|Ten Thousand Miles
Author: FallingSkiez PM
"It all started with one horribly misspelled letter and a strangely forgiving response." Skylar's had her pen pal, Joshua, since the second grade. But she's well on her way to becoming a woman now and, after ten long years, Skylar wants to meet her best friend, hidden behind papers and e-mails.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 21 - Words: 34,517 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 55 - Updated: 05-02-13 - Published: 11-24-12 - id: 3077340
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Ten Thousand Miles
:-:_Chapter Five – Round Trips_:-:
Skylar groaned as she rolled over in bed, her blankets tangling around her legs as she wiggled to try and get comfortable. The sun streamed in merrily through her window at just the perfect angle to get in her eyes. "Mm," she moaned, tossing an arm over her face (a force of habit) to block out the sunlight for at least another five minutes.
Unfortunately, she had forgotten about the thick red and white cast on her arm, and she cried out in shock when she accidentally decked herself in the face with it.
"Ow, shit, ow," she whined, sitting up and clutching her nose with her left hand. She quickly wiped her face and checked his hand, thankful there was no blood. She would have been mortified if the first thing she did with her cast was give herself a bloody nose.
She scooped up her glasses with sleepy eyes and her phone from the floor next to bed.
As she settled her glasses on her face, she quickly checked through her phone, seeing that she had missed three messages in the middle of the night – which was odd. Who the hell texted people at four in the morning?
Shaking her head, she yawned and opened the first message.
She raised an eyebrow as she noticed the name at the top of her phone screen: Father Jacob.
Skylar! My brother told me what happened! I hope you're feeling better. We'll pray for your quick recovery.
[Message received 3:45 AM]
Skylar blinked a few times, trying to register the message in her mind. Her pastor already knew she had broken her arm? She rubbed at her cast thoughtfully. It took her a moment, but she remembered; the doctor – the only one around for miles – was Dr. Brooks, Father Jacob's brother. And damn, if everyone didn't know by now, they would definitely know by Sunday.
She sometimes hated living in a small town – well, it was technically considered a village, but admitting you lived in a village was like saying you grew up in a closet. Everyone knew everyone or was related to everyone, and your business was their business.
And she didn't remember giving Jacob her cell phone number...
Thank you Father. It's much appreciated.
[Message sent 1:08 PM]
The next message was from her TA teacher, which elicited another raised eyebrow, but she was less surprised to have gotten a message from him. Though, she couldn't remember giving her number to him either...
Angie told me what happened! How awful! I'll find someone to take notes for you.
[Message received 4:45 AM]
Thanks Mr. C. I'll see you in class on Monday.
[Message sent 1:09 PM]
Great, even her teacher knew what happened. Dr. Brooks sure was a loudmouth. She knew she should have tried to convince Shawn to drive an extra mile to a different hospital. Not that Shawn would have agreed. Instead, she knew he would have spouted something about how she needed immediate and proper treatment and then would have listed each of the reasons why.
And the last one... from Joshua.
Skylar, when you're feeling better, please text me.
[Message received 5:34 AM]
Skylar paused after reading the simple message, Joshua never, ever texted her during the night, usually for fear of being impolite and waking her up. Was he sick? Was it an emergency? Was he worried?
Skylar squinted down at the message in suspicion. Maybe Joshua was testing her – it was possible, she knew Joshua to occasionally get a wild hair up his ass and do things completely out of the ordinary for the sake of his own amusement. But this really didn't seem like the time for that...
Curious, Skylar set her phone aside and began her usual morning (or, in this case, afternoon) routine. Maybe Joshua had sent her a response e-mail – although she couldn't exactly remember what she said in her own e-mail. She had sent one, right?
Hiding a yawn behind one hand, Skylar shuffled out of her room and towards the kitchen on her way to the basement computer. "Oh, Skylar, you're awake," Shawn greeted calmly as he spied her. He placed himself between Skylar and the basement door. A bowl of half-mixed pancake batter sat unattended on the kitchen counter. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm okay? Just a bit tired." She frowned and scratched at her cast – it was starting to get real old, real fast. "What's up?" she decided to ask cautiously. Shawn had been acting strange lately, and if she knew her cousin, she knew that Shawn liked to bottle everything up until it just exploded. It was another trait they shared.
Her older cousin just shrugged, his face taking on a stern look. "When was the last time you talked to your dad?" he demanded suddenly.
Skylar winced at the question. "Ah... to Dad? Um... I don't know? I think on Wednesday. Why?"
"Don't you think that's a little too long to ignore him?" Shawn's arms folded across his chest and Skylar didn't know if she wanted to laugh or cry at the situation. "He's a person, too, Skylar. You can't just treat him like a dog that pissed on the floor one too many times!"
"Shut up!" Skylar snapped, her hands digging into her hair in frustration. "Shut the fuck up, Shawn! You don't know anything! He's just your goddamn experiment, isn't he? What the fuck do you care!" Shawn's eyes narrowed dangerously behind his glasses. Before he could say anything, however, Skylar turned around, intent on stomping back to her room, or outside, or anything but there.
As soon as she spun around, however, she froze in her tracks. She felt as if her blood suddenly began to flow in reverse and she bit her lip. Her father stood leaning against the archway that led back to Skylar's room. His shaggy blond hair was ruffled and tangled; a prominent five o' clock shadow stuck stubbornly to his chin. His eyes were bloodshot and tired as he looked in on the argument with an impassive stare.
"Didn't mean to interrupt," he grumbled, running a hand through his hair slowly.
Skylar turned back to Shawn, who was frowning. "You didn't interrupt anything," Skylar hissed, grabbing a handful of Shawn's shirt and forcibly removing him from the basement doorway.
She quickly slipped in the door before Shawn could regain his balance and slammed it shut. Scowling, she stomped as loudly and obnoxiously as she could down the stairs. As she booted up the computer, she could vaguely hear Shawn trying to pacify her Dad with excuses of, "She's just tired – the pain medication is probably affecting her mood. No... it's not your fault..."
And, honestly, it should not piss her off as much as it did.
Skylar, my dear, silly girl. I thought you were half dead based on the lack of report from either you or Shawn. I suppose you're lucky you don't have school for the next couple of days. Enjoy your weekend.
Skylar skimmed her eyes over the message over and over again. This wasn't what she had been expecting. She relaxed marginally when she heard the footsteps upstairs recede, and turned her full attention back to the short e-mail.
This wasn't like Joshua – well, it was, but normally Joshua had a way with words, and this seemed to be lacking his normal flair. For a moment, she wondered if Joshua was even okay. Maybe something stressful was going on at work? She tapped the keyboard thoughtfully before deciding to just reply and let her Australian friend know that no, she was not dead.
Hey, Joshua! I'm not at my phone right now, so when you get this, e-mail me back. I'm doing great! I'm just tired and not used to this cast. It sucks. I hit myself in the face when I woke up this morning... er, afternoon. The next six weeks are going to be really sucky. Half the town already knows I broke my arm, and I haven't even left the house yet!
I can't wait to turn eighteen! Then I'll officially be a legal adult! And I can drink in your country!
Hey, speaking of that... I just thought of an idea. I think for my birthday, I'm going to buy myself a trip to Australia! I have seven months to save up... so... I'll stop buying video games! I don't know... It's weird. I want to meet you, Joshua! We've been friends for almost eleven years now, so I guess it's only fair that I would want to meet you in person!
Whaddya say to that? If I just showed up in Sydney one day, would you meet me there?
Skylar sat back with a small smile on her face as she sent the message. The more she thought about it, the better the idea sounded. She could go to Australia. She could meet her best friend (for the first time ever), and she could away from the ranch and from Shawn and her Dad...
Curiously, she opened up a Google tab and looked up the airfare from Canada to Australia.
And promptly paled.
This was going to be harder than she thought...
A/N ;; Apparently, airfare between Canada and Australia is well over a thousand dollars for a round trip. It didn't really surprise me, but still... -whistles-
Better start saving up now, Skylar~
And remember, extra long chapter for the next update! Look forward to it.