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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Time to Fly
By FallingWithGrace

 


Time to Fly

1

“Are you sure I look alright?” asked Gabriella Montez anxiously as she adjusted her black hat, trying vigorously to flatten her brown hair which she had straightened on top and curled on the bottom. “Wait—does the tassel go on the right side or the left side?”

“I think it's right to left,” answered Taylor McKessie, her best friend, as she glanced into her mirror, applying mascara. She hadn't put on her robe yet and was sitting there in a light blue strapless dress that Gabriella thought made her look so mature and calm, which her long, let-down dark hair didn't hurt. Gabriella had a dark red strapless dress on underneath her robe. “And yes, you look gorgeous, Gabi. Don't worry about it.”

“How do you know I look gorgeous?” Gabriella tried not to scream. “You're not even looking!

Taylor glanced at her over one shoulder. “You look fine.” She went back to applying her makeup.

Gabriella glanced at the mirror in her room. Only yesterday it had seemed like she'd just met Taylor, still been the scared new girl, shy and frightened at what was in front of her. Now, staring back at her was almost an adult, in a black robe with dark make-up. And for that instant, Gabriella was afraid she no longer knew who she was. “Taylor… I…”

Taylor looked quizzically at her, a hint of worry in her eyes.

“We're graduating, Taylor! I can't believe it!” Overwhelming happiness exploded in Gabriella's heart as she tried not to think of anything else. We're graduating, we're graduating…

“I know, Gabi,” sighed Taylor. “I know.”

And so we talked all night about the rest of our lives
Where we're gonna be when we turn 25
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same

2

“Troy!” Chad Danforth stepped into his best friend's Troy Bolton's room. “Oh God!” he stumbled out and waited outside when he saw that Troy was still in the process of changing, realizing that he was seeing more than Troy than he would have liked. “Sorry man!”

“Chad!” roared Troy as he managed to pull on the newly ironed pants of his suit. “What is it?”

“I…” Chad's voice sounded vaguely pathetic. “I need you to help me with my tie.”

Troy grinned, his smile wide. Sure, everything was changing after graduation, but it was nice to know that Chad was still the same. He adjusted the collar of his white shirt and yelled, “Come here, buddy.”

Chad walked in, grumbling the whole time, rather embarrassed at his lack of skill concerning the tie area. Troy looped the fabric under a couple of times, pulled hard, and wa-lah, there was a smart-looking green tie for Chad under the collar of his long-sleeved, button-down, white collared shirt.

“Thanks,” Chad muttered softly, setting his suit jacket on a chair—the color of his suit was dark green; he had chosen it out himself.

Troy himself wasn't looking so bad in a dark blue suit that helped bring out the color of his eyes (his mother had helped him choose it out). He ran a brush over his hair a couple of times, staring at himself in the mirror. He looked sideways at Chad. “You ready?”

Chad nodded and tossed him a black robe. “Yeah.”

Troy pulled the robe over his head at the same time that Chad did. They'd always told each other they'd graduate at the same time—ever since kindergarten, in fact. Troy pulled the collar of his white shirt over the collar as Chad did the same. They stared at each other, feeling a change in the room—an invisible one that they couldn't quite detect. Things had already begun to change, but they couldn't place how.

“Come on,” Troy muttered quietly to Chad, as he reached for his suit jacket. Chad did the same and followed him out of his room, down the stairs, both thinking the same thing: graduation and how they were going to go on without Gabriella and Taylor.

But when we leave this year we won't be coming back
No more hanging out cause we're on a different track
And if you got something that you need to say
You better say it right now cause you don't have another day

3

“Ryan! You look horrible!” screeched Sharpay as she stood in the doorway of the bathroom where her brother had put on his pants and was pulling on his white shirt.

“Geez Sharpay—let me change!” bit Ryan back as he hurriedly buttoned up his collared shirt. “And besides, that's not a really nice thing to say.”

“I'm just telling the truth,” Sharpay yelped back. “I mean, look at your hair!

“What about it?” asked Ryan as he finished with the last button. “What's wrong with it, Shar?”

“Don't call me that,” said Sharpay, clearly irritated. “I'm coming after you for once in my lifetime and you better not mess it up.”

Ryan grinned, “Say that again?”

“I'm coming after you,” hissed Sharpay through clenched teeth. “Stupid alphabetical order… I shouldn't be coming after you—you dyslexic retard… you don't even know the alphabet!”

Ryan's face was hurt. “I'm sorry Sharpay, it's not fault I'm stupid.”

Sharpay softened when she saw the pain in her twin's eyes. “I'm sorry, Ry. It's just… I've waited for this day all my life and I don't want anything to go wrong. I'm sorry, Ryan—you look fine.”

A small apologetic smile crept from Ryan's mouth, “Do I still look horrible?”

“No, I said you looked fine,” Sharpay said, smiling. “Wait, let me fix your collar.”

Ryan had slipped on his red tie and Sharpay adjusted the collar of his white shirt. Ryan pulled on his robe and held his sky powder-blue suit jacket up. Sharpay helped him adjust the hat and the tassel and gave him a quick hug. “Thanks Ryan.”

“For what?” Ryan arched an eyebrow as he looked quizzically at his sister.

“For sticking with me this year. I know sometimes I'm really mean to you, but… Ryan, we made it, and I love you.”

“Love you too, Shar.”

“Well, love me enough to move out of the way. I need to put on my makeup.”

Ryan's voice was sarcastic, but he couldn't help his smile. It was good to know that some things would never change. “I love you too, Sharpay.”

Cause we're moving on and we can't slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound
And I keep thinking of that night in June
I didn't know much of love
But it came too soon

4

“You sure you think this is nice enough for her?” Zeke looked uncertainly at Jason. “I can't afford to get anything that… well, her parents would get her, but it's as much as my mom would let me spend.”

“Zeke, she'll love you no matter what. Sharpay's your girlfriend, man. Come on, it's ok. Trust me on this one.”

“Yeah, I guess,” said Zeke quietly as he tucked a small, wrapped box into his suit jacket. He looked up into the sky as he walked casually into East High. I'm going to miss you next year, Sharpay. You've made me complete, you know.

Jason patted him on the back. He was wearing a grey suit that helped bring out his sleet grey eyes. “You'll do fine, Zeke. I'm not your friend for nothing. Come on, let's go.”

“We're graduating,” Zeke stated. It was a fact of life, not a question.

Jason nodded. “Yeah we are…”

They stood in silence, allowing the statement to settle on them. Thinking about how life would change, how things would be different from now on.

Graduation. They'd heard about it all their lives, waited for this moment. And now it was here.

And there was me and you
And then we got real cool
Stay at home talking on the telephone with me
We'd get so excited, we'd get so scared
Laughing at our selves thinking life's not fair
And this is how it feels

5

“Kelsi,” Mrs. Nielsen's voice shuddered as she hugged her daughter close to her. “You're so beautiful,” her throat was choked with sobs. “My beautiful girl.” Behind her, Mr. Nielsen rubbed tears from his reddened eyes.

“You're going to do great out there today,” whispered Mrs. Nielsen. “My angel, you'll do perfect.”

Kelsi hugged hard to her mom, afraid to let go. It would be three more months and then… college. She'd thought about this but it had always seemed so far away. Now it was here, and closer than she'd ever imagined.

Her tassel hit her mom lightly on the cheek, bringing her back to the present. “It's ok, Mom. I've still got more time, you know.”

Her mother gave her a teary smile and hugged her hard again. She stepped back and took a picture.

“We got you a present, dear,” she said, as Mr. Nielsen held out a small box to Kelsi.

Kelsi grinned in thanks and opened it to reveal a small diamond ring. “Oh my God, thanks Mom! Thank you Dad!”

She slipped it on and smiled, hugging her parents. Her dad smiled. “Step back, sweetie.”

He took a quick picture of her and kissed the top of her head. “Come on, Kels. It's time to go.”

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

6

“Gabriella!” Troy exclaimed as he ran up to his girlfriend, not caring that he seemed overeager. “You look… wow,” he paused as he glanced at her. “You're beautiful, Gabi.”

“Thanks,” said Gabi, flushing. She brought her lips up to his and kissed him. “I love you, Troy.”

“I love you too, Gabi.”

She gave him a picture frame with the both of them in it. “I made the frame.”

“Wow, Gabi…” he stared at it in awe until he remembered he'd gotten her something too. He handed her a small box, and she opened it to find a small locket that he had put a picture of them together in.

Next to them, Chad was hugging Taylor hard and presented her a locket that had a picture of them together inside. (He'd gone with Troy to buy the presents). Taylor smiled and slipped it on and handed Chad a wrapped present.

Before Chad could open it, two cars drove up. Chad stared disinterestedly at them until the doors opened and Ryan and Sharpay stepped out. His mouth dropped open.

“You got cars for your graduation?”

“Yep,” said Sharpay, waltzing off.

Zeke looked uncomfortable. He pocketed the gift and muttered, “I'll give it to her later.”

So if we get the big jobs
And we make the big money
When we look back now
Will our jokes still be funny?

7

“I was lucky enough to be chosen to speak for this graduating class,” said the graduation speaker. Troy knew her as Melissa Tran, a raven-haired girl who everybody liked. Troy couldn't think of one person who held anything against her. “This class of East High is special. We're so amazingly close and well, I know we did have cliques before, but those sort of left with the new involvement in drama. Anyways, we're special because everybody likes each other. There's no hate; we all love each other. Umm… we're great that way because of that and I appreciate all the years I've had at East High…”

The speech continued but Troy felt vaguely itchy, glancing behind him at Gabriella every once in awhile. He couldn't imagine leaving her; he couldn't imagine life without her. But it wouldn't stay like that. They were going to different colleges, after all.

“…East High has given us a foundation that we'll be able to go on with in the future. We all will miss East High but we'll use the strength we obtained here and from the people here to make our choices in college. Thank you East High, we will miss you.”

Melissa finished and everybody clapped. She walked, her head high and proud back to her chair.

Principal Hatsui stood up. “Now we'll award the students that were the best in every subject.”

Mrs. Bolter stood up, “I'm the math teacher here. This student works constantly hard and is very diligent…”

She continued on with her speech and awarded the math award to Gabriella Montez. The teachers continued with the awards, giving the drama award to Sharpay Evans, the science one to Taylor McKessie, the social studies award to Ryan Evans (who got a huge round of applause due to his dyslexia; Ryan had always been good at connecting issues from the past to today), the Spanish award to Brianna Lexler (a girl that none of them knew very well), and the English award to Kelsi Nielsen for her creative writing works. The athletic award was given to Chad Danforth (some people were shocked it wasn't Troy but then they remembered Troy was only amazingly skilled in basketball and not other sports). Finally the director's award was ready to be given by Principal Hatsui.

“This person is a true leader,” Principal Hatsui began. “He is constantly wild-spirited and friendly, truly showing the ideal Wildcat spirit. He excels in all areas of the work here, everybody loves his nature. I am proud to award the director's award to Mr. Troy Bolton.”

The crowd went crazy; Troy could hear his mom screaming hysterically in the background. He stepped up and accepted his award, nodding his appreciation. He glanced back and saw all his friends supporting him, smiles on their faces, and for a brief instant, he thought he was going to break down on the stage and start crying. He couldn't imagine life without his friends next year.

Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
Still be trying to break every single rule
Will little brainy Bobby be the stockbroker man?
Will Heather find a job that won't interfere with her tan

8

“Brenna Abigail.”

A tall, athletic looking girl stepped off onto the stage to accept her diploma, marching down the aisle.

The names continued slowly.

“Troy Bolton.”

Troy stepped up and got his diploma, walking down the center of the stage as everybody screamed and the teachers hugged him…

“Jason Cross.”

Jason's hat fell off. Some people laughed.

“Chad Danforth.”

Chad looked like he was going to start crying.

“Ryan Evans.”

Ryan stood up smartly, trying not to think of what would happen if he fell and made Sharpay look bad.

“Sharpay Evans.”

Sharpay flaunted her hair and stepped cockily off the stage with a dramatic smile on her face.

There were several more names.

“Zeke Mayers.”

Zeke stood up without any difficulty but he almost stumbled at the end.

“Taylor McKessie.”

Taylor smiled, trying to keep her eyes dry. It didn't work.

“Gabriella Montez.”

Gabriella was already sobbing.

“Kelsi Nielsen.”

Kelsi stood up, proud and dry-eyed. She moved the tassel and smiled.

More names continued but Ryan didn't pay attention to any of the others. He was just thankful he hadn't messed things up for Sharpay. He'd never live it down. Finally, the long list of names finished.

“I present to you—East High Class of 2008!” Principal Hatsui's voice boomed.

Sharpay smiled. This day could not go any better.

I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly
And this is how it feels

9

The hats high up in the air. Groping hands trying to retrieve them. Flashing lights. Video recordings. Interviews. Tears. Hugs. Smiles. Gifts. Graduation.

Kelsi had never been happier to get out of the crowded auditorium. So many people squealing, “Congratulations!” So many hugs with people she didn't even know. So many “thank you's” and so many “you did greats!”

She wanted to get out. So she could spend time with her friends—the ones that really mattered. The ones she would probably never see again.

And only then could she cry and let out all the emotions that had torn her inside. The mixed emotions: excitement at moving on to college and pain from leaving her friends behind.

She'd always known this day would come and she'd always anticipated it. Funny how she'd always wanted to graduate until the day actually came. Now she wanted nothing more than to go back again to the start of that year and relive all the fun times they'd had.

But she couldn't. So instead, she cried.

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

10

The dinners. The graduation dinners in their formal backgrounds.

Troy sat uncomfortably in his dark blue suit as his parents praised him. He wished he could be out with his friends, but he knew they were with their families too. It was a time for love of the family.

Because after graduation, they'd all come home broken-hearted and bruised by the thought of being abandoned and they'd see that their families were still there.

Sharpay and Ryan were thinking this as they sat in the expensive restaurant that their father owned.

Zeke was thinking this as his older brother playfully slapped him on the back in congratulations.

Chad was thinking about it as he sat surrounded by his seven siblings.

It crossed Taylor's mind as she sat with her four older siblings.

Gabriella felt like crying.

Kelsi shed her first tear about graduation.

Because even though their families were there, their friends would be missing. And things would be incomplete after that. They knew it.

And it was starting to hurt.

La, la, la, la? Yeah, yeah, yeah
La, la, la, la? We will still be friends forever

11

Graduation parties. Yearbooks. The yearbooks came out with their red and white covers of East High. The Wildcats on them.

Pens were whipped out; people had anticipated the signing.

Because the signing would be the only thing left to be remembered by.

Troy's hand hovered over Gabriella's. He'd thought hard about this moment for the last five months every night, not knowing what exactly to write. He glanced at Chad and Zeke who both seemed to be having the same problems.

Dear Gabi,

You've made me who I am. I've thought about this moment for the last few months… every night and still I don't know what to write. I love you Gabriella. You made my life complete; you've shaped who I am. Thanks, Gabi.

Troy paused and wiped away a stray tear.

This was hard.

On the other side of him, Gabriella was saying goodbye to Taylor. Scrawling across her yearbook: Taylor, you loved me when nobody else knew who I was. What am I going to do without you?

Gabriella set down the pen. What was she going to do without Taylor?

Best friends had to break apart. Another fork in the road—unpredictable futures.

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there?
Can we make it somehow?

12

The Ice Queen was crying. Some people didn't believe it. They stared open-mouthed at red-eyed Sharpay. She kissed Zeke. “I love you.”

He kissed her back. “I love you too, Sharpay.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

“No, thank you,” he said back.

Ryan looked on from the sidelines. He knew it was going to be a rough night. He knew Sharpay would be sobbing into his shoulder. He wanted to take his twin and take her away from Zeke. It would be so much easier to walk off and not say goodbye; to forget the love ever happened.

It would be easier, but it wouldn't be right.

Sharpay slipped on the necklace. The charm was in the shape of a key. On the note Zeke had written, “You hold the key to my heart. I love you.”

Love hurt. It left them bleeding, falling apart.

But life went on.

Life was cruel, putting you on top of the world and then dragging you away. It hurt all of them, but that was the way life was.

And they had to play this twisted game.

I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it's like we're women and men
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us 'round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, I keep thinking that it's not goodbye
Keep on thinking it's a time to fly

13

“Hey Ryan,” said Jason softly as he looked at the blonde in his swimming trunks. Beach party.

“Hi Jason,” said Ryan curtly.

“I guess this is about to be goodbye,” Jason started. “I… I wanted to say you're a pretty good guy, Evans.”

Ryan smiled. “I like you too.”

The pain of the friendships that could have been started but never occurred. That hurt too now, the boys realized as they stood across from each other. They could've become friends; they could have had someone to confide in all along, but now it was too late.

It was too late now and only now did they realize it.

Ryan felt like crying.

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

14

“Taylor, will you dance with me?” Chad asked as he approached the girl. This was the last time—the last time he'd ever feel the rhythm of her body close to his.

Taylor nodded, biting her lip, willing herself not to cry.

It wasn't supposed to be sad—it was supposed to be happy. They were moving on, they knew that. It was goodbye, they knew that.

It was the last dance.

They knew that.

Taylor slipped her arms over Chad's shoulders as he placed his hands around her waist. They moved slowly to the beat of the music and Chad broke first.

Tears trickled down his face, matting his eyelashes together. Taylor saw this and started crying too.

They hugged each other close, afraid to let go.

Yet they knew they had to.

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

15

They walked off from each other. They shared the hugs. They shared the tears.

Brokenhearted, they had to leave. They knew they might see each other another time but it would never be the same.

It was called “moving on.”

All of them knew how false those words were.

It wasn't moving on.

It was goodbye.

Goodbye was so painful, so hurtful. They were taking separate paths, leaving the other times behind.

They had to say goodbye.

Just because their paths didn't cross again; because they only happened to meet once.

Their futures were unpredictable but they knew that they could do it.

They had the support of each other, the love of their friends, the lives and the individuals that had been shaped by their time at East High.

And it was time to see what East High had done for them.

They'd be back, no doubt about it. They'd be back to share the laughs, to share the tears, to share the hugs, to gossip.

They'd be back.

But for right now, it was goodbye.

They marched proudly into the future, thinking about all the things that had happened, thinking about all the things that could have been. It was too late now, for regrets, for second chances.

And only at this last chance did they understand what it meant, how incredibly grateful they were to be in their lives.

At last they understood what it mean to be a Wildcat.

And they would take that Wildcat spirit with them into the rest of their lives.

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
Come whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

End.

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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