Disclaimer: All characters and events related to Meet the Robinsons are owned by William Joyce and Walt Disney Animated Studios.
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Chapter One: Good Riddance
Friday, June 11th 2010
The rays from the setting sun were being absorbed by the black polyester of his gown, keeping his body warm as a cool spring breeze swept through the rows of anxious students waiting for their names to be called one-by-one. The 17-year-old made a conscious effort not to jiggle his leg out of anticipation, but it was getting increasingly difficult not to. He was beyond ready to split from this joint.
It was bad enough that he would have to wait for ALL the names to be called before anyone would be allowed to leave. At least it was now his time to stand up. Step by step, he approached closer to the stage. Until finally, he was one person away from his name being called.
Shaking the hands of the school officials, the graduate took ahold of the diploma in his right hand. He thrust the document upward, with his left hand pumped up in a fist. The audience cheered loudly as he continued to strut back to his seat. After that glorified moment, it seemed like it took practically no time for the whole class to toss up their caps into the air.
The principal had instructed the students to walk off in an orderly fashion, but seeing how all of the kids were dispersing at the earliest possible moment, then that plan could've used a bit more assistance. Their loss, the dark-haired teen tought as he made his way through the crowd. He reached for the knot in his navy blue tie and loosened it, just before he saw his family waiting for him at the end of the bleachers.
His mother had tears him her eyes, smiling proudly at him. His older brother Art gave him a thumbs-up and a "Way to go!" for congratulations. His little sister Franny stood to the side with her blonde "friend", Robinson. Yep, that Robinson. The same brainiac kid who had been taking the whole town by storm. A mischievous smile spread across his face.
"Congratulations, Gaston!" Franny cheered, giving him a hug. He swung his body around and put his right arm around her, the other arm around Robinson.
"Congratulations to you too, Franny," he said slyly.
The young girl instantly became perplexed, and her expression clearly showed her horrifying confusion. "Huh?"
Gaston rolled his head to his left. Robinson averted his eyes from the other boy. A blush was becoming apparent on the geek's cheeks (ooh... he didn't mean to make that awful rhyme, but that's what made the situation so embarrassingly funny).
"Don't be all nonchalant about it," Gaston carried on as he elbowed the younger boy in the side. "I see what you kids have done."
"Done what?" Robinson asked, all flustered.
"That you, my friend, finally worked up the balls to ask little Franny out!" He threw on a roguish smile and waited patiently for an eruption from either of the younger teens.
"Wha-?" Robinson responded dazedly, after the shock started to wear off. Gaston cocked his eyebrows, and his smile widened. A delayed reaction was better none at all. "But I-" Robinson continued to sputter. "W-we're not-"
"Gaston!" the fourteen-year-old girl despaired. She then turned to the woman behind her. "Mom, make him stop!"
"Gaston, stop teasing your sister and her friend!" his mother scolded. "You're embarrassing them!"
The graduate continued to snicker at the misfortunate adolescents until he caught sight of the tall, husky man standing behind his mother. His smile faded rapidly. He nearly gulped at his father's presence, but managed to straighten himself without faltering.
"Alright, Gaston, what's the deal?" the man asked, his thick arms folded across his broad chest.
"Um, right," Gaston started, his hand rubbing the back of his head. He knew exactly what his father wanted, but maybe he'd be able to get out of answering if he just played dumb. "Deal?"
"That I let you have until graduation to decide where you are going for college," the older man reminded sternly.
"Ah... that..." Nope, not getting off the hook that easily. Gaston inwardly sighed, dropping his hand down to his side. "Well..." the alum began his sentence slowly, trying to prolong his answer. "The truth is?"
By now, his whole family and the Robinson boy were leaning forward in anticipation of his response. Gaston inhaled a large amount of air and held his breath before he bursted, "I'm not going to college!"
There was a stunned silence among the group. Gaston simply cracked a toothy grin after finishing his statement.
"What?" his father finally shouted in a state of shock, but not long before a handful of seniors called for Gaston's attention.
"Hey, Gaston!" they had called. "You coming?" He waved to them in acknowledgement. "C'mon, let's go!"
"Wait!" his father blurted out, but it was too late. Gaston was already sprinting off.
"See ya!" he hollered, waving farewell to his slack-jawed family members as he hurried to his friends.
"Gaston! Get back here!" he barked after the teenage boy running in the distance.
There was no denying that he was in deep trouble for pulling this stunt, but Gaston was not in the least bit worried. Without taking one glance back, he jumped into the backseat of one of his friends' car. Not a moment later did they sped away to the downtown area. He'll deal with the consequences later, but tonight was his night. His future looked as bright as the city's lights. And his past? He thought about it in the same way he thought about this high school: Good riddance!
End of Chapter One
Author's Note: This story is kind of an extension to chapter four of my other Meet the Robinsons story, "21st Century Kid". While it's not necessary to read the other story or the chapter (titled "Gaston's Past"), I would genuinely appreciate the feedback. I decided to write this separate from "21st Century Kid" because the other characters needed their own spotlight. While I hope to do this for all of the characters in the film, this one is Gaston's.
9 August 2012