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End of the Trump Era: Chapter Two

Copyright J. S. Raynor 2017

Chapter Two : An unwelcome travelling companion

Alex was really looking forward to his holiday in Orlando. This was the second time he would be visiting the world-famous theme parks, as the fourteen year old had been there four years earlier. He felt very grown-up as his mum and dad had let him travel on his own, happy in the knowledge that Alex’s aunt and uncle, who lived in Orlando, would be meeting him at the airport.

Alex did not mind being on his own for the nine-hour flight from Manchester and filled the time by reading gaming magazines and listening to music on his I-phone. The cabin crew also kept a check on him as an assisted passenger. Alex was not a particularly sociable boy and was quite happy in his own little world. He was seated in the aisle seat, with two seats between him and the window on the left side of the aircraft. These seats were occupied by a woman with her daughter, Cassandra, who, Alex guessed, was probably about twelve years old.

Her mother kept trying to hold a conversation with Alex, but, to avoid answering, he feigned sleep. When the dinner was being served, he had actually fallen asleep and Cassandra’s mother, fearful that he might miss his meal, shook him gently to disturb the sleeping boy. He mumbled his thanks, but was actually quite grateful that he did not miss out on the chicken breast with vegetables, followed by chocolate pudding with a rich-cherry taste.

Cassandra, on the other hand, complained to her mother about every item on the menu. Alex was not impressed by this girl, even though, by his standards, she was quite good looking in a homely way.

He found her distinctly annoying,  when she fussed about the food being unpalatable and decided to himself, that she was extremely spoiled.

Alex was not particularly interested in girls, irrespective of how good-looking they may be, preferring instead to spend his time gaming either on his PS4, X-Box or computer. He particularly enjoyed multi-play games, such as “Mass Effect 3” and “Call of Duty”, where friends and opponents were online, creating a less-predictable result. To his mind, he was being sociable, talking to others while online, but, when it came to actually meeting people, his shyness was very apparent.

Cassandra’s mother was obviously curious as to why Alex was travelling alone. “Are your parents going to join you later in Florida?”

“No. My Dad’s a barrister and is in the middle of a big case at the moment, so there was no chance of my mum and dad going away. My aunt and uncle live in Florida and are meeting me at Orlando airport.”

“Oh, I see.”  She seemed quite satisfied with his explanation and continued to read her book, which, Alex noticed, was “Inferno”, by Dan Brown. He had seen and enjoyed the film and thought that, one day, he would like to read the book. He did realise that books were usually superior to the film version, but found reading too slow, while a film could be absorbed in little over a couple of hours.

Cassandra was thoroughly absorbed, watching a film on the in-flight screen attached to the seat in front of her. From what Alex could see, it appeared to be one of the many American teenage-girl musicals, a type of film which he found quite nauseating.

Alex wished that the flight would soon be over, to bring this enforced socialising with a girl who he detested to an end. He knew that once he was with his relatives, Andy and Susie, he would be treated more like an adult. He smiled to himself when he remembered that, on his previous visit, Andy had let him drive an electric golf buggy around the quiet roads in the area where they lived, something which would not be possible for a ten-year old boy living in England. Andy had sat next to Alex as he drove the electric buggy around the lake, instructing the boy on which way to turn. At one point, he had even needed to make a three-point turn, after driving along the wrong road.

Andy and Susie had lived close to Alex’s family in England until he suffered a near-death experience, six years earlier. He had been a successful businessman in England and, thankfully, had the resources from his software company to retire to live a far more relaxed life-style in Florida.

They lived near to a lake with plenty of wildlife, which brought a new interest into his early retirement. Andy had even let Alex use his gun , shooting at empty drink containers in their large rear garden. Alex hoped this would be possible again as he felt certain that his aim would be much better than it was four years earlier. The recoil from the gun had also taken him by surprise, but he was certain that he could handle the weapon much better, now.

He remembered spending many happy hours at Universal Studios theme park, riding on those roller coasters which he managed to stomach. He had pestered his mum and dad to let him repeat some of the more exciting rides. Again, now he was older, he would be even more adventurous on some of the more scary rides. The added bonus was that his parents would not be there to restrict his choice of stomach-churning rides.

There were many children on the flight and, like Alex, they were equally excited at the prospect of their holiday in the sunshine state.

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