The Waiting Game
Five months of waiting seemed almost impossible at the time of the letter, but to my surprise, they flew by. Jason and Terry had both begun the processes they were required to complete before the beginning of the next school year, and I was swamped with assisting them. I was also continuing my studies as I would have had I been in school during the few months in question, in hopes that I might possibly be allowed to return after everything was said and done. Terry said I was insane and Jason just shook his head whenever the topic came up. The Robinsons applauded my decision to continue with the grueling curriculum, saying that it would be good not to be too far behind for my next year. Ever the optimists they were.
It was on the day of May 30th, when we were packing Jason's things in Jason's hotel room that I realized how quickly the time had truly flown. Terry was sprawled on the bed flipping through several different brochures while Jason diligently folded some of his clothes. Needless to say, in the few months he'd been in the room, the place had become a bit of a wreck.
"We're really going back tomorrow, aren't we?" My voice was little more than a whisper.
"Yeah, really. Although I don't understand why we have to go back, anyway. I mean, it isn't like I actually give a damn what they think about me anymore." Terry balled one of the brochures up and threw it away with a wicked grin.
"You may not, but I do." I replied, frowning back.
"Which is why we're all three going back. Because it isn't good to leave things unfinished." Jason threw one of the shirts he was folding at Terry and smirked as he said, "By the way, fold your own clothes."
"But you fold them so well!" Terry laughed as he flung the shirt back.
I rolled my eyes at their antics and grabbed the shirt before it could be thrown again. "It isn't like we have all day to do this, you know. The plane leaves in three hours, we've gotta get through security and all that stuff."
"Right, right, I'll start helping." Terry rolled his eyes as he hopped off of the bed, scattering brochures everywhere. I moved to clean them up but Terry said cheerfully, "We can just leave them for housekeeping. I've already made my choice anyway."
I froze and looked at him out of widened eyes. "You have?" My mouth was suddenly dry, my heart racing. Terry shrugged and nodded. Suddenly it all felt so much more real than it had a few moments ago. If Terry had already made his decision, than this was how it was going to be, and there would be no going back.
Time dragged. Well, it did. We had a great five months to play the waiting game, to wait to go before the committee and hear how much all three of us sucked, and to be honest with you, I wasn't exactly looking forward to it. But Alex would be proud of me, because in those five months, I'd sent off several applications and gotten several replies. And I'd made my choice, something that I hadn't quite felt up to telling the others. Somehow talking about it made it all that much more permanent, and I wasn't exactly real big on permanence.
In fact, I was so determined to keep of the charade of indecision that I continued to casually flip through brochures as I watched Alex and Jason pack up the hotel room that had served as one of two bases for the past five months. Oh, wait, no, I was just avoiding work like the lazy bastard I am. What can I say?
"We're really going back tomorrow, aren't we?" Alex's voice startled me and I dropped the brochure I was currently flipping through. He looked more than a little distracted and I almost felt sorry for the kid. I think that out of all of us he was the one hit hardest by the recent events. I mean, come on, a disciplinary hearing? He'd probably never even been sent to the principal's office as a child.
"Well, yeah. I don't get why we have to go back anyway. I don't really give a damn anymore." I grinned, hoping to lighten the mood.
It fell flat on its face. "I care." He frowned at me.
"Which is why we're all going back, to not leave things undone." Jason said, like the little peacemaker he was. "By the way, fold your own clothes." And I was buried under a shirt. Oh, that wouldn't do at all, so I chucked it back at him.
"We haven't got all day, the plane leaves in three hours!" Alex said, grabbing the shirt before he could throw it back at me.
I jumped up to help pack and scattered my brochures everywhere. Alex went to get them and I grabbed his arm. "Just leave them for housekeeping." I paused and took a deep breath, now or never. "I've made my decision anyway."
He looked dumbstruck by the thought that I'd decided, as though that suddenly made everything that much more real. Yeah, it really did. Had that same effect on me when I sat down with Lisa to respond to their response.
This was really gonna happen and as far as I was concerned, it was all for the better. I'd already been at my lowest point, things could only get better from here.
Five months. I had to do some flying back and forth in those few months, getting paperwork handled and all that sort of thing. Alex helped a bit with it, but I knew he wasn't exactly happy with my decision, or with Terry's. But he supported us both, and that was what mattered. And I was glad he kept up his studies, really, I was. It took a lot for me to admit it, but there it was.
To be honest, I agreed completely with Terry once the issue was raised. I didn't want to go back at all, least of all to stand in front of a committee to hear how disappointed they were in all of us. I wasn't sure that I'd ever be able to be on the island again without remembering all the horrible things that had happened there, and I didn't know how Alex could even consider returning, but I guess we all do what we have to.
So yes, I didn't want the two of them fighting over it when I myself was conflicted. Besides, Aunt Lisa had said to me several times that it was very damaging to the psyche to leave things uncompleted, and leaving Telran without confronting those faceless bastards that were determined to punish us for being different would be horribly damaging. Yes, those were here exact words.
Anyway, "Terry, you should be folding your own clothes," I muttered as I realized just what it was that I was cleaning up. I flung it at him and he laughed as he flung it back.
"We have a flight to catch in three hours." Alex's more calm voice reminded us both as he grabbed the shirt and folded it, interrupting our fun.
Terry jumped up to help us, scattering his brochures everywhere. Alex moved to clean them up when Terry told him to leave them, he'd made his decision. I could see that that hit Alex hard, and to be honest, it hit me hard as well. If he'd decided, then maybe things were really coming to an end. I wasn't entirely ready for things to happen, but I didn't have anymore time left to prepare. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and went back to packing. Come what may and all that.
I still wasn't entirely ready for it when Aunt Lisa knocked on the door and told us it was time to head to the airport, and I don't know that Alex and Terry were either. But we grabbed our bags and headed to the car in silence, settling into the backseat together. The drive to the airport was silent, as was the flight itself. We were all just waiting, I suppose, because to tell the truth, that was all that was left for us to do.
I would like to post my most sincere apologies for not updating this story for the past two years. I have known the ending of this incarnation of Alex, Terry, and Jason's story for quite some time, but as more and more time passed I found it more and more difficult to continue this story, not because I was unfamiliar with the characters and the plot, but because as time passed, so did my perceptions of this story and the characters. I am pleased to say that I do intend on posting the end of this incarnation of their story, hopefully within the week though I make no promises.
There are only two chapters left, and after this version is completed, I may begin posting a rewritten version of this story, entitled "Locke Academy," which I feel is a more realistic and mature version of this story, and is what I have spent a great deal of my time in these past two years working on.
I would like to thank all of you for reading this story and continuing to request updates.
Hopefully I shall be writing to you again soon from the end of another chapter.