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Chapter Eight
The Longest Night

After the incident in the gym that past afternoon, Wagner went back to the Guile residence. Jane had seen him come in the house and when she called out to him, he said nothing. All he did was run upstairs and slammed the door to his room. Jane sat there stunned for a bit, not knowing what to do.

He must be upset,’ she thought.

She wondered if she should go upstairs to check up on him when Guile came through the front door. He looked around until he spotted Jane in the kitchen.

“Jane! Did Wagner come here at all?” he asked with a hint of concern in his voice.

“He is here,” said Jane. “He’s up in his room. Will, what happened?”

“I got a call from Liz just a few minutes ago. She couldn’t explain exactly what happened, but apparently, Wagner did something to Jake and ran off. How long ago did he get here.”

“About five minutes ago.”

Guile sighed to himself. “If he came here that soon, let’s just let him cool off for a couple of hours before we talk to him.”

Jane nodded in agreement.

They indeed waited the two hours. Just before dinner was served, Guile made his way up the stairs to check on Wagner. He went up to his room and knocked.

“Wagner?” he called out. “Do you want to talk?” All he heard on the other side of the room was silence. “Hmm, he must’ve fell asleep.”

Guile attempted to open the door, but it was locked. “Dammit.” Then, he took his finger and played around with the slit on the knob until it turned 90 degrees. “There we go, that always came in handy.” He opened the door…and saw that no one was in the room…

-

“Wagner, it’s great to see you again!” cried out Chris. He then planted trails of kisses on his girlfriend Taylor’s neck causing her to giggle a bit. Both were already quite drunk.

Wagner took a gulp from his whiskey. “Yeah, I had to get away from the base for a bit. I had quite a rough day.”

“We don’t get to see you that much anymore,” said Paul taking a swing of his beer.

Along with another friend Ron, they chatted for hours as they drank more alcohol. Wagner’s mind would be somewhere else at times, mainly thinking about his adoptive family and friends. He slightly began to wonder how they were, but soon drained that thought away with more whiskey.

Next week,’ he then thought. ‘Next week is the anniversary…’ He drank more after that thought.

With every thought he had, he drank more and more. That is until the bar he and his friends were at closed for the night.

It was 2 in the morning as the group headed to Ron’s car.

“I’m not that drunk,” Ron said as he took his keys out. He played around with it for a minute only scratching his car, which had scratches from previous attempts. He finally got the key in the hole when suddenly, sirens went off. Everyone turned as a cop car approached them.

“Oh boy!” cried Paul while he laughed. Everyone laughed with them…except Wagner who found himself nearly sober at that moment. He stood there frozen in his place.

What have I done?’ he thought panicked.

The cops approached them, which were followed by another cop car. Wagner’s friends continued to laugh as though this was all a big joke. Soon enough, all four of them, since none were cooperating, were handcuffed.

“Whee!” cried Chris. They jumped around and acted like idiotic…drunks.

What the hell was I thinking?’ Wagner thought. ‘These people aren’t my friends! They’re nothing but drunken losers!’’

But he wondered if it was too late when a cop approached him.

“You with these clowns?” he asked.

Wagner’s only answer was, “I was with them…but I realized how stupid they are…” He slurred a bit, but the cop was able to understand him.

“I’m glad you learned you lesson son…but I’m afraid since you were seen here, we’re going to have to take you in.”

And for the first time since he was 15, handcuffs were placed over his wrists. Wagner wanted to cry, but he held it all back. Now wasn’t the time to let his emotions out.

I just screwed up everything…that’s all I am able to do…

-

“Scott Wagner?” an office said as he approached Wagner’s cell.

Wagner had spent most of the remainder of the morning lying on his cot looking up at the ceiling. He had not realized how much time has passed until the officer guarding the cell.

He sat himself up and looked up at the officer. When he did, the officer spoke again. “Your free to go.” He began opening up his cell.

Wagner slightly became perplexed. ‘Who could’ve bailed me out?’ he thought.

The person soon revealed themselves. Wagner was surprised to see who it was.

“Cammy?”

“Hi Wagner,” Cammy said.

Soon, Wagner was taken out. He was notified of his trial date before leaving with Cammy to the parking lot. They didn’t say one word to each other until they got on the main road.

“What the bloody hell is wrong with you?” Cammy cried out frustrated. “You could’ve got yourself killed!”

“Don’t argue with me Cammy!” Wagner yelled. “I’ve been thinking about it the moment I saw the cops. I was with the wrong people, I’ve drank when I wasn’t even suppose to, and I’m fully aware that there’s going to be big punishment ahead of me.”

“Well it’s not just that Wagner! I was asked to bring you to General McCall’s office right away to see a staff sergeant, I‘m not sure who. I don’t know what there going to do with you…there may be a chance of you being discharged from the Air Force…”

A shiver went up his spine. It was one of the things Wagner thought about while he was waiting in the cell. He knew of the possibility of being discharged from the Air Force, something he never wanted to happen, but not had taken seriously until now.

They were silent again until they reached the doors to General McCall’s office. When they entered an office, Wagner was surprised to see who was the staff sergeant he was going to talk to.

It was none other than his best friend Jake.

Wagner quietly sighed to himself. He knew he would have to deal with Jake later, but not like this. He turned to Cammy and nodded at her. She nodded back and she left them alone. He then closed the door behind him.

Wagner turned his head to Jake, who was in uniform. They saluted to one another before sitting down in their chairs.

“What did you do Wagner?” Jake asked him with a hint of disappointed with him. “We get a call last night saying that you got arrested for being drunk in public. Could you care to explain to yourself why you did this?”

Wagner sighed. “I was stupid…I haven’t done something like this since I was 15...I don’t know what I was thinking and I realized that I was with the wrong people. I planned on never having contact with them again…but I know it’s not enough.”

Jake nodded. “Wagner…before I continue, I want to let you know that I will be disciplining you like everyone else, not because you are my friend and roommate.”

Wagner nodded in agreement. From there, Jake continued, but a bit more harshly. “I had went through the violation policies before you came here…since this is your first violation under the Air Force, you won’t be discharged…that is unless you do it a second time. Is that understood?”

Again, Wagner only nodded. “And my punishment?”

“That I was about to state,” Jake answered. “You are suspended from classes for three days. Also, for three weeks, you will be cleaning the floors, windows, and tables of the cafeteria building and not one spot is to be missed. And I mean it Wagner, if you do something like this again, you’ll be discharged from the Air Force.”

Jake stood up and saluted to Wagner. Wagner stood up and did the same.

“Jake,” Wagner said. “I’m sorry about yesterday afternoon-”

“Don’t worry about it,” Jake said as he began paper work. After the salute, Jake hadn’t looked at him once. “You may go now…remember, you start cleaning tomorrow.”

Wagner stood there for a moment, a bit surprised by Jake’s tone. He knew it was Jake’s job to discipline him, but he didn’t think his tone would ever be that harsh.

I guess he and everyone else are still mad from yesterday afternoon to especially now…

Wagner sighed to himself again before leaving the office.

To Chapter Nine

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