13: New York

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"Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty!" Autumn hears a voice say. She hears the sound of curtains being opened and a flash of light causes the back of her eyelids to glow. She moans and rolls her face into her pillow. She becomes aware that she had been sweating in her sleep, but can't remember if she dreamed at all. 

She feels the mattress by her feet sink as Adrian sits on it. "We've got places to go, people to see!" he adds enthusiastically. 

Reluctantly, Autumn sits up and rubs her eyes. Adrian comes into focus. 

He smirks. "Took you long enough," She laughs once and smacks his arm jokingly. She changes in the bathroom, they check out of the hotel, and are on the road again within the hour. 

"Where to next?"

Adrian points to the list. "New York," He says it in a Brooklyn accent, making Autumn giggle. 

The drive is shorter this time, only an hour and a half, and Autumn spends most of the time reading, like usual. She finishes one book, called Across the Universe, and starts the next in the series instantly. 

They pull up in a parking lot at one, and Adrian swoops his arm to gesture to where they are. She looks up and sees a vertical sign with BROADWAY written in an official-yet-fun type of font. Adrian pulls out of his pocket two tickets, one of which he hands to her. 

"The show starts in an hour," he says. "You're going to love it," 

She looks down at her ticket, where the word ALADDIN is inscribed. She grins. "Thank you,"

Adrian only smiles and puts his arm around her. While they wait for the doors to the theatre to open, they tour a few of the shops around the area. The crowd is thick as smoke and hard to rummage through, but they manage. 

The air is polluted from the factories and smokers of the town. Autumn starts coughing, and when she starts, can't stop. Adrian pulls her back to where there's less people and more air, but it hardly helps. 

"Do you need something?" he asks, concern inflected in his features. 

"I... It happens... 'cause of... of the... cancer," she coughs between words. "It... it passes..." she tries to reassure him, but her coughing says the opposite. She sits on the concrete sidewalk, and Adrian kneels next to her. He isn't sure what to do. 

Her coughs become less severe and more distant from each other, until she takes a big breath and she isn't coughing anymore. Adrian waits a moment before making sure she doesn't need anything else. She says she's fine, and she is. 

They walk back to the theatre, where their tickets are scanned and they are ushered to their seats. Autumn looks through the Playbill while Adrian admires the set. 

The lights dim and the overture plays. Autumn sits back in her chair and enjoys the show.


When it ends, Autumn can't help but marvel at the effects. The flying carpet scene with the dry ice and fog matching the backdrop made the perfect flying illusion. When the genie popped out of the lamp, it was fascinating how he could just POOF be there. The five-second costume changes were astounding. 

Adrian is also amazed at how the actors could move so quickly. He and Autumn chat about it while they wander around Times Square. They explore the depths of the city, entering a few shops like FAO Schwarz, where they have a Most Random Toy Hunt, Adrian winning with a Create-Your-Own Muppet kit. They also both bet that the other can't make it all the way up the stairs of the Empire State Building, and though Adrian gets a head start with his long legs, Autumn gets to the top first, panting and clutching her cramped-up side but with a smile on her face. 

They leave at dusk, Autumn driving this time. This is her first time driving a long distance, her only experience being driving to school on rainy days. Adrian wires the GPS to their hotel, and, slowly but surely, they drive there. 

Unloading their luggage once again (and taking turns riding the luggage cart), they crash on their beds right away. 

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