Waiting in the Ticket Line

Waiting in the Ticket Line

A Chapter by AshMack

Two hours later and I find myself still standing in line to secure our tickets. Maybe this is my brains last-ditch effort to stop me from making a bad decision. I mean here I am with a beautiful girl standing beside me and I can’t seem to focus any of my attention on her. Why is this so hard for me? I mean you don’t even know who I am.

“Hey Taylor”

“Yeah Shan”

“Do you even like Morgan Scott anymore?” Shannon asked. I stepped back a little stunned.

“Sure I do, why would you ask that”

“Well I remember when we first started dating you seemed to like her music just as much as I did, but ever since our first concert you never really mentioned her again”.

“Oh. I guess I’ve just grown out of her music,” I told her.

“Really? I mean she’s only gotten bigger since we first saw her”

“I mean yeah, sometimes your taste in people just change” I replied. I tried to take a step forward as the line moved a little but Shannon stopped me.

“Is that the real reason you didn’t want to go to this?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well I mean if you don’t like her music I can see how you would think it was a waste of time”. If only Shannon really knew it was the complete opposite. Even if we didn’t go, I think I would’ve tried to find a way to catch a glimpse of you before you left town. I paused trying to think of a response but nothing was coming to mind.

“Next in line” I hear. Talk about being saved by the bell.

“Two tickets for the Morgan Scott concert” I hear Shannon say.

“I think I can make one of those free for a girl like you” The cashier responds.

“A girl like me” I hear Shan start. “Excuse me, do you not see that the two of us are together” I jumped in.

“No actually I didn’t. I’ve been watching the two of you in line wondering if I had a shot with her and by the looks of it she deserves someone who can give her a little more attention” The cashier responded with a sly grin.

“What’s your name?” I said

“What?” The cashier asked

“I said what the hell is your name” “Babe” Shannon tried to say to me quietly.

“It’s Riley”

“Well Riley, you can take that free ticket and shove it up your a*s because I’ll go buy a real one from someone who has the respect to stay away from my girlfriend”.

“Let’s go” I hear Shannon say as she pulls me away from the booth. “I can’t believe that” I say.

“Hey wait” I hear Riley call from behind me. Shannon and I both turned around, “See you at the concert” Riley said with that same s**t-eating grin.

“That’s it” I started walking back to the booth. Shannon pulled on my arm again. “Taylor enough”.

“Enough” I turned to her with fire in my eyes.

“Yes enough, I don’t want to cause anymore of a scene than we already have.

“You can’t possibly be taking “Riley’s” I said in disgust, side”.

“I’m not taking anyone’s side and we’re done discussing it”. I just stared at her in shock, went to the next booth, ordered two tickets, and walked away leaving her behind. I went and sat in my car just waiting for her to get inside with me. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long. I heard the door open just anticipating her to start yelling at me again but she didn’t. I looked at her for a few moments then put the car in drive. We were supposed to be meeting our friends Shane and Erica at the little diner around the block from my dorm. I really didn’t want to walk into the restaurant with Shan mad at me so I spoke up.

“Shan,” no response. “Listen” I sighed “ I didn’t meant to embarrass you if that’s what I did I just didn’t like the idea that someone would openly flirt with you like that”, still no response. “Baby please” that’s all I got out of my mouth before she did what I least expected. She kissed me. And not the kind of kiss like we had grown accustomed to in the last three years. No, she kissed me like it was the first time. I remember our first kiss so clearly because I had wanted to kiss her for a while but was too scared to make the first move. We had tried to go see this new scary movie that was just released in theaters. At the time we didn’t know that it was rated R, not like it really mattered because we were both 18. I don’t know if it was a joke or not but the usher asked us for our I.D. before we could see the movie. I mean we had already bought the tickets so I never would have guessed that they needed to verify our age afterwards. I rarely went anywhere without mine so it was no problem showing the usher mine. But Shannon had spent so much time getting ready for our date that she forgot to put her I.D. in her new purse when she switched it to match her outfit. The usher then informed us that we both had to have our I.D’s in order to see the movie. It made no sense to me but instead of fighting with them we just decided that we would go watch a different movie. I remember we walked into some movie that was filled with a bunch of little kids and I thought this couldn’t possibly get much worse but Shannon turned over to me and said, “15 minutes”. I didn’t know what she meant by that, but I soon found out 15 minutes later when she grabbed my hand and led me back to the hallway. “What are you doing?” I recall asking. “Just be quiet,” she said.

Two seconds later I found myself being pulled through the door of the movie we originally came to watch. Now normally I wouldn’t have freaked out like I did but I knew the usher would remember us from before. So naturally I started talking really loudly about how we shouldn’t be in there. And that’s when it happened. One moment I was panicking about something so trivial and the next I was being kissed for the first time. I never told Shannon it was my first kiss because how embarrassing would that have been for me. There’s a good chance she knew though because I’m sure I wasn’t very good at it. But she was. When she pulled back from my lips with her hand still rested on the top of my neck just under my chin I knew she was the one. Not the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, no. The one that I knew would be able to take my mind off you Morgan. And she did. For three years, aside from a couple relapses like our trip to your concert, Shannon was all I felt I needed in my life. But then you came back. Why did you have to come back?

I finally opened my eyes after my little trip down memory lane. Shannon was staring at me with a slight smirk.

“What were you just thinking about?” she asked.

“Our first kiss” I blurted out.

“Yeah” she smiled.

“Yeah” I replied.

“What about it?”

“Just about how perfect I thought it was”.

She leaned in placing her forehead against mine, and for the first time since I heard about the concert I felt like I could breath again. After a few minutes of silently appreciating each other I pulled back and started the car. The only noise heard on the trip to the diner was the whispered lyrics that came out of Shannon’s mouth. It was soothing in a way I didn’t know I had been missing. I was so thankful that this time it was her voice that was providing me comfort and not yours Morgan.

We arrived at the diner in no time at all. I got out of the car and ran over to open the door for Shannon. She looked up at me, shook her head slightly, and stepped out of the car. I didn’t miss the little grin that took over her mouth, and it felt incredible to be the reason for it. We continued on into the restaurant when I spotted Shane and Erica already at a booth. I chuckled silently to myself at how close they were sitting. Shane had the biggest crush on Erica, but she only ever showed interest in him when she needed to get guys away from her at a party or the bar. Shannon must have been thinking the same thing because she bumped hands with me and gave me this look like “leave them alone”. Now, Shane was one of the best friends that I had made since I started University. We were paired up in one of those get to know your classmate exercises during orientation weekend at our school. We found common ground discussing how ridiculous we thought it was to force people to come together. In retrospect it wasn’t a ridiculous thought because I might not have met Shane any other way. We actually share a lot of the same interests, but I’m more of a stay at my dorm person while he’s more of a party all night barely make it back to your dorm kind of person. He has also been a big provider of support during my ongoing relationship with Shannon. Shan as you might have guessed, enjoys going out as much as possible. Not in an irresponsible way, but she has this fear that if she spends anytime alone she’ll regret it years down the road. It didn’t take me long to warm up to the party scene though when I got to walk in with a best friend on one side and a beautiful girl on the other.

As for Erica, we have a love/hate relationship. Love in the sense that she’s been there for me a lot over the last 3 years. Hate in the sense that I don’t appreciate her stringing my best friend along. Shannon always has to remind me that it’s not our relationship to get involved in. That’s easier for her to say though, because she doesn’t understand the pain that comes along with unrequited love.

“Hey you two”, Erica says as we sit down across from them.

“What took you so long?” Shane asks.

“Oh we were just waiting in line for over two hours to get tickets to the concert” Shannon states.

“Oh good you are going,” Erica says. “Shane said he would only go if the two of you went too”. “I already got the tickets and told him we were going either way, but thank god you got them too. Now I wont have to deal with his miserable a*s pretending he doesn’t like her music”.

“Wait”, I started, “So you two were planning to go to this together”

“Yeah” Shane says.

“Just the two of you?” I ask.

“Yeah what’s wrong with that?” Shane questions.

“Nothing nothing, just happy to see you two communicating so well together”, I replied with a smirk.

“Why do you have to be such an a*s?” Shane asks as he tries to cover his blush. I send him a subtle wink as the waitress comes over to take our order. Everything at dinner goes rather smoothly. It’s always nice when the four of us go out together because I know our time together is limited. I was also very happy to notice that talks of the concert had died down. I had just gotten back to a good place with Shannon and I desperately needed to keep things this way between us. After a few hours together we decided that we should part ways. We had all agreed on a place to meet inside the stadium on Saturday so I was starting to feel a little better about the situation as a whole. Shannon also seemed to be in a very good mood so I decided to take advantage of it and continue on with a little date of our own.

On one of our very first dates I took her down to one of the famous parks in the city. Now the transition for me to go to school from Pennsylvania to New York wasn’t much of a difference. I was used to the fall foliage, but Shannon is from California so she always talked about how it was so beautiful during the autumn months. We spent most of the day just sitting on a bench not even looking at the leaves but getting to know each other better. I remember when the sun died down she said the leaves weren’t worth the temperature. I guess you can’t take the California out of the girl right. But I thought she would appreciate my gesture, so even though it was only 52 degrees I drove us there anyway.

I was wordlessly watching her as we got closer to the park. It hadn’t dawned on me until now that we had stopped doing these little things together. I mean sure we spent time alone, but the moments where we just stopped to talk about everything and nothing were few and far between. I watched her eyes light up as I pulled into a parking spot.

“You know,” she started, “I just might start making you sleep alone more often if this is the treatment I get the next day”.

“Like hell you will,” I demanded. “Speaking of that though, I do need to apologize to you in person”. She just stared at me for a moment, “I’m waiting”. I laughed, “like I said in my message last night, what we have isn’t a waste of time and I’m sorry if I ever made you feel like it was.

“Hmm, I guess I can forgive you on account of me feeling the same way”.

“Wait, what?” I replied.

“Well you said that you were anxious of what the future might hold between us. Truth is, I am too. I just didn’t want to bring it up in case you weren’t feeling the same thing”. I took her hand and led her to a bench just under the tree we first carved our names in.

 “Don’t be silly”, I began, “you know you can talk to me about anything”.

“I do know that, but at the same time I’m afraid that if I talk about it, it makes it all the more real that our lives are about to change drastically after this year”.

I sighed, “I know; but now that it’s out in the open we can work on our future together”.

“Are you saying that you want a future with me?” Shannon asked.

“I’m saying that I want to be included in all future decisions regarding what’s best for the both of us”.



“Is that a yes or a no?”

I shook my head, “it’s a yes”. We sat quietly for a few moments before Shannon spoke up again.

“So why did you take me here?” she asked.

“I just thought it would be nice to take us back to the beginning. I mean that is the theme of the whole week right?”

Shannon smiled shyly. “Remember when we carved our names in that tree behind us? You were so embarrassed” she laughed.

“Of course I was embarrassed, people don’t do things like that anymore. Not to mention this is a sacred park and I didn’t want to be tampering with it”. Shannon rolled her eyes.

“Sometimes you are such a spaz”.

“I am not a spaz”. I retaliated

“Oh you’re not?”

“No I’m not, and stop looking at me like that”

“Like what?”

“Like I’m some kind of wimp”

“Well I can name a few instances where you acted a bit wimpy. The tree carving being one of them” she replied.

“Okay fine you don’t think I’m tough, watch this”. As soon as those words left my mouth I knew I had made the wrong decision. I started climbing up the tree to add on to our carving from 3 years back. Apparently I had gained some weight since then or the tree wasn’t ageing very well because it certainly didn’t take long for the branch I was standing on to snap. Maybe I was being a little dramatic, but you know those moments where your life flashes before your eyes, yeah that just happened to me. I landed on the ground with a solid thud. Branch is one hand, knife in the other.

“I’m think I’m dead,” I told Shannon. I especially thought I had died when I didn’t hear her say anything for a few moments. Then all of a sudden there was this burst of cackling.

“Oh my god, oh my god” she said as she was doubled over in hysterics. “You can’t even make that up,” she continued. Now I would have felt embarrassed if it wasn’t for the fact that I was too certain I wouldn’t be able to stand up on my own.

“While I am happy that I have fueled your laughter, I would really appreciate if you helped me up,” I told Shan.

“Yep just give me a minute. I have to take a picture of this real quick”

“SHANNON” I screamed “you better put that damn phone down and help me up or your walking back to the dorm”.

“I don’t know how you expected that to be a serious threat when you cant even stand up on your own” she retorted.

“HEY” I hear from the background. We both looked up to see a patrolman headed our way.

“Oh s**t” I cowered. “Shannon this is no joke now you better help me the f**k up”. She continued laughing. “Shannon I am serious that guy is coming over to take us to prison. I’m not cut out for prison”, I expressed. At this point I would have let Shannon take the blame because she was definitely not helping me get up. Instead she continued to hold her hand over her mouth while she recorded me. I spent a few minutes spinning myself in circles on the ground before I regained the feeling back in my legs. And I’m not afraid to admit that I got up and started running while I left Shannon standing there in shock.

“HEY WAIT,” I heard Shan and the patrolman simultaneously yell. The hell with them I thought. I said I was too young for prison. A couple steps later I felt a tug at my right arm. Thankfully it was just Shannon and she proceeded to pull me back to our car. She must have suspected I wasn’t in the right mindset to drive because she shoved me in the passenger seat before sliding over to the driver’s side and speeding off. While I sat there momentarily taking in what I just experienced I hear…

“That was f*****g awesome”. I looked at Shannon with my eyes as big as saucers.

“Are you out of your damn mind?” I questioned. “Are you aware that we could get in a lot of trouble for dismantling that tree”.

“I’m aware that you could yes. I was just an innocent bystander”.

“SHANNON” I yelled again.

“What” she laughed again.

“You’re willing to let me take all the blame?”

“Well I wasn’t the one who decided to play King Kong on the tree so yeah, you’re on your own bub”.

“Three years”, I started. “This is the thanks I get for dedicating three years of my life to you”. “Unbelievable”, I said as I threw my hands up. I silently fumed in the passenger seat as I saw Shannon try to control her amusement out of the corner of my eye. Once she pulled back into the parking lot of my dorm she stopped the car and just sat there. She had her lip rolled back in between her teeth and as I looked at the joy on her face I had no choice but to laugh too.

“Story of my life right? I said between my fit of giggles.

“You really know how to impress a woman Taylor”. Shannon said as she took my hand and looked at me. “Did you get hurt?”

“Oh, now you care about my wellbeing”, I said.

“You are such a child”, she said as she leaned in to kiss my pout away.

“Well don’t expect me to call you mommy because that’s disgusting”.

“Taylor” she exclaimed as she slapped my shoulder. I grinned and leaned in for another kiss.

“Let’s just get you inside and out of those clothes”.

“Excuse me”, I said.

“Not like that” she began, “Your back is covered in mud”.

“Oh” I said as redness tinted my cheek.

She huffed, “Come on you little wimp”. I stood there in protest before I eventually shook my head and followed her inside.

After a few more playful arguments on whether I was seriously injured, we both ended up settling down on the couch. Her head on my chest with one hand loosely intertwined with my own. I had simultaneously brought my other hand to the back of her head slowly tangling my fingers through her hair.

“Today was a good day”, Shan said. I raised one eyebrow up at her.

“Define good”, I stated.

“Okay minus your little tree mishap tell me you didn’t have a nice time today”. I thought for a moment. She was looking at me waiting for me to confirm that she was right.

“Yeah,” I said. “Today was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time”.

She leaned up into me placing a brief kiss on my lips before she set her head back down on my chest and return her attention to the T.V. I continued to stare at her just admiring the fact that she choose to be with me after all these years.

Apparently our trip to the park had taken its toll on Shannon because it wasn’t long after that I heard her quietly snoring. I was wide-awake, so I decided to change the channel to something a little more entertaining. But entertaining doesn’t even begin to describe the new image on my screen. Silly me for thinking that I could go one whole day without you invading my thoughts.

“We’re live with Morgan Scott” “Morgan can you tell us how it feels to be back so close to your hometown”.

“It feels...” she paused. I don’t know if the reporter or myself was more anxious to hear her next words.

“It feels incomplete”

“Incomplete. Just what do you mean by that?” the reporter questioned. I tried to sit up slightly so I could get closer to the T.V.

“I mean I left this town before I was able to foster any real relationships, so it doesn’t have the impact on me like a normal hometown would”.

“So are you saying that there’s a different place that you consider your hometown?”

“No. I’m just saying that I wish I had more people to come back too”. I see a gentleman in a suit walk up to Morgan and whisper in her ear that it’s time to go. She politely excuses herself from the media and walks off screen. The reporter comes back on a little stunned from the previous conversation.

“In classic Morgan Scott style, we are left to decipher what’s really going on in that intricate mind of hers. If you were fortunate enough to know Morgan before her transition to super stardom you should check her out this Saturday. It seems that she could use a little familiarity. Don’t forget, doors open at 7pm”.

I quickly shut off the TV with a slight huff. My movement caused Shannon to stir and she looked up at me tiredly as she asked what was going on.

“Nothing” I replied with. “Just a stupid infomercial on how to lose weight fast” I lied.

“Hmm” she mumbled. “Can we go to bed?” she asked through half-lidded eyes.

“Yeah babe, let’s go”.

I had to force myself to go to sleep that night. I couldn’t help but think about how you thought this place was incomplete. I mean I knew you had a tough time growing up in Pennsylvania. I guess I just thought that would mean you would say that you didn’t want to be back here. You made it seem like there were people that you needed to explain yourself to. Then I remembered what the DJ said on the radio the other night. I don’t know how I let this slip my mind. Of course you had unfinished conversations to attend to. I mean you’re number one song is about the “special someone” you missed out on. Just add this to another night wasted on hopeless thoughts of you.


© 2017 AshMack

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Added on February 17, 2017
Last Updated on February 17, 2017



Fort Worth, TX