One – Dreaming of London

WanderlustTen hours.

That’s how long I had to listen to my step-sister, Sophie, go on and on about seeing her boyfriend Logan Meyers, once we landed in London.

Ten hours.

Do you know how much ten hours feels like when all you hear is about a guy you hardly know, not to mention care about? I’ll tell you, it feels like an eternity. I tried blasting Coldplay through the earbuds I had strategically hid from sight, but to no avail. When she realized I wasn’t giving her any attention, she viciously ripped them from my ears and launched off on another one-sided debate on Logan.

In reality, I probably only got three hours of solitude when Sophie drifted off to sleep. Actually, I think everyone around us got a break from Sophie’s psycho babbling. The man across the aisle flashed me a small smile of gratitude and leaned back into his seat, nestling in for a nap of his own. The woman behind me whispered, “It’s about time.”

I used that time to good use and turned on my Ipod, putting it on shuffle and diving into Wuthering Heights. Reading the beautiful words of Emily Bronte, I imagined visiting the stark moors of Yorkshire, and the hauntingly desolate landscape of Wales.

I couldn’t see how I’d ever go to a different country when London was filled with thousands of places to visit. There was Buckingham Palace, riding the London Eye, visiting The London Tower where it was rumored that Anna Boleyn’s headless spirit still haunted the grounds.

Flashing a glance at Sophie filled me with unexplainable dread and frustration. I was beginning to regret ever suggesting to our parents that bringing Sophie would keep me out of any sort of trouble. It was the complete opposite of how a situation would turn out. In the end it would be me bailing Sophie out of any shenanigans she got involved in.

Plus, they also didn’t believe that an eighteen year old was ready to go out of the country on her own.

I was eighteen not eight. My parents could be such a monumental drags, and I was glad to be rid of them for one whole summer. After two years of slaving away at Grounds Keeper I had rightfully earned enough to take this trip. Bringing Sophie had it perks. Well, just two if I ignored her nauseating love sick talk about Logan.

1. Our parents had given us each one grand in traveler checks.

2. I wouldn’t be exploring Europe on my own.

It was overwhelming, to say the least, going to a new and foreign land where I didn’t know anyone or where anything was. I had a horrible sense of direction and I was relieved beyond words that Sophie had agreed to come. It actually hadn’t been very hard to convince her with her boyfriend being in London. It was a good incentive as any.

Never did I suspect in a million years that Sophie would ditch me as soon as she flew into his arms, knocking him back a couple of feet.

“What do you mean your staying here?” I asked. My stomach twisted into knots as nameless panic flitted through my veins.

Sophie shuffled her weight from one foot to the other, unable to meet my eyes. Logan stuck his hands into his front pockets, looking awkward in his 6’2 frame. He wasn’t a bad looking guy; hazel eyes, messy brown curly hair. But at that moment I absolutely despised him for taking away Sophie from me. Who knew how much he’d worked to convince her of this.

“I’ve been thinking about it for awhile,” she said. “On the plane. I hardly get to see him, and I won’t spend that much time with him if we’re leaving in a matter of days to God knows where.”

“But that’s the idea!” I was fuming. Was this her plan all along, ever since I mentioned coming to Europe three months ago? “We’re supposed to backpack through Europe; have our own adventure. Not just stay in one place for the entire summer!”

“We can stay here, if you want. There’s plenty of things to do here and Logan can show us around with his friends. I bet you’ll even fall in love with one of them.”

I looked at her incredulously. “If that’s what you think I came here for then you don’t know anything about me.”

She reached forward but I drew back, suddenly aware of the chill in the air. She looked up at the sky, gray clouds obscuring the never-ending blue sky.

“It’s about to rain,” Logan said for the first time since going through formalities. “We should head inside, at least for a bit.”

Sophie nodded in agreement and held out her head, blue eyes pleading with me. I shook my head, glancing at Logan’s downcast eyes. “I can find somewhere else to stay.” I was shocked to hear the bitterness in my voice. “I wouldn’t want to be a third wheel or put a damper on your plans.”

“Shae.”

Turning on my heels, I marched down Broad Street. Sophie called after me, “Call me whenever you get the chance, Shae. What will we tell Mom and Dad?!”

I fought every extinct to turn around and forge a plan with Soph. What would we tell our parents when they called?  If they even called. I could imagine our conversation going a little something like this:

Oh, hey, Mom and Dad. How are we? We’re great. We’re in Berlin right now. Soph? You want to talk to Soph? Umm…well you see….Soph is in London. She wanted to be with Logan so I’ve been wandering aimlessly around Europe the last couple of days. There’s no need to worry. We’re both perfectly safe. We talk to each other every other day and…no. We’re fine. You guys cannot board a plane over here! We’re not coming home. I am-

The phone line would go dead and I’d be seething in anger. No. I couldn’t let Sophie ruin my trip. If she wanted to stay with Logan – fine. I wouldn’t force her into coming along with me if she didn’t want to. She’d make my life miserable until she got what she wanted. That’s how our relationship worked ever since my dad married her mom.

I hadn’t noticed how long I’d walked for until the sprinkle of water began to fall from the sky, leaving a fresh cool trail on my skin. In a matter of seconds it turned into a downpour and I ducked underneath a verandah, soaked to the marrow. I glanced around the street as people dashed into stores to get away from the weather. I shivered, feeling icy pinpricks dance up my spine. It was extraordinary how a warm summer day could abruptly turn into a cold, wet one.

A few yards away I noticed a tall cozy white building with green shutters and a sign that read Mortons Café. I made a run for it, passing other strangers on the street as they concealed themselves from the sudden watery onslaught. The smell of coffee beans was pungent as I stood under the awning, looking in through the glass window at the crowded café.

I took a deep breath, taking in a lungful of the delicious smell I had come to love after working seven hour shifts at GK. Adjusting my bag safely over my shoulder, I reached forward and turned the knob, hearing a tinkling bell announcing my arrival.

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6 Comments

  1. It was awsome…post soon the next ch…:)

    Reply
  2. You finally uploaded it! You already know what I thought of the chapter x) seems like it’s the same one I read on wattpad 🙂 Can’t wait to see what else you come up with! We already know Sophie’s going to be a freaking handful x)

    Reply
  3. This is amazing! 🙂 I’ll surely go back to your blog more often. I enjoyed reading your piece.

    Reply
  4. I love this first chapter. Am I too late for this? OMG i can’t stop thinking about the possibilities!!

    Reply

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