Nick woke up about an hour later…remembering that he and Amanda were supposed to be going to New York City. He wandered until he found the room she was staying in. Creaking the door open slightly, he peered inside and saw her sleeping on the bed, her lips curved into a smile. Nick stood in the doorway, watching her sleep. She looked so happy and peaceful….and beautiful. It made him love her more….he knew he would never be with her like AJ thought they should. After a while she woke up and they drove to the city. Nick was fascinated, he kept his eyes glued to the windows the whole time.
“Wait, isn’t Manhattan an island? Are we gonna take a bridge over?” he asked excitedly before they approached a sign for the Lincoln Tunnel.
“There are tunnels into the city too. We are going under the river.” Amanda explained.
“Oh yeah. We learned about the tunnels. They go underwater, I think that’s so cool. We don’t have anything like this back home.” Nick said, grinning. There was a lot of traffic going into the city, it seemed like everybody was going to the same place.
“Wow there are a lot of cars,” Nick commented as they exited the tunnel and came out into the city. They parked in a garage downtown on 5th Avenue. Amanda was tucking the ticket into her pocket when she saw Nick walking into the intersection.
“Nick!” she called, but he didn’t hear her. There was a crowd of people on the corner near them and the traffic light had changed, but nobody was moving except for Nick. She pushed her way through and managed to grab his jacket, pulling him back just as a truck came barreling through the intersection where Nick had just stood.
“Wow, you just saved my life again.” Nick smiled, unfazed that he had almost been made into a road pancake.
“Listen to me, even if the sign says walk, do not cross right away. Wait until everybody starts moving. Some cars don’t follow traffic laws in the city. It can be very dangerous, stay by me the whole time we are in Manhattan.” Amanda instructed as if she were his mother. Nick just nodded and they crossed the street. Nick was impressed by the skyscrapers and buildings in Manhattan, he had never seen anything like it.
“Wow, the Empire State Building!” Nick said, pointing up. He had never imagined it to be so tall now that he was looking up at it.
“We will be doing some sightseeing after your audition tomorrow.” Amanda said, grinning at him. She had been to the city a million times, but it was fun to experience it with someone who had never been there before. Amanda suddenly noticed what he was wearing….baggy jeans with holes and a sweatshirt that was faded.
“Nick…what are you going to wear to your audition tomorrow?” Amanda asked, horrified at the thought he would show up to such an important meeting in a loose fitting shirt and ripped jeans, his hair unkempt and looking like he had just rolled out of bed.
“Clothes obviously.” he replied with a smirk.
“Ha ha, very cute.” she giggled.
“I try.” he said, dodging as she swatted him playfully.
“No, really. What are you going to wear? Did you bring nice clothes?” Amanda asked. Nick shook his head and she stood there, thinking.
“Well we are gonna have to fix that. On our way home we will go to the mall.” Amanda said. They stopped at the Rockaway Mall on the way home. It was two floors, and had lots to choose from. They ended up going to Macy’s.
“This stuff is expensive.” Nick said, looking at a price tag on a jacket. He was used to shopping at Walmart, or wearing his clothes until they had holes in them. He hated to shop more than anything, hated trying on and buying clothes.
“Nick, if you’re going to impress those record label people, you have to dress professionally.” Amanda explained. She picked out a bunch of dress shirts, jackets and slacks. Nick held the pile of clothes and wandered into the fitting room.
“I don’t know about this.” he said as he came out in a dark suit with a white dress shirt. Amanda’s breath caught in her throat, he was simply gorgeous in a suit, his hair falling in his face, his blue eyes twinkling.
“Wow.” she said aloud without intending to do so. Nick blushed and laughed awkwardly.
“I guess we will be taking this one then,” he said, and Amanda laughed. They bought a few outfits and left the mall to go home. Nick was quiet as they ate dinner, worried and nervous about his audition the next day. Would they sign him? Was he talented enough to impress them for the record deal?
“Nick, you will be fine. I know you can do this, just be yourself.” Amanda said warmly, her hand on top of his and smiling. He smiled back, feeling calmer but still nervous. He went to bed that night dreaming of Grammy awards and screaming fans, performing on a big stage for a crowd of thousands. He just hoped it would soon be a reality.