Chapter 49: ILONA and SAMANTHA ACT II of V of A FAREWELL TO GRADE FIVE
“It went live last night,” Susan proudly states as she calls up the wattpad page on her laptop, “and it has already garnered 415 hits, 16 votes, and 23 comments!” She hands her laptop over to Cynthia, who holds it so all can see. “People like it, they really like it!” Susan continues, dancing a little jig on the spot, right near the girl’s usual spot by the wall. “And thank you Collette for kicking my butt to do this, to correct what I thought was an injustice,” she high fives her friend, “and thank you Ilona for all your editing help,” she high fives her other friend.
Collette points at Susan. “I still love the real, true finale of Lost, but I certainly enjoyed yours very much as well. Jack, Kate and Sawyer were very well utilized, and your character arc for Hurley was fascinating.”
Cara looks away from the screen. “I have only just started season two, so I can’t read it yet. Sorry Susan.”
“No problemo!” Susan replies, “don’t want to spoil everything coming up for you. The season of the hatch was great.”
“Cause it was filled with evil robots! And I love evil robots!” Madison shouts, “and I love cupcakes of course!”
“Cupcakes?” Susan looks puzzled.
“Cupcakes!” Clara thumps out.
“Cupcakes!” Madison exclaims.
Cynthia rubs her temples. “Oh no, not again. First muffins, now cupcakes? This is going to be a long lunch hour.”
Susan sighs. “Yes, you are right Maddie. The parts with the cupcakes were awesome. But now back to our reality, because I have to give credit to Ilona for the Hurley sections. Those were her ideas.” She gives Ilona another high five.
“Thanks, but I mostly just polished up what you did,” Ilona smiles, “and yes Maddie, we should have added more cupcakes.”
“Cupcakes! Cupcakes!” Madison chants.
“Cupcakes! Cupcakes!” Clara joins in.
“Is cupcake Susan’s nickname now?” a new girl casually states, walking up to them.
Almost everyone snaps their heads about to see who this voice belongs to, the sole exception is Susan, whose face brightens into a massive smile, with words scrambling out of her mouth.
“Itcan’tbe!” Susan explodes and starts running the few steps to this visitor, “It’syou!”
A split second later, Susan is hugging the girl everyone now recognizes as Samantha.
Ilona sees this long, loving, embrace and feels happy for the two. After all these months of the online dance of flirtation, they are finally together, just like it always should have been.
Susan and Samantha reluctantly leave the hug, still holding hands, and look at each other.
“Wow,” Susan lets out slowly, “wow.”
“Ya can say more than that, y’know,” Madison stage whispers at Susan, prompting a poke in her ribs from Clara.
“What our dear friend Madison means,” Cynthia smiles as she gently touches each girls shoulders, “Is that we are all happy you two have finally met,” she turns to Samantha, “welcome to Toronto, welcome to SummerFall, welcome to us!”
“Three cheers for Samantha!” Madison trumpets, even louder than usual for her.
Shouts and jumping and high fives greet Samantha, who laughs and blushes at all the attention.
Susan, still holding Samantha’s hands, asks with a shy smile, “so, I have like a million questions and thoughts and questions and things I want to talk about…” She trails off, and starts blushing as well.
“You said questions twice, tsk, tsk, tsk,” Clara shakes her head in mock disgust.
“Good one!” Madison snickers and gives Clara a quick high five.
“Please excuse the manners of us Canadians,” Cynthia rolls her eyes, “but yes, many questions await you.”
“Yes, yes, yes,” Susan exclaims past the blushing, “like how did you find us right here?”
Samantha looks around at everyone, all still staring at her with looks of wonderment.
“Well, first off, hello everyone,” Samantha gins and shrugs her shoulders, trying to act nonchalant, “as you all know from facebook, I am Samantha, Susan’s very long distance online girlfriend.”
Susan’s blushing hits an even deeper shade of red, and coupled with the slight tears forming, gives her the air of quiet joyful happiness.
“For some time now I have been begging and pleading and promising all sorts of things, all to get my parents to bring me up here to the great white north,” she looks directly at Madison, “and yes Maddie, I loved those youtube links for Bob and Doug McKenzie you sent me, very informative of your country,”
Collette slaps her hand against her forehead. “Those bits are from a comedy show from a million years ago! They aren’t tutorials on Canada!”
Samantha laughs. “Don’t worry, I did figure that out very quickly.”
Madison sticks her tongue out at Collette, who replies with a tongue out as well.
“So,” Samantha continues, glancing at all the tongues, “my parents finally decided that a field trip to Toronto would be a good educational experience,” she looks back at Susan, “so here we are, visiting for a few weeks, but it is really a class project. Really, that’s our official reason. Really. And maybe the Trident movie premiere as well.” Samantha laughs as she rambles on. “But I have school work to do. First thing, fact check, is Pierre Trudeau still Prime Minister?”
Collette opens her mouth, ready to correct and lecture the right answer, when she suddenly stops. “Susan told you to say that to me when we met, right?”
Susan starts laughing, with the blushing subsiding, but the happy tears still alive in her eyes. “And you came sooooo close to falling for it!”
Samantha giggles and flashes touching eyes to Susan. “You friends are so cool Cupcake, just like you.”
“Cupcake,” Susan smiles back, “I like that.”
Madison jumps up and down, waving her arms in the air. “Okay, Susan is Cupcake forever more, but now we need a nickname for Samantha.”
“I got it!” Clara shouts, mimicking Madison by jumping up and down as well and wildly waving her arms, “Samantha will be Muffin!”
Madison high fives Clara with a massive thwack. “Yes! Cupcake and Muffin! Sounds like a cop show!”
Clara flips her hand around. “Wow, that was a heavy high five! But soooo worth it since I just created your shipping name!”
Susan and Samantha stare at each other in disbelief, than break into a light kiss. A second later, they finish and continue staring. Samantha gulps, “Cupcake and Muffin. I think we can live with that.”
Clara and Madison cheer, “yay!” Madison squats down and Clara jumps onto her back, “to infinity and beyond!” and they jet off across the schoolyard.
“And I never thought,” Susan states as everyone watches their friends rampage, “that my first kiss would have an audience.” She looks back at Samantha, and suddenly becomes concerned. “Wait, wait, wait. You never told me how you found me at this exact spot, right here at the wall?”
Samantha laughs, “well, I could say it took hours and hours of research and hacking, but actually it was the geotagging on all your pictures online. You really should disable that you know? My parents did that years ago because they didn’t want everyone to know where we live in Los Angeles.”
Collette points at Susan. “Did I not tell you to do that a long time ago?” She sighs. “No one listens to my advice on technology. No one listens to my advice on love,” Collette rants, now pointing at no one in particular.
Cynthia hands Susan’s laptop over to Cara, who Ilona notices starts zipping quickly over the trackpad. Cynthia walks over to Collette and gingerly pinches her cheeks. “We always listen to you,” she states, “and your relationship advice to Susan was very very good.”
Collette sighs again, this time with more calmness. “Thanks. It just sometimes people never recognize true love, even when it is staring them in the face.”
“Hello Collette,” comes a voice from behind them. Everyone turns towards the schoolyard and see Luke facing them.
“Hello Luke!” Collette replies, “have you met Samantha, Susan’s girlfriend?”
Luke shyly waves hello to the couple, then looks back at Collette. “I was just, umm, wondering something, if I could ask you, ummmm, something.”
Collette punches Luke playfully on the shoulder. “You need help with math? No problem!”
Luke eyes dart about before finally resting back on Collette. “No, not that, I was just wondering, if, if you wanna go to the Trident movie with me?” His shoulders slump down, visibly relieved to finally get the words out.
Collette’s jaw slams open and her eyes go wide. “You, you, you, you, you.”
Cynthia pops in. “I think what Collette means to say is, yes, we are going as a group, but she would be happy to be your date as well.”
Luke brightens up massively. “Really Collette?”
Still as a statue, Collette keeps stammering out, “you, you, you,” before Susan snaps at her. “Collette! WWTDD!”
The words break her from her shock and she exclaims, “yes! Yes Luke! I would love for you to be my date! That would be amazing!”
Luke bounces on the spot. “Thanks! You’re great Collette! I gotta go now and tell my friends you said yes! And I gotta update my facebook status!” Luke runs off at light speed, soon disappearing into the playground crowd.
“Do I have a boyfriend now?” Collette glances around at all her friends, “I have a boyfriend now, don’t I?” She stares straight ahead into the crowd where Luke is now milling about someplace. “I have a boyfriend now!” She exclaims loudly.
“Congratulations for recognizing true love when it is staring you in the face,” Susan smirks.
“That,” Collette replies, “was mean and nasty and awful, and, and,” her shoulders slump just Luke had earlier, “truthful. And thank you by the way.”
“No problemo,” Susan states, “us couples have to stick together.”
Ilona feels a gentle tap on her shoulder and turns to Cara, still holding Susan’s laptop. “One quick question,” she whispers, “what does WWTDD mean?”
Ilona smiles and whispers back, “What Would The Doctor Do?”
Cara thinks for a second, than nods he head in understanding. “Next question,” she whispers again, “is it always this chaotic around here?”
Ilona smiles even more and whispers back again, “this is actually a slow week for us. Almost qualifies as dull.”
Cara hands the laptop over to Ilona, who tucks it under her arm. “Can you tell Susan I disabled the geotagging on everything for her?” Ilona nods, then asks, “how is everything now Cara?”
Cara shakes her head at Ilona. “It’s going to take me awhile to get used to this. Cynthia’s house is always so loud and busy and her brothers get into such mischief. Her mother is so very nice and comforting, and, well not like what I am used to.”
Ilona nods again. “And they have had no luck finding any of your family?”
“No,” Cara replies, “my parents were never married and Sabrina did not put my father’s name on my birth certificate, nor is she telling anyone anything about him, or even why my last name is different from hers. I know I have other relatives, but again Sabrina says nothing, and I have little memory of them, or of my father.” Her face becomes tired. “Despite what Cynthia’s mother says, sometimes I feel like I only seem to exist because I am here right now.” She laughs a bit. “Even with all the goings on with the app, my life still feels unsettled.” Her sad eyes strike Ilona. “Does that make any sense?”
Ilona sees the pain and hurt and everything Cara should not have to deal with at her age, and thinks of what she can say, what she can do, to help, to make it all better. Something Cynthia would say, something that would bring about happiness. “What was your last memory of your father?” Ilona spills out.
Cara looks up at the sky, eyes deep in thought.
“He threw a stapler at my kindergarten window and broke it. The window that is.” Cara looks back at Ilona, giving her a strained smile. “I don’t think that was his best moment.”
Ilona hears the words, all of them, and her mind zeroes in on one.
She closes her eyes tight.
Stapler at window. Stapler at window.
She can hear what sounds like Cara asking if she is okay.
Stapler breaks window. Stapler breaks window.
Ilona’s hands form into super tight fists. She feels something slip from under her arm.
Ilona’s eyes slam open and she turns to Cynthia, who is only a few meters away, chatting with Collette, Susan and Samantha. She lets one sound erupt from her core, all at Cynthia.
They all snap to Ilona with startled faces.
“STAPLER!” She shouts again, pointing at Cara, who is somehow now holding Susan’s laptop.
“Ilona, are you okay?” Cynthia asks as she comes over and holds her. Ilona realizes someone is shaking and it is her. She faces Cara, and summons tremendous willpower from deep in her soul, all to not say stapler again. A breath fills her lungs and leaves, taking all her confusion with it.
“Cara, we have already found your father. His name is Nicholas, and Cynthia’s family has been in contact with him for awhile. They didn’t know. He didn’t know. You didn’t know. No one knew.” Ilona finishes and suddenly feels like the weight of the universe has left her.
Cara looks stunned. Cynthia’s mouth keeps flipping open and shut. “How? How do you know that?” Cynthia finally lets out.
“The stapler story Cara just told me, Nicholas told me the exact same story when I met him at your house that day. The exact same stapler story.” Ilona explains, feeling like the air is brighter and happier now around them.
“We will,” Cynthia stumbles out, “we will of course have Mama check into this thoroughly,” she turns to Cara and Ilona can see her friends amazingly calm demeanor come back. “But it seems like Ilona has helped you find your father, Nicholas.”
Cara’s eyes flood with tears, her mouth quivers and slight sounds echo out. “I, I have a family maybe? I exist?” She throws her arms around Ilona and the two share a long crying hug.
Madison, still carrying Clara on her back, runs up. “Hello Cupcake and Muffin! Welcome to SummerFall!” They shout together. Both stop their merriment when they see Cara and Ilona. “Ooookay, what’s going on?”
Samantha turns to them. “Collette is now dating Luke and Ilona has found Cara’s long lost father.”
Clara glances down at Madison. “How long were we gone for?”
Song For This Chapter: Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglova
To find out more about Luke, read Kimberly and Jason.
To find out more about Cara, read The Long Drive To Nowhere and chapter 48 of The Passport To The Wall.
To find out more about Nicolas, read Finding Sally and chapter 40 of The Passport To The Wall.
First serialization started on Friday, June 7th, 2013.