Runner – Part 9

This is Part 9 of my serial narrative, “Runner.”

You can enter the adventure two ways:

  1. Download a PDF from the link here. The PDF will contain Parts 1-9. Or …
  2. Read the post below. (Here’s a link to Runner – Part I if you haven’t read that yet.

***
Part 9

Sunday was the first morning with no promise of graduation. I staggered out of bed around 11 a.m. because I didn’t have any reason to wake up.

The senior class had organized a demonstration outside President’s Hall at 1 p.m. Instead of going to the demonstration, I decided to walk over to the House. I passed President’s Hall on my way to the House.

Some students were picketing the building. Except no one was there. Some of the protestors were holding cardboard signs. One said: “You Broke our Trust.” Another only said “SNAFU” in blocky letters written with a permanent marker.

I stopped by a cluster of grim students holding signs.

“Have you heard anything new?” I asked.

A pretty girl with glasses answered me, “We don’t think anyone is inside. We were hoping a news crew would stop by, but nobody has come yet. This is starting to feel useless.”

The mood at the House was somber. Evan gave me a quick hug when I entered.

Later in the day, Evan got an alert on his smartphone. “Hey, hey, we got another e-mail from the president!”

We crowded around Deacon’s laptop to read the e-mail.

Dear students,

Over the past few days, many of you have asked why [redacted] College is closing. The school has suffered numerous financial setbacks in the past year, and we do not have the capital to pay our employees for the rest of the semester. Even with the recent emergency measures, the school is still in considerable debt. Please be assured that the decision to close the school was not taken lightly. We are united in this time of difficulty.

I leaned back and let out my breath, “So it’s over.”

“They’re letting students stay in the dorms,” Deacon said.

Farther down in the e-mail, the president said the dorms and cafeterias would remain open until the end of the semester for students who wanted to stay. The registrar’s office would also remain open.

“Why are they letting students stay in the dorms?” Evan asked. “What’s the point?”

I didn’t know. But now we had a decision: stay or go.

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