(Sorry I took so long. I was kinda on spring break and got distracted and a little bit lazy)
He walked through the night. The water dried cold on him, but his sweat was warm on his face. The night wasn’t cool. His head still felt heavy from hiding in the pipe all day.
He stopped again, and crouched down. He tried to catch his breath and clear his head.
The night buzzed. Dark and thick, swarming around him. Elijah closed his eyes. His lips were dry, as was his throat. He put his face in his hands. You got to get moving.
He stood up. Everything swam back in his head. But he started walking, even though everything had gone dark for a moment.
He kept going till almost dawn. His head throbbed with the heat, and his body sweated out whatever hydration was left in him.
He remembered sinking down, with the first flash of dawn through the trees. Then there had come a thrumming, a hard throbbing in the air above him. Choppers. Running. Shouting.
“Over here! We found him!”
After that he thought he heard someone call his name. Burton, Burton.
The next moment he was carried inside the helicopter and the door shut.
It was 9 pm, and dark. She stood waiting in the airport at gate 4. She leant against her car. The silver metal awning sloped over her and shot down fluorescent lights. Buses and cars drove behind her. Doors slid open and closed as people walked in and out of the gates. Someone was rapidly speaking in Korean on a cell, evidently waiting to be picked up.
She glanced over at her watch. It was dark blue, the color her nails were painted. Elijah should be walking through the doors any minute. She looked up again. It was spring, and she was getting a nighttime chill in her long sleeved black shirt. And she was impatient waiting for Elijah’s brown haired head to appear, along with the rest of him, probably dressed in jeans and dark brown leather.
The doors opened. But it was a man pulling two suitcases behind him, with a little boy running on ahead.
She had read the report of the crash at least twice that morning, already having gone over it the night before. She still wasn’t convinced with the explanations the military had given for his survival. Don had called when they found him while searching for signs of wreckage or any possible survivors in the jungles of Chad.
A plane thundered away overhead, flying past the starry city skyline behind her.
The inner doors of the gate opened. She saw Elijah walking towards the outer. She stood up.
Elijah had a backpack slung over one shoulder. He glanced away as he came through the doors, as though pretending not to notice her.
Elijah remembered Don had said there would be a car waiting. He never said it would be her.
“Hey,” she said, calling him over. He looked over at her. Bird eyes, she thought to herself. She crossed her arms.
“You don’t look happy to see me,” she said. Elijah walked over.
“You don’t either,” he returned. “I survive a plane falling from the sky and you’re not happy?”
“Get in the car I’ll drive you home,” she said. She opened the door and walked round to the other side while Elijah ducked in and threw his bag in the back.
They closed the doors at the same time. Elijah didn’t say anything till she had started the car and was driving towards the freeway, out of the maze of the airport.
“You know I didn’t expect to see you here today,” he said. “Really, Adrian, I didn’t.”
She glanced over at him and then put her eyes back on the road. He looked at her for a moment, her blonde hair pushed over her shoulders. The orange streetlights flashed on it as they rolled past the car.
“Look, I’m not in a mood to play a guessing game,” he said. He looked out the window. “So you better tell me what’s going on.”
“Why didn’t you tell me you we’re going to India?” she asked.
He didn’t answer.
“Because is that why you’ve barely talked to me this past month?”
He looked over at her. He shook his head and sighed.
“Look who’s talking,” he said, at a much lower tone than she was using. “You are the hardest person to get hold of.”
He crossed his legs and looked out at the road again.
“Well, why did you go to India?”
“I didn’t. My plane crashed.”
“Why were you going then?”
“Look, I just..”
“Yeah, I know. You just went through hell,” Adrian cut in. Then she sighed. “Sorry. I should give you a break.”
He shrugged his shoulders.
“That would be nice.”
She smiled a little. Elijah was glad to see that. She merged off the highway and put her turn signal on, slowing down.
“So, uh, how did you survive the crash?”