I'm so sorry that this took so long. I planned to have this done about 3 weeks ago and then uni got in the way. It also took me a while to write because I got into a bit of a panic because there are so many things that I wanted to say in this story that I didn't, but then I just accepted that I couldn't say everything and for a 3 week challenge (plus a rather late epilogue) I did actually get a lot done.
You can thank a certain message that I got on facebook for this chapter. It made me think a lot about Lucas as a character and inspired me to get this written.
I would like to dedicate this chapter to all of my readers. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, especially those of you who have reviewed. It's been fun. I should do another challenge like this sometime (I will really regret saying those words when I'm in the middle of said challenge and not getting any sleep). I will be posting that oneshot that follows on from this that is set during TN. I just have to write it first. The good news is that I only have one more assignment to do and then I'm on holidays so I can do lots of writing.
Anyway, I will let you all get on to reading this. Enjoy.
Late August 2138
Lucas looked out at the sea of smiling parents and families as he stood on the stage, about to graduate from high school. His father was noticeably absent and his mother even more so. There was a part of Lucas that still hoped that his father would turn up, but then there was a more realistic part of him that knew that it was false hope. His father hadn't spoken to him since that the day he had sent Lucas back to boarding school. At first Lucas had been devastated, he needed his dad and was lost without him, but then he learnt to cope by himself. His father wasn't there for him anymore, he was on his own. Somalia brought about a new Lucas, a Lucas that had learnt to not depend on others, they just let him down. It was a Lucas that was filled with hate and anger, but most of all hurt.
Upon returning to school, Lucas had been rushed off to see the councillor at the school's request. They had daily sessions, a time that Lucas had come to loathe. It was always the same questions: 'Tell me about your friends', 'Have you spoken to your father today?', 'How have you been sleeping?'. They were all indirect questions designed to enquire about his mental state and who he had to lean on. Lucas despised these questions, especially the ones about his father. The answer was always the same; his father wasn't there for him, he had no one and he wasn't insane, that was something that they seemed particularly concerned about. He scoffed at their worry, he wasn't going to go insane, not when he had a very important job to do.
The councillor seemed to believe that Taylor was Lucas's best chance at being able to cope and frequently encouraged Lucas to call him. Lucas had done just that at first. He had phoned his father only to be greeted by the answering machine. He had tried again, he had called every hour for a day, yet Taylor had never answered. It was obvious that he didn't want to talk to his son. In all fairness Taylor had called once, but he hadn't called Lucas, he had called the school. It was a week after Lucas had been sent back to school. Taylor had enquired about how Lucas was. What did he think? How did he expect Lucas to be after being abandoned and losing the most important person in his life? Lucas had lost everything. He was most definitely not alright.
Lucas shut himself off. He would reply if directly asked a question, but he never spoke up voluntarily. He had never been particularly talkative, but now he kept to himself even more. He spent most of his time shut up in his room, only leaving on the odd occasion to procure some food when his tired body couldn't continue. He was like a ghost, there while not actually being there. Physically he was there, but mentally he was still trapped back in Somalia. He couldn't escape from it; he was in a constant state of mental torment.
The nights were the worst. Not even sleep was enough to save him from his suffering. He slept, a little, but every night he would wake and everything would come crashing back to him. Then there were the nightmares, some were bad, filled with memories of his time in Somalia. Then some were good, perhaps they were the worst. They were simple things, memories of a time when they were a family or just times that he spent with his mother, but they weren't that simple. In the morning they were followed by the overwhelming anguish and the realisation that things would never be the same and that he would never see his mother again. They were followed by the realisation that they weren't real and that Lucas's life would never be as good as it was.
He tried to exhaust himself with studying, if he was completely exhausted then surely he could slip into a dreamless sleep, but nothing worked. Even the little things that had once brought so much joy into his life were meaningless now. He had nothing; he had lost one parent and had been abandoned by the other. His life would never be the same. He was lost and alone.
It was obvious that Taylor blamed him. Before he had sent Lucas away, Lucas had seen the regret and disappointment in his eyes. That look constantly haunted him. It wasn't his fault, but Taylor was determined to hold him responsible. Perhaps Lucas did feel a little responsible; he should have found a way to save them both, but he didn't deserve to be ignored and abandoned like this. He needed his dad now more than ever, yet Taylor wasn't there. He knew his father was disappointed in him and he hated it. He just wished that things were like they used to be. But they weren't and they never would be again.
There was only one thing that kept Lucas going. It gave him direction in his otherwise lost and broken life. It was the knowledge that one day his father would pay. He was planning it all. It turned out that there was more to the Phoenix University than he had first thought. They were offering him a chance to make his father pay and he was going to take it. He would get revenge, revenge on his father for not trying harder, for not making there in time, for not saving her, for abandoning him and for that judgemental look that he gave Lucas every time he looked at him.
As Lucas looked out at the sea of faces, he knew that his father wasn't there; he would never be there for him again. As hard as it was to take, Lucas was beginning to accept that this was the way that things were now. Taylor didn't want him anymore and Lucas wasn't going to force his presence on him. He would be going to university soon and he could begin his plan.
Lucas was now filled with an overwhelming anger and hatred towards his father. Taylor was going to pay; he would make sure of it. He had a new purpose in his life, a new reason to keep going. He had one reason to continue with his life and that was to make his father pay. Even if Taylor only felt a fraction of the pain that he had caused his son, it would be worth it.
His father wasn't there, but they would meet again and Lucas would get his revenge. Lucas was certain of this. It was the only thing that got him through the long days and the even longer nights. It was what kept him going and led him through the endless maze of life that Lucas was now lost in. Lucas was lost, but his hatred gave him guidance.