We eventually found Ansel. He looks just like Elle, except tall and in guy form, which is hilarious. He's really popular around the area and the kids look up to him. Man, I can't understand a word anyone around here is saying, but sometimes they come into his small restaurant and flex their muscles and laugh. He flexes his muscles and shows off his guns. Around the third hour we met him, he showed us his battle scars back when he was in America. He's an animal, and he makes a mean pastry.

Elle and I took up jobs and learned how to live with the French. Man, I'm so racist—I learned how to do this hella fake French accent, and I annoy Ma back home with it. It cracks up the Squirt, and she begs to put me on speaker phone so her friends could hear it. The Squirt's old enough now, so my parents—actually, my father and then Ma later on—let her come and stay with us. She's causing too much mayhem back home anyway and they need a vacation every now and then. She has genius friends who listen to Slipknot and wear makeup, it's great. And she draws the goriest shit ever, but she's like a prodigy now and she even has an agent. I think she's going to turn out to be one of those moody artists with a studio. That's what Elle's brother said, and he's artistic as hell. With pastries, that is.

But man, being on that airplane that first time with Elle—who I still call 'Kid' every now and then—it was amazing. Everything looks so goddamn small. The ocean stretches. It looks like you're flying off the face of the earth and going somewhere big and endless. And even if the plane is shaking and the food is shit, it's alright. That thing tears right through the clouds, and the birds can't even keep up. It's this strong, windless place in the sky. It struck me hard, because I've been looking for a description for my story. A description to tell someone how I feel about Elle.

When you sit next to her, you feel like you're flying. Not in that way where your arms are out and you're flying over the wet hills of England or some shit like that. It's like, when a plane is pulling up and all your guts feel like they're floating and bumping into each other. Her and that exhilarating smile of hers, flying up and down asphalt hills, or through another country on a sweet delivery motor bike, doing exactly what you want to do, whatever pleases you, where everything's easy and smooth and even work or running for groceries is an adventure—Pete would know—Elle knows.

God, when you're sitting or standing next to her, you feel like you're flying.

I swear you would.