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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online


My first time in New York City; what was supposed to be the most exciting summer of my life. It was the afternoon of June 17th.

The night prior, I played at Radio City Music Hall for a crowd of 6,000 people. If the ten-year-old boy who sat in his room writing unheard songs knew how much my career had taken off, he’d think our life was utopian.

Within a week of my debut album release, my manager had to double my security team because there were teenage girls trying to climb through my windows. My management team told me they always expect boys in their 20s in the industry to earn some time following, but they never imagined I’d become this big so fast.

The 17th was my last day in the city. I’d done two night shows in a row, and I got a final day to explore the city until my jet took off for Boston. I told my head security guard I’d rather not have my bodyguards follow me around all day. He said as long as I was discreet and disguised myself, I could enjoy the day in solitude.

I wouldn’t have traded my career for anything, but it was always nice to have a day when I could feel normal again. Having a security team surrounding me on my every move always made me feel privileged; given the way I grew up, that wasn’t who I wanted to be.

After two morning meetings, I put on my disguise and headed out to the streets. Surprisingly, there was barely anyone on the street outside my hotel. I headed toward what looked like Times Square. After a while of not crossing paths with anyone, I started acting like the main character in a movie. I did a few fancy footsteps and skipped down the street to my imaginary background music. The freedom started getting to my head. Those few moments of glory were short-lived. I was too zoned out to notice the person in front of me I ran right into her, knocking her to the ground. The impact made me come back to reality.

“Ow! What the hell? Don’t you look where you’re going?!” She looked up at me from the filthy sidewalk. The wind blew her long blonde hair into her face, yet I could sense the angry look she had.

“Oh my god! I’m so so sorry, that was completely my fault!” As I bent down to help her, the hood of my zip-up blew off. The hood then pushed my sunglasses down to the ground in front of me. Crap I thought. My disguise has already failed.

This is a young girl; she most definitely knows who I am. I prepared for her to start screaming and grabbing onto me like I was a lottery ticket. Her reaction was on the contrary. She simply stared at me and tilted her head. She tried to pull her hair behind her ears but it wasn’t cooperating with her. She didn’t say anything. She just looked up at me and stared for a few seconds.

“Sorry, uh, you just, um, look familiar,” she said. I panicked. If she figured out who I was and said my name too loud, my hope for a peaceful day would’ve been ruined.

“I, uh, don’t think I’ve ever seen you before, sorry.” I stood back up and got ready to keep walking, but she hadn’t given up yet.

“Wait, hold on a second. Do you go to NYU?” I was thoroughly confused. Maybe she doesn’t know who I am.

“Uh, no, I don’t go to college. This is my first time in the city.”

“Oh, never mind then,” she said, defeated. “I thought I may have seen you on campus before. I’m not sure where I know you from then.” As she looked at me trying to figure out my identity, I noticed how pretty she was. The sunlight was hitting her hair perfectly. It sat on her shoulders flawlessly with no effort. Her green eyes shined like emeralds. She had the most beautiful face I’d ever seen. An aspect of her seemed adolescent yet so wise at the same time. I guess I was unknowingly smiling at her, cause her confused, concentrated look turned into a smile. That made the butterflies flutter in my stomach.

“Uh, are you sure your shoulder’s ok? You took quite a fall,” I said still smiling.

“I think I’ll survive,” she said jokingly.

“Still, can I do anything to make it up to you?”

“Alright,” her wheels started turning. “Well, since this is your first time in the ‘Big Apple,’ why don’t you let me give you a private city tour and you can take me out to dinner tonight.” I was shocked by how forward she was; she had this incredibly captivating confidence.

“Deal,” I said. “That should help me heal my embarrassment.” She let out the cutest laugh I’d ever heard. Till then, I thought my favorite sound was music.

“Glad I could help, uh…?” She was looking for my name. I was hesitant to reveal it, hoping she wouldn’t recognize it. Reluctantly, I told her.

“Oliver,” I answered. “Oliver Mack.” She paused for a moment, scaring me senseless.

“That’s a really pretty name,” she said. “Are you sure we haven’t met before? Your name even sounds familiar.”

“Well, uh, you may have heard of me in an article once or twice….” Well, this was good while it lasted I thought.

“What, are you a mass murderer? Criminal? Kidnapper?” She giggled, causing me to smile.

“Uh, no not exactly, I’m kind of a singer. I’m on tour this summer, you may have heard me on the radio once or twice.”

“Ohhhhh, that’s where I’ve heard your name!” It seemed as if the puzzle pieces clicked in her brain. “I hear girls at my school talking about how much they love you. Sorry, I don’t mean to offend you, but I’ve never really gotten into your music or fanbase. It’s not anything against you, I just–”

“Oh, don’t worry about it! I’m not offended.” I was so relieved. “It actually makes me feel better that you don’t have a pre-determined opinion of me, uh…?”

“Helen, Helen Boyle.”

Helen showed me around Manhattan for the rest of the day. She took me through all of Times Square, and then to Rockefeller Center. She showed me where people usually ice skate around Christmas time and where the big tree goes. The more we talked and got to know each other, the more I was drawn to her. I hung on her every word and movement.

After a while, I explained why I was disguised; I didn’t want her to think I was embarrassed to be seen with her. She was very understanding, as if she knew what being a celebrity was like. After we spent the afternoon together, she took me to her favorite Italian restaurant. I remember thinking what a coincidence it was since I hadn’t told her how much I love Italian food yet. I assumed she must’ve gotten that vibe from me.

The restaurant was on a hidden street corner. The entrance was framed with warm string lights across the doorway and a long red mat leading towards the door. I practically heard the Italian music before we stepped into the place. We talked and learned more about each over garlic bread. We even ended up ordering the same type of pasta, which we laughed over. As the waitress walked away with our order, I caught myself staring at Helen like we were the only two in the restaurant. She took a sip of her Shirley Temple. It amused me how some of the things she liked seemed so juvenile, yet she acted as if she’s lived in the city for 50 years. She caught me looking at her, making that gorgeous smile form back on her face.

“So, how would you rate my tour? It was my first time,” she said jokingly as tucked her hair behind her ear.

“You seemed like a professional!” We both laughed. She asked me about my favorite parts of the city. I told her how I’d always wanted to see the ice skating rink in Rockefeller since it’s in all the big movies. We talked about the day for a while longer until our food came. We didn’t talk much while we ate, we were starving after our long day. As we finished up and the waitress took our plates, we sat there staring into each other’s eyes. I knew I wanted to say something to thank her for making the day memorable, but she started talking before I could come up with the right thing to say.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an amazing day,” she said beaming. “I’m not sure I’m ready for it to end yet.” Those butterflies came back and wouldn’t stop fluttering. I looked at my watch: it read 7:15.

“Well, is your place nearby? I told my manager I’d be back at our hotel by 8,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s just a few blocks away if you wanted to hang out for a little bit longer,” she said eagerly.

“Yeah, I would love that.” The grin on my face started to hurt. We split the bill and started heading toward her place.

We walked along the street lamps and billboard displays. The blinding lights of Times Square lit up the night. We made our way outside of Times Square, dodging sketchy dealers and people who have no personal space. I had the urge to hold her hand to keep her with me, but I didn’t want to jump the gun. We turned a corner and walked down a street until we got to a building with double glass doors. The street of her apartment building was barren, with only a few shops on it. The other spaces were taken up by abandoned stores and broken windows. She pulled out her key and led me through the doors. The building looked decent but not high-end.

As we walked to the elevators, every eye in the lobby followed Helen. They weren’t looks of admiration like mine was at the time: they were looks of slight fear. I brushed off my observation and followed her into the elevator. We took it up to the seventh floor. When we stepped out, I noticed the hallway seemed less modern than the lobby. The lights slightly flickered above me in a random pattern as I followed Helen. She gave me a smile as she stopped at one of the last doors in the hallway.

I tried to suppress the eerie feeling coming over me by keeping smiling back at her. I reminded myself not to judge a book by its cover. Helen was the most incredible girl I’d ever met; what’s the worst that could happen? The door opened to a surprisingly normal-looking apartment, calming my nerves. She put her lanyard and wallet on the round kitchen table.

“I’m going to freshen up a bit and then I’ll get us some drinks,” she said. “Feel free to sit on the couch, make yourself comfortable.” She walked out of the living room and into the bathroom. Instead of sitting, my curiosity told me to look around. From my view, it seemed like a tiny normal apartment; nothing to be too suspicious about. Everything I could explore was right in front of me.

On the wall across from the bathroom, a door read Helen’s name. This must be her room. I may have been invading her privacy, but I turned the doorknob anyway. When I entered the room, my heart sank to my stomach.

Above her bed was a shirtless picture of me Seventeen magazine covered in hearts. Her pillowcases, blankets, and bedsheets were covered in my name and my face. On her desk, there was a picture frame filled with a picture of me from a modeling shoot I’d done.

My heart started pounding as I met eyes with myself all over the room. Next to her desk was a big box with my name on it, which I decided to open. When I looked inside, I threw up in my mouth.

There were various zip-lock bags labeled with different things: Oliver’s hair, Oliver’s sweat, Oliver’s boxers, Oliver’s t-shirt. The finishing touch at the bottom of everything was a copy of my birth certificate, laminated. A vile of red liquid rolled around at the bottom of the box. I didn’t even look at the label, I knew I would be sick.

My hands started to shake. I didn’t know what to do. I was stuck in this stalker’s apartment and I didn’t know how to get out. Helen lied to me all day. The girl who I thought was my first love told me an epidemic of lies all damn day. She knew who I was as soon as we locked eyes this morning. I had to get out of there, but I just stood in front of her desk motionless.

The fear I felt paralyzed my movement. Inside I was screaming and running; on the outside, I was in a mental trance. Before I could decide what my fate would be, Helen burst through the door. She held a rope and hand cloth in her hands. As she approached me, I was frozen with fear. Our faces came close enough to hear her soft breath.

“What’s wrong Oliver? I thought you didn’t want the day to end yet either?” She whispered in my ear as I unwillingly faced her. I didn’t register what was happening until she had me tied to her desk chair and shoved the hand cloth in my mouth.

Her gorgeous smile turned into one of a psychopath. Her beautiful emerald eyes turned into daggers. My brain couldn’t think straight. There were too many scenarios of the rest of my life swirling around. I struggled to break free until she pushed my arms down on the chair and looked right into my eyes. “You’re not going anywhere, Ol.”

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About the Contributor
Kelly Egan
Kelly Egan, Editor-in-Chief
This is Kelly's second year on the editorial board. As well as being Editor-in-Chief, she is heavily involved in the music department here at LHS. She is in the chamber choir and the drama club. She also does theatre year-round outside of school. She loves being on staff and has been writing since elementary school.

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