I've actually had this idea for kind of a while now. I am happy to have actually finished it! I changed a little bit up—this occurs during Cam's junior year. He still had anxiety issues during his sophomore year, but not nearly as bad as they ended up on the show—at least not until his junior year came around. I kept the part where he cuts his hand on his skate. It's pretty much the same, exact it happens later. This is named after Joe Purdy's song "Only Four Seasons." Please go listen to it! The parts in italics before each section are from the song, as well as some of what Cam says in the last section. I hope you enjoy this! RxR!
But there's only four seasons, and I'm looking for something more.
It's fall. Campbell Saunders is at the ice rink, on his knees. He's just completed a great deal of laps. His entire body aches. His limbs are numb and his heart is pounding so hard that he can hardly hear anything else. He wouldn't be surprised if his heart up and jumped right out of his chest at this very moment. His head is down, his face pressed against the ice. He reaches out to grab his hockey stick, but his hand barely has the strength to grasp anything at this point. He knows that he should just give up and go home, but he needs the practice. He hasn't practiced very much and he knows that Dallas will give him hell for it, especially with their first game of the season being four days away.
He hears a door open, followed by the sound of shoes on the floor. He lifts his head up to see a man in a gray uniform picking up leftover popcorn containers and various types of wrappers. There had been a game earlier in the day for the 10-12 division.
He sighs lightly, using his arms to push himself up from the ice, startling the custodian.
"Didn't see you there, sonny. Closing time's pretty soon, you know," the man says.
Cam clears his throat before speaking. "I know. I was just getting some practice in. First game's on Wednesday."
"Good luck." He stuffs a handful of garbage into a large plastic bag, turning to walk up the set of bleachers.
"Thanks," Campbell mumbles, knowing that the man cannot hear him. He exits the rink and walks back to the change room to swap clothes and get his things. After he's fully dressed, he slips on his Ice Hounds jacket and grabs his bag, beginning to walk down the hall and toward the building's exit. He opens the door, the Toronto air hitting his face. He turns left, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his jacket. It's past ten-thirty. Mrs. Clarkson is probably freaking out right now. This was an impromptu visit to the rink and Cam wishes he would have left her a note or a message on the phone. He knows she worries easily, just like his mother. Especially now, when he's twelve hours away from home. School starting back up isn't what makes fall so bad. It's that he has to leave his family. It's a strange feeling. During the summer he feels amazing, but it seems as if he becomes miserable as soon as he reaches Toronto. He looks forward to Christmas break. It's not so far off. It gives him something to work toward.
And there's only four seasons, but these feelings are always here.
It's winter. Campbell Saunders is seated at a table at The Dot. His French notebook sits on the table, open to an entry dated 29 October 2012. He still has to study the notes up until December 3rd and his test is this upcoming Thursday, the 6th. He has to cram a list of foods, professions, daily activities, and verb conjugations into his head, though he doesn't believe he'll be able to do this successfully. He spends a lot of time at practice and it always makes him tired by the time he gets home. He barely has time to study. He isn't failing French, but he isn't Madame Jean-Aux's top student either. He just wishes that he wasn't required to take a foreign language. He will probably never go to France. If the school board wants its students to learn about different cultures, then the students should be able to sign up for a different class to fulfill that requirement. There's that Ethnic Music class he heard about. Or an art history class. Anything but this 5th period honors third-year French class.
He still dreads the fact that the word 'honors' precedes the word 'French.' Apparently there was no regular French this year, which makes no sense to him. He silently wonders if this is a plot by an administrator who wants to see Cam—and those like him—fail and fail miserably.
"Cam," he hears someone say.
He looks up and sees Tori approaching. He closes his notebook, knowing that with Tori around, he probably won't be able to get any studying done. "Hi," he says quietly.
"What are you up to?" she asks.
"Well, I was studying for French."
"Oh, me too. I just left Maya's. I think I'm totally set. How about you?"
"Yeah...Totally," he says, a hint of sarcasm in his voice.
Tori rolls her eyes. "Do you need some help? I'm just here meeting Zig, but he's running a little late."
Cam nods. "Thanks."
Tori smiles. "No problem." She grabs her French book from her tote and opens it to a page before she starts reading a list of words.
Cam tries to pay attention so that he can translate these words, but he just can't will himself to think. This language is utterly mind-numbing for him.
Before he realizes it, Zig shows up and Tori mutters an apology before she and Zig slip out the door.
Cam huffs, opening his notebook again. He will give it one more try, but only because he does not want to fail.
Cam opens the door to his room, dropping his backpack. It's nearly 8 o'clock. He got out of practice late and he hasn't eaten anything for dinner yet. Mrs. Clarkson calls up to him from down in the living room, asking if he is hungry, but he responds with a, "No, thanks."
"Did you eat at practice?" she asks and he can hear her walking up the steps. Soon, she is at the door, face-to-face with him.
He shakes his head. "No. I'm...my stomach's just kinda in knots. I had a big test today and I'm just anxious to see how I did."
"Oh." She pauses for a moment. "Well, you should probably eat something. Do you want me to bring you up a sandwich?"
Cam bites his lip, knowing that she will be worried if he says no. "Yeah," he says. "Thanks."
"No problem," she responds, leaving the room. She returns a few minutes later with Cam's favorite: ham and mayo on wheat bread.
He thanks her for the sandwich and sets it, and a glass of juice, on the bedside table. She asks if anything is wrong, but he just shakes his head and says that he has some homework to do. She still seems worried, but she she wishes him a good night and closes the door behind her when she leaves.
As soon as the door is sealed, a loud sound escapes his lips. His hand flies to the sleeve of his jacket. He stares down at his hand and begins to unravel the bandage. The cut on his right palm is still fresh. He presses one of his fingers to it and sees that there's still blood. It will take a while to dry and scab over. He runs his hand over the site of injury, wincing a little. He wouldn't plan something like this. It even happening is purely accidental. But he sort of likes this pain. If he was being honest here, that would be the word he would use to describe it. Some sort of liking. It was still painful, of course, but a simple cut can be very distracting. If, on a big game day, he could suddenly trade the pre-game jitters for the sting of a small scrape or bruise, he would. But the world does not work that way and something normal, like watching t.v. or even listening to music, does no good. He still thinks about home and about if he will be able to make it until Christmas break. Until spring break. Until the next time he will be out of Toronto, nearly half a day's drive north.
And there's only four seasons, but even the best of us fall.
It's spring. Campbell Saunders is in Degrassi's library. Four fat reference books sit on the table before him. He is working on a research paper for his English class. So far he is not having any luck with finding articles to support his thesis. Finding scholarly articles in general was proving to be very difficult.
"Hun," a woman calls. "we're just about to close up."
Cam sighs. He's been sitting in the same seat for the last 2 hours—since the last bell of the day rang—and he is still stuck on the first volume. The tiny print is hard to read and the endless words make him very sleepy. He wants to check the books out, but he knows that if he takes them home he will be kept up at night, pouring over them to find some information. He decides to give up and just come back on Friday during lunch. He picks the books up two at a time, placing them on the cart filled with returns. He feels bad for the librarian. There appear to be at least 30-odd books covering the cart's metal shelves. He remembers helping out in the public library back at home and how tedious it was. He wonders how long it will take her. Probably ten minutes. She's been working here for years. Still, he feels bad that she has to stay in this empty room, shelving the volumes and speaking to no one.
He pushes this thought aside and picks up his book bag, slinging it over his shoulder. He grabs his binder from off of the table and picks up his Ice Hounds jacket. He does not wear it as much. The weather is warming up; summer's approaching. Then he can go back home. He wouldn't have to come back to Toronto until late August. A tiny smile starts to creep on his face at this thought. He leaves the library, walking down a few hallways until he reaches the school's exit. He pushes the door open, cool air greeting him quickly. He glances down at his watch. The next bus will arrive sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.
He begins to doze off after only a few minutes of waiting, so when the bus finally does pull up in front of the school, he barely notices it. He sucks in a sharp breath, blinks his eyes rapidly to make sure he is fully alert, and grabs his book bag and jacket. He boards the bus and within another ten minutes, he reaches the Clarksons' home.
He barely says anything as he enters the house and walks up to his bedroom, and he passes out on the bed before his mind can process much else.
With a deep yawn, Campbell sits up in bed. The clock on his bedside table reads 10:41. He is supposed to be in school right now, but, despite this fact, the time does not shock him or even remotely make him worried. This is actually the second time that he has woken up this morning. He has decided to stay home. It is probably the best for him. He is still a bit groggy and school would have been terrible today.
He stretches and stands up, getting out of bed. He walks downstairs to the kitchen in search of something to eat; he's quite famished. He finds a sandwich in the fridge, the one that Mrs. Clarkson happened to make for him for today's lunch. He grabs it and puts it on a plate, taking that and a juice box back upstairs.
On the way down the hallway, he sees a mirror out of the corner of his eyes. The shine that bounces off of it draws him in and he doesn't want to take his eyes off of it. He stares into it for a long time, considering. Wondering.
His lunch sits on the table next to the bed, untouched. He should eat it, but the hunger seems to have disappeared, and instead it is replaced by a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. Regret, perhaps? He nods involuntarily. It's regret, for sure. He's lying in the Clarksons' eldest son's old bed. He's been in college for a few years now. At least that's what Cam has been told. But he is sure of one thing. He feels guilty for what he's just done. He starts to think that he should have done this somewhere else-not in their home, not when they are nothing but open and welcome and nice. Heck, he should not have done this at all. His feat has not been successful, but that doesn't make him feel any better.
He thinks about what he looks like right now. He can't help but wonder if his appearance coincides with how he feels or if he is good at hiding this sort of thing, because he feels pretty bad on the inside. He blinks, holding his eyes shut for a while. He breathes in deeply. He wants to tell someone, wants to be honest about this, but he doesn't want to upset anyone or worry them any further. He buries his face in a pillow, unsure of what exactly to do.
And there's only four seasons, and I guess we'll be leaving soon.
It's summer. Campbell Saunders is at his home back in Kapuskasing, lying on his bed. He's supposed to be practicing for the upcoming hockey season—his final one—but he doesn't want his break to fly by, like it did the previous summer.
His phone buzzes on his nightstand and he knows almost instantaneously that it is Maya. She's pretty much the only person from Toronto that he really stays in contact with. They do not typically message or call each other every day, but she is always there to talk when he needs it, when he needs someone to open up to. She's one of the first people he told. At first she seemed scared, but she was calm when he explained everything.
Cam glances down at his phone. Maya's just arrived and will be at his house soon. After much begging, her parents finally agreed to let her visit. This makes them both ecstatic. They are thankful that they do not have to wait so long to see each other again.
About twenty minutes later, he receives another text message from Maya, this time to say that she is standing outside of his house. He walks over to his window and looks outside. There she is, getting out of the cab, her suitcase in her hand. She notices him and her smile grows. She waves.
Cam smiles back, waving as well, before quickly leaving his room to go outside and greet his girlfriend after a much anticipated return.
"So, did you have fun?" Maya asks, hours later, stretching her legs as much as she can. They're sitting in Cam's old tree house.
Cam thinks for a few seconds and then replies, "Today was a good day. It was better than most." He looks around the tree house's interior. "I haven't been here since...I don't know when. I like it. The past is definitely...happy." He laughs softly.
"That's good," she comments. "How was it to see your family?"
"Amazing...Truly wonderful. I used to text and call them all of the time, but it's nothing like actually being here, you know?"
Maya nods. "Is this your favorite part of summer? Besides having no school or homework, of course."
It's Cam's turn to nod this time. "Yeah. It's my favorite part of the year. It's something I can look forward to. Like Christmas or a vacation."
"Then don't give up," she tells him, her voice small, but her message strong.
He knows what she is getting at. He isn't mad at her for saying this. He knows that she is right. He doesn't respond, and she doesn't saying anything else. The two of them just continue to sit there, enjoying each other's presence.
Cam stands in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing his teeth. This day really has been a good one. One that he thinks he will remember for a long time to come. In some way, it's helped him realize that he's still here. That he is staying put. And so is his family. Even if they are halfway across the province for most of the year.
He spits into the sink, rinses his mouth with water, and looks into the mirror. "Maybe we haven't gone crazy after all," he whispers to himself.
So, hopefully this was not an epic fail. Haha. Reviews will make me happy! (: