Short Story

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“Gate 4A is boarding! Next flight boarding is Gate 4A!” the cheery pre-recorded voice announced over the airport’s loudspeakers.

“Shit!” Lance exclaimed, his head snapping up to look across the airport. Of course he was sitting by the food court, conveniently located by the C Gates. He sat up, shoved his phone in his pockets, and slung his backpack onto one shoulder. Dragging his rolling suitcase behind him, he practically sprinted across the moving walkways to get to his gate, accidentally shoving a few people in the process. Finally he reached his gate, sweaty and tired, and pulled out his ticket to show the flight attendant. She scanned it with a smile and pointed to the door leading to the plane. He nodded and strolled on forward
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Keith looked down at his lap.

“I’ve supposedly got family there,” he stated. His mouth was a firm line.

“Supposedly?” Lance questioned, raising his eyebrows. What the hell did that mean?

“Yep.” Keith shrugged. Lance decided to leave it at that and not press the issue further.

“Me too. It’s time for the ol’ McClain-Fernández family reunion. Real fun,” Lance confessed with a dry laugh. Keith looked over at him and half-smiled, his hair falling into his face.

“Mm. Sounds like it.” Keith took out his ponytail and re-tied his hair into the elastic, trying and failing to wrangle his bangs back. It was… weirdly cute? Lance bit his lip and told himself to stop thinking about that, he’d never see him again. The conversation slowed to a stop and Lance got the feeling that he had to do most of the talking if he wanted to move this along. Before he could start blabbering on about a different subject, a flight attendant came over with the food cart.

“Any food or drink, sir?,” she asked.

“Do you have those little cookie things? I’ll take those. And a Cherry Coke?” Lance requested with a huge grin on his face.

“Of course,” she said, setting the drink and cookies on his tray table. “And for you?” Keith was busy staring out the window so Lance nudged him lightly with his elbow.

“Huh?” he finally looked up to see Lance gesturing with his thumb to the food cart. “Oh, uh. I’ll just have a water.

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