How to make someone blush by text

When you like someone, it is only natural that you want him to think about you. These 50 texts to make him blush are the perfect way to compliment that special someone. They range from super sweet compliments to corny texts that are bound to make your guy smile. With any luck, he will end up sending you one of these messages in return! To make a girl blush, catch her eye when you’re talking to somebody else, smile at her, and look at her for just a bit longer than you normally would. If she’s shy, that may be enough to make her blush. You can also give her a simple, unexpected compliment, like “You look great in that outfit.” Make and hold direct eye contact. Exchanging a mutual unbroken gaze for at least 2 minutes produces increased feelings of passion, which will likely make both of you blush. Start by glancing in his direction and trying to casually catch his eye. How To Make A Girl Blush Over Text With Sexy Talk. The most important text of your life can be the one you send the day after you have sex with someone. It’s much easier to say something awkward and clunky than to say something meaningful that will make her want more. Let them know what you’re thinking with these cute & flirty texts. Some of the texts are a little teasing while others will make them blush. But they all will make them smile. We are always trying to find small ways to stay connected. We're all always so busy that it's nice to just get jolted out of Sexy texts, or 'sexting', can have a great impact on relationships. With just a small naught and sexy text, you can actually make him hard down under and get you laid. Sexting plays a crucial role in establishing and growing relationships. It can make relationships healthier and foster a strong chemistry between two people. When you like someone, it is only natural that you want him to think about you. These 50 texts to make him blush are the perfect way to compliment that special someone. They range from super sweet compliments to corny texts that are bound to make your guy smile. With any luck, he will end up sending you one of these messages in return! 1. You too can make someone’s day I had a random guy in Memphis once stop me in the street to tell me I was the most gorgeous woman he’d ever seen. I blushed and mumbled ‘thanks’ and stammered like a dipshit, and he just smiled at me and kept on walking. Through text messages, you can always pour your heart out. Sometimes, it becomes quite embarrassing to say things on the face. This is the time when a text message works its spell. Make the most of it to make your girl blush. 1. Love cannot be measured but can be felt. Just open the window of your heart and let my feelings fill it up with all ... It will make her blush for sure. So this one of the most used cheesy pickup lines can help you to rule over her heart. 5- I may not be a genie, but I can make your dreams come true. You may not be the genie from Aladdin, but you can make her all dream come true. So if you want to tell your girlfriend that you can fulfill all her dream.

Our Friendships Turned Febrile II : The Social Contract (Part 1)

2020.07.08 19:03 Agent_BB86 Our Friendships Turned Febrile II : The Social Contract (Part 1)

Our Friendships Turned Febrile II : The Social Contracts (Part 1)
-- Contains Heavy Non-Consensual Ballbusting --
John held onto the rail, afraid with his awkward gait, he would slip down his frozen front steps. The past three days had been the most miserable of his life. The events of last Friday were sealed behind a wall of pain, every action muddled and disorganized.
“John! Hurry up! We don’t want to be late to school!” Zoey waved.
John squinted; Zoey’s figure was blotted by the backdrop of the rising sun. John waddled closer to her, treating each step like his last, savoring time. It was the first time since his abuse that he had walked outside of his house. Seeing the gathering snow on his driveway, he recalled a fragment of his sullied memory. Emily had carried him home, up his steps, and into his room, where she tended to his tender orbs.
“What’s wrong John?” Zoey asked, tilting her head.
Her honey gold locks slithered down her red jacket. A beige scarf covering her slender neck. The braided strands of her scarf sloped over her modest breasts, the frayed tips hanging like icicles dripping from a swelling overhang.
“Nothing.” John snapped, realizing he was motionless.
Overcome with an arbitrary sense of awkwardness, he closed his legs, compressing his tender testicles. He grunted, streams of white, hot air escaping his nostrils.
“Are you sure you’re alright? You look a little sick.” Zoey said jokingly.
She really didn’t mean it. John and Zoey’s friendship went far, not as far as John’s relationship with Emily, but it was long enough to recognize the hint of sarcasm in her tender voice.
“Zoey, I told you I’m fine.” John affirmed, limping as his lopsided, swollen testicles rubbed against his padded inner thigh.
“Good! You can carry my bag, can’t you?” Zoey smiled, passing her blue sack to John.
“I’m not going to carry your bag, you do it!” John bit.
“Bitch.” Zoey pouted.
Playfully, she veered her welled fist into John’s arm, causing exceptional pain. Despite Zoey’s smaller frame, she had the ferocity of a phoenix, her seemingly endless energy apparent in her everyday life. Her strike, while aimed at a resilient section of John’s body, made his eyes water. His body shuddered, trying to mask his discomfort in front of his female friend. Zoey chuckled, seeing through John’s charade. While she didn’t think she put much power behind it, it was clear he was suffering.
“Carry my bag John! Unless you want me to tenderize you!” Zoey grinned, her stance wide.
Without hesitation, John snatched Zoey’s schoolbag, he slid it on his back. Together, Zoey and John walked. John was slower than usual; Zoey was constantly chiding and berating John and his new meek personality. John was used to it, Zoey was always known to go hard on people, even her friends. Yet, her tease felt like much more, while it could have been all in his head, it felt malicious.
“It’s pretty warm for this time of day, don’t you agree John?” Zoey boomed.
Balancing atop a cobble fence, Zoey was elevated a few feet in relation to John. Her tight, modest ass strained against her reddish-purple winter trousers. From behind, her plentiful posterior, and thick thighs echoed the image of a plump radish, ripe and ready to be nibbled on. John’s leery eyes snapped to the straining fabric, before jutting back down to his feet.
“You blushing or something? Why is your face so red?” Zoey called down.
“Maybe I am not feeling too well.” John mumbled.
Bullshit.” Zoey spat. “I know just what you need! A good view!”
“A view?” John stuttered, his eyes fixating on Zoey’s firm breasts.
“Come up here silly!” Zoey giggled, biting her soft tongue.
Zoey hoisted John at the armpits, encouraging him to join her on the thin cobble wall. Against his will, John joined Zoey, his legs shuddering as his still swollen testicles rubbed against his sticky thighs.
“Sore or something?” Zoey snickered. John groaned.
Zoey placed her mittens on John’s hips, guiding him forward on the wall. The soft sun was a brilliant gold, its rays escaping through branches of snowy spruce. Sporadic rural homes littered the brush, thin wisps of smoke billowing out of brick chimneys. A frozen stream was to their right, on the opposite side of the wall.
“Don’t fall over!” Zoey squeaked, giving John a light push forward.
“Knock it off.” John protested. Zoey smiled.
John’s childhood friend pressed her pelvis into him. Now on level footing, she was several inches shorter than her friend. Her toned stomach pressed into the meaty chunk of John’s butt. Slowly, she increased the regularity of her hip’s motion, until she was clearly humping him. Not receiving a desired reaction, she became crass and impatient.
“John, you’re moving so slow! Pick up the pace, or we’re going to be late!” Zoey huffed.
Cruelly, and without any forethought, Zoey jammed her knee upwards. Perhaps from her perspective, she was aiming at John’s bottom.
The brutalized boy cried out, the echoes of his voice sending clumps of snow careening off stressed branches of green trees. Zoey, from behind, had brought her muscular and angelic knee square into John’s layered testicles. The once cradling cloth that snuggly harbored his bruised balls simultaneously sealed their fate. Zoey kept her powerful knee suspended, unknowingly preventing John’s agony to end. His stressed balls brushed with the real concept of a rupture. Zoey’s invading knee crushing them to near oblivion, John’s hard pelvis welcomed his flattening testicles. The soft fabric prevented his usually chaotic testicles from sliding to either side of Zoey’s knee, forcing them to crunch against two hard boney materials.
“John?” Zoey said.
Unconsciously, John had clamped his legs together, ironically keeping Zoey’s intrusive knee pressed against his watery orbs. John shut his eyes, tears streaming out as he lost all strength in his lower body, as well as feeling. His body teetered over the edge of the fence, bringing Zoey down with him. Zoey let out a feminine cry, grunting when she landed in the powdery snow caking the bank of the icy, stagnant water.
John groaned, gingerly cupping his groin with his winter gloves. Zoey lay next to him, her knee inches away from his hot nuts. The golden-haired woman pressed her hand on John’s chest, using it to lift herself to a sitting position.
“Lucky we landed in snow; the ice would have really hurt.”
Zoey appeared completely oblivious to the damage and pain she had caused John, figuring his groans stemmed from his soreness; whatever part of his body it may have been. Truthfully, Zoey hadn’t realized what was pressed against her knee was John’s precious jewels. For one, the thick fabric at the seam of his crotch muddled his man meat; combined with the squishiness of his swollen nuts, she didn’t have a clue what her knee had scooped up. Secondly, she wasn’t the brightest.
John’s eyes were fixated on the orange clouds, their blissful nature alluring. John couldn’t fathom an existence quite like it, one devoid of pain.
“Hello you two, am I interrupting something?” Came a voice.
John’s heart sank, his body tingled, the voice reminding him an all too familiar pain. It was Emily. Her face blotted the orange sky, strands of her long raven hair hanging like vines. She smiled at him, her red lips curling like a clowns.
“Oh! Em!” Zoey exclaimed, standing in the foot-deep snow. “I knocked on your door a thousand times! I thought since I was late you were already making your way to school.”
“Well, I was. But seeing you two crossing the bridge, I thought I would wait.” Emily cooed. “How are you John?”
John was unresponsive. Petrified in his own mind, he relived the prior event of getting his manhood violated by Emily. The ball-busting sadist crouched down, her thighs caressing either side of John’s head. Her attire was extremely conservative. Her white winter coat made her curvaceous, toned top half appear as a flat cylinder. While her thighs and ass were disproportionately large to her waist, her padded snow pants hid her true womanliness.
“Did you do something with your hair by chance, Em?” Zoey asked.
“Yeah, I thought I would change it up.” Emily tilted her head to the side, showing Zoey her long ponytail.
“You look fuckable as usual.” Zoey grinned.
“Thanks.” Emily giggled.
John’s genitals reacted instantly; hearing Emily’s giggle had put a physical strain on his testicles. Oddly enough, his cock rose in his pants, straining against his fabric. Emily stood and stepped over John, down to the frozen bank of the stream. She reached behind to her backpack, returning with her lime-green water bottle.
“Well John, why don’t you get up already. I’m pretty sure we’re already going to be late, but I still don’t want Ms. Blackwood to bust my balls.” Zoey shuddered.
While Zoey was fixated on the slope leading back to the road, Emily tossed her water bottle. The green object zipped along the glossy ice, under the bridge and off into the distance.
“Oh! Zoey! My water bottle’s sliding away!” Emily said, faking her distress.
Zoey dropped all worry of being late, as well as the irrational fear of Ms. Blackwood busting her balls; she didn’t have any. She scurried on all fours like a dog chasing their favorite ball.
Before John knew it, his scrappy, honey-blond friend Zoey had disappeared, and Emily had thrust her Ugg boot into his groin. John let out a wail, and his eyes bulged out of his head. Instinctively, he brought his hands to where his sagging nuts should have been. All he could grasp was the rubber underside of Emily’s boot. Emily was breathing hard, white wisps escaping her drooling lips. She leaned over slightly, her constricted tits bulging against her white coat. From experience alone, Emily was able to gauge John’s testicular fortitude. Unable to feel his feeble testicles through his layers and her boot, she could only rely on his body language and her intuition to not permanently crush them against the packed snow beneath. Emily bit her lower lip, her body shuddering in euphoria.
“John, after our experience together, I haven’t been able to take my mind off these things.” As if to emphasize what she was referring too, she leaned deeper, crushing John’s cock and balls.
John let out a high pitch moan. He bit his tongue, trying his best to subdue his pathetic cry. Emily was able to pick up on his ploy.
“John, it’s alright if you cry, boys can cry too, what’s the issue if a few people hear and see us?” Emily smiled. “I’m crushing your bruised balls John, like before, remember that?”
Emily twisted her heel into John’s bruised nuts, trying to force more squeals out of John. He obliged, but it wasn’t enough for her, she craved more. She lifted her foot high, letting the inevitable sink in, before slamming it back down, the tip of her boot pinching John’s globes between the packed snow. She ground her foot in a circular motion, making sure no lump of John’s nuts missed her affection. He wailed and withered.
Emily took her Ugg boot of John’s orbs. Before the beaten boy could bring his weak hand to cup his bits, Emily had already taken the initiative to subdue him. Using her exceptional strength, she dragged John under the bridge. Like a true savage, she ripped John’s pants down, popping buttons off. With his manhood fully exposed to the biting cold, his dick reactively shriveled, bringing Emily clear displeasure. She removed one of her white mittens. John’s eyes bulged out further, his mind racing with all the things Emily could do to his exposed nuts. Rather than demolish them, she lightly caressed his swollen testicles. In his shriveled sack, they were easy to manipulate. Next, Emily focused on John’s shrunken penis, stroking the tip until it was completely inflamed.
“Emily, stop.” John said, grasping at Emily’s hand.
Emily gripped his shaft with all her might, trapping the blood in the latter half of his near 9-inch cock. John watched his swollen glands turn a bright purple.
“You’re throbbing for me, I'm glad you feel the same way I feel about you.”
Emily’s statement couldn’t have been further from the truth. John begged for release; inversely to what Emily must have had in mind.
“Zoey will be coming back soon. But before she does, I want to get several things straight with you, John.”
She seductively bit the tip of her still gloved hand, pulling it off with her mouth. She nibbled the coarse fabric, imagining it as John’s soggy tip. With her gloveless hand still on John’s screaming cock she snapped another picture, in order to savor the moment for her later pleasure.
“Take a look at all of these John.” Emily said, shoving her dick riddled phone into his face.
While his vision was blurry, hot tears stinging, he was able to make out the distinct shape of his cock, as well as bluish egg-shaped orbs.
“If you want to keep this between you and me, you’ll keep your mouth shut.”
Emily rigorously stroked John’s hard penis, pulling and stretching his foreskin over his sensitive glans. John moaned aloud, arching his back. He was feeling true pleasure; something only Emily had ever been able to evoke within him.
“I really don’t want to hurt you too bad, but if you jeopardize our relationship, I’ll have to take my rage out on these. Will you comply?”
Emily cruelly pulled down on John’s testicles. They were stubbornly inflexible, the frigid air tightening his nut cords. Still, Emily was able to stretch them beyond the normal limits of human anatomy. John couldn’t believe the feeling; as much as he was terrified of his testicles being taken from him, he acknowledged they should have been broken by that point. John nodded, hoping his compliance would save his testicles from immediate harm. Emily smiled.
“Alright then, let’s go to school.” She said, releasing herself from John’s manhood.
Scooping snow at either side of John’s spayed legs, Emily shoveled it onto his radiating testicles. John sighed, the snow briefly relieving his pain. Quickly, the powdery snow melted against him, soaking into his pants.
“This should help the pain and swelling, but hopefully not too much.” Emily giggled.
John’s cock twitched, some mechanism in his mind increasingly associating primal senses with Emily harmless giggle. Emily slid John’s twitching cock into his wet underwear, tucking it in neatly. She pulled up his pants, patting the fabric into his meat.
“Come on now, I’ll help you stand.” Emily grunted, lifting John up by the straps of his and Zoey’s individual backpacks. Emily wrapped John’s arm around her backside, giving him a plump helping of her cake. Emily lightly brushed away the snow from John’s shoulders, as if nothing had happened. Hunched over, John appeared shorter, and completely submissive to Emily. He was absolutely terrified, the feeling amplifying as Emily forced his hand to grope her butt. She was in complete control of the situation. Without any reasonable means of escaping her clutches, John wanted to cry.
“Em! I got your bottle!” Zoey cheered.
Running up the frozen lake, her firm breasts bounced in a controlled manner. Up and down, up and down, her bra and tight coat keeping them confined.
“Also, look! I found money!” Zoey grinned, a five poking out of her welled fist.
Zoey skidded on the smooth ice. She was unable to stop, her forward momentum and flat boots a deadly combo. Calculating her direction, Emily quickly readjusted her stance, sliding John in front of her. Grabbing John’s shoulder Emily held him firm, seizing control over his movements. It was a game to her.
Zoey came careening forward, looking for John and Emily to cancel her momentum. John caught the brunt of it, Zoey’s plump knee sending his testicles in the appropriate direction. Her womanly body as a whole plowed into him, not that her squishy tits mattered to John in that moment.
“Here!” Zoey said, passing Emily’s water bottle back to her.
“Thanks Zoey. I love this bottle.” Emily said. John groaned at seemingly nothing.
“Seriously, what’s wrong with you John?” Zoey asked, still oblivious to everything. John groaned again in response, the noise becoming a permanent part of his vocabulary.
“John didn’t tell you? Him and I did a killer lower body workout over the weekend, isn’t that right John?” Emily smiled.
John nodded, knowing he had to go along with it.
“You two worked out together? And didn’t invite me?” Zoey said, acting hurt. A smile crept along Emily’s warm face.
“I wouldn’t be opposed if you joined us, some day.”
John, while late to first period, took his time changing. Zoey and Emily had already made their way to class. John gingerly peeled the layers from his skin, minding his groin especially. Finally, in a light set of clothes, he left the locker room, making his way down the halls of King Willow High. A conspicuous wet spot was smack in the middle of his crotch. While damp cloths were common in an area covered in snow 90% of the time, it still embarrassed him, knowing it originated from Emily shoveling cold snow onto his nuts.
John, more than any other day, was able to appreciate the simplicity of his schedule. John’s town was in the uppermost, and most remote area of the state; it was once regarded as a frontier for pioneers. With that age long past, a stable civilization was able to lay claim. The one high school in town harbored everyone. Other than the odd homeschooled individual, everyone of that age knew each other by osmosis. Because of the small class sizes, John was able to rest his bruised testicles, most of his particular classes taking place in the same exact room.
The day was half over. John had made it that far, the pain in his left and right testicles subsiding slightly. Zoey had pulled another desk next to John, her arm slightly intruding on his personal space.
“Another week, another day without Ken in third.” Zoey said, taking a bite from John’s jelly sandwich. Without appetite, John allowed Zoey to take advantage of him.
John remembered what Emily had told him, how she casually mentioned she had ruptured her classmate's testicles. Zoey didn’t seem to know, no one did. John felt dirty knowing what had happened.
“Rumor is his family’s moving. Something about peeping at the middle school.” Zoey added nonchalantly. “Personally, fuck that prick, he’d always stare at my tits.”
“Where exactly did you hear this rumor?” John asked.
“Em, who else?” Zoey asked, dead serious.
John conceded, affirming to himself that Zoey had already been corrupted; she was still completely unaware of Em’s antics.
“Miss Bishop, I will not tolerate swearing in my classroom, even if we are on break.” Came Ms. Blackwood.
The tired teacher didn’t even look up. Sitting at her desk, she was constantly sipping her creamy coffee, reading a tabloid on her phone.
“Sorry!” Zoey called back.
Ms. Blackwood took another sip from her black mug and grunted, acknowledging Zoey’s apology in her own way.
Iris Blackwood was just one of ten female teachers. Within that subset, it wasn’t her exemplary teaching style, but her body that set her apart. Already quite tall for a female, her black 6-inch high heels guaranteed anyone she spoke with face to face would be speaking up to her. At some angles, even that was impossible, her breasts made sure of that. Nearly spilling out of her tight shirt, no good faith argument could justify the levels of skin she was showing. With the way she was sitting in the moment, her black bra was showing; almost no boy could ignore it. Her short black skirt revealed all too much, her plump ass viewable at the right angle.
Despite her gorgeous looks, she was clearly miserable, her brown eyes always hollow. Her glasses rested on the bridge of her nose, magnifying her silent sorrow. Besides her blood-cell shaped red jade earrings poking from her black, strait, shoulder length hair, her entire self was devoid of color. There had been tons of rumors as of her origins. A hyper-sexualized teacher was bound to bring about the wildest stories. She was a criminal on the run, using her looks to land a quiet job at a high school. A prostitute turned to mundane work after contracting a STI, that, or biting the dick off a crime boss. A secret agent working undercover, trying to find a causal link between the low birthrate in the area and chemicals in the snow. Truth was, high schoolers were fucking stupid.
Aside from John, Emily, and Ms. Blackwood, there was one other individual; it was Aria Hale. She was sitting in the literal corner of the room, nibbling on a carrot. Aria’s brazen eyes met John’s for a moment. Instantly, John retracted his, unable to keep his cool. Stripped of her snow clothes, her damp white top exposed critical sections of her smooth skin and frilly blue bra. Before John’s whole ordeal with Emily, he had idealized Aria as his "type". But after what Emily had told him, he feared looking her in the eyes, hoping his feelings for Aria would subside with time. But in that brief second, his cock expanded.
Aria stood, her modest tits hanging like ripe fruit on a stressed branch. She walked to Ms. Blackwood, bringing up something relating to a project. John’s leery eyes traced back to Aria’s firm ass and petite backside. Her wispy, angelic dark brown hair fell just below her shoulder blades. During their exchange, one way or another, Ms. Blackwood’s cup spilt, staining her white shirt and sticky-ing her tits.
“Fuck.” She grumbled, standing.
Her massive melons nearly knocked Aria out as she stood. The creamy coffee had completely soaked her formal top, exposing her toned navel. Her black stockings siphoned her thick thighs, constricting the meat of her quad. Swiftly, she left the room, her sharp heels pelting the floorboard. Presumably, she was headed to the staff area to change her soiled top.
“Fucking hypocrite.” Zoey scoffed, finishing John’s sandwich.
Aria took her seat in the corner of the room, texting on her phone. A minute had passed, and the door opened again; but it wasn’t Ms. Blackwood.
“Hey John, look.” Zoey whispered, pointing at the door. “Looks like a wild asshole is approaching.”
Lucas barged through the door, locking his head on John. Like a pre-programmed machine, he shifted his body secondly, once acquiring his target. Clearly flexing his muscles, his broad and rock-hard shoulders glistened with water. His large pecs strained against his red tank top. Still flexing, he awkwardly stomped to Zoey and John. His wide muscular thighs bumping into low desks.
“Sup retard.” Lucas said, tilting his head up.
The wide jock leaned onto the soles of his feet, positioning his head right above John. While John wasn’t looking directly at him, he could feel Lucas’s temper.
Swiftly, Aria excused herself. Walking past the three of them. John couldn’t help turn his head, staring at her tight ass as she passed.
“Hey, fuckface.” Lucas growled, grasping John’s collar. “Look at me.”
John rolled his eyes, and obeyed. Lucas’ lopsided face was purely a pain to look at; John avoided it as much as he could. In Lucas’ career as a star football player, his nose had been broken several times, creating the uncanny valley. The damage had made him a mouth breather, constantly expelling foul odors of onion and egg.
“What do you want, Lucas?” John said.
“You know perfectly well what you did, just admit it.”
“You realize I have no idea what that means.” John sighed. “This is too typical of you.”
“Yeah Lucas, can you just leave? We were having a good time before you came.” Zoey said, clearly turned off.
Lucas glared down to Zoey, specifically her breasts. Having abandoned her coat, her curves were accentuated perfectly. Without any shame, Lucas continued to take in the eyeful.
“I know you would have a good time with all 6 feet and 8 inches of me.” Lucas snorted, flexing his free arm.
“Lucas, you’re no taller than 6 foot.” Zoey spat.
“Hey, sweetie, those were two different measurements.”
Zoey couldn't help but roll her eyes.
“But I’ll get with you later, little Johnny here has my attention.” Lucas focused back on John’s face, preparing his fist.
Seeing his telegraphed strike, John covered his face with his arms, hoping to absorb the blow. It never came. Instead, there was a high pitched cry; for once, it didn’t come from him! John opened his eyes, feeling Lucas’s fist had released his shirt. The brawny bull’s mouth was wide open, his eyes rolling into the back of his head. His veiny forearms covered the same section of his body, his groin. John was unable to process what had happened, or most of the rapid events that followed.
Zoey leapt out of her seat, tackling Lucas, bringing him to the floor. With her teeth bared, she jammed her claw-like hand into Lucas’s balls, his loose gym shorts offering no protection. Zoey gritted her teeth and snarled. She reduced Lucas to a sobbing puddle within 10 seconds, digging her fingers between Lucas’s epididymis and testis. Lucas, white knuckled, pried at Zoey’s fingers; but she wouldn’t budge, digging harder and harder into his nut-meat.
John had never seen such an inhuman action. Without remorse, Zoey twisted and pulled at the most vital part of Lucas. The pathetic wails escaping Lucas’s mouth would have had any humanitarian in tears; Zoey continued to torture him. John’s own stomach twisted into a knot, watching Lucas writhe. Was that how he was when Emily tied him up? Tenderizing his sack like a stubborn piece of meat? For once, John felt pity for the abrasive jock.
Zoey didn’t share the same sentiment as John. On the contrary, she was quite annoyed. Lucas was still screaming his head off, his head turning red.
“Shut the fuck up!” Zoey snarled.
Zoey gripped Lucas’ neck with her free hand, constricting his blood flow. Foolishly, Lucas removed his fingers from Zoey’s taunt fist, clawing at her other hand. Zoey’s blue eyes lit up, seizing her opportunity. Faster than she had smacked Lucas’s sack before, she snaked her dexterous fingers up his loose shorts, locating his jewels again. John swore, Lucas’s bloodshot eyes were bulging out further than his crooked nose.
“I’ve got you fucker.” Zoey spat, void of empathy.
Her vice-like grip negated Lucas’s intrinsically sweaty, slippery testicles. She pulled up, forcing Lucas’ to a bridge position. She didn’t stop. Lucas’s individual testicles pressed against the thin material of his shorts. Zoey grunted, moving her entire forearm in a circular motion, as if twisting a wrench, tightening a nut.
Using what strength he had left, Lucas stood, attempting to alleviate the pressure on his nut cords. Zoey, opportunistic as ever, pushed him over, using her knee to bat Lucas's testicles in the direction she wanted his body to go. One hand still on his neck, she bent him back over, his wide back flat against a nearby desk. Every nerve in his body was shot. Unable to discern up from down, his entire word was spinning, his compass constantly shifting between pain and humiliation. He pleaded with his watery eyes, trying to appear with Zoey. She just smiled back, but not at him. His testicles had her undivided attention. Straining between her welled fist and the fabric, they appeared as perfect eggs.
“I’ve had it up to here with you!” Zoey said, illustrating her point of reference by lifting Lucas’s testicles up higher and higher.
Pressing down on his neck, Lucas wasn’t able to stand, no matter how much he wanted too. Zoey chuckled, admiring Lucas’s testicular fortitude; because of his resilience, she was able to prolong his pain. Lucas squealed; his lower body was lifted from the floor, purely being suspended by his watery orbs.
“I hope you fucking enjoyed looking at my tits.” Zoey bit, rubbing her hanging bosom on Lucas’s stomach.
“Zoey, stop it, you’re going to rip them off!” John said.
John, still sitting, finally had the courage to speak out. He was probably one of the only people on the planet that could empathize with Lucas. Feeling helpless, at the mercy of someone whose only goal was to bring you the worst pain known to man. John felt sick, seeing Lucas’s body twitch and convulse. He had the perfect view of Zoey’s chosen torment.
“John, this piece of shit deserves to have his nuts turned to jelly, don’t you agree?”
“No! He doesn’t deserve it! Someone will hear his screams! You’re going to get into trouble.”
All at once, Zoey released Lucas, allowing him to melt to the floor. John’s latest words broke through, her sense of conduct resurfacing, realizing she could be punished. She looked back to Lucas, practically spitting on him while she spoke.
“You should be fucking grateful. John here just saved your manhood.” Zoey said. Lucas just groaned. “Don’t bother us, or I’ll squeeze your balls again.” Zoey said, clenching her fist.
The meat-head man crawled away, one hand clutching his sagging testicles, making sure they didn’t fall off. Desperately, he inched his way to the door.
“One last thing, Lucas.” Zoey said, pressing her back foot into the floorboard.
John knew exactly what was to come, he had seen it from the first-person perspective before. Zoey, much like Emily, was a perfect specimen of a woman. While overall, Zoey was smaller than Emily, her strength shouldn't have been underestimated, especially when aiming at the weakest spot on a man. She let her foot fly, leaning back the moment her boot scooped Lucas’s danglers. Lucas’s whole world exploded, his nuts compressing against Zoey’s boot and his hard, seized up abs. His lower body was literally lifted from the floor. For a single second, only his forearm was in contact with the flooring, the force of Zoey’s boot brutalizing his balls.
“Get lost.” Zoey spat, stomping her feet on the floor, faking a charge.
Lucas scrambled out, leaving a trail of tears, dry heaving the entire way. In the halls, he continued the cry, crawling on all fours to somewhere he could tend to his orbs.
Zoey let out a dignified huff, putting her welled fists on her wide hips. Throwing her shoulders back, her breasts jiggled ever so slightly. It was right after that that John lost any common understanding he had toward teenage girls. Zoey picked up her toppled seat, sliding right next to John. She sat, the fleshy curve of her ass pressing against John’s thigh as she leaned into him, as if nothing had happened.
John’s mouth was wide open, stomach still in knots. Zoey played with her honey hair, removing strands that had fallen onto her revealing top. While in close proximity to John, she was effectively ignoring him, checking her nails to see if they had chipped while digging into Lucas’ nut-sack.
“Zoey, what did you just do?” John whimpered.
Zoey shot her dark beryl eyes at John, forcing his eyes down. His heart was thumping, dreading the idea that in her clear rage Zoey would take liberty in smacking his nuts. She was perfectly capable of it. While John wasn’t the weakest guy, he was known to lag behind Zoey in terms of stamina and strength.
“Oh? That? Lucas has been a dick for as long as we’ve known him, I’d say he deserved it.”
Zoey knew she wasn’t convincing, judging by John’s unmask-able disapproval.
“Look John, we’re all going to college by the end of the year, I figured roughing up Lucas before then wouldn’t be a big deal.”
Zoey was lying. It was clear in her voice, that her violent and sadistic outbreak was motivated by some prior disorder. John couldn’t look at Zoey in the same way. The honey-haired teen rolled her eyes.
“Look John, just forget what happened. If I hadn’t done what I did, he would have given you a black eye. Honestly, you should be thanking me that I almost crushed his nuts. Because of me, he won’t bother us again.” Zoey scoffed.
“I appreciate what you did to some degree, but that was really brutal what you did to him.” John said, treading carefully when speaking. “What possessed you to go that far?”
“What part are you referring to? When I pinched between his epididymis and testis, when I lifted him by the balls? That last kick I gave him?”
John bent over, setting his head on his desk, trying to comfort his stomach.
“Em taught me.” Zoey added.
John groaned out loud, but wasn’t surprised. Zoey looked concerned.
“Were you actually hungry?” Zoey said, setting her head on her desk, facing John.
“I really don’t have an appetite.” John grumbled.
“I could get used to that; your food is good.” Zoey smiled.
Reddit only allows you to post so many characters before maxing out, I had to split it.
Story continues in post Our Friendships Turned Febrile II (Part 2)
submitted by Agent_BB86 to BallbustingStories [link] [comments]

2020.07.06 03:21 pinkjackchi I can’t get over my teacher. Help me...

I graduated at the end of May of 2019 and it’s been over a year since I’ve last seen him, but I still can’t seem to get over my feelings for him. My feelings have not gone down over the year and they are still very strong. My teacher was 44 and I was 17 during my senior year.
My father has been emotionally absent from my life and as of these past few years, physically absent. I really only see him during Christmas now. I know I have daddy issues because of my father and I know this is why I am so attached to my old teacher.
My teacher was a man whom I admired and everything I could of wanted in a father, which made him so attractive. He was interested in getting to know me and he truly cared about me. I went through a hard time during senior year because of my living situation and some family issues and he always offered to talk and a place to cry. Even when I didn’t want to talk, he always had something to say, advice to offer, a snack to eat and told me the greatness he saw in me. He even gave me his number, which I’ve called and texted when I wanted to talk to him. One day, I was having a really shitty day and had an anxiety attack and he was there to comfort me emotionally and physically. He was affectionate and he made me feel safe. He held my hand, rubbed my back, caressed my cheek, talked me through it and gave me a big, long hug afterward. Nothing my father would ever do.
I really liked him as a person. He was handsome, had a great personality and he was a great teacher. He always took time to get to know each of his students and he truly cared about them. He was passionate about his job and about his students. He was always so positive and had a smile on his face that made me blush. He was very intelligent, well-spoken and wise. He was someone you can learn a lot from and he would take the time to answer all your questions. He was silly, fun and not afraid of judgment. He had some youth in him that would shine through.
I have had crushes on a few teachers before. Sophomore year, I had a crush on my teacher who taught my history and AVID class. By summer, my crush was gone and had forgotten all about him. This crush is different. I know this sounds crazy, but I truly do feel like I’ve fallen in love with him and that it has progressed far from just a crush. I have never felt this way about someone and I have never wanted someone so badly.
During the year, my crush got bigger and bigger to the point where I stalked him, his wife and his family on social media. After graduation, the stalking has progressed. I know a lot about his family, their names, where they live, their numbers, what they do for a living, their kids, their interests, their in laws, all by name, etc.. I swear, I’ve found every picture on the internet of him, but I still keep searching. I’ve made fake accounts to access his family’s profiles to find pictures of him. I’ve become obsessed with his family’s lives. I stalk his wife’s social media probably 5 times a day to see if she’s posted about him, along with his family’s profiles. I get extremely jealous of his wife to the point where I cry. I see pictures on her Instagram of him buying her flowers all the times, taking her to romantic dinners, cooking for her, movie nights, fun trips together...I just think about how lucky she is.
The crazy doesn’t stop there...One of my friends that year even took secret pictures of him almost everyday for me and sent them to me because she knew I loved them. Another one of my friends and I even went to his house one night just for the fun of it and took a picture by it. I’ve become obsessed and it’s unhealthy. I’ve even thought about making a move on him many times throughout the year.
I just want to stop. I know I can’t have him and I just want this obsession to end. It hurts so much. Sometimes I feel like I’ll never get over him and the stalking will never end. I’ve tried to delete the fake profiles, but I end up making them again. It makes me feel close to him. I did delete the messages between us, his number and all the pictures my friend took for me that I kept in a private folder, but that has not helped. I actually get mad at myself sometimes for doing so. I don’t know what to do. I know people will tell me to stop checking his wife and family’s profiles, but it’s an addiction. It’s not that easy. Especially when I am depressed, seeing him makes me smile. Although, sometimes things get dark and I get depressed over him, reminiscing about interactions with him senior year. Sometimes I even get suicidal. I get so extremely sad that I can’t have him and I feel as if I will never find anybody like him. Although, I don’t want anyone like him, I want him.
I just want to stop the fantasizing, the stalking and to stop thinking about him from when I wake up to when I fall asleep. It has become so unhealthy to the point where I am not living reality anymore. He is all I think about, dream about.
I do not have the best home life. My dad is absent a lot of the time as I said before and my mom is mentally unstable. All I really have is my mom, but she is bipolar and can be cold and heartless most of the time. He always gave me that feeling of love, protection and that someone truly cared about me. And he was always easy to talk to and filled with positivity, which I have never found in my mom. He is just someone I wish I had in my life.
submitted by pinkjackchi to Advice [link] [comments]

2020.07.02 19:16 ramviksingh (Delhi couple)[MMF] Cuckold Story North India Part 1

NOTE: This is a long story.The wonderful couple,whom the story is about,are long time lurkers on reddit and I have their permission to write this story and post a few "safe" pictures .One of the names is real and one is not.
Once you have sex with someone insanely hot,one wonders if they'll fuck some hottebetter in the future or have they already peaked.I used to think,I have peaked (few months ago) and will not fuck anyone hotter.This is a story about how wrong I was and what a bombshell I banged (enter :Radhika).This was also my first time with a proper sissy husband in India.I have been a bull for past 8 years and have had the opportunity of meeting wonderful people ,who understand how short life is and how important sex life is for mental balance .I ll be posting my experiences one by one .All these stories will be 100 percent true .However ,I will be taking the liberty of adding /withholding certain incidents or dialogues for the sake of making the stories a bit more interesting,call it creative freedom.The deviation from events or order of events will not be more than 5 to 10 percent. Characters 1.Radhika:33 years old.IT professional.The worlds prettiest smile.High cheekbones.Excellent lips.Luscious flowing hair.Fair complexion.5'4 Hour glass figure.Thick thighs and flawless skin.Fun loving and talkative.Bad listener(wanders if sentence has more than 7 words).Experimental and vocal in bed.BEAUTIFUL woman inside and out.Respects her husband and considers him as her best friend.
2.Pritesh:35 years old.Engineer.Quiet but extremely intelligent.5'8 thin structure.Always wanted to be sissy but opened up to his wife recently. Successful career but a somewhat reserved personality.Has had his share of fun on "work trips".He didn't tell Radhika about them,but felt guilty that his wife also deserved a bit of "responsible and safe" fun outside the marriage. He explained how mammals are just not meant to be with one partner and it's the society which causes this conflict .Something to do with inherent biological vs sociological conflict.How science backs whatever he was saying (nerd alert).Blah blah.Lol kidding bro(I know you are reading this😝)
3.Ramvik: 30 years old.5 ft 10.Fair,Fit and well-built .I am no Model with abs but still considered "decent looking".I take pride in my hygiene routine.Safety and privacy are paramount.Experienced,polite yet kinky.(I ll leave it to the reader to decipher my personality traits)
Backdrop: I received a message one day from Radhika,telling me she really enjoyed reading my previous story(which I didn't complete for some reason) and was looking forward to the next part.We got talking and had a spontaneous and interesting chat.We both had a good feeling ,but I was a little sceptical initially thinking,maybe it's the husband and not actually Radhika and like many Indian husbands have not shared the fantasy with their wife,but just want to talk about it online.She was really patient and convinced me otherwise. I took a leap of faith and sent her my real instagram handle.She was reluctant and wanted to keep chatting more on reddit.I assured her that I understood her concern and wouldn't normally do this,but sometimes,one just has to go with their gutt.I didn't receive any reply and I thought it's another gay man messing around.Moments later,I got a message request on instagram.I tried following her but she said she would like to talk just on messages for few days and then start following each other.From the small dp, I could see an exceptionally beautiful woman with the world's most serene smile.We got talking(nothing sexual).I felt as if I have known her for years and I could talk to her about anything in the world .Over the next few days we became friends.There were a few sexting sessions and we shared a lot of similar fantasies.We told eachother about our previous sexual conquests and disappointments.Out of the blue I received a Semi nude from her.I had not seen a more perfect set of boobs on an Indian woman before this.I asked her for her number and got talking .We spoke over the phone for around a week.I could tell,she also really likes me.I wanted to know if her husband was onboard so one day I spoke to her husband and was trying to explain that he need not feel jealous or intimidated.He stopped me mid sentence and laughed he said that,he has known Radhika for a long time and understands the lifestyle well.From whatever Radhika told him ,I seemed to be a polite,well-mannered guy.He further went on to tell me that he is a successful man with a lot of subordinates working under him.He has always been a boss and wasn't in a habit of hearing "No".Ironically, denial was a huge turn on for him when it came to the bedroom.He wanted to fulfill his sissy fantasy but had a hard time looking for guys,whom he could trust.Being in India,nothing and I mean nothing is more important than secrecy and privacy.He would love to treated like a sissy when it came to the three of us and he would like to be in the background (passive participation). I knew that apart from the sexual stuff,there is a huge psychological aspect when DOM SUB and sissy roles come into the picture,but nothing was going to prepare me for what was in store for me.I knew I didn't have to be "well mannered nice guy" anymore.I had always preferred a friendly equation between the husband wife and me in all my previous encounters.Pritesh however didn't want that.He wanted to fulfil his humiliation kink properly and said we could be friends outside the bedroom. This guy knew exactly ,what he wanted.
Normally the SOP is to meet at a public place but since we lived in different cities and we had gained each others trust over texts/video calls ,we planned a holiday.Radhika and Pritesh are from Maharashtra originally ,they had moved to Delhi 2 years ago and had never been to the Himalayas.So I picked a very secluded cottage resort property nestled deep in Himachal Pradesh.I lived in Punjab that time.So it was decided,they would fly to Chandigarh on the weekend and I would pick them up from the airport and then Drive uphill in my car.Over the next few days we planned alot of stuff and the rules of the game were set by Radhika and me.I asked them ,if there were any limits but I guess they had left the details to me.The amount of trust and faith shown by them actually made me responsible and I was committed to make sure their experience was out of the world and I must not leave any stoned unturned to help them Re-ignite the spark in bed.We shopped for eachother and decided upon stuff like lingerie ,clothes toys etc. They will all come up in the story ahead.I will be skipping the details of our conversations and come to weekend.
20th Sept,2019
I was on time and a little nervous.No matter how many times you have met new couples.The first meetup is always nerve wrecking. I was wearing a navy blue shirt,untucked with beige pants and brown shoes and brown wayfarer sunglasses.I suddenly heard my name being called out from back and Radhika was frantically waving like a long-lost friends.Wow!She looked even better than she looked in her pictures.She was wearing exactly what we had discussed.A knee length white sundress with leather boots.Her perfume reached me before she gave me a tight hug.I gave her a quick peck on the cheek and then noticed Pritesh standing right there.As he extended his hand for a handshake,my reflex was to shake his hand but then I pulled my hand back and patted him on this head.He immediately smiled and said ,"First test passed".All this while Radhika was hugging me with her head pressed into my chest.She gave me a peck on the neck and we started moving towards the car.We held hands and carried a handbag each while Pritesh rolled the cart.I held the front door open for Radhika and she gave the prettiest smile and sat inside .As we were driving,Pritesh noticed a Henna tattoo (mehndi) artist and reminded Radhika,that they had told their friends and family that they are going to attend a wedding and the mehndi would make it much more believable once they returned home.Radhika turned around and patted him on his head ,just like I did and called him a "good boy".She got traditional punjabi patterns drawn on her hand real picture.Those of you,who don't know the mehndi tattoo takes around 3 hours to dry and that was approximately our drive time to the resort .She could not touch anything for the entire drive.Pritesh and me took care of making her sip water or eat snacks.The drive to the resort was beautiful and I had placed my left hand on her thigh.They both looked at my hand slightly moving the dress up and smiled at each other.After around 2 hours,Radhika wanted to pee and we had to make a stop at one of the roadside Dhabas.Since her hands still had the wet henna ,Pritesh started walking behind her to the loo.I immediately realised,Radhika was my wife(as discussed) for the weekend,so I was the one supposed to go with her. I called Pritesh and asked him to come back .I saw Radhika's face go red,as she realised what was going to happen.We entered the stall and faced eachother and smiled.The sexual tension was giving me butterflies.Radhika held her arms wide open and kept her hands as far as she could,so that her white sundress,doesn't get any Henna/mehndi stains .I moved closer and gently lifted her dress ,our faces were hardly inch apart and we could feel each other's breath.Radhika had shut her eyes and I could hear her heartbeat. I I didn't look down intentionally .I wanted her to be comfortable and I prefer taking things slow,its always these "firsts" which are the most erotic and I wanted to be mindful about not ticking off too many "firsts" off the list in one go.My hands reached her thongs and I pulled them down to her ankles and then hugged her to gently lower her to the toilet seat.The dress fell back on her thighs and covered everything. She was looking up at me and gave a beautiful shy smile(what a moment).I caressed her face and pulled her cheeks .I asked her take her time.She closed her eyes again to focus on peeing but could not get herself to pee.(understandable) She was giggling and was pushing me out,asking me to come back when she is done.I looked deep into her eyes,the smile turned to an anxious horny expression.I slowly lowered myself and gave her a long kiss on her lips and just stayed there.Suddenly, I heard the stream of pee hitting the water.For some strange reason,the sound was really erotic.Maybe,it signified,that she has surrendered to me completely now and has nothing to hide anymore.Our kissing intensity increased and I held her face in both hands and kissed her neck,cheeks,eyes and sucked on her lips.I didn't use tongue intentionally. She opened her mouth slightly and we locked lips till her bladder was empty and the last drop hit the water .While our lips were still locked,In one swift motion I removed her panty entirely from around her ankles and held it up and gave it a quick sniff,God that mixed fragrance of her sweat,perfume and pussy juices made my dick twitch instantly.I could tell,eating her out would be "tasty" affair. I folded her thong and put it in my shirt pocket like a pocket square,wearing it like a badge of honour. Radhika was blushing like teenager looking at me do that.She then said "Hogeya" ( I am done) in the sweetest manner possible.I got some toilet paper and wiped her pussy.She literally jumped from the seat by 2 inches .She was extremely sensitive and I could feel the wetness and the heat of her pussy on the back of my hand.However ,I wanted to end this moment and countinue in the resort.So I helped her get up ,gave one quick kiss on the lips (like a couple who has been kissing for years) and came out of the washroom.Pritesh was waiting outside in the car,he exchanged smiles with Radhika and asked how was it.We sat inside the car and looked if anyone was watching.I pulled the red thongs out of my pocket and dangled them infront of his face.He was clearly taken aback to see that (eyes wide open ,smiling but shocked)and said,"Well done guys,so it begins "On hearing that ,Radhika literally leaped out of her seat and kissed me on the lips for atleast 1 minute.Sliding lips over eachothers and giving small, noisy and wet pecks on the lips frantically.She quickly put one hand on my crotch to check if I was hard or not.Obviously I was ready to tear my pants.She laughed and went "aaawwwww,Thanks for the compliment.All three of us had a good laugh and any remaining iota of the initial awkwardness was gone.Pritesh had a satisfied grin plastered across his face. For the first time in 8 years (6 yrs marriage & 2 years dating) he just watched his wife passionately kiss another guy, sitting 3 feet away from him.We settled back in our seats and continued ,all 3 of us were quite chatty and there wasn't a quiet moment during the drive.We reached the resort by lunch time .It was a beautiful property with it's own private road leading down the hill.There stood a beautiful cottage right next to a river bank,far from any other dwelling.The weather was a little foggy and misty.I will be attaching a few pictures,just to give an Idea.We knew a extemely relaxing yet exciting weekend was in store for us.
P.S This story will be in parts.I understand Part 1 ,wasn't really "sexual" but be patient ,A LOT is yet to happen in the upcoming parts. I personally feel the build up and backstory is absolutley essential to understand the dynamic of relationship.Part 2 will be posted within the next 48 to 72 hours.
submitted by ramviksingh to r4rindia [link] [comments]

2020.07.01 21:43 throwaway019832 At what point do you go see a professional?

I’m really sorry if this comes across as attention-seeking, because I know people have it much worse. It’s not something I feel comfortable talking about with the people I am close with, which is why I would really appreciate some advice from people going through similar things. I’ve always thought of myself as a somewhat anxious person but never someone with social anxiety.
All of this stems from a really annoying behaviour I’ve had from the past couple years: ghosting people not because you don’t like them but because you’re scared they’ll hate you for replying late. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but it’s truly a struggle. Like, a friend-but-not-close-friend will text me, and they’re just reaching out and are genuinely a lovely person, but then I don’t reply for whatever reason within a timeframe (justifying it by “I’ll just reply later”), and I keep pushing it off until a reach a point of no return where if I reply at that point, I’d have to explain why I’m replying late, which means the other person probably will hate me, and it’s best to just never reply because then I can never face that hurt. This has happened to like a handful of people in my life and I’m absolutely terrified of bumping into them in person. Which is so stupid and such an unnecessarily stressful way to live and causes the other person more pain. But I have no idea how to just stop doing this. Reaching out to them seems impossible at this point. I think about it daily.
Honestly, I have an office job that’s going really well and a small but close social circle. It’s only ever been minor inconveniences that add up and, at most, hold me back from some opportunities. I don’t actively seek out dates or do online dating because that is way too stressful and makes me nervous. I feel nauseous before public speaking, interviews, or presenting, and I hate making phone calls to people I don’t know (which actually may be a problem in work). I blush and stumble over my words when meeting new people without someone I know accompanying me, and I worry about how I look when out in public. I despise talking about my negative feelings with people I know, which I feel can distance myself from them. When out with friends, I probably annoy them so much when I tell them to speak quieter, because I’m worried other people will hear what we are talking about or will disturb them, and I notice that out of my friends I’m usually the one to hold us back from doing something out of a fear of being judged by other people. Even when going on a walk, I actively think about what I’m going to do when passing by another person (eye contact and smile? just look away and pretend not to notice?) and then give myself shit for acting so awkwardly over what should be a simple interaction. Another absolutely ridiculous behaviour I occasionally experience is trying not to think about negative / bad thoughts in public over the fear of “what if they know?”, and then silently apologizing in my mind. There's more, but these are just some examples.
But at the same time, I feel so safe and comfortable around people that I know and am usually never awkward with them, nor do I have any trouble with routine actions on my own (i.e. going shopping, returning stuff, interacting with staff at restaurants). If everything is planned in advance or I know what to expect, there are no problems. I’ve even held jobs that involved public interaction which, although awkward, I’ve held down fine.
Wondering if this is just something that I need to actively and mindfully work on and is pretty normal? (Because I know there are people who have it SO much worse and it actively affects every moment of their life.) Or would this further benefit from some professional help because I’m starting to get sick of myself and don’t know what to do. Thanks for reading, and again I’m really sorry if this is not the space to ask this.
submitted by throwaway019832 to socialanxiety [link] [comments]

2020.07.01 17:11 joshuawaggoner90 I Ride for Cerber: Pt 11

"It's not going to fit in my car. I'm telling you it's too big." Harley scolded as I tried to wiggle and jimmy my bike into the back seat.
"Well I'm taking it and you said Count's still mad at me for barfing on him and you want to drive, SO..." I said back, giving it another shove.
"Does it really have to come?" She asked.
"Yes! Yes it does. Besides, what about Rissa? You think she would rather stay here alone instead of coming with us?" To which Rissa answered,
"I don't want to go."
"..... I'm taking my bike. If it won't fit like this I'll just take the wheels off." I argued, pulling a ratchet out of my bag and loosening the nuts. But as I slid the front wheel off the fork suddenly Rissa's entire head just disappeared and she started to wail in agony.
"OH GOD OH GOD!! WHAT HAPPENED?! WHAT DID I DO?!" I cried over her.
"I DON'T KNOW BUT IT HURTS!! MAKE IT STOP!" She pleaded desperately with a voice from an unknown source.
As I fumbled in a panic to try and reattach the wheel, tears welling up in my eyes from thinking I just broke Rissa, I started to hear a... chuckle. The god damn shit ass was laughing. "Rissa... If you weren't dead I'd kill you." I yelled as my heart beat struggled to calm back down. "Why even?..."
"I couldn't help it." She said through her now cackling laughter as she rolled back and forth on the gravel, her massless body leaving it totally undisturbed. "I think I'm mostly attached to the frame. So you could probably replace everything else and I'd be fine." She explained after she settled down.
"New frame it is..." I threatened, narrowing my eyes at her.
"Uh-oh." She squeaked before poofing away into thin air.
"You have to admit that was pretty good." Harley joked as I undid the master link and slid the rear wheel off.
"Can we just go? I feel like I've been awake for 4 days straight." I asked, it almost being true since the vivid, reoccurring nightmare I had been having every time I dozed off hadn't let me get much sleep since the hospital. "Oh hey, where uh... What you up to there big guy?" I asked, seeing Han-lao walking across the parking lot, the massive case from Hep's house strapped to his back.
"Hunting." He answered, never breaking his stride.
"Oh, ok. Have fun. Er- I... I didn't mean it like-"
"Oh, rest assured, I intend to enjoy this." He added, still not taking the time to so much as turn my direction.
"Han-lao, monster hunter..." I thought out loud. "I wonder what that guy's deal is."
"Xi Han-lao, naturalized American citizen, raised in Hong Kong until age 17. Several amateur championships and a pro san shao title. Moved to the US where he obtained several degrees in engineering from M.I.T., enlisted in the United States Army immediately after graduation, was selected from the 75th Ranger Regiment into Delta. Selected from Delta into SAD. The list goes on.... I pulled his record after he kicked me..." She added after seeing the suspicious look on my face.
"Well I guess that explains the surplus alpha energy." I said, watching him leave the parking lot and vanish into the night.
"You ok?" Harley ask once we parked in front of the Count's place and she saw that I wasn't making any attempts at moving. "You look like Tom sitting on the tracks." She added.
After sitting in silence for a while I answered, "Trying to figure out what I'm doing here. Hook brought me in to get information from you because he knew you were trying to get information out of me. Now they got it straight from the source. They don't need me anymore. I just ride a bike. I haven't even done anything this whole time. I've just been a spectator and a punching bag most of the time." I thought out loud. "I spied on the lady who gave me a job when nobody else would, I got Borg all shook up... I got Ju-lee killed..." I trailed of, letting my finger slide over the raised skin of the sliver lines of her coin. "I shouldn't be here with everyone else."
"OWW WHAT THE SHIT?!" I wined after Harley thumped me on the nose.
"Don't talk like that! First of all you're the whole reason I'm even here to help in the first place. And if it weren't for you Hook would have crushed my skull like a walnut. And that too, you stood up for me after... After everything I did to you. You take everything in stride and even though you don't have any obligation to be here, you still came without question. You might not be a lot of things Jose. You're not a vampire or a 200 year old pirate or a... whatever Relic is. You might not have superpowers and you might not be all that brave. But you're a good guy Jose. So much so it makes me sick sometimes. But I can say beyond a shadow of doubt that you're good."
And then she leaned over and gave me a small kiss on the cheek before reaching across me and opening the door and getting out to get her stuff.
"Let me know if you see the Count. I'm not ready for that converssSHIT!!" I screamed, rounding the corner and almost running straight into him.
"Do you know... how strong... my sense of smell is? I CAN STILL SMELL THE ODOR OF YOUR BILE!!"
"Count you be nice to the poor boy!" The Captain said, coming to my rescue and causing the Count to creep back into the recesses of his manor, giving me the stink eye the whole way. "Welcome back boy. Glad to have you with us. And you... hm." He added dismissively at Harley's presence. "Dr. Jekyll will show you to your room."
"Alright then Hook, it's pronounced Jeekyll. I've told you that several times already. Do I need to write a poem about it too? Ah yes, Jose. Fall in if you don't mind." Jekyll said, waving me to follow him up the stairs.
"I'm not calling you Jeekyll when you can't even decide if your name is Jekyll or Hyde!" The Captain shouted up the stairs after him.
"He paused for a second and turned to face him, "Oh... You'll know when to call me Hyde old chap. Let there be no doubt, you'll know." He said with a smile that could curdle milk.
"So do we get separate rooms or..." I asked, standing the doorway of the one room bedroom he lead us too.
"Sorry mate, bit short on space so you and the Mrs. gonna be bunking together for your time here." He told us. "But it looks to me like you too shared a bed once or twice am I right? Wink wink nudge nudge say no more. And oh right!" He added as he made his way back down the hall. "My room's right under yours. So if you do plan on keeping me up bumping uglies, at least have the decency to make the dirty talk intelligible and descriptive. It's been a while for me and it'd be awfully appreciated."
As I placed my face in my palm I could almost feel the heat radiate off of Harley's blushing face. "Well... He has a point. No reason one of us has to sleep on the floor I guess." I thought out loud as I found a place to set my bag down. "Sooo, what n-" I started but was interrupted by the Captain sticking his head through the door.
"You, woman, with me." He demanded before walking back down stairs.
"You go ahead. I'll be in here, being irrelevant, if you need me." I told her. I just sat there for a while after she left the room until Rissa popped up. "Oh hey." I mumbled.
"The hell's wrong with you?" She pried.
"Eh, at first I was kinda wondering why I'm even still hanging around all this. But now I'm more mad that there really isn't anything I can do... Ya know?" I explained. "Hey what are you?"
"I'm a ghost stupid..."
"No I mean like... I can't really tell what color your skin is, you know... on account of you being see through and all, but you got kinda foreign features." I said.
"Oh, yeah. My mom was Indian." She replied. "I took more after her than my dad."
"Ah, that explains it."
"Is... Is that it?" She asked.
"Yeah. I was just curious. I don't really know where I was going with it."
"Jeez man, you really are out of it right now." She said, sitting on the bed next to me.
"I guess so. I just feel useless. Don't like it too much." I mumbled.
"Oh come on. You're not useless. Ok look, this whole thing probably wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for you. You're always saying you just ride a bike but you don't JUST ride a bike." She tried to explain.
"What are you talking about? That's literally almost all I do..." I said skeptically.
"It's about how you ride and what about you let's you do that. You could give someone anxiety just watching a video of you riding. The same thing that let's you weave in and out of giant metal missiles operated by people trying to text and drive and maybe even run you over on purpose every single day like it's nothing, that's what let you adapt to all this paranormal insanity so fast. On the road you have to deal with whatever comes your way and keep moving forward. Just like you have been this whole time. You're here right now because you can't stop, and you don't want to either. It's not in your nature."
"So... what you're saying is.... I don't know what you're saying. You lost me."
"Oh Jesus Jose... I'm saying you're here because you want to see this through to the end. You're committed. You gave this thing its momentum and now you feel like you have to ride it out. And probably also for Ju-lee." She said.
"Oh... Yeah I guess that makes sense."
"Any regular person would have lost their mind long before this point. That whole thing with Tom Cruse... They'd be in a straight jacket. But you're doing ok." She assured me.
"Oh god... you saw him too? I was really hoping I hallucinated that..."
Later that night Harley came back up to the room and told me that the Captain was mining her for information. Apparently the idea was to get the details on security, manpower, location, all the stuff you'd need to storm the castle, so to speak. The Captain and Harley both have a more tactical mindset than me, so a lot of what she said kinda went over my head, but it sounded like a plan.
After that the planning and surveillance starting, with me doing little to contribute as you might imagine. It was hard to even convince them to let me go out for the occasional ride, pointing out that I was part of several people and monsters' shit lists. But I made the counter point that the croc thing had Han after it. And for what it's worth, it's hard to convey in words what an absolute unit that guy is. I'm pretty sure the things that go bump in the night would do a lot less bumping if they knew he was out there in the dark with them. Also I think I was starting to get on everyone's nerves, so they rather I be anywhere not where they were. I mean, if you got Dracula, Dr. Jekyll, and Captain Hook all under that same roof... you're gonna start asking them questions.
"Dracula has surprisingly good wifi." Harley said over the phone as I rested on a park bench one night during a ride. "I've been looking for some movies to watch when you get back. You ever seen Tucker and Dale vs Evil."
"Only like a billion times..... You haven't seen it yet have you?"
"No..." She answered, disappointment in her voice.
"I can watch it again if you want to see it." I offered.
"OK!" She chirped through the speaker and then hung up.
".... We're not a thing." I said to Rissa who was now glaring at me with her arms crossed.
"Yeah if you say so." She said back before vanishing.
"The ghost in my bike is judging me." I said to a random passer by as I picked the bike up and swung my leg over. "You know how it is." I added before riding off, grinning at the awkward look I left on their face. But that didn't last long. After a while I ran up on what looked from a distance like a man wandering around aimlessly in the middle of the road.
I rolled up thinking maybe someone had strayed away from an assisted living place or something, but as I got closer I realized it was worse. "Mr... Mr. Xi? Is that you? What are you doing out here?"
"Ju-lee... Please come home Ju-lee." He mumbled in the dark as he paced back and forth, occasionally switching back and forth from English to Chinese.
"Oh no..." Rissa said from my side. "That's so sad. Does he still not know what happened?"
"Mr. Xi, you gotta get out of the road. Somebody's gonna run you over like that." I said, walking over to him and slowly guiding him to the side of the street. I pulled out my phone and tried to call Han-lao, but I couldn't get an answer.
"You." Mr. Xi said once he finally realized who I was. "Where is Ju-lee? Is she with you? She always talking about you. If she with you please take care of her. And tell her uncle loves her."
"I uh... m... I will Mr. Xi." I said trying to get an Uber to take him home through my watering eyes. "I'm going to get you a ride Mr. Xi."
After the car came and picked him up I decided to cut the ride short and head back to... Dracula's... place. God what even is my life right now? "Are you ok?" Harley asked once I got back. I had called and told her what was going on while me and Mr. Xi were waiting on the car. I'm not sure why though. It just felt like I should.
"I think so." I answered. "I'm gonna go take a shower and we can watch that movie when I get out."
So that night we both got in bed and watch Tucker and Dale vs Evil on her laptop. And as the days rolled into weeks we spent more and more time together watching movies and exploring the seemingly endless halls of the Count's manor and... yeah I know I'm a scumbag ok. You gonna honestly sit there and say you never dated someone because you were depressed and vulnerable and needed the comfort? Besides, I was cooped up in Dracula's summer home with her. What do you expect?
"So I never asked about the whole vassal thing. Why'd you make that deal?" I asked her one day while we explored one of the manor's underground tunnels.
"Well... I was in a relationship with this guy. A really strong guy, and everything was fine for a while, until the first time he hit me. We were arguing about something and then I woke up in the hospital. After that it just kept happening more and more. I snapped. I didn't just want a way out. I wanted to get back at him. To really hit him where it hurt. He was always making sure I knew just how much stronger than me he was. So I started looking for a way to take that from him. And that's when Athena found me. She offered me the deal and I took it on the spot. I went back home and kicked the shit out of that man. I think he still walks with a cane to this day."
"So you don't worship whatsherface because you're buying what she's selling? You're just in it for the superstrength?"
"That and I can eat whatever I want and not gain any weight and I get to stay healthy and young for a lot longer than what's naturally possible." She added.
"Ah, I guess that makes sense. Who really wants to work if they can avoid it, right? Haha... ha. I mean that kinda make sense I guess. Maybe you're so aggro all the time because you're still working out all those emotions from being powerless all that time. And here I thought you were just a jerk for no reason." I said as we laughed together.
"HEY YOU! YEAH YOU!" The Chris guy from Dirty Work Inc barked at me as he walked through the door one day. "You better tell your Taiwanese Terminator buddy to stop shaking down every entity he comes across! He's chasing away our business!"
"Whoa, dude. I have absolutely no control over that guy. He's gonna do whatever it is he's gonna do." I told him. "Also I think he's Chinese."
"He did you tell him to make Kung Pow fuck off?" Mark asked Chris as he and the other guy walked through behind him.
"Viva la resistance..." I said, flipping them the bird as they passed, not entirely sure what was possessing me to antagonize them of all people.
"What was that all about?" Harley asked, watching the bunch file past as they gave me hateful looks.
"Looks like Han is running amok around town and it's hurting them in the wallet."
"Oi! You two!" Dr Jekyll shouted from down the hall at us. "I have to say, wonderful performance last night. Good stuff, good stuff. But remember, volume. Be descriptive. Give me something to work with! What's the point after all if you finish before I do?" He said as he passed and walked after the Dirty Work Inc gang.
".... I really hate that guy." Harley mumbled, her face blushing red again. "We're gonna have to find somewhere else to-"
"Yeah definitely." I stopped her. "I'll troll the tunnels while you're in the war room with the rest of the Legion of Doom."
"Please, pleeeease don't let me find Dracula's sex dungeon..." I begged as I strolled though corridors under the manor. "Fifty Shades of Blah..." I said in my best Dracula voice, making myself chuckle a little. And then... someone else laughed. "What the hell?!" I whispered to myself.
"He's cute."
"I like this one."
"He looks delicious!"
I heard three separate voices say from the shadows ahead of me. "Ok... That's new."
The next thing I heard sent an ice water shiver down my back as the voice behind me spoke. "I think I'll eat his kidneys first." Without hesitation I shot down the hallway desperately searching for any place to hide.
"Where'd all the rooms go?! WHY AREN'T THERE ANY ROOMS NOW?!" I screamed as I realized that every opening to the countless rooms had vanished. I found a small recess in the corner of two halls and wedged myself in as I heard the manic laughter growing closer and closer.
"You can't hide forever. I can sssmell your sweat. I can feel your breath." The ethereal voice spoke as a woman who almost radiated her own light passed in front of my hiding spot. "We'll find you... and then we'll peel your skin off with our teeth, inch... by... INCH!" Another one shrieked in my face as she lunged in front of my small crack in the wall. The flesh on her face began to split and fall away to reveal the snapping, wailing skull underneath.
I managed to get one leg in just the right position to shove her away from me far enough back to slip past and take off again. "Jesus Christ which way is out?!" I yelled, looking for anything I could recognize. I ran and ran until I could barely stand, the voices of the nightmarish women wailing and laughing behind me the whole way. After what felt like an hour I couldn't keep it up any more and fell to the ground gasping for air.
As I heard them closing in on me from around the corner I happened to look up and see the light shining out from under the door to the staircase that led back up to the manor. In a last desperate attempt I pulled myself up against the stone wall and staggered over to the door, thowing it open as I let my weight fall against it. I could still hear them. They were right on top of me. I drug my way up each step, my legs virtually useless. Until I turned to see one of the women round the corner, her mouth hanging wide open as a long black snake slithered and undulated further and further out of the back of her throat.
"Oh I think absolutely the fuck not!!" I squealed as my voice cracked and my legs roared back to life, propelling me the rest of the way up the stairs, almost breaking the top door down in the process.
"What is all the fuss about?" The Count asked as he walked by, noticing my near death expression.
"I... forgot... about... the brides..." I wheezed.
"Brides? I do not... Oh, no. Those are my daughters." He corrected, realizing what I was talking about. "AND THAT IS WHY I MAKE THEM STAY DOWN THERE WHEN I HAVE COMPANY!!" He shouted down the stairway into the darkness, before grabbing a pillow off a nearby chair and slinging it down at them. "AWFUL NAUGHTY GIRLS!" Which was answered by a series of hisses from just out of sight.
"This door really needs a sign or something." He said as he latched it shut. "Do not worry my child, they are quite mischievous but they are harmless I assure you."
"Yeah... Harmless... If you don't count the ten years they just shaved off my life expectancy..." I mumbled to myself. "About how much more planning is going into this black op thing you guys are working on?" I asked him.
"It won't be long now boy." The Captain answered from behind me, causing me to jump, my nerves still on edge. "What's gotten into him Count?"
"I fear we neglected to warn him of the castle located under the manor." He answered.
Come to find out that he had his ENTIRE castle buried underground right below his house. I had been strolling around Dracula's castle for weeks and didn't even know it.
Later that night I made a midnight snack run down to the kitchen like I did most nights, but unlike most nights, this time there was someone else already there. A woman, but she didn't have scars like the rest of the crew... or me now I guess. "Oh hey, I was just getting a cheese stick or something." She said when she noticed me, yawning and ruffling her pearl white hair as she scratched her head.
"Yeah same..." I replied sheepishly. You ever find someone so attractive they intimidate you? Like you feel like you're not actually allowed to look directly at them? "You uh... Do I know you?" I asked.
"Yeah we met earlier. Remember, eat your kidneys, peel your skin off with my teeth? 'Eyyyy." She said, comically sticking her thumbs up and pointing at herself.
"Oh, OH! Ok... I guess you look kinda different without the veil of a fear induced delirium." I said, taking a small step behind the refrigerator.
"Oh calm down you big baby." She said, walking over and pulling me out from behind the stainless steel safety of the fridge. "God you scare easy."
"I do not!" I responded defensively, thinking back to Relic's delivery review from my first job for Cerber.
"Dude I can still smell the piss down there." She laughed. "I'm Destiny by the way." She added, reaching out to shake my hand.
"Jose. It's-"
"A long story, yeah I know." She interrupted. "I've heard you say that like fifty times since you've been here. I'm not obsessed with you. I'm just observant."
"Spider-Man Homecoming, nice." I said, my appreciation for the reference getting the better of me. "You like movies?" I asked her.
"Bitch I saw the FIRST movie! I remember when the stereopticon was a big deal! Yes I like movies!" She exclaimed. "I even saw your episode of Jerry Springer... The day it aired." She said with a slightly devious grin.
"Wow that's neat.... Cool... Depressing... romant-creep- It's something." I said, stumbling over my words.
"She's using you, ya know? A girl can always tell." She said leaning over the counter, touching my chest with her finger. "I'm not sure what for, but I could tell the whole time you two were walking around the castle. And she texts someone while you're asleep." She added, running her finger round in circles.
"I uh um I... Huh? What were we talking about?" I managed to barf up through my exasperation. "Oh uh, nah it's just a weird situation. First she threatened me into spying on my boss, then she kinda became a whole hook up thing and then my girlfriend got eaten by a crocodile that was in the Olympics or something and now we have to sleep in the same room together and it's... just-"
"I would never use you." She stopped me, leaning in even closer. "Well... Not for anything you'd complain about." She added with a fangy smirk, a velvet crimson flashing in her eyes.
"..... Hi I'm story, it's a long Jose." I croaked, my brain apparently starting to microwave itself in response to her presence.
"Aw, you poor baby. Here, text me when the blood gets back to your head." She told me, taking a pen out of the drawer and writing her number on a paper towel. As she sat it on the counter in front of me and walked away I realized what she was talking about, my thin boxers doing little to hide it. "Oh... and I've seen Tucker and Dale a billion times too."
"Did... Dracula's daughter just make a move on me?.... Well fuck."
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2020.07.01 16:12 efa___ I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One

NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!
So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin.
I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell.
But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ!
In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what? I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation.
Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper.
Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.

For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.

…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.

pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same… Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley.
Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself.
Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant.
Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!"
The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!"
If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats.
We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think.
We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
to nonsensical
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices.
As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion
A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun."
I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.

When in doubt, have fun.

Keep smiling.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.

The Graham cracker diet does not work.

Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time!
Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment.
But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie." Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
  1. Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
  2. Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
  3. Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
  4. Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
  5. Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help!
In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time."
In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.)
Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag!
Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong.
Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.

Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate." Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know.
The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
  1. Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on.
For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs

Dog treats

Lavender pepper
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
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2020.06.30 05:37 OneFaraday The Drowned Village (M)

I’ll get some of these boring details out of the way first, because they might be relevant. Who knows?
I found the thumb drive in a McDonald’s restroom in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, on January 3rd. The service was mediocre but the food was hot and the restrooms were clean. I still felt hungover from New Year’s in Edmonton, and although the roads were alright the other drivers were typical idiots and I needed to stay alert.
I was sitting there in that tiny stall, browsing Reddit, not expecting I was about the find the video that would consume my life over the next month. I pulled on the tail of flimsy toilet paper that was dangling from the dispenser, and along with the see-through thin sheet of paper a small object fell out and clattered on the tile floor. I bent over to get a better look; it was a small blue thumb drive.
I don’t know why I bothered to pick it up and pocket it. I don’t usually put random small objects in my pockets, especially from bathrooms in roadside burger joints. But I did. I finished my business and got out of there, and almost forgot I had the little drive until I made it home safely that evening in Winnipeg.
My roommate was still with his family in Newfoundland, so I had our little apartment to myself. I didn’t start work until the fifth, so I settled in to lounge around and play pointless video games until the early hours.
When I took my pants off, the thumb drive fell out.
I held it curiously between my thumb and forefinger. There weren’t any markings on it besides the brand. There was something about it that made me uneasy; maybe it just seemed so intentional, the way it must have been tucked into that toilet paper dispenser. Like someone was hoping that it would be found. I mulled it over for a few minutes; could it be dangerous? Did it have a virus or some sort of malware that would infect my computer and send all of my personal info to it’s creator?
In the end, curiosity won over prudence. I plugged it into my gaming PC, and had a look. There was only one file on the drive, a large video file just labelled 45041.mp4. The thumbnail was just a dark blue. So of course, being the naive fool I was, I double-clicked on it.
I won’t tell you yet what I saw, but I sat there riveted. At first it seemed like it was just someone’s home movie, but weird things started happening that caught my attention and kept me glued to my seat until the very end. When I got to the end and the file stopped playing, I found myself sitting there in my dark bedroom, in my gross black second-hand office chair, white knuckles gripping the armrests, eyes so wide and unmoving they ached and stung from dryness, mouth gaping like a dead fish.
Since then, I’ve been desperately trying to piece it all together.
First, a few details about the file: it’s about an hour and forty-five minutes long. Strangely, there is no sound. When the file started I fiddled with my volume controls for a bit before realizing that there just wasn’t anything to hear. I right-clicked on the file and opened the properties tab, where I discovered the video properties showed it to be 1280x720, data rate of 6028Kbps, total bitrate of 6161kbps, 29 frames per second. I don’t know much about file formats, maybe that’ll be helpful to someone. Anyways, the point is: the audio information just says NONE.
Whoever edited it did so haphazardly. Scenes cut with no transitions, so it’s really jarring. Sometimes cuts happen mid-sentence when someone is talking. There a few boring long stretches that really should have been taken out. Maybe it made more sense with audio.
I watched the video nearly every day since, pausing frequently to analyze details and piece together what happened. Fortunately, I have an acquaintance who is hard of hearing. He’s Marc, the only other person I’ve shown the video too. At first he was pretty wary, thinking I was asking him to use his skill like he was performing a party trick, but once he saw the video he had the same reaction and understood.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t exactly able to provide a transcript. Sometimes the people in the video aren’t facing the camera. Marc isn’t entirely deaf either, he usually needs some sound in order to piece together speech. And it’s not easy to figure out what’s going on in the video, so context clues aren’t all there. However, he was able to put together enough to provide some of the dialogue that will be in my description of the video. It helps a bit, but we still don’t entirely understand the content of the video.
It was on January 20th that I finally made the big discovery, that made me realize I had somehow fallen off the deep end and had to share this all with somebody and put out my plea for help.
Okay, I’ve gone on long enough. Time to describe what’s in the video itself.
The first scene is inside a car. From later exterior shots, we discover that it’s a blue Nissan Altima, probably 2009. The camera is pointed out the window at some rocky hills. There are lots of trees: oak, aspen, maple, and so forth. There are a few leaves just starting to turn orange and red. A sign whizzes past; I later managed to pause and read the text “Hardwood Road 400m.” This is the first of many clues that helped me figure out their route. They’re in Ontario, heading west.
The camera turns to the driver. She’s stunning; not in the sense of a blonde instagram model, but very regal and beautiful. She had dark black hair with a few strands of white. She has a sharp jaw, grey eyes, and a few lines around her eyes. Late thirties, probably. She’s the reason I kept watching the video, the first time. Marc suspects that she’s French Canadian, which is one of the reasons he had difficulty with the transcript. The camera is pointed at her a lot. We’re pretty sure her name is Renée.
Renée notices she’s on camera. She smiles at the passenger.
“There’s a Tim Horton’s ahead. Want to stop and stretch?”
The passenger probably says something like “Yes, and let’s grab a coffee.”
“Great idea,” says Renée. “The road already feels monotonous.”
There’s a bit of silence. The passenger aims the camera ahead down the road for a bit, then back at Renée.
“Are you going to film us the entire trip?” Renée asks with a smile.
We don’t hear the response, but Renée laughs, then the scene abruptly cuts.
The next scene is on a very long bridge over a mix of wetlands, islands, and river. The camera is mostly pointed at the scenery, but a couple of times it looks over at Renée.
At one point, Renée looks thoughtful and says something like “Yes, of course she will.” We don’t know what the question was.
We see two flags pass by: one Canadian, one American. I later discovered that this is the border; they are on the Sault Ste Marie bridge, crossing into the states.
I’m still not sure where in the states they stopped next, but it looks like they took advantage of the opportunity for some cross-border crossing. There’s a shot in the parking lot outside a Walmart, where they are loading their bags into the back of the car. We see the passenger’s legs and feet in one shot, our first good glimpse of her. What we can see of her outfit is a little more feminine and fashionable than Renée’s simple, comfortable clothes. She’s wearing white open-toed shoes, and her toenails are painted. She’s wearing a flowing black skirt, and from the glimpse of her left hand holding some shopping bags, it looks like she’s got a white knit sweater.
They root through the bags and show some of their items to the camera; presumably the audio had an explanation of what they’ve bought and why, but at this point in the video it’s kind of confusing. There’s a waterproof box for the video camera. A bunch of pulleys and ropes. Road snacks and drinks. Nose clips, the kind used for diving. A big pair of bolt cutters. Thigh-length wading boots, like fly-fishers use. It’s obvious now that they’re on some sort of mission, but it’s hard to guess what. It looks like they’re going wading, rock climbing, and diving all at once. When I first saw all of this, I wondered if they were going after hidden treasure or something.
The camera pans up to Renée’s face, catching her mid sentence. Just a note- where you see parenthesis, those are off-camera gaps in the dialogue that we’ve guessed at.
“(That should) be enough. If not, ---- is only an hour’s drive from the site.” We think she said the name of a town there, but Marc just screwed up his face and shrugged. He said she spoke it very quickly, and it’s a complex word. He thinks it has an “s” in the middle and maybe an “r” on the end, and it’s probably three syllables. If we could figure it out, we might understand more about what happened.
The next shot is in the car, driving through North Dakota. It’s presumably the next morning. The camera is pointed at Renée, and we only know her side of the conversation, so it’s hard to guess at what’s going on. She sips her coffee and looks thoughtful, like she’s listening.
“Yeah, we’re not far off schedule. We should make it to Moose Jaw tonight.”
Between her accent and the strange name of the town, it took us a while to figure out “Moose Jaw.” It wasn’t until I plotted out their route on Google Maps that I realized this must be where they stopped. That was an important realization. In a very roundabout way, it led to me figuring out exactly when this trip took place. This conversation in the car took place on August 24th, 2019.
The passenger asks something like “(Do you need a break? Want me to drive?)”
“Sure, in a while,” Renée replies. “We’ll stop and stretch at the border, and we can switch drivers.”
There’s a gap where neither of them are talking. The passenger turns the camera to the road to take in some scenery, then pans back.
We’re not sure what the passenger just asked, but Renée looks suddenly serious.
“Beth,” she says, finally giving us the passenger’s name. “We can’t focus on that yet. All we can do is offer her the-”
We’re not sure of the rest of the conversation. Beth’s hands get shaky. She looks away from Renée a lot. We know that they continue this important conversation, and Renée starts to look upset but is clearly trying to keep Beth calm. Marc caught a few random words but isn’t certain: drive, river, help, and “do our best.” The scene cuts suddenly with the tension unresolved.
The next shot is a brief one. Renée is smiling now, snacking on some cheetos. They are entering a small town; a sign welcomes them to Portal.
In the next shot, they have switched seats. We finally see Beth. She is a little younger than Renée, wearing more makeup, and has big round sunglasses on. She is happy now. She puts out her hand, and Renée follows it with the camera down to her own knee. She takes Beth’s hand in her own and squeezes it. It’s a very sweet, sort of Thelma-and-Louise moment. They’re obviously good friends.
Renée watches the road for a bit. We are back in Canada. The trees are getting more sparse, and we can see more and more of the flat boring prairies Saskatchewan is famous for. Road signs are kilometres. Gas prices are in cents per litre.
At this point, I think Renée asks Beth what she wants for dinner.
“Chinese,” Beth says with a smile, and laughs.
I don’t know what the in-joke is, but I’m pretty sure of the word because suddenly the scene cuts to the inside of a restaurant. It’s a chinese buffet.
The first time I watched the video, I felt a surge of recognition, and I realized that I’d been to this restaurant before. I didn’t figure out where and when until later, when I realized they were in Moose Jaw. Then I realized that this was a restaurant I sometimes stopped at on my road trips back and forth from my hometown to my new home in Winnipeg.
Beth has the camera again. She is watching Renée eat. Renée blushes and tries to demur from the camera.
As their eating slowed and their chopsticks settled on their plates, their conversation turned serious again.
“At least a hundred and fifty feet,” Renée answers to some unseen questions.
“(Do we have enough rope?)”
“Yes, we got two hundred and fifty each. It’s lots.”
I’m not sure what the next question was.
“Then we just use the winch and pull ourselves free.”
The next part of the conversation is unknown, because Renée starts fiddling with her chopsticks, mumbling, and grazing on more of her meal. Marc rolled his eyes in frustration at this point, and said something about how “hearing people” do this shit all the time and it drives him nuts.
Presumably they continue discussing technical aspects of their adventure. Renée looks very sober and anxious about it, but she’s still clearly keeping it together for Beth’s sake.
Beth gently sets down the camera, but for some reason leaves it running and pointed at the interior of the restaurant while she leaves for the bathroom. The other patrons of the restaurant continue eating and don’t notice.
Another jarring cut to the inside of a hotel room. Beth is ready for bed, in a t-shirt and underwear. She’s sitting cross-legged on the king-size bed, holding an iPad in her lap. Her face is glued to the screen, which is shining blue light up at her. She looks like she’s been crying.
It’s unclear why Renée is recording this, it feels like a violation of privacy, but Beth doesn’t seem to mind. She looks up.
“She’s still following us, isn’t she?”
We’re not sure of Renée’s answer, but it doesn’t seem to comfort Beth much. She just nods.
There’s presumably some sort of noise, and suddenly they both look to the window. The window must be open a crack, because the sheer curtains are moving gently in the breeze. There doesn’t seem to be anything there.
Renée spontaneously rushes to the window, still holding the camera. As she approaches it, the scene cuts again.
I watched that footage a hundred times, I think, searching for whatever startled them. Sometimes I convince myself I can see a face beyond, but it’s clear from the view of the building across the parking lot that they must be on at least the seventh floor.
It’s the next morning, and they’re leaving Moose Jaw. Renée is driving again, clutching a cup of coffee in her right hand and never setting it down. She doesn’t look like she slept much.
The camera stays focused on her for a solid five minutes as she drives and sips. Then, in response to an unseen question, she suddenly speaks.
“Yes. She probably will.”
After another minute and twenty seconds, another cut. Suddenly the camera seems to be inside of a bag or something; it’s almost completely dark, but the bag must be open enough to show some blurry dark shapes moving around like someone is walking. I later speculated that they were trying to catch a conversation with someone on record, and hidden the camera in a bag. Now though, it’s just four minutes of vague blurry shapes.
Then Renée is holding the camera. It’s pointed at Beth. Beth looks like she’s been crying, but is putting on a brave face now. They take a left turn at a tiny town called Dunmore, then another there’s another sudden cut.
They eventually stop for the night. They aren’t a hotel tonight, but in someone’s home. From context, I’m guessing that these are Beth’s parents, or some other close relatives.
Renée is holding the camera now, pointing it at Beth’s mother who his cooking on the stove. She’s wearing an old-fashioned pink apron with lace edges, and has a matching oven mitt on. She looks like an older, shorter Beth, with her blonde hair cut into a bob that doesn’t really suit her. She smiles nervously when she sees that she’s being filmed, and makes some comment about “that camera” before hiding in embarrassment behind the oven mit.
Beth steps into frame and laughs, patting her mother on the back and presumably offering to help her cook, because then we see Mom handing her a cheese grater and a block of cheddar.
Renée pans over across the kitchen to where Beth’s father is stepping into the room. He looks stern, almost angry, and is clutching a tumbler of amber fluid like he wants to smash it across Renée’s face.
The father says something, but he’s saying it through gritted teeth. Marc thinks part of it is “would lead her through this,” but that’s a guess. Beth’s mother steps quickly back into frame, gently taking Dad’s glass and saying something to him to try and calm him down. He looks like he’s about to say something, but there’s another sudden cut.
The next shot is very brief, and confusing. It’s a bathroom sink- presumably at Beth’s parents’ place. From the lighting it looks like the middle of the night, and the only light on is the bathroom light overhead. The sink is full of strange, wet, tangled gray hair. The angle of the shot doesn’t let us see the mirror, so we don’t know who’s holding the camera. They just linger on the hair for about five seconds, then another cut.
The next shot is in the entryway of Beth’s parents’ house. Beth’s mother says something like “Sorry for the (incident) last night.” She almost elbows Dad in the ribs, and he mutters what must be an apology. The camera pans around the room, momentarily showing Beth and Renée in the hall mirror, before the shot ends.
I kept coming back to this shot for some reason. I thought it was noteworthy that this is probably the only shot where we can see both Renée’s and Beth’s faces at the same time. But something in the back of my head kept itching over this, and eventually I realized the obvious: from the angle of the shot, the camera should be visible. But neither of them are holding it, and there’s no one else there.
Next is another highway driving shot. It’s short, and just seems to establish that they are leaving Fort MacLeod, a town in Alberta.
The next shot is from inside the car. It’s unclear what the camera is supposed to be recording, because it’s on its side and laying on the dash, pointed haphazardly out the passenger window. It’s like they set it down, left the car, and the camera turned on by itself.
Outside the car is a parking lot, surrounded by coniferous trees. Everything looks like it’s covered in mist and fog. I speculate that they’ve made it to the Rocky Mountains now. They are probably at a rest stop.
There is a strange figure across the parking lot. It looks like a gray-haired woman, but I was never able to zoom in on this shot well enough to see. She seems to be just staring at the car, directly at the camera lens.
Renée and Beth walk in from out of frame and get into the car. They don’t seem to have noticed the woman. As the car starts up, one of them must have noticed that the camera is on, because it shakes like its being picked up. Then the shot ends.
After that, it’s really difficult to figure out their route. The next shot is inside a busy cafe where they order hot drinks and cheesecake, but there’s no clues to figure out where it is. Renée is holding the camera. There isn’t much conversation, and large parts of it are obscured by Beth’s hands or her cup. She looks uneasy and distracted. She keeps looking out the window.
The next shot is back in the car. At one point I saw a highway sign, but other than knowing that they are now in British Columbia, I can’t figure out their location.
Beth is driving again, Renée is holding the camera.
“You think filming everything will really help?” asks Beth.
“(Filming was your idea.)”
“Yeah. Yeah it was, wasn’t it? I just thought that we should, because…” This part is unintelligible.
Renée asks something, we’re not sure what.
“Maybe it’ll help. Maybe it’ll be easier for the next person.”
There’s a long pause in the conversation.
“I wish we had never found that USB drive,” Beth sighs.
Obviously, when Marc told me this part, I just about lost my mind. I’d already developed some strange kind of connection with Beth and Renée, something that I couldn’t put my finger on. But now there was some kind of parallel between us that was emerging.
There’s only one more shot. It’s impossible to know where, but I’m fairly certain that they are now far past the Rockies. The mountains in the background look different, older or more worn somehow. I think they are somewhere in the B.C. interior.
They have parked in what appears to be the parking lot of a defunct facility of some kind. Everything is in disrepair. The pavement is riddled with potholes, some of which are already growing saplings. They seem to be in some kind of valley, but it’s so heavily forested that it’s hard to see much of the scenery.
The camera glances over at the entrance to the parking lot. The road also looks disused. There was a heavy gate blocking the parking lot, but now it was swinging in the wind. I understood why they brought the bolt cutters.
Beth is holding the camera. Renée has a very strong, stoic look on her face. She turns to the camera.
“It’s going to be okay. Remember, she can’t hurt you. Okay? We can do this.”
Beth makes some sort of response, and Renée nods.
They load up their gear in a duffel bag and begin hiking down an old trail through the woods. It’s treacherous; it looks like nobody has been down here in a while. A couple of times Renée takes out a saw and clears some branches to make the way more passable.
After a few minutes, a clearing becomes visible ahead. Then they descend below the tree line, and it becomes obvious that this isn’t just a clearing.
The camera pans over the area, and I think that if I could hear them they would both be gasping in awe. I know I do every time I get to this point. They’re near the water line now, of what must have been an enormous reservoir. There is mud… literally everywhere. The water must have drained away recently, because it’s all fresh and wet and brownish-gray. It coats nearly everything below the old water level, except a few rocky outcroppings. Off to the left there is a bank that must have been a picnic spot on the shore of the reservoir, because I can see an area of green grass surrounding a picnic table and a tall lone aspen tree. Around this area is just mud. Renée and Beth carefully hike over to the table.
From here, something new comes into sight. There are a bunch of buildings below that mud line, enough to be a hamlet or a small town. They’re vague ruined blocks now, probably made of brick, coated in mud, like a child had been building houses out of clay and left them half-finished.
Beth pans over to Renée, who is kneeling next to the aspen tree, winding a rope around it. She is saying something, but it’s not very clear because her mouth is obscured by the camera angle and some of the terminology is hard for Marc for decipher. He caught “we’re going down,” “the ropes are tight,” and “pull it tight.” I thought about finding a friend with climbing experience to explain the setup with the ropes and pulleys to me, but I decided that the fewer people who knew about the video the better.
As Renée is finishing setting up the ropes, Beth says something, I have no idea what. Renée nods. She reaches into her pocket and pulls out an envelope. Inside is a piece of lined paper, written on with felt marker. She smooths it out and sets it down on the picnic table. Beth brings the camera over it, and lingers there for a few seconds. Of course, I have paused the playback to read the message several times. Why they wrote it down instead of saying it, I don’t know. The whole video they’re acting like I can hear them, but for this brief moment they seem to know that I will have to read this.
We’re very sorry. We have no control over what happens after this. We tried our best to follow the instructions perfectly, but if we have failed someone else will have to try next. Before you make the attempt, do as we did. Record your journey. Pass on this message:
Only one thing will satisfy her. Only one thing will complete the drowned village. Bring it to her, but if you fail, you must pass on the message.
The camera panned back up, and settled on Beth’s face. She had turned the camera around to speak directly into it, but her hands are unsteady so her words aren’t totally clear.
“She’s been following us for (several weeks). Ever since we found the USB drive. We see her everywhere. (We haven’t been able to) sleep. I hope this is the end of it- if not, you will have to try next. I’m so sorry. It happened to us too. Wish us luck, (but if we fail) good luck to you.”
Beth set the camera down on the table, and I watched them put on their hip waders, strapping them over their shoulders. Then they strapped themselves into climbing harnesses, and clipped themselves on to the rope. Beth pulled the nose clips out of her pocket and put one on, handing the other to Renée. I was confused by this for a while, then I realized that if this was a body of water that had recently been emptied, it probably stank. The mud was probably full of bacteria, algae, some freshwater plants, even a few fish and other animals. It was all in the early stages of decomposition.
Beth picked up the camera and followed Renée down past the water line. They tried to stick to the rocky areas, but sometimes they had to wade carefully through the mud. Some parts looked to be deeper than others, so they had to avoid getting stuck in the more treacherous areas. The purpose of the ropes became obvious: if they got mired in the mud, their only hope might be pulling themselves out.
At one point Beth leaned over to examine something. It was like a stringy texture in the uniform grey of everything, stuck into the mud. She reached down and pulled it up, and I realized it was some kind of hair algae or stringy moss. It looked exactly like the “hair” in the sink at her parent’s house. Now that I was aware of it, I realized it was all over the place.
They made it to the largest, and highest-up building. Up close, it was obviously by its architecture that it had been a small old schoolhouse. Renée walked right up to it, and Beth must have said something in alarm, but Renée just looked over her shoulder and smiled. She said something like “it should be safe.” Part of her speech is cut off as she turns back to the building, then Marc could make out more when she turns back.
“They explored it in the last video. I want to see it for myself.”
So in they went. Inside were rows of very old desks. If there had been chalkboards or decorations in the school, they were long eroded or caked in mud. The mud was calf deep, making the seats of the desks look strangely low to the ground.
There wasn’t really much else to see. They retraced their steps and checked their ropes, then descended to the town. Everywhere it was more of the same. If this town had been sacrificed to build a dam, it would have been cleared of artifacts before it was flooded. If not, if it had fallen prey to some kind of flood or disaster, then the everyday items of the resident’s lives were washed away or buried in the mud. All that was left was the structures themselves, and they were crumbling away too.
The camera looked around nervously, then settled on Renée. Renée shrugged. She reached into her pocket and pulled something out. It was an old antique bell, the kind that a farm wife might ring to call everyone in for supper.
“Yeah, I think so,” Renée replied to Beth’s unseen question. “The guy said it was from this town, but who knows. As far as we can tell, she was the schoolteacher.”
Renée carefully and ceremoniously set the handbell down on an exposed rock jutting out of the mud. She looked at Beth, then back and forth down the muddy valley.
Suddenly she screamed, and pointed uphill. The camera swung quickly around and settled on a figure standing in the mud about fifty paces away. It was that same grey-haired woman, but now I realized that she wasn’t grey from age. She was grey from head to toe, covered in that same mud.
She pointed directly at the camera, and just stood there. The camera starts shaking, and it seems like Beth and Renée are trying to quickly get out of there. At this point they must hear what’s coming.
At the last moment, the camera turns back towards the woman, but this time she’s not there. She’s obscured behind an enormous thirty-foot tall wall of white water, rushing down the valley, coming towards the camera at high speed.
There was no time to escape. The camera gets caught up in the wake. It doesn’t go too far down the valley, because it’s snapped securely into its waterproof case, which is strapped to Beth’s wrist, who is tied to the aspen tree. So it spins around and around for a few minutes, and as the initial rush of water goes past it settles to the bottom of the reservoir and lies still, pointed back up the hill where the woman is still standing, unmoved by the water. She is still staring directly into the lens.
This is the final shot, and it lasts for another four minutes. Everything is underwater, dark and still. The woman stands there unflinching the entire time. Near the end, Renée’s body floats slowly into view, still tethered to the faraway tree.
That’s the video. And now you probably know why I described it, instead of just uploading for you to watch. It was meant for me all along.
I knew this for sure on January 20, when I went back and watched the scene in the Chinese restaurant. You see, the reason I was able to figure out the exact date of the video is because I’m sitting there, in the background, eating my fried rice with a spoon. You can see me clearly once you zoom in. I’m wearing my red hoodie and black jeans.
After I watched the video, she started showing up everywhere. She comes to my window at night, watching me sleep. I see her in playgrounds, back alleys, out of the corner of my eye. I went to the movies and she was in the front row, but was gone when the movie let out. She won’t leave me alone, and I know what I have to do now.
Marc’s coming with me, she found him too. He agrees with me, we need to follow Renée and Beth’s path and try to satisfy the woman in the reservoir. I’ve barely slept in weeks; she is ruining my life.
On the way there, we’re going to have to figure out our offering to her. I have no idea what will satisfy her, but I have to try. I’m on my way to the pawn shop to buy a video camera, just in case. (Wish us luck.)
The only question left- and the thing I need your help with- where is she? I don’t know where to find the village.
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2020.06.29 02:22 JosephBapeck Sasuke and Sakura's relationship is well done

Following on from my original post: I guess you could think of this as a sort of "part 2" to that post as my thoughts about this pairing are linked to my thoughts about Sakura (and Sasuke) individually.
Before I get started I just want to link some sites that have gone more in depth than I could attempt without re-reading the entire manga. It's cheating abit but some of my thoughts are based on these sites which made me take a closer look at how Kishimoto sets up this relationship. It might give a bit of context to my feelings.
There are some links that I can't find now unfortunately but the above posts cover the gist of it.
Last thing to note before we get into this is something VERY important. THE MANGA AND ANIME ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT IN THIS DEPARTMENT. You may come into this thread having watche the anime thinking "there is no possible way this guy can legitimize this relationship" well be warned the anime omits or changes scenes from the manga meaning there are more SasuSaku moments in the manga than the anime.
Now this will be similar to my previous post in that it will mostly be off the top of my head giving examples of their realtionship giving special focus to how Sasuke reciprocates Sakura's feelings which I think is a big point of contention with critics; they believe Sasuke doesn't care about Sakura. I'll try and disolve this idea to give a more accurate reading of Sasuke's actual feelings.

Part 1: Chapters 1- 238

Sasuke and Sakura are introduced in the same chapter in the manga as we meet Naruto's new teamates. I think first impressions are very important and both Sasuke and Sakura's are slightly altered in the anime. First of all something to understand overall about Sasuke in the anime he is presented as stoic and mostly emotionless but in the manga he is generally more affected early on and acts normally. He is still stoic but reacts more dynamically. For example when Naruto stares him down he has a little sweat indicating he is abit unnerved by Naruto randomnly getting on the desk and getting so close to his face as anyone would. Small moments like this scattered throughout the manga make Sasuke feel more likable because he isn't an edgelord who thinks he is above it all. He is still arrogant and stoic but he has more moments of weakness and genuine humaness. The biggest misconeption about Sasuke is he is emotionless. He is actually one of the most emotional characters in the story.
Now with Sakura she has a similar intro to her anime counterpart except it doesn't open with Ino (she isn't introduced until the second arc) and interestingly she is the ONLY person showing an interest in Sasuke. I think Sakura's feelings for Sasuke are rubbished by the community especially in comparison to Hinata's feelings for Naruto because all the girls like Sasuke. The anime makes this clear from the beginning. The manga alludes to it but in his introduction only Sakura is present to show interest. A minor detail that I think has long lasting subconcious affects.
Sasuke and Sakura then meet after Naruto's shenanigans and Sasuke says his now iconic line which translates differently depending on the source but the meaning is clear. He can't stand Sakura and her attitude. There is a vapid brattiness to her dismissive attitude to Naruto's being an orphan and Sasuke justifiably reprimands her. Sidenote: Sakura DIDN'T make fun of Naruto being an orphan. That is a willful and malicious misreading of the scene. She says Naruto is lucky he doesn't have parents telling him what to do and that's why he has it so easy and is so misbehaved. Yes Sakura said stupid shit but it's not like she knows Naruto's life story and in real life we all know kids who have said much worse.
Now we get to the part I really wanted to talk about meeting Kakashi and their personal introductions. The anime changes the order of their introduction so it's Naruto , Sakura then Sasuke. In the manga it's Naruto, Sasuke then Sakura. This makes it so the manga ends on a lighter note since Sakura is last. Anyway I wanted to highlight this bit because after Sakura not so subtly hints she wants to marry Sasuke in the manga he is blushing. Go on look it up it shocked me to especially since the anime omitted his blush. The blush was significant enough that several hundred chapters later when Kishimoto re-drew this scene in close up the blush was even more visible. This doesn't mean he is in love Sakura it just means he actually notices and reacts to her advances which is a far cry from Sasuke not reacting to anything and not caring about Sakura. Remember this is our first impression of these characters and their relationship. If you knew nothing about Naruto and were asked if there was potential for these two to get together from this scene there is no reason to believe they couldn't have something happen in the future. Sakura is clearly interested and Sasuke doesn't seem put off by the idea. If anything he is flattered.
Survival training and land of waves:
Okay time to be more concise. In the survival training Sasuke opens up for the first time to anyone ever about his past. The person he opens up to is Sakura. When looking back on this scene knowing Sasuke isn't the type to talk about his feelings unless pushed it should make one appreciate that he is once again showing a deference to Sakura he doesn't show to others. Again before you go to counter that this doesn't mean anything, this isn't about me showing Sasuke is madly in love with Sakura. It's about me exposing the fact that Sasuke has actually given Sakura some consideration. This is also when Sakura gets her first look at what is under the surface of Sasuke's cool exterior and you can tell she is shocked.
Then we get to the land of waves. Some small moments like Sakura protecting Tazuna and then Sasuke moving to protect her. This doesn't necessarily ring true on it's own but then wwe get to the bridge fight and when Sasuke hears Sakura scream his face looks panicked and he exclaims, "what does Kakashi think he's doing" inferring he holds Sakura's safety as Kakashi's responsibility and that he is concerned more with her wellbeing than anything else. This is getting abit ahead of myself but this moment is then echoed in the fight against Gaara when Sasuke tells Naruto to rescue Sakura no matter what. I'm surprised this moment is glossed over but I digress. All this shows as early as the first arc Sasuke has shown he cares about Sakura at least enough to:
A significant moment comes when Sasuke recovers after "dying" though. Sakura is crying over his body and as Sasuke is waking up he is shocked to hear Sakura. For one he thought he was dead and the second bit is implied to be because he is suprised because she cared so much. You can infer this from his expression after Sakura hugs him his eyes are shadowed and he has the first of many instances where he interacts with Sakura and he has "....." as if he wants to say something or he is thinking about something as if Sakura makes him consider something. This is consistent even when he is deep in revenge territory. Anyway shadowed eyes or an obscured view in manga are used to hide a character's feelings as I'm sure we have all experienced. This paired with the "..." shows Sasuke has concealed feelings and thoughts about Sakura's actions that Kishimoto felt worthy of a panel. This is the beginning of anything deeper between them. Again this doesn't mean Sasuke is in love it just means once again he has recognised her feelings and once again the manga highlights this as important.
Chuunin Exams
Sasuke insults Sakura's skills comparing them to Naruto's. Sakura gets sad. In the anime there is a small filler of Iruka testing team 7. The manga doesn't have this and so it can focus on the story it wants to tell called , "Sakura's depression". After Kakashi gives them applications to the chuunin exams the next day Naruto greets Sakura and Skura says hi and Sasuke immediately notices something is off. He has that "..." but this time we also see his thoughts, "What's up with her?" Naruto doesn't notice anything is wrong. This starts a trend of Sasuke and Sakura being on the same wave length and Naruto being in the dark by the way. Anyway then Kotetsu and Izumo are testing some roookies and hit Lee etc.... and Sasuke says that Sakura most have noticed that it was genjutsu since she is the most analytical and best in the cell at understanding illusion. This moment is completely butchered in teh anime. Sakura looks clueless wondering what Sasuke is on about (out of character we all know Sakura would notice and appreicate Sasuke paying her a compliment) while in the manga this happens in this order:
So now onto Forest death. There is quite a bit here. Orochimaru shows up and scares Sasuke. Sakura snaps him out of it by saying at least Naruto isn't a coward. Now after the fight Sasuke is in pain and in the manga he reaches out to Sakura's hand for comfort. Kishimoto takes the time to draw their fingers interlaced so the meaning can not be mistaken. There is a whole panel highlighting it. The anime has them holding hands normally and it's not even focused on. Remember howw during the survival training Sasuke told Sakura to get off him when she hugged him? Then remember at the end of the land of waves Sasuke gently told Sakura her hug was hurting him but it was after the "...." meaning he was thinking about the hug. Now in the forest of death Sasuke reached out for Sakura for comfort.
Sasuke wakes up after getting knocked out and murks the sound ninja after seeing what they did to Sakura. This is another moment that gets glossed over even though it's a blatant display of Sasuke showing care for Sakura. Importantly though it also illustrates the crux of Sasuke's character, the battle between love and hate. At his core Sasuke is loving individual but he places value on hate because his brother impressed upon him it's importance in his step to power. The moment Sakura stops Sasuke from going further is symbolic of that struggle and also illustrates he can't have enough hate if he still has love in his heart. This is why Sasuke specifically needs to leave the leaf. Obviously Orochimaru offers him power but the leaf is also making him desire a future where he can embrace the love in his heart when he wants to return to the past and be consued by his hate in pursuit of power. Anyway teh curse mark recedes because he cares about Sakura and it obviously disturbs her seeing him act so cruelly.
Now a moment I think many people miss. It's just a small moment but it's more evidence so. Just before they try to open the scrolls early and are saved by Kabuto. When Naruto is fishing Sasuke explicitly tells him to get 3 more and Naruto is annoyed. Then Sakura says the kindling is ready and Sasuke quickly changes his mind and suddenly they have enough fish. It's in clear deference to Sakura. Not that big but it's another case of Sasuke taking Sakura into consideration in his decision making.
Then we get to the preliminaries Sakura tries to stop Sasuke from fighting because she can see the curse mark is hurting him but secretly it's because she knows Sasuke craves power and seh is afraid Orochimaru was right and he will eventually seek him out if he indulges in the curse mark. She is right showing she actually understands Sasuke's intentions better than Naruto and later Kakashi (remember she was waiting for him when he left teh village and she has known he was going down this path since this early. She doesn't mindlessly crush on him. She actually likes him). Sasuke stops her and says, " not EVEN FOR YOUR SAKE". If it isn't obvious already this makes it explicit Sakura is someone Sasuke gives special consideration to. Also Sasuke has that sweat afterward once again indicating he is nervous like he is wondering if he has gone too far in reprimanding her because he cares about her. Naruto once again is clueless as to why Sakura is stressed and why Sasuke is acting some way. Once again the third wheel.
A bit of a tangent but this is for people asking why Sakura likes Sasuke over Naruto. I purposefully illustrated moments of Naruto being clueless to Sakura's feelings and the developing bond between Sasuke and Sakura. After she ties with Ino and wakes up Sakura encourages Naruto in his future battle and sincerely thanks him for encouraging her to overcome the Ino's mind transfer jutsu. Naruto just says, "Yeah I sure saved your butt". It's a funny moment for sure but it really underscores how Naruto doesn't seriously consider Sakura's feelings (until later). Sakura says thanks and he is like "whatever."
Anyway then we get to the finals. Sakura continuely expresses concern for Sasuke and with the above context we know it's because she is scared of what the curse mark will ultimately mean for Sasuke and as we all know she was right. Sidenote compare Tenten's awe of Neji with Sakura's concern for Sasuke. It'c clear one is a fangirl and the other has a more real relationship. Sakura doesn't fangirl over Sasuke ever again in the series so people crying she always sucks his dick are just factually wrong.
Anyway the finals are interrupted and they face Gaara. Sakura obviously moves to protect Sasuke as covered in my previous post. She no doubt cares deeply about him. Sasuke then tells Naruto no matter what rescue Sakura, he says this with the understanding he is no match for Gaara and that he is going to die. Naruto beats Gaara and Sasuke catches Sakura tells Pakkun to take care of her while looking at her tenderly.
Itachi and Kisame come to Konoha.
Not much here except something that is expanded later. Sasuke is practicing his chidori feeling jealous of Naruto's development. He rememebers having to admit to Sakura that he couldn't protect her it was Naruto. The fact that the memory replaying is the moment he admits his inadequacy to Sakura says alot in itself but more on that soon. Sasuke gets stomped by Itachi and he is told he is weak because he doesn't have enough hate.
Sasuke retrieval arc:
Now this is arc has some of my favourite moments between Sasuke and Sakura as their relationship comes to a head fittingly in the last arc of part 1. After all the small teases and explicit hints showing their is some level of mutual attraction we get to this arc. Sasuke is in the hospital after being healed by Tsunade. The anime has a filler here which messes up the flow since Sasuke is meant to be reacting immediately after seeing Itachi again which is why he is so volatile.
Anyway Naruto takes Tsunade to wake up Sasuke. She does and this bit is great something the anime ruins again. This is the first payoff to naruto being clueless to Sasuke and Sakura's relationship. Sakura hugs Sasuke justlike in the land of waves and just like then he has "....." except he doesn't tell her to get off or that she is heavy like he did the previous times she hugged him. Now he looks at her with a considerate expression and an expression that makes Naruto retreat. The manga makes it clear Naruto is reacting to Sasuke's expression because he says, "" Like he had a revelation about Sasuke. Naruto has "..." like he is considering something. There is a close up panel where we see Sasuke look at Sakura softly and Naruto looks sad and then smiles like he accepts something. Then he walks out to leave them alone and Tsunade thinks "He's more considerate than I thought". The implications of this scene of clear. Sasuke has gotten to the point where the way he looks at Sakura makes clueless Naruto sad then reluctantly happy and he feels like he is intruding so he leaves. Again it's made clear Naruto was reacting to Sasuke NOT Sakura and you can tell because of his second payoff for his cluelessness.
Next is some really great stuff which again the anime ruins. In the anime it's just Sasuke getting angry but the manga shows an evolution of his feelings and he is really feeling alot. Sasuke is thinking about his loss to Itachi and how he doesn't have enough to hate to which he scoffs then immediately looks at Sakura. Remember previously the narrative has presented Sakura as a counter to his hate so this order is deliberate. Sasuke looks seriously distraught, sad even remembering how he told Sakura Naruto is the one who erscued her from Gaara. This isn't given attention in the anime but these panels are drawn from Sasuke's perspective. The way Sakura is given more attention is telling. Kishimoto is saying "this is how Sasuke views Sakura" and she is rendered very precisely. Sasuke sees her as beautiful. Then we get two panels. One is Sakura smiling at Naruto and Sasuke looking at Sakura smile while she is oblivious. Then next is him glaring at Naruto. This is the most blatant example of Sasuke begin jealous of the attention Sakura gives Naruto. Again this bit is reworked in the anime so the focus is changed. Anyway it's a nice reserval that Sasuke wants Sakura's attention and she is oblivious to that fact it makes Sasuke the more needy one and I think that's remarkable. Now when he slaps the apples from Sakura it has new context because it's almost like he won't accept the love she is offering because as with before the land of waves he doesn't believe it's real as she seems to freely give it to Naruto.
Then Naruto and Sasuke fight Kakashi interrupts and he tells Sakura to not worry but Sakura knows better and tells Naruto about the curse mark. He also tells her not to worry and again he is wrong and she is right. Sakura confronts Sasuke in one last effort to stop him from leaving and we get more great drama. Sakura meets Sasuke as he leaves the village. She asks to be let in and that he always acts like she is a nuiscance. The dramatic irony and beauty is we as readers know that's not true. Sakura is the first one he opens up to and is consitently the one he prioritises and shows cares for more than anyone. This conversation has a lot of Sasuke saying, "....." not responding and his eyes being covered meaning you know he is trying to hide alot of his feelings and he is thinking a lot. When Sakura says remember when you called me annoying and Sasuke flat out denies it there is a panel showing, "...." and his eyes are obscured. It's later shown this was a lie and obviously one used to dissuade Sakura. Not because he doesn't care but because he does. Remember her love is counterbalance to his path of hatred and he knows this. Then Sakura talks about revenge not making anyone happy and then Sasuke starts talking to her, not looking at her though. He couldn't look her in the eyes while lying like this. Remember he was sweating when he just told Sakura to not snitch on him during the chuunin exams. He tells her they are on different paths implying he isn't on a path to be happy and he actively rejects that. He isn't on the path to love but hate, it's because Sakura wants to make him happy why he rejects her and also because deep down he knows she probably could. Then Sakura says so you going down a lonely path and mentions how that was something he felt strongly against (referring to the talk at the beginning when he related to naruto's lonliness and scolded Sakura). She says if she loses him she'll be lonely then Sasuke changes his tone to be more comforting. He says they are going down different paths is all. Then Sakura confesses her love and states she will make him happy. This is important Sakura is concerned and Sasuke being lonely and giving into hatred. As much as she loves Sasuke she is more concerned about his well being than her own happiness. They happen to be closely linked but she wants to save Sasuke from lonliness and his hurt. That is the foundation of Sakura's love. She long stopped caring how "cool" he was. She just wants to protect him from his obvious suffering. Sasuke then reiterates, " you're annoying" or whatever the translation says (the viz manga says "you wil never change" which captures the meaning) while smiling this time. First it obviously shows he remembers their first encounter but now what he says has new context. it's not malicious it's more of an acknowledgement that he remembers what she does and he appreciates her consistent nature. She threatens to scream and he goes behind her and says "Thank you......" and guess what? His eyes are hidden. Notice Sasuke could have ran off any time or knocked Saskura out immediately but he takes the time to listen and talk to her and even tries at one point to comfort/justify his actions to her. That's alot of consideration for someone who doesn't like her especially when you consider how introverted Sasuke is.
Then Naruto's squad are about to head out and Sakura begs him to bring back Sasuke. This is the second payoff to Naruto's obliviousness. Naruto has that gentle smile that says he is holding back alot of pain and he says, "Sakura you sure do care about Sasuke". After he realised how Sasuke felt he now realises how Sakura feels and he is finally priivy to Sasuke and Sakura's relationship while at the same time Sakura acknowledges Naruto's feelings because he claims he understands how Sakura is feeling. It's great stuff.

Part II Chapters 245-700

Fortunately this section will be much shorter since most of SasuSaku development is in part 1.
Sasuke reunion arc.
Sakura doesn't look twice at Sasuke look alike Sai showing she isn't shallow in her feelings. The first person Sasuke sees again after 2 years is Sakura (everytime he reunites with teams 7 the first person he sees and talks to is Sakura) and what does he say? "Sakura......." (in the viz manga he says well,well,well if it isn't Sakura........."). Even after after all this time he still has unresolved thoughts and he always considers her. Notice he admits to recognises Sakura right away in contrast to when Sai brings up Naruto. Sasuke says, "Oh yeah.....him" as if he is pretending Naruto wasn't significant to him. He doesn't pretend with Sakura. He greets her first before she even notices him. Now during the fight Sasuke does not attack Sakura until she charges at him. He goes to attack Naruto but he doesn't move against her until she decides to attack him. And guess what?!? GUESS WHAT?!?!!? When he sees her charging him he looks at her and has "......." AGAIN!!!!! We love consistency. Even now he thinks about Sakura.
Five Kage Summit
They meet again at the bridge after the five kage summit. Again he greets Sakura with, "......Sakura". Now Sasuke is moving madly during this part but again it should be expressed Sakura was not just an enemy but intended to kill Sasuke his repsonse in that moment made sense from that perspective. Naruto saves her after she can't go through with her second attempt and she defends him after Sasuke says he is outsider which her haters never acknowledge. She defended Naruto from Sasuke. She doesn't blindly suck his dick she is just steadfast in her resolve to save him from his path of hatred and lonliness which will just make him suffer.
4th Great Shinobi War
Anyway some time passes. Sasuke gets his answer from Hashirama and decides to help shinobi alliance and meets Team 7 again. Again the first person he notices and repsonds to is Sakura with the same chaeracteristic, "......Sakura, huh". Then in another moment the anime ruins Sakura gets 100 healings and does some damage. Naruto looks scared but Sasuke is unmistakably smiling and even says, "heh". The anime has his mouth as a straight line because we all know Sasuke doesn't feel anything (lol). Sasuke then engages in friendly banter first and tells Naruto not to drag them down. It just occurs to me this is reminiscent of Sasuke going out of his way to compliment Sakura in part 1. Anyway Sasuke protects Sakura here and then again later against Madara then when the infinite tsukyomi hits he intinctively protects all team 7. He tries to play it down but Naruto catches him in his lie. This is important to recognise in Sasuke, he isn't always honest in what he says but what he says betrays what he really feels. You always have to read between the lines with Sasuke because his actions and the fact he chose to speak or stay silent at all actually tell you a lot about him. He doesn't like to share. He is a private person. He gets trapped in anotehr dimension and Sakura saves him and he takes the time to catch her from falling then they have eye sex. Then they beat Kaguya and Sasuke starts wildin' again.
Sakura reiterates what she said at the end of part 1 and Sasuke again listens for a bit and once again calls back to his famous line, " You really are annoying" in some translations (viz says you really do make me sick which I think makes the meaning muddled) while smiling sadly this time giving it even more context. The idea is that Sakura's is a presence in his heart he can't shake. It's only annoying because she can get through to him. She makes him consider things and act in ways maybe contrary to what he thinks he needs. Her unyeilding love continues to confuse his path of hatred. She makes him hesitate for the briefest moment before he genjutsus her. Kakashi has had enough of Sasuke's B.S. and calls him out and Sasuke says what many Sakura haters are thinking ," you want me to play at romance, she has no reason to love me nor I her". This isn't Sasuke saying she is pathetic. It's him rationlising his actions and justifying his decisions to himself. Read between the lines. Sasuke is trying to escape any possibility of love. He is on a different path after all. Kakashi points out you only need a reason to hate someone and in the context of Sakura who, in my previous topic I have explored loves everyone just because she recognises they are suffering this is very true. Also it's true you only need a reason to hate someone. Someone needs to wrong or offend you someway before you can have real grudge against them (at least normally). Sasuke then indirectly compares Sakura's feelings to his own about his family and states perhaps those are ties to a failed past while his eyes are hidden.
Naruto beats sense into Sasuke and Sakura heals them and Sasuke says, "......Sakura I...." he sincerely apologises to her. He previously apologised to Karin but it wasn't nearly as meaningful or sincere. It was just a courtesy so she wouldn't attack him. Anyway some time passes and Sasuke is released from imprisonment he talks about going on his journey of atonement and Sakura asks to come with and he says his crimes have nothing to do with her which is saying something in and off itself. Then he says maybe next time as he taps her forehead while smiling at her. Then he says, ".... Thanks...." Just like at the end of part 1 leaving the door open for them to continue where they left off.
Now let me state I'm not saying they get together here. In fact they don't get together at least for another 2 years according to the last. This distant makes them getting together more palatable since they are years removed from when Sasuke was moving madly. He attoned alot since then and they reconnected as they would have had he not left the village. I hope this post just makes you reconsider the myth that Sasuke never once showed affection for Sakura or that she was delusional or whatever. Sasuke reciprocates more than any other person in teh series. More than Naruto with Hinata certainly and more than Temari and Shikamaru which is more of a suggestion of closeness not a real developing couple at all. The only one Kishimoto consitently pays attention to is Sasuke and Sakura.
Well that was longer than I was expecting but I guess I have a lot of thoughts on the matter. The articles above go into greater detail and have much better and compelling arguments including the meaning of the original japanese texts and some honorifics used and corroboration from databooks. I also recently learned abit about the difference beetween japanese and western culture in terms of public displays of affection and how the overt nature of holding hands and such made Sasuke feelings more romantic outside western countries and I can see that.
Anyway this is the end of this post it was a long one but I'll hope you take the time to read it. :)
submitted by JosephBapeck to CharacterRant [link] [comments]

2020.06.28 09:01 HeyItsMicoo 5 years of crushing

By the title alone you would think I’m no where near getting close to her but on the contrary when we first met she had a massive crush on me but we will get into that in a minute. Lets go back in time to my senior year of high school. The year just started and me being a big bad confident senior (in my own head canon) me and my friend (I’m gonna give everyone a nickname in this story) kap decided to start the year different. We are gonna go to a different lunch table everyday and make new friends, so that’s what we did for a while, shortly into the school year we pick a table outside. like any other day we walk up to the table ready to sit down and just make conversation. Then I see her, for this story I’m gonna call her aqua cause what first got my attention was her long blue hair. Anyways me and kap plop down onto the wooden bench of the lunch table and begin to converse. I didn’t immediately talk to aqua even tho I was sitting right next to her, for the first time since me and kap started this adventure I couldn’t think of anything to say to make conversation or more specificity talk to the beautiful girl next to me. Maybe hi how are ya? Nah why would I do that? she was shy and for sure wasn’t the type to start conversation on her own. But Time flys and lunch time ends. On the way to 6th period I tell kap “that girl in the blue hair was really cute” I didn’t even get her name! I had to go back, so thats what I did the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. No more moving from table to table making friends because I only wanted to make one friend lol. Kap would join me most of the time but other days I mustered up the courage to go by myself. Our lone awkwardness turned into shared awkwardness as I attempted to “show out” as the kids say, making her laugh and doing other normal things that dumb high schoolers do to get their crushes attention. Id get a smile, and giggle and a occasional sarcastic jab back at my nonsense but thats a good thing coming from her. id also get her snapchat and her number as well. Things were going good. I have to say I was being obvious that I was into her. Then the first trial of many arose as I found out that well.....she was a freshmen. We all know that as we get older age become less of a problem as long as we are in the ball park of each other. Now before you click off as of today she is 19 and I am 22. 3 years apart. So no big deal but at the time I was 17 going on 18 and she was 14 going on 15. in high school this is a big thing, a thing that people get made fun of for so I kinda just stepped back because I didn’t want to get made fun of, I didn’t want to be called a weirdo. I couldn’t help how I felt its just the circumstances just made it not a thing that would happen. It sucks to think about it now cause I remember the day I Screwed everything up, me being a dumb kid instead of going to her and talking to her about the situation and Idk maybe WAITING. I went off and dated someone else. Someone who Looking back I didn’t really care for like I cared about her. Btw this other girl who Im gonna call blonde ended up cheating on me but I digress. This of course hurt Aquas feelings but she continued to text me every day. Still having feelings for each other I felt like she still had hoped that we would still get together, that I would break up with blonde and come to her and we would be happy but thats not what would happen. We slowly stopped talking as much and I ended up dating blonde for 9 months before she would break up with me the summer after I gradated. That relationship wasn’t the best but I learned a bunch, mostly on what not to do. After a little bit of post relationship sadness I decided to see what good ole aqua was up to and knowing my luck well she had a BF. A BF she was smitten with. I was happy for her. A little known fact about aqua, she’s the type of girl that will be straight up with you in a serious situation. A “Im not gonna tell you what you wanna hear” type person. Literally a little after we start talking she hit me with dont start to like me just because you’re single now. (I didn’t put that in quotes cause I don’t remember exactly what she said but it was something like that) we would still talk but not at the capacity we did the first time around understandably. So we carried on with our lives but still having each other involved with one another. We would Skype, hangout, text all that but her BF didn’t like me. also understandable. He probably knew about our history. anyways we stay friends But I still can’t get close to her because she’s taken so there isn’t much for me to do there. As long as she was happy I was happy so I ended up dating this other girl whom Im gonna call patty. Now me and patty dated for 2 years. Still my longest relationship to date. Now I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that I didn’t love patty cause I did, I thought the world of her but in the back of my mind, Aqua was still there. At some points it wasn’t even romantic. it was just I genuinely cared for aquas well being. I literally woke up at 6am to pick her up and take her to her graduation practice, we got breakfast after which I enjoyed the time with her. There was even a time where me patty and aqua would all hang out, I remember me and her smoked together for the first time with patty. She smoked way to much and started to get really paranoid and even kinda sick to where she almost threw up. patty and I drove her home that night and the entire time me from the passenger seat reached over and took her buy the hand (aqua was in the back seat) and just told her everything was gonna be alright. I kept my hand there the entire ride to her house apologizing multiple times. Thinking to myself omg she is never gonna hang out with me again. She was so miserable that night. Fast forward months later and patty broke up with me saying she didn’t find me attractive anymore. She also ended up cheating on me with a guy I worked with. I put on a-lot of relationship weight and I didn’t take care of myself. That broke me. I became depressed, But guess who was there for me? Yup that’s right, aqua. This girl is just the bees knees, being there for me when I need it the most. Now at this point in the story she’d come to me and we would confess that we liked each other all along and we would get together right? WRONG. She’s still dating the same guy she started dating when I dated the first girl. For this story Im gonna call him C cause im not sure if I can curse on here. They’ve been dating for 4 years. FOUR. And you know what the suckiest part of all this is. She isn’t even happy with him. She can say all she wants on snap and what not about how much she loves him but I know all the things she’s told me how he treats her and how he complains about her all the time or doesn’t really care about the relationship. that they are just together because they have been together for so long that its all she knows and she is comfortable. He is her first BF btw. So where does that leave me? Well I’ve been single for quite sometime now, about a year and her birthday is coming up so me being the loser I am, I set my timer for 11:59 the night before and get my happy birthday message ready. I send it and that day she tells me her own BF didn’t even tell her happy birthday like huh? Finding this out made me feel bad for her so I decided to go get her some flowers. Her fav flowers btw (peonies) those things are super expensive, I ended up paying like 70 bucks for them. Along with some fancy colored pencils cause she loves art and is super talented at it. The next day I bring them to her and the size of her smile was only matched by how much she was blushing. She loved them. Loved them so much she posted them on her story for everyone to see including C. Bet he loved that. Life kept going and Christmas came around. I do this thing every year where I buy all my friends Christmas gifts and go around town with a Santa sack and hand deliver them to everyone. Of course aqua was on that list. I ended up getting her a twenty one pilots mini backpack (it was super cute) along with some more flowers this time sunflowers. She loved them and time went on again. By this time it’s obvious to everyone and their mother that I still like her but im treading on some thin ice hear with her having a boyfriend, some would call me brave, others dumb. But I didn’t care it was making her happy. I wasn’t gonna run away from how I felt. So then fast forward to valentines day. I was debating doing this but I decided to full send it, I was gonna tell her how I feel. Not in hopes of her reciprocating said feeling but I just wanted her to know, it was tearing me up inside staying quiet. So on valentines day I went to her house with a set of peonies and chocolate and I told her that I like her. But thats it. No story no nothing Just that, I was so nervous I didn’t go any further then “I know its been so obvious from the way I’ve been acting but I really like you” it went well but she was still with whats his face and Nothing really changed after that, she loved the flowers, couldn’t stop smiling and I left, having that weight off my shoulders. Not all of it tho, there was still so much I wanted to tell her and I didn’t really get her side. I kinda just told her and left, No fairy tale ending where she leaves the terrible BF and we live happily ever after. Which made me sad but I did it to myself so yea. We still talk too so I mean I didn’t weird her out or anything. I wanted to hear her point of view still. So a month or so later we ended up talking about valentines day over text and I told her that There was still more I wanted to say so I spilled my heart out to her and she did the same. Me saying I liked her from the day I met her and that she’s been in the back of my mind all this time. That the only reason we didn’t date was because of the circumstances stated earlier. She said that she really wanted to be with me but she felt she wasn’t a priority to me. She also said she doesn’t know how to take in all this information because she’s with C. We were vulnerable with each other and she thanked me for doing so. Now fast forward to the present, we still talk on the reg sorta, playing Imessage games and sharing memes and songs and keeping each other updated. She’s a killer at 8 ball btw. Shes busy with work and college and im busy with the same, along with covid being a thing, seeing her in person in the near future doesn’t seem possible but I made her a playlist to listen to, just a bunch of songs that I wanna share or make me think of her of course I didn’t tell her the second part lol. So what do you think? Should I give up? Or nah?
submitted by HeyItsMicoo to Crushes [link] [comments]

2020.06.27 21:33 llxlxccxiiororrol0u0 Alchemy and Hermeneutics in Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights - CR MV 6-24-2020

America today is obsessed with medieval Europe. Everyone binge-watched Game of Thrones, my generation grew up with the novel series, Harry Potter, and that franchise likely sparked the production of the hundreds of medieval fantasy video games that so captivate millions of young men and women. Romance and fantasy as an escape from the boredom of everyday life has, of course, existed for probably all of human history. And I admit that it was partially a desire for a repeat of this fantasy and escapism that I was primarily drawn to a critical study of alchemy by Laurinda Dixon in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights triptych painting. Yet, as I started to read through the analysis more and more, I was greeted not only with fantasy and escape (I imagined being a hermit in the woods myself, pouring over the ancient texts, and discovering the secret to alchemy), but also with a sort of uncanny nervousness. I started to understand how incredibly complex and deep the painting is, which I was totally unaware of at first blush, and I started to wonder what other narratives were hidden between the lines in all the other artwork I have seen before.
According to Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote Lolita, the appropriate way to study a new work of fiction is to closely study it, without assuming “what it really is about:”
In reading, one should notice and fondle details. There is nothing wrong about the moonshine of generalization when it comes after the sunny trifles of the book have been lovingly collected. If one begins with a readymade generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it. Nothing is more boring or more unfair to the author than starting to read, say, Madame Bovary, with the preconceived notion that it is a denunciation of the bourgeoisie. We should always remember that the work of art is invariably the creation of a new world, so that the first thing we should do is to study that new world as closely as possible, approaching it as something brand new, having no obvious connection with the worlds we already know. When this new world has been closely studied, then and only then let us examine its links with other worlds, other branches of knowledge. (online)
Of course, most people first read the blurb on the back of the dust jacket, then read the Forward, then the Preface, and then the Introduction to the novel, before they begin to read the actual story. In other words, people approach new works of fiction, thinking they already know what they should expect and what they should look for.
The same mistakes in appreciating and understanding literature are also widespread in the world of visual art. Take, for example, this interpretation of the Garden of Earthly Delights, from Artists: Their Lives and Works, an overview of Art History from the Renaissance to the Contemporary periods:
Some of Bosch's paintings are fairly straightforward depictions of traditional religious subjects, such as the Crucifixion. Others deal with general moral issues, including greed and depravity. Almost all his works include grotesque aspects, but only a few are dominated by the type of nightmarish imagery for which he later became famous. Although they are inventive and packed with symbolism, even his most complex paintings have overall themes that are fairly easy to grasp. The celebrated Garden of Earthly Delights, for example, is a huge work with scores of figures spread over its three panels, but its essential idea seems to be fairly that the sins of the flesh have led men and women away from their God-given earthly paradise toward the horrors of hell. (Bray et al. 40)
The overall theme of an acclaimed masterwork is fairly easy to grasp? The essential idea is about sin, lust, and damnation? How many people will read this short blurb, and then look over the actual painting, maybe even study it in some detail, and cast all the crazy objects and creatures they see as nothing more than visual metaphors for Christian themes? Without understanding that they must first closely examine a work’s detail, by themselves, without judgment and interpretation, viewers will think the whole thing is simply about Christianity, and nothing more.
In fact, after reading Dixon’s article on the painting, I believe that there is a strong case to be made that it has a subtle, hidden narrative about alchemy, much less obvious than its warnings against the dangers of sin. Dixon begins her article on this topic noting that, in medieval Europe, alchemy was used for practical means like medicine and cosmetics. She says that it was also sanctioned by the Church, because alchemists sought the salvation of all of mankind and the world, the macrocosm, by the healing of the body, the microcosm. Next, she outlines the four main stages in the process of alchemy:
“conjunction,” or the marriage of opposites . . . . “coagulation,” or “child's play” when the four elements joyfully coupled in imitation of the first parents . . . . the dreaded “putrification” process, or rotting and blackening of the bodies of the parents and their children, accomplished in the hottest fire possible . . . . and finally the “washing and cleansing of the ingredients, compared to Christian Resurrection and purification of the soul.” (pp. 99-100)
Dixon suggests that each of the four panels of the painting are a visual metaphor for each of these stages in the alchemical distillation process: the inner left panel is conjunction (the marriage of opposites, Adam and Eve), the middle panel is coagulation, the right panel is putrification, and the outer panels depict purification and cleansing.
She says that, for the more secretive, esoteric, religious alchemists who sought to discover how to create the Elixir of Life, they used code-like, symbolic language, because they feared the power of immortality in the wrong hands. These alchemists warned fellow “adepts” of alchemy against speaking too clearly about their methods and theories, “... so that the stupid can know the science as well as the wise” (pp. 99). Thus, many alchemical treatises are vague and artful about the exact ingredients and processes, and they contain many drawings of things like human figures in glass beakers. One of these drawings shows a person upside-down in a glass vessel – this signifies hot gasses being released during the chemical processes of distillation, traveling upward; and then cooling and condensing, traveling back downward. In other words, seen through an alchemical “critical lens,” all the human figures in the Garden are actually symbolic of alchemical materials—minerals, wet ingredients, dry ingredients, herbs—being coagulated, conjoined, putrified, and purified. Yes, the small group of people in the triangular red hut near the center of the middle panel are having sex, and will ultimately end up in Hell for their sins, on one level—but from another angle, they are materials ready to be putrified in a furnace – some similar pictures of triangular furnaces from other alchemical treatises are included in the article.
Dixon also catalogs how many scores of objects in the Garden symbolize alchemical apparatus, including: beakers, vials, fountains, distillation hook-ups, stills, and glass pipes – all of these are scattered most obviously throughout the center panel. However, the most important alchemical apparatus is the “alchemical egg:”
In the symbolic language of alchemy, the ovoid in which all the ingredients were combined and in which transmutation took place was called the “egg.” Alchemical egg vessels, like real eggs, were considered microcosms of the world containing all the qualities of life – the four elements perfectly conjoined. (pp. 106)
With this lens, we can understand that the beloved “tree man” in the right panel is not simply a Christian, Hellish demon:
The alchemical egg is most unmistakable in the “Hell” panel, where it forms the body of a grotesque human-headed monster . . . . It was Combe who first recognized the egg’s obvious significance . . . . He noted that the colors of the figure (dark blue, white, red) signify the three symbolic stages of the process, and pointed out the creature’s hollow tree legs, which serve as furnaces. (pp. 107)
Dixon goes on to give further detail about the alchemical man:
The colors of the egg man’s strange anatomy do indeed correspond to the three major colors of the ingredients as they changed (transmuted) during the operation. In the absence of mathematical degrees with which to measure heat, alchemists relied on color and weight to indicate the state of the materials. Black and dark blue marked the nigredo (putrification) stage, white indicated the cleansing of the ingredients, and red was the color of the “Elixir.” The Turba speaks of these color changes within an allegory of bewildering obscurity, as it instructs the adept to “Put our material in an egg. There will happen a chicken with a red crest, white body, and black feet.” Similarly, another text advises to “First make black ... then bring to white ... and lastly to a powder perfect red, setting a diadem upon the head.” In agreement with this allegory, which is universal in the texts, Bosch's egg man has blackish-blue boats for feet, a white egg body, and a red bagpipe for a “crown.” (pp. 107)
Certainly, Dixon’s analysis here—combined with the other numerous symbolic alchemical objects throughout the painting that I only mentioned—confirms Nabokov’s criticism that one should not approach The Garden of Earthly Delights with the preconceived notion that is a simply denunciation of sin. Clearly, there is much, much more to the story. Even so, books like Artists: Their Lives and Works keep being written, printed, and read. And even in the literature course that I took where I learned about this advice on critical analysis from Nabokov, we never got an opportunity to do this kind of work with any of the books we read – even for the longer, more detailed papers, we were given a topic to approach the book with: “prove or disprove that this perspective is true in the novel.”
A great teacher is not a conveyor belt of information – that’s “giving a man a fish.” Guiding students through a close analysis of a single, masterful painting, to a high level of detail, paired with a discussion of a variety of secondary literature, will teach them that there is more to the story for every other painting during the semester that they will cover in less detail. Perhaps, after she graduates college, a student equipped with these critical tools will overhear someone pontificating, wine glass in hand, at a museum, about how Bosch’s painting is fairly easy to understand as a Christian work about the sins of the flesh… and she will say, “Ha! Well, in fact, if you examine the details, it turns out that the painting is full of alchemical symbolism, and you should feel bad for standing there, talking like you know what it’s all about, without having closely studied it!” and Socrates and Nabokov will be pleased.
Works Cited
Bray, George, et al. Artists: Their Lives and Works. London, DK, 2017. Print.
Dixon, Laurinda S. “Bosch's Garden of Delights Triptych: Remnants of a ‘Fossil’ Science.” The
Art Bulletin, vol. 63, no. 1, 1981, pp. 96–113. JSTOR, .
Accessed 17 June 2020. Online.
Nabokov, Vladimir. “Good Readers and Good Writers.” University of Texas, no date. . Accessed 20 June 2020. Online.
submitted by llxlxccxiiororrol0u0 to ArtHistory [link] [comments]

2020.06.27 21:14 llxlxccxiiororrol0u0 Alchemy and Hermeneutics in Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights - CR MV 6-24-2020

America today is obsessed with medieval Europe. Everyone binge-watched Game of Thrones, my generation grew up with the novel series, Harry Potter, and that franchise likely sparked the production of the hundreds of medieval fantasy video games that so captivate millions of young men and women. Romance and fantasy as an escape from the boredom of everyday life has, of course, existed for probably all of human history. And I admit that it was partially a desire for a repeat of this fantasy and escapism that I was primarily drawn to a critical study of alchemy by Laurinda Dixon in Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights triptych painting. Yet, as I started to read through the analysis more and more, I was greeted not only with fantasy and escape (I imagined being a hermit in the woods myself, pouring over the ancient texts, and discovering the secret to alchemy), but also with a sort of uncanny nervousness. I started to understand how incredibly complex and deep the painting is, which I was totally unaware of at first blush, and I started to wonder what other narratives were hidden between the lines in all the other artwork I have seen before.
According to Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote Lolita, the appropriate way to study a new work of fiction is to closely study it, without assuming “what it really is about:”
In reading, one should notice and fondle details. There is nothing wrong about the moonshine of generalization when it comes after the sunny trifles of the book have been lovingly collected. If one begins with a readymade generalization, one begins at the wrong end and travels away from the book before one has started to understand it. Nothing is more boring or more unfair to the author than starting to read, say, Madame Bovary, with the preconceived notion that it is a denunciation of the bourgeoisie. We should always remember that the work of art is invariably the creation of a new world, so that the first thing we should do is to study that new world as closely as possible, approaching it as something brand new, having no obvious connection with the worlds we already know. When this new world has been closely studied, then and only then let us examine its links with other worlds, other branches of knowledge. (online)
Of course, most people first read the blurb on the back of the dust jacket, then read the Forward, then the Preface, and then the Introduction to the novel, before they begin to read the actual story. In other words, people approach new works of fiction, thinking they already know what they should expect and what they should look for.
The same mistakes in appreciating and understanding literature are also widespread in the world of visual art. Take, for example, this interpretation of the Garden of Earthly Delights, from Artists: Their Lives and Works, an overview of Art History from the Renaissance to the Contemporary periods:
Some of Bosch's paintings are fairly straightforward depictions of traditional religious subjects, such as the Crucifixion. Others deal with general moral issues, including greed and depravity. Almost all his works include grotesque aspects, but only a few are dominated by the type of nightmarish imagery for which he later became famous. Although they are inventive and packed with symbolism, even his most complex paintings have overall themes that are fairly easy to grasp. The celebrated Garden of Earthly Delights, for example, is a huge work with scores of figures spread over its three panels, but its essential idea seems to be fairly that the sins of the flesh have led men and women away from their God-given earthly paradise toward the horrors of hell. (Bray et al. 40)
The overall theme of an acclaimed masterwork is fairly easy to grasp? The essential idea is about sin, lust, and damnation? How many people will read this short blurb, and then look over the actual painting, maybe even study it in some detail, and cast all the crazy objects and creatures they see as nothing more than visual metaphors for Christian themes? Without understanding that they must first closely examine a work’s detail, by themselves, without judgment and interpretation, viewers will think the whole thing is simply about Christianity, and nothing more.
In fact, after reading Dixon’s article on the painting, I believe that there is a strong case to be made that it has a subtle, hidden narrative about alchemy, much less obvious than its warnings against the dangers of sin. Dixon begins her article on this topic noting that, in medieval Europe, alchemy was used for practical means like medicine and cosmetics. She says that it was also sanctioned by the Church, because alchemists sought the salvation of all of mankind and the world, the macrocosm, by the healing of the body, the microcosm. Next, she outlines the four main stages in the process of alchemy:
“conjunction,” or the marriage of opposites . . . . “coagulation,” or “child's play” when the four elements joyfully coupled in imitation of the first parents . . . . the dreaded “putrification” process, or rotting and blackening of the bodies of the parents and their children, accomplished in the hottest fire possible . . . . and finally the “washing and cleansing of the ingredients, compared to Christian Resurrection and purification of the soul.” (pp. 99-100)
Dixon suggests that each of the four panels of the painting are a visual metaphor for each of these stages in the alchemical distillation process: the inner left panel is conjunction (the marriage of opposites, Adam and Eve), the middle panel is coagulation, the right panel is putrification, and the outer panels depict purification and cleansing.
She says that, for the more secretive, esoteric, religious alchemists who sought to discover how to create the Elixir of Life, they used code-like, symbolic language, because they feared the power of immortality in the wrong hands. These alchemists warned fellow “adepts” of alchemy against speaking too clearly about their methods and theories, “... so that the stupid can know the science as well as the wise” (pp. 99). Thus, many alchemical treatises are vague and artful about the exact ingredients and processes, and they contain many drawings of things like human figures in glass beakers. One of these drawings shows a person upside-down in a glass vessel – this signifies hot gasses being released during the chemical processes of distillation, traveling upward; and then cooling and condensing, traveling back downward. In other words, seen through an alchemical “critical lens,” all the human figures in the Garden are actually symbolic of alchemical materials—minerals, wet ingredients, dry ingredients, herbs—being coagulated, conjoined, putrified, and purified. Yes, the small group of people in the triangular red hut near the center of the middle panel are having sex, and will ultimately end up in Hell for their sins, on one level—but from another angle, they are materials ready to be putrified in a furnace – some similar pictures of triangular furnaces from other alchemical treatises are included in the article.
Dixon also catalogs how many scores of objects in the Garden symbolize alchemical apparatus, including: beakers, vials, fountains, distillation hook-ups, stills, and glass pipes – all of these are scattered most obviously throughout the center panel. However, the most important alchemical apparatus is the “alchemical egg:”
In the symbolic language of alchemy, the ovoid in which all the ingredients were combined and in which transmutation took place was called the “egg.” Alchemical egg vessels, like real eggs, were considered microcosms of the world containing all the qualities of life – the four elements perfectly conjoined. (pp. 106)
With this lens, we can understand that the beloved “tree man” in the right panel is not simply a Christian, Hellish demon:
The alchemical egg is most unmistakable in the “Hell” panel, where it forms the body of a grotesque human-headed monster . . . . It was Combe who first recognized the egg’s obvious significance . . . . He noted that the colors of the figure (dark blue, white, red) signify the three symbolic stages of the process, and pointed out the creature’s hollow tree legs, which serve as furnaces. (pp. 107)
Dixon goes on to give further detail about the alchemical man:
The colors of the egg man’s strange anatomy do indeed correspond to the three major colors of the ingredients as they changed (transmuted) during the operation. In the absence of mathematical degrees with which to measure heat, alchemists relied on color and weight to indicate the state of the materials. Black and dark blue marked the nigredo (putrification) stage, white indicated the cleansing of the ingredients, and red was the color of the “Elixir.” The Turba speaks of these color changes within an allegory of bewildering obscurity, as it instructs the adept to “Put our material in an egg. There will happen a chicken with a red crest, white body, and black feet.” Similarly, another text advises to “First make black ... then bring to white ... and lastly to a powder perfect red, setting a diadem upon the head.” In agreement with this allegory, which is universal in the texts, Bosch's egg man has blackish-blue boats for feet, a white egg body, and a red bagpipe for a “crown.” (pp. 107)
Certainly, Dixon’s analysis here—combined with the other numerous symbolic alchemical objects throughout the painting that I only mentioned—confirms Nabokov’s criticism that one should not approach The Garden of Earthly Delights with the preconceived notion that is a simply denunciation of sin. Clearly, there is much, much more to the story. Even so, books like Artists: Their Lives and Works keep being written, printed, and read. And even in the literature course that I took where I learned about this advice on critical analysis from Nabokov, we never got an opportunity to do this kind of work with any of the books we read – even for the longer, more detailed papers, we were given a topic to approach the book with: “prove or disprove that this perspective is true in the novel.”
A great teacher is not a conveyor belt of information – that’s “giving a man a fish.” Guiding students through a close analysis of a single, masterful painting, to a high level of detail, paired with a discussion of a variety of secondary literature, will teach them that there is more to the story for every other painting during the semester that they will cover in less detail. Perhaps, after she graduates college, a student equipped with these critical tools will overhear someone pontificating, wine glass in hand, at a museum, about how Bosch’s painting is fairly easy to understand as a Christian work about the sins of the flesh… and she will say, “Ha! Well, in fact, if you examine the details, it turns out that the painting is full of alchemical symbolism, and you should feel bad for standing there, talking like you know what it’s all about, without having closely studied it!” and Socrates and Nabokov will be pleased.
Works Cited
Bray, George, et al. Artists: Their Lives and Works. London, DK, 2017. Print.
Dixon, Laurinda S. “Bosch's Garden of Delights Triptych: Remnants of a ‘Fossil’ Science.” The
Art Bulletin, vol. 63, no. 1, 1981, pp. 96–113. JSTOR, .
Accessed 17 June 2020. Online.
Nabokov, Vladimir. “Good Readers and Good Writers.” University of Texas, no date. . Accessed 20 June 2020. Online.
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2020.06.27 16:45 pizzapocket17 [PI] you fell asleep in a classroom, you dreamt of a whole life you even died at 80, your teacher just woke you up and no one believes how you understand so much at 6 years old

Chapter 1 The not so great Jimmy
“I will live on!” Were the final words I spoke before my vison disappeared and there was nothing not even the color black, then suddenly I woke up and found my surroundings were strange to say the least. Numbers 1-180 were colorful and laid out in a pattern across the walls obviously being some sort of unfamiliar magic I was not accustomed to. There was an area in a room around maybe thirty feet away with shapes that were also colorful. Gods black hands! I could see again clearly as if I were in my youth again! I must have not kept my dialogue to myself because a giant of a woman came up to me.
“Jimmy? Is everything okay? Do you need to use the little boy’s room?” Who the hell does this beast think I am? I am no Jimmy I am the great Edward capable of bringing the dead back to life, I am the one who makes the holiest of priests turn from there god and get on their knees to kiss the floor I stand on. I am he who commands the shadows, the dead and everything else that is dark. No one calls me by another’s name and gets away with it. I reached for my magic, O there would be a great-
“What in the seven hells! It’s gone!!!!” I said in a squeaky voice not recognizing it to be my own.
“Jimmy!” The startled giant said. “Language!”
“Where did my power go wench! Tell me and your death will be quick and painless!”
The giant did not seem to be in fear of my unusually squeaky voice and instead the look of surprise, shock, anger, confusion and many more shades of emotions went on her face and she was silent for a long moment. She starred at me for an uncomfortable amount of time and picked me up as if I was an infant and carried me off to who knows where. I kicked and thrashed and then I went limp when I realized my hands they no longer were darkened by age, they were tiny and no longer bared the many scars from years of battle and I realized that I was a child once more. I was set down in an area with a fence of some sort that was not made of crude metal but instead was vibrant in color and seemed to be made with a material I had no knowledge of. This was not good I thought, I needed to get my books and see if I could figure my situation out.
“Jimmy? Where did you learn that naughty language?”
I quickly reacted knowing that she was oblivious to the fact that I was the great wizard that brought down empires, I had to blend in with the sheep be a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you will.
“Ms. I’m sorry I said such harsh atrocities to you, I give my deepest apologies.” I bowed my head sickened to think I was groveling to this inferior-
“Jimmy your pronouncing your English so well! When did you learn all those big words?” She said in an excitable voice mixed with praise. “I’m so proud of you big man.”
Proud? No one has ever been proud of me. A warm partially sickening partially unknown feeling went through my body making me feel something I’d never felt before.
“May I borrow one of your books from your library Ms., It doesn’t have to be about sorcery it can be about the land or maybe-”
She handed me a thin book still to big for my tiny hands and it had drawings of animals from the forests that looked to friendly to be real and had the common man’s tongue written on it.
“All the forests creatures with you and I”
I read out loud confused by the riddle. Apparently, I spoke out loud again because this excited the what I am beginning to suspect adult woman and brought more praise out from her mouth making me want to vomit mixed with that weird sensation again. Why was I a child again?
At the end of the day I learned a lot about my new environment, the adult woman that lectured me on what was known as bad words was called Ms. Hoffman I also learned that apparently I have parents once more, which surprised me considering my Father had been dead for almost fifty years and no amount of necromancy could bring back a guy that had his soul ripped apart by a never ending void. A loud fast clanging noise which was dubbed the school bell immediately made all the other children react by forming a line at the door. So, they did have magic after all, and it seemed to be one of the darker forms meant for manipulating the weaker minds in doing things for another’s gain. I pondered what the reasoning could be to make children line up and then it clicked they must be preparing for war by training there susceptible minds at an early age.
Someone tapped me on the shoulder interrupting my thought process, I whirled around to find it was the teacher looking down smiling at me. It was weird she didn’t smile in a condescending way it seemed almost genuine.
“Jimmy? Are you going to line up with the rest of your classmates for recess?”
I didn’t want her to know that the spell she had put on the rest wasn’t working on me, the last thing I needed was to battle another’s mental power while my magic was basically non-existent.
“Ummm yes I will join my classmates in your recess.”
I stood in line nervous knowing I did not know how there drills worked, I didn’t even have enough magic left to do a simple vail to keep me hidden. My heart pounded and I followed in the back of the line watching as another adult lead us to my possible demise.
Okay so I was expecting some sword mastery drills or hand to hand combat or maybe even some team exercises in taking down enemy camps with non-magical combat technics. Instead I was lead outside where all the children burst into laughter and screaming and ran as fast as they could to objects that I did not have to foggiest clue on what they were.
“Jimmy? Aren’t you going to play with your friends?”
I looked around and saw several enormous castle-like structures in the distance all looking similar in color.
“Mavra, Jackeal or one of my many other foes must rule now.”
“Oooo are those your arch nemesis Jimmy?”
The teacher asked kneeling down with a grin and a twinkle in her eye. She must be one of my enemies top recruiters or maybe even one of their top soldiers although I could not sense any magic pulsing from her body, it was possible she had trained herself in the perfection of hiding her powers, if that was the case I was up against a truly worthy adversary.
After adjusting to the scenery outdoors and going back inside to cut out shapes and glue them to outlines and labeling them, my body felt strange it took me a few moments to place what this feeling was and I realized it was tiredness from the apparent long day my body had endured. I hadn’t had to go to sleep in twenty maybe thirty years. There’s a certain point of a wizard’s life that we no longer need to sleep. It feels annoying to have to go to sleep again, in a way sleep it was its own sort of spell that nature put on the weak. I closed my eyes and laid my head on my desk passing out letting my body recover. I was awoken by one of my classmates saying something along the lines of it not being nap time yet and I shook the child’s hand away from my shoulder a sleepily told him or her to leave me be. This apparently didn’t work and encouraged the little brat to double down its annoying tactics calling me childish names and got my blood boiling.
“Would you kindly fuck off you little shit.”
Silence went through the room all eyes were on me or in my general direction.
“He said a potty word.” A little boy uttered to his classmates.
I was about to say something quick witted when my hand was grabbed by a much bigger hand and I was firmly yanked out of my seat and lead by Ms. Hoffman to the colorful gate again and put in it. When she spoke, she had a seriousness to her voice that was probably supposed to frighten me.
“I’m calling your Father this instant young man and we will be talking about your use of bad words.”
My heart dropped down to the pit of my stomach, my Father when I was young was not someone to take lightly when he was angered. The last time I angered my Father I received a beating and whipping that I would never forget. I didn’t want to be put back in the dungeon. Tears welled up in my eyes and I began to sob knowing I was going to get punished severely.
After Ms. Hoffman called my Father in the most bizarre way with no circle, blood or candles my Father showed up and walked into the room. He was not my Father. My Father was thin and frail, short with little hair and was pale white like a living corpse that had been recently resurrected. This man was the total opposite. He was chubby, with a thick black beard and he towered over Ms. Hoffman like a mountain would to even the tallest of trees. His presence had no darkness and even standing here now knowing very well that this man could end me if he wished I knew he wouldn’t by the energy he was giving off.
“Son come over here please.” Please? When was the last time I heard the word please in a sentence that was not someone begging for their lives?
I walked over to the giant man feeling relief that I would not be dying today, and I looked up at the man’s face. I was met with a disappointed look like someone looking at a dumb dog that had shit on their favorite rug. His enormous hand engulfed mine and I could feel the roughness of his hand like they belonged to a carpenter or a blacksmith and not the hands of a wizard. He said something to Ms. Hoffman about how he was going to take me home early and the rest of the conversation was lost to me while I let the questions in my mind swirl around endlessly.
The man took me away from the place that Ms. Hoffman was stationed at and my jaw dropped when I saw the thing he was taking me to. The closest thing I could think of that even partially resembled the thing in front of me was a carriage, except this had no horse and it was shiny like a silver coin in the light and it was just so magnificent.
“What is this?” I asked pointing to the horseless carriage. The man claiming to be my Father looked down at me with a confused expression.
“What this?” He touched the carriage with his index finger. “It’s our car.” He said looking at me as if he just found out I had fucked the neighbor’s goat. “I thought I already taught you what this was?”
“Uh yah I’m sorry I must have just forgot what it was called.”
He starred at me some more.
“Son are you feeling alright?”
“Yes, Father I feel just fine.”
Hearing a bizarre sound, I looked up at the sky and saw a bird like structurer flying higher than the highest mountains, streaming something white like smoke behind it. One thing was clear now, now more than ever, I was no longer in my home world. I was either put under a spell and my mind was now drifting in this bizarre world of wonders or the other scenario that I had died in my previous life and one of the many gods had reincarnated me into this world. One thing was for sure, dream world or reincarnated life it did not matter the only goal I had was getting back to my world and killing my enemies once and for all.
I’ve fought high priests that had the wrath of there God behind them, I’ve fought rogue warlocks that made the very air crackle and pop with electricity from there sheer will power and I once even tamed the great four headed hydra that devoured entire villages near the ocean in a night. All of that in mind and I still had my heart leap into my throat when I went from waiting for the horses to arrive to moving faster than I have ever went in my life. Fucking teleportation for the first time is less frightening then being in this beast. It took all my will power not to scream, no you know what scratch that I don’t think I could have screamed even if I wanted to, but hey I learned something fancy and new. I found out that seatbelts are required because it is the law. Gods must have sent me to one of the seven hells because I hated this with all my black heart.
We finally got to our destination and I got out of the car with a nervous tick that made my eye look like I was trying to wink at whatever was in front of me. My trauma from the ride soon melted from my mind when I looked at the enormous castle that stood in front of my very feet. Gods. I thought to myself my family must be as important and rich as my last family. My new Dad held my hand and walked to the entrance of the castle and I was disappointed by the small size of the door, then I realized that maybe this world had no need for enormous doors like I was use to. We made are way up the creaky old stairs, and I saw dozens of wooden doors each with a number on them. We got to a door that had the number 017.
My excitement went out the door and I felt less sure that this was a castle and had suspicions that we were instead in an Inn. The door opened and the room turned out to be more cramped then I previously feared.
“O gods I’m in a commoner’s family.” I whispered to myself not caring if anyone heard me. I wallowed in self pity before I was interrupted by a pleasant feminine voice calling out my new name from a not so distant part of the room. A woman no older than her early 30’s came into view with the with the most beautiful shade of red hair that I had ever seen, with a black dress, rosy pink blush on her cheeks and smelled like she just got done baking a custard of some kind. Maybe Apple flavor?
“There’s my little man!” She said in that pleasant tone again and swept me up like a doll off the floor and kissed me all over my face and proclaimed me to be so sweet that she could eat me up. I didn’t know how to feel about that but sensing she had no ill will towards me I chalked it up to be a metaphor that I was not accustomed to. She put me back down gently on the floor and embraced and gave my new Father a powerful seductive kiss that seemed to put the poor man into a trance.
Lucky bastard got a hotter wife than I could have ever dreamed of, but on the bright side she seemed like the type of Mother that I’d dreamed of when I was a young boy starving in the fields of Tarahost. If I had to live in a commoner family until I made my way back to my world than this was not such a bad start to my temporary new life.
Chapter 2 Hope
The first day in my new home in this new world was disappointing and amazing at the same time. Seeing what my new body looked like in a mirror hanging on the bathroom door for the first time was the disappointing discovery. The boy that I saw in the mirror had bright orange hair and a face speckled with freckles from cheek to cheek that had not a scar, wrinkle or crows feet in sight, hazel eyes stared back at me with the intensity that could be considered my own, chalk white smooth skin covered his body and his arms and legs were no bigger than twigs on a tree. I really could not believe that this was my body now. I was less intimidating then one of those rats with fur I saw on a rope walking in front of an old lady on the street. My ego was broken more and more the longer I starred at the mirror. Later that same day my ego was set aside when I discovered how sweet, cold and delicious ice crème was when I sank my spoon into it the white frosty desert and put it in my mouth. It was like my senses had never truly known pleasure when it came to food, sure I’ve had meat from several creatures all with its own unique flavor and yes I have had several types of custards but, none of the foods I had back in my home world could have ever compared to this. Later after I was done eating everything out of the bowl I discovered a big black reflective box called a TV and when my new Dad activated its power, colors and loud noises exploded from it making me jump in my cushiony seat. I was amazed to say the least finding out thousands of different worlds were all in this tiny box on our wall and it could all be activated by a click of a button. After observing a bizarre world with happy talking creatures that looked way different from this reality, I stroked my chin forgetting I no longer had a beard and thought it might not be such a bad fate to be born into a commoners home in this world.
After a few weeks of going back and forth from school to home Monday through Friday the car no longer seemed to be as terrifying as it once was, I also got to observe my peers and learn some of their names. David an eight-year-old scrawny boy with dirty blonde hair and dark brown eyes seemed to be the bully of my class, he also seemed to be the leader of a bunch of children that followed him like sheep and listened to his every command, Sasha a girl with light blonde hair and sky blue eyes was a girl that liked to pretend to be good, to please her elders and show everyone that she was not capable of harm. However, I saw the other side of her, while most were not paying attention, she would steal pencils, erasers and other small objects and get others blamed for it. O yes, I thought she was definitely in her early years of becoming your common everyday petty thief. These two children made my almost mind numbingly boring days in class a bit more interesting.
David lead his five friends towards there imaginary enemies ducking and hiding behind playground equipment screaming out orders to flank there enemies and started to mime an imaginary object he was holding and started making popping noises from his mouth, most of his other friends mimicked what he was doing minus giving orders, while one of the boys screamed take cover while pretending to pull something off an object and throwing it. They all ducked and covered, and the boy let out a big boom from his mouth throwing up woodchips scattering them in the air. I watched all of this in fascination knowing the boys were reenacting something I had yet to learn about.
Suddenly a girl out of nowhere came running in front of them throwing something imaginary at them screaming gibberish gleefully. David stopped miming the object and went from dominating something imaginary to looking at something real with disgust and annoyance. He walked up to the girl pushed her down and screamed in her face.
“Go away freak!” He screamed with rage in his voice. “No one wants to play with you, this territory is only for soldiers not for dumb girls that want to play magic!”
Magic? Did I hear him right? The girl sniffed and wept out a tear before getting up, with woodchips falling out of her long brown hair she screamed. “I curse you!”
“Protectose.” I reflexively whispered making a warding gesture with my hands before remembering I still did not have any magic abilities. Luckily for me it seemed no curse was thrown by the girl but for the briefest of moments I felt the faintest of breaths of magic, real magic. My jaw dropped slightly. After weeks of not being able to sense magic from any person and after studying several objects like the school bell and the TV and coming to the sad conclusion that I would never be able to harness the hidden powers that made them work, I was beginning to lose hope and started to consider the possibility that the gods had exiled me to a world without magic. Now my heart beat drummed loudly to the rhythm of knowing I was about to take my first step in getting back to my home world.
The bell rang letting everyone know recess was over and I made my way over to the girl that was still picking woodchips out of her hair, rubbing her face and making sniffing noises. I stood by her feeling for any presence of magic in her and confusingly there was none. Had I made an error in judgement? Was David the one that gave off the slight magic discharge? I thought about catching up to David and checking to see if he was indeed the one but, I thought better of it considering I had my final class with him and I could always check then. Besides I only seen the girl during recess and lunch and didn’t want to wait until the next day to talk to her.
“What do you want?” She said still sniffling. Apparently while I had been in my thoughts I must have been staring at the weeping girl and looking like a fool.
“Uh hello Ms. My name is ed- I mean Jimmy and I uh, well you see I was wondering if you knew about magic?”
“Hey you two!” Mrs. Zacharias screamed from a distance obnoxiously making get over here gestures commanding me like I was a dog. The girl ran as fast as she could towards the teacher ending the conversation between us before it even began. I gritted my teeth and began to jog towards the teacher hating myself for not disobeying her. Gods knew that when I got my magic back the first thing, I would do is get revenge on Mrs. Zacharias for this moment.
Orginal Prompt:

If you liked this please go to my account I have already posted part 3,4,5
Part 3
Part 4

Part 5
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2020.06.26 09:34 9B134K3 Sweetheart LO

We had a class together. I first persued her and made plans right away, showed interest she showed it back. I think I was limerent right away, i think she had feelings too. I thought we had great chemistry. Said she couldnt make it to the third date. Said she was in a 5 year relationship but unhappy. Said she always wanted someone like me in her life and wished we could be together but was too afraid to leave. She was crying, I told her sorry but im not looking for friends and to lmk if she changes her mind.
She just started texting me like normal soon after and was really touchy and flirty when we met up again. She initiated holding my hand in the park at one point. I asked her if she changed her mind and she said idk shes still unsure but she really missed me and wanted me in her life. I told her I liked her and that I am sorry but I dont want to be friends.
Well about 5 months of NC went by, thought about her everyday. Extreme pain and depression. Basically agony, misery. I felt so much chemistry with her. Ive never had a woman so feminine and beautiful who showed interest in me. We laugh so much, shed blush everytime she saw me, touch me, hug me. She said she wanted to be together. Whyyyyyyyyyy. I couldn't let it go.
I eventually caved and said Hi, that night we speed texted for 3 hours. Started texting every day. Her initiating most. Including good morning every morning.. lots of smileys, some hearts( okay I read into everything) I was fully limerent again but was in denial. we met up twice over 10 days and things felt so natural and nice. I thought for sure she was into me again.
Then she used the word friend to me a few times over the next week. Soo I was so confused and in pain. I called her and said id like to move towards more than friends with you but I am wondering how you feel? She said she was so sorry if she did anything to make me feel this way, she really liked me as a good friend but wasnt ready for a relationship. She emphasized that she really wanted to continue to talk to me.
I said ok no problem we can be friends. I felt relieved initially for getting it off my chest. This was about a week ago. She still initiates good morning texts everyday, jokes, is upbeat and so nice. Shes really just so sweet and kind and ive never met anyone like her. She said i hurt her really bad when I left for 5 months. Right now im in terrible emotional pain. Literally constant thought loops, overthinking everything and in despair.
I dont want to be friends but I love hearing from her everyday. I dont want to hurt her but I am in so much emotional pain. We click so well and shes so understanding but this will be the third time I tell her out of nowhere that I need space and I just worry well never be able to talk again. I am so embarrassed that she will think im crazy. I will miss her so much, and even if I do feel fully healed if we talk again. I think the same thing would happen and I would have to leave..
Should I just be short and hope she gets the point? Should I wait around in this pretty little hell and hope she changes her mind? Should I tell her I need space and risk losing her forever?
Any advice pls pls pls im sooo fucking done with this. Humiliating.
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2020.06.26 03:39 zangoose28 My Fic “An Ode to the Stars” Chapter 2: Return to Echo Creek

Chapter 2: Return to Echo Creek Return to Echo Creek
-Note: anything in Italics is either thoughts or flashbacks, depending on the scene.
The mood on Mewni was damp and rather dreary, with the rain pouring down from the usually pinkish sky, now grey and cloudy, nourishing the corn growing in the fields but forcing the residents to stay huddled up inside their homes. The mood in Star Butterfly's room was rather joyous, albeit lazy, one. It had been four days since Marco's confession to Star Butterfly, his new girlfriend, and old best friend. The pair sat in Star's bed in her room, cuddling under a blanket, watching telenovelas, and eating nachos Marco MacGyvered together from Mewman food he had found. This is what the couple had been doing for the past few days.
"This episode is really dumb," Star said to her new boyfriend lying beside her, "Those two shoulda already gotten together, but they put off them becoming a couple till like, the last 3 episodes." She then picked up a nacho from the bowl between them and chewed and swallowed it.
"Yeah, those two clearly liked each other, but they ended up with other people, for like two seasons, that was just bad writing," Marco responded.
"Speaking of LOOOOVVEEEE, I've got a question for ya Marco," Star said, transitioning the conversation.
"Ask away Star," Marco responded, glancing over to his new partner.
"I loved your confession, but why was it so fancy-schmancy?" Star asked making a gesture with her hands.
"Well, I kinda planned it out beforehand, not all of it, but some parts of it," Marco told his newfound girlfriend. "I wanted to sound just right and not ruin everything. Sorry if it was too corny."
"Nah it wasn't, I for one, liked it, and I'm glad we found each other," Star reassured her boyfriend.
"Me too Star," Marco responded before himself reaching to take a nacho. Unluckily for him, he knocked over the bowl and the cheese spilled out on the Earth boy and his royal partner. "Oh crap!" Marco shouted as the creamy sauce spilled and stained the blanket and his "Hot Dawg" shirt. "I'm so sorry Star."
"It's fine Marco, I'll just get a new dress," Star responded, getting up and taking off the stained Blanket and walking to her closet. Marco looked away as Star started changing until she said, "I'm dressed."
Marco then realized something that immediately took precedence for him, he had only one other clean shirt left.
"Star, I don't have any other clean laundry left here!" Marco shouted across the room to his girlfriend, who was still rummaging in her closet.
"Well good news about that!" Star shouted, jumping up from her rummaging "I found one your hoodies!" She then pulled out a dirty red hoodie from out of her closet and ran back to bed and sat down with the jacket in hand.
"That's good, but how did that hoodie end up in your closet, Star?" Marco questioned.
"I don't know Marco, things end up in strange places all the time," Star answered, "One time, I found my wand under the sink in your bathroom."
"But I never went into your room before I lost that hoodie," Marco said, confusion on his voice.
"Fine, I admit that I took one your hoodies when I knew I was leaving," Star told her partner in admission, slightly mumbling and talking speedily. "I wanted something to remember you by because I thought I was never gonna see you again, and I kept it after you came here because I thought you were gonna go back to Earth, and it smelled like you and all the adventures we've had together. I wanted you to find it on your own after the confession, so you wouldn't get upset with me. I'm sorry Marco"
"It's ok Star, though next time you want something of mine, just ask me.," Marco said in response to his girlfriend confession. "Also it stinks like feet, so can we send down to the laundry room or something?"
"Ok, on it." She said as she went over the laundry chute in her room, took one last sniff of the bright red hoodie, and threw it down the tunnel to the castles washroom. "It'll be ready in a few days." She told him as she walked away from the chute,
Marco got up and walked to his bag on the floor a bit from Star's bed. He started rummaging through the bag and took out the last clean shirt he had, a plain grey one, and took it out and took off his "Hot Dawg" shirt and replaced it with his grey one.
"Star, I've been putting this off for a little while now but, I have to go to Earth to get some stuff for me if I'm gonna stay here," Marco said as he walked to the laundry chute and dropped his stained shirt in.
"I'll come with you Marco, then we can see all our old Earth friends, " Star said joyfully, "I miss your parents."
"So do I Star, but I'm kinda worried about their reaction me deciding to stay on Mewni with you," Marco spoke while putting his loose bag together.
"Don't worry Diaz, it'll be fine," Star responded confidently. "Now let's go!"
"Wait Star!" Marco yelled before Star grabbed his hand, "We should leave a note for your parents."
"Oh right," Star remembered out loud, she grabbed her wand from her nightstand and summoned a notepad and pen and handed it to Marco. She thought about how adorable it was that Marco was sticking out his tongue out while he was writing the note.
"He's so cute, I'm lucky to have him." Star thought, a smile on her face.
"Ok, I'm ready," Marco said as he grabbed his duffel bag and put the note on Star's bed. He took his dimensional scissors out of the bag and made a cut which created a blue portal, Marco took Stars hand and walked with her through the dimensional gateway.
When the couple walked out of the portal, hand in hand, they found themselves at the "Stop and Slurp" store in Echo Creek, the late morning California sun shining brightly above them.
In the parking lot of the convenience store, a teenager sitting on the hood of his car with a keytar in hand. Oskar Greason, notoriously bad musician, and Star's former crush. Oskar suddenly looked up from fiddling with his keytar and waved at the newly appeared duo.
"Hey Star, hey Mango!" Oskar shouted in his usual as he got off the vehicle's hood and walked over to the new couple, "So how you been doing since the party, Star?" Oskar asked politely.
"It started out rough, but we defeated Toffee, this evil monster guy, but now we're doing great, in fact, Marco and I are together now," Star told the musician happily.
"That's cool Star, I'm happy for you girl, I'm glad you two worked all your issues and stuff," Oskar said in his usual laid-back tone.
He turned his head over to Marco and asked, "What's up Mango, long time, no see, how you hanging?"
"It's Marco, and I've been doing well, enjoying time with Star," He responded as he squeezed his girlfriend's hand, "I like the new hairdo, Oskar."
"Thanks, Mango." the emo thanked as he whipped his new, shortened, hair. "Have a good day you two."
Oskar then turned and walked back to his car and went back to playing with his keytar.
"When did you see Oskar during the party?" Marco asked as they started walking out of the parking lot.
"Right after I called Ponyhead, Kelly, and Janna over, we went to another party thrown by the bad kids over there," Star answered, pointing to the roof of the Stop and Slurp store, "I hung out with Oskar, trying to d/distract myself for my feelings for you, he even offered to hang out during the summer, he probably forgot about that. But that doesn't matter, because I'm gonna be spending summer with my awesome, new, boyfriend."
Star, with a grin on her face, then pulled Marco in for a sudden hug, which caused Marco to smile. Eventually, the hug turned into a kiss, one that was interrupted by another Echo Creek resident.
"Jesus you two, get a room," said the ever grinning, dark-haired, Janna Ordonia.
The couple suddenly broke apart as Star yelled in delight "Janna Banana!" before pulling her into a tight hug. After Star let go, Janna said to the couple "I see you two finally got together, I figured you would after I heard you and Jackie broke up and I was more convinced when I heard that you headed for Mewni straight after" At this point, Janna's attention had turned to Marco.
"This was inevitable Diaz, I figured you and Star would get together, known for a while." The beanie-wearing girl. "How was Mewni for you two lovebirds?"
The couple looked at each other, reluctant looks on their faces, both knowing how the other was feeling, and decided, Janna, unlike Oskar, deserved the complete story. They asked to walk and talk, which Janna obliged. Once they started, they both recounted what happened after Star left at the party. They each took turns telling their part of the tale, each from their own perspectives until they merged in the castle dungeon. Janna had remained rather composed throughout the story, but when she heard the part of Stars "death" and time in the corrupted magic realm, her mouth went agape and for once, showed a rare sign of humanity behind her uncaring and creepy veneer. Her expression remained that way until once she heard of Toffee's fate, though Marco did note a quick scoff when he revealed about punching through Toffee in revenge. Then the couple told of Marco's confession and the point of them getting together, during which Janna had a sly smile on her face, though she didn't want to admit, she found the new couple rather cute.
Once the couple had finished telling their tale (and subsequently stopped for a break), Janna was silent for a moment, taking in the epic story she had just heard. Then she spoke up and said, "Holy shit. You two have experienced more in the last two in a half weeks then I've had in like a lifetime. Unlike here, it has been soooooooo boring since you two left. Especially since I haven't been able to mess anyone else since Diaz left." the troublemaking teen confessed nudging Marco on the shoulder. "At least Mewni has stuff going on."
Star then had an idea, and before she was truly thinking, blurted out "Why don't you come to Mewni with us?"
"WAIT WHAT?" Janna and Marco screamed simultaneously, the former in excitement, the latter in confusion.
"Yeah, you can come for the summer, to squire or something," Star said in reply to the dark-haired girl.
"Um, Star can I talk to you for a sec, like away from Janna?" Marco asked his girlfriend, tugging on her sleeve.
"Sure," Star replied as they momentarily walked away from Janna.
"What are you thinking Star?" Marco said concernedly, "You know Janna loves to terrorize me!"
"Relax Marco, I'll make her shake on a deal that says if she keeps bugging you on Mewni, she'll be kicked out," Star reassured her worried boyfriend.
"Fine, but only if she agrees to it." Marco conceded as they walked back to Janna, who was leaning against a building, texting someone on her phone.
"You can come to Mewni, Janna, but on one condition," Star told the texting teen, causing her to look up from her phone, "You have to stop harassing Marco and we have to shake on it if you break the agreement, you'll be kicked off Mewni
"Ugh, fine." Janna groaned, holding up her hand and shook it with Star's. "As long as it gets me to Mewni, and teasing doesn't count, just major stuff."
Marco made a barely audible noise of worry.
"Great!" Star said in excitement, "It's settled, we'll come to get you in a few days to take you to Mewni. You sure your parents will be fine with it?"
"Yeah, I'll just tell them I'm going to Canada for the summer, and they'll let me go for sure," Janna replied confidently. Star and Marco didn't know how to respond to that, so they just ignored it.
"Ok, we gotta go get some clothes and stuff from Marco's, all his are dirty," Star said trying to end the conversation.
"That's why you aren't wearing that hoodie Diaz." Janna stated in realization, "Well, it doesn't matter, see ya later."
The beanie-wearing girl walked away in the direction of her home.
"Well let's get a move on, Marco." Star said to her grim-faced boyfriend, grabbing his hand and giving him a peck on the cheek, "And turn that frown upside down."
Not wanting to disappoint, and content to be rid of Janna for the moment, he did just that as they got the move on down an Echo Creek street.
Up ahead, on a bench, a girl with a skateboard in her lap sat enjoying the summer breeze. Jackie Lynn Thomas was taking a moment to rest on the bench. She was trying to enjoy her summer after she reluctantly broke up with her boyfriend after Star Butterfly confessed her feelings to Marco Diaz and fled to her home world. The platinum-haired teen knew it was the best option, seeing the depressed state Marco was in. She'd always figured Marco had feelings for the interdimensional princess, and that she had feelings for him. Her suspicions were confirmed with Star's confession, and her suspicions for Marco's reciprocating Star's feelings only grew when she visited Marco a week after the party.
She'd figured it'd be a good idea to let Marco have some time alone to process his feelings about Star leaving and her confession. But when she got to the Diaz household and was led to the kitchen by Mrs. Diaz, she realized her idea wasn't as good as it seemed. Marco was wallowing in the kitchen, pajamas on, his body half laying on the kitchen table, sadly eating a bowl of cereal, while the decorations from the party were still hanging up around the house. She flashed back in her mind to the conversation she had with her now ex-boyfriend.
"Hey, dude, how you been doing since the party?" Jackie had asked Marco gently.
Marco, who picked up his head slightly to look at her, and only said depressedly, "Fine."
"I can see the decorations from the party are still up, why's that?
"It's for when Star comes back, so nothing changes, and we can go back to how things were," Marco said in the same, sad tone, though picking himself up slightly and turning to face his girlfriend.
Jackie winced inside when she heard this. Almost everyone in Echo Creek knew Marco liked Star back, even if he didn't fully realize it yet. There were always whispers Jackie heard about Star and Marco being more like a couple then herself and Marco. She'd always tried to ignore it, but now she had to confront the truth, Marco liked Star back, even if he didn't fully know it himself.
"Marco, I've got something to say, it may seem sudden, but we have to break up." Jackie blurted out suddenly.
"Wait why?" the pajama-wearing boy said suddenly in response to this abrupt breakup, more awake from shock, and pulling himself up from his seat.
"Cause Marco, you obviously have feelings for Star," Jackie responded calmly.
"What, no I don't!" Marco yelled defensively.
"Yes, you do, and those feelings aren't a bad thing Marco, you two have a special relationship," Jackie clarified, "But their existence will lead to us both suffering and toxicity in our relationship. If you force yourself to stay here and with me, and deny your feelings, we'll both be miserable, and besides, you're clearly depressed without her."
Marco was silent and looked inward and reflected for a moment as Jackie stood in his kitchen awkwardly. Until he spoke up suddenly.
"You're right Jackie, I do like Star, but what should I do?" the underdressed boy stated in realization and panic.
"Go after her dude!" Jackie answered encouragingly, "You have that dimensional scissor thing, go to her dimension, tell her how you feel!"
"I will," Marco said before she pulled him in for a hug, "Thank you, Jackie"
"No problem Diaz," she responded before giving one last peck on the cheek, which made him blush. "Now go!"
"Yes ma'am," Marco answered before running for the stairs.
"And one last thing Marco, stay amazing."
Marco nodded before he ran up the stairs and out of the sight of his now ex-girlfriend.
Jackie's focus then returned to the present, where she saw something she didn't expect to see, Marco and Star walking, hand in hand, towards her.
Jackie then stood up and shouted to them. "Hey Marco, Hey Star."
Marco looked a bit nervous, but Star's face was one of joy, as she, and dragging along the boy holding her hand, started running towards her.
"Hey, Jackie!" Star yelled excitedly when she got to the skateboarding-teen before suddenly letting go of Marco's hand and pulling Jackie into a hug.
"It's so great to see you, Jackie!" Star said during the two girls' embrace.
"You too Star," the other girl responded in her usual laid-back tone.
Once the two girls broke the hug, Jackie noticed her ex-boyfriend standing back trying to avert eye contact with her.
"Hey, Marco," Jackie said in an attempt to get her exes attention, on that succeeded as Marco's eyes shifted focus to the valley girl.
"Hey um, Jackie" Marco muttered awkwardly in a barely audible voice.
As a momentary silence ensued, and Star noticed the palpable tension between the two and decided to do something about it, let them talk it out.
"Oh look!" Star piped up to break the silence, pointing over to a bush where a girl was hiding with a camera, "It's Starfan13, I should go talk to her. You two catch up while I do that."
Star used "Fantastic Exit Beam" which propelled her over to the shrubbery to leave the exes to talk.
Another momentary silence occurred until Jackie mustered up enough courage to speak up.
"I take it that you and Star are like, together now?" Jackie asked to break the awkwardness.
"Um, yeah, about five days ago," Marco said a tad uncomfortably, shuffling a bit where he stood and barely meeting Jackie's mint green gaze.
"I'm glad, dude, you two make a couple," Jackie replied, sincerity on her voice and a smile on her face.
"Do you really mean that Jackie?"
"Of course, I do Diaz!" Jackie exclaimed, "I always figured you guys liked each other, but like, never quite put it together, even when we were dating, I knew you and Star had something special going on."
"You know, I've been thinking Jackie, and I'm sorry if I was a terrible boyfriend who was always distracted by my best friend." Marco suddenly apologized.
"It's fine, dude." Jackie responding, accepting the apology, "You were a pretty standard boyfriend, but you could always make me laugh, and I do want to stay friends with you, Marco."
"That's what I want too." the usually hoodie-wearing boy responded.
The two went in for a brief hug. And after a quick moment, they broke apart and went on with their conversation.
"So Diaz, are you going to Mewni for the summer?" Jackie questioned.
"Yeah that's why I'm here, I got to get some stuff from my house," Marco answered.
"Do your parents know you were staying Mewni?" Jackie asked out of concern
"My parents know that I was staying there for a few days, but they don't know that I want to stay there over the summer." the Echo Creek boy answered
"Are you sure they'll let you stay there, bro?" The green-eyed girl wondered aloud.
"I'm kinda sure," Marco answered with unsureness on his voice and a seed of doubt planted in his mind, "They've always supported what I wanted."
"Ok, I'm glad you've got summer plans, I don't have much to do during the break dude." Jackie sighed.
"Maybe you can come to Mewni and squire or something, Janna is coming and it'd be nice to have a friend there." Marco blurted out.
"That sounds great dude!" Jackie exclaimed, "I'll ask my parents, but they've always encouraged me to take a trip to experience the world and stuff, so they'll probably let me go."
"Great, I'll have to ask Star, but she'll probably go for it," Marco responded, pleasantly surprised by her answer, and glad to be on such good terms with his ex.
Then Star came walking back with Starfan13 close behind her.
"Star told me that Starco got together," Starfan13 said in her parrot-like voice, "I'm so happy, I'm gonna go write fanfiction!"
The crazy fan then scattered away to write her stories and obsess over what she called Starco.
"So, did you two talk it out?" Star asked cheerily.
"Yeah, we did, we're cool," Jackie responded, "Marco even offered for me to come to Mewni."
"Oh really?" Star asked in surprise, quickly turning her head to Marco, and then back to the platinum-haired girl, "That was sweet Marco, and of course, you can come to Mewni, Jackie!
"Thanks, girl!" Jackie thanked the princess and picked up her skateboard, "Now will you tell me about what you've been doing the past two weeks?"
The three began to walk down the street and towards Echo Creek's residential area as Star and Marco started to reiterate what happened to the pair over the last two and a half weeks. Jackie was a respectful listener but reacted more than her dark-haired friend, with small gasps, smiles, and even a small laugh or two. By the time the couple had finished, Jackie stood slack-jawed, in shock and awe with what had happened to the princess and the Earth boy.
"Wow…" Jackie muttered, stunned by the events on Mewni in the last two weeks, "I'm glad you two are ok. What you guys went through was enough excitement for an entire lifetime."
"Do you still want to come to Mewni?" Star questioned concernedly, "I'd understand if you didn't want to anymore."
"Nah, I still wanna come, it sounds like everything turned out cool in the end," Jackie assured the interdimensional girl.
"It did," Marco and Star said simultaneously, squeezing each other's hand, "It definitely did."
At that point, the three had reached the front lawn of the Diaz household, the disappearance of Star's room still visible.
"Well, this is where I leave you, dudes." the skater girl told her friends, putting down her board on the ground. "When will you come to take me to Mewni?"
"In, like, a few days," Star responded, "Pack up some stuff for Mewni or something, and Marco will text you when we're coming."
"Cool, Star, Marco, see you then," the valley girl replied as she got on her board and skated away.
"Well, that went better than I thought it would," Marco said to Star as Jackie rolled away down the sidewalk.
"I'm glad you two are still friends," Star said as the two started up the Diaz's front walkway, "Now let's go to see your parents."
The pair got to the Diaz's door and Marco knocked.
"Coming!" a masculine voice.
Suddenly the door swung open and Rafael Diaz stepped out and pulled Star and Marco into a bone-crushing hug.
"Mijo, Star!" Rafael yelled in joy as he was holding the teenagers in his arms. "It is so good to see you two!"
"It's good to see you too dad." Marco grunted out while his father was squeezing him, "But can you please let go? You're crushing my spine."
"Oh sorry." Mr. Diaz apologized as he let go of his son and the Mewni teen and the three walked into the house
Waiting in the front room of the Diaz's abode was Angelica Diaz, who gasped and immediately ran over to the newly arrived teens and pulled Marco into a tight hug.
"Marco!" Angie cried out as she embraced her son," I missed you!"
"I did too, mom, I did too," Marco said as he reciprocated the affection.
After a moment, the Earth mother broke the hug and turned her attention to the girl who had lived in her house for the past year.
"Star it's so good to see you!" Angie said as she pulled Star into her next hug, "Though, it is little surprising after how you left after the End of the Year party."
"It's great to see you too, Mrs. Diaz," Star replied as the two reunited in their embrace.
"So, Star, what are you doing back here?" Mr. Diaz asked after Star and Angie broke their hug.
"Well, Marco needs something from here, so we came back from Mewni," Star answered.
"Needs?" Angie wondered aloud, "What do you mean needs? Aren't you two coming back?"
"No mom we're not, I'm going to Mewni to be Star," Marco responded, taking Star's hand, "Because, we are together now.
His parent's faces both morphed into expressions of joy and shock as they both pulled the teens into a group hug.
"Oh, Mijo, this is muy fantástico!" Rafael said to his son as squeezed his family in a bear hug, "I'm so happy for you two!"
"You two will make a wonderful couple," Angie added.
The group broke apart and continued their discussion.
"Why don't you two just come back to Earth, enjoy the summer here?" The patriarch of the Diazes asked the recently arrived couple.
"I'd love to do that Mr. Diaz, but my parents said that I had to stay and Mewni and keep up with my dumb Royal Duties," Star explained to the man while holding his son's hand "And having Marco there would make it so much better."
"I understand that Star, I really do," Angie told the princess in a sympathetic tone, "But Marco can't leave our care to go live on some other dimension, one that sounded dangerous from what Marco texted me, even to be with his girlfriend and you can come to visit whenever you want. But he's only fourteen, and I'm his mother!"
"So, what does that matter?" Marco interjected, "Half the students who came to live with were the same age or younger and weren't with their parents. Heck, Star was only fourteen when she came to live with us."
"Yeah, and Marco can hold his own pretty darn well," Star vouched, "He helped take down Ludo when he took over my castle and punched right through the evil lizard that once kidnapped him when he returned and Marco thought I was gone, and now that guy is gone and Mewni is safe."
"And on top of that, whenever Ludo attacked you never had a problem with me fighting him, or whenever something magical happened you batted an eye," Marco told his mother in a surprisingly firm and powerful voice, "Like when my arm turned into a monster or I grew that weird Naysaya thing out of my neck. Do you know who was there all those times? Star was, my partner in crime, and I won't be separated from her. I'll be just as safe on Mewni as I ever was here."
There was a slightly stunned silence from all the others in the household, they rarely saw this more dominant side of Marco. Star was flattered and shocked at Marco standing up to his mother for himself and her.
Mr. Diaz suddenly broke the silence by sighing and saying, "He makes a good point Angie."
After another moment Angie spoke
"Fine, you can go to stay on Mewni with Star, but there are certain conditions you have to agree to go." The Matriarch of the Diaz's reluctantly told her child, "First, you have to text me or your father daily, second, you have to come to visit us weekly and have dinner with us, third, you have to come back here if Mewni ever gets extra dangerous. Got it?"
"Those are fine by me," Marco said in his usual tone.
"Great!" Star responded to Marco's agreement to the terms, "Now let's go get your stuff, Marco."
"Ve más despacio you two, can you tell us how you got together and what happened to you on Mewni?" Rafael requested of the couple.
The two started to tell the tale of the two's time after Toffee's return as they all went upstairs to Marco's room, they packed stuff for Marco's stay on Mewni, though they did leave out a few details. The Diaz's helped pack and listened respectfully and held in their reactions till after the duo finished. Once they did, Marco was almost fully packed.
Rafael displayed his reaction.
"Oh Mijo, your confession was muy dulce and romántico."
"Sweet and romantic," Marco whispered in clarification into Star's ear.
"It reminds me of when your father proposed to me," Angie added with fondness on her voice, which made Marco blush tomato red, which made Star giggle. "Is that on the way?"
"What, no!" Marco answered defensively as he blushed even harder which made Star giggle again.
"Not for a while Mrs. Diaz," Star told the woman cheekily as she grabbed Marco's arm, and Marco gave her a slightly confused look.
"Well, you are all packed, Mijo," Mr. Diaz told his son as he put his last bag down next to the others on the floor.
"Thanks, Dad," Marco thanked, "Now let's go get the laser puppies and head out."
Star then picked up all of Marco's bags and levitated them with a spell.
The four walked out of Marco's room and downstairs to the waiting laser puppies.
Marco went to leash the puppies while Angie whispered something in Star's ear.
"He's a special boy, Star, don't lose him."
"Don't worry, I won't," Star whispered back.
"All right Star!" Marco called to his girlfriend, "Let's go."
"Don't think you're leaving without a hug, busters," Angie told the couple, as she went over and pulled them into a hug, which Rafael joined.
"We love you," The Diaz parents told the two simultaneously.
"We love you too," the young couple replied.
They all broke apart and the teens walked out the front door that Rafael opened for them.
"Bye Marco, Bye Star," Rafael said to to the couple who were holding the puppies leashes and dragging the floating bags behind them.
"Bye," Angie told them from the front door as they were outside.
The older couple were still waving on the doorstep and yelling bye to the younger couple as Marco pulled out his dimensional scissors and made a portal and went through it with his dogs, bags, and his girlfriend.
When the couple stepped out of the portal, they were in Star's room back on Mewni.
"Whew." Star sighed as she let Marco's bags fall to the floor and put her wand away, "What a day."
"You can say that again," Marco quipped as he went to lay on Star's bed with the laser puppies following.
"It was great to see some of our Echo Creek friends again," Star told her boyfriend as she joined him on the bed, "I'm glad Jackie and Janna are coming here."
"I'm still not sure Janna should be coming to Mewni," Marco said concernedly, turning his head to look at her.
"Trust me, at the first sign of her harassment, I'll send her right home," Star assured the worried boy laying beside her.
"Fine," Marco agreed reluctantly, "But Star, now that I'm staying here full time, where should I sleep? Cause I am not staying on that crappy guest room bed another night."
"I have a solution you're gonna like," Star answered, grabbing Marco's hand and jumped off the bed and ran into the hall, her best friend and the puppies in tow.
Star pulled out her wand, aimed it at the space next to her room, and blasted it with Sparkle Glitter Bomb Expand, which created a door, one that was identical to Marco's room's door on Earth.
"Welcome," Star said as she opened the door to the newly formed room, "To your new, old, room!"
"Wow, my Earth room," Marco marveled excitedly as he, Star, and the puppies walked, "I can't believe it. This is amazing, Star!
"Kneel," Star commanded suddenly as the Laser Puppies obeyed her.
"Wait, what?" Marco questioned the command.
"I haven't officially made you my squire yet, so kneel so I can do that," Star explained to her confused boyfriend
"Oh ok," Marco said before obeying the command.
'I hereby declare that you, Marco Ubaldo Diaz, shall henceforth be my royal squire and partner," Star declared as a cone of light enveloped her and the squire and she tapped her wand to his shoulders, "To stay by my side in times of peace or danger, as my most trusted confidant, advisor, and partner. To go clubbing with me even when he's too tired, to share his late-night nachos, to let me shower him with smooches, but most importantly to be my very best friend and boyfriend, so long as we both shall live. Amen. Do you accept?"
"Of course, I do," Marco answered before getting to his feet.
"Great!" Star said as she pulled Marco into a hug and a quick kiss, "Now let's go enjoy the rest of the day and go make ourselves some nachos."
"Yes, Star," the newly made squire replied joyfully, before grabbing his girlfriend's hand and going to the castle kitchen to make them a snack.
Author's Notes
Well here is the new chapter of this tale, I've been cooking up this story and idea for a while now and thanks to the help of Lordcornwalis (Of "In The Pale Starlight), Blackwolfwriting (Of the "Sign of the Moon" Series and "Royal Secrets), ThDorkMagnet (Of "Light of the Sun and Stars"), KPRS4EVER (Of "When Two Worlds Collide"), and Ronaldreagan (Of "Forgotten Ventures"), all of whom works are amazing and you should check out, that idea became reality.
This story is kinda the way I would have done Star vs Season 3 and subsequently, 4, fixing issues with less time wasted on pointless ships (more on the main plot), character development, better thought out/well-developed plot, extra time for lore (plus some of my own I've been writing), a better villain (than Mina), some fan-favorite characters in a bigger role. There is A LOT more of this story to come. The fic will try to stick to the OG lore as possible, with a few additions, but there may be slight differences on purpose or accident. This story will have no scheduled update, but I will post I will start responding to reviews/questions with the next chapter, and please give me any criticisms, I'm always looking to improve. Thank you to everyone reading. See ya next upload (or if you DM me with questions
submitted by zangoose28 to StarVStheForcesofEvil [link] [comments]

2020.06.25 20:51 laurenodonnellf Chapter One

Hi everyone. I've decided to also post my first chapter. 4215 words. TW: Self-harm. I'd really appreciate any feedback. I also don't know how I feel about the metaphor I made between the ocean and my sexuality. let me know what you think. I'm leaning towards taking it out. Thanks!
I tried to still the bathwater before I answered my flip-phone, "Hello?"
There was no greeting back, only crying.
I didn't know how to react; I had never heard anyone cry like that before. It felt as though this was the first time I was hearing someone cry for real. My attempts to ask Delilah, "What's wrong?" were only answered by sobs so deep they choked her.
In the background of the phone call, I heard a door open, and then I heard Delilah's mom speak to her in Spanish.
Delilah cried harder, “Mom, please stop. Please just leave me alone!”
I couldn't believe how her mom raised her voice even after Delilah continued to cry more violently. My Mom would never yell at me if I were crying so much.
The only word I could understand her mom saying over and over again was perizosa: lazy. I had only just learned the word in my middle school Spanish class.
My once warm bathwater turned cold before Delilah's mom left. Finally alone, Delilah's cries softened.
I was shaking, from both the cold bathwater and from what I just listened to.
I cradled my hand over the receiver of the phone so my voice wouldn't bounce off the bathroom walls into my parents’ nearby bedroom. "Delilah, I don't know what is happening, or what is making you so sad, but you don't deserve to be so upset. I promise I will make you happy. I'll do everything I can to cheer you up."
Her voice wavered as she spoke, “You promise?”
“I promise.”
. . .
I had met Delilah on Myspace. We bonded over our love for the Jonas Brothers. We both had fan accounts in addition to our personal accounts.
It was a simple thing, a fluke, which made her send a message to my fan account out of the hundreds of thousands of accounts that existed. I had posted a joke or funny picture which caught her attention.
Our sense of humor, our similar ages, and our interests were all things that made us click during just that first conversation. The afternoon we met, I had previously planned to walk my dog with my best friend, Brittony, so when it was time for me to log off Myspace for the walk, I asked for Delilah's number. We texted throughout my walk, making jokes and bonding.
It was the year 2008, before front-facing cameras on cell phones and laptops, cell phones with access to the internet, or meeting friends online was at all popular or even widely accepted. My parents thought most people on the internet were molesters, serial killers, kidnappers, or 40-year-old men. So I was always careful who I gave my number to and I lied when my parents asked how I met my online friends.
“She used to go to my school, but then moved to Texas.”
It was kind of an unspoken rule amongst girls on the internet to talk on the phone with each other soon after exchanging numbers because it was an excellent way to find out if you were actually talking to a 13-year-old girl or not.
The first time Delilah and I spoke on the phone was that evening, after my walk. Hours into our conversation, Mom asked me to empty the dishwasher. As I was putting away dishes, I dropped a glass bowl and it broke. Mom yelled at me to get off the phone and pay attention to what I was doing. I did so, blushing at my mistake and telling Delilah I would call her back later.
As my relationship with Delilah grew stronger and as she revealed her depression to me, I became superstitious of dropping and breaking a dish while talking to her on the phone, fearing it would symbolize the last time we would ever speak.
Delilah told me she cut. I had no idea what "cutting" meant as I was pretty sheltered. I was also only 14 years old. To be honest, I didn't even know what deep sadness was like, let alone the kind of sadness that leads someone to self-harm. Sometimes I'd lock myself in the bathroom, go to the mirror, and stare into my own blue-green eyes. I tried to fit all of the world's sorrow in my eyes. I'd try to feel it. Often, I'd start crying. But at 14, what I knew of the world's sadness was limited to the tragedies I had been taught in sugar-coated history textbooks and the murder from the one episode of a crime show I managed to watch before having a full-blown panic attack at the realization that death is real and inevitable.
There was a rumor at my middle school about a boy who cut himself. My naive mind couldn't even imagine what that would look like, I pictured someone trying to take scissors and snip at their wrist as if it were a piece of paper. It didn't seem like it would do much harm. Nevertheless, I took Delilah's cries for help very seriously. I tried to understand why she was depressed, but to me, it didn't seem like she had anything to be so sad about. She had a house, friends, good grades, and the singing voice of an angel. Her parents were okay, aside from the apparent stress they put on her to not be so "lazy" or to do "better." They also didn't believe Delilah was depressed "enough" to be prescribed medication.
I had never known anyone who was depressed. I didn’t even know what depression really was. I didn’t understand that depression is a disease, not just a mood or a feeling.
Like I imagine most 14-year-old girls do, I got a lot of my information and life advice from magazines.
Brittony and I were sitting in the magazine aisle of the local grocery store, flipping through each teen magazine to see which ones had the best Jonas Brother posters when she asked me to take a quiz.
“Are you tired all of the time?”
It was an easy question. I would stay up at night on Myspace writing my fanfiction stories, or making new profile pictures on Photoshop, or talking to Delilah. I didn't sleep a lot at night. When I did sleep, I always slept with the TV on because I was scared of the silence. In the middle of the night, I would often wake up and watch the TV and be unable to fall back asleep. I also had a lot of nightmares and I was always afraid if I fell asleep too soon after having one, I would just continue to dream about it. It is a problem I have had since I was a little girl.
“Do you struggle to enjoy things that were once enjoyable to you?”
Since before I knew how to spell, I would scribble gibberish words onto picture books which I illustrated on blank pieces of paper. As I learned about English and grammar, I excelled in school and English became my favorite subject. All through elementary school, my teachers praised me for my writing abilities. I have wanted to become an author for as long as I can remember.
But when I got to middle school, I didn't fit in with the rest of the kids in my advanced English class. They were the popular kids, they had the stick-straight hair, blue mascara, and Abercrombie outfits- all things that were trendy back then. Meanwhile, my hair seemed to become frizzier every day, my mascara was just plain black, and I felt fortunate if my clothes didn't have the (seen as) dorky GAP logo written in a bold font all over them. It seemed to me my fellow students already knew each other from before and they all had bizarre expectations. An “A" grade was seen as a "B," "B" as a "C," "C"s as failing. Only an “A+” was acceptable. I also found myself struggling to conform my, previously celebrated, creative writing ways to my teacher’s very technical-based and boring writing structure. I began receiving “C” grades for the first time in my life. When my teacher passed back our graded assignments, I would always turn my paper face down as soon as the teacher handed it to me and hope my classmates would not ask me about my grades. Unfortunately, it was the only time they did talk to me as they needed ego boosts and were very nosey. I lied to them. I told them I got a “B” instead of a “C." They would wince at me and shake their heads in disappointment. They never even gave me a chance to fit in.
Towards the end of the school year, when we needed to start picking our courses for the next year, my English teacher pulled me out of class and into the hallway, "You should probably take normal English next year.” He said it as if he was telling me the sky was blue. I felt my world collapse around me. English had always been my best and favorite subject, and yet my teacher was telling me to go into the lower level.
I went home and cried for hours. I screamed and begged my parents to let me take the lower English class. They refused, they knew my English skills would only be challenged by an advanced-level class. I withered at the thought of being in the highest level class again with all those snobby kids. The worst part was, the 8th-grade teacher and the 7th-grade teacher were married, so of course, the 8th-grade teacher would know about my failures and of course she would teach in the same boring way the 7th-grade teacher did. I thought my life was over. I thought my dream of becoming an author was dead. I cried so hard for so long Mom threatened to take me to therapy. That shut me up quick.
I had once enjoyed writing and reading and now I did not. Brittony gave me a sad smile as she calculated my quiz results, “You are depressed.”
I shrugged. I didn’t feel depressed. I did not feel the way Delilah’s cries sounded.
But, I couldn't deny my life was changing. I always hated change; as a little girl, I protested Mom as she moved furniture around the house. I liked things to stay the way they were, the way I was used to, and the way I felt comfortable. I wanted the old trunk under the window and I liked my happy childhood and my encouraging teachers.
All at one time, I seemed to be facing a multitude of changes. Was this growing up? It sucked. But being told I should go to a lower English level, struggling with grades for the first time, and dealing with Delilah, weren’t the only changes I was facing. I had another new realization I was experiencing.
One day, at the beginning of 8th grade and about 4 months before meeting Delilah, Brittony and I were talking to our guy friend, “Who do you think is the prettiest girl in school?” He asked.
Brittony and I looked at each other. I'm sure we had pondered the same question at some point, but we had never discussed it aloud or come up with a solid answer.
We thought for a moment before giving our answers.
He chuckled and shook his head and said matter-of-factly, “No, Tracy is the most beautiful girl in school.”
“Who is Tracy?” I asked. I doubted a girl I had never even heard of was the prettiest girl in school.
He jutted his chin down the hallway, past the lockers and math classrooms. And just like in one of those high school rom-com movies, Tracy came around the corner in what seemed like slow motion. Three or four guys followed only a few steps behind her, eyes glued to her. Her blonde ponytail bobbed and swayed side-to-side in tandem with her hips which peaked out between her tank top and jeans. Her blue eyes seemed to sparkle while reflecting the sun’s light.
Her beauty was not shocking, but it was undeniable. Everything about her was very natural, her hair was not curled or teased, her face was fresh looking with minimal makeup, and yet she was perfect. And she was, without a doubt, the most beautiful girl in school.
Brittony and I nodded in fervent agreement.
As she passed by us, followed by her admirers, and we felt her wind rush past us, I felt as though I had just had a close encounter with a celebrity.
Soon after that day, my science teacher changed the class’ seating chart and my new seat was next to Tracy. I then found myself trying to pick out cuter and more trendy outfits and wear more deodorant. Every lunch I would talk about Tracy to Brittony and our other friend, Brianna. I'd talk about Tracy without even realizing I was talking about her. I'd mention every time she had passed me in the hallway. I'd gush over the outfit she was wearing. I'd note every time she would look or smile at me.
After a week or two of blabbing on and on about Tracy, Brianna rolled her eyes at me and said, “I think you are bisexual.”
Bisexual. What does bisexual mean? I had no idea. I had never heard the word before. I didn’t ask her in fear of being teased for being so sheltered. I wondered about the meaning for the rest of the school day.
Oh, what a time to live in, before cell phones were "smartphones," when burning questions had to be put off until one had access to a computer.
When I got home, I plopped my backpack down and sat at my computer. Bisexual. How do you spell that?
I typed: byesexual.
Did you mean: bisexual?
I shrugged, I guess I meant bisexual. I clicked on it.
Bisexual- sexually attracted to both men and women. Romantically attracted to both men and women.
If you are fortunate enough to have never experienced such a sensation as realizing your sexuality does not parallel to the sexuality society assigns humans at birth, then I am not sure how to explain how it felt. The closest metaphor I can come up with is trying to explain the complexities, the beauty, and the dangers of the ocean to a landlocked child.
How can I accurately explain how every single moment, every question and doubt, every lasting look, every missing puzzle piece since before I could remember had an answer and explanation? How could one illustrate how every single grain of sand, every wave, every tiny plankton, and every monstrous whale has a purpose and a reason?
How can I describe knowing life suddenly made sense? Knowing I am a part of something much more? How can I ever make a straight person can understand the knowledge that came flooding in after that sweet realization? How could one describe the way the ocean’s blue-green water reflects the sunlight in the day and the way it absorbs the black sky at night?
I felt haunted by the discovery of new troubles and dangers that lie ahead, as vast and unending as the sea.
I cannot accurately explain how it feels for there is no other feeling like it, not even the tugging of the tide feels the same. So to begin to understand, let yourself be immersed in the deepest mysteries of your life, simultaneously thriving and drowning.
There is such a thing? This part of my life I had never acknowledged all made sense now. Since reading Google’s definition, I have never once doubted it. My life flashed before my eyes and there were so many moments, so many clues, proving to me I was bi and that I had always been bi.
Apparently, according to Google and Brianna, I had a crush on Tracy. One day at lunchtime, a crowd of kids walked through the quad towards the soccer field. In the middle of the crowd was Tracy, holding another girl’s hand.
I heard whispers, “Did you hear Tracy has a girlfriend?” “Can you believe Tracy is bi?” “Let’s go eat lunch on the field and watch them make out!”
Brittony, Brianna, and I trailed behind the group and watched as they made a huge circle around Tracy and her girlfriend. We didn’t stay to watch, but about half the school did.
So, Tracy was bisexual as well.
This sparked me to come out of my shell and talk to her. In science class I passed her a note, “So I heard you are bi.”
She wrote back in perfect handwriting, “Yeah.”
I tried to tidy my chicken scratch handwriting, “I just found out I am bisexual too.”
Through my peripherals, I could see her smile. “Really? That’s cool. Now I have someone to talk about it with!”
I couldn’t believe my life; this was a change I could get used to. We exchanged numbers, became friends on Myspace, and continued to pass notes almost every day in class.
The night before Valentine's Day, Mom and I made heart-shaped sugar cookies with a jelly center. I asked if I could bring some to school for my friends.
“Of course!”
I grabbed some for my friends and I made sure to also grab one for the newly-single Tracy.
I took my time getting ready the next morning, I straightened my out-grown blonde-highlighted hair, put on some terribly-applied makeup only a middle-schooler could get away with, and wore a new dress I had bought from Victoria's Secret. It was a pink and white striped dress. Does Victoria's Secret even sell dresses? It must have been a sleep-shirt thing. No surprise, it was very low-cut, so I wore a tank top underneath.
At the first break in the school day, I found Tracy in the middle of the quad with another girl, no doubt pining for her attention as well. Tracy was so sweet when I gave her the cookie. She already had flowers and balloons galore from her other admirers, but she invited me to hang out with her all day. I was so excited.
Of course, as is the standard in my life, I was a complete wreck. Between my straightened hair, Tracy’s balloons, and the windy day my hair was so static-y I looked like I had been electrocuted. The wind caused my dress to fly up, so all day I was flashing the entire school.
For some reason, Tracy was not swept off her feet with my romantic cookie gesture. Disappointed as I may have been, the universe had other plans for me.
A few days after Valentine’s Day was when I met Delilah. Shortly after our meeting, I came out to Delilah. She was very understanding and supportive of me. In truth, I had yet to come out to anyone who was not understanding or supportive. I lived around an hour away from San Francisco in California. It was a very liberal-leaning town. And for that, I was lucky.
About three months or so later, Delilah came out to me too. It was very nonchalant just as my coming out had been to her. She told me a girl at her school made her realize she was bi. I was so excited to have another friend to talk to about my sexuality, but when I asked Delilah about her girl crush, she never wanted to talk about it.
I texted her, “What class did you meet her in?”
“Uh, we met in a play we are doing at school.”
“I didn’t realize you are in a play!”
“I’m not. I was just setting it up.”
“What does she look like?”
“She is blonde.”
“Does she know?”
“No, she’ll never like me back.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I just don’t want to talk about it.”
“Why not?!”
“I just don’t.”
I tried to bring it up every once in a while, but I only ever got the same information out of her. After a few tries, I gave up.
One night, towards the end of the school year, I had a dream about Tracy. We were in my parents’ hot tub and then all of a sudden we began kissing. Nothing else, just kissing.
I woke up because my dogs started barking. I whined and covered my head with a pillow. I wanted to go back to that dream.
Tracy soon came out as lesbian. She wrote to me about her realization in a note. Lesbian was a new word for me as well, even though I had known lesbians. My parents were friends with both gay and lesbian couples, but in my naïve mind, I saw the couples as best friends who lived together. My parents had never bothered to explain their friends’ relationships to me.
I didn’t see myself as lesbian because I still had crushes on boys in school.
I didn't wait long to come out to Mom. I was never afraid of my parents' reactions, like I said, they had gay friends and were open about their alliance with the gay community. Still, coming out is a terrifying thing to do. Mom and I were sitting outside by the pool in the spring sunshine when I told her.
“I have something to tell you.” I began crying. The crying surprised both of us.
“Is it bad?”
“It’s not bad. It is just something I have to tell you. I am bisexual.”
She was overall supportive. As the conversation went on, she began to ask me questions I didn't know how to answer, "Why do you think you are bi?" The word sounded strange coming out of her mouth. How do I tell her? How can I explain the moment everything in my life made sense? How do I tell her it is not a new thing? How do I tell her I have always been this way? How do I tell her about my dream about Tracy?
“Uhm, I have a crush on a girl in school.”
She nodded. After a while, she said, “Well, I don’t think you are lesbian because you love Kevin Jonas too much.”
I agreed I did not believe I was lesbian, but I had a hard time believing Kevin Jonas, despite my obsession with him, was the reason I swung both ways. Her reasoning made me feel uncomfortable.
Mom didn't think it was an excellent idea for me to tell people at school I was bisexual because I was very young and “it could just be a phase.” I felt as though she didn’t believe me. I still feel that way to this day.
We got into an argument maybe a month after my coming out because I told her I came out to one girl. She said she did not think it was a good idea to come out because I could lose friends and be bullied.
“Anyone who has a problem with it I don’t want as a friend anyways.” I meant it. I have never been one to really care what other people think about me.
She brought up the “phase” word again.
“It’s not a phase and I don’t appreciate you not believing me.”
"You should feel lucky about how understanding I am! Some kids get kicked out when they come out to their parents. Did you know that?" I didn’t think that was a very good argument.
Secretly, I still came out to some of my friends, but I was cautious.
My discovery was both sweet and terrifying.
Though my coming out experience went well, I still felt the incredible weight of the world's problems, the community's issues, my uncertain future, the hardships, the hatred, and the obstacles I would face because of my sexuality. This is not something our straight society taught me. This is not something a society that is used to privilege could show me. It wasn't knowledge I could have learned from someone much wiser. No. I understood all of this at 14 years old, without anyone bringing it to my attention.
I needed to be alone with this knowledge and I needed to let my emotions out. I couldn't hide it or wait until later, so I went into my backyard late at night and sat on the edge of a garden box and I cried. I cried for how hard my life was going to be now that I realized I was bisexual. And I hoped one day I would live to see acceptance from the world.
I hugged my knees and rocked back and forth as I cried for the community. I feared for their lives. I cried for those who did not have understanding families and who were kicked out or worse. Eventually, I stopped, wiped away my tears, brushed off my pants, and went back inside, much wiser and more empathetic.
My life was changing. I felt like I was living two lives: one I kept from my parents where I was bi, cried late at night, made my promise to Delilah, and had online friends. And two, the life I had when with my family where I was happy and carefree. Both had authentic parts of me, but neither was my whole self.
I was ripping in two.
submitted by laurenodonnellf to WritingThroughTrauma [link] [comments]

2020.06.25 04:32 CircleRelatedAnxiety project STARGAZER ch 2 Meeting.

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Unnamed Star System. Unnamed planet. Federation-Primacy Buffer zone. Aug 8th 3748
Magnus had a front row seat to three very confused aliens getting their first tase of good old human engineering, and all he could do was laugh. He waved for them to follow him as he turned towards the nearest airlock. Keeping his pace slow to let them take their time. He wasn’t in any rush either.
He gave them a look over. They were definitely related; the two females- best guess. Aliens could be weird, they looked female to him- had identical faces and the male had the same nose and cheeks. All three had the same sharp chin line as well. The male had eyes much larger than the others, the same sand gold iris in all three. The big difference between them was the anatomical morphology. None of them were remotely similar.
The male was the tallest, closing on Magnus’s height at 6’4. Quite frankly the tallest non-human magnus had met. Golden feathers on his head instead of hair like the others. And a pair of wings on this back; just shy of 3m wingspan if his measurements were correct. He also wore the least clothing of the three, a heavy kilt and belt covered in pouches with a sheath for his sword. A simple length of steel with a small cross guard, a wooden handle and an undecorated pommel. The interesting bit was the runes covering both sides of the blade. Some sort of enchantments.
One of the females had turned back towards where they had first entered the fight. The one with red fur and bone plates covering her torso, shoulders, upper arms, upper legs, and forehead. Leggings and a chest wrap made of brown fabric created a primitive camouflage effect. Sheaths for three knives and a quiver stocked with arrows and a strung bow; all that was missing was the spear. Probably what she was going back for, he could see it stuck in the beast she had slain with it.
The other was following close behind him. Branches grew through her hair, the same red as the leaves on the trees, and bark that was textured the same as on the trees. The most human looking of the three. Minus the green veins and long ears. Basically, elves that had taken on some traits of the local ecology.
The Th’nakmet texts came through again, predicting all this shit. He knew where he was now and who the name of the species; the texts had the answer for everything. He was on Ru’yealm and these were one subset of the Yealm’il the final species humanity would bring into the Federation before the Enemy returned. That meant that STARGAZER needed to get up and running quickly. There were still two species to discover before humanity would complete the uplift of the Yealm’il. But time was never something the texts were good at getting across.
The tree looking one spoke to him. “excuse me. Magnus was it? I am Mez’tval, my siblings and I have come here following a prophecy that I would bring back an omen from the stars, but I see no omen, no runes that could bear a message for my people.” Her voice was hard, high notes. Not unpleasant to listen to, but that statement carried an edge.
“well Mez’tval as I am sure you know; prophecy is a bitch to work with. There are no runes with deeper meaning here. Nothing that will guide your people. Except for me. You came from the city to the south west, yes? My ship is damaged; I am willing to trade knowledge, technology, military support, and civil support for land and resources. I find its not best for anyone to engage in diplomacy and trade on an empty stomach and half a night’s sleep. If you and your siblings come inside, I can get you all a meal and a warm place to sleep and wash off from the battle. We can talk more then. If that pleases you?”
Her gaze traveled the length of the ship, taking in its size. To be fair the Daedalus class was one of the largest hulls in the Federation fleet. Bringing her eyes back to the sensor in the middle of his helmet she nodded. “a warm bed or two would not be amiss. We have been in the forest for nearly a moon now. I for one miss having access to regular hygiene and a proper meal. Can we please wait for my sister to finish retrieving her spear? I would not want here to get lost.”
“of course, I’m not going to just leave a guest to fend for themselves. That would be beyond rude of me. A warning when we go inside there will be a short cleaning. It is mandatory for access to the interior of the ship. Nothing to be alarmed about.”
“will you leave the armor once inside? I would see the face of the person I am dealing with.”
“not right away. First, I will take you to the dining area, I have some things to deal with before I can sit and eat. When I come back it will be without the armor, then we can talk face to face.”
Her expression softened knowing that there would at least be a meeting of actual people. As her sister returned, she introduced her siblings to Magnus. “this is my sister Te’tval and my brother Dey’tval. Te’tval is one of the city rangers and Dey’tval is a rune blade warrior.” The two crossed their arms in front of them and bowed in a polite gesture when being introduced.
“the ‘tval at the end of your names, it is a family designator?”
“not quite; it is a tribe indicator. Some of the peoples use family names but not the wild born. The tribe is part of who we are. It is only fitting that it is part of our names.”
They had reached the airlock. Magnus got a chuckle out of how all three of them stared at the light changing as they neared, and the door opening on its own. He guided them in and shut the door. “alright, remember what a said about a cleaning. Here it comes.”
The ships AI, Enigma’s voice came over the intercom. “please standby for decontamination. Level one decontamination in progress.” As he spoke a UV light swept over them followed by a fine mist of water before a quick gust of wind dried them off. When the wind faded the far door opened into the cleanest hallway any of the siblings had ever seen.
The floor was grey polished to a glass like surface; like a mirror you could even see your reflection. The walls held an equal shine, but they were pure white. Multiple lines of various colours ran across the walls, little black arrows in the middle of them guiding viewers to different parts of the ship.
“this way you three. We’re headed for the rail station; it’ll take us to the elevator for the command deck.” Magnus lead them through the hallways of the ship. They were currently in one of the workshop sectors; meant for use when the scaffolding was deployed each room had a link to the various clamps, cutters, welders, control arms, and related tools. Most could also connect to the foundries and processers in the manufacturing bays.
He called a rail car to the station nearest them. Transit would have it there just after they arrived. One of the perks of having the ship to himself was having no need for a complex rail schedule. Wait times were rarely an issue.
Getting the siblings in the train car was. Harder. Then Magnus anticipated. All three of them backed away as the car pulled in. sure it could be loud but really it should not have been that big of an issue. Te’tval was the first to enter, thankfully needing no encouragement. The other two needed some prodding.
“well, in you go. Its just like a wagon. You do have wagons, right?”
Mez’tval took the lead again, her brother staring silently with his hand on his sword. “That is no wagon. Do you truly expect us to climb into that beast? I have seen what your constructs are capable of, I will not trap myself inside one!” She wasn’t quite shaking, but it was close.
“look, this one can’t hurt you. Its meant for moving people and large amounts of material quickly through the ship. Speaking of, you followed me in here. Why not the train?”
Te’tval called from behind him. “sister. I would much enjoy a hot meal and a bath. If you do not get on this construct, I will figure out how to use it myself and happily leave you to wander the halls! Was this not supposed to be your destiny? Act like it. I for one will not let myself be frightened by the path laid in front of us.”
Mez’tval seemed to both shrink into herself and become taller; having been chastised for her foolishness and reminded of her entire reason of being anywhere near the ship. Nodding she stepped into the train; Dey’tval chuckled as he followed her in. his concern seeming to have been solely about his sister’s reservations. He seemed to be protective of her, while Te’tval had no patience for her shit. An interesting dynamic to watch.
As the train accelerated the three took seats along the walls. Magus stayed standing as none of these chairs would hold the weight of his armor. The three seemed too tired to stay tensed, the chairs apparently some of the most comfortable they had ever made use of.
Dey’tval broke his silence. His cheer undiminished by his tiredness. “every part of this vessel is the most well-crafted metal I have ever seen. How do you accomplish it? I work metal myself and would be honored if you would teach me to create metal so fine.”
Magnus thought it over. Metallurgy was on the list of things that he was planning to teach them once the uplift started in earnest. No harm could come from showing him the forges on the ship, the exact details would take too long to explain though.
“tomorrow, after we have spoken as a group. I will take you to a part of my facilities that is still intact, I am afraid that you will be unable to replicate these results with the tools your people currently posses. I plan on giving your people some of the knowledge needed. With the creatures that flood your lands I think you could use all the help you can get.”
“Ha! You speak the truth stranger. We will take what ever advantages we can get, even if I cannot replicate every one of your metalworking techniques just the knowledge will better my own craft. I look forward to tomorrow.”
Te’tval had slumped into her chair with her head falling backwards over the seat. “all I want, is to get this forsaken slime out of my fur. And get a proper rest in.” she raised a single arm as emphasis, the fur was matted down with the same grey goop that coated the corpses surrounding his ship.
Magnus ordered a medical drone to recover several bodies and prepare them for an examination. He wanted to get all the data he could. Knowledge was power after all. “Dey’tval. Could I collect a sample of the gore off your blade? It could prove useful.”
“you can have the rag I wiped my blade with, if in exchange you provide me with a replacement of your make. I know not what use you could find from it, but only a fool enters a trade where he gains nothing. I can only hope your fabric works can compare to your metalwork.”
“he gains knowledge. These works that surround us have not a touch of magic to them, all this is the work of a people who are dedicated to knowledge. I can understand what each thing does. But how and why is beyond me; were it magic I could tell you of the spells that went into a work. Here, the world has shown that it is deeper than magic can tell us.” Mez’tval had fully recovered from her reservations, curiosity taking over.
“got it in one. All I want, is to better understand the things out there. Every sample I can get my hands on could be valuable. Something in your cloth could react with the ooze or the blood in an interesting way I would miss if I just examined the bodies. I will share everything I discover with your people. Can you tell me anything about them?”
Mez’tval sunk back and thought for a moment before speaking. “we call them the low people. they attack every year. Not normally in the numbers you saw this early in the year. Later, in the hottest period of the long watch they can reach swarms up to four times the size. The only reason they do not take the wall is their hunger; they need to feed the brood hosts every few hours while they are active. During an attack they feed much more often, they will usually break from a battle to recover their corpses for food. in the long peace we send rangers like Te to burn any nests they might build, so we can keep their population down. We know they come from the swamps to the west and the north. The mountains funnel them through this valley and to the wall. Finally, we have evidence that each swarm is guided by a single mind; though we are not certain.”
“thank you. That gives me something to work with. More than you think. You may want to wake Te’tval, we will be stopping shortly. Then a quick elevator ride and ill help you get settled in.”
The train stopped at another station indistinguishable from the last. Magnus lead the group to the main elevator. It was technically a cargo elevator, but they wouldn’t know the difference. The regular elevators were too small for his armor, and he didn’t want to have them where he was unable to respond instantly.
The command deck was significantly higher quality then the rest of the ship. The floors were black, the walls grey. Paintings and statues sat in small alcoves along the halls, and holo-displays created the illusion of windows to the outside.
Magnus lead them to the mess hall; showing them how to wash their hands in the sinks and how to order food from the dispensers. “enjoy yourselves for now, ill be back soon.” He made his way down to his armory; having made the stand ready to receive his armor.
As he walked, he reviewed the footage of the rouge Federation fort. And it really was a fortress; there was a central complex along with 5 outbuildings. The whole thing was covered by a shield generator that would likely be able to protect against anything he could bring to bear on it until he could get his ship into the air. Where the cannon could return fire.
He could launch an invasion. That would work, if Federation law wasn’t clear on procedure for military action on a planet containing previously uncontacted natives. Or for dealing with non law compliant Federation agencies.
He had just been railroaded onto a path that he would prefer not to follow. But any violation of the Federation laws he was subject to even as an extraterritorial entity would lead to investigation; an investigation would lead to STARGAZER and give the Federation the ability to prevent him from completing it. The whole project would be nationalized and then shut down. Unacceptable.
The appropriation or misuse of Federation equipment was the jurisdiction of the Federation itself. The 13th fleet in particular. Therefore, he was required to inform the Federation of this facility. To inform the Federation he either needed to get a Hypercom satellite into orbit- where it would be shot down- or he needed to make a ground-based relay-requiring permission from the natives. He also needed permission from the natives to even let the Federation conduct the invasion. So now he was a diplomat. Fuck.
Once he had disengaged from his armor, he sent commands for it to be cleaned and maintained. It would be ready for the next time he needed it. Dressing quickly, He made his way back to the mess, queuing up a high-density nutrient block served in something approximating a burger. He was starving, the heightened performance of his body demanding a massive increase in dietary needs.
He grabbed his meal and sat down with the siblings at the table nearest the serving line. They had already finished eating. No surprises there, fighting took it out of you. Hard. “so, we can save the heavy stuff for the morning. I need to get to the city and talk to a representative of your people. There is a lot we can offer each other, and I’m eager to get to work. Ask anything you want and ill do my best to answer.”
Dey’tval leaned forward. “why are you here? What happened to your vessel?”
“I got shot down. You see, I own just about everything above your sky that is under your sun. I have a project I’m working on and your world is ideal. Turns out someone got here first, and they weren’t happy to see me. They aren’t allowed to be here, so they don’t want me telling the people in charge that they are. That would be awfully bad for them. Anything else?”
“yes, what do you want? And who got here first? You have an army of Messengers, is it your people who unleashed that evil on us?” Dey’tval was sporting a little bit of an anger blush.
Magnus froze. “you’ve seen something like my drones? Where, when, I need a description. Big with six armoured legs and a flat head?” he pulled up a projection of a Harbinger Mk3, an earlier model, but one that he had seen guarding the fort.
“that is indeed one of the Messengers. You seem alarmed, is it such a problem that we know of them.”
“absolutely! I mean they have already broken half the fucking laws in the Federation why not that one. Still, it is very much a bad thing. Have they attacked your people at any point? I need to report that you have made contact previously and the nature of the contact.”
Mez’tval took over for her brother. “they have been here long enough to be part of our culture. We believed them to be the gatekeepers to the spirit world, the Messengers of the spirts wrath. They destroyed the city of the waterfalls in our grandfather’s fathers time.”
“fuck me that’s bad. Ok that’s up high on the list of priorities. Unless there is anything too pressing to wait until morning, I think we could all use a rest. Ill put your trays away, meet me by the door.
He led them to the officer’s quarters, they were always ready for habitation. He planned to have a crew soon, so he had made sure to have the amenities taken care of. A single person quarters for each, gel beds, a dresser, closet, entertainment suite, and an attached bathroom with a shower. A quick demo of how to operate the shower seemed to get an enthusiastic response, muted by exhaustion setting in.
“ill leave you to get your rest. An alarm has been set for all of you, 8 hours should be enough, breakfast an hour later. If you need anything call just ask the ship. See you in the morning, well later in the morning.”
Magnus watched the security feed as he left them for the link tank. His body would rest, the ship needed his attention. When the sun was up, he could arrange to enter the city. And talk to their leader. yes, he needed to show Dey’tval his foundry but that was something he could multitask. STARGAZER was off to a rough start; and the Th’nakmet texts were nearing their conclusion. Only time would tell if they would come out on top.
Hi all. im honestly suprised I was able to get this chapter out today. tell me what you think and thanks for the helpful advice.
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2020.06.25 03:15 Gamerboy601 LOVE AND LOST

This was the day Fawn was going to change Samantha’s life forever.

At the front entrance of the school, there was a girl who was wearing a long, blue dress with long sleeves. She had black lace boots on and she had long brown hair that was in a ponytail with a big, light blue bow in it. But her dress didn't cover up her a big, hazel eyes and her rosy cheeks. Her name was Samantha. "Samantha! You're finally here!" Fawn said as she walked up to Samantha and hugged her. Samantha blushed but giggled when Fawn squeezed her tightly and said, "It’s so nice to see you." Samantha said nothing, just looked away, but that only made Fawn start kissing her. “Not here, people can see us.” Samantha whispered into Fawn’s ear. Sill holding Samantha, Fawn asked, “Does it really matter if they know about us?” “Well… um… I don’t… um… know…?” Samantha stumbling to say anything, unsure of what was happening. “I love Fawn but I don’t know if the world is ready for this quite yet.” She thought to herself. “That’s a cute dress you have on Fawn,” Samantha said trying to change the conversation. Fawn started to blush, “Oh! This still thing. It looks better on you then on me.” “Nonsense Fawn, it looks really cute on you. That dark blue denim jacket makes your blue eyes pop. I also like that waist-high belt that you added. It makes it pop with your long, wavy, brown hair.” Before she could respond, Fawn felt a sharp, deep breath on her neck. She turned her head and saw Danielle leaning close, her head cocked to the side, arms folded across her chest. Fawn blinked, feeling her eyebrows furrow. It was Danielle again. The long, black-haired girl had somehow managed to stick around this whole time and seemed eager to stick around for the duration. Fawn felt hot tears spill over her face. She was completely mortified. “Oh god! Did Danielle heir that I and Samantha are a couple? This is not good.” Fawn thought as she was trying to keep her composure. “Hay, what do you want Danielle?” Samantha said as the tension of the room was thickened. “I’m just here to wish you, Samantha, a happy birthday.” Danielle said as she had an evil smirk on her face. Frozen in place, Fawn could not move while she was panicking on the inside while also on the outside trying to keep her composure. Fawn saw the smile on Danielle's face as she said, “It's a really big year for you Samantha. It’s your big 16th.” Fawn's panic only grew as she finally realized that Danielle did not know her birthday. “Isn't it great, your best friend is turning 16 today?” “Yeah I know you dumb bitch, but how do you know that to days her birthday?” Fawn thought, looking vary disgusted at Danielle. As Fawn snapped back-to-reality, she started to speak, “Listen, don't even try to play dumb. You don't even know Samantha's birthday. So what are you REALLY doing here?” In a single short burst of desperation, Fawn yelled, “Just leave us alone!” “Wow, Kittie has claws now. Meow… I’m shaking in my boots.” Danielle sarcastically said back at Fawn. Samantha quickly interjected, “If you're going to treat my friend like that, then just leave Danielle!” “I don’t need this. I have better things to do anyway.” Danielle remarked as she walked away. Fawn’s face started to turn red with sadness as she tried to force back her tears. “Oh… pore baby, come here. You didn't deserve that.” Fawn fell into Samantha’s arms and bared her head into Samantha's chest. “Fawn, I'm so sorry. Danielle can be such a bitch. I'm so sorry. You deserve so much more than that.” Samantha said in a calm, loving voice. “Now let’s go to the bathroom and clean your face off, your makeup is running and no one looks good when that happens. We don’t want anyone looking at you like that.” Fawn, wiping her tears away from her eyes as she lifted her head from Samantha’s arms. Samantha then grabbed Fawn’s hand and entered the girl’s bathroom. Fawn then replied all choked up, “I’m... just so.... mad." Samantha then slowly turned around and wiped a tear away with her fingers. Fawn then wrap her arms around Samantha. With this, Fawn broke down and started sobbing. Eventually Fawn's eyes shut completely. Samantha followed her by covering Fawn's crying and wiping her cheeks. A few seconds later, Fawn slowly opened her eyes. She looked around at Samantha. Samantha giggled and then patted Fawn on the back. Fawn then knelt down, pulled her body closer towards Samantha and kissed her. "Thank you so much, Samantha." Fawn then hugged her. “You know I’ll do anything for you.” Samantha replied. “Now let’s do something about your makeup. I'm sure you didn't want people staring at you?" Samantha then got a towel and a lot of tissues and started wiping off Fawn's runny makeup. As Samantha was wiping off Fawn's makeup, Samantha asked, "How are you doing?" Fawn had blushed at the question but said she was doing great. Samantha left some makeup on Fawn's face that she was unable to take off. "You're alright, Fawn?" Samantha asked her. "You look really pretty," Samantha told her. She laughed at Samantha's compliment. "Hey! I just wanna look pretty, like everyone else." “Who do you need to look pretty for? You already have me in your life. I already love how you are, no matter what you do.” Fawn started to smile as she started to blush. It was a soft smile, not a stressed smile. “There’s that Fawn smile I like to see.” Fawn continued to smile as the blush on her face turned a deep red. “You don't have to be embarrassed by me like you.” The smile intensified on Fawn as she was so distracted by the sound of love calling that she did not notice that her appearance had changed at all. She looked in the mirror and saw that she was wearing her hair in a ponytail, and that Samantha redid her makeup. At that moment, Fawn looked at herself in the mirror stunned at what Samantha did. She looked nice but Samantha took advantage of that. "Let's go, we don't want to be late for class.” Fawn nodded, then they walked out of the bathroom and went to class. There was a moment that day when class was quiet except for the sound of Fawn's heart racing as she started to think. “I’m so lucky that I found a girl like Samantha to love me for who I am. She is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I think about her sometimes and want to protect her. Sometimes I feel like I have to hide her. She feels so right in my heart, but I'm afraid she will lose me. Maybe she needs to understand the way I feel, I'm not always the best girl. She needs to understand the feelings of love and, yes, the sexuality. That's why I want to tell her all of my secrets. There are times, when I'm with Samantha and I’m very, very happy. I just love being with her. But that doesn’t mean I won't be scared if I can't feel the way I do when I’m with other women. There are times when I feel so alone. Not with Samantha. But I will be lonely without her. I know she needs to know.” At that moment Fawn hatched a plan for a great gift she could give to Samantha. For the rest of the school day, Fawn thought of ways she could give Samantha her gift. By the end of the day she came up with the best plan ever. When school was over, Fawn texted Samantha if she wanted to have a sleepover that night. When Samantha didn't reply back to Fawn's initial text, Fawn wrote, "Did you put your homework away yet?" A few seconds later Samantha answered, yes to both and Fawn got nervous again. “Everything's going according to plan. I do have the weekend with her as today is Friday” Fawn nervously thought. So Fawn quickly went home to get things set up. “I hope this goes well tonight. I need it to. I want to make this her best birthday ever.” Nervously thinking as she ran straight home. She was suddenly very worried and started thinking about how this could all go wrong if her mother said no. Just thinking about how it could all go wrong seriously made her nervous, at that moment she stopped running and put her hands in her pockets for a minute to calm herself down. She was very, very close to that moment of panic. She then stopped and took a moment to catch her breath. When she finally cleared her head and calmly started walking again, she started to think, “It’s going to be ok… Mom knows Samantha and her family… and she knows how close Samantha and I are… right..?” Fawn now very worried about what her mother was going to say, she made her way home. A few minutes later she made it to her house. She looked at her house as sweat started to begin to drip from her brow, slowly growing. She slowly went up her driveway to the front door. Now with sweat drenching her face, her hands shaking and her mouth as dry as a desert, she slowly tuned the handle and opened the door. Walking in was a nightmare for her and having no idea what her mom was going to say, made her heart burst from her chest. She took a deep breath and slowly shut the door. “Is that you dear,” Fawn’s mom yelled from the other room. “Y…yes it’s me mom.” She replied as she was putting her bag down by the door. She then started to slowly walk to the other room where her mom was. She sat down on the couch next to her. She must have watched her mom for some time before Fawn finally spoke. With all the courage she could muster up, she asked her mom, “Today at school Samantha and I were talking and thought having a sleepover was a great idea. I promised her that she could, only if it was ok with you.” For a moment or so, her mom started to think. As the tension in the room grew for Fawn, she thought very nervously that time must have stopped. It felt like forever, her mother yet to respond. Fawn's heart started to race at the suspense. She could feel the sweat forming on her forehead as her breathing quickened. She felt a faint warmth on the back of her neck as her heart was full of adrenaline. Just as the tension was starting to become unbearable, her mother spoke, “Yes, I can let Samantha sleepover at our house tonight. Only if it’s ok with her parents.” Fawn then squealed, “Eeeek… thank you mom!” Fawn quickly pulled out her phone and called Samantha. When Samantha answered the phone, both parents could hear the joy in her voice, “Sweetie, today is your birthday and to top off your birthday… you want to stay over with Fawn tonight?” Samantha looked at her parents and nodded her head. “Mom said it was ok if you slept over,” Fawn said with excitement in her voice. "Okay. We'll see you tomorrow." “I think my parents said yes.” At that point, Samantha heard a loud squeal. “I get you're excited but I got to go.” Then Samantha hung up and looked around the room for some clothes and other stuff to take with her. After some time passed and she was all done packing, she then told her Mom and Dad that she was going. "I'll see you guys tomorrow!" Then gave both of them a kiss on the cheek and started to head over.
“I wonder what Fawn has planned for us?” Samantha thought to herself as she began her walk. “‬I can't wait to see her! She is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. I think about her sometimes and want to protect her. Sometimes I feel like I have to hide my feelings about her. She feels so right in my heart, but I'm afraid she will lose me if I don’t tell her. She can see that I’m hurt. She asks me, (Is there something you want to tell me?) ‬I can’t tell her what I want to. I'm afraid she won't understand. But I want to make sure she is okay. I don’t know if she is safe or not. So I don't know what to tell her. I know I need to tell her. I know it will hurt. Is it okay? I don't know what to say. I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to hurt Fawn. I want her to be fine. ‬She can tell me anything if she needs to. I'm going to walk with her as far as I can. I don't want to lose her.” As Samantha was deep in thought, she heard a familiar voice, “Hay! You made it!” Samantha didn't realize that she was already at Fawn’s house and that it was already dusk. “Oh… hay Fawn.” Samantha started walking up Fawn’s driveway. Halfway up the driveway, Samantha saw Fawn charging towards her. Fawn hugged Samantha as Samantha hugged back. “I’m glad that our parents said that it was ok for us to have a sleepover tonight.” Fawn exclaimed with a big smile on her face. “And now that Fawn is here, we can start our sleepover adventure.” Fawn thought as she laid her head down on Samantha's shoulder. A second later, lifting her head as to look at Samantha, “Come on in, I have a lot planned for us tonight,” Fawn excitedly said. She then grabbed Samantha’s hand and took her inside. “You can put your stuff down in my room.” ”OK” Samantha replied. A moment later, Samantha came out of Fawn’s room and went into the living room. The living room was just next to the front door on the right, Fawn’s room was on the first floor at the end of the hall on the left. As Samantha left Fawn’s room, she saw Fawn’s mom coming down the stairs. “Oh sorry, I'm just here to grab something quick from the kitchen,” Fawn’s mom apologetically said as she quickly made her way to the kitchen. Fawn then came out from the kitchen bumping into her mother, “I’ll just be a sec dear. Oh… and your pizza is on its way. Tips on the table next to the door.” “Thanks mom for everything.” Fawn Replied as she met Samantha in the living room. “You know I’ll do anything to see you happy.” “Well thanks for letting my friend stay over tonight. I appreciate everything, thanks.” “No problem honey.” Fawn then left the kitchen through the other door, the door that was connected to the living room. Samantha and Fawn sat down in the middle of the living room and Fawn then began explaining what they had planned that night. Samantha looked at Fawn with her head slightly tilted to the side as Fawn was explaining what they had planned that night. “This is going to be alright, right? I can hide how I feel about her, can’t I? It’s only till morning.” She thought. It was a little awkward for Samantha who was always taken by shock and shivers every time she was with Fawn. At that moment, she felt her heart beating faster and faster. It felt like her hart was going to explode if she didn’t tell her how she felt. She had to know. But, she wasn’t sure how she was going to go about telling her. And also, as she was quite close to her, the feeling of failure when she told her was a pretty big deal. She wasn't going to feel much better if she told Fawn that. Plus, she thought Fawn didn't deserve her. She didn’t care if her hart was in so much pain that her hart felt like it just shattered. She really didn't want to look in Fawn's eyes anymore. She could still hear her heart beating, about to burst. She couldn't go through what she was going through if it made Fawn hate her. In that moment, Samantha’s right eye started to tear up. Fawn stopped talking and asked, “Um… You ok Sammy?” “Oh… Um… I just had something in my eye. That’s all.” Samantha replied as not to giveaway the real reason why her eye was really tearing up. “You sure about that?” “Oh yeah. I’m fine I’m fine.” Fawns eyes were watery again, eyes glossed over, full of tears. "What’s wrong?" Samantha asked. "What’s going on Fawn?" Fawn then remembered what happened at school with Danielle. She then told Samantha the first thing she could think of, again not to giveaway the real reason why her eyes were glossed over with tears, “I… I was just… just thinking… thinking about… about today, do you think… you know… Danielle knows?” “Knows what… that we love each other as best friends?” Samantha asked. Fawn didn't know what to say, she felt terrible for lying to Samantha. “I know we act like more than just best friends sometimes. I also know what that looks like to some people. But that’s how we act as best friends and then we can't help but fall for each other when we just see each other. Anyway, how cares about that bitch Danielle.” As the girls where talking, Fawn’s mom started to make her way back upstairs to her room. She peeked her head in and said, “Night girls.” “Night Mom” Fawn replied, leaning over waving at her. Her mother went up into her room and slightly closed her bedroom door as not to close her door so she could still hear the girls. Fawn at that point leaned back over to see Samantha. In that moment, Samantha quickly wiped her eyes and asked Fawn about what she was talking about before. “You were saying something about… makeovers?” Losing her train of thought, Fawn gave a confused look to Samantha and responded “Makeovers?” “What we’re doing tonight.” “Oh… thanks for reminding me Sammy.” “So tonight where…” As Fawn started again about the night, Samantha took a deep breath and thought to herself. “I hate when I have to lie to Fawn and hide my feelings about her. Why must I do this? Why can't I just tell her how I really feel? Can't I just tell her how I really feel? Surely, she'd understand. The thing is, I'm not lying. I know my feelings might be strange, but I do love her. I'm not sure what I'd say if she didn't reciprocate those feelings about me back. But I do know I have feelings about her. Sooner or later she's gonna know what I'm feeling, and it's going to be the hardest thing in the world for her to understand. All I do know is that I don't want to hurt Fawn.” As Samantha was lost in thought as she looked like she was paying attention to Fawn, Fawn’s mind started to wander and think as she was still telling Samantha their plan for the night, “What was that about? Is Samantha really that worried about people finding out how we treat each other? I know we treat each other as if were in love with one another, (and I really am) but she should stop worrying about what other people think, I know I have. I do want the best for my Sammy. I do want her to love me, and that's something I can't do. I've cried over my own happiness at the same time I've struggled with just not being happy enough. Maybe because it's not like I can do anything about it, but it's hard to ignore. I know I am worth it. I think so much about my Sammy and it's starting to hurt. I just don't know if she’ll reciprocate those feelings back.” “…So does that sound like a plan?” Fawn asked Samantha as both girls sapped back to reality. “Everything you have planned for us sounds so good that I just can’t decide on what to do first. What do you what to do first?” Fawn took a moment to think about it, but all she could think about was how she just had to lie to her best friend about why she was upset. “I… I um… don’t… um… um…” Fawn stumbling over her own words replied as she started to look at the floor, pushing her hand through the left side of her long hair, pushing it behind her ear, and closing her eyes tightly. Moving her hand down from her ear, closing her eyes tightly torts her mouth, and slightly over it, her words started to become less and less understandable with her voice becoming quieter with every couple of words. “Mind if we… um… played a… um…” She at that moment looked very upset with her voice starting to raze in octave. “Um… play… um… um…” Samantha at that moment immediately interrupted her as she sounded surprised, “You are upset about what happened today with Danielle.” Samantha leaned forward, wrapping Fawn in her arms, she gave her a great big hug as she put her head on Fawn’s shoulder. As Samantha was hugging her tightly, Fawn started to tear up. Not wanting to lie again, she just burrowed her body deep into Samantha. She could feel Fawn start to cry with pools of tears covering her shirt. Fawn at that moment gave Samantha the biggest hug she could give. “Fawn, I have a new plan of what where doing tonight,” Samantha said in a stern voice. “Where going to make your blues just go away. I don’t like to ever see you like this.” Fawn nodded as she was burrowing even deeper into Samantha’s body. In a loving voice, Samantha told Fawn what she had to do to get rid of her blues, “Fawn, the first thing you’ll have to is to get rid of your blues is to… first, lift your head up and let me see you.” Fawn shook her head no. “You know I can’t make things better if you don’t let me in.” Fawn started to move her body to do as she was told. “Doesn’t that just feel better?” Fawn, moving her head as to look up at Samantha, her face was bright red, and she had tears pouring down her face. Wiping tears away from Fawn’s cheek with her thumb, Samantha said in an understanding voice, “You know if anything is bothering you, you can always tell me.” Grasping the back of Samantha’s shirt, Fawn burrowed her head back into Samantha, going even deeper than before as she shut her eyes tightly. Fawn felt so safe being in her arms. It was kind of scary, but it felt so good having Samantha hold her. She couldn't explain it, but it felt different when Fawn was with her. It felt, better. Slowly, she let herself curl up into Samantha. She curled closer and closer, pressed her face against the neck and the shoulders. Samantha couldn't think of anything else to do but to keep hugging her. In that instance when Samantha looked down at Fawn, all she could see was a lost, sad, little puppy in her arms. Fawn started to slowly smile. Samantha just stared at her, unable to do anything but see her smile. At that moment it felt like the world was at peace and Fawn slowly stopped crying. For a brief second, Samantha noticed Fawn holding her hand as Fawn’s smile began to grow. Samantha was bewildered by all the love in that one moment, and watched as Fawn’s smile got bigger and bigger. Without warning, she got a chill down her back and started to feel joy of seeing Fawn smile. It was impossible to keep her face straight. She wanted to smile with her. Fawn's smile was so pure, so innocent, so her. In a moment that Samantha never thought would be real, she finally understood Fawn as she could feel Fawn’s hart beating with love. As if Samantha just got the most shocking of news, her mind started to race, “Oh my. Is this why she acts the way she dose when people see us together when we act the way we do with each other? Should I say something? I never knew she liked me like that. Was her outburst because of me? I’ll let her tell me when she is ready, I definitely don't want to rush anything.” She finally recognized what was going on this whole time. She simply sat there dumbfounded with her face blushing bright red as she knew the answer she always wanted. As Fawn start to collect herself, she started opening her eyes slowly, lifting her head as to look at Samantha. They both looked at each other. Fawn's eyes were locked on Samantha's. At first, Fawn didn't know what was going on but when she opened her eyes she noticed that Samantha's face was brighter than it had ever been. As Fawn continued to look at Samantha, she saw her almost smiling. Samantha had a face so perfect, a face so perfect that Fawn had to take a deep breath, which made her almost tear up again. Samantha put a hand on Fawn's cheek and she started to smile bigger than she ever had before. The way that Samantha was smiling was making Fawn see tears in her eyes again, like there was a part of her that was lying and she wanted to tell her. As if they both could read each other’s thoughts, a grin spread across Fawn's face. She reached up and put a hand on Samantha's head and tilted her own head slightly to the side. Fawn then burrowed her way out of Samantha and started to stand. Samantha got up too. They both looked at the wall clock that was hanging next to the entrance to the kitchen, they noticed that 5 minutes past. Before Fawn could thank Samantha for her kindness, Samantha stopped her and put a hand on Fawn's shoulder. "I’m gonna go change my shirt and I think it would be a good idea if you came with.” Fawn nodded, still not saying anything since her outburst. They both started their journey to Fawn’s room as they both went through the entrance to the main hall. On their way to her room, the doorbell rang. “That must be the pizza. I’ll be right there. I’ll put the pizza on the kitchen table and meet you in your room as soon as I can.” Fawn nodded again. Fawn made her way to her room as Samantha got the door. As she got the pizza and put it on the kitchen table, she started to make her way to Fawn’s room again. When Samantha got to Fawn’s room, she saw Fawn laying down on the left side her bed as she looked at the ceiling in her pajamas. Fawn was wearing a cute black top with short shorts. Samantha thought it would be good idea to do the same. So she went over to her bag and pulled put her pajamas. Samantha put on her favorite pajamas. There where brown with fleece all over it. It also had a hood with cute little ears on it. Once in her pajamas, she put the clothes that she was just wearing on top of her bag. She then made her way to the right side of the bed and laid next to Fawn. Lying next to Fawn on her king size bed, she reached down and grabbed Fawn’s hand. A smile grew on Fawn’s face as she began to speak while she was still looking at the ceiling. “Do you remember when we first met.” Taking a deep breath in as she continued, “It was a brisk autumn day and I just moved in down the street. I was just 8 years old and you and your family came and welcomed us to the neighborhood. My mom thought it was a great idea if I went and played with the 9 year old girl who just came over. As we started to play together, your mom and dad helped my mom unpack. At the time, I didn’t know what to do. I was just a shy little girl who saw a confident ‘older’ girl with tons of personality. I never saw anyone like you before. From that moment, I knew that you were better than me and I wanted to be like you. You had such a powerful smile and had a zest for life. There was no limit to your curiosity for the world you loved to explore. I want to know more about you. There was something that was drawing me to you and I wanting to know why. You were so curious and I couldn't help but stay at your side to learn more about you. That's why I'm here now. You've been so amazing to me since that day. From my earliest memories of you, I have always knew that you were the one. I just have so much to learn about you. Later after you left, my mom told me that you would be going to the same school as me and that you would just be a grade above me. I was excited that I was going to be able to see you again. Even though I was not in the same class as you, I knew that I could still see you before and after school, and at lunch. For all the things that have happened in my life, you had already made a big difference in it. It was truly a joy when I saw you. It was your smile that always brightened my day. Thanks for my best friend and being here for me.” Samantha turned her head left, resting her ear on the bed so she could look at Fawn. “Anytime,” Samantha in a loving voice replied. Fawn turned her head right, resting her ear on the bed so she could look at Samantha. "Don't sweat it,” Fawn whispered. "Sammy, I know that you have a lot of questions, but I think we can talk about them and have a good talk later.” Fawn quickly noticed Samantha had an evil look on her face. Samantha jumped up and stood on the bed. She then put her hood up and her arms in the air like she was holding onto a bar. “This bear needs food,” she said in a menacing, playful voice. Turning her head the other way and putting the back of her left hand on her head, Fawn closed her eyes. She then said as if she was in trouble with a smile in her face, “What shell this pore little girl do to fend off this bear attack? This pore little girl doesn’t want to be eaten. Oh, dear me.” At that moment, Samantha jumped on Fawn with her knees and hands on the bed, towering over her. Samantha had a huge smile on her face as she started to tickle Fawn as she made growling noises. Fawn started to laugh as her eyes started to water, “Sam… *laugh* I can’t… *laugh* take… *louder laugh* any more…” Samantha stopped and fell with her back hitting the bed as she started to laugh. “Ok, I’m ganna… *laugh* go get some food.” Still a little out of breath, Fawn replied, “I’m a little hungry too, so I’ll come with.” They both got up from the Fawn’s bed and started to make their way to the kitchen where the pizza was. On their way to the kitchen, Samantha put her hood down and started to speak, “Tonight I’m going to make you feel better. So anything you had planned for tonight, just got canceled. (Unless we do something that was planned.)” Samantha continued as she carefully pulled two plates down from the cabinet. “Just leave it to me to make your night even better.‬ The evening may have started out rocky, but the night’s young and there’s still a lot we can still do.” As she got the plates down, Fawn opened the pizza box and saw that it was just a plain cheese pizza. Samantha continued speaking as she walked over to the table with the plates and some napkins. When she got to the table, she put the stuff down and pulled two slices. She then put her pizza slices on her own plate and walked over to the fridge where Fawn was looking for something to drink. “What would you like to dink,” Fawn asked. “Well… I’ll take a soda please.” “Here you go Sam.” Samantha gabbed her drink, walked over to her plate and started her dissent to the living room as she put her food on the table that was in front of the TV. Once Fawn decided on what she wanted to dink she made her way to the kitchen table. She grabbed a single slice of pizza and put it on her plate. She then grabbed her plate, a napkin and her dink as she made her way to the living room. She sat down on the couch putting her drink on the table with her napkin and her plate on her lap. She quickly noticed that Samantha was not in the room anymore, but her pizza was on the table next to her drink and napkin. A few seconds later, Samantha walked in holding something. “What’s that you have their,” Fawn asked with some pizza in her mouth. “Well… this is what we’re watching tonight. I brought this from my house,” Samantha answered. Samantha went over to the DVD player and put the movie in. Once the movie was in and it started playing, Samantha grabbed her plate, turned off the lights and went over to sit down next to Fawn. A few minutes after starting the movie, Fawn noticed that Samantha was done with her plate. So she grabbed both plates, leaned forward and set them down on the table. She then looked at Samantha to signal to her that she wanted to cuddle. Samantha nodded her head as to say yes. Fawn at that moment, leaned back on the couch, grabbed the throw blanket and snuggled up next to Samantha putting her head under Samantha’s arm. She put her feet up on the couch and put the blanket over herself. Then, Fawn tucked her head under Samantha’s arm deeper and continued to snuggle up as a big slime started to grow. Both of them were in complete silence as the move played. It was comforting, soothing, and soothingly quiet as the move continued to play. The air in the room was so calm and peaceful that you could feel how both girls felt about one another. Without noticing, Fawn (around half way through the movie) slowly moved her hand down towards Samantha’s and started to hold it. Samantha felt Fawn’s hand holding hers and stared to think, “There you go Fawn. Just let go and let your feelings out. It's okay. You need to show someone who the real you really is. I do care a lot about you and I just want to see you happy.” Samantha watched her all the while letting out a sigh that slowly turned into a smile. “She's so ready to love me. I know because I am the one getting butterflies. I'm so excited for what's going to happen, but I want her to let her guard down first and let herself go. She has never been the aggressive type. I know she is being really shy, but I think it's time we shared everything.” As Samantha took a deep breath in, she started to tear up. Fawn could tell that Samantha was in pain. Without warning, Fawn couldn’t tell what was sadder, the movie or felling Samantha in pain. Fawn quickly glanced up to find Samantha’s eyes full of water. Samantha could barely see through the thick tears that were coming down her eyes. Fawn letting go of Samantha’s hand, quickly smiled and wrapped her arms around Samantha's body, pulling her into a hug. She held Samantha as she sobbed in Fawn’s arms. She could hear the pain and suffering in Samantha’s soft voice. "Fawn… this is going to hurt… but I need it. Help me get through this.” Samantha pulled Fawn up closer as she gave her a big hug. She could hear Samantha’s heart beating quickly in her ear. Samantha’s voice held great power over Fawn and the two spent the next several minutes close to each other as they continued watching the movie. They were both relieved and scared. Fawn started to tear up as well. They both started to cry and tried to wipe away there tears, but they just couldn’t seem to stop. Eventually, they were sobbing through the rest of the movie. After the movie, they cleaned up and brought their things to the kitchen. Samantha looked over at Fawn and saw tears still falling from her eyes. “Hay Fawn, Just leave the cleaning up to me and just meet me back in your room.” Barely able to see though her tears, she nodded and went to her room. After several minutes of cleaning up their mess, Samantha turned off the lights in the kitchen and living room. She then made her way to Fawn’s room to find Fawn under her covers crying on her side. It made Samantha's heart ache. She never saw Fawn this upset before. Fawn's eyes were watering profusely, and her hair was covering her face as if she'd been crying too long. Her eyes where red as if she was crying for days. Fawn never cried like this. Samantha realized how much Fawn cared and loved her but she didn’t say anything. She closed the door and made her way to Fawn’s bed. Samantha sat down where Fawn’s feet were and started rubbing her back. As she was rubbed Fawn’s back, she just looked at Fawn with a worried but caring look on her face. Samantha then stopped, knelt on the bed and moved the covers away. She then moved Fawn’s hair away and gently wiped a tear away with her finger. This only served to make Fawn cry more. Knowing now how much pain Fawn was in, Samantha started to tear up.
submitted by Gamerboy601 to story [link] [comments]

2020.06.25 02:25 DmitryXIV Why Liz And The Blue Bird is the Poetry in animation.

Italian cinematographer and theorist Pier Paolo Pasolini is an author of the «The Cinema Of Poetry» where he stated that the essence of cinema is it’s ability of a free indirect subjectivity. The idea is that cinema is capable of showing you some events through consciousness of a fictional character, allowing you as a viewer to not simply follow the narration, but to live it through someone else’s experience - and that’s the essence of Poetry in cinema and the cinematography itself. The poetic cinema is opposed to the primitive cinematography of mass culture, which tends to present a film as a simple narration, that could be easily converted into words, while poetry is something that can hardly be summed up on the sheet of paper.
The mass culture’s basis is that of a consensus. Through time, it has developed a pretty flexible system of conditions in the visual language. The anime industry is a very representative in this case. Since the main goal is to create a relatively cheap product, most titles use as little devices as possible, mostly for the reasons of economy. And this is not necessarily a bad thing. You could say it works too well, such an overexpression leaves no space for misunderstanding. You are 100% sure what the character feels and thinks when you see a blush all over his or her face and I think it would be a mistake to say, that it in any way ruins the immersive experience. Hibike! Euphonium’s first and second seasons both relies heavily on those conventions, but still are gorgeous and amazing, as well as many other similar titles.
But when it comes to a more complicated emotions and mental states, that’s obviously not enough. And at the same time that opens an opportunities to a more complicated and innovative approach. To the Poetry in cinema, or in this case – in animation.
Since there is no particular way or method to reach the poetic effect, the director and his team have to think of a new method or a new combination of methods that would allow them to open up the mind state of their characters. And I’m assured that Liz and the Bluebird is an outstanding representation of that. It uses the potential of the animation to the fullest with it’s clever composition, camera work (since the Naoko Yamada’s style relies heavily on imitation on camerawork), usage of colors, music and sound design.
I would argue, that Liz and The Blue Bird is the best we have to what I described as Poetry in animation. I’d like to pinpoint some elements in the opening scene in this movie to show how and what they add to our experience as a viewers. Of course, I said that this is not something that can be easily converted into text. But since movie production implies a very rational decisions, I hope to share what I managed to grasped from it, and if I’m lucky to show some directions to you.
In the opening scene Mizore meets Nozomi in front of the school and follows her up until the music classroom. Basically, that’s all that happens here from the narrative standpoint. But all the details are what makes this scene as beautiful as it is. The scene as I see it performs at least 3 important functions.
First, it gives us a first introduction to our main characters – Nozomi and Mizore and does it in a very specific way. I’d assume that most of people who start watching the movie already know the story behind the relationship shown in the 2ndseason of Hibike! Euphonium. And what the opening scene does is that it expands our knowledge of them, paying much closer attention to their movement and bodies in general. When Mizore is waiting for Nozomi by the steps we have a couple of shots from her perspective. The way she clinches her fists, knocking her boots and her heavy sigh give us a very tactile experience, since it appeals to our personal everyday life. Some of those shots are not so obvious, for example pay attention to how Mizore lowers her shoes, in the upper left corner you can see a part of her skirt which will give you an idea of how exactly she moved performing this action. Mizore and Nozomi are not just present before us, the way that they are shown implies an almost tactile experience, and I would argue that this is not an exaggeration. Just compare it to the TV series where this tactile element was hardly ever present. Maybe, with the exception of some concert scenes where the team obviously paid a very close attention to how musical instruments function and how our characters interact with them.
Through the movement of characters the obvious opposition is constructed, and at the same time, through it, we get a glimpse of an inner world of our characters. The fast, shurp and playful movements of Nozomi represent her outgoing nature and frivolous attitude to life. Nozomi’s movements, however, are slow and flowing. Pay attention to how she bows to look at the blue feather or how she touches the shoe locker following Nozomi who almost punches it. Also take a look at how they climb the stairs. They’re moving at the different pace. Nozomi always changes her tempo from slower to faster, sometimes skipping a step. Can you even imagine Mizore moving like that?
The second important thing that this scene does is a presentation of a place the story takes place in. Kitauji High is a well known place for us at this point. And for our characters this is the whole world, the world where they live and where their dramas, their ups and downs and their dreams are. The obvious change from the TV series is the usage of color. The pastel shades create a very strange and beautiful mood that I think is synchronized with the mindsets of our characters. Warm but not hot, melancholic but not tragic, full of hidden emotions that are not so obvious from the first glance. Just some shots of Kitauji High are enough to feel the place. The used shoes of different color, representing students of three different years. Random cabinet and a birds in the window, indicating the through metaphor. Walls, stairs and windows that look almost like a labyrinth. Some of their shots look like an abstract paintings. The world of our characters is full of life and feel, just like they are.
Third and final thing that I wanted to talk about is the camera movements, music and sound design. I think it’s ok not to divide them, since most of those divisions are purely analytical. The music starts with Nozomi first appearing before us and Mizore, making her appearance special to us and to our main character. Strangely beautiful ambient-ish music, synchronized with the movement of our characters not only help us get the mood of the picture, but also comes into play with other sounds of this world. Footsteps, birdsong, claps, rustle. Naturally, the montage synchronized with the sound create almost music-video like aesthetics.
The camera work is very complex, and if you are familiar with Yamada’s previous works you will see her trademark techniques. The camera rarely works «normally». It actively uses close-ups from various strange and unconventional angles, capturing various objects and body part of our heroines, creating a unique assemblage. This aspect is present in all Yamada’s work. Those shots are brilliant representation of non-verbal communication. We and the characters on the screen speak not only verbally, but through glances, through our arms and legs, through the way we sit and walk. How Nozomi moves her hands walking or how tensely she stands waiting for Mizore to open the music classroom, or how Mizore touches her hair looking amazedly at her friend. That says a lot about them and that something is more obvious on the level of intuition, rather than logic. The camera also masterfully crafts the sense of verticality. Whenever our characters move up, the camera shots from below upwards. And we are, just like Mizore, looking at Nozomi from below. For her she’s a close friend that she can’t get in real contact with. She’s always close, but always away at the same time. Her inability to reach her, and being behind her, looking on her from below is an important motive for the whole film.
Another aspect of Yamada’s style – filming through lenses – allows her to actively work with light. The motive of Mizore being almost blinded by Nozomi, when she looks at her holding the feather or when Nozomi stops to look at her from top of the stairs to then turn around and disappear in the spot of light. This rhymes with the motive of looking from behind and strengthen the feeling of that strange distance between our characters.
All these elements combined create a unique experience that much more tries to appeal to one’s feelings rather than simply tells the story. I think that this movie and this scene in particular are the best representation of what the Poetry in animation as I described it could be. Through the very thoughtful use of elaborated techniques Yamada and her team managed to reach this unique poetic effect to live a particular period of live through the eyes (and a body, to a certain extent) of a character, in this case through the consciousness of weirdly beautiful Mizore. At least, that was the case for me. That’s just great that in my beloved industry there are people who can make such an outstanding piece of work.
submitted by DmitryXIV to HibikeEuphonium [link] [comments]

2020.06.24 06:45 TheNatanist The time I ended a relationship and destroyed a group by doing little to nothing on accident.

Hey everyone, long time reader, first time poster. Recently with the whole corona situation i have been playing a lot of DnD (online of course) which has led me to think a lot about my past with DnD. I have been DM’ing since I was 16 and I have actually only been a player in two campaigns that went more than two sessions. The first was an amazing campaign done by a friend of mine who made basically a whole new world with literally 1000s of years of written lore. He pretty much wrote a Novel about the world we were in and it was awesome. The second however was one of the worst experiences of my dnd life, and it all started on Reddit.
So about a year ago I had been looking for some new online friends to play dnd with. None of my friends liked DM’ing and I was get burnt out on it myself and wanted to play as a player for once. So I went to reddit and managed to find a group to join. On the surface it was a bit odd as I had to apply but I was quickly informed that it was just to weed out people who were barely literate since this was all gonna be over text and people who were particularly intolerant as one of the members was gay and that caused problems in her previous group. I understood and agreed passing the first test easily, as it was just a yes or no test about not being a dickhead basically. The second test was a bit odder as my interviewer (a female) wanted me to RP a slice of life session with her to make sure I was a good enough writer i guess. I agreed still not seeing the red flags that were pretty clearly there and did it. It was weird but fairly normal minus one or two times where she tried to make it somewhat sexual which i shut down as I really wasn’t interested. Regardless I was told I passed and I was let in the group.
I was pretty excited to get in and to get to playing so I rolled my character (a human cleric) that day, even though the first session was a week away. As I waited I also got to know the group. There was the person who interviewed me who we’ll call Sam, the DM, Sam’s friend who we’ll call Kate, and Sam’s boyfriend who we’ll call Dave. They were all pretty cool but also all a bit off. Dave was super nerdy and awkward but was an alright guy, Kate was very anime and would occasionally send “Nyans” with messages, and the DM was super chill but just always seemed to be a bit off. But Dave, Kate, and the DM were all normal when compared to Sam.
What I didn’t realize at the time but now know was Sam was a total Psychopath. During the first session she DM’s me and starts flirting with me and not subtly. Now keep in mind we really haven’t spoken much and all she knows about me is that I like DnD and I’m a guy. I didn’t even tell her my real name. I brush it off and just keep playing, ignoring her DM’s and hoping that she will just move on. Things get worse though when she during the course of the campaign makes a point to belittle and attack Dave while praising me. For example during an encounter Dave rolled a Nat 1 and failed to kill an enemy that was at low health and was focusing Sam. Since i moved next I attacked and killed it, which led to Sam chastising Dave for “not protecting her” and calling me her “white Knight”. I kind of just brushed it off because it didn’t seem to really bother Dave, Kate, or the DM who actually knew Sam, so I figured it was maybe just how they joked around.
The rest of the session goes pretty normally with Sam repeatedly DM’ing me flirtatious messages about the campaign which I ignore. When the session ends we all thank the DM and break to meet up again next week. Only Sam keeps messaging me. Eventually I decide it would be best to nip this in the bud and just tell her i’m not interested. I tell her that I’m already in a relationship and that i’m not really comfortable with the flirting, but that I would love to be friends with her. She takes it pretty well and agrees that it was inappropriate but also asks me not to tell Dave. I reluctantly agree on the condition that she tells him herself.
The next couple sessions are pretty normal and although the flirting stops Sam keeps chastising Dave’s character and flirting with mine, although Dave and Kat seem to be good sport’s about it with the two even joking about having their character set ours up, so I mostly just ignore it. Besides my character is basically a celibate monk so I consider it could just be ribbing about that.
Then one session it gets particularly bad. Dave’s character is a stereotypical edgy Knight. We had just taken down a camp of cultist and Kate suggested we interrogate them but Dave, acting fully in character, says that he wants to torture them to get information, to which my lawful good monk disagrees with. Sam, despite being True Evil, decides to side with me and proceeds to unleash a torrent of insults against Dave and Dave’s character. The kind of stuff that would make a Nun blush. After she’s done Dave says that he’s done for the day and we all agree to break for now. I DM Dave about an hour later and ask him if he’s okay and I also DM Kate and the DM and ask them if this is a usual thing and what they think we should do about. All of them tell me the same thing: “It’s okay, dont worry and don’t get involved”. I reluctantly let it ago.
The next day however I wake up to a series of messages from Sam. The first couple telling me that she loves me and that she wants to be with me, then she sent a 9-10 paragraph long one sided sexually explicit RP between our characters, and them she sent me a series of nudes of someone who she claimed was her (which frankly I still don’t really believe). I tell her that I am seriously not comfortable with any of this and to stop messaging me privately. At this point i’m also considering leaving the group. But she apologizes and tells me that she was “off her meds”. I tell her i’m still not comfortable with us DMing and she says she’ll stop.
About an hour later I get another DM from her this time telling me that she told Dave about “us” and now he’s threatening to kill her and that she has nowhere else to turn. I tell her i’ll talk to Dave and that he seems like a reasonable guy but that if she is scared she should call the police or tell someone who can help, given that I wasn’t even in the same country as her.
I DM Dave and ask him what’s going on and he says he doesn’t know what I’m talking about. So i explain and he doesn’t respond for a while. Then about an hour later he tells me that he just broke up with Sam, and that this was the first he had heard about any of this. Meanwhile Sam starts messaging me talking about how “Now that Daves out of the way we can be together” and that i’m a true “Alpha” (this is the opposite of true). I tell her i’m not interested but she thinks its part of some act and tells me that she was only dating Dave to make fun of him and to use him for money. As this is going on Kate starts messaging me calling me a “home wrecker” and Dave sends me an extremely long message that I could only classify as an “Incel Manifesto”. Finally I decide to block all three of them and message the DM and tell him i’m out.
Interestingly enough when I tell him this he says that he actually doesn’t know any of these people really and that Sam was secretly paying him to DM. He thought they were all pretty weird too but the money was good and they most left him alone.
Anyway that’s my nightmare DnD Story.
TLDR; I joined an online group and was harassed by a crazy girl which led to a total group meltdown.
submitted by TheNatanist to dndhorrorstories [link] [comments]

2020.06.23 18:11 kittyknuckles94 A guide to making your partner feel wanted.

It is easy to forget the simplest things with time. Often, the person we are with becomes a part of our lives, and we treat them with the same disregard as we treat ourselves, especially in tough times (which lets be honest, as adults, is all the time.)

I wanted to make a list for the little things, that go a long way in making your partner feel desired and loved.

  1. Express your love through more than just words. Words become habit over time, and lose their worth. Kiss them like it is the last time. Do all the things you think you are too old for. Spin them around on the patio, get on your tiptoes to plant a kiss on their cheek, make them blush, bring them flowers, cook them a dinner with some wine, write them a little it. These things take up no more than five percent of your day. Allow yourself a moment to appreciate the people around you, and give them a moment to know that regardless of how life is, you will always gravitate towards them and think of them. If you get lost, just act like they do in the movies. You can cringe all you want, but I assure you it works.
  2. Compliment them. This is important. Your partner has been with you for a while, they know you. They can sense it when your compliments are not coming from within your heart. I will divide this by gender.
For Women:
-Do not compliment her right after she says you don't desire her. She will see this as fake, and at worst as an insult. Think of this for a moment. Someone has to beg to be told they are pretty and wanted? If it has come to this, there has been significant damage. She has lost her confidence, she no longer thinks she is wanted. Your instant response will not fix this. Instead, EXPRESS THIS. Listen to her, tell her she is wrong and you want her. Now WAIT. Give it a day or two. Then change the way you act towards her. When she says she thinks you don't care, it is because she has stopped feeling wanted. Her girlfriends tell her she is beautiful, too. So does her mom. What she wants from you is that same lustful desire that you had the first night you brought her home. You need to act on it. You need to make demands of the woman in your life.

-I am sorry for a lack of a better explanation, but perhaps lean into some of those age-old gender roles. Your woman wants you to take initiative. She wants you to demand she wears that lingerie you bought she wants to dress up for you, arrange a date night, insist on leaving the kids with the grandparents for the weekend because YOU just have to take her somewhere, she needs to know that she is needed by you. That she has that power over you. If your woman has stopped coming out naked to greet you, sending you dirty messages, teasing you...look twice before you judge that she is just not into it? Chances are you have brought her to a point she is no longer comfortable in herself to do that.
For Men:
-Same as above. Fake compliments are BS. People change with time. Don't tell your man you love his abs when he hasn't had any since 1999. Instead tell him you love how big and strong he looks, how his hands look, tell him you love his eyes, or how his hands feel around your waist. Men need to feel desired too. Yes they don't speak about it, but it does not mean they don't care about how they look. Tell your man you love to see him in a certain shirt, or you want to get dressed up with him and go somewhere. Show him off.
-Same as above. Appreciate him when he lifts those heavy costco boxes for you, cook him some dinner, get all dressed up for him, tease him a little when you are in the car together. Let him feel young again.

  1. Read this carefully: LOVE AND DESIRE CAN BE TWO SEPARATE THINGS. Your partner might feel that love from you, but if it detaches from desire, they are left feeling unwanted and hurt. Yes, they are a great mom or dad, yes they are good at their job, working out, with your family...but what are they to you beyond that? What is it about them that makes you feel romantic love for them? Surely watching them wipe off the baby poop dribbling down their arm at 4 a.m. is not what makes you hot and heavy. Yes it makes you love them, but at what moments do you desire them? You partner needs to know. Just telling them they are an amazing parent does not cut it. As a mom, I can tell you, sometimes all I feel like is a mom. I love my child more than anything, and I am grateful to be her mother, but I am a person too. I want to know that my boyfriend can not wait to take my clothes off, I want to know that he loves my face so much he has to find me and kiss me, I want him to send me dirty texts once in a while because he has been thinking of me, I want to know that I as a person am desired. Not because it is so endearing that I am a good mother, but because I am wanted by every fiber of someone's being.

  1. BE FILTHY. Did this escalate? Yes. But oh my goodness guys. Stop thinking you are now too educated and old to smack butt and ask for a blowjob. USE YOUR WORDS. Say those dirty thoughts that appear in your head. It is so sad to see how we begin relationships with no holds barred, and decide with time to become complete strangers who now have to hint at sex instead of just looking at someone and saying, 'I want you to f*ck me.' And on that note, can we all just realize that this happens? Because if we do, then we can also realize that if your partner does end up being dirty with you, for the love of everything holy and unholy, RESPOND APPROPRIATELY. Yeah maybe your boss vomited his Valium on your desk and you do not want to tell your wife what you will do to her body tonight, but zone out for a minute and respond. At times, the person initiating such conversations is scared themselves. They have mustered up courage to write this, to try and see if they are still wanted, and if you decide to leave it for later, you will perhaps never get that back again, and they will feel all the worse. Remember back when you used to shiver at the promises your boyfriend sent? Or you would beg your girlfriend for just one more of those pictures of she sent last night? Yeah, go back to that.

  1. Please, do NOT use your children or pets as objects you hide behind. If you are no longer interested in your partner, let them go. Don't be selfish. You think your wife is a good organizer and mom, but you would rather bang your 18 year old intern, or the GILF next door...let the poor woman go. Yeah you will have some losses, but she has been losing for years. Don't act like father or mother of the year, and obsess over your kids, simply so you do not have to face your partner or the damage to your relationship. This kind of treatment hurts everyone, including the kids. Do not use your puppy's need for a midnight walk as a way to escape sleeping next to your husband. Just don't.

  1. Take a moment and have realistic expectations. This will help you love and desire your partner more than any of the above. Do not expect your partner to be perfect, and on the flip side, do not expect them to be perfect in the way they show love to you. Learn to work with them, learn to be vulnerable, so both of you can discuss how you feel and work it out together.

  1. Take a break from social media. Do a cleanse for two weeks. Do not aimlessly roam around your news feed, do not scroll through Instagram, give your NSFW Reddit account a break, and take a break from porn. I am being serious. Just take a break. This goes both ways. For the person in need of love, and the person who needs to express. NOW, take a look at your partner and see how you feel.
You know what happens when our lives are attached to our phones? It influences our thoughts and perspectives. I'll give you examples. A woman goes on social media regularly, she sees the exaggerated life updates of her friends, looks at about ten pictures a day of filtered faces and smoothed out bodies, reads the comments of the hundreds of thirsty men under it. She sees desire, she sees expectations, she sees women spoiled with affection and admiration, she sees the lack of desire felt towards her, immediately links it to her own inadequacies and now she has assumed she is not good enough, and has withdrawn further. She is aware her man has access to the same social media, to the same porn...he has no interest, and now she is sure it is because of her flaws.
A man goes on social media, and he sees the same. The fun filled twenty year old exchange student, bartender, with a triple Phd in neuroscience, double G breasts, a tight round butt, a sports car, a 14 inch waist to top it all off. Oh wow. Look at all that. I mean this is what a woman should be right? Fun filled, taking care of herself, so smart and successful? Now that woman at home who put her career on halt for her baby, and is sitting in her sweatpants cooking lasagna seems like such a waste.

What we don't understand is, that in silence, in the absence of a loud desire, there is so much to get lost into.
And here is another harsh reality. That trainer at your gym, that woman you follow on Reddit, yeah they look better than your partner but I assure you if you lived with them for more than a few months, and built a life with them, you would treat them just as you treat your current partner. Once a long long time ago, you saw this man or woman you married in the same way. Remember that? They did not become ugly, or stupid, or boring, instead you began to take them for granted. You allowed yourself room to change, but mocked them and neglected them for taking up that room for themselves. You accepted the changes in your own face and body, but could never accept theirs. At some point you decided your love was good enough, and as long as you loved them for their kindness it would be enough.
submitted by kittyknuckles94 to DeadBedrooms [link] [comments]

2020.06.23 18:06 throwRA-1038 Looking for help on phrasing a “I won’t be friends letter” to a romantic interest

Short line: just stopped talking with a long distance romantic interest of 8 months and she wants to be friends. How do phrase my letter to her?
Longer story:
I am looking for advice. I recently stopped a long distance communication with a lady who shared mutual romantic feelings for me. (We openly talked about it) We met once, then continued talking with each other on a daily basis for about 8 months.
We had bought tickets and hotel reservations for a holiday together, but then COVID broke out and flights were canceled and government borders closed down.
The past month or so, she seemed distant and not replying with the usual heart and kiss emojis that we shared. I asked her about it and she said she is focusing her energy into work and has started getting involved with someone in her home town.
But she wants to remain friends. I replied yes, but I need time to sort myself out first. I have not talked with her since (4 days ago) and do not plan to talk to her for at least another 3 weeks. I am still trying to figure it out.
In 3 weeks I will send this letter. Thoughts??
“Dear J,
I have thought long about this, and have rewritten this letter many times. But each time the underlying message is always the same.
I cannot continue talking to you as friends.
Today, I still have romantic feelings for you, and I am not strong enough to separate friendship from romance.
Let me explain....
The loss of a romantic interest always leaves a void. But, for some reason, this hurts more.
We were not dating physically. We met only once and were separated by 8000 km. But these obstacles could have easily been mitigated. Our unique (innate and natural) situation was that we both approached life in a similar way. We were opening up to each other, writing a book together, planning a beach holiday together, I even started talking to my directors for a relocation, I wanted to see if we were physically compatible.
But then something with you changed. What , why ?
I wish I could have done something different.
Maybe I should have been more aggressive in setting a holiday sooner.
Maybe I should have been more direct with my feelings.
At times, I believe my heart has healed. But randomly I will think about you, and then all the emotions I suppressed come rushing back.
You know how your smile, your eyes, your body made me feel. You are so physically desirable. The fantasies I had about you would make anyone blush.
But it was more than just your beauty. Based on your personality, I was building real feelings for you.
You are so smart, we share the same determination, we had similar tastes in foreign films and theater, love of the outdoors and travel. I enjoy cooking good food, you enjoy eating good food. But most important was our strangeness.
But I need to move on. Us continuing to talk as friends would inhibit me from doing so.
I am looking for someone to spend the rest of my life with. Someone to love, someone to spend quiet moments with, someone to explore exotic travel locations with; someone to cook for. I was hoping this person could have been you.
Our beach vacation was the opportunity to see if we had a physical connection. You were the only one I was involved with, and I was waiting to see what could happen between us. But the virus was out of our control, and delayed everything.
Time is a funny thing. Sometimes the extra time is great, but other times it works against you and changes the Other’s desires.
I should have checked more often about your feelings. What were you looking for in this relationship? What were your worries that lead you to this decision? I wish we could have talked about it, worked it out before resorting to “friends status”, or you searching for someone else. Or maybe there was an irreconcilable difference that couldn’t be worked out. But at least then we would have still talked about it and our dissolution would have been mutual. As opposed to a text that said you were involved with someone else and you want to be friends.
But what is past is past, and wishing won’t change anything.
My 2 fondest memories from the 8 months of us talking to each other was our morning philosophy discussion while I was in the Munich airport, and hand-writing you the love notes. I really enjoyed those.
I am open to listen and answer if you have comments or questions.
You will be amazing in your career, and I hope you find someone to love and to love you back.
Bye J,
submitted by throwRA-1038 to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2020.06.22 01:38 Str8uplikesfun A night out

I went out, solo, for the first time in years. The lock down had me itching to get out.
I hadn't gone out to try and pick someone up in a long time. I always enjoyed it. I like talking to people sometimes when I'm in a mood, so it don't always have to succeed.
I'm good at reading people, their posture, reactions and micro-reactions. So, I can tell right away if I'm wasting my time.
The first place I went to was okay, there were a few people about, not crowded, everyone still a little cautious. But, otherwise a decent vibe. Most people there seemed familiar with one another, and the one woman I saw there that might interest me was with someone else.
The next place I went had fewer people. But it was a nicer place. There were a couple of pretty women there, but there was one, younger, in her early 20's. She looked like Christinia Milan, but her skin was very dark. She was beautiful, and fun. Her friend worked at the bar, she was the bartender. We started talking, she wasn't interested in me, beyond a good conversation, but that was enough for me to stay awhile. She was high, and though we didn't have much in common, we had a fun conversation. She had a great personality to boot. There was a little meaningless flirting, nothing spectacular, it was for laughs for the both of us I think and definitely for her. I didn't mind, it was still fun.
I left after the chat, onto the next place. It was a bit busier at this place, but not busy. There was a really fun vibe here, a.mixed crowd.
I felt the place out for the first drink, casually looking around, seeing who was here, a group of male friends, a fun couple flirting with the female bartender and some other people scattered around. There might have been 20 people.
I made eye contact with a tall woman at the bar as I went up to get a drink, she was slender. I smiled and said "hi", and started some small talk. There was no flirting, and the only interest there was, was just in the conversation. (In the past, I might have stayed put, thinking the conversation was going to lead somewhere. But it was obvious she wasn't interested or attracted.) I did stay for a long conversation, even though there was no interest in her part. She wasn't as fun as the younger girl I had spoke to, but she was much more interesting. .
After I ordered my third drink, I thought about going someplace else. Then I passed by another girl on my way to the bathroom. We made eye contact for a brief moment, she smiled and said hi politely. When I returned to my table I looked around for her, casually. She was younger, early twenties, tall, for girl, 5'7, brown hair, brown eyes and a gorgeous smile.
There was a connection in that brief moment. At least, there was for my part and I'm good at reading people, so it was clear she at the very least thought I was attractive.
Once I saw her, without staring constantly, I waited for the opportunity for her to see me, looking her way, a chance to make eye contact. It didn't long, I looked away, and then looked back, waiting for the opportunity to come again, it did and very quickly, I smiled and nodded, she looked away, almost as.if to blush, but she didn't react that way. Her friends were talking to each other, I played it cool for a few minutes, but in reality it was probably an entire minute at the most. I was excited, it had been too long since I had done something like this. She looked my way again and smiled, this time I raised my drink to say hi.
(This is the spot where I decide when to walk over. She's young, so it's unlikely she'll approach. And, I don't want to approach her with her friends at the table. You never know when one of them could find something wrong with you and then poison the good vibe. It's an unnecessary risk at this point. )
I waited, distracting myself with the surroundings, going to the bathroom, to create an opportunity. I was patient, like you need to be. Anticipation can sometimes be your friend.
After a short while, her friends left to go get drinks, or maybe the bathroom or both, all I knew was that they left and she stayed. She had given me a window. I didn't waste time, but I made my approach smoothly, walking a slow pace. She smiled and reacted the way I wanted her to. Her head dropped for a moment and she looked right back up at me. "Hi" she said before I could. She was excited and confident. I said "Hi" back and introduced myself. The conversation flowed easily, naturally and quickly. In truth it was much about nothing a few sentences in, I told her how I really liked her smile and energy. Apart from that, I didn't come on with too many compliments, not yet.
This conversation went fast, I was unsure about her friends and it was clear she didn't want them seeing us talking either. But, from the way we were vibing, I knew that was a good thing. Her eyes were locked on mine and she wore a smile through our talk. She was there with her friends, they had stopped by after dinner, just to see if anyone was out. But, they were leaving after this, "Maybe when they leave, you can come by my table. I'll buy you a drink."
I walked over and maybe 15 minutes later, they left and she came to my table. We talked, and flirted. I was telling her how I had tried dating apps and sites and it just wasn't for me. And that I couldn't give anyone the instant relationship they were looking for straight away. Her story was different, but she had a problem with guys being so possessive. She's working and going to school, (when there isn't a plague), so she like me, but for different reasons, doesn't have the energy for a serious and demanding relationship. That was our connection.
We both started complimenting one another, nonphysical at first. " I you.", "You're fun", then we started to stare, and the compliments shifted to eyes and smile. Nothing sexual, with most, I like to be subtle. Subtle is sexier, fun and let's the imagination do all of the hard work.
She had to.leave, we exchanged numbers and talked vaguely about getting together. I walked her out to her car. I could tell she wanted to kiss, but didn't want to, "Maybe this is forward. But I really want to kiss you right now. " She wasn't sure with the Coronoa virus, so she suggested we hug and then kiss on the cheek. I smiled and we hugged, the kisses on the cheek were slow, lingering, soft at first, but firmed just a bit at the end. It was the most sensual cheek kissing I had ever experienced. "I can tell you're a good kisser", she said.
We texted each other when we got home. Just that we arrived and I told her how much I enjoyed meeting her. We didn't text too much, just a few back and forth over the rest of the night and made plans to see each other this week.
Not every night is like this. And, I don't plan on going out again for awhile. Not as long as me new friend are having fun.
I'm not everyone's type and in the end, it's more about my confidence and ability at reading people that makes me good at meeting others and connecting with them.
If you want to get good at seduction, learn to talk to people, all.types, all ages. Even outside of trying to seduce someone. With just regular people. There's an art to conversation, when to listen, when to talk and what to talk about, reading someone's mood. Sometimes people like hearing a good and fun story, even if it's just silly. Learn by doing. Build this skill, and everything else will more easily fall I to place.
I hope you enjoyed my story and find some use out of it.
submitted by Str8uplikesfun to seduction [link] [comments]

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