He can taste blood in his mouth, and so he grips her tighter. She turns. "Evan."
Evan doesn't think he's being irrational. Who wouldn't be, after all? The whole thing is just so horribly terrifying, and he wishes he were back home more than anything else. The edge of the seat presses into his back and makes him uncomfortable, but he's so nervous he feels like he can't move.
She glares. "Calm down, Evan."
He can barely croak out a reply. "I can't."
"You goddam well can. Stop being such a baby."
The last line gets under his skin. He's had years of practice on filtering out her words, but occasionally something will slip through. Baby. He was always that, though, wasn't he? To his parents, to her, to everyone. He wishes for the billionth time he wasn't like this, that he was normal. That he was okay. Not a freak.
An announcement rings over the loudspeaker. "United Airlines Flight 24 to Columbia is now boarding." It's the same cheery loudspeaker voice it always is and he wishes he could punch the cheery voiceover lady. She's too happy.
Evan feels her nails dig into his skin as she pulls him up and smoothens out her navy business suit. "Come on, Evan. Get your stuff together. And I swear to god if you embarrass me-"
"I won't." He cuts her off. It's a small act of rebellion, and it's seems that's all he has.