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One Way Ticket


That day started out pretty normal. We had just wrapped up the European Tour and were on the flight headed for home. I’m not comfortable with airplanes, never have, never will be. Anyway, I was trying to get myself involved in the Mario Bros Gameboy game just to take my mind off of things.

The plane had finally reached altitude so naturally, Howie was on the phone and Brian was working on his lap top computer. AJ, well, he was being his usual creepy self, headphones on, seat tilted back, hat over his eyes. As for Kev, he was reading some story by Robin Cook. He gets into some pretty weird reading.

I was just reaching my favorite level in the game when it happened. The plane hit a pocket of turbulence and this most amazing girl literally fell into my lap!

“Whoa, are you okay?” I asked as she sat in my lap, stunned from the fall.

She appeared dazed and then suddenly her face turned red. I think she was embarrassed.

“Ah, yeah I think so. Gosh, I’m so sorry.” She quickly got off my lap.

She was very apologetic. She was also very beautiful. I have seen millions of girls, but this one, she was just so special. I can’t begin to describe it. When her eyes met mine, that was it! Her eyes were a shade of green I have never seen before in my life, like the greenish-blueish color of the ocean near Hawaii. Her hair, god, it shimmered! It was a beautiful shade of blonde that hung down to her waist and it looked like soft silk.

“Hey, you don’t have to apologize, it wasn’t anything you could help,” I smiled.

I had to think of something quick to say to her or I was going to lose the opportunity to talk to her.

I put my right hand out to her. “Hi, my name’s Nick.” Okay, that was stupid, I could tell as soon as the words left my mouth. She knew who I was, I felt like such and idiot!

She took my hand and shook it and giggled, not the silly high school girl laugh but a a nice quiet giggle, almost a snicker.

“Yeah, I know your name. Mine’s Erin.”

I glanced over at the seat that was between me and AJ. It had mine and his carry on bags and some pillows and CD’s. I quickly grabbed the stuff and practically threw it on AJ to make room for Erin. I wanted her to sit next to me and talk.

AJ jumped and then swore when some of the stuff hit him.

“Nick, what the! Shit! What are you doing?”

Damn that AJ, he was always messing things up for me with his smooth words. I glared at him. Erin looked a little uncomfortable hearing AJ’s dirty mouth.

“Erin, would you sit down and visit?” I tried to sound sincere as I asked her.

“Well,” Erin stared off towards the back of the plane. “My friend Rachel is gonna wonder where I went off to.”

I looked over at AJ taking up a valuable seat.

“I could have AJ take Rachel’s seat and she could come up here!”

‘God, Nick, you’re practically throwing yourself at her,’ I mentally reprimanded myself. For some reason, I was obsessed at trying to find out every intimate detail about Erin. I wanted to know where she lived, what she did, her favorite colors. I couldn’t believe how hard I fell for this girl.

“I’d love to talk to you. Let me go back and tell her and I will be back in a few.”

With that, she turned and walked away. ‘God, I hope she don’t think I’m weird or something.’ I looked across the aisle at Brian. He was still trying to figure out his computer. I laughed quietly to myself looking at him. He was always lost on those things. Boy, if you got him in a chat room, he was always turning bright red, embarrassed by what he was reading.

I was thrilled when she came back. She hesitated before she sat down in the chair between me and AJ. She pulled a blank piece of paper out of her pocket and glanced over at AJ before she softly spoke.

“I know you’re sick of doing this, but Rachel said it was okay to talk to you if I got your autograph for her.” Erin held out the slip of paper.

I smiled as I took the paper from her. No matter how many times I signed my name, I still found it funny that people would want my signature. After taking the paper, I realized I didn’t have anything to write with. I looked over at Brian, stood up and grabbed the pen out of his hand.

“Hey!” Brian protested and then he stopped when he noticed Erin sitting next to me.

“Thanks,” I said to him sarcastically. I signed the paper ‘Nick Carter.’ Boy, my handwriting had really gotten worse this summer. How could anyone read any of it was beyond me.

We spent the rest of the long flight talking. I must have asked her endless questions. I wanted to know everything about her, every little detail. You know how they always say that perfect person for you is out there and love at first sight? I was positive about Erin, this was it. She was the one.

The flight attendant announced that we would be landing at JFK in five minutes and to buckle in our seats. Erin stood up, my heart sank.

“Well, it was really nice visiting with you, Nick. I really enjoyed myself.”

This is it? No, I wasn’t going to let her slip through my fingers. I liked Erin, hell I not only liked her, I loved her! I searched my mind for a soloution to keep her at my side. I needed her with me. I wanted her to myself 24/7.

“Do you want to go someplace for coffee?” I asked, hopefully.

“Gosh, I’m really sorry Nick, but I promised my parents I would go out with them when I arrived at the airport. They haven’t seen me all summer.” She patted me on the shoulder as she prepared to walk back to her original seat.

“Coul you give me your phone number? I’d love to call you.” I know I was being bold. Maybe she was trying to brush me off, she wanted to run far and fast away from me and her I was, the dummy that I am still persuing this poor girl.

Did I notice her eyes lighten up? Nah, couldn’t be. I continued to look hopeful at her.

“Here.” She hastily scribbled her name and phone number down on the napkin that was laying on the armrest of her chair. “Thanks again.”

Once the plane landed and taxied to the terminal, I had made up my mind to wait for this girl after I exit the airplane. Since first class passengers got off the plane first, it was going to be a piece of cake waiting for Erin.

I grabbed my carry on gear and slung the bag over my shoulder, hitting AJ in the chest. He started spurting off a string of obscenities even after I apologized, so naturally, I had to flip him off which made Brian pissed and he told me to knock it off and to quit picking on AJ. God, what did Brian think he was anyway? My dad?

My plans did not go as I wanted them to. I guess someone had tipped people off about us flying in on that particular flight. Let me tell you, it was pretty chaotic in the airport. There were at least 500 people, mainly young girls, standing at the edge of the entrance, pressing their way towards us, screaming and yelling.

I had no choice but to go where I was led which was further and further away from Erin.

Suddenly I heard the noise. God, I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I turned in the direction of the sound and saw the wall of the airport crumble. People were screaming and panicking. I felt someone grab my arm and start pulling me away from the blast and towards the exit.

I needed to find Erin! It didn’t matter that the plane we just returned from Europe in exploded, it didn’t matter to me that there could possibly be more explosions. I needed to find Erin.

I jerked the hand away that was gripping my arm and turned back and tried to force my way back, fighting the crowd that was determined to get to the exit no matter what it took. I ignored Brian and Kev’s calls to me to turn around and come back.

I called out her name as I pushed people out of my way. For every three steps I took, I was shoved back five. Finally I reached an area that was littered with bricks, papers and bodies.

Erin’s friend, Rachel, was cradling Erin’s limp body in her arms. She looked up at me, tears staining her cheeks, streaked from the dust on her face. I looked down at Erin and my world changed right at that moment. Stunned, I dropped to my knees and let the tears come.

Brian approached and knelt down beside me and put his arms around me, comforted me, held me. God, I only knew Erin for ten hours on that damn plane, but to me it seemed like a lifetime.

Although I resisted him at first, Brian convinced me to get up and to leave. Erin’s parents were there and I knew I had to leave, but I just didn’t want to. Brian led me out of the airport, me leaning against him, finding it hard to walk.

*~*~*~*~*


They found out that there was a wiring problem with the airplane’s engine. It could have blown up over the Atlantic Ocean. Why it did it at the airport, they are not certain. This only heightened my dislike of flying. Taking the last swallow of coffee from the cup, I threw my jacket on and headed out the door to leave for rehearsal. I shoved my hands in the jacket pockets looking for my keys and pulled out a piece of paper that was in the left pocket.

I unfolded the paper and read it. Erin Jackson (215) 869-2525. Before I got into the car, the rain fell. It was a perfect match for my emotions. I felt that I would never find love ever again.

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