“Nick, I am telling you…I don’t need a new car. This one runs just fine.” Brian said as the two of them played basketball in the driveway during one of Brian’s rare days off. He was working for the Oceanview Police Department with his father and had long hours that left him tired.
“Dude, your damn hubcaps are missing.” Nick pointed out. Brian’s car reminded him of the one he had owned before he became famous. The bumper hung lazily off of the dented frame, one of the windows was missing and there was nothing covering the seats in the back but an old blanket. When they rode in it, the car made an eerie screeching noise as if the car was dying a slow and painful death.
“I can’t afford one right now. My dad won’t loan me the money because he wants to teach me the value of a hard earned dollar.” Brian said moodily, throwing the ball in anger. He and Nick watched it bounce off of the backboard and hit the car, cracking the windshield. Brian sighed and kicked at one of the tires, aggravated with everything.
“The car is a deathtrap.” Nick pointed out, laughing.
“I will figure something out.” Brian said. Even Amanda was concerned, she remembered the sounds Nick’s car had made before it burst into flames.
“Can’t you ask someone for money? What about your parents?” Amanda asked him a few days later when he pulled up to her house.
“I just got assigned to the station….I won’t have much money until I get paid and that won’t be for a while. I am barely making it on my own as it is with the bills and food. Nick had to buy my groceries just so I could eat.” Brian said, leaning on the car as they talked in the driveway.
“Ask Nick to help you. I helped him with his car…” Amanda started, but Brian shook his head at her.
“I don’t want him to think I am using him for his money.” he said.
“Brian, he doesn’t think that at all. Your family took him in when he needed help, I am sure he wants to repay the favor.”
“I wish it were that simple. I wish a new car would just appear in my damn driveway.” Brian said, sighing.
A few days later….Brian called Amanda to come over to his house, he lived in his parent’s home which was across from hers.
“What’s all the excitement about, Bri?” she asked, but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the blue sports car in the driveway. It had white leather seats and a convertible top, brand new.
“Where did this come from?”
“I have no idea, but isn’t it amazing? I can’t wait to take this on the road, Amanda! How do you think it got here?” Brian said with excitement. He and Amanda sat in the front and he turned the car on, listening to the engine run. Amanda laughed when Nick’s voice floated through the speakers, his album sat on the floor of the car.
“How did that get there?” Brian asked, watching her pick it up. A note was inside….
“Brian, you have helped me through so much….now its my turn to pay you back. You’ve earned this.”
“He bought me a damn car?” Brian exclaimed as Nick walked over, grinning at them.
“Nick, if you’re looking to get one for me, I want it in silver.” Amanda joked. Brian threw his arms around Nick and hugged him, tears in his eyes.
“Glad you like it,” Nick chuckled.
“It’s wonderful, I can’t believe you did this for me…”
“Brian, you deserve it…..you’d do the same for me. As for Amanda…you will get your gift soon….I am sure you’ll love it.” Nick smiled. Amanda looked puzzled as Nick and Brian went to check out the car, she just wondered what Nick had meant.
“Happy Birthday to me…” Amanda said with a sigh as she folded Lance’s laundry that morning. Lance had gone to work early without sitting down to breakfast, no birthday wishes or good morning kiss….nothing. Amanda had spent a good deal of that morning crying, wishing she had never said yes to Lance…wishing she had never set Nick up with Tracy. The two of them just seemed so happy and perfect….Nick was a good boyfriend and she hated herself for turning him away so many times. Amanda just wanted to forget it was her birthday all together and call the whole thing off when the doorbell rang.
“Oh….Hi Nick.” she said, wiping her eyes and trying to look happy.
“Happy Birthday.” Nick grinned. He held up a cupcake for her, with buttercream icing and a candle sticking out. Amanda laughed and let him inside.
“What brings you by, Nick….I mean besides bringing me a cupcake?” she giggled.
“I would be a horrible friend if I forgot your birthday.” Nick said, fishing a lighter out of his pocket to light the candle. He held it out to her expectantly.
“Make a wish.”
Amanda stared at the candle, there were so many things she wished for….but the one thing she wanted was right in front of her….the one person she realized she wanted to be with was staring her in the face. She smiled and closed her eyes, before blowing out the candle.
“Come with me. I have a present for you…” Nick said, still grinning.
“I don’t feel like going out, Nick. This has been a shitty day.” Amanda protested, shaking her head. Nick frowned at her and picked her up, putting her over his shoulder. Amanda was shocked….when did he get so strong.
“I beg to differ. Come on.” he said.
“Put me down!” she yelled as he carried her outside, wondering what he was up to.