Chapter 7

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Forest's POV
Three days later...

Three days after we touched down in Kansas I have visited almost every section except section 9, and section 7. We were almost at section 9 where I was going to make the same speech and get to know more people who I probably won't remember. And then I get to do it again.
Was that too much sarcasm? Sorry.
Chris had been my crutch, giving me food all the time and making sure I have something to do on the car rides and organizing everything so I can sleep. It had drained him, but he never hinted at being annoyed with it, in fact, I hadn't even asked him to do all of it. There were perks of having your best friend with you all the time.
"We're almost there, Sir," my hired limo driver, Ronald, said through the intercom.
"Thanks, Ronald!" I say back, and shake Chris awake. He has taken to sleeping on the car rides because he doesn't sleep much at night.
"What?" He asks groggily.
"We're almost at section 9," I laugh softly.
"Oh," he yawns, stretching and rubbing his eyes, "So here you're-" he yawns again, "- 'scuse me, you're making the speech in the central school, Cornfeild Jr. High."
"Where?" I ask.
"Gym, as alw- alwa- alwaaaachooo!"
"You okay, mate?" I ask, concerned.
Chris whips his nose and nods, yawning again. "Just a cold, Forest, nothing to worry about."
"We've arrived, Sir," Ronald's voice crackles on the intercom. I give Chris a look, and he rolls his eyes at me. I thank Ronald and take a deep breath.
"Ready?" Chris asks, I nod. Only two more I think.
Then the doors open, lights flash, and screams can be heard.
Only two more.

Emma's POV
Three Hours Later...

Today was just kind of busy, all the students who made it to the next part of the tests had to meet at school, at 7 in the morning. On the day off.
But no one was treating it like a day off. Almost everyone was going to try to come to the school that was hosting Forest. I mean who wouldn't?
Then all 50 of us plus teachers were packed in a school bus and driven to the hosting school. Then we were carted off to different rooms where we waited. And now 3 hours later we are still waiting for something to happen.
A teacher had come in about ten minutes ago telling us that Forest was almost here and some stupid details about where we were going to sit.
I was sitting by Grace and I could see Brett on the other side of the room. He hadn't even noticed me or said anything to me the whole time we had been siting here. Not even one of his winks that I had totally not gotten used to.
"Okay, ladies and gentlemen," says the teacher who had told us that Forest was almost here says, coming in again. "We are going to file out in an organized fashion, stay in a sigular line and you all will sit at the front part of the gym in the extra chairs set up for you!" She smiles, "Don't worry, we'll get to meet Forest and his friend after his speech and information talk!" She motions for some kids from a different school to follow her. "Everyone just follow us!"
I grab Grace's hand and she squeezes back. This is actually happening!

Grace's POV

I follow Emma as we walk in a singular line like the teacher told us to. I kind of feel like I'm in kindergarten, but that's okay, because I'm going to see Forest and meet him after his speech! I just hope his speech isn't too long...
The line zig zags down the hallways and through doors, and then we are passing into the gym and the sound of the crowd of spectators is overwhelming. We are led to a large grouping of lines up fold-up chairs and are instructed to sit down. Luckily, Emma and I are sitting next to each other and not separated--forced to go into two different rows.
The Horror.
As we all file in neatly and sit down, there are still people coming in and sitting down on the bleachers. It's so full you almost can't see any space inbetween people. It kinda looks like an assembly. People start lining the walls, standing in order to see the high and mighty hot rich billionaire, Forest Johnston. (Why is it that all billionaires are hot? Is it some kind of rule, that if you are born hot you have a better chance of becoming/already being a billionaire? I don't know I'm just curious). I look around the bleachers trying to find my parents, Emma's parents, Rebecca, anyone I know. I spot Rebecca and wave, trying to attract her attention.
She sees it and waves back. I'm glad she came to see this part of the tests, I felt bad that she didn't try out. I nudge Emma and show her Rebecca, Emma turns and waves, Rebecca laughs and smiles, giving us a thumbs up. We both return it and then turn back to the front, just as the principal stands up on the podium, taps the microphone and clears his throat.
"Welcome, ladies, gentlemen, students, and children, to the first live meeting with Forest Johnston for the America Projects!" He starts, everyone claps politley, wanting him to get on and start the real assembly. Who cares about the honorable awards? Get on to the fun stuff where younger students throw pies in the basketball players' faces'! (There's that assembly comparison again...). "I am the principle here at Harvest Middle School, Dr. Shields.
"We would like to congratulate all the wonderful students here on making it to the next stage of the competition!" Here there is a larger applause from the crowd. "And now our honored guest, Forest Johnston!" Now the applause was stupendus! We were all clapping, waiting to see the mythical billionaire who decided to try and change our lives with a competition.

Forest's POV
Just a little earlier...

"For the love of all things good in the world, just play!" Chris says, well more like shouts. We were playing a "nice, friendly" game of chess, where the pieces are magnetized to the board so we can play in cars or on planes. Michalangelo had told us to do something because Fred was trying to sleep and he had a headache from all the flashes and screams. So while Fred was sleeping, Michalangelo took some pain medication and was trying to rest, when Chris and I started arguing about who was the best Doctor in Doctor Who: David Tennant or Matt Smith. We had gotten in a very heated discussion and Michalangelo had whisper-yelled at us to: shut up or die. So we had decided to play chess instead.
"Shhh," I shushed him, "Someone will hear you." I gave a pointed look at Michalangelo who was reading a magazine. The look was wasted though because he didn't really care what I did right now... Just so long as it didn't wake Fred or make his headache come back.
I study the board. Chris was slowly dying and his followers were dispersing, under my wonderful guidence. He was getting jealous of my crazy chess skills and was also starting to yell at me to hurry up and just go faster. Aha!
I move the Queen over one spot to the right. "Ahh-Check.......MATE!!" I say loudly.
"Whatever," Chris says.
"We are about two minutes from the building, Sir." Ronald's voice fills the limo space and Fred stirs.
"Okay!" I say, then I turn to Chris, "Last one."
Chris chuckled and ran a hand through his hair. He flashed me a grin which I returned then he leaned back and closed his eyes
"Last one," he sighed happily. It was then my turn to chuckle.
"Last one," I repeated taking a breath as the car slowed down. "Last one."

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