By: Kelbie Biron
She fought many hard battles bravely but ultimately lost the war.
Cancer claimed another victim.
Beth Feinberg lived life like a star, her brightness and her goodness shone as a beacon in dark times, as her life ended she faded into nothingness, like a shooting star fizzles into the dark night. It has been two months since Beth has passed, her husband’s emotional state has since spiraled into chaos.
A week ago Clint Fienberg fell off the wagon, after he had been riding it in sobriety for 35 years. He celebrated the fall by drinking hard liquor until he passed out on the couch. Last night, his boss called for him to complete one last job. In his semi-retirement he was surprised to find out he would be transporting high school students to Manaus.
The company was in a bind, the other pilots were busy, and his license was still valid.
“Will I have a co-pilot or will I being flying the brats all on my own?” Clint asked.
“It is only about ten kids I am not appointing a co-pilot. They are spending the summer in the Amazon doing volunteer work for the natives and learning about ecology. They will seek other transportation into the Amazon once they get there.” Mr. Delanson said.
“Another chaperone will be meeting them at the airport. Please make sure they meet up with her, her name is Rebecca Scotts she used to work at their high school.” Mr. Delanson said.
“Why do I need to make sure they meet up with her, shouldn’t that be the job of their chaperone?” Clint replies in frustration.
“I need you to confirm that they found her, the high school is paying a lot of money for us to fly them privately from Miami. We need this money, but what we don’t need is any mistakes so don’t screw this up.” Delanson said.
The small group waited impatiently to get on the plane that would take them to Brazil while the sun was shining brightly beating down on them. Miami presented herself as hot and muggy, a big difference from the cooler Maine summers the students were more acclimated to.
Miss Gelling, a pallid, corpulent woman, in her fifties did another mental attendance check of the students. At the table sat Ophelia Bryant — being the social butterfly as usual and captivating everyone’s attention. Her fraternal twin sister Olivia, who got all the brains and a fraction of Ophelia’s bubbly personality sat next to her. At Olivia’s side Lucy Chang hovered constantly, the poor girl so absorbed by her own insecurities that she didn’t say much or have many other friends besides Olivia.
Maddox and his partner-in-crime Harold sat across from Ophelia competing for her attention. Miss Gelling thought best friends crushing on the same girl, I hope that does not end too badly.
Amy and her boyfriend Eric toss a baseball back and forth. Both are top athletes back at school. Their dedication runs deep I can’t imagine so much as partaking in a brisk walk in this heat, Miss Gelling thinking to herself.
Sitting next to Max Darren is Kalmia Richards. Kalmia is talking enthusiastically about something and poor Max sits there with look of pure disdain upon his brooding face. Kalmia is probably just trying to make him feel comfortable, but that is the last thing Max desires. After his parents and two of his three siblings perished in a tragic car accident, he had been living his life very fast and loose. Max has been in and out of the principal’s office after breaking most of the rules in the student handbook.
Kalmia, who is the president of multiple clubs, is actively engaged in her studies is overall the kindest person and wanted to be friends with everyone.
The last one is Hawke the class clown, and of course, he is nowhere to be found. In a frantic panic, Miss Gelling scanned the vicinity only to not see him. She turned around to enter the office to see if he was in there and from behind a large potted plant, Hawke leaped out making a loud noise. Miss Gelling jumps back completely startled which garners laughs from the class and immediately reprimands him for his actions. With everyone accounted for she continues her careful watch over her charges. Miss Gelling thinking to herself, What an eclectic group to send to the Amazon, but I imagine the board had their reasons to select them. Some are here to pad their college applications and others are here to learn the value of hard work or take their mind off of the injustices in the world. I imagine they are all here for a reason though…