And then they were out, sprinting to where Liam’s car was parked. Jumping in the car, Amy revving up the engine, quickly pulling out of the garage.
She was driving like a madwoman. She had to. She couldn’t lose Karma again, she screwed up enough for a lifetime. So many things could go wrong. The police could pull her over, she could arrive a little after Karma already went in the gate. She didn’t want to think about that.
“I’m gonna make it in time.” She muttered to herself under her breath. She pulled her phone out and tried ringing Karma, but the girl didn’t answer. She didn’t know if Karma simply hadn’t heard the phone ringing or was purposefully ignoring her. “Oh, come on, Karma!”
“Try to not get us killed, please.” Shane was by her side, holding onto the handle for dear life. “I will be pissed at you in the afterlife if my face gets maimed.”
Liam instructed Amy from the backseat, telling her which way was less jammed.
They made it to the airport in forty-five minutes. Shane wasn’t a religious person, but he thanked all the gods he could think of when he set foot on land. They were still running, Amy leading them, until she reached the information desk. They found out they were in the wrong part of the airport, which basic led them into a marathon of running around gates. They spent fifteen minutes at it, until they found the right one.
Amy checked the flight board and saw Karma’s flight was on time. She looked around the large space looking for a flash of auburn hair, but she didn’t find it. Her heart was menacing to give out on her chest, but she kept pushing. She kept running.
“Excuse me, has the flight to Austin began boarding?” She asked the lady from the airline company.
“Only the preferential group, and the first class.” The woman answered promptly.
Amy turned to the guys. “I don’t know in which group she is. She’s not here, so she might as well have boarded the plane already.”
“Try calling her.” Liam suggested.
“I’ll call, she might not pick up if you do.” Shane intervened.
Amy nodded as her friend dialed Karma’s number.
“It’s out of reach.” Shane informed them, putting the cellphone back in his jeans.
“Fuck.” Amy ran her hands through her hair. “She could’ve gone anywhere, she could be inside the plane, or in the restroom or buying magazines. We don’t have time to search everywhere.”
She looked around thinking of a way to get Karma’s attention. Amy walked back to the company’s desk.
“Can you use the speakers to call a passenger?” Amy asked the desk lady with urgency.
“I’m sorry, I can’t.” She replied politely.
“Please?!” Liam was behind her and Shane looked at the woman with the biggest pleading eyes. “She’s my sister, we need to talk to her but she isn’t picking up her phone.”
“You need to talk with the airport administration. I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do.” The woman shrugged.
There wasn’t enough time to talk to the administration. Amy cracked her knuckles and shot Liam a look. He instantly knew what that look meant.
Lucy Armstrong, sixth grade, talent show. Amy was waiting to go up stage to present her yo-yo routine, but Lucy Armstrong was still going full on her “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” vocalizations. Fifteen minutes, and Lucy Armstrong was still singing a song that wasn’t even a minute long. She was stealing time from Amy’s routine, so Amy shot Liam the same look. They needed to create a diversion to get Lucy Armstrong of that stage. That’s how Liam stepped on the assistant teacher’s foot, and the man let the curtains drop. Liam ran all the way up to Lucy Armstrong, and carried her off to the other side of the stage, and when the curtains were up again, Amy finally could perform.
He got Amy’s plan as soon as Amy shot him that look.
“Follow my lead.” Amy heard him say to Shane, just behind her.
There was a pile of bags behind the woman’s desk, just for prop purposes. Liam noticed that, and he posted himself right by it, Shane followed, unsure of what he was supposed to do.
Amy heard them before she saw what they did. With a loud noise, Liam was on the floor, the bags everywhere. Shane pretended to help him get up, but Liam smartly kept falling over the bags, making an even bigger mess.
“What the fu-“ The woman in the desk left her post, rushing to help them. This was the window Amy needed.
She slid herself across the desk and grabbed the microphone. “Karma!” Amy heard her own voice echoing in the airport’s sound system. “Karma Ashcroft, this is Amy. Where are you?” She looked around, trying to find Karma.
“What do you think you’re doing!” The woman raged stepping furiously towards Amy, but Liam and Shane stepped in her way, and when she tried to contour them, they moved, blocking the passage.
“I’m sorry, lady, but we can’t let you pass!” Liam told her, his arms stretched out to impose a barrier to the woman.
“Karma, please!” Amy continued. “I know you don’t want to talk to me, and I know I’ve made a mistake and I’ve been a huge buttface, but I love you. I want us to be together, more than anything. Please give me a chance! I can possibly go to jail for doing what I’m doing, but it doesn’t matter. If this is what it takes for you to not board that plane, then I don’t mind it. You are my soulmate!” Amy said with conviction, her eyes skimming every face that entered her vision.
The securities were coming, running down the hallway. “Amy,” Liam whined looking back at her, “We can’t hold off much longer!”
“But I would like to speak to you without having to go to jail, if I could have a say in this.” Amy was still searching, but there were no signs of Karma. Her stomach dropped when the girl showed no signs of coming to meet them. “Liam, Shane,” Amy called them, exhausted. “Let her go.”
They did, and the woman sprinted past them, stepping hard. “You’re gonna get in trouble for this.” She spat the words at Amy, straightening her jacket.
“Should we run?” Shane asked when Amy joined them.
“No. What if she’s coming?”
“I don’t know, Ames. Doesn’t seem like it.” Liam grimaced. “Maybe she boarded already.”
The securities were closer now, approaching them, telling them to stay in place. They took out the cuffs. Amy felt her arms being pulled harshly behind her back.
And then she saw her. Karma.
She had a packet of Hershey’s Kisses in a hand, coat hanging on the other, guitar case strapped on her back. She sprinted towards them. Her cheeks flushed and her auburn hair curls falling behind her back with the speed, the look in her eyes called to Amy, making her insides twist with hope. The guys saw it, too.
Amy looked at Liam. They couldn’t just escape from the police. That would definitely put them in jail. But they had to think of something, come up with a way to not get arrested. Liam did.
“Can I call my father about this? I think he would really like to hear it.”
“Unless you’re the son of Bill Gates, I don’t think your daddy can help you.” The officer that cuffed Liam scoffed.
“No. I’m not the son of Bill Gates, but I’m the son of the CEO at Skwerkel’s.” Liam smirked. “Now how would my dad like that?”
The officers looked at each other, deciding if he was bluffing or not.
“You can contact them. They’ll tell you who I am.” He pressed.
The guards decided Liam was telling the truth. “You’re not going to walk out of this. We’re gonna check it. And you come with us.”
They began steering them away, to what Amy supposed would be the airport jail. She looked back at Karma who had stopped running. “Karma!” Amy struggled to talk to the girl, because the officer kept pushing her forward. “Wait for me! Don’t get on the plane!”
The officer didn’t admit Amy saying any words anymore, but she managed a last look at Karma, and she saw the girl nodding.
“You’re a lucky bunch.” The captain in charge of airport security took off their cuffs, one by one. “We can’t charge you for anything other than disrupting public order. But you aren’t exactly a threat. I don’t think stealing a mic for three minutes impose as a serious offence.”
“Kanye West stole a microphone for longer than that and no one arrested him.” Shane complained, massaging his wrists.
“Son,” The captain began. “I have no idea who that person is. But this is a serious airport, and you all are gonna serve as an example.” He pointed at the three of them. “You’re gonna have to go to court in said date. But from what I know, you’re gonna pay a ticket, probably. A thousand dollars each, maybe.” He shrugged.
“Can we go now?” Liam asked, getting up from the chair.
“Yes, you may. And if I ever see you causing trouble in this airport again, you’re banned from the JFK International Airport.”
They nodded, and an officer saw them out.
Outside, Karma was waiting. When they got out of the police station, she turned to face them. Amy was puzzled by the look on the girl’s face. She didn’t know if Karma was furious about this whole shenanigans, but she settled for it. Amy still had a part of her brain that admired how the other girl looked. She wore her hair in a different style, and it left Amy in utter awe how incredibly beautiful Karma was. Even when she looked at Amy like she wanted to kill her.
Liam squeezed Amy’s shoulder in a reassuring gesture and Shane gave her a discreet thumbs up, and with that, they left the girls alone.
“I see you worked things out with Liam.”
“I did.” Amy nodded.
“Breaking the law again.” Karma shook her head disapprovingly.
“It’s a bad habit.” Amy shrugged, trying to break the tension.
“Like being indecisive and an asshole sometimes?”
Amy took the words like a slap to the face, but Karma was right. “I am so incredibly sorry, Karma.”
“You always say that.” Karma scoffed.
“What do you want me to say? I-“
Karma cut her abruptly. “What I want you to say? Gee, Amy, I don’t know. How about why the fuck you never called? You wanted to talk. You came all this way, stopped me from getting into a flight and almost got yourself arrested. So, talk. Tell me why you stopped me going in that plane.”
Amy took in a deep breath. “You remember when you asked me if I believed in soul mates? I didn’t. For a long time, at least. But when we’re apart, there’s always something calling me back to you. All of the stardust that made me, through ages, wants me to be with you, to collide with you. I can’t let you leave, Karma. Not when I know better.”
“Why didn’t you call?” Karma’s voice was less furious and more hurt by the minute.
“I needed to sort things out with Liam. And I needed to sort things out with you. But I also needed to sort things out with myself. I want this to work, Karma. I want us to work, and I can’t fail. And I needed sometime to convince myself I’m not my father. I won’t walk out on you. Never again. If you want to turn your back away and leave, you can, but I’m not giving up. If you stay, I’m gonna be the happiest person in the galaxy, and you of all people know how galaxies are immense, and I’m gonna love you the best I can, without holding anything back anymore. You’re everything, Karma.”
Karma nodded slowly, taking it all in, the look on her eyes softening. She crossed her arms over her chest and replied quietly. “Well, don’t stop when it’s getting good.”
Amy snorted but the serious look on Karma’s face made her deter herself. “I want to take you out on a proper date, I want to share everything with you and when I see something that reminds me of you, I go ‘if only Karma was here to see this’ but lately, everything reminds me of you, Karma. The sun, ice cream, even the exposed bricks on a house can make me think of you. And don’t get me started on the love songs. I love you in any way, Karma. Even if you listened to reggae or had holes in your jeans or if you wore cowboy hats – and you know how much I hate all of these things. Are you actually laughing at me right now?” Amy declared, disbelieving.
Karma closed the distance between them, kissing Amy, her arms crossed behind Amy’s neck. Karma smiled on the other girl’s lips and Amy pulled her closer, running her fingers through locks of auburn hair. The kiss was slow and full of tenderness. Amy put all her love in that kiss, and it seemed like Karma was doing the same thing. It was the sweetest kiss they had ever had. When their lips parted, Karma moved a hand to the nape of Amy’s neck, caressing it with her clipped nails. Lightly grazing them over Amy’s skin. Karma’s eyes were that liquid hazel Amy adored, so clear and full of warmth. And Amy felt like she could melt right there.
Amy whispered cheerfully, “So this means you’ll stay?”
“Don’t ruin this moment, buttface.” She shushed Amy but kept smiling, her hazel eyes shining. “I can’t believe you chased me on an airport. Do you think this is a John Hughes movie?”
Amy shrugged looking down at Karma’s lips and smiling. “I still got the girl, didn’t I?”
Karma shook her head, beaming and Amy lifted her arm in a ‘Breakfast Club’ gesture.
“You’re my soul mate, too. And I knew it the moment I bumped into you.” Karma confessed. “And I can’t believe you actually almost got arrested to stopping me to get on the plane. I feel like we’re Rachel and Ross.” Karma tucked a lock of Amy’s hair behind her ear.
“I would’ve gone to Austin, but I thought this was going to make a bigger impression.” She pouted and Karma kissed her pout away, giggling.
“You could’ve done that before I dispatched the bags. Now I’m gonna have to call the airline.” Karma sighed. “But none of that matters, you know why?”
Amy raised an inquiring eyebrow. “Oh, really? Why not?”
“Because you like me. You really like me.” Karma chanted and the other girl kissed her, interrupting Karma’s boasting. The kiss was youthful and full of ease. Finally they were letting things run its course.
“Come on, let’s get out of here. I want to take you on a real date.” Amy picked up Karma’s guitar case and strapped it to her back. “I didn’t even know you played the guitar.”
“I’m a woman of many talents.” She entwined their hands together.
“That explains why you’re so good with your hands.” Amy pondered, playfully;
“Amy!” Karma had the decency to blush at Amy’s smartass remark.
“What? Ashamed, much? You shouldn’t be.”
“You’re the biggest buttface I know. I just want you to know that.” Karma sighed but she couldn’t hold back the smile sprouting on her lips.
“But you love me.” Amy said, shrugging.
“I do.” They kissed again, a chaste, quick kiss. Karma sighed happily.
“Let’s go find the guys. I want them to meet my girlfriend.”
“When did I ever agree to this?” Karma fumbled around with the blindfold.
“Will you stop?!” Amy took Karma’s hands in hers so the other girl would stop fidgeting with the blindfold. “You agreed to let me do this, so you can’t peek. That’s cheating.”
“I just don’t think it’s a good idea to have me blindfolded when we are crossing one of the most populated cities in the world.” She reasoned, trying to get her hands out of Amy’s. “I’m pretty sure I almost got ran over. Twice.”
“You did not! Don’t you trust me?” Amy asked in mock outrage.
“I do.” She sighed. “When I can see.” Karma added in a small voice.
“You’re sleeping in the couch today.” Amy quipped, snorting “Okay. We’re here.” She got behind Karma, and untied the blindfold to reveal where they stood on.
Lots of emotions passed through Karma’s face as Amy watched her reaction. Recognition, amusement, surprise but in the end, the girl settled with indignation. Amy frowned, not sure of what she had done wrong. Karma slapped her lightly on her arm.
“You brought me blindfolded to a rooftop!” Karma scolded, but her words came with a genuine smile and Amy felt relieved. “Me! A person with fear of heights, Amy.”
Amy snorted. “I’m sorry, I was trying to be romantic!”
Karma just smiled and took in everything about the place she’d probably memorized, if she was anything like Amy. If Amy could pinpoint an exact moment where she just knew they begun, not even sure of what they were exactly beginning, this would be it. The rooftop garden, with the flowerbeds and the marble benches.
In the center of everything, a table was set, pretty and minimalistic. The whole place was decorated with buckets and more buckets of tulips, colorful ones.
Karma looked at Amy marveled, bewilderment glinting in her hazel eyes. “But Amy… How- What if someone catches us?”
“We’re not here illegally today.” At Karma’s confused look, Amy just took a badge out of her pocket, tossing it at Karma. “Turns out knowing the son of Skwerkel’s CEO has its privileges.” She shrugged.
“Liam actually talked to his father?” Karma asked in surprise.
“Well, no.” Amy grimaced. “We just figured what his father doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Today the rooftop is ours.” She smirked at her girlfriend.
She just felt Karma’s arms around her neck and instinctively let her eyes flutter shut. Soon enough, Karma’s mouth was on hers, all soft and warm and smiling on her lips, and Amy just let herself melt in the kiss, every piece finally in its place. Her arms closed around the girl’s hips, bringing her closer. They had been dating for a week now. And it was getting ridiculous that they still hadn’t gone out in an official date. Karma pitched the idea a lot to Amy. But Amy just kept giving her excuses here and there, because she had been planning the whole ordeal already. Liam gave her the biggest help with the VIP pass and Shane, well, Shane did everything else. He went with her to endless flower shops buying tulips left and right, and decorated everything, because Amy sucked at that.
And now they were here. Where they had started.
Amy pulled away. “Let’s at least not waste the table, how about that?” She whispered on Karma’s ear and the girl laughed breathlessly, nodding at her.
Amy led Karma to the table, and pulled the chair so Karma could sit, and then it was her turn to sit down.
Everything was really sophisticated, and she thanked God for Shane, because he knew how to decorate a place. And he also knew a lot about catering, and while he suggested a three course meal, Amy had other things in mind.
A waiter pushed past the door, two glasses of wine on his tray, and Karma looked amused at everything Amy had put together, not saying a word. After this waiter was done, another came in, serving them their meals. Amy could practically hear Karma thinking this whole protocol thing didn’t scream Amy, the flowers, yes, completely, but the sudden fanciness of everything, surely not. When the waiter set down their courses and removed the crown off the platter, Karma let out a hearty laugh and Amy’s heart filled with warmth. When the waiter was done serving them, he left them alone.
Karma still had traces of a smile on her lips. “Shake Shack?” She asked, pointing to their plates.
“If we’re doing this date thing, we’d better do it right.” Amy shrugged. “Besides, you seemed to have said the words ‘this was the best meal of my life’ the first time we ate these burguers.”
“I think I actually did.” She laughed again, and paused to look at Amy with the most incredible, filled with tenderness look she had ever given her. “This is fantastic, Amy. It really is. Thank you.” She stretched her hand across the table and Amy took it, her skin had memorized the format and the warmth of the girl’s hand by now, but every time they touched, Amy still felt electricity running through her. “I can’t believe I pitched dinner and a movie to you.” Karma shook her head, dismissing her own idea.
“Hey, hey!” Amy interrupted, seriously. “I would gladly go to a dinner and a movie if it means spending time with you. Fuck, Karma, I would watch grass grow with you and still be one hundred percent satisfied. Because it’s you.”
Karma still had the decency to blush. “We should watch grass grow sometime.” She joked but the tender look on her eyes was still there.
“We definitely should. We can even pick a place where drug deals go down sideways and we can watch.”
“You’re always promising me that.” Karma laughed.
“I thought it was pretty original, if I say so.”
“I love you, buttface.”
“And I love you, nerd.” Amy winked back at her girlfriend. Whenever that word came to Amy’s mind, her insides beamed. It was so simple, full with domesticity, full of recognition. It was them.
They bumped their sandwiches in something similar to a toast, and lunched between quips and tender words the other said. Whatever Amy imagined would happen to her, she never imagined this. This sense of familiarity. It was easy, effortless, like they were meant to do it all along. She didn’t tell Karma, but her favorite constellation now were the spots of light on the girl’s hazel eyes. She had always been skeptical, she did not believe in love at first sight, or soulmates or anything like that. Until she met Karma. And if there was anything Amy believed into oblivion, it was Karma. Soulmates didn’t sound so improbable now.
They stood in the rooftop for hours, holding hands and talking and stealing kisses. Everything was how it was supposed to be. When the sun set on the city skyline, they decided to go home, and left the rooftop holding hands. That’s the way they did everything now. Always holding hands, never letting go unless necessary. This was how they planned to spend every day from now on. Together.