Summary: An alternate way "iQuit iCarly" could have gone. Sam and Carly do not reconcile, and Freddie chooses Carly. What will Sam do now that she's lost her friends?
Disclaimer: iCarly belongs to Dan Schneider and Nickelodeon.
Chapter 4: iSay Goodbye, too
Despite the plush, queen-sized bed and down pillows and comforter, I barely got any sleep in the luxury suite at the Hilton. I was worried about Mom. Even with Dad's reassurance that she would be okay, I was still worried about what might happen to her. Or, rather, what she might do. Another thing that kept me up was how anxious I was about today. Dad, Mel, and I were going to Ridgeway.
After the three of us had breakfast together in Dad's suite, he called the school to speak with Principal Franklin and discussed my leaving Ridgeway. They had set a meeting for 9am to finalize all the paperwork. But we arrived a half an hour early to beat the passing time traffic between classes. I really wanted to avoid seeing any of my former friends.
It was another odd experience walking into Ridgeway with Dad and Mel on either side of me and knowing that it would be my last time to walk its halls. We stopped by my locker first so I could take down the pictures I've taped up and remove the microwave I had installed. I also took out all the books that I had to return to the school.
We then headed to Principal Franklin's office. He met with us right away even though we were early for the meeting. Dad and Principal Franklin did all the talking. In a short time, all the paperwork was signed, and we were given my transcripts. Then it was time to say goodbye.
"I want to thank you, Principal Franklin," said Dad as the two grown-ups shook hands. "You are probably the only educator in this school who cared about my daughter and tried to help her."
"It was my pleasure, Mr. Puckett. I admit that I'd received quite a few warnings from the faculty and staff about her when I first started working here. But I didn't want to give up on her before getting to know her, so I decided to observe her for myself and form my own opinions."
"Observe me?" I asked.
"Yes. You and a few of your usual companions from detention," he answered with a smile. "But you were different from them. For instance, you are the only student I know of who was able to wire electricity into her locker so she can plug in her locker-sized microwave. Doing so would have taken a lot of creativity and know-how. It just baffled me how such a smart and creative young woman could act out so much, so I set up those one-on-one meetings to try and figure you out and see how I could help you."
"And did you figure me out?" I asked with a smirk.
"No. Not at all. Instead, I just learned to accept you as you are and tried to guide you as best as I could in the right direction. I'm sorry that I didn't help you as much as I would have liked."
"But you did help. Or at least attempted to," Dad said. "That's more than any one of your employees have done. And for that, I thank you." Principal Franklin nodded and then turned to me.
"I'm really going to miss having you as a student at my school, Sam. Ridgeway won't be the same without you," Principal Franklin said. And I could tell that he really meant it. He held out his hand for me to shake, but it wasn't enough for me. I didn't realize until then how cool he was (for an adult) and how much I was going to miss him. I pushed his hand aside and gave him a hug, which he returned a few seconds later when he got over his shock.
"I'm gonna miss you too, Ted." I pulled back. "I mean, Principal Franklin. And thank you."
With that, Dad, Mel, and I walked out of Principal Franklin's office, and I walked out of Ridgeway's doors one last time.
There was one more place I had to go before we returned to the hotel to grab our stuff and check out: Bushwell Plaza. I wanted to say goodbye to Spencer. But first, I decided to say goodbye to someone else who had been there to help me when I had no one to turn to.
The door of apartment 8D opened almost immediately once I knocked.
"There's two of you!" Mrs. Benson yelled in a mixture of surprise and horror at seeing me and Mel. I rolled my eyes.
"Relax. We're nothing alike. She's the good twin."
"Oh," Mrs. Benson replied in a much calmer tone. "Well, what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be in school?"
"I came to say goodbye." Her expression changed to one of confusion.
"Yeah. My dad and Mel are here to pick me up. I'm going to live with them now."
"Oh," she said again. She seemed at a lost to what to say. "Where?"
"That's not important," I replied. She nodded in acceptance. Then she stopped nodding as she thought of something.
"Does Freddie know?" she asked.
"Not yet," I replied. Her expression turned to anger.
"So that's why you came here?" she asked accusingly. "You want me to do your dirty work for you and break the news to him? Does Carly know? Or are you going to get Spencer to tell her?" It took a lot to remain calm and not yell at her to shut up.
"Actually," I said as calmly as I could, "Carly and I are no longer friends. And Freddie chose her side, so I guess he's no longer my friend either." Anger left her face to once again be replaced with confusion.
"Then why are you here?" I shrugged.
"I guess I just thought that it'd be proper to say goodbye. I mean, you did help a couple of times when I had no one to turn to." I couldn't be sure because it disappeared quickly, but I thought I saw a small smile on her face. "So…uh…goodbye. And thank you. Thanks for helping me even if I tormented your son."
"Wait," Dad said suddenly. "How did she help you?"
"Yeah," said Mel. "I don't recall you saying anything about asking Mrs. Benson for help." I blushed.
"Well, I didn't want to talk about it. It was kind of embarrassing."
"Could you tell us now?" Dad asked. "You don't have to if you don't want to, of course." After a second of considering it, I looked down both directions of the hallway to make sure no one was around.
"It's just…well…Mom never did explain to me about periods and all that…."
"What?" Dad said whispered in contained anger, no doubt directed at Mom.
"But I thought Mom helped you when you first got it," Mel said. "You're even the one who, you know, explained things to me and told me how to put on a pad when I first got mine that summer."
"Wait, wait, wait," Dad said in quick succession. "Back up. Start from the beginning."
"Fine," I said with a resigned sigh. "I was sleeping over at Carly's. When I woke up and went to the bathroom, I saw that I was bleeding. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to wake up Spencer because, well, he was a guy. Then I remembered Freddie saying how his mom was a nurse, so I ran here. And Mrs. Benson explained about periods and stuff and taught me what to do. There. End of subject. Let's never speak of this again."
"Wait. Did your mother help you at all?" Dad asked forcefully. I thought about how to answer his question, and decided to just tell the truth.
"No. I told her that I had started my period, but she didn't believe. She said I was still too young for that. So I had to rely on Mrs. Benson for the pads. Later, I asked her to take me to the store and show me what to buy. After that, I just went by myself and bought what I needed. Then when Mel visited the summer of that year, she got hers. I already knew what to do by then so we didn't even have to bother Mom."
"You're mother is the most useless woman I've ever known," Dad said heatedly. "The only good thing I'd say about her is that she gave me the two of you." He forced himself to calm down and then turned to Mrs. Benson. "Thank you, Mrs. Benson, for the help you have given to my daughter. Both my daughters, in fact. I owe you." Then Dad took out his wallet, pulled out his business card, and held it out to her. "If you ever need anything, anything at all…." Mrs. Benson grabbed it and began to read.
"San Francisco, huh?" she questioned rhetorically. "I'll keep this card. But you owe me nothing. I would never turn down a child's plea for help."
"Still, I insist," Dad said.
"All right." She looked at me. "Goodbye, Sam."
"Goodbye, Mrs. Benson. And thanks for everything. Oh, and sorry for hurting your son. Tell him that, would you? Tell him I'm sorry for hurting him." She nodded and went back into her apartment. Once her door closed, Dad, Mel, and I turned around to face apartment 8C.
"I really don't want to do this," I voiced.
"Why not?" Mel asked.
"Because I don't want to hurt Spencer."
After a deep sigh, I took three steps forward and knocked on the door. I heard pounding footsteps coming from inside. Seconds later, the door burst open.
"Sam? Wow. I don't think I've heard you knock since…ever." Then he looked behind me. "Mel! Kiddo! When did you get here?"
"Yesterday," Mel replied with a smile. Then Spencer saw Dad and his smile dropped.
"Mr. Puckett? What are you doing here?" Spencer asked seriously. I stared in shock for a second. I never heard Spencer sound so serious before.
"You know our dad?" Mel asked in confusion. "How? He hasn't been to Seattle in years." Neither Spencer nor Dad answered her.
"Can we come in?" asked Dad.
"Yes. Of course. Sorry," Spencer said while stepping aside to let us into the apartment. "So what's going on?"
"They're here to pick me up Spencer." His face fell.
"Yeah…." I couldn't look him in the eye.
"Why?" he asked softly.
"It's…it's just about time I did so."
"Is it because you and Carly had a fight?" I bit my lower lip before answering.
"It was more than a fight, Spence. We…we're no longer friends. Freddie, too. He chose Carly."
"Spencer, I came here to say goodbye. Not to have you convince me to stay. Everything's already set up. I've already gotten my transcripts from Ridgeway. And our plane leaves in a few hours."
"How soon?" he asked quickly.
"Before school lets out."
"Oh," he said in defeat.
"I just didn't want to leave before saying goodbye to you and thanking you for everything. You're the big brother I've never had. Thanks for always being there for me."
"You sure I can't convince you to stay?" he asked softly. I shook my head.
"No." Then he gave me a sad smile and opened his arms up.
"One last hug for your big brother?" I returned the smile and went to hug him. "Take care of yourself," he said as he let go several seconds later. Then he turned to Mel and the two exchanged a hug. Finally, Spencer turned to Dad.
"Thank you again, Spencer," said Dad holding out his hand. Spencer took it.
"Wait," I called out when Dad was about to walk towards the front door. I turned to Spencer. "Could I head up to the studio first? I just want to see it again before I leave."
"Of course," he replied.
I went towards the elevator and Mel followed in after me. When we reached the third floor, we stepped out and into the studio. I started walking around slowly, memorizing every detail—from the lighted pizza sign above the door to the hammer that almost killed Carly and everything in between. I ran my hand over the smooth hood of the fake car as I passed it. When I reached the tech cart, I contemplated messing with Freddie's equipment one last time, but decided against it. Instead, I brushed my fingers across the computer keys and the camera. Then I noticed my blue remote underneath some rolled-up cables that Freddie was probably going to install. Without a second thought, I grabbed my remote and placed it in the back pocket of my jeans, purposely ignoring Mel's pointed look. I figured Freddie could just make another one. With one last sweep of the studio with my eyes, I walked towards the studio door, and Melanie followed as I stepped out and took the stairs back down to the main floor.
"You okay?" Mel asked quietly as we went.
"I will be," I replied just as quietly.
We found Dad and Spencer sitting on the couch when we reached the first floor.
"All set?" Dad asked standing up.
"Yeah," I answered. With one last hug to Spencer, I followed Dad and Mel out of Bushwell Plaza.
Oddly enough, Lewbert just watched us from behind his newspaper as we walked through his lobby and out the door. And as I thought about it, I didn't remember his annoying screams as we walked in either. I guessed that even Lewbert knew that something was up. Before completely leaving the building, I turned around to face him.
"See ya, Lewb," I said. He replied with a solemn nod before returning to his paper.
We were already at the gate awaiting our time to board the plane when I suddenly remembered that I'd forgotten to say goodbye to one person: Fleck.
"Chizz!" I cursed, causing Mel to scold me. "It's not even a bad word."
"It's not the word," she states. "It's the intention." I rolled my eyes at her.
"Sorry," I said, not really meaning it. "But I just forgot to say goodbye to Fleck."
"Who's that?" Dad asked, showing his overprotective side. I rolled my eyes again.
"Just a friend, D," I told him. "And he's a kid. So, gross." I shuddered at the thought of me and Fleck together. Dad looked relieved. "I'd promised him that I'd do a comedy skit with him. Be right back," I shot out from my seat before they could say anything and stood by a wall. I took out my cell phone and called Fleck's number.
"Hello," he greeted.
"Sam? Hey! I was wondering when you'd call about our skit," he said excitedly.
"Actually," I began hesitantly, "I'm calling to tell you that I can't help you with that anymore. I'm really sorry, Fleck." Then I tried to amend myself. "But if I have any ideas, I'll text or email them to you."
"Did something happen?" he asked in concerned. "Why are you suddenly canceling?"
"Well, I'm sort of at the airport right now—
"What!" he exclaimed in surprise.
"I'm moving, Fleck. Sorry I didn't get to say goodbye in person."
"But…I don't get it. Was this sudden or were you planning to leave all along?" He sounded so confused. The poor kid.
"It was pretty sudden," I replied.
"Can you tell me why?" I sighed.
"It's just…something I have to do. Plus, I want to spend some time with my sister and my dad." He was silent on the other end for a few seconds.
"Are you leaving because of your fight with Carly?" he asked hesitantly.
"We're no longer friends," I admitted. "Freddie's no longer my friend either…not that we ever were," I continued, mumbling the last part.
"This is Dave's and my fault, isn't it? If we hadn't fought, then you and Carly wouldn't have fought." He sounded so regretful.
"Listen, Fleck, it wasn't your or Dave's fault. Carly and I are just too different. We would have stopped being friends sooner or later. Just like with you and Dave. This isn't your fault, so don't go blaming yourself. Okay, dude?"
"Okay," he answered softly. "But I'm still sorry."
"Well, don't be. And I'm sorry that I can't be in the comedy skit with you and win all that money," I said, trying to lighten the mood.
"It's okay. Really."
As soon as I hung up, the Delta agent announced the boarding for business class passengers on the PA system. Dad and Mel were already standing up and holding our carry-on bags when I reached them. Together, the three of us entered the airplane.
A/N: Okay. I'm going to be switching gears for the next few chapters. This will be the last we'll be reading in Sam's POV for a while. Thanks so much for all who read, alerted, favorited, and esp reviewed this story. I know the plot is not what most iCarly readers usually go for, so I didn't expect much. Therefore, I'm really grateful to you for taking the time to even read. Thank you! Gracias! Salamat! Arigatou!
And if you want a great read, check out the stories written by these authors: arrossisce, aussiemma, axel100, BaalRules, BoxOfTrinkets, boxofpiglets, Commander Lagasse, Coyote Laughs, hartful13, ItalianBabexo8, iCabal, iCarlyangst, iLuvNathanKrEsS, JamesTheGreater, KingxLeon21, Myjumpingsocks, ober22, pairababes, Pieequals36, pigwiz, Tech-Man, The Earl of Sandwich, and xXACCEBXx. With their differing styles, I'm sure you'll find a story to your liking.