It was mid spring, John and I Had been planning on meeting up, since our only interaction has been in online gaming. Our plan was I would fly down to his house, in virginia beach, for a couple of days to hang out. He said his dad would pay for the plane ticket, however the money wasn't the problem, my parents would never send their son to a stranger's house for a week! Someone they had never met, no proof that the boy was who he said he was, and even if he was who he said was no proof that no harm would come to me.
“Mom please, I have known him for 3 years and were really good friends his dad is the CEO of Liberty tax, do you really think that he would risk doing something to me?”
“Nolan it doesn't matter how do I even know that he or his dad is guy who he says he is?”
Looking back on it, my mom made perfect sense it would be stupid just to send your child to some stranger's house I Don't even know if I would let my child go.
“Mom what do I need to do to convince you to let me go, he even offered to pay for my ticket.” I pleaded
“Nolan that is not the problem it is the fact that we don't know this man. maybe if I can skype with him and his dad? Maybe we can talk about it but I don't think your father will let you go it's ultimately his decision too.”
“Alright mom I will let John know you and dad want to talk to his dad about it.”
“Okay Nolan whatever you say.” she said sarcastically
What I Didn't tell my mom is that the ticket was already bought and scheduled it was my final piece of proof that I had because it was bought directly through Liberty Tax. I realized later that if I had to use this evidence, then it would have let them know I already scheduled the trip without talking to them about it.
Once my parents did finally confirmed that his dad was John Hewitt the CEO of Liberty Tax, then I Was able to finally tell them when I would be going, it was for 5 days, July 18th to the 22nd, a Monday to Friday trip.
On Monday I went with my mom to her work in the morning, I had to sit in her office while she had a meeting I was freaking out. I was about to meet the guy I had been playing video games with for the last 3 years, will he be weird, different, akward? I Had no idea looking back on it I don't know what I would've done if we didn't get along. I had no out for the situation I would be staying at his house I would always have a plan if something went bad after this. But looking back at it I don't regret it because I became even better friends with him. I got onto the plane around noon my mom was freaking out she was so worried about me which I could understand she had skyped with him but she still didn't know a lot of information on him. I Landed at the virginia beach airport around 2:30 and found my way out of the airport. I Saw John and I walked up It felt like an eternity until we got to each other looking around not wanting to make eye contact
“ Hey John.”
“Hey what's up?”
“Not much this is really weird you're taller than I thought.”
He was about 6’3” kinda bigger and had blonde curly hair he made it sound like he was a real Romeo with women but I think that might have been a lie.
“I didn't expect him to look like he did he was weirder looking than I expecting he told me that he was more in shape then he really was but i'm not going to say that to him.”
“You're shorter than I expected.”
He then shoved me to show that he was much stronger than me
I Said as a joke and shoved him back to mess with him. It was a good sign though we were being friendly the same we were only this made me much more confident for the next week. We got to his dad's car and got in I put my bag in the trunk and got into the back seat
“HI nice to meet you Nolan”
He looked very similar to his son and he was confident just like him, like father like son I guess.
“HI Mr.Hewitt it's nice to meet you thank you for flying me down.”
“Don't even worry about it Nolan, nice to meet you too.”
I was surprised I thought his dad would be a cold guy but he was very nice I decided I wouldn't judge anyone after that. We sat in the car for a while as his dad drove us to his house it was really quiet not much talking, my phone went off, I received a text and kinda made me jump, it was from John
“This is really awkward.” he sent
“I Know I Don't know what to say.”
His dad made small talk and then we got to his house it was huge it was right on the coast beach front I was impressed
“Thats a nice house.”
It was 3 stories with a white exterior we pulled into the driveway and the entry way was a large front door made of glass. We got out of the car and I got my bag out of the trunk.
“Alright John Nolan I'll be back at 5:30 to pick you up for dinner.”
“Alright thank you for the ride.”
Me and John walked inside the interior was huge with a massive skylight and a very open floor plan, the house towered above me reaching towards the sky like a skyscraper.
“I Know I Love it here I'll show you around.”
He then showed me my bedroom the game room; with a pool table and air hockey. We then went up to the roof and he showed me the ocean view it was amazing, you could see so far out over the ocean. The ocean danced around with its beautiful waves and the city that was nearby. We went swimming after and we started talking about how weird it was to be meeting someone who we had been gaming with for 3 years online we knew each other so well having never meet face to face as we started talking I realized it was no different know him online then in person and our conversations became the same as our ones while we were gaming I was glad about this neither of us were very different in real life than online.
After swimming we went to a steakhouse with John's dad and his little sister, Heather. When we got home we played pool, air hockey and then watched a movie and went to sleep.
The next day I woke up before John and looked around his massive house there were rooms I hadn't even seen on the first tour.
”Why would someone need so many bedrooms?”.
“I can't believe how different we live it's not even similar.”
I then went on the hunt for some breakfast and realized that they only ate out, they had little to no food in their house. The difference between families is a lot and I shouldn't just assume people do the same stuff I do. Then John woke up.
“You have no food John.”
“We will have the nanny stop when we're on our way to the board walk”
“Wait you have a nanny?”
“Yeah its pretty much only for driving me around though
“why not just use uber then?”
“My dad doesn’t want to give me the money directly.”
We then went to the boardwalk walked down and played mini golf and some arcade games which we got very competitive in. It was very hot so we got ice cream I got vanilla and he got chocolate after a couple hours, at 3 pm the nanny picked us up and we went back to John's house. On the way back we explained how we met and why I was there, then we went swimming and went to dinner after.
After a couple of fun days at Johns I had realized that you can really get to know someone better if there aren't the social presets of high school or any other large social group. Just getting to know each other because you have a general interest in the same things that is where true friendship comes from. Just give people a chance they might end up being one of your best friends.