I climbed onto the plane ready for my almost twenty hour aeroplane journey; my mum smiled at me and pushed me gently forward. I sighed and caught one last look at the city I grew up in, Mecca, the city where many people came to visit on pilgrimages. “Good bye life,” I whispered, the city look grand in comparison to the photo of Olympia my dad had given me. I was going to stay in a boarding school in Olympia called Capitol International High School, or CIHS; I glanced back down at the photo in my hands and sighed. The sky was grey, the school was made of dull red brick and rain drizzled down.
“It’s going to be okay,” my dad said to me, “We’re going to have fun!”
“It’ll be an adventure,” my mother added. I screwed up the photo in my hand and boarded the plane, I had no choice anyway. Mum and Dad sat on the other side of the plane so I was stuck with my nineteen year old brother who was just as sour as I was about the whole moving thing. He slouched into the chair and kicked the one in front of him; I rolled my eyes and looked out the window, all I could see was a plane taking off in the distance. A few minutes passed as soon that plane was ours as we descended into the sky, I swallowed to keep my ears from popping, once in the sky I continued to say my goodbye’s to the wonderful country of Saudi Arabia. I made a silent promise to myself to return one day.
“Jess?” my brother spoke up an hour later,
“Yeh?” I asked absentmindedly,
“Want to play cards?” he asked,
“No,” I replied, he smiled,
“Guessed as much,” he then sighed, “I really don’t want to go,”
“Me either, Mum and Dad are destroying our lives,” I complained,
“But you’re only sixteen, you hardly have a life,” Ali said, I narrowed my eyes,
“I had more of a life than you, I had a boyfriend, I had friends and I had a job!” Ali raised an eyebrow,
“I’m coming back as soon as I can,” he told me,
“You might like it there,” I said, his fist constricted,
“Never!” he cried, I sighed and looked back out the window. Ali and I got on well enough but he had a few anger issues, I learnt it was best to ignore him when he got angry. Another two hours passed and I watched a film on the screen in front of my seat, once I had taken my headphones off, Ali spoke again,
“What does ‘Hello, how are you?’ mean in Arabic?” Ali attempted speaking English,
“It means, hello how are you?” I replied,
“Crap, I can’t even speak the language!” he groaned,
“You would be able to if you hadn’t flunked English in school,” I told him, he ignored me and went back to his Learn to speak English yourself guide. We used to speak Arabic at home, but Mum and Dad had taken to speaking English at home to help us when we got to America. I was the best in the family because one of my best friends had grown up in England and as soon as she knew I was leaving for America she gave me lessons.
We landed in London for fuel and I almost ran off the plane into the airport, we stopped at a café and I ate my first hamburger which according to Emira, my half English friend, was all they ate in America. In my own opinion I preferred Al-Kabsa, a famous Saudi Arabian dish consisting of rice and meat; however the hamburger was enjoyable enough.
Back on the plane I sat next to my mum and slept, ten hours later we were flying across America and three hours later we were in Seattle airport. Mum, Dad and Ali collect the bags which we had and headed out into Seattle, where we’d stay in a hotel for a night and the next day Mum and Dad would desert me in Olympia. When collecting the bags I saw another boy standing next to me, he had deep blue eyes and messy blond hair, he was collecting his bags, I noticed he was from Bermuda according to his luggage. He caught me staring at him and he smiled softly, I looked away pretending not to have seen, I hauled at my case but couldn’t manage,
“Want a hand?” said a voice, I turned, my heart fluttered as the handsome boy’s hands pushed mine away and he lifted my case off the conveyer-belt.
“Thank you,” I said smiling and took the case back,
“No problem,” he grinned and walked away. I watched after him,
“Any time today Jessica,” my mum said, I sighed and followed my family out from the airport into the…rain.