Promises. Winnie rarely made them. She made them in jokes like when joking with Max about her driving, but never serious ones that she could possibly break, intentionally or unintentionally. She always watched TV shows where the main character would make a promise and Winnie always knew that it wasn't long before the pledge would be broken. The only promise that she will keep is that she won't just make promises. The only person that she ever found herself making promises to was Faith.
What she was doing for Stu right now wasn't a promise, it was her taking care of him, even though as mentioned before, she had just met him. She was going to do the same thing for Liz, get her food and wrap her hand.
Yeah, he was. She softly says, trying to imagine what he would be like now, three years later dealing with her date with Dustin or how he would be able to diffuse the tension between herself and her mother. He had a few gallery showings here in Parish Bay and some in Boston, but he never got to bask in the limelight. But he always used to say that we were all he needed. I think the same could be said about your dad Stu, although, I don't know how a priest dad would be like.
WInnie pulls herself away from the topic of father's and focuses on the menu with the vast variety. What should she get Liz? What should she get herself? What should she get Stu? The younger boy looked like he was having a crisis as he looked at the menu. His reaction amused her and put a small smile on her face, how had she not known Stu before. He reminded her of her little brother, which is probably why she had taken him under her wing almost as quickly as she had with Oliver.
The two of them had conversed on Twitter about what he should get, she knew he wanted something big and she also knew that he was worried about price. But for once, Winnie wasn't worried, she had said that she was going to buy him a burger and she will do so.
Stu, I meant what I said. I'm gonna get you what you want.She turns to the cashier and puts in an order for a burger she knew he had his eye on along with some fries and a milkshake. I don't know if you've tried this, but fries dipped in a milkshake is a surprisingly good combination.Winnie shrugs nonchalantly, like the situation was no big deal and to her it really wasn't...she was taking care of her friends.
She then turns back and orders two more copies of the same order (one without ketchup of course), deciding that it should be fulfilling enough for Liz and also remembering that she wasn't going to leave Stu alone to struggle with the large sandwich. Winnie had said that she had a small appetite, but she also knew that she could finish this burger. She was stubborn like that.
The extra order's for Liz, she hasn't eaten and I was hoping that we could drop this off and eat at her booth. If that's okay with you?
TL;DR wondering why she even bothered to show up to the apple festival
she wears darkness, like some wear the little black dress
Maxine’s eyes followed Tatum’s just to barely catch sight of a ramen head boy handing off his sweatshirt to another girl. “Wasn’t that?” Maxine began as Tatum ran off the other direction. Maxine tried to keep up with Tatum, and maybe any other day she could have, but with the past sleepless nights she was struggling to just keep herself standing. She found herself quickly out of breath and plainly exhausted. Once they finally stopped, in the mix of all the crowds just trying to get a bite to eat, Maxine breathed heavily. Resting her hand on her hip.
Tatum grabbed Maxine’s hand, shoving the money into it. ‘I’m not hungry.’ She said, Maxine knew why, she was full on rage. Rage took up every thought, feeling, moment. Itching across her skin. For some reason, Maxine wasn’t hungry anymore either. Maybe it was in attempt to be in solidarity with Tatum, but why would she do that. She didn’t know Tatum like that, she wasn’t close with her like that. Though, there wasn’t many people that felt connected to in that sort of way. “Me neither.” Maxine passed the bill back towards Tatum. “I’m sure it was nothing.” She wrapped her arms around herself, trying to pull herself in closer.
Taking another deep breath, Maxine breathed out through her teeth once more. Biting her bottom lip, she wasn’t sure what to say. Tatum had reason to be upset, Maxine understood that. Every time she had watched Claire talk to someone else, flirt with someone else, she felt her blood boil all the way from her feet through her head. She could swear you could see steam coming out of her ears if you looked closely enough.
But, no one looked closely at Maxine. She was just there, like a ghost wandering through the halls. It didn’t matter whether she was there, who would miss her. Not her mom, not Claire, not even Isa. Maxine had no right to feel that way about Claire. She knew that, they weren’t anything. Maxine didn’t allow them to be anything. Maxine couldn’t trust that Claire would be there, even when she gave her every reason to believe she would be.
As Tatum’s joke fell flat between them, Maxine could only nod. “It’s fine.” Was it?
She wanted to be alone, didn’t she? Be in the quiet, unnoticed. Hiding from the world, that’s where she liked to be. Right? Or was that just what she was used to.
TL;DR hayden got a teddy bear for lemon and is now watching them make flower crowns
you get what you give
Hayden hadn’t expected Kat to show up, he knew that Kat and Lemon had gotten close over the past few weeks, but even so the Apple Festival had never really been her scene. Hayden remembered when Harper and Ben had been dating, he had tagged along with them to the festival and anytime he asked where Kat was, Ben could only laugh. Saying that Kat wouldn’t be caught dead outside, being pretty sure that she would ask to not be buried in a cemetery when she died because of it. Cheer seemed to be the only exception to this. “Hey Kat.” He nodded his head towards her.
Hayden mimicked the signs that Lemon used, “Is that for flower crown?” He smirked; he could try sometimes. “Let’s go make flower crowns.” Repeating the sign once more as he threw an arm around Max’s shoulder dragging him towards the table. The long picnic tables that had been lined up down in multiple rows, with varieties of types of flowers and twigs, sparkling tinsel and lots of greenery that he could only assume was to fill in the gaps of the crowns.
Hayden had not originally planned to make a crown himself, but when the opportunity presented himself, and for the sake of spending more time along side Lemon. Well, he found it worth it.
Placing himself next to Lemon. “You’re going to have to help me with this, flower crown weaving is completely new to me.” Hayden nudged Lemon’s shoulder with his own.
“That is a great sweatshirt by the way.” He only chuckled. “Where did you get it?” The smirk on his face only grew as he spoke sarcastically. Hayden caught Max’s eye, pinching the sleeve of his sweatshirt that Lemon wore, to show Max what they were talking about.
He felt kinda shitty for not knowing more signs, he should have tried harder, him and Max had classes together growing up. But Hayden was always too focused on the moment to go out of his way to pay attention to the deaf kid. Even if he had wanted to learn, Hayden never was able to stop moving when he was younger. (Not that much had really changed, Hayden still struggled to finish a sentence before he was off doing something else.).
“I guess we should get started.” Reaching forward, Hayden scooped an insane amount of materials towards them. Giving them literally every and any option, definitely taking more materials than they would ever need.
Reid could only laugh, “and you would be SOL.” If anyone in this town was having a streak of bad luck, it would be him and Lando. Mostly because Lemon had taken the opportunity to tell everyone how horrible they were, and how they were not to be trusted. “At least with me you get to show up in this.” He gestured across the dashboard, so what if he was a little obsessed with his car, it was vintage. Half the parts he would need if he ever had to replace something, he wasn’t sure what he would do. The parts were so expensive and next to impossible to find.
The air was tense despite the easy candor flowing between them as they spoke. “She’s going to get hurt one day.” Reid murmured as he took notice of the dented black truck sitting in the parking lot.
“I don’t know why you don’t, we gotta get through this somehow.” Reid wasn’t sure what he had meant by this. They weren’t in some brotherhood, facing some horrible challenges. They had moved to a town, that was overrun by Lemon supporters, that didn’t know a thing about her.
Reid understood why Lemon didn’t talk about home, he didn’t want to talk about Alabama either for similar reasons. But he’d rather be there right now, at least they had reason to hate him. They knew why they hated him; Parish Point didn’t know a single thing. They didn’t know what they were talking about. Similarly to Lemon, they all seemed to be naïve to real life.
That’s why Reid found interest in Isa, she seemed to have a story, she seemed to see the real darkness in the world. She didn’t get sucked up into this fake community. The fake love of such a small town, the way that everyone acted like they were best friends, a family. Reid thought he could see through it all. No one actually cared about anyone but their own self, only caring about their own selfish needs at the end of the day.
He only shrugged. “Apple loving or not, distractions are good.” Reid leaned back against the drivers seat as he took the joint in his hand, pulling his lighter from the back pocket of his jeans. He didn’t care if anyone saw, if they did, he’d make up some lie. Say that he had medical reasons, whatever it was that made weed legal in good old Massachusetts. They didn’t know him, they didn’t know his mom yet, maybe it was time he stopped acting like the perfect son and showed her his true colors.
He wouldn’t do that though, even if he wanted to. He couldn’t, he loved his mom. She had been through too much because of him already and he wasn’t about to purposefully make her life even harder. He couldn’t do that to her. “She’s hot, you would do the same.”
“What are you up to?” Reid’s eyes shifted sideways at Orlando as he let the smoke roll off his tongue. The way he said that he had his own plans worried Reid, especially after Lemon had reached out to him. “What plans do you have, you already said you’re not making friends. So what is it?” He said more harshly as he turned to face Orlando.
Max's stomach twisted painfully. All at once, a visceral sense of awkwardness sank in and weighed on him like bricks, pushing him farther back.
What was this, the Book of Job? Every time Max thought he could just relax and let go of the aching anxiety that had built up in his chest, he took another hit. He hadn't been able to think straight and breathe easily for weeks now.
It started all the way back at the Beach party. Then Ryan. His stupid protest. Kat. The Hawking House. Zach. School. Isa. Everyone knowing that he was lying about--
And now Kat again.
Kat looked at him, no words on her lips, and Max stared back motionless.
This was the first time he'd seen her since she came back from Barcelona a few weeks ago, but she'd made her presence known on social media. One catty remark to Harper (forgive the pun), and Max had gone on a furious rant, which Kat seemed to find hilarious, because she'd come back to provoke another fight again and again. Fueled by the aftershocks of the beach party and the inevitable mockery of his failed protest attempt, they'd been at each other's throats to the point of insanity.
Max pretended the conflict wasn't eating away at him, but yet again, Max was a godawful liar. Some of Kat's remarks had cut deep.
And in that time, Lemon had quickly and unexpectedly become close friends with Kat, to the point where Max found it almost insulting how quick Lemon was to defend someone who made a game out of goading him for reactions.
He could be excused, perhaps, for having suspicions.
And now here she was, in all her polished and statuesque glory, showing him the same look of mild disgust that she'd given him the last time he saw her.
Did she just find Lemon by herself, or did…
Lemon wouldn't just invite her along when…
Maybe this was Lemon's way of telling him to go.
She had Hayden and Kat for company. Max was the odd one out now: Kat hated him, and he and Hayden weren't close. Besides, Max being there put the burden on Lemon to be an interpreter, when she wasn't that confident in her ASL competency. That wasn't fair. Him tagging along just made everything awkward and inconvenient, didn't it?
Leave. You were killing the mood anyhow. Kat was right; everyone likes her more than--
Before Max could turn around and take the long walk home, Hayden threw an arm around his bony shoulders and marched him forward into the tent.
Pretending to be having a good time just got a thousand times harder.
Once Hayden had gathered up a huge pile of flowers and set up their table, Max took the empty seat next to Lemon and quietly began picking out long stems of lavender and yellow chrysanthemums. Though he furtively turned his head to Kat one more time to give her a hostile icy-blue glare, he seemed to relax a bit once he started picking his flowers, handling them with gentle care and selecting for the freshest ones that would last longer.
Flowers had a calming effect, he thought: the colors and symmetrical petals, the soft aroma… they were just beautiful to him.
Watching Lemon start her crown, Max paid careful attention and tried to copy her technique. He'd never done anything like this before. Arts and crafts were kind of ruined for him after elementary school, so he never felt like doing these things on his own for fun.
But hey, it was worth a try. What's the worst that could happen?
He picked up his first flower and tried to braid it into the frame, but almost instantly the stem got caught in the loop and snapped. He flinched, for a second looking almost distraught at having ruined the flower. By the fourth time this happened, though, he just looked annoyed.
You suck at this.
As Max struggled with his crown, he kept glancing back at Lemon. She still seemed content, blithely ignoring the tension as she kept braiding small blossoms into her wreath and chatting with Hayden. Not wanting to make an imposition, he didn't try to join the conversation. Max turned away instead, only to tilt his head back to them not a second later. Hayden deliberately caught Max's eye, pinching the fabric of Lemon's hoodie with a playful smirk.
Max visibly cringed, his hands suddenly tensing up and accidentally crushing the flower he was holding.
So it was Hayden's hoodie after all.
In the grand scheme of things, Max had expected as much of Hayden. For lack of a better term, Lemon was definitely Hayden's type: blonde, and as smart and as kind as she was pretty. Though Max was deeply uncomfortable with the idea of romantic relationships personally, he usually didn't care too much who other people wanted to spend their quality time with. As long as they were happy and everything, he couldn't care less. But with Kat still sitting so close by, balancing braided flowers in her fingers and watching Lemon's hands the same way…
It felt awkward.
The whole thing burrowed deep into his brain and planted thoughts he couldn't brush off.
The only thing that could possibly make this more unbearable was if Zach decided to make an entrance.
Chance stopped going to the festival the year his dad died. It was only his dad that was able to persuade him anyways. Promising him and his sister funnel cake and park rides if they came to advertise his art booth for a few hours. He still has all the shirts David and Winnie made, he didn't have the heart to throw them away or give them away. Isaiah, his little brother, had asked for them a few times but Chance always declined. The Apple Festival was not something you would've found Chance attending lately. He hadn't attended the last two years; the only reason he was here today was for his sister and for Isa.
Despite Kat calling him an overbearing brother, Chance didn't see anything wrong with looking out for his sister. She'd been hurt the past few years and she wasn't mean spirited enough to put herself first, so he'd do it for her. This date with Dustin was something that he wanted her to be careful about. The brunette had shown interest in his twin, but when he first met Dustin he thought he was unavailable, when they met at Spooning Dustin seemed to be upset over a girl. But whatever, he wasn't going to tell his sister about his suspicions because Dustin seemed to make her happy and there was no way Chance was going to ruin that for her.
Now Isa was a whole different story. Chance thought she seemed cooled, a little damaged, but cool nonetheless so he wanted to see what she was about. She was also hot, so there was that. Chance had also told Max that he'd keep an eye on her. Isa had invited him to a get together over the weekend and he was looking to go, anything to get out of the house, but Chance didn't drink much and he'd smoke recreationally here and there, but because he was an athlete and obsessed with track, he also didn't do it much. He'd just be there for Isa, let her do what she wanted to do but also make sure that she didn't take it too far.
Isa, I am totally up for hanging out this weekend, but you can't just say 'at a spot.'Chance stops next to her, his hands stuffed into his pockets and a smirk on his face. Especially when you don't have my number.He pulls one of his hands out of his pocket and holds out Isa's money that his sister handed back to him, one of the bills already having his number scrawled on it.
My sister's stubborn, she's not going to take your money.He looks over Isa's smaller body, noticing how tired and sad she looked, and it reminded him of so many people. Now, you seem cool and I wanna hang around with you, but who the hell is Reid and why is he crashing our party?
Chance Matthews mood: protective, neutral, flirty, suspicious| outfit: XX | interactions: k o r o l
(Isa)| mentions: Winnie; Qwertycakes
Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you.
Clark let out a low chuckle as he watched Josie shuffle away from the booth with a pout prevalent on her face, complaining that the game was rigged when it most definitely was not. Most of the games here were fair, after a whole debacle with some older gentleman getting into it with a very unprepared and very not at fault booth operator, the town had made it a point to make sure that the games were as not rigged as possible. Josie just missed the milk bottles by about a mile. The teenaged girl manning the booth sat languidly against the back of the booth, looking disinterestedly at her nails. Clark thought for a moment he recognized him from one of his classes but couldn’t quite place his name as he placed the side of his pointer finger in his mouth, biting at a cuticle, when he pulled it away again a tiny droplet of blood had formed and he just wiped it away on his jeans. Kenny. That was his name. He had a habit of biting at his nails so much that they bled. Clark got bored in class easily so he had taken to watching his classmates and taking note of their quirks. Kenny had the nail biting, Peter in History tapped out the beat to the National Anthem with his pen over and over again, Wesley in Study Hall clicked his tongue when he was bored, and Jessie in English had a really twitchy leg and she often kicked Ben in front of her on accident and he always got mad. Kenny pulled his hand away from his mouth and looked at Clark like he’d just insulted him.
“Are you gonna go or not, Jared Leto?” Clark startled and moved forward, smiling sheepishly as he did so. He picked up the baseballs and positioned himself to throw. His first ball sailed over the top of the bottles without so much as nicking any of them. Kenny rolled his eyes. Clark cleared his throat and repositioned. He was not about to miss out on winning this koala. The second ball nailed the stack of bottles right in the center. Boom. The next did the same and and so did the next four after that. Six in a row. That koala was his. Clark couldn’t help the smile that graced his face as Kenny was forced to push himself off from where he was leaning so he could retrieve the koala from above them and hand it over to Clark. The brown-haired boy ran back over to Josie carrying the oversized stuffed animal like he was a little kid. He shoved the thing into Josie’s arms and placed his hands on his hips, stepping back to admire his work with a broad grin.
“You sure about it being rigged?” He prodded, but dropped it soon after, “What do you wanna do now? Can we even fit that thing on the ferris wheel?
She followed them into the tent and they didn't waste any time on getting their ingredients to get started, however, Kat simply watched as they did so, not making a move to grab any flowers and instead focusing on the interaction that was happening before her very eyes.
“That is a great sweatshirt by the way.”
“Where did you get it?”
It was painfully obvious where Lemon had gotten the sweatshirt from, Hayden wasn't... the worst, no. But when boys played dumb, it usually just caused Katherine a fair amount of irritation. An irritation that only grew at the sight of Max's depressing attempt at making a 'flower crown.' All honesty, she didn't want to be here. At all. But it wasn't like she had anything else better to do, and roughing it out with these three wasn't terrible. Well, take Max out of the equation and it wasn't terrible.
Katherine was just here to... keep them company.
As depressing as that sounded, incase you didn't notice, flower crowns weren't her thing.
At least, not anymore. Katherine basically could've won an award from the amount of perfected crowns she'd created in her younger years at the festival. Now? It just seemed... childish. But old habits die hard, and Max's failure was only allowing Katherine's frustration to boil over the more Hayden and Lemon had stolen glances at each other.
Katherine didn't come to be a... fourth wheel, okay?
It wasn't as though he could hear her, but the girl placed a hand on his shoulder, gently pushing Max out of the way to show him exactly where he went wrong. "Please move. I can't bear to watch this any longer." Manicured fingers weaved their way through the flowers, braiding each one between the base, think of it like... an adult getting it 'started' for a child who was just learning how to pick up a new hobby. She held the crown out for Max to take and simply gave Lemon a look before she could be met with a glare from her.
If anything, Katherine was being nice. She was helping him.
A shrug rose to her shoulders and she leaned against one of the pillars holding the tent up, giving Max a once-over before mouthing, 'you're welcome' when Lemon turned away.
Please don't with the whole... Kat, you're being (insert something here.)
TL;DR Josie and Clark are trying to win the overly huge koala.
Well, holy moly, me oh my, you're the apple of my eye.
Josephine had all faith in Clark to win her that stuffed koala, y'know?
Because of course, there was just no way he was going to be able to miss, Clark was Clark and clearly, he was good at everything.
It's just that Josie had an overwhelming feeling that he'd miss every shot possible.
And you know! She'd have that bear in her hands in no time. Which isn't to say she depended on him to actually win her the thing, because that'd be weird, wouldn't it? Well, okay, maybe not? Y'know? Friends win things for friends all the time. It was just a thing that they did when they went to carnivals. Damn those silly tropes with the little boyfriend and girlfriends always winning things for each other and screwing with her head.
Because as much faith as she had in Clark, she just felt like he wouldn't win.
Or maybe she was tying that to her own feelings because typically--
she's not even sure where she's going with this.
And before she knew it, all six shots were made and a koala was being placed in her hands.
"I-- what the?!"
A slightly, loud squeal escaped the blonde before she corrected herself, clearing her throat.
Josie was not a child.
No reason to get excited for a stuffed koala.
A koala almost the size of her, mind you.
although it was almost the size of her, almost. Josephine isn't that small at all. Average girl height, of course. Because that's exactly what Josie was.
"I-- totally believed in you." A lie, but it was said with the brightest and most appreciative smile in the entire whole world.
It'd already started to get dark, which-- is partly her fault for deciding to come to the festival so late into the day, but she's been here countless times so it wasn't like she was missing out on anything special around here. "Ehhhhhhhhhh, I don't know. There isn't much I wanna do. Let's do the ferris wheel and we'll knock out a few more games--" Josie walked forward and she realized that this thing was entirely too big to fit in the ferris wheel with them, let alone carry all the way there.
"Actually..." Josie made for an awkward but not-so-awkward scene as she reached into Clark's back pocket for his car keys. "I'm gonna go throw Mr... whatever his name is into the car, andddd I'll meet you there?" Josephine hesitated awaiting his reply, catching his gaze with her own and she could've swore her heart skipped at least fifty beats.
--------don't type anything after this comment--------
Little hi little low little hey little ho
Stu received the burger with wide open eyes. Eyes that threatened to bulge out of their sockets and bounce across the festival grounds like a stray pair of apples. Eyes that made Oliver’s turtle eyes seem normal by comparison.
The burger was picture-perfect. The patties browned by a smoky sear stacked up to three to form a mouth-watering tower of transcendental goodness. Add to that the slow-moving yellow lava of cheese melting off the sides and Stu was in wonderland.
His mouth wrestled with the sheer size of the burger and the bite was as messy as it was sumptuous.
‘Oh my GOD. This is the best burger I’ve ever eaten!’ he declared, loud enough so the vendor could hear it too. 'I'm serious!'
He took another bite smiling as he chewed.
‘. . .And these chips. . .’
He dipped three fries into milkshake and stuffed them into his mouth, as Winnie instructed, then nodded approvingly.
‘MMMMMMmmMMm. That’s really good, too!’
He wiped sauce off the corners of his mouth and licked his fingers. If Stu looked like a puppy then he was eating a bit like one too, and the realisation (finally) of the mess he was making made him blush a little.
Did he remember to thank Liz for the expensive burger? Maybe not. But thanks was written all over his expression and in the ketchup-stained smile that he gave her every time their eyes crossed.
‘Yeah, we can go wherever you like!’ he replied brightly.
But the bit about eating over at the other booth might have come a bit late. Stu was already half-way through his burger and at this rate there would be no burger left by the time they arrived at Liz’s booth.
Tatum really wanted to care, really wanted to feel nothing but she failed every time. She failed at not feeling. Why couldn’t Zach see that all he did was hurt her? Was he too stupid to realize that all he did was break her little by little, that each fracture in her constructed was becoming more difficult to keep together? Once she shattered, she knew she wouldn’t be able to piece herself back together and that caused more than hurt or anger, it caused fear.
It was kind of a shock when Maxine decided she didn’t want to eat either, and as much as Tatum wanted to leave the other girl, and wanted to see Zach, to talk with him was that safe? Was anything safe anymore? Was she even capable of doing anything without causing a fight?
As she felt the pain in her chest grow, she knew she needed to sit down and the second she found a bench that’s exactly what she did.
She motioned to Maxine, “I wanted to talk with him, to leave you. I can’t. I don’t really care about the whole issue you have with Isa. I’m not going to fix it Maxine. So, don’t talk with her, talk with her, do what you want. Everything in life is nothing but a sham anyways. People pretend to love, pretend they care, but really they plan to leave you in the dust.” A dry laugh came out, “It’s kind of funny isn’t it?”
Would anything feel right? As she took a deep breath and put the smile back on her face, “You want me to win you a stupid bear? Seeing as my date, is preoccupied. Him and I will talk later. So how about it M, be my pseudo date and I won’t leave you for now.” Tatum didn’t even try to flirt all she did was try and make light of yet another crappy situation.
As Orlando took his turn with the contraband, he ignored Reid’s question. He didn’t need to explain himself to anyone. He looked over with a shrug before handing the weed back to his friend. Reid and him were stuck together no matter the fights that they got in. The blessing and the curse of their families being close. You automatically got a friend but that meant you really couldn’t be enemies either, “Don’t get so worked up. It’s none of your business what my plans are. Why don’t you go find your flavor of the week? Or is it still daily? In any case, go have fun and I’ll have my fun.” It didn’t take Lando long before he was out of the car.
Really, he didn’t have any plans maybe to annoy Lemon’s little friend but beyond that he wanted to be alone. To let his mind wander and to take learn what made this town so special to his family. Because on initial observations it really didn’t have much going for it, but neither did Alabama. Maybe everything really is covered in a layer of dust that needs to be wiped away. But he didn’t want to wipe away the dust, to peel back the layers. It wasn’t his home. Hell, it wasn’t even Reid’s home, but the boy at least found his creature comfort like he always did. It was how Reid had been. Lando, his comfort was gone. He didn’t feel the need to find another comfort.
As he walked around the little festival, he wondered how many people truly enjoyed this and how many people were faking it? It didn’t matter but he already needed a break from Reid and his attitude towards everything. He didn’t need his ass kicked, not after what happened to John. He had visited John after the whole ordeal and Reid had done quite the damage, and Orlando did for the most part like his face. So, best to leave Reid before he said the wrong thing, to the wrong person. Best not to get his only friend worked up right now. He needed at least someone in this town who didn’t hate him entirely.
His eyes managed to see the flower crown station, and as much as he wanted to intrude, it wasn’t fun. He didn’t see the joy in barging in on the fun. Lemon would probably give him a black eye if he did, or she’d get her little guard dog to do it for her. Though he did kind of want to anger Max a little more. He didn’t know what it was about him but angering him and pushing him over the edge was more fun than he could have ever expected.
As they all sat down, Hayden to one side and Max on the other, Lemon couldn’t help but blush just a little as Hayden moved in closer to her. His small flirtatious comments made it hard for her to know what to say next, she wasn’t great at the whole in person flirting. The flirting over message was still something she was getting used to, “I um, I like this sweater a lot.” Hayden was so nice and Lemon didn’t know how to handle his niceness. He never forced her to spend time with him or tried to intrude on her plans, so she had a hard time knowing how to respond. His advances were wanted, but she didn’t know how to let him know she was okay with them. She had a hard time letting him touch her, a hard time letting him in. But she wanted to, but she needed time and patience. Something she worried no one had, well at least not for her.
As she leaned over letting her hands work with his, she guided him in weaving the flowers into the crown, no words were said, but her eyes locked onto his for a brief moment before she turned her head away.
She knew she couldn’t date, but maybe if she explained the situation her dad would let her. As she looked back up, she could see something happening between Max and Kat. Her eyes lingered on the other girl for a moment before she let her attention settle on Max. She gave him a moment before tapping him to get his attention,“You okay?”The concern was laced within her features. She knew how much Max and Kat didn’t get along, but that didn’t mean she would avoid the problem as a whole. Max meant the world to her, he was one of her longest friends in this town and she couldn’t bear the thought of losing him. She handed him a flower and the crown and helped him loop it through the crown.
She had never been this close with Max, but it felt normal. Like they were one in the same. She didn’t have the same nerves she had with Hayden, or even Kat, “Easy!” Lemon signed with a smile on her face.
As for Kat, Lemon was concerned for her as well, “Hey, Kat?” Lemon questioned, “Can you let me use you as a model? I want to make sure my flower ratio is correct, and Hayden’s head is just a little too large, and Max is preoccupied.” Of course, Lemon wanted to get Kat into a crown, it had been her one goal of the night, “Also, I think you make a pretty model.” Lemon hoped that the compliment would get her some bonus points and the crown atop one Katherine Navarro’s head.
Claire stalked through the fairgrounds, a clear look of annoyance painted across her dainty features. Thinking about Maxine. They'd had an amazing night together, as always, but of course the next day it was as if Maxine flipped a switch and went cold on her again. She frowned thinking about the icey, detached way Maxine addressed her earlier, prompting Claire to leave in a huff, still stinging from the interaction as if it just happened moments ago.
Whatever, two could play at Max's little game. Claire wasn't gonna text her. So what if she came to the fair specifically hoping to spend time with her there? She would wait for Max to reach out for once, and she'd conveniently already be there so they could meet up.
Right, that was likely. Claire grabbed her phone out of her front pocket with a sigh, resigned to the fact that she was about to cave and tap out a "where u at?" text to Maxine like the pathetic simp she was. Max, who likely might not even respond, who might not even be here for all Claire knew, leaving her to wander around the festival alone anyway.
Before she could do so, Claire happened to lift her gaze just in time to spot Clark standing all by his lonesome in the distance, wittle Josie nowhere to be found. She knew they were here together, having seen him with Little Miss Perfect at some game booth not long ago. A small, evil smirk crossed Claire's lips as she stuffed her phone back in her pocket and began to saunter towards Clark.
She'd pretty much given up on him as a prospect; he was obviously too hung up on his precious little vapid blonde bestie. But Clark would be a fun distraction right now from nagging thoughts about Maxine. Plus the urge to fuck with Josie was just too hard to resist (not that Claire was trying all that hard), and her shitty, dejected mood only fueled the feeling.
"Hey, handsome," Claire flashed a sly grin upon approaching, a hip slightly cocked to one side as she settled before him. "What, did wittle Josie ditch you for not winning her a teddy bear or something?" She teased, lower lip poked out in a pout for effect. "I'm joooking," Claire quickly added as a preemptive measure, well aware teasing about Josie would probably annoy him. But the slight roll of her eyes broadcasted her true feelings, that it really wasn't a joke and she was far from sorry for it.
"But what you up to, Clarky?" She smiled brightly, grabbing both his hands in hers, and swung them back and forth playfully. "Is is just me, or is the Apple fest just not as fun anymore?" She took a glance around before settling her gaze back on Clark's handsome face, shrugging. "Just doesn't feel as special as it used to when we were younger."
"Ya know, I wouldn't blame you if wanted to bail on it early this year." Claire took a step forward, closing the already small gap between them, her small frame now pressed suggestively against him. "I mean, there's only so much apple pie a guy can eat, right?" Claire voice was lowered to a seductively soft tone, leaning her face up closer to Clark's so he could hear her over the din of the fair.
Still holding onto his hands, she gently placed one on each of her hips and ardently bit her lower lip, chocolate brown doe eyes glinting with mischief as she stared hungrily up at him. Okay, so maybe she still fantasized about getting with Clark on the regular. "If you wanted to get outta here, I'd be down..." She whispered, grazing her lips against Clark's before placing a soft kiss upon them.
I'll sit and wonder of every love that could've been
if I'd only thought of something charming to say
Dustin stared at Ashley dumbfounded after she'd pulled back from the quick kiss, heart hammering loudly in his chest. "Ash..." He murmured softly, but his words were failing him. His gaze fixed on Ashley's brown eyes in a pleading attempt to wordlessly convey the scattered thoughts in his scrambled brain, even if he had no clue what they even were. Seemingly in a trance, all Dustin could do was carry out the act every cell in his body was screaming for: to pull Ashley into his arms and kiss her again.
He did so cautiously at first, expecting Ashley to push him away at any moment. To his surprise, she kissed him back fervently, and Dustin was emboldened to increase his intensity until they were entangled in a kiss that was much, much too heated for a simple "practice" smooch between friends. Dustin didn't want to stop though, and his senses too electrified to care, especially since Ashley seemed to be as rapt in that moment as he was. This kiss with Ashley was better than he ever dreamed it could be, from her impossibly soft lips to the feel of Ashley's small, warm frame in his arms, her body pressed against his.
When rational thought finally reentered Dustin's mind, he found himself feverishly kissing Ashley's neck, running his hands through her bouncy, black curls, just as he'd fantasized about doing so many times before. He finally got ahold of himself, panting against her smooth neck for a moment to gather himself before standing straight to release her from his grasp.
"Ash, I..." He began, the look on her face as dumbfounded as he felt just a moment ago. "I'm...sorry. I should go. I'm sorry.."
Dustin, now wandering aimlessly through the fairgrounds, quick enough to try and outrun his shame over what had just happened with Ashley. He had no idea what she was feeling, and he didn't hang around long enough to see if she would tell him, too embarrassed by how overzealous he'd become over a friendly kiss. He cringed at the thought of having to face Ashley again after this; all he wanted to do was forget this kiss ever happened, for the sake of his own ego, not to mention his budding relationship with Winnie. And from the look on her face before he bolted, he was almost positive Ashley felt the same way.
He had wandered the festival alone for what felt like hours, a bit too early for his planned meet up with Winnie, but too restless to sit and catch his bearings before their date. Dustin continued to amble aimlessly until he was faced with a wholly unexpected sight: there was Winnie approaching a booth with Oli's friend Stu in tow. Dustin smiled to himself, his heart skipping a beat watching her gracefully stride by in the distance in her pretty, black floral dress, her bare shoulders glistening in the late afternoon sun. He swallowed hard as he felt his feet begin to carry himself towards her, unsure of what he was even going to do once he got there.
By the time he caught up, however, Dustin found himself grinning confidently at her, making a grab for her free hand. "Hey, you there," He playfully commanded to get Winnie's attention. Before she could turn fully, Dustin caught her by the wrist and spun her around, causing her to lose balance slightly and fall right into his arms. He chuckled, his dark eyes gazing down at her beautiful, suprised face for a beat before leaning down to place an impassioned kiss to her full, pillowy soft lips.
When they finally came up for air, Dustin smiled gently and carefully stood Winnie steady back on her feet. "Hey," He placed one more quick kiss on her forehead, as if to now finally greet her properly. "Sorry, did you need help with that?" He laughed a bit sheepishly as he finally took notice of the bag of food she'd been clutching the whole time and pointed to it, an indirect offer to carry it for her.
Winnie watched Stu scarf down his food with astonishment. She was pretty sure he was golfing down an ice cream right before the burger, how’d he have so much room left? At this rate, Winnie would not be surprised if he was hungry again by the end of their visit to Liz’s booth. The amused girl decided to start with her milkshake, it was the easiest for her to reach anyways, and she’d rather sit down with Liz and eat. Winnie hadn’t seen or spent time with her friend since before she left for Florida. She hasn’t really spent time with anyone since she got back from Florida, except Dustin of course. It made her feel a little guilty.
It doesn't take long for the two teenagers to make it near Liz's booth. Winnie sees Liz spacing out on the counter, and the sight brings a grin to her face. Liz looked tired and Winnie hoped that the food that she was getting her would help. They almost arrive to their destination when a familiar voice gains her attention, along with a soft hold on her wrist. She only has a second to realize that it's Dustin before his lips lands on hers. The action surprises her and it takes a moment to respond, but the interaction causes for the butterflies to erupt and skim against the bottom of her stomach.
Words don't exist for Winnie when Dustin's lips finally leave hers. She stares at him, confused at the sudden intimate form of affection he just displayed. At least this confirmed her doubts about what their relationship meant. Winnie was one for action, not subtle hints or simple words, actions and explicit words were the only way to get the message across to her. Winnie would've never thought that this was something Dustin would do, over the past few days he had been a little more shy with her. He'd flirt, sure, but it stuck more to the friendly side. And there was that comment Chance made where he said that Dustin had never kissed anyone. Winnie wasn't complaining, but the turnaround was a surprise. And Winnie's kissed a few people, but her kiss with Dustin was different. Good, different.
Dustin's soft greeting pulls her back to reality and to the curly-haired boy standing in front of her, Um...uh hi... hey.A hesitant smile climbs onto her face, shock still obviously present on her features. It take her a moment for the environment to come back to her as well; the food in her hand, Liz's booth a few feet away, the younger teenage boy that just witnessed the first kiss between the couple.
I...I think I've got the bag.She pauses for a moment, pulling her words together so that she sounds like she can function. We don't have that much to go, Liz's booth is right there.She looks at Dustin with adoration, the lingering kiss making her a little giddy inside.
Oh! This is Stu, my new partner in crime. And Stu this is Dustin. Uh, my....Dustin.Her last words embarrass her a little, so Winnie whips around and silently leads the two boys to Liz's booth, her body sticking close to Dustin while a goofy grin is on her face. Did they have to have a talk now to clarify what they were? For all she knew, Dustin went around kissing different girls randomly. Winnie didn't understand why she was acting like this, it's not like she never dated or been kissed before. Ugh, she's got it bad for this dork. Maybe because this was genuine, whatever happening between them. Or because he made it easy to like him, there were no obstacles. She didn't know, but she was going to enjoy it. I don't know what prompted this Dustin,She leans closer to whisper to him. But, uh, I like it.
With that said, Dustin doesn't have much time to answer yet as they had finally reached Liz's booth. Hey Liz, I got your food.Winnie holds up the food, the ability to communicate with others back and working while she held the food up on display. Talk about a good day, now all she had was to enjoy the rest of her time at the festival, stay off of Twitter, and then safely get Max home (and she was going to, Max was not going to stop her). A good day.
--------don't type anything after this comment--------
Little hi little low little hey little ho
It had come to this.
The day of the big game. Tonight the rival schools would go head to head to settle their differences on the field. It had more the makings of a gladiatorial contest than a football match. Violence was assured, and certain death expected. Ambulances were known to park nearby for the occasion, and the town’s two policemen were on high alert. Ollie would be wise to pack his knife, in the event of a Purge-like orgy of death -- as was the tradition with these annual games.
Like most years Hartfield had home advantage (which Stu thought completely unfair), but Parish Bay also had its pride and dignity to defend. For his part, Stu had the mascot’s role to play. Something he obviously took very seriously. Why shouldn’t he? Once a year he actually got to feel important, and to fulfill his destiny as a pirate. Hell, his KitKats could mean the difference between a win and a loss, between a defeated Parish Bay side and an energetic crowd fuelled by the power of chocolate. This day of all days was his time to shine!
He was on his way to meet up with Kat and the other cheers at Hartfield. They might have to practise their routine one more time before the real thing. But boy, was it a long, long walk to Hartfield.
For now there was the mystery of Ollie’s disappearance to be solved. Stu had been trying to reach him all afternoon. He was hoping to meet up with Ollie before the game. Now that was looking less likely to happen since Stu was already running late. He glanced at his phone. Still no response from his best friend.
NeckTieBoy: where r u
NeckTieBoy: i am on my way to the game
NeckTieBoy: turtle boy do u copy, over
He was already sweating profusely from the endless hike and dragging his tired feet along the sidewalk. He stopped to have a nibble on a KitKat to get his energy back up. If only a kind stranger would offer him a ride... Oh -- here comes a car rolling up to his side. How very convenient, and how very ominous...
Give me what I want, I'll ask politely. Give me what I want.
Ever since Ryan had gotten his shit done in by that little dweeb of a kid, he'd been trying his hardest to make sure that everyone else knew he was still Mr. Top Dog. Zeke could see that his grip was beginning to slip though and pretty soon their whole little group would be scrambling for a new de facto leader. Zeke had been Ryan's right hand for a while and the longer he'd followed after the other guy the more he'd grown to literally hate his guts. Ryan was too brash. Too out there. He acted like a basket case. Zeke was pretty sure the dude was always two steps away from a full on mental break down. Ryan didn't have the subtly that was required to do the kinds of things he wanted with no consequence. That was something he'd always admired about the girls around here, some of them had the ability to be complete bitches and quite literally ruin someone's life and come out of it cleaner than a newborn baby. Zeke wanted that kind or ability. He wanted the brick heads under him do all the heavy lifting and take the falls while he sat up on his temporary throne and watched it all pass by. All he had to do was get Ryan out of the way.
That would be easy. Ryan was already falling off the rails after the whole stabbing thing. All he was focused on now was getting revenge on this Oliver kid and the rest of them were getting bored of it. Everyone else just wanted to give the kid a few swirlies and move on but Ryan acted like he literally wanted to kill him. So, not wanting to poke the crazy guy, everyone just went along hoping that eventually he would just give up and go away. Zeke knew better though. He knew better because the kind of guy that holds grudges like Ryan didn't give up and go away. Something had to happen or they were just going to be in this stale ass do nothing state until they all graduated. Zeke wanted to have fun. He wanted to kick a few people where it hurt and he wasn't going to get to do that with Ryan dragging the boys along on futile revenge missions. So, when he'd seen a certain blonde haired boy walking all by his little lonesome down the street on his way to the game. Zeke decided that today was the day they were gonna finally let Ryan have his last hurrah. What else is a guy to do when he sees Stu French walking down the street just ready to be manipulated? Zeke has never been very good at resisting those more malicious urges.
"Ahoy, matey." Zeke rolled down his window and slowed his decidedly expensive sports car, can you say daddy's money any louder? His too white teeth glinted in the sunlight like they were something out of this world, his canines all too sharp and almost looking like they might cut you.
"You seem to be at a disadvantage. Aren't you a little late? Come on I'll give you a ride." He patted the passenger seat and pulled the car to a complete stop to allow the other boy to get in. But he had already called Ryan. Ryan had already told him just where exactly to take their crab averse targets best friend and it looked like Parish Point would be one man down tonight. If one looked close enough you might notice the way Zeke's friendly smile crooked sharply at the end because just like his teeth and his tongue, his smile was wicked and sharp, a weapon he wielded with ease.
If you asked Lemon Pierce what her biggest flaw was, it would be getting ready on time. She was supposed to be ready almost an hour ago, but she had finally gotten her way into the bathroom, once Orlando had left. Her mood, well that was both sad and sour all of her own doing. Reid had found out about her sexuality and it didn’t go over well. She had screwed up in years past and now she was dealing with those consequences. She had apologized, used her cousins’ phone, but in the end, she knew she had messed up and as much as she hadn’t wanted him in her life, this hadn’t been the way she had wanted it to happen. It ate away at her as she stared in the mirror. She would be fine; she’d put on a really good face for the game and accept her actions once she was in her room alone. Whatever her and Reid were supposed to discuss soon was no longer happening. He wanted her out and really, she had to let that happen. She hoped that once him and Lando stopped really being in her life that she would sleep better, that the memories would stay buried.
As Lemon put on her makeup and put together a simple outfit of mostly black and white, she looked herself over in the mirror. Did she look okay? Was it not enough? She heard a knock at the door and was startled for a moment, “Can you hurry up?” of course it was Lando’s voice and she couldn’t help but roll her eyes. Sure, he let her borrow his phone, but he owed her after stealing the bathroom for well over an hour. “Can you leave me alone?” her words as snarky as his. “You had the bathroom for over an hour, so go somewhere else where you’re less of a problem.” Lemon didn’t care to be nice to Orlando, and he had stopped being even remotely nice years ago. So, she didn’t care about his needs.
Now, Lemon had almost been done getting ready, but thanks to Orlando rushing her she chose to add a little extra glitter to her makeup, nothing crazy but he pissed her off. So, she decided to add more to her makeup. Afterall she had to impress not only Hayden, but Kat. Sure, Kat was a lot, but Lemon did enjoy her, maybe not every aspect but still. Lemon could at least try and impress the taller but younger girl. She did have opinions on everything.
For Orlando, he was already feeling annoyed with his shorter cousin. Whatever happened between her and Reid on his phone he had no clue, but it made him skeptical. What could she had said to make him so upset, “Can you fucking hurry up? Or is that not something you can ever do?” Really, it wasn’t easy being related to Lemon. She was seen as the perfect child of the family, well now a little less so. It was hard to somehow always be compared to her and she was anything but perfect. She had hurt so many people and she had even ruined his life. It was his time to make hers more difficult, “Getting ready for your little boyfriend? What’s his name…Max? Have you two been having fights?” It didn’t take but two seconds for the door to swing open and there stood Lemon. Pink hair and anger, it was a bit amusing. Orlando couldn’t help but laugh at her, “So there is?” and that’s when a brush flew right at him, “Now, Lem you know how your dad feels about throwing things in the house.”
That didn’t stop her from throwing more things, “Why are you trying to ruin my friendships? He’s not my boyfriend and you’re nothing but a failed high school student. It’s why they sent you here because you can’t do anything right.”
Those words stung, because she didn’t know, “At least I’m honest with my friends. You like to lie to everyone. Maybe I should tell your little friend the whole story of what happened that night.” Orlando grabbed his phone and saw Lemon coming to reach for it, “What weak efforts Lem.” He turned to walk away towards his room, and once through the door he locked it. All he could hear was Lemon pounding on the door threatening him if he told anyone. It wasn’t as if she could hide forever. Her little world was cracking and Orlando could clearly see each and every one of those cracks coming to light.
The engine of Reid’s blue Mustang revved, driving much faster than he should of on the tight turns in this little suburban town. Everything that Lemon had said weighed heavily on his mind. How did she expect him to react? Maybe he had never treated Lemon fairly, but he didn’t deserve that.
And what she had admitted… What was he supposed to do with that? Still… It didn’t excuse what she did, didn’t change the threats, if anything it just made it worse. She was being selfish, only her own feelings mattered.
Reid slammed his fist on the dashboard of his car, before quickly running his hand along it again as to apologize to her, as if it would fix any damage he caused. He couldn’t stay mad at Lemon, not even if his life depended on it. He just didn’t understand, maybe when they got the chance to talk it could all make sense again. It was too easy to read situations wrong through texts. That was why he couldn’t tell her about what happened after the Pierce’s left that summer.
Reid needed to get out of his own head, too many thoughts were fighting with each other. Talking over each other.
That’s why he was going to pick up Isa… She could silence it all, at least temporarily. She was a distraction from every problem he had been facing. Him and Orlando, him and Lemon, him and his mother.
He took a few wrong turns on his way to Liz’s house. He had only picked Isabella up from there once before and with his clouded vision, it was too simple to get lost. It was a shock he could even see the road in front of him. He gripped the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles whitening as he pulled up to Liz Bishop’s house. He hadn’t even met the girl, but he now knew where she lived.
This was where Isa was staying, for some reason or another. He hadn’t bothered to ask; they were both going through some bad shit. He did not want to know, them hanging out, hooking up. Whatever they wanted to call it, well. It was supposed to be a distraction. Not a therapy session.
Reid grabbed the parking brake, pulling it upwards as he turned the ignition off. His foot pressing into the ground, he could only sigh. He felt the tension in his body building, he had to let go of it. Just… Just for this moment. His shoulders dropped forwards as he laid his head onto the steering wheel. Wrapping his arms around him. All Reid wanted was some quiet, memories, voices, they constantly were buzzing through his head.
The sound of a slamming door caused him to lift his head, only to see Isa walking out the front door. Reid quickly sat backwards in the driver seat of the car. He gripped the handle of the door, swinging it open before he stepped out and gently closed the door behind him. He walked his way to the front of his car, leaning against the headlights. He crossed his arms as a crooked smile crossed his face. “Your chariot awaits Isabella.”
The Hartfield Academy girls’ locker rooms were so disturbingly clean that Ivy first thought she’d gone to the wrong place. No sour, mildewy odor blasted her upon opening the door-- instead, the whole place smelled only faintly of stagnant water but mostly of a mild sort of lemony soap. More like a grandmother’s bathroom than a high school locker room. The air in the space didn’t feel stiflingly heavy, either, but Ivy hardly breathed at first.
It was almost too much for her frail little heart to process all at once.
The lockers that lined the walls were freshly painted and didn’t look as though they’d been beaten to shit after decades of anguish over lost volleyball matches. There were soft white towels provided.
And most miraculous of all, over by the showers, not a spore of mold was to be seen. No grey slime or black spots or ominous bloody-looking threads over the drains. No mold to be seen anywhere. The space was completely untouched by the curse of Toothrot.
She stopped, one hand still lightly placed on the door and eyes wide with beatific revelation.
It was all so clean, Ivy would’ve felt safe kneeling down and french-kissing the tile.
It was probably legal to perform surgery in here.
Absolutely the holiest and most immaculate locker room she’d ever laid eyes on.
This place really needed a good trashing, but unfortunately, Ivy was not here to vandalize. Not now, anyway. That'd have to wait until after.
Stepping inside, listening to the way her worn-down sneakers squeaked against the pristine white tile floors, she picked a quiet corner and pulled on her cheerleading attire. The little spandex-blend costume had all of the kitschy appeals that the movies and musicals had promised. It was like wearing a superhero suit or something: it sort of fundamentally changed how she felt about herself. Despite not concealing her identity at all, she felt empowered to do whatever she pleased and blame it all on the power of the cheerleader persona. One look in the shiny floor-to-ceiling mirror told her that she looked just the part for inflicting cruel and unusual punishments on her unsuspecting peers.
This was her alpha bitch fantasies come to fruition… okay, so she definitely wasn’t the alpha bitch. That honor went to the infamous Katherine Navarro, who was ironically as much as a newcomer to Parish Bay High as Ivy herself was. For a transfer who'd just spent however-long abroad in Italy or Spain or wherever, Kat had made a big splash on her debut back in town. Her rise to the helm of the cheer squad was sudden and dramatic enough to make her effectively the star of her own chick flick. As far as cheer went, Ivy was still only the epsilon bitch at best. Regardless, something about a shiny blue skirt and a raging football mob gave the same liberating high.
Two sticks of strawberry-flavored gum eased the bitter aftertaste of the infamous squad vegetable juice out of Ivy’s mouth. She joked about the stuff a lot, but it really was horrendous. There just had to be another way to get to that vitamin quotient that didn’t involve drinking the frothing lifeblood of Beelzebub. Ashley Park, visionary that she was, had eased the pain of the ordeal by getting the squad to take it in shots.
Ashley was a hoe, but a visionary nonetheless. Whenever her attention could be pulled away from her latest nerd infatuation, Ivy appreciated Ashley’s wit. All in all, the Parish Bay Cheer Squad was a merry band of sinners that Ivy was proud to represent.
With a good while to go before the game, Ivy pretzeled her legs under her to stay somewhat stretched and resumed casually playing around on her phone. She’d never be outwardly all giddy and nervous, but she made it no secret that this was probably the most exciting day of her life. She didn’t give a rat’s ass who won the game. As far as she was concerned, this was the cheer squad’s center stage moment.
This was probably the first time in Ivy's green little life that she thought of herself as a team player.
Winnie had finally found an outfit. She always seemed to find herself in this predicament, ruffling through her clothes trying to find something that complimented the event. This time wasn't plagued with her nervousness though, it was Chance's fault that Winnie couldn't find anything to wear. He had purposefully left her clothes out instead of putting them in the dryer.
The twins were going through a rough patch. Shortly after the Apple Festival, they barely talked to each other, only talking to each other when they needed to. Others have barely seen them in their usual state, attached at the hip. And people noticed, but were too scared to ask. Winnie liked it that way, there was no need to burden anyone with her problems. What happened between Chance and her could not be fixed by someone else.
The lightness of Winnie's make up completed her look and she decided that she should end Max's suffering and get going. He had been waiting for her some time and she didn't want him to wait any longer. Chance had already left, ignoring their usual tradition of taking one car to the game. Her car was back from the shop but she did promise that Max could drive them to the game. Good thing that Hartfield Academy was north in relation to her home. Win isn't able to leave the house unbothered however, her mother sat in the living room right next to the entrance and the minute Winnie tries sneaking past Regina is ready to question her.
Where are you going?
I'm going to the game. Chance already left to get some extra practice in. The lie leaves her mouth easily. A lie in how she felt on being abandoned by her brother and a lie as to why they weren't acting like the Matthews Twins.
Who's driving you?
The deaf kid? Can he even drive?
Yes, he can. Without waiting for anymore questions Winnie steps out of the house, closing the door with a little more force then needed. She knew that if she stood and listened to more of her mother's questioning, then somehow Regina would find a way to get Winnie to stay home. She had been a little more lenient because her current partner was a guy, but still Winnie could tell how differently Chance was treated. Clutching her backpack tighter to her body, Winnie's feet carry her down the driveway and towards where Max was parked.
When she passed the small mailbox that adorned their house number she remembered two things: one, that she and her dad were the ones that decorated the purple monstrosity assigned with holding their mail; and two, that Frankie told her to check it, something about Faith getting her a gift. She pulls open the little door and sees a small box wrapped in peach wrapping paper and a blue, silk ribbon. The box has a little weight to it and confusion is obviously evident on her face.
Winnie precedes to Max's vehicle, her eyes still planted on the rectangular shaped gift. In the time she had known Max, Winnie made it a goal to learn enough sign language to get by. The dancer didn't want her friend to feel left out and as if he wasn't important, because he had become an important person in her life. When seated in the passenger's seat, she greets him with a quick hello and a smile. She momentarily forgets about the box that sits in her lap as she gives her driver her full attention before he decides to begin driving.
Max takes a "fake it 'til you make it" approach to having fun.
Max had been parked outside of the Matthews' house for a few minutes before he finally spotted Winnie running up the driveway. He stopped anxiously tapping at the steering wheel to unlock the passenger door for her, giving her a friendly wave from his best attempt at a calm and casual posture.
"Hi, Winnie--" his eyes turned to the gift-wrapped box in Winnie's lap for a second, a little curious, though he didn't comment on it. He knew her birthday wasn't for a while yet, so what occasion was that for? "Ready to go?"
The drive up to Hartfield Academy was a little long, and unfortunately they couldn't talk much for the duration of it. Again, he couldn't help but be overly conscious of that and wind up driving at a nervous crawl and heeding the signs like he'd be shot on sight for breaking a traffic law.
He was eternally grateful, though, that she'd agreed to let him take the wheel for this one. The ride home with her from the Apple Festival wasn't too bad compared to the last time he was in her car, but Max was always in such a miserable state riding along with other people. That, coupled with the mild burning chest pain he'd woken up with this morning, made it a lucky day to have the privilege of doing the driving.
Spending some time with his friends at the football game was a much-needed break. Max knew next to nothing about football, but he was sure Lemon, Winnie, and the others could make it fun. Lemon especially had been excited to do this, which was really the whole point.
Max was worried about Lemon.
Her cousin Orlando had been gnawing away at him for the past two weeks, ignoring Max's pleas to be left alone and instead giving cryptic warnings that Lemon wasn't who she said she was: that she'd done something back in Alabama, that she ruined people's lives and would do it again.
Max tried to pass it off as Orlando just trying to pull Lemon's friendships apart because he was a callous jerk, but… let it suffice to say that it quickly became evident that there was more going on than that. Orlando wouldn't explain in full. He kept insisting it should be Lemon who confessed, and Max steadfastly refused to interrogate Lemon, so the agonizing dread was left to fester as always.
And besides that, nothing else had been resolved. Isa was still spiraling back into depression and substance abuse, Max's letters to the school committee went to the shredder unopened…
And he'd basically stolen Zach's jacket at this point, but that was neither here nor there. He was definitely going to give it back the next time he saw the insufferable blonde surfer.
Lemon had said earlier that she'd be running late (not unusual for her, but worrisome nonetheless), which left Max and Winnie to find a place to sit after they'd arrived on the field: somewhere in the middle rows, a little towards the front where they had some space from the field but not too many people to have to look over. Max quietly congratulated himself on a job well done and slid into the rows after Winnie. Watching the rest of the crowd of students milling around overhead, though, reminded him that he was a little out of place here. "So, how do these games work?" He phrased awkwardly, struggling to figure out what he was actually trying to ask. "I… do these usually start right on time, or what?" He looked aside for a moment, taking in the busy surroundings with a look of slight discomfort. "I've never done this before. This is… eh, it's just new."
Lemon was still nowhere to be seen.
Come to think of it, did Evie genuinely like anything besides her own hobbies?
That’s how it should be. People shouldn’t have to make acceptions based off of what they like versus what they have to do.
‘I don’t wanna go to school.’
‘But you have to.’
Isn’t it hilarious how you have to do things? You have to study, you have to be on time, you have to clean up your room.
All these ‘haves’ were really just choices.
And Evie was completely okay with making them. It was easy to just say ‘nah’ and shove it to the side.
The school had called her step-father, kindly informing him that she skipped that day with Graham.
Which led to having a ‘family discussion.’ Family discussions apparently meant you can be a dick and nobody gives a shit.
‘Think about your future.’
‘Don’t embarrass your mother.’
‘I paid for this school.’
Bitch, nobody asked you to.
Her mother didn’t have anything to say about the situation, instead quiet beside him and it killed Evie. How could she just sit there?! That’s not who they were. Like, it’s just…
That’s not how they worked.
This guy was just ruining everything.
Everything is fucking getting ruined.
“It was a fucking mistake—“
“Language, Miss Blake.” Mr. Hunt said, Mr. Hunt being Hartfield Academy’s PE teacher who— most of the time wasn’t an asshole, but today… well, everyone is pissing Evie off today.
Mr. Hunt held out an ice pack for some chick that Evie had thrown a basketball a little too hard at. It was genuinely—
“Dodgeball! Get on your side of the gym, guys. Whistle means game starts.”
Evie walked towards her side of the gym, grabbing a ball readying herself for the game to start when Mia took her stance beside her.
“Isn’t it sad that you’re like a freshman and you don’t have any friends your own age?”
Mia Parker, the only girl in her whole grade who was the only one who deemed on making Genevieve’s life a living hell.
Not like it already wasn’t one, but she was just annoying.
Think Ivy, but on crack.
But like completely dislikable.
At like Ivy had some qualities
“I have friends my own age.” ia glanced around the gym as if she was looking for someone.
“Do you, though?”
“Awweeeeee. Do you really have to lie? C’mon, Genevieve. Nobody likes a liar.”
“It’s not like the tissues in your shirt are telling the truth, so.”
“Maybe I should just be honest then and say nobody likes you.”
Mia shrugged, and a smile appeared onto her face, and Evie wanted nothing else but to wipe it off her dumb face.
The whistle went off, and the ball in Evie’s hands went straight to Mia’s face.
It wasn’t genuinely a mistake.
It was genuinely deserved.
“I’m nearsighted, so I just didn’t see her right next to me, and—“
“Apologize to Mia, Genevieve.”
“It’s Evie.” She said, glaring at the older man before turning her focus towards Mia.
Mia, who had a bloody nose and who was sitting on the bleachers, glaring at her
“I’m sorry your face hit my ball—“
“Give her a real apology.”
A real one?
She doesn’t even deserve one. Why should Mia get one when she was the bitch first? It’s not fair.
Genevieve contemplated flipping both of them off but that’d probably result in getting sent to the principal’s office.
Evie didn’t say much of anything, instead— turning on her heel and leaving the gym. Course, Mr. Hunt was yelling after her but all Evie had to say that she got her period and had to run, so… unless he wanted more blood on the floor he should consider that before turning her in.
The petite girl stormed into the locker room, hands under the hem of her shirt when she turned around to see none other than Ivy herself.
What the hell was she doing here?
“Jesus— what the fuck. I thought you were the grudge or like fucking pennywise or something. Why are you even… here.”
Cheerleading stuff, right?
That made more sense taking a look at her outfit. An outfit that was entirely too short, super gross, and just… why.
“I can’t believe you haven’t quit that shit yet.”
Evie just hated it.
The stereotypes and all that shit. Just because she hated it doesn’t meanshe should hate it for Ivy.
TL;DR Evie makes an unexpected but very welcome appearance.
Don't threaten me with a good time
The door to the locker rooms cracking open caught Ivy’s attention, and she shoved her phone back in her gym bag and scooted up onto one of the benches, trying to look vaguely professional in case it was the coach or Kat. This whole cheerleading gig was probably the only thing Ivy had ever taken seriously, but she really did care about it. Being a model player was what kept her doing the cool stunts. Being able to stand on Kat’s hands for a few seconds a day was a privilege she treated with reverence.
It wasn’t Kat or the coach walking into the locker room just now, though.
Ivy would’ve recognized Evie’s voice anywhere. Of all the cotton-brained private school brats that could have wandered in here so late in the day, it just had to be the most backward and whiny and petulant and brilliant and marvelous of them all.
Oh, Veev Blake.
Whatever would Ivy do without her?
“I can’t believe you haven’t quit that shit yet.”
Ivy rolled her neck, looking indignantly up at the ceiling. “Shut the fuck up. I'm fiiiine. I can stop any time I want to.” she drawled, as though this were an addiction intervention. That tone was dropped almost immediately though, as she perked back up and gave a proud displaying gesture, slowly gliding her hand down from her head to her hip. “But check it oooouuuut!” she tossed her hand back up in a gleeful flourish and fully ignored Evie’s unimpressed expression. “This is what lousy small-town public school enthusiasm propaganda looks like!” She hardly paused, bouncing lightly on the soles of her scuffed off-white sneakers. “But really, who even cares about football? Everyone knows people watch football for halftime and cheerleaders. Eye candy, right? I’m basically the whole show. That’s why they have announcers and stuff; because they know no one’s paying enough attention to sweaty armored boys concussing themselves to know who’s winning.”
She leaned in closer to Evie, far too close for comfort. Personal space was null and void in Ivy’s book. “We better win, though. I did not ride all the way up here on a smelly bus full of band kids to see an ounce of joy on Megan Kingsley’s face.”
Ivy only knew of Megan through Kat, and from what she’d heard, Megan was something of a vapid bitch. That might just be Kat’s perspective, and honestly, Ivy couldn’t give less of a crap about whatever was happening between the two of them. But, on the other hand, making private school kids feel unprepared and inferior was something she was very, very invested in. That was likely reason #46 why this cheer business was so damn appealing.
“But why are you here?” Ivy gave each of Evie’s shoulders a taunting poke. “You can’t join the team, you dip. Rich kids aren’t allowed. Strictly no-bourgeoisie policy. Instead of a drug test, we do a DNA sample to make sure you’re not a fucking French Noblewoman. Beat it, Marie Antoinette.” Ivy did not know that Marie Antoinette was actually from Austria. History was not a class that got her undivided attention. “But I guess we have a few minutes, if you reeeeaaally can't bear the thought of being without me.” She pretended to act all beleaguered, heaving her shoulders in an overexaggerated sigh, but her mouth stayed lifted in a playful grin and her dark eyes sparkled with excitement. “If I don’t come out of this smelling like Chanel No. 5, we can make it quick behind the lockers.” A suggestive raise of her eyebrows abruptly ended in a fit of hysterical laughter and a pretend retch. “Eww, no! As if. Fucking gross. Did you really think I-- ooohhhh my god. Honey no, oh sweetie, oh my fuckin’ god--” Before Evie could stop her, Ivy's hand flashed forward and gave her a flick on the nose. "Dumb whore."
Three ambitious football players walk into a bar.
a man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions
Chance doesn't feel good when he pulls into the parking lot of Hartfield Academy. The dilemma with his sister has thrown him off in everything, especially since she didn't know what he knew. He'd tried warning her, but she blew up on him and then he blew up on her and now they weren't even talkin. Not being able to protect his sister bothered him a little, but maybe he should listen to Kat's words and not be up in her business. They were the same age, if he could handle himself then she could handle herself.
Despite being on opposite teams, Chance gave Frankie a lift. The two had known each other since they were kids, the common feature of being a twin bringing the two together. And the two had been there for each other since. When Frankie broke his arm in the fifth grade. During football tryouts in middle school. When Chance's dad died. Even as whatever was going on with the other half of their crew.
Chance remembered the days where it used to be the five of them, both sets of the twins and Kat. They used to all hang out together, looking over the other and exploring the trials and tribulations of middle school and life in Parish Bay. Then shit happened, people got abandoned, fondness turned into hatred (at least for Chance). But ultimately, he still had Frankie.
And lately, Frankie was exactly what Chance needed even though the latter ignored how heart would beat when the former would get too close. Or how he found himself always trying to spend time with him. The more he found presence alongside his best friend, the more he could feel that agonizing question Winnie asked looming over him. What are you hiding?
He didn't have the guts to tell his sister what was going on with him; pushing her away and instigating a fight between them was the easiest way out. Chance didn't have the guts to tell anyone that he could possibly be harboring feelings for his best friend, his guy best friend.
Never mind that, he had a game to win tonight. No matter what you said Frankie, we're gonna win tonight. Hayden's been busting our asses these last few practices.
He steps out of his car and slams the door behind him. How about we make a bet on it? Loser has streak through the park after the game. There's a mischievous smile on his face as he considers the wager, there was no way they were going to lose today. He was telling the truth when he said that Hayden had been grilling them during their practices. Chance was exhausted of the plays that he had to remember and the absolute anal strategies that he had to follow, like one wrong step during the game and he'd get in trouble. But whatever, anything to win today.
Before Frankie could answer his proposition, Chance sees his captain across the way and he gives him a greeting. Today wasn't a day to mess with Hayden. Both football players had to be focused on the game as football was about the only thing that they could mostly agree on. Today, Chance needed to forget about everything on the outside; his sister, Hayden, Frankie. Tonight was about winning.
“Plus, you really will be walking around this place in your birthday suit if you keep giving your clothes away. And trust me, no one wants to see that,” the brunette had said, talking.
Their landscape had only changed by a blink; the rows of tents and rides continued to pick andharvest out it’s own tannery for light.
“I feel lied to—” Zachary Lee delayed, approaching a sudden rest in their slow walking, “Anderson.”
He bent in sublimely and bored his eyes right into her. Ideally, her eyes were only brown, something so common. But, when he was leveled to her height and this close, they were so apart from the inner color like they could be green of his abject greed or the groveling black of his isolation. They weren’t comparable to andalusite or archetypical jewels. They were murder: stubbornly opposites of his and seemingly and frustratingly still familiar that it felt like he knew her for ages rather than days. Was she suddenly nervous? Basely, the pad of his index finger flicked against her wind-hardened forehead. He laughed, his lips softly outlining in a reverberation saying, “I don’t trust you.”
“Which gives you a reason to take it,” he added in the afternoon, suffused by light bristling through the solitaire leaves and laying bare on the apples.
It was his hand’s own discretion that he was already pulling the white hoodie lightly over her sculpted shoulders. Without a bat of an eye, his rogue hands were tying the empty sleeves loosely around her neck.
“Well,” his courting manner dropped as he stepped back, “I should find my girlfriend now.”
“Oh, and because I feel like saying this,” Zach told her honestly as he backed away from her, “I don’t just give my clothes to anyone. I only care about myself. You know that. Everyone does.”
He never found Tatum Browne later that night at the festival.
Legitimately, the last thing he wanted to be was alone. It returned to him anyways as did the moon, and he ended up on a bench, watching the last of the rays escape down.
Golden boy. Yeah, right.
What a trite cliche.
The football field at night took on a deeper appearance. The stadium lights that stalled over posts on top of the rolling clouds were generating white spotlights. Spanning over the ground, it rendered a contrast against the green grass and the posts of steel bleachers.
In an inclusive perspective, it was an unfolding scene that gathered promiscuous crowds like an ongoing movie that only ended with a one way ending. Zachary Lee with a new score on his increasing desertion peered down at the school-spirited field, observing from the top rows. Tides of people loafed close to the bottom and mediums, and in this set of vision he could recognize the generalizing cheer uniforms, the variety in the entering masses, and the laundering differences in the classes.
What he had, what he needed, and what he wanted was all here.
With his shoes scraping against the chafed steps, the blonde began his way down.