You casually flipped the pages of the inflight entertainment guide, choosing which movie to watch during your flight to China. Lately for some reason, you've been dying to go to that country. The culture, heritage and food have always intrigued you; but this time it was different. Now, you were suddenly drawn to actually visit the place, prompting you to take leave from work and buy an airplane ticket to China.
'Maybe I should just continue learning Chinese...' you thought, fishing out your 'Chinese for Beginners' book from your bag. As you attempted to softly pronounce the words, the baby in the row in front of your seat began wailing uncontrollably, its cries getting louder with no signs of stopping.
'Dang it! We haven't even taken off yet, and it's already making noise!' you mentally complained. You liked travelling, just not the airplane journeys. When going on vacation alone, you tended to have an infamous streak of bad luck on airplanes. Most of children on the same flight whined and talked a lot, making it difficult to get any rest. Also, majority of the people you sat next to were usually weird or unhygienic. You took a quick glance at the empty seat next to yours, hoping that no one would come and allow you to have the entire two seats to yourself- or at least have someone who was at least decent….
"Ai ya! How un-cute aru!" a voice with a Chinese accent came from beside you. You turned your head to the right to see a young-looking man with dark brown hair tied into a low ponytail settling down onto the seat next to yours. He wore a red mandarin jacket with white pants, and had an air of wisdom around him.
"Score!!" you cheered in your mind, pleased that luck actually decided to be on your side this time and allowed you to get a handsome man to sit with.
He peered at your book, grinning as he commented with a hint of surprise, "You're learning Chinese!"
You blushed, bashfully nodding in reply.
"Nǐ dè míng zì shì shén me(1)?" he asked fluently.
You paused for a while, trying to process and translate what he just said. You replied shakily, feeling embarrassed by how awkward you sounded, "W-wǒ shì ____ ____...(2)"
"Nice to meet you, ____! I'm Wang Yao, but you can just call me 'Yao'," the Chinese man chirped, his cheerful and sweet smile instantly making you relax.
You spent the entire flight chatting with Yao, never having a dull moment or the itch to watch a movie. He had such a rich knowledge of his country's history, and the many folktales and superstitions he told you both fascinated and intimidated you. He was making your interest in China grow; though it was possible that the interest was towards him instead.
The two of you talked about so many topics, including your own country too. He still had a few questions about the place, to which you happily answered. You even pinpointed certain places most tourists don't know about that were worthwhile visiting if he were to ever make a second trip to your country.
It was amazing how you managed to open up to a complete stranger in only hours. You didn't usually do this; perhaps it was because Yao was special. He too wasn't afraid to show you his personality. You found out that food was his top priority, and thought it was amusing when he showed his distaste in the airplane food. It was rather cute seeing the way he pouted. Despite appearing mature and wise, he could act rather childish as well. This was seen by the way his brown eyes twinkled when he saw a child carrying a Hello Kitty toy.
You could also tell that he cherishes his family by the way he excitedly told you of all the souvenirs he bought for his younger siblings. He then proceeded to fondly give you a description of each of them, but you noticed how his voice started getting softer as he mentioned how they were distancing themselves away from him. Your heart cracked when you witnessed the sadness in his eyes, feeling the urge to wrap your arms around his frame and tell him you would never leave him. You didn't do that though- you couldn't guarantee it and you weren't even at that closeness level yet. Though somehow, he already felt like someone you wouldn't out of your life...
You were snapped out of your thoughts as you felt a hand brush against yours, an unusual spark shooting into your hand. You realized that Yao had just put his arm on the armrest as well. Your cheeks turned slightly pink, your (insert colour) orbs dashing to look out of the window, pretending to be distracted by the clouds. That spark was definitely not a typical static shock, so what was it?
The mention of your name made you whip your head towards his direction, trying to appear as calm as him. Once Yao knew he had your attention, he continued, "Are you hiring a tour guide aru?"
You shook your head, admitting that you didn't even think about getting one. His question made you start to ponder out loud, and you mentioned that you were beginning to feel nervous about getting around in China.
"Bù yào dān xīn 3)! I'll be your tour guide!" he proclaimed. "It's not good for a pretty girl to wander alone in a foreign country aru!"
You giggled and joked, "Do I have to pay you?"
His larger hand moved on top of yours, squeezing lightly. His tone was gentle and affectionate as he said, "Your presence is rewarding enough."
That sent your heart soaring higher than the airplane, and a warm, lovely sensation filled your body. It wasn’t like you were in love with Yao, but you were definitely attached and attracted to him.
Was it China that was calling for you, or was fate making you and Yao meet?
You brushed it off; you were probably thinking too much into this. For now, whether it was a coincidence or meant to be, you were happy enough to have the rare opportunity of meeting a guy like Yao.