CHAPTER 9: GRADUATION
Wendy and I got ready at Wendy's place for graduation. When she let me in to her place, she was still in pajamas. It was almost noon and we had to be at the college auditorium at one. Wendy wanted to make sure she had enough time to get ready and get there.
She looked at me like I was weird for showing up at her place already dressed. My dress was an emerald color halter dress with a black tie around my waist.
She quickly shrugged me being already dressed off and took my wrist and pulled me towards her closet in her bedroom. She held out two dresses and looked at me in despair.
I knew she couldn't choose between the two. One was crimson and the other was purple. I pointed at the crimson one.
Her face lit up in excitement.
I turned and sat facing her kitchen with my back against the doorframe to her room, giving her some privacy to change.
"So did you get a job yet?" she asked me while she was changing.
"Yeah, right here in Cardiff." I said with excitement in my voice, "The only setback is whenever they need me, I have to go in. I'm sort of on-call any time of the day any day of the week."
"That's a bummer." She said.
"Yeah, that translates to mean many future rain checks." I knew I'd have to cancel plans at least a handful of times in the future. I'd already had to cancel plans, just look at when the Varvara came to Cardiff. Now I wouldn't have to lie anymore. I'd just have to say I got called into work.
"Can you make Ouzo's after the graduation ceremony today?" she asked.
"If work doesn't tell me I need to go in." I said, "If I have to go to work, I'll call or text you when I get off and I'll make it up to you by buying."
"Spiffy!" she said.
I laughed at her lingo, but let it slide without teasing her about it.
We'd taken the bus to the campus and ended up arriving only 15 minutes before the ceremony started. We walked to the bottom of the auditorium in our dorky washboard hats and graduations gowns that didn't breathe. It was already hot and stuffy in the auditorium. I wasn't sure if the air conditioner had broken, or if it just hadn't kicked on yet.
Wendy and I had to split up to sit down. She had to sit with the other Ms and I sat with the Ps in our designated seats.
To my relief the ceremony started promptly. People blabbered words that were supposed to be meaningful into the microphone that projected their voice over the speakers. I just thought it was a filler. It's not like we hadn't graduated from something else before. High school graduation wasn't that far behind me, and others probably had already graduated from college before. Wendy had wanted to participate in the college graduation ceremonies and I had humored her by keeping her company. Now we weren't even sitting near each other. I should have seen that coming.
I looked behind me at the friends and families of the people graduating. I didn't see any familiar faces. I hadn't even told my parents I was going to be part of the ceremony. I didn't want them coming to Cardiff and then me being called into work and not being able to spend any time with them during their stay. There weren't many people filling the auditorium seats besides us graduates in ridiculous looking washboard hats. I looked at the far wall of the auditorium. Three people stood out from the crowd. A woman in jeans and a t-shirt, a man in a suit and tie, and the third was causing heads to turn, he was in period military.
I knew I had told them I was participating in graduation ceremonies to humor my best friend, but I had never told them what time. But, hey, they were Torchwood, they got any information they wanted.
The ceremony dragged.
Finally they got to calling names. I fidgeted in my seat and sighed. I had to wait for P.
I stared angrily at the back of Wendy's head, hoping she'd turn around and see just how perky this whole thing was.
She turned and looked in my direction. She put on a sheepish face and shrugged mouthing, "Sorry."
I guess the ceremony wasn't going as she had thought it would either. I don't even know why she made me wear a dress, you couldn't even see through the stupid gown they made us wear.
My row stood up and like cattle, we herded towards the stage, walked across it when our name was called and got our diploma or whatever we were set to get. When I was walking back to my seat I chanced a glance where I'd seen my three colleagues. They'd disappeared. I shrugged mentally, it's not like I was expecting them to show in the first place.
The master of ceremonies for graduation took up the microphone and blabbed on about something I wasn't paying attention to. He made us all stand and then announced us as the new graduating class and that the graduates could now throw their caps in the air.
I chucked mine at Wendy, secretly hoping it would smack her in the back of the head. It fell short…dang.
I felt vibrating against my side. I unzipped the stupid graduation gown and took my cell phone out of the ties of my dress.
One new text message.
I opened it and saw the Torchwood T. I dumped the gown where I stood and turned and walked away towards the side exit, sneaking out as best I could. I tried to melt with the crowd before my friends could convince me to hunt down that stupid gown and take pictures for hours.
Outside the building, the SUV was easy to find. It sat in the fire lane and its blue lights on the dash were lit up. No one would ask an official looking vehicle to move out of the fire lane.
I scurried towards the black SUV and opened the side door behind the driver's seat. Gwen sat in the back, Ianto rode shotgun, and Jack drove at the wheel.
Before I could close the door, the SUV was off.
"Thanks for the rescue." I said, smile on my face. I'd gotten used to Jack's crazy driving.
"Nice ceremony." Jack said
"Yeah? Did you make any friends?" I asked, joking around.
"As a matter of fact," Jack started.
Ianto cut him off, "There's a weevil loose on the city."
I looked at Gwen, "Did you grab me a t-shirt and some jeans?"
Gwen smiled and held up a bundle of clothes.
I took them and started changing in the SUV. I just wanted out of this dress.
Weevil hunting, my favorite; they didn't try to shoot you.