Before You Go

Adam is leaving for university and before he goes Charlie will find out his biggest secret

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Started: 4 Sep 2007

Updated: 13 Oct 2007

Before You Go by Alley

I don’t like the rain much. It’s too gloomy and I hate being cooped up inside for too long. How appropriate that it was gloomy that day as rain clouds gathered above the bus station.

We stood in silence, nether of us quite sure of what to say. Adam was avoiding looking at me and I didn’t feel like instigating a conversation. Ever since Adam got into Uni. on full hockey scholarship I suddenly found that I had very little to say to him. What was I supposed to say? Congratulations? Well I said that.

I don’t even know where I’m going for Uni. or if I’ll be able afford it. And I’m sure as hell not certain about college hockey. Adam’s future was secure from day one. He’d be going to Uni. anyways. No matter if he played hockey or not. It’s like that for “rich kids.” Call it me being jealous. But don’t I have a right to be at least a little bit jealous? After all just because I know that life’s not fair it doesn’t make things easier for a kid like me.

“The bus should be here soon,” I said out of nowhere.

“Yea…” Adam answered distractedly.

“I thought you’d be more excited,” I admitted.

“Should I be?”

“Adam you’re going to one of the best Universities in the US and on full hockey scholarship! I’d be jumping up and down if I were you.” I shunned the bitterness I felt out of my voice and threw a smile his way.

Adam laughed. But it was cheerless, cold, and he still wouldn’t look at me. “There’s not much waiting for me at University, Charlie.”

Of all things this was not what I had expected. “What are you talking about, Adam? This is your dream come true.”

He finally looked up at me and locked his gaze with mine. For a moment I thought I saw tears in his eyes but then he blinked and they were gone. Must have been a trick of the light. But this was still starting to confuse me. “Adam?”

“I bet you could get on the team, Charlie! As a walk on… you know? Or have you tried sending them an application! They’ll take you on grades alone!” His tone sounded strangely hopeful. But the plea stung. He knew very well why I couldn’t do that.

“You know I can’t afford it so please don’t rub it in! Things aren’t as easy for me, Banks!” I really didn’t mean to sound so harsh but the pressure to make some sort of life for myself was driving me to the breaking point these days.

He looked away. “I’m sorry… it’s just… I thought… oh it’s all stupid anyways. Forget it.”

Since when was Banksie lost for words? This rarely happened with him. And why wasn’t he getting pissed at me?

“It’s just I’m going to this new place and I’m gonna be all alone with this while leaving everything most important to me behind.”

“Adam, you know the team is going to fall apart once everyone goes to different—”

“No, Charlie, forget the team! There’s this thing—person—that I can’t leave behind but now I have to and it’s making me fall apart,” he admitted, averting his eyes.

“Someone special?”

A nod.

“You in love, Banksie?”

He shrugged. “I guess. Never felt this way before so I really don’t know what to call it.”

“You wanna tell me who she is?”

“It’s not a she.”

“Oh.” That was really all I could say. Nothing else seemed to fit. Besides, I’m not the kind of person who’s going to judge a friend like that. “You still wanna tell me?”

“I can’t.”

“I won’t tell. Have you tried to ever tell this guy?”

“No. I can’t.”

“Oh come on, man. You never know he might like you back.”

“He doesn’t.”

I gave him a look. “How can you be sure?”

The bus pulled up at that moment. “Because,” Adam started softly as he began to back away toward the awaiting bus. “Because you have Linda.”

I watched him walk away.