Chapter XXVII – Out of the Island

After about three hours of sleeping, a knock woke Rem. He opened his eyes and it was Jimmy asking him to get dressed as they will go back to the training island. Just outside the lodge, he saw Benedict and not far from him are the escorts, including Jimmy and Dricks.

After a few minutes, Anikka and Marybeth appeared.

All four of them were instructed to go to a table a few meters from where they were. The table offers fresh fruits and vegetables as well as warm bread along with bowls of different spreads like fruits jams, butter peanut butter, chocolates and much more. As soon as they were all seated servers came, giving them tasty and steaming hot chicken soup.

After their delicious meal, the trainees were informed that they will still stay in the island for a few more hours because their training for the day was suspended. The four just spent their day swimming through the ocean, playing around and wrestling with each other. There were meals in between.

At about 5:00 p.m. they were notified that the aircraft that will bring them back to the island was now waiting. The four didn’t waste any time and immediately went to the bathroom and get dressed. In the helicopter, Rem opted to sit beside Marybeth just in front the door, so he can help her out later.

After arriving at the training island, Rem again was the first person to alight. He immediately gave Marybeth a hand. To make things not obvious he also helped Anikka and even Benedict. In the dome, the four just stayed in the living while waiting for their dinner. There, they talked about the fun they had for almost 48 hours. Everyone was laughing and fooling around.

Their fun conversation continued while they were eating. Rem, however, will simply show some sweet gestures to Marybeth such as making hearts using the catsup on her plate, giving his potatoes knowing that they are her favorites, and slicing her steak.

Before entering their corresponding rooms, Rem pulled Marybeth and kissed her on her cheeks whispering “I love you.”

*****

The next day, Rem knew that they are about to leave. So, during their bath time, he gave Benedict tremendous amount of advice and glimpse of what will happen to them in the near future.

Rem thought his suspicions were correct when he was handed with pair camouflage pants, a garrison belt, white shirt and a pair of combat shoes. During the morning meal, Rem can’t help but become emotional. His feelings were overflowing — he was excited because of the chances that he will have for his parents. However, he was also lonely as he’s about to be separated to Benedict and Anikka and nervous because of no assurance to what will happen between him and Marybeth.

As Benedict and Anikka continued with the training, Rem and Marybeth were asked to wait in the living room. There, overwhelming emotions were felt. The two were silent for about 30 minutes. Then, he decided to break the ice.

“This is it,” said Rem while they were sitting on the couch. “We are about to do our duties.”

Marybeth smiled and looked at Rem. She then kissed him.

“I’m nervous, but inspired because of you,” Marybeth said after kissing Rem.

Rem kissed her back and this time, they lock their lips for about a minute.

“I love you,” Rem said. “I’m hoping that the tasks given to us won’t separate us. It is such an honor to become an Arkiman. But, it’s the greatest to be with the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. And for me that is you.”

Marybeth’s eyes watered. Rem wiped her tears using both thumbs.

“Listen,” Rem said with his palms on her cheeks. “I won’t promise anything. Bu,t I will try my best to stay alive. I will hold on to my love, your love and our warmth for each other. I am only asking you for one thing, please do the same.”

Marybeth was nodding the whole time. She loved what she heard. Rem then hugged her tight.

The hugging sessions were disturbed by Jimmy and Marybeth’s escort. They were instructed to go outside because the helicopter was already waiting for them.

Outside are the mentors along with Anikka, Benedict, and their corresponding escorts waiting for Rem and Marybeth. The two were asked to do military parade rest in front of their mentors and the rest of the group.

“Alright soldiers. This is the last time you will see this place,” said Steve Stemper. “Unless, you are ordered to come back… “Later you will go back to reality where you must have to fulfill your corresponding tasks. Your vow as an Arkiman, understand?”

“Sir, yes sir,” replied the two.

“Say goodbye to your folks.”

Rem and Marybeth walked towards their corresponding mentors. This time, however, he was not that emotional and just gave everyone a hug in respect of them. He broke down after seeing Anikka and Benedict crying. Tears fell from his eyes because he knew he will leave them. He also pitied them knowing the fact that their lives were being wasted.

Stemper stopped the emotional moment and asked the trainees to aboard the aircraft. There, Vincent joined them, informing them that he serve as their manager as they fulfill their vows.

Then, they are up in the air.

Rem looked down and saw the people starting to go back to the dome. Each breath became deeper knowing that he will now face the uncertain. He turned to Marybeth who was also looking at him. He gave her a half smile, squeezed her chin using his thumb and pointing finger, and looked back below.