I'm staying home today because my crush found out that I liked him, along with everybody in the whole school who has access to Instant Messenger, over AIM last night. He said horrible things about me, which everybody in the school who had a screen name now knows. So I'm staying home, writing songfics, listening to the Ataris, and eating oranges. Pity me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Run
Running all the time
Running to the future
With you right by my side
Me
I'm the one you chose 
Out of all the people 
You wanted me the most
I'm so sorry that I'm falling
Help me up lets keep on running
Don't let me fall out of love

~~~~~~~~~~~~

            "There." Klaus stepped back from the telegram device. "Mr. Poe will get our message soon, won't he, Violet?"

            He looked at me. I smiled. I hoped it was comforting, because actually I was just as scared as he and Sunny looked, if not worse. "Of course he will. Let's just wait."

            I could still feel their eyes on me. I smiled again. Klaus smiled very slightly, and it still looked forced. Sunny just sat down on the floor of the Last Chance General Store, hugged her knees and made a very tiny whimpering noise. I knew just how she felt.

            The machine stayed blank and dead looking. Mr. Poe wasn't responding.

            "It might take a while," I said, trying to sound firm. "But we can wait." I pointed to a stool by the device. "Here, Klaus you can sit down." I bent over and picked up Sunny. "Let's wait," I repeated.

            We waited.

            And waited.

            And waited some more.

            I felt Sunny's body relax against me. Her even breathing rustled my hair. She'd fallen asleep, I realized. I glanced over at Klaus. His glasses were slipping off his face and his mouth was slightly open. They were both asleep.

            I looked at the machine.

            Still nothing.

            I suddenly felt very alone.

            I sat down on a bench by a bookshelf. I felt disgusting. As soon as we were out of this, I would go into the bathroom and take a shower so hot that it would turn my skin red. I would brush my teeth and stop just before the enamel was worn off. I would go to the store and buy new clothes, just to put them on and feel their crisp, stiff new-clothes feeling. I would go to the movies and read a magazine and catch up with popular culture. I would go to school and complain about homework and be normal.

            And I would do all that by myself.

            I liked my siblings, but I didn't like always having to be in charge of them. I mean, just always having to be the strong one and the responsible one was making me feel more and more like somebody's mother and less and less like a normal teenager.

            I sighed and leaned back.

            Would this ever be over? Would everything ever just go back to normal?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Running, running
As fast as we can
I really hope you make it
(Do you think we'll make it?) 
We're running
Keep holding my hand
It's so we don't get separated

~~~~~~~~~~~~

            I took a deep breath. We were resting now, but it felt like we were always running. Running away from Count Olaf, running away from normalcy and our lives before the fire, running away from everything.

            But what were we running towards?

            Nothing, I realized with a shiver. We were running from anything and I had no idea what was next.

            Well, maybe I could stand it. I was the eldest sibling, I was responsible.

            Right. Responsible. Responsible for what? Responsible for taking care of my siblings? I honestly wasn't sure how long I could keep doing that without breaking down or something... Responsible for coming up with ideas to save us? I couldn't go on forever. Everybody runs out of inventions and ideas sometime...

            Responsible. Not really. More like guilty. The only thing I really was responsible for was causing Duncan and Isadora to leave in the Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home with Hector. (A/N: I get spazzy when you call it anything else...It's not a balloon, people! Grr! J LOL, I have issues...) They were safe, but they were still gone. I was to blame for anything that went wrong in our life, or at least that was what it felt like.

            I sighed. I couldn't wait to stop running.  

            If I ever stopped running...

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Be
Be the one I need
Be the one I trust most
Don't stop inspiring me
Sometimes it's hard to keep on running
We work so much to keep it going
Don't make me want to give up

~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Sunny stirred a little on my shoulder. Almost simultaneously, Klaus blinked at me. He adjusted his glasses and walked over towards me. "Violet, you should sleep a little."

            He reached down and took Sunny. I shook my head. "I'm fine...You guys need your rest, anyway...you're younger..."

            He rolled his eyes. "You look really tired. You have huge circles under your eyes."

            I shook my head again, more vigorously this time. "Thanks. I'm okay. You guys rest and I'll be fine, so—" I yawned and stretched my arms over my head. "Mmm...what was I saying? Sorry."

            He smiled. "I rest my case."

            I was too sleepy to argue. "Mmm...okay." I shut my eyes.

            I couldn't sleep, and when I did, it was just restless nightmares about fire and running, and people floating away...I couldn't help them...

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Running, running
As fast as we can
I really hope you make it
(Do you think we'll make it?) 
We're running
Keep holding my hand

It's so we don't get separated

~~~~~~~~~~~~

            "Violet!"

            I blinked. Klaus was shaking my shoulder. He looked really upset. "Violet, wake up!"

            "I'm up...What's wrong?"

            He looked panicked. "There hasn't been any reply yet. And it's been almost twelve hours. The bank would have opened around when Sunny and I woke up, and it would have closed a few hours ago."

            I sighed, standing up. I pulled down on my skirt. It was rumpled. "Really?"

            "Of course! Why would I lie?! What do we do?"

            My mouth was dry. I was still a little groggy, and I wanted to take a shower more than I had before. "We..." They looked at me hopefully. I couldn't tell them that I didn't know. I couldn't just say I was scared.

            I took a deep breath. "We'll figure it out."

            They looked relived. I couldn't believe it. They thought I had the power to make sense of everything...As if.

            I managed to smile at them, and I knew that I would run for as long as I had to, until we all were safe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Running, running
As fast as we can
I really hope you make it
(Do you think we'll make it?) 
We're running
Keep holding my hand

It's so we don't get separated

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like that song...oh well. I still have to go to the play rehearsal today. I hope nobody who has AIM sees me...wishful thinking...