Flash Fiction #9

chance

It felt good to be back on solid ground again. Kat had always hated flying, and traveling over nine hours with a very unhappy four-year-old in tow had not changed her opinion. After a brief stop in the nearest bathroom to get them both freshened up, they headed down to the luggage carousel.

“Mama there’s mine!” Sean said, pointing to her owl patterned suitcase as it rounded the corner with Kat’s own bags just behind it.

Her phone buzzed in her purse, so Kat took their things over to a bench and sat her daughter in front of of her while she checked her messages. A couple were from friends wishing her a safe trip, and the most recent was a voicemail from Bronagh.

Hi, pet. I’m so sorry, but I’ve just had a pipe burst on me and I’ve got to wait for the plumber to come ‘round. Dylan will be there to collect you two. Look for the tall, dark one with curly hair. See you soon.

Kat’s memory of Dylan probably didn’t match up with what he looked like today. They had been kids back when they met, and he had been wholly disinterested in the slightly younger girl she was. People grew up and changed, didn’t they? She certainly had over the years.

Over by the exit, Kat saw a guy who fit Bronagh’s description walk in. His face still looked familiar, but he was a far cry from the willowy boy she had known. His broad shoulders filled out the faded t-shirt he wore in a way that made her stomach go all fluttery. It had been a long, long time since she had that kind of reaction to anyone. She drew in a breath as their eyes met and he smiled, undoubtedly recognizing her from the photo she had sent to Bronagh.

“Kat?”

“You must be Dylan. Hi,” she said, returning the smile. “Thanks for picking us up on such short notice.”

“No trouble at all. Let me get those for you, I’m parked over in the Short-Term lot.”

Normally Kat would be fine taking her own things, but after that long haul flight she was more than happy to let someone else drag the heavy luggage. She took Sean’s hand and walked alongside Dylan over to his car.

“Wow, carseat and everything. You’re good,” she commented.

He chuckled. “Actually, this is ma’s car. I’ve got a niece about your girl’s age.”

“Lucky for us then.”

With Sean buckled into the back seat, Kat joined Dylan up front and had to remind herself not to sit in the driver’s seat. Years of driving in the States told her that the passengers should sit on the right, but she wasn’t in America anymore.

“How was the flight?” Dylan asked as he waited to turn out of the lot.

Kat let out a heavy sigh, which made him laugh. Okay, he has no right being this attractive, she thought while she looked at his perfect amount of stubble and his sharp features. Her hands itched to touch the dark ringlets that brushed his ears. This was not what she had come all the way to Ireland to do. The plan was to fix up her great aunt’s place and sell it, then head back to the States.

“Ah, one of those flights?”

“Very much so.”

He looked over at her, still smiling. “Let’s hope your stay is a little more enjoyable then.”

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