Alice stepped of the airplane steps into the fresh London air. The wind was blowing faintly in her face. Her breast length brown hair was gliding with the wind. She took a deep breath and sucked in the warm London air. She breathed out and smiled. She picked up her backpack and headed towards the Baggage Claim. She walked with iPod music in her ears, all by herself in a strange world. She was wearing normal girl teenage clothing: skinny jeans, loose top, and tennis shoes. Although, tennis shoes weren’t the style, her aunt insisted she wear them on the plane.
She took out her phone from her back pocket and looked at the time.
9:56 A.M. She sighed. She put her phone in the back of the pocket and walked on an escalator.
“I think its lovely weather today,” A man older than her in a British accent said to her. She took out her earplugs.
“Oh, indeed sir,” She looked at him. He looked back and looked away.
“American tourists…” He mumbled under his breath and cursed something she couldn’t figure out. She shrugged and put her earplugs back in. As she reached the end of the escalator she headed to Baggage Area 3. She turned left and saw a person holding a sign; a very handsome person. He had a buzz cut, and almost looked Hispanic, but had a hint of British. He was wearing a black leather jacket, a white tank, and pants. Any normal boy in Los Angeles might wear.
The sign said, “Gentarri.”
“Oh, that’s me.” She said to herself. The young man saw her and smiled. She walked over towards him and saw he had her suitcase at hand. He folded the sign up and put it in his jeans. Jeans? I thought this was London? He cleared his throat and put his hand out.
“Welcome miss, I hope you enjoy your stay in London.” He said, in a clear American accent.
“Why yes. If you have a problem with that, I can get someone else to show you around.”
“Wait, you’re my tour guide?”
“You’re too young.”
“Just because I am sixteen like you are, I see no reason why I can’t tour you around,” He smiled a devilish, but charming smile. She smiled back.
“May I know your name sir?”
“Galen. Galen Sanchez.”
“So you are Mexican.”
“Only a little, my uncle is.”
“Oh so your uncle is Lorry Sanchez. Ok.”
“And you are Alice Gentarri.”
“Now, my instructions are to get you to your hotel by twelve o’clock, so you can get your stuff unpacked, then we can get lunch and walk around. I think in order to do that, we must leave now.”
“Sure. I see no reason,” She reached for her bags. He grabbed her arm gently and moved her hand away. He then used his index finger and made a no-no sign. He then pulled out the roller for the suitcase and dragged it along. He walked towards the Airport Parking Lot, she followed to his right.
“You are a surprise to me,” He said, looking forward.
“I was just expecting a more… American teenager.”
“Ah… you were expecting a total snob who cares only for herself.”
“If that’s what you want to call it.”
“Well, I was taught that manners are the most important about a girl.”
“Yes, and I can see you don’t wear makeup. Why is that? I see girls ten years younger than you wear that.”
“I don’t know. It’s a hassle, and I just think it’s stupid,” He smirked at the comment.
“Fascinating… Well, I think you’ll enjoy London very much,” He said as they entered the parking lot. He grabbed his keys and walked over to a motor scooter. He pulled her suitcase up and strapped it in.
“Why don’t we call a carriage?” She said, not very pleasant at the idea of ‘scootering’.
He laughed, “Have you never been here before? We have no carriages anymore. You’ll be surprised how London will remind you of Los Angeles.”
“How do you know so much about me?” She said slowly walking to the scooter.
“I got background info. I can’t do much for the Scotland Yard if I don’t know you.”
“Yes, of course.”
“You look awfully familiar. Do you have a sister? I might have met her.”
“Um… no.” She quietly said and grabbed one of the helmets on the seat. He grabbed the other and shrugged. He jumped on the scooter and waited for her. She took a deep breath and jumped on the scooter.
“Hold on tight, this road can get bumpy,” He chuckled. She held onto his waist tightly, scared. He felt her tenseness and backed up slower than he normally would. Then he turned left and sped out the parking lot at 25 mph. It took about five minutes before they hit the main traffic of London: very busy, very crowded, and just slow. Alice looked at everything around her: the shops, people, animals; just the culture in general. Galen took a notice of this. After being stuck in traffic and they came to a complete stop he balanced himself.
“You seem to look a round a lot.”
“Like I said, I’ve never been here before.”
“Just saying… we’ll be at your hotel in five.”
“Sounds good,” She smiled. Then traffic started moving and he made a right at an intersection. This was a smaller street, but had more of the old London culture. A lot of tall buildings, balconies that were so high they could see the whole city. She looked all the way up until her neck was hurting. Then they reached a little market on the left. She guessed these were for people who couldn’t afford some food in grocery stores, or they are just more cultural. Men were selling bread, women were selling vegetables and fruits, while the children preformed for money. Galen stopped for a minute and looked where she was looking, then moved on slowly towards the end of the street.
“Look…” Galen tapped her shoulder and they stopped to look at something really spectacular.
“This, I think is the best of London,” He smiled and they looked together. London Bridge was something truly spectacular, and of course looked much better than the pictures, and the Thames, still looking like muddy water (which it was) and the beautiful blue sky in the background. She could stare at it all day and never get used to it.
“Wow, I could never get used to this.”
“… I’m used to it,” He smiled.
“Well, of course you are, you see it everyday.”
“Yes, well. You’ll be able to see it from your hotel window. Which reminds me that your hotel is right over here,” He gently pushed on the accelerator and they slowly moved across the street to a more archaic building. He put the scooter in park and got off. He took his helmet off and set it on the scooter. His hair was perfectly fine of course, and he put his hand out for Alice to get up (like any normal gentleman would do) and he pulled her up. She took her helmet off and her hair was a huge mess. It was all poofy in the front and it was just insane. She looked at Galen, he had a sincere face.
“Why aren’t you laughing at me?”
“Am I supposed to? I thought it would be insulting.”
“That’s the point. You’re supposed to laugh and make me mad.”
He looked confused, “Is that what teens in America do these days? Make fun of another?”
“No, but it’s funny. Here watch.” She put the helmet back on and rubbed it then took it off, still no laughing. Then she did it again, and again, and again, until he finally laughed.
“See! It’s funny!” She smiled.
“No, I’m laughing at how silly you look. And now, your hair is more of a mess.” He smiled, and she playfully frowned. He grabbed her suitcase of the straps that held it against the scooter and pulled it off. He rolled it to the door and looked back at her.
“When we get to your room, you really must brush that hair. I mean, even if it is the style, your hair looked much better down.” He grinned and rolled the suitcase in past the automatic doors. She walked in with him and stood next to him waiting for the clerk.
“Ah, your key Mr. Sanchez. I hope your American has a good stay.” The English man wearing a dark suit said and tossed him the key. Then he sat back down and read his newspaper. Galen grabbed the key and put it in his pocket, then had his left hand on the roller for the suitcase, and his right hand gently pulling Alice’s arm towards the elevator. He pushed the button and waited.
“I really must thank you for doing this.” Alice stared at the elevator doors.
“It really is no problem. And I need to tell you something.”
“Okay, go on.”
“When I asked you earlier about if you had a twin or sister, I didn’t mean to bring it up. I mean, you look like her a lot.”
“Oh, yes. Her disappearance was a little shocking, and two years ago she looked a lot like me today. Today, we may not know what she looks like.” She frowned.
“That is why, after about three days of showing you around. I want to help you as much as possible.” He smiled faintly to cheer her up. She smiled a little.
“Thanks. I really do appreciate it.” She squeezed his hand gently. The doors opened and they walked in. A man in red was standing by the buttons and his face looked completely bored.
“Which button?” He crossed his arms.
“Level Four please, sir.” Alice said. The man grunted and pressed the button. It was awkward being in a “negative” room. Alice was one that had mixed moods, and usually it was by people around her. The doors opened after hearing the ding…ding…ding…dong! Galen stepped off first and then waited for his American to get off. Alice skipped down the halls, while Galen slowly walked smiling at her enthusiasm. She looked back at him and blushed from embarrassment.
“It’s fun to do fun things here, because nobody knows you, and doesn’t care who you are. I’m not a big fan of people of judge, but I don’t mind embarrassing myself.”
“Then why did you blush?” He smiled.
“Me? Blush? Never,” She grinned as Galen threw her keys. Alice opened the door with room 412 numbers on it. She walked in and smiled. It was very nice, one small bed, a balcony with nice view, she gasped when she saw the white and gold trimmed bathroom. She ran in it and closed the door. Galen shrugged and set her suitcase on the bed. Galen heard a toilet flush and Alice came out of the bathroom with her hair in a bun.
“Why is your hair up?” Galen opened her suitcase.
“Because, I won’t be able to brush my stupid, poofy hair until I use conditioner.”
“Oh, ok. Now, if you want to go walk around, I know a nice chocolate shop, you might want a jacket; because it will get cold, and I want to take you out for dinner.”
“Like a date?”
“Oh, ok. I’ve never been on a date before…” She frowned.
“You? You’re like…”
“Yes well, I’m not one to date Los Angeles snobs.”
“Oh that’s right. Well… if you want it to be a date, I can say so, although my uncle may be upset.”
“Thanks.” She smiled. Galen reached inside her suitcase and grabbed a sweatshirt that said Notre Dame University.
“Notre Dame huh?”
“My uncle went there.”
“Oh, well I just like the college, I wish I could go.”
“Get a scholarship.”
“I would need straight A’s.”
“You do play soccer, and I must admit: You are very good at it.”
“I’m not that good.” She scoffed.
“Come, let’s go.” Galen grabbed her hand and they left the room.
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