Status: Completed

Chasing the Missing Paths

The Fifth Encounter

The fifth encounter wasn’t as coincidental as the four that happened earlier. It was now the beginning of 2013, the start of February to be exact. Alex was going to have a full year of non-stop touring and Emma was still out trying to make a name for herself. She had gotten a little further since she had last seen Alex. She was happy with her progress, but a lot less happy about the breakup she had just gone through. It was what led to this semi-planned encounter. Emma went to twitter to ask her friends if anybody wanted to go on the trip she was originally going to go on with her (now ex) boyfriend.

@FeyThereEmma: Once again, all alone in this apartment. At least I’ve still got my cactus.
23 Likes, 0 Retweets, 5 Comments
@FeyThereEmma: Anybody down to join my two-day trip to Iceland? I’ve got an extra ticket.
3 Likes, 0 Retweets, 2 Comments - Alex Gaskarth liked this tweet
@FeyThereEmma: Everything has been booked already.
1 Like, 0 Retweets, 3 Comments - Alex Gaskarth liked and commented on this tweet
@AlexAllTimeLow: @FeyThereEmma Hit me up
78 Likes, 10 Retweets, 2 Comments
@FeyThereEmma: @AlexAllTimeLow I am being completely serious
1 Like, 0 Retweets, 1 Comment - Alex Gaskarth liked and commented on this tweet
@AlexAllTimeLow: @FeyThereEmma so am I!
20 Likes, 2 Retweets, 0 Comments

They switched over to their direct messages afterward. Or at least, Alex did to show he really did want to find out more about this trip. He only came across Emma’s tweets occasionally and would sometimes like them. This time, however, he felt a pull that made him actually want to interact and go on a crazy adventure. He knew his year was packed, but he wasn’t going to let this opportunity of making contact again pass him by.

Alex Gaskarth: I am 100% serious. Give me the dates and I’ll check my calendar.
Emma Fey: Tomorrow at 9:10 in the morning from JFK airport and returning home two days later.
Alex Gaskarth: Holy shit, tomorrow? That’s soon!
Emma Fey: Yeah. I’m pretty sure nobody’s going to say yes, but it’s worth a try. I’m assuming you’re too busy based on all of those tweets about your band.
Alex Gaskarth: Actually… I have five days before I need to leave again…
Emma Fey: You should spend that time at home with family. Don’t worry, I get it.
Alex Gaskarth: No. I’m booking a flight from DC to New York right now. It’s going to be an early morning.
Emma Fey: Wait, hang on, really?!
Alex Gaskarth: Image attached
Emma Fey: Holy shit! Okay, umm, give me your details so I can switch around the ticket I have for you.
Alex Gaskarth: Is this your plan to commit identity theft.
Emma Fey: Really? Do you think I’m capable of that? I went to school for music and theater.
Alex Gaskarth: Okay, just let me find the shit you need.

And, just like that, Alex impulsively went on a trip with a girl he barely knew. She could have easily used all his details to take advantage of him, she could have easily kidnapped him, but he trusted her. While not knowing anything about her other than her name and passion--he didn’t even know her age--he felt like seeing each other briefly four times before was enough. He didn’t have a single worry.

They met at the gate in JFK airport. Emma was already standing there with her suitcase, a coffee in her hand which she was sipping on. Her hair was up in a bun, prepared for the flight, and her leggings and oversized sweater were purely worn for comfort. She was looking around casually, both keeping an eye out for Alex and taking in her surroundings.

When her eyes landed on Alex, who was only a few more steps away, she smiled. When he finally got to her, they shared a hug.

“I didn’t expect anybody to come on this trip, and I sure as hell didn’t expect you!” Emma said as a greeting, still amazed that he just dropped everything to fly out with her.

“I was just sitting at home and this sounded like fun,” Alex shrugged, acting like it wasn’t an all too big deal. It really was the restlessness in him coming out. He always longed for his own bed, but when he was there for a few days, he couldn’t wait to get out again. This was exactly what he needed.

“My mom freaked out a little when I told her I was going on this trip with a guy I only met three times before.”

“Four, actually,” Alex corrected, still remembering every single one of them. “But it was also a difficult one to explain to my girlfriend. I might have lied a little and said I was flying out to write some songs and that you’re a music-industry related contact.”

This time Emma felt a little awkward. She was unsure exactly why, but she definitely knew it was about the word ‘girlfriend’ he used. Either she had wished something could have happened between them, or she felt weird going on a trip while Alex’s girlfriend didn’t know the whole truth. It was probably a little of both, but she was quite sure that it was her recent breakup talking. She wanted to get over Ethan as soon as possible even though it was going to take a while.

“Is this the same girlfriend who walked out during karaoke?” Emma asked out of curiosity.

“It is actually.” Alex nodded, smiling a little when talking about Megan. “We kind of have an on-again-off-again relationship.”

“Oh, I would not be able to do that myself. I would get fed up with somebody constantly going back and forth with their feelings for me. it just seems so apathetic,” Emma commented and soon realized she probably shouldn't have said what she did. So, to change the subject, she made another cup of coffee appear. “Anyway, I got you some coffee too!”

“Thanks, you shouldn’t have.” Alex accepted it and took a drink, hoping it would wake him up a little because he had been awake since very early in the morning. “You already paid for the ticket. Speaking of which, how do you randomly have one laying around?”

“My boyfriend broke up with me three days ago.”

“I'm sorry, that sucks.” He frowned and took his turn to feel bad for what he had said.

However, neither actually felt offended by whatever the other person had said or asked. They were just getting to know each other a little and setting boundaries at the same time. Yet, since both were afraid to offend the other, they avoided any personal subjects while waiting to board their plane. They mostly exchanged words that were more related to small talk than actually finding out about each other. Alex mentioned some tour stories, but nothing was too personal; it was mainly what he felt okay saying in an interview as well.

When they got to their seat and sat down, though, Emma felt the need to actually know more about the stranger she was actually going away with. She couldn’t imagine this trip only consisting of small talk and polite nods. This was the person she was going to have to share all her experiences on the trip with.

“Tell me one interesting fact about yourself,” she suggested after staring out of the window from her small economy seat for a while. Alex looked at her in slight shock; he did feel the same, but it was so straightforward and out of the blue. Emma just made it a little more specific. “Just one for now.”

“Okay…” Alex thought for a while, unsure where to start before deciding on something quite simple. “I’m originally from England. I was born there but we moved out to Baltimore when I was a kid. I’ve been here ever since. What about you?”

“Where I’m from?” Emma questioned, knowing her answer wasn’t interesting at all. Born in New York, grew up in New York, and stayed there her whole life. But that was only because her dream was there. It wasn’t like there was any other city for her to break out to.

“No, an interesting fact,” Alex said, watching as the last few people entered the plane. “If it’s where you’re from, then that’s cool, though.”

Emma shook her head and thought for a little while. “Hmm… oh! I was actually adopted when I was two. I don’t know my biological parents and don’t have the need to. There’s a reason why I ended up with my parents and I love them a lot.”

Alex felt a little guilty that her fact was a lot more personal than his. He literally just skimmed the surface of what he could tell anybody about himself. But then again, it wasn’t his fault she had decided to tell him that she was adopted. He did go first after all. Now, if he had gone after her with his lame fact, then he should have felt horrible.

“You know what?” Emma rolled her head to the left in Alex’s direction and looked up to him. “We should turn this into a game. Whenever something significant happens, like getting on the plane now, we have to tell each other something about ourselves. That doesn’t mean we can’t get to know each other in between those moments.”

“I’m down,” he agreed yet again in the past 24 hours.
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Okay, I fit in another encounter. So this isn't exactly the chapter that will make you guys happy. It is building up to it, though! Can anybody guess?????

Also, I totally had to use a pun for Emma's twitter handle xD She seems like the person to have one.