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16+ Language Mature Content

"Candy" (Based on True Events) - Part Two

by aaliyahlaurier

Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and mature content.

The next morning, one day before I met Her and my first morning "out of it all," I was hesitant to open my eyes. It felt like if I did, I would be pulled back into that never-ending nightmare. Still lying on that uncomfortable cot in the cramped women's shelter. The snores of unfamiliar women filling the room, and the air stagnant and musty.

I reluctantly opened my eyes, half-expecting it all to be a dream. But no, everything was as tangible and solid as ever. I thanked God for finally being useful. Just in case I was wrong and he did exist.

Before settling into bed the night prior, I made sure the CD player was on repeat and selected Pearl Jam's Ten to lull me to sleep. This ritual had been a part of my nightly routine for more than a year. I loved that the music would seamlessly work its way into my dreams. 

I blinked away the remnants of sleep. The room was bathed in a soft morning glow, and it cast a warm hue upon the baby blue duvet and red peeling wallpaper. It had been weeks - months, even - since I'd woken up without a bottomless pit in my chest.

A wooden media dresser stood a few feet across from the bed, its presence subtly demanding attention. The top left and right were occupied by two open shelves. That CD player quietly played Why Go from the right shelf. On the left side sat an old DVD player. In the center of the polished wooden surface was a TV covered in dust.

Along with a few carefully chosen outfits and necessary belongings, I also packed my favorite CDs. Ten was amongst the lucky five, alongside Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos, Back to Black by Amy Winehouse, Dirt by Alice in Chains, and Souvlaki by Slowdive.

I could hear my Aunt Tracy's voice coming from downstairs, her words following a familiar cadence as she loudly chatted away on the phone. Not wanting to join her just yet, I reached under my thigh and grabbed my iPhone 4S. It was the first birthday gift I had received since turning thirteen, when I got my portable CD player.

The luminous white display highlighted the time: nine-thirty-three on the dot. Later than usual. I was usually wide awake by five-thirty, thanks to school.

My focus then diverted to the text message notifications.

My mother had sent me several lengthy paragraphs.

A small inkling of apprehension suffused me, similar to that of a first-grader riding the school bus home after their teacher had called their parents. I rolled onto my back and mentally braced myself.

I was aware of my mother's lingering resentment towards me for leaving, and how she believed I had betrayed her. Part of me didn't want to even bother opening her messages. I had barely woken up, and the last thing I wanted to read were text messages of my mother reprimanding me for being a "terrible daughter" who had "abandoned her in her time of need."

To my surprise, it wasn't as terrible as I had expected.

The first thing she did was apologize for the chaos she caused in front of everyone when I told her I was leaving and she couldn't stop me. The way she treated me that night was the most mortifying moment of my life. The things that were said almost made me feel worse than the circumstances. Even if she had gone back to Ray for two decades, I still wouldn't have been as hurt as I was when she called me an "ungrateful, conniving little bitch."

Secondly, she declared - yet again - that she was "done for good" with alcohol. I had lost count of how many times I had heard this promise, and I had seen enough episodes of Intervention to understand that she couldn't quit without seeking professional assistance. It’d be a miracle if she went back to rehab considering she couldn't even fully acknowledge that she had a problem. 

In the final messages, she made sure to tell me that she "wasn't angry with me." I appreciated the gesture, but it was insincere. She was definitely mad at me, but trying to suppress it because she felt guilty for being upset with me over something that was completely justified.

I didn't tell her any of that, though. There was no point. All it would do was cause another fight. 

thx mom. i forgive u and thank u for messaging me. i love u.

For my own sake, I left it that.

I always found it hilarious and slightly insulting whenever Mom tried to talk to me like I didn’t know her at all. Just like when I was in third grade, and she was deep in her alcoholism again. Every time I asked her if she’d been drinking, even though I already knew the answer, she lied and said no. I told her I believed her. I wanted to.

Why Go wrapped up its final verse, and Jeremy began to play.

Finally, I sat up and stretched my arms above my head. The only pair of pajama pants I had packed were the ones I slept in, and Aunt Tracy kindly gave me an over-sized white t-shirt that belonged to her youngest son, Jude, who had left for college ten years before and was married with a new baby. Along with a few pairs of socks and boxers, his shirt had been sitting in the dresser waiting for someone to wear it again.

The shag carpet beneath my feet was a plush, weathered brown. Sticky, dark stains from spilled juice marred a few select places on its surface, residue of long-forgotten spills that had seeped into the fibers over time. The bedside table sat next to the bed, covered in a thick layer of dust that had settled upon it like a blanket.

I put on the socks I wore the day before and sluggishly made my way down the stairs, where Aunt Tracy was finishing up her conversation with whoever was on the other line. She was still in her pink robe with a matching bonnet on her head.

She waved from the sofa when she saw me and pointed behind her, toward the kitchen table.

Aunt Tracy had left a warm plate of scrambled eggs and toast on the smudged glass table, knowing it was my favorite breakfast. It was endearing to me that she still remembered my childhood preferences. 

After sitting down at the table, I lowered my head and closed my eyes in prayer. Just as I uttered the final "amen," I could hear Aunt Tracy taking the seat opposite me and mindfully wrapping up her conversation with a few quick sentences. 

I know I said that I didn't believe in God, and I didn't. When I was twelve, I decided I wanted to "strengthen my relationship with Christ," so I started going to church and reading scriptures. It didn't go how I wanted it to. I realized I didn't agree with seventy-five percent of what was in the Bible, and concluded it was easier to avoid religion altogether. 

I knew the argument with Aunt Tracy wasn't worth it, so I never told her about my decision to identify as an atheist. 

"Who was that?" I asked between bites of perfectly toasted bread. "Camilla?"

"No. Lena," she replied, taking a sip of her coffee. "She's the one who runs that support group I mentioned before. She wants you to go to their meeting tomorrow." 

I took a drink of orange juice. "Okay," I said nonchalantly. "What time?"

A sly smile crept onto her lips. "Eleven," she answered. "And while you're there, I'll go to the Board of Education and see what needs to be done to get you back into the school system here."

I was starting to feel slightly better about the whole school situation, particularly when it came to the loneliness factor. Even without Tori by my side, there would still be familiar faces around. Maybe it wouldn't be as awful as I thought it would. Of course, I tried my best to push away thoughts of it being my first year of high school.

"I think it should be easy to get me enrolled again. I attended school here for over seven years."

Aunt Tracy took a small nibble of her banana. "I hope you're right. I haven't done this in so long. My kids graduated over a decade ago. Now that you're in high school, they'll be all over me with their paperwork and such." She messed with the silver finger ring Camilla gifted her on Mother's Day.

"How long is that support group supposed to be?" I asked, changing the subject. "Like, how many hours?"

She paused. "Probably an hour or two. Shit, I don't know, I've never been to a support group. But I want you to stay for at least half an hour."

I wondered what the hell a support group could do with two hours of time.

"You might make some new friends there," she added. "They'll all be around your age and have similar interests. It'll be great when you start school again."

I wasn't so sure about that.

She had said the same thing when she signed Nadia and I up for Girl Scouts to get us away from my mother. We were eight and five. I was in the Juniors group, and those girls were unbearable. They all had money and perfect families. It wasn’t their fault, but I couldn’t stand it. None of them wanted anything to do with me, or talk about books or movies.

Nonetheless, I was hopeful about this support group thing. Even if they were rich, at least we still had one thing in common: unhappiness. 

"That's not always true," I reminded her, pushing my eggs around on my plate.

Aunt Tracy studied me intently, tapping her left thumb on the off-white glass of her coffee mug. 

"I can't keep making excuses for you, Donna," she finally huffed. "Can I be honest with you?"

I looked up at her. "I'd rather you were."

"I don't think that the issue is that you don't fit in. I think you just...," her hands gestured vaguely as she struggled to find the right words. "I think you just don't try. You're not very talkative or outgoing. That can make people uncomfortable. It's not that they don't want to be your friend, it's just that you intimidate them."

I couldn't tell if calling me intimidating was supposed to be a compliment or not, but there was nothing flattering about being intimidating at nine years old. 

My fork clinked as I dropped it onto the plate. "Let's pretend I am the most extroverted person on Earth. Hypothetically. Because I used to be. Do you know the kinds of things people say to an extroverted kid with autism? Things like 'you're so obnoxious' or 'shut up, nobody wants to hear you talk' or 'can you stop smiling and talking so much, you're annoying.' I just can’t win. Ever. In anything.”

As expected, she rolled her eyes indifferently at the mention of my autism. I knew she was going to do that. I wouldn't have expected anything less from someone as conservative and, frankly, close-minded as Aunt Tracy. 

"When you were with me, you got an ADHD diagnosis, and I’ve known you your whole life. That's all I know, so that's what I'm going with. Putting that aside, there are many people with ADHD who are perfectly social." She took another drink of her coffee. "I just don't think you're being reasonable about this."

My eyebrows furrowed together. "I was nine years old having people tell me to shut the eff up. When I was eleven, my teacher told Mom that she thinks I'm retarded and need an IEP. I know you remember that.” I was careful not to sound disrespectful or aggressive. "Aunt Tracy."

She finished her banana without even glancing in my direction, as if I everything I was saying wasn’t worth her attention.

I kept talking. I had too much to say, even if it didn't mean anything to her. “I don't think there's any amount of socialization that will make people less uncomfortable with me. All I've wanted since elementary school is to be liked. I've never been a mean girl, I've never been rude. Then the only girl who's ever understood me moved away. I don't think I'll ever have another friendship like that."

"I think you're smart enough to know that you don't have to let your 'disorder,'" in air quotes, "or whatever the hell you would call it, control your life." She stood from her seat. "And that's all I'm going to say about it."

Fine. That's all I wanted to hear, anyway.

Feeling defeated, I propped my chin up with my hand and continued picking at my breakfast. The taste of toasted bread crumbs persisted in my mouth as Aunt Tracy casually tossed her banana peel into the trash. 

"Put on your clothes from yesterday when you're done eating," she instructed me, now preparing to load the dishwasher. "We’re going to Walmart."


I watched my reflection in the side-view mirror of Aunt Tracy's red Honda Civic as I tightened the low afro puff in the back of my head. It was all I could do; I didn't have any hair products. 

"Oh, look," Aunt Tracy pointed out. "They're building a new CVS."

As I glanced to my right, I noticed a massive building under construction. A group of workers were busy inside the metal framework, while others were toiling away on the pavement outside.

"I can't imagine living next to that."

The mere thought of being engulfed in a sea of construction noise made my stomach churn with unease. The constant drone and hammering would undoubtedly send my sensory issues into overdrive. Another reason why I hated living in a big city. 

Aunt Tracy turned the car to the left of Walmart's entrance and parked in the lot.

"Let's hope the Walmart workers are more helpful than the CVS ones," she muttered, turning off the engine.

"What do you mean?"

She shook her head. "The one in Elizabeth is the worst. I went in there one day when they were having a sale and I needed something, and all the workers were standing around laughing and goofing off instead of doing their job.”

Imagining Aunt Tracy getting pissed off at the Walmart employees for also laughing and goofing off brought a mischievous smirk to my face.

"Well, I guess you know who not to go to."

The chilly November air bitterly nipped at my face while we walked toward the entrance. 

"You didn't bring a coat," Aunt Tracy noticed. 

"It's fine," I insisted, crossing my arms. "We'll be inside."

She didn't look too convinced, but didn't say anything else about it.

The two of us strolled into the store, the automatic doors sliding open.

The inside of Walmart was busy and crowded, shelves lined with endless rows of products and people rushing about with shopping carts. 

Aunt Tracy weaved through the congested aisles, and I trailed after her. It had been a long time since my last visit to Walmart. The previous trip had been with Ray, and he was in a sour mood, nitpicking every little thing. It felt like tagging along with a grumpy toddler.

"Okay, so let's get you some clothes. Today, we'll just do a week's worth of sweaters and jeans. Then you need hair products and underwear, and we can get you some pads, too. You track your period?"

"No," I answered, my eyes darting back and forth between the clothing racks. "I usually get my first day around the twenty-fifth, then my last on the twenty-ninth."

"Camilla and I's used to sync up," Aunt Tracy chuckled. "We were in pain together."

"Mom's were long, but irregular," I said, scanning the racks for a sweater I liked. "And it didn't start until she was thirteen."

"That's normal," Aunt Tracy remarked. "What size is your waist? Shit, I should've measured it."

I tried not to laugh. Hearing her swear was akin to finding a saint’s prayer book filled with profanity. Just fucking ironic.

"Twenty seven inches,” I told her. “I’ve measured it.”

"Okay. I'm gonna look for jeans. Go pick out four sweaters. Any style."

She strode past me and wandered toward the pants section, leaving me alone in the middle of the sweater aisle.

This was the first time anyone had bought me new clothes in a long time. The only times I ever got new clothes was during tax return season or right before the new school year. Mom had gotten me some stuff at Goodwill for Christmas a few years ago, but nothing brand-new.

The first sweater I grabbed was a soft, knitted green pullover.It felt soft and plush under the fingers, like a newborn lamb's wool. Next, I chose a black cardigan that looked like it would be great for layering. It was made of a soft, fine knit fabric, with elegant buttons running down the front. It hung loosely on the figure and fell just above the hips.

Afterwards, I picked a cream-colored woolen number with long sleeves. The color was a soft off-white, its fabric thick and cozy with a slight sheen. It had long sleeves that reached past the wrists and was adorned with intricate carved buttons in a matching color. 

My final choice was a white neutral sweater. The fabric was a blend of cotton and wool, soft to the touch and smooth against the skin. It felt lightweight and airy, yet still cozy and warm.

I walked over to join Aunt Tracy by the jeans, carrying the sweaters I had picked out. She was carefully inspecting several pairs of jeans in different styles, holding them up to the light to examine the fabric.

"What kind do you like?" She asked. "Slim? Bootcut? Stretch?"

"Any will work," I answered. "But I love bootcut jeans."

"Perfect." She placed the stack of jeans in our cart, then gestured for me to follow her.

Just as we were getting ready to leave, I caught a glimpse of someone I knew looking through the discounted items on the rack.

Holy fucking shit.

It was Michael Kennedy. Tori's father.

I couldn't contain my eagerness as I called out, "Mike?!" 

Mike, donning a heavy, brown wool coat and worn out jeans, shifted his gaze towards us.

Aunt Tracy gave me a gentle prod, reminding me to address him as Mr. Kennedy. I ignored her. He told me multiple times as a kid to call him Mike.

"It's Donna!" I called out. "Tori's best friend!"

"Donna Haley?” He began walking to us, pushing a small cart. "And Tracy? God, it's been so long."

Aunt Tracy greeted him with a polite, slightly forced smile. "It's been a while, Mr. Kennedy," she said cordially.

"How's Tori?!" I asked, practically jumping up and down. "Is she doing well?"

"Great." He adjusted the baseball cap on his caramel-toned, bald head. "She's back with me, now, actually."

My eyes widened. Did that mean she was in Elizabeth?

"Really?! How is she? Why is she back? Is she going to Union County High?!"

Aunt Tracy rested a hand on my back and said in a low voice, "One at a time, Donna."

Mike cleared his throat. "Yeah, she's… she’s at Uni on County.” The poor man spoke like he was in a tired fog. “She's really thriving there. She was terrified of starting high school, but she's loving it so far. And, we're doing much better."

The sense of relief that washed over me was indescribable. Any hesitation I had about leaving my mother behind vanished in an instant.

"I'm sure she'll be happy to hear you're back," he added. "I'm glad you're staying with Tracy."

I responded with a closed smile. "Me, too."

"Are you coming back to the county, or are you gonna stay in the city? I saw your mother making all those posts on Facebook."

Of course he had. My mother posted every single inconvenience on Facebook for the entire world to see.

Aunt Tracy answered before I could even open my mouth. "She's staying with me. It'll be nice to have her around."

He nodded. "I’m sure Tori will be happy to see you, Donna."

"We should arrange a day for the girls to hang out." Her tone was slightly impatient. "Maybe for Thanksgiving break. They're both in high school now, after all."

Mike nodded again, shifting his weight slightly. "Right. Well, I better get back to it. Nice seeing you both."

"Yeah, you too," Aunt Tracy responded. "Take care of yourself, Mike."

"It was nice to see you, too," I said softly.

He gave us one final wave before gripping onto the handlebar of his overflowing shopping cart and continuing to trudge through the crowded aisles.

"God, that's Mike?" Aunt Tracy bemoaned as we went about our way, walking towards the bra and underwear section. "He looks terrible."

I watched Mike maneuver his cart to the aisle next to ours and frowned for him.

"He's probably just going through a lot."

She scoffed dismissively. "Yeah, we all 'go through a lot,' you're not supposed to let it show once you hit a certain age. Especially not when you have kids. I hope Tori isn't watching him mope around like a sad puppy dog all day. She'll end up like him."

We paused at the section with the teen underwear. I walked a few steps ahead of the shopping cart to browse the selection. 

Then, I crouched down in front of the display of Fruit of the Loom products and wondered aloud, "Maybe he doesn't know how to talk about what he's going through."

Aunt Tracy leaned against the cart and crossed her arms. The disapproval was beyond evident on her face.

"Not an excuse," she said sternly. "You know how many times I had to suck it up for my kids' sake? He needs to do the same. I know how it feels to have a parent that's constantly depressed. I mean, Jesus, get a therapist. Their job is to listen. I get depression and stuff, but at a certain point, you have to do something about it."

The more she talked, the more uncomfortable I felt.

"Yeah, I know."

"I can't tell you how many times I had to pretend like everything was fine. Camilla had a lot of friends that would invite her places and tell me all about it, while I just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. I sucked it up because I never wanted her to feel like she had to keep things from me because I was 'too depressed,' or whatever."

I was only partially paying attention to her. Trying to reason with Aunt Tracy's ignorance was meaningless. Once she made up her mind about something, there was no changing it.

"I can't tell you how many times I would come home from work, take off my shoes, and cry myself to sleep because of how much stress I was under," she went on. "Sometimes, Camilla would come and ask if I was okay. I couldn't even tell her what was wrong."

I rose to my feet and grabbed two packs of neutral colored underwear, dropping them into the shopping cart in one swift motion.

"So, yes, Mike needs to do the same." Aunt Tracy shifted the cart to make room for another customer who was walking towards the aisle. "No matter how bad things are."

"Yeah," I responded noncommittally. "I get that."

Obviously, I didn't get it at all. Nothing she was saying made any sense. But maybe that was because I was just a "sensitive little girl" who "didn't know anything about life." That's what Ray always said. Sometimes I wondered if it was true.

Adults know exactly how hard life can get, I remember thinking, yet still have no idea at all. 

Is this a review?



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904 Reviews

Points: 98
Reviews: 904

Stickied -- Tue Feb 13, 2024 1:35 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...

Hello there, human! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Shalt we commence with the possessed S’more?

Top Graham Cracker - Donna and Aunt Tracy go shopping for clothes and run into Mike Kennedy. Later, when Mike leaves, Aunt Tracy shares an unsavory opinion about his appearance…

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow -I think that there could be more to the chapter after the word “constantly” but if that’s where you want to end it at, then you can leave it.

Chocolate Bar - I love how Aunt Tracy’s viewpoints show up again after they see Mike. It shows that she may have some unresolved trauma and doesn’t deal with it in a healthy way. She takes it out on Donna and Mike. I’m excited to see more of what happens with Donna and her family.

Closing Graham Cracker - Donna’s new school might be bearable, because Tori will be there, but then, you also said that she would meet Groupie, so perhaps things will take a turn…I’ll wait for the next chapter.

I wish you a wonderful day/night!

aaliyahlaurier says...

oh my god i just realized the last bit of the end is missing im so sorry about that

vampricone6783 says...

It%u2019s fine. :>

aaliyahlaurier says...

hey i added the rest haha

vampricone6783 says...

Okay. :>

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904 Reviews

Points: 98
Reviews: 904

Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:54 pm
vampricone6783 says...

That last line was profound! Adults tend to think that because they are adults, they know everything. But they don’t. I really hope that Donna gets the life that she deserves!

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70 Reviews

Points: 415
Reviews: 70

Mon Feb 12, 2024 6:06 pm
BEASTtheHUN wrote a review...

Hey there here is my review as promised. First things first, this piece was a lot lengthier than I expected, but nonetheless well put together, this does come across as one cohesive chapter. Let's get into it. To start things off I want to hit on style. When I review things on YWS I usually expect to find things written in the same style. Most novels and short stories on YWS are written with a very similar style and cadence, that being said, I find your piece to be an immense refreshment. There is a depth here that I normally don’t find in YWS pieces, I can tell that you are comfortable in your style. Not only are you comfortable but your maturity as a writer comes across in the story.
There is one very important catalyst of style and that is rhythm. With that in mind, I think your story has an excellent rhythm, but never force yourself to dictate the rhythm, let the rhythm take you. It is important that you feel the story as well as tell it.
Another thing you do a very good job of is dialogue. Here is another aspect in your writing in which you show maturity. Too often I find forced and unrealistic dialogue, but your dialogue comes across as very natural. . . except for one thing. Use punctuation to dictate gaps and pauses. Conversation in the real world does not always wrap up neatly. How many times have you been in a conversation and the person didn’t finish their sentence? How do you display that as a writer? Punctuation. Don’t be afraid to break a few grammar rules. (Not for school papers of course, but for creative writing - get creative)
I like the way the story flows from thought to thought but don’t allow yourself to get too caught up in the description. Some objects don’t need to be over-described.
In conclusion, this is one of the best novels/short stories that I have read in a while. I like your style. I find it to be highly compatible with my own, which is why I found it so easy to review. I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future and maybe even working with you. I hope this helped a little bit. Feel free to agree or disagree with anything I said.

aaliyahlaurier says...

thank you <333333

aaliyahlaurier says...

oh my god i just realized the last bit of the end is missing im so sorry about that

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16 Reviews

Points: 1158
Reviews: 16

Mon Feb 12, 2024 2:01 pm
humblebard1 wrote a review...

Hey, Aaliyah! I loved reviewing the Prologue + Part One of Candy, so here is my review of part two, as promised.

As the Ballad Begins (first impressions)
Things have started to look up at long last for Donna- she is now staying with her Aunt Tracy back in Elizabeth. She is reminded of her time at a women's shelter as she sleeps, but wakes up and remembers she is safe; though her mother has messaged her. It was an apology, and Donna responds kindly as any resent towards her mother dissipates. Also, unrelated note- so happy to see that she's an Alice in Chains fan. Read that she had the Dirt CD and smiled to myself there.
After a brief, difficult conversation where Aunt Tracy talks negatively about her autism and brings back old, painful memories, they take a trip to Walmart, where for the first time in years Donna receives new clothes. While there, she meets Tori's father for the first time in years, and is overcome with happiness upon learning she is in Elizabeth again- they arrange for the two to meet up

Little Ale Spills (what you could improve on)
I think that maybe the paragraph when they're on the way to Walmart could maybe be fleshed out a bit more? But honestly, it's great how it is currently, and Part Two is definitely substantial enough as it is currently. If you want to work through it another time and improve on certain bits (which you do not need to do at all, by the way) maybe certain phrases could be shortened/ lengthened, but the same goes- your writing, your choice, always :D

Enthralling Performance (best bits and lines!)
"Next, I chose a black cardigan that looked like it would be great for layering. It was made of a soft, fine knit fabric, with elegant buttons running down the front. It hung loosely on the figure and fell just above the hips.
Afterwards, I picked a cream-colored woolen number with long sleeves and buttons. The number was a soft off-white, its fabric thick and cozy with a slight sheen. It had long sleeves that reached past the wrists and was adorned with intricate carved buttons in a matching color."
Sorry for using such a big paragraph, I just loved your description of each cardigan/sweater, for the detail and imagery used was really immersive. You can tell just how excited Donna is to be shopping like a teenage girl for the first time in who knows when. Her happiness was infectious, and i could almost feel the fabric under my fingertips.

"The shag carpet beneath my feet was a plush, weathered brown. Sticky, dark stains from spilled juice marred a few select places on its surface, residue of long-forgotten spills that had seeped into the fibers over time. The bedside table sat next to the bed, covered in a thick layer of dust that had settled upon it like a blanket."
The detail is absolutely amazing; a carpet is something you would usually forget about and overlook without thinking twice, but zooming in on it instead gives more insight into not just the house but also Tracy and Donna. Perhaps Donna likes to, or simply finds herself, always looking for details, and Tracy is not exactly a neat-freak and thrives in a different environment.

"The mere thought of being engulfed in a sea of construction noise made my stomach churn with unease. The constant drone and hammering would undoubtedly send my sensory issues into overdrive."
Tracy hardly thinks about the building site, but Donna makes remarks on how it will affect for before it has even come to be. Another helpful look into their dynamic with each other, and when they clash slightly in personality/ perceiving the world.

I also loved the mention of Aunt Tracy remembering her childhood preferences for breakfast- it's very nice to think about Donna being happy when she was younger, after the rather bleak childhood presented in earlier parts. There is always hope, in all time, and even a subtle hope helps to highlight this.

Bardic Inspiration (a few parting notes)
As with the prior parts, you are a PHENOMENAL writer with a beautiful style, and I'm really interested to see where this story goes. I appreciate the review might have been quite character focused, so let me know if you want me to review some other aspects of Part Two. Thanks again!

Best wishes,

aaliyahlaurier says...

thank you so much!! i'm excited to get started with part three as that's when readers will finally meet Groupie!!

aaliyahlaurier says...

also, after Groupie and Donna meet, the story pace will start to speed up just slightly. we won't be going by day anymore.

humblebard1 says...

Ah cool- excited to see the two meet!

aaliyahlaurier says...

oh my god i just realized the last bit of the end is missing im so sorry about that

humblebard1 says...

I'll do a mini review for what you've added

aaliyahlaurier says...

i havent added it yet, i will after school. im in class right now but ill let you know when i do :)

humblebard1 says...

Yeah, saw that just now. I'll keep an eye out :)

aaliyahlaurier says...

hey i added the rest haha

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53 Reviews

Points: 8335
Reviews: 53

Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:00 am
Youbeaucupid wrote a review...

Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlights:


SWOOSH! Greetings, lovely hearts! Cupid here, armed with my bow, arrow, and a sprinkle of stardust for an enchanting adventure. Today, I'm diving into the captivating world of reviews with my very own Cupid's Sweetheart Spotlight. It's like the incredible YWS S'more Method, but with a dash of cupid's magic! Let's get flying, shall we?

Fluttering Wings - Initial Impressions:

Oh, the fluttering of wings! Right from the start, your friend's words whisk us away into a world of raw emotion and captivating imagery. It's like stepping into a warm embrace, feeling the gentle tug of heartstrings as we navigate through the protagonist's journey. I couldn't help but feel a sense of kinship with their struggles and triumphs, like we're embarking on this adventure together. 🌟

Arrow Adjustments - Love Crafting Suggestions:

As we journey alongside the protagonist, I couldn't help but feel a tug at my heartstrings, wishing to delve even deeper into their innermost thoughts and feelings. While the narrative beautifully captures the essence of their struggles, there's an opportunity to infuse even more depth and nuance into their emotional journey! :D

One area to explore further is the protagonist's internal dialogue and introspection. While we catch glimpses of their inner turmoil, delving into their thoughts with greater detail could offer readers a more intimate understanding of their motivations and fears. What goes on in their mind as they grapple with past traumas and navigate uncertain terrain? Showcasing these internal struggles with vivid imagery and raw emotion can create a deeper connection between the protagonist and the reader, inviting us to empathize with their journey on a more profound level.

Additionally, consider expanding on pivotal moments of growth and self-discovery. Each obstacle the protagonist faces presents an opportunity for growth and transformation. Showcasing their evolution with clarity and specificity – from moments of vulnerability to triumphs of resilience – allows readers to witness their journey unfold in real-time. Whether it's a small triumph like finding solace in Aunt Tracy's presence or a significant breakthrough in understanding their own identity, these moments shape the protagonist's arc and resonate with readers on a personal level.

Furthermore, pay attention to the pacing and balance of the narrative. While it's important to explore the protagonist's internal struggles, ensure that these moments are balanced with scenes of external action and interaction!

Overall, these suggestions are offered from the heart, with the understanding that storytelling is a deeply personal craft! You has the freedom to accept or disregard them as they see fit, knowing that their unique voice and vision are what truly bring their narrative to life. With these adjustments, their story will shine even brighter, captivating readers and leaving a lasting impression long after the final page is turned. 💖

Golden Harp Strumming - Heavenly Highlights:

Amidst the trials and tribulations, there are moments of pure magic that light up the page like a constellation in the night sky. The bond between the protagonist and Aunt Tracy feels like a warm hug on a chilly day, reminding us of the power of love and family to weather any storm. It's like finding a hidden gem in a sea of ordinary stones – a treasure to cherish forever. 💖

Cherished Verses - Cupid's Favorite Lines:

"It felt like if I did, I would be pulled back into that never-ending nightmare."

This line, like a whispered prayer in the dead of night, captures the protagonist's fear of confronting their reality. It's a poignant reminder of the lingering shadows that haunt their dreams, threatening to engulf them once more in the darkness they so desperately seek to escape.

"I thanked God for finally being useful. Just in case I was wrong and he did exist."

Here, nestled within the depths of uncertainty, lies a glimmer of faith – a fleeting moment of acknowledgment and gratitude to a higher power. It's a testament to the protagonist's resilience, their willingness to cling to hope even in the face of doubt and despair!

"The room was bathed in a soft morning glow, casting a warm hue upon the baby blue duvet and red peeling wallpaper."

This is such picturesque scene, illuminated by the gentle embrace of dawn's first light, transports us to a sanctuary of serenity amidst the chaos of the protagonist's reality. It's a reminder that even in the darkest of times, and you portrayed that beautifully! :D

"The shag carpet beneath my feet was a plush, weathered brown, bearing the scars of time and memory."

In this poignant description, we glimpse the passage of time etched into the very fabric of the protagonist's surroundings. It's a reflection of their journey, marked by both the joys and sorrows woven into the tapestry of their existence, leaving an indelible imprint on the landscape of their soul. 💘

Final Whispers - Closing Thoughts:

Your story is an enchanting journey through the highs and lows of life, woven with threads of courage, resilience, and a touch of magic. The fusion of everyday struggles with the whimsical allure of Cupid's arrows creates a narrative that's as captivating as it is relatable. With each chapter, you whisk us away on a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving us eager to see where the next twist and turn will lead! :)

Keep pouring your heart into your storytelling, dear soul, for your words have the power to spark joy and ignite imagination. I'm genuinely excited to embark on this adventure with you, to witness the characters evolve and the plot unfold. And when the next chapter arrives, you can bet I'll be ready with virtual boba in hand, eager to chat about the magic we've experienced together.

Here's to many more chapters filled with wonder, laughter, and the unmistakable touch of Cupid's bow. May your story continue to inspire and delight, reminding us all of the beauty found in every heartbeat and the magic woven into every word.

With a sprinkle of stardust and a cup of virtual coffee in hand, I eagerly await the next chapter of our journey together!

Fly high writer, Cupid. 💘

aaliyahlaurier says...

oh my god i just realized the last bit of the end is missing im so sorry about that

Youbeaucupid says...

Ah, you don't have to be sorry haha. Trust, I've done the same things but mistakes are what makes up writers, right? :)

something I have been thinking about ever since I saw the Super Mario Bros movie is how once I took a "what Nintendo character are you" quiz and I got Waluigi.
— Elinor