I was relieved to be back to work. I had tried to forget about all this, let go, and have fun yesterday…but it was hard. So when I walked back through the doors of the RGWI it was like I could breathe again. Knowing I was doing something about everything just let me relax a little. But as the days wore on, we all started to realized it wasn’t going to be that easy. It didn’t matter how much time we spent working on this, we weren’t getting anywhere. We were building a machine, and yet we just had the external structure, which means it can’t really do anything, until it’s programmed.
“Here,” I said, handing Sylvia the new power wrench I’d been working on. “It’s the automated wrench.”
“Great! It’ll be useful, we’re tightening some bolts now.”
Everyone switched between the different groups every week, which was nice, a little change of pace. But…then you get so used to both things it’s not really a big deal anymore. After another month, with barely any progress, we were all starting to wonder ‘when does it end’? The truth was that we were stuck. There was something that was missing, that we just weren’t getting. And after months of barely any progress, they gave us three months off, hoping we’d come back with new ideas. It was weird to leave, after all the time I’d spent there, and all the memories I’d made. At least this means they believe we can take three months off, that we have enough time left to do so. Being at the RGWI so much has impacted my relationships, in little ways. It’s hard when you don’t see the most important people in your life all the often. Sure, we have video-calling, but it’s not the same as being there. What used to be normal, living at home with Lexie, being able to meet up with Dani easily, seems like such a long time ago, even though it’s only been a few months. A lot has changed. And now I’m getting it all back again, for three months, and I won’t take any of that for granted anymore. Talking face-to-face with your sister or significant other doesn’t really seem like a big deal, until it’s gone. You don’t understand the importance of being there, until you aren’t. My life will be going back to normal for three months, and I’m going to enjoy ever last second of it.
Five years later…
Watcher, so much has brought me to this moment. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve learned so much in the past five years. Five years ago, I didn’t realize the impact working at the RGWI would have on my life. I couldn’t have even imagined it. And by the time I figured it out…it was too late, my life as I knew it was spinning apart. Things that had finally been coming together, were suddenly gone. Now that I think about it…it wasn’t truly a ‘suddenly‘, things had been changing for a while. But when you’re in the moment, right there, you don’t think about things like that. You don’t think, don’t reflect on what’s happening right then. It just doesn’t work that way. I learned so much about myself, about relationships. More than I thought existed. Things just changed so quickly. But this time, I’m ready for a change… I’m ready to go onto this next part of my life.
~flashback~ Three years ago…
I sighed, looking up. They had just told us we had to go back to work early, again. Every time we had a break, they cut it short. I was at Dani’s house for our latest break, and I didn’t want it to end. It was hard, for everyone involved in the RGWI, to have true ‘lives’ with how much we weren’t able to be at home. Watcher, I wasn’t even at home when we had breaks for half the time. Since our breaks were so short, I went to see Lexie or Dani, alternating each time. My sister had grown into her own this past year, helping that catering company make their own restaurant, over in Newcrest. She’s dated off and on, but nothing really long term. Lexie said she’s not looking for something like that yet, and I get it. If she never marries, that’s fine. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I wasn’t a legacy heiress.
“We have to go back in two days.” I said.
“Can’t you stay?” Dani clasped her hand around mine, and for a second…I almost said yes. But I couldn’t.
“You never can…”
“Dani. It’s my job. They need us there.”
“So do I,” She whispered.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think it would last this long… I wish it wasn’t like this.”
“Then don’t let it be.”
“It’s not my choice to make.” I moved to get up, and I heard her softly say,
It wasn’t long after that when Dani moved in with us. My sister and my girlfriend, living in the same house, seemed weird and awkward at first, but it had been getting too hard to see both of them, so it made sense. Both of them were fine with the idea, and before I knew it, Dani was moving in. I mean, back then, Dani and I figured we’d be moving in together soon anyway.
There are so many things I wish I could change, but all of them led me to this moment, right here, right now. And I wouldn’t change this for anything. If every single mistake I ever made brought me here, then so be it. Because this – this was worth it.
Flashback ~two years ago~
I can’t. I actually can’t anymore. If Dani was here, she’d tell me… I don’t know what she’d tell me, because if she was here this wouldn’t be happening. She was always there for me, even in my hardest times. And I – I couldn’t be there for her. Yeah, I wouldn’t stay with me either. I’m such a bad girlfriend. How could I let this happen? How could I have let something else – while important – envelope my life like this? How could I have let it have that control over me? How? Because you didn’t think it would take this long. Because you’re stupid, Adelaide. You let the best thing in your life go. I thought I could do it all, because I always had. But instead I was slowly breaking myself, I destroyed my relationship. Dani couldn’t do this anymore. I realize that I couldn’t either. I couldn’t for a long time. Which leaves one question…how do you keep living when the center of your life is gone? You do what you’ve always done. You get back up and keep going. But for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I could.
“Addie?” I heard my sister’s voice from the other side of the wall.
I opened the door slowly. “She did it, Lexie,” I whispered, “we’re over.” I cried, wishing this was all a dream, and I’d wake up with my girlfriend beside me. But it wasn’t a dream, and I didn’t have a girlfriend. She was my ex-girlfriend now.
“You can still be friends,” Lexie pointed out.
“I know.” I knew we could be friends, we had been before we’d dated. But I didn’t want to just be friends, I wanted what we had back again. If only…
After that, I worked on strengthening my and Dani’s friendship, where it all began. It was what was best, having a platonic relationship. She and I made as good of friends at we did of lovers. But as the months went on, I felt like I was in the same position as I had been those years ago, being her friend. I wanted something I couldn’t have…but it was different this time, because I knew what it felt like to have it. Honestly, I needed this whether or not I wanted to admit it (and I didn’t). I couldn’t be a good girlfriend right now. I needed this break from it all… I could no longer balance having a relationship with such a demanding job. It was during this time when I truly started feeling like a young adult. When I went to Brindleton the next time, I ventured to the nightclub Dani and I had went to a few times to have a good time…and I had my first fling. I let myself go more than I had ever imagined doing. For almost all of my young adult life, I was set on one thing: being the adult…because that’s what I was. My mom died within a few weeks of my aging-up, and I felt like I had to take her place, to be the grown up for my younger siblings. I still feel that way sometimes.
All that time ago, when I was dating Lucinda, we’d agreed to end the relationship after she told me she’d gotten a great job offer in San Myshuno, and that she was accepting it. I was really happy for her, but we ultimately decided a long-distance relationship probably wouldn’t work out in the long run. She and I still keep in touch from time to time, and she’s still working at that job. And I figure, in a way, that when I started working at the RGWI, my and Dani’s relationship had become a long-distance relationship…which I’d tried to avoid with Lucinda. Sure, I knew things would be different once I practically lived in Oasis Springs, but I hadn’t thought about how my girlfriend and I would be in a long-distance relationship in a way. I wouldn’t be so bad if I was just living there, but we were stuck at the RGWI for most of our time. I thought it could all work out…but it couldn’t. Not then.
Four weeks ago…
“Adelaide, get in here,” Sylvia yelled. I got up from my desk and went over to her, hoping nothing was about to explode.
I looked around, eyeing her, “Nothing’s exploding, right?”
“No,” she said, “definitely not. We’ve almost done it.” With that, I looked up to the holographic screen, seeing almost all of the pieces fitting together, with long math equations next to them.
“What’s off?” I asked, still going over the screen.
“That last piece, it’s different. It doesn’t fit in anywhere, and nobody’s been able to make an equation for it.” Great. Another roadblock. We’d hit so many, trying to create something to would save the atmosphere. This time, though, it had to be right. We all had to believe that, or we couldn’t keep going.
“Maybe it’s not supposed to fit? I mean, nobody’s ever done this before, how do we know it’s meant to be straight edges and perfect lines?”
“You… you might be right!” Sylvia beamed, thrilled of the thought this might finally be over. “Guys,” she said, making everyone in the room look up, “what if the last piece isn’t mean to fit?”
“That doesn’t make sense!” Ebony exclaimed, in confusion, “It has to fit!”
“No, she might be right… Okay, if you turn it this way, and rotate by 80 degrees…” Zachary started mumbling to himself, and I looked back at Sylvia.
“You just might have done it,” she whispered, “I think it’s finally over.”
I could only hope that she was right. We all could. The next few days were a scramble to figure out how it fit in, if not to the main area. There was math being done that I didn’t know existed. Finally, there was a breakthrough. At 12:31 am, September 7th, 2534…the world was saved.
“It’s in the middle!” I heard from the other side of the room.
“Wait, what?” I asked, turning around.
“The piece is in the middle! It’s going to make everything else work, it’s the activation button!”
“Oh my Watcher,” I said, hardly able to speak. “It’s over.”
It’s over. It’s really over. We did it, and we’re going home. The rest of that day we went to work building this new machine, the one that would save us. We were done building by 1 pm, and we all gathered around this new thing.
“Pull the lever,” Sylvia instructed, and she pressed the on button at the same time. Liquid bubbled up from the chambers before the penetrating disk aimed up toward the sky. It would create holes in the atmosphere to be able to infuse it with everything it needed, and more. A huge turquoise beam burst out of the disk and we stared, watching it go higher and higher. The beam reached its destination, and turquoise ripples spread throughout the sky, until we could no longer see them. It took a split second for rain to start pouring down, and we quickly moved the machine inside.
“It’s over,” I whispered. We were free.
Dani and I were in Granite Falls, looking at the amazing sights it held, especially in fall. She’s wanted to bring me for a while, and without the RGWI, it was finally a good time to go. We were going to go in November, because I had days off then (and it was 70 degrees year round, remember..) but we figured why not go now? Our break up had lasted 7 months before we tentatively stepped over, just slightly, to the other side of the line, the ‘more than friends’ side. We had been dating for around a year and a half now, but it felt like longer than that because we’d been dating from around four years before ending it 2 years ago. I’m grateful every day that she’s by my side, that I’m walking through life with her. She’s my everything… and I cannot imagine a life without her. I watched her admire one of Granite Fall’s waterfalls, while I hoped she was ready to begin a new part of our lives. She’d insisted on going to check out the forest, event though it was raining. It was raining. I didn’t object because at least for now, rain was a miracle.
“Dani,” I started, and I watched her turn around, her beautiful emerald green eyes widening as she saw me down on one knee, realizing what was happening. I couldn’t wait to begin the next part of our lives and I could only hope she felt the same way. “I love you, and I never want to be without you…”
A/N: I’m back!!! This chapter was kind of a recap on what happened in the past five years, and I’m really excited for what is to come! 🙂