The backpack pressed heavily against her shoulders, reminding her of the weight of the decision she had recently made. The feeling of it made her uncomfortable, fidgety, inclined to run away at the slightest sign of trouble. As she stood outside of the school, hands nervously gripping the straps of her pack, Kendall silently pleaded with Orian to change his mind, to get distracted and not show up, while simultaneously she hoped that it would happen, as well, and they would soon be wel on their way to Lowell. She was torn between the horror of what she was about to do and the joy she had felt at the prospect of seeing her siblings. Was it wrong, she wondered, to break a rule for the sake of something good?
Kendall lifted her head to the sky, her gaze trailing across the clouds in search of an answer. She had been raised to know right from wrong, to respect authority and never challenge it. However, that had been another life, a simpler life where her family had been one whole unit, not fractured as it was now. Her parents would have wanted them to be together now… wouldn’t they? She daydreamed about revolting alongside Orian, of refusing to come back to Bishop City and insisting that they would not leave their family again. Of course, she knew that it wouldn’t happen; she barely had the courage to go in the first place, much less to take it a step further by never returning. In any case, she thought glumly as she returned her gaze to the earth, where students mulled about, chattering eagerly to their companions and shifting textbooks from arm to arm, she had a life here now. Though she loathed to admit that this loud, frightening city could be anything close to what she might think of as home, Kendall could not deny that there was a sense of familiarity that now coloured the things that had once made her uncomfortable. To be uprooted once more was something that she could hardly bear to think of, even if it would mean being with her siblings once more.
The pure selfishness of the thought made her blood run cold. It was almost as if she had become someone apart from her brothers and sister, but no. That was impossible. They were one unit, inseparable no matter the circumstances. They may have been pulled apart for now, but they would always be together in spirit. Without them, she was only a part of a whole.
Huffing, she anxiously checked her watch then scanned the courtyard for her brother. He ought to be there any minute, yet when she looked, she saw no one that even slightly resembled Orian. After a moment, she gave up her search, determining that he must still be inside, and slid the backpack from her shoulders. She knelt on the sidewalk and carefully unzipped the largest pocket, mentally checking off the various items she’d carefully packed that morning. Aside from the assumed clothing items and a few snacks for the bus ride, she’d been careful to collect all of the textbooks necessary to complete her homework and had printed off the bus schedule and directions to the station in case they should get lost. Beneath everything, she had safely tucked away—and now she checked, her fingers anxiously seeking out the hidden treasure—her allowance, all saved, which would be more than enough to ensure them safe passage to and from their grandparents’ house.
Lifting her head as she zipped the bag shut, Kendall caught sight of Orian making his way across the courtyard. Her hands shook as she straightened and pulled the pack back onto her shoulders, then nervously shifted from foot too foot. When he approached, she reached up to plant a gentle kiss on his cheek and handed him a candy bar.
”I thought you might be hungry, now,” she said softly, a nervous smile gracing her lips. She crossed and uncrossed her arms, shifted again from one foot to the other. “Are you ready to go, then?”
Orian needed this. He needed to get away from Bishop City - away from the rules and regulations that had been set in place for him by people he felt really didn't have a right to do so. He wanted to be with his siblings - siblings he should never have been separated from in the first place. even now, months after the fact, he couldn't understand why the decision had been made that he and Kendall should be with their aunt and uncle, while the other three were with their grandparents. After all they'd been through - losing both parents, losing their brother, being uprooted and sent to a new country, to a place where they really didn't fit in. It would have been hard enough to deal with had they simply been left as a five. But to be split…It was why he'd more or less told Kendall that they were going to be taking the trip out there this weekend, rather than asking if they could go. The way he saw it, it was their right to come and go as they pleased - but if there was going to be any fuss made, then he was more than ready to have the blame placed on his shoulders. After all, getting into trouble was quite quickly becoming something that Orian did best.
Before he'd left for school that morning [and oh what a ridiculous exercise that was becoming. Orian had never been the academic type - and now that he was being forced to learn in English - a language that didn't always come easily to him - he was finding it even more difficult to stay focused for any length of time], Orian had packed what he felt would be necessary supplies for the weekend trip into his sports bag. His aunt and uncle hadn't questioned the extra bag when he'd left the house - he took his sports kit in most days, as it was the only thing at the school he found he could actually enjoy - and he'd made no comment to them about the fact that he wasn't intending to 'come home' that night. Nor the next night. Left to him, he wouldn't be heading back to their house at all, but he had Kendall to think about, and he wouldn't do anything that would get her into trouble. No one could be angry at them for wanting to take a trip to see the rest of their siblings, and if they tried, Orian was more than ready to argue his point.
The day had, not unexpectedly, dragged on. And on. And then on some more. He'd paid scant attention as the chemistry teacher had tried to explained chemical bonds. He's focused his gaze out of the window as the English teacher had started to harp on about iambic pentameter. He'd barely been concentrating as they'd played soccer out on the field - a sport he was usually the star at. All he could think about was the bell that would announce the end of the school day - the bell that would announce his freedom. More than once he'd had the thought that something was going to go wrong - that the plan would be rumbled before it had even had a chance to begin. For as much as he loved his sister, he knew that this wasn't something that would sit easily with her. He knew that this was something that would be playing on her conscience all day, and all it would take was her to decide to go home for the game to be up. Of course, Orian could still go without her - would, as a matter of fact - his aunt and uncle having long since stopped trying to get him to be in the house until he absolutely had to. But this was a trip Orian knew Kendall needed as much as he did. Her going along with him really was all part of the plan.
As gym was his last class of the day, he was a little later leaving the school buildings than usual. Part of him expected there to be no sign of Kendall at all by the time he moved round to the front, but with a slow grin spreading across his features he realised she was ready and waiting. Increasing his pace slightly, he all but bounded over to where his sister was waiting, returning the kiss to his cheek and happily taking the candy bar offered to him. Nodding at her question, he hoisted his bag a little higher on his shoulder, starting to walk. "You are sure about this?" He wasn't going to take no for an answer, but it seemed the right thing to do to ask...