“I can’t believe I’m going through with this, I must be insane.” Amanda muttered to herself as she waited for Nick to pick her up Tuesday morning. She sat outside of her dormitory, leaning on her luggage and wearing jeans along with a college sweatshirt. Her hair was tied up but hung somewhat loose, and she didn’t care. Amanda was comfortable in front of Nick to the point where she knew he didn’t care how she looked.
“This is crazy…..this is crazy.” Amanda mumbled as a beat up car pulled into the parking lot, the muffler making grinding noises as it parked. Amanda laughed at it, wondering what loser was behind the wheel of such a piece of junk.
“Hey college girl!” Nick shouted, waving from the car.
“Nick?” Amanda asked in disbelief. The car was so rusted that she could not tell what color it was even supposed to be, and there was a few rims missing on the tires. The bumper hung crookedly to one side and the windshield was cracked. It was the same car Nick had driven to prom, but now it had gotten worse.
“What the hell are you driving?” Amanda asked in shock. Nick got out and laughed, playfully kicking the car. It started making a ticking noise as she walked closer, and Amanda was having second thoughts. She wanted to turn around and run the other way.
“This is my car….” Nick said.
“No. That is not a car….that is a deathtrap.” Amanda commented.
“We will be fine.” he promised. They headed to the airport, Nick tapping nervously on the steering wheel.
“How about some music?” Amanda asked, reaching for the radio…but there was an empty hole where it should have been and wires hanging out haphazardly in different directions. She turned to Nick and gave him a bemused look.
“It was stolen….don’t ask.” was all he would say. The ticking noise grew louder as they drove, the airport was about 20 minutes away and Amanda could not wait to get out of the car. Halfway into the trip, Amanda felt water on her arm and noticed that the roof had a hole in it, a miniature waterfall was forming inside of Nick’s car.
“Oh….hang on.” Nick said casually. He pulled over and reached into the back seat of the car, taking out a large red umbrella and a yellow rain poncho. He put on the coat first as if he had done this a million times before. Nick took the umbrella and poked it through the hole in his roof, then opened it. All Amanda could do was blink at him in shock and amusement. The car then decided it didn’t want to run.
“Please….don’t quit on me today…” Nick begged, petting the dashboard.
“Really???” Amanda exclaimed in frustration, throwing her hands up in the air. The car seemed to listen to him and it began to run once more, Nick smiling as they got back onto the highway. Once they got to the airport, Nick took their luggage out of the trunk and closed it, but did not lock the car.
“Nick, you’re leaving this for 3 days, aren’t you going lock it?” Amanda asked.
“If someone stole it they would be doing me a favor.” he said seriously. Amanda shook her head and they went inside.
“Nick, wouldn’t it make sense to buy a new car?” she asked once they got inside the terminal. Nick had been saving for a car but instead had spent the money on plane tickets, not to mention the money he used on the demo and studio time. To tell the truth, he only had about a hundred dollars to his name, and everything depended on him getting this record deal.
“I used my money for the demo.” Nick confessed. Just then an announcement over the intercom stated that there was a car fire in the parking lot. When the license plate number was read, Nick slumped down in his seat and tried to hide, but his tall frame prevented it.
“Way to be inconspicuous Nick.” Amanda teased, laughing.
“It was bound to happen.” Nick said sheepishly. They boarded the plane and put on their seatbelts.
“Take this.” Amanda said, handing gum to him.
“Chew it…it helps to get your ears to pop during takeoff.” she instructed. Nick took the gum and slowly chewed as the plane taxied. Amanda noticed he was tense and his face had grown pale, his hand was shaking.
“Are you ok?” she asked. Nick didn’t answer, he gripped the arm of his seat a little tighter. Amanda placed her hand over his and squeezed it gently. Their eyes met and he smiled, Amanda always knew how to make him feel better. As their flight took off, Nick knew this trip was going to be extraordinary.