My dad and I moved from town to town, usually staying in a hotel until we leave the town as we always did, looking for a job for him. We had been to Nashville, Miami, San Fransico, you name the town and I can almost guarantee we've been there. Finally we were in Terre Haute, Indiana. I expected nothing different from before. Dad would get a job and we'd stay for about a month trying to save up money, then he would make a major slip up at work and we'd be on our way again. It was the normal thing, after all. I would just get settled into school, maybe make a few friends, and then we'd move again.
Dad promised me that when we got in Terre Haute, things would be different. We would stay here longer, maybe even buy a house and get a permanent home. I just laughed dryly and said "Of course, Dad. It's all gonna be better, right?" I sighed and looked out the window of the car. It was a Volkswagon Beetle, and it was rather fun to watch people punch each other in the arm when they saw us go by. We were in the middle of no where at the time, and all I saw were fields of corn when I looked out my window. All I had seen for the past fifteen minutes was corn fields! Was all of Terre Haute this boring? I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket, and I pulled it out to see who texted me.
Heather, my only friend from San Fransico who still acted like my best friend. You guys move again already, Addie? it said. She called me Addie, and I really didn't mind it. It reminded me of San Fransico and how happy I was there. We had stayed there for a few months, in a hotel. I actually had gotten my hopes up there. Dad ended up being an exterminator for those few months, so I was the school 'bug girl.' I actually liked bugs, though, so I tried to take it as a compliment.
Yeah. We're in Terre Haute now. Up in Indiana. A lot of cornfields. I sent back. Dad says we'll stay here for a while. He says we might stay here forever. Never wished more for the opposite. And it was true. The areas of Terre Haute we had been through seemed so boring, it made me miss Nashville with all its country idiots and rednecks. All of them there had seemed empty headed. All of them but Adam Lawrence. Adam had been my best friend there, and we spent most of our time day dreaming about running away together- as friends. His dad was rich and a big company CEO, but he was abusive. Poor Adam had bruise marks all over his back, his arms, and he was missing a few teeth. Yet Adam was the smartest kid in Nashville, despite his dad.
I had helped Adam cope, and he had a friend who let him text on his phone, so Adam and I could talk about any issues he had. And we could still day dream about running away. We always had that. Anyway, Heather replied, That bad, huh? Don't worry Addie. You'll survive it. You're a strong girl! And with that my dad finally drove into the city.
Terre Haute wasn't half bad once you got to the actual city. A lot of idiots who didn't seem to know how to drive, a few construction areas, and a lot of drive through food places. It was just like any other small town I had been to. When we pulled into the hotel, it was a Holiday Inn. The usual talking to the front desk and getting keys, then going the room. But, before he went in one room, Dad turned around and handed me an altogether different set of keys. I knew immediately he was having me stay in another room. I smiled and took the keys and ran down the hall, looking at the number on the chain. I had room 307. I bolted down the hall to the room with that number on it, carrying my bags the whole way. When I walked in, I set my things down and jumped onto the bed. I laid down and sighed. It was a friday night, which meant no room service for some reason. After unpacking my things, I grabbed my wallet. Yes, I had money of my own. I was a bit of a gambler, and I was good at it, so of course I had money. Also, I always found odd jobs to do for a bit of money here and there. The more I could pull my own weight the less Dad had to try carrying it.
At 7:30 the streets were still busy, but the sky was dark. All the city lights made me miss the stars in sky in Nashville. They were my other friends, and I couldn't talk to them here. I went outside and walked down the street to McDonald's and bought a cheeseburger. I sat down and ate, and while I was eating, a young man walked through the door. He was way older than me, but he looked so cute. I couldn't describe him to you for the life of me, but I immediately felt my heart speed up. He didn't even buy anything. He just sat a table and looked out the window. He looked so lonely, but I didn't want to walk over and look like a creeper. I tried not to look over there, and focused on my own problems. Still, I kept looking at the man in the hoodie. Only seconds at a time, and not very much at all.
At one point a lady who worked there walked over and told him he needed to buy something or leave. He looked at her, and he started to say something. I knew he had no comeback, and so I took action. Don't ask me why- maybe I didn't want him to have to go out into the rain outside. Something told me he had walked here as well, and no one needed to be out in that mess. Besides, teenagers don't have to make sense. I ran over and said, "This is my step brother, Ma'am. I told him where I would be sitting when he got here, but he didn't seem to listen to me." I looked at him, trying to let my eyes explain my plan to him. I used the first name that came to mind. "Where have you been, Michael?" He looked at me angrily, but his eye looked playful.
"Ally, I told you to meet me over at Starbucks. But you don't listen, do you? You had your mind set on burgers, didn't you?" He said, his voice not betraying him. His eyes betrayed him big time, but the lady didn't see that. She saw siblings feuding like they always do- even if he was an awful improviser. She just smiled and went back behind the counter. We went back to my seat, which was in the back corner and practically invisible. "Now, who are you?" He said quietly. "And how do you know my name?"
I laughed. "I got your name right? I was just coming with a random name to use so the lady thought I really did know you. At any rate, I'm Adrianne Smith." I smiled at him. He smiled back, and damn if I didn't melt. He was just too nice! You could almost see the halo and the angel wings on him. "SO, who do I have the pleasure of saving today?" I asked, taking a sip of my Sprite.
"I'm Michael Anzano, and I'm a wrestler for a group called New Time Pro. We're a new group, but we've got a lot of experienced people in our group. We mostly separated from another group." I nearly spit out my Sprite. "What?" He looked worried about me. I couldn't breathe. Part of my last bite of cheeseburger hadn't got chewed up enough. I reached for my throat, but Michael was already performing the heimlich maneuver, and before I knew it the cheeseburger piece had came out. I coughed hard, and realized Michael was the only one in the entire building who had moved to help me. He was the only one who had noticed me choking to begin with. "You okay?" He said, a worried smile on his face. It always seemed he was smiling.
"Yeah, I'm good." I gasped." But, you work for NTP?"
"Yeah. We've gotten a lot of new merchandise and promotional people lately." His eyes brows furrowed. " My new merchandise guy's name is Julian Smith. You know him?" I nodded, my eyes wild.
"Yeah. Julian is my dad. So... we would've met eventually anyway, right?" I said, shocked that this had happened. My immediate crush in this city was who my dad was somewhat working for. This was not going to work. He nodded, smiling.
"That thought is a good one. You'll be at the debut show, then, right?" He said, his voice full of hope. Yet,, there was a unmistakable pain in his eyes, mixed with love. Okay, that was not supposed to happen! I was fifteen, and he was.. wait a minute.
"Yeah, I'll be there. How old are you, Michael?" I asked.
"No reason. Look, the rain outside has cleared up!" I said, smiling. I looked out the window and saw a single star in the sky. I immediately looked up and made my wish to the first star of the night. I'm not telling you what it was! "Well, I have to get back to the hotel. I'll see you at the debut show, Michael?" He nodded.
"I'll be there, Adrianne. I'll be there if it kills me." He got up and walked towards the door. Before leaving he looked back at me and he shook his head as he turned his head towards the door and left. I got up immediately and ran towards the door, depositing my trash in a trash can as I went. Don't ask me why I followed him. I'm a teenager, so I don't have to make sense. I went outside and he was gone. There was no proof that he was ever there- no proof but my aching heart crying for him. It was like my angel had flown away. I just smiled at the small star in the sky and walked home. It was only 8:00, but it felt as if we had only been in McDonald's for five minutes. And, yet, it was the best half an hour of my life. I had fallen in love, and that feeling only comes once.
But I had fallen in love with a twenty-one year old. How could that ever work? I walked by an alleyway, and I got pulled into it. A man put me up against a wall, and he held a knife to my chest."Give me all your money now, and I'll make it painless." I struggled against the hand holding me up against the wall. I thought of how horrible it would be that Michael would never get to see me at the debut show. I would never get to see him wrestle in a ring.
But then I was on the ground, not an ounce of pain in me. I still had my wallet, but the man was fighting farther down the alleyway with someone else. I did not know who my hero was at that moment, but I waited at the end of the alleyway to see him. I was surprised when I saw who had saved me. He couldn't have been following me, could he?
"Do you go looking for trouble?" He said."Honestly, I thought you would have figured out how to keep yourself safe by this age. Guess we'll have to work on that, Adrianne." It was Michael. And his head was bleeding. "Things like this wouldn't happen if you would just stay out of trouble! I've known you for a little over a half hour and you've almost got me killed!" I reached to help him, but he stepped away.
"We need to get you to a hospital, Michael." I said, worry clouding my thoughts.
"Nah, it's not as bad as it looks. Any cut on the forehead draws a lot of blood. I'll just go get this cleaned off. It'll be fine." Still in shock, I watched as he took a cloth from his pocket and wiped the blood from his face. "See? Already healing up." It was no longer bleeding, but I could see the spot he had been cut. Not a very bit opening at all. "Now, get home Adrianne. I don't have time for this." And so I did. and I didn't get a moment of sleep without him in it. Everything started out as a nightmare, but he saved me from each one. And I began to love those nightmares because of it.
I was getting drunk off him saving me, if that makes any sense. I was addicted to the man with the hoodie. And I liked it way too much for it to be natural.