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Tuesday, June 8


     Olivia’s alarm went off at 6:30 the next morning, awaking her and her brother. Reese had had a restless night of sleeping though, and groaned upon hearing the noise, wanting to stay in bed as long as he could. Olivia quickly got changed while she watched her brother’s feeble attempts to fall back to sleep, as if simply keeping his eyes closed could do the trick while she was bustling about the room. “Reese, we have to go,” she finally said, and went over to shake his shoulder. “I’m gonna go make some eggs and check on Jordan, and you’d better be dressed and ready to go by the time I get back,” she instructed. “Unless you don’t wanna turn in your last assignments and graduate tonight,” she reminded him, and slipped out the door to wake up her friend and make everyone some breakfast. His eyes shot open upon hearing her final words, and he heaved himself out of bed. It’s literally the most important school day I’ve ever had to be on time for, he thought as he put on some pants. If I can wake up all the other days, I can handle just one single more morning of sleepiness, no matter how tired I still am.

     The three of them hurriedly ate their eggs and toast that Olivia had graciously prepared, before making sure all their bags were packed. She knew there would be morning traffic, but she hoped it wouldn’t be too bad on the mostly rural highways they’d be taking for the first 80% of their trip. But she still thought it’d be best to give themselves a 2 hour window for what was normally a 90 minute drive. “I know you didn’t sleep that well last night,” Olivia said, turning to Reese as she picked up her bag, about to head out, “so you can sleep in the back of the car on the way home, mkay?” Reese nodded along gratefully with her idea, and with that, the three of them headed out the front door for the long ride home.

*    *    *    *    *    *

     Olivia swung by the school on their way home, knowing Reese wouldn’t be long. They still had fifteen minutes to spare from the looks of it, so he headed in to the library to print off his last few assignments. He had had to turn in his laptop on Friday the week before, so but he was still able to use the library’s computers to get what he needed. Then all he had to do was head to his teacher’s classroom a few minutes before her first period, and turn them in. 

     “I was almost worried you wouldn’t graduate, Reese,” she said, smiling up at him from her spot at her desk. “I’ve gotta start class in a few minutes, so I’m just gonna assume you really did the work and give you passing scores for these.”

     “Oh, uh… thanks Mrs. Huang,” he said, a smile forming on his face. Just like that, he was done.

     “I’ll see you at graduation tonight, congratulations!”

     “Yeah, see you then,” he said, turning to leave. “Thanks.” He had never felt such relief before. That was it. All his homework. He’d be graduating tonight.

     A few minutes later he got back in the car, and Olivia turned around with a smile on her face. She could tell from his demeanor that it had been a success, but she asked anyways. “Are you all good?”

     He nearly laughed, “Yeah, yeah. She didn’t even need to finish grading it all. I... I’ll be honest Olivia, I was almost scared you wouldn’t have done them.” Even Jordan was smiling, the joy between the two siblings was just too infectious to ignore. 

     Olivia placed a hand on Reese’s leg, “Of course I did. Would you really think that low of me?” she laughed. “Well congratulations then dude. I guess our little pact is over with then, you’re officially a high school graduate. Welcome to adulthood.” She turned back around, and started the car back up as Reese sat in the back, staring out the window. His journey over the last 3 and a half weeks was complete, and he could return to his old life once again. And it was all thanks to Olivia.


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