"Boy, is Vernon gonna be pissed." Allison commented.
"Eh, who cares?" John smirked as he finished the final touches on his masterpiece. He smacks Brian's leg and points at his work. "Whaddya think?"
"Well, it's not like he's gonna know to look here, anyways." Brian offered as he admired John's handiwork. On the underside of one of the library desks was carved the name of their little group, the Breakfast Club, as well as another message. Perhaps it would go unnoticed until the school eventually got rid of the desks in however many years, but it was a surprisingly thoughtful legacy that the criminal was leaving behind. "You know, this is pretty good. You ever thought of being a writer?"
"Nah, I leave that to the dweebs like you. You can actually hold your tempers." John scoffed. "Imagine if I wrote our essay that first Saturday. I would've been telling Vernon to fuck off every other sentence."
"Probably wouldn't have made a difference. We all got dragged back the week after anyway for pulling that stunt."
"I'm surprised you're okay with us doing this, Brian." Claire looked at the nerd, who shrugged.
"Well, it's not like I'm gonna be here forever." Brian paused, realizing the implication of that statement. "Can you guys believe we'll be graduating?"
"Nah." John laughed. "I always thought I'd be kicked out first."
"Yeah well, I think Vernon liked having you around to give detentions to." Andrew spoke up.
John Bender didn't answer. No one else did either. They were all thinking the same thing.
Two years ago, the five of them had been brought together by coincidence, put into detention on the same Saturday. John knew better than most that that day had been unusual. In all the detentions before or since, he'd never seen the connection that had been established between him and the four people he now called his best friends. But soon, all that was going to end.
Brian was going to Harvard in the fall, like everyone knew he would. Andrew was also going to college, in California on a wrestling scholarship. Allison would be attending an art school in downtown Chicago. Claire was headed off to Columbia, her parents' alma mater. Alone out of the five of them, John was not continuing his education, instead taking on a full time shift at his current workplace in an autoshop.
"I don't want this to end." The words escaped John's lips, unbidden.
"What, the endless Saturday detentions?" Andrew snorted. "If I never saw the inside of this library again, I'd die a happy man."
"Same here." Brian agreed. "I had to give up valedictorian because of all the disciplinary marks on my record."
"And yet Harvard still accepted you." Claire pointed out.
"And Davis would probably still be gunning for your ass if you beat her." John snickered. "Yo pipsqueak, if you feel like killing yourself again, just let me know. I'll get jockstrap and we'll come knock some sense into you."
Once upon a time, Brian might have been frightened, but now he just smiled. "Hey now, it's the guys at Cornell who toss themselves off bridges."
"I would too, if my school were named after a vegetable." Allison muttered absentmindedly, intent on her own work.
"You know, corn is actually a vegetable, grain, and a fruit?"
"Shut up, Brian." The others all said automatically to no avail, as the smallest member of the Breakfast Club began to lecture them about the plant and the taxonomical difficulties of classifying vegetables and fruits. As he descended into full drone mode, they collectively rolled their eyes and turned away, knowing there was no stopping him once he had started. Even threats of physical violence from Andrew and John didn't faze him anymore.
"What're you working on?" Andrew asked Allison, craning his head to look at her sketchpad.
"You'll see." Allison winked and pulled the paper away from his prying eyes.
"See what?" Claire sat down next to Allison. "C'mon, let me see."
"I'm almost done, relax." Allison smacked Claire's hands away, making a few last adjustments to her sketch. "There." Triumphantly, the basket case revealed her finest work yet.
"Allison." Claire breathed. "It's beautiful."
"Not bad." John whistled appreciatively.
Brian stopped talking as he noticed the artwork, his rant about corn forgotten.
Andrew grinned and kissed his girlfriend on the cheek. "You've outdone yourself, Ally."
"Thanks you guys." Allison blushed as she signed the paper. It had taken her almost the entire afternoon, but she'd manage to recreate the five of them as they were the first day they'd met, sitting together in the library of Shermer High.
After a long moment, Brian finally spoke. "You know guys, I don't believe this is the end. We'll still be friends after this."
"Yeah." Andrew's voice went a little higher than normal, and he cleared his throat. "Definitely."
"Aw, don't tell me you're crying, jockstrap." John teased.
"Shut it, Bender." Andrew snapped, but there was no malice in his words. They were long past that.
"Alright!" The library doors opened with a loud bang, and Vice Principal Vernon strode in like a raging bull, snorting and grunting and all. Perhaps it was the thought of finally seeing the last of the infamous Breakfast Club, but his ever-present scowl was relaxed for once. "You're free to go. And don't get yourselves into trouble before graduation. I don't ever want to see any of you again!"
"Love you too, Dick." John blew the older man a kiss as the five seniors walked out the doors to a sunny afternoon.