( Mario )
So everyone had their happy endings. My roommate/best friend ended up with my ex-boyfriend, in a weird twist of fate. My current boyfriend professed his undying love for me—well, maybe it wasn't quite like that, but close enough. I had gotten him out of the closet, which was an amazing accomplishment in itself, one of which I was very proud.
Ryan had said to me that he wouldn't say he loved me until Raphael and Lena got together, but it was more of a joke than anything else. In fact, right after he said that, he said those three wonderful words—and I really think he meant it. But it was too good of a statement to let slide, so I used it against Lena. Yes, I had been trying to guilt-trip her…and it must have worked, at least in part.
Still, Ryan was convinced that Raphael was gay. He was very hardheaded in that sense. So I made Raphael and Lena kiss right in front of Ryan, as proof. They were reluctant, of course, but they got over their initial embarrassment—as I'd figured. Unfortunately, that kiss led to a mini make-out session, even though both Ryan and I kept reassuring them that that was quite enough proof, hey stop that now, okay seriously guys, get a room!
Also (a bonus!), I gained a new friend! Well, two new friends, since Ana and Grace were practically inseparable. Between the four of us, we formed what we called the "Gay Mafia," of which I was the proud "Fairy Godfather." We let Raphael and Lena carry out missions for us sometimes, out of the goodness of our hearts. Mainly, we allowed them to get us our food.
It took a long time, but I finally got Ana to admit that she felt much better about Raphael's relationship with Lena than his one with Eileen. But, she warned me (very convincingly, I might add), I mustn't let them know; she liked Lena to be nervous around her. Gave her a strange sadistic pleasure to be so intimidating. Oh, well.
And speaking of Eileen…
Lena had this great confrontation with her. I mean, it was really movie-worthy. I know because I was there. And maybe I have a tendency to overdramatize things, but who's keeping track?
Anyway, so Lena and I were walking…somewhere, it doesn't really matter. But Eileen came out of practically nowhere. She might have passed us by, and Lena might have passed her by, but for some reason they made eye contact, and Eileen just smiled. It was a sinister, fake smile, quite worthy of a villainess.
But all she said to Lena was, "You'll get sick of him soon." And she kept walking. Well, she would have kept walking, but Lena had this look on her face—a "don't screw around with me and expect to walk away unscathed" kind of look. Lena grabbed Eileen's shoulder and forced her to look at her. Then Lena gave her this big long angry speech about how Eileen can't mess around in her life anymore, and I would reprint it, but it was a little too profane for any kiddies out there who might be reading this.
The gist of it was: Stay away from me and my boyfriend, you blankety blankin' blank. Or else you'll regret it.
Eileen wasn't really scared, but she did seem a little humbled. She just shook off Lena's death grip with a muttered, "I've better things to do." A lie, I'm sure.
What exactly Hammond saw in her would remain a mystery to us all. Then again, Hammond was a bonehead himself, so it was hard to put yourself in his shoes.
From what I heard (which was not very much, since no one really cared anymore), Eileen and Erik were on and off, hot and cold, for a little while. By winter break, though, they were over. I think. Pretty sure. Well, that was when they started dating other people, so I just assumed…
That wasn't the last we heard from Erik Hammond, though. (After all, he was Ryan's roommate for the rest of junior year.) Maybe the break-up between him and Eileen taught him something about himself, because he wasn't so bad. And eventually Raphael grew to forgive and tolerate him. It helped when Andy and Pam…
But I'm getting away from things. That was an entirely different story.
I can't say that everyone lived happily ever after. Relationships aren't all hunky-dory and fine-and-dandy once they get started. But things in general were good all around for a while. And Ryan and I already set a date for the wedding.
Hah, just kidding. Just wanted to see if you were still paying attention. I mean, we're not in high school anymore, as Lena pointed out. But we're still just college kids. We party and go crazy and have flares of drama. We think about our practical futures, what we want to do with our lives, but not with whom we want to spend them.
Lena went abroad to London for her second semester in junior year. Apparently, she and Raphael missed each other terribly, because they felt compelled to instant-message and call and text each other every free second they got. Sheesh. Some couples. They just don't know how to do it.
See, this was how Ryan and I were going to handle the whole "study abroad" thing: first semester of senior year, Ryan was going to Madrid. And I was going with him.
So basically we were spending all of second semester in junior year preparing for that. Which was great, because it meant more classes together. That conundrum: solved. Oh yeah, we were so totally professionals at this whole relationship thing.
There's not really much to say that you probably couldn't infer on your own. Still, I'll give you Ryan's and my reflections on the past semester.
"So, Raphael was never gay?" I asked, feeling a little stab of regret. "That whole relationship with me was just a hoax?"
"No," Ryan said firmly, thoughtfully. "He definitely liked you, though he'll deny it to everyone, including himself. But whether he, uh…"
"Had homosexual tendencies?" I suggested.
"Yeah, that's good," Ryan said with a sly grin. "Whether he had homosexual tendencies or not before, he's totally in love with Lena right now. So it's all good."
"And Lena actually has blonde moments," I noted.
Ryan laughed. "Major blonde moments. More like, blonde weeks."
"She really hated him at first. Or, so she claimed," I recalled.
Ryan nodded. "I remember that. I think it was 'cause she still thought of him as the Raphael with Eileen. Even though she felt sorry for him when the whole fiasco with Eileen and Erik happened, I don't think she ever got past that first image of him. We—me, Lena, and Pam—used to have these huge long rants about how stupid and arrogant Raphael was. I guess that was Lena's way of taking out her frustration on Eileen, because we never talked about Eileen when Lena was around. So we beat up on Raph instead." He grinned and stared wistfully into space. "Them's were the days."
"Well, I guess when she finally figured out he actually seriously wanted to be with her, then it clicked," I said with a yawn. "Say, Ryan…were you jealous of Raph when he was going out with me?" I gave him a teasing grin.
He shoved me lightly. "Don't flatter yourself. It isn't becoming."
I snorted, then sobered up. "Well…you weren't on a rebound, were you? From Andy?"
"Oh, sure," he said casually. "But—"
"But once you started to get to know me, you realized this was so much better than any girl can offer," I finished for him, smoothing back my hair and giving him my best winning smile.
He raised his eyebrows at me while half-smiling. "Took the words right out of my mouth." He then stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Speaking of rebounds…"
"Hammond," I said, nodding. "Like, whoa."
"I don't think he even actually liked Lena," remarked Ryan. "I mean, he wouldn't really talk about her a whole lot—I guess he generally had a good opinion of her, and he would hang out with us when she came around…and, boy, he flirted with her like crazy. Except she never noticed." He grinned. "Blonde moment again."
"For a girl with such dark hair, she seems to be having a lot of those," I remarked.
"God, what kinda losers are we?" Ryan suddenly said, sitting up straight. "We're sitting here, talking about all these random things that happened to all these random people…we're gossiping like high school girls. What's wrong with us?"
I took his hand and waggled my eyebrows suggestively. "We don't have to talk…"
Ryan laughed and didn't protest.
That brings me to the end of that transcript. And I'd like to assure you that Ryan and I don't usually gossip like high school girls. Only occasionally.
But anyway: that's our story, and we're stickin' to it. Now I'm going to have to ask you politely, with the utmost respect and appreciation for you, to leave us all alone and mind your own frickin' business. Our stories are, from this point on, exclusively private. We're closing the dorm doors. And don't ever try to break into them. (Remember what happened to Raphael!)
So farewell, and good luck with your own happy endings. They are there, and they will come, even if they won't always stay, though we always hope they will.
And the corniness ends…now. 'Kay bye.
A.N.: Quick disclaimer: Vassar doesn't have a study abroad program in London, though it does in Madrid.
I'm sorry if you found the ending…rather unorthodox. But I thought it would be most appropriate if Mario did the honors in his own way, with his own words. :-)
At last I reach the end of this grand saga…again, my utmost thanks to everyone who's read this entire big long thing, sticking with me through the highs and lows, the funnies and the sads, the excitings and the borings. :-D
I may or may not write another story. If I do, it won't be a sequel to this story. Not really, anyway. I want to close the book on main characters Lena, Raphael, Mario, and Ryan, much as I love them dearly. And…if I do write another story, I won't start it for a while. First I have to finish high school for good, so I can close the book on THAT part of my life. xP
You may notice "Author Alerts" for On Air in the future; just ignore them. I'll be going back and revising this story, changing a few details here and there, but I won't be changing anything major. This story is, as far as I'm concerned, DONE!
So I bid all the fans of On Air a final farewell. It's been real, and it's been fun, and it's certainly been real fun. :-D
to you all!