Arrival in EnglandMature

“Robin?” Someone was calling me. There was the hum of an engine, the gentle thud of many feet on a carpet, and someone shaking me.

“Robin? Michelle? Wake up! The plane’s landed, were getting off this thing!”

I bolted upright. Dazed, I looked around, blinking at the sudden, unexpected light. I was on a stationary aeroplane, parked diagonally on an unfamiliar runway, somewhere in London. And I was terrified.

I stretched my arms out to relieve them of the stiffness that air-travel always caused me, cleared my throat and asked “Liz, how long was I out? Sorry. And I told you, call me Robin, only my mum and my granny call me Michelle.”

I heard laughter from where Liz sat, preparing to make a dash for the exit ASAP.

“You spent the whole hour snoring and saying it’s too green!

“Oh no! I was sleep talking? Did anyone else hear me?”

“No, it was just loud enough for me to get a recording on my phone.” She giggled, trying to stop a full-blown laughing fit from erupting out of herself.

I groaned, this was her idea of a joke. And I was willing to bet that most of my polo’s were gone now too. I’ll get her back later for that. I thought. Concocting devious plans involving an accidental fall and the hotel swimming pool. MwhahahahaYou better delete that or that video of you sleep-walking is going on youtube!” I joked, knowing that she had deleted it and I didn’t have a backup.

“Yeah right, you wouldn’t be that mean.” She smirked.

“Your right. I wouldn’t. Maybe I could just e-mail it to all our friends. I’m sure they’ll love your kitty-cat pyjamas.” I couldn’t hold back the laughter. It was just too precious, the look on her face.

“Let’s go.” She snapped. Her face set into a neutral expression.

I laughed and followed her. I was the type who didn’t like to loose an argument.

“Where did your parents go on their honeymoon? Wasn’t it somewhere south?”

I needed to change the subject, else she wouldn’t talk to me for the whole trip.

“Yes, they went to the South of France for the week. I heard that they’re going to swim with dolphins and...”

That’ll keep her busy while I worry some more.

I nodded politely, gasped and said the right things at the right times, so Liz was oblivious to my inattentiveness. She told me all about France and the trip which her newly-wedded parents were taking around the southern coast on a cruise ship.

I personally never understood cruises. You pay a lot of money to spend the most of your time on a boat? Wouldn’t you get bored eventually?

“I wish I could have gone with them.” Liz finally sighed, a clear finish to her tale of sun, sea and the French. 

“So do I.” I agreed. It would be better than a man-hunt in London.

“But, hey! We get to go to London on what could be considered a secret spy mission!”

Beats my man-hunt definition.

“Liz, if I were James bond and you were the guy who hangs around with him that would make my dad the bad guy and my mum the guy who calls ten times a day and asks me if I’m still alive!” I joked. Hoping to get the conversation flowing again.

“No! Of course not.” she said, shocked. “I mean, of course I get to be James!”

we both burst out laughing as we walked through the gates of the airport and went to wait at the bus stop.

“Where exactly are we going Robin?” Liz asked, genuinely curious.

“Victoria station. Were staying at a B and B near the station.” I replied, not too enthusiastic about this b and b.

Its going to be a dump, I know it.

My annoying head-voice was right. We arrived at the Airways B and B with time to spare, because it was just around the corner from Victoria Station. We gazed up at the sign above the terraced house that looked too small to hold a small family and wondered how in the world it was even considered to become a bed and breakfast.

“Small, isn’t it?” Liz murmured, trying to hide her disappointment.

“Maybe it’s bigger on the inside.” I suggested hopefully.

“Or maybe it’s smaller.” She cringed away from the thought.

“I’m sure it won’t be.” I reassured her.

“You go first then.”

“Fine” I whimpered. I hated being a shield, it always meant I got hit.

 

“Excuse me, we are here about a room? Probably booked under the name Robinson?” I asked timidly.

“Yes ma’am. You’ve got the first room on the left.” The man said politely, handing me the keys.

“O.K., on the left.” I murmured to myself, knowing I would forget if I didn’t. “Liz! First on the left!” I called to her, while she stood in the cramped hallway, trying to avoid talking to the receptionist.

“O.K.” She said as she almost ran down the little hallway and disappeared to the left.

She chose a good time to get the hell out of here.

“Here’s the cash now. I know if I leave it until were leaving I’ll forget.” I said as I handed him enough for a week in the room.

Half asleep, I wandered after Liz, hoping she hadn’t left all my stuff on my bed so I could collapse onto it. When I reached the dull blue door after a walk that was shorter than it ought to have been, Liz was standing outside with our bags. It’s was then I realised that I had the key, so I tossed it to her and focused on staying awake.

I hate what long distance travel does to me.

“Robin, you don’t look too good, are you O.K.?” Liz asked, seeing the tired look on my face and the bags under my eyes.

“Sleepy” I murmured in my fake-cute voice as a joke, but it was the truth. I was so tired it probably appeared as though I were stoned out of my mind.

Liz made a big deal of opening the door to our room, building the tension unintentionally until I could no longer bear it. The door swung open on hinges that would be only too easy to unscrew in order to break into the room. It was incredibly small. There were two single beds, a small television chained to a stand protruding from the pale blue wall and an en-suite bathroom that could have passed for, or easily been, a closet.

“Emm... Look at that! It’s so... cosy!” Liz exclaimed, in mock enthusiasm.

Cosy! It’s bloody smaller than a cupboard!

“Yeah, cosy” I mumbled as I stumbled towards the bed nearest to me. “My bed here, night night Liz.”

Liz smiled and went to the other bed, next to the window, and began to unpack, as I slowly drifted off into a deep sleep.

She has the determination of a million, the ability to not sleep ever and yet she’s still hyperactive and imitating movies every other day. How does she do it?

That night I dreamt of home. Thinking I was still there of course. Fighting over the last piece of toast with my monkey-brother, telling my dad how to use the internet, and somehow, I missed it. Like I was leaving it behind forever. It somehow hurt.

“Robin! Wake up ye daft gal, your phones ringing!” Liz yelled in my ear, a little too loud to simply wake me up.

“Yahh! Outta my face Liz, ye haven’t brushed yer teeth yet!” I yelled as I bolted upright from the shock.

“Charming.” She muttered, heading for the bathroom and her cherry flavoured toothpaste.

I grumbled something I don’t really want to repeat as I rolled out of the hard bed and grabbed my phone. I slept like a log on the worst of nights, so I wasn’t surprised to see that I had missed several calls from my mother, although my ring tone was on full volume and was set to a death-metal song I borrowed off my monkey’s (brother’s) phone.

“Seven calls, new record eh?” I said, just loud enough for Liz to hear.

I heard a gurgling laughter that told me that she was brushing her teeth when I said that, so I laughed despite my will to remain composed for at least five minutes.

“Something funny there Liz?” I said mockingly. Suppressing the laughter.

Liz stepped out of the bathroom, fully dressed in her usual jeans-and-a-t-shirt with a cascade of cherry flavoured foam around her mouth.

“Don’t make me laugh like that Robin!” She spluttered, spraying the red foam all over herself.

“Get a fresh shirt on, we have a job to do!” I said in my James Bond voice as I tossed her a checked shirt which I had often and truthfully told her suited her.

I bravely ventured into the unknown, cramped and oddly furnished hallway and looked around for any signs of life. Behind a cramped reception desk I saw a young man, no more than his twenties with bronzed skin I suspected was from a bottle reading a newspaper with little or no interest. I approached him and cleared my throat to grab his attention.

I must get that from my mother’s side.

The End

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