...................... Alfie and Chad were talking to the Col the three of them looking like they were plotting something. 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 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 and undid my seatbelt “Thank god I didn’t wear heels or I would have been on my ass” I laughed. Lukas got up from his seat next to Chad for me to sit down. “Was this your idea?”
“Nope it was all Alfie” he shrugged he caught my arm “And don’t be embarrassed about the photo shoot you did Chris wait till you see the pictures it was worth it”
“Okay I trust you” He sat in the seat next to Pete and Dan, I staggered a little as we hit a small pocket of turbulence
“Careful Ma’am” I felt a hand on my arm, and Ryder grinned at me as he 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 next to him
“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 Chris, you asked for it” he leant into Alfie and said something to him. Alfie looked at me and shook his head
“I swear to God you two are going to get in trouble at some point” he sighed
“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 as Chad played it up to me. I looked around at Mike who closed his eyes and shook his head with a slight smile on his face. I looked back at Chad. “Are you kidding” I mouthed as he smiled and shook his head as he sang. I pushed my tongue into my cheek and looked back 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 I bent my head to hear him “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. Ryan 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” Ryan high fived me as he sat back down.
“I’ll let your wife know” Chad grinned
“Dork” Ryan rolled his eyes.
For a an aircraft filled with Marines if it fell almost 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 and hugged 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… way too 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 as he pulled me close and hugged me.
“Excuse me Col do you have a favorite Nickelback song?” I smiled as Chad let go of me
“Yeah actually I do” the Col grinned
“Oh god no” Ryder groaned and put his helmet over his face
“Go on what is it?” Chad smiled “tell us and well do it?”
“Well considering my son is about to crawl up his own ass ‘Next go round’ isn’t the best song to use unless it’s with my wife” the Marines were laughing and the back of Ryder’s neck was beet 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” he called out before anyone could say anything. The Col looked at him as if he was going to kill him. I looked at Chad he shrugged and smiled
“How about you sing with us?” Chad offered, the Col looked shell shocked until Marines started clapping and cheering around us.
“I… I...” he stammered as he looked from me to Chad and then at Ryder
“Come on we don’t bite… Chad’s up to date with his shots anyway if he gets a little excited” I looked over my shoulder at him as I walked to the Col and took his hand and pulled him back to where we were sitting.
“I’ll get you back for that one” Chad poked me in the ribs “you play?” he offered his guitar to the Col. I heard the intake of breath from both of the bands at him handing it over
“I do” The Col nodded “Are you sure?” Chad nodded The Col took it “Wow I’m nervous” he wiggled his fingers as if he was trying to get them to work properly
“As nervous as going to Great Grandma’s?’ Ryder called out, the Col Looked up at him and smiled a properly fatherly smile at Ryder
“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 I’d heard 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. Ryan moved next to the Col with Alfie’s guitar and the two of them began to play
I leant my arm on Chad’s knee as the music filled the cabin. 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 he put his arm around my shoulders as I started to sing the second verse and they joined 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 I swallowed hard the lump in my throat threatened to choke me. I felt Chad rub my neck I looked at him he just nodded at me telling me what we had just done was something above and beyond
“Thank you” the Col cleared his throat “That was incredible”
“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 right?” The Col smiled watching as we nodded “Well 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… and Thank you again for that” he 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, this was one I was hoping got put up on something like YouTube just to show what we did.
“You okay?’ Chad nudged me
“Yeah, this is just surreal” he nodded in agreement “I can’t wait to put on a show every night” I took a deep “but there’s something about doing it for these guys that make me want to do even better than normal”
“Just do what you do every night and they’ll love you for it” he sighed resting his head against mine head 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 had fallen in love when I didn’t expect to…….
…… with being able to do what I was doing.
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