So Chapter 5 is pretty short. Just over 3000 words, but I already started chapter 6 (anyone wonder what Lord Duffy has been up to?)
The plan is for me to hopefully get a lot of my novel out during Thanksgiving break. I have a bus ride to deal with tomorrow and Sunday. But I have homework as well.
Andrew walked out of the house and made his way to school. But he barely got out of his yard before he felt his breakfast coming back up. It was too sudden for him to run back into the house and he ended up throwing up right on one of his mother’s rose bushes by the fence. He prayed to the Almighty that neither of his parents had seen or more importantly heard his yakking, but they didn’t come rushing out into the yard. At first, Andrew was puzzled as to why he threw up but then he thought that it had something to do with all the lying he had been doing the past two days. His body was stressed from all the lying and it was throwing his eating habits out of whack. Yesterday, he wasn’t hungry after school, which was a first in nearly five years, and today he couldn’t keep his breakfast down. He knew the lying would continue so he hoped he wouldn’t stress out as much, as it wouldn’t do to keep throwing up. But at the same time, he didn’t want to get used to lying to everybody. He just wanted it to stop. He couldn’t win.
Andrew wiped his mouth and smelted his vomit that was left around his lips. He almost heaved again, the smell was so strong. But this time he managed to not throw up and walked to school. As soon as he could, he would get some water and keep drinking it the whole day, maybe then his stomach wouldn’t be so unsettled.
Instead of walking though the forest like usual, Andrew took the long way around. Walking down his block until it intersected with Main Street and then turned down Main until he hit the school. Up and down Main street, the stores were either still closed or were just opening up. Andrew found a market that was just opening on the corner of Main and Pine Street, about two blocks from school. He ducked in and bought a water. The clerk was barely awake and only grunted in Andrew’s acknowledgment. Andrew sympathized, but had been awake for over an hour.
As Andrew got closer and closer to school, his heart started to beat faster and faster. By the time he approached the big doors, he swore his legs were shaking. He took a deep break as he heaved the doors opened. Most of the students weren’t in school yet as it was so early. But most of the teachers came in early to take advantage of the prep time. Andrew headed upstairs and found his old history teacher’s room. The door was open but he knocked on the frame to get Mrs. Gray’s attention.
“Andrew? What a surprise.” Mrs. Gray was at her desk, recording grades in her roll book.
“Hi, I just thought I stop by since I came to school early to work on a project.”
“Yeah,” Andrew came into the room and stood next to her desk. “I actually needed to ask you something about the project.” He took a breath. Here it goes. “I need you to file special permission for me to research restricted topics, as of yesterday.”
Mrs. Gray put down her red pen and looked at her former pupil. “Why didn’t you go to your own history teacher?”
“I knew he would have given the request to you anyways.”
“I don’t know if I feel comfortable doing this for you, Andrew. I mean… you’re not even my student anymore.”
Andrew had hoped it would be a little easier to win Mrs. Gray over. He remembered having fun in her class last year and thought they had gotten along. It was why he was standing before her now. But maybe, he thought wrong. He really hoped he didn’t have to beg. “Look, I was researching yesterday, and I got carried away. I was in a zone, and I wasn’t totally aware of what was going on. I needed to look up Voices of the Right and before I knew it, I had clicked yes on the question. Now the Government knows I looked it up and they’re probably gonna come here and I don’t wanna get in trouble, Mrs. Gray. It would be really helpful if you could fill in a Research Permission form for me and do it from yesterday so I don’t get in trouble. Please?”
She sat there silent and fidgety. For what seemed like hours but were really probably only seconds – a minute at most. Finally, she nodded. “Fine.” She unlocked her middle drawer and took the form out from a folder. She started to fill it out for Andrew but paused when the line for project description came up. “You never told me what you were doing?”
Andrew was caught of guard. “Hmm? Oh yeah, uh… I’m doing an independent project for Mr. Bronson about the evolution of government. I looked up history and stuff and it seemed like ours doesn’t really have an opposition so that’s why… you know.”
Mrs. Gray seemed to be appeased and finished the form. “Okay, sign here and bring it to the main office. Tell them you forgot to drop it off yesterday. If the Media Agents do come today looking to talk to you, it’ll be there.” Andrew took the form from her and was about to leave when she spoke again. “Oh, and Andrew? Don’t tell anyone that I filled out a form for your fake project. If they find out, we both could get in serious trouble.”
The thanks died in his throat and his smile vanished. He only nodded his gratefulness. “I won’t,” and he left as quickly as he could without looking like he was running out of her room. The hallways were still pretty deserted.
There were several secretaries and teachers chatting it up in the main office when Andrew entered. “yes?” One of the lower school secretaries asked when she saw Andrew. He suddenly felt small looking at them from the other side of the high counter.
“Uh, hi, I just realized I had a Research Permission Form that I forgot to drop off.” He handed it to her and she looked it over. She pushed her chair over to one of the computers along the wall. She typed the date into the log and read some data. “Oh great. Well Andrew, it seems the Government already logged your research as unwarranted. It’s a good thing this form’s dated yesterday or you would be -”
“In trouble, yes I know.” She glared at him for a second. “Well are they coming today?” Andrew really didn’t want to talk to any Government agents, especially Media Agents. It wouldn’t be as easy lying to them as it was to his father yesterday. While his father, like any Governmental Agent, was trained to detect lying, Andrew believed that his father was unable to sense lying in him because he was blinded by their family tie. It wouldn’t be the same with another Agent.
“It doesn’t say. But I wouldn’t be surprised. You would still have to explain your story to them, since your Permission form didn’t get logged in time.”
“Okay, thanks.” Andrew left the office as soon as he could. He realized he couldn’t do much except wait for the Agents to come to talk to him. To do anything now, like running to Miles in the forest, would just prove his guilt. But did he really do anything wrong? He just assessed some information… that was restricted… and he was associating with known criminals… They might as well just lock him up now! Andrew shook his head to clear the intruding thoughts and went to homeroom early. He prayed to the Almighty that he would make it through the day.