Sydney Ball – “The Getaway”

The young flight attendant who looked as if she hadn’t slept in a while escorted me to my seat 3b. Trying to hide her exhaustion, she offered to place my purse into the overhead storage. I spread my belongings on the seat beside me, which was vacant as I was told by the flight attendant. Eventually, the plane began to take off, speeding up as it covered more ground. The first class flight attendants came around for a second time offering us toiletry sets, blankets, and a hot towel. Throughout the duration of the flight, I was very pleased with the service, but was looking forward to being back on the ground.

“We will be making our decent into Edinburgh International Airport in approximately three minutes. Please fasten your seat belts and make sure your tray tables are clear and in an upright position. Please do not leave your seats until we are safely in the boarding zone. Thank you for flying British Airlines.” The flight attendant announced in a monotone voice.

When the plane stopped, I wiped my eyes, and stretched my legs hat had been numb from sitting in the same uncomfortable position for most of the 12 hour flight. I was still exhausted due to the fact that I had been sleeping in an almost upright position, but was awake enough to manage. I slowly made my way off the plane carrying only a carry on bag and my purse. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going, but I just went anyways. As I exited the outstretched jet bridge I remembered why I was here. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years and was not in a good state of mind, and had to get away to a place where I would not know anyone. For someone like me, traveling across the world for something other than work is not something you would typically catch me doing.

Ever since I was little I dreamed of being a famous actress. My parents were both known in the public eye, so I knew I would not have a problem accomplishing my goal. Throughout my childhood I was followed by paparazzi and was always given attention by fans of my parents.

“Cameron! How do you feel about being the daughter of Mark and Ruby Davis? How do you deal with all of the craziness?” Paparazzis often asked.

“Umm, It’s great… I mean…” I would say back in an uncomfortable voice.

When I was little I didn’t exactly understand what was going on. I didn’t know why people approached me, and especially why they asked how I deal with all of the craziness. What craziness? Little did I know I would eventually find out what they meant.

Years have passed and I am now in my mid 20s. I am a successful actress and own a clothing line. Throughout the beginning of my career everything was going well, and I wasn’t experiencing any drama, until my boyfriend and I’s jobs started conflicting.

“Nick, I told you I’m working all day. I thought you said you would be home and would be able to take care of the dog.” I exclaimed in a frustrated voice.

You told me you would be home, I told my friends I would go out with them today.” Nick responded with annoyance.

Over a couple of months the tension between us began to grow. Nick and I tried to work things out, but we could never seem to bring ourselves to agree. It just wasn’t the same as it had been when we first met. With my career rising, it was just not the right time to be in a relationship. After many weeks of contemplation, I decided Nick and I had to break up. Despite the fact that nothing was working out it was still hard to do.

“Nick, I think we both know what needs to happen.” I struggled to say through my tears.

“Yeah, I agree. We need a break.” He said with disappointment.

We both decided that it was best for us to split up and go our own ways. Even though we did not get along most of the time, and our jobs were always conflicting, it was still a difficult decision. I could barely get through the day without thinking about him. I had already been seeing a therapist for a few months and thought it would be a good idea to talk to her about it.

“Cameron, maybe you should take some time off from work and go out of town for a little while.” My therapist told me.

“Yeah, but what about work. I can’t miss any or I will get behind.” I said back. Finally,

I thought about what my therapist was trying to tell me and I knew I had to take time off and get away. It was not like me to listen to what other people had to say. I was the type to make all my decisions for myself. A week later I found myself standing in the bustling Edinburgh airport all by myself. Not to mention it was Christmas time when everybody’s traveling. I stood there for a long time. I didn’t know what I was doing or where to go.

“Ma’m, do you know where your going?” A voice said from behind.

The man cleared his throat and spoke again.

“Excuse me, miss, are you lost.”

“Oh huh, yeah I’m trying to get to the rental cars.” I said with a worried tone.

“Well, it’s your lucky day! I’m heading right that way. You can tag along with me if you’d like.” The man replied.

I went with the nice old man. He seemed harmless. I mean he could barely walk without his cane. We carefully walked through the terminals doing our best to stay out of peoples way. Eventually, we made it to the parking garage. We said our goodbyes and went on our way. I rented a mid size Volkswagen, similar to one of my cars in Los Angeles. It was a little tricky to drive at first due to the fact that the steering wheel was on the right side, but I got the hang of it. For the next couple of weeks I was staying in a small cottage in a small town called Stirling. Before I came to Scotland I had never heard of it, but I was very glad I found out about it because it was beautiful. On the drive to the cottage I could see nothing but rolling green hills covered with sheep. It was more beautiful than I imagined.

Time had passed and I had eventually made it to the cottage. Surrounding the entire property was a worn down white picket fence. I unlocked it and made my way through. Greeting me at the front door was a kind lady with a heavy Scottish accent.

“Hello, I’m Olivia. You must be Cameron.” She said welcomingly.

“Yes, I’m renting your cottage for a couple of weeks.” I said back.

“What a beautiful place. The stone is very pretty.” I said in awe.

“I had never seen anything like it. In Los Angeles the houses are beautiful but you don’t see too many made of solid stone.”

Olivia dropped the keys in my hands and headed off right away. I walked through the rooms observing the antique decorations. The wood floors creaked every step I took. This was different than my three story mansion on Sunset Boulevard, but it was cozy. When I arrived to the cottage it was already late and I was jet lagged so I decided to get a bite to eat then head to bed. I decided to walk to a cute little restaurant just down the street. As I was walking I noticed someone who looked in a daze. It was an old man with a cane who looked as if he got lost while going for a walk. I approached him and asked if he was okay.

“Excuse me, sir. Are you lost?” I asked in a concerned voice.

“Oh I was just taking a little stroll, I think I’ll be fi…” The man paused.

“It’s you. The guy from the airport!” I said surprised.

“Ha ha ha. You can call me James.” He responded.

“Great to see you again! Would you like to join me for some dinner?” I asked.

“Well of course I will.” Said James.

As James and I walked to dinner we made small talk. Turns out he was a movie director when he was my age, and had retired since. I told him why I was there and that I had just broken up with my boyfriend. We got along great despite the age gap. He was the most genuine friend I’d had yet, and we just met earlier that same day. Although I was terrified to go on a trip across the globe alone, James had made the transition much easier. After dinner James and I stayed at the restaurant for a good hour just talking. For the first time in weeks I wasn’t thinking of Nick, and I was happy. Eventually we both went home. That night it happened again. As I laid in bed I felt lonely. No matter how much Nick and I did not get along, I stilled missed him, and I wondered if he missed me. Not that I really cared or anything. Not having anyone to talk to I laid there in silence until I fell asleep.

The next morning I woke up at about ten. This was unusual for me because as an actress I was used to waking up before the sun. It seemed like I had so much time on my hands. I didn’t know what to do. Usually I am fishing around for an extra hour to finish my work or to read a book, but now I can do whatever I want. The night before James told me about the Stirling Bridge, which I “had” to visit, according to him. James told me The Stirling Bridge was where many battles were fought but the main one was the battle of Stirling Bridge. He told me that you can take a canoe ride under the arches, which sounded like a fun idea. I decided to head out and see if he would like to join me.

A few minutes later I arrived at his elegant stone cottage at the top of a green hill.

“James. Would you like to join me on my trip to the Stirling bridge? Maybe you can teach me some of the history on it.” I exclaimed.

“I would love to. Just let me pack up my bag and I’ll be out in a jiffy.” He responded.

We went on our way until we made it to the Stirling bridge.

“So, tell me. Why are you here alone again. I’m sorry I just can’t quite remember with this Alzheimer’s.” James asked politely.

“Well, not very interesting, but I’m here because I recently broke up with my boyfriend and thought that traveling to the most remote place I could think of would make me feel better.” I replied hopelessly.

“Turns out it doesn’t really.”

“Oh your silly. If you think that a kindhearted girl like you lost your boyfriend. You are completely mistaken. He lost you, and if he isn’t sad about it he’s not worth your precious time.” James replied confidently.

I had never heard something more inspiring. It seemed like James always knew what to say and when to say it. I was finally starting to feel like I could move on from Nick.

“Ring! Ring! Ring!” My phone rang in my back pocket.

“Ugh of course. It’s Nick. What could he possibly want from me, I made it clear we’re over.” I explained to James.

“Just ignore it. What good will it do to answer it.”

“Uhh… okay.” I strugglingly said

I struggled to decline Nicks call. The picture of us in Malibu on our one year anniversary popped up on my phone that I forgot to take off when we broke up. All of the flashbacks of our dates and our fun times we spent together kept coming back to me. But with the help of my new best friend James, I powered through. I avoided Nick and I had a fun day at the Stirling bridge. I felt like I could stay in that moment forever.

My trip to Scotland was sadly coming to an end. I was happy and sad all at the same time. I was thankful that I got to experience this eye opening trip, but was very sad because I knew that I would never be able to see James again. Throughout the end of my trip I often forgot why I even came here because of all of the beautiful things I got to experience. Over all of the landmarks, rolling hills, and sheep, the most important thing I got to experience was a change in myself. With all of the stress and pressure I put on myself, I had forgotten how to live. I forgot how to hang out with friends and family. All along I thought the most important thing was to make money and be a famous actress. But in the end, none of these things really mattered. It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are, as long as you live your life and are happy.

It was eventually my last day in Stirling. Throughout the whole trip I learned so much. After all these years, I finally realized who I was, and that I didn’t  need someone like Nick trying to change that. James agreed to drive me to the airport and drop my rental car off for me. I was a little unsure about that at first due to the fact that James is way past his driving years, but decided to live on the edge and just go for it. We pulled into the departures drop off and I began to tear up. I never realized how important it was to take time for yourself and not worry about work and everything else that is going on in your life. I cried because I finally found a friend who actually wanted to get to know me and not just use me to get famous. I struggled with the thought that I would never see him again. I got out of the little white Volkswagen and grabbed my luggage.

“Bye James. I am never going to forget you.” I said with sincerity.

“Bye Cameron. Now you never forget everything I told you.” He responded.

As I walked away I turned my head and nodded a quick thank you to James. He gave me a big smile and drove away. I continued into the busy airport preparing myself for all of the hectic lines and crazy security. I knew I didn’t need to worry, that’s just who I am. A busybody twenty year old, trying to figure out her life. And as far as I’m concerned I’m doing a pretty good job.

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