!” Megan whispered.
I looked out of the corner of my eye. Sure enough, the man was standing up and walking in the direction of the bathroom.
“He left his coat on the seat…” I said softly, mostly to myself. My head snapped up. “Gordon, search his coat.”
Gordon looked at me, shocked, for a minute before deciding that I was serious. He shrugged and walked towards the jacket, looking over his shoulders in case the man came back.
“Megan, watch the bathroom doors and warm us if he comes back,” I said, never taking my eyes off of Gordon.
He looked around once more, then pulled the jacket off of the chair. He started at the pockets, emptying the contents out onto the seat.
Mostly it just looked like junk. Tissues, a pen. And then Gordon pulled out a wallet. Finally, something that caught my attention.
He looked through it for a minute before looking back at me. “Driver’s license?” I mouthed. He shook his head.
No form of ID… I thought. That’s… suspicious.
I continued staring at Gordon as he searched the jacket, not caring if anybody noticed what my attention was drawn to.
He stuck his fingers into the lapel of the coat, pulling out a small piece of paper and unfolding it. I caught my breath when I saw the expression on Gordon’s face. It was one of shock, disbelief…
Gordon refolded the piece of paper, throwing the coat lazily over the back of the seat once more. He walked towards me quickly, his small steps turning into long strides.
“Storm, you need to see this,” he said in a low voice, holding out the piece of paper.
I took it, expecting the worst. I unfolded the paper, realizing it was a newspaper clipping.
Staring up at me was the smiling face of Richard Rush.
I took a few shaky breaths, eyes scanning the article under the picture. “This is my father’s obituary.”
Gordon nodded. “Uh-huh.”
I paused, then grabbed my bag again, heading away from the seats. “Come on, guys, we’re going.”
Megan and Gordon were a little surprised by my sudden actions, but knew better than to question me. They followed as I practically ran out of the airport.
The strange series of events puzzled me. But in the end, it led me to ask myself two questions.
Who is this man, and why is he following us?