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THE GREAT LAWNDALE EARTHQUAKE

by Mitch

wells17@gte.net

 

Chapter 1

Ironically, it was a peaceful time. It was a time

when,after two grueling years, the students of Lawndale High

were practicing for their graduation ceremonies in the auditorial

room. Daria, Jane, Kevin, Brittney, Chuck, Sandi, Jodie, and

Mack were all decked out in black robes and caps. In the

audience, for support, were Helen and Jake, Trent, Jesse, Quinn

and the Fashion Club, and the Three Js. "I'm so mortified," said

Daria. "Count your blessing," said Jane, "At least Ms. Li turned

down Brittney's suggestion on how to break tradition." "You mean

the swimsuits? -shudder- You're right. I stand corrected."

Ms. Li was on the podium with the graduates to be, along

with the rest of the Lawndale High faculty. She was apparently

reveling in this, believing herself to be a key part of the

students' development. The teachers with her seemed to share

those same feelings if not as engulfed by them. The exception to

this was apparently Mr. DeMartino, who still had that gruff

expression on his face and a stare that could wound if not kill.

"Now then, let us begin the practice ceremony. -ahem- Now,

over the years, there must have been times that were particularly

hard, times that seemed impossible to cope with..." Such as this

speech, thought Daria. Ms. Li continued her almost eternal

speech with her trademark pride for Lawndale High in her voice.

Before she could finish, however, a rumbling was heard. That

rumbling became a tremor that started shaking the auditorium.

Then, the supports started falling and caused the students to

panic. Most of the students, teachers, and guests ran towards

the same exit. Daria, however, was blocked by a fallen support.

Jane turned around and called for Daria. Trent ran for Daria and

they were both separated from the others by a wall of fallen

support. They both headed to the nearest exit as the earthquake

continued.

"Oof, ugh. Daria, you okay?" "Yeah, Trent. Thanks." They

looked at their surroundings. There was a Coke machine, two

bathrooms, and nothing else. "Where are we?" "I don't know.

Never been here before." "There's no food." "And the way back

is sealed off." There was a pause. "Trent, we're gonna die!"

"-gulp-Man!" Trent sat down next to her. He was visibly shaken.

Slowly, he turned to her. "Daria, I...I'm sorry. I..." "Easy,

Trent, easy. I know. You didn't mean it. It's not your fault."

"Thanks." "Well, you wouldn't be in this mess if you had to save

me." She stood up. "Might as well get rid of this thing." She

removed her cap and gown, revealing what was her usual attire

these days. She got rid of the jacket some time back and was now

wearing modest, but darkly colored, shirts. She still had her

black skirt and trademark boots. Her glasses were still too big

for her face but she wouldn't be Daria without them, or would

she?

-----

Trent turned and saw her...and loved and regretted it

simultaneously. Daria had developed some as a woman over the

past couple of years. Sure, she wasn't as...'early' as her

sister or that cheerleader girl, but there was something about

her that drew him to her. Still, they hadn't been too close

lately and he figured she had no special feelings toward him. In

the beginning, she didn't seem to like him but, surprisingly

quickly, she later started to accept him as a friend. Lately,

however, they had been drifting apart. Trent had given up trying

to get her attention and tried a few failed relationships to try

to fill a void in his life. She deserved better than him anyway.

Also, he had been planning to move to Woodland with the rest of

his band to start over. He hoped to see Daria before he left

though and, at least, tell her he was glad to know her. Well, at

least he got to see her again, too bad he had to forget about

moving.

As Trent looked out the window, watching Lawndale fall apart

by the ensuing quakes, he heard Daria's voice behind him

whispering, "Oh, God. He's suffering and I can't comfort him..."

Trent turned around. "Daria?" "Yeah?" "I...I'm sorry. I...I

didn't know." "Know what?" "You...you have someone out there,

don't you?" "What...what do you mean?" "There's someone out

there you like who's suffering and you wish you could be there to

comfort him." "Huh. Uh, Trent I was talking

about...well...you." "What?" "This is your town. You must be

hurting inside." "Uh, thanks. You're right, I am." "I'd sooner

think -you- had someone out there." "Uh, no I don't." Daria

looked puzzled. Then she shrugged. They both looked out the

window. Trent saw his reflection become uncomfortable. "Uh,

Daria? I have to...uh...you know..." "Huh? Oh. Yeah. Sure.

I'll be okay." Trent went to the men's room.

-----

Daria looked at her reflection, sighed, and sat down. She

wondered why Trent was acting so strangely. Maybe he was afraid

she'd do something to him for "killing" the two of them. Trent

would know better though. It was the earthquake that killed

them, not him. The way he was acting reminded her of herself

towards him during her first year in Lawndale, when she had a

puppy love type crush on him that she knew wouldn't take even

then. Did she ever get over that? Maybe not. She hadn't been

that close to him lately, but she still thought of him and those

were usually positive thoughts, friendly thoughts, and,

occasionally, shameful thoughts. None of these were thoughts

that she shared with her friend, and Trent's sister, Jane, even

though Jane had stopped teasing Daria about Trent being a

potential love interest for her some time ago.

-----

 

Chapter 2

Trent emerged from the bathroom to see Daria sitting and

apparently lost in thought. She looked so peaceful and yet so

distant...Trent snapped out his thought and approached her,

cautiously. "Daria?" he whispered. "Hmmm?" "You...okay? You

seem kind of...tense..." "Well," Daria returned "you seem kind

of nervous." Trent gulped. Was it -that- obvious? He silently

prayed that she couldn't tell what was bothering him...

"I...am?" "Yeah, I know what nervousness looks like, Trent. I

don't know -why- you're so nervous around me but..." Trent

sighed with relief at that statement. Then, he thought of

something. "Daria, do you want...now, you can say 'no' if you

don't want it, but..." Trent was so afraid he'd offend her with

what he was going to offer.

-----

"Just spit it out, Trent." "Want a -gulp- backrub?"

Daria's eyes opened wide. Was Trent offering her a backrub?

Well, he was right that she was feeling -sort of- tense right

now..."Sure, Trent. I would like a backrub right now." She

waited a moment and felt Trent's strong hands on her shoulders...

-----

 

 

Chapter 3

"Oooh...ahhh. Oh, yeah, Trent. That feels good. Move those

hands..." Trent smirked. "Stop scaring the readers, Daria. You

know I'm just giving you a backrub. Heck, you're even still

wearing you're shirt." "Well, your sister was always a bad

influence on me," Daria joked. "By the way, that's enough for

now." Trent took his hands off Daria's back and laid down. He

wondered what Janey was doing right now. He almost hoped that

she would send a rescue team after him and Daria, but since it

probably didn't look like they were alive now, no one would even

bother to look. It would probably take a few days for them to

starve and already it was starting to feel like forever. He

looked at Daria and wondered what she was thinking.

"Hey, Daria?" "Yeah, Trent?" "You want to know what I

want?" "No. What?" "The good old days." "Excuse me?" "Well,

I don't mean the -old- old days. I mean the 'just a little

later' old days. You know, the days right after you started to

like me and we started talking. Later on, we would talk

sometimes and...laugh together. I...enjoyed that." "You did?"

"Yeah. Your laugh was a rare treat and I...really enjoyed

talking with you." Trent gulped before stating, "I'm... guessing

that it started with you liking me." Daria seemed uncomfortable.

"Uh...well..." Trent lowered his head. "That's okay.

You...don't have to respond to that." "But, Trent, I...well..."

"If you're uncomfortable in what you're about to say, don't say

it." "-sigh-Alright."

Trent felt like he just gave his hopes up. The way Daria

was acting, she probably -didn't- start liking him when they

started talking. If that was true, then why -did- they talk.

Maybe she thought he was lonely or maybe she was just trying to

be nice. Well, he was still glad their conversations happened,

even if -she- didn't like them. However, Trent had always

hoped..."Hey, Trent?" "Yeah, Daria?" "I...always liked our

conversations too." "Really." "Yeah. We always had some real

thoughtful stuff come between us. You...have an interesting

outlook." "I do?" "Yeah." Trent felt better now. Still, he

wanted to lighten the mood some more. Then he remembered

something.

He reached in his pocket and pulled out a miniature

stereo/tape player. Music technology had improved a little the

last two years. "Hey, Daria, I have one of these tape and stereo

things with a tape in it. You want to hear something?" "What's

on it?" "Well, there's a few fast songs, a slow song..." "Slow

song." "What?" "Slow song. It'll get my mind off things."

"Okay, Daria." He pushed play and a soothing slow song played.

Outside, the sun was setting. The sunset was beautiful. He

turned and saw a relaxing Daria. So was he. Somehow, Trent

built up his courage, probably because what he was going to ask

would only be a hint and his world wouldn't die if she refused

just a little gesture. He stood and asked, "Daria, would you

care to ask?" "Hmmm?" Trent realized his mistake. Good one,

Lane, he thought. "Would you care to dance?" She smiled al

ittle and said, "Sure. I'd be glad to." She took his offered

hand and took the other...

-----

 

Chapter 4

Daria and Trent danced for a while. Neither of them were

quite majestic and they kept stepping on each other's feet and

apologizing. When the song ended, Trent turned the player off

and they both sat down. They rested for a bit.

"It's pretty late," said Daria after a while. "Yeah," said

Trent. "Let's get some sleep." "Great. But...it's a cold night

and we don't have any blankets." "Well, we have your graduation

robe." Daria looked at it. "Well, it's not like I'm gonna be

leaving with it now." Daria looked at Trent. "Uh, there's only

one, Trent." "That's okay. You can take the whole one. I sleep

without blankets all the time." "I...don't think that's a good

idea Trent. Look, let's sleep toge...-next- to each other."

Trent gulped. "Well,...o-okay Daria..."

They wrapped the robe over their bodies and tried to get as

cozy as possible. It wasn't the first time neither of them had

pillows. They were as comfortable as they could get and tried

their best to get to sleep. "'Night, Trent." "'Night, Daria."

-----

 

Chapter 5

Daria awoke to see the sun rising over Lawndale's remains in

the window. She remembered the night before and sat up. Trent

was apparently still asleep, of course...

She gently shook him. "Trent, time to wake up." No

response. She sighed, wondering why she expected him to get up

before noon. "Trent, get up now..." Still, no response. Daria

began to get worried. "Trent, you okay?" She turned Trent's

head so she could see his face. When she touched his skin, it

felt...cold. His face was a ghostly white. Daria felt scared.

"Trent, don't give up on me now..." She felt his lips. They

were cold. She was on the verge of tears. Almost reluctantly,

she took his hand. It was limp. "No, Trent, no.

You're...too...stubborn. Please..., don't leave me. You...you

made me happy, you hear me? You...kept me...company..." She

checked for his pulse. There was none. The realization stabbed

her as tears flowed down her cheeks...

-----

Trent was surprised he got up so early. Remembering last

night, he turned and saw a wonderful young woman lying next to

him. He smiled. He hated to wake her but...

"Daria, time to get up." No response. Strange. He never

thought of Daria as being lazy. "Daria?" Come to think of it,

she usually responded to him on the first or second try. Maybe

she wasn't feeling well. "Daria, you okay?" He turned her head

around, and saw a fearful vision of Daria with less pigmentation

lying...very still. Ultimate terror struck Trent at that moment.

He reached for her cheek. It was...so...cold. He was too afraid

to take her hand. He already knew what had happened...Trent

wanted to scream...

-----

"TRENT!" "DARIA!" The two of them were now sitting up in

their "blanket". It was still night. They turned around and saw

each other. Both wanted to hug the other to prove that the

vision was just a dream, but they were still too nervous to

reveal their feelings for one another. "Uh, I'm sorry. I..."

"No. My fault. I had a bad dream..." "Same here..." "Well,

good night again." "Same here." The two lay down for a while...

-----

 

Chapter 6

Daria awoke in the middle of the night and saw Trent

sleeping. He was so...peaceful. He didn't even snore. She

always enjoyed seeing him like that. He was so...well...cute.

He was always nice to her and that was the real reason she liked

him. She sighed, thinking about how Trent had a few girlfriends

the past few years. She took that as an omen that the two of

them weren't right for a relationship after all. Daria

remembered feeling hurt but feeling happy for him at the same

time. At least she and Trent were still friends, that was

probably the most important thing. She told the truth earlier

when she said that she missed the days when the two of them would

talk. Daria and Trent may have started shaky, basically because

she was so shy around him at first, but they became better

friends as time moved on. They had some good times, even when

things looked down for them. They always took some comfort from

each other when something bad would happen, which seemed to

happen every week. Lately, her work and his music and been

getting in between them. Daria started to miss Trent. She

wondered if she ever kept her crush on him, since it was so

undercontrol these days. Something occurred to Daria, she never

had a relationship in the past two years. Why? Deep down,she

realized, she must still be drawn to, maybe even...love, Trent.

Perhaps she was just holding back her emotions, thinking that

seeing him as a friend would help her and him get on with their

lives. Well, she still liked him, respected him, thought he was

good looking, loved his music, thought he was good with his

lyrics, thought he was nice, had good values, liked his goatee,

undressed him with her eyes, was starting to have rather sinful

thoughts of him again...oh her God. She -did- still love him.

Too bad, she figured, Trent only saw her as a friend. Daria

sighed. Here we go again, she thought. After a while of staring

at Trent's face, she thought of all the little things she

wantedto do with them if they both loved each other. She would

kiss his noise, put her hand through his hair, cuddle with him.

The last one would have made her fall asleep faster instead of

until that moment.

-----

Chapter 7

Trent opened his eyes and saw Daria sleeping. She looked so

peaceful to him. He quickly reminded himself that she could be a

little dangerous when she was awake. One of the things he liked

about her was how Daria could probably conquer the world if you

let her. She was too smart and too darn invernable to stop. He

just wished, as perspective as she otherwise was, she would

notice him. Trent wondered, had Daria noticed him and was simply

ignoring his advances? She was smart enough for that. She was

probably ignoring him hoping that he couldn't tell wouldn't hurt

his feelings. Maybe Daria -did- care enough about him to be his

friend but didn't want to go further than that. At least she

-was- a good friend. She had always been nice to him and was

able to give Janey some much needed company.

The thing was, Daria was better looking than people gave her

credit for. He couldn't believe that she never had a

relationship during the past two years. Basically, she was so

modest and had more important things than popularity to worry

about, that she wasn't into the mini-shirts and tight pants the

other girls wore. Trent liked that. Also, she didn't wear

makeup. Trent didn't think she needed any. She was all natural.

That was what mattered.

Trent thought of how he would love to stroke her hair right

then, kiss her cheek, and, if he was fortunate, cuddle next to

her. The reason he didn't was because he didn't want to insult

her if that wasn't what she wanted. That was why, Trent

realized, he never asked her out. Still, it was fun to dream.

He imagined having a relationship with her, caring for her,

having fun together, and, in his highest but least likely hopes,

being intimate with her. He thought of what could happen if they

had a child together. It would be beautiful and he'd love it

forever. Strangely, Trent never saw himself as a family man, but

it would be worth it if he could win Daria's heart.

Still, Trent figured, Daria deserved better. He was an

unemployed guitarist and she was, well, -everything-. He sighed,

figuring that everything he just thought of would never happen

and was probably reserved for someone more deserving.

Unfortunately, that person would never get his chance because

Trent and Daria would unknowingly die in this room. Trent cursed

himself for denying the world of such a sweet creature that could

have made a lot of difference in this insane world. Before

falling asleep, he vowed to make Daria as happy as possible

before the end. Whether or not he would reveal his true feelings

for her, he did not know.

Chapter 11

When they awoke they discovered that they had been shifting

in their sleep. Trent and Daria's arms were now wrapped around

each other. When Daria noticed where her arms were, she removed

them immediately. "Oh! Sorry, Trent." "That's okay." Daria

noticed that Trent was holding her. He must be trying to comfort

me in all this, she thought. He had always been nice to her.

-----

"Uh, thanks," she said. This puzzled Trent. He thought she

would spurn his advance like she always did. Maybe she's scared,

he thought. He had never known Daria to be afraid of anything.

Still, near-certain death would scare anyone. Trent was scared

himself. He remembered his vow to make Daria happy. "Daria," he

asked, "what are your future plans?" He used present tense in

case past tense would upset her.

"Well," said Daria, "I was going to move to Woodland..."

"Woodland?" "Yeah. It's near..." "No, I mean I was going to

move there too. Actually, the band was. We were going to start

over." "Hmmm. Surprising. Anyway, I was going to enter college

and become a writer. Maybe do a column or a series of novels."

"You'd do fine," said Trent, "You were always good with that."

"Thanks. I admit I always liked your music." "You do?" "Yeah,

you have a great singing voice." Trent looked at her. He

thought of how this had been the closest the two of them had been

in so long. He knew he wasn't worthy of her. He wasn't sure if

any man was worthy of her. Trent was honored to even -know-

Daria at all. He wondered if...he should tell her. The worst

that could happen was her turning him down. He was almost

expecting that and he wouldn't have as much time to regret it.

"Trent, you okay? You look kinda sad." Trent gulped. It had

become a little too noticeable. He had to tell her. She

-deserved- to know. "Daria, I have something to confess." "What

is it?" "Well, first I want you to know that at first, I was

only glad that you were a friend for Janey. Then, when -we-

started talking, I liked what I heard. You were interesting.

You were also the smartest girl I had met. You were a good

person. You could take over the world if you wanted. Also, how

can I say this, you're, well,-gulp-, beautiful. I can't believe

no one would try to kill for that hair alone. You were always so

wonderfully modest, no one noticed. You...you're perfect. I

guess that's why..."

"I love you."

Trent was shocked. Daria said THAT to HIM? Trent must have

been dreaming. No, he could tell that he wasn't. "Trent," said

Daria, "make yourself comfortable. I've got a long story to

tell."

Chapter 12

"Trent, when we first met about two years ago, something

amazing happened. I liked you. I thought it was just a brush of

hormones, so I shook it off. Then we met again, and I got that

feeling again. I was so paralized I couldn't really talk. I

guess I was in denial since I never liked a guy before or maybe I

thought that since you were considerably older than me and I'm

not exactly attractive like my sister or anything, you wouldn't

be intersted anyway. Anyway, when we started talking I got a

little more compfortable around you and hoped, if anything, you

would see me as a friend. Don't think that I just saw having you

as a friend as a consolation prize, Trent. I honestly enjoyed

our friendship since, besides you, all I ever had was Jane and

probably Jesse. I loved our talks, hearing you laugh, the times

we spent together. Anyway, when you started dating, I was hurt.

Then I figured, 'Trent is still my friend'. So, I stayed as your

friend, finally thinking that maybe we were better off that way

anyway. I honestly felt saddened with each of your breakups

since you were so happy before each one. When you were happy, I

was happy. If I was like my sister, I'd probably try to 'steal'

you, but I'm not like her and I wouldn't take advantage of you

when you were upset. I'd rather help you. Well, now that we

have a limited time to live, I guess I can say what I should've

said long ago: I love you, Trent Lane, even if you don't love

me."

Trent couldn't be more stunned. It was like he was

dreaming. Yet, it -was- real. Daria loved him but respected

their friendship by not telling him. It was so...something. He

couldn't find an approprate word for how it felt. He didn't

really feel compfortable about telling her how -he- felt. Sure,

he understood her perfectly, but how would she take -his- story?

Would she even believe him now? Even if she did, she would

probably hate him now for not telling her when they could have

-done- something about it. Still, she -deserved- to know she was

loved, even at Trent's loss. "Daria, I don't remember exactly

how it happened or when, but..., -gulp-I love you too." He

expected her to slap him. Instead, he felt her arms around him.

"Thank you," she whispered, "I guessed that by the way you were

acting tonight, but it seemed too good to be true." Trent smiled

for the first time in a while. He tried to kiss her. "Uh,

Trent?" "Yeah, Daria?" "I don't kiss on the first date." "Oh."

Just then, the air conditioners went out.

 

Chapter 13

"What was that?" "The power went out." "You mean..." "The

air conditioners are dead. Now we'll suffocate instead of

starve."

Daria and Trent held each other closer. "Daria, I thought

you would hate me for keeping my feelings secret so long."

"Trent, we're -both- at fault. I should have told you too."

"But, I mean, we could have -been- something...!"

"We can -still- be something."

It was all in the little things they did. They held each

other, felt through each other's hair, looked in each other's

eyes, whispered private jokes to each other, and just plain loved

each other. Daria did let Trent kiss her, just so she wouldn't

kiss him, even though she secretly wanted to.

-----

"-cough--cough-Daria?" "Yeah, Trent?" "I think it's

happening." "What do you mean?" "I...think I'm...suffocating."

"Oh, God..." "Daria, tell me, do you have a...last wish?"

"What?" "Earlier, I promised myself that you would be happy. So,

ask for something, anything." "Well, there's something but...no.

It's too juvenile, too...personal." "What? You can tell me."

"I...want to see you naked." Trent blushed. That was

understandable. "Okay." Daria was -not- expecting him to

respond that way. "So, what do I do?" "You really want to do

through with this, Trent?" "If you want me to, yeah." "Well,

just...just drop 'em. Nothing fancy." "Okay." Trent removed

his shirt and his pants and Daria enjoyed every minute of it.

She interrupted him with, "Trent, keep the boxers on. You look

cute in them." Trent smiled.

-----

Chapter 14

"Daria, I...I think I'm dying..., getting...short of

breath..." "Trent, please, don't say that..." "No, it's true.

I...can feel it..." "Then...why aren't I dying?" "Maybe God

likes you more than he does me." "Trent, don't say that. Your

one of the best guys I've known. You have a reason to live."

"You're the best woman I've ever known. Tell Janey that I love

her and that Jesse was the best friend I could ever have." "I

will". "I love you, Daria." "I love you too Trent, and I'll

always remember you." Daria was on the verge of tears. Trent

put his hand on her cheek. "Don't cry, Daria. I want to see the

Daria I always knew...," Trent stopped himself. "Daria, would

you do me a favor?" "Sure Trent, what...?" Daria realized the

door she opened when she asked Trent to strip down. "Would you

take off...your glasses?" "Huh? Oh, sure." She did. Trent pu

this hand up to her cheek again. He smiled. "You're beautiful."

That did it. Daria leaned over and kissed Trent on the lips.

"I...I thought..." "We've known each other for a long time,

Trent," said Daria, "This isn't our first date." Trent smiled.

"Heaven...won't have angels...as good as...you..." Trent's eyes

shut.

-----

Daria was crying. She had finally broken down. Trent was

still alive, but his pulse was stopping and there was no hope

left for him. The man she respected the most, the man she loved,

was dying. She felt Trent's chest. Daria looked back at her

life, from being born in Highland, to Quinn's birth, to moving to

Lawndale, to the past two years. She tried to find something in

her life to be proud of. She did. She never gave in to

pointlessness. Even at times she probably did, it was short-

lived and quickly forgotten. She never wrote a novel or became

Queen of some foreign land, but at least her -real- goals were

more realistic than Quinn's or a lot of people. Earlier, she and

Trent were discussing about their funeral and wither or not they

would be remembered. Trent told her that her family and their

friends -would- remember her, and he was probably right. She had

done things that would be very difficult to forget and, despite

what some may have said of her, she knew that her family loved

her. Besides, near the end, she finally fell in love, and that

was what she might have needed at the time. She smiled and held

Trent close to her. All she wished was there their could have

been a time when she and Trent would...would...it's amazing what

type of circumstance would allow someone to have dirty thoughts

of another. Daria figured that she deserved the pleasure at

least one sinful thought if she couldn't have the reality of it.

That thought was interrupted when Daria felt another earthquake

around her.

Chapter 16

Daria had moved herself into a corner when she saw the next

earthquake destroy the roof. She shielded Trent and tried to

brace herself from the debris. Soon, the shaking stopped. Daria

slowly picked her head up and saw that the roof had collapsed.

The night air was coming in. They were going to live! Now if

only...Trent would make it. "Trent?" No answer. "Trent, wake

up. Please."

-----

Trent felt air reaching his nostrils. He slowly opened his

eyes. He saw the night sky, filled with stars. I must be in

Heaven, he thought. Strange, he continued, I expected clouds.

Well, maybe it was night. Then he saw a familiar angel look down

on him. This is so cool, thought Trent, now Daria and I can be

together forever. "Trent, you're alive!" "I...am?" He got up.

It hurt some to get up, so he -must- have been alive. "Woah,

Daria. Remind me never to lock myself in an airtight chamber."

Daria grinned. "I won't, Trent. Now, let's try to get out of

here."

-----

Daria and Trent had managed to climb out of the hole in the

roof of where they were. Fortunately, it was a low ceiling.

They groggily made it back to the main building. Trent was more

groggy than Daria. She hoped they could find help for him soon.

When they opened the door, they found Jane and Jesse hugging each

other. They both reacted at the sight of Trent and Daria.

"You...you're ALIVE!" "Barely." Trent collapsed. The other

three surrounded him. "I'll...I'll be okay, Daria. You...find

your family." "Okay, Trent. There are a few things I want to do

anyway." She leaned over and kissed him. "'Bye. I'll see you

later."

As she left, she heard Jane ask Trent, "It...happened? Say,

did you guys..." "No."

-----

Daria later met Jesse and the Lanes again. "Is Trent okay?"

"Oh, yeah. He's fine." Daria kneeled to face Trent who had his

back propped up to the wall. "You okay, Trent?" "Yeah. I was

talking to Janey and Jesse. We were going to get some pizza

afterwards. Wanna come with?" Daria smiled. "I don't think I'm

gonna be far from your side for a while, Trent."

-----

EPILOGUE

Daria awoke in the middle of the night covered only by her

blanket. She looked at the ring that had been on her finger for

the past five years. The said ring was placed there five years

after the earthquake. Earlier that evening, she and Trent had

just had the most romantic night of their lives. She turned to

him and his eyes opened. He grinned his killer smile. Without a

word, Daria reached for her husband's hair. She felt like

singing but would not allow it. Instead. Daria simply smiled and

let a tune be thought in her head. La la LA la la, she thought,

la la LA la la.

 

THE BEGINNING