“Okay, are you guys ready?” It was Monday afternoon, and Kendall, Megan, Sophia, Carly, and Fanny were in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, filming some of the scenes of their movie project. Sophia was wearing an elaborate chut thai, which is an outfit in Thai culture made of a variety of cloths and sashes. “Yes! Can we please hurry? I borrowed this from my grandma and I don’t want to ruin it!” Sophia was nervous for several reasons; she was wearing a family heirloom in public and she hated being recorded. “Okay! 4, 3, 2.” Fanny turned on the camera. The scene was that Sophia was checking into her hotel room, and Megan and Kendall were going to come across her; Fanny’s character in the movie, his father owned the hotel, while Kendall and Megan were supposedly exploring it out of curiosity. “Oniichan! Sono hito wa Ngam Thaimee-samadesu, ne?” Megan looked at her brother excitedly. “Hontou ni Ngam Thaimee-sama, da!” Kendall tried to act as surprised as he could; acting unfortunately was not one of his strong suits. Essentially, their exchange translated to them being excited about seeing Thaimee Ngam, Sophia’s character. “Ngam-sama! Hajimemashite! Watashi wa Howards Elenadesu!” Megan bowed as she introduced herself; her character was named Elena Howards. “Hajimemashite. Boku wa Howards Gregorydesu. Elena-chan wa boku no imouto-chan.” Kendall, going by the name of Gregory Howards, introduced himself as Elena’s older brother. “Alright. Looks like we’re good here.” Fanny smiled. “Good job, you guys! And Sophia, you are killing it in that outfit!” Carly cheered her teammates on.
“Ugh, thank god! I can wear pants again.” Sophia sighed in relief, finally changed. They finished filming all of her scenes wearing the chut thai that day, so that they can return her outfit. “You did wonderful, Sophia!” Carly smiled. “Yeah, you and Megan honestly should apply for Advanced Theatre Arts.” Fanny agreed. “Kendall, on the other hand…” He looked over at the other male. “Shut up. I’m not an actor and I never will be.” “It’s okay, Kendall. You had to have lines in the movie, so you’re doing your best. Thank god he’s not grading on acting ability.” Fanny sighed in relief. “That’s probably the nicest thing he’s ever said to you!” Megan laughed at Kendall. “It’s sad because it’s true.” The Chinese boy snickered in agreement. “Ugh, you’re lucky you’re dating my best friend.” Kendall crossed his arms, ignoring all urges to punch him in the face. “Alright, so we’re done for filming today. I’m going to go do edits, but everyone, keep up the good work!” Fanny grinned, grabbing his tripod and heading to his car.
“I’m feeling so good about our project.” Megan looked at Kendall as he was driving the two siblings back home. “Yeah, we better not get an F after all the work we put into this.” Kendall, Megan, Sophia, and Carly all put in a lot of working doing the script while Fanny was in charge of editing and recording. “Well the plot is good, we all worked on the script to make sure that we had all of the grammars, and I think we are all doing a good job.” Megan admitted. “There isn’t a weak link in our group, and that’s a lot better than my English group.” She chuckled; they were studying the Italian Renaissance currently and had to do so in groups. Unfortunately for her, Megan was stuck in a group not only without Chloe, but also with people who have been consistently poor writers in the class. “But you just need to learn to roll with the punches, right?” She looked at Kendall, who was probably an expert at that. “Yup. Life might deal you a crappy hand, but you just need to learn how to play it right.”
“Kendall!” Mrs. Skye called out from the hallway. “Yes, mom?” The brunette walked over to his parents’ room. It was already 9pm. “Can you do us a favor?” “Sure, what’s up?” “Your mom forgot to buy groceries for breakfast tomorrow. Can you please get those for us?” Mr. Skye called out. “Okay, sounds good.” The 16 year old grabbed his keys and walked out the the apartment. Getting into his car, the brunette got out his phone and typed in the nearest grocery store. “Ralph’s? Okay. Let’s go there.” Pulling his car out of the apartment garage, he left for the store. “Alright,let’s just pull up, and… we’re parked.” The brunette stationed his car in the parking area, and grabbed a grocery cart. “Alright, so eggs, bacon, bread, milk.” He listed off, walking through the sliding doors. “Kendall?” The brunette looked up to see Sophia, who was with a small boy, no older than 7 years old. “Sophia! And who is this?” The brunette referred to her companion. “Hi, Kendall! This is my little brother, Jesse.” “Hi. You’re that rocket guy, right?” He looked up. “Oh yeah, I am.” The brunette chuckled. “What are you doing here so late?” The Thai girl was perplexed to see him here. “I was getting groceries for breakfast. My mom forgot to grab them so I figured I’d help her out.” “Oh, I see. Jesse has to contribute to his school’s bake sale, and he forgot about it, so we’re here grabbing some cake mix for that.” “That sounds like fun. I’ll see you tomorrow?” Kendall looked at her. “Yup. See you!” “Have fun baking!” “Later, rocker guy!” The two waved as they walked back to Sophia’s house.
“Okay, that should cover everything.” Kendall was proud of himself. He managed to grab everything for breakfast, and he was already back in the apartment and just finished putting everything away. “Kendall, are you going to sleep soon?” A drowsy Gil yawned. Unfortunately, the kitchen was directly connected to their room. “Yeah, I’m going to bed now.” The brunette stretched his arms as he walked over to their shared room. “Good night, big bro.” Gil closed his eyes. “Good night, Gil.” Kendall went to bed as well. Today felt like it went by too quickly. Then again, soccer season was officially over, and his classes were a blur, with no tests or particularly challenging projects presenting themselves as hurdles to him. It looks like things are starting to look up for me. Kendall thought to himself sleepily. The best moments in life were the ones that we want to last longer. Drifting off to another dream, the brunette pondered how many more times he will experience that sensation. That wish for life to go just a little bit slower, so that he can savor these memories.
Everyone was lined up at the graveyard, dressed in all black. Surprisingly enough, it was a sunny day with clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Exactly the way Kendall’s grandfather would have preferred it to be. Kendall was dreaming about his grandpa’s funeral. “We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Darby Skye. Darby was a kind man. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and was a celebrated aerospace engineer. He will be dearly missed. Darby will be lived on by his sons, Christian and Eric, and his daughters, Julie and Daphne, and their children.” An 8 year old Kendall sat there in the crowd, feeling numb. His grandfather had just taken him on a plane for the first time ever just a year ago, and then he died. A peaceful death, the nurses said. He went to sleep that night, and just never woke up. But it was fine. He was a widower anyways. Grandma died long before Kendall was born. At least grandpa will have somebody waiting for him on the other side of this. Somebody to welcome him with her warm embrace.
Mr. Skye was taking his father’s death surprisingly well. The father was more concerned about his own children’s feelings, rather than his own. “Everyone dies at some point. But it gives us more of a reason to live. Live for their sake. Live to carry out the hopes and dreams they had for us.” He explained to his three children. “Of course, I feel sad. He’s my dad. But if I were to get hung up and just be constantly sad about him passing away, then he wouldn’t be happy. Neither would my mom be, seeing me like that. I have to keep living my life and making a brighter future for you kids, for their sakes.” Gil and Megan were both trying not to cry still, but Kendall understood where his father was coming from. It’s understandable to have human emotions. It’s expected. But getting too caught up in them, it wouldn’t make the recently lost happy. They can’t just succumb to the downward spiral that is depression. That’s what the older 16 year old Kendall would later be able to vocalize with his advanced vocabulary. At that point in time, he understood the concept, but to the best effect that a 3rd grader could.
Kendall’s grandfather had always been a kind man. Whenever he would visit, Kendall would be excited; his grandfather would tell him about his stories as a pilot, and how exciting it was to be free. To soar like a bird. At first, Kendall was curious about this sensation, having never experienced it himself. But when he finally got to fly on the jet with his grandpa, he finally understood what it meant to be free. The sensation of flying, it was surreal. That feeling in your gut, as if something is pulling you up. Then you can sense the acceleration, as if you are becoming one with the wind. And then when you reach a certain point, your problems are so far below you that you can only think about one thing, and that’s feeling free to explore the world around you. To capture that experience and allow anyone and everyone to feel it, that was his goal. He wanted to help humanity soar in that big blue sky. The first plane he ever builds, Kendall plans to name it “Darby” in honor of his grandpa.