Alexander spotted his best friend from across the mess hall. Andrew and his sister were enjoying their food just a minute before, but now stared up at Chiron, who had just come up to them from the Aphrodite table. It was like he was a raincloud. Just a moment before, those two had been contentedly eating up their breakfast, then Chiron comes over, a few sentences are exchanged, and their parade was ruined. Andrew had a look of dread on his face, similar to that his new sister wore, except Andrew seemed to understand what was going on. Emily probably had no clue.
Alex looked around for Lauren, who was sitting with the rest of her Aphrodite siblings. Her usual light-hearted demeanor was now full of worry, which was not at all the normal. Alex felt left out of the loop. He really wished someone would tell him what was going on. It was really irritating sometimes that his two best friends were both head counselors in their cabins, and he was stuck under the leadership of Austin Swift, an over-confident, suave guy with sunshine blonde hair, a charming (and sometimes blinding) smile. He – Austin that is – would be told whatever his best friends were being told. But not Alex. He hadn’t been at camp long enough, or gone on quests enough, to be considered good enough to get that kind of first-hand information. If he could just go on a quest, which he had been training for over the last few years, he could outrank the oh-so-gorgeous Austin and finally get to the same place as his two best friends.
An observation quickly snapped him out of his own world. Andrew and Emily were gone. He scanned the mess hall to make sure they had left and caught Lauren’s eye.
The two of them got up from their tables, Lauren muttering an excuse for her dismissal. Alex didn’t bother. All the other Apollo kids were caught up in their own little conversations, bragging and betting and boasting and sometimes adding in poetry just for the fun of it. No one would give much of a care as to where Alex was going.
He met up with Lauren at the doorway and the two of them headed outside. Lauren spotted the two first, heading down towards the big house. She didn’t seem surprised, and Alex had the sneaking suspicion she had known where they were headed before she had realized where they were. She was probably going there too.
“So, what did Chiron tell you guys?”
Lauren gave Alex a sympathetic look, which just made him feel more embarrassed.
“He’s calling a last-minute meeting for all senior counselors to discuss something important. Everyone’s supposed to come right after breakfast. It must be urgent. And-” She hesitated. “And… I think it has something to do with the great prophesy.”
Alex rolled his eyes.
“I think we figured that out this morning, ‘member? In the stables, like, I don’t know, a half hour ago maybe?”
Lauren slapped him, not hard of course. Just playful.
“I know.” She sighed, “but prophesies mean quests and quests mean that we have to fix something, right? So- what would need fixing? Saving? Whatever it is? It’s got to be big, and when the stakes are high, people get hurt. And if Andrew has to go-” she stopped, realizing her voice had been rising higher and higher as the worry leaked into the sentences. Alex knew how she felt. The three of them had been best friends for years. Alex knew him better than anyone else. If anything happened to him…Alex shoved those thoughts aside. No use worrying about “what-ifs”.
“It’ll be fine.” Andrew consoled. “Before you get all worked up, how about you just find out what’s the problem. Then we can worry about all those worries of yours.”
Lauren nodded, and her voice was completely normal when she spoke again.
“We’re almost caught up to them. Let’s speed up a little.”
The two of them began to half jog, half power walk towards the two Jackson siblings. Lauren came up on Andrew’s left and Alex on Emily’s right, sandwiching the two siblings between them.
“Hey Andrew, how’s it going?” Lauren asked, brow furrowed and eyes searching his face with concern. Andrew sighed.
“A little rushed, maybe overwhelmed.” He glanced sideways at his sister, who was seemed to be in a world of her own, silently pondering over everything that was going on. Emily caught his eye and seemed to come back to reality.
“Andrew told me about-about the prophesy. What he thinks is going on.” She hesitated for a second, unsure as to whether or not she should continue. “I- you know what? Never mind.” She looked down at her feet, avoiding eye contact with any of them.
They drew closer and closer to the big house. Time was running out until Alex would have to go. He, in all technicalities, was not invited.
No one could think of anything to say anymore, anything past the how-are-you-s and such. Too soon, they were there, and Alex would have to leave. He muttered a goodbye to his friends and turned to walk away.
“Wait- why are you going?” Emily asked tentatively. Andrew might have explained to her about his life, about his friends, about the prophesy, about “everything”, but this small little detail was one no one in their trio liked to bring up. He sighed and turned towards Emily, who shrank back just a little when he looked at her.
Trying to rid his tone of any of the frustration, anger, or hurt he felt, he replied, “This meeting is only for senior counselors. Not me.”
“Oh.” She looked down at her shoes again, ashamed to have brought up such a matter. Then she looked up, realization coming upon her.
“I’m not a senior counselor either. Andrew is, right? I’ll keep you company until the counsel is over. Would that be alright?” she looked from Alex to Andrew to Lauren, her eyes darting between the three of them. Alex smiled. He liked that idea. It was a lot less lonely.
Lauren smiled. “Of course that’s alright. Come on Andrew, we’ll tell you guys everything.”
She put her arm around Andrew’s shoulder and turned him towards the counsel, leaving Emily and Alex to outside the Big House, awaiting their report on the meeting.
What you have hopefully just enjoyed was a rough draft, and any feedback on this is very highly appreciated, but please remember to be as honest as possible. No sugar coating. :)