The woman was standing behind his girlfriend in line at the airport, heavily layered in two hoodies and a coat underneath a giant backpack. In preparation for the 5:00am flight, her hair is in a suitabley disgusting greasy mess, hanging in stringy strands over her pale pimply face, as she has stayed up all night doing something creative and special. The boy on the ipad gazes at her as she stares straight ahead, zoning out into the distance. She looks straight through him with dark circles under her dead lightless eyes. Her chin is speckled with mustard globs. She blinks slowly in the harsh airport light and wipes a booger from her large nose. Oblivious to him she mutters the words of a song to herself in a soft, loose melody and no one around her notices.
The boy is in love.
Nothing could have taken longer than that plane ride. The boy fidgets and reads and watches television and hates himself and cries. When he goes to pick his girlfriend up at the airport he keeps looking around her while she chats about her vacation and collects her pink Hello Kitty roller suitcase. He evades her neatly eyelinered eyes as she smiles her perfect smile and shakes her long, shiny dark hair. And there she is.
The woman, a little bit older than his current girlfriend, has taken off her hoodies to search for something in her bag. She's grunting and heaving as she digs like a pig through a muddy trough. There are off yellow sweatstains all over her shirt. She is talking to herself about nothing at all.
The boy has never met anyone so quirky and different. He pushes past his tiny girlfriend and approaches the woman absentmindedly scratching her crotch in public.
"Hello," says the boy.
"BUGS!" she shouts, her eyes wide and frantic.
"Bugs," she whimpers in painful fear pointing at his sneakers which do have Bugs Bunny on them.
"It's okay," he says soothingly. "He can't hurt you." She is so sweet and innocent and childlike! He wants to protect her and hold her.
"If you sing songs about him the future can hear you," she softly mutters, looking away at a trash can.
"Golly," says the boy breathlessly. "That's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard."
The girl starts crying. She grabs her spacious love handles and points at an escalator. "That's not my hat."
"Listen," the boy says. "I think you're the most unique and quirky thing I've ever seen. You're like a flower in a pond of seascum. You're a manic pixie dream girl. Hey, I've only known you a few minutes, but I think I'm in love with you."
A man older than them walks up and puts his hand on the girl's shoulder. "What the fuck do you think you're doing with my mentally disabled daughter?" He growls at the boy. The man is much bigger than the boy, with years of pain etched under his eyes. The girl under his hand smiles and waves at the boy. The boy steps back and looks at both of them with both of his eyes.
"Oh! Oh? Oh! Um."
"Walk the fuck away."
The boy is heartbroken. He has lost his soulmate, the love of his life, the light that shone in the darkness of the graveyard of his childhood. She was the one who had taught him to dance in the fields at nightfall, to remember what it feels like to laugh, to twirl int he rain. She was his angel and his angle, an acute one. Goodbye to love, to happily ever after, goodbye to rainbows and ukulele music on a picnic. Goodbye, my dear, my love, carpe diem.
The boy walks back to his girlfriend, his hopes shattered, his dreams broken. And he knows he will never feel this way again.
The impossibly quirky abstract girl follows the big man to the car while he lectures her. She sings and laughs to herself when the leave the airport and enters the pool of cold dry sunshine.