Chapter 5: New York
The next week was hectic. Everyone was excited about the trip and for many of them, especially the girls, packing was the most important thing on their minds. Will, who had packed the majority of the things he would need already, was relaxing at Becky's place. He was rather amused with how frantic Savanna was, trying to get all her packing done.
"Savanna, relax," he laughed to himself. "We still have four days before our flight leaves." Savanna looked at him with annoyance, this was maybe the fifth time he had said something like this in the past few days.
"Easy for you to say," she snapped. "It takes me a month to decide what to take, let alone get it all packed." She returned to her work, shoving some more clothing into her suitcase. Will shook his head slowly.
"It's not like when we left from college," he said. "You're not taking everything with you."
"Oh Will, leave her alone," said Becky who was cuddled up next to him on the couch. "She isn't a boy and us girls need a few more things. I mean you want us to be pretty right?" Will chuckled to himself and smiled.
He looked at Becky lovingly but then once he did he felt this nagging sense of doubt. Ever since the accident, she had seemed off, more distant. He felt that she was hiding something from him. She returned his smile and then Will saw it. In her eyes was a flicker of sadness. But as soon as Will noticed it, it was gone. He wondered if he'd even seen it at all.
"Hey guys, what's up?" Savanna jumped five feet in the air and made everyone laugh, she was a very jumpy person. Will looked over and saw that Sarah had come home, no one had heard her walk in. She was laughing at Savanna at that moment.
"Sheesh Sarah, warn a girl next time," said Savanna. She sounded angry but Will could see the playfulness in her eyes. She smiled at Sarah playfully and began to walk toward her, fingers extended. "I guess I just have to get you back." She charged Sarah and began to tickle her. Sarah in turn spun around and ran for Rachel's room.
"Sarah, wha-ahhh!" Will could distinctly hear Rachel's tone of surprise. This was normal practice. If one girl were to begin tickling the other, the victim would go and hide behind one of the others. However, the result would usually be a tickle war.
"What? A war without me?" Leah's voice was heard as she joined the fray. Soon, laughter and screams of delight could be heard from the living room. Will and Becky hadn't moved from their spot but were laughing all the same. Becky laid her head on Will's shoulder, sighing as the laughing fit subsided. Will squeezed her shoulder gently and gave her a kiss on her head. Will sighed to himself and looked at the woman he loved so much. Yet, that nagging doubt was still lingering. There was no better time than now to ask her so Will pressed on.
"Becky, I have a question," he began.
"Yes hon?" she asked.
"Has something been bothering you lately? You seem...distant." Once he asked, Becky tensed up. This confirmed all that Will needed to know. Becky in turn was scared now. He asked the question she wished he'd never ask. She couldn't lie to him but yet she couldn't tell him either. After a few seconds of thought she came to a decision.
"Yes Will, something has been bothering me," she said, somewhat relieved to let him in a little on the secret. Will nodded in reply.
"Well, what's going on? Maybe I can help." He was somewhat surprised, she never hid anything from him. Becky just sighed and shook her head.
"I can't Will," she said. He began to protest but she put a finger to his lips, cutting him off. "It's not that I don't want to, it's that I don't completely understand it myself. I want to figure a few things out before I share it with you." Will felt a little put out. He hung his head in defeat and an awkward silence fell between them. Becky hurt to see him like this. She had told him as much as she could. Before any time elapsed Will's phone went off. He quickly answered, thankful for something to do.
"Hello," he said. Nash's voice could be easily heard on the phone, but not enough that Becky could really understand. "I'm just over at Becky's. Yeah, most of my stuff is packed. Alright, I'll be there soon." He hung up and stood up from the couch. "Well Becky, I need to go. I'll see you tomorrow for lunch." He smiled at her and she hugged him tight.
"I love you Will."
"I love you too." He grabbed his fedora, that silly hat that he loved so much, and walked out the door.
Becky watched Will's car as it backed out and kept watching it until it turned a corner and was out of sight. She sighed to herself and fondled the locket that Will had given her. She opened it, gazed fondly at the picture inside and frowned. This secret was starting to eat her alive. She had no clue how much longer she could keep it.
"You okay Bek?" Sarah had walked up behind her and was staring at her with concern. She shook her head and began to cry.
"No Sarah, I'm not," she sobbed. "He has noticed that I'm keeping things from him and began to ask me questions. Even though I know I didn't, I felt like I lied to him and the hurt in his eyes almost made me slip. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up." Sarah hugged her gently and Becky cried into her arms.
"What's wrong?" asked Leah. She and the others had come out of the room. Becky, too choked up by her tears couldn't answer.
"Will asked questions," replied Sarah. "Rachel, does she really have to keep this from him? I mean what harm can it do?"
"It can do a lot of harm," she answered. "What if Will thinks she is crazy? It could destroy the relationship. Not only that, but the shobijin told us to not reveal this to the world yet. Not until our enemies reveal themselves more openly. She will be able to tell him soon, I'm sure of it." Her words were not the most comforting but yet they did seem to calm Becky down a little. She wiped away her tears and sat on the floor. She took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Once she did she looked at the girls around her.
"If nothing happens on this trip, I'm telling him when we get back." The girls began to tell her many reasons for why this was a bad idea, but yet nothing could change her mind. "I've made up my mind. No matter how much you guys say that it's a bad idea, it's a worse idea to keep this from Will. I'm telling him and there is nothing you can do about it." The girls stared at her and Rachel nodded her head in assent.
"Alright, that seems logical. If nothing happens, tell him when you get back, but only then." Becky, happy that they had relented, hugged each of the girls tightly. She now felt relieved, she would finally be free of this secret for good.
"Come on guys, the others will be here at any minute," said Anthony. Will hurried and made sure everything was together. Then he ran out with his suitcase with a book under his arm. Nash, Sam, and Anthony were in the living room, their luggage at the door. The flight was scheduled to leave in three hours and everyone was meeting at their apartment to travel to the airport. Of course, Will suspected that everyone would be late so he had told them to meet there thirty minutes before he really wanted to leave. He hoped though that the excitement of the trip would help them to hurry. He was not disappointed.
Around eleven o'clock people began to arrive. Becky and her roommates drove up first, followed closely by Kelton, Gavin, Hans, and Daniel in a monster of a van. Ten minutes later, Jana came in her big van with Chey, David, Dallas and John. Not far behind them were Harley, Keith, and Gabe. The gang had all arrived close to on time. Soon, a few parents came to take the cars back
Next came the hassle of loading everything up and choosing which cars they were to go in. Very soon, everything was ready. They headed for the airport, a different one than the one where Becky had her accident, and arrived their within thirty minutes. Soon they were standing at the terminal to New York. Hugs were exchanged with parents, tickets were scanned, and soon they were all safely on board.
The flight was a relatively boring affair. They all had seats that were close to each other and chatting ensued. A few of them, such as Will, Nash, and Anthony, fell asleep. Savanna and Leah were knitting in their seats and Rachel was reading a book. It took them about three hours before they reached their destination.
New York was a big place. Towering skyscrapers surrounded them and shops were everywhere. However, they didn't stay to look at the city. They first went to their hotel. It was an impressive thing, this part of the trip had been paid for by the Rogers exclusively. Will gazed up at the building and let out a long whistle.
"Remind me to say thank you to your dad again when we get back," he said to Gavin who was beside him. They made their way into the building and checked in. They all got rooms on the same floor and took their separate ways for the moment. Will, Nash, Anthony and Sam settled themselves into their room and laid their luggage on the beds. Will stretched and plopped into a chair.
"So, what should we do first?" he asked the others.
"I don't know about y'all but I'm staying in here and taking a nap," replied Anthony.
"I'm just going to relax in the lobby for a bit," said Nash.
"Me too," said Sam. "It's too late to really do anything in the city. And besides, we have at least two weeks here. No need to rush anything. Will nodded in agreement.
"Maybe Becky and I will just relax as well," he thought. "Perhaps we'll go to the pool downstairs, I haven't been swimming in what feels like a lifetime and I don't think she has either." Will and Becky loved the water. They were definitely the best swimmers out of all of them, often being called fish by every one else. Ever since they graduated college, they had very few opportunities to really go swimming. Now they were on vacation, with an indoor pool, for a whole two weeks. Of course she would jump at the opportunity.
The first week passed by, very relaxing. They would split into separate parties, each going to different sites in the city. Will spent the majority of his time with Becky, Nash, Anthony, Jana, Kelton, and his two siblings, Sarah and Sam. More often than not, they would all go together to the same attractions, with Kelton sometimes drifting off to hang with Keith, Harley, and Gabe. They toured the Museum of Natural History, walked through Central Park, went to the zoo there and many more. Becky wished to see the Statue of Liberty but Will insisted on saving that until later. He had now gotten an idea in his head.
The second week there was much more laid back. They spent a whole lot of time lounging in their hotel. Will at this moment was shooting pool in one of the back rooms with Nash, Anthony, and Harley.
"I've decided on what I'm going to do," Will announced. The others did not need any clarifying on what he meant.
"What's the plan then?" asked Harley. He shot another striped ball into a corner pocket.
"You know how I asked Becky to wait on going to the Statue of Liberty?" Will asked as Harley lined up his next shot. "Well, I'm going to propose there, at the highest point in the statue we can go. Very romantic I think." The other three men looked at him and smiled, nodding.
"A very...you thing to do," replied Anthony, excitement was clear on his face. "I'm so excited. Finally you two will be engaged, after all this time." Anthony is the one who had actually set them up and had been looking forward to this for a long time. Though the two of them had known each other since Will was three and she was one, both of them had either not even thought about dating the other, as was the case with Will, or were too nervous to say anything. Anthony had given them both that push they needed. Now Will was very close to proposing to her and of course Anthony would be excited to see the fruits of his labor.
"When are you going to ask?" asked Nash. "We have, what, three more days until our flight leaves?" Nash stared at the man who had been his best friend all his life. Through out this entire time Nash had been at his side. Will had dated many women, all of which fell through. Nash had been his wing man, offering advice whenever needed and watching the relationships to insure they stayed on the path they needed to. It was Nash who had seen the problems and warned Will about them, to watch out. Each time, he had been right and saved Will from a life of heartache. This was the one girl who he found nothing wrong with and he had to give Anthony props, only he was able to find the girl who was right for Will.
"Tomorrow," Will replied. I've looked at the times and there is a ferry that will get us to the island close to sunset. Once we reach the highest point, I'll pop the question." Will was nervous beyond belief. This was going to be a turning point in his life. Yet, he felt at peace. This was what he had wanted his whole life, to find a girl that he could spend the rest of his life with. Now that he had, he felt scared, excited, and sick all at the same time. This was the moment he had been waiting for.
"Well, I bet she won't be expecting that," said Harley. It was hard for him to hide his own excitement. He had been friends, best friends, with Becky his entire life. When he and Will were little, he'd often talk about her and say how awesome she was. In fact, he'd at one point thought about dating her himself. However, he didn't think that would be the best thing, best friend relationships didn't always work out. Now that she was marrying his cousin, he couldn't help but be happy. She would still be a member of his family after all.
"I hope not," said Will. "I thought she would have once I asked her to hold off on Ellis Island but fingers crossed. Let's hope it's a surprise."
"Hey, let's go out for a night on the town, just us and Kelton," suggested Nash. "We need to celebrate. Not only that, but you need to go over with us what you're going to do. This is something no one should butcher."
"Ah, I can't," said Anthony. "Jana and I had dinner reservations for this pizza place downtown. You'll just have to tell me about it when you've finished."
"Yeah, I can't make it either, nor can Kelton," said Harley. "We, along with Keith and Gabe, had plans to go to this reptile store we heard about."
Well then, I guess it's just you and me Will," said Nash. "But then, I'm the one you usually practiced with anyway aren't I." He smiled at Will. In truth, this is what Will would have preferred. He was uncomfortable practicing anything in front of anyone. Nash, Becky, Sarah, and Rachel were the only ones who had seen his works in progress.
"Alright," Will responded. "I'll just tell Becky that you and I are just going to have a bro night tonight. How about we meet in the lobby in about two hours?"
"You got it. Now, let's beat these two nubes."
A few hours later, Will and Nash were walking out of a nice Italian restaurant that had just opened on Broadway. Will stretched and let out a huge sigh. He loved Italian food and always enjoyed eating at one of these. This one was particularly good, so good in fact that he thought it just might rival his favorite restaurant, Olive Garden. Instead of calling a cab, like most people would at night, the two of them began to walk down the street taking in the sights and smells along the way, who knew when they would get this opportunity again.
"Well, your plan seems good enough," said Nash. "It sounds very romantic and I think Becky will love it." Will smiled at his friends praise. Nash only said something was good when he actually thought it was. He never was one to just make someone feel good, he said what they needed to hear.
"Thanks Nash," Will said. "I'm so nervous that I feel, even after all this practice, I'm still gonna butcher it." Nash looked at him and shook his head.
"Now Will, what have I told you about an attitude like that?" he asked. Will sighed to himself, he knew exactly what Nash always said.
"If I have that attitude going in, I am going to mess up." He quoted Nash perfectly. They often had these types of conversations, especially when it came to women.
"That's right. Be confident. Isn't that what got you this far?" He patted Will on the shoulder gently "You will do fine." They continued on their walk.
After a little ways, they found themselves outside a knife store. Nash had a huge collection back at the apartment and many of Will's own weapons came from him. They stared at the knives in the window admiring the designs on the handles and the shapes they were carved into.
"Let's go in here," Nash said excitedly. Will nodded his head in agreement. As he reached for the door the ground suddenly shook. He and Nash both stopped. Will was confused, earthquakes didn't happen in New York. However, when he looked at Nash to see if he had felt it, he was surprised to see that Nash was standing stock still, as if concentrating. He had felt the tremor but he acted as if he recognized it.
A few seconds later, another tremor ran through the ground. At this, Nash's face became one of horror. Now, Will was truly scared. Nash knew exactly what this was and it scared him. The tremors came in rapid succession. Now they felt like footsteps, giant, stomping footsteps. After each step, they shook the ground harder, as if it, whatever it was, was getting closer to them. Nash looked behind Will and his face was frozen in horror. Will cautiously turned around too and what he saw nearly made him scream in fright. Right in front of him was Space Godzilla.