Hey nerds! Remember that (cheesy, straight-up bad) fanfiction I’m writing? Well, here’s the really short third chapter if you’d like to suffer through it! Click the “Continue Reading” button to see the rest.
Jason sighed and pushed his plate away from him, leaning back in his chair. “I can’t eat another bite, Connie.”
“Well, that isn’t surprising.” Penny gestured her fork towards the kitchen, a piece of beef still stuck to it. “You’ve nearly eaten everything in her entire kitchen, after all.”
Connie waved her hand in dismissal. “I don’t mind, really! That’s what this diner was for, anyway.”
Wooton grinned from across the table. “My taste buds thank you like crazy, Connie! Although,” he added, “My stomach will probably hate you for this later. I mean, you know when I really think about it, this is the most farm animal I’ve ever eaten! Well,” he thought a moment, “except for that ostrich- but that was a completely different story.” He snorted, and hopefully looked at Jules. She had been staring at her dinner plate, hardly eating. Wooton felt it was his obligation to try and cheer her up that evening-and it wasn’t working.
The party that evening consisted of all the mentioned people. Connie, Jules, Jason, Wooton, and Penny. Connie hadn’t said it yet, but she had felt abnormally lonely. Jules was no company, ever since she had come home from school three days ago. Something had happened- Connie could feel it- but Jules had barely spoken even with Connie’s persistent prodding.
The yellow overhead lighting of the friendly chandelier caused light to be shed on everyone’s faces, except Jules. A shadow was cast on her lowered head, almost green in color because of the salad on her plate. Connie couldn’t understand how Jules could escape the laughter and warmth around the table. Why would anyone want to escape it? Connie had longed for it ever since Whit’s passing, and so she had invited her friends to dinner.
“So Jason, have you finished up sorting all of Whit’s stuff yet? There was a lot of it, you know.” Wooton scooped up the last of his salad, waiting for the answer.
Jason was struggling with the temptation to pick his teeth. “Eh, I’m getting there. It would help if Eugene gets back early tomorrow because there’s a bunch of documents that look like Imagination Station stuff. Hopefully I can just let him deal with it. Then I have the inventions in the basement to go through, Connie, which are technically your property.”
Connie shook her head. “I already have enough to deal with, Jason! I still don’t really even have an idea about how Whit’s End is gonna-” She stopped, a lump in her throat. It would never be Whit’s End again.
Jason picked his teeth, preoccupied with the same thought at Connie. She needed a battle plan, something to get her on track all the way. He stared down at the wooden table. Something to get it going…
Jules abruptly stood up, her chair scraping back on the dining room floor. “I’m going to go finish my homework, Connie.” Without even looking at the rest of them, she trudged through the living room behind and out of sight.
Wooton slowly sank his chin into his fist, staring off after Jules. “Connie, have you ever considered ice cream for dinner? That’d cheer anyone up.”
Connie grinned at the notion. “The only one who can do that and get away with it is you, Wooton.”
Jason startled himself out of his reverie with a quick joke and then thought better of it. Wooton was doing better at watching his weight, anyway. Penny looked frail against his broad-shouldered frame. It was almost comical that they had gotten married.
Wait a minute- maybe that was the answer. Jason’s thoughts were a tangent but it eventually led him to the idea that would keep Whit’s End alive. “Connie, I know what it is.”
Connie raised her eyebrows. “Well I’m glad you know what ice cream is.”
Jason waved his hands, “No, no, I’m not talking about that! I know what the foundation of Whit’s End is! Why didn’t I think of it? If only I could say it word-for-word-”
Wooton butted in, “Whit’s End will be an ice cream shop and discovery emporium. It will have a soda fountain, a museum, a well-stocked library, a theater. It will be a place of faith imagination, adventure, and discovery, where the joy of learning will be found in everything we do. It will be a place where the Bible will come alive for all who enter. It will be a place where kids will learn respect for one another, and for their parents, and for all in authority over them; a place where kids will engage in uplifting and wholesome conversation; a place with character building activities; a place filled with constructive fun, games, arts, and crafts. But most of all it will be a place where kids of all ages can just be kids.” He repeated Whit’s speech quickly, grinning at Jason.
Jason gave a thumbs-up. “Exactly my point, Connie. You can make Whit’s legacy live on. Follow what he intended Whit’s End to be. I’ll help you.” He gestured to everyone around the table. “We’ll all help you.”
Penny nodded. “Especially the part about the ice cream shop, Connie, I would love to be your taste-tester.”
Connie felt as if she was about to cry. She had known it all along, she just needed someone to hit her in the head with the answer. They had all learned so much from Whit; it was time to pass that learning on to others, together.