best worst day ever
The university was called off the next day, but the students were still asked to come to attend an important assembly. Kaitlyn and Hannah made a conference call with the rest of the group, everybody sharing their excitement over the free day, and made a plan to hang out later. Instead of Henry, two other cars came to pick up the girls: Maggie was driving her jeep, her boyfriend Robbie in the front and Sarah in the back. Kevin was driving his blue Sedan, Leah, his girlfriend, was sitting in the front, and Hannah and Kay jumped in the back.
“Well I wonder what happened that day was called off?” Kevin said as the music on the radio went to local news.
“Who cares! It’s a day off!” Hannah remarked as her friends cheered, and Leah turned up the music as it came back on.
“I can’t feel my face when I’m with you!” Kevin said making kissy faces at Leah.
“If I have to hear that song one more friggin’ time, I swear my head will explode!” Leah irritably said, quickly changing the station.
“Agreed,” chimed the girls in the back with relief.
“Hey Kay, where’s Henry?
“I don’t know where he is. He didn’t even call me after school. He did say he had something important to do.”
“Maybe he finally knocked off Joseph after yesterday’s confrontation!” Kevin laughed as he looked at Kay through the back view mirror, who sat rolling her eyes.
“TONIGHT ELVIS IS DEAD, AND EVERYONE’S SPREAD, AND LOVE IS A SATIRE! AND NOW I KNOW MY HEART IS A GHOST TOWN!” The entire car sang along with Adam Lambert, even doing the whistling as they turned the signal to the university.
“MY HEART IS A GHOst----town.” Every one stuttered as the entire York-ford University was grey and serene, true embodiment of a ghost town. Even with the incoming cars and students, the scene was eerily dead and still. The gang looked around and then at each other, their jaws dropped.
“Whoa, did someone ACTUALLY die,” Kevin remarked, but was quickly shushed by the rest. He parked into the empty spot next to the jeep, the three people in it still sitting in, even though they had come in two minutes earlier. Kevin and his passengers gingerly stepped out and he rapped at the metal frame of the other car, startling them back to earth.
“What happened man,” Kevin asked Robbie as he hopped out the passenger seat. Maggie came around quickly and clutched Robbie’s arm as Kevin grabbed Leah’s hand, the other three girls linking arms together as they all walked towards Assembly hall.
The hall itself was physically grey. There were wreaths on the wall and black and grey streamers hanging on the walls and wrapped around the handles. Whispers flew all around as a group of university officials huddled next to the stage. Two women stood separately, the old lady, with her golden hair wrapped up in a small black veil patting her eyes dry every once in a while as the other woman seemed to be comforting her.
The seven new comers found a spot in the top rows and made their way up, asking people around if they knew what had happened. Some said it was a police matter, others that the old university president had passed away, and others didn’t care or made jokes. As the hall appeared to fill up, an official made his way to the mic on the stage. He tapped the mic, it emanating a little feedback, and then told everyone to find a seat and remain silent to be addressed by the president. That put some rumors to rest.
On cue, the old man walked in, cane in hand. The whole hall stood up in respect, sitting down once he had reached the mic.
“Morning everyone.” He said in a rich New York accent. There was a chorus of reply and then he continued.
“I hope you all noticed that I did not say good, because unfortunately, our gathering today isn’t for a celebratory occasion. Our school has a particular student, prized in all vices, whose personality and character make him hard to go unnoticed. And you will notice that he is not here among us today. Mournfully, today this gathering is to announce that that prized individual, Joseph Styles, is no longer physically among the living. Last night, around 8:30pm, Mr. Styles had a mortally horrible exposure to an allergen, which sadly, took him from us before he could be taken to the hospital.”
There were murmurs all around and the principle had to tap the mic and raise his voice to get the crowd under control.
“Jo-Joseph Styles lives-lives on amongst us in memory and his memorable good deeds. The Styles family has wished to hold a vigil tonight at 8 at the campus, and all are welcome to attend and present their condolences to the family. Our councilors are available all day to those who need addition support to move on healthily from this tragedy. In exception to today, the schedule for the remaining days of school remain intact. Thank you for your presence today, and I offer my condolences to you all. The assembly is adjourned, please be respectful of the occasion as you leave the campus.”
Kevin looked at his friends next to him, who all stared back with owl eyes as the president announced Joseph’s death. Nobody said a word till the assembly was over, and people silently made their way down the bleachers and out of the hall.
“Ok, before? What I said in the car, it was just a joke,” Kevin said throwing his hands up in defense.
“You don’t think Henry actually...” Hannah began to suggest and everyone stopped to stare at Kaitlyn.
“You guys can’t be serious!” Kay stuttered in disbelief. “The president said it was an accidental exposure. And anyways, Henry wouldn’t actually-” her friends quietly stared at her. “Come on guys! Here I’ll call him right now.”
Kay took out her phone and dialed Henry’s number, but the dial tone was mute as a blasting announcement was made for the internship competitors to meet in the business lounge. She pocketed her phone and walked with the others towards the second building, crossing all the fingers and toes she could that Henry wasn’t involved.
Through the door of the lounge, they could see two men standing and talking and a third sitting on the ledge by the fireplace, who turned out to be Henry. Kay was about to make her way in first, but Kevin grabbed her by the arm, motioning with his head for her to understand. Robbie walked in first and the rest followed, gaining attention to themselves as they piled in.
The school representative introduced the gang to the short man next to him as Albert Davis, who was here from MellarkTek HQ.
“Please please, be seated. I understand you children are shaken up over the death of your colleague.”
Al suggested to the students, all of whom sat but Maggie.
“Please my lady, be seated.”
“No thank you, I’m fine.”
“No no you should sit, you could faint.”
“Oh no, I don’t think I will.”
“But if you did, THEN!”
Maggie quickly sat down next to Rob, the rest tried to stifle their laughter.
“I am sorry. I get carried away.” Al straightened his coat and walked around with his hands behind his back.
“I offer condolences of your loss on behalf of myself and my company. I know this is a hard time and there may be nothing others can do to console you.”
The gang sighed and rolled their eyes.
“But I hope a three four week cruise on our company’s new cruise line can provide some comfort.”
Everybody sat up straight, the girls let out excited squeals but then quickly hushed.
“Well the death of your colleague dropped the other group from the race, but, you should know that even if they were, in a difficult decision by the judges, your group had one extra anonymous vote, so you win the trip to the cruise either way.”
Everyone jumped up in excitement and shared a hug.
“Now now,” Al intervened. “You only get one week of the four to enjoy the cruise. The next three you have to spend deciding where you want to intern. Oyi, if I were you, I’d run away. Please, only one week to enjoy-”
Henry grabbed Al and planted a big kiss on his cheek.
“Well, I suppose I am a little too old. Now, as you all know, that winning this internship is in leu of your final exams, meaning that had you taken the tests, you all would have passed. But I find it’s more fun and less stressful this way! Along with the opening ceremony of the cruise line initiation, the company will hold a graduation ceremony for you-how many are you?”
“For all eight of you. Congratulations!”
The group was then congratulated by the school rep and then were allowed to leave.
“We’re going on a cruise around the world!”
“And our graduation is on a ship!”
“We should go celebrate!” Sarah suggested, and everyone agreed.
“We should split, girls and guys!” Kevin announced.
“What, why?” Henry asked, unaware of the group’s distrust in him.
“I don’t know! I don’t wanna go shopping and I don’t think the girls want to go to gentlemen’s club!! Haha.” Robbie interjected, following Kevin’s reasoning.
The girls agreed, and Kevin gave a side hug to Kay, who he thought of as a little sister since the first time they met.
“Alright!” Kay finally said, throwing her fist up. She joined the girls, who shared a group hug, and Maggie and Kevin exchanged keys, the five girls drove off in the blue car to the mall as the three boys hopped on the jeep and headed in the opposite direction.