Chapter 2 – Long Lost Time.
Disclaimer: I do not own Zoey 101 or anything else you've ever heard of.
AN: Here's chapter two. Thanks to rkohulkster for reviewing.
The next morning, Zoey woke up to a bright light coming through the window. This confused her, because her room at her parent's house faced away from the sun. It wasn't until she opened her eyes that she realized she wasn't at her parent's house, but at Chase's apartment in New York City.
She got up and found the bathroom to take a shower. When she returned from the bathroom twenty minutes later, she was completely ready for the day. She wore light faded jeans, a dark purple t-shirt with flowers on it, and her black sneakers. She decided to leave her hair down, and her makeup was only dusted across her face.
She decided to go see what Chase was doing, but what she found shocked her. When she entered the kitchen, Chase was standing at the stove, flipping pancakes. She leaned against the doorway and watched him, silently, for a few minutes.
When he turned to take something from the refrigerator, he stopped short. I smiled a sweet smile at him, but I didn't speak.
"Good, you're awake."
"Well, good morning to you too." I laughed slightly. Chase had never been the kind of person that said good morning, and I knew that.
"I meant that I was hoping you'd be up before breakfast was ready. After we eat, I actually have to go to work. Did you have anything you were going to do today?"
"Well, I'm not sure yet. I guess I'll check for an email from my parents and then go do some sightseeing or something."
"You're welcome to stay here as long as you like. That means today while I'm at work, and also for however long you need to."
"Thanks Chase. I'm not sure how long I'll be here though."
I guess I should try to talk to him. Ever since spring of this year, we haven't spoken much. The spring semester of our senior year at PCA came and went without much time to think about anything. The only thing on everyone's minds was what was going to happen once we left.
It was a sad thought, but the gang started to fall apart around that time. We all knew it was coming; we just weren't sure how soon it would. As we each started to make plans for after graduation, we started seeing each other less.
By the time graduation came, none of us had really spoken to each other for about a month. The only time Quinn, Lola, and I said anything to each other was in the dorm, and that was usually just saying the bathroom was open.
Chase and I had stopped hanging out so much sometime in mid-April. He started working more hours at Sushi Rox, trying to raise some money for his apartment. I'd never had to work, because my parents had a good bit of money, and I was never low on cash.
I ate breakfast with Chase at his kitchen table, but there was nothing for us to say. We didn't know anything about each other anymore, but I felt I had to say something.
"Thanks for letting me stay here."
"It's no problem. Anytime you're in New York, look me up."
"Chase?" I asked, after about ten minutes of silence.
"Where do you work?" I wasn't trying to be nosey; I was just genuinely curious.
"I work at a small diner about three blocks down. It's called Mitch's Diner. I've been working there for about three weeks now."
"That's cool. I assume you're going to go to NYU this fall, right? You want to get a degree in writing?"
"Well yeah. It's not just writing, Zoey, I've told you that so many times. I want to be a journalist. New York seemed like the best place to pursue that dream."
"Of course." With that last sentence, we fell into another silence. We stayed quiet, just eating, for about ten more minutes, until Chase stood from his seat.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he took his plate and rinsed it, setting it down in the sink. He came back over, seeing that I was finished, and took my plate too. I stood up, wanting to help him clean up, but he refused.
"You're the guest here, Zoey. I'll clean up."
He didn't let me answer him, and instead just put away the syrup, butter, and took our glasses to the sink also. I watched him get a dish towel from beside the sink and dampen it, wiping the table and counter.
"I'll be at work until seven o'clock tonight. If you need anything, I left my cell phone number by the phone."
"Okay, I'll look for it."
"Have a nice day in New York, Miss Brooks."
"Thanks Chase, for everything." I smiled, and he left without a reply.
I headed back to my room, thinking I'd get my cell phone and some money and head out for the day. I was almost ready to go when I noticed my laptop sticking out of my bag. I couldn't resist the urge to check my email, so I sat down at the small desk, turning my computer on.
When it finally came on, I signed onto Instant Messenger and also my email. I looked at the list of people on my Messenger list under the heading I'd left as PCA. I noticed Lola was on, and so were some other people that I'd hardly ever talked to. Everyone at PCA had almost everyone else's email, just in case. I had two new messages, one from Dustin and one from The Mystery Man. I decided to open Dustin's first.
Subject: Re: here's the email, as promised.
We're so glad to hear that you're okay. Where are you? Why can't you tell us? Mom and Dad were worried sick yesterday. I didn't tell them about how I saw you packing, because I think they'd be mad that I didn't tell them before. An old friend, huh? I thought you lost touch with everyone from PCA after you left that place? I hope you're okay, like you say.
Mom and Dad say hello, and they love you very much, and to please tell us where you are.
Love you sis, Dustin.
Subject: your next task.
Welcome to New York. I hope it's alright that I sent you to Chase, but I know he's been missing you almost as much, if not more, than you've been missing him. But now, I have a new task for you before I send you on your way.
Chase has been looking for an internship at the New York Times newspaper. Go there, tell them about Chase. He has a resume on his laptop, which is in his room. Print a copy of it and take it with you.
The fun part, do not tell Chase what you're doing. If he gets the job, then you can tell him that you were a part of it.
Good luck, The Mystery Man.
Zoey was shocked. This man wanted her to sneak onto Chase's laptop, print his resume, and take it to a newspaper office without his permission. And what did he mean, 'before I send you on your way'? Did that mean that Zoey wouldn't be staying here long?
Instead of questioning it, Zoey walked across the hall to Chase's bedroom. She opened the door and stepped inside without a sound. His laptop was closed on his desk, and she prayed he didn't have a password on it.
She opened it, turning it on. When the background came up, she knew she was safe. Chase had never been big on passwords anyway. She looked under his saved documents until she found one labeled simply as 'resume'.
She opened it, skimmed it quickly, and printed it. She took it, sticking it in her backpack. She was about to turn off the computer when she noticed a file marked PCA. She knew it was wrong to be looking on Chase's computer in the first place, but she was already on it now.
The file, she learned when she opened it, was a picture collage. It was from all five years they'd been at PCA. Most of the pictures around the outside were of scenery, the beach, and buildings. The collage was huge, and everything was really orderly. Each of their teacher's pictures was on there, along with pictures of the lounge.
There were pictures from eighth grade, Zoey knew, because some had Dana in them. One picture Zoey didn't remember, but it seemed important. Chase had been really into photography in the eighth grade, taking pictures even when nobody was looking at the camera. He had pictures saved, she noticed as she kept looking, of Dana and Logan in the middle of a fight.
The middle of the collage was set up of six pictures, each one small, barely big enough to see. She looked closer, realizing that the tiny pictures were of each of them at graduation. There was Logan, hands in the air, waving at his 'fans'. There was Quinn, a huge smile, as she was introduced to someone from some big science place. Michael's picture was of him shaking hands with the dean. Lola was pictured throwing her cap in the air, laughing. The picture of Chase was of him holding his diploma, smiling at whoever was taking the picture.
And that's when Zoey saw the picture of herself. It was of her standing up there onstage, giving her speech as valedictorian. Her mouth was slightly open, as she was talking. All of these pictures were lined up around a simple quote that was in the very middle of everything, all those pictures.
The quote wasn't long, but it simply said: 'Friends, even when you can't see them, you know they are always there.'
Zoey wasn't sure what made her hit the print button, but she did it. A few minutes later, Zoey was sticking the collage paper in her suitcase, taking Chase's resume, and was out the door.
She knew, now, what this man had wanted her to come here for. It wasn't to put her in an awkward position with her old best friend; it was to fix things between them. It was also to make her see, from her intense curiosity and slight ability to be nosey, that Chase still cared about all of them, even though they had all moved on.
And that is what makes someone a best friend. It's not about talking every day, it's about looking back after all this time, and seeing that person still there, ready to pick up where the friendship was left off.
AN: Okay, there's chapter two. I hope you guys liked this, and please review, it would mean a lot.