Friday, June 26, 2009
Across the Pond and Back Again
As promised in yesterdays blog, here is the first chapter of my new book, well up to now it is...
Fred sat staring at the newspaper the airhostess had given him, the picture of Chipper Evans holding the baseball.
Above it was the headline.
“CHIPPER EVANS, WITH HIS 500th RUN BALL
A GIFT HE SAYS, FROM A FRIEND ACROSS THE POND”
A friend across the pond, that’s what Chipper, had called him. Now here he was flying back across that same pond.
His mind flipped through the last couple of weeks and how much his life had changed. Faces and events like on one of those old time black and white movies flashed across his memory. The friends he had made, the adventures he’d had, even his fight with Steve Harris. And above all Brit and what she had become to him.
Love at first site, he’d never believed in, perhaps not at first site, but what there had been and grown into something special and the pain he felt when Brit had turned to go, told him it was for real.
The unhappiness and anger that he had felt in having to go to America in the first place had been replaced by an even deeper sadness at leaving the USA.
Trying to drag himself out of his melancholy, Fred pulled out the envelope from his jacket pocket. A check for a thousand dollars and two return first class tickets. Phil and Julie had also promised that Brit would be coming over to England for Christmas.
His thoughts were interrupted by a message over the planes intercom.
“Will Fred Squire please make himself known to a member of the cabin crew.”
Fred Squire? That’s me! Now what?
He looked round, but the only members of the cabin crew he could see were busy elsewhere.
Make himself known; did that mean he had to go somewhere, stand up or what?
A “ping pong” sound from further down the cabin brought realization and he hurriedly looked the “call attendant” button in his arm rest.
To his surprise it was Mandy the attendant who had looked after him when he’d arrived in the US that made her way towards him.
“Errr, there was an announcement” he said “I’m Fred Squire”
“Yes” Mandy said, “I thought I recognized the name, Fred not Frederick isn’t it.”
Fred was surprised she remembered him.
“Well young man”, Mandy continued. “It seems you are a bit of a celebrity. We’ve had a radio message from New York. Central control, have told us that you are to be upgraded to the first class cabin.”
She handed the openmouthed Fred a piece of paper, slowly he read the typed words.
“Please upgrade passenger Fred Squire to first class. And tell him it is from the New York Mets, even though we lost, as a thank you to a true sportsman.”
First Chipper and now the team his five hundredth run had helped beat.
“Is this all a dream?” he asked Mandy.
“No dream hero. You’re now a first class passenger. Do you have any hand luggage?”
Fred pointed out his bag in the overhead compartment. He then slowly followed Mandy and his luggage towards the front of the plane, feeling like everybody every passenger was staring at him.
There were only a couple of people in the first class area and both of those were deeply engrossed in tapping away on their laptops. It was another world in first class the seats looked like armchairs. One of which Mandy escorted him to.
Sensing Fred’s confusion Mandy explained how the seat could be altered until it was almost a bed.
As the announced to get ready for take off came over the intercom, and the plane started to taxi towards the runway. Fred Squire his emotions in total turmoil, did up his seat belt prepared to leave America.
In a car heading back North towards Connecticut, A very pale and quiet Brit sat in the back of the car. Her eyes pricked with tears and her lip was red as she bit it trying to control her feelings.
I am not going to cry! I am not going to give in! I will toughen up and never be that weepy teenager again.
Julie looked around at her daughter as if sensing the turmoil she was going through. She was just about to say something when she felt Phil hand on hers. She looked at her husband, seeing concern on his face, matching that on hers. Phil gave a slight shake of his head and mouthed the word “no” before squeezing his wives hand.
Time, it would take time.
She looked out the car window, noticing a plane slowly climbing into the darkening skies.
For all of them!
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"