10- Off to See the Wizard

The train station was as crowded as ever when the coach finally halted at its entrance. It was very early in the morning but there were so many people there already. Elphaba looked around her. She hadn't seen so many people since…since she first arrived at Shiz, four months ago, she realized.

"Elphie, are you coming?" asked Galinda. Elphaba nodded, saying nothing. Galinda took Elphaba's single suitcase and followed her friend to the station. She woke up that morning with an unfamiliar feeling, of pain and sorrow. She missed Elphaba even before she was gone. She was surprised at how quickly they became such close friends. Four months ago Galinda would have paid to the person who'd take Elphaba out of her life, but now? She would pay anything to make her stay. She started dictating warnings and orders as a distraction from their coming separation.

"Remember, eye contact. And don't forget to tell him how wonderful he is, Wizards love that! And be yourself... well... within reason," she smiled sadly. She noticed Boq and Nessarose approaching. She didn't speak to Boq after the incident in Nessarose's birthday. She thought it was better that way.

"Elphaba, I'm so proud of you and I know father would be too. We're all proud, aren't we?" asked Nessarose. She was sad to say goodbye to her sister, even though it was for a short time.

Elphaba still looked worried about her. "You'll be alright, won't you?"

"She'll be fine!" called Galinda cheerfully. "Biq will take care of her, right?" It just slipped her lips, she wasn't even aware of her mistake until she saw it in Boq's face.

"It's Boq! I... I can't do this anymore," he said, running off.

"Boq!"

Galinda crouched next to Nessarose's wheelchair and stroked her hair gently. "Nessa, maybe he's just not the right one... for you," she said carefully.

"No, it's me that's not right," replied Nessarose, holding back tears. Boq was acting so strange lately; she didn't understand what was wrong with him. And she was already upset because of her sister's departure. "Elphaba, just go, I'll be fine." Not even saying goodbye, she wheeled herself away, to look for Boq.

"Nessa, wait!" But her sister wouldn't look back. Elphaba sighed.

"Let her go," Galinda said softly. "She'll have to manage without you. We all will."

Elphaba laughed at that. "Please! You'll barely even notice I'm gone. Besides, you have Fiyero. Where is he, anyway?" More than anything she wanted to see him before she left. "Not that I expected him to say goodbye to me. We barely know each other," she added quickly. Would he be there?

Galinda looked bothered. "I don't know him either," she said, much to Elphaba's surprise. "He's distant, and moodified, and he's been thinking, which really worries me. I never knew how much he cared about that old goat!" She looked behind Elphaba's shoulder and her features brighthened. "Oh, there he is!" She waved. "Fiyero! Over here, dearest!"

And moments later he stood there next to them. He handed Elphaba flowers, and she accepted them with a small smile. "Elphaba, I'm happy for you."

Galinda took hold on his arm. "Yes, we are both so happy."

Fiyero hesitated, then said, "Listen, I've been thinking-"

"Yes, I've heard."

Fiyero ignored her cynical remark and just kept talking. "About that Lion cub and... everything. I think about that day a lot."

His look was intent, as if he was making efforts to read through her. She didn't break the gaze. "Really? So do I."

"Me too!" called Galinda, interrupting their silent gaze conversation. "Poor Doctor Dillamond! It makes one want to... uh... take a stand. So I've been thinking of... uh..." She made a dramatic pause to add more suspense to her final statement. "Changing my name," she said finally, dead serious.

Fiyero looked confused. "Your name?"

"Well, yes!" said Galinda, now unstoppable. "Since Doctor Dillamond had his own way of pronouncing my name, in solidarity and to express my outrage, I will henceforward be known no longer as Galinda, but as simply, Glinda."

"Oh well…" said Fiyero. He wasn't sure how should he react to that. "That's very admirable of you... Glinda." He turned to look at Elphaba. She was amused to hear Galinda… well, Glinda's statement. Oh, he would miss that amused expression… he would miss her… Oh, he'd better just go. There was no use torturing himself so. "Elphaba, good luck," he mumbled, not even looking at her, before he hurried away.

Glinda snorted and waved her hand at his direction. "There, see?" she asked, her tone getting annoyingly whiney.

Elphaba sighed. "Galinda-"

"It's Glinda now," Glinda corrected her, looking miserable. "Stupid idea, I don't even know what made me say it."

"It doesn't matter what your name is, everyone loves you!"

Glinda didn't look convinced. "I don't care! I want him! I don't even think he's perfect anymore and I still want him. This must be what other people feel like. How do they bear it?"

They both laughed bitterly at that, and fell into each other's arms. Elphaba held on to her newly-found friend. How could she let her go? That silly, superior, arrogant blonde girl was her only friend. A crazy idea crossed her mind, and she wondered how she didn't think of it before. What if… "Come with me," she whispered into Glinda's hair.

"Where?" was Glinda's muffled question.

"To the Emerald City."

Glinda looked at her in bewilderment. Her eyes sparkled. The idea was tempting, but… should she go? There was no reason not to, really. They had two weeks of spring break, and Elphaba was due to return to Shiz in time for their next semester anyway. This should be perfect. She squealed at the perfectness of it. "I always wanted to see the Emerald City! Oh, Elphie, really?"

Elphaba nodded. "I'll get you a ticket and we'll wait for the next train. Go and pack some things and don't exaggerate!" she warned. "I'll wait here."

Glinda jumped up and down with enthusiasm. "Oh, I can't believe this! We are going to the Emerald City, this is so unbelievably swankified!"

"Go, now, or we'll never make it to the next train," said Elphaba softly.

Glinda squealed again and ran off the station to find Fiyero. Elphaba sat down on a nearby bench. She smiled to herself. Suddenly, she had a feeling that everything would be… well, just swankified.

THE END