It’s Penultimate Scene Time and the living is easy. Or so I imagined before I blew out the only light bulb I had in the house and had to use a few of the light in the apartment to get around. It wasn’t that bad, but it was a lot dimmer than I usually have in the joint.
The flight is over, and my kids are on the ground, more or less, out of their seats and ready to take the last few steps to the terminal. But while they are ready, they are hardly willing–
The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015, 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
Outside the plane the sun was setting and twilight would soon come to the city of Berlin. None of that was of concern to Kerry: at the moment he was standing by his luggage not far from their seats in the nose of the A330-300 and waiting with Annie as they watch the other students file out of the aircraft and head down to the walkway to Gate A10 of Terminal A of Tegel Airport.
Neither Annie or he were in a hurry to leave the aircraft. Once they were out on to the walkway it was a thirty second stroll to the terminal, where Annie’s mother and Ms. Rutherford were waiting for them. Once they were with them they would likely have another couple of minutes together, and like that—poof. They’d go their separate ways and not see each other again for—well, not the entire summer as they had expected last year, but a few weeks would pass before they could spend half a day together having lunch, strolling through London, and missing each other completely.
This was one of those moments when Kerry wished he could go home with Annie and spend the summer living out of her lake house, though he knew that dream was impossible.
I know what you’re thinking: why doesn’t Kerry go spend the summer with Annie? Just tell Ms. Rutherford he doesn’t want to go home and head for the mountains of Bulgaria, right? One, it doesn’t work like that: unless The Foundation thinks his parents might just kill his ass the moment he outs himself, he still has to go home and tell his folks the true. And Two: if you were Annie’s mom, would you want The Ginger Hair Boy of your daughter’s dreams sleeping four hundred meters away from your child? While she might trust them not to do, um, things, maybe she doesn’t want Annie out there playing sucker face with her boyfriend all the time. “Mama, I’m going out to the lake out to, um . . . work on spells. Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do.” Mama Kirilova isn’t stupid, you know.
Right now they are siting at Gate A10, which is right below, in the lower center of the picture, where the plane closest to the center line is parked.
And I got to use my neat astronomy program as well to see what the sky was like–
Strangely enough, the first paragraph had me setting the time about an hour later, cause I wrote in the first paragraph that it was almost dark outside and the light were doing a great job of holding back the darkness–and then I thought, “I should check the sky, just to be sure.” And . . . I needed to rewrite that first paragraph, ’cause I would have looked stupid if I’d left that line in place. And I don’t want to look stupid.
Now that all the geographical stuff and reasons for Kerry going home are out of the way, let’s see what my kids are about to do–other than be sad, that is:
The last few students deplaned as Kerry looked down at the floor. “About time to go.”
“Yes, it is.” Annie hooked her arm around his. “You know what to do, my love?”
He nodded. “Don’t cry in front of your mother, and write to you: not type, but write by hand.”
She stood before him and kissed his lips. “You are too good to me.”
He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “You’re supposed to be treated good all the time, so I do.”
“Hey, you two.” They turned and saw Helena standing in the doorway to their section of the cabin. “You’re the last on the plane, and these people want to go home as well.” She motioned at them. “Come on, party’s over, let’s go.”
They headed out towards the entrance, Annie leading the way. Helena stepped out of the way so they could make their way into the plane’s entry area. Erywin stood on the other side of the open door. Annie sigh was full of sadness. “It is time to go, isn’t it?”
“’Fraid so, Deary.” Erywin walked over and gave Annie a gentle hug. “Don’t worry: we’ll get you back with your ginger boy soon enough.”
“And for that we thank you guys.” Kerry looked at Helena as he spoke. “You guys are doing so much . . .” He started to choke up as his emotions started getting the better of him.
Annie reached for his hand. “My love—”
Kerry quickly wiped his eyes and nodded. “I’m okay.” He took three deep breaths so he could regain his composure. “Really, I’m good: I won’t lose it.”
Helena wrapped an arm around Kerry and gave him a solid hug, then did the same to Annie. “Come on, let’s get the hell out of here.”
“Yes, let’s.” Erywin went over and gave Kerry a final hug. “You remember, if things go bad at home—”
“I won’t forget, Erywin.” He managed a slight smile. “I’m certain Ms. Rutherford won’t either.”
“She better not.” The Formulistic Magic instructor stepped to the side of her sorceress partner. “We’ll follow you out.”
Annie smiled at them. “Thank you.” She turned and held out her hand. “Shall we, my love?”
He took her hand. “Let’s do this.”
She nodded once. “Let’s.”
If there is anything you can say about The Mistress of All Things Dark and her Don’t Call Her the Potions Mistress partner, it’s that they do care for these two a great deal. As has likely been noted, and even pointed out, Helena and Erywin are kind of the father/mother figures both kids are looking for, because for all her hard ass attitude Helena is quick to heap praise on Annie where it’s deserved, and for all her snarkiness and “don’t give a shit” attitude about most things, Erywin is the one who knows how to comfort Kerry and, yes, even show him affection. If you don’t believe this “Come Live With Us, Kerry” move wasn’t Erywin’s doing to start, you’re not paying attention.
Sure, Helena agreed to it because she, too, likes Kerry, but she did it partially because Erywin probably wanted it, and partially because if she’d said “no”, she’d have had a pissed off little Bulgarian sorceress giving her stink eye. And we can’t have that. It’s the same with getting them together over the summer: Helena knows how much it means to Annie, so . . .
So the goodbyes from the Favorite Instructors is over and the plane is finally empty.
All that remains are the last goodbyes . . .