Looking for my Phoenix
"Roxy, here comes your bus."
"Check it out, Is that cool or what!" I said to Jane, bouncing up and down. I could hardly contain my excitement. I knew that from that particular point in time, my whole life was going to change.
There it was, gleaming in the late autumn sunshine, the Simple Plan Tour bus parked outside my house. The door opens with a swisshh and Justin saunters out looking every bit the Rock'N'roll manager with a dark T-shirt and matching denim jacket .
"Yo Rox, we gotta get going."
"Just a minute," I replied. I smiled at Jane who was on the front porch with Dad, and then I ducked back inside the house.
"One last thing I have to do," I said quietly to myself as I bounced up the stairs to a photo framed on the wall. It was my Mum, she had passed away some years back and we had framed our fave picture of her and placed it midway along the staircase.
"I promise you, Mum, I will return a* Star *
- or at least the best Roadie there ever was!"
It was hard to pull myself away, until the reality of a single tear falling off my chin brought me out of it, and the mumbles of my Dad talking to Jane in a way that only a concerned father could convey.
"Dad, you've got nothing to worry about," Jane reassured him.
"Sam and Ryan have the whole tour totally planned to a T, and Justin will be teaching Roxy and Trey all there is to know about Tour life."
"Yes I know, and I'm sure that everything will be fine. You know, something pretty special must have happened to you two, that day, when you won that fellowship award. Roxy has real belief in herself now. You can see it in her eyes, just like in you."
I smiled at Dad's compliment.
"And I haven't seen you two get along so good for a long time. It's a bit of a shame that you are both going your separate ways."
"Something special did happen that day, Dad. It's hard to explain. Roxy and I were on different paths, and we kept making the wrong turns. But then, as Big Shirl would put it, sometimes, when you make a wrong turn, there's a blessing in disguise waiting for you at the other end!"
"Big Shirl? Who's Big Shirl, Jane?"
"Ummm, she's the queen of the ***Harlem Bling ***."
Just then Dad looks up to see Justin and Trey hop off the bus.
"Take good care of her, Justin."
A Ok , Dr Ryan !
"Don't worry Dr Ryan," Trey says, "she's in good hands. Oh and don't forget we are all meeting up in London in six weeks. I'm sure the girls will cook you up a storm then, right girls?"
"Yeah Dad, where going to learn how to make Eggs Benedict, just for you." I smiled, as I hugged him again for the umpteenth time.
There's somthing about you, Roxy.
Then I turned to Jane. But before I could say anything, she gave me one of her serious older sister by two minutes kinda looks.
"There's something about you, Roxy. You just have to show them all out there." She broadened her arms to signify the big wide world.
Now this was not the first time that Jane had said those words to me. Time stood stil but my mind went into overdrive. ~ There was the time in Washington at the Adams family (whoops) John Adams School when we were all set to go to Rafael's parent's fundraiser brunch. And also when we were in the storm water drain under the streets of Harlem on the day of Jane's award speech.
How do we get out of here ?
Wow! What a day that was! No, wait, that was when she told me that I was insane. Well hey, that was the day I met Trey, ooh, and the day we went stage-diving to Simple plans Vacation song, and then there's the time when I played my first live gig with Johnny Wisper from the Doll Heads, and Rafael said it to me before our first kiss, and the time that ....
"Rox.., Roxy..., Earth to Roxy! Snap out of it sister and give us a hug!"
"Yeah, time to Rock'n'Roll, Roxy girl." Justin said as he he lowered his thick framed yet somehow cool glasses off his slicked back hair.
Ok, this was it; I turned on my heel and breezed down to the bus. As I took a step up, a chant of "Roxy, Roxy... " grew from inside the bus.
"I luv u guys!" I beamed, as I saw the faces of the Band and the Crew appear over the top of the headrests. "Let the good times roll." I danced and shoe shuffled my way down the aisle to my seat next to Trey. He handed me my fave pair of drumsticks and gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek. I did an impromptu drum solo on the headrests in front of me, as the bus pulled away from the curb. The guys cheered as it ended with my trademark "THANK YOU NEW YORK CITY!"
Suddenly, there was a whirring sound of a Police siren whizzing past. A Metro Police bike swerved in front of the bus and slowed down, lights flashing.
"Not trouble already," Justin muttered in a concerned voice, we haven't even left the burbs!"
"Back-up people, clear the streets, Police escort coming through!" A voice over the bikes loudspeaker sounded.
Trey, Justin and I looked at each other, and then chuckled in unison "OFFICER LOMAX!"
Clear the streets,people !
"C'mon Jane," I pepped myself, "I can do this. I can do lots of things. I can talk to Senators, Congresswomen, Deans of Universities, hundreds of people at award ceremonies. So why is this driving test freaking me out so much? I have to get it together and pass this thing today, so that I can drive around the streets of Oxford when I go there next week."
I knew I should have done the test when Roxy was still here. I mean, she's ultra cool in a crisis; she even got me to Chill-out on the nerd book
. She would know exactly what to say to calm me down.
Jane's nerd book
Mind you, I do remember when we were in Big Shirl's and Mickey's cab, and Lomax was chasing us in the Winnebago. I went flying down a narrow laneway in reverse, crashing through the gate at the end with perfect precision, and proper hand signals too, I might add.
Jane, Brake left, Gas right, GO !!!
I mean, it's not like I can't drive, it's just that the stupid instructor lady makes me nervous. What's her problem anyhow? Just because my favourite Kings of Leon song came on the radio, I mean, you have to turn it up, and then she gets all huffy and fails me on the spot!
"Well Jane," I coached myself, "she's not going to fail me this time. I am not going to get distracted by anything. My new Jeff Buckley CD is waiting for my celebrations when I get home."
Hmmm, I feel better already. Think I'll just call Jim and make sure he hasn't forgotton about our deal. If I pass the test then has has to take me out for a super dooper serve of cookie-dough ice-cream, complete with double flake chocolate dippers.
Hey, I just realized, if I pass the test then it will be me who is technically taking him out. I mean, I will be driving Roxy's V dub.(Thanx Rox)
Roxy's V dub
Maybe, if I shut my eyes real tight, it might turn into my dream car.
Shiny red Mustang - - - My dream car !
Because, we are so not going double up on Jim's bike anymore. He's mad on that thing. Hmmm, that was how we met I do remember.....
If you cant get it out, I'll just take off my skirt
"Oh my God" ! . . . " Well Hey, It looks nice".
First, I got my dress caught in his bike pedals at the train station. The train conductor had thrown Roxy off the train for not having a ticket, and then he mistook me for her and threw me off too, which is when I bumped into Jim and his bike.
Then, a few hours later, he literally flew into me in the city.
Luckily, he had wrapped his arms around me as we tumbled along the pavement. And, all I was wearing was a towel that we got from Trey's hotel room. Wow, that could have been majorly embarrassing.
"Am I squashing you" ? . . . " Yeah, I love it".
Good thing I had tied the towel really tight after it had fallen off the first time.
Yeah, looking back, that was so funny... Rox and I fell off the window washing gantry and landed into the rubbish dumpster below.
I had to sit naked in the dumpster for a few minutes while Roxy found a pole long enough to unhook my towel from the gantry above.
So I'm standing in there, naked, and of course a guy from the nearby restaurant walks down the lane with a bag of garbage. I crouched down as he approached and then he steps up onto a crate at the side of the bin, ready to throw the bag in.
Luckily he hadn't noticed me yet, but would probably do so any second. I had to do something, anything to distract him, but what?
My mind was a blank, nothing, but just then my tonsils took over. I squealed a kind of horror movie scream just as the guy was hoiking the big bag into the bin. Totally startled, the guy lost control of the bag and it hit the top edge of the dumpster, splitting wide open and dumping the load of fruit and vegetable waste half in the bin and half on himself. Once again I had to think quickly. I mean, I had just scared the guy half to death. He was going to look in the dumpster for sure.
So, I had the shoulder bag with Senator Lipton's little dog, Renaldo in it - long story. I knew I could cover my lower parts over with the bag but what about my top? I quickly scanned the items close at hand and grabbed for whatever I could. Luckily I ended up with a pair of scooped out watermelon skins and non-chalantly plopped them over my breasts. As expected, the guy peered into the bin, still with vegetable peelings in his hair. He starred at me for a second, then looked at the painfully embarrassed look on my face, then at the watermelon skins that I was holding, and burst out laughing.
"Boy, you don't see that every day." He chuckled to himself.
I was dumbstruck! What could I say to him? Even Roxy would have struggled with this one. I could do nothing but just sit there with my face so flushed that my skin was nearly melting of me.
Then, to my absolute horror, he pulled out his phone and quickly snapped a couple of shots of me, with his laughter piercing my very sole.
On that he turned, tousled his hair to disslodge the peelings, and went back to his store, probably to show his co-workers of his adventure.
That was so embarrasing
Luckily, Roxy showed up a minute later with a bamboo pole and unhooked my towel. Funny thing is, I never did get to tell Roxy about the restaurant guy, because less than a minute later, I got pummeled by Jim on his pushbike as we walked out of the laneway. And I never found out where the heck she found a ten foot long Bamboo pole? That is so strange. I can't believe we never talked about this, but then, so much happened that day. I am going to have to ask her when I see her next .... Oxford .... six weeks. That reminds me, Jim, ice-cream, driving test .... Let's do this!
"Here you go, clever girl, a super dooper serve of cookie dough icecream with double flake chocolate dippers." Jim said with a sparkle in his eyes.
"Thanks babe." I replied as I licked the spoon that had been wedged in the icecream. Then I proceeded to kiss him on the cheek with super cold icecream smudgy lips.
My thoughts turned back to my new driving licence, which I had proudly placed inside a cream versace leather card holder that matched my day planner. It sat like a trophy in the middle of our table. I couldn't help but wonder if I would have passed the test if I had got the same cranky lady as last time. I'm sure she had it in for me before I even got in the car.
"The new young instructor guy today turned the radio up himself when that Franz Ferdinand song came on," I explained to Jim. "You know, that new one called Take me out
, fitting really."
"What's fitting?" Jim asked in between mouthfulls of his root-beer float. "Did you want the instructor to take you out? Or were you just keen to pass so that I would take you out?"
"Of coarse I wanted to pass, and for you to take me out, silly. But hey, I'm the one who's taking you out, am I not?"
"Yeah, your right," Jim replied, "but I do plan to get my motorbike licence in England, and buy a bike for us over there."
My mind drifted away at that point. I tried to picture what it would be like for me over there... I can vividly remember when Roxy and I went to London 3 years ago. We did lots of sightseeing which was cool, but so was the weather. Luckily, the first thing we did was go to Camden markets so we could shop for coats, scarves and hats.
Rugged up in London
We went representing our school's debate team. Roxy only came along because this other guy pulled out at the last minute and we had to have a five person team to enter. She was so lucky, and even though I thought we would be doomed, she actually saved our team, and we won the finals. That would have to be the highlight of Roxy's academic career. She even won an award.
Roxy with her trophy
But that was 3 years ago. So much has changed since then, for both of us. Going to Oxford University is going to be totally, and I mean totally different. About the only similar thing is that I would be staying in a dormentory with the other students.
Luckily,I am quite used to dorm life as Roxy and I both went to a private school in New Hampshire for a couple of years.
Hangin with Roxy in our dorm room
School was lots of fun back then, I reminessed. Dad gave us a cell phone each so we could call him in an emergency.
Calling all boys !
White Oak Acadamy didn't allow you to use a mobile during school time, but we managed to keep them out of sight of the teachers, that is, until I started a matchmaking dating service with them before the annual dance.
Dancing with Rick
Having that phone was so cool. That's when I realized the potential that it could have, and the doors that it could open. Because I had that phone, all the other girls wanted to be my friend and do favours for me. I know that real friendship is not based on material objects, but I couldn't ignore the advantages, including getting to dance with the hottest guys. It was easy to get in trouble though, and some people were not that forgiving. I guess that is when I started having visions of academic acheivement and setting goals. I wrote articles in the School paper, The Acorn, and also worked in the headmistresses office. I set up auctions and fundraisers for the White Oak Alumnii. I guess things just progressed from there to where I am now, flying to England to start my degree in ecconomics in just 4 days ,4 days!!!
Suddenly my thoughts and my body were completely overpowered by a totally amazing, yet terrifying rush that was making it's way through my very core. This could only be one thing!
BRAIN FREEZE !!!!!!
I luv icecream
Jim quickly took control. He grabbed my spoon from me which previously had a fresh mountain of icecream on it and put it in the float bowl. Then he wrapped his arm behind my head to stop me from clunking it against the wall behind our booth. Finally, he used his fingers to squeeze the bridge of my nose until the Freeze
passed away. That always works.
I was in Ga-ga land, but subconciously I knew what Jim had done for me. He's so nice to me. I think we are going to go a long way together, and I don't just mean the plane flight to Heathrow.
I thanked Jim for his quick actions and gave him another smudgy kiss.
"I could see it coming," Jim said with a grin. "When you engulfed a way to big mouthfull of cookie dough I new you would be in trouble. You looked totally freaked out during your freeze. I wish I had my camera."
Instantly I thought of that time six months ago in the rubbish dumpster.
"If you ever take a shot of me in an uncomprimizing event like that, then I will dump your root-beer float on your head! And, I would be the one taking pictures of that."
"Jane! you can't seriously be taking six suitcases with you. With that much weight, the plane won't get off the ground!"
"Ha, funny Dad," I retorted, "you know I like to be prepared for anything."
"Yes, but you don't need a different pair of shoes for every day that your away."
"Okay, you may be right,Dad. Oh, I hear that they have some way cool shops in Oxford. Maybe I should buy some new ones over there. Do you think they will accept your American Express card?"
"Hmmm, Jane, maybe six suitcases isn't to many after all."
"There's the check-in counter over there, dad."
I pointed in it's direction and then told my dad that I was going to the Ladies room. I was a touch nervous about the long plane flight even though Jim was going to be sitting next to me the whole time. He got his transfer to another college in Oxford which was cool but we still would find it difficult to spend much time together.
"Jim promised me that he would be at the Airport early,Dad. Then, we could chill in the lounge before we board the plane. Where is he?"
I quickly rang his phone but all I got was a message saying that his phone was unable to answer the call. How could this be? What did that mean?
Jim, please answer.
I went back to the check-in counter and helped Dad put the flight tags on all my luggage. We needed two trolleys to carry it all. The check-in attendant lady smirked at my Dad, rolled her eyes at me and just said "Teenagers!" I thought that was majorly rude but I was more worried about Jim.
Just then my phone sounded off it's Simple plan ringtone. Yes, I thought, That's gotta be Jim, and then I realized, no, wait, that's Roxy's special ringtone.
"Jane, Where are you? Are you at the Airport yet?"
"Yeah, Dad and I are at the check-in counter, but Jim's not here yet. I can't get hold of him on the phone, so I don't know where he is."
"Don't worry sis, I'm sure he'll be there soon. You know he always seems to pop up at the right time."
True, he does that, I thought. "Rox, I better get off the phone so that it's free if Jim calls, Okay?"
"Jane, I'll see you in 5 weeks. Luv ya babe, kisses for you, Dad, and Jim."
"Thank's, oh, and I'll make sure I get set up online at the Uni so we can chat on messenger. Gotta hear about all your Rockstar life, girl."
It was so good that Roxy and I are close again now. Things got a bit out of hand after our Mother passed away. I'm sure that's just because we never talked and listened to each other about our feelings. I remember that I was devastated, but for some reason I didn't want Roxy to know that. I had to look in control and in charge of things. After we said our goodbyes to Mum, I vowed that I would never let Roxy see me upset and cry over Mum again. I cant believe how stubborn and silly I was. Thank goodness we finally managed to get things out in the open that day of the awards ceremony.
Dad and I finished the check in duties and still there was no sign of Jim. We decided to go up to the lounge and sit near the balcony so that we could see the check in desk down below.
Where are you Jim ?
I tried several times more to phone Jim but got the same message each time.
I was getting worried. I asked Dad what would happen if Jim missed the flight. Could he get the next flight? Could he just transfer his ticket to another flight? Or, would he have to buy another ticket? And what would happen to his seat next to me? Would I have some complete stranger sitting next to me for the whole trip?
This was not good. I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate. An announcement came over the public address saying that our flight was now boarding.
"Oh my God!" I looked at Dad, my cheeks puffing and my eyes bulging. He could see that I was panicking, so he pushed his chair closer to mine so that he could give me a comforting hug.
"Where's Roxy! I need Roxy!" I blurted out, "She sings to me, the itsy bitsy spider song. Where is she?"
" Itsy bitsy spider "
Another announcement for our flight sounded, which didn't help one bit. Dad suggested that we go back downstairs and check outside the terminals front entrance to see if Jim was held up outside for some reason. All I knew was that he was catching a bus early and meeting us up at the lounge. Now I wished that I hadn't taken as much luggage. Then we could have picked jim up on the way in.
Dad said that he would ask at the counter to see if Jim had checked in and missed us, while I quickly ran out to the Bus stop area in hope that he was out there somewhere.
No luck from me ,or from Dad. "Sweetheart, your going to have to board the Plane. If he doesn't make it then he will have to just get another flight later. It's not like Christmas time or anything so I am sure there will be seats available."
I knew Dad was right, no matter what was the problem with Jim, I still had to take this flight because my schedule over in Oxford was tight from the word go. I had so many things to sort out and get myself settled in. I only had 3 days before the start of the semester.
"Final call for flight BA 178 to london, Gate 6." came another announcement.
"Jane, you really have to board now." Dad said, and he was right. No time left. I did a final scan accross the check-in but still no sign of Jim. I couldn't help it but tears started streaming down my face.
"Jane,"Dad said with a comforting hug and a couple of tissues,"I'll stay here for a while and see if he turns up, and if not, then I will call by his parents house to see if they know what happened. I'm sure there is a good reason why he hasn't shown up."
I thanked my Dad and told him that I would call him when I got to the University, and that I would see him again over there in five weeks.
I turned and went down the boarding tunnel as the attendants closed the entrance behind me.
Flight has now departed
I was greeted at the door by a friendly looking flight attendant. She could see that I was obviously upset and gave me a genuine look of concern. I told her that my boyfriend had not shown up to board the plane too. She took out her schedule and confirmed with me that I was Jane Ryan and that it was Jim who was missing.
"I'm so sorry," she said looking a touch impatient, "but we are on a tight schedule and cannot wait for passengers who do not turn up on time. We have to join the queue for take-off now or it will make it too difficult to regain the time in flight."
She ushered me too the empty pair of seats midway along the isle. I realized that Jim's seat was the one by the window, but figured that it wouldn't matter if I sat there as no one else was going to take it. I settled as the attendants went through thier safety procedure speech and then I gazed out the window. Outside, I could see the large silver wing glistening along it's edge and I marvelled at the sheer size of it and the turbine engine underneath it.
Then my attention turned to the terminal. The plane was being taxied and as we turned to approach the taxiway to the start of the runway, I realized that I could clearly see the observation deck. There were lots of people, most were waving, but then there was one guy who was frantically jumping up and down, waving his arms around. Then I saw my dad next to him. I knew it was Dad as he was wearing this rather large Aussie style hat that he got at the carnival. That must be Jim next to Dad, I just knew it. I started to frantically wave back at them but then realized that I was drawing way to much attention to myself. People on the other side of the plane were turning and looking at me. The Attendant came swishing along in her pencil skirt uniform to settle me down and make sure that I was still wearing the seat belt. The situation was hopeless, there was nothing I could do to stop the plane and get them to let Jim on. My phone was turned off, and Jim's was not working so I couldn't call him either. I gazed out the window again, only to see his figure getting smaller and smaller until I couldn't distinguish any people in the terminal at all.
We waited for what seemed like ages but was only a few minutes at the start of the runway while another 3 planes took off. Then it was our turn. The huge jet engines roared into life as we quickly gained momentum. We were hurtling down the runway when this thought all of a suden hit me - "Where was Roxy." She had always been seated on the plane right next to me, both holding hands through the scary take-off bit of the flight. I think we both knew that even though I always said it was me, the older sister comforting her, it was really her "Cool in a crises" personality that was the saviour.
I sat there as feelings of loneliness and sheer terror washed over me. The plane lurched upwards to the sky as the the engines screamed in accordination.
Up, up n away
Suddenly there was a clanging sound of metal on metal. I realized that I had been grasping the closure of my day bag so tightly that the press stud had popped loose. It had flown off hitting the little night lights above the people in the row of seats in front of me.
The stud came to rest in the overly large hairdo of the woman seated there. I saw her glance up at the lights, but I don't think she noticed that the stud was in her hair.
I didn't know what I should do, I mean, I wanted the stud back because I could fix it back onto my expensive Versace bag, but I didn't want to look like a fool asking the lady to scavenge through her hair for it. I decided to not say anything yet, and hope that she may notice it by herself.
As we leveled out over the Atlantic, I started to get myself together.
I was to use this flight time to update and co-ordinate my To-do lists and organizer. I still use my paper day planer / organizer after the loss of all my information on the My-satelite, the one that I got from Congresswoman Kelso. That was a disaster. First it got stolen by "The klepto" and then when I got it back, the unit had a total meltdown and never worked again. It took me ages to get myself organized again.
I was starting to feel good about things again. I guessed that Jim would be able to get the next flight and that I could get to meet him at Heathrow airport on Fridasy night. then I could help him settle into his dorm room.
As I thought about spending time with Jim, just the two of us, I was disturbed by a couple of guys who were in the seats behind me. They were laughing and joking about something. I guessed they were watching Youtube videos on some sort of Ipod. I went back to thinking about Jim for a while but then one of the guys said to the other "Hey, you gotta see these pics that Dino downloaded. It's a classic; you should see the look on the face of this girl in the dumpster bin."
Hearing him say that instantly sparked my attention.
"Ha ha, whats that she's wearing, Watermelons?" The other guy said.
Oh, no, I thought. It couldn't be, surely not.
"Hey," he continued, "I know her, honest, I used to go out with her. She was the student president at our old school, South Side. That's Jane Ryan!"
Oh my god! The're looking at pictures of me, naked! This was beyond embarrassment. Wait, the guy, I know who that is, that must be Derek Shafer. I thought his voice sounded familiar. What was he doing here on the plane? Going to England?
Now I was in a dilemma. Do I sit here, avoiding them for the rest of the flight to save embarrassment, That would be difficult, I thought to myself.
"Thats what I call Presidential fruit,ha ha," Derek joked.
"Yeah, I've heard of a D cup but this girls got a Fruit cup.He-he."
"You know, if she was here right now, she would cut you to shreds for saying that."
Bingo, I thought. This is my chance. Okay Jane, muster up some courage now. Lets do it!
So, in one swift movement, I spun around in my seat and kneeled up with my head above the headrest.
"Who am I going to slice first?, Derek! Should it be you?" I snarled and narrowed my eyes.
"Whoa", Derek stifled , blood quickly draining from his face. "JJJane, your on this flight too?"
I quickly took out my camera from my daybag and snapped a shot of them, white as ghosts, mouth's wide open. Then I gave them one of my cutest smiles that I could muster.
"You know, Derek,"I said with a wink, "if your lucky, some day I will tell you all about that time in the dumpster. It was a life changing experience." I could see that Derek's mind was doing overtime, torturing himself with a story that he knew not of.
I really did like Derek. We dated for a few months but then somehow drifted apart. He was polite, genuine, and then there was his killer smile. He even helped me win the elections, even though he was running against me.
The more I thought about it, the happier I was to see him again.
"So tell me Derek, why are you flying to England?"
"I'm going to london with Gavin. Jane, this is Gavin. He's a friend of mine from West Malibu High and we are going to do an internship with Warner Music."
West Malibu High
"Hi gavin, nice to meet you" I held out my hand to shake, but he actually took it in his and gently kissed it. Now I was the one who was flushed, I mean Derek was terrific looking but this guy, Gavin, was no slouch either. What a smoothie.
I knew that Gavin must have had a way different idea of who I am judging by what he knew of me so far. I thought I had better fill him in the first chance i got.
"Wow! that's so cool, guy's. Derek, I thought you were going to Yale this semester?"
"Well that's what my Dad wanted me to do," he explained, "but I just want to get out there and experience some different things before I take on a degree. Who knows where this work might take me. Maybe I will get to make video clips for Rules of Modesty one day?"
"I heard you got that McGill fellowship award ,Jane. Your going to Oxford now, right?"
McGill Fellowship Award
"I'm starting my Economics program at Oxford University on Monday. I'm so looking forward to it!"
I could see the look on Gavins face change somewhat after that. Like now he might take me seriously, instead of just being some strange naked girl in a dumpster.
"Jane, your really pretty." Gavin interrupted, taking me by utter surprise.
"Gavin!" Derek said, elbowing him in the side.
I looked at gavin square in the eyes for maybe a second or two, then managed a rather feeble reply.
"Errr, yeah right."
He reminded me of Jim, when we first met on the McGill fellowship speech day. I knew the moment called for a decissive reply.
"I'm sorry Gavin, but maybe you should keep those thoughts to yourself. I don't think my boyfriend would like it very much."
"Boyfriend?" Derek asked, "who is he?"
Jim on his bike
"His name is Jim. He's from Brooklyn. He should actually be here with me, but he just missed the flight."
"Oh, was that who you were waving to as we left the terminal?" Gavin asked.
"Yeah," I half heartedly laughed, "Missed it by that much!"
Just then I noticed that the lady with the big hairdo was motioning to get up, probably to go to the restroom. I watched her with intent, not wanting to miss a chance to get my press stud back. Sure enough, as she was maneuvering around another passenger in the aisleway, the stud worked its way down and fell to the floor behind her. Judging by it's projectory, I could guess that it ended up about three seats away on the other side from me. I got up to survey the situation. 1, 2, 3, yes an empty row of seats. Perfect, I could cruise in there and have a good look underneath them without having to disturb anyone.
I moved up the aisle and ducked into the empty row. Crouching over the armrest, I lowered my head down to see under the seat. That's when I noticed that there was a small travel bag and a laptop sitting under there.
Oh no, maybe there was someone sitting here but where are they? Maybe they too were in the restroom or something. Quick Jane, I thought, as I moved the bag and laptop to see behind them. Yes, I'm in luck, it's right there just in front of that large mans shoe. I leaned over as far as I could and reached in for the stud.
"Got it." I said out loud as I grasped it.
"Hey!" This deep voice sounded. "What are you doing? What have you got? What are you looking for? That's my stuff down there!"
Suddenly someone was grabbing at my ankles and was pulling me up from under the seats.
"Oi, Oi, stop!, Ow, your hurting me, please stop." I squealed. "It's okay sir, I was just getting my stud which had rolled under your chair."
"What? What are you talking about, girl? You better not think you can steal my laptop."
"No, honest, see here is the stud." I said as I thrust the little stud up as high as I could towards what I know realized was a brutally huge hulk of a man.
"Whoa, look at the size of this guy. His arms are thicker than my thighs," I said under my breath.
"Hey, leave her alone!" Came this other voice, which I quickly realized was Gavin, who was now standing out in the aisle. The big guy turned from me and starred at Gavin in a way that could only mean trouble. Luckily, the awkward moment of silence which followed was quickly broken by the swishing of pencil skirts quickly arriving on the scene.
"Everything's Okay here, really." I admitted quickly to the attendant, still sounding a little shaken. "It's my entire fault, I was just trying to get my stud which had come loose from my bag, and it ended up under the seat here. This man was just concerned about his possessions and didn't know that I was just getting this." I flashed her the stud, and a smile to collaberate my story.
"Well next time, young girl, please ask us for assistance before you cause any further trouble," she scolded me.
"Young girl?" I said under my breath. You know I am 18.... Well I guess I'll just have to wear that one. At least I got my stud back.
The big hairdo lady then came back to her seat. I listened as her husband filled her in.
"You missed all the action,dear. That big guy over there grabbed a young girl by the legs, which for some reason was trying to get under those seats there. I don't know what she was trying to do. I think she lost somthing, but I dont know what it could have been that was so important."
There's that young girl thing again. How old do I look to these people?
I glanced over to the big guy, who seemed to be listening to the talk also. He half looked back over to me and a hint of a grin came over his face. I was glad he did as I was kinda realizing the funny side to it all and was more than happy that he did too. Then I thought about Gavin. I mean, he had stood up to the big guy afterall, and like, he doesn't even really know me. That was a majorly brave action on his behalf.
What do I know about him? Well, nothing really, except that he must like music, and that he thinks I'm pretty!
"Jane, Jane!" I heard Derek saying while tapping the back off my headrest. "What was all that about?"
"Nothing really," I replied, trying to sound older than just some young girl, and as casual as possible.
"I was just getting my press stud back."
"Huh," Derek quizzed.
"Don't worry bout it, all is good."
The attendants then came along with thier meal trolleys and served out the dinners that we had previously ordered. She handed me a well presented tray with smoked salmon and fetta cheese, and a plate of triangulated fruit pieces.
"Hmmm! Nice, neat, just like at home," I thought.
Mmmm Smoked Salmon
Everyone was eating there meals with a minimum of fuss and I started to relax again.
" This is good," I thought to myself, "when the attendant takes away my tray I might stretch out and grab forty winks."
The trolley came rattling past again, and the attendants started collecting everyone trays. Then I heard Gavin talking behind me.
"Wow! Did you see that attendant? She looked just like Britney Spears, I swear!"
Britney Oh - la - la
"Settle down, Gavin. Everyone looks like Britney to you!" Derek exclaimed.
I sat there wondering if Gavin thought that I looked like britney too.
I had actaully met Britney backstage at one of her concerts some years ago when Roxy and Justin managed to score some passes. She was at least 3 inches taller than me, and has some other bigger qualities as well, if you know what I mean.
Backstage with Britney
Hip,Hip... when your on a holiday... You can't find the words to say... all the things that come to you... and I want to feel them too!
Boys, boys, boys !
Hmmm, I love those funny little dreams you have when your just snoozing for a while. Mine always seem to have the cutest boys in them.
I wonder what the time is and how long it will be till we get to Heathrow. Think I'll turn on the monitor and see whats on.
Ok, we will be landing in under an hour and the weather is actually sunny. Perfect. I should be able to do some good sightseeing on the 50 mile bus trip to Oxford from the Airport.
I can't wait till we land. Then I will be able to call Jim, unless he is on a plane by now. I could always call Dad and he might tell me what happened. I hope Jim can get here early tomorrow. I must check out when the next arrivals will be and try to work out a plan. It's a good thing that Jim's college is part of Oxford University Campus. At least I know that he has to catch the Airport shuttle coach, which takes you right to the Campus itself. That means that if I schedule my time right then I might have time to go back to the Airport and meet him there.
"Oh look," I said to the guy's, "there is land down there through the clouds. We must be getting close now."
"Yep, down we go," Derek confirmed, "don't really like this landing biz. It seems to take so long and yet you just keep going down,and down,and down, and your ears go funny and your stomach turns and ..."
Going down !
"Alright Derek, I get what your saying, but please, your just making it worse!"
Luckily, it didn't seem to take that long, and because the weather was good, it was a super smooth landing.
We taxied back to the Terminal dock and they shut down the engines. It didn't take long for me to get ready to leave, but everyone else was busy getting thier daybags and gear down from the overhead storage lockers.
I decided that I would just sit for a while and look out the window. I could see lots of other planes across the tarmac.
I watched as a large foray of people, photographers, journalists and such, came rushing across from a far barrier, heading straight for the front of our plane. I wondered what was happening.
Just then an announcement came over the speaker system in the plane.
"Hello, this is your Captain speaking. We have now landed at Heathrow Airport. All passengers will be required to leave through the rear exit of the plane. The First class passengers will be exiting first, so please stay in your seats until they have all gone past. Our flight attendants will be able to help anyone who needs assistance. Thank you for flying with British Airways."
I went back to looking at the growing mass of paparazzi jostling for position down on the tarmac while the first class passengers shuffled past me.
"Whats going on out there." Derek asked inquisitively.
"I'm not sure. There must be some celebrity or sportsperson who was in first class up there."
Soon it was our turn to disembark, and I stayed with the guy's as we went out through the door and into the extendable corridor to the terminal. We stopped at one of the many open bay windows and looked out.
There was a very petite woman posing at the top of the portable stairs at the front of our plane. Photographers were snapping a barrage of shots, the flashes refrecting back off the side of the plane towards us, while pushy reporters were trying to get their questions in.
"Who is that?" I asked the Guy's "Do you know her? Imagine having that much attention on you. It would freak me out."
"Well," Gavin replied, "She's not Britney, that's for sure, she's not tall enough. But she is pretty."
"Ooh," derek butted in, "I think she's that Aussie pop singer, you know, the one who sang that Can't get you out of my head
song. Dude, what's her name?"
I listened to the reporters questions to try and find out more.
"Kylie, kylie,... KYLIE, did you have a good time in America? Did you find what you were looking for?"
"Looking for?" she asked back with her index finger on her lower lip. "What was I looking for?"
"You said before you left that you were looking for your Phoenix. Did you find it, Ms Minogue?"
"Well, my Phoenix?" She paused and then broke out into a huge grin, "I guess I sort of did!" And with that she ushered out a guy from inside the plane.
"Hey!" I exclaimed,"is that Trey? That looks just like Trey!"
"Trey? Trey who?" Derek asked me.
"Trey is Roxy's boyfriend. But it can't be him because they have gone on tour with Simple plan. In fact, they should be in Chicago as we speak."
Wait,so Roxy has a boyfriend, and she's on tour with Simple plan? Boy, she doesn't muck around does she."
"Fill me in here, you guys. Who's Roxy?" Gavin said, arms waving.
"She's my twin sister." I said with a smile.
"You have a twin? She's pretty like you?"
"Yes Gavin, but she looks more like Christina Aguilera." I laughed.
"No, this guy is definitely older, and scruffier too now that I look closer. Still, he does look like Roxy's type." I finished, as the barrage of camera flashes continued.
We had to move on as the other passengers were banking up behind us. Gavin could see that huge guy further back in the crowd so he started giving us the hurry up.
We entered the baggage collection area and I went off to find a couple of trolleys with Gavin. As we were approaching the trolley bay next to the Newsagency, I noticed a large poster of one of the current magazines on display out the front of the shop.
"Hey look," I said to Gavin. "Thats the same woman who was being photographed at the plane."
"Kylie - American Idol." I read out loud.
"I thought Derek said that she was an Australian?"
"Maybe you should read the fine print, or better still buy the magazine and read the story." Gavin joked to me.
"You know, I think I will. It will give me something to do for the hour long bus trip anyhow."
So I left Gavin as he grabbed some trolleys out, and then I ducked into the store and purchased a copy.
I opened the mag to the Kylie article and started to read it as we were waiting for our luggage to come out the chute.
"Hey, it says here that Kylie has been staying in New York and has just won a Grammy award. She also appeared on Queer eye for the straight guy and the Dave Letterman show."
"Yeah, so?" Derek said rather diss-interested.
"Maybe you should be a bit more interested in this, Derek. It also says that she is signed with Warner Music. Maybe you will be working on her next video clip!"
"Yeah, more like being sent down the cafe to pick her up a morning latte." Gavin chimed in.
"Well is'nt that all part of doing an internship? You know, starting at the bottom." I said with an encouraging tone.
"And besides, if you flash her one of your trademark smiles then maybe she will be taking you out for latte's."
Derek really did have the most amazing pearly white smile that could melt all females within 50 feet.
"You know, Jane, your right. And I do have a thing for petite blondes." He said cheekily then proceeded to wink and blow me a kiss.
"Stop that," I hissed.
"Okay Guy's, I guess I'll see you later. You've got my number, so give us a call and Jim and I will come into town and see you."
Gavin quickly came up to me, grabed my hand again and kissed it. "It was nice to meet you Jane," he said in a corny posh voice, "now don't forget to stay away from those dumpster bins, right."
"Well, I will make sure that I'm wearing clothes next time." I replied.
"All the best with your studies,Jane. I have every confidence in you." Derek said and then proceeded to melt me with yet another smile.
I gave him a big hug and a peck on the cheek.
They helped me load my luggage into one of those driverless taxi contraptions. No sooner had I sat inside, then it had quickly whisked me away to where I was not quite sure.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"Roxy, come and help move these speaker boxes. We'll never get this all done in time if you keep slacking off."
"I'm sorry Trey,I guess I'm just a bit worried about Jane."
"I thought your Dad said that she arrived at the Uni and was settling in."
"Yeah, but I know Jane. She would have told Dad that all was well, but she was freaking out on the plane, I just know it. I mean, I remember having to hold her hand during take-off every time we flew anywhere. She didn't have Jim with her either, so she would have to cope all by herself."
"In a way, Rox, it's probably a good thing."
"A good thing? Freaking out? What do you mean, Trey?"
"Look, if she made the flight to Heathrow, plus the trip out to Oxford, all by herself, then thats a big deal. She probably has all the confidence in the world now to jump straight into her Uni program."
"Yeah I guess," I said, not really convinced, as I rolled another speaker box across the half set up stage. Even so, I knew that she had been crying soon after my last call to her. It's just one of those Twin things with us. We can feel it when the other is upset, always could.
Trey was busy getting the equipment out of the back of the trucks, and then it was my job to wheel and carry the gear out to the stage area. We had two other guys who were setting the gear up in thier positions ,while three other guys and a girl set up all the lights, monitors, leads and electricals. This was all after the stage building crew had completed the main structure. The chief, as he was known, would oversee the whole project, and was in charge of tuning the guitars and setting up the other instuments, and organizing the quick changes throughout the show.
There were a host of other technicians, sound guys, media crews, caterers, cleaners, you name it. Everyone had to do thier bit in sync with the others or the set up would come to a grinding halt. That would be a disaster as there was no time for errors or foulups. It was so noticeable if someone was letting the team down, and you certainly didn't want the band stressing out over the stage set up.
I had to get fit, quick, with this job. It's been a lot harder than I ever thought it would be. Tonight, we are in Chicago, playing at Wrigley Field.
Wrigley Field. Home of the Cubs.
We used to live in Chicago. From the stage here, I can see where Carrie, our babysitter, lived when Jane and I were about twelve. She used to let us get up on her rooftop balcony and we would watch the games for free.
Carrie, great view from up here !
"Well thats the last trolley to take, Roxy." Trey said, looking rather exhausted.
"How about you get us both some soda's, honey,"I said back to Trey, grimacing, as I struggled to get the damn trolley to roll straight."I'll meet you in the cafeteria when I finish unloading the trolley with Dave."
My muscles, yes muscles, were burning by the time I had finished and the blisters on my hands were testimony to the effort that I had been putting in. Still, with hard work comes reward, and my reward was that I was getting paid later tonight. That is, after we pack all the gear back up again.
"Our first pay packets, I'm so exited!" I said to Trey as I gently clasped my oh-so-sore hands in his. "How much do we have between us?"
"After paying for our share of food, accommodation, taxes, phone bills and other ancillaries, we are left with a grand total of $680.00, which has to last us for two whole weeks."
Trey didn't seem to happy about it, but I was over the moon. He had told me that he used to do some modelling work, which his mum, Senator Lipton, had set up for him. They paid an astrnomical amount for just a single days work. Now, he is busting it big time for so much less. All because he wants to be with me. I love him so much, and I swear, being a roadie is just a starter. One day, I'm going to be a famous rockstar, and we will have everything that we ever wanted.
"Were going into town tomorrow,"I announced, "It's our day off, and I'm going to buy you somthing really special because I love you so."
"Roxy, I love you too babe, but we really have to buy some important things, you know, like a kingsize doona."
His words pierced right through me. I couldn't help but stare into Trey's eyes. I had never felt these kind of feelings before. Here he was talking about how important it was to him, that we buy bedding so we could sleep together, and in comfort. Suddenly, visions of bizaar adultness went scrambling through my brain. Weddings, Children, Houses. Whoa! Settle down Rox.
But maybe he has a point. Accommodations can be a bit dodgy at times. Plus, we both have single sleeping bags, and while it's not impossible to, you know, sleep together, it would be nice to do so in comfort.
I started to warm to the idea of buying our first "Together" item. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I'm 18 and Trey's nearly 21. That's what we should be doing,right?
I have to call Jane tomorrow morning. She's definitely going to want to know about this.
Right, It's 13 minutes past 8. I have 48 minutes to have a shower, get dressed and grab a fruit juice before the coach trip back to the Airport. "Jane, better put it in top gear or I'll miss my only chance," I confirmed to myself.
Scampering across the lawns, I glanced at the big clocktower.
Only 9 minutes to get to the bus stop. I should make it, but I wish I had put on my flats rather than these heeled boots, even though these boots do make me appear somewhat more British. This place is simply huge. I'm glad I brought my map. I can study it on the coach.
Okay, that looks like the stop that I was at yesterday, and there's lots of students standing there. Hope that means the coach hasn't turned up yet. I'm in luck, there is the coach now.
Oh, Simple plan, that must be Roxy.
"Hello, yeah, I'm on the bus back to Heathrow Airport. Jim's flight lands in an hour." How are you Roxy? How's the tour going?"
"Jane, it's such hard work, I've got blisters on blisters, but I'm having a blast. We are in Chicago. Today is our first day off, and guess what Trey and I are going to do."
"Ahh, buy some band-aids?"
"Jane, serious! No, he wants to buy things for us, like as a couple."
"As a couple-couple?" I quizzed.
"Well yeah, I'm so happy. I really do love him."
"Whoa, Rox, sounds pretty serious. Is this all part of the Rockstar plan? Or should I say Simple plan?"
"It's all part of some plan, Jane. And it's Trey's idea. I think he really wants to be with me."
"So he's seen you when you wake up in the morning then? And... he knows you have a pet snake?"
"Ha,ha, Jane. I see you've lost none your humor on the plane trip. I've changed and you know it."
"Couldn't help throwing that one in, Roxy. And,dont worry, I'm pretty sure that dad and Ringo are getting along fine. It's just a shame that Ringo doesn't know how to cook him eggs for breakfast."
"You know that I'm really happy for you, Roxy" I continued, knowing that I had let sarcasm get the better of me, and should be showing some supportive sisterly love, "I just hope that Jim and I can be so happy and close too."
"Jane, so close? The guys travelling 3,000 miles just to stay close to you. I don't think you have much to worry about."
"Thats if he ever gets here," I replied, unable to diguise the sad undertones in my voice.
"So how was your flight? Were you okay? I kinda got the feeling that you were freakin out."
"Yeah, I've got some stories to tell there, but I'm okay, and you should see the University. It's like this whole city, and it is really old and beautiful."
"I can't wait to see you there, Jane! We have two more weeks here in the U S, and then were off to Australia, and then up to Europe. Oh, by the way, Justin is letting us use his laptop between 7 and 8pm every day so we can get on Messenger then. He has a webcam, so I can show you our new doona."
"Cool, I should be able to hook up online by tonight. Just gotta figure out the time zone difference."
With that, I said my goodbyes. I was happy for Roxy, and I could tell how happy she was. She got me thinking about my relationship with Jim. We were going to live in the same campus, but not in the same building. I ended up having a room all to myself. I wonder if he will have his own room, or will he have to share? I wonder if he would be able to stay over in my room sometimes? Would he do that? We hadn't actually talked about it much, and we hadn't really stayed together all nite yet, except for when we stayed at the college break-up beach party. He was so romantic too. We partied with everyone till it was really late. Jim brought along a super sized chenielle blanket that we wrapped ourselves into like a cocoon. Then we watched the sunrise over the Atlantic.
Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
I've been waiting ages. Why havn't none of the passengers come out yet? I saw the plane land at least half an hour ago. If this keeps up I am going to overdose on lip gloss. I used to be a chain-glosser whenever I got too anxious back in high school, but I thought I had broken that habbit along with chewing the ends off every pen I owned.
Too much rasberry glossy sheers cant be good
Finally, there he is,"Jim, over here." I waved my arms and bobed up and down like every other idiot but hoped he would still pick me out amongst the crowd. To my delight he zeroed straight onto me and a bright smile lit up his face. He quickly maneuvered around the other passengers until his presence stood right there in front of me.
A silence and motionless period of time followed, but it wasn't bad or awkward in any way. There was a blur of people, movement and noise all around us, but we were both in another world and somehow oblivious to it all. He gently held both of my hands and drew me close to him. Then, as his gaze was locked onto mine, he leaned in and kissed me, long, but ever so gently.I completely melted, and I swear there were no other persons in the Airport, the City, the World. Just Jim, myself, together in a moment of total bliss.
It was so romantic, and we hadn't even said a word yet. I will cherrish that moment forever, just like they say in the classics.
We finally broke our embrace when we realized that there were a lot of other passengers who were having a hard time trying to get past us and his luggage in the aisle way. We moved to the side, against one of the walls. I was glad that Jim had his arm around my waist because my legs were feeling more than just a little wobberly. Nobody had ever made me feel that way. My heart was racing and I tingled all over. A flash of what Roxy had said came by - "Jane, he's travelling 3,000 miles to be close to you."
Suddenly, I couldn't stand up any longer. Luckily his suit case was right there by my side. I half slid down the wall and plopped onto the case. Jim looked at me, a bit startled, as my eyes glazed over with tears. He knelt down to give me a hug and then that was it. I couldn't hold back any longer. I started sobbing into the collar of his shirt, half managing to blurt out, "what happened to you? I had to leave without you. I so wanted you to be there with me."
Jim pulled away a bit and grabbed some tissues out from his shirt pocket. Carefully wipping the tears from my face, he focused straight into my eyes again and said back to me, "Jane, first there is something I just have to know. Why Jane, why do you taste so much like rasberries?"
"Rasberries!" I snorted, then laughed, and cried, and snorted some more, much to the distaste of some passing people. He laughed along with me, then fell into seriousness.
"I'm so sorry Jane, I really tried to be there on time. I had some trouble when I got to the Airport and just missed the flight. Did you see me waving from the observation deck with your Dad?"
I nodded my head in confirmation, still rather douftfull on talking properly.
"C,mon," he said, "lets go over to the cafeteria, sit in a comfy booth, and I'll fill you in over a latte."
I walked over to the caff, with my arm entwined around his. I think I really did overdose on the lip gloss, but hopefully the caffiene would counteract it. We sat together, in a private booth, and talked about that morning at the Airport.
"I was sitting on the bus," Jim started, "and we just stopped outside the terminal. I couldn't get all my bags off in one go so I took one case and my daypack and placed them down outside while I went back for the other case. Then, this jerk came running past, outside, and grabbed my daypack and bolted. I had to get myself, and my case off the bus before I could chase him."
"What happened, did you catch him?" I asked.
"Well, he had a good head start, but I am a quick runner."
And good through traffic, I recalled our famous bike trip through the steets of New York.
"When he turned down the side of the building, he ran straight into a group of cleaning staff, knocking a couple of them over."
"Wow, did they grab him?"
"By the time I got there, the cleaners told me that he had managed to get back up, break free of them, grabbing my MP3 and camera out of the bag as he took off again. I scanned down the length of the service laneway and I saw him in the distance throwing the bag over a fence as he scuttled around the next building."
"What a Jerk!" I replied.
"Yeah, so I had to go and get the security guys to retrieve my bag, which had my phone still in it I hoped. That took forever as they had to make a report and then they gave me back the bag."
"Why didn't you call me?"
"Have a look at my phone." He held out his clam shell phone, one part dangling, connected by only a single strand of wire.
"Ooooh, that doesn't look to healthy. Well I hope the mp3 and camera that he got away with are in the same state too."
"I'm glad I downloaded all those pics of our trip away with your family and Trey. Remember those shots I got of you doing that Challenge game at the Resort."
"Yeah, I remember the silly helmet I had to wear for the Quad bike race."
Quad bike chic's
"And when you panicked, trying to cross the rope bridge."
"Hey, I made it across faster than Roxy did!"
"Yeah, but isn't she afraid of heights?"
Balance, breathe. I can do this.
"And I won the balance on the pole in the water thingy."
"Now that one was rigged. They all had skinier poles than yours."
"Shut up." I said, punching his arm.
"You really are the winner then."
"I think my sister and I were both winners that day. And the prize was having you guys there with us."
Jim put his arm around me and then he kissed me, more passionately this time. We were then politely interrupted as the waitress brought over our order. She winked at me when she carefully placed the cups in front of us. Then I realized why. I marveled at the pretty heart design she had made in our latte's, and so I returned a complimentary smile.
Cup of romance.
"Well that's the last of it packed away, people." Justin sounded off at the freight terminal.
"Thanks for a job well done and dont forget to have your time sheets and all your personals sorted tonight. We have a 5 am start tomorrow and have to be at the airport by 6 sharp."
The next morning Trey and I got up as planned and packed all our gear up, including our Doona cover which I simply love. The coach took us to the Aiport and we said our goodbyes to Matti, our rather psycotic bus driver. He was a bit wild but his humor was legendary. Nearly all of the crew were coming for the Australian leg of the tour, but some would meet us in London in two weeks. We boarded the Qantas jumbo and were on our way.
"I can't believe that we were finally on our way to Australia. To the Land Down Under!" I said to Trey, not withholding any of my excitement.
"Yeah, it's going to be great. I've never been out of the States before." Trey replied.
"Well, last time I was in Australia was 4 years ago. We went over there for a family Christmas holiday with relatives who lived by the beach in Sydney. It was a total blast except it was summer over there and so hot. I mean, we left New York and it was like snowing, and barely 30 degrees, and when we got off the plane in Sydney it was 98. Or 36 celcius as they call it."
"Wow, really. Hey, don't they drive on the other side of the road there?"
"Yeah, I've heard that."Sam said.
"Me too." Ryan pipped in.
"Ahh yeah, hey, would you guy's let me finish? The beach was the best place to be. Jane and I made friends with these hot Aussie surfer guys. They taught us how to surf and we had mega fun at the beach parties with them and all thier friends."
Time to hit the waves
"Well, you just stay away from those surfer boys, okay."
"You tell her Trey, show her who's boss!"
"Trey, you've got nothin to worry about. Mind you, we never went looking for them, they were the ones who found us."
"I'm not surprised. You and your sister do stand out in the crowd."
"Oooohhh." came the jeer's from the guy's.
"Hey! What's that supposed to mean." I quipped, feeling a touch annoyed.
"Um, err, well it's just that you are American girls, right? Your different from those Aussie lot. Your hair, the clothes you wear, and as soon as you say anything, they are going to pick it."
"We did try to blend in, you know."
We're just like those Aussie gals. . . . . . . Fair dinkum!
"Well, we had our moments, at least. But you had to show your true colors now and then. Right?"
Stand out ? Us ?
"Is it true that you can see Kangaroos bouncing down the main streets? I mean, I've seen that on the movies."
" Ahh, well no, not really. But Jane and I did see one at my Aunties place. They have a big backyard that leads down through to the beach and there is a bush reserve to the side. We were sun-baking on outdoor lounge chairs when one just came bounding past. It was so cool! Our Aunty said that it often came up to eat from the lush grass in the late afternoons. It was quite tame and we got to pat it."
Hello, your so cute !
"Yeah sure. Your pulling my leg, arn't you."
"Trey! I'm being honest here, really! My Aunty has pictures of us."
"So I'll get to see one too?"
"Well, if we get a day off in Sydney, then I'll take you to my Aunty's place and we'll see if one turns up. Or, we could go to the Taronga Zoo. Thier bound to have some there, get it!"
"Yeah, funny Rox."
"There's one thing that I do want to do if we get the time."
"I Want to take you on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk. Jane and I did it last time with the guys, but we had to get down quickly as a thunder storm was about to hit."
"I thought you were afraid of heights, Roxy."
"Well yeah, but this is good. You get this harness thing that keeps you attached to the walkway. There's no way you can fall off. And the view is great. You can see the Opera house and the entire city."
View from Sydney Harbour Bridge.
"Hey Justin," I said tapping him on his Motley crew cap.
"Yeah Rox, What's up?"
"Do you know our schedule in Australia?"
"Well lets see, we have three nights in Sydney, then we coach up to the Gold Coast, one night there, then we play in Brisbane for two nights. Back on the plane and down to Melbourne for three gigs at Rod Laver Arenna."
"Who's Rod Laver?" Trey asked.
"Arrr, I think he was some tennis player years ago." Sam butted in
"Oookay, whatever. But do we get time in Sydney to do some stuff?"
"We've got all day tomorrow, but the boys have to do the ROVE LIVE show later on."
"Cool, so can we all do the Bridge Walk in the morning. It would be a great team thing, good P R and a great photo shoot."
"Now your talking, Rox." Justin said with a nod.
* * * * * *
So we landed in Sydney after the 14 hour flight, checked into our hotel and chilled out for the rest of the evening. This time, we had checked into the Hilton hotel. It was really nice, and each room had these great spa's on the balconies that overlooked the harbour. Trey and I enjoyed a spa together with a complimentary bottle of champaigne.
"Aaaahhh, here's to the rock stars life," we chinked our glasses of bubbles, "well, the roadies of the rockstars life." I added.
I lay back against Trey in the spa, I dont know if it was the bubbles or the jetlag kicking in, but I found myself quickly drifting off the balcony and rising up into the clouds. Suddenly, through a clearing, I had this vision of being up on this large stage in front of a full crowd of people. I wasn't playing the drums, which was weird. I was the lead singer and I was singing this song that was more like a pop song come rock'n'roll ballad. It was very vivid, and the words I sung were so meaningfull,I think, but then as quick as it was there, it was gone.
I fell back to Earth, feeling Trey kissing the back of my neck.
"Hmmmm! Trey! Don't stop!" I purred. That always does it for me, and he knows it, the rascal.
The next morning we all got together for a smorgasboard breakfast and then we went down to the foreshore.
"What are we going to do first?" I asked Justin.
"How about we go for a blast on the jetski's. I've always wanted to do that."
Whooo hooo !
We each took turns for about an hour and then Justin confirmed that it was time to do the bridge walk.
"This was a great idea Roxy." Justin beamed at me.
"Well, thanks," I bowed to all the crew, "but you were the one who organized the TV crew, to fly in a helicopter, to get some footage of the Band at the top of the Bridge."
Top of the Bridge
TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, PLEASE PROCEED TO -
NEW YORK MINUTE - LOOKING FOR MY PHOENIX. PART 2