To say Gail's confession about her illnesses caught him offguard would be a bit of an understatement, but outwardly Ricky seemed rather unfazed by the frail girl's statements. As petite as she was, she looked the type to be rather sickly... or perhaps anorexic, as Ricky had thought upon first inspection of her, though he didn't dare voice it. He simply shrugged his shoulder's as she confessed her condition as though it were a crime and offered her a comforting smile, even more so as Jackie draped his arm around her shoulders.
"Nobody's perfect," Ricky offered in unison with the other boys, "So you get sick sometimes? That's not your fault. Besides, it could be so much worse. You could be one of those stuck up uber-bitch girls or something. I'd take Gail, flaws and all, over that any day."
It was true. Ricky couldn't imagine catering to and risking his life for someone who would probably belittle them and antagonize them to the point of wanting to slit her throat themselves. Gail was a vast improvement over any of the so-called social elite from any of the high schools. She didn't hold a candle to one certain other girl and the sheer importance of her to Ricky, but Gail definitely wasn't a bad pick to endure this game with.
Ricky stared at John momentarily as he seemed to drop the stone-cold, macho facade he'd been hiding behind for the entirety of their journey across the island and relax a bit. Even John Matthews, who had seemed detached and antisocial before, was offering his hand at cheering up the sickly girl in their company. Ricky smiled inwardly at the fact. Maybe he was misjudging John. Maybe he wasn't such a bad guy after all. After all, Ricky himself had been so introverted at one time.
It occured to him then that perhaps that was the initial cause of his wariness toward John. In some way, John reminded Ricky just a bit of himself. Quiet and introverted, always hiding behind some facade, trying to be someone that he wasn't. Perhaps, just perhaps, Ricky Callahan saw a bit of himself in the dark-headed youth accompanying them. It was then that things started to make a little more sense to him. John's humorous attempt at comforting Gail had Ricky smiling as well, and the hispanic boy grinned at the girl accompanying them and gave her a nod of reassurance.
"Of course we will," he chimed in, "We've got one another's backs here, no matter what. Nothing bad is gonna happen to you, 'cause we're not gonna let it."
The words he spoke, along with the words of his comrades, seemed to give Ricky some sort of self assurance. It wasn't a matter of whether or not they could do this. They HAD to do this. They had to find a way to escape this island, and go back to some sense of normalcy. There couldn't be any "what ifs". There was no turning back. They would either find a way out, or they'd die trying. Ricky felt a sense of resolve overcome him as he considered the thought. They really had no other choice. They could go down fighting each other, or they could test their luck against the terrorists. He was personally opting for the latter.
((Continued in: You Can Feel What You Don't See