Complete this thought: “I wish I had paid more attention when…”
Calli’s heart pounded as the wheels hit the tarmac. America was ten hours behind her after an uneventful flight across the Atlantic. Flying didn’t make her nervous, she’d flown a handful of times before, but she’d never flown to another country and never on her own. This was new territory.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” the captain announced, “welcome to Madrid-Barajas Airport. Local time is 20:24 and the temperature is a balmy 24 degrees Celsius.” Callie tuned him out as he continued through his inflight landing script. 24C, that was about mid 70’s Fahrenheit. Rion hadn’t been kidding when he said the nights would be warm.
She waited as the plane taxied to the terminal, trying desperately to hold her knee still as it bounced excitedly. Her seatmate got to his feet and opened the overhead bin to collect his carryon as people all along the carriage did the same. She followed suit once he made his way towards the front.
She thanked the flight attendant at the front for all the assistance she had provided. Her mother hadn’t paid the extra fee to put her as an unaccompanied minor but had instructed her to ask the attendants for any help she needed. She was tall for 16, and American Airlines didn’t require it for children older than 15.
The line through customs was long and winding, but eventually she made her way out the other side. It was a beautiful airport. Her flight had arrived so late, by the time she got through it was practically deserted. Finding her brother would be easy.
After collecting her luggage from the baggage claim, she made her way out to the waiting area. There were only a couple stragglers, her fair-haired brother among them. “Calli!” he jumped to his feet at the sight of her and she ran to his arms.
“Ri, I missed you so much!” She hugged him so tightly he laughed and teased that she might break him if she squeezed too much harder. He had gone to Spain to study abroad during his junior year of college and made the move permanent after falling in love. He’d only been back to the states twice in the three years since he moved.
She almost missed the tall dark-haired man at her brother’s side. –¿Esta es Calliope? ¡Que linda! – he exclaimed. She blinked in confusion. She knew she should have paid more attention in Spanish class instead of doodling in her sketchbooks. She recognized her name, but who was Linda?
Rion laughed. “He says you’re even cuter than your pictures.”
“Well, that is more words than I used, but is true,” he replied in near-perfect English. Calli sighed in relief. His grin widened. “Do not fear. We will have you speaking like a local before you leave month next.”
She felt her face flush. “Well, I have had some Spanish in school, but I’m not very confident in it.”
“Miguel, don’t tease her tonight,” Rion chided. “She’s had a long day. There will be plenty of time for lessons once she’s settled in.”
“Sí, sí querido. Well, let me get her bags and we can head home, no?” Miguel took her luggage and led the way out to their car.
Rion rested his arm on her shoulder and Calli kept hers around his waist as they followed. She gave her big brother a sly grin. “What’s up, trouble?”
She shrugged. “I’m not the only one cuter than my pictures.”
– ¡Muchas gracias! – Miguel chuckled over his shoulder. – ¡Orion, ya me gusta ella! –
Rion shook his head and laughed. Calli got the gist of that one without translation. “Oh, you should call mom and let her know you landed safely.” He handed her his mobile and went to help Miguel load her luggage.
It was late afternoon back home so worst case she interrupted dinner. The line rang twice before she connected. “Orion? Do you have your sister?”
“It’s me, mom. I made it!” Calli exclaimed.
Her mother’s sigh of relief traveled over three thousand miles. “How was your flight? No problems?”
She shook her head without thinking. “Nope, everything was fine. It was just long.”
“Ok, I’m so glad you’re back on the ground sweetie. I don’t want to rack up your brother’s phone bill so I won’t keep you.”
“Be good for Rion and Miguel. Give them my love. Email me when you get a chance, or if you want to call me from their place that’s fine too.”
“Ok, alright. Thank you for calling. I love you.”
“Love you too, mom.”
Calli laughed. “Yes mom!”
“Love you, bye.”
“Bye!” She hung up before her mother could drag it out. “Mom sends her love,” she said as she handed the phone back to Rion.
“What, she didn’t even want to talk to me?” He shook his head dramatically. “I’m only her first born.”
“Yeah well I’m her only daughter,” Callie retorted. This was the extent of their rivalry and the both giggled.
“Alright little muse, after we get you home and rested, what would you like to do first?”
Thoughts of her sketchbooks and her upcoming junior art classes gave her the answer. “Can we go to El Prado?” Velasquez and Goya called to her. She wanted to see them as soon as she could.
“We can go to every museum and art installation your heart desires,” Rion cooed. “We are at your disposal for the summer.” He smiled at Miguel.
“Stick with us, chica,” he grinned back at her. “We’ll teach you all you wish to know.” Calli’s smile widened. She couldn’t wait to spend a whole month in the beautiful city of Madrid and learn all it had to teach her.
Notes: Just a quick little diddy for you tonight. My thought process was all over the place on this one but Calli popped up immediately in the beginning stages and refused to back down until I told some of her story. Her mother had a thing for Greek mythology, that’s why she and her brother have such unique names. I have no idea why I decided they needed to be in Spain. Had to brush up on my Spanish. My Google search history tonight looks like I’m planning a trip!
Alright, your turn. Complete the thought! I have faith in you!
Wednesday’s prompt: What do you look forward to every week?
Oh boy. Well, looks like I’m probably gonna have a snow day tomorrow, so I’ll have plenty of time to plot something for that! Have a good night! I’ll see you tomorrow!