Kenan & Kel: after school years


A middle-aged Kenan goes back to the city where he used to live as a boy, Chicago, in order to visit his old friend, Kel. Getting there, he discovers no one really knows where he is or what has happened to him. Kenan sees himself trying to figure out what happened to his friend, and where he is.

- Still windy. This city never changes, man. - sighed Kenan, as he stepped out of the airport. Kenan had never traveled back to his old home after graduating from college. Since his parents had already passed away, and his sister was living in China, he decided to live in Los Angeles after the graduation. He was a established TV show director now, and because of that, LA was the best place for him to live.

In LA, even though he was a considerably famous director, Kenan never made any real friends. He was living alone in a town house, with not even a cat or a dog as company. His sister used to call him once a week and they used to talk via e-mail, but she was boggled down in work and those calls were decreasing each day. Hence the need to get back in touch with Kel, his friend from the old school days. He was alone; he was lonely.

Kenan and Kel went to different Universities after High School and got together for a few times during some Holidays, but not much. After that, they easily lost touch and never got to see each other again. Kenan didn't know any telephone number or email address he could use to reach Kel. The only idea he had had was going back to Chicago to see if his friend was back home, or even, if someone else knew anything about what had happened to him and where he could be.

After checking into a nice hotel, Kenan got a car and drove to the neighborhood where Kel lived, and noticed that it all seemed to be stuck in time. It hadn't changed much, except for the modern cars parked in the garages, or the new HD flat-screens he could see through the white wooden-framed windows. He reached the old Kimble's house and rang the bell.

No one answered.

He rang the bell again and waited a couple more minutes.

No answer again.

Kenan was ready to give up. He was just about to walk back to the car when the door opened.

- May I help you? - a red-haired girl asked him. Kenan turned back to see the girl and smiled.

- Hey, little girl. I'm looking for Kel Kimble, a guy who used to live here. Or maybe his parents... they were scientists or something... Do you know them? - Kenan asked.

- I'm not sure. My father bought this house and we have been living here since last year. I never heard of any Kel Kimble. Bye now. - and she shuttered the door in Kenan's face.

Even though he was now a little disappointed because of the sad news, Kenan walked along the street knocking on neighbors' doors to ask about the Kimbles, because he didn't want to give up so easily. The thing was no one knew anything about the family and some of them didn't even knew the Kimbles were gone.

Kenan was getting too far from Kel's old house, and that way, it was even more unlikely to find out something about his whereabouts. For a moment, he thought he didn't know where to look anymore. Then, not knowing where else to go, Kenan drove to the school where he and his good old friend studied to find out if anyone there could tell him something about Kel.

Entering the school's grounds, Kenan could see the school had improved their facilities. The building was taller, had more rooms and technology... like they were really investing in science, or something like that.

- Oh my, imagine how awesome it would be if it was like this when I studied here! - he said, amazed.

He reached the Principal's office and got really surprised: Ms. Dimly was still the principal! Kenan and Kel had done too much to annoy her back in those days... Kenan remembered very well, and wondered if she did too. So, apprehensively, but also eager to find information about his friend, he knocked.

- Come in - said Principal Dimly. Kenan opened the door and entered the room.

- Hi, Ms. Dimly, I don't know if you remember, but it's me, Kenan Rockmore. I studied here from...

- Wait a second... yes I do remember you, sir! - she said, sharply. Kenan saw his chances of finding Kel start slipping through his fingers, because he thought Ms. Dimly was not going to be nice to him. However, she kept on going:

- We were trying to get in touch with you from a long time, but no one here in this school knew anything about where you were! There was an old student who were trying to hear from you... let me show you...

- People were trying to hear from me? But I never knew! It's funny, because I am trying to find Kel Kimble, my old friend, he used to go here too... Do you remember him...?

- If I remember Kel? Oh, boy, you really don't have a clue about what's happened here, you really don't. He was the one who was trying to reach you! Come on, follow me, please. - The Principal stood up, came from behind the desk, and left the room. Not understanding well, Kenan followed her.

They got to the hall where she showed him a huge framed picture of a man. And, Kenan could hardly believe in it: it was Kel's picture! She explained Kel was now a great scientist and that he helped the school with funding for new technology supplies and several improvements in education, etc.

- Wait, you are telling me Kel became a famous scientist? But Kel was so... stupid.

- Weren't you listening to me, boy? I was just telling it all to you. And after all, weren't his parents a couple of scientists too? An apple doesn't fall far from the tree, you know?

- Yeah, I guess you are right. Thanks for sharing that with me, Ms. Dimly. Oh, by the way, do you know where Kel lives now?

- Hm... I know he lives in a house near here. If you want I can look for his address in a file... Oh, I know he is currently the owner of a grocery store called... Rigb-

- Rigby's? I used to work there! Thanks, Ms. Dimly, I'm going there right now.

Kenan got to the car and drove fast to Rigby's.

- I can't believe I didn't think about going there before! I wonder what happened to Chris if he is not the owner of the store anymore... And why did Kel bought the place anyways?

Rigby's still seemed the same grocery store, except for the largest shelves full of a new brand of soda. Behind the counter, Kenan saw him. It was still Chris Potter, his former boss.

- Kenan? I can't believe you are here! It's been so long, where have you been, anyway?

- Hey, Chris! I'm living in LA now. I can't believe you are still working here. I am looking for Kel, and I heard he owns Rigby's now, is that true?

- Kel? No way! He wanted to buy the store, but I didn't sell it. Instead, I accepted him to be major provider for the store. Can you see all that soda?

- Yes. Kel works in a soda factory and provides it to you here?

- No, it's even more incredible. He created a new form of orange soda. It's a special orange soda that never goes out of gas!

- What? So he really became a scientist?

- Yeah, or something like that. But you can see he didn't change much.

- Yeah.

Kenan walked to the shelf and got one bottle of Kel's new soda. From the label, he read it:

- "Who loves orange soda?" - sighed Kenan. And suddenly, from a distance, he could hear someone answer:

- Kel loves orange soda!

Astonished, Kenan looked around but there was no one there except for Chris tagging some canned yams, and he heard someone speaking far away. Feeling stupid, but hopeful at the same time, he kept on going:

- Is it true?

After a moment, the same person who answered before now opened the doors widely and shouted:

- MMMHHMMM! I do, I do, I do-oooh!

Kenan thought he could not see properly. But he was there. It was, finally, Kel. Just like a superpower, Kel heard the phrase Kenan said and popped right in front of him. If only Kenan knew it was so easy, he would have tried it before... but how could he imagine? It worked like a spell. That was too crazy, but probably it was just a happy coincidence. Good thing was, now they found each other. They had a lot of catching up to do. The problem was that they didn't realize it was really late, and Chris would eventually have to close Rigby's.

- Here's the deal, Kel - said Kenan - meet me tomorrow morning at the park, and bring one bottle of your soda and your college certificate. Let's go, you great scientist! - and Kenan left the store, getting back to the car.

- Wait, Kenan! Where are you going? Don't you wanna stay at my place? Kenan? Won't you give me a ride? Kenan, why do you want my college certificate? Kenan... we are too old for this! Aww... here it goes!