Author's Note: Hello, all. This is the first time I've ever written a second story for the same category. It has been bouncing around my skull for a while and it took me weeks to write. It will also be my first multi-chapter story. I was going to make this a one-shot, which is usually what I do, but it quickly grew in length, so I decided to break it up into chapters. Please review and let me know what you think! I really appreciate it!
I did a lot of research for this story, some of which didn't end up included in the dialogue or exposition. Here's some of that research: The gang graduated from PCA in 2009 and Chase and Zoey decided to go to USC together. Chase was a Cinematic Arts major, with dreams to become a screenwriter. Zoey was a Design major and an Entrepreneurship minor so that she could own her own boutique that sold her clothing designs. The story is set in LA a few years after Chase and Zoey graduated from USC. (I've never been to LA and don't know much at all about the city, so I tried to keep descriptions vague to avoid mistakes due to lack of knowledge. Hopefully it doesn't sound terrible because I don't know what I'm talking about. Haha.) This story also assumes that What Did Zoey Say? didn't happen, though I'm using what Zoey said as canon.
Inspiration: If the World Was Endingby JP Saxe and Julia Michaels. The story evolved on its own, but the initial idea for it came from this song. Go listen to it. It's a great song!
If the World Was Ending
A Zoey 101 Fan Fiction
The entire city of Los Angeles was in panic mode. One of the largest earthquakes to hit the west coast in more than 50 years had just shaken the entire state and beyond. Roads were split open all over the city. Buildings had collapsed, many with an unknown number of people inside. Vehicles were abandoned, either crushed by debris or crashed into other vehicles. All entrances and exits to the city had been barricaded: no one in or out, for the foreseeable future.
Several cell towers were damaged, so a lot of people were struggling to get in touch with loved ones. Much of the city was without power because the lines and sub stations were damaged. Those of us who had power or cell service were making and receiving calls as fast as we could.
My phone rang in my back pocket and I lunged for it as quickly as I could. The name on the screen was not the name I hoped it would be, but I answered anyway.
"Michael, I was just about to call yo-"
"Chase! Oh, dude! I'm glad to hear your voice! I just saw the story on the news and I was worried your building might have collapsed or something."
Michael sounded so relieved. I wasn't surprised. We've been best friends since we met at PCA, all those years ago, so we're really more like brothers. And Michael's always been pretty sensitive, even though he would never want anyone to know that.
"Nah, man. My building is mostly okay. I heard the rumbling of the other buildings and felt the shaking, but it doesn't seem to be as damaged as some of these others. I'm out walking around the neighborhood to look around. What about you, dude? Are you and Lisa safe?"
"Yeah, yeah, we're fine. We're visiting my family in Atlanta for the week. But that might be extended a little while longer now."
"Oh, right! I forgot that was this week. Work has been so hectic, trying to finish scripts for the second half of the season. I'm glad you and Lisa and the kids aren't here though. Want me to go check on your house for you before you get back?"
Michael and Lisa live in a quiet little suburb outside the city limits of LA, but still close enough that we can get together pretty often. After high school, Lisa pursued a singing career and did quite well for herself for several years before they got married, and Michael eventually became a choreographer and music producer. Once they had kids, though, they decided to move out of the city center and raise them somewhere a little calmer. Sometimes if Michael has an early morning call time or a really late night, he stays with me, since it's much closer, and it's almost like the old days back at PCA. So making my way out to check on their house in a day or two wouldn't have been that big of a deal.
"Don't worry about that," Michael said. "Our neighbor called Lisa a couple minutes ago and said the neighborhood made it out relatively unscathed. We'll have to see when we get back what the inside and the foundation looks like, but it seems to be fine from the outside."
"That's good to hear." I sighed a little to myself. One less thing to worry about. "I guess I need to try calling some of the others now. Lola was supposed to be filming a new movie in New York this month, but you never know if she may have wrapped a little early and came back sooner than planned. And I think Logan and Quinn took the baby to Seattle, but I don't remember when they were planning to be back either." I had kept myself so busy at work the last few months that I could barely keep track of the day of the week, let alone all my friends' schedules.
"Lola sent me a picture from Times Square last night. Said she was being a tourist for the evening. So she should still be in New York. And Lisa PearChatted with Quinn and the baby this morning, while Logan complained about the rain in Seattle making his hair frizz up. They won't be home for a while either."
I smiled at the idea of Lola being a tourist. She's been to New York dozens of times, but she always comes back complaining that she didn't get to see much, other than her hotel and the set. And the thought of pretty-boy Logan with frizzy hair, instead of the perfectly gelled coif he usually sports, made me chuckle out loud for a second.
Then I thought about the one person neither of us had mentioned yet.
"So that just leaves…" I trailed off into silence.
"Zoey," Michael said. "I haven't talked to her in a couple weeks. Last time she called, she said they were working on a really big new collection for the boutique, so she would probably be MIA for a while. Lisa has tried to get her to come to dinner at our house a couple times, just to give Zoey a change of pace for a couple hours, but she keeps saying she can't leave the boutique until the collection is finished."
I didn't need to admit to Michael that it had been well over a couple weeks since I'd spoken to Zoey. In fact, it had been more than a couple months. Zoey and I hadn't spoken to each other in four months, and it had been over six months since the last time I saw her. And Michael knew all the details surrounding the situation.
"Right. Well, if you hear anything from her, can you let me know?" I asked somewhat hesitantly.
"Yeah, man, sure thing. You do the same."
We said our goodbyes quickly after that and I hastily hit the end call button on my phone so I could pull up my contacts. The one I was searching for wasn't hard to find. We may not have spoken in four months, but I still hadn't removed her from my favorites list.
I selected her name and lifted the phone to my ear, listening for the ring. It didn't come, however, because I immediately got an automated message that the call could not be completed, and then silence. The panic rose in my chest.
Was Zoey okay?!