Big A.J. 3by Mikano and giant 30
It's was once about us. Now it's only me again. Life isn't as easy as people percieve it. It's a long unwinding street which gives you the three options in the end. But for me it wasn't the same.
Erica Michaels closed her journal she bought from New York. It has been three days since they left New York after the successes of A Doll's House and Peter Pan. She's been on the road since she graduated high school back in San Diego. She's now 19, years old, turning twenty next month. She has mid-length dark hair and gray eyes, and is very pretty.
"Where are we?" Erica asked, bored.
One of the actors turned around to face her. His name is Linus, a friend she made upon joing the acting troupe. He shared the same passion for performing on stage as much as Erica herself.
"Where do you think we are?" Linus said. "Gosh! We're still on the road."
Another actor turned to face her. Abigail is another friend Erica made and she wasn't too old herself, 22.
"We're arriving to Pearl City soon." Abigail said.
The actors looked out of the windows of the bus as they're arriving to Pearl City. It was beautiful, durring the night and it wasn't as humid as the other summer.
"Oh my god." Erica said. "We're in Pearl City."
During this time, the director of the troupe, Frank Lucas, a well known director who directed successful plays as A Doll's House, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan and The Glass Menagerie.
"Listen up." Mr.Lucas said. "In moments we'll arrive in the hotel, Cavaret Plume. I have spoken to Erica's relatives and we agreed to to let her stay with them."
"Thank you." Erica said. "I'll be there every day at the theatre."
Mr.Lucas looked at her and noded his head. Then he pulled out the scripts for Pericles and Old Town. More votes went into Thorton Wilder's Old Town.
"Our next play is Old Town." Mr.Lucas said. "In the next three minutes, I will give you, your roles. They'll be posted on your script."
He hands out the scripts and Erica is happy to get Emily Webb's role. She has practiced before on and off stage. Naturally she got supporting roles and a few times lead ones. As the bus arrived at Cavaret Plume, Erica's uncle arrives to pick her up.
"Uncle Pete." Erica said.
"Hello Erica." Pete said. "I see you're acting now."
"That's right." she said. "Dad hates it though."
Pete carries all of Erica's stuff into his van and set's it in the back. Even in his late forties, he still is a strong man. As she was climbing it, Mr.Lucas reminded her to be at the Pearl City Theatre Arts by 8:00 in the morning.
"Ok." Erica said.
They drove off and Erica turned to her uncle.
"How are you?" she asked.
"I'm good." Pete said. "You aunt Caroline keeps hounding me to take my pills though. And there was a young man living on a big house on a hill, that asked about you."
Erica was now at a state of shock. She didn't intend on finding anyone to date until the acting troupe travels ended in San Diego. What a way to go. she thought. I just got out of a two month relationship with Ryan Lee and I don't know if I can deal with another heartache.
Erica continued to look outside as her uncle drove. I've been through a lot over the years. she thought. Maybe Uncle Pete is trying to be nice to me. I mean he was there when my own dad wasn't. And besides it's been a long time since my step-mother left, but I still think dad should've remained true to his vows as a widower.
"Uncle Pete." Erica said.
"I got your room fixed up." Pete said. "And I also fixed the Miata for you to drive."
"Thank you." she said. "But I should get some sleep. I mean we arrived at 10:30 tonight and I need to be at the theatre by eight."
Upon arriving, Erica had to unpack in her new room and sleep. It was 11:10 and she needed her strength. What did uncle Pete mean by this? Erica asked herself. I shouldn't worry about it right now. She went to sleep for the night. By next morning, it was 7:10, and Erica had to get dressed and leave. By 7:50 she made it to the theatre with her script. They practiced for at least three hours and took some breaks in between. On one of the breaks, Erica came outside for a breather untill three male gangbangers showed up.
"Hey b****." one gangbanger said.
"What do you want?" Erica asked.
Another gangbanger pushes her to the wall and the third one pins her down. Erica struggled to break away.
"Let Go of me." she screamed. "I have nothing you want."
"Shut up." the second gangbanger said. "Or else.... What the hell is that?"
The gangbangers saw a man around 330 feet tall in a black tank top and pants. he had a muscular physique with short spiky brown hair. The two gangbangers didn't let go of Erica until the first one got knocked on the ground with one of the giant's huge fingers. Then they were smart to let her go and ran off. Erica staggered as she got up, but she didn't scream. Wow. she thought. He's handsome. She noticed him lower his hand next to her and she hesitated at first. It was 55 feet long.
"It's ok, miss." he said. "Climb in."
Erica struggled at first but managed to get on his palm.
She felt herself and the hand beng carefully lifted as the giant carefully stood up to his height. Pretty soon she was face-to-face with the giant's dark eyes. Erica stared at his handsome, gentle face.
"What is your name miss?" he asked, gently.
"Erica." Erica said. "Who are you?"
"I'm A.J." he said. "Nice to meet you, Erica."
Erica noticed A.J's huge ring finger coming down and she saw it stop a couple inches from her and shook it
"Nice to meet you, A.J." Erica said.
"Likewise Erica." A.J. said.
During the time, the troupe went outside and looked up to see A.J holding Erica in his palm and ended up being freaked out in fear. It was then, Erica looked down from A.J's hand and knew why they were scared. It was apparent he knew too and gently lowered his hand next to them.
"Erica." Mr.Lucas said. "What were you thinking? Are you aware what that is?"
"He's not a monster." Erica said. "I know you're scared of him, but I was almost raped by some gangbangers and he....."
"I save her from getting hurt." A.J said.
Mr. Lucas and the others look up at A.J's friendly look and calmed down soon enough.
"Well thank you." Mr.Lucas said. "But we need to get back to rehersals soon."
"Ok." Erica said. "Give me a minute."
As soon as Mr.Lucas and the other actors went inside the theatre, she turned to A.J, who was still on one knee.
"Thank you again." Erica said. "Can we meet again after rehersals?"
A.J. looked at her and smiled.
"Sure." he said.
Erica smiled through rehersals and managed not to forget her lines. She kept thinking in her mind about A.J. and how sweet he was when she kindly asked him to meet her again after rehersals. She was blushing the whole way through and went outside the theatre. He's real kind. Erica thought as she got in the car. It's a change from a lifestyle I lived. Her relatives and her knew that she came from a broken lifestyle which caused her to get into so much trouble. When she dated Ryan Lee, it caused so much conflict for her because he never grasped the situation she was in and thought she was hiding. She was only hiding hurt in herself, which recently came out when she an Ryan broke up.
"I should tell A.J." Erica said. "Maybe it'll be better if he knows the truth and hopefully accept me for who I am."
I tried to tell Ryan where I came from. Erica thought. But he never understood anything he said and continued to talk about himself. I hope A.J. understands where I'm coming from. Erica stoped the car at her uncle's house and got out. She saw a note on the door. Erica, Had to bail Jefferey's brother, Zack out of prison. Be Back soon, Pete
"Oh Boy." she said. "Zack, What did you do this time?"
She opens the door to see Jefferey and Bobby playing Alone in the Dark on the XBOX. She used to love picking on Jefferey when she was still going to high school in Pearl City.
"Hey Jeff." Erica said.
Jefferey paused the game and noticed her standing there. He immediately thinks she's going to bully him.
"Would you relax?" she said. "I'm not here to pick on you."
Jefferey calmed down immediately.
"Hi, Erica!" he said. "How are you?"
"Good." she said. "I heard what happened to Zack."
"He was arrested for assault." Jefferey said. "I told him wait for A.J but we both know how Zack is around Daniel."
Ain't that the obvious? Erica thought. Daniel Walters was a bully who went to Pearl City High School with her and Zack. He and Zack were rivals and caused constant fights between the two. Daniel left me alone for two reasons. she thought. One was because I was beautiful and two he was sweet to me. Pete came in with Zack behind him. He was 16, and in the mist of a teenage rebellion. He had his brown hair in a mohawk and pierced his chin.
"Hi Zack." Erica said.
"Hello." Zack said as he and Pete headed into the kitchen.
Bobby knew what this meant and went home right away. Jefferey and Erica decided to go outside to watch the sun set.
"I don't want to be in there when uncle Pete yells." Erica said.
"I know that very well." he said. "When dad yells, Zack fights back. You never did that with dad."
"No." Erica said. "He has a temper tantrum and that's why I stayed on his good side. By the way, do you happen to know A.J.?"
Jefferey nodded his head.
"I saw him today." Erica said. "He saved my life from some gangbangers."
"I know." he said. "It was on the news but you refused to comment."
"I don't get along with the media well." Erica admitted.
"You like him don't you?" Jefferey said.
Erica glared at him and didn't respond. It was hard to lie to him, especially when she admitted to not having a good one with Ryan. Although it was originally Zack I told. she thought.
"Where did Bobby go?" she asked.
"He went home." Jefferey said. "Especially when he knew Dad and Zack fight with one another."
"Why do you put up with it?" Erica asked "I mean you don't deserve to hear the two yell at one other."
"I know." he said. "But mom's in Vegas and won't be back until July 3. You troupe will be here for?"
"Five days." Erica said. "Then we move onward to Toronto and then Vancouver. I might be leaving the troupe soon and not return to San Diego."
"You still don't get along with your dad." Jefferey said.
Erica shook her head.
"That's what I thought." Jefferey said. "Dad isn't forgiving of your's because of his neglect towards you and his failure to keep true to his vows as a widower after the death of Aunt Mina."
"I know, mom and my twin brother, Samuel." Erica said. "You never got the chance to meet mom and Sam because they both died in a car accident."
Silence filled betweern them for a few minutes. During this time, Erica pulled out a dvd of Napoleon Dynamite special edition.
"You remembered to buy that." Jefferey said. "Thank you."
He hugs Erica for a few minutes.
"Your welcome." she said. "I'm charging my DVD player right now. You can watch it in my room."
"Ok." Jefferey said.
He walked in the house and ignored Zack and his dad fighting. Meanwhile Erica left a note saying she's gone to a friend's house and walked to A.J's house. What if he can't accept it too? Erica thought as she almost tripped on a rock, but caught herself.
Erica turned around noticed Zack walking past her to his friend's house. Oh boy. she thought. It was obvious Zack and her uncle had a serious fight.
"Zack." Erica said.
Zack turned around to face her.
"I don't want to talk about it." he said, bluntly.
"Please, Zack." she said. "I want to know why you assulted Daniel."
Zack pulled Erica towards Mr. and Mrs Flemming's house and hid behind the bushes.
"Daniel was stealing Jeff's money." Zack said. "That's why I assulted him with a weapon. I didn't need help from anyone, it was my problem."
"Your problem?" Erica said. "Zack, you got arrested for it and his family will press charges against you."
"I don't care." Zack said.
Erica glared at him in anger and slapped him across the face.
"Wake up Zack." she said. "You haven't been the same too. This is serious. You are aware what this could do to your father. He'd lose his reputation as a police officer, because of you. You're starting to make the same mistakes I made when I was 15."
Zack glared at her and walked away leaving her angry. What is going on with you, Zack? she thought. It's getting harder to talk to you without us fighting. You were never like this when I was around. Why now? Erica walked out of Mr. and Mrs.Flemming's front yard and calmed down soon after as she reached A.J's house. She was cautious in walking carefully towards the huge house.
"I'll be god damned." Erica said, her hair breezing with the wind. "At least he'll be happy to see me."
Erica looked at the door and got nervous right away. What is wrong with me? she thought. I shouldn't ge nervous about knocking on his door. Yet my brain isn't cooperating with my arm. I can't back down now. She raised her hand and knocked on the door. Then she felt the ground tremble hard. She almost lost her footing the second time, but she held on. She noticed the door opeining and sees A.J.
"Hi A.J." Erica said, blushing.
"Hi Erica." A.J. said, kneeling down next to her.
He lowered his hand beside Erica and she climbed in his hand. Then he slowly and carefully lifted her up to his face and stood up.
"How are you?" Erica asked.
"Good." A.J' said. "Do you want to come in?"
"Sure." Erica said.
A.J. slowly walked indoors and closed the door. Everything was huge as she could tell. While walking, Erica had to come up with ways to tell him about what happened to her over the years after her mother and her twin brother died. This one's going to be hard though. Erica thought. What happens if A.J. doesn't accept it like Ryan did. He carefully set her down on the table.
"A.J." Erica said. "I need to tell you something."
A.J looked at her as he sat down on a chair.
"Ok." A.J said.
Erica was nervous but she braved it.
"I grew up from a broken lifestyle." she said. "It happened when my mom and my twin brother died and dad lost control of himself. He remarried against the wishes of my relatives and ex-communicated with him. But there was something about my step-mother that I didn't like. She was a stripper and she was controlling. She hated me and treated me like the plague. Therefore my fahter ignored me and I drifted towards trouble..."
Erica saw A.J listening to every word she said and what amazed her was the fact he didn't critisize her like Ryan did. She proceeded that tell him that her uncle saw her on the streets getting into trouble and dragged her out of the alley way.
"You're 14 years old Erica." Pete said. "You should be in school, not on the streets like this. Then again, your father wasn't good to you."
"I sounded like I didn't care." Erica said, narrating. "But I did. For the next four years I lived with my uncle's family and turned my life around. Yet I was still unhappy and my relatives and my grandparents knew why. My dad wasn't loyal to his vows as a widower and I learned to channel that rage through sports and acting. It was something I loved to do."
I have so little kindness in my life. she thought as she endured and survived during middle school and high school. Wow. I turned my life around and now I want to advocate to those who are currently living what I've been through. I should let them know that they can too turn their life around.
"You went through a lot." A.J. said. "Most women from the other towns I metwere never upfront about their past lifestyles. You're the first one I met that told me where you're coming from."
"You're not critisizing me about it." Erica said. "I'm grateful for that. I don't like to lie about my life, it's against my principles."
Erica was surprised and flattered A.J listened to what she had to say. It was not what one would choose but, she wanted to be honest with him. I was honest with Ryan she thought. But he thought I was just hiding and didn't believe me. Even now it was hard to think about Ryan. if he didn't acept me. Then Ryan is noo good.
Flashback, Erica then 17, was telling Ryan about her lifestyle and was angry when he turn to face her.
"I don't believe you." Ryan said. "You're lying."
"I'm not lying." Erica said. "You're the one who don't believe me."
Ryan's anger pushed her on her boiling point and caused the break up. Ryan needs to know the extent of his anger. she thought. Won't come without consequences. By the time the flashback ended, Erica snapped out of it and looked up to face A.J.
"I was wondering." Erica said. "Um... How did you get so big?"
Just when she was about to second guess herself, she heard A.J chuckle lightly.
"It's ok Erica." he said. "I'll tell you. When I was born, I began growing at an extremely rapid rate because my pituitary gland was unusually overactive. The doctors tried to do something about it but were unsuccessful."
Erica listened to what happened to A.J. five years ago when he moved to Pearl City. Many people were terrified of him and called him a monster. His friend, Bobby didn't see him that way and knew he was still human. He did rescue Jefferey from his near death and Tyler from the fire and fought off a sea otter that was mutated by a space rock. She had to smile about it, A.J. showed off his knight in shining armor side when the gangbangers tried to rape her.
"Wow." Erica said. "You're not like theose giants in those stories my mom used to read to me about. You're more of the knight in shining armor."
I wished I can kiss him. she thought. He deserves it.
By the fifth night of the actual play, Erica started to get nervous. Calm down, Erica. she thought. You're going to be fine. But where's A.J? She breathed in and came out onto the stage to do her scene with Seth who plays George. She did her lines without problems and they had to do intermission before the marriage and the death scenes.
"Erica!" some children said.
Erica turned around and soon she was mauled by her grandmother's charges. Zack tried to laugh at her and got a warning glare from his father.
"You don't laugh at your cousin's misfortunes, Zack." Uncle Pete said.
"Why?" Zack said. "It's funny."
Pete slapped him lightly on the back of the head.
"Maybe you'll learn never to laugh at your cousin again." Pete said.
Zack glare at him in anger and turned his attention to Jefferey. An elderly woman walked towards the children mauling Erica. This woman is Rose, Erica's grandmother.
"You children know better." Grandma Rose said. "You don't maul on Erica at all."
"We're happy to see her." one kid said.
"I'm sure you are." Erica said. "But one at at time please, Pepe."
"Ok." Pepe said.
The other children came up to her one at a time including her nephew, Austin and his friend Lola. It's been a long time since I last saw them Erica thought.
The intermission ends and Erica went back on stage.She looked at Seth and calmed down. He was just as nervous as her doing the remainder of the scenes including the mariage scene. Act three begins now and Seth was on the ground next to a painted paper machete of a tombstone. Erica as Emily chooses her twelfth birthday to remember and is happy at first but then she's breaking down.
"I can't look at everything hard enough..." Erica said, breaking down. "I can't. I can't go on. It goes by so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed... Oh, Earth, you were too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do human beings ever realize life while they live it? every every moment?"
The play ends and there are clapping by the hundreds. Erica was backstage recovering from her breaking down and realized that life is usch a precious thing that people take for granted and she learned to value it. She was relieved to take a breather and smiled. She waited until everyone left the stage and went on stage one last time. She then went to the front of the to se her family waiting for her.
"That was great." Jefferey said.
"Thank you." Erica said.
They went home that night and slept. By next morning, Erica left early for her grandmother's house. She looked out of her window and saw her friend Ian and her cousin Floyd heading into their cars.
"Hi Floyd." Erica said.
"Hi Erica." Floyd said. "You want to know what happened to Ryan?"
"Let me guess." she said. "Ryan got arrested after his family moved away to Oregon."
"She knows." Ian said. "I emailed her about her ex and his current girlfriend, but she's gotten over Ryan."
They left and Erica looked around. I should ask A.J. if he wants to come over. she thought. It'll be nice to have them see and interact with a real giant in their lives. She parked her car in her grandmother's parking lot and headed towards A.J.'s house. Once she got there, she knocked on the door and the ground started to tremble hard. I wonder if he does like kids by any chance. she thought. She had to rethink about the last conversation she had with A.J. The door opens and A.J. stood there in front of Erica. Right away she blushed again, hoping he wouldn't see it. Kneeling down from his full height, he noticed her blushing right away.
"Hi Erica." he said.
"Hi A.J." she said.
She noticed he saw her blushing, not beet red. He knows. she thought. I'm embarrassed now.
"I noticed you there." A.J. said. "I wanted to tell you something though."
Erica looked up at him confused, but didn't ask anything as she saw him lower his hand gently next to her. She climbed onto his palm and was carefully and gently lifted as she felt A.J. stand up.
"Out of curiousity, A.J." Erica said. "Can you please tell me?"
"It's just that..." he began. "I fell in love with you since I met you."
Erica looked aup at his handsome face and smiled. Wow! she thought. I like him too. She never thought A.J. would tell her that he likes her, but he did. She was happy to hear that.
"I feel the same way." Erica said. "I'm not going anywhere, because my trip with the troupe ends here. God I wish I could kiss you, A.J."
"I know." A.J. said. "Maybe later."
Erica thought of ways to change the subject until she remembered her thoughts on Pepe, Austin, Lola, Gina and the other children mauling her from last night. They'll like A.J. she thought. Grandma's taking them to the park today and I wonder if he wants to come.
"I was thinking..." Erica said. "Would you like to meet some of the children, I used to take care of with my grandmother? They were at the Our Town play last night and they mauled me with hugs."
"sure." A.J. said. "Where are they anyway?"
"The park." she said. "Do you like kids?"
"Yes." A.J. said, smiling. "I love little kids."
Figures. Erica thought. He was sweet and friendly around Tyler. I do wonder if his mom knows where Alexis is. I haven't seen her over the years. She nodded her head.
"Let's go over to the park." Erica said.
"Let me change." A.J said. "I don't think it's right if they see me in my pjs."
"Ok." Erica said.
He took her inside his house and set her on the kitchen table. Then he went into his room and Erica waited. Some time passed and A.J. came out wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Erica was blushing even more than last time. He reached underneath the table for his sneaks and put them on.
A.J. and Erica left the house for the park. She noticed the cars bouncing with every thunderous step he took. That would be hard for me. she thought.
"They'll like you." Erica said.
They arrived at the park where her grandmother and kids are at and A.J carefully walked towards them without crushing anything. No time at all the kids looked up to see A.J's huge form and moved away as he lowered his hand to let Erica down.
"Erica" the children asked. "Who is he?"
"He's A.J.!" she said. "He's a friend of my cousin, Jefferey and my boyfriend."
"But he's huge." Pepe said.
He, Austin and the other children walked towards A.J's hand as it layed gently on the ground. They were hesitant and nervous until they looked at A.J's friendly face and climbed in one by one. Erica smiled as she and her grandmother saw him carefully lift them up and stood up to his full height.
"Wow." Austin said. "This is great."
"Like the view." A.J. said.
They nodded in happiness ad A.J. smiled. It was clear to him and Erica that they like him.
"Grandma." Erica said.
Her grandmother didn't hear her and looked up at A.J.'s standing form. I didn't tell her about A.J. she realized. I should've known better. She then turned towards Erica.
"He seems like a nice young man." Rose said. "I think you and him would be nice together."
"I know." Erica said. "He's a big guy, but he's real sweet and he likes kids."
Before Erica can continue on, her cell phone rings.
"Hello." Erica said. "Jesus James, where are you?"
"I'm on my way to Pearl City." James said. "My girlfriend is with me because dad's being arrogant again."
"Ain't that the obvious?" she said. "Look just go to my cousin, Floyd's house. Don't try Pete's because Zack is there and I'll talk you later."
"Ok." James said.
"It's my brother." Erica said, facing her grandmother. "He and dad got into a big fight and James ran away."
"You and him are going through turbulent times with Vincent." Rose said. "I know Erica. You uncle hasn't fully forgiven him for breaking his vows to your mother, Mina. She was my daughter."
Erica nodded her head knowing there was nothing else her grandmother didn't know. She had to give her credit, she was in her late 70s but she's still active. She turned her attention to A.J. and looked up. The kids do like him. Erica thought. I remember him telling me about Tyler. He was terrific with him, then there was no reason Pepe and the others shouldn't be afraid of him.
"Where's Floyd?" Rose asked.
"He went to get food for the picnic." Erica said
"I hope he hurries back." Rose said.
Erica nodded her head. James is about to make the biggest mistake of his life time. she thought. The only question though is should I tell dad or not. She snapped out of it when Floyd showed up with the essentials needed to complete the picnic.
"Where were you?" Erica asked.
"Grandma sent me up to the store to buy food." Floyd said. "I had to drop Ian off at his apartment and then get the food. Anyway I saw your brother and I told him to stay at my apartment."
"I know." Erica said. "I told James the same thing. I don't want him fighting with Zack."
Erica headed to Floyd's apartment to confront her half-brother, James and his girlfriend, Tina.
"I'm not going to tell dad until this settles down." Erica said. "But you need to tell me why are you two here."
James looked at Tina and vice versa. It was going to take both of them a while to tell Erica. They knew they couldn't lie to her about it especially when she knew what happened.
"Dad and I fought about Tina." James said. "He said I shouldn't see her anymore. But I told him that's coming from someone who casted away my sister."
"James." Erica said. "There was a reason he didn't want to talk about it. I blamed dad for not remaining true to his vows as a widower. So did my relatives, but I'm learning to forgive him. I don't want to see you making my mistakes."
"We know that E." Tina said. "We need this escape until our parents calm down."
"Still it's wrong." Erica said. "It took me a long time to learn from my mistakes when I ran away from home. I'm working hard to re-establish a broken relationship with my father and I hope my uncle can learn from this too."
Erica left Floyd's apartment and headed downstairs to talk to A.J.. She was still reeling from the fact James would leave after one fight with their father. Those were the same mistakes I made when I was eight. she thought. I'm afraid James and Zack will make the same mistakes I made. I don't want Jefferey down my road. I'll tell A.J about this, maybe he can help calm James down enough to call dad and tell him he's sorry. I did. She walked outside and nearly tripped on one of A.J's sneakers but stopped herself.
"Hi A.J." Erica said. "I didn't tell you where I'm going and I'm sorry about it."
"I know." A.J. said. "Floyd told me where you were going and you didn't want to use his car."
Erica nodded her head remembering that she told her grandmother where she was going and Floyd tried to talk her out of it. She was determined to confront James about it. He needs some time to think about it. Erica thought. She had to let go her anger and not let it ruin the rest of her day. Maybe I'll ask him if he wants to go out on a date some time. she thought. It doesn't matter anyway because she felt a connection with A.J. that was similar to what her parents had before her mother's untimely death. At times she wishes she could kiss A.J.'s huge lips without fearing she'd be eaten alive. Snap out of Erica. she thought. A.J's a nice guy. He'd never eat people. It was getting late and A.J wanted to take her to his house. He lowered his hand next to her and she climbed in. Then he carefully lifted her and the hand and stood up to his frame and walked away.
Erica looked up at A.J as he continued walking back to his house. Hmmmm. she thought. I might not be able to kiss him, but maybe I can hug one of his fingers. But I should ask him if I could do so. She stopped her thoughts as soon as A.J. entered the house.
"You still wish to kiss me." A.J. said.
Erica looked up at him and nodded her head. How can she forget what she said to him earlier. It was practically unforgettable, but she wished she never said it. She said it and meant it, but she didn't know what he was thinking. Erica saw him kneel down and she walked towards his mouth and kissed it. She pulled away and smiled.
"That wasn't so bad, Erica." A.J. said.
"Nope." Erica said. "I had my worries about you eating me. Then I realize you'd never do so."
"I'll never eat people." A.J. said. "Don't move."
"OK." Erica said, confused.
She felt him return the kiss to her. It didn't matter to A.J because he felt a special connection to Erica. There was much he liked about her but the main thing is she never used his affections for her for anyone's gain.
"He's such a sweetie." Erica said.
"Thank you." A.J. said.
It was getting late and Erica didn't want to return home just yet and decided to crash at A.J's house for the night.
Erica woke up in the middle of the night still unsure what happened. The last thing she remembered was A.J. kissing her after she managed to kiss his bottom lip. Her memory was good and sat up quietly as to not disturb A.J. while he was asleep. We're offically dating. she thought, reality setting in quickly. He's a real sweetheart. She looked outside and noticed it raining.
"It'll be like this for the next couple of days." Erica said to herself. "I used to like play there with Sam."
A five-year-old Erica and her twin brother were playing in the summer rain back in Cedar Hills. Sam fell in the mud which Erica tried to pull him out but her mother had to pick him up. She later remembered her mother reprimanding her for not keeping a better eye on her brother, even though Sam admitted it was his fault, not hers.
"Mom was mad." she said. "But she was more forgiving. If only she were alive to protect me from my troubling path down to destruction. A.J has been very kind to me even though I know I don't deserve it."
Then again I do deserve it. Erica thought. It was true Erica grew up with very little kindness in her life and she needed as much as she can get. It was very hard for her to visit Cedar Hills and pay her respects to her mother's and Sam's grave but she managed to do so.
"Dad had a hard time looking at me." she mused to herself. "Every time he did so, he'd see mom's face imprinted on mine and blames himself for his neglect. I just wished he confronted this earlier."
She got up and looked out of the window. She had to face a lot of turbulent trials that were against her and every time she over came the obstacles against her. She needs James to come to terms with what happened and realize none of it was his fault that she became the way she is. She started to climb down and get back onto the pilow to resume her sleep.
A.J. gently tapped Erica in her shoulder.
"What?" Erica asked, still sleepy. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to the doctor today." A.J. said. "I have to get another confirmation on my height."
"What do you mean?" Erica asked.
"I might get around 450 feet tall." A.J. said.
Erica was shocked right away.
Erica got up and looked at A.J.
"If you want." she said. "I'll go with you. I don't want you to get brain tumor."
"No." A.J. said. "I'm not getting brain tumor. But you can come, Erica. Just...."
"Get dressed." Erica said.
She knew she was in her pajamas because she brought her backpack with her and a spare change of clothes.
"Can you not look at me when I'm changing clothes?" Erica asked.
"Ok." A.J. said.
Erica found some spots away from A.J. and proceeded to change clothes. After a few seconds, she was wearing a white t-shirt and a pink skirt. She brushed her hair and put her sandals on.
"When we're done with this." Erica said. "Is there a chance we could spend some time together? You know like a...."
"You mean a date." A.J said. "Sure."
They visited Dr.Horton, A.J's doctor from the hospital, for an hour.
"This could be his final growth spurt." Dr.Horton said.
"How big can you say?" Erica asked.
"Roughly around 430, 440 feet tops." Dr.Horton said.
After the visit to the doctor, A.J and Erica headed into the city to enjoy themselves. Wow. she thought. I never thought I find the right combinations of the perfect guy in A.J. He's laidback, fun, sweet and the fact that he's a giant doesn't bother me at all. He just makes me appreciate him for being safe. He's the real reason I'm staying in Pearl City. I'm sure dad and James will like him. She can tell that A.J clearly likes her as well. Erica decided to enjoy the comforts of sitting on his palm. She noticed him slowly and carefully sitting down on remote spot of the park more than big enough for them to enjoy.
"What is it?" A.J asked.
"I'm just enjoying myself." Erica said, leaning back. "Your hand feel rough and soft at the same time."
"Is that so?" A.J. said. "Thank you."
Erica thought for a few minutes before sitting up to face A.J's handsome face.
"And that I love you." she said, blushing.
She was bashful and tried to turn away by she felt him stop her. and look at her.
"I love you too, Erica." A.J. said.
She notice him lowering one of his huge fingers next to her and hugged it right away. Seeing Erica happy, made him smile, knowing they both love one another and trust in the same way.
"Do you have a sibling?" she asked managing to move away from the fnger.
"Yes an older brother." A.J said. "His name is Jake and he has the same problem growth problem as me. I haven't seen him in a while."
Erica reflected on her half-brother, James and his girlfriend, Tina. I wonder if A.J likes to meet my brother and his girlfriend. she thought. It'll do James and Tina some good to meet him. She noticed him lowering his hand to the ground and she jumped off. Erica decided to look for something to drink and bought a soda. As she was returning, she felt someone push her onto the ground.
"Hello w#***." The second gangbanger said. "We're here for payback."
"Leave me alone." Erica said. "I don't want to get into this right now."
"Well that's just too bad." the third gangbanger said. "We want revenge on you right now. Jose's rotting in prison right now, because of you. We're not going to tolerate this."
The second gangbanger pins her down.
"I told you to let me go." Erica shrieked.
"How about no?" the third gangbanger said. "You're gonna pay up right now with your life. This time no ones gonna save you from being raped."
A.J. noticed the two same gangbangers were trying to rape her again and stood up. He walked towards them with each thunderous step he took. The two gangbangers barely noticed for a second and continued to try to rape her despite her resistance. A.J snatched one of the gangbangers, forcing him to let Erica go. The other gangbanger tried to make a run for it but was caught by A.J.
"Not you again." the second gangbanger said. "Couldn't you mind you own damn business."
"Not very smart aren't we?" A.J said. "You two still haven't learn from the first time, you tried to rape my girlfriend. Maybe this will teach you a lesson you both won't forget."
He tosses the two gangbangers away from the park, but not enough to hurt them. They were later arrested for attempted rape. A.J turned his attention towards Erica who was crying and knelt down. He lowered his hand and she climbed in. He leaned his hand and Erica near his chest and let her cry.
Erica felt A.J's heart beating, behind his tank and it made her feel better, knowing she was safe again. Hopefully those idiots will never return to hurt me again. she thought. As long as they know A.J's around, they'll never will. I coud get used to this. She felt his hand, slowly moving away from his chest and towards his face.
"You're feeling better now." A.J asked, concerned.
Erica nodded, her throat still raw from crying. He knew she was thirsty and began walking to get her some water.
"It wasn't what I had in mind for our date." Erica managed to say.
"I know." A.J. said. "Nearly getting raped twice. I don't think those thugs will evert get a hand on you without dealing with me first."
"It'll be the last thing they'll do." Erica said.
She leaned back to relax on his hand. Before she met A.J, she had to fight back in order to protect herself from being hurt, including raped. A.J doesn't like it if any woman get raped. she thought. Including me.
"We should make the best of what's left of it." A.J. said. "I mean it wouldn't do us good waste it."
Erica nodded as A.J made her feel comfortable. I know what a gentle giant looks like. she thought. But A.J isn't only that, he's more of the knight in shining armor. He's the greatest guy I've known. She felt more safe with A.J than anyone else.
"Is this ok if I could kiss you?" A.J asked.
"Yes." Erica said. "I'm not going to get eaten by you. You'd never eat anyone."
A.J shook his head and lowered his hand and Erica towards his mouth and kissed her. She got up to return the kiss to A.J's huge lips.
Both A.J and Erica were continued to kiss unaware that Jake, A.J's older brother and his wife Danielle were watching them.
"That reminds me of the first time we did that." Danielle said. "Your brother is growing up, Jake."
"I know, Dani." Jake said. "But I just don't want to see him hurt."
"I understand that!" Danielle said. "But the other girls ended up hurting A.J more than this one has."
"Do you know her?" Jake asked.
"Yes." she said. "Her name is Erica. I used to go to school with her in Pearl City, but I lost contact with her when she left for San Diego. Like A.J., Erica didn't have it so sweet too. She suffered with the loss of her mother and twin brother. She struggled with her father's hasty descision to remarry without consulting her and her own hatred for her stepmother. This was why she never fit in the school, but males were attracted to her."
She was too beautiful for her own good. Jake thought. Maybe she knew that all along and decided not to be so attentive. Or maybe she was hiding her inner rage.
"She was in a relationship with Ryan." Jake said. "What happened?"
"Ryan treated her poorly." Danielle said. "I know because I was there when he didn't do a thing to help her out. Two months later she dumped him. It wasn't the end of it, he ended up stalking her each night. But then his parents decided to move them and their son away from Pearl City."
Now if there was a couple of things Erica, and her friends knew about Danielle is that she was born normal but she began growing as well and she still is growing. She met Jake in another city. By that time Erica turned her attention to Danielle.
"A.J.!" Erica said. "Look behind you."
A.J turned his attention to Jake and Danielle. It was obvious they were spying on him. He walked towards them until he was eye to eye with his brother and his wife. But before he could confront them, A.J felt his insides churn. It frightened Erica even after he gently set her in Danielle's palm.
"Just hold her." A.J. said.
A.J. was growing much bigger than expected. Erica, Jake and Danielle watched.
"Is he going to be ok?" Erica asked.
"He'll be fine." Danielle said, her voice gentle but booming. "You worry too much E."
"Can you blame me?" Erica asked. "I'm sorry Dani. I know we haven't seen each other for a long time."
"Since high school." Danielle said. "You wanted to pursue acting."
"I still do." Erica said. "But...."
Before Erica could finish, she turned her attention towards A.J. and noticed he was much bigger than last time. He now stood 455 feet tall and she looked quite shocked but she still loved him for him not his height.
"Oh my god." Erica said, her eyes grew round. "You're almost as big as Jake."
"Well not really." A.J. said. "Jake's still taller than me."
"Yes." Danielle said. "But you taller than me and I stand at 450 feet. Jake stands at 460 feet."
Erica nodded her head.
She was nervous and appreciative at the same time. A.J. does look better bigger. she thought. But I wish it didn't come during our date. I guess I can't win them all.
"Umm Dani." Erica said. "Aren't you going to introduce me to Jake?"
"Ooops." Danielle said.
"I'll do it." Jake said, gently lowering his finger next to Erica. "Hi. I'm Jake!"
"I'm Erica." Erica said.
She shook his finger and her nervousness disappeared, but she was still concerned for A.J., her boyfriend.
"He's fine." Jake said.
Erica thought for a few moments before asking Jake if he can get A.J. to hold her in his hand again. Before she can do it A.J held his hand next to Danielle's palm. She climbed in his huge hand, despite facing difficulty and faced him.
"Erica, are you ok?" A.J. asked.
"Yes." Erica said, trying to calm her nervousness again.
A.J turned to his brother and his sister-in-law.
"I have to go soon." he said. "But next time, please call me before you surprise us."
"Wait." Erica said. "I need all three of you to meet my younger half-brother, James."
"Maybe tomorrow." A.J. said. "We need to rest up."
Ok." Erica said.
Jake and Danielle left soon after amd A.J and Erica made their way out of the park to his house. His footsteps thunder louder. but managed to not crush the cars parked there.
"How long is your brother going to be there?" A.J. asked.
"Not more than three weeks." Erica said. "I need you to talk to him about what happened. I tried to talk him out of making my mistakes but he wouldn't listen."
"I'll see what I can do." he said.
Erica nodded, still worried about what James would say to her or A.J. in the matter. I don't want him being a prick. she thought. It was ridiculous what he was doing in running from his problems.
"I hope you're right about this." Erica said finally.
Erica had a right to worry about what happened. James has a terrible case of tantrums. He couldn't seem to control his temper and she knew that ever since she lived with her dad and him. I always hated to be in the middle of this. Erica thought. That's why I joined the acting troupe. I needed to escape from this for a while. It turned into months and I became a popular actress.
"Everything will be fine." A.J. said, reasssuring her.
Erica nodded and smiled.
As A.J slept, Erica stood awake, still reeling from a second attempt from being raped. She got up and walked towards the bed and climbed down to get some water. What's wrong with me? she asked herself. She managed to get a cup and drink some water. As she was doing so, she felt a gloved hand cover her mouth.
"Let me go." she muffled loudly.
"Quiet, Erica." someone said.
Erica started to calm down and turned around to face James. Apparently her fear turned to anger.
"You and I need to talk." she said.
She, James and Tina noticed a tiny version of A.J.'s house near his desk.
"You need to stop this at once." Erica said. "Dad will find you sooner or later and you know how angry he's going to be."
"I know." he said. "You need to understand that I need him to calm down until then."
"Even so, he'll be mad at you." she said. "Now I don't want you making my mistakes in running away and ending up like me."
She looked up at A.J stirring up and turned her attention to her brother and Tina.
"I'll introduce you to my boyfriend." Erica said. "Dad came here last week, after my performance and met A.J. He likes him, even more than Ryan."
James looked at her, not knowing how A.J. will react towards him. He could be mean to him, but then again he would be nice to him.
Erica sat down as James and Tina turned the lights on dim enough to notice A.J. standing up. They looked up as towering form of A.J. heading towards the bathroom to relieve himself.
"A.J's awake." Erica said. "You need to explain yourselves to him."
James and Tina looked at one another and nodded.
"We will Erica." James said. "But can we crash here for the night?"
"You need to ask A.J." she said.
"How?" Tina asked. "He's huge."
Erica looked at them and turned to the window as she saw A.J. heading back into the bedroom. She knew his thunderous steps and his height scared them, but she needed them to calm down.
"Don't let his frame fool you." Erica said. "He's real nice."
"That's what we're worried about." James said.
"Don't be." Erica said. "He's real nice."
A.J slowly lowered himself and was on his stomach. He peered into the window. Erica noticed his dark eyes peering into the house and it made James and Tina nervous.
Erica looked at A.J. and waved at him. James and Tina looked at each other as they saw her went out of the house.
"Hi honey." she said.
"Erica." A.J. said. "Who are they?"
"Those two inside are my brother and his girlfriend." Erica said. "They're nervous about your height."
"They don't have anything to be nervous about." A.J. said. "I mean them no harm."
James and Tina slowly walked out of the house, relieved in what they heard him say. They jumped back when they saw him holding out his huge hand in the palm up position.
"It's ok." A.J. said. "You can climb in."
James and Tina looked up at A.J's huge hand and slowly made their way to the hand. They wondered how are they going to climb up his monsterous hand. His hand is 180 feet tall. Tina, being a Chinese/Japanese ancestry and stood at 5'4 managed to climb in his palm. James was still nervous, but got over it and joined her. A.J. slowly and gently lifted them and slowly stand up.
Erica climbed up to A.J's bed to get a better view of her boyfriend holding her brother and Tina in his palm. They're still nervous. she thought. They know A.J. means no harm. Maybe I'll introduce them to Danielle. She's a giantess, but she's a real genlte one. A.J lowered his huge finger towards them and it made them nervous. He withdrew his finger away from them.
"What's wrong?" A.J. asked.
"Your fingers looks like it could crush us." James said.
"I wouldn't do that to you." A.J. said. "I just wanted you to shake it, but I'll let you get used to my height."
"Thank you, A.J." Tina said. "Well we kinda followed you and Erica here to your house and we'd want to know if we could...."
"Stay here for the night." James said.
Erica looked at them as A.J slowly sits down on the floor.
"What happened to with you and Floyd?" Erica asked.
"Floyd tipped Tina's dad off." James said. "Apparently we were thrown in the middle of our dad's feud."
Erica looked at him, knowing their dad was good at picking fights. James doesn't know that their father was never like this, when he was married to her mother. Dad was not the way he is now. she thought.
"Couldn't you just...." Erica said, but found herself short of what she's about to say.
She didn't want her remark to sound like a retort to anyone.
"I don't see why not." A.J. said. "The house would be ok for you guys. Erica sleeps next me, considering that she refused to sleep in there by herself."
A.J gently lowered his hand down and James and Tina get off from there, completely trusting him in not hurting them. They headed inside the tiny house to get some sleep. Erica felt him gently scoop her into his palm and settled her back onto the pillow, which she used as her bed. She had her own pillow and blanket to use.
"Why didn't he stay with you uncle Pete?" A.J. asked.
Erica looked at him, not sure how to answer him. It was obvious that her uncle's family rejected James and he was bothered by it.
"My uncle didn't want him and Zack fighting." she said. "He hated James and called him a illegitimate child that one time he visited Pearl City. You remembered my stepmother had a reputation as Cedar Hill's resident w****. My dad had sex that night with her, completely breaking his vows as a widower to my mother."
"That started this whole nightmare." A.J. said. "Hate called for hate and you and James couldn't take it anymore."
Erica nodded her head, knowing he was right. He'd settle this right away and hopefully it'll end the wounds between her family and her uncle's family. As she slept, she hoped A.J. was right about this. She couldn't stand one more night with her uncle blaming her dad because he broken his vows as a widower and has a illegitimate son. By next morning, Erica woke up late wondering how he would settle this. Things wouldn't go as planned, especially with Zack and Jefferey around. Just remember Zack is going to be away for three weeks. she thought. Uncle Pete doesn't want him around when A.J. talks to him and my dad.
"I guess I overslept." she said, in her pajamas.
"It happens." A.J. said, gently to her.
Erica got dressed went to wake up James and Tina. A.J. stopped her before she could wake them up.
"They've had a long night." he said, quietly. "We should let them sleep."
"They need to know where we're going." Erica said. "At least they don't worry about us."
She wrote a note and left it on the counter and left with A.J towards her uncle's house. He was careful in cupping his hand slightly so Erica wouldn't fall off his palm. As A.J. walked, the ground trembled harder with each thunderous steps he took. Within a few seconds he arived at her uncle's house. It was there, on the front lawn they both saw her dad and her uncle arguing with one another. Her father accused him for not letting go of the past. Her uncle Pete, however told him it was his fault for casting away his vows as a widower and his own daughter. A.J. got on one knee and gently lowered his hand down towards the lawn. Erica got off and ran towards her uncle and her dad.
"Stop it." Erica said.
"Erica." her dad said. "What is it?"
"Unle Pete, Dad." she said. "Stop it. Don't you even realize what this is doing to our own familes? It's causing more wounds than healing it."
"Erica, he started it." Pete said. "He casted away his vows as a widower to your mother and his vows to you, his daughter for some resident w**** and his illegitimate son."
Her father, Daniel Michaels looked at him in anger. He was nearing his fifties and his dark hair has turned gray, his eyes were still the same hazel colored.
"That's coming from someone who didn't let go of the past." he said. "Yes I rushed off in remarying without consulting with the family, but it was because I couldn't take the fact Mina and Samuel were gone. It didn't excuse the fact I did neglect Erica for that woman and James."
It didn't and it never will excuse her dad for doing this to her. Her uncle knew that and casted him away for the neglect. After so much fighting has gone on. They finally settled down and looked up at A.J.
"You need to let this go." he said, with his booming, but gentle voice. "It's caused Erica and James a lot of pain over the years. It wasn't their fault this happened. You and him need to end this now because hate called for hate and both of your families are hurting. Do this for their sake."
Pete and Daniel looked at each other and realized A.J. and Erica were right. The family feud between their families, the Michaels and the Carvers has taken its toll on Erica and the others and were getting sick of it. They ended the feud, the first time in 13 years. Daniel made peace with Erica, but still let her know he cares for her and her brother.
"Thank you A.J." Erica said.
"You'e welcome." he said.
James and Tina broke up a few months later. He married, Erica's friend, Alexis Walker and had two son named Sam and Austin. They currently live in New York City. Zack improved his behavior and graduated college. He's currently helping with the relief efforts in the Philippines. Jefferey and Bobby opened up a game store and remained friends with Tyler and A.J. most of their lives. Erica married A.J. and have a daughter named Katharine Taylor aka Katie. Even though he still feels the lingering effects of some growth spurs, Erica didn't mind it as much and appreciate him more. She knew Katie will expirence the growth spurts A.J. is currently expirencing but it's ok. It felt much better to forgive and let go of all the hurt she expirienced most of her childhood.