I should have known from the amount of diet coke I drank that I would have to pee as soon as I stepped on board the plane. And of course I can't use the bathroom while the plane is still sitting on the tarmac, because that would look asinine. I can just imagine what my classmates would think. “Oh look, there goes Tooty Fruity. She has to pee already. Didn't she know about the bathrooms in the airport?” And I do. I used them. But my bladder is the size of a walnut, unable to bear the strain of sixty four ounces of sweetened, zero calorie pop consumed in approximately fifteen minutes.
So here I am, my legs tingling because I'm crossing them so tight, staring obsessively at the giant red X above the bathroom door, willing it to turn green. I fight back my tears as I shoot my head into the aisle every three seconds to check on the status of the bathroom. I don't see my classmates. Don't notice if they're staring and leering or ignoring me as usual. I just see the small aisle connecting two bathrooms, and giant X's above them both.
“Here Tooty Fruity,” Meredith whispers as she bumps my arm. My lower half screams at her as I whip my head back in my seat.
My nickname. It's short. Sweet. And totally humiliating. And as I size up Meredith, I realize in her flat eyes that to her it's just a name. I doubt she even knows my real name anymore. Because even though we've attended the same high school for almost four years now, this is the absolute first time she's ever talked to me. I'm not kidding. She's part of the so-called “popular crowd” - I stress the air quotes on that one - and I am, well, not.
I blame my nickname. And the awful Brunettes that created it.
Meredith has really short blonde hair and pretty typical blue eyes. And she's holding out her hand to me, cupping it a little as if not to spill whatever is inside. I'm sad to admit that my first thought is that I'm prepared to unzip my jeans and pee in her hand. Because quite honestly, at this point, I just might.
“Take this. It'll help you sleep.”
I look from what appears to be her empty hand up to her face, dubious as to why all the sudden she wants to talk to me. Sure, we're going to be sitting next to each other for the next eight hours as we cross the Atlantic, but we once sat next to each other for nine months during Sophomore year geometry and she never said a damn thing to me. I try to cock an eyebrow at her, but most likely, I probably just look surprised. “What is it?
She rolls her eyes at me and sighs, as if I just asked her to conjugate a verb. “A sleeping pill. Duh! We're all taking them.”