Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chapter 19: Unclear Landing

McKenna's heart jumped as the plane touched ground, jolting all of the passengers around. She wished should could have been sitting next to Luke instead of behind him so that grabbing his hand would have been easier. Not that she wanted to force anything lovey dovey. She usually squeezed whoever's hand was next to her on airplane landings.

The plane's wheels grazed the ground and then landed all the way. The plane zoomed down a runway strip but eventually slowly came to a halt.

She breathed a quiet sigh of relief. At least they hadn't died in the air or on the landing. Now they'd give the actual ground a try. McKenna didn't really know what they were even up against. All she knew was that Alfonzo seemed adamant about them all arriving to Paris and that Jewel and the whole train fiasco gang mash-up had to be rectified. She hoped Luke's white personality could actually have the power to make everything work out. Because her blue personality was worrying herself that they weren't going to all be okay after this venture to Paris.

Apparently they were all in mortal danger from the Gordovos gang if they didn't make their way to Paris. She didn't know if Alfonzo was planning on sitting down to negotiate over baguettes or what. Maybe they could try chocolate croissants. Who couldn't agree over a chocolate croissant?

But this being in the dark business was getting a little out of hand.

The plane finally halted and everyone stood.

"Hold up," McKenna said. "Everyone stay here. Now, Alfonzo, would you please explain what our goals in France are exactly?"

Alfonzo scrunched his eyes closed, and everyone else knew he'd be rolling his eyes if they were opened. But Alfonzo was too classy for eye rolls.

"We are here to find Chris, or any member of the Gordovos gang, so we can rectify this horrendous situation in which we are all running for our lives."

McKenna wasn't really that much more enlightened than before.

"Umm, okay. And how exactly are we going to do this?"

Alfonso gripped Jewel's chair headrest. "They know that we're coming. We will go to that train station and bargain with them to let them know we will not give them up to the authorities, and in return we will have all of our lives in tact."

The plane was silent. Then Luke ran a hand through his hair and turned to Alfonso.

"But, Fonz, how do we know that they're going to agree with us? What if they kill us all right there?"

Alfonso started toward the plane door holding his wounded arm gently. "I don't know this. But that's why we're meeting in the train station. I don't really think they want five bodies on the gang's hands. They have too many other problems to have us all publicly murdered."

Alfonso's sentiments didn't really assuage McKenna's worries or inquiries, but she followed the rest of her posse of the plane anyway so she could see what would be ahead for all of them. They were already deep into this and if they turned around and went home now, so didn't really foresee anything good for any of them if they were on their own.

Outside among the green trees of Paris there was an SUV with tinted windows. Of course. How in the world did Alfonso have all these connections? He seemed like he was straight out of a spy movie.

They piled into the SUV and McKenna made sure to sit between Luke and her father. This seemed to be the norm for them by now. She was linked to both her father and to this group through this strange train station boy, Luke.

I guess he isn't really a boy anymore, she thought to herself. But I still feel like a little lost girl unsure of what we're doing in Paris.

Jewel found an iPod hook-up in the vehicle and started playing her music to the group. McKenna just simply could not fathom the world's obsession with Adele.

She wondered what would happen when they made it out of this whole situation. Would they still always be looking over their shoulder for people out to get them? Would any of them truly ever be safe? Then she thought back to her mother. She would lose her boyfriend, because McKenna just didn't see how a gang leader boyfriend was going to be acceptable. Hopefully they would find a way to be safe again.

Luke nudged her with his knee. She looked over at him and he offered a half smile to her and nodded out the window. It was the Eiffel Tower.

McKenna didn't have any distinct memories of Paris when she was younger, but seeing the Eiffel Tower brought a little bit of nostalgia back. Why couldn't it just be as easy as it was back then? Sure, her parents had fought a lot, but she was usually the one to bring them both to their senses. They'd be arguing about tickets to the Louvre and she'd tell them to stop and look up, and then they both calmed down because they were in awe of the Eiffel Tower. That distraction trick had slowly stopped working through the years though.

McKenna sighed and then threw back a tiny smile to Luke and then turned to face the front.

She didn't know French but she saw a freeway sign that said they'd be at the Gare du Nord station in 1 kilometer.

Alfonso steered the car toward the exit and the station was suddenly in sight.

Here we go, she thought. Then she gripped the edge of her seat and prayed that they would all survive this.