Chapter Fourteen: Higher Education
"So why are you up here?" Ravi asked, sitting next to Quincy on the bridge above the ocean, the bridge that connected Middle City to Loven. "It's so far from home. I didn't expect to see you at all."
"I was thinking." Quincy said simply. "Why are you out here?"
"Actually... I was heading to Loven for a few things for Monica, she asked me to get some specialty things." Ravi explained. "It's sort of... scary up here."
"Really? Why?" Quincy looked down at the deep ocean below their feet, although it was about twenty feet down from the top of the bridge where they sat.
"Well, first the huge amount of space between us and concrete, the fact we're right above the ocean which is plenty deep right here..." Ravi said, looking down.
"Would you jump?" Quincy asked, looking either bored or sad. Ravi blinked, looking nervously at the other.
"Well—no, I'm in my street clothes and I bet the current makes it hard to get to shore and... it's probably cold, and so far down..." Ravi began to ramble.
"I didn't mean like that." Quincy sighed. "My mom died last night. In the bathtub."
Ravi gaped, at a loss for words before he managed "I'm so sorry..."
"It's her own fault. I mean that too, she slit her own wrists." Quincy said, glaring forward. "Did I ever tell you my dad died?"
"No..." Ravi managed to half-whisper.
"When I was born, he waited two months for some paper work to finish up, and then he shot himself in front of my mother. His last words to her were "I hope you realize he's a mistake"." Quincy said, spite in his voice.
"That's moronic." Ravi said, his voice suddenly strong. "You're not a mistake."
"I'm glad someone thinks so." Quincy said, standing. Ravi blinked, standing as well.
"You're not—" Ravi began, Quincy finally looking him in the eye.
"Will you hold my hand?" Quincy asked, bending his arm at the elbow but refusing to lose eye contact with Ravi. Ravi couldn't look away, but nodded slightly, taking Quincy's hand.
"You know this isn't the answer, right?" Ravi asked, dead serious.
"We probably won't even die. You don't have to if you don't want to." Quincy said, just as serious.
Ravi smiled, clenching his grip on Quincy's hand. "I will follow you into the dark."
Quincy's eyes began to tear, and he leaned closer to Ravi.
"My mom told me yesterday before she killed herself that I was one sick bastard. Because I told her about you, finally, I let her be the first to know. And then she said, laughing, that you'll never make me happy. It's a curse of mine, and that's why God made you... a man." Quincy lightly put his lips to Ravi's, mildly shocked when Ravi responded.
They didn't say anything, Quincy backing up a bit, Ravi tightening his grip on the pale hand. Quincy took a step forward, onto nothing, and Ravi followed.
"Where's Ravi at a time like this?" Leopold asked Monica, who rolled her eyes.
"I sent him to Loven for some specialty items, he won't be back until later. Hopefully we'll have found Quincy by then." She said, Leopold nodding. "We're checking with Ana, since she's Quincy's way-too-nosey neighbor."
"Quincy? He said he was headed to that bridge, Eicher? Between Loven and Middle City, you know? I asked him what he was going to do there and you won't believe the boy, says he likes the view." She rolled her eyes, gesticulating wildly.
"Loven..." Monica gaped. "Damn backfiring plans!" She stomped her foot down, then looked at Good and Leopold. "We need to get to Eicher Bridge pronto!"
"Like you had to point that out?" Nitro said, pulling up in his red sports car. "Get the heck in!"
They clamored in, Nitro driving almost like Alice.
Quincy broke the surface of the water, gasping for breath before looking around for Ravi, who surfaced soon after.
"See? We didn't even die." Quincy smirked, swimming over to where Ravi was. He got Ravi's arms around his neck and began to swim against the current, making it to the nearest shore. "Are you okay?"
Ravi paused, then smiled. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, of course. Just cold and wet." Quincy shrugged. "My shoulder's a little wonky, that's all."
"I have a similar issue." Ravi smirked, raising his arm until it made a loud pop. "Better." Quincy blinked, then laughed.
"You're a pervert now too." Quincy said, looking a little confused.
"What does that mean?" Ravi blinked.
"It's what my mom called... gays..." Quincy said, then paused. Ravi laughed.
"Perverts? We're not perverts. We're teenagers. Which is sort of perverted, but we might outgrow it, we don't know yet." Ravi shook his head. "Sexuality has nothing to do with perversion."
"Genius weirdo." Quincy sighed. "Let's hurry before we catch cold."
"Augh! They're not here!!" Monica looked into the water. Leopold flipped open his cell phone, hitting a few numbers before putting it to his ear.
"Hey, Quincy?" He asked, then laughed. "Yeah. We're at Eicher bridge. Holy! Your cell's remarkably intact. How are you? Ravi too? He's alright? That's quite the relief. Nah, that was a ploy to keep him away from you. By all means. Alright. Love you too, b-bye." He hung up, looking at Monica, who was gaping at him. He blinked, "What?"
"YOU HAD YOUR CELL?!" She yelled, Leopold covering his ears.
"I doubted he actually had his." Leopold said, shrugging. "They're in Loven picking up those specialty items—they stopped by Moxie's place for dry clothes."
"Dry... why did they need...?" Nitro suddenly froze, Monica's eyebrow twitching out.
"They're fine! No injuries whatsoever from what Quincy told me—and they just jumped off the bridge, no big deal, I've done it too." Leopold shrugged.
"Oh... wait... they... RAVI DID TOO?!" Monica burst.
"Get back in the car and let's go pick them up." Nitro rolled his eyes.
"You realize this car seats five..." Leopold began, Nitro laughing.
"It has a sixth seat, fold it out Monica, will you?" Nitro said, beginning to drive again. Monica nodded, having sat shotgun. She unfolded the seat between the passenger's and driver's seat, then looked back at Leopold and Good.
"What's the set up going to be when we pick them up?" Monica asked, leaning back a little to look at Good and Leopold.
"I'll sit up front with you two and Ravi, Quincy and Leopold can sit in back." Good said, seeming to have already decided.
Once they found Ravi and Quincy, and Ravi put a few things in the trunk, they moved around a little so Monica was stuck between Good and Nitro. Leopold sat behind Good and Quincy separated him from Ravi. Good leaned back and had his arms over the seat and messed with Leopold's hands, something they did regularly. Quincy watched them for awhile, then realized Ravi was holding his hand and started stroking the dark hand's thumb.
"Just so you know Quince, you're staying with us until we move to Yale or whatever and you're both in trouble." Monica announced, huffing.
"Yes ma'am." Quincy smirked.
"I expected you to be packing." Alice admitted, Good looking at him oddly.
"Why would I be packing? School just got out." Good stated, seeming to think it was a pretty obvious affair.
"When are you leaving?" Alice asked, sounding odd, but Good paid little mind.
"In about a month." Good said, simple in his tone of voice.
"Oh." Alice said, then looked around Good's room. "So then you'll be gone again..."
"Are you... having empty nest syndrome?" Good raised an eyebrow. Alice blinked, looking his eye over at Good.
"Yes." Alice said, nodding. "Amazing how little time it takes to get used to someone."
"I know what you're talking about there." Good smirked, sitting up from his reclining position on his bed. "But it'll be fine, I mean, moving and all."
Alice suddenly looked sinister. "Perhaps."
"Well, unpacking is going to suck, but all our stuff's finally here. Could have mentioned we'd be on the millionth floor!" Nitro huffed. At the moment, having left their own bags in their own new apartments, the group conglomerated in Nitro's apartment, dreading their own unpacking.
"It's only the seventeenth floor, and you should have noticed that when you did the paperwork for renting." Monica pointed out, Nitro rolling his eyes.
"I had Good do that for me, I just did the "sign here" stuff." Nitro shrugged, then laughed. "Damn! Look at us, teens all headed to an elite school, tired from moving into our own places, ready to take on the world for the hundredth time..."
"What's your point Nitro?" Quincy took in a breath.
"We all grow up way too fast." Nitro said, almost on a different subject. "Even Good, I mean... we could be anywhere doing anything, and we're here being us and being real and not even caring what the other kids are doing because we are the kids in our world and we don't need anyone else. I don't know, I guess I'm just thinking."
"It is sort of weird, I mean, I'm not sure what you're trying to say, but I kind of understand." Andy, once having that said, flopped backwards. "We used to not go through the motions like this."
"That was a long time ago." Monica pointed out, raising a finger smartly. "I mean, we've all benefited from this lifestyle since we started using it, it's not like we've been having totally lame lives since we decided to start this. Also, you need more smarts eventually Andy."
"Shut up." Andy rolled over to have her back to Monica.
"Think we'll meet new people in College?" Good asked, looking to Leopold, who smiled.
"We haven't not yet."
Good walked down the stairs of desks until he saw a boy with intriguing hair, who decided to sit next to.
"Morning." The boy greeted. His hair was so dark brown it looked black and hung in his face, although in back it was very, very short, almost a buzz. His eyes, though in shadow, were very vivid green and only half-open. He was wearing a zip-up sweatshirt with a skull that was cut in half by the zipper over a white tank top.
"Morning." Good leaned over a bit to look more properly at the heavily forward-leaning boy. There was a silence where they just stared at each other, then a book hit the back of the other boy's head and thus slammed it into the desk before him.
"Don't slouch!" A girl barked, then grabbed the offending book and sat down a few seats in front of them. He grumbled, rubbing his head and leaning back in his chair to glare at her.
"Who's she?" Good asked, though he had yet to ask the boy's name.
"My evil twin sister." He half-growled. "Damn lecture classes... teacher not even here yet..."
"Been here long?" Good asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Not too much longer than you. Teacher's late now. What's your name?" The boy looked at the clock, then at Good.
"My name's Good, and yours?" He extended a hand as to shake. The boy laughed, but took Good's hand with a firm grip.
"That's swell. My name's William, my sister's name is Elliam, nice to meet you."
"Attention! Sorry for my lateness, but we must get started immediately to make up for the lost time." The woman teacher announced, hurrying into the room.
William rolled his eyes, taking a recorder from his pocket and putting it on the desk, pushing the button that made it start recording.
"Smart." Good whispered, blinking.
"This isn't everyone's first day you know." William smirked.
"Basically, I want to be a technician, but I still have to take some other classes to get me graduated, so I have to go through those sorts of classes. But I don't like them, I like my tech classes. So I just record the lectures, listen to 'em a few times later and jot down the important parts. Doesn't take a genius to figure out how to blow through those classes." William explained, walking with Good down the hallways of Yale.
"What sort of technician do you want to be?" Good asked, William blinking, then laughing.
"A computer tech, I want to design and build computer equipment. Sharp ears you got, you don't even have to use a recorder." William patted Good on the back. "What're you in for?"
"I'm an English major but, I'm not sure what I'm doing in life yet." Good shrugged.
"You have plenty of time to decide, trust me. Just remember to have fun sometimes and you'll be cool." William nodded, then patted Good's back again before walking in a different direction.
"William, eh?" Leopold smirked, pouring hot water on tea bags in mugs.
"He seemed pretty nice. I liked his hair." Good shrugged. "He has a twin sister. Reminded me of Monica and Ravi, in a weird way. She threw a book at his head."
"Sounds like siblings. Especially when closely related, they get irate with each other and it sort of becomes a love-hate thing." Leopold nodded. They hadn't fully unpacked, boxes where sitting in piles in the main room and the bedroom—with two beds—was fairly barren.
"I wouldn't really know." Good shrugged again. "But it was interesting."
"College is easier than High School, people are still idiots, you still have to do annoying assignments and take annoying tests, but you have more freedom and well, it's just plain easier." Leopold put a mug in front of Good.
"Seems that way." Good smirked. "I already know these things."
"That's 'cause you're too smart." Leopold smirked back. "William... seems like I've heard that before. I mean—it's common, but..."
"WILLIAM!!" A woman's voice shrieked in the distance.
"That's it!" Leopold smacked his fist on his palm. "She went off last night too."
"That sounded like Elliam..." Good blinked. "I guess... we're not the only ones going to Yale here."
"Are you kidding? This place is full of Yale kids." Leopold laughed.
"Then... this is going to be even more fun than I thought."
"What bitterness I had to transfer into this horrid class!" A girl snapped, walking behind Elliam down the stairs of the classroom. Good blinked, looking back at them from William's side as William sunk lower into his chair. "I mean, I don't mind the class itself, but the company! Honestly, I'd rather be in a classroom with cannibals who haven't eaten in a few days!"
"Elliam has a friend." Good stated simply.
"Oh and who are you? Hopefully William hasn't tainted you with his own scoff voice. Honestly, he's a total annoyance! Doesn't even know Shakespeare from Dorothy Parker to boot! Idiot and nuisance, my what a package a beggar wouldn't even want!" She stopped by their desk, Elliam continuing down the stairs to her own desk, ignoring the sharp-tongued girl.
"I would be named Good, and who pray tell are you?" Good raised an eyebrow.
"Oh pray not! I would be named Delu! Unlike William I am an educated person with a mind and a wit!" She snapped, William beginning to growl. "Nothing to say to me, eh?"
"Shut up! We have a class together, big whoop! It's not like I'm thrilled to be within a hundred feet of the likes of you either you two-faced witch!" William barked back at her.
"Ha! A two-faced witch am I?! I've heard more creative insults from an infant who knew no more words than he had toes!" She tossed back her stalk-straight shoulder length ivory hair.
"Yes, you're a two-faced witch! One face that vile sick you paint on your repulsive other face that should be looked upon by no man fit to live!" William continued, she looking taken aback. She actually wasn't wearing much makeup, but it was still obvious she was wearing it. The teacher rushed, once again late, into the classroom. Delu flicked her hair and walked down to sit next to Elliam.
"You have serious female issues." Good whispered and William slinked even lower in his chair.
"Don't get me started..."
"My mom had a single kid, a set of identical twins, my sister and I—also twins, a set of triplets and then another single kid. Of all these children—the crazy woman for having so many—I'm the only boy. So I grew up surrounded by women. You'd think I'd be pretty much compatible with them then, but no, I have terrible issues with every girl I've ever met. So I've never had a girlfriend, and honestly—I plan to stay that way." William explained, Good laughing. "But don't get any ideas, I'm not gay, I just don't want women!"
"Understandable I suppose." Good nodded a bit.
"What's not understandable..." William started, then shook his head. Good blinked, waiting for William to finish. "Never mind. Hey, are you doing anything around six?"
"Not that I know of." Good shrugged.
"Cool. If you want, Elliam and I are going to this weird coffee shop place our oldest sister owns, it's called Bu-Jeer, you heard of it?" William asked, Good pausing to think.
"I believe so. It's on the same block as that apartment building, right?" Good questioned, William nodding. "Then I'll see you there?"