Hi everyone. This next scene in my creative writing series is the introduction of a character I have grown to love by the name of Jess Montenegro. This is also from my work-in-progress, The Odd and Icy Tale of Bianca Barrowbone, but at this point Jess doesn’t know who Bianca is. She’s just trying to get to her lunch date on time even though, if she’s being honest, she never gets anywhere on time.
The “Dreadful Fate” of Jess Montenegro
Entering the airport for the first time in nearly a year, Jessica “Jess” Montenegro cannot avoid the dread pooling in the pit of her stomach. As her suitcase rolls over the shell-studded floor of MIA in the direction of baggage claim, she disregards her vaguely familiar surroundings, encompassed only in the memories of the last words she told her Miami friends:
“Haha, losers. I am never, ever coming back. Get a good long look because this is the last you’ll see of Jessica Montenegro! HAHAHAHAHAHA!” Then, she stepped through TSA check, supposedly never to be seen again.
Jess doesn’t regret her words. In fact, she still stands by them. However, she knows in the depths of her soul that August is gonna give her shit about it for all of eternity. Whatever. It’s not Jess’s fault her parents want to spend time with their oldest daughter on her nineteenth birthday.
Jess feels a buzz in her pocket. She ignores it, but she can tell by the rhythmic buzzing of the ringtone that it’s August, nickname HOTMAN in her contacts. (It’s an inside joke).
Jess and August have been friends since kindergarten when little Jessica marched up to the weird kid wearing gloves and playing with legos in a corner and introduced herself to him with a firm punch to the arm. He cried. She got in trouble. They’ve been thick as thieves ever since.
Quite frankly, this is the longest the two of them have ever been apart, with August starting art school in Miami (and subsequently dropping out) and Jess going off to study business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sliding down the escalator, Jess tries to pull some of her tight, dark brown curls behind her ear, only for them to pop out again moments later, and looks down at her apple watch to check the time.
She’s late. She’s supposed to meet August, Charlie, and Bria at some new coffeeshop she’s never heard of down at south beach. Jess would rather have some beauty sleep after her short but tedious flight, but Bria insisted she come. Apparently, the testosterone when the three of them hang out without her is, in her friend’s words, “astronomical.”
Jess finally gets to lane five in baggage claim and impatiently taps her heeled foot as she scans the luggage for her pale pink, gargantuan clothing suitcase. After all, one carry-on is simply not enough room for all the clothes she plans on wearing on her trip.
Jess is a firm believer that if you don’t look good, you might as well not even step out of the house. This belief stems from this one time she went to a store to get some chips looking crusty and sweaty after a workout only to find an ex-hookup waiting in the line. Just her luck. After that, Jess didn’t even go to the gym looking messy.
Even now, Jess is wearing her best pair of black skinny jeans, a cute, burgundy tube top, and a bold pair of ankle boot heels, all embellished with some gold bracelets and earrings.
Jess spots her suitcase as she feels a second buzz in her ass pocket: Charlie.
Jess both is and isn’t looking forward to seeing the one and only Charlie Hanson.
On the one hand, Charlie’s sweet and fun. He’s great at parties, rivaling even her in terms of energy. Plus, he’s August’s (second) best friend. More importantly, though, he dresses well without looking like a chad and is generally really supportive as a friend. (Jess would not admit to herself that she also thinks his eyes are really pretty).
On the other hand, she was really hoping that she would never have to discuss the events of August 20 with him.
Finally lugging the large bag to the dusty airport floor, Jess takes a long, exasperated breath. She really does hate feeling the consequences for her actions.
The stress is bad for her skin.
Jess clicks her way through the sliding EXIT doors, feeling the sudden blast of suffocating humidity she misses least about her hometown. As she jumps into the nearest taxi, chatting politely with the driver as he helps her with her hefty bags, Jess silently wishes for a shot, preferably of something strong, and accepts the inevitability of her dreadfully awkward fate.