Chapter 24 Leaving On A Jet Plane

Annabelle and Sam got out of the cab that had carried them to LAX for their flight overseas. Sam couldn't handle asking Candace to take them and having a teary goodbye with her sister. They wheeled their luggage to check in and stood in line waiting for their turn. Annabelle looked around the airport and saw how busy it was at this time of the morning. Sam turned around to look at her and patted her on the arm.

"Feels weird leaving all you know behind doesn't it?" Sam asked fiddling with her carryon bag strap.

"A little." Annabelle admitted still watching people.

"Kara is gonna meet us at the airport right?" Sam asked as they inched closer to checking in.

"Yeah. We'll stay with them until school starts, then move into the dorm." Annabelle replied turning to look at Sam.

They reach the front of the line, checked their bags in, and went to find their gate. As they sat there waiting, Annabelle read an article in the paper that had appeared the day before.

"Moment Of Truth: What Really Happened That Night". Annabelle had asked the same reporter who had broken the story about her affair with Simone to interview her for her side of the story. In the interview she had made it clear that Lacey Addams was to blame for the whole thing since she had spiked their drinks with roofies. She had also declared that she felt it was "cruel and unusual punishment to blame one party when two consenting people were involved." She voiced her anger at the school for firing Simone and railroading her for something that wasn't her fault. She told the interviewer that anyone who shunned Simone was a hypocrite and should be ashamed of themselves.

The interview had drawn a lot of attention and people stared at Annabelle wherever she went. Annabelle ignored them and went about her business as usual. The article seemed to give her mother a boost in ratings too once people found out there was no scandal.

"You're a celebrity again!" Sam said with a laugh nudging Annabelle on the arm.

"Big deal." Annabelle shrugged not looking at anyone.

"I'm still waiting on that autograph, ya know?!" Sam teased her and laughed uproariously.

Annabelle reached into her bag, grabbed a pen, and uncapped it. She wrestled with Sam until she had her pinned down, then signed her name in Sharpie on Sam's forehead. Sam moved away from Annabelle and grabbed a mirror from her bag to see what Annabelle had done.

"You bitch!" Sam laughed looking at the backwards signature in the mirror.

"You asked for it." Annabelle shrugged smugly.

"There you two are!" a voice behind them exclaimed rushing over.

They turned and saw Candace and Simone rushing towards them. Annabelle wasn't happy to see Simone there. She turned back around and reread the article again.

Candace came around the seat and pulled both girls into a huge hug. She was going to miss them tremendously. Candace started crying on Sam's shoulder, so Annabelle left the embrace so the sisters could hug.

"Why do you have Sharpie on your forehead?" Candace asked Sam with a laugh drying her eyes.

"She asked for my autograph." Annabelle shrugged. "It's almost time to board. I will give you guys some time alone." Annabelle added grabbing her carryon bag and starting to walk away.

"Annabelle," Simone started but was cut off.

"Don't. I already said my goodbyes to you." Annabelle muttered quietly and turned to go. Her feet refused to budge, to move on. Suddenly she was in front of Simone kissing her in front of everyone, not caring who saw it. She conveyed everything she was feeling into that kiss. All the love, longing, pain, and heartache she was feeling at that moment. Annabelle stopped the kiss and finally got her feet to cooperate so she could walk away.

Their flight was called to board then and Sam ran to catch up with Annabelle's retreating figure, grabbing her own carryon bag as she went. Candace and Simone watched them until they had gone into the tunnel connecting to the plane then stood at the window and watched it fly away.

A/N: "Leaving On A Jet Plane" is by John Denver