Chapter 25: Reaction
It was dark when Adam opened his eyes hours later, realizing he had fallen asleep in his anger over Tanya's departure. He shifted his head sleepily on his pillow, feeling spots still damp from where his tears had fallen. Adam couldn't believe he had actually cried over a girl.
But then again, to him Tanya wasn't just some girl. Over the two years they had been together – first as rangers, then as friends and finally as a couple – Tanya had changed Adam and into a better man at that. Before Adam had met her, he had been reserved and timid to a fault. Adam had always been the person being pulled around by his more outgoing friends, in particular the vivacious Rocky and Aisha with whom he had tagged along with all his life.
Yet Tanya had helped Adam build his confidence and taught him to go after the things he wanted, especially the Angel Grove Kung Fu championship. Tanya had transformed Adam from a follower to a leader. Today Adam was the head coach of the Angel Grove High soccer team, and the star of the city's local stunt show. Tanya had shown him not to shy away from the spotlight and the attention that she knew he deserved. And in a weird way, Adam realized, it was seeing Tanya pursue a singing career that been part of his inspiration.
"What was I thinking telling Tanya to go piss off like that?" resented Adam to himself. "Yes, she shouldn't have waited until the last moment to tell me she was leaving, but she was just scarred of change. The way I used to be."
Adam had always been more of the worrywart between them two: worrying about Aisha's departure, worrying to tell Tanya that he liked her, worrying about winning the Kung Fu tournament, worrying about things over that stunt show. Yet while he may have acted bitter toward Tanya the last couple months, knowing she was leaving him to move across the country to record the album, Adam never genuinely worried for a second whether they would end up splitting. Their love for each other was the one aspect of his life he knew would never stray. Adam suddenly realized the usually so secure Tanya for once today needed to hear that reassurance from him.
"And I essentially pushed her away," groaned Adam to himself. "What was I thinking? Tanya!"
Adam grabbed his coat, the only thought in his head as he made his way to his car was making it to the airport in time to tell Tanya that he still and always would love her.
"This is the last boarding call for flight 24 to New York City. This is the last call."
"Come on, move it!" thought Adam desperately to himself, for once again agitatedly impatient as he pushed his through the airport crowd.
"I can't let you into the gate area without a ticket, Sir," Adam heard an airport officer say.
"Please, I'll only be a minute," Adam begged the official. "My girl is moving away, and I have to tell her one last time that I love her."
"I'm sorry, Sir," replied the cop. "There's no way I can…"
"Please!" implored Adam. "She's my one, and she has to know how much I care."
"But…" started the airport official.
"Aww, give the kid a break," piped up a traveler in the security line. "He just wants to tell the girl he loves her. Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!"
Adam's mouth dropped in astonishment as soon the entire security line had joined in chanting with the man. "Ok!" relented the airport official. "I'll let him go!"
Cheering resounded through the room as Adam, after giving a bashful wave of thanks to the crowd, made to dash off toward the gate area. However, a strong arm stopped Adam's movement and sent him reeling backwards. "BUT not before you go through security," added the cop.
Glancing at the clock as he walked back in frustration, Adam quickly moved through the security gateway. "I'm clear," said Adam anxiously as he checked the time. "NOW, can I go?"
"I need to ask you a few standard questions," replied the cop. "Are you traveling alone?"
"I'm not getting on a flight," responded Adam incredulously. "I'm just going to the gate for the New York flight to tell my girlfriend I love her."
"Has anyone else had access to your bags?" questioned the cop.
"I don't have any bags!" exploded Adam in exasperation. "Like I said, I'm not going anywhere."
"Are you carrying any dangerous objects," began the cop in an overly ominous tone. "Including but not limited to firearms, mase, plastic knives, water guns, rubber bands, miniature electric fans, paperback romance novels, Laughy Taffy candy, whoopee cushions…"
"Woopee cushions?" asked Adam in shock. "Since when are whoopee cushions dangerous… Wait, this is ridiculous. I'm running out of time! I've got to go!"
"Ok ok," acknowledged the security cop. "Go on now. Oh wait, son. One more thing."
"What?" sighed Adam as he spun around in annoyance.
"Go get her," smiled the official, giving Adam an encouraging thumb-up.
"Thanks," smiled Adam back before turning back and racing down the corridor toward the boarding gates. "This is it!" he thought to himself in excited anticipation. "I'm finally going to let Tanya know how much I really feel for her."
The next moment, Adam felt like all the air had been let out of him as he arrived and saw Tanya's plane pulling out from the gate.
"NO!" shouted Adam in anguish, not caring about the people around who were giving him strange looks. "No, no, no! Tanya!"
Pounding the glass hard, Adam dropped to his knees and buried his face in his hands in overwhelming despair. He never knew when the next time would be that he could hold her in her arms, see her shining smile, kiss her tender lips. The realization that Tanya was leaving for good finally hit Adam, causing tears to well up in his eyes again. Suddenly, Adam felt a soft hand comfortingly on his shaking shoulder. Adam turned around slowly; his watery eyes widening in surprise when he saw the familiar female in front of him.
"Adam…" began Aisha softly as Rocky came up beside her, also giving his friend a look of concern.
Floodgates finally opening, Adam collapsed into Aisha's waiting arms as he watched out the window Tanya's plane takeoff into the darkened sky.