First, have you read chapter 1? Chapter 2 begins below.
Aston sat in his room in the dark, just thinking about how much he spent in his room. Everyday Aston tries to not think about that horrible day in his past. But all he seemed to do was think about it. He thought about how vulnerable he was that day and how he never wanted to experience it again. But whenever he went to sleep, those experiences fell into his dreams over and over. Constantly, He’d dreamed about the fire that burned one of the tortured victims, Peace, alive, he dreamed of the balls which fell from the ceiling in the school’s hallways, he dreamed about the blinking on-and-off lights in the hallways that made him experience darkness and fear, he dreamed of the bullet wounds on his hand and his arms from his encounters that day, and the lastly he dreamed about Roxie. Even though Roxie and him went through the same things together and knew she was only a victim, he didn’t want to think or see her. She was a part of his past and his past was packed with horrid imagery of a that day. It would be better if he’d just forget about it.
Aston was on his way to dozing off, probably to only be awaken by another nightmare. But his alarm clock woke him up and he had to get ready to work with his father. He got out of bed and took his shower. Then after his shower, he went to the kitchen to find two suitcases by the fridge. Then he looked at the fridge confused.
“Dad!” he called out. He moved the suitcases so he could grab some milk for his cereal. As his father walked into the kitchen, he saw Aston found the suitcases.
“I’m guessing you’re wondering why there are suitcases here?” his father answered. Aston nodded.
Steve didn’t want to tell Aston what was next, but Steve knew that what he was doing for Aston was the right thing to do.
“Aston, I packed those bags for you,” Aston eyes grew wide, thinking of his father sending him back to his mother, back to Portland. Steve saw Aston face. “No, it’s not that. Aston, I’m sending you to get some help. Son, you have to learn how to control your grief or all you will ever do is worry.”
Aston looked at his father not knowing what to say. He didn’t want to leave or experience another change after he had become comfortable living in Texas.
“Where will I be going?” Aston asked his father without looking into his eyes. He felt betrayed all over again. Instead of it being his friend this time, it was his own flesh and blood.
“You will be going to a camp called Herewood Recovery Camp. The camp is in Idaho Panhandle National Forest. You’ll be living there for a month. You leave tomorrow morning around 9 am.”
Aston looked at his father with such sorrow. He couldn’t believe he being sent to some crazy camp in the woods with crazy, idiotic people. “So you were just going to bail on me like that, without giving it a second thought?” He asked his father. His father looked at him with a straight face. Aston noticed that his father and him were the same height, 5 foot and 11 inches. They both had piercing brown eyes and a stern expression.
“You’re going to leave me in the middle of the woods with strange ‘recovering’ people and expect me to change how I feel about three psychopaths that kept me hostage in my old high school? Dad, if you really think this will change how I am, then you must have lost your mind…just like me,” Aston walked away after he told his father how he felt. He went into his room, laid on his bed facing the ceiling, and took a deep breath. He knew there was no way of getting out of this and he realized he didn’t have the energy to care anymore. He fell into a deep sleep afterward.
* * *
Roxie walked into the advising office at UCLA, she needed to schedule an appointment with her adviser so she could set-up her a schedule for the fall semester. She knew she had to do it but she didn’t want to. She was actually rethinking going to college, she hated being in lecture halls listening to professors lecture their lessons. She always started daydreaming. When she’d daydreamed, things in her mind begin to surface and always go to that day she hated to remember. Roxie didn’t like it but the only way she could make something of herself is if she went to college. She didn’t want to turn out being like her parents, with no higher education.
“Roxie, I’m so glad you’re here, Can you please come into my office?” Roxie’s adviser Mr. Charles said. Roxie walked into his office and she sat in one of the chairs opposite of Mr. Charles’ desk.
“Mr. Charles, I just want to say I know I haven’t been proficient in school and the school is thinking of getting rid of my scholarship, but I think after the summer sessions, I should be fine, and I’ll be ready to start focusing on my studies,” Roxie explained to her advisor. She really didn’t know if she’d be ready after the summer session. But she knew that she didn’t want to get kicked out of school, not yet at least.
Mr. Charles looked at Roxie and saw the pain she went through. The school wanted to give her a second chance. But they didn’t know if she could ever come back from what she went through. The school gave Mr. Charles the control of Roxie’s fate. Mr. Charles knew Roxie was bright. Also, he knew that he didn’t want her to give up on her future. Mr. Charles was giving her this last opportunity to forget about what happened and move on.
“Roxie, the school and I have decided to give you a second chance. But you have to do something for us in return.” Roxie watched him as he reached into the first drawer of his desk and grabbed a pamphlet. Roxie saw the pamphlet’s title which said “Herewood Recovery Camp.” Then Mr. Charles offered Roxie a smile. “Roxie, the only way to forget about what happened in your past is if you finally grieve and mourn about it. You have to reach recovery or the school won’t give you the scholarship and they will kick you out. Roxie, you are required to go to this camp in Idaho or you won’t be going to UCLA.”
Roxie looked at Mr. Charles with so much shock. She felt outraged but knew that wouldn’t help her situation if she acted upon it. She felt like a sponge with all the emotion she wanted to let out being sucked in all the time. She also felt like a kid again. People were making decision for her that she believed would cause more conflict and disorder.
“Mr. Charles, I can’t go… I can’t go in the middle of nowhere and expect to be so open with my problems. How am I supposed to get to Idaho? I expect the school will just pay for my expenses, or am I suppose to dip into the lovely trust fund my drunk, idiot parents left me?” Roxie asked with a hint of sarcasm at the end. She hated the control that almost everybody seems to have on her. The only way she could express her feelings was if she hurt someone else’s.
“Your boyfriend Michael has volunteered to take care of your expenses to Idaho. You leave tomorrow around ten, both of you. Pack your bags. Ms. Roxie, you have a long summer ahead of you.” Mr. Charles replied quickly, he grabbed his briefcase and left his office. Roxie was shocked at what he told her.
Michael is in on his she thought.
“This is the time for second chances Roxie.” Mr. Charles whispered. Roxie scowled at the statement. Mr. Charles left his office and Roxie finally understood that she was and always will be…alone.
Survival of the Unworthy by Kendyl Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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