Ethan: Are you really trying to poison me?

Airline food. Really, just why?

Approximately thirty-nine minutes and forty-three seconds later, I stared at the tray in front of me. It contained some kind of glop in a little pot, a shade of sickly yellow-cream with various other lumps of what might have been stewed vegetables dropped in almost at random. The whole thing looked about as edible as those plasticine meals my little sister tried to feed me, and smelt worse.

The others didn't seem to mind too much; they were tucking in quite happily. Sparx especially was positively wolfing it down. I gripped the plastic cutlery- given the size of my hands, frankly, it looked ridiculous; a baby spoon would have been sturdier- and tried to summon the willpower to eat it.

"What are you doing, Ethan?" asked Melanie, and I blushed again, embarrassed about the porn incident earlier. How could she have thought that I was going to buy porn? I wasn't even looking in the right section, surely she didn't think Warhammer® magazine was indecent? In spite of the red colour of my face, I forced myself to look at her. A magazine was propped open on her tray table, something about the latest fashion for swimsuits (how come girls can look at women in bikinis but when guys do it, they get called perves?)- evidently she had already finished her food.  I hadn't even started. Hadn't been able to. The pot didn't have a rim.

Sparx laughed. "You still can't eat food with different colours touching? Man, I'd have thought you'd have grown out of it years ago."

Angry tears pricked my eyes. He used to be as uncool as me once, when his weird name marked him out as "unclean" in the jungle of our primary school playground. I was his friend then, before. Before he grew and got cool and suddenly all the girls started falling for him. Anyway. He had no right to tell them that. No right at all.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

Erica giggled as the fork splintered in my hands.


"Are you sure this is actually food and not radioactive sludge?" I retorted, but they'd already lost interest in me. Typical.

I checked my watch, tried to cheer myself up. Even if it did all go horribly wrong, there was only ten months, two weeks, three days , twenty one hours and seven minutes more of this to go. Surely I could do that.

The End

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