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Realistic or Modern 𝒯𝒶𝓃𝑔𝓁𝑒𝒹 𝐻𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉𝓈 & 𝐻𝒾𝒹𝒹𝑒𝓃 𝒞𝓁𝓊𝑒𝓈



















  • why you mad, bro?





    Margot’s exaggeratedly slurred words caused Axel to turn back toward her
    with a violent force. In an instant, before he was really fully aware of what he was doing, his hands gripped his sister’s shoulders tightly—far tighter than necessary. He shook her, hissing through his teeth, “Do you ever shut the fuck up?!”

    Some voices around him quieted and some bodies stilled. Eyes turned to Axel.

    Every muscle in his body drew tight.

    Music pounded in the background.

    Axel’s grip on Margot’s shoulders tightened further.

    “I told you,” he said, lowering his voice, his teeth bared, his jaw clenched tightly, his eyes full of red rage, “that I didn’t want to see your fucking face tonight, didn’t I?”

























    stfu








    ♡coded by uxie♡

 


















smile





Fun, games, and messing with one's brother all seemed to fall away the moment Axel gripped her shoulders.
Of course, she'd never really been able to take over the role of "annoying little sister" because Axel had never had tolerance for her.

"Axel stop," she whimpered as she tried to shrug off his grip. "You're hurting me."

Beside her, Ellie -- her briefly forgotten, drunken counterpart -- spoke up, and Axel's rage was shifted from Margot to her. And even if Margot was scared, and drunk, and really, really hated her brother, she definitely didn't want Ellie getting hurt, you know? Plus, plus--

Well, if he did anything to Margot, at least he'd be grounded and lose the keys to his shitty car or something, ya know?

"Shut up and... and... and leave her alone!" Margot yelled, and more heads started to glance in their direction as she tried once again to shake her brother's hands from her shoulders. "You're such a dick, Axel, this is why no one likes you."

Wriggling somewhat free, Margot brought her hands up and roughly shoved them into her older brother's chest.

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















jealous much?





Donna cocked a crooked grin over at Ari.
“Oh, I don’t think you really know what this is,” he said cryptically, coming up to the gate to grip the rusty links.

As he turned around to grin at Ari, she came to a stop by the gate to stare at it. Donna chuckled and took several steps back, squaring his shoulders as he watched her start to slip underneath the gate.

“Psh,” he scoffed under his breath, rolling his eyes as he stepped apart to balance his weight.

She always did things the smart way. There was no fun in that.

Taking a running start, Donna leapt onto the wobbly, squealing gate, just as the challenge to do the same thing he was doing escaped Ari’s mouth. The entire ancient gate rolled like a wave with each movement of his body; Donna’s grin widened with every shift. He easily tossed himself over the rusted barbed wire at the top and caught back on the other side before dropping himself from halfway up onto the ground.

He absorbed the shock by landing with his feet squared apart, and then turned to Ari with a smirk and a chuckle, dusting the rust shavings and dirt from his hands. “You were saying?”

Shoving his hands in the pockets of his jacket, Donahue started off with his gaze set in a clear direction.

Scrap metal, corroded and piled high, was gathered in heaps both to the left and to the right. Strewn across the ground were tons of old newspapers, loose screws, pieces of gates, and car parts; Donna bent down and picked up a nail, turned it over in his hand, and shoved it in his pocket. There was a chunk of concrete that Donna took a left at, and then stopped to point out the fact that there was a poorly spray-painted penis with a signature of DJ beside it.

“Wonder who did that,” Donna said, grinning widely, watching her face to see whether or not she picked up that it was him.

He continued to walk through the broken down cars and moldy mattresses until he reached a large clearing with a blackened center. He stopped, turned back to Ari, and said, opening his arms toward the scene behind him, “Like what you see?” And then, trying to pretend as though he were being genuine, he thumped himself on the head. “Oh, wait, I’m forgetting something.”

He walked around Ari to seize a moldy twin-sized mattress. With a grunt of effort, he began to tug it toward the blackened area. Once he’d placed it, he walked over to a rotted wooden pallet and reached beneath it to pull out—“heh”—lighter fluid.

From his pocket, he retrieved a lighter.

Wordlessly but grinning widely, he walked up to the mattress, doused it in lighter fluid, and lit it up.

























how bad can i be?








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















screw off.





Micky blinked.
“Say what?”

“Yeah, Lindsay Kay?” Colby began. “Lin Kay?”

Micky’s brows scrunched together. “Lin…Kay…?” That sounded weirdly familiar.

“That’s my dad,” Colby said. “He’s got a whole bunch of ah…videos and stuff.”

She sifted through her memories for where she’d heard that name before—but she couldn’t find it anywhere. Shaking her head, she pulled out her phone and opened her browser. Lin kay, she typed, all lowercase, fully expecting, like, some random ass guy’s Facebook.

But the first picture was this dude taking a picture on a red carpet with his perfectly styled Pomeranian.

And then it clicked—Micky followed this guy, and had been for at least the last year and a half.

Of course, she didn’t remember his name—she mostly remembered him being fucking hilarious in his public pranks and also dancing with his dog sometimes and, ya know, being pretty hot for an old guy. But that was him.

Yeah, like hell he was actually Colby’s father.

“Lotta them with his dog, ‘course,” Colby continued. “His dog’s pretty cool.”

Micky’s eyes flicked between the photo of Lin and the boy standing in front of her, trying to determine the similarities between them before she realized—

Wait, fuck—he kind of actually did look like him.

And then, wait, fuck even more, because Colby had that same fucking last name, right?

“Oh, and his dad—my grandpa—was this umm…famous musician for a real long time, ‘cept he’s kind of a shitty person, so we don’t really talk to him,” Colby said.

Micky was trying not to act interested, but she couldn’t help but say, “Oh, really?”

Colby took a sip from his drink, and Micky went back to tapping on her screen. Lin kay father.

Eh. It was just some old guy.

Wait.

Ricky Kay…?

Her mom fucking worshipped that guy.

Colby chattered more about the other side of his family and their prestige, too, and the more that the guy talked, the more that Micky’s sly, devious smile sought to creep onto her lips. Because he might have been saying other words, but all that Micky was seeing and hearing was, Dollarsignsdollarsignsdollarsigns.

Micky stopped herself short of getting too excited, though. After all…it was Colby, trying to impress her. Like, she would be whatever the opposite of surprised was to find out that he was pulling all of this out of his ass just to impress her.

So…

"What 'bout you?" Colby asked when she tuned back in. "Any cool family? Other than that ummm...your sister and that...brother...of yours...?"

“Your dad is Lin Kay?” she said, not answering. “So like, he really said that he’d buy you a sports car?” She narrowed her eyes at him, crossing her arms. “How do I know, like, that you’re for real, though?”

























abcdefu








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















Whatever makes you happy...





Ellie recoiled at Margot’s yell, pushing her elbows tight against herself
and flinching as her friend tried to wriggle free from her brother’s grasp.

And then—Margot managed to shove Axel.

And all hell broke loose.

“Get your fucking hands off of me, you little skank!” Axel hissed, grabbing Margot’s shoulders again, tighter. “This is why no one ever fucking wants to stick around except whiny fucking nerds who whine online about never fucking—“

Ellie lost control over the tears she’d been holding back, and she turned around and, sobbing, shoved through the crowd, stumbling and falling all over as she tried to make her way to a clearing. She fought for the phone in her pocket as tears streamed down her face. Her hands were shaking violently.

They’re yelling—they’re yelling and it’s my fault they’re yelling worse and they’re yelling and it’s my fault—

The first contact that came up was her dad’s, so she tapped it and held her phone tightly to her face as she still ran for a tree to curl up behind. She couldn’t breath—shit, she couldn’t breathe.

BEEP BEEP BEEP

She looked at her phone through blurry tears, then muttered a stream of curse words when she discovered that she wasn’t getting any service. Crying harder now to the point of distressed sounds escaping her lips, Ellie half-ran further and further toward the woods until she bordered on the thick area.

Finally, she found signal, and her call to her dad went through.

Immediately as the phone began to dial, she began to cry harder, falling to the ground and hugging her knees. “Dad! Dad, pick up!” she whimpered, squeezing her eyes shut and shifting her legs a bit.


























I Miss What I Have








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















day by day...





Chelsea Kader Freud had been out of high school for twenty-three years now
, but walking down the polished hallway of Pretoria Heights High called back all of the memories that had fallen away. The hallway trophy cases were still haunted by the countless football trophies bearing his name or year he played, placards that told the fact that he had this title and that title for year after year after year. The team, even though they were still doing well, had never quite been the same in the twenty-three years since his graduation.

Dexter had been a big part of it, too, but he’d moved away and found success elsewhere. As for the other person—the asshole who got way too much credit…

Well, CK just hoped he didn’t see his goddamn face tonight. It really was an eyesore.

Before he’d left home with his wife and given his daughter over to the babysitter to watch for the night, CK had done his moral obligation of sitting the boys down and warning them sternly against misbehavior, and they’d nodded like they always did, but he knew that he would likely come home with either his house gone to shit or a call from the police station saying that he needed to come down and deal with things monetarily.

He’d given up at this point.

Now that he was here, though, his wife on his arm and his phone turned off and in his pocket, the boys and whatever trouble they may have been getting up to tonight was shut out of his mind in favor of doing what he did best: reminding everyone else through his very existence that they would never be able to have the life that he had. From his perfectly styled hair to his pressed and tailored suit down to his impeccably shined shoes, CK was the picture of put-together, as he always was.

Still, that didn’t mean that he quite wanted to be here. As they walked into the crowded auditorium, just about five minutes later than it began, he, not glancing at his wife, with the same stone face and monotone voice as always, said, “I still don’t understand what the point of this is, Ashton.” In there was written the question of, Why are we here?

It wasn’t like a formal dinner, or an outing for business connections. If it had been one of those such things, then Chelsea would have had an obligation to go to such things and to feign some sort of interest. This, however, was a loosely organized get-together of nobodies who would profit him nothing.

























this fffire








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















smile





The idea of a... high school reunion was... not at all fun.
But here he was, driving his old car down to the old high school. In the backseat was his best friend, Michael Reid, and his wife, Logan. And in the seat next to Nate was his wife, Nickie. His hand had been resting on the gear stick, but it subconsciously shifted to rest on Nickie's hand.

It almost took him back to high school, to driving these same roads, with Mike in the backseat then, too, but with the two of them accompanied by different girls, different dates. And without the fifth wheel -- the fifth wheel, of course, being his baby that Nickie was carrying. And sure, they were broke and strapped for cash, and crowded into the house with the four kids they already had, but... Nate was still excited to welcome the newest member to the Woods household.

"In and out?" he asked, his deep voice as monotoned and deadpanned as always. And, well, there wasn't anyone he really wanted to see and if Nate was being honest, he was... really only here because Nickie had wanted to go. If it was up to him, he never would've bothered seeing anyone from high school again.

As they arrived and he parked, Nate's pocket felt heavy with none other than the joint he had. You know. For emergencies -- and as he stared at the looming doors of the school, he realized the emergency was now.

"We'll meet you inside," Nate said, releasing the hold he'd taken on Nickie's hand. He pressed a quick kiss against his wife's lips, giving her a half-hearted smile. "Mike and I gotta take care of some business first."

Once the wives were gone, he turned towards Mike, patting his pockets before pulling out the joint and a lighter. The only other person to witness their devious act was a guy off to the side, smoking a cigarette.

"You bring liquor?"

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















smile





When Logan had originally dreamed of coming back to her high school reunions,
it had been with the idea of a law degree, herself a successful district attorney, with an equally successful, smart husband, and--

Well, probably no children.

Instead, the universe had clearly had different plans for Logan Carter. Because here she was, married to the man that had robbed her of everything when he knocked her up with Axel. And here she was, with an angry asshole of a son, and a whiny daughter. And... to some degree, don't get Logan wrong, she did love of her kids most days but... well, she hadn't exactly been blessed with the easiest of kids. At least not with Axel, which left little time for Margot.

Her dark hair was a tangled, barely brushed mess as she sat in the backseat, in a used dress she'd purchased from the local secondhand store. It barely fit, hanging loosely on her thin frame, but it was the best that she could do.

As they pulled to a stop, Logan took in a deep, shaky breath before stepping out of the car. Nate had made his way around the car to take Nickie's hand, and Logan glanced in Mike's direction, but she made no move to copy the other couple.

Logan stopped as Nathan spoke by the entrance, and her lips pressed together. They were going to get drunk and high -- she knew as much, because it was what they did at everything together. Whenever Mike said he was heading out to hang with Nate, Logan knew he was going to come home wasted beyond belief.

"Alright," she said, with some kind of second remark dancing on the tip of her tongue, but Logan ultimately swallowed it before turning back towards the open doors and starting in -- with none other than Nickie beside her. Someone that Logan hadn't spoken with at all in school, and that she'd never had the desire to.

And yet here she was, unfortunately one of Logan's only friends.

Life was a cruel mistress.

"Anyone you wanna see?" she asked.

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 
Last edited:


















Perpetually unlucky...





There was a warm smile plastered on her face,
as Ash's heels clicked against the ground. Her arm was looped through CK's, as she gazed around the gymnasium that had been set up for the reunion.

Ash glanced up at her husband as she spoke, and rolled her eyes in response. "Please, because this will be fun," she insisted, even though she hardly believed that herself. "Not everything has to be business all the time."

Which felt silly to say to CK, because things were almost always business with him. But she was intending to have at least a little bit of fun tonight -- the boys were off doing... whatever it was, and Chelsea was safely at home with the babysitter. There was nothing to worry about, no phone calls that she should be expecting tonight -- and if there were and the twins ended up arrested (as they so often did), her dad was working tonight, so he'd be able to handle them.

Nothing was standing in their way of having fun tonight.

"Maybe you'll see some of your old high school buddies. Your football teammates? Dexter might be here, right?" she suggested, trying to lighten the mood and give him some reason to hang around. "Or... who else did you hangout with?"

























it's ok if you forget me








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















Nothing less than perfection...





S. T. Callaghan didn’t do much on his nights off anymore.


There was a time when he did. Those were years he tried to push out of his mind: the college years that he wound spend the wee hours of the morning tripping on something new in a shitty one-room apartment in Seattle, alone writing scribbles on a yellow notepad or with some stoner chick who thought emo poetry guys were hot; the years following that when he came back and all that had changed was that he was hooked on harder things and had a useless degree, when he found the same crowd and fell in even worse. But then, he got clean, or “clean” enough, and he stopped fooling with the things of his youth that had damn near killed him, and now, he was seven years sober with a Master’s degree, living in his grandmother’s basement, driving the same van he’d been driving since high school, barely alive and still wanting to die but maybe slightly less, with nothing to do at night except grade idiot kids’ essays on books they didn’t read or write.

And right now, he had writer’s block—and thus, though he hated just about everyone from high school, he took tonight’s opportunity to get out of the house and do something beside sit on his arse and pick up a pen to try and constipatedly try and force words to come out by volunteering to chaperone the class reunion.

Unfortunately, he was reminded as he watched the people trickle in that, Christ, he hated almost every single one of them.

Quite conveniently, however, he caught the man who owned the dealership-mechanic deal where he got his van repaired entering into the doors, and so, he walked out of his dark corner of the room to approach the shorter man.

“Zeph,” he greeted, more casually than he’d usually greet someone, “just the right guy. Glad I found ya. You here with your wife?” And then, after only a very short pause allowing for only a very short response, he asked, “Well, that’s nice. Say, I have a question for you. You’re a good car man, you know what the answer is. What does that, ah, that yellow light shaped like a weird square mean on your dashboard when it comes on? Asking for a friend.”

























pick your poison








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















turn that frown upside down





Unlike so many others who were less than thrilled to be here,
Zeph was genuinely excited to be able to see people he hadn't talked to in years. And also get somewhere that him and Tori would be surrounded by others, so she couldn't give him the dirty looks that had followed since Lin took Colby.

Listen, it was... hard to be the step-dad who was basically dad until real dad decided to rear his ugly head. And as much as Zeph despised Lin, he knew that Colby still looked up to his biological dad, even if Lin had only ever been there for the fun stuff. Zeph had been the one to attend parent teacher conferences, who left work early to get Colby sick from school, who held him when he'd fallen off his bike and skinned his knee.

But at the same time, he didn't have the power to tell Lin to fuck off and tell Colby that he wasn't allowed to see his dad.

He was sipping some juice from the punch bowl (how very mature of this high school reunion) while Tori had taken off, probably with Beth, to go gossip about something. She was staying with them for a few days since she'd come down for the reunion -- for whatever reason.

And out of the corner of his eye came Trevor Callaghan, a man that Zeph had... never really interacted with in high school. The only things he'd really known about him back in the day were stoner, van, loser, dated a hot cheerleader somehow. And it seemed that all those things still reigned true, except the dating a hot cheerleader part.

Of course, Zeph had thought for a while that Trevor was dating a girl named Rachel, until he realized that the "woman" he so affectionately spoke about was none other than the same van he'd been driving since he was sixteen.

It wasn't in great condition these days, but Trevor still poured so much money into it. Maybe that's why he couldn't afford to move out of his ailing grandparents' basement.

"Oh yeah, Tori's ah... somewhere with her sister, I think." he squinted, as if trying to figure out where his wife and her sister were, before Trevor continued speaking and the true intent of why he was over here became oh so clear.

"A square light?" Zeph echoed, and he furrowed his eyebrows, as if contemplating what it could be. Although Trevor's description gave absolutely no insight into what it could potentially be. "Is it Rachel's check engine light again, bud?"

The wheezing van was constantly spitting out warning lights, though, as if it was begging to be put out of its misery.

"You know... Beth, Tori's sister, she's single right now. And she's an author..."

Was he perhaps suggesting that he could set the two of them up?

Yes, even though he knew Beth would have his head for such a thing.

























crocodile rock








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















if i could, i would feel nothing.





Surprise, surprise, Michael didn’t fucking want to be here,
life fucking sucked, yada yada. Yeah, really, honestly, you could pack it up and go home if you expected him to say something new. Groceries, alcohol, and gas money ate up his last paycheck faster and faster every time, his wife got older and older, his kids were still as fucking annoying as ever, et cetera, et cetera, fill in the blank, circle answer number four, turn it in, and shoot him.

But Mike was nothing if not a great friend, so, when Woods told him he was headed to the high school reunion, Mike knew he was obligated to come along. Nickie wanted to come, Woods said—and of course she did. You name any negative trait or psychological issue, and Mike swore that bitch had it, and she definitely seemed to fucking get her rocks off to making Woods miserable. Woods seemed happy enough sometimes, sure, but Mike knew that she was really just holding him back.

Speaking of being held back, Mike’s own wife sat beside him now in the backseat of the Woods’ car, but Mike sat with his face turned away, his elbow propped up on the door’s armrest, his eyes gazing at the darkening, smeared landscape outside, his shoulders rising and falling with deep breaths. The air was mostly quiet; some indistinct song played on the radio. Mike’s cheap drugstore cologne, spicy and pungent, coalesced with Logan’s preferred scent in the air to make something altogether unpleasant.

Finally, the vehicle arrived on location, and Mike, with a deep sigh, stepped out of the vehicle, though he glanced at Woods to make sure that the unspoken plan that they had each time was still on.

“We’ll meet you inside,” Nate said, kissing his wife’s lips; Mike didn’t acknowledge his wife. “Mike and I gotta take care of some business first.”

“Alright,” Logan responded. Several years ago, she would have made some sharp remark that ended up with Mike not being able to set foot in the house for the night or the next few, but now, that was all that she said, and Mike watched her walk away in her loose dress before turning to Woods.

A wide grin spread across Mike’s as Woods pulled out a joint and a lighter. "You bring liquor?" Woods asked.

Mike chuckled. “You even have to ask?” he said, untucking his ancient polo from his faded jeans. He lifted it up slightly, then pulled out a large flask from the waistband. Proudly displaying the metal container, Mike inclined his head in the direction of the side of the building.

It wasn’t like he didn’t think Logan knew what was going on, but he knew that if he wanted to sleep in his own bed tonight, he’d better not let himself be seen doing it.

























double








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















i know you want me.





Nickie had prodded her hair in the mirror for at least an hour,
but it still didn’t cooperate. She had put on her red dollar store lipstick, but it seemed crooked now. She had curled her lashes and applied her mascara, but the curl came out and her lashes looked clumpy now. Her foundation was streaky; her blush was too light; she’d chosen the wrong earrings.

But the worst part was that she was pregnant. And not, like, the pretty pregnant. Like, the I look like a fat fucking cow pregnant.

But she’d been so excited for this night for so long—to finally see old friends from high school and hear them all tell her how good she looked for her age and just, like, talk shit like old times—that it was too late to back out now, so here she was, and if she was here, she was going to be here, and she was going to fully fucking commit to being here.

She continued to prod her hair and try and fix it in the mirror.

“In and out?” Nate asked.

Nickie frowned. “Ugh, Nathan,” she whined, glancing at her reflection in the rearview mirror before looking over at her husband and squeezing his hand, “nooo, I’ll be staying however long I need to and we will have fun—like, it’ll be such a blast that you’ll be begging not to, like, leave in the end, anyway.” She glanced down at their held hands, leaning back against the seat and sighing softly. She tried not to look back at the couple in the backseat in the rearview mirror, but, well, it was hard not to, and she couldn’t help but slightly as she noticed the fact that they weren’t even really acknowledging each other.

It was just nice to remember that you were kind of doing better than some people.

When they got out of the vehicle, Nickie immediately walked around the car, her hand finding Nate’s hand like a magnet. They made their way to the door, and Nickie smiled over at Nate. “You...,” she started, but she let the thought fall off when Nate stopped in front of the door.

“We’ll meet you inside,” he said. He dropped her hand, and Nickie frowned deeply.

Nate,” she said in a sort of whiny voice, but Nate leaned down to peck her on the lips and she quieted.

“Mike and I gotta take care of some business first,” she said.

Nickie crossed her arms tightly over her chest as Logan gave an “alright”. “No, not alright,” Nickie said, knowing full well what her husband was about to do. She considered for a moment chewing him out and demanding he come inside, but instead, she decided to just warn, “You’d better be fast, Nathan.”

With a sigh, she turned away, smiling over at her total bestie. “Ugh, like, husbands, amiright?” she remarked as she pushed open the doors.

“Anyone you wanna see?” Logan asked as the two of them made their way down the long hall.

Nickie shrugged. “Sort of, like, everyone, you know?” she said. “Like, I mean, like, I really don’t, like, see many people, like, being a secretary or whatever.” She wasn’t trying to brag or anything, but…well, she kind of was. “I mean, like, I see Ash sometimes, and, like, she’s, like, you know, but, like, I haven’t seen really anyone else since, like, high school. What about you?”

























What Was I Made For?








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















day by day...





“‘Fun,’”
Chelsea repeated in a murmur, knowing that the opposite would be true. If his wife found something enjoyable, then it was, almost without fail, something entirely miserable. That was how it had been all eighteen years they had been married, and it was unlikely to change now.

But he would bear it for her.

The gymnasium echoed noisily with loud voices and fake laughter. CK’s lips pressed into a flat line as he observed his surroundings. Tumbling mats had been laid out across most of the floor to preserve the aesthetics, but CK could see, from the uncovered areas, that the sheen on the floor was spotty. Tch.

“Maybe you’ll see some of your old high school buddies,” Ash suggested. “Your football teammates? Dexter might be here, right? Or…who else did you hang out with?”

No one else, really. It had always only been Dexter and whatever girl he had for the week, but he’d neglect to mention that. “Dexter got caught up at work,” CK said, sighing deeply. “He couldn’t make the drive in time.” Four hours of distance made things hard. The kids had been begging to see their “uncle” for the past few months, but there seemed to never be enough time, and especially not enough time to make a drive.

“I imagine there’s someone you want to see, then?” he asked, though his tone was flat as though he were making a statement.

























this fffire








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















Nothing less than perfection...





“Ah, check engine light,
Trevor repeated, his brows knitting as he nodded slowly. That sounded about right. Though he was obsessed with making his twenty-six-year-old van look beautiful and pristine, he had to replace parts and sensors just about every other week. It was worth it for Rachel, though, that beauty—she’d been through hell and back with him, and damn it if he was not going to do the same for her.

“You know…,” Zeph started, and Trevor sort of tensed up and looked away. If Zeph started with something like that, he was usually about to say something akin to an unconvincing you should look at this new vehicle on the lot.

“Beth, Tori’s sister, she’s single right now.”

Hah?” Trevor asked, his head jerking back in the direction of the shorter man beside him.

“And she’s an author…”

“Yes, I know who she is,” Trevor said, his cheeks pink from surprise and embarrassment. Of course he knew who Elizabeth Sterling was; her work was, unfortunately, masterful. He took the stance that each city only had one real master of literature it could claim, and Trevor saw it as himself—however, Elizabeth’s talent was…well, it spoke for itself. Not that Trevor was worried about her. Poetic art and prose were different forms. But…

“Usually, you’re trying to sell me a new vehicle,” Trevor said, his voice suddenly tinged with awkward nerves. “This isn’t…ah, well. It’s unexpected.”

























pick your poison








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















smile





It was nice to have someone that could practically read your thoughts.


Too bad that for both sides of the best bro friendship to ever exist, that feeling only rang true for one another, and not with the wives they found themselves in bed with every night. Not that there was a lack of love or affection with their wives (or at least not on Nate's end of the bargain with Nickie), but just...

There was no way to go about explaining this without making it sound like Nate was in love with his best friend. Which he wasn't, he just ah... well, he was platonically in love with him, to some degree, if Nate was being honest with himself.

Anyway.

As they walked towards the building, where Nate leaned against the stone brick as he lit up the joint in his hand, and took in a deep breath. The familiarity hit him just right and as he passed it to Mike, in exchange for the alcohol, it was like Nate was being thrust back to his days of high school. Hell, this was even right about the spot they used to stand while they skipped class.

He glanced down at the ground, but realized that the grass had grown up and taken over their spot, which had been turned to just dirt from him kicking the tip of his shoe against the ground.

Nate sipped from the flask, the liquid burning as it made its way down his throat.

"Shit," he mumbled. "Thought I'd be rich and famous by right now, for my watercolors. But instead I'm broke as fuck, painting houses instead."

Silence hung heavy.

He took another drink from the flask.

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















if i could, i would feel nothing.





Drawing in the sour smoke with his eyes closed and his head leaned back against the red brick,
Michael was transported back to high school; back to skipping third period Home Ec to come outside and light up; back to beating kids’ faces against the sink during lunch hour; back to varsity jackets and senior rings that he could never afford. He opened his eyes slowly, coughing into the autumn air.

“Shit,” his friend said quietly. “Thought I’d be rich and famous by now, for my watercolors. But instead, I’m broke as fuck, painting houses instead.”

It was quiet for a long moment, and Mike’s lips pressed into a firm line. Then, he shook his head, taking the flask back from Woods and handing him the joint. “Heh,” he more said than actually chuckled, poising the flask at his lips, “didn’t we all?” He took a swig, his brows furrowing, and then he grinned slightly and elbowed Woods. “I thought, what, that I was gonna be laid up in some mansion by now, with girls with huge tits sitting around me in a gigantic fucking jacuzzi? Some shit like that?”

He shook his head, chuckling at his younger self, and he reached in his pocket and pulled out his cigarettes, just out of habit. “Where’s your light?” he asked, before he continued, “And now, I’m fucking married. Never thought I’d be fucking married. Never wanted to be. I’ve got two fucking brats and I’m married.” He drew in a deep breath. “Unless you get some unhinged freaks, chicks don’t want to bang once they find out you’re married.”

He drank from the flask. “But imagine: me and you, in the life we shoulda had. All the money, booze, and babes we could ever hope for, Woods. I go out and model, you go out and paint, and then we come back to our mansion and shoot the shit while having our backs massaged by international supermodels. No wives. No kids.” He shook his head, sighing. “Fuck…”

























double








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















smile





When Logan had originally dreamed of coming back to her high school reunions,
it had been with the idea of a law degree, herself a successful district attorney, with an equally successful, smart husband, and--

Well, probably no children.

But this, here, with her like this now... Logan wished she could be anywhere else.

If she wanted to see anyone, who would it be?

...

"No one," Logan answered without hesitation. Again, she found herself fidgeting with the dress that was just a bit too big. "Except maybe Tori, except we talk all the time. So don't really count, right?" She asked, with a vague little laugh.

Ash... the name rang some sort of bell, but a sour bell in her head -- then again, most people rang sour bells in her head.

As her gaze shifted around, she caught sight of Chelsea Freud -- aka her brother's best friend -- from the corner of her eye. And briefly, there was a little pang of jealousy. Not for anything except for how badly she wished she had his success, of course.

"High school reunions were only made so the rich people could rub their success in everyone else's face, huh?"

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















turn that frown upside down





Of course Trevor would've known Beth,
although the idea that he'd read her books being the reason why hadn't occurred to Zeph. His sister-in-law's career was just something he never really thought about.

"Well," he started, "she does have a great new Prius and we do have some new cars available at the shop. But I can show you those later -- when you bring the van back in."

Back in for easily the tenth time that year, mind you.

"But I mean... c'mon," Zeph said and he reached out to give Trevor a pat on his shoulder. "Wouldn't hurt to get out there again, ya know?"

(He actually had no idea what he was saying. But he felt immensely bad for the poor loser.)

"And she's into writing, and you're an English teacher. See? You two already have so much in common."

























crocodile rock








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















Nothing less than perfection...





Trevor fidgeted with a belt loop, sucking in deeply through his teeth.
He chuckled at Zeph’s joke—or, well, half-joke, or maybe not a joke at all. “I hope that that will be a bit. I’m sure I can fix Rachel all on my own.”

It might not have worked any time he tried before, but this time, now that he knew what that damn annoying light meant, Trevor was confident that he could remedy the issue.

“But I mean…c’mon,” Zeph said, patting Trevor’s shoulder, and Trevor felt his cheeks redden deeper at the subject reversion. “Wouldn’t hurt to get out there again, ya know? And she’s into writing, and you’re an English teacher. See? You two already have so much in common.”

Out there again? Trevor hadn’t considered himself “out there” since he’d went sober. Actually, he’d hardly considered himself “out there” when he cycled through his university’s population of druggie art chicks who thought that because he was tall, wrote poetry, and had an Irish accent he was worth at least a night or two. If he was being honest, he hadn’t really been “out there” since his junior year, when he’d decided that he wanted to be a pick-up artist in the party scene, and pretty soon thereafter, he’d snagged the woman who still haunted his dreams and whose dreams he certainly still haunted, too.

Of course, he couldn’t say that to Zeph—he was aware it sounded crazy to say the truth, that a married woman loved him and he couldn’t betray that love—and so, with a slight awkward smile, Trevor said, “Ahm, well, Elizabeth seems like, ahm, a lovely, ahm, lass, but ya see…” He wracked his brain for a moment for an excuse. “I’m undertaking a new poetic, ah, endeavor, and that occupies most of my time. Her, ah, prose, I’m sure, also takes up a lot of her time, too, and I would hate to try and, ah, force myself into her schedule like that, ya know?”

























pick your poison








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















i know you want me.





Nickie frowned.
“No one? Like, really?” she repeated. She smiled in confusion, her brows knitting. “That’s lame. Why did you come, then, like…?” she joked. Her baby moved, and she put a hand on her belly.

Logan’s eyes caught on someone in the crowd, and Nickie followed her gaze to the stern face of CK Freud.

“High school reunions were only made so the rich people could rub their success in everyone else’s face, huh?” Logan said.

Nickie’s lips pressed into a firm line. She watched Chelsea for a moment. The man was good-looking, but the stick up his ass seemed to only have grown since high school. But, like, she thought he was fine enough, and, well, yeah, sure, fine enough, too (though you shouldn’t mention the last part to her husband or to her boss). Maybe she was biased because the man’s wife signed her paycheck. But, well, Nickie wasn’t going to, like, disagree with Logan, her bestie.

“Mm,” Nickie said, after a moment of pause. “Looks like it. Can you believe they decided to grace us with their presence?” Nickie rolled her eyes, pressing a hand to her chest. “Oh, God, we’re so honored.” She scoffed, laughing slightly. “Like, what? Is that what they expect? They come here dressed like that—to a literal, like, high school reunion, in an old sweaty gym, where they serve, like, watered-down punch, and you’re dressed like you’re about to accept a, like, trophy from the president? Like, chill the fuck out, you’re not that cool and no one gives a rat’s ass.”

She looked over at Logan, smiling slightly, and she chuckled again, breezily changing the subject. “No, but seriously, like…isn’t it, like, crazy to see, like, where everyone is at in their lives?” Her other arm slipped down to cross across her belly. “Because, like, if you would have told me that, like, half of these people would, like, wind up together? I would have told you you were fucking crazy.”

Starting with herself and Nate. She didn’t even know he existed in high school. He was, like, so before her time.

Nickie looked at a woman who stood talking to a shorter woman and snickered. “I mean, like, look at Rory. You know what happened, right? The whole, like, her having a baby and then them, like, getting in some big fight and then, like, breaking up, and now, like, she, like, still drags his name. Like, to this day. Like, you know—that was with Slater? You remember him, right?” As soon as the words left her mouth, she regretted calling any memories that had to do with the guy to mind, since, well…the whole let’s screw and do coke together thing and then her falling in love with him and him, like, being the biggest most gigantic dickwad in front of, like, half of the school at a party wasn’t something she wanted to bring back to her mind or back to Logan’s. “Anyway, like looks, like, soooo washed up. She looks like she works the fucking corners. I bet she does.” She squinted. “I don’t see a ring on her hand. How sad. But not surprising, ‘cuz, like, she’s here, and…” She put a hand over her eyes, miming like she was seriously looking around. “Where is her baby daddy, huh?” She laughed at her own joke, and then, flashing a smile, added, “At least your baby daddy stayed around, Lo.” She laughed harder at this joke, nudging her bestie with her elbow. “Jay-kay, jay-kay. But that was a good one, you’ve gotta admit.”

























What Was I Made For?








♡coded by uxie♡

 



















  • turn that frown upside down





    Beth had come down with the (original) plan of just seeing her sister,
    but oh what do you know, it just so happened to also be the silly little high school reunion. And although Beth hadn't originally had any plans of attending, she just so happened to find the perfect outfit in the clothes she'd brought down, and what do you know, her evening just so happened to be free.

    (Beth had one hundred percent been planning to come the entire time, but she was never willing to showcase just how desperate she was.)

    And finally, her eyes locked onto the one person that she'd really come here to see, although Beth would carelessly toss her hair over her shoulder and pretend that she hadn't thought about him in the years they'd been apart. Perhaps, Beth would casually mention her ever successful writing career, and how a movie of one of her books was currently being discussed.

    Not to rub it into his face what he could've had, of course.

    Cleverly, she'd situated herself near them so when they went to turn, CK's shoulder bumped into Beth. She turned around, not bothering to bid goodbye to the people she'd been chatting with, as she placed a beaming smile on her face and puffed out her chest -- her dress which was, of course, lowcut.

    "Wow, CK, I didn't expect to see you here." She stated, eyes glued to the man before her, and ignoring the blonde woman on his arm -- the blonde woman which she'd been praying would be gone for now.

    You know, like she was in all of Beth's stories.

























    crocodile rock








    ♡coded by uxie♡

 


















day by day...





CK watched his wife’s eyes work the room.
Her eyes caught on the face of various aging women as they visited this cluster and that one, and to each she gave brief smiles and small waves. “No one in particular,” he repeated, knowing that she really meant, A bit of everyone.

His wife was far more personable than he was. He’d come to accept it at this point. Her approachability was good from his PR, and he was told it offset his personality nicely…and yes, admittedly, he admired it, too.

“Although it is always nice to see how everyone is doing and catch up, you know?” she said. “We spent years with some of these people, Chelsea. It doesn’t hurt to play nice for a night.”

At her teasing, Chelsea let out a one-syllable little chuckle. “We spent years with these people, and I numbered the hours of when I would never have to see them again,” he said breezily in his monotone voice, though it was clear from the slight curl of the corner of his mouth that he was at least slightly joking (though how much was hard to tell). “I’m sure that they were counting down the hours, too.” Though he was popular in high school, his status among the elite was more of a fear-based reverence than admiration, and that was how he would have had it. After all, most people had avoided him due to that fact, so he could, without risk to his reputation, keep around whomever and cut away whomever whenever needed and have that veneration grow.

“But perhaps I could try,” he said, and very dryly, he half-joked, “Hello there. You haven’t died. I’m surprised. Alright, goodbye now.” He flashed an overly-broad smile, and then shortly chuckled at his own joke. “I don’t think that suits me.”

“Maybe they’ll play some music,” Ash joked. “You can show off those dusty old dance moves of yours.”

CK very softly chuckled along with her this time, though his expression didn’t shift beyond a very subtle twinge up of the corners of his mouth—it was as close to genuine laughter from him as one could get. “If that’s the other option, I’ll choose to interact with—“

CK turned to face and gestured toward a different area of the crowd, but his shoulder bumped into someone. Face cold and serious again, instinctively on the offensive, he looked down to see who had bumped into him.

“Beth.” The name was an impulse—a word of shock.

“Wow, CK, I didn’t expect to see you here,” she said. She wore a wide smile and a low-cut dress; her hair was red, and probably still natural, though it had been probably fifteen or sixteen years since he’d last seen her.

Sixteen. Certainly sixteen.

“Ah…I didn’t expect to see you here, either,” he said, his mouth suddenly dry, his body rigid. “It’s been awhile.”

It had been ages, yet she hadn’t aged a day.

He blinked once, twice, and broke away from Beth’s face to look at his wife, who smiled curiously and patiently at the woman. Sucking in a deep breath through his teeth and taking his free hand from his pocket, CK gestured stiffly to the woman on his arm. In a monotone, cold, unfriendly voice that was all business, he gestured to his wife. “Elizabeth, this is Ashton,” he said formally, “my wife.”

He offered no such explanation of his relation to Beth.

























this fffire








♡coded by uxie♡

 


















smile





It was weird, to stand here daydreaming with booze in one hand and a joint in the other.


Daydreaming about what could've been, although Nate had always wanted kids -- maybe not this many, and he'd... always wanted to have them all with one woman. But things changed, and happened, and life snatched and crushed through dreams right in front of your face. So now, he was married and living in a trailer, and hadn't been in touch with his family for years, with kids that--

Well, he didn't have an issue with his kids, to be honest.

He loved them, and he'd grown to love Nickie.

"In another life, eh?" Nate chuckled, and he was probably going to say more, but instead he took another hit off the joint. And as he exhaled, he heard something at the edges of his brain. A ding-ding-ding or something along those lines, which he thought was real funny, until it was followed along by a vibrating in his pocket, and then it clicked and he realized that his phone was ringing.

"Oh shit," he mumbled, as Nate passed the joint to Mike and fumbled to pull his phone from his pocket. He squinted at it, adjusting his glasses, when he saw Ellie's name shining on his screen. Confused, he accepted the call, and brought it up to his ear.

Was she... crying?

"Elle, what's wrong?" he asked, his voice growing concerned.

























superman








♡coded by uxie♡
 


















turn that frown upside down





If Trevor was to try and fix the van himself, Zeph suspected he'd be seeing it within a few days.
You know, after the frail man managed to make the situation worse, and Zeph would have to admit that he had to charge Trevor even more than what it would've originally cost.

Occasionally, Zeph would give discounts. And by occasionally, he... often did. He'd probably actually have made really good money had he not, but Zeph had always put pleasing others over the idea of making more money.

Hence him pushing Trevor towards Beth -- not that it would please either of them, although in his mind, it would make the both of them all the more happy. And maybe Colby would think it was cool to have his uncle as his English high school teacher.

“Ahm, well, Elizabeth seems like, ahm, a lovely, ahm, lass, but ya see…” Trevor explained. “I’m undertaking a new poetic, ah, endeavor, and that occupies most of my time. Her, ah, prose, I’m sure, also takes up a lot of her time, too, and I would hate to try and, ah, force myself into her schedule like that, ya know?”

Zeph chuckled, patting Trevor on the shoulder yet again. "Ah, well, don't worry about it," he said, "but if you do change your mind, she's in town for a few more days."

























crocodile rock








♡coded by uxie♡

 

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