I saw the little red eyes gleaming in the monochrome sea of concrete and steel, cars coming and leaving into New York City. As the plane got higher, I craned my neck down in the tiny jet to catch a last glimpse of the city skyline. I wouldn’t be back for another three months, when I would be leaving New England for the last time…
Besides the massive amount of packing I had to get done and last minute assignments, school was adding to my stress. I couldn’t even enjoy the last day in the city, really. It wasn’t even because I was sad to go.
It was because my worst nightmare was going back to school with me.
My phone buzzed and buzzed two days ago with messages from Hannah Humphries, someone who I had come to rely on for all things at the Academy. In a flux of emojis and exclamation points, I had got the message:
Haymish Blake was coming back.
In her New Hampshire ski lodge over Spring Break, Hannah had somehow heard from a friend of a friend that the Blake family had put up quite the fight to get their son re-enrolled. Of course, the Academy had no problem letting kids come back – as long as it was for the right price. While other students often had to jump through hoops, such as attending an intensive rehab program in the White Mountains or completing community service, Haymish just had to cough up the cash.
In exchange for a donation in an amount to cover the renovation of our Ski Center, the Academy welcomed Haymish home with open arms. Of course, I’m sure they charged him double tuition again as well.
I didn’t know if Haymish had put two and two together, if he was even capable of that, to figure out that Hannah and I sent him packing. But things were certainly different now – the Headmaster had no problem kicking out a student once, so who knows if he would do it again? How could we continue to screw with eachother’s life once the risk wasn’t worth the gain?
All Haymish had really done was up the ante: and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to bet.
I thought about how I had got involved in all of this stupid revelry, wishing it would just fix itself. We had all become so pretentious in our childish pranks that I felt like an adult in a child’s world. I couldn’t help but wonder – at what point is revenge just foolish? Is it when you get a bucket of pee dumped on you, or is it when you have to pay a fortune to resume schooling? I didn’t know for sure.
As I sped far away from the metropolis of sophisticated society, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get too involved this semester. After all, it was my last one. I didn’t want to leave behind a mess at the Academy this spring. I wanted to leave something good, something presentable. I still had many choices to make before I walked across the big stage in June. Where would I be this fall? Who would be with me? How would everything end?
In the end, it seems one thing lasts forever: a legacy.
Which one would I leave behind?