...................... Alfie was talking to the Col and Chad. The Col got up and walked to the end of the row of Marines and spoke to two of them. Both immediately getting up and going to where the cargo was secured and pulled out two of the guitar cases one I knew was Alfie’s the other was Chad’s baby that was always with him in the bus and on each flight we’d been on. The Marines walked back down the plane and handed over the guitar cases.
“Hey Chris” Chad looked down the line at me “You want to do some in-flight entertainment”
“Sure” I nodded I undid my seatbelt and got up thank god I hadn’t worn heels or I would have been on my ass. Pete was still sound asleep Lukas got up and walked toward me. “This your idea?” I smiled
“Nope all Alfie” he shrugged “And don’t be embarrassed about the photo shoot you did Chris wait till you see the pictures”
“Okay I trust you” I groaned I staggered a little as we hit a small pocket of turbulence
“Careful Ma’am” I felt a hand on my arm Ryder had stopped me falling
“Thank you” I smiled
Hey stop hitting on the Marines and get your ass over here” Alfie laughed I turned beet red and walked toward them
“I take it none of these guys have seen any news reports about us” Chad laughed as I sat down
“I don’t’ know” I shrugged “But I think we’re well away from the paparazzi with these guys”
“True” Chad nodded “So pick a song”
“Me you dragged me down here” I laughed
“Okay Missy you asked for it” he leant into Alfie and said something to him Alfie looked at me and shook his head
“I swear to good you two are going to get in trouble at some point”
“What?” I wrinkled my nose I’d never thought ‘Figured you out’ could be done acoustical but Chad and Alfie were doing it right here 38,000 feet in the air on a USAF plane with a heap of Marines laughing
“Are you kidding” I mouthed to Chad he smiled and shook his head as he sang. I pushed my tongue into my cheek and looked round at the others Ryan looked up and pretended to whistle. “Come on you have to help me out” I nudged him
“Fine” he nodded wait till dumb and dumber are done and I’ll use Alfie’s guitar” he nodded “you know Animals?” I just looked at him “Okay stupid question” he chuckled Alfie and Chad finished to clapping and whistling Mike got up “No. no. no “ he held up his hands “Duel. it’s Chris’s turn and considering you dumped me to play with him” he pointed to a laughing Alfie “May I?” He held his hand out to Alfie for his guitar. Alfie smiled and handed it off. “I’m with Chris”
“I’ll let your wife know” Chad grinned
“Dork” Ryan rolled his eyes the plane went silent again apart from the drone of the engines. Chad leant on his guitar as Ryan started to play. I started to sing this was fun the faces of the Marines watching that were when we got on nervous if not a little scared for what lay ahead for now was changed to laughing and smiling as we took their minds off where we were heading, to me that was us doing what we were supposed to. I got to the end of the song and high fived Ryan while the Marines cheered and whistled.
“Col I think we need a decision on the winner” Mike Looked down to the Col.
“Oh to close to call because on one hand my wife would kill me and on the other my kids and I think all the men on this plane will throw me out” he chuckled. “So call it a draw”
“Fair enough” Chad nodded offering me his hand to shake I took it and laughed.
“Excuse me Col do you have a favorite Nickelback song?” I smiled
“Yeah actually I do”
“Oh god no” Ryder groaned and pu his helmet over his face
“Go one what is it Chad smiled tell us and well do it?”
“Well considering my son is about to crawl up his own ass I’ll not use the one I I sing to his mother” the Marines were laughing and the back of Ryder’s neck was beat red. And his friend either side of him were nudging him and laughing.
“You sing Col” Dan called down the plane Ryder’s head shot up
“Yes he does really well” The Col looked at him as if he was going to kill him. I looked at Chad he shrugged and smiled
“You want to sing with us?” Chad offered the Col looked shell shocked and the Marines started clapping and cheering.
“Come on we don’t bite and Chad’s up to date with his shots anyway” I looked over my shoulder at him as I walked to the Col and pulled him back to where we were.
“I’ll get you back” Chad poked me in the ribs “you play?” he offered the guitar to the Col I heard the intake of breath from all the band
“I do” The Col nodded “Are you sure?” Chad nodded The Col took it “Wow I’m nervous”
“As bad as going to Great Grandma’s?’ Ryder called out
“Okay now she does terrify the crap out of every Marine walking” The Col laughed “So no this isn’t so bad”
“Pick a song” Chad nudged him
“Er… Far away” some Marines looked down it was a song used a lot by military families when they were deployed
“Far away it is” Chad looked at me “like on stage a while back” I nodded.
I leant my arm on Chad’s knee as the Col started to play. Chad started to sing along with the Col I joined in when it got to the chorus I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up being here made this song so much more. Chad stopped singing letting me do the second verse and then joining back in with the chorus. By the time the song ended there were grown men with tears in their eyes and a few with pictures out looking at them.
“Thank you” the Col cleared his throat “That was incredibly”
“We should be the ones thanking you guys” Dan added “We’re doing what we do best and it’s nothing compared to what you guys all do”
“You love your jobs” The Col smiled watching as we nodded “We do what we do because we love it as well” He handed Chad his guitar and watched as he put it in the case “I’ll get these stored away safely for you her took them back to the Marines that had gotten them out and returned to his seat I sat back Ryder and his friends were looking at the flip camera he had in his hand I guess they’d just filmed what had gone on.
“You okay?’ Chad nudged me
“Yeah. This is surreal” he nodded “I can’t wait to put on a show every night but there’s something about doing it for these sort of guys that make me want to do even better than normal”
“Do what you do every night and they’ll love you for it” he sighed resting his head on mine “You tired?” I nodded
‘Yeah but how the hell do these guys sleep on these seats”
“I know” Chad moved so he was side on and put his arm round me, I put my head on his shoulder “Lets try to get some sleep at least” I listened to the drone of the plane and the mumble of the few people who weren’t settling down to sleep. I was in love, I was truly and deeply in love…….
…… with being able to do what I was doing.