I was sure everybody on the plane could see the big “L” stamped across my forehead. I slouched down trying to disappear, but instead I bumped the girl next to me. “Sorry!” I blurted.
Her green eyes flashed. I thought she’d bite my head off, but she just smiled. “No problem. Last time I was on a plane, I spilled my whole soda on the poor guy next to me.”
I cracked a smile. She was cute – tiny freckles dancing across her nose, dark red hair, half pulled back in a clip. I bet she looked pretty hot in a bathing suit.
“I’m Colleen,” she said. “What’s your name?”
I pulled the ear buds out of my ears and sat up. “Dillon. Just don’t call me Dill.”
Funny. I was laughing on the inside.
I tried to erase the thought of Colleen in a bikini, lying on the beach with the wind blowing in her hair. My face was starting to burn, and I didn’t want Colleen to see me turning red.
“Are you flying to Boston, too?” she asked.
“Yeah. I’m gonna live with my Dad in Provincetown,” I answered.
“P-town!” said Colleen. “That’s a colorful place.”
I forced a small laugh. I wasn’t sure what Colleen meant by “colorful” but I was about to find out whether I wanted to or not. This whole move had been Mom’s idea. She was tired of putting up with me – not that I’m a model kid or anything. I was practically flunking out of school, and I got arrested for shoplifting at T.J. Maxx. Plus I always talked back to my step-dad. I just couldn’t help it. Jim’s such a jerk! He even hit me once. The worst part was that Mom took his side, said I provoked it or something. But I knew it was the six-pack Jim had just drained. He was a mean drunk. Now I had to move – away from St. Louis, my friends, my school, my everything – straight to Loserville. This was going to be the worst summer ever.
Colleen’s voice cut into my thoughts. “I live on the Cape, too. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
“Cool,” I said with just the right touch of indifference.
Just then the stewardess’ voice crackled over the loudspeaker, “We’ll be landing at Logan airport in just a few minutes. Please return your seats and tray tables to their upright and locked position.”
Suddenly my palms got all sweaty, and I couldn’t breathe. I hadn’t seen my dad since I was six. If it wasn’t for that picture of him on my dresser, I wouldn’t even know what he looked like.
Would he know who I am when I get off the plane? Mom said I’m the spitting image of him, so I guessed he’ll recognize me – straight brown hair, giant Adam’s apple, goofy grin.
I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. I was minutes away from a father-son reunion.