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Gossip Girl



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Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:16 pm
HazelGrace16 says...



Claire Devney

Well, I fucked up.

Again.

As I watch Emma rush to the doors, I can't seem to move my feet. Inside my head I'm the hero friend running after her to apologize for everything, and to tell her all my secrets.

But I don't. I can't. Why can't I?

I was never meant to have friends. Honestly I was probably never meant to be liked, like my mother. I could say that I just snapped at Emma when I said those things about Sawyer. But in truth, I kind of meant it. They've known each other about a week. They've slept together once or twice. That doesn't mean love. That doesn't mean she's special. Not to Sawyer.

Part of me knows that Emma could be Sawyers savior, but I still couldn't stop myself from doing the one thing I do best.

I throw people's drama in their face so they ignore mine.

Dammit!

I kick the row of lockers tears filling my eyes. I head for the doors after Emma. When I step outside into the warm air I see her crying collapsed in Declan's arms. After a moment Declan's eyes find mine, and he holds my stare for a long time. My stomach flips, and I feel like I might throw up.

Why do I care so much about what that damn book nerd thinks?

A tear falls from my eye, and I mouth I'm sorry before running back inside. Ive never been able to keep friends for long, but I can't stop the hurt that I feel every time I realize it's my fault.

I quickly walk down the hall towards Nick's office where I know he is on his lunch break right now. I walk in shutting and locking the door behind me. He rises to his feet startled, and I rush to him where he embraces me.

"Hey is everything okay?" He grabs my face.

"I'm fine. I just needed to get-" He quickly interrupts me by kissing me gently at first then fiercely. I push him off of me taking a step back. "That's... not what I meant." He steps towards me grabbing my hand.

"I was just trying to make you feel better." He wraps his other hand around my waist pulling my head to his. I push him again.

"That is not what's going to make me feel better right now!" He grips my wrist hard against the bruises from the last time he grabbed me this way.

"Be quiet." He snarls through a clenched jaw. "Do you know what would happen if someone heard you?" I look up at him his eyes dark.

"You're- You're hurting me."

"I could go to jail, and you'd be deemed a slut." His grip tightens when his voice becomes softer. "I can't let that happen. Because I love you." He whispers in my ear. I close my eyes as he kisses me again realeasing my wrist as he does so.

My mind is racing so fast with thoughts of Emma, Declan and Nick that I almost miss the soft sound of a click outside the office window. But before I can react, my mind is taken back to all the things I've done and said.

It's all my fault. It will be all my fault.

-------------------

After the lunch bell rings, I slowly leave Nick's office with our usual routine just in case someone is around to see or hear us.

"Thanks Mr. Anderson for the help. I'm sorry to keep taking up your lunches like this but hopefully this will help get my grade up."

"Of course. Always happy to help a student." I slightly smile pulling away from the doorway. As I walk down the hallway I self consciously pull my blazer past my wrist so it's hidden. I know he didn't mean to hurt me, or even realized he did it. I just need to be more careful next time.

-------------------------
After school, I ride with Dylan back to her house explaining the whole situation about Emma. As we sit on her couch, I can see her face working through the situation.

"Yeah, you kind of fucked up Claire." She says simply. I hide my face in my hands.

"I know." I moan.

"I mean you can't blame her. The hair change is a little extreme and unexpected to say the least. Its not her fault for caring about you."

"That's the problem. She cares and she shouldn't. In my experience it always seems like people care, but they actually don't."

"Are you kidding me Claire? Now you're just feeling sorry for yourself. Believe it or not people are allowed to actually care about you. You've been in Gossip Girls anti-trust circle for to long." She sighs. "Why would you say that to her? Of all things you know how hard it's been with everyone and their mother on her ass about this. Not to mention her dealing with her feelings as well."

"I just...snapped." I explain. "Plus I thought in some sick way I was helping her. But now I see that all I did was hurt her, and myself."

"Claire-"

"I wish I could take it back." I interrupt. "It's just...I've never been good at this whole friend thing, and I usually screw it up. My problem is I can't help but be brutally honest sometimes, and my filter just goes away. Everything has been a little difficult lately and I lost sight of what other people were going through. I mean I haven't even asked how you've been lately with all this big red shit Gossip Girl has thrown on you!" I explain.

"I'll be fine, but right now I'm curious to know what's wrong with you Claire? I mean you have been acting kind of weird lately." She says placing a hand on my shoulder. Just then, the door swing open, and Dylan and I turn towards to door to see a sweaty Declan get home from practice. "Hey bro." She waves. He looks at us a moment (particularly me) before nodding to Dylan and walking away to go shower.

"That was weird." Dylan says.

"He's probably pissed at me." I say.

"Him too? Are you sure everything's okay with you right now?

"It doesn't matter. Honestly it's-it's nothing. My concern is more about Emma right now."

"Then why don't you just tell her all that? Tell her everything you told me. I know she'd understand, and probably forgive you." She grabs her phone. "How about we try to get some lunch later this week. Give her some time to think before you guys talk."

"I'd doubt she'd do it if she heard I was gonna be here."

"Never know unless you try." She smiles. "By the way you're spending the night."

"Do I have a choice?" I ask.

"Of course not." She says, and I smile.

Spoiler! :
"Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine" - The Imitation Game





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Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:54 pm
Gravity says...



Image
Good morning Upper East Siders,

Good afternoon kiddies!

Normally I try to stick to just one post per day, but I have some breaking news.

[Cut to Mr. Anderson kissing a girl in his office who is very plainly dressed in a Constance uniform, but her face is not visible. Her sleeves are rolled up a little and her hair is short and brown.]

Well well well Mr. Anderson, looks like we have a cradle robber in our midst. While this photo doesn't prove sexual relations with a student, it's enough to stir some trouble, isn't it? As for the mystery girl, well, we'll see how long it takes before she's not such a mystery to us anymore.

Who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell.
You know you love me,
XOXO,
Gossip Girl

And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs,
And prayers and proclamations

-Florence + The Machine (All This and Heaven Too)





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Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:07 am
NicoleBri says...



Vada Marie Collins

Sneaking around with Augustus made me feel so sexy, he was great that's for sure. A part of me was happy i didnt have to worry about a relationship, straight friends with benefits made being single fun. But, even though we aren't together i couldn't help but get jealous over petty things he does to other girls.

Immature much.

Ever since this started happening with him i kinda forgot about my online friend. I checked my emails and there were multiple messages from him.

My computer pinged just as i opened the very last one he sent, which was today.

Where are you love? I haven't heard from you in at least a week.


"Hey there skaterboi, I'm sorry, life has been quite hectic the passed few days."

Ping.

"Elaborate?"

"Wow, i didnt even know you were online. But just things with a guy i ķnow."

I logged off my emails, there was no way i was going to open up to him about my love life.

--------

Picking up my phone, I noticed there was another post on GG. Wow. Two in one day is something. I skimmed through it hoping no one has found out about August and I. Thank god it was just about a teacher and student secret relation. I sighed.

"Hi August." I sent the text.

"Hey, what's up?"

"You wanna...maybe... go out to dinner? Friends kinda dinner."

We might be fwb but i wanted to get to know him more on a personal level.


@Nike i know it was short, just wanted to get a post up.
Nicolebri

Nicole Bri

Nic Bri

Bri Nicole





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Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:32 pm
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Henry Campbell


Henry sighed as the day just seem to get worse for him. Going back to his locker to switch out books, he saw a note taped to his locker. Bracing for what he could guess was on the other side of it, he slowly unfolded the paper. A poster image of the Scarface film with his own face pasted on it was printed onto the paper.

Henry just crushed the paper up and threw it into the nearest trash can. "Looks like school is the same no matter where you go," he muttered. Grabbing his lunch bag out of his locker he headed to the cafeteria. Sitting down he could practically feel the eyes on him as they were discussing his new nickname. He wondered how long it would talk for the old rumors to pop up again.

Quietly eating his left overs he kept to himself. It seemed that everyone he knew were not in the cafeteria today. He just pulled out his programming book and continued reading where he left off. His right hand skimming over the page while his left focused on bringing food to his mouth.

"What's all that gibberish?" a student asked.

Henry turned his head to the student. Someone he didn't recognize. "It's programming language. The stuff that lets computers work that no one ever sees."

"Oh so you're gonna be a game designer or something?"

"No...I plan on going to college to do something better with those skills."

"Like what?" the student asked sitting down. The way they kept flicking their eyes away was a sad attempt to keep from staring.

"I want do design a system that will help detect fires before it's too late."

"Isn't that why we have smoke detectors."

"And what happens when all the smoke is trapped inside the walls of the house? By the time the detectors go off the entire house could be on fire."

"So...is that what happened to you?"

Henry remained silent. He only just met this student and they were trying to pry into how he got his scars. "I'm not interested in giving out my past so that some glory hound can post it up on a blog to be scrutinized." Henry stood up and gathered his things before leaving the cafeteria.





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Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:02 pm
fictionfanatic says...



Isadora

Luan Santana's voice blasted from the speakers, singing Enrigue Iglesias' Bailando in our native language of Portuguese. My hips swayed to the Brazilian singer's music and I closed my eyes, letting the music carry me away as I continued to dance. These days the only Portuguese I hear is in music and I missed it so dearly. Portuguese reminds me of home but when we moved to New York my father insisted we all speak in only English.

Feeling a hand take mine, my eyes snapped open. No one was supposed to be here so I was glad to see that it was my father's associate Luiz starting to match my rhythm. He pulled me closer and we danced around the livingroom.

"Con tu física y tu química, también tu anatomía
La cerveza y el tequila y tu boca con la mía
Ya no puedo más (não aguento mais)
Ya no puedo más (não aguento mais)
A nossa melodia tem calor tem fantasia
Até filosofia é desejo que vicia
Não aguento mais (ya no puedo más)
Não aguento mais (ya no puedo más)"

Luiz sang along, spinning me around and and then back towards him so that we were just a few inches apart I continued, starting to sing, "Yo quiero estar contigo, vivir contigo
Bailar contigo, tener contigo
Una noche loca (una noche loca)
Ay besar tu boca
Eu quero estar contigo, sorrir contigo
Dançar contigo, viver contigo
Uma noite louca, tão tremenda e louca"

The song came to its end but Luiz and I still stood there only inches apart, still hand-in-hand and slightly out of breathe. I admired him, taking in every detail of his face. This wasn't the first time I'd recognized how handsome he was but it was the first time he seemed to be looking at me as if he were admiring me in the same way. Afterall, he was just a few years younger than my father and had known me since the day I was born.

He had the beginning of lines around his deep brown eyes but his face was still ruggedly handsome and the few strands of silvering hair he had in both his hair and his beard suited him.

The sound of a door opening pulled us apart, Luiz heading towards the bar cart to fix himself a drink.

"Papa?" I called, excited to see him for the first time in days.

"It's me, Isadora," He called back, rounding the corner and entering the livingroom. I beamed at the sight of him but my face immediately fell when he was followed by a woman with hair so blonde it was white and a face so young she couldn't have been older than 22.

My father went straight towards Luiz and he fixed himself a drink as well. Meanwhile, the fake blonde bounced right up towards me.

"Isadora, I've heard so much about you! I'm your father's friend Christine." She said chipperly, jutting a hand towards me for a handshake. I stared back at her blankly, a feeling of nausea washing over me. Her smile was too desperate and her body language too naive.

"Isa, don't be rude." My father preached, taking a few steps towards me and grabbing me in a hug, "Luiz and I are going to my office to discuss some business, keep Christine some company for me."

He planted a kiss on my forehead before turning on his heel and heading for his office. Luiz looked at me with an apologetic smile before following him.

"Sooo," Christine drawled out, "Why don't you tell me about yourself, Isadora?"

Squinting at her, I questioned, "How old are you Christine?"

"Twenty-one" She answered shortly, still beaming.

I felt like I was going to throw up. Reaching towards the glass coffee table, I picked up the TV remote and threw it towards her.

"Keep yourself company, I have more important things to do than entertain you." I snapped, striding away from her and making my way towards me room.

"And don't touch anything!" I yelled before slamming my door shut and hurrying to my bathroom, throwing myself at the toilet as I started heaving the contents of my stomach. Tears reached my eyes as I sat myself on the floor and wiped at them with the back of my hand.

I pressed my forehead on the cool porcelain of the toilet and breathed deeply, trying to calm myself down as memories flashed through my mind.

"Isadora, do you understand what is happening?" Luiz asked, crouched down in front of me to match my height even though it was wrinkling his black suit. It was the day of my mother's funeral

I shook my head no as he wiped the tears from my eyes with his thumb. He let out a heavy sigh and looked into the crowd of people. My eyes followed his and I saw my father with each arm draped around one of my mother's friends.

Luiz reached for me and picked me up, sitting me on his hip despite the fact that at seven years old I was probably much too big.

"Everyone deals with grief differently, Isadora. But your mama would not have wanted you to be sad. Remember what she told you - can you tell me what she always said?"

"There is always a reason to smile." I said softly.

"So let's think of some reasons to smile, eh? All of your family is here with you. The sun is shining and it is such a nice day out today. Can you think of something, Isa?"

Without saying a word, I wrapped my arms around his neck and hugged him. Still, over his shoulder I could see my mother's coffin on one side and my father with the women on the other.


Spoiler! :
The song mentioned in the beginning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhEqzW5WtbE
I know there is no interaction with anyone here but I wanted to give everyone a bit of an idea about Isadora's home life/background so you could all have a better idea of why she is the way she is!
Live, Love, Laugh





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Mon May 01, 2017 3:48 pm
Gravity says...



Declan

Emma was having some sort of a breakdown, and my big brother complex kicked in.

"Hey, it's okay," I said, hugging her. I had lots of experience with crying women. Particularly Dylan. She always calmed down the fastest when she had human contact.

Emma's breathing turned to hiccups and she ran her fingers through her platinum blonde hair.

"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked.

"It's-" hic "-Sawyer. Just guy shit, you know? No offense."

"None taken," I said, "But I think maybe you need to get out of your head for a second, sometimes another perspective helps. What happened?"

"No girl falls for Sawyer, and not in the span of a week. I didn't really even think about it until Claire said something," Emma muttered, clearing a small streak of black eyeliner from the corner of her eye.

"What does Claire have to do with your relationship with Sawyer?" I asked, a little confused. Girl drama, I groaned internally.

Emma looked at me, "She's been here a long time, she knows about the people here and how they are. She knows how this place works."

"Listen, it's not that hard. Rich little brats throw around their families' money because their parents can't be bothered to be parents, some idiot behind a computer screen decides to post about it for shits and giggles. It's not rocket science."

"Well yeah but she's known Sawyer longer than I have," said Emma, biting her lip. I'd never seen Emma this uncertain. Normally Emma was the crazy one, always sure of herself and getting into new adventures.

"Longer doesn't always mean better," I said.

"What do you mean?"

"Have you ever done something you aren't proud of?" I asked.

"Duh," she replied.

"Does that mean you're a bad person or that you're going to repeat those same mistakes?"

"Um, no but-"

"And," I interrupted, "If Sawyer hasn't done anything do betray your trust, then what gives you the right to assume he's going to?"

"Oh. Well, nothing I guess."

"To me, it sounds like the person you need to speak to isn't Sawyer," I mused, "It's Claire. Claire's been pretty supportive of you two thus far. I think she lashed out at you because she has something going on in her own life, something neither of us could ever imagine."

"Maybe you're right," she said skeptically,

"I usually am when it comes to Dylan's problems," I said, doing my best to give her a reassuring smile.

"Thanks," she said, "Oh great," she groaned, looking into her reflection on the blank screen of her iPhone, "I'm a mess."

Wordlessly I handed her a tissue from my bag and she smiled, the tears almost completely gone.

"Thank you for your help,"

"'Course," I replied.

***

After school, I headed to the athletic locker rooms and changed into sweatpants, a hoodie, and running shoes. The metallic sound of my locker door slamming shut echoed through the empty room before I bent to tie my shoelaces.

"Hey Irving," I looked up and saw Bash Trapani standing a few feet away from me.

"Hey Trapani," I said, giving him a friendly nod, "There isn't any practice today, what are you doing in here?" he was dressed similarly to me, only he wasn't pale as a ghost with carrot red hair.

"Funny, I was going to ask you the same thing. I was just going to run some drills and block out a few things in the playbook."

"I was going to go for a run," I responded, "I found a really cool cross country team around the school grounds from back when St. Jude's had a team. Not sure if it's been maintained or not but I thought I'd check it out."

"Sounds cool. The season doesn't start for another four months, mind if I join you?"

"Only if you can keep up," I teased

"Yeah yeah, whatever," he said, rolling his eyes, "It's not me who's going to struggle keeping up."

I scoffed, but headed outside, holding the door open for him. The cool New York autumn hair hit my cheeks and I shivered a little bit, leading Bash on a brisk walk towards where the trail should be.

"So how long ago did they stop doing cross country?" Bash asked, looking around the perfectly manicured lawn for a break in the tree line.

"About eight years back," I said, "Figured you would know that."

"Lacrosse is the only sport for a real man. Other than football of course."

"Uh huh." We came to the break in the tree line and I headed towards it, peering through.

"Looks like it's been pretty well maintained over the years," I said, "It's a bit rough around the edges right now but not too bad."

"Great, let's warm up a bit." we started down the 5-mile path at a jog, the wind whipping in our faces.

About an hour later, we came to the end of the trail. We were both panting with sweat streaming down our faces.

"You're giving me a run for my money," Bash teased, puffing, "literally."

"Yeah well, I might be fast but you have as all beat in technique.

"That's true," said Bash, smiling. I could tell his accomplishments and national rankings for lacrosse was something he was really proud of, and I didn't blame him. For most of these guys, sports was super competitive and they had to be the best. For me, I just did it to stay in shape, have fun, and hopefully get a scholarship somewhere.

"I better get home," I said, pointing to the waiting town car, "Dylan will be wondering where I am."

We headed back towards the locker rooms and I grabbed my things. We both skipped changing back into our uniforms, mainly because the idea of putting on the wool suit was excruciating.

I left the athletic building and headed out to the town car, relieved to finally be getting home. Sure enough, my phone chimed then.

Getting kinda late, are you gonna be home soon? Also, Claire is spending the night tonight, she's dealing with some stuff with Emma. Be nice.

I started typing back to Dylan,

In front of the building right now, I always am.

I had just sent. the message when my phone went off. I opened the text and what I read shocked me. The photo of Mr. Anderson kissing some girl loaded.

What? This has gone too far, it can't be real. I thought.

"Mr. Irving?" the driver prompted. We'd been sitting in front of the building for a few minutes now.

"I'm getting out, thank you." I grabbed my bag and left the town car, going into the building and then to the elevator. My stomach churned and I just felt terrible for Mr. Anderson and whoever was in the room with him.

I got to our penthouse, "Dylan, do you know who this is?"

"You read the blast, too," she said. She and Claire were sitting in shorts and t-shirts on the sofa. Dylan's expression was surprised and concerned, but Claire was pale as a ghost.

"You okay, Claire?" I asked.

"I'm fine," she said quickly, "It's just a surprise, that's all." she ran her fingers through her hair.

"Okay," I regarded her, "I'm going to go take a shower and then get some food. Did you two already eat?"

"Yeah, Alberta left twenty minutes ago. You're late to the party as usual," Dylan teased.

"Yup," I said, not wanting to partake in the usual friendly banter. True to my word, I walked into my bedroom and immediately stripped off my sweaty running clothes, threw them in the hamper and stepped into the shower. I shut off the bathroom light before getting in, the only light coming from a window looking out onto the crowded New York Street, the muted lights dancing across my wall. I never did understand why people had windows in their bathrooms, wasn't the whole point of a bathroom to have, well, privacy?

I turned the shower on full blast, the water going as hot is at could go before stepping in. The hot water was scalding on my skin but it was both relaxing for my muscles and helpful to wake me up.

Once I finished my shower I quickly toweled off, leaving my hair a mess before slipping on a t shirt, sweatpants, and warm socks.

"Oh hey Claire," I said, stepping out of my room and walking into the kitchen.

"Hey Declan. I feel like I should know this by now, but where are the glasses?"

"Oh they're in one of the top cupboards," I regarded her petite height, "On second thought, I'll get it for you."

"Thanks," she said gratefully. She tugged at her t shirt before reaching out to take the glass from me.

"Wait," I caught her wrist in my hand, "What are these?" She quickly yanked her wrist from my hand and clutched it, even though I hadn't hurt her. Almost like somebody had grabbed her there a few times, and she was reacting defensively on instinct. Like an abuse victim flinching when somebody touches their face.

"Nothing," she said, quickly putting the glass on the counter and dropping her hand by her side.

"Claire," I said, holding my palms face up in front of me, "Let me see."

"Why? It's none of your damn business," she shot back, "Just let me get my water."

I took her wrist again, this time more gently, but she huffed. "I just scratched myself in my sleep or something, it's not a big deal." there were 10 circular bruises on her wrist, like somebody had grabbed her, either two separate times or once with both hands.

"Those don't look like scratch marks," I said, raising my eyebrows. Something was nagging at the back of my head, that feeling when you recognize something from somewhere but can't place it.

"It's not that big of a deal. I said leave it be," Claire snapped, once again snatching her wrist away from me.

"Is this why you flipped out on Emma earlier?" I asked, once again feeling that "I'm missing something" sensation in the back of my mind.

"Because I bruised my wrists in my sleep? Yes, Declan, because that makes total sense." her snark was normal, but not normally this malicious. She normally wasn't snarky to target people.

"Whatever Claire, if you don't want help then I can't help you. I'm trying. You're my sister's best friend and I want to be there for you but this," I gestured to her arm, "I don't know what's going on and I can't do anything until you tell me."

Claire bit her lip and crossed her arms defensively, "I promise I'm fine," she said, this time more subdued, but I didn't believe her. When I didn't respond, Claire left the empty glass on the counter top, turned on her heel, and made her way back to Dylan's room. I watched her newly colored brown hair flounce around her, almost as angrily as she was, and then I watched as her arm reached for the door handle.

That's when it hit me. I unlocked my phone and pulled up the Gossip Girl website, looking at the photo of Mr. Anderson with the "unnamed student". I zoomed in to where the girl's sleeve was rolled up and saw the same pattern of bruises that were present on Claire's wrist. Claire's hair was the same length and color as the girl in the photo, she had the same bruises, and it looked like the girl in the photo was the same build.

Claire was the one having an affair with Mr. Anderson, and the only people who knew were me and Gossip Girl.

And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs,
And prayers and proclamations

-Florence + The Machine (All This and Heaven Too)





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Tue May 02, 2017 12:14 am
TheForgottenKing says...



Sebastian Trapani

FBI!! We have a warrant!"

I jolted awake as I heard someone scream and the pounding of boots on the stairwell. My door burst open and a man in full body armor from head to toe pointed his assault rifle at me. I followed his directions as I got on the floor and interlaced my fingers on the back of my head.

I heard my father start swearing in Italian, as I watched him dragged from our home as the man drug me to my feet, and hustled me outside. I was pushed against a van as I watch my mother being forced out of the home as well. I felt a rage take hold of me as they manhandled her and I struggled against the cable tied around my hands.

"If you touch her again I will kill you." I told the agent who was holding her. He paled a bit and let her go. Not so much as because a teenage guy was threatening him, but by the approaching fleet of vehicles.

Soon, the entire New York City Trapani mafia was gathered, blocking of all exits as the 20 odd agents were fumbling with their weapons. Our family lawyer and consigliere approached." I suggest you let young Mr. Trapani and his dear mother go. Otherwise I will see you both in jail. Or worse." He said politely. Mr. Truman had a way of making his words drip danger.

These men knew who they were arresting. Knew why our family had eradicated most competition along the eastern seaboard. They knew what we were capable of. They had thought that by letting the mafias battle it out, than taking out the winner they would eradicate organized crime. How wrong they were.


I snapped my head up as my mother nudged my shoulder and I glanced up at the gathered Capo's and underbosses on various screens. Some where here in person, others were skyping us. I cleared my throat." I would like to personally extend a warm welcome, and thank you to all those who have joined us. Familia et ultio." Family and vengeance. The words of the Trapani crime family. The gathered men spoke the words reverently. It was our scripture, our doctorine.

"As you all know by now, your don has been arrested. And I don't know when he'll be out. Mr. Truman will catch you up on that. In the meantime, we must keep control. This family's enemies will sense this as the time to move in on our operations. They think we are weak. We will be stronger before. We will be smarter, more ruthless, more dangerous than ever before."

I glanced down the line at me as the men looked at me with something that borderline awe. I continued to speak." Now, due to the fact that I'm only 18, and haven't had fathers full training on how to lead a family, my mother will run it with my authority. You all know her, you all trust her. I can't imagine a better replacement until my father gets home."

The men all nodded in agreement as my mother approached." Sebastian darling, you have school in a couple hours. You must go get ready. I will handle it from here." As I sat up, the line of men all stood up and nodded at me respectfully as I made my way from our basement to my room and slumped into my bed, exhausted. Now, with my mother behind me. I led one of the most dangerous criminal families in the world. We put the Triads to shame. And I was terrified. But, although I carried the name, I knew my mother would be the one in control. And thank god for that.

The next day after school, after all the whispers and people looking at me as if I were a rare unicorn, I was called into the office, where the headmistress expressed her condolences, than asked if my mother was still going to attend that months gala. One thing about private schools. They didn't give a rats ass if one of their students was a the son of a Mafia kingpin as long as the money kept flowing.

When I finally got home, Mario, our butler from Sicily, alerted me to a young lady at the security gate. I buzzed her In and fixed my hair before making my way down to the front door, curious as to who was visiting the family mansion. When I opened the doors I came face to face with her again.

I cleared my throat." Ms. Irving. What a pleasant surprise. How can I help you?" I asked curiously. Secondly I wondered how she found my address. I patiently waited for her response a I met her gaze with mine. My eyes swept downwards, admiring her outfit. She was wearing plus size skinny jeans, a jade green top, a black leather jacket with matching black leather boots. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail with a few wisps of hair attempting to make their escape. She's gorgeous.My mind kinda blanked as she began to speak. As perfect a she might look, the imperfections were right in front of my face as well. I held my hand to interupt her. "Apologies, but how did you find my house?"
Last edited by TheForgottenKing on Tue May 02, 2017 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I make my own luck"- Shay Patrick Cormac





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Tue May 02, 2017 12:23 am
Nike says...



Emma Bobek

Declan was one of the nice guys that you needed in your life. He really had the big brother aura going for him. I don't know, I guess I needed him, I needed this. I needed a friend that would for once tell me that I wasn't wrong, for once, I needed to believe in myself and not think I was dumb.

I was at home, under my covers, when my phone suddenly went off, sending 'dings' through my room. Grabbing it from the bedside table, I took a look at the screen. A few messages came from Dylan, Claire, and Sawyer. My heart raced at each name, my anxiety flooding my system. Suddenly I felt naive and dumb, why would I be crying here? These people probably see me as a needy little spoiled girl.

These people were important to me.

I took a look at the messages, tempted to ignore Claires'. But something in me made me look. And it wasn't terrible.

Look, I'm sorry I blew up at you. That was insensitive of me. Can we get some lunch later this week and patch things up?

She was one of the only people that I actually liked from this new school. I couldn't trust anyone yet, but, I couldn't lose people either. Yeah, you learn over time who's good and who's not, and maybe it's right for me to not be friend with her. I tended to attach to the toxic people. But, she didn't seem toxic at all... she seemed honestly concerned.

I get it, it's okay. We can get some lunch, I'd love that.

And the sadness that was over powering me all day has slowly started to fade, making it bearable to crawl out of my bed. No matter how comfortable it was, I needed to get out. Right after that whole scene I went home and cried. It was still early and everyone was getting out of school, maybe I could go see Dylan.

I needed to see a friend right now, and she was one of my only friends, right along side Claire. I don't know if I could see Claire today, just thinking about it made my throat close up. Even though I've understood what she did, I'd need a day.

Before I looked for Dylan's name, a snapchat popped up from GG. Why did I actually add this girl? I think everyone had her. I clicked it, my nerves on edge.

I was a black background with a caption written over it.

V has a club opening tonight... I wonder what's going to happen ;)

Oh my God, of course she'd stir some bs drama that wasn't even real. I closed the snap and went to my messages, seeing Sawyer's name.

Hey

Hey, what's up? I replied.

Claire's words came to my head, along with Declan's. It was overpowering. It's like my own thoughts couldn't come through. Was I supposed to believe Claire, even if she just lashed out at me and probably meant none of it? Declan was right though. He was the voice of sanity and pretty much was all Switzerland about it.

"Emma dear! I'm home!" My mother called from downstairs.

"'Kay mom!" I yelled back.

"You wanna eat some dinner? I picked up food from Panera just how you like!"

I jumped from my bed with my phone in hand, running out of my room. My house wasn't a massive mansion like all the rest of the kids at my school. It was a small house, that was enough for my family. It was trickled with fancy shit, like Egyptian cotton bed sheets and grand chandeliers. But it still resembled a middle class home.

Reaching the kitchen, I found my mom sitting at the island, chowing down her broccoli cheddar soup. The scent filled my nose, bringing a smile to my face. There was a bowl next to her, ready for me.

My mother looked identical to me, other than the wrinkles and black hair. Everyone said we were twins, and I loved that. We were like Gilmore Girls.

"How's everything going dear?"

I sighed, "It's going... I'm having trouble with Claire."

Smiling, she said. "Did you guys talk yet?"

"Sorta."

"Maybe you should talk it out, friends can be hard sometimes, especially if they're new. Talk it out, and if she still sucks, dump her."

"Wow mom," I rolled my eyes, "She doesn't suck, we just have a rough patch."

"Okay sweetie, okay... then talk to her,"

I looked down at my phone, seeing Dylan's name on the screen. I swiped, and clicked the iMessage.

Instead of reading her texts, I hit call.

"Emma, are you alright?" She answered, her voice laced with concern.

I smiled, "Way better than how I was about an hour ago."

"That's good to hear,"

An awkward pause went through, we were close but like I said, I didn't trust anyone yet. So I wasn't too comfortable with anyone either. But I needed to break that, or else I'd be alone this year for a very long time.

As I took a deep breath, I said. "You busy?"

"Not really, I just have Claire over."

Shit.

"Oh, then have fun, I won't be bothering you..."
“There is no need to call me Sir, Professor.”





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Tue May 02, 2017 2:17 am
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Nike says...



Augustus Kolbeck

"August! Where is my laundry?" I heard Valencia yell from her room.

Rolling my eyes, I said, "Check the laundry machine Val!"

I've said this before, my parents like having house staff, but I wasn't really into it. Yes, they chose the jobs, so they expect to be doing things. But I want my siblings to know how to do normal chores, so that when they go off on their own, they aren't lost and expect house staff. My mother always made me do my own laundry because she expected great things from me and wanted me to be able to live off on my own. That was until her job took over her life.

"Why can't Helena do it?" She whined.

"Because it's not hard for you to do it either."

I was in the living room, typing up my essay for English. It was due in a week, but I wanted it done before then, so the stress doesn't eat me up the day before it's due. After I'm done I will review it, but for now, it's crunch time.

A half hour passed when I decided to check my phone. I put it on 'do not disturb' so I could write in peace. A bunch of texts and snaps were on my home screen, but one caught my eye, Vada.

Hi August.

Hey, what's up?

A moment later, three little dots came up to signal she was texting. My heart raced as I waited impatiently.

You wanna...maybe... go out to dinner? Friends kinda dinner.

Raising an eyebrow, I sighed. I wasn't one to go to dinner with girls I was having fun with. It'd create a bond, and that wasn't something I was really into. Yes, sex also creates a bond, but that one I could control more. What if she gets the idea that we could date? I couldn't let that happen.

Despite my thoughts, I said something else. It's like my fingers had a mind of their own and I started to imagine Vada laughing on a sweet date.

Stop Augustus. You don't want that.

As friends, I guess I could do that. What you have in mind?

We will see, when are you free?

Twiddling my thumbs over the keyboard, I thought of my schedule. As the guardian for my siblings for the time being, I had to watch them whenever they needed to be watched. They are old enough to take care of themselves, but I didn't need them to be throwing parties. I didn't trust them with that yet.

Friday after school works for me. Both my siblings have extra curriculars so I am free.

Sweet, see you Friday ;)

I smiled and went through my other messages. Sawyer had messaged me.

Hey August, you going to that opening night Vada is having?

I wouldn't miss it dude. You takin Emma?

I haven't really spoken to her, but I'm sure she'll be there with her crew.

Suddenly, my phone was ripped out of my hands and I looked up, fury building up inside of me. Valencia was standing before me, he eyes darting at mine.

"The fuck Val?"

"Are you reading Gossip Girl?" Her voice was filled with venom.

She resembled me, as did our brother. You could tell we were all siblings. We had the same eyes, and our faces really made us seem like twins. But Valencia decided to dye her hair burgundy to rebel a good year ago. It does look good on her though, she is very keen on fashion and would die before she did anything extreme that would break her reputation.

"No, why would I be reading it right now?"

"Okay, good..." she breathed, her posture less alert. "But did you read it today?"

"I haven't had the chance, why?"

"I think I know something about the post... it has to do with a student."

Tilting my head, she scrolled through my phone then handed it over to me. I looked at the website and saw the headline. A student was sleeping with a professor. I took a glance at the picture and you could not tell who the girl was. A lot of girls were brunettes at our school.

"What about it?" I looked over at her.

Rolling her eyes, she crossed her arms over her chest. "Who do you see most often going to see Mr. Anderson?"

"Emma...?" I joked.

"I don't think it's her, she's blonde dumb ass.."

"Why are we talking about this?"

"Because this could be anyone and if they find out who, this girl will have her life ruined."

Swallowing hard, I looked at the picture again. I couldn't tell who it was. And I have no idea why she cared so much. Maybe because she just joined the school and now Gossip Girl can attack her too. She feels scared that she could be next, I'm sure.

"Val, why do you care?"

"Because, it's sick that Gossip Girl is doing this." She huffed. "Someone needs to help her."

"She does a lot of questionable things Val. We can't control that, all we can do is be careful. This girl fucked up."

My phone started to vibrate in my lap and I looked at it, noticing it was Sawyer.

"Take the call, I'm going to Hayley's." and she strolled off, leaving me feeling guilty. I don't know why. But maybe she's right.

"Did you see the Gossip Girl post?" I asked once I answered.

"What?" He sounded out of breath. Probably at the gym.

"Who's the girl?"
“There is no need to call me Sir, Professor.”





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Tue May 02, 2017 3:14 am
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Gravity says...



Image

Good Afternoon Upper East Siders, Welcome to the Ending of Yet Another School Day

As usual, I'm going to start with the more minor news and save the best for last. After all, life just doesn't make sense when the dessert comes first. Unless you're Vada Collins, that is.

[Photo of Vada leaving Augusts' place with her hair a mess, clearly doing the walk of shame]

Next, we've got the return of "it" girl, Ainsley Clarke, infamous for her brain and her long-standing V card. Rumor has it Augustus has deflowered her, but Ainsley swears it didn't happen. So who's lying? The sly boy toy who seems to be playing with Vada behind the scenes? Or the Ivy bound genius who apprentices her father at the biggest technology company in the world? To me, that's a no brainer.

[Insert photos of Ainsley walking down the hallway with her two minions behind her]

Finally, we all know about the infamous crime ring the Trapanis have been involved in since the 1920s, but it looks like all the shady business has finally caught up to them.

[Insert photo of FBI agents taking away Mr. Trapani]

Who will run the family business now, B?

Who am I? That's one secret I'll never tell.
You know you love me,
XOXO,
Gossip Girl

Last edited by Gravity on Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs,
And prayers and proclamations

-Florence + The Machine (All This and Heaven Too)





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Thu May 04, 2017 3:52 am
Gravity says...



Dylan

I got home from school the next day with Declan. Claire ran off somewhere and Henry still seemed a little down after the whole "scarface" thing, and I couldn't blame him.

I put my hair up into a styled ponytail and changed into jeans and a somewhat nice top. I suspected Mom and Dad could be home early and I didn't want to hear Mom's comments about how under dressed I was.

Walking into the kitchen, I pulled up a recipe on my phone, choosing the one that sounded the best before I began assembling all the ingredients.

"You might want an apron, mi querida," advised Alberta, slipping it over my head and tying the strings behind my back. "Been a while since I've seen you in the kitchen," she teased.

I nodded, "Yeah, a boy at my school is having some family stuff going, and he's a friend of Dec's so I thought I might bake him some brownies."

"I can do it," she said in her thick accent.

"No Alberta," I said, "Thanks for offering but I'd rather do it myself, more thoughtful that way, you know?"

"Of course, mija," she replied, "Let me know if you need any help."

"Okay," I said, and then I thanked her. I began measuring out flour, sugar, baking powder, and various other things that managed to stain my apron. I was grateful Alberta had made me wear it, I shuddered thinking of how difficult it was to get stains out of chiffon.

Mixing the brownie batter took about half an hour and then I popped them in the oven, setting the timer. My back ached a little from hunching over the mixing bowls, so I took a seat on a stool and unlocked my phone.

Hey, Claire, you around? I sent, tapping my perfectly filed and painted fingernails on the counter impatiently.

Sorry Dyl, can't talk right now, busy, came Claire's almost immediate response. I sat back and sighed, Claire was always ducking away from parties or hangouts early, she was super protective of her phone, and very defensive over seemingly silly things like her hair. I twisted one of the tendrils escaping from my ponytail around my finger and bit my lip, what was going on with her?

"What's that smell?" Declan asked, walking in the room. "It's awesome."

"Brownies," I replied, "For your friend, Bash, since his Dad was carted away by the feds and everything."

"Bash isn't really the brownie type, couldn't you think of a more macho dessert?" Declan joked.

"Ha. Ha. At least I didn't make cupcakes," I said, and Declan nodded. "That's true," he agreed.

Declan plopped on the couch with some western novel, he was into those lately. He sat with his back against the arm of the couch, propped up by a pillow, and his knees drawn up as a little desk for his book. I liked Declan when he was reading, he was always lost in his own world and seemed so peaceful. The rest of the time, he always acted like my problems were more important than his. Sometimes I wondered, if Mom and Dad were always off doing their own thing, and Declan was busy taking care of me, who was taking care of Declan?

The oven timer beeped, snapping me out of my thoughts.

"You better hurry," Declan said, not even looking up from his novel, "You know how Alberta gets when the smoke alarm won't shut off."

I stood up and hustled over to the oven, yanking out the pan of brownies with oven mitts. The smell of fudge wafted through the air, making my mouth water. Exhaling, I hurried away from the pan and went to slip on my shoes and my leather jacket. I didn't care if the brownies hadn't cooled yet, I was having serious cravings and I wanted them out of the apartment ASAP.

***

About 30 minutes later (It would have been 10, but New York traffic, ugh) I was standing in front of Bash Trapani's door, holding the still warm brownies in my hands, and impatiently blowing wisps of fiery red hair out of my face.

The door opened, and Bash's eyebrows shot up his forehead in surprise. "Ms. Irving. What a pleasant surprise. How can I help you?" I opened my mouth to speak, but he interrupted me. "Apologies, but how did you find my house?"

He manterrupted me. Typical. I thought in irritation as his eyes swept over me. I didn't like to always assume people were judging me because I'm fat, or "curvy" as Declan liked to call me, but I also couldn't ignore the slightly malicious glint in Bash's eyes. It made me uncomfortable.

"Well, Mr. Trapani," I emphasized, giving him a little attitude, "You happen to be one of my brother's friends. I saw what happened on Gossip Girl and I wanted to say I'm really sorry. I have no idea what you must be going through right now, but I made you some brownies," I offered.

"You made brownies?" he asked.

"Um, yeah," I replied, shifting my feet and looking away from his cold gaze.

"Not all of us rely on comfort food to get us through hard times," he said, his voice sounding even more condescending.

The insult stabbed into me like a knife, and I swallowed while trying to blink tears out of my brilliantly green eyes.

"Not all of us rely on being a jackass to earn respect either," I replied, as coolly as I could muster. "Now you can judge me for being fat, and you can judge me for my eating habits, but you sure as hell don't know me. I came here to do something nice for you, and you responded by acting like a dick," I took a deep breath, "Now I may be fat, but at the end of the day I can honestly look at myself and say I was compassionate, kind, and open minded," I looked at him with my best piercing look, "Can you say that about yourself?"

He didn't respond, so I shoved the glass container of brownies in his hands, "You should take them. If you don't, I might binge on them and get even fatter," I snapped, turning on my heel.

"Dylan?" he said, my name sounding awkward on his lips.

I turned around, "Fuck off." The profanity felt strange on my lips, I didn't normally use vulgar language.

With that, I whirled back around, my ponytail whipping back behind my head, and I walked back to the town car, shoulders back, standing as tall as I could as I fumed.

You try to do something nice. I can't fucking believe him, I ride in a car for thirty fucking minutes and all he does is... and the thoughts went on and on. Last time I ever try to do something nice for that SoB.
And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs,
And prayers and proclamations

-Florence + The Machine (All This and Heaven Too)





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Fri May 05, 2017 4:52 pm
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Henry


Henry sighed as he began his walk from the school. His new nickname had spread through the school like wildfire. He had hoped that things would have been different here. But it seems that school is school no matter where you go.

But today did have an up side to it. It was his weekly time to go back to the orphanage and help out. Walking through the streets were no issue for him. Henry preferred walking most of the time. And with not having his own car, he wasn't left with much of an option.

The orphanage that he came to was quite old, but had been kept in good repair since it had started. Children played in the gated yard with shrill squeals of excitement. Some playing hide and seek, other doing jump rope or hopscotch.

"Henry!" an older woman exclaimed as he stepped through the gate. "Is it that time of the week already? Where are the days going?"

"Same place they always are. What do you need help with today?" Henry responded with a smile.

"Well we need to get the carpet in the den cleaned. Would you be able to move the furniture? These old limbs can lift things like they used to."

"No problem." Henry hurried inside and set his pack by the door. He immediately got to work moving the furniture to the walls so that he could clean the carpet.

"You're wearing a blazer from St. Jude's. Did you get in?"

"On a scholarship, yeah. Still Mom and Dad are having to work a lot to make ends meet."

"I have to say that I have never seen a better match like you and your parents. I'm really glad that you were able to find someone. Many children don't get as lucky as you did."

"Don't I know it," Henry acknowledged.

Vacuuming the rug was pretty quick. As he wrapped up the cord he noticed a little girl watching him from the doorway. He gave a smile and a wave, which she shyly returned.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"Angela," the girl responded.

"I'm Henry. I used to live here a long time ago."

"What happened?"

"I got adopted."

"Why are you back?"

"I like helping out the orphanage. Help keep things running."

"Are you gonna do the flower beds?"

"If I am asked to."

"All the weeds have taken up the flower beds. I think it would look good with some flowers in them."

Henry smiled as he began moving things back into place. "It's next on my list," Henry assured her.

With the furniture back in order he headed out and began pulling weeds out of the flowerbeds. A small hand rake to loosen the soil for planting. The sweat that was spreading on his brow would occasionally sting his eyes when he paused to look up to the sky above.





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Sun May 14, 2017 12:39 am
HazelGrace16 says...



Claire Devney

It was 2:30 am and Dylan was asleep. I sat up on the couch next to where she was fast asleep, and I stared at my phone. The comments were brutal to say the least, and tears pricked my eyes.

"I don’t know why people are making her the victim. It’s the whores fault for getting into his pants.”

“And so the investigation begins XD Start placing your bets on who you think Anderson’s play thing is!”

“Slut.”

“Seriously?! Who could honestly be this stupid?”


Even though no one knew that it was me, I still felt my heart break at every little comment. It’s because they’re right. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

When my phone vibrates, I unknowingly flinch. I feel afraid that somehow his hands could come through the screen and choke me. I haven’t heard anything from him yet, so it means he hasn’t seen the post thank god. But, even if I could delete it before he woke up it wouldn’t make a difference. We’re screwed. I clench my eyes shut and I jump from the couch running towards the bathroom. I shut the door behind me, and fall to my knees as my body convulses releasing the contents of my dinner that night. Tears flood from my eyes, and I quietly sob to myself doing my best not to wake up any of Dylan’s family.

I don’t know how much time has passed when I wake up a few hours later on the bathroom floor. I’m startled to see a blanket draped over me with a glass of water and tums sitting on the counter. My phone dings across from me, and I sit up to read the message lighting up the screen. My blood runs cold as I read the first sentence.

Nick: What the hell is this? [insert picture from Gossip Girl’s website] We need to talk. Now!

Me: On my way.

After the message sends, I stand up grabbing my things from Dylan’s room on my way out. It’s still too early for anyone to be awake, and I slip out easily. I send her a quick text for when she wakes up.

Me: Something came up with my mom. Family emergency. Sorry. I’ll make it up to you later.

-----

It doesn't take me long to get there from Dylan's, and the moment I reach the door I know that the uneasiness I feel is not just from getting sick earlier. I knock on the door, and Nick is quick to pull me inside slamming me against the wall.

“Who did it!” He snarls. I smell the liquor on his breath.

“I don't know-”

“Bull shit!” He yells slamming his fist on the wall. “Tell me now. Who did it?”

“I said I don't know.” I whisper afraid that if I speak any louder I'll shatter like glass.

“You know what this means Claire? I lose my job and my life, and you get off the hook because you’re little camera friend failed to get your fucking face in the picture!”

“But...it's okay then. That means they can't accuse you of having sex with a minor and you won't go to jail. And we...we can get through this.”

“Are you out of your mind? We can't fix this! God you’re so stupid. Did you actually think this would work out?”

“You said that you loved me.”

“I did, until you ruined everything for us.” He turns from me.

“Fuck you.” I say tears welling up in my eyes when suddenly he slaps me sending me to the floor. He then pins me down twisting my wrists.

“Do not talk to me like that! You’re nothing without me. Do you honestly think anyone else will ever love you? I am the only one who could possibly see the worth in a little whore like you. You will never be anything more than I say you'll be.”

“Get off of me!” I struggle underneath him. He lifts my head and slams me back into the floor making the room spin and the air knock out of my lungs.

“You are mine, and I will decide what you do and when you do it.” He then gets up, but I remain still. He leaves the room slamming the door behind him, and I sob violently against the wood floor.

What have I done?

I slowly sit up and fumble towards the door.

I need to get out of here.

When I get home, both of my parents are asleep and I head straight for the bathroom. I quickly look in the mirror and barely recognize myself. Across my cheek I see a scabbed scratch surrounded by black and blue bruises and my eyes are swollen from crying.

“Dammit.” I huff under my breath.

God fucking dammit...
"Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine" - The Imitation Game





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Tue May 23, 2017 3:41 am
Gravity says...



Declan

Dylan and I went to school, and I noticed Claire wasn't there. Again.

"Maybe she realized the blue actually looks great on her and she decided to stay home to dye it again?" Dylan asked Emma, but I knew neither of them believed that. They knew something was up with Claire, they just didn't know what it was. It was satisfying to know what was going on, even though Claire hadn't admitted it to me. Though I did feel sorry for both of them.

I took out my phone and decided to text Claire.

Are you okay? I sent.

After that I headed to class and took notes in my notebook, but my mind was in another place. My usually perfect looping script was less than perfect, my hand shaking as I wrote.

"Dec, what's up with you?" Dylan asked, adjusting her blazer, even she'd noticed I was more distracted than usual.

"I'm worried about Claire, too," I admitted.

"It's probably just about some guy," Dylan said, "Nothing to worry about. If Claire needed us she would come to us."

Only, Dylan didn't know what I knew. She didn't know that Claire was involved with Mr. Anderson, and that judging by the bruises on her wrist, he was being rough with her already.

I kept checking my phone throughout the day, but Claire hadn't responded.

Claire, I really need to know what's going on. I sent this message in last period.

The image of Claire lying on the bathroom floor flashed through my brain. She'd even left our apartment early. Something was seriously wrong.

"Hey Dyl, Bash wants to meet up in central park to go for a run, you didn't need the town car for anything did you?" I asked, minutes before the bell was supposed to ring.

"No that's fine," she said, "I think I might call Henry later though about the chem homework. So if you get home and I'm on the phone, just don't disturb me, okay?"

"Yeah, fine," said, staring at the clock. The arms seemed to slow down, the ticking echoing in my ears, until finally, the piercing sound of the bell sounded in my ears.

I exhaled, not realizing I'd been holding my breath, and walked with Dylan to our lockers. I grabbed my book bag and waited impatiently as she chatted with Emma, tapping my foot.

"What is going on with you today?" Dylan asked, noticing my restlessness,

"Nothing, I'm just ready to run."

"Okay, okay, I get it," said Dylan, she said goodbye to Emma and then we finally headed outside to the town car.

It took an hour and a half before I could finally get to Claire's apartment. Between the New York traffic and Dylan's incapability to move faster than a turtle, my nerves were ready to explode.

I strolled past the doorman, went up the elevator, and down the hall to Claire's apartment. I knocked on the door, and then rang the doorbell when I didn't get a response. I sighed,

"Claire, open up," I said, knocking on the doorbell. I tried texting her again, but this time I got an immediate response.

Go Away, the text read.

"Claire, if you don't open the door, I'm going to call the police and tell them about Mr. Anderson, and then I'm going to break down the door to make sure you're okay. So you can either open the door now and save yourself the trouble, or we can do this my way. It's up to you."

I paused for a moment, but she didn't text me and I didn't hear anything from behind the door.

"I'm dialing the police now," I said, taking out my phone, "9, 1, 1" I said really loudly, "I'm about to hit send,"

"For Christ sakes!" Claire exclaimed, opening the door. She was wearing a bathrobe and her short hair was down, covering her face. She turned and faced away from me not looking me in the eye, "What do you want," she asked? I saw something weird on the side of her face facing away from me, a shadow maybe?

"Claire, look at me," I demanded. She tried to shut the door but I caught it with my forearm, "Look. At. Me." I said, slowly but clearly. I shoved the door open and stepped into the apartment, shutting the door behind me. Then, gently but firmly, I tilted her chin up to the light.

I inhaled sharply as her hair fell away from her face, revealing a nasty looking scratch and purple bruises that were scattered along her face like rocks on the ocean floor. For once, she didn't have any makeup on, and I could see the freckles scattered across the bridge of her nose and her cheekbones.

"Anderson did this to you." I said, a statement, not a question. She didn't respond, and I didn't need her to. I already knew.

"He's just scared," she said softly, "He was drunk, he didn't mean it."

I closed my eyes, and pressed my lips together, and then opened them again, willing the bruises to disappear, for Claire to be the same sassy girl she usually was. The Claire I knew wouldn't defend somebody putting her in this much pain. She would expose them or make some snarky remark, simultaneously shooting the other person down while making everybody else laugh.

"I think we need to sit down," I said, "and we need to have an actual conversation about what's going on."

"I think you should leave," she said quietly, not looking me in the eye. She caught her bottom lip between her teeth and began wringing her hands together nervously, "I have things to do."

"Well the sooner you let me in, the sooner you can get started." She exhaled and then opened the door, letting me inside the apartment.

"Why do I always give in to you," she wondered out loud.

"Because I'm stubborn and you don't necessarily have a choice in the matter," I said, giving her a small smile. She led me to her bedroom and we sat down on the bed, the only light coming from the soft glow of the lamp in the corner of the room.

Claire's bedroom was cozy be upper east side standards and pinterest-y by the rest of the world standards. She had polaroids strung up on the wall in front of her bed, with pictures of Dylan, Emma, and even a few of myself. Pictures of kids in yearbook, things like that. Her bedspread was black and white with swirling designs, and there were some throw pillows scattered here and there. It looked like I had interrupted her while watching a move, because there was a black and white film on the TV. It was paused at the moment, but I figured she would finish it once I left. Claire had taken a cold, bare room and made it her own. I smiled a little bit when the thought occured to me, Claire was the kind of person to take an uncomfortable situation and tailor it to her comfort. Not in a manipulative way by any means, but in a way that refused to relent to the expectations of others.

"Lost in thought?" she asked, "You act like you've never seen walls before. Are you from Africa or something? Not sure if they have redheads there but anything is possible, I guess..." she said sarcastically. The comment struck me. There was Claire, clearly in a bad situation and still making a joke.

"Nah. So where did the bruises come from?" I pressed.

"I fell." She said shortly.

"Like I said," I told her, crossing my arms, "I have all night. The sooner you tell me what happened, the sooner you can get back to all the important things you told me you have to do," I looked pointedly at the screen, "Clearly you have pressing matters to attend to."

She brought her knees up to her chest, her back leaning against the pillows. She wrapped her arms around her shins and then ran her fingers through her newly brown hair, not looking at me. We sat there for several seconds, and I hoped she would say something.

"Did he do this to you?" I asked quietly, breaking the tense silence. She didn't respond and I knew I was right. I'd been right about everything since the day before, and I felt like it was my responsibility to stop it. Maybe if I'd stayed up with Claire after I found her on the bathroom floor, maybe if I stopped her maybe... maybe if I had just been there, this wouldn't have happened to her.

But it would have eventually, said a voice in my head, and I knew it was right. This would've happened at some point.

There was another long silence. "Yes," she whispered, so softly, I almost thought I'd misheard. Claire rested her chin on her knees. "But I loved him," she sniffled, and it was only then that I noticed she had been crying. "he just called me stupid."

I exhaled, trying to quell the anger bubbling inside me. "You aren't stupid, you're brilliant," I said, trying to reassure her. I was used to getting Dylan out of her 'I'm the fattest person on the planet' moods, I was even used to Mom's "I have nothing to wear" freak outs, even though she literally had upwards of 50 designer cocktail dresses in her closet, let alone the formal gowns, countless pairs of designer jeans, and dozens of expensive shoes. This, however, was way out of my league.

"What am I going to do?" Claire asked me, her eyes shining with tears.

"You are going to get comfortable with yourself, live your life, and stay the fuck away from Nick Anderson."

"I mean about this," Claire gestured to the bruises on her face.

"I know you don't want to tell anyone," I said, and Claire violently shook her head.

"Then you are going to cover what you can with makeup, and then you're going to come up with a better lie than 'I fell.'"

Spoiler! :
And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs,
And prayers and proclamations

-Florence + The Machine (All This and Heaven Too)





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Sat May 27, 2017 2:58 am
XxXTheSwordsmanXxX says...



Henry


Henry sighed as he listened to the voicemail on his phone.  It seemed that once again his parents were going to be working late that night.  He didn't complain about it, after all they were doing their best to ensure that he had what he needed to succeed in life.

Grabbing some cash from his stash he began the long walk from his home to the pizze place in the inner city.  The walk itself took over an hour to finish, but it was worth it.  Keeping himself quiet with his hood pulled up.  The looks of the few that managed to see his face beneath the hood.  A few people changing direction to go around him, as if his touch would turn them into burn scarred victims as well.

And there it was. Pete's Pizza.  The pink neon sign making it stand out like a beacon on the otherwise drab street.  Pushing the door open with a gentle ring of the bell he was met with a warm greeting and a menu.  As if he needed it.  "Small meat-lovers, extra sausage," he quipped before the man behind the counter had a chance to ask him.

"Ah!  The usual," he said with a grin.  He put the money in the till and began working on the pizza to go.

Henry would stand by the door  and just look over the room full of people that were enjoying their meals with their families.  A smile on his face as he watched a two year old peel the cheese and toppings from his slice and begin smearing the tomato sauce all over his face.

"I might need a bit," a familiar voice said.

Henry turned and was slightly shocked to see Claire sitting there looking over the menu.  He strode over and gave a small grin.  "Glad to see at least a few of the upper class know a good pizza," he chuckled.

"Are you kidding?  I might die if this place ever closed down. Plus its a nice little sanctuary to get away from most people at our school."

"I almost didn't recognize you without the smurf hair.  Looks good."

"Ya know, you're the first person to genuinely seem to like the change."

"Mind if I sit?"  

"Oh sure."

Claire brushed her hair back and Henry's eyes narrowed in on the cut on her cheek.  His grin was gone in a flash as he studied the mark,  The direction of it.  The puffiness along the cheek bone.  The generous application of make-up.  "So, Who gave you that?"

"What?  This?" she asked brushing the cut.  "My dog just got a little...agressive and scratched me. For a tiny dog she has got a lot of strength. Nothing to worry about."

Henry pulled the chair out beside her and sat down.  His eyes weren't as hard as they normally were.  There was something akin to concern in them now.  "You and I both know that isn't the case.  Who gave it to you?"

"Calling me a liar?  You've got some nerve accusing me of..."

"I have been studying Wing Chun since I was eight.  I can tell the difference between an accidental scratch and a purposeful blow.  From the amount of makeup that I can only assume is hiding the bruising, I would guess that it came from a slap."

The nervous shifting that Claire was doing was all that Henry needed for a confirmation.  "You should tell someone.  The police.  The principal.  Someone that can address it."

"Maybe you should mind your own damn business! I don't care what relationship you have with Dylan. You don't know me, and I don't need you looking after me."  Claire said through clenched teeth as she stood up sharply.  She turned quickly and headed toward the door pausing only when she heard Henry speak again.

"They only have as much power over you as you let them have.  Trust me.  I know from experience."

"Screw off....Scarface." Claire's face fell and she sighed  storming out.

Henry got his pizza and began the long walk back to the empty house.  "Maybe she's right," he sighed.  "Should keep my nose out of it."

It took longer to get back home.  His mind on Claire and what she had gotten herself into.  At his home he paused as he once again saw Claire...

Standing at his front door.

"What are you doing here?  And how did you find out where I live?" She holds up her phone.

"You'd be surprised how easy it is to get inromation on people from google and the school website...Now I can see how Gossip Girl does it so easily." 

"I guess so.  Can't say I have a phone like that.  But then again you know all about the dinosaur."  He said as he moved to the door.  Pushing the key into the lock he opened it and stepped through.  "You can come in if you want."

"Sure." She follows him inside taking a place at the couch. "I didn't realize you lived on this side of town. Where are your parents?" 

"Working.  I have a scholarship to go to St. Jude's, but there is still quite a bit they have to pay for out of pocket.  They aren't home most nights."

"I'm sure your future girlfriend will enjoy that..." She laughs slightly. "Sorry that was a bad joke. Im not exactly good with this kind of stuff....I guess I can start with I'm sorry. For calling you scarface that is. That was a low blow and I shouldn't have taken my anger out on you..."

"Don't worry about it.  I didn't take it personally.  I shouldn't have just jumped into your personal life like that.  I would have been defensive if someone were to have tried to talk to me the way I did to you."  He paused for a moment as he sat down on the old thrift store couch.  He opened the pizza box and pulled out a slice.  "As far as the girlfriend thing...Do you know anyone that wants to date a guy who looks like Freddy Krueger's second cousin?" She chuckles slightly.

"To be completely honest...I don't know anyone specific. But, what I do know is that she is out there. According to what Dylan has told me, you're a good guy Henry. You underestimate yourself, and other people. Everyone has got scars, and anyone who can't love you for yours isn't worth it anyways." She brushes her fingertips across the scratch.

"Sounds like advice that you should be listening to," he said gently.  He took a bite from his slice before pushing the box to her.  "You ran out before you got anything to eat.  Have some."  Looking her over her sighed.  "Look...you don't have to tell me what is going on.  You only just met me.  But you need to tell someone or address it yourself.  I've had my own bullies to deal with.  They don't stop and they don't get better." She grabs a slice.

"I've been dealing with bullies my whole life Henry. Different from yours of course, but I know how to deal with people. I'm not the most accepting person, but when I get attached to someone I attach to them with my whole self. I've allowed myself to be broken by many others in my lifetime, and I can't change that. I deserve the bullies, and I deserve this." She takes a bite of the pizza. "Best stuff in the city."

"No one, and I do mean no one, deserves to be treated by garbage," Henry said firmly.  "Doesn't matter the circumstances or the reasons.  I've had bullies ever since the orphanage.  People can only break you if you let them.  I tend to wait for people to burn me....no pun intended, so far...Dylan, you, and a few others are the only ones that haven't stabbed me in the back for their own amusement."

"It's strange how alike and how different we actually are. I honestly don't know why I am opening up to you like this. Probably because I can't go to anyone else. Not without feeling completly ashamed of myself. Ashamed for feeling like I deserve it, ashamed for allowing this to happen, and ashamed for wanting to go back."

Henry grabbed another slice as he sighed.  "I'm not one to cast blame.  I've had more trips to the principal's office in my old schools than probably everyone at St. Jude combined."  Henry huffed as he took a bite.  "hmm....looks like you have the same effect on me.  I don't normally talk this much.  Then again....I still have the hood up.  It's just off putting when people stare.  Your feelings of wanting to go back are normal.  It's comfortable.  You know where you stand.  Changing things up is....scary.  And people like....whoever this is...will play on insecurity to make you believe that you don't have anyone to turn to, when it simply isn't true." She quickly grabs the back of his hood revealing his entire face. 

Henry's hands immediately shot up grabbing her wrists and his head jerked back, as if he were defending himself, causing her to wince and let out a whimper as he squeezed on the hidden bruises.  The pizza in his hand falling to the floor.  The hood now back and his scarred skin exposed.  He quickly lets her hands go and looks down, his unharmed side facing her, hiding his own scars.

"My boyfriend...he doesn't go to St. Jude's...He has been getting more agressive lately, and he hit me after getting drunk a few nights ago." She stands walking over to the sink and wetting a paper towel. She sits on the coffee table facing Henry, and she gently wipes the makeup from the scar on her face revealing the discolored bruise and the full scratch. Next she pulls up her sleeves revealing the bruises on her wrists. "There's more on my back and thighs...I know what is happening to me is wrong, but I love him..." 

Henry's hands were clenched as Claire revealed more of her wounds.  He tried his best to keep his anger for this man in check...to not demand to know where he could find this guy and beat him within an inch of his life.  He takes a deep breath as he slowly puts his hand on her knee.  "You may love him....but if this is how he treats you...then he doesn't love you.  He loves the idea of possessing you."  He turns more toward her so this his scarred side was slightly toward her.  "You aren't going to change him and he will keep doing this as long as you let him."

"I can take care of myself Henry. I pretty much have my whole life." She removes his hand from her knee, and she stands up grabbing her things. "I have to go. If you don't mind please don't tell anyone about this. Especially Dylan. I wouldn't be able to face her...Thank you for being a good friend." She walks towards the door. "And I think you should wear your scars with pride...Maybe one day I will too. See ya." Then she leaves without another word.

Henry watched as Claire left.  "Wear them with pride," he whispered to himself.  "Nothing to be proud of with them."  Picking up the slice from the floor he put the rest of the pizza in the fridge.  Pausing by the mirror he slowly looked at it.  Seeing the wrinkled and pink flesh, he tried to see something about it that was good...

Something to be proud of...

Turning away he pulled his hood back up and fished out his phone.  Hammering through the letters in the old style of texting he messaged Dylan.

Bumped into Claire tonight.  Don't have much details.  But keep an eye on her.  She really needs a friend right now.








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