The Fallen Ship Chapter 4
Chapter 4 - The Move
Ethan held his breath, fingers crossed tightly, and not daring to make a sound. The moment seemed to drag on forever before Andrew or Ryan said a second word.
"YES! OH MY GOD! WE WON!" A loud scream of happiness filled the air. Ethan heard the sound of Andrew and his son jumping and cheering, so without a second thought, he pushed the wooden door open. Jumping with joy and laughing with happiness.
"You did it Ethan! I knew it and I always saw potential in you." Andrew complimented as the cheering and excitement faded a little. Ethan's heart still thumped at a extremely quick pace, unable to contain the rush of excitement filling his lungs. His self taught mathas helped him win millions and now helped him win an academic opportunity at one of the best schools in the world. Oxford University. His solemn face turned into a wide and meaningful grin. Everything, it was all worth it.
"Ethan, mate, you have done so well. And I am a man of my words, when would you like to get goin'. Oxford, it's a big deal. Your ma would be thrilled. Too bad she ain't here hey?" Andrew spoke as he poured himself another cup of pink sparkling champagne. Ethan felt a streak of guilt rush through him, Andrew was right, Mary would've being proud. Without intending to ruin the spirit, his face dropped and all of a sudden Ethan didn't feel like partying or celebrating anymore.
"What's wrong man?" Ryan questioned as he swagged a bottle of beer and sat down next to Ethan who seemed gloomy and miserable. Surprisingly, the two of them had become mates over the last months, though having so much in different, it was the differences that bonded them.
"Nothin'." Ethan replied unenthusiastically. He fiddled with twigs but ended up throwing them as far as possible with anger. He sighed and buried his face into his large hands, his mind seemed to be lost in his childhood. It brought up the many memories that Ethan had tried to bury, but memories could never be completely erased without a trace, could they?
"You know when you're celebrating an achievement or have done something successful, but you can't cheer up because you've cheated, even if you won, you've still cheated. And you feel that stomach of your's churning and doing backflips, then guilt rushes through you and you think of all those memories of you cheating. Then you end up feeling bad about yourself and really negative and mad?" Ethan asked without taking a breath, Ryan nodded slowly. And that very moment, Ethan felt loved because someone understood his emotions or at least is trying to. He felt the weight of the world being lifted off his shoulder. He beamed, not a forceful or enormous smile, but the corners of his lips tilted upwards.
"Thanks Ryan." Ethan smiled and punched his friend on the arm and chucked. He meant it.
"No problem, but why did you thank me?" Ryan questioned with confusion as he tossed Ethan a bottle of beer. The bubbles oozed out from the beer bottle as Ethan twisted the soft metal lid off and chucked it across the floor.
"I don't know to be honest. Friendship I guess and hard work." Ethan lied, but it was also true. He didn't want anyone to know that this was the first time someone other than his parents had showed understanding and got to know Ethan as him and accepted him. Ryan held up his bottle and without a second thought Ethan joined.
"To friendship?" Ryan suggested. Ethan's eyes blinked slowly, he nodded.
"To friendship." He toasted.
~ Moving day ~
"So, I have arranged a taxi to pick you up from the airport, your flight is at 3:50 P.M Australian time, so when you arrive there in exactly 24 hours, it should be just near 7 a.m over in London. Your flight details are in the bag and you're flying business class. Check into an apartment which is just a 7 minute walk to Oxford. Apartment has two bedrooms with one ensuite, one bathroom a small kitchen and a small dining room which is also the TV room. You should settle in fine and as I promised, you have money in your pocket and credit cards, if you need, I'll just send you some." Andrew repeated for the fourth time over the last 30 minutes.
"Thanks Andrew, I get it." Ethan replied quickly, he had never flown or even being to the airport, ever. He took one last look at his apartment, this was a place where he started at the bottom. He was glad to move out but the feeling was bitter sweet. He handed the keys to Elliot, the owner, with a bit of reluctance.
Ethan carried his small luggage which contained of a medium size, navy suitcase, a black business and laptop bag with a large carry on backpack. He stepped into the elevator and pressed the 'floor level' buttons for the last time. He glanced around his surrounding one last time and left the elevator without turning back. Andrew was behind him and so was Elliot.
A cab was eagerly and patiently waiting for him, the time was only early, but Ethan knew that it was time to go and say a final goodbye. Ryan helped him load his suitcase into the back while Andrew pointed out the last bits of information.
"Well, I guess it's time for me to go. You both have honestly taught me so much and gave me so much. I could never repay you for your generosity." Ethan thanked with full of gratitude, hot tears rushed to his eyes in a split second, he had never being so good with goodbyes.
"No son, you have helped us so much and we have enjoyed your company. You are a talented child, just make sure you use your talent in smart ways. You honestly have helped us so much and if there is anything you need a hand with, we'll always be there for you. We are the ones who can't repay you, ever." Andrew gushed, his eyes were full of tears, tears of happiness, tears of joy. Ryan went silent, Ethan had also became his good friend.
"No, I don't mean financially, well yes you guys have supported me financially and academically, Oxford is such an amazing opportunity and I am full of gratitude, but you also taught me a lot, emotionally. A lot of emotional and happy experiences." Ethan explained as Andrew pulled him in into a hug.
"You've being like my second son all this time. I've always thought of you as a son, just like Ryan, never a worker for me. I'll miss you Ethan." Andrew whispered into his ear. A tear dripped down his cheek, but he quickly wiped it off with the sleeves of his shirt.
"I'll miss you too Andrew!" Ethan whispered back and hugged him tighter. The hug finished and they all laughed wiping away tears of separation but mostly joy.
"Well, see ya mate, I guess. I'll come to England and visit you!" Ryan replied pulling of a silly British accent. Ethan chuckled and pulled him in for a man hug. Ethan's body and mind wished that this wasn't the last time he would see Ryan, but in his heart he knew that some people pass your life, make a huge impact and they're gone forever.
"I love you mate!" Ethan whispered, tears immediately fell down his cheeks and leaked but he didn't care. This was his best friend ever that he was leaving. The hug was longer than Andrew's and the separation was more difficult for the both of them.
"Well goodbye and of course, fingers crossed that we'll meet another time soon! Goodbye Andrew! Goodbye Ryan!" Ethan finished off giving them each one last smile and longing look before turning around. He turned reluctantly and didn't look back. He never looked back. It will only hurt more and make you unsure and longing. Once you turn, there's no going back.
~ Arrival in England ~ Time: 7:53 ~
The London airport was crowded with people pushing and shoving each other in order to get to the baggage claim. Ethan was lost through the crowd, Andrew had told him everything but forgot to tell him where or how to meet the taxi. Rolling his suitcases around, he finally decided to just follow along the crowd. As soon as he stepped outside of them airport, a blast of wind blew threw Ethan, literally. The air was freezing, and the wind send chills down his spine. He shivered realising that England was a lot different from Brisbane. There was something called Winter. It was Spring in London but felt like the coldest winter that Brisbane's ever had. Ethan wrapped his thin windcheater tightly around his body and walked fast.
"Excuse me? Do you know where I can get a cab? I'm actually from Australia and the person who organised for me to come to London said he booked a cab for me." Ethan asked a taxi driver with his best British accent. The driver seemed to find his 'accent' amusing as he stroked his beard trying not to laugh.
"Mate, you can talk normally you know, they understand, well at least they did when I came here. I'm Australian too. The pickup cabs are just down the street." The man explained pointing down a long street of posh looking black cars.
"Cheers mate!" Ethan replied as he sped walked along the romantic pebble laid paths down to the black cabs. This was going to be fun. From the first cab down to the next, asking if someone had booked them to take him to his apartment. The answers varied from a 'No!' To a 'I don't know.' Or sometimes even a 'You Bastard.'.
"Excuse me? Have you being booked to take someone to an apartment near Oxford?" Ethan was starting to get anxious as he was only a couple of cars away from the end of the road. The driver shook his head and Ethan sighed.
"Hey you! Are you lookin' for a driver that has being booked to take someone to an apartment near Oxie's?" A driver from the following car called out. His car seemed different, old and wrecked, but at the same time in good conditions.
"Yes. Is that you?" Ethan replied with hope. The old man nodded. And Ethan raced over.
"Yea, got tol' to ge' some boy from 'stralia to take to Oxie's 'partment. Boy's 'pose to have shown up ages 'go, but I had being waitin' fo' ages, but no boy. Jus' waitin' to see if anyon' wanna ride in my ol' car." The man replied, he didn't sound very British. The situation that he was talking about seemed familiar.
"Yea actually I think you're talking 'bout me. Me flight was ages ago but I had some trouble finding my way. Any chances that you're still willing to drive me? Sorry to keep you waiting." Ethan explained, he had a hopeful glance. The driver threw his hand up and his face beamed with excitement.
"Cours'! You kno', no one rides in m' car. All broken and wrecked they say. We 'axi drivers have to buy ou' own car. No business. No money!" The old man excitedly exclaimed, he sort of intimidated Ethan a bit. The black paint on his car was peeling off and the car was covered in a thick layer of dust, otherwise, it didn't differ much on the outside from other cars. The trunk had a large space for Ethan to dump his luggage in, only carrying his laptop bag. But the inside conditions of the car wasn't exactly amazing either. The leather seats were pealing off revealing the fluffy stuffing, the car smelled full of tobacco and alchohol as well as rotten smell of mouldy food.
As the man drove off, for a second or two, Ethan was worried. The conditions of his car was poor but Ethan prayed that the interior engines and everything else worked fine, or things could turn out a little pie shaped...
... to be continued in chapter 5...