Good Vibrations

By: S. L. Scott

Chapter 1

“Flight attendants, please prepare the cabin for landing. And to our passengers, the crew would like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing our airline to start your Hawaiian adventure. Aloha!”

Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes just as the tires touch the ground and we land with a hard bump and a strong pull back. Palm trees and floral bushes surround the Oahu airport. The plastic plane window has yellowed and is scratched, but the expanse of blue in the sky and green flora on the ground is a marked difference from the mountainous landscape of Colorado that I’m used to. After months of planning, I’m finally here. The realization that I get to spend the next two and a half months, my summer break from university, in this tropical paradise makes me smile.

Walking through the crowded terminal toward baggage claim, I squeeze through the gathered sea of Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, and leis. I pass through the secured area and encounter kissing families, couples hugging, and hear endless ‘alohas.’ None of it holds my attention. What does is a young couple, around my age—early twenties—kissing with abandon. The tall, wild-locked boy with sun-lightened brown hair could easily be mistaken for an earthbound Hawaiian God. My stomach tightens with envy of the girl who is lucky enough to receive untamed passion from such a hot looking guy.

Jealousy can be the killer of confidence and often is for me. Unreasonable irritation settles in as I become frustrated with my lack of self-esteem, and huff. 'Stupid, pretty, blonde girl.' I allow my opinion of her to be voiced freely inside my head. It doesn’t bring relief to reality, but it does make me feel a bit better.

The perfect looking couple is entrancing and my eyes stay locked on them as my pace slows. While observing their amorous interaction, my gaze is drawn to his physical perfection. That’s when I see that she is clearly more into the kiss than he is. My eyes trail from long lashes down a few days of unshaven stubble to his lips which part as I stare. He speaks and the second I hear his voice, my world shifts on its axis. "I'll call you," he says, rubbing her shoulders with reassurance.

"You promised to write too." She’s pouting as a tear slips down her cheek.

Do guys really find sulking girls sexy?

He wipes the tear away from her cheek and gives her a small, inauspicious smile. Just as she wraps her arms around his neck, his eyes lift up and meet mine. I continue to stare when he tells her, “I’ll write every day.” He embraces her, but at the same time, with an air of arrogance, he flirts with me—a smug smile aimed directly at me.

Over her shoulder, his eyes stay bound to mine as he feeds her another line and my axis shifts right back onto its normal rotation. What a jerk!

When I pass them, he tells the pouty girl, "I'll miss you. Don't forget to text to let me know you landed safely." After a quick peck on her lips, he turns and leaves her standing there alone with her tears.

I look down at my feet and shake my head, disgusted that he just flirted with me while kissing his girlfriend goodbye. Guess guys aren't any different in Hawaii than they are back home. I may be in paradise, but I can’t escape the fact that guys are the same everywhere. This realization causes my anxiety and disappointment to spike.

Removing my large suitcase from the carousel is a struggle for my five-four frame. An older man in a colorful floral design shirt grabs it, setting it upright on the wheels for me. “Thanks,” I say, but he’s already down the line chasing his Samsonite spinner that mine had trapped on the belt.

I can handle the hard case once it’s on the wheels and pull it to the curb to wait for my ride. After laying it down on its side, I sit on top of it and begin searching through my carry-on bag for a cigarette. I feel the need to alleviate the stress that has built up in the last ten minutes, defeating the calm I experienced on the long, uneventful flight. Smoking is a bad habit I picked up in the last six months. I don’t smoke all the time, but when I’m stressed, I crave the nicotine. It’s another thing to add to my growing list of things I want to change. That’s what this summer is all about. It’s the summer I break free from the protective barriers I’ve built and live my life without boundaries or judgments.

My hair has grown out. I probably should have gotten a haircut while I was on the mainland, but my flight here was a day after finals ended. I grab my long brown hair out of my face and spin it into a sloppy knot at the nape of my neck. It won’t hold long, but hopefully long enough for me to dig through the bag with an unobstructed view.

While waiting for that adventure to begin, I become frustrated because I still can’t find a damn cigarette. Anxious, I glance at my watch, realizing I didn't change the time to make up for the four hour time zone difference. I quickly unhook my watch and turn the dial. From behind, a familiar male voice sweeps over me. "Do you need the local time?"

Looking up, I see Mr. I-might-have-a-girlfriend-but-I-can-still-flirt standing just a mere two feet from me. Now I really need a cigarette. Ignoring him, I turn back to my bag again, feeling desperate to find that sinful pleasure that will make me feel better.

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