Home of grunge, Starbucks coffee, big tech, and notorious for crime and drug trafficking, Seattle Washington is a city clearly holding its own with reputation for originality–good and bad.
For some students? This winter break couldn’t have gone by any faster. Raging parties, inches of snow, on and off rainstorms, street-blocked protests and a handful of national headlines kept everyone busy with something. But for others.. this break would be more accurately characterized as a long, irritating sentence at a shitty local rehab center. Literal and figurative.
Well-received or entirely dreaded, the second semester at Roosevelt High was bound to happen eventually. As luck would have it, the first day of school would have no hint of rain in it’s forecast but even so the dreary January clouds still painted the skyline above–signaling rain any day now..
The school itself stood as it always did–littered with kids in their own little circles all over campus. Skateboarders pulling tricks on the front rails, all types of students congregating in the parking lot or hallway, a fight being broken up at the courts per usual, and others getting their last few hits of whatever it was they were smoking in hidden corners all over the school before–
Oh, right. Well that’s the bell. Better get to class before Ms. Mancini finds you and makes you do something arguably NOT in the code of conduct--or holds you up in her office to talk about her fourth divorce. Have a great day :-)
weighing out the bits of weed on the silver scale, it was hard for the boy to keep his focus. the blinds were slightly open, letting in a tiny bit of light into his dark room but not much. jack's dark locks hung over his tired eyes as he leaned over to bag-up the flower, sealing it and tossing the tiny plastic onto his wooden desk. the teenager was only back for not even a day, but people were already hitting him up for their fixes–just how jack liked it. well, just how jack needed it actually. spending over a month in rehab after an already financially crippling opiate addiction surely left him with the lowest funds he’d had in a long time. though, he shrugged this matter off. it was always like this. the cycle of money coming in, going out, getting splurged, then doubling–even tripling. that was just how business was for the last few years. luckily, he lived next to a trap house able to sell him weed the night before to sell and he did have bottles of some extra pills he hadn’t sold yet at the time of his overdose. it’d keep him floating for a bit, but the boy new he’d have to talk to his main plug for the hard stuff. that was the the shit that really sold.
however.. jack had an impeding feeling in his stomach thinking about cam–his main plug. it was hard to remember the weeks leading up to his overdose. he honestly wasn’t certain if he’d even paid back the senior from his last hefty purchase from him. hopefully he did though, keeping in good relations with cam was important. and he liked the guy. he was chill and probably one the best wholesalers in the city–even at his young age. jack palmed his forehead, squinting his eyes shut and shaking his head–trying to keep himself awake.
he’d spent the entire night making music on his laptop–trying to make up for all the lost time.
and just not being able to sleep like usual.
one of his most recent drops on soundcloud amassed a good 40-thousand streams, which was actually quite surprising for only being up for a couple months. he’d never done streams like this in such a small amount of time before. and people–producers, fans, vocalists, even random e-girls were dm-ing him out of nowhere. which at least for jack, was not ordinary even in the slightest. it was always laury and luke who were the popular ones in their group. what with their active personalities online and actually having photos of them on their social media pages. it came to be quite the unexpected merit for jack and probably a big sign he probably shouldn’t screw around with his opiate addiction ever again.
pfft or maybe i should disappear more often, he laughed to himself–making his way to the kitchen to brew some coffee.
he popped a suboxone tablet and washed it down with the hot drink, immediately realizing he’d probably regret that decision. after glancing at his phone, the time was 7:45am and he barely had time to grab a bite. eating this early was always difficult though, maybe he’d grab something from the vending machine outside of english instead.
jack strolled back into his room and pulled one his favorite band tees over his head–pairing it with some baggy dark jeans. he fastened his belt, catching a glimpse of his face in the mirror then immediately turning his head away from the sight. no further contemplations on this. he hated looking in the mirror for too long, but he’d take one last look to scruff his hair up in a way he could tolerate it.
the boy cracked his left knuckles as he scrolled through his social media feeds with his other hand. usually it made him sick looking thru his phone for this long, but he had to admit he was excited to see laury. and luke. and june. his three best friends. it’d been way too long since they’d all hung out and jack really hoped they all had a class together. not having a class with any of them? now that’d be a fucking nightmare. he chewed at the inside of his cheek for a moment, picturing exactly what he was about to do in twenty minutes. skateboard down chester road, turn left at the intersection then arrive at his least favorite place. well second, now, to the west seattle youth rehabilitation center. but a close second at that.
jack loathed showing up to school. a ton of people all congregated in one area. loud, annoying, cramped. always teachers or random students trying to get him to speak up when all he wanted to do was leave. or at the very least, just sit there with headphones in his ears.
his drug sponsor encouraged him to actually give this semester a try and ‘see how it went’--or something like that, but inside jack couldn’t help but feel uncomfortably vulnerable being there. especially with his newly sobered self. he anxiously picked at the skin above his jaw–reveling in his anxious cognizance as he spaced out over a photo on his instagram explore page. luckily, the small dose of suboxone would prevent his thoughts from convincing him to take a detour. relapsing not even a day out? now that would be depressing.
jack’s eyes refocused at the sight of notification popping up on his phone. haru.
the boy quickly grabbed the small ziploc laid out on his desk, throwing his sneakers on and making his way towards the front door.
Alexandra sat on her bed smoking a joint out her window as she scrolled on her phone, her finger lingered over Jack's name as she thought about texting him, he had o'd during the winter break she had found out and she felt that she needed to reach out, especially since he had been one of the first to message her after she had during the summer. Taking a long drag of her joint, Alex pressed on Jacks name and wrote the message, short and sweet just to let him know she was there for him, she almost didn't expect the reply from him and was even more shocked to be the only one he apparently replied to. Texts went back and forth before eventually fizzling out as Alex stubbed the dregs of the joint on the ashtray and lay back on her bed. She bit her lip as she thought about what to do now, her thoughts were broken by the shouting and loud bangs outside her room and her head quickly turned towards the door, John had obviously found the whiskey again and the sound of smashing glass echoing through the apartment confirmed it in her head. Alex carefully stood up of the bed and snuck quietly but quickly towards her bedroom door, she knew she couldn't make a noise or the attention would be brought towards her. Alex locked her bedroom door before quietly tiptoeing back to her bed, as she lay down Alex released the breath she didn't even realise she was holding, she turned onto her side as she picked up her phone again, a grin spreading on her lips as Cam finally replied to her.
As it started getting late, Alex took out her headphones and paused her music taking in the now silent and still apartment, it seemed they had finally calmed down and hopefully passed out. She took her headphones out and placed them carefully in the bag beside her bed. Alex always had a bag ready to go beside her with the essentials incase something happened and she needed to get out. With her door now locked she didn't feel the necessity but it was now a habit to her. Alex placed her phone into the bag before she turned around and allowed herself to settle into sleep.
Alex awoke to a loud bang and jumped awake startled as her foggy brain tried to scramble together what was happening but before she even had time to open her eyes and assess the situation she felt a sharp blow to her stomach and her mind finally figured it out, John had kicked her door down. She tried to scream out but a punch to the jaw quickly stopped that as she felt the blood already beginning to run down her chin. Alex tried to fight back, to escape but the man towered over her by at least 6 inches and having been attacked while asleep had left her essentially powerless, she managed to get up and made a dash for the door but in seconds she was thrown back onto the floor. After he seemed to have gotten the violent urge out of his system John walked off without a word, Alex heard him open the fridge as she lay there with her eyes closed, her body ached and the draw to just go back into darkness was powerful but she forced herself up and quickly threw on her shoes and grabbed her bag off the floor, listening intently to her surroundings before climbing out her window of the second floor apartment and down to the ground. Staring up at her window she saw a shadow moving back into her room without a second thought Alex ran down the road and away from her home.
About an hour later, Alex was sitting at the side of the road near the off licence that was close to her house pretty wasted trying to drown out the thoughts of the nights events. It was just gone 2am as she looked at her phone, taking another swig of the bourbon in her hand. She decided to try and find a party to go to with preferably drugs in tow. Alex had completely forgotten she had texted Cam to get her until she suddenly became aware of him standing in front of her. Her eyes locked on his and that is when Alex finally gave into her emotions and the memory of what had happened as her body began to shake and tears rolled freely down her cheeks. "I was asleep, it was locked..." was all she was able to get out, her voice trembling. She pressed her face into his shoulder as she leaned her body into his in a hug. Pulling back, Alex tried to give him a small smile but her eyes landed on the small bit of blood on Cam's t shirt from her lip. "Oh im sorry" she told him, her voice sounding as small and broken as she felt. With the help of Cam, Alex stood up as she took her last sip of bourbon, the alcohol and physical hurt finally took a toll on her as she felt herself starting to fall and everything went black.
Alex awoke the following morning and the first thing she noticed was the aches in her body. She sat up slowly, confusion making her head spin as she opened her eyes and looked around ..Cams room? Her eyes landed on Cam beside her still asleep. Her nose and eyes scrunched for a couple of seconds as she tried to figure out why she was here before her mind woke and the memory of last night came flooding back to her. Her hand gently went to her lip by instinct as she flinched at the pain it caused. She remembered Cam meeting her at the off licence but that was where her memory ran out, the bourbon having done exactly what she needed it to do. Alex quietly got out of bed so not to wake him and made her way towards the bathroom picking up the bag of clothes and makeup she tended to keep in Cam's for when situations like last night arose, although she would admit last night was the worst it had been in a while.
In the bathroom, she examined her wounds and frowned as she caught sight of her stomach before looking at her face in the mirror. Alex washed her face gently before applying a light coverage of makeup, normally she wouldn't bother with makeup for school but it was necessary this morning to cover her split lip and bruised cheek. But makeup can only go so far, she managed to cover the blackening bruise to the point that you would only see it if you were looking for it or knew it was there, the lip on the other hand was a lot harder to hide due to the swelling and the cut. She stared at herself in the mirror, her eyes focused on the scared looking girl staring back at her before forcing herself to put the mask of the uncaring bitch back on her face. She changed into her black skinny jeans, a purple v neck string top and after careful consideration she placed on a black jacket, a light one so she could keep it on for the day to hide the bruises on her arms and January was a cold enough month so no question should be asked. Alex went back into the bedroom and sat on the bed as she put on her heels and shoved the emergency bag back under the bed where it belonged. "Thank you for getting me last night" she gave Cam a small smile "and also sorry if i woke you". Alex knew what was coming, Cam was going to ask her if she was ok and what had happened and as usual Alex was going to brush it off, say she was fine and try to forget about it. Instead of having the same conversation again, Alex stood up and made her way towards the bedroom door "Get ready for school, I'll make coffee and then we should get going".
Haru wasn't typically an early riser, especially not on school days. Akari usually had to wake him a few times before he actually got dressed. That morning, however, he was a man on a mission. Jack was back from wherever the fuck he'd been all winter break and Haru could score again. It wasn't that he missed Jack, he just didn't trust any other dealer. They could put any old stuff in his weed, but Jack was infamous around school and had been his dealer for a while now, he trusted him not to, you know, spike him.
Akari was pleasantly surprised that he was awake so early. This was the start of a new semester, maybe he wanted to start fresh and get his act together? Maybe this was the semester he made more friends? Not that his current friends weren't nice, but, you know, more friends. He even came downstairs dressed rather than in his pyjamas.
He stood inpatiently in front of the toaster, watching his bread heat up.
Oh my god, hurry up.
He thought to himself. He just wanted to get out of the house. If he was too late to Jack's, then he wouldn't have time to smoke it-- or hide it, depending on how he felt when he got on campus. Maybe today was one of those days where he needed to be high to get through it. Especially if he had to deal with his cousin. Akari seemed to want him to babysit her, but the two of them agreed they'd much rather be independent from eachother, putting on a bit of an act around their mother.
Haru still jumped when his toast popped, despite watching it so intently and fully expecting it to happen. He tried to spread the jam on it as quickly as possible, scarfing it down. Akari watched with a look of concern.
"You're gonna choke, you know,"
She warned him, sipping coffee from her "world's best mom" mug. Haru coughed as she spoke up.
He replied, finishing off his toast and licking the last crums of jammy toast from his thumb.
"Uhhh, I'm gonna go,"
He muttered, gesturing to the door as he grabbed his backpack.
"I-- Okay, have a good day,"
As Haru rushed towards the door, his mother piped up again.
"Uh, Haru! Aren't you forgetting something?"
Haru frowned, looking back at her. He had his bag, his books, money for lunch... He looked perturbed.
"You're driving Miyu to school, remember?"
His eyes drifted to his cousin who sat silently at the breakfast bar, savouring each bite of her nutella on toast.
"Because I got you a car, Haru, why would I pay for her to take the bus?"
Haru rolled his eyes. This threw a wrench in his plans, he was either going to have to drop her off first, then go to Jacks, bring her to Jacks, OR not score until later. God-fucking-damnit. He didn't have the patience to wait and he didn't have time to drop Miyu off... He was bringing Miyu to the drug deal.
He huffed, waving his hand in front of Miyu. It made her jump a little, but not as much as it would have if he'd touched her.
Miyu simply dropped her toast on the plate and got to her feet, waving to Akari with a smile. Akari blew her a kiss as she did every morning and the two headed out to Haru's car.
The two got in his car, Miyu shovelling whatever crap he'd left on his passenger seat into the back, and the two set off towards the school. Miyu fiddled with his radio, trying to find something she could feel through the speakers, but Haru was too focused to care. He was trying to figure out how he was going to do this. What if Miyu snitched to their mum?
He pulled up at the end of Jack's driveway, sending Jack a quick text to tell him he was there. He then turned to Miyu, signing to her.
"I need to get something, stay in the car,"
"What? No, your car is gross,"
"Seriously? I'll be like, two minutes,"
Miyu simply huffed. His car really was gross, it smelled of whatever food he'd eaten in there this past week.
As Haru got out, Miyu followed, and he shot her a death glare over the top of his car.
"I'll wait here,"
She signed, and Haru simply rolled his eyes. Maybe he could just do it... sneakily. He left Miyu leaning against the car while he wandered up the drive to meet Jack.
Tori woke up to her alarm going off and reached over with her eyes still closed, tapping the desk until her hand hit the ringing phone. Once the phone was in her hand, Tori opened her eyes and slid the alarm off. She placed the phone on her bed and stretched , a small yawn escaping her lips before sitting up in the bed and looking around her room. It was the first day back at school and she was nervous but also excited to be going back once again.
Tori got up out of bed and immediately went into her en-suite to have a shower. She had made sure to wake up with ample time to get ready for the day, a good two hours before being expected to be present in school. Tori washed her face and brushed her teeth all the while a podcast about living the perfect life was playing on her phone, it was her routine and one she felt she couldn't defer from. She looked at her makeup but shook her head to herself deciding against it as she made her way back into her room and sat in front of the mirror to dry her hair.
Once dry, Tori grabbed the front pieces of her hair and clipped them back allowing the rest to fall in it's natural waves down her back. She stood up and made her way over to her wardrobe where her clothes that she had picked out the night before were proudly hanging.
Once changed, Tori made her way downstairs to where her parents were sitting having breakfast. Her mother made some comment that Tori sit down for breakfast but Tori noted how her eyes never left the computer screen before them. "Ah I'm okay I'll eat on the way I have to get going" Tori replied before grabbing her school bag and leaving the house.
Tori pulled into the school car park and noticed that it was still empty. She raised an eyebrow to herself before looking at the time, she shook her head and smirked as she realised how early she was, at least 40 minutes early. Tori got out of the car and walked into the school, heading straight for the reception office to get any notes she needed on the committees for this term such as meetings, competitions etc. After chatting with the receptionist about her winter break, Tori made her way towards her locked to lessen the load of her bag. She checked the time as she reached her locker and realised that she had wasted a good 30 minutes in the office. A smile played on her lips as she suddenly became aware that the school halls were not getting much busier with excited students catching up with their friends on what their breaks entailed.
Tori looked around her as she finished putting her books in her locker trying to spot June and Ava or any of her friends but she couldn't make out anyone she knew. For a slight second she worried that they wouldn't show or worse that they were now avoiding her like Ben did. Tori closed her eyes briefly and shook her head trying to mute the voice in her head telling her she was worthless. She knew they were her friends and they wouldn't do that to her sure they have helped her so much after Ben vanished but the voice in her head was sometimes impossible to stop.
Lexi rolled out of bed, the green quilted blanket following after her as she was tangled up in it. She stumbled, kicking her leg back and forth to try and free herself from the mess. Once she was she strolled into the washroom connected to her room. It was a mess. Makeup strewn out all over the counter, countless razor heads littering the floor around the trash can from where she missed her throws. It also doesn't help that it's over flowing with tissues and trash. She turned to look at herself in the mirror. The dark bags under her eyes prominent against her pale skin. The previous night she had been out with you guessed it, another guy.
She yawned and scratched her eyes with the palms of her hands, she soon began her morning routine that consisted of washing her face, brushing her teeth and hair, and a light layer of makeup. She stood and faced the toilet, pulling down her underwear to take a piss. She exited her bathroom, not caring to flush the toilet.
Lexi's room was just as bad as her bathroom, clothes everywhere, trash littering most surfaces, as well as plates and cutlery. She had always been a messy person, always not caring about her surroundings. She liked her room when it was clean, but I guess the combination of laziness, depression, and the fact that she's usually high of her mind causes her to just not care.
She looked on the ground for an outfit, surfing through "the chair" to see if there's something that looks good. She pulled the graphic t-shirt she was wearing over her head and replaced it with a lavender long sleeve shirt that stopped just above her naval, her belly button piercing visible. She got it last year when she turned 16, of course her mom didn't approve, and of course she did it without her knowledge, and of course her mother grounded her for as long as she saw fit.
She strode over to her bedside table and opened the drawer, picking out a new pair of underwear. As she slid the old ones off she lifted them up and there was a large white stain of you could guess what. She scoffed in disgust and threw the pair on the ground before putting on the other ones followed by a pleated denim skirt. She looked herself over in the standing mirror, smiling to herself. Lexi knew she was pretty, she had always been pretty. Even as a boy, there was nothing masculine about her. She never had those manly shoulders, the adams apple that developed never grew big. The only thing she hates was her height. Sure she wasn't 6 feet tall, but she was definitely taller than most of her girl friends.
Opening her jewelry box she bit her lip and her eyes widened with glee. Not at the various jewels and such, but at the small baggie with a few pills in them. She sat down on the carpeted floor, her jewelry box infant of her. She placed the ketamine pills onto the wood, using the corner of her phone to crush the white pill. She separated the drug into two lines, using a hollow pen to snort the powder. She groaned in discomfort before tilting her head back, staring up at the ceiling for a minute or two before getting up. Ketamine and molly were her drug of choice. She liked the feeling of being on ketamine, the feeling of being detached from life, the numbing feeling that courses through her body. Molly on the other hand makes her feel...euphoric, she describes the high as something small that starts deep in the pelvis, it lingers and once you reach your peak, it spreads through the body, like fireworks, or pins and needles. Its a toe curling, head flinging back kind of feeling. She's kind of embarrassed to say it, but it's what she imagines the female orgasm to feel like.
She leaves her room and heads down the narrow staircase, her mom sitting in the living room watching the morning new. She bids her mom a goodbye before grabbing her backpack and a pop tart. When she leaves the house the cool January air nipped at her exposed legs. She shivered before circling to the side of her house, grabbing her bike and beginning her journey to school.
Thu, January 18, 2018 my best friend turned into a zombie! or was he one this whole time?!
The emergency waiting room wasn't exactly what Lauren expected. The chairs sure looked just as uncomfortable as they did in all the tv shows but instead of loud and chaotic; the room was an eerie quiet at 3am ten days before Christmas. The only sign of life in the waiting room was the wheezing man beside our lanky black haired mess of a teen. He was complaining about needing to see a doctor "stat" for a pain in his side, making him the pain in the nurses' side. Everyone else was quiet, eavesdropping on the nurse explaining the queue line to the "dying" man for the fifth time. Lauren could only stare at the scratched up gray tiles of the floor, trying to process the last two hours he experienced. Jack, his best friend since basically forever, was on his bathroom floor, completely unresponsive. It was only luck that Lauren and Junie noticed the weird texts from him, and even luckier that Lauren was even able to check up on Jack in person. Lauren wanted to erase the quick new memories as soon as he could as the guilt hung over them. If Lauren noticed any signs, if he was a more attentive friend, would Jack be in this situation - again? This wasn't the first time Jack overdosed but last time, Lauren thought it was an accident. Was it intentional this time? What could Lauren do so this never happened again?
They were fully immersed in self-blame when the doctor finally approached him. It was the hopeless look in the sunken teen eyes that made the doctor kneel down to his level in the chair. The people now glancing over at the two to eavesdrop on a more interesting event unfolding. Lauren figured his wild fluff of black hair and thick lensed glasses made his chunky brown cardigan and contrasting Elmo's on Fire pajama pants the reason he wasn’t treated like an adult in this moment. "Your friend - he's going to be okay. He's stable and you have nothing to worry about." The doctor went on about Lauren being strong, doing the right thing by getting Jack to the hospital. Lauren even hitched a ride in the ambulance, witnessing every single moment words were exchanged by the paramedics. They almost didn't let him in, only saying yes when Lauren stammered about being the only one Jack had. It wasn't fully true but it wasn't wrong either.
Lauren was barely holding it together when the doctor's words hit them like a tidal wave. "You're a good kid." The smallest praise shattered any perception of pride Lauren was building up. It wasn't a soft cry like the others in the room, their wails echoing down the hallway. He didn't care about how people looked at him at that moment, all he could do was heave breaths in the uncontrollable sadness and despair. The doctor was experienced in these moments but something about the teen boy alone crying pulled him into hugging the lost teen in an attempt to comfort. The sympathetic hug was cut short by Lauren's panicking to ruffle into his messenger bag. It was a quick find for his inhaler, something he didn't ever use but kept with him just in case. Dear god, the kid couldn't cut a break in the doctor's eyes. "We've moved your friend into a room for now.-" Lauren was quick to pull his belongings together to move into the room. He had seen the worst parts already and he was going to make sure he was in the room when the chaos settled.It wasn’t a far walk to the room but Lauren was now a quiet mouse ready to scurry to be beside Jack. The door opened to see the best friend on the hospital bed, lifeless. Jack had followed the light.
The ceiling light helped Lauren gasp out of the recurring nightmare. He didn’t jump up from the new fear, just breathing so heavily to find where reality stood. Pink walls, sheets so soft, and the smell of a just blown out candle in the Bath and Body Works scent, Poppy. His favorite flower, a strategic move. It was her sweet voice cooing at him that helped Lauren finally separate the alternative universes in his heart. “You stopped breathing for a moment there.” She softly brushed the hair out of Lauren’s sweaty forehead before kissing it with a smile.
“Don’t joke about that, please.” Lauren whispered with a smile creeping out of the corner of their mouth, pulling himself up to solidify his presence in the world. Her room had one of those golden ornate framed mirrors that faced the bed and the reflection of the two of them encapsulated the night. The redhead rendezvous let Lauren touch his own lips after seeing their reflection. Raw from too much friction, confusingly the colors of blue and red lipstick all over to make purple. It wasn’t that he didn’t remember, he always remembered every night of passion but She was quick to start wiping away evidence on him like a child. She was only at most two years older than him but it didn’t change Her determination to clean the mess they made. Lauren could see behind the curtain the darkness of outside still. Sunrise should be within the hour or two, and it was clear to the both of them this aftercare was cute and over when the sun finally stumbled awake just like them.
“Sorry, you’re just cute when you sleep.” Red was a tease for sure, playing with the lingering feelings of attraction to test if it was possible to be more. Lauren was reaching for his clothes as she triple made sure he was clean, only the red marks of rubbed skin as any evidence of them together now with the disheveled boy throwing on the layers of clothes he had on the day before. “You should stay…”
“I actually have class. You don’t?” He played along as he looped his belt through the loops of his pants, now standing over the bed on Her side as she flopped back in bed. She shook Her head in protest and sprawled on the cloud bed under the sheets, only letting the outline of her body give the suggestion. “Nope,” She was cute, over enunciating the ‘p’ in the word before shimming into the warmth of the bed Lauren left her. “I’m still on probation for ripping chunks of a girl’s scalp off last week... Laurie, you’ll call right?” He felt her eyes on him as he adjusted his thrifted leather messenger bag that needed to be replaced sooner than later. Her smirk said one thing but her eyes gleamed of a sense of hope. He moved his way to the exit of the princess’s chamber before giving her a sweet smile that matched her heart eyes. “Cher, of course I’m going to call.”
“Okay. You can go then, school boy.” She waved him off like she usually did in the mornings and he followed orders like he usually did too. Lauren was grateful they didn’t need to tiptoe around the house of the friends with benefits, the creaking front door would have given him way if he had to. Instead of being met by a cold shotgun barrel, the Seattle cold hit him instead causing them to shiver themselves into their outer jacket. The sun started showing its true colors in the sky as Lauren drudged through the wet public pavement from sprinklers too lenient on where it hit. Maybe an uber was a better idea, it definitely was a warmer idea, but nothing said “I didn’t go home last night” like being dropped off by an uber to school on the first day back from winter break.
He tread on in the cold, letting the music playing in his headset try to keep his mood upbeat. It was an unreleased tune, not his though. Not Luke or Jack’s either. You see, while Lauren assumed Jack had a shit time after waking up in the hospital alone, Lauren was dragged out to California as a “punishment” for “being affiliated with drug users”. (Insert laugh track here) His grandpa’s words, not theirs. Lauren begged his dad to let him go to this music camp in Los Angeles - a two week intensive creative endeavor for promising young musicians, and his father was adamant about Lauren not going. Guess their best friend almost dying got Lauren’s wish to come true.
“Laurybear, xx. I need help with the chorus pwetty pwease. -Allie Wallie”
Of course he said yes to the pretty girl who’s verified on every social media platform with three times more followers than all of BNO combined. He was head bobbing to a new song from his new friend and humming happily to fill the melody with any lyric possible. The city was theirs as he whistled through the streets to Roosevelt High. The sun came out to finally bring Lauren better light as he finally pulled out their cracked phone to start jotting down his lyrical ideas. The texting fiend was hyper-focused on catching up with his online life now that his morning routine at school was set on auto-pilot. Get a breakfast bar, a chocolate milk (strawberry if the heathens had them that day), and a fruit cup, and roll over to “the spot” his friends secured and fought for freshman year. He expected to be the last one there from the long commute but here he was the first one.
“What the fuck guys?” Lauren laughed to himself before sitting pretty with his breakfy. He was having a good day already - and it would be better if he saw his best friends, especially Jack.
"Thelma!" Tabitha stuck her head in Thelma's bedroom door. She lived in Thelma's personal space. A government spy. "It's the first day of school, get up, for fuck's sake." Thelma groaned, turning over.
"Get up. Now." Tabitha threw the blankets off of Thelma and then quickly covered her eyes. "And stop sleeping with no pants on, you lunatic! Jesus Christ!" She stormed out as quickly as she'd entered while Thelma made a very paltry effort to cover themself. They could already hear Tabitha ranting to herself. "Seriously, I'd ought to disown that girl..." Thelma hated when their mother threatened them with a good time.
They staggered out of bed, noticing that their brother had long since left. They put up several dividers to give the feeling of having separate rooms, and then replaced those with some artifical walls made of plastic plants. They weren't cheap, and it took awhile to put together, but they finally had some goddamn privacy. Still, with Zach out of the house, they quickly pilfered a few addies from his bedside table -- just two or three. They hadn't seen Jack in months, so they'd become more or less reliant on their kid brother for their fix. Not something they were proud of, but it was necessary, and Zach seemed more or less unbothered by it. At worst, he found it slightly irritating.
As fast as they could manage in a half-awake state, they threw on some clothes. They quickly emerged from their room, backpack in one arm and half a sleeve of Ritz crackers in the other. Their mother briefly appraised their appearance before wrinkling her nose.
"Can't you put on something decent?" She sighed. "You look like a paper bag."
"...'s comfortable..." They murmured, stuffing their hands in their pockets.
"You know what? Fine. If you wanna dress like a lesbian, that's not my problem. If you want..." Tabitha took a swig from a plastic water bottle that was more than likely containing a Long Island iced tea. "'f you want to die dressed like a bag lady, that'd make me happy. No, really. Honestly."
"I, um, I think I should walk to school."
"Fine. Go- hic! Go get hit by a car while you're at it, you can't cross a street for shit."
Thelma nodded and scampered out of the door, wanting to avoid as much contact with their mother as possible. They quickly took the elevator down from their apartment and exited to the street below, where their chipped red bicycle was locked up. It was beginning to rust, so they'd have to take it apart and do another treatment on it. They hopped on and stuffed the bike lock in their backpack.
The ride took them past the local skate park, as well as K Cafe, and they briefly considered stopping in for a muffin -- something more substantial than the Nabisco treat they'd shoved in their bag. But they were already late as it was, and deviating too far from the simulation at such a pivotal moment could be disastrous.
They veered in just outside of Roosevelt High, attaching their bike to one of the many bike stations. They ran through the front doors and didn't even bother putting anything in their locker, since that's a great way to get robbed by staff who know your locker combination. (They all do.) Instead, they arrived at Pre-Calc, surprisingly on time despite all of their worrying, and took their place in a desk towards the back of the class. It still had an etching left in from last semester.
Ever since the beginning of time, humans had enjoyed mythologizing. The beauty of spinning tales, kneading salt-truth into a soft, malleable dough that could be sliced and sectioned, regurgitated into something interesting. Translations lost, names ciphered more grotesque than its direct rendering; the spirit was a bone that could not be crushed into grains.
Rosario dangled from the rearview mirror; for protection, grandmother Mimosa had told him, this will keep you safe. Sourced from a ravine of paranoia, Octavian knew the worries she harboured beneath grey curls, a projector broken on the frames of a rinsed past; barbed fences and viciousness.
He could feel it in the pads of her fingers as they pinched and pulled the flesh of his face, a pulse of rabbit-footed fear. Feel it in how she called his name after finding his bedroom vacant in the morning, sundered and haunted with apprehension, only to calm seeing him pop around a different doorway, Maltese dog under arm and toothbrush in hand with a tired, “qué.”
It’s too ominous to speak aloud, much like dangling an idea in the jaws of a leviathan:
Abuelita, you’re scared one day I will not come home.
Much to bald-headed chagrin, like a humid storm she’d smother him before every new semester. School was emotional labour, striking like a blow, uncertainty. Peeling not only a spike of worry to Avian, but shredding Mimosa’s nerves to ribbonlike sinew.
Do you have your lunch? And all your books? Are you hungry? Your shirt needs ironing? Want primo to take you to school? His car is much safer than your metal deathtrap. Are you sure you’re not hungry? Eat this. Eat more. No? Later, then. Here’s some fruit. Eat.
Which is how Octavian got laden with a bag of tangerines. Coaxed into hands by excited Grandmother, all pearl earring and flora layers: “for your friends, nieto, fruit has many vitamins.”
Fruit may have many vitamins, that much is true, but Avian didn’t have many friends. There was no portion of his heart brave enough to tell her the tangerines would be eaten by himself and himself alone.
Positioned in the passenger seat, divided by the hang of rosary beads, the bag felt almost mocking as Ave sat in the school car-park. It wasn’t an ideal way to start his morning, eating his fifth tangerine in the recluse of his own vehicle; many would even consider it weirdly lame.
Which yes, he’d agree.
Eating fruit in your car to avoid people is weirdly lame.
But compared to the treacherous outside world with faces he’d have to pretend to recognise, the return into social scenes was never simple. People changed, dyed and cut their hair, got new clothes, new styles, got taller, left school, joined school, a constant tide rippling in and out with new and unknown information he’d struggle to rifle through.
And if he could delay that inevitable for just a few minutes? Eat tangerines and slump low in the leathered seat to avoid drawing attention through the windshield, then who was to stop him?
The encroachment of classes, unfortunately. Exorcism of time had failed to purge dread welling molasses thick in his chest. sunglasses shifted down from head to the bridge of his nose as he reluctantly stepped out of the car.
And caught the corner of the tangerine bag on the door, splitting open its side like a blade to stomach lining.
Almost slow-motion, playing frame by frame before him, the spilling of fruit over asphalt like bouncing suns. Skittering over concrete and beneath vehicles, Octavian could only stand in defeated silence as they made their rolling paths.
a sleepy mess of soft chestnut brown locks and a pair of entrancing baby blues awoke with tranquil air to them. the boy of whom they belonged to outstretched his pale arms and nudged his way out of the confined plush designer bed sheets over his face and into a sitting position.
he’d examine himself in the ceiling mirror, the same one he loved looking at for special occasions.
it was six-thirty in the morning and he couldn’t feel anymore rejuvenated. mornings after a good hook-up always left luke in good spirits, he’d already be blasting music and getting ready for his day. but not before a few lines of coke on his side table and a tall shot of grey goose to wash the drip down. the boy winced with a slight gnash, “ooohf”, looking at the mirror before him and flashing a pleased grin at himself. he’d force a flex in his chest and shoulder muscles, thinking to himself how about sexy he was for a solid minute. flexing what? it was hard to tell really. standing at six-foot-three and a half, the boy was as scrawny as could be. he tapped on the dark ink lining the unders of his collarbones across his chest–a new tattoo of he’d gotten in milan right before he returned to his city, then proceeded to throw on a pair of boxers to cover himself.
luke had a routine every morning which included a few critical aspects. the coke before school wasn’t a part of this daily routine, but rolling a russian cream backwood blunt and smoking it on his balcony was a definite must. he’d done it without fail for the last two years, pairing it with whatever drug was in his current orbit. today? the perfect amount of xanax. half a bar, not too much–but just enough to make school a little less boring. he popped it dry, then continued with his habituals. stepping outside in the cold with his leather slides on, he shivered at the initial cold brush and sat in his chair overlooking the view of the city.
he’d stand by core belief in the spiritualism behind smoking weed on his balcony every morning–wearing nothing but boxers no matter what the weather was like outside. according to him it was liberating–climatic even. enduring that cold air–that snow–that hard rain alike and enjoying his smoke somehow readied him most adequately for whatever the new day would bring.
he puffed on his smoke, pondering on what the first day back would look like. surely, he’d have to have a class with his friends–at least one. if not, that would just.. fucking suck. what would suck even more for him was not having a single class with his current infatuation. calliope byrne.
judging by her recent instagram photos, his crush currently donned a bright reddish-pink coiffure. god why is she so cute–he thought to himself, exhaling a puff as he scrolled through his feed. truly, it was out of the ordinary for luke to actually give a girl he hadn’t already screwed more than a second thought. not that he meant to be so dismissive and fickle, but he rarely stuck with one girl at a time. even more seldom would it be a girl he was actually interested in dating. that hadn’t happened for at least a few years. this girl was different though, luke didn’t even really find himself needing to hook up with her anytime soon—-well..
that was a total lie. but more than that, he wanted to hang out with her. he wanted to get to know her more. and that was a notable distinction from his pasts.
brown-haired boy spent the rest of the morning figuring out what to wear and gradually getting his belongings together for school. he was met with his younger brother emilio on top of the kitchen counter putting back a bottle of alcohol into the cupboard. the scrawny kid’s guilty eyes turned away, playing it off like he didn’t just sneak one of dad’s stolen bottles back where it was supposed to be–scoffing to himself and throwing his backpack over his shoulders at the front door. “where are you going? i’m taking you to school aren’t i?” luke waved his arm out at a sore-faced emilio–completely ignoring the fact that the thirteen year-old was clearly hungover.
emilio turned around slowly, making it known with much dramatization in his body language that he wasn’t in the mood to talk to his older brother this morning, “i’m biking to school with my friends.” he said plainly, “--you look stupid by the way.”
“ok.” luke rolled his eyes tossing back retort, “you look hungover.”
“i’m not–fuck off.” emilio replied with a forward flinch, “dad said no parties or driving the lambo.”
“oooookayyyyyy.” drawed out luke with much amusement, tossing back another tall shot of the grey goose on their kitchen counter–glancing at the written note by his father that clearly stated what the younger boy had mentioned. ignoring it completely, he waved his brother off and emilio would slam the door in his face. he grit his teeth for a second, shot glass still in the air. “whatever, bye then i guess.”
bickering with his brother seemed to also be on this unofficial routine list.
the older boy was getting a bit too tipsy to care about his brother’s behavior.
usually, luke would find some way to be late to class and perhaps there was still opportunity for the fact. but instead, he spent this time having a leisurely drive over to the school parking lot–in his father’s lamborghini aventador of course. he didn’t always drive it to school, but his parents were out on business and there wasn’t anyone to tell him otherwise. thankfully, they wouldn’t be back for another five days–five days he’d be spending with no waste.
upon arriving to his location, he parked the flashy car under the newly-implemented solar panel roof. and emerging from the car, he’d immediately be welcomed by a couple girls walking by–stalking him? he didn’t know for sure, but practically whoring themselves out in front of him. showering him in compliments and questions on his trip to italy, he’d only give them a couple impassive words and a polished flash of white teeth–to which they accepted with transparent admiration, further wishing him a good day and a ‘hope we have a class together this year!’ as he walked right past them.
“ahhh, there they are. i missed you laurybear.” luke grinned, now approaching his friend at their usual meet-up spot, “i know you were waiting just for me, but geez you look so lonely..”
the boy took a seat next to his friend of six years, leaving a space in between to open his bag up, “tried to text jack this morning, but he didn’t reply–probably gonna be late–as usual..” he trailed, screwing open the top of the new amsterdam gin nip he’d retrieved from the inside pocket.
luke was about to take one last swig for the morning but decided to offer the small bottle to his friend first.
“you want?”--hovering it laury’s way, waiting for signal on whether or not luke would be taking a bigger swash to compensate for a lack of participation. one he’d probably do anyway, but he was technically trying to cut back on his alcohol consumption. what better way to do this then offer friends your remainings?
The phrase had been floating around Cameron's head since he got back home with Alex. Well, truth be told, the phrase's mental recital had been a near nightly occurrence for almost four years now, though the stress of winter break had exacerbated it.
Before, Cam and sleep were good friends. Before, he could knock out anywhere. Before, he was hardly ever tired enough to need to rest his eyes in odd places. Before, he didn't spend so much time looking over his shoulder. Before, before, before. What use was that, thinking about how shit used to be, or even how it could be? All he had, all he deserved, was whatever mess he needed to crawl out of right now.
The way his thoughts tended to spiral was why he clung to the phrase like it was a safety blanket, why it had become his mantra over the last few years.
It worked some nights, lulling him into the restless slumber he had grown so familiar with. Other - most - nights, it functioned more like a shitty companion, keeping him busy while he stared at his ceiling.
Picking Alex up had been almost as much for his sake as it had been hers. The idea of facing the coming morning alone was, frankly, terrifying. Her presence alone, as fucked as the current circumstances were, was calming; a reminder to him that he was still capable of good. Their friendship was good.
He felt her when she woke, but Cam didn't want to intrude while she put herself back together the best she could.
Moving from his side onto his back, he waited. The conversation that was to come happened so frequently it felt rehearsed, but he still had to ask. Maybe this time she'd budge and tell him something, or give him permission to do something.
When Alex came out of the bathroom, he sat up while she sat down and finished readying herself. What time is it? The question left as quickly as it had appeared as her voice filled the room. She clearly didn't feel like putting on their usual performance seeing as she didn't let him get a word in, and he didn't wanna push it too much. He didn't have the details, but last night seemed more fucked than normal.
He stood up as she walked out of the room, stretching as he made his way towards the bathroom. "Y'know, we could also just chill for a bit."His voice was loud in the beat up apartment when he made his proposition.He was almost certain she wouldn't take him up on the offer today, even though most days she'd be down.
Did he think Alex might benefit from some more rest? Sure, but really, the offer was more of a plea. School didn't sound pleasant on a good day, and this wouldn't even be a mediocre one. Having uncomfortable confrontations with dealers that go ghost was part of the job, but he'd grown to like and even trust Jack over their time working together. That shit didn't come easy and for the kid to straight up vanish for damn near a month hurt more than he'd like to admit.
He'd heard some rumors about what had happened to Jack, and while he felt bad he mainly felt stupid. Who the hell trusts an addict with a stash?
Looking in the mirror, he shook his head - his preferred method for styling his hair - and tried to organize this thoughts. It wasn't time to work himself up quite yet; he could enjoy his coffee and his friend's company without ruining it. When he arrived in the kitchen, he leaned against the counter facing towards Alex and gave her a half smile.
Thanking her when she handed him his coffee, his eyes shut while he relished his first sip. He lived for moments like these, where time seemed to slow down and their lives didn't seem so hard. They didn't come around too often, and didn't last long when they did.
"Alright then, Imma go heat up the car,"he said, breaking the comfortable silence that had settled over the room. "If you wanna go somewhere else instead just lemme know." He squeezed her shoulder lightly while setting his cup down in the sink next to her.
Grabbing his keys and a hoodie from beside the door, he braced himself both for the cold and for the day awaiting him.
Alex nodded and gave a half smile to Cam when he said he was going to warm up the car. She heard his last comment about going somewhere else and bit her lip in thought, maybe skipping wasn't such a bad idea.
After Cam left, Alex remained standing leaning against the sink, holding the empty cup between her hands. She was there in body yes but her mind was far away as she was unable to shake the feeling of fear from last night. She felt like she was 8 years old again in Ireland after her parents friend had taken a liking to her and she just couldn't seem to keep them emotions down. She had been beaten by her mother's various partners and also by John multiple times but last night was different. He had physically come and kicked her door down to get to her and it was because she had felt safe that the shock of what happened was even worse. Her mind never dared to wonder if her mother was alive, if John came for her after he had killed her mother. She refused to let herself think of that, she couldn't.
The sound of a horn beeping outside jolted Alex back into her body and she placed her cup down in the sink before picking her bag off the counter and walking outside. She wasn't sure why she had never fully talked to Cam about what was happening, he knew and he usually got to experience the after effects of what had happened but for Alex talking about it out loud just made it all that more real and normally she could forget about it or at least push it down but today she just couldn't shake it.
Alex got into the car but didn't look at Cam, he would be able to tell immediately something was wrong. "I might need to crash with you for a little bit if that ok?" She asked him, she couldn't help but be annoyed at the tremble of her voice. The one thing Alex hated was feeling weak and right now she might aswell have been a bunny rabbit.
Alex took a shaky breath as she looked down at her hands interlocked on her lap. Cam hadn't started driving yet and Alex wondered if he knew she was finally going to speak. She didn't dare look up yet to check. "I'm used to being a punching bag, it's shit but it's my life" Alex gave a small shrug "and I don't talk about it because it makes it easier to forget" . Alex took a deep breath, it was out there now and she couldn't turn back even though she now regretted opening up, her eyes were still trained on her lap refusing to look up as she fought back the tears "But last night, I just can't shake it, I was asleep and my door was locked. He kicked it down and I woke to him standing over me. He's so much bigger than me and I didn't even see him yesterday, I made sure to stay well out of his way I just .. I don't understand and I'm scared and I hate being scared and I .... " Alex trailed off as the tears began to prickle at the corner of her eyes. Taking a deep breath she tried to force them back, trying to not allow them to spill over, not because she didn't want to cry infront of Cam, he'd seen that alot in their long years of friendship but her mind was solely on not running her makeup that was covering her bruises. "I don't know what to do anymore I don't understand why this is happening to me" a tone of defeat was present loud and clear in Alex's voice. She wasn't looking for an answer though to her problem as she knew herself there was no solution. Yeah she could get Cam to go and beat him up but she knew herself that John would come back with vengance against her, to do anything would more than likely make it worse. Although she didn't know how it could get worse than last night.
Alex eventually lifted her eyes from her hand as she looked up at Cam. "I know that's alot to dump before School, I'm sorry". She still wasn't sure why she had unloaded everything on him this morning, Cam had been trying for years to get something out of her and she never budged always giving him an 'I'm fine' so this sudden outburst surprised her as much as it probably surprised Cam.
Panicked, frustrated and out of breath, Hyun ran with every all his might, strength and willpower. Every particle of him yearned to reach the school before the bell. There had never been a day within his school years where he had been late. He was always upfront, centre, and ready to learn. It was how he was raised, it was the values instilled into his very core being, and it was the expectations his parents had for him. Even though the main reason he was late was because of his parents.
It had been a week since moving into his brother’s old apartment complex above from his restaurant. A week of trying to organise all the orders, managing the staff, and unpacking boxes. His room was nothing more than a mattress on the floor and a study desk covered in business management books, sprawled across, highlighted, sticky notes and spines cracked. Sentences were memorised over and over again, until he could recite them in his sleep. His mornings had been spent in the loading docks, preparing and arranging the fresh meats and vegetables, and his nights were reserved to an ongoing study towards this new business that had fallen right into his hands. The weight of responsibility dragged him deep into the pits as he needed to uphold the family’s name and his brother’s honour.
This morning, the first day back from school, was a collection of pure bad luck. His father, who had been bringing his brother-in-law to the airport, was stuck in traffic behind a large collision. The same truck that was delivering the fresh meat to the restaurant was stuck in the same bumper-to-bumper traffic. And his mother, for some unknown reason, decided that she needed to go and get a message that day. She made no intentions of letting the rest of the family know until five minutes before her departure. Without any other staff around, it was Hyun’s responsibility to wait for the truck to deliver the meat. The truck that was stuck in traffic.
He had tried to talk to his parents, telling them that he would be running late for school. To which they just responded with you better not be late before hanging up the phone. He pleaded with the other staff members, asking for them to come into the restaurant to take over so he could get to school on time. Sadly, it all fell into his hands. And he was left standing around in the loading dock for well over an hour after the expected delivery time. Once the truck arrived and was backed up, the rush began. Hyun escorted the delivery men with haste, his eyes never learning the taunting ticking of the nearby clock.
After an extremely anxious bus ride, mentally counting down each passing second, Hyun was finally off and making the distance between the bus stop and school by running for his dear life. “Please don’t ring yet, please don’t ring yet” he hissed through his teeth as his legs carried him with great speed. The school was in sight - the students were gathered around, making their way to the closest entrance. There was hope. “Please don’t ring yet, please don’t-”
It seemed as if he had been so heavily hypnotised by the entrance that was before him like a mirage that he had been neglecting the vision before him. His body collided with another at full force; the books and papers that he had been carrying in his arms were now sprawled across the floor. The calm breeze hit against the loose pieces of paper, encouraging and tempting them into an upward dance. His palms caught most of his weight, leaving them raging as if a thousand fire ants were chewing away at the skin. The body he had collided with, however, was still beneath his own and bearing the weight of his torso upon theirs.
“I’m so sorry-” the boy began to apologise profusely once he had come out of the shock of it all. He pushed against the floor with his grazed palms, his body hovering over the body of the person beneath him. “I didn’t-” Hyun paused. There they were; the body he had collided with. Mallory Hawke. His blood ran cold, his body now frozen. Oh, crap. Out of all people to run into, it had to be her, didn’t it? “I… I… uh…” he couldn’t think. His brain function had come down to an all-time low, struggling to connect wires and to come up with some functional sentence. So, there he was, left in a state of consciousness and unconsciousness, struggling through this human glitch. Unable to talk, unable to move, but fully aware of the situation at hand.
Morning rays from the sun peek through sheer pink curtains, dancing in the room of Ms. Mallory Hawke, the girl stirred silently in bed, her alarm interrupting the beauty sleep she was getting. Today was this first day back at school, the place she ruled, her palace, where she could dictate what people would do or say. This day would be the most important one of the year, the one where she would remind everyone of her place on the food chain, right at the top.
After scrolling through Twitter, being accused of flirting with someone who is below her on the food chain, Mallory logs out, "Ugh, people are just so desperate to be with me." She rolls her eyes and slides out of bed, planting her feet onto the fluffy carpet that sits on the right side of her bed. The time to begin getting ready for the day had come, and there was nothing but excitement rushing through her body. School gave her a rush, whether it was the attention she got, or...
Well, it was the attention.
Regardless, this morning she would be meeting up with her current boyfriend, Sam. The two were only together because of their popularity, trying to earn Mal's way to Prom Queen, there weren't many others who would get her to that spot. Whisking away into the bathroom, she begins to doll herself up, a full face of makeup is applied like it is every morning, then her hair gets straightened.
Into her closet, Mallory begins to pick out the perfect outfit for the day, deciding to go with a white oversized jacket, black leggings, beige thigh high heels, with a matching scarf and a white beanie with two pom-poms on the top of it. Underneath the jacket is just a plain white t-shirt, nothing too fancy, but it would make the outfit work. Once it was all put together, the girl headed downstairs, grabbing her purse, and car keys, ready to take on the day.
But not before a quick stop at Starbucks!
"Can I get a venti hot mocha, made with two extra shots, add whipped cream?" The barista jots down the ingredients for the requested drink, allowing the brunette to pay for the order and stand off to the side waiting for her name to be called. Not but a few minutes after, there it was, "Venti Mocha for Mallory!" Another barista calls out, giving a warm smile to the girl, Mallory turned on her heel, ready to leave.
Arriving at the school, and gathering all of her things, it was finally time to meet up with Sam. She was giddy, especially to have people see the two most popular people are back together once more. The entrance was just in site, maybe only a few yards away, with a deep breath, Mallory prepared herself to enter when something tragic happened.
Someone RAN into her, not just that, but completely knocked her over.
To make things worse, she had turned around for half a second to make sure her car was locked, so now her coffee was gone and some nobody was ON TOP of her. "EW, GET OFF ME!" She screeches out at the boy was already apologizing to her. He wasn't moving, this was not a good look for her, so what else could she do? She took her now empty hands and pushed him off of her.
Standing up, she dusts herself off and makes sure that there was no lingering dirt. "You need to watch where the hell you're going, I'm sure you're well aware of who I am." Words like venom spit out of her mouth as she gathered herself and prepared to enter the school once more, this time with a little less caffeine in hand.
knock knock knock. “lola, dear! you’ll be late if you don’t wake up now!”
a GASP–followed by a disarray of platinum blonde being thrashed away from blocking the view of a teenage girl’s face. said girl shot straight up out of bed and upon landing her feet on the plush velvet carpet, her kuromi alarm blared ‘kill v. maim’ by grimes at full volume. a clearly disoriented lola screamed at the top of her lungs, fumbling around her space to find the source of the noise–still screaming as she did so. not only did she accidentally set her alarm an hour late, the girl was starting to think setting her alarm to one of her favorite songs at full blast just the night before was probably not the most serene way to wake up for the first day of school.
after successfully turning the noise off, she exhaled and clinched the fabric of her silk nightgown.
“everything okay in there dear?”
“y-yes mom!! sorry i-just-i–i’ll be right out!!”, she squeaked back to her mother.
unfortunately the full volume part had to stay. this girl could sleep through nearly anything.
her attitude changed at the realization setting in that her first day of school was today and getting to school on time was very important to her. not to avoid being late though. being a teacher’s daughter practically bound her to an average student’s nightmare–getting to school way earlier than necessary. on the contrary, she loved getting to school early. the overall mood was a little different in the early morning. there was barely any students walking around and the air just felt so much crisper.
sometimes when she’d sit alone on the front steps, she’d watch the school building. sometimes birds would land on it’s curvatures and lola would swear she could feel the calmness radiating from the area. her mind would wander in deep thought, imagining that if the concrete mass before her had emotions–this time of day was surely it’s favorite.
lola hurriedly sped through her easiest make-up routine and brushed her hair out, nearly burning her fingers straightening her fly-aways. tossing her stuff into her backpack, she scurried out of the door with just enough time to grab a blueberry muffin from the kitchen counter.
her father was outside, trying to take a photo of a bluebird sitting on their mailbox. he'd flash a glance at his daughter beaming for a second at her unique ensemble, “lola, good, good–you look great! get in the car, i’m gonna be late to my meeting but you know.. there's no way ms. mancini's beating me there. ”--focusing for one last moment to steady his snapshot of the bird before it flew off, “darn..”
mr. davies, the language composition and british literature teacher at roosevelt high was, yes her father. way too smart and over-qualified for his job. quirky, but stoic when need be. obsessed with obscure poetry, vinyl records, conspiracy theories (for fun, he says) and coffee mugs with weird sayings on them. aka the best dad lola could ask for. even though he was going to be late for his meeting and it was very clear it was at the fault of his daughter–the man still kept the same encouraging attitude she’d experienced her entire life. she didn’t know what she’d do without him.
before she could shut the car door, her mother would be quick to run in for a kiss goodbye to the two apples of her eyes. “lola, love, you look stunning! have fun on your first day back!--you too, markus!--i love you both!"
with that, she was on the way to roosevelt–gazing out the window and slowly feeling the ache and anticipation crawling in her insides. the way it always felt when the school break finally came to an end.
“dad. i don’t have any friends yet.” she blurted, then felt her face get prickly with embarrassment. being so close with her parents all these years made it extremely difficult to not tell them what was on her mind–especially if she was in a confined space. she dreaded this part about her, but her parents usually found a way to soothe her overthinking.
“aw, kid, don’t stress about that on your first day.” mr. davies said, tapping on the wheel to the depeche mode song crackling through the throwback rock station, “look, you just transferred into lang comp third period right? i’ve got some great kids in that class—maybe you’ll hit it off with one of em! anyways, no point in setting yourself up for failure. just be your cheery self, i’m sure this’ll be your year.”
lola glanced over at her father who was now focusing on toying with the radio and pressed her lips together in a tight smile. maybe he's right…
2018. my year...
she smiled to herself the rest of the way, starting to believe maybe her dad’s words could hold some truth to them...
luckily, her tardiness only made her dad a bit late for his department meeting. when they were separated, lola walked over to her spot on the steps–happy she was still able to get some time to listen to music and watch cars whisk by on the street like she always did.
when kids started to congregate around the school ground, lola decided she’d stay there for a little while longer instead of running off like usual. not for any particular reason other than to switch it up for once. if this year was really her year, she ought to at least try some things differently.
"What're you looking for?" Her auntie popped in, nearly startling her to death. No goddamn privacy in this house!
"You're gonna have to be more specific than that, sweetie."
"The tall ones! I bet Setsuna took them..."
"Oiwa, careful, that's my daughter you're talking about."
"She... Ugh. Wait. Oh!" She fished out her knee-high boots from the back of her closet. "Nevermind." Her auntie Mayuko rolled her eyes and walked away, allowing Oiwa to finish getting herself dressed. She snapped her boots on, having to tug on every individual belt adorning its height. She looked fucking dope, good thing too. Acquiring a decent wardrobe of cute-goth clothes with what little money she had had taken her years.
Speaking of little money, she had to be on the lookout today -- the Equalizing wouldn't do itself. She could turn Sam over for his obvious cheating, but that probably didn't hold much water to the wider world, and without any concrete evidence, nobody would even care. All she could prove was that he'd flirted with some chicks. Her phone was outdated, but the camera was juuuuust good enough to capture truly incredible journalistic material. She felt a little giddy. With a few years left before she'd begin applying to colleges, the playing field would be leveled yet. At least around here.
"You want a drive?"
"People will make fun of me, auntie."
"That's a silly reason."
"Yeah, well... It's- it's a reason." Oiwa quickly stuffed everything important in her bag -- a few books, a pencil case and a bento-style lunchbox with some cheap foodstuff and rice inside. "I'll be back later." She also packed away a sports bottle that she'd filled with soju the night before. Just in case she needed a pick-me-up.
Finally, she left, wandering the raveled streets of South Seattle. It wasn't really a long walk, so she had no idea why auntie Mayuko would even offer her a ride. She barely even had to blink and she was outside of Roosevelt High. Last time she was here, some nasty bitch had scribbled on her locker. A friendly little note that just read, 'UGLY BITCH', and also some nasty American slur used against lesbians. Luckily, it had just been with permanent marker, so it mostly came off using heavy-duty cleaning wipes, but still, its remnants lingered.
She, of course, had no time to think too hard about it because some guy was zooming on past her -- the son of the local KBBQ's owner. He proceeded to absolutely slam Mallory Hawke to the ground, a noble act. Not just noble, but hilarious. Oiwa snickered, and a snicker turned into a giggle.
Her phone entered her hand like a cursing dagger, and she took a quick photo -- for posterity, if nothing else. The flash was off, and tons of others were watching, so she most likely wouldn't be noticed. She didn't believe in printing lies on her blog, but this was just a funny little thing to have. Like, if she ever felt like offing herself, she'd just look at Mallory Hawke getting accidentally chokeslammed by barbecue boy and she wouldn't feel so bad.
Calliope couldn't remember the last time she'd been nervous for classes to start. Usually her excitement was enough to drown out any nerves, but the prospect of getting out of the house and seeing her friends regularly again wasn't strong enough.
The fact that school wasn't the thing making her nervous is besides the point. Okay, maybe it was the point, but she didn't wanna think about that right now.
If she didn't wanna think about it, why was it guiding her every decision? She'd been on dates before, been in a relationship before, so why the hell couldn't she just get it together? Why had it been the only thing occupying her mind for the last day or so? Honestly, it was kind of embarrassing, especially when she considered the possibility that Luke hadn't thought about it - about her - at all since he asked her to come over.
She wasn't stupid. She'd heard the rumors. She knew there was a possibility she'd read too much into their conversations, that she'd misinterpreted his intentions, that she was blindly putting her trust into some dude she'd heard some pretty awful stuff about.
Didn't she deserve to find out, though?
Her alarm went off, redundant in its attempt at waking her. She jumped to turn it off so as not to wake her mother, not wanting to deal with the repercussions of of her existence so early in the morning.
Calli had been sitting on the floor to the right of her bed and in front of her full-length mirror, picking herself apart, for the last hour before her alarm so kindly interrupted her. It wasn't something she did often, if ever. Though she wasn't exactly blessed with confidence, she'd always been relatively invisible, or at the very least unaware of any attention she was receiving. Today, though, she was all too aware of the possibility that Luke would maybe look at her once or twice.
Grabbing her school bag, silent footsteps carried her to the kitchen, where she grabbed a banana and her keys before beginning her trek to Roosevelt High.
It's just another day, Byrne.
Her phone being nearly dead meant she'd have to brave the cold walk alone and in silence, and she was on the verge of praying she ran in to literally anyone before class started. Bananas, although delicious and nutritious, did not make for the best company or distraction when the only thing on your mind was a boy.
Prayer proved unnecessary when she spotted Lexi securing her bike onto the rack in the front of the school. A massive smile appearing on her face, Calli broke into an awkward speed walk to catch Lexi before she walked into the building.
Her tone was light, excitement evident as she caught up to her taller friend, linking their arms at the elbow and doing her best to match her stride.
"How're you feeling on this fine Seattle morning?"
Thu, January 18, 2018 my father's lemon sugar crepe recipe.
It was the smell of crepes that woke Ben up. Before it was the hot sizzle of the pan, the crisp slide of the batter peeling to every side, and the rather loud talking of his father as he laughed too hard with a coffee maker brewing. Now, it was a faint noise to Ben like walking through a childhood memory fully aware he didn't belong. He got up in a panic though, realizing the ringing of his phone alarm was going off for the last five minutes. He wished his parents didn't let it run, getting a wake up call was better than the feeling of dread of sleeping through his alarm.
Left side next time. He kept a mental note to himself as he rushed himself ready. He barely noticed his sister leaning against the door frame. "Aren't tank tops out of dress code here? What are you going to doooo? That's like - 80% of your closet right there." She was already chomping on a rolled crepe with her grubby hands. Ben squinted at her older sister antics before he shoved a pullover sweater over his regular shirt before she squawked in one final laugh at his outfit. A muffled noise made her head turn down the hallway to the kitchen as she answered probably their mother, "He's wearing shorts. I'm just trying to save him from freezing to death." She gravitates back to the common room to let Ben reassess his outfit… Ok fine, jeans it was.
He sighed as he looked at his reflection that smiled at him. Teeth showing and all, he practiced being happy again. It was almost the anniversary of the event, and things were getting worse for him particularly. Hearing wasn't the same anymore, the crash impact did more damage to him than anyone in the Crozier family expected but everyone pretended everything was normal again. Ben toughened himself for the nerve-racking day ahead by trying to b-line out the front door instead of interacting with his renewed lovesick parents.
"Michelle, assure-toi qu'il ait de la nourriture, s'il te plaît. Et sois prudente sur la route." Ben could hear the complete worry in his dad's voice, not even trying to stop his son from avoiding "family bonding time". Mitch was really happy today by the way she chased behind Ben with a plate of rolled crepes and car keys in hand. He took the crepes without protest, chomping on them as he sat in the front passenger seat. Lemon, sugar. A classic, his favorite. His sister was stretching her arms outside the car door with a silly grin. "Seat belts are a lifesaver, Benjo." The shared sad grin for the joke was a sign for the two of them to get it over with. It was the first time Michelle was driving since the accident. It was worse that it was streets the two never made that night. Ben noticed the shake in his sister's hand in the wheel and he was quick to calm it by turning on music, fumbling to play a song they both enjoyed. He adjusted the volume for him to hear it better.
The ride was quite apart from the close siblings singing together. If anything kept the two afloat in the last year was the terrible taste of music that sounded like nails on a chalkboard to their parents. They sang their hearts out to the revolving door of whiney vocalists until the vehicle found its way to the front of the school. Loading zone was filled with cars already with Ben hopping out feeling a lot better now. He leaned back into the car with a more genuine smile.
"You'll get home fine." Bright, positive, happy. That's what Bennett was and who he wanted to stay being. His sister finally lowered the volume to her comfort before waving him away. This wasn't his first day of high school, no need for formalities. He spun around happily at her annoyance. Normal normal was this. His sister was slightly annoyed and he was smiling smiling. When she started to veer off to the drop-off zone, Michelle had the delight to witness Mallory Hawke get decked in the student parking lot. She would hollar at the bitch’s demise the entire ride home.
Ben on the other hand did not notice his friend’s sumo slam to the ground. He was focused on getting to the office to get paperwork settled in. Last minute homeschooling for Ben last year left him in a precarious situation with his classes and when he met with Ms. Mancini for some “other” things. He was a straight-forward guy and any boring task needed to be done quickly so he could have fun. He wanted to see his friends again and get back to real normal but instead Ms. Mancini greeted him by walking him to his first class. He was a senior not a freshman but his kindness only pushed through to ask her how her summer and light chit chat before she got to his Trigonometry class. Ms. Mancini explained to the math teacher that Ben needed a seat in front for his hearing loss. Shit, his parents must have called in for special arrangements. He already had to retake the class, he didn’t need to suffer even more.
“Ms. M, I uh have to go to the restroom if that’s alright.” Ben cut her off when she expressed they would be going to every one of his teachers before the bell rang. She of course let him slip away for bathroom duties but at the end of the hall when he was in the clear, he dodged over a freshman couple making out to barely make a dodge at someone turning the corner. “Shit- sorry!”
The ride to school was quite nice actually, she enjoyed the cool air flowing over her body as she sped to school. She didn't have a license, if it was up to her she would. But her mom just doesn't trust her enough. Her mom thinks that she's gonna be drinking and driving, or get behind the wheel high. I mean she would, but it's still frustrating nonetheless.
When she got to school it took her an abnormally large amount of time to find the bike racks, and an even larger amount of time to lock her bike up. Every time she would try and fit the wheel into the narrow gap in the bars, she would suddenly be miles off course. It took some squinting, and a lot of concentration to finally hook up her transport.
As Lexi stumbled into the front doors of the school she felt the familiar hands of her best friend Calliope intertwine their arms together. She lazily looked over at the pink haired girl, Lexis face forming a smile of its own. She sighed happily and rested her head on the girls shoulder as they walked down the somewhat crowded hall. "Hey Calli.." The blonde said, her words coming out slightly breathy and filled with ease. "I'm-I'm doing okay.." she answered lazily "Almost got hit bythree cars on the way here." I mean if we're being technical, two of the three were parked, she was too spaced out to notice the incoming wall of metal. She chuckled rethinking the near accidents.
Lexi brought the girls over to a wall, leaning on her shoulder to face Calliope. She studied the girls features, her small nose the first thing Lexi always noticed first. Lexi herself didn't have an ugly nose, or a large one, she just hated the way it looked like from the side. Her eyes scared Callis outfit before huffing and turning so her back was against the cool wall. Scanning the stream of students, noticing some familiar faces. "And yourself?"
not understanding that youre a horrible person doesnt make you less of
a horrible person
fell asleep and forgot to die
— mac miller
mood: cloud 9, baby
interactions: gimme some (:
Five years. That's how long it'd been since Leon had set foot in his beloved Brooklyn, and still the mental comparisons were constant. There was always some new letdown with Seattle, he was coming to realize. The first one, all those years back, had been the alleged "downtown" of the city. It was... alright, they supposed, but smaller and closer to the ground than made sense. The second had been the summer, winter the third. What's a summer that doesn't make the city a sauna and a winter without constant snow?
If you asked them, Seattle was a city operating on mediums, and he had known nothing but extremes his whole life.
It wasn't all mid, thankfully. The people were, in their experience, always up for a good time, and the wealthy ones far more willing to spend some cash on a pretty stranger than they had been hack home.
Eat the rich and all that, unless they're feeding you.
The last three days of his break had been spent on an all-expense-paid culinary tour of Seattle that he wouldn't remember. Hell, he could barely remember the name of the boy in the driver's seat beside him. Food had never exactly interested them in the same way sights had, and the boy had been more meal than view.
Leon would remember their drives, though, the black Maserati Ghibli with its red leather interior both too comfortable and too pretty to forget.
They also remembered telling the boy who was probably a man that they were somewhere in their early twenties. The aimless driving around the UWash campus made sense suddenly, and Leon wondered vaguely why he hadn't told them to get out yet.
"Here's fine," he said as Hansee Hall came into view, unbuckling his seatbelt and lolling his head to the side to shoot the boy-man an easy grin. The car came to a stop and Leon hopped out almost immediately, the words coming from behind him falling on deaf ears. If he was quick, he had time to make one stop before Ms. Mancini would have his ass again, and NoName wasn't anywhere near as important as a cup of coffee.
Admittedly, the stop should've been their mother's house, seeing as the only things in their tote were a pack of smokes, a vodka nip, a pre-roll, and their phone, but it was just the first day. What sick fuck would make them do any actual work today?
Seven Coffee Roasters was the only other thing Seattle had going for it. It was cute and tourists hadn't ruined the vibe yet, and the coffee smacked. Their medium vanilla latte was came out relatively fast and Leon tipped with a 20 they weren't sure was theirs. He drank a bit before emptying the nip into his to-go cup and continuing his trek to school. He almost felt guilty for ruining the beverage, but he'd need far more than caffeine to get through today.
Well, that was a lie. They'd probably make it through the day sober just fine, but who wanted to do that?
He reached the school's football field and checked his phone before making his way up the bleachers. Ah, fuck it, ten minutes should be more than enough time to smoke the pre-roll and make it to class, and if it wasn't, being reprimanded by Ms. Mancini wouldn't be the end of the world.
Vera drank her sorrows in the morning, like many great men before her. Her mother kept Gray Goose in the fridge, a sign of their late-stage status, and it wasn't really much better than any other, cheaper vodka, but it served its purpose just fine. Vera sneered at her reflection in the mirror. A white Russian with a white Russian. Her clothes were light around her body, a black chemise that she wore to bed.
The person she'd had over last night was a girl named Raven Stein, a name Vera would probably forget in a few months. In goth circles, girls named Raven are a dime a dozen, and all this one did differently was have a tattoo of a skull on her lower belly. Still, like a lot of women Vera met, she was an incredible lay.
But now she was gone. She had some trauma with her father that made her terrified of being in a home with both Timothy and Marc overnight. Vera couldn't blame her. If she had her way, she'd be the only person in this building, a hideously constructed McMansion without the true aesthetics of a home worth its price. If only she could have a wrecking ball knock this place over with everyone inside, she'd be free of their litanies.
"Vera!" The voice of her mother, Dinah, rose through the heavy blanket of silence. "Get out of the bathroom, your sister needs a shower!"
She creaked the door open, only to find Lorelei and Dinah on the other side. Lorelei was not her sister. She gave the wannabe model an irritated sniff before passing her. "What did I tell you about drinking before school?"
"You drink before work." Vera grumbled. "'I drink to make other people more interesting.' Ernest Hemingway."
"Ernest who?" Lorelei asked. Vera ignored her. That girl was dumb enough to forget to breathe.
"Let your brother drive you to school." Dinah commanded. Vera groaned. She hated sharing oxygen with Marc, and he certainly wasn't her brother. But he was the only one with a car, and while she could walk, her mother's word was usually final. Entering the living room, she found Marc, Timothy, and her real sister Rima sitting on the couches.
"доброе утро." She nodded towards Rima, who nodded back.
"Hey there, sport." Timothy was smoking a Cuban cigar and marveling over yet another stuffed bird he'd purchased -- a barn owl that he'd named Lizette. Vera had actually adored taxidermy before she met Timothy Watts, but now, she wasn't so sure. "Fight the good fight today, kid!" Vera ignored him too, shuffling past to finish her drink and put some real clothes on. She played a Throbbing Gristle CD to wake herself up.
Hamburger Lady, Hamburger Lady.
By the time she returned fully-dressed, Marc was also ready, twirling a ring of keys in his hand. Rima was behind him, quietly stuffing some cigarette rolling papers in her shoulderbag and offering a few to Vera, who took them graciously.
The car ride largely consisted of listening to whatever awful music Marc was into as he dropped Rima off at her college, smugly wolf-whistling at some of the girls passing by. Vera crawled into the front seat in a desperate attempt to change the radio station, but Marc smacked her hands away. "Once you get your own car, you can listen to as much radio static as you want, Grudge." Vera bristled.
"Stop calling me 'Grudge'."
"Mm. Nah." Vera rolled her eyes and opted to take out her headphones and listen to some Swans. She remained that way until they arrived at school. Marc was a senior, just a witch's kiss away from graduating. She ran ahead before she had to watch Marc make obscene gestures at students who were probably too young for him. (Didn't he have a girlfriend, anyway?) While she could go to class, getting lectured by Ms. Mancini was barely even a punishment.
Instead, she headed to the football field, preparing to roll herself a cigarette... Only to find she didn't have any tobacco to load it with. God fucking dammit. There was only one other person there, but he seemed like he would probably grant her a smoke. She stuffed a hand in her pocket, fishing out a dollar.
"Hello. Could I have a cigarette? Maybe two. I didn't pack properly." Thinking about it harder, did she even bring a notebook? Or a pencil? Now she wasn't even sure.
Gender: Female Status: Single Age: 16 Sign: Aquarius
City: Seattle State: Washington Country USA
Thu, January 18, 2018 Street Tacos Priced at $3/each is a Crime.
Mother fucker! Liv could destroy the world with how pissed she was at Lauren. She chewed on her already tasteless gum and stayed slumped in the Amtrak waiting room. A whole 34 hour train ride just for the asshole to not show or pick up his phone. Her oversized suitcase and jumbo duffle bag was perfect to prop her feet on top but she was sick of sitting by now. Her thickest coat wasn’t fit for Seattle weather but Liv would rather be hot than be warm.
“Fuck off.” She barked at a crusty man that kept lingering closer and closer to her. He mumbled something about a bitch and that was enough for her to get up to leave. She checked her dying phone one more time for Lauren to reply. 6:30am, she’ll find her way on her own - like she always did. So far, Seattle was just colder but the same amount of dirt as any other metropolis Liv witnessed. The luck of the elevator working was at least a good sign to her as she angrily exposed her new house mate on Twitter.
"@laurybear YOUR REAL LUCK Y YOUR CUTE CUZ IM LOST IN SEATTLE AND I GOT 3% IN MY PHONE U AASs."
Livia and Lauren met only a few weeks ago and to any normal person, moving in with a practical stranger was a frightening move. Not for Liv though. She was now a pro at hopping from one couch to another, and this time she got a whole room to herself. Lauren and her hit it off at music camp - as nerdy as it sounded. Well, they first hated each other and had conflicting music interests. They even missed the first deadline for their song project. It was embarrassing but after making up and making out they started to work better than any other duo. So when Livia's housing situation was up and Lauren asked if she wanted to "work together again", she jumped on the idea of moving all together. Of course Lauren was going to say yes. They were a good guy and honestly a better friend than any of the social climbers Livia met in Los Angeles.
The one thing Seattle didn't have right off the bat was good tacos. Livia was sticker shocked by the price for just one but she still ordered the four carnitas with nopales. She hovered over her bags and ate her tacos, glancing casually at her Twitter dms of a stranger-danger @lukey. Very interesting… She didn’t have time to send a flirty message as she shooed off a creeping homeless woman. She even dropped her last taco on the grimy floor. She screamed spanish expletives at the woman before giving the beggar her 65 cents of change. Homeless people were still people… Livia was just freezing cold. The woman had thanked her graciously, humbling Livia to remember she should try to be nice to the misfortunate souls. She wasn't much different from them - if anything, she was half a step from their position. Livia put out one last distress signal out into the world:
"IN NEED OF A RIDE SINCE SOMONE @LAURYBEAR FORGOT ABOUT ME. PROMISE I WONT SLEEP WITH YOUR DAD. YOUR DAD IS OFF LIMITS."
It's a quote directly from the Devil himself and you can't convince Marshall otherwise. If a benevolent deity decides to bestow him with divine power, Marshall would cancel mornings permanently. No one should be forced to start their day until at least twelve o'clock noon.
Alas, Marshall isn't a omnipotent force of nature.
As students reunite with their friends, an old '69 Ford Boss Mustang pulls into the parking lot. The chipped paint and multiple scratches on the side screams South Seattle. Despite its worn exterior, the car purrs like a kitten.
Marshall installed a new transmission. Since his father's death, Marshall gutted the entire engine and replaced most of it. Since the repairs aren't cheap, Marshall focused on important things like the engine or new tires. Cosmetics like a new paint job will come later.
When you're on a tight budget, you have to make sacrifices. However, Marshall is determined to restore Diana completely before graduation.
He parks in his usual spot — it's a cozy corner away from the crowds — and steps out of his car. He grabs Persephone — the padded guitar case backpack carries his guitar and supplies — from the backseat. A shiver trickles down his spine. Does he regret wearing a midriff top in the beginning of January? Yes. Was it the only clean shirt he could find since he overslept and rushed to school? Also yes. Once he locks his car, Marshall slips on his sunglasses.
The dark tint of his shades mask his bloodshot eyes and dark circles. "Avis is right. Sunglasses do make everything better," he mutters. Suddenly, a tangerine bumps against his boot. Marshall crouches on the ground and spots a bundle of tangerines rolling in different directions. He raises his head. "Speak of the devil, hey man." He picks up a few tangerines and approaches Avian. He hands him the small handful.
"I'm thinking about skipping first period. You in?" A senior should focus on their classes since it was their last semester of high school. However, Marshall's head is killing him and he regrets leaving the apartment.
He makes a mental note to text Cameron. His friend is probably wondering if he made it to school.
Before he could hear Avian's response, Marshall spots a commotion near the entrance. He raises his hand. "Think about it for a minute. Text me if you want to skip first period together." He pivots and crosses the parking lot.
Bullying isn't anything new. However, Marshall isn't the type to look the other way and let it happen, especially when Malibu Barbie is involved. Despite his intimidating appearance and poor reputation, Marshall fights for the little guy.
If Mallory Hawke wants a fight, he'll give her war.
"I'm sure your father will hear about this, Draco Malfoy." Marshall interjects and offers a hand to Hyun. "Although, with the sheer amount of self-entitlement exuding from your tiny frame, you're the female version of Lucius Malfoy." He pulls Hyun to his feet. He directs his attention to Mallory and crosses his arms.
"He apologized loud and clear, Malibu Barbie. If you're going to act like a bitch about it, at least wait until lunch," Marshall snarks.
He should've stayed at the — at this point, it feels like home since he's been living there for three months — apartment. He's too sober for drama early in the morning. Maybe Leon has something good to take off the edge.
Thu, January 18, 2018 my best friend turned into a zombie! or was he one this whole time?!
Laury was focused on his breakfast and the very long email from his grandpa. The oat and fruity bar gave them comfort as they read through a pdf on Lauren’s life plan options. Lauren’s family had a serious business, billions of dollars at stake, kind of business. New York Times writing articles, plural, kind of business, and Lauren didn’t want to be a part of it. His grandpa hijacked his high school class choices after Freshman year, giving him honors and AP classes when it was applicable. They didn’t protest it or try to fail out of it. Lauren was just - he knew his place in the world and he was just going to have fun until time ran out. First pick of college was New York University and he’d get in. Grandpa donated enough money, their surname was on the plaque in Stern College. Lauren could fail and still get in. There was a slight panic the way Lauren started to do simple math on how much time he had left of freedom that he didn’t even notice when his best friend arrived. He closed out of the file reader before scooting over.
“Hey, morning. Everyone’s late today.” Lauren released his anxiety through a chuckle before refusing the offer. “My dad’s hovering over me like a hawk since Jack’s thing. I’m not chancing it until he leaves for another work event.”
With Luke, Lauren was a bit more lax about the family endeavors. Rich people can smell each other from a mile away even in incognito mode, and maybe the two of them had an understanding of how Lauren didn’t like talking about his family business. Sometimes he wondered if Luke knew how much money Lauren accumulated by just breathing. For sure, Lauren knew Jack wouldn’t understand. There were too many instances where Laurie stood at the sidelines while Jack suffered. This feeling of losing Jack as a friend only compounding even more by the minute. “At least one of us did. I - uh, had to walk here from someone’s house. Didn’t want to get lost on the way here.” He whispered like it was a secret - well, maybe it was a secret. His friend Carter was still convinced Lauren was a virgin, and their nerdy demeanor and interests didn’t help the cause. If anything, Lauren was the soft boy in BNO. The one girls wrote fanfics about where he only showed up with gingersnap cookies to the self-insert messy bun protagonist after Rock Hard Abs Luke or Gothic Tattoo Sleeved Jack broke her heart for the fifth time in ten chapters. A reputation like that was embarrassing, especially when it was wrong - very very wrong.
ava’s morning started like her usual everyday–stark naked and dancing to her favorite indie rock classics bumping over her alexa speakers. the tawny brown felt it in her soul that the best way to wake up every morning had to include dancing to music in her bed room and such things just had to be included in her schedule. after her waltzing concluded she threw on a tank and bootcut jeans–specifically the ones that made her butt look fantastic. not that it even mattered, she pouted to herself in the mirror–form-fitting jeans would soon be masked by the huge striped knit she’d throw on to finish her layering.
her face scrunched in a sort of smile though, still noting that even though the outfit was a bit lazy–it would keep her warm. and god did she hate being cold. why couldn’t dad have done philanthropy work in…like san diego? or the bahamas?!
“summer come soon, summer come soon…” she muttered softly to herself as she grabbed her yellow plaid jansport and hopped down the hardwood stairs.
mickey and april were downstairs already getting shoo’d out the door and into the school bus by her mother. ava thought it was a bit silly her parents insisted on their kids taking the bus every morning to school when mom or herself could quite easily take them themselves, but amanda (her mom, yes she calls her by first name) insisted the children have the same childhood experience she had growing up. something about teaching her kids to be humble and as social as they could be. “bye micks!! bye april!!” ava shouted, waving to her two siblings on their way to elementary school–running backwards and smiling as they waved back.
amanda, wrapped in layers of wool fabrics, met ava at the table sniffling. “no pilates for me this morning, i got bit by some sort of bug..” frowning as she sipping at her mimosa, “ava, i was thinking.. maybe next year you’ll get the range? you know? one last year of taking the bus?”
ava rolled her eyes with a grin,"ha. ha."--knowing her mother was obviously kidding. she’d been taking the range out all winter break with her new permit and besides, there was no way she was taking the bus ever again. freshman year was bad enough and she’d spent all of the semester prior only pretending to ride the bus anyway. nate diaz, her former casual fling had been her timely chauffeur at the beginning of the school year, but she’d honestly gotten bored of him. no more rides from boys anymore, especially not meatheads on the football team. this year she was driving up to school in her range with the top down every morning. well, not every morning. probably not even most mornings–that’s rain city for ya.
with a bit of playful banter and cheek kisses goodbye, she had secured the silver keys and was on her merry way, windows down--music blasting, to queen anne to pick up ⅓ of her passengers for today–her long time friend and (thankfully) former penpal: giselle robinson.
upon picking the bright ginger up, ava was flush with joy and affection at the sight of her childhood friend. the excitement almost caused her to crash into a trash can at the edge of the curb after completely forgetting to put the range in park–which the two, of course, laughed out.
a big recent change of hers was creating a social media account after three years of being free from the chains of the movie industry–which was big. and ava would definitely be talking about it with her on the short ride to junie’s from elle’s house.
she herself had almost dabbled in the same work, even attending the same workshops as her friend for small bit of time before her parents decided to take her out of the whole deal. at first, ava was rather disappointed she had to quit acting alongside her friend, but after pen-palling giselle all those years–she quickly realized just how odious the industry world was for a young girl growing up. though, it was once the two girls’ dreams–she was just relieved giselle had made it out alive whether it was a temporary break or not.
creating an instagram doesn’t seem like such a thing to talk about, but for elle? ava knew it was sort of a big deal, especially with the crazy amount of following she'd gotten in a mere months of being online again. people were finally able to see her friend for the lovely, unique personality she’d had to hide behind hair straighteners and barking set designers. giselle was perfectly one-of-a-kind and it brought ava so much happiness to see her friend as sunny as ever–even through the hectic negativity she’d experienced a big chunk of her childhood.
and…now everyone online could see giselle the way ava did too.
“dude, okay, so i told you we were picking up junie right? we’re alsooo picking up her new housemate eino. like some european exchange student…” she bubbled, conspicuously–raising her eyebrow with a sly smile at her ginger-haired friend. “i wonder what he’s like..” trailed ava, making a u-turn at the stop to park right outside of june’s house,
“like–i wonder if he’s cute..” she giggled, looking down at her phone to send a quick text to notify june.
“and, like…what if he’s…like–the one??” she went on to say–mostly in good humor in reference to her friend, but continuing to tease giselle on the possibility. though they were very close and spent lots of time together since she'd been back, ava was definitely the more frisky out of the two. they were both bit by the hopeless romanticism almost every teenage girl was cursed with, but ava would include copious amounts of sex to this endless search for the one (or the five?).
giselle on the other hand didn’t prioritize such things at all. ava didn’t completelyyy understand it, but she respected it.