Dangerous College Visit

November 30, 2012
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I lost both of my parents when I was 13 years old. I had lived with my aunt and uncle until I was 16 but then I decided to move out. I got my driver's license and got a job at a coffee shop across from my new apartment. I was living a decent life. My job did not pay much but the life insurance money helped. Technically the money went to my aunt and uncle since they became my legal guardians but my aunt would withdraw money and give it to me until I was 18. I had been held back for a year because of depression. I did not finish eighth grade and instead of going to school spent my time crying. Now I am an 18 year old senior with decent grades. I have a 3.24 GPA and I got a 23 on my ACT. I get a large amount of money off due to my parents' death but I am hoping to get some academic scholarships. Tomorrow was the day I would go on my first college visit. I had to wake up early so I went to sleep at 7:42 p.m.
I waited by the door for a few minutes hoping my taxi would arrive. My taxi was supposed to be here five minutes ago but that was fine. I doubted there would be a long security line at 5:00 a.m. The taxi arrived and I loaded my carry on in the trunk. I was only going to be gone for three days and a suitcase was not necessary. I hoped in the back and told him South West Airlines and then we drove off in silence. I read the sticker on the window which talked about the cabbie charging an extra $0.45 for every minute they had to wait. Maybe I would get a discount. Taxi drivers charged a 6.25%. A quick drive to the airport was $14.52. It sounds like a good paying job. Maybe I could do that for the rest of the year.
As I waited for my flight I grabbed sushi to eat. It was only 8:02 a.m. but that was fine; I could eat sushi any time of the day. As I pulled apart my chopsticks and started eating I noticed an interesting man across from me. He looked around the age of 40, maybe a little older. He had glasses on and was wearing a plaid button T-shirt with a white shirt under. His pants were as brown as a camel and his shoes were only slightly darker. After a few minutes he pulled out a small Dell laptop as well as some other gadgets. He plugged a phone into the computer and called someone. He had a dark raspy voice and seemed to be talking to his lover. The whole time his face seemed emotionless. He had looking spiteful looking glimpses and then plugged in another gadget. This time he pulled his glasses up and squinted his eyes trying to read what was on his laptop. The man rubbed his face in frustration as a baby shouted. When we made eye contact he smiled a perfect set of teeth.
"Flight A2 is now boarding, flight A2 is now boarding."
As the woman called this out the man turned off his laptop and put his gadgets away. We waited in line to get our seats the odd way South West Airlines does it. Everyone gets a letter ranging from A-C and a number ranging from 1-60. A1 picks their seat and then A2 does and after A is done it goes to B1 then B2 and so forth. I was C56 so by the time I was on board there were very few seats.
It was a small two-seat plane so I was hoping I could find a spot to sit by myself. I was hoping there was a seat all to myself at the back of the plane but there were more strangers sitting. I decided to sit next to the man I had been observing.
"Is anyone sitting here?" The seat appeared completely empty but I thought it would be polite to ask.
"Nope," he responded. "All yours."
"Thanks." I sat down, put my carry-on under my seat and buckled up. A woman recited instructions in case of emergency while a man demonstrated it.
"So where are you going?"
"I am visiting colleges." For some reason I sounded very defensive.
"That is nice, which ones?"
"I am going to visit Quinnipiac and then drive up to visit Becker."
"What do you plan on majoring in?"
"Game design and development."
"What did you major in?"
"The evolution of video games." He pulled out one of his gadgets and I noticed it was a Play Station Portable. I could not resist smiling.
He tried to extend his arm in cramped area, "I'm Jason, nice to meet you."
I reached back returning the shake, "I'm Jeremiah, nice to meet you too."
It seemed odd running into a middle aged man also interested in video games. I felt that we could be friends if there was not such a large age gap. I decided to close my eyes while Jason played his PSP with his ear buds in. I woke up later with a tap on the shoulder. I have no idea how long I had been asleep but Jason looked tired.
"Sorry to wake you, but can I use the restroom?"
"Oh, yeah, sure." I unbuckled and got out of the way for him. I was going to go back to sleep but I figured I should wait for him to come back. I pulled out my iPod and decided to listen to music while waiting. I had already listened to three songs before he returned.
Jason came back looking both relieved and nervous. I decided not to ask anything as I got up to let him in. He pulled out his PSP and ear buds again and started playing. I did not feel like going back to sleep so I decided to do some people watching. There was a family of four in front of us. A bald young man and a slightly older woman with long blond hair. The father was sitting with his oldest son while the mother was caressing the baby boy's face while he slept. The older son popped his head out and noticed me looking in their direction.
"Hello!" He seemed very enthusiastic to make a new friend.
"Hello." I tried to put on a smile but I struggled to.
The boy smiled back and asked me my name.
"I'm Jeremiah, what's your name?" I hoped I did not sound creepy as I asked.
"I'm Jacob!" He was elastic and reached his arm out for a shake.
I was going to reach back but his mother pulled Jacob back.
"Sorry that he bothered you. Now say you're sorry Jacob."
"But I didn't do anything wrong!"
"It's fine miss, I was enjoying making a new friend." Yeah, I definitely sounded creepy.
Jacob asked me where I was going and if Jason was my father. I told him that I was traveling alone and going on a college visit. The husband decided to pop in and ask a question.
"Where are you going?" He did not sound very interested, I think he was talking to me to protect his son.
"Quinnipiac and then up to Becker in Massachusetts."
"My wife and I are going up for a Thanksgiving College Reunion at Quinnipiac."
"That's nice." I wanted to ask information about the school but I have no idea how much could change in around eight years. "What did you and your wife major in?"
"My wife got her PhD in psychology while I got mine in physics. My wife works as a psychologist and I am currently enlisted in the army to pay off college debt."
"Thank you for serving our country."
"It's nice to meet someone so respectful at a young age."
I decided I would not tell him that I am against war but I do know that logistically speaking that could never happen. I do appreciate complete strangers risking their lives for others' protection.
"What do you plan on majoring in?"
"I would like to major in video game design and development."
"That's so cool!" Jacob seemed to feel the need to be part of the conversation now.
"I love video games!"
"What type of games do you like?"
"My favorite game is Call of Duty Black Ops."
I wanted to sigh. How could a military father let his son play a game in which he can kill people with guns? It is rated mature for a reason.
“He played it once at a friend’s house and he would not stop complaining until he got to play it.” Jacob had the largest grin I had ever seen.
"And do you like video games Mr…?"
"Mr. Felds. I prefer more old school games such as Mario and Sonic."
"Those are really fun games. I prefer those over FPS games. Currently I play World of Warcraft."
"What type of game is that?" Jacob seemed interested to learn about new games for him to play.
"It's an MMORPG, a massively multiplayer online role playing game. It is full of action and adventure with magic creatures and spells."
"Cool! Daddy can I play it some time?"
"It's a bit expensive but I guess I would prefer that over Call of Duty."
I pulled out my math homework and ripped a portion off the top of my paper. I wrote in mechanical pencil my character's name and server. "If you play here I can help you." I had a genuine smile this time. The only problem was that I was definitely pushing the border line of being someone unsafe around children. I could not think of anything else to say but Jacob wanted someone to talk to. He asked me questions about high school and why I wanted to create video games. I did not want to tell him about all the drug usage at my school so I focused mostly on the game creating part.
Jason stood up and I moved to get out of his way. He walked towards the front of the plane with an empty expression on his face. He talked to the pilot attendants but I could not hear anything. I popped my head out once I heard screaming. Jason had pulled out a .5 mm caliber and held it at point blank range with a female attendant. The male attendant was on the ground next to them. I could not see any blood but I was unsure of his condition. Mr. Felds tried to comfort Jacob while the wife was trying to get her baby boy to stop crying.
"Jeremiah, can you please watch him?"
"Um, yeah, sure." I had no idea what was going on but I think Mr. Felds was going to be a hero.
"It's alright Jacob, your dad will be back and will have taken out the bad guy." He started crying and I could not blame him. He was so young and experiencing something so terrible. His father had slowly approached Jason with his arms up and was making inaudible sounds. Mr. Felds became the new hostage. The flight attendant jumped back unsure of what to do. Jason made his demands and a message came across the plane.
"Jeremiah, come to the front. Jeremiah, come to the front."
I stood up and Jacob grabbed my sleeve.
"It's okay. I promise I will be back with your daddy."
He struggled to let go of me but after a few seconds and I was able to move freely. I walked down the aisle with strangers turning their heads towards me. As I reached the front Jason seemed happy to see me.
The man was a monster willing to take someone's life, yet he still managed to smile. I am not even sure why he smiled at me. I did nothing for this man except for have a brief conversation with him. This man that I have known for only less than an hour is demanding my presence for his crime.
"Hello Jeremiah." He sounded happy like this was something he had been waiting for.
"Hey Jason." I slowly approached him unsure of how he would act.
He seemed comfortable with me moving closer. I took small steps to see if there were any changes in his behavior but he appeared calm with me around. Before either of us could say anything, Mr. Felds grabbed Jason's right hand and broke it. The gun dropped and I reached for it.
"Good, now give it here Jeremiah." Jason was very confident in me. I almost felt bad for this demented man. I felt a twinge of sorrow and thought that I could help him and give him the gun. This man had a strong effect on me and I had no idea why or how he had done so. I held on to the gun with an iron grip. I made sure the safety was on incase anything went wrong. Mr. Felds was stunned by this situation as well but before he could properly react Jason elbowed him in the face. I charged and hit Jason on the head with his pistol. He dropped to the floor and I helped Mr. Felds up. Our plane landed and police cars waited to take Jason. Reporters were everywhere but I tried to ignore them. Mr. Felds was the hero and I wanted him to get all of the credit for his brave actions. I left while reporters interviewed Mr. Felds and got the car I had rented a week before. It was a 2000 Chrysler and it was cheap. I drove to Holiday Inns and after checking into m room I went to bed for the night.
I woke up and grabbed a jelly filled donut from the lobby. I drove off to Quinnipiac and noticed a large amount of cars in the guest parking. There were groups of adults talking and I asked where the admissions desk was. I went inside and grabbed a newspaper while I waited for my tour guide to show up. I was 20 minutes early but I did not mind. The front page of the newspaper was about the plane accident. "Terrorist stopped in plane by solider, teenager." Mr. Felds talked in the article about how he had broken Jason's arm to remove the gun. A teenager named Jeremiah was mentioned as having hit Jason on the head with a pistol. Jason was able to commit the crime because his brother worked for Transportation Security Administration. His brother was arrested after searching for others with the last name "Jackobson" at the airport. The brothers did not share the reason for the crime. The end of the story was a quote from the soldier's son Jacob. "Jeremiah said he would come back for me with my daddy. I got my daddy but I wanted to see him again." I grabbed a cup of coffee and stirred in a bit of sugar. My guide came and he was with a group of people.
"Let's begin." The tour was nothing special. The campus looked nice but I had trouble finding anything special. I had a lot on my mind which may have prevented me from admiring Quinnipiac. I was completely oblivious to questions directed towards me and I asked questions that had already been answered. Our tour guide showed us the gym where a reunion party was going on. There was a large circle forming around a couple.
"That's Jimmy Felds!" Another tour member said. I noticed Jacob running along with his baby
brother and approached them. No one seemed to notice me leave the tour group except for Jacob. When he saw me his face lit up and he ran to me letting his brother fall over.

"Hey Jacob."
"Thanks for saving my dad Jeremiah!"
"Your dad is the real hero."
Tears started streaming down his face. "I was so worried and confused. Both of you are heroes."
Mr. Felds came by and picked up his baby boy. "Nice to see you again, Jeremiah."
"Hello Mr. Felds."
"Oh please, call me Jimmy."
"Did you come alone?"
"Yeah, my parents died when I was 13."
"Who do you live with?"
"Myself. I lived with my aunt and uncle but it felt uncomfortable."
"Would you like to join us for dinner tonight?"
"Please Jeremiah!"
I could not say no to Jacob. "Alright."
"We were just about to leave, let me get my wife and we can go."
"Don't you guys want to stay for the reunion?"
"We had our fun."
I went and had dinner with the Felds. I had nice conversations with Jimmy and Jacob while Mrs. Felds and the baby boy just smiled. After I went home I sold my apartment. The Felds had invited me to live with them temporarily and I accepted. Everything felt right when I was there. I loved Mr. and Mrs. Felds and Jacob and his brother were always fun to be with. Months passed and I was about to leave for college. I had been accepted to Quinnipiac and decided to go there. I lost some finical aid since I was now Jeremiah Felds with two living parents. They were both alumni which reduced the cost and more than glad to pay for my education even though I had plenty of money. They even moved out to Connecticut and I lived at home with two loving parents and two amazing younger brothers. Everything that happened seemed like a movie. What happened was real though, and luckily this had a happy ending.

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