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Homecoming 2.2

by Elinor

It was another hot, boring day when Rosalie decided to walk to the diner for a chocolate shake. While she didn’t yet have a job, her mother sometimes gave her extra pocket money, and she had barely been to the diner since since summer began. She had been sitting in the living room, listening to the radio, but she wasn’t able to find a station that she wanted to listen to. Her mom had to have been resting, because when Rosalie called out to her, she didn’t answer. So she wrote a note, took her purse, and made the fifteen minute walk over.

Rosalie always felt somewhat out of place amidst the bright colors and sounds of the diners around Chicago. But this one was her favorite. The servers were nice, and the chocolate shakes were to die for.On this particular day the diner seemed to be filled with couples or groups of friends. By herself, Rosalie felt awkward and out place as she waited in line. She thought maybe she would get it to go, walk back home, find something to read or listen to on the radio that she didn’t hate. That was when she saw Mark Copeland. Dark hair slicked back from his face.Dressed in a dark shirt and light pants that it was still too hot for. His blue eyes gazed at the wall beside him. They’d never actually spoken, but she saw him often in the halls. He was a year above her, this year’s editor in chief of the school paper. He was eating lunch, reading something, it looked like. She bit her lip, finding she was starting to shake as she approached the counter.

As she moved closer, she found Mark’s eyes were on hers as well. Nervous, she stared at him, unsure of what to say, so she said nothing.He laughed nervously.

“We go to school together,” Rosalie finally said.

“Right,” he responded, taking a minute to place her. “You’re Sean’s sister, right?”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Awesome,” he said, before going back to his book. The conversation was clearly over but Rosalie still found her gaze cast towards him and the empty seat hat at his side. She saw a few people in line looking at her, and realized it was her turn before she approached the counter.

“Chocolate shake, please,” she said. Once she paid, she approached him once more.

“Can I sit here?”

It took him a minute to look up from his book. “What was that?” He asked once he did.

“Can I sit here?”

“I don’t see why not,” he replied. Rosalie sat down, nervously twiddling her thumbs. “What’s your name again?”


“I’m Mark.”

A waitress then approached and gave her the shake. Rosalie began to sip it. Mark looked over at her. “That looks delicious.”

“These are my favorite.”

“I’m not huge on sweets,” he said. “Maybe I’ll try one next time.”

“What are you reading?” Rosalie asked.

Mark turned over his book cover. The Great Gatsby. Rosalie had never read it, but she’d heard good things. “How is it?”

“I’ve read it before. It’s pretty good.”

With the conversation dying out, Rosalie changed the subject. “Are you excited to go back to school next week?” She asked. She felt so awkward, so clumsy, and a million thoughtts were running through his head. He thinks you’re weird. Stop acting weird.

Mark shrugged. “Eh.” After a laugh, he added, “About as excited as you can be.”

“So,” Rosalie said. “I heard you’re going to be editor in chief of the paper this year.”

He nodded. “Right.”

“I was wondering, well, if I might be able to join?”

“Sure,” he said. “Everyone’s welcome. We just need a writing sample, but you can bring that to our first meeting. It’ll be a week from today. After school.”

“I guess I haven’t written anything that would be suitable,” Rosalie admitted. It was true. She’d written a lot more when she was younger. Fantasy stories about princesses and mermaids, ones she illustrated herself. After her father died, she stopped. But in the past few years she’d become interested in it again. In the news. In history. In ways to immortalize singular moments of time. But she had no audience, no one to read her work. She had a lot of ideas, but nothing she’d comitted to the page.

“Well,” Mark said. “You have a week.”

“I guess I do,” she said.

“You like writing?” He asked.

“Sure,” she said. “I suppose I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I used to write more fiction, but now I think I want to be a reporter.”

“Really? That’s interesting.” He paused. “I guess I’ve never met any girls that have wanted to do that.”

Rosalie shrugged. She rarely, if ever, thought about her being a woman as a barrier to her career, or anything that even made her different. Her father always used to tell her that she could be anything she wanted to be, so she grew up believing it.

By this time, Mark was done with his lunch, and he took his book and stood up. “Well, Rosalie, I’ve got to get going. But, see you next week I guess, right?”

She nodded. “Right.”

Rosalie watched as he left, finishing the rest of her shake in a sort of suspended animation.

That night Rosalie laid awake in bed, unable to stop thinking about Mark. She was going to join the paper, so they would interact regularly. Of course, she wasn’t only joining for him. And he was certainly more than a handsome face. He was smart, and he cared about the same things that she did. Would this be it for her, the time she finally stopped being lonely? Maybe Mark would ask her out on a date. Kiss her the way she only knew from movies, and maybe afterward, tell her that he loved her. She told herself to calm down. It was far too early for any of that. Besides, if she was going to join the newspaper, she was going to have to write an article first. And it was going to have to be good. She had five days left of vacation to think fo something.

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760 Reviews

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Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:27 pm
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ExOmelas wrote a review...

Hey Elinor, just so you know, the link in the LMS week 4 tab is to the publishing centre and I ended up finding this by searching the title. It also doesn't seem to be in the right folder. Anyway, that's not exactly feedback, so let's get to it!


The servers were nice, and the chocolate shakes were to die for.On this particular

Missed space after the full stop. There's a couple of these just so you know, but it would be pretty annoying if I commented on every one. While I'm on this paragraph, I think it might be worth splitting into two to make the introduction of a new character more impactful.

“Really? That’s interesting.” He paused. “I guess I’ve never met any girls that have wanted to do that.”

Ewwwww. You want me to think ewww, right? Yes, it's the fifties, so this may well have been true, but the lack of a positive statement attached to this makes me think that he thinks it's weird for women to want to work in news. Actually, maybe I am being too harsh. I'm not sure. I'm leaving my original reaction there for posterity. Maybe if I hadn't thought about it in the context of the setting I'd still be thinking that. And it's not like you can have "Rosalie thought that was a bit harsh, but it was the fifties after all" because that would be hella meta, so I'm not actually sure what I'm asking of you there. Would be up for discussing this further if you'd like.

She had five days left of vacation to think fo something.

One last typo.


This is definitely my favourite chapter of this so far. I have really enjoyed the sort of bored-summer aesthetic thus far, and would probably have been okay with it continuing for a while, but it is interesting to feel a sense of dread...

And I really hope dread is what you were shooting for. I'm not saying Mark was obliged to talk to Rosalie, so I'm not saying that he's a bad guy and he's going to break her heart. But I think that is a pretty clear sign that he's not that interested in her that way. Rosalie, however, has an imagination in overdrive. This is so not going to end well.

However, I do think the bored summer was extremely useful even if it took til now to really get going, because I am very very invested in Rosalie by this point, hence dread.

This is also I think the first time the fifties aesthetic has been really used to full effect. Ironically I'm picturing Pop's from Riverdale, which certainly aims for vintage... if it has any idea what it's doing at all. But if I think a bit harder I think of the diner in Back to the Future, and that is a very fun setting to set a story in. High school drama was so much more fun before the internet - reading messages or twitter indirects is a lot less fun :P

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)

Elinor says...

Oh, thanks for letting me know about that, I'll make sure it's fixed. Yeah... Mark's not supposed to be the greatest. I guess you'll just have to keep reading. ;)

ExOmelas says...

Haha, I will do! xD

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Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:13 pm
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StellaThomas wrote a review...

Hey @Elinor!

This excited me because I was so glad to see Rosalie having a plot outside of her family! I'm pretty intrigued by it.

With that said, I felt like the dialogue here was pretty stilted. Maybe it's meant to be, but after the first initial reaction to seeing him we don't really get a good insight into how Rosalie is feeling about it. Does she feel awkward or embarrassed? Or is this just an ordinary conversation?

Either way, he seems like a tosser xD I'm not impressed, Mark Copeland. I don't know if I was meant to be impressed by him, or to think he seemed kind of aloof and shady, but it was definitely the latter. I got the impression that he was kind of just putting up with her/humouring her. Again, maybe this is exactly what you intended and if so, great! I'm just letting you know so that you know what vibe I'm getting from him.

I am excited for the doors this opens though, with school and the newspaper etc and things kind of beginning to happen in Rosalie's own life. We've had a long stretch of her boring summer. Does she wish this had happened sooner than the last week so that she would have had something to do? It's been atmospheric and it's nice to start feeling shifts in that like the first drops of rain. Looking forward to the next chapter!

- Stella x

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.
— Franz Kafka