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Together 'till the end of the Wave ©

"Blood is thicker than water, but not as refreshing." -Tito
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"Get on the Bus! We're leaving."

He had been staring at the letter in his pocket now for 5 minutes. He seemed to black the world out. Shaking his head, tears falling from his eyes like a waterfall.

"COME ON KID!"

He looks over to see the bus driver calling him to get on. He sighs deeply, and slowly enters. The school bus is quiet. 20 rows of seats empty around, with only three seats in the back occupied. He carried his bag loosely to the middle of the bus and sat down. The last thing he wanted was attention.

He stood about 5'8". Semi-wavy black hair, brown eyes, and a younger look to his face. He had a very pale look to him, and the poster boy for "skin and bone". For a 14 year old, 115 pounds doesn't leave a lot to be proud of. He wore a baseball cap backwards on his head, bright blue shorts and a black T-shirt, along with black socks he wore to his knees and Nike sneakers. He went to pull the paper out of his pocket again.

"Hey."

He heard a voice and looks over to see a girl around his age standing right beside him. Light, medium length brown hair. Brown eyes. A confident, yet caring look to her, which was a compliment to her bright white smile. She was about his height...a little shorter. She had a petite look to her. She was wearing a blue dress of some sort and sandals. Weighed just about as much as he did.

"You just sitting here all by yourself?"

Her question showed her worry. He seemed held back in his answer.

"Yeah. Just a lot on my mind. Not good with this shit."

His answer is quiet. His voice rough with pain and distraught. He seems tired. Hurt. A deflated tone.

"We all are. It's tough. Foster Care sucks. But that doesn't mean sitting here moping will help it. Look, we are just chilling in the back of the bus. Come join us."

She seemed persistent. He sighed, realizing she wasn't taking no for an answer. He was too polite for his own good.

"Alright. Give me a sec."

She smiles and takes a hold of his stuff.

"My name's Harmony by the way."

He was surprised with her name. He had never heard of anyone with the name Harmony before.

"Cool."

She has a look of confusion at his answer.

"Well...what's your name?"

He seems lost in his own world, but snaps out of it when she asked.

"Oh, sorry. It's Rick. Nice to meet you."

They shook hands and Harmony laughs about it for a bit. She starts walking back to the end of the bus, and he soon follows her. He notices two other faces in the back.

One was a girl a few inches shorter than him. A tanner look, long straight dark brown hair. Very tiny figure. A quiet look to her, but a comforting smile. Her white T-Shirt and shorts made her the brightest looking of the bunch.

Then there was a boy on the other side. He had a Hispanic look. Around his height. A little huskier than the rest of the group, but more so an average weight. He seemed to be a very outgoing guy. A very care free smile to him. Everyone in the group seemed very happy...something he wasn't very used to.

"Welcome to the cool kid's corner!"

The Hispanic fellow's answer seemed like a humorous response. Rick slowly sat down in the open seat.

"Hey guys. You going to Venice Beach too?"

Rick didn't usually ask questions, but was willing to give this a shot.

"Sure are. We all are."

Harmony seemed eager to make Rick feel comfortable with her answer. Harmony went on to introduce everyone.

"By the way. The guy over there is Jorge. And the girl over there is Anna."

Both Jorge and Anna looked at Rick and smile as they were introduced.

"Oh yeah. This is Rick. He's kinda shy."

Harmony seemed a little blunt in Rick's opinion, but that seemed like her personality.

"Yeah. Just got a lot of shit on my plate."

Anna seems surprised with Rick's response. Not many people are that honest just meeting someone. Anna's response was just as honest.

"We've all been there. There's a reason we have to move. Like, for me, it's my mom. Just abuses alcohol. Family doesn't want me around her so...here I am."

Anna seems to hold herself back from tearing up after talking about her mom. The makeup starts to smear, but she quickly fixes it.

"Yeah. I just lost my parents in an accident. I'm just making the best of it."

Rick was surprised with Harmony's honesty. Going through something so sudden like that, he didn't think she would be able to cope so well with it.

"I got into some legal trouble. My family thought I needed to get away from home."

He didn't think Jorge had the look of a trouble maker. He seemed very goofy to him, yet not necessarily someone who pushed himself too far. He studied them all and tried to understand their situation. Once again trying to take the quieter approach.

"What about you?"

Harmony had to ask. She seemed very curious of his quiet persona. He seemed more defeated than the rest of them.

"...my Mom and I argued a lot. Didn't get along. And the town I'm from I...made some mistakes. I needed to get away. So... I guess I'm here."

The remembrance of the events made Rick tear up fast. He tried to hold it back but quickly a flurry of tears came down his face.

"For fuck's sake."

Rick hated emotion. He got an angry look that tears were falling. The rest of the kids seemed understanding.

"We all seem to be going through hell. We gotta stick together when we get out there. Look out for each other."

Anna had to make this positive. She grew a family "pact" with the people around her. She had the attitude of a mother, making sure everyone had an escape and felt safe.

"I agree. We need a pact. Fist Pound guys!"

Jorge seemed to know how to cheer everyone up. Jorge put his fist out in front of the group. His outgoing personality seemed to make him the one to get everyone to interact. They all put their fists together. They look at each other, and said "Family" in an odd unison. After that, Harmony spoke up.

"So who is everyone staying with?"

Harmony always seemed to be the one to strike questions to spark conversation. Anna was the first to go into her bag and find her papers.

"I guess a...Mr and Mrs Rodriguez?"

Jorge was soon to follow.

"Oh cool. I got someone named...Dullard. Huh. Weird name."

Jorge quietly laughed at the name of his new home. Rick quietly pulled out his paper, trying not to pull out anything her felt was personal.

"Guess...ummm...wait...the Rockets?"

Rick seemed weirded out by the name, staring at his paper again to make sure. Harmony's eyes shot up and showed her papers to Rick. He looks at the papers, then back at her.

"You too?"

Harmony nodded her head to Rick's question and they both start laughing. Rick felt an odd comfort around the group of kids he just met. He saw himself smiling for the first time in a long time. Soon, Harmony spoke up again.

"So when we get there, we stick together. We'll get through this and have a blast doing it."

Her optimism is a comforting feeling to the whole group. They all looked at each other and smile.

For the rest of the ride, they talk about the scenery they would encounter. Most weren't from the west, and were not sure how they would handle the new heat. They talked about the beach, the sand, the people. Whatever came to their minds. Soon the group fell asleep and woke up to Venice Beach. They all looked at one another in amazement. This was it...this was their new home.