“Dad! Mom! Where are you?” He spotted the vague face of William Darcy Sr. “Dad! Are you alright! Where’s Mom?”
Dark amber eyes that were clouded with pain and confusion stared back at the fourteen year old boy. “William.” The man groaned briefly, shielding his eyes that were sharpened by pain. “Where’s Bethany?” He gave out a moan and slowly allowed the pain and unconsciousness to seize him.
“Dad!” The monosyllable exclamation was all the boy could muster up as he looked helpless around him at the shamble and destruction. The only thing that kept his self-control together was his father at least faint but steady breathing.
William closed his eyes, willing the feeling of confusion and uncertainty to seep out of him like the droplets of blood from his head injury. At the same time, he wished that the unreality of reality would disappear during the brief moment of darkness. He shook his head to clear his fuzzy vision only to feel the world around him spun out of control. Suddenly, from the corner of his eyes, he saw the creamy material of his mother’s blouse.
“Mom!” He ran to her, gasping as the pain intensify with his sudden movements.
Will quickly dug through the pile of luggage and scrapes that surrounded her. Finally, he found her arm and moved her from the debris.
“Mom! Mom!” His heart was heavy with the impossible possibility. He felt a sob escape from his mouth, “Mom! Please wake up!”
Unlike, his father’s labor breathing which was at least a comfort to the young boy, his mother’s unmoving chest and lack of pulse caused an icy feeling to seize his heart. But, before he had time to figure out the situation, he felt the ground shift and the pile of debris and luggage that he had moved came crashing down on him.
He groaned, “Mom…,” before he was struck unconscious.
“Mom!” He gasped, struggling against the hands that were pulling him back. The tears flown freely down his face to mix with the sweat that was dripping from his face. He sobbed, letting go of his well-developed self-control. “Dad! Mom! Oh, God, help me!” He fell back and pressed his face to his pillow. The tears and pain caused his whole body to convulse and shake with tension.
After a few minutes, his eyes fluttered opened and all was quiet except for his shallow breathing. He stared at the seeming darkness into the warm brown orbs full of concern.
“Thanks Bingly. Thanks for everything.” Will turned his face away from his friend’s searching glance toward the wall on the other side of the bed and whispered softly, “I am OK. Go to bed. Bingly…thanks.”
Bingly hesitated before he slowly stepped away from the bed toward his own with a sigh.
He quickly shielded his eyes from the sunlight that was streaming through the window beside his head. He groaned. ‘Today is not going to be a good day,’ he thought. He opened his eyes slowly to look across the room at his roommate’s bed. Will was gone already. He quickly jumped out of bed at this realization, hoping to find Will before he exercised himself to death.
He quickly showered, glad that no one was awake to make him wait. He left the room in his workout clothes at 5:43 AM with a longing look at his bed, heading towards the PEA’s Saltonstall boathouse.
He looked around him, taking in the heavy metal machines that only the best money could buy. The cool hard exterior of the lifeless objects matches the way he feels inside. ‘The best that money can buy. The best of everything. Clothes. Schools. Education. The best education that can be bought! Isn’t that why he’s here. Why his parents had died?’
He shuddered at the thought and remembered the nightmare that still haunted him three and a half years later. Back then, he thought, he was only a boy taking the first step towards the Darcy’s tradition: the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy preparatory school, Harvard, business school, and then, of course, CEO of the family business. He never thought that their jet would crash on the way to the academy before starting his first year and that he would loose his parents within weeks of each other: his mother already dead by the time he found her and his father died only three weeks later in the hospital due to his massive head injury. He bitterly recalls his father last words, “Will. You will be OK. You know what you need to do: continue the Darcy tradition. Make your family proud. If you ever wonder if what you do is right or not, think of how the consequences will affect the Darcy name. Remember, your mom and I love you. Make us proud.”
And he has, hasn’t he? He has been everything Dad wanted. The perfect child, he never once lost control, always knowing what’s appropriate and how to act or react. Nothing was done to make his parents ashamed of him. He is going to Harvard next year, isn’t he? And he associates only with those who are like him in social class—background, wealth, and learning. It doesn’t even matter that all this was accomplished without much work on his part, he thought bitterly. Oh sure, he has the grades, he works hard but everything is merely a reflection of everything else: his grades reflects his education which reflects the Darcy name of old class wealth and good breeding—never too rich to work hard and earn one’s way to the top…the rightful place of anyone related to the Darcy name. Rightfully, Bingly shouldn’t even be his best-friend. The Binglys are old Bostonian families but have lost their previously enormous wealth. But, he remembers, it was Bingly who finally was able to break through the wall that Darcy had built and constantly repaired to keep others out. Bingly was never discouraged by Darcy’s insults and excessive pride—the quality that Darcy used to build his fortress. His constant good-humor and understanding was the blow that destroyed Darcy’s self-imposed isolation. After that, they quickly bounded and remained constant friends He sighed, remembering last night. Bingly have been good for him. Charles Bingly is the only one who knows that he still has the reoccurring nightmares. And it is he who always tries to clam him down and reassure him. He laughed. They are so different. Yet, they understand each other so completely—each trying to save each other from themselves. Bingly is too trusting and kind-hearted to a fault and he, himself, is too cynical and forbidding. Yet, both have dealt with tragedy and that is what has bound them the most. Bingly’s mother died giving birth to Caroline Bingly—his younger sister of two years. Yet, while Bingly hides his sadness behind a façade of cheerfulness and good-will, Darcy builds his wall of pride and indifference. He sighed again, willing his thoughts to evaporate like the sweat from his body.