An hour after Megan left, Chance stepped out of his room, finding his father sitting on the couch, staring blankly at the television. Chance walked slowly towards him.
Chance asked softly. Brandon seemed to snap back to reality. He looked over at his son, who was plane and his green eyes wide, wet with tears that threatened to fall.
Chance? What's the matter? Brandon furrowed his eyebrows and scooted over to make room for Chance to sit down.
Chance surprised him by nearly running to him and burying his face in Brandon's chest. Brandon held his boy close to him, rubbing his back slowly, trying to calm the young man down.
What happened? Brandon asked, pulling Chance out of his chest in order to talk to him.
I've messed everything up! Because of me, Kayla is gone and Megan's never gonna talk to me. How did I mess everything up? What happened? Chance's eyes bore into Brandon's and the intensity of emotion behind them caused Brandon to shift uncomfortably.
I can't answer that for you, Chance. We all make mistakes. You can't take back what you've done or what's happened, but you can learn from them, Brandon wasn't sure what else to tell Chance.
Chance once again buried himself in his father's broad chest. he needed something solid, something that didn't want to leave him or hate him.
Do you think I'll ever see Kayla again? Chance asked after a while.
Maybe. If you want to see her again, you will, Brandon pushed the dark hair off Chance's forehead.
Chance was quiet for a moment, then looked back at Brandon. I love her. Why couldn't I realize that before? Chance let out a heavy sigh and stood up. I'll be back later, I need to clear my head, Chance walked away.
Brandon had been pushed to the background during this whole mess. he watched helplessly as his best friends left the town, his wife and son face the consequences of their actions and all he felt he did was watch. No different than the TV that glowed silently in front of him.
Chance had asked where he went wrong. Brandon began to wonder where he and his family became so distant. he honestly couldn't say where Chasity was at the moment. During their vacation, Brandon and Chasity had reached a wonderfully intimate stage in their relationship, but since they had gotten home, any progress they had made was lost.
He stood up and turned off the TV, tired of watching. He scoured the house for his wife and found her locked up in their bedroom, sheets pulled over her head, silent and still. Brandon walked up to the bed and slowly pulled back the sheets. Her face was tearstained and she was shaking. She was in no better shape than Chance. Brandon lifted her easily, sat down himself and cradled her in his arms.
Chasity's eyes went wide as Brandon moved her and then held her close. What can I do, Chasity? I'm tired of watching. I'm tired of watching you and Chance tear yourselves apart. I'm tired of seeing misunderstandings being blown out of proportion. I want everything back to the way it was. What can I do? Brandon's voice was harsh and desperate.
Chasity looked away from him. She was the reason that Amy had decided to leave. I don't even know what I can do, how the hell can I help you? Chasity said coldly, keeping her gaze away from Brandon.
Brandon put her down on the bed to get up and pace. This is ridiculous, you know? We may have lost our dearest friends, but we still have our family, is that worth saving or do you want to see that go down the drain as well, Brandon couldn't help the accusing tone in his voice. He was confused and frustrated and as far as he could tell, his was completely useless.
Of course our family is worth saving. A lot has happened! Can't you respect that this is hard on me! Chasity sat up, glaring at him.
Brandon walked over the bed and grabbed her arm. Get out of bed, Chasity! Stop hiding yourself! We can't let this drag us down, Brandon nearly hauled her out of bed.
Chasity let out a wretched scream. You let me go! It's obviously not dragging you down, Chasity sneered and squirmed out of Brandon's grip.
That's because you keep pushing me in the background! Don't say this hasn't affected me, you just have been so damn self centered that you haven't noticed. It's like I'm not even here any more! I just get shoved aside, something that can be easily forgotten! What happened to us, Chasity. It was there, not very long ago at all and now it's gone, Brandon yelled and then left the room.
Chasity stood, her mouth gaping open. She had nothing to say and couldn't think of anything. Why did it feel like her entire life was breaking down . . .what was going on?
The scientists called a meeting on account of the rapid changes that had taken place over the period of the vacation. The head scientist stood at the podium, his head cradled in his hand in concentration and worry. He cleared his throat and addressed his fellow scientists.
I'm not sure what to say. I would like to say that I thought this vacation would be a good thing, strengthen the family bonds, but as you all know, that hasn't been the case. We're down to so few families that it's costing us more trying to maintain the experiment than the results are worth. I hate to suggest this, but I think it's for the best that we cancel the experiment, The head scientist said, his voice heavy with regret.
Heads bobbed in agreement, they had all witnessed the downfall that the experiment had taken. What exactly had they proved? The fact that they could shove people together and manipulate their lives so that they may live in water-downed version of life. The children had been like fish out of water when they were forced into the real world. They had all managed fine, but that was just a vacation. It didn't seem likely they would do so well in school or the real world. It was time for this game on people's lives to end.
If we're all in agreement, then we'll announce it to the citizens tonight, the few that remain. Thank you all for your hard work, he smiled sadly and turned away, fighting the feelings of defeat.
A/N: I am deeply sorry for the 6 month wait on this chapter. I've had to do a lot of thinking as to what direction I wanted this to take and I've just now been able to piece it together. I'm hoping that I can write this a little quicker than I have in the past, but I am so appreciative for those of you that have stuck around. If it takes me another six months to write a chapter, I am sorry, but please have faith that I won't abandon this story. Also, feel free to poke me after such a long hiatus. Knowing that people are still interested will certainly help me speed it up and write. Anyway, sorry this is so short, I'm hoping that I will be able to get the next chapter out soon.