Disclaimer: Strange Days at Blake Holsey was created by Jim Rapsas and is the property of the now-defunct Fireworks Entertainment, Discovery Kids, NBC, and probably a lot of other people who could sue me. Please don't.
Author's note: I'm excited and a bit nervous to post this, as it is the first fic I've finished in a long, LONG time. Sorry if it is a bit sappy; I am working on much darker stuff but had to get this little scene out of my head first.
"Hi, you have reached the voicemail of Kelly Trent. Please leave a message and I will-"
Josie sighed and hung up the hallway phone. She had been trying to reach her mother all morning. It was Mother's Day, and the many of the students had gone home for a special three-day weekend. As her mother was, of course, out of town on business, Josie had stayed behind at the school.
"Josie!" a voice called from down the hall. It was Vaughn. He came toward her, tossing a baseball as he walked. "Hey. Who are you calling?"
"My mom's voicemail, for the fourth time. I've been trying to wish her a happy Mother's Day, but of course, she's not answering her phone." Josie glared. "I hate Mother's Day. I don't think I've actually spent one with my mother since I was five."
Vaughn shrugged. "I'm sorry. It's always been just another day for me."
Josie eyes grew wide as if suddenly remembering something. She sighed with regret and looked down at the floor. "Vaughn, I'm sorry... I didn't mean..."
"Don't worry about it," he replied, tossing the baseball at her lightly. She prayed a silent prayer of thanks when she managed to catch it without embarrassing herself.
"Doesn't your dad ever tell you about her?" she asked.
"Not really. He usually only talks about her if I ask." Vaughn looked at Josie seriously. "I don't bring it up very often. I think it makes him sad."
Josie nodded, trying desperately to think of a way to change the subject. Luckily, she was saved by a shout from down the hall.
"Pearson! You coming?"
"I'll be right there!" He turned back to Josie. "Baseball game. You want to play?"
Josie raised an eyebrow.
"Sorry," Vaughn said. "Dumb question." She tossed the ball back to him, somehow making it land in the vicinity of his waiting hands. "See ya later!"
"Bye," Josie said, turning back towards her room. Mentally, she kicked herself. "At least you get to see your Mom once in a while, and talk to her. Vaughn never even knew his mom."
Josie wandered over to her desk and picked up a framed photograph of her and her mother. It was a couple of years old. She studied it thoughtfully. "Vaughn never knew his mother. But she went to school here...someone must've known her." Her eyes lit up, and she set down the picture and rushed out into the hall.
In the lounge, Josie located the bookshelf that held old yearbooks from Blake Holsey High. She did some quick mental math. "Nineteen seventy-seven...here it is." She grabbed that volume, plus several surrounding it, and sat down on the empty seat.
Josie was so engrossed in the books that she didn't realize anyone had entered the room until they spoke. "Miss Trent? What are you doing inside on such a beautiful day?"
"Oh, um, just doing some research, I guess."
Principal Durst put on her glasses and peered down at the book Josie was holding. "Nineteen seventy-seven. That was right around the time I started teaching here."
"Yeah, I know. You, uh, looked really different."
The principal frowned, not sure whether to take the comment as a compliment or an insult. She decided to let it go. "Anything or anyone in particular you're looking for?"
"Well, actually, yes. I was looking for pictures of Sarah Lynch."
Durst looked at her curiously. "Vaughn's mother?"
"Yeah. I know she and Mr. Pearson went to school here. And I know Vaughn never knew his mother, and he said his father doesn't talk about her much, so I thought maybe I could find out a little about her in these books. So Vaughn could...you know, know her a little better."
Durst looked slightly taken aback. "That's very kind of you, Josie."
"Yeah, well, it's Mother's Day and all...Did you have Sarah Lynch in any of your classes, Principal Durst?"
"What was she like?"
Durst paused, remembering. "Well...she was always rather shy, but kind. Highly intelligent. She loved to learn, and she was always reading."
Josie nodded thoughtfully. She gestured to the pile of yearbooks beside her. "I know these aren't supposed to leave the lounge, but do you think I could borrow them? Just for this afternoon."
Durst raised her eyebrows, trying her best to look serious. "I suppose it would be all right, just this once".
"Thanks," Josie replied as the principal started to walk away. "Principal Durst?"
Josie hesitated. "I know this is kind of personal, but...how come you never had any kids?"
Durst tilted her head to the side. "I don't know what you mean, Miss Trent. I have hundreds of children." She winked, and Josie smiled.
When Vaughn entered his room later that evening, he was surprised to find a stack of papers tied together with a white ribbon sitting on his bed. Attached was a folded hand-written card.
Maybe these will help you to know your mom a little better. Happy Mother's Day.
Vaughn spent a full half-hour pouring over the pages. Each one had Xeroxed copies of yearbook pictures. Josie had decorated them with drawings and boarders done in marker. Some even had small paper cut-outs glued to them.
There were copies of each school portrait. Vaughn learned that his mother had been involved in the school choir, scholastic team, and of course, the science club. On the very last page was a picture of Victor and Sarah at the senior prom. Even in a seriously outdated long blue dress, his mother looked beautiful. Better than her date, who wore an outlandish gray tuxedo complete with cummerbund and ruffled white shirt.
A barely audible knock from the open doorway caused him to look up. It was Josie, looking at him hesitantly. "I was just, um, passing by, and uh...well, what do you think?"
Vaughn hesitated before answering, and Josie groaned inwardly. She had had butterflies in her stomach for the past hour while she waited for Vaughn to get back. Unpleasant scenarios kept running through her head. Maybe the pictures would just make him sad, or he would be mad at her for snooping into his life. His silence now only served to confirm her fears.
"I'm sorry," she began to apologize. "I shouldn't have dug through your personal business...I didn't mean to-"
"Josie," Vaughn stopped her. "I was just going to say that I didn't know you were the artistic type." He grinned, and Josie felt herself relax.
"So you like them?"
Vaughn nodded. "I think...I think it's the best Mother's Day I've ever had."