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Chap. 11 - What About Tomorrow
Published Mar 4, 2012


Written By

HumorMeh

Storyteller
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This chapter is dedicated to you, yes YOU - those of you who've read, rated, and/or commented on "What About Tomorrow;" those of you who've done one of the above, all of the above, or none of the above - I love your feedback! So, keep it coming if you please...
Chapter Eleven is: "Absence Makes Pilot's Heart Grow Fonder"
Keeping with the oddity of my latest chapter's style, I want you to spend a couple of hours, maybe more, inside Pilot Hunter's head.
So without any further ado...

P.S. I Hope You Enjoy

This chapter is dedicated to you, yes YOU - those of you who've read, rated, and/or commented on "What About Tomorrow;" those of you who've done one of the above, all of the above, or none of the above - I love your feedback! So, keep it coming if you please...
Chapter Eleven is: "Absence Makes Pilot's Heart Grow Fonder"
Keeping with the oddity of my latest chapter's style, I want you to spend a couple of hours, maybe more, inside Pilot Hunter's head.
So without any further ado...

P.S. I Hope You Enjoy
Romeo and Juliet, two teenage lovers who fell madly in love with each other, so much so, they took their own lives believing the other was dead. Tragedy? He was contemplating. Unnecessary deaths? He was certain. Was it relatable?— He twitched at his mind’s cruel imagination. “Psst.”
He was in English class and his mind had wavered, suddenly more images called their own selves up.
“Pi-lot?” Ace. He shook himself, “Yeah?” He glanced sidelong. “Would you say that Mercutio and Tybalt could’ve—Pilot?—focus, these discussion questions are due at the end of class—you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?”
He shook his head and Ace shoved his open binder toward him.
“You were supposed to write them down.” Ace explained, “Go on. Copy them from me.”
Pilot did so quickly, “Thanks.” Ace smirked, “No need. By this time I’ve learned that the ‘thank you’ is implied.”
Pilot nodded and his mind threatened to succumb to his annoying imagination, again.
“Snap out of it, Pilot,” Ace said cheerily, “I haven’t seen you this spacey since Janey in third grade.”
“Right,” Pilot didn’t say, his mouth firmly shut, so it wouldn’t leak any sarcasm, “the Jane Sullivan that attacked me when she learned of my affections and my heritage and you had to pull her off me so I wouldn’t fight back. And, THEN Dawn sparred her into submission for the assault at their next karate class, despite my pleadings to forget it ever happened. And just like her, Evelyn left as well.” But it was only in his head, only in his head. He thought about the fact that he hadn’t talked to her since she said that she liked—he answered the discussion questions. “Don’t give up on her yet, Pilot—but you really should focus.”
He nodded but zoned out anyway.
He was careful to shut the door quietly behind him. Pilot glanced around—Ms. Jaclyn waved to him; he waved back—and when he didn’t see Evelyn immediately he wandered. After a time a thought filled his pre-frontal cortex: “He that lives upon hope will die fasting.” A Benjamin Franklin quote that rang true in his head, the hope of Evelyn had indeed staved him over, or at least until now. His mind spun: “We must except finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” Easier said than done. “Dr. Martin Luther King.”
Pilot spun; he had thought he was alone.
“Hope is a waking dream,” she tested him.
“Aristotle.” He barely had to think.
“Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery?” She pressed.
“Burtrand Russel.” Pilot mumbled, then, “Hope is the only universal liar who…” He left it open for her to finish.
“—Never loses his reputation for veracity; Robert G. Ingersoll…”
“What’s your name,” Pilot asked a little late, “how long have you been standing there?”
“Time is as relative as height, or happiness, or HOPELESSNESS.” She replied.
“I-I don’t know that one, sorry.”
“Holly Gregory.” She said pointedly.
Pilot offered a hand, “Nice to meet you, Holly Gregory.”
“Likewise.” But she didn’t ask for his name.
“Have you ever noticed…” She said softly, “That it is easier to talk to a complete stranger sometimes than a close friend?”
Pilot thought of when he and Evelyn met, but he couldn’t say that and he didn’t want to disappoint Holly, so he bobbed his head.
“Maybe it’s because there is a chance you may never talk to that person again,” She mused, “that they won’t have a major role in your life or they’ll forget you, or vice versa—that they may judge you but they don’t know you, so they can’t judge the whole of you, or they can but you let yourself believe it’s not accurate.”
Pilot opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out.
“Interesting, no?” She smiled sadly.
“Interesting.” Pilot agreed.
“I see you in here everyday.”
Pilot stopped himself from reacting to THAT.
“For the last couple of months there was a girl with you but she’s gone now, is THAT why you’re so…hopeless?”
“I…I just want to talk to her.” Pilot said, “Again.”
“Well, where is she?”
Pilot shrugged.
“The most powerful symptom of love is a tenderness which becomes at time almost insupportable. Victor Hugo.” “You think I’m in love?” Truly, the idea hadn’t occurred to him.
She shrugged, a blatant smile on her lips.

“Interesting.” Pilot repeated.
“I try,” she said and walked off.
Pilot only shook his head.
It was cold. He glanced around: Ace usually waited for him, but today he and Dawn had gone, right after school, to the library to do a history project. Markus and Lukas were stuck in detention because Mark had mumbled something foolish when the teacher’s back was turned and the pair was written up because said teacher wasn’t completely certain which twin uttered what.
And Evelyn, she had walked out of school with him everyday—but not for a while now.
So Pilot walked alone, hands bare and freezing, wind biting into him.
The dangerously familiar color of red entranced his peripheral vision:
Evelyn! Pilot had meant to say it, to make her turn—and he imagined a smile, her smile—and he could catch up to her—and he could walk with her, and maybe, talk with her too. But he noticed she was not alone, a man and a woman stood in front of her. And though Pilot couldn’t hear the conversation he could feel the intensity of it even from this distance.
The man looked familiar for some reason. And the woman was a complete stranger to him; “Who are they?” Pilot wondered aloud, but to himself.
Pilot twisted, abruptly, on his heel and walked the opposite direction of home.
It was weird having a job no one in your life knew you had. It’s not that he didn’t want anybody to know that he worked behind the counter at the local bookstore, merely that the subject and opportunity had never come up. And the only reason he’d gotten it was because he was the only person who applied for the job that didn’t walk out on the meager pay.
Even with the job, Pilot still felt like he was looking for something.
When he stepped inside—and was met by a bell ringing and the sharp smell of fresh paint. “Be with ‘ya in a sec!” Called a voice from the back. “Mr. Hunter? Mr. Hunter!—” in regards to the fresh paint across his apron and the smell of it in the air—“felt like today was going to be a slow day; wanted to get a head start on painting my office…Your shift doesn’t start for another quarter hour.” “Would you mind if I started anyway?”
“No, of course not—you’re welcome to it, but—”
“You don’t have to pay me overtime, or anything.”
“You’re a diligent worked, Mr. Hunter, I would pay you extra if I had the money.”
Pilot nodded and took his place behind the register.
Pilot’s boss, or Mr. Fred Urban to his friends, was a retired—fired—journalist who, even though under great duress, wrote “the truth and not someone’s version of it.” So Mr. Fred Urban up and quit his job seconds before his boss up and fired him. After that misadventure and half a decade later Mr. Fred Urban found himself (still) jobless, and after losing their house and after one of the cars was repo-ed, wifeless too—and, inherently, car-less. Fortunately for Mr. Fred Urban, his luck was changing and after catching wind that a string of his long-forgotten relatives had lost their lives leaving him a dilapidated bookstore; he took a taxi (which he promptly ditched outside of town) to this odd place by the name of Twinbrook. Using the rest of his money, he underwent the slow process of returning the store of books to its former glory (or its HYPOTHETICAL heyday). By now, all he had to do was furnish and paint his office—with the money he had to pay his taxes with, or the money he needed to by groceries with, or the money for that “lucky” lotto ticket. So that is why, after owning the shop for five years he only has one worker, and his office looks a unfinished as the day he came to this rinky-dink town. Pilot had had the job for the last week, and found himself fitting it rather seamlessly, that is, if his mother didn’t call him home immediately to baby-sit so she could go to an audition. But his boss didn’t mind, and the only reason he’d hired Pilot was because of how much time Pilot had spent there, previously, reading and, occasionally, buying books. And the fact that Pilot knew where every book was and should be.
Mr. Fred Urban was right; it was a slow day.
“Why are you always coming home so late—” she didn’t give him enough time for a response—“anyway, the girls have decided we’re to go out to dinner tonight and—”
“I can’t.”
“Hmm?” She questioned
“I have a…lot…of…homework…to…finish. And I need to study for my chem. test!” She looked at him, and then waved a hand, “You’ll have to tell your sisters—they’ll be disappointed.”
“Yeah, sure thing.”
She nodded and left him to his devices.
Pilot headed out back.
A cacophony greeted him: “Pie!”
“Hey.” Pilot smiled.
All three of his half-sisters were outside.
“3.14159265! Guess wha—”


His sisters had two nicknames for him: Pie, e.g. apple pie; and Pi, as in the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet.
And Blake had taken to memorizing the all the numbers she could in Pi. Which had flattered him to a point that made his smile wider every time she remembered another number.
“Did you hear?” Alyssa said happily—“We’re going out to eat!”
Chelsea's, who was completely content beside her sand castle, head bobbed, repeatedly.
Pilot opened his mouth—
All three faces grew solemn.
“I…sorry, I’m-I can’t go—I’m sorry.”
“No-no, Pie, you didn’t come last time either…”
“I’m sorry about that too,” he said truthfully, “I’ve got a lot of homework to do…” And he did.
“Oh, but Pilot—”
At this point she’d arrived at the bottom of the slide: “Well, you better get started then,” Blake mumbled smartly, “So you can finish and get to bed at a reasonable time.” She smiled.
“You—you’re right.”
Pilot nodded, mentally cursed himself, and retreated. He kicked the door shut, irritated at himself. He did have a lot of homework to do, but that wasn’t the reason he decided not to go—it was that feeling again, he lost something and he didn’t know what it was and whatever it was he needed to find. It was what had dragged him all over town—at first he had thought he was looking for Evelyn: the day that man saved him and when he ran straight for her the feeling dissipated.
But it was back.
He went upstairs grabbed a textbook and set to “studying.” He was reading about the unification of Italy: Sardinia…Garibaldi…Cavour… and before he realized it his mind had gone.
Words vaulted through his head a mile a second: the makings of a…song.
Pilot thundered down the stairs and headed to his piano; before he could get there:
“Knock-knock.”
“Who's there?” Pilot replied.
“Al!”
“Al who?”
“Al give you a kiss if you open this door!”
Pilot swung the door wide, “At the risk of sounding rude: I’m going to have to turn down that kiss.”
“No worries, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to giving it—but that’s the only knock-knock joke I could remember.” Markus informed while shuffling himself into the room.
“What about the ‘Armageddon’ one,” Luke followed his brother.
A bit standoffish, “I have absolutely no idea what yo—Oh! I love that one!”
Dawn looked sternly around as she shoved Ace forward.
Evelyn was last, “Hi.” She said.
Pilot, merely, nodded; remembering what Holly Gregory had told him.
“We were going to practice downstairs—” Dawn said loudly “—I wanted to practice that new song you wrote.” He stopped himself from saying “oops,” he hadn’t written a song, he was reminded of the words streaming through his mind earlier—the words, if he wanted to remember them, he should really write down—but that wasn’t what Dawn was looking for, she was looking for that SONG he’d, inadvertently, promised her.
She must’ve recognized the expression on his face, “Pilot!” She cried, annoyed, “Get to work then!” She left.
Ace shot him a what-are-you-going-to-do look then followed her. Lukas: “I think you may just be on her... ...LIST now, Pilot.” “Hey,” Markus, “Knock-knock.”
“Who’s there?” A bit tiredly.

“Armageddon.”
“Armageddon… who?”
“Armageddon outta here!” And he snickered as he left. A beautiful sound—a giggle originated somewhere behind him; Pilot turned. “This is all yours—even upstairs?”
Oh, how he loved her questions—all of them. “Yes.” All stoic.
“Is something the matter?”
He loved all of them, “N-yes.” And everything was…grand. That creeping feeling of something lost had vanished entirely.
“Good-good.”
Then a pause Pilot would regretfully describe as awkward.
“Soo…Are your sisters here—and your mom?”
He shook his head, “They, uh, they went…”
Evelyn nodded, understanding.
Then, “I haven’t seen you since—how’ve you been, are you good?”
“I love your questions,” he couldn’t believe he said it, but he couldn’t back down now, “Is that weird—that-that I love your questions?” She blinked, and repeated, “You…love my questions?”
He nodded and added, with a touch of misery, “Even that one.”
“People usually find them…annoying.” Her mouth twisted in a way that left him entranced.
“No-not me.”
She smiled—and he couldn’t take his eyes off her lips.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Anything.” She replied before the question was completely out of his mouth.
“Would you like to go out—”
“Yes; Saturday; we can go to that new rock climbing facility…”
“Oh-okay…Twinbrook has a rock climbing facility?”
“You don’t get out much do you?”
“Uh, no, not much.” “I better go—” Was it only Pilot, or did she seem reluctant?—“before Dawn starts yelling.” “And, boy, can she yell.” Like at her six-birthday party when she didn’t get the doll she wanted. Evelyn smiled, nodded, and left—Pilot shut the door behind her. She was fifteen minutes late, or at least she would’ve been if Pilot had counted—and he didn’t. Using the handy-dandy search engine: Plumbob, he’d found this place easily—it was recently constructed and newly owned by a Jillian Michael, who was an avid world traveler that had spent the last couple of years climbing high mountains and diving into deep seas. She was quite famous in the professional mountain climbing and scuba diving world. Pilot had wondered why she decided to come to such a small town, that is until he finished reading about her on this places website, and he found out she was born and raised here.
“Hey.”
Pilot stopped himself from jumping.
“Evelyn—you’re here.”
“Sorry, I’m late there was—”
“—Band practice today…”
“Yeah, but Ace managed to convince Dawn otherwise…it took awhile but he convinced her that she didn’t want a repeat of the ‘Halloween fiasco’ and then Mark and Luke chimed in and Dawn was forced to momentarily abdicate her tyrannous dictatorship.”
“Momentarily.” Pilot noted.
“Um-hmm, that’s all Ace could manage.”
“Hey—how’d you hear about this place?”
“From my mom’s boyfriend.”
Pilot arced an eyebrow.
“Alan Michael: brother of Jillian Michael—”
“—Who is the owner of this fine establishment.”
“Yeah—how’d you know?”
“I did some research.”
“Huh.”
“Uh—”
“C’mon let’s go.”
“Wow, this place is practically—empty.”
“It did open last week, give it time.” She was looking up at the challenge the climbing wall offered her.
“Ever done this before?”
She gave her head a quick jerk: no.
“Me neither.”
But she looked up at the wall rather optimistically. She pressed the green button with her foot and approached the wall.
Thirty seconds—that is if he was counting—and she had palmed the button on the top: lights flashed and she was down a second later saying: “You’re turn.”
“My turn,” he mumbled, “okay…” He followed her lead and placed his foot on the like button. It took him fifty-seven seconds—and this time he was counting.
He landed unbalanced and waited for her comment.
“You were fast.” She said. Sincere. “Now let’s try the medium one.”
Her foot hovered above the yellow; she jerked her head up, “Race?”
Pilot briefly considered, “Friendly competition never hurt a soul.”
“Exactly what I was thinking—well not exactly…” She laughed.
There was a particular glint in Evelyn’s eye that he found magnetic.
The two sounds interlaced, tumbled off into the night—Pilot and Evelyn’s laughter arced louder again after Pilot surmised: “That guy will never ask another teenage girl to an indoor rock climbing race again—you were at the top before his feet had even left the ground.” “It was only because you were there—how else was I supposed to impress you?” Voice heavy with sarcasm and laughter. “With my beguiling personality?”
Pilot looked at her, a bit overcome with her beguiling personality himself. The conversation abruptly dropped off.
Before either of them knew it: “I guess I’ll see you later then.”
Pilot nodded eagerly, “We-we should do this again.”
She smiled at him.
“I’ll see you tomorrow—band practice, right.”
She bobbed her head.
He started away.
“P-Pilot.”
He was glad for the excuse to turn back arou—
Despite drifting with his imagination in full control—reality hit pretty hard: THE KEYS! The ones to the car his mom had left, the old sloppy jalopy that he’d managed to persuade his step-mom to keep. To the car that his mom had strapped him into when he was five and had taken him to a piano recital—the music that he heard there still haunted his dreams. To the car that his mom had left and taken the plane ticket instead. To the car that represented his future: the one that meant getting out of this town. Reality hit hard but clearly. One destination in mind. He searched the ground feverishly. “What are you doing here?”
Pilot snapped to attention, “I-I could ask you the same?”
“But you didn’t, kid.”
“Huh-good point.”
“So whatcha doing out here—‘specially at night.”
“Looking for something—that’s mine.”
“Ever considered it went over the edge?”
“Uh.” He approached the chasm wearily. “No don’t think so.”
Pilot turned; the man was there—little to close for comfort.
His face twisted uncomfortably and he grabbed a fistful of Pilot’s shirt. And mumbled, “Sorry boy—a deal is a deal.”
“I have no idea what that means! What-let’s not do anything rash—”
He merely repeated his last statement.
It didn’t take a great push that sent him falling, but one was given nonetheless.
“A deals a deal.” He rationalized.
“You earned it.” His tone dripping sarcasm. He dropped the cash and change to the ground and peaked over the edge, a smile twisting his features.
The wretched soul scrabbled for the money, and then made a quick exit. Mumbling, “A deal's a deal.”
“Indeed.” Still and serious, “And it’s about time I came through on my end.” Don't ya just love cliff hangers?
This chapter was awhile in the making, and I hope you liked it, or, I daresay, I HOPE YOU ENJOYED it.

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5 Comment(s) so far


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#1Mar 5, 2012

Great story, congratulations on your feature.

#2fruitopiaVIPMar 5, 2012

I liked the Romeo and Juliet aspect of the story.  

#3fabrizioammolloMar 6, 2012

Great Chapter! I can't wait for the next one: anyway I can't believe that Pilot is gone. Let's hope that the climbing practise was enought! \:rah\:

#4taxa08Mar 13, 2012

\:D

#5spladoumMar 28, 2012

Oh man, Pilot! \:eek\: Sounds like things are getting hella serious!

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