Letters

Summary: Seth writes letters to his parents and his girlfriend before he leaves.

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Seth sniffled a little as he packed up his backpack. Walkman and CDs, check. Seven economy-sized packs of batteries, check. Flashlight, check. Brand new comic books, check. Gameboy, check. Jacket, check. Captain Oats, check.

He sighed and jerkily zipped up the backpack. Most of the bigger stuff was already aboard Summer Breeze, and he didn't know why he'd procrastinated packing up this stuff for so long.

Seth glanced around his room and tried not to cry. It wasn't like he was going forever, he reasoned with himself. Just for the summer. He'd be back in time for school to start.

He thought briefly about Summer. She'd talk him out of it, he knew, if he told her where he was going. She'd tell him that she really didn't know if she could be without him this summer, that she'd miss him too much, and what about Marissa? Was she supposed to deal with her all by herself?

Well, Seth really could not care less about Marissa right now. Marissa, in fact, was the person Seth hated most in the world right now. More than Britney Spears, even.

If it were not for Marissa, Seth would not be packing up his life--okay, not his whole life, but a very good chunk of it--to take off without telling anyone for three months. If it were not for Marissa, Theresa probably would not be pregnant. If it were not for Marissa, Ryan would still be here. If it were not for Marissa, his mom would not be breaking into tears every time she went outside or into the kitchen.

Marissa had taken away his best friend--his only friend--and if Seth had a little more courage, he'd call her up and yell at her.

Summer wouldn't like that. Summer would say that Marissa was suffering enough and give her a break, would you? But Seth couldn't give her a break, because she'd ruined his life and his mom's life and Theresa's life and definitely she'd ruined Ryan's life.

So why should Seth--or anyone--feel sympathy for her? She should be on her hands and knees begging for his family's forgiveness right now, but instead she was at her palace, probably practicing her ballroom dancing.

Seth ran his fingers through his hair and sucked in a breath, trying not to scream.

He was being very childish and unfair and he knew it, but he didn't think he'd ever been so upset in his life. First Anna left, and now Ryan. What was he doing wrong? Life had been so great, and now God or Moses or whoever was slowly picking off every person who'd ever mattered to him. He was seriously worried for Summer. He kept telling her to wear her seatbelt whenever she went out somewhere and sometimes made her hold his hand when they crossed the street. If she noticed, she didn't say anything.

Seth reached into his desk drawer and retrieved a spiral notebook and a pen. He had to tell them that he was leaving so they didn't call the FBI on him or anything, but he couldn't actually tell them, you know, face-to-face. He couldn't tell them because he knew they'd talk him out of it.

He started the letter to his parents first, because that was easier somehow:

Hi Mom, Dad,

By now, you've probably noticed I'm missing. I'm not actually missing, because I know where I am and pretty soon you will, too. I hope you haven't called the police or anything, because that'd be really humiliating and you don't need the bad publicity. Save yourselves the headache, you guys.

Remember how I said last year that I wanted to go to Tahiti? Yeah, I'm going. Don't worry, I already took care of everything. I talked to Anna (she went on this same trip last year) and she told me everything I'd need and I have it all. I'll be perfectly safe, and I'll be back before you know it.

I know I haven't mentioned the trip at all lately, but that's because I thought I'd just be hanging out here all summer with my best friend and my girlfriend. But now I don't have my best friend anymore, and you have no idea how much that sucks. I just need time to think things over and be by myself. I have to get used to it again, you know.

I love you guys. I hope you don't worry about me too much.

Mom: Remember to bathe every day. I know how you get when you're upset. Also, don't neglect work. Try hanging out with Summer, too, okay? Once you get past all the anger, she's really fun to be around. You'd like hanging out with her. Plus, you could do all that girly stuff I know you haven't done in a long time. Summer's a very girly girl. You could get manicures and talk about me.

Dad: Don't forget to groom the eyebrows. Take care of Mom. Buy pudding and Mountain Dew and play Grand Theft Auto every weekend until three in the morning. Channel me and Ryan when you do this, okay? Take cooking lessons or something so you don't have to get takeout all the time. Maybe that's something you and Mom could do together?

Love,

Seth

Hey, Summer,

I just want you to know, right off, that this isn't because of you at all. I don't know why you'd think that or anything, but in case you do, it's totally not.

I also want you to know that I love you. Yeah, I know we've never, like, actually said that to each other before, but that's because you and I are alike in that we're both kinda nervous around each other, you know? But, yeah, I love you, and I hope that doesn't totally freak you out. Don't spaz, okay, Summer? Saying 'I love you' doesn't mean we have to get married or anything like that. It just means that I really care about you and I like being with you and that...I don't know what else. Maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. But I thought it'd be nice to tell you exactly how much I care about you in a way that you'd understand, you know?

Anyway, I went to Tahiti. On your boat. I need to kinda be by myself, just to think, and I don't think I can do that here. Not with distractions like you and my parents and, you know, the new Tony Hawk game. Not that I'm saying that you're a bad distraction. Because you're not. I just think that, if I were to stay here with you, I would...bottle up everything I'm thinking and feeling.

I know that sounds totally girly, but...

Ryan leaving sucks. He's my best friend, Summer. And I know that we can go see him and stuff, but it won't be the same. His life is, like, over, you know? I don't think he really realizes that this kid is going to turn his life around. He's going to have to get a job so he can get a house and diapers and stuff. And we all know Ryan doesn't have any marketable skills other than brooding and his Clint Eastwood glare. He has no people skills, Summer. Where's he going to work, the post office? With the shorts and the truck with no doors?

My hand hurts, so I should probably go. Hey, before I do, could you do me a favor? Visit my parents every once in a while. Take my mom shopping or something? Make sure my dad grooms his eyebrows? I know they'll both be real upset about Ryan leaving, and I like to think they'll miss me, too. So...they need some company. And my grandpa and Julie aren't really...you know. Prime choices.

I'll be back sometime in late July, early August.

Have fun this summer, okay?

Love,
Seth

He finished and set down the pen. He realized that there were little splotches of ink on Summer's letter and reached up to daub at his eyes. Sure enough, he was crying.

Seth couldn't really care about that right now.

He found a couple of envelopes in his desk drawers and stuffed the letters into them. He wrote "Mom and Dad" on one and "Summer" on the other. Seth wasn't sure the letters were enough, and he wasn't sure that telling Summer he loved her in a letter was the most stellar idea he'd ever had, but he did feel that way, and he did want her to know it, so he was sure he could live with it. And he had a pretty good idea that his mom was going to go insane with worry and that his dad would ground him for the rest of his natural born life once he got home.

Seth wasn't sure that when he came back Summer would still be his girlfriend. He didn't know if she'd ever talk to him again. He wasn't sure that the whole trip to Tahiti was a very good idea, either, but he thought that he had to take the trip anyway.

He arranged the letters on his bedside table where he hoped his parents would see them when they came looking for him.

He slung the backpack over his shoulder and cast one last glance at his room before flicking off the light and exiting the room.

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A/N: ::sniffs:: I'm crying again.

I wrote this because I was really curious as to what was in those letters, and also a little worried. I hope my Sethelah will be all right, and that he remembered to take food with him, because I don't think that whole catching-fish-off-the-side-of-the-boat idea is going to work out too well for him. I'm so worried about him, and Summer, and Kirsten (because I think she's thisclose to having a nervous breakdown), and Sandy, and Ryan, of course, even thought I know he has to come back.

I am not worried for Marissa at all. So what if she lands herself in rehab? I totally agree with Seth: it's all her fault anyway.

And Theresa? I used to like her. Before she did all this stuff. Now I can't stand her. She needs to go back to school, possibly put her baby up for adoption because she has to know she can't raise it herself, and get her life together. Oh, yeah, and leave Ryan alone.

That's all I have to say about it. For now.

Disclaimer: All is Josh's. Who needs to push for an earlier season opening. Or, you know, not make cliffhangers that make people angry.