Well, here's another one-shot from me. This one is from Cameron's perspective, so you are warned if you don't like him (I don't either, but somebody needs to write some fanfiction for him where he's not being a jerk). It's set during the new semester after Christmas when the new English teacher comes. Also, it's as if all the other Dead Poets, after the last scene of the movie, were expelled like Mr. Nolan had threatened. All the other boys that stood up weren't because they were just following, but the Dead Poets were a real threat to the way Nolan wanted the school to be.
Disclaimer: I don't own Dead Poets Society (sad, I know), or the commonly used metaphor about bottomless pits, or even bottomless pits, for that matter.
Despite everything—Neil's suicide, Dalton's expulsion, and, later, Todd's, Knox's, Pitts's, and Meeks's expulsions—it all just seemed to go back to normal. Christmas break, I went home, and my parents were proud of me, but, for some reason, I couldn't really be proud of myself. There was just something bothering me… and I suppose I know what it was now.
Slowly, hesitantly, I make my way toward the door of the English classroom. Break is over and classes are back, but it just feels so wrong. Everyone I knew is gone now, and, even if they were here, they wouldn't talk to me. Of course, no one talks to me anyway. I skip a lot of meals because I don't have anywhere to sit anymore. No one wants me at their table.
The classroom looks the same as it did after Mr. Keating first left. All his things are gone and none have replaced them, so it just seems to empty. That might just be a bit of my imagination, though.
I take my normal seat right in front of Neil's empty one and wait patiently for the new teacher. Mr. Nolan introduced him at his welcome-back speech yesterday after the break. The man's name is Mr. Kenneth Quentin. He hadn't looked that interesting of a teacher yesterday at dinner, but who knows? He comes out of the back room while we're all entering and sits behind his desk. He looks as old as Mr. Nolan or Dr. Hager (or maybe older than both), but he's much more refined. He's aged well with a taut belly and calm, silver hair. Nothing particularly intriguing about the man, but, again, who knows?
The bell rings, and he takes roll so that he can learn all of our names and faces. And, as the lesson begins, I notice that he's conducting it in exactly the same way Mr. Nolan had during his short governing of this classroom—and I hate it. He's a good teacher, I suppose, for Welton, but, ever since Mr. Keating, this classroom will always lack a certain aura that's necessary for me to be at peace.
We turn our books to page five-hundred-something, and Mr. Quentin asks Hopkins to read the poem there. All my thought processes stop at the words that emit from his mouth, and I feel suddenly cold all over. It's the same poem that Mr. Keating had Pitts read during our first class period less than half a year ago. 'To the Virgins to Make Much of Time'. I can just see Dalton smirking in the background at the title. I hate that poem—too many memories.
As Hopkins finishes reading the poem, I look up at the teacher, hoping to see Mr. Keating there, ready to tell us about carpe diem and making our lives extraordinary. But it's not him. It's just Mr. Quentin, sitting behind his desk like an old, noble frog that's actually a prince under an evil witch's spell like in all the fairytales… but this is no fairytale. If it were, I'm pretty sure I'd be the evil sorcerer out to make everyone's lives a living hell, but it would end with me being squashed like a bug or something. There's no room for me in fairytales.
An hour later, the class is over, but I barely feel any better when I leave the room. I nearly sigh in relief when I reach my dormitory, half empty because of Charlie Dalton's expulsion. All the dorms around me are empty, too, but I think I've made it rather clear why. They're all gone as well. Not exactly something I'm happy to think about, though, so I try to think about something else… but I can't help but allow my mind to travel back to that same subject over and over again.
This Mr. Quentin is quite a man, I decide after a long while of thinking, but he's certainly no proper replacement for Mr. Keating. The Captain (not that I still have any right to call him that—not in the least) was a singular man. There was nothing he couldn't do if he set his mind to it, and he tried to convince us that we could all do the same if that was what we wanted.
Apparently, though, it wasn't what I wanted because I gave it all up, every single chance I had at being someone other than who my parents want me to be. I never thought about what would happen to the others when I turned in the club because I thought they would all be 'reasonable' and sign the damn paper, but they really cared about Mr. Keating and carpe diem. That just makes me wonder, though, why I didn't. Is it something wrong with me? Am I just the sort of person that turns in the only people ever to care about me and not look back like they don't matter at all? Well, I guess I am because that's exactly what I did.
And there's no turning back now. There's no way to make things right. No one would listen to me if I said I was sorry. There's no one to listen, anyway, because they all stood up for what they believe in and were expelled because of it. They began a sort of riot against Mr. Nolan in a classroom he controlled so he had to carry out his promise. He didn't expel them all—only the Dead Poets because it was apparently all their faults… except for me because—Charlie's right—I'm a damn fink.
I guess, I can't help but think there's no possible redemption for someone like me. I'm a traitor, and I know it. But I only did what I thought was best, what was right. It's the way I learned to live; it's how I grew up. Was I supposed to go against my nature and be someone else entirely? I suppose not, but I know they wanted me to. It's not like any of them liked me in the first place.
And I realize now—a little too late—that there's no replacement for Mr. Keating or any of them—and certainly not for Neil. He was the closest thing I ever had to a best friend, even though I know he didn't think much of me. It's not like any of them did, so I guess he was the closest I could ever get.
When you fall into a bottomless pit, there's only one way to go: down—down, for ever and for always. And, even if you hit the bottom (if it turns out there actually is one), the jar of the your body slamming against the ground will kill you… and, if it doesn't do that, you'll have trouble breathing for the rest of your life.
Well, thank you ever so much for reading this. Please leave me a review!