AJ went into Nick’s room on Friday morning….it was about 7:00 am….his alarm clock had been buzzing since 6:30.
“Nick, time to get up! We gotta get to the airport!” he shouted impatiently, standing in the doorway.
“Dude, I don’t feel so good.” a soft voice came from under the blankets. Nick coughed weakly to add to the effect.
“Oh no….you’re not pulling that shit. Get your ass up.” AJ snapped. Nick threw the blankets off, he was fully dressed under the covers.
“It was worth a shot.” he said sheepishly as he stood up and looked for his suitcase. The boys drove to Miami Internatinal Airport, it didn’t take too long to get there. Nick got himself checked in and his luggage checked. He held a carry on bag and still looked nervous, his face pale and looking tired.
“You okay, Nick?” AJ asked as they sat down at a table by the Mc Donalds. Nick sighed, picking apart his hash browns absentmindedly.
“AJ, I’m scared to death. I’m going to a new place where I don’t know anyone…to live there for three months.” he said softly.
“California can’t be any different than Miami. Sure there will be a lot less old people and Cubans….and you will meet a lot of celebrities in LA, but I think this will be good for you. Give you a chance to grow up a little.” AJ told him with a warm smile.
“I guess you’re right. I just hate leaving Amanda. I wanted to go out with her so bad, Jay.” Nick said, looking down at his feet.
“She will be here when you get back. Everything works iteself you, you’ll see.”
“I hope you know what you’re talking about. I’m gonna marry her someday, you know.” Nick grinned. AJ stared at him in surprise. Nick had never gone on a date with Amanda except to their prom, and he wanted to marry her. In a way it was cute, but AJ thought it was a little crazy.
“How do you know that, Nick?”
“Because I know I’m meant to be with her….she understands me, Jay. Really understands me.” he explained, gazing off and smiling as he daydreamed. He dreamt of a dinner on the beach under the stars, and her telling him how much she loved him….him finally confessing his love for her. He had the dream often enough to smile whenever it came into his head. He snapped out of it when he heard his cell phone ring.
“You’re still the one I run to…the only one I belong to…” Nick’s ringtone was the song he and Amanda danced to at prom, he knew right away who was calling.
“Amanda!” Nick exclaimed, a grin spread from ear to ear across his face.
“I couldn’t let you leave without saying goodbye.” Amanda said, with a sad laugh.
“I’m at the airport now…..I wish I could see you before I go….and give you just one last kiss.” Nick said, pacing.
“Turn around.” Amanda said. Nick’s phone slid out of his hand and clattered to the floor as his breath caught in his throat and his heart skipped a beat. Amanda stood in the airport, smiling as Nick ran to her and lifted her into a hug.
“You just saw her the other day,” AJ scoffed, rolling his eyes. Nick glared at him as he let go of Amanda and grinned.
“I had to say goodbye to you, Nick…three months is a long time to be going away.” she said, looking into his eyes. His arms were wrapped around her waist and she didn’t want him to let go. If she had her way he would never go to California, but she wanted him to have his dream of singing.
“I’m so glad you’re here. I wanted to say goodbye too…I wanted one last kiss…” Nick whispered, blushing slightly.
“That can be arranged.” she replied with a smile. He returned it.
“Just one kiss…..” he whispered as his face grew closer to hers. He could hear the plane being announced over the loudspeaker.
“Flight 28 to Los Angeles is now boarding….”
Nick didn’t care, he pulled her in and overtook her face with his, his soft lips touching hers. Amanda felt her knees go weak and held him.
“Nick…they’re calling your flight to board.” AJ said suddenly, tugging on his denim jacket. Nick ignored him and pushed his tongue into Amanda’s mouth. AJ scowled and tugged harder.
“NICK! Let’s go…” he said, pulling him off of Amanda. Nick wanted to just keep kissing her, but AJ wasn’t having it.
“Okay, you lovebirds. Break it up.”
“Nick, you have to go.” Amanda said, tears forming in her eyes. Nick looked at her….it was the saddest look she had ever seen as he picked up his carry on bag and headed for the terminal. He stopped to blow her a kiss and she pretended to catch it…waving goodbye. He turned and walked onto the plane, Amanda finally feeling the tears flowing down her cheeks. It was breaking her heart to see Nick go off without her…completely on his own. She and AJ watched the plane take off.
“There he goes.” AJ whispered.
“He’ll be back…..” Amanda said with a smile. AJ nodded and put an arm around her as they walked.
“It’s like watching your kid go off to college or something like that.” he said.
“Jay, that’s just weird.”
“You know what I mean.”
“Yeah……you think he will be okay without me?” Amanda asked. She had been there to protect Nick for most of his life, and now he was on his own. She didn’t realize how hard it would be for her to see him go.
“He will do just fine. Nick will come back a whole new person.” AJ pointed out.
“I just hope he’s still my Nick.” Amanda said wistfully. She didn’t want him to change too much…..but she knew he had some growing up to do. With or without her.