Day 293 – Folie a Deux – Part 19 – James

Word count: 1410

The airport security got in the way of him waving goodbye to his family. Thomas and Layla waved frantically. Miranda was sad, but in more than the way his kids were sad. She had been here before; many times before. But still she waved and smiled faintly for the kids.
“Daddy’ll be back home soon, don’t worry,” she comforted them as he had hugged them all goodbye.
This time would not be so bad. Only six weeks. Six weeks of hotels and restaurants and transportation. It sounded fun, but after all these years, it was just boring. Excitement was sitting at home for more than a week without being called, contacted or wanted for something. James no longer cared for expensive food and luxury hotels. A home-cooked lasagne with Miranda on the sofa was enough. But it had to be done – it was his job. There was no avoiding it and there was no denying it.
He went through security and people stared. This always happened. He tried hard to avoid their gaze and ignore them all, but still the whispers could not be blocked out. It was, in a way, he guessed. Yes, it was nice; but not something he needed or wanted. The security patted him down – his body had bleeped the machine and his bagged apparently required searching. James took his side by the edge of the conveyor belt on the other side of the metal detector and waited patiently as his bag was emptied of all its contents. Wires and wires were pulled out; all sorts of musical equipment too. James didn’t even know why it was in there – he could have easily stuffed it into his main bag. He was never the best at packing, though. Eventually after excavating his entire bag, the security guard winked at him and said he was good to go. Something told James that that was done just for him to have something to say to his friends that night.
James stalked off and found the bar, where he knew Jonny would be from his incessant texting whilst he was going through security. It was the private bar – the exclusive one that only rich people could afford to drink out of, but it was just the same as any old bar.
Jonny was waving as frantically and as childishly as Thomas had done.
“Soo, what’s the news?”
“Security scanned my entire bag. It was a bit of a pain.”
“Ah, were you a suspected…idiot?”
“Very funny, get me a drink.”
There was still an hour left until they had to find their gate and hop on board. Jonny always liked arriving early so he could get a little sizzled before boarding though. He was slightly scared of flying – a small fear that he usually overcame, but only with the small aid of a little vodka and a lot of whisky. One time when flying out to Tokyo – an eleven hour flight – he didn’t have a chance to sit in the bar and almost had to be pulled on to the plane. Even when he was sitting on the plane though, he was jumping up and down, fidgeting and folding up in a anxious mess until the plane took off. Once it was in the air he was absolutely fine – he had explained before that it was not the flying itself that was the problem, but the taking off.
“How can something that big fly? I mean how? It’s strange, it’s stupid, it’s weird! It freaks me out!” He had said, splashing the back of his throat with another whisky and coke as they climbed to twenty-thousand feet.
For now Jonny was fine. He had been here a little while longer than he might have admitted to James, however, as there were four additional empty glasses that Jonny was over-insistingly blaming on the previous occupants to the table.
“When do Danny and Nick get here?”
Danny and Nick lived a bit further out – and both in different directions, so they couldn’t all tag along on the same ride. They still loved the travelling, though and normally turned up a little early just for the excitement of being at the airport.
“Should be any minute now – Dan texted saying he was just going to go through security now…”
James knocked back the dregs of his vodka coke, “That’s cool, maybe he met Miranda and the kids when they left.”
“Yeah, probably. Probably more likely getting mobbed though, you know what Dan’s like!”
“God yeah, sorry I forgot. We have to swarm through the girls just to say hi to him these days… what a sly chancer, honestly. If I were Rach I’d be eyeing up those girls’ hands and where they go!”
“Where he lets them go more like!”
“What’s this, what’s this, what’s this?” the familiar voice of Nick approached from behind them, “Talking about me?”
“Dan!”
“Ah, the girls?” he joked, pulling up a seat to the table and signalling the barman for more drinks. “God I love this, back together again. I miss it when we’re not all together, enjoying the travel, the music, the people.”
Nick was a bit of a throwback to his Gap Year and loved travelling so much he did it in his spare time. He loved backpacking especially – taking a tent and wandering around Europe for a few weeks with no contact from anyone, even his girlfriend.
“Yeah, it’s great. More taking off!” Jonny groaned.
A waiter arrived with more drinks and scooped up the old ones.
They were going to New York – again. It was not the first time and probably wouldn’t be the last. Another meeting set up by some management team about the direction they were taking as a group. James couldn’t give a shit about any of that. It would go where it went, only they could and ever would decide that. But contracts would forever get in the way.
“Where’s Dan the man anyway?” Nick chirped.
“Security. Probably getting palmed by some hot security guard.”
“Hahaha probably, dirty slag puts out for anyone!”
“How dare you!”
Dan had crept up behind them, “I shower very regularly! But yes, I did get searched… and yes, she was hot,” he looked rather proud of himself.
Dan was smoulderingly gorgeous. He had the Superman chin and chest to match. All the girls loved him and fell at his feet. He could probably turn lesbians with his good looks. Knowing Dan, James thought, he had probably tried.
“Hey!” James said, getting up and hugging Dan. “Long time no speak!”
“Yeah sorry, just been busy. Rach loves it when I’m home and feels the need to save up to do everything at that time.”
“What did you get up to this time?”
“Visited her parents – well no, most of her family. That was the first day I got back too! Then we were off for a romantic weekend in some far and remote cottage in Scotland, then we were in London for her best friend’s engagement party, then a baby shower, then we went to god knows how many shows in London and did a lot – and I mean a lot – of climbing hills too.”
“Wow, I just lazed around at home in a muse!” James joked.
“Why doesn’t that surprise me! But seriously, I think I oughta mention to Rach that I am planning on being with her a while – she doesn’t have to cram a decade into six months!”
Dan and Rach were in a relatively new relationship. They’d known each other a few months before they got together and were good friends. Everyone could see it coming that they were going to get together but them and when they eventually did, Rach suddenly went all insecure and paranoid that Dan was going to run off with some younger, prettier girl and leave her with a household of cats to look after. But Rach was lovely – looking passed the insecurity problems – she was beyond charming. Miranda and Rachel got on extremely well too, which was good. A lot of Dan’s other girlfriends clashed with Miranda – they were the ditsy kind, Dan was very much aware of that though.
“So, how’s everyone? All set for the Big Apple… again?” Dan asked.
“Yeah, woo! Another time!” Nick raised his glass and they all followed suit.
“To another adventure!”
“To another country!”
“To another fucking take-off!”
“To another fucking meeting!” James joined in last.

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~ by S.G. Mark on July 26, 2012.

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