That cheque was the only reason we boarded the BA283 airplane to LAS airport, California. Turned out, hoping to get a couple of flight tickets to Los Angles in December of all months could only be described as a far-fetched dream. The most our good friend Heather was able to do with that £11,000 cheque she now held in her hand, was a flight to Las Vegas.
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Our second problem was the passport issue. Fortunately, Heather's position in the airport was higher than I had thought it was. Hence, – and I still didn't understand how she managed it – she got us to board the plane without actually having to show identification, with some more 'persuasion', of course (namely, Everest's bank account).
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"You realise," I asked her, "that, what you are doing is highly illegal, right?
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Oh, how the tables have turned.
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I smiled. "I like you."
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All in all, it made evaluate a few things: Number one, perhaps I shouldn't have spoken to her the way that I did. Number two, why didn't either of us think of using a cheque before deciding to crawl through that colossal network of vents? And number three, Everest seemed to have a few coins to spare in his bank vault.
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The flight itself was worse than all of those previous train rides combined. These were some of the things that happened:
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1) The plane lifted off.
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2) The plane reached terminal velocity. Fun was over. That sound wasn't.
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3) Seat belt sign turned off. I went to the toilet. Wasn't a huge fan of the minuture size of the room.
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4) The sound of the toilet flushing frightened me a little bit. What? It was so unnecessarily sudden!
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5) I went back to my seat, recalling the hard fight I had to put on in order to get the window seat. Okay, I lied. It wasn't a hard fight at all. Everest didn't care.
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6) There was nothing in the windows.
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7) I looked over at Everest. His eyes were closed.
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8) I was bored.
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9) I played with the thingy on the seat in front of me.
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10) Food time!
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11) Ew, plane food.
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12) I fell asleep.
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13) I woke up to louder noises.
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14) The plane was tilted downwards.
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15) The plane landed.
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16) Everyone clapped.
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17) Las Vegas, baby!
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"Oh my God!" I suddenly stopped Everest in the jet bridge, as holiday makers scurried by, dragging their noisy suitcases behind them.
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"What?" He asked, impatient as ever.
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"We still don't have passports! They're not going to let us through! We're going to go to jail, after all we've been through!"
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"Just be silent, and come!" He growled in response, and having other no option, I obediently followed. As everyone else stood waiting with their passports out, I trained my eyes onto the floor.
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We are so going to—
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That was us.
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Everest turned to me. "Give me your passport," he said loudly enough for the control officer to hear.
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My breath hitched in my throat. Why in seven hells was he asking for the nonexistent?
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I glared at him.
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The control officer waited.
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"Get something out of your pockets. Now," Everest ordered in a low voice. The only thing I had in my pockets was my plane ticket.
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"Okay, if you say something..." Hesitantly, I buried my hand into the left pocket of my cardigan and gave it to him.
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He held it out to the control officer. What was he doing?
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"I need your passports, sir," the control officer spoke in a thick American accent.
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Everest's twinkling eyes locked onto the control officer's. "They're right here." Hold on. They weren't supposed to be twinkling like that! The officer lifelessly nodded and my eyes widened a fraction, as Everest ushered me out.
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He did not!
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"You got into his mind!"
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"I did," he replied emotionlessly, looking straight ahead.
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That was... that was—
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My half-opened mouth morphed into a grin. "Cool!"
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"You could have done it."
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I could have. "I didn't think of it."
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Gosh, he was aggravating!
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I'll be honest, when landing in Las Vegas, I pictured the sun to be shining, the palm trees to be swaying, and a gambling symbol shining, the moment stepped out of the airport. However, courtesy of arriving in the middle of the night in winter, the sky was painted black which also meant no palm trees could have been made out even if they were there. The gambling sign was there, though. In fact, there were several. Besides, we weren't going to stay in Vegas long at all. The plan was to take the coach to LA. Except:
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"You missed it by ten minutes," the lady told us.
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"Oh. Then, when is the next coach arriving?" I asked.
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"Oh, great! I glanced at the digital clock behind her. It showed ten twenty.
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"Tomorrow," she finished.
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There drops the bombshell.
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"Yes, the next coach to Los Angeles leaves at eleven in the morning."
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"Eleven in the morning?!" I fought hard to keep my voice from playing that usual crescendo it always plays.
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"Why?" I exclaimed. "Ever heard of night service?"
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"Ever heard of punctuality?" She shot back. "You missed the last coach by ten minutes. That's all on you."
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"We weren't on the goddamn ground!"
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"Leave it." Everest pulled me away.
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"Where are we going to sleep? On the floor?"
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He marched away.
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Oh, come on.
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When I asked him where the hell he was going it, the stubborn granite didn't even look back; he was walking towards a building.
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Having no choice but to follow him, I soon realised he was entering a hotel. Of course.
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"Hello, how can I help?" The old woman behind the counter asked.
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"A room for two," Everest told the receptionist.
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The woman nodded, feebly prodding her fingers into the keyboard of her desk. "How many nights, dear?"
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Be a little colder, why don't you.
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There was a mischievous glint in the woman's eye before she handed over a key. "Here we are. That's one room with one double bed."
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Everest's hand, which was going to the receive key, stopped midair. "One?"
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"That is what you asked for, was it not?"
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"I asked for one room," he replied, frost glazing over every syllable, "not one bed."
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"We need two seperate beds," I explained, before the woman got hypothermia.
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I could have sworn the old lady's face dropped. "Oh," propping her glasses back on, she squinted at her screen, and then looked back at us, apologetically. "Ah, it seems, we've only got that room left. Christmas time, very busy," Oh, great. Vegas didn't have much of anything did it? "Still better than nothing eh?"
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"Are you sure you haven't got any more rooms?" I asked, hopefully.
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"I mean, it is a pretty big building..." I urged.
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"I would gladly give you one."
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My eyes lit up. "Great!"
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"If they weren't all booked up."
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"But, there is a sofa in there. It's very uncomfortable, though. Honestly, you guys are way better off sharing—"
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"We'll take it," Everest cut in, taking the key.
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I'll credit the old woman for trying.
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Just like she said, there it was, a double bed and a sofa – as well as a dresser, wardrobe, window, a door to the bathroom, and even a tv.
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"I'll take the sofa," Everest said, which left me with a double bed.
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After tossing him a pillow, with the time difference and the jet lag, I called it a night.
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"Goodnight," I whispered.
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He turned in the sofa without replying.
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I couldn't. I tried. I couldn't. Well, that wasn't entirely true. I did fall asleep. Briefly. But then the coldness woke me up.
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That still didn't answer why the first thing I did was look over at Everest through the city lights that faintly gleamed through the curtains.
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Uh, maybe because you're wrapped in a warm cushiony blanket in this arctic weather, and he isn't?
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I'm sure he'll manage.
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He's colder than winter itself, anyway!
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And what was I going to do? Get out of bed and scavenge for an extra duvet to fold him in? Besides, he seems to be blissfully asleep.
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I got out of bed and exited the room, careful to take the key with me. Outside, I scavenged for an extra duvet and returned with just that. The staff can be very helpful here. I towered over him, the huge duvet drizzling from my hands, almost touching the floor, thinking.
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"Ugh," I muttered to myself in annoyance, despite carefully spreading the blanket over his slumbered body.
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Exhaustion overwhelming me, as I trudged back over to my bed, and this time I did fall asleep.
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"Wake up." A hand nudged my shoulder.
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I ignored it.
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"Wake up," the voice repeated, with the same expressionless expression as before.
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"Piss off," I groaned, pulling the sheets over my head.
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For a moment, the hand lifted off. Then, with a pull, the sheet stripped off of me, coldness immediately replacing its warmth.
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"Get up. We're leaving."
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Stretching, I opened my eyes. It was a good stretch, in fact, the sides of my vision started to go dark after a few seconds. Everest stood above me.
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"What time is it?" I asked.
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"Why didn't you wake me up?"
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"I figured it was a good technique to keep you out of my way." And there I thought he was going to say something romantic. "I didn't imagine you were going to sleep this long, though."
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"I slept late," I vaguely explained.
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For a moment, so short, meteoric, his eyes flickered to the spare duvet, which was now neatly folded on the sofa, but nothing else was said.
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I guess, what happens in Vegas–
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"I already paid for the hotel. Now, we leave."
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"You get out of bed, and walk out that door," he gestured at the room door.
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I narrowed my eyes "No, how did you pay for the hotel?"
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"There's a building nearby. It's called the bank."
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I glared at him, getting up. "You can say it in a nicer way, you know." Without waiting for another cold response, I went into the bathroom.
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"202, what part of the coach leaves at eleven, do you not understand?" Everest spoke through the door thirty minutes later, as I stood under a streaming fall of water.
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"I'm almost done!" I lied, picking up a bar of soap.
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"Get out, or I'll get you out myself."
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I'd like to see you try, was my initial thought but chose not to take my chances, considering they removed shame and remorse alongside all the other emotions. I got out of the shower and clothed myself, and exited the bathroom, with a grin on my face. "A fresh new day, and fresh new things to be done!" I clapped, military style, walking to the door. "Let's go, pronto! We haven't got time to waste!"
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"Because I was the one who was asleep until half an hour ago," I heard Everest mutter as he followed after me.
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Just sayin' the amount of research I had to do on the geography of the USA, as well as on the topic of airlines, sent my head through the roof. Your poor author spent fifteen minutes just trying to find the specific flight name for an actual plane that flies from London to Las Vegas for realism's sake. Now, I can awkwardly admit that my internet history is filled with the most random searches. Fun.
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As for the next chapter, interesting things coming your way...
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Please like, comment and share. Thank you for reading!
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