October 21, 2007
By Brittany Whalen, Herndon, VA

The cold, dreary night tired me, but I knew I couldn’t just call my mother and ask her to hold off my birthday for yet another day. I would just sleep on the way there, seeing as how it would be a long journey to the Americas. I’d never been there before; after my mother moved there I never went to visit her. I barely had time to with my schooling. America seemed too crazy for me, but I needed my internship. When I stepped outside, the wind immediately dried my eyes, and the frigid cold froze my face. The alleys were quiet, the street lights just lighted up the sidewalk enough for me to get to the train station a few blocks down. I looked at my ticket and stumbled onto the train to find my seat quickly so I could fall asleep immediately. The slightly ripped red velvet seats weren’t the least bit comfortable. I laid my head up against the frosted glass window and dozed off. Seconds later a man tapped on my shoulder.

“Ma’am? May I see your ticket?” he said to me in a calm voice. I shoved the ticket in his face, ticked off at the fact I had already been woken up from my sleep. Glancing down at my watch, I read the time-2:37AM. I had only been asleep for a half hour. I looked up at the young man to see what he was doing with my ticket; he was short and stocky, with bronze skin and strong facial features. His jet black hair was tied in a ponytail under his hat. He ripped my ticket in half, kept the side with the coding on it, and handed the stub back to me.

“Thank you, Ms. Nancy,” he smiled as he walked away. I grabbed my compact mirror to check at how horrid I looked this early in the morning. I had pinned my thick blonde hair back in a pony tail and thrown on some blush, and that’s how I left the house.
The slamming of my head up against the window woke me up again. I looked over to my right and was startled to see the young ticket holder in a pair of seats across from me.

“What are you doing?” I asked him nervously. It seemed as though he were watching me sleep.

“I was just about to wake you up. The train’s almost at the airport,” he said with a grin.

“Were you watching me sleep?”

“Very much so.” He smiled and ran off. In shock, I thought to myself. What did this kid want from me? Since when do ticket holders watch people sleep? Not too sure, but I got off the train as soon as possible. I grabbed my suitcase and duffle bad and stepped onto the crowded airport. I searched for the airline I was riding. My flight was at 4:00AM, so I had to get through security within a half hour. Handing over my suitcase to put in cargo, I realized there was a blotch of black ink on my hand, the pen at the front counter must have exploded on me without me noticing. I quickly hurried to the bathroom to wash it off, already rushed and irritated, I did the best I could and hurried out and over to security check. Placing my bag on the monitor, along with my beaten up sneakers and old rusty jewelry to be checked. Just then I heard a familiar voice.

“You’re going to need to take your jacket off and put it under too, Ms. Nancy.” I immediately thought it was someone I knew, I turned around and it was the ticket holder, except now not in uniform for the train, but this time, a security uniform. I blankly stared at him for a moment, as he grinned at me. I grabbed my stuff at the end of the checking belt , and ran off to my plane without thinking otherwise.
I got onto the plane only five minutes before it deployed, I was so focused on the fact the ticket holder was now the security guard. The possibility was too far-fetched, something was going on. I worried myself to sleep.

The sudden turbulence of the plane woke me up. I had dozed for three hours, and it was now starting to get light outside. My throat was dry and sore, I watched down the aisle to wait for a flight attendant to bring me some water. I dug through my backpack to find a book I had been reading, when I glanced up to the seat diagonally from me, the ticket holder, or the security guard, was now a passenger on my flight.

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