Jason had been sick for the last two weeks with Kevets Syndrome (KVS), a genetic disease that he had had every since he was five. Lately, though, he had been having a hard time dealing with the disease. When he had gone into the hospital, he was so sick that he had almost died. Now, though, he was doing better. He had been given more powerful medicine and for once he felt that the KVS was under control.
Jason McHenry, his twin sister Marai, who did not have KVS, and their friend Kathryn Isary had all grown up together. In fact, they had lived next door together for as long as they could remember. They all remember when first Jason and Marai's father, then Kathryn's mother, had died in the war. That was what had brought then together in the first place. They all had grown up in the elite class. Their remaining parents had been in politics ever since the war had ended. In fact, Mrs. McHenry, Alana, and Mr. Isary, Ryin, are State Senators, the highest position in the State House besides the President.
Now, at 18, they were all going to the same private boarding school, the School of Fine Arts, in Coras City.
* Knock *
"Come in. " Jason said.
"Hello Jason. Are you ready to get to work?" Kathryn asked, as she sat he books down on the desk.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Jason, is something wrong? You have never been behind before, even when you were sick. Why start now? In fact, you've been acting strange for some time now. You don't even go out and have fun anymore!"
Jason looked at her. Something in his face told Kathryn that he was at his breaking point. "Kathryn, nothing is wrong, honest."
"I don't believe you. I have known you practically my whole life. I can see it in your eyes when something is wrong. Why won't you tell me what is wrong?"
"It's none of your business."
Kathryn smiled silently. "It's because of all the attention that you got while you where in the hospital, isn't it? It's because the way your mother used you as a political tactic."
"That's just it! I've have lived with this all my life. I've lived in the public's eye my whole life! Even my own mother uses me to further her career. She, of all people should know how I feel about this!" Jason got up and started to pace his room. "Even when I was sick, the news people did updates on me, they even sent people here to see if I was still alive. And my mother was the one who started the rumor that I was dead. I hate it! I hate all of it!"
Kathryn looked at him. She knew that Jason had been having a hard time lately with being in the public's eye, but she thought that he had gotten used to it, just as she and his sister had.
"Jason, what do you want?
"I just want to be plain old Jason, not Jason McHenry, son of the rich State Senator Alana Organa McHenry and related to some of the most famous war hero's still alive."
"I see. Do you want to talk about it?"
"Yes, I could use a friend right now." Jason walked over to a chair and sat down. "I need someone to talk to. Someone I can trust."
"Why don't you talk to Marai?" Kathryn asked, siting down across from him. She looked strait at him, daring him to look at her.
"I can't trust her not to say anything. Kathryn...."
"No, Jason, don't. Don't say it. Don't say that you're leaving. I almost lost you once, I don't want to lose you again."
"Kathryn, I have to." Jason said, looking at her. "Do you see any other way for me to be me without doing this? I didn't think so. Please understand. Please promise you won't say anything about this to anyone. Please."
"I promise." Kathryn said quietly. She got up and walked over to the window. Jason followed her and wrapped her in a big bear hug.
"Kathryn, you know that I love you." He turned her around so that he could look her in the eye. "The night I leave, I will leave you two letters. One is for you, the other for Marai."
"When will you be leaving?" Whispered Kathryn.
"When the time is right. Now, no more talk of this. Let's get to work, okay?"
"All right." Kathryn said. After an hour, though, she left. Jason could tell that she was trying hard not to cry in front of him. He knew that it would be hard for them all to understand why he was doing this, but he had to. He needed to get away from everyone and everything, even if it was for only a little while.
For the next two weeks Jason acted like nothing was wrong. He caught up with all his classes and even did extra credit work. If people found him alone more than usual, they attributed that to getting over his illness. At night he would pack and unpack until he had narrowed down what he would take with him to one duffel bag and his shoulder bag. He also found excuses to go to the med center to get extra supplies and enough medications to last him more than a year. It got to the point where he had everything that he would need hidden behind some boxes in his closet. In between classes he would write letters to his family and friends, explaining what he was doing, and why. Finally, the day came when he was to leave. His transport was to arrive that night.
Jason went to bed at his usual time, only this time he didn't go to sleep. He stayed in his room until midnight, when he knew that everyone would be asleep. Grabbing his two bags and the letters for Kathryn, he slipped out of his room and quietly walked down the hall to her room. He paused by her door. He wished that she could come with him, but he knew better than to ask if she would. He touched her door, wishing for just one more kiss before he left. Jason sighed. He would miss her, but he knew that this was for the best. Kneeling, he slid the letters under her door, then he left the building.