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Gregor The Overlander book 6 (epilogue) Chapter One
It’s been about a year since I said the words “fly high”. One year since I was known as the chosen one, treated like a person other than some outcast. One year since I saw Luxa, the young queen of Regalia. One year since my life changed forever.
I live in South Carolina now. So much has happened in a year, starting with the thousand dollars that Vikus gave us. We are no longer poor. My father and mother both work, my sister Boots is just learning how to read, and my other sister Lizzie is the smartest girl in the fifth grade right now. It seems that everyone is doing fine since we moved to my Uncle’s; everyone except for me.
It‘s January and I am in school. Surprisingly, I caught up with the school work during the summer and got to go to the middle school, but even then I still get confused with history. In fact, I am in history right now, sitting in the back seat in the back corner, hoping that I do not get called to read.
“… The girl ran across the field, trying to get to the wagon before they did.” Mrs. Jameson continued reading a story about some little girl in the eighteen hundreds out loud as we followed along with the book. “No! the girl ran to her friend, crying…”.
I groaned after taking a glance at the clock for the fourteenth time. There was still another hour until school was over and I had to pick up Boots, my little sister, from the preschool down the block. This book was so long and boring that I was just about ready to fall asleep. Of course, if I do that, I’d end up screaming in the classroom from the haunting memories of war- even some small daydream could end up like that. And then I would just be sent to the some doctor to test my mental health-Who would believe that a thirteen year old boy went into war?- and everyone would outcast me. Again.
I sighed, tired from last night’s scare. I only had a few hours of sleep before I woke up screaming bloody murder from the top of my lungs and being too scared to fall back asleep, just lying there in my now spacious bedroom. I was too scared I would wake up everyone and the last thing I wanted was to get everyone up at four in the morning, so I just laid in bed, glancing at the ceiling.
“ ‘… But Mama,’ She said, more scared than she was than ever in her life, ‘Mama we have to go or else the will come!’” I flipped to the next page along with the class simultaneously, rolling my eyes. Oh please. I rolled my eyes as Ms. Jameson read about the little girl crying over her dead friend. Ya think this is bad, try dealing with the fact that half of your friends are either dead, abandoned you, or have no way of contacting you, your girlfriend is never to be seen again, and you’re a freak to your own kind. Now that’s something to cry about.
Apparently, Mrs. Jameson heard my groan from back here. “Gregory, would you like to continue to read?” Mrs. Jameson looked at me with that fake comforting smile. It almost convinced me that she was trying to make me feel “special in every way”, as she had first told my concerned parents before school started. But really I could tell she didn’t like me. No one liked me.
“Sure.” I murmured. What sucks about school is that when a teacher says , ‘would you like to read’ it really means ‘either read the story or detention after school.’ I continued the story. “‘… We must try to stay here, Lu-’” I stopped myself before I could say Luxa’s name. The teacher looked at me, as well as the other students, perplexed. I just ignored their stares, cleared my throat, and continued. “… Annie, where we know that it is safe.’ ‘How is it safe?’, Annie cried. ‘Caleb just got shot by the ra-’” I stopped myself again, swearing under my breath. I had almost said rats didn’t I? Forget it. I couldn’t take this any longer. “Mrs. Jameson,“ I said. “I need to use the restroom.”
She looked at me suspiciously. Probably thought I was going to do something bad and would probably end up calling Mom and Dad for the fiftieth time. “Go ahead Gregory. Just don’t forget to sign out.”
“Thanks.” I signed out, glancing at the clock. I had a whole half hour left of this learning hell and then I could get out and forget it all until the next day.
I went out the door and walked around campus, “finding my way to the bathroom” I would tell anyone who stopped me. They’d think I was stupid, forgetting all the time, but it was an excuse they fell for. It took seven minutes to get the bathroom and I walked into one of the stalls, closing the door and just sitting down, trying to relax. At least in here all alone no one would say “hey bruiser” or “don’t hurt me” or “what the heck is that on your arm?” At least in here it was quiet.
Just then, when I was taking a deep breath, a cockroach skittered across the bathroom tiles. Of course, bugs are common here in South Carolina but this one was different. It looked bigger than most cockroaches here, almost like the ones in New York. I continued to watch the cockroach in the safety of my stall. Back and forth, back and forth. That’s all it did was crawl continuously back and forth. Then, it started to go through the stalls.
It soon enough reached mine and I lifted my feet up as it crawled by, hoping for something to happen. It was silly, what I hoped, but it was something I hoped for everyday.
The roach went back and forth repeatedly through my stall, and now I was sure my hope was real. It finally stopped and noticed I was there. As I got a good look at it I realized it was from New York and smiled.
“Hey there.” I grinned at the bug. As it looked hard into my eyes, it suddenly jumped and quickly skittered away.
“Wait come back!” I cried, opening the stall, ready to chase it. Thank God I did not chase it. I almost forgot I was in school, and realized I had been gone for more than fifteen minutes.
I swore under my breath and briskly walked out of there. Mrs. Jameson was finally going to give me that detention she tried to reason for. (Every teacher wanted to ‘control the mean ones‘; not that I was mean, but having permanent scars, everlasting bruises, and temper issues does not help with that.) I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a week one hour detention with Mr. Willis, our PE teacher. He would probably make me sweep up the gym or something. That’s just great, I thought. My mom would kill me and take away my roaming privileges- I liked to walk to the museum they had since they had a whole section dedicated to knights, armor, and war.
I was just about to reach the classroom when I stumbled on something or someone from behind me. I almost lost my balance and as I steadied myself, turned around to apologize to whosever shoe I probably stepped on. I looked behind straight ahead. No one was there. Confused, I started to continue walking.
“Down here big boy!” I heard a scratchy familiar voice and looked down to see a huge rat with a huge scar. The rat had a patch on one of his eyes and gray fur. He was all too familiar. “There’s no time to lose lets go!” the rat started to scamper goofily across the campus to the parking lot. He wasn’t used to being a city rat.
I smiled. “It’s about time you got here!”
“Well are you coming or what?”
I looked back at the classroom, unsure of what to do, but knowing what I want. If I stay, I might lose my only chance to have a life again, and even if it means risking never seeing my family again, well, I’m pretty sure they will adjust now that they have their lives back. I can send a text to Lizzie on my new cell phone - Mom did not want to lose us again and we had enough money now - to pick up Boots. Taking one last look at the classroom, I grinned back at the rat.
“Yea.” I broke into a run and followed Ripred.