It’s not stupid. I promise. It’s not stupid to turn into your 5 year old self and get happy beyond measure for the little things. It’s not stupid to be proud of yourself for completing a load of laundry and washing the dishes. You aren’t lame for patting yourself on the back when you chose a salad over a burger. You’re taking care of yourself and each victory - no matter how small - is worth celebrating.
I recently saw a video of a young woman talking about all of the reasons our generation, the Millennials, sucks and that’s she’s sorry for what we’ve become. Here is my, a fellow Millennial, response:
You say we’re just ‘existing’ and not ‘contributing anything to society.’ The oldest Millennial is 34, the youngest is 12, we haven’t had time to contribute anything yet. We’re trying to survive in a world that no other generation has had to grow up in, with a tanked economy and most of our childhood hearing nothing but war in the Middle East on the news while also being profoundly connected. We didn’t do that.
You say we’re no longer polite, we don’t say ‘no, sir’ or ‘no ma’am’ anymore and we no longer hold the door open for our elders or women. We also don’t expect low-paid workers to break their backs for us, or at yell at them when they make a mistake, like my 60-year-old grandfather does. We say ‘no problem’ when there’s a mistake in order, and politely stand by while the 40-something-year-old soccer mom huffs and rolls her eyes as the new girl struggles to punch in the correct code.
You say our music objectifies women and glorifies drugs and criminals. There has been no significant change from the songs that were once sung or the singers who sang them. Many of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s performers were drug addicts, womanizers, and criminals in their own right. Elvis Presley was child abuser, John Lennon raped his many girlfriends and most of the music I grew up listening, which was 80’s rock, were performed by habitual drug abusers. Let’s not pretend like human nature took a drastic turn when 1983 rolled around.
You say we cuss to prove a point. We, as a generation, have learned it’s not the words we fucking use, it’s the passion in them that we care about. As a generation, we’ve become more interested in politics and the world around us, cursing is minor problem when we consider the political climate the older generation has plunged us into.
You say we use ‘bae’ to describe the ones we love. Bae, originally, means ‘before anyone else’ which is incredibly romantic in my opinion. Bae is also hardly ever taken seriously, it’s a jokey way to talk about someone you love. Language changes, I doubt people were happy when we changed ‘wherefore’ into ‘why.’ The greatest injustice we can do to our language and culture is not allow it to evolve and grow with us.
You say we idolize people like Kim Kardashian and shame people like Tim Tebow. Kim Kardashian is a business woman who had a private video she made with a lover illegally revealed. Instead of fading into obscurity, she stood tall and did not let the sexual shaming she endured stop her and now runs a multi-million dollar industry, is married to one of the richest men in the world, and had two beautiful children. Tim Tebow is a Christian who was criticized by a few people for praying in an open stadium while most people just wanted to see a game.
You say we’re lazy and entitled, we want to make a lot of money and get a free education but we’re not willing to put in the work. We are not lazy. I cannot tell you how many people I meet who have gone to school full time while working a part or even full-time job just to make ends meet. We’re not entitled, we’re bitter. In the 70’s, you could work a part time job over the summer and pay your way through four years of school because tuition was $400, now just to walk in the door of your local community college you need to drop $14,000. We have kids who aren’t even old enough to drink, yet are already $20,000 deep in debt. Debt that won’t go away because even filing for bankruptcy won’t erase it. And even with that education, there’s no guarantee you’ll find something in your field. I have a friend who has a degree in microbiology and she’s making $9 an hour selling $15 candles. I have another friend who has a masters in Sport Psychology and Counseling. She’s a bartender. My parents bought a three bedroom house in the suburbs in the late 90’s while my generation is imagining apartments with breezy windows and trying to get enough money to get food while we scrounge up less than $8 a week.
You say we spend more time online making friends and less time building relationships and our relationship’s appearance on Facebook is more important than building the foundation that relationship is based on. We are a generation that is profoundly connected and no other generation has seen this before. We have more opportunities to meet people from all over the world and better chances to understand other worldviews and lifestyles. Being able to stay home and talk to people over the internet is cheaper and more relaxing than having to force yourself to interact with people in public settings after a long day of minimum wage labor. The people I talk to more over the internet are people I have been friends with for years. It’s easier to talk about the day’s events over Skype or Facebook Messenger than arrange a day to meet in person when you have conflicting schedules. I truly don’t believe most people care what others think of their friendship or how their relationships ‘look’ on social media. Most often what you are calling ‘our relationship’s appearance on Facebook’ are documented and searchable memories.
You say our idea of what we believe in is going on Facebook and posting a status on Facebook. Not everyone can join in with the crowds of protesters. It’s easy to see what others have to say through the comments and argue back without the threat of violence. And when this generation does organize events to stand up for ourselves, it’s met with childish name-calling or being reduced to a ‘riot.’
You say we believe the number of follows we have reflects who we are as a person. It’s nice knowing there’s 20 or 50 or maybe even 100 people who care what you have to say or think. We live in an age where we can and will be heard.
You say we don’t respect our elders, that we don’t respect our country. Our elders grew up in one of the greatest economic booms in history and in turn made it the worst economic situation since the 1930’s all while blaming kids who were only five at the time for it. We stand on our flag because it means nothing, it’s a pretty banner for an ugly lie. We’re a country that says you can make it if you just work hard enough while, in the end, that will almost never happen. We’re a country that becomes irate at the idea of 20-something college kids standing on some canvas dyed red, white, and blue but seem to shrug off the millions of homeless, disabled veterans.
You say we’re more divided than ever before. Ever before what? When black folk couldn’t drink from the same fountain as white folk? When women couldn’t vote? When white southerners fought for the idea that they could keep black people as slaves? We’re a generation that is done with injustice and when you fight for social change, you will divide people.
You say everything that was frowned up is celebrated. What does that mean? We frowned up gay marriage. We frowned upon wives being able to say no to sex with their husbands. We frowned up interracial marriage. We frowned up black folk being allowed to go to school with white folk. We frowned upon women being allowed to vote. Are those things not worth celebrating?
You say nothing has value in our generation, that we take advantage of everything. We value friendship more, we value the fists of change, we value social justice and family and the right to marry those we love. We value the right to be yourself, wholly and fully. We value the right to choose and we value the idea of fighting what you believe in, even when everyone older than you is telling you you’re what’s wrong with the country.
You say we have more opportunities to succeed than those before but we don’t ‘appreciate’ them. We are a bitter generation. You can finance a boat for 3.9% but you have to pay back college tuition plus 8.9%. We may have more opportunities but those opportunities cost money we don’t have.
You say you can see why we’re called ‘Generation,’ but we’re not Generation Y, we’re Millennials and we do feel entitled. We were promised a strong economy and inexpensive education. We had the world in our hands and we were going to make it better. And it was ripped away from us because of incompetent rulers, illegal wars, and greedy corporations and we get blamed for it. Crime has gone down, abortion and unintended pregnancy has lowered, people are living longer, people are more educated, people are less likely to die from violent crime or diseases, yet my generation is touted as the worst generation and for what? Crimes that we’re accused of that happened before we could even wipe our own ass? We were raised better, and we were raised in a society that treated, and continues to treat, us like garbage. And we are done. We are not sorry, we did nothing wrong.
chy_leigh Today is #NationalComingOutDay … I’m so proud to take part in positive LGBTQ+ representation. I’m proud to stand up for the voices that have either been stifled, silenced, or yet to be heard. I’m proud to stand on behalf of those who’ve been persecuted, ridiculed, and misunderstood. I’m grateful to walk alongside those who have battled long and hard to rise above the judgement and slander that have soiled the foundation of our humanity and yet even still, keep our heads held high as fingers wag and forked tongues sputter out hatred. I stand for you, with you, behind you and beside you… for the sake of compassion and everything good in this effed up world today, I hope we all rise. I hope today is filled with joy, hope, love, and support. You matter. You are beautiful. You are worth celebrating ❤️🏳️🌈 #ComeOnOut #TimeToRise #LGBTQ #AlexDanvers #BeYou #BeProud
Men are so evil. They are so goddamn evil. They hurt and take from girls and drain them emotionally until they’re left dry and lost. I hate constantly seeing men hurt girls and I hate seeing girls settle for men that aren’t actually great because they’re so used to being mistreated by violent or selfish men that they think the bare minimum of decency is worth celebrating, loving, or glorifying. I hate it so much.
[Drawing of a blue cat saying “It’s okay to be proud of your progress even if you’re still not exactly where you want to be. You’re getting there and that’s worth celebrating.” in an orange speech bubble.]
I never knew how young twenty-three was until
I heard that you had died. I remember thinking,
who knows anything at twenty-three?
Thanks to the common decency of one man,
there is no footage of the night you died.
But that doesn’t stop me from seeing it.
I see your sister throwing herself across your
already empty body, almost keeping you still but
your legs still jerk around. I see the crowd,
everyone in shock and no one helping.
I see your head banging against the unforgiving concrete,
out of time with the music straining out of the club.
I see Flea on stage playing as you fall down dead,
and I see your girlfriend kneeling beside you and
she’s calling your name and your name echoes
and echoes in every song written about you
and every movie that you almost did.
How long did it take the news to reach him,
that fateful night already in part
dedicated to the dead?
I never knew how young nineteen was until
I heard everything your brother had lost. I remember thinking,
how do you cope with that much loss at nineteen years old?
Some people you can’t save.
Some people you don’t want to.
I’d give anything to save you from yourself.
Anything at all to save you from burning to bright,
because being the bearer of a flame isn’t worth dying for.
Anything to save your brother from his
frightened, fractured, voice pleading
to the pleasure of the media outlets.
Anything to save your friend from
the longest mile of his life,
and from the loss of yours.
Anything to save your mother from
the awful news waiting for her off the plane,
the knowledge of being just hours to late.
Anything to save your best friend from
hearing the news from a reporter,
and the awful empty blankness of the day,
then the breakdown that followed.
Anything at all to save your friends and family
from living with your loss and feeling the
emptiness where you should’ve been crying out to them.
I’m reading about you, all about you,
and I’m watching Stand By Me for
the first time. I remember thinking,
Who was watching out for you?
It’s funny, people always rave about
the Milk Money Scene, but that isn’t the one that
broke my heart. That makes me cry. It’s you and
Wil Wheaton and you’re walking along and
“I wish to hell I was your dad.”
And the world hurts more than it did before.
It’s the way you say it, quietly, calmly, your
eyes never leaving his face. You mean it.
There’s a certain level of reality you can’t fake.
It’s in the details, and on this summer day
they’re written all over your face.
It’s in the details, the
of your life ticking past.
You’re fifteen years old, you have
seven years left and, you poor thing,
you don’t even know it yet.
I’m telling my friend about you and she doesn’t
understand why it’s a tragedy. I remember thinking,
What’s so glorious about a boy dying in the street?
It’s ugly and it’s human and it’s common.
You were meant for more than Sunset Boulevard.
Some people don’t feel enough and this isn’t healthy.
They’re too good at compartmentalizing their lives into
boxes they don’t have to deal with. This wasn’t you.
Compartmentalization wasn’t in your vocabulary.
You felt everything all at once, a burning conglomerate of
who you had been, who you were, and who you were becoming.
You felt to much, and it killed you.
Everyone knows this but nobody wants to talk
about it, about you. You, lying there,
a Phoenix consumed by his own flame.
I’m learning about your parents, how they
called acid a gift from God. I remember thinking,
What adult didn’t let you down?
You became everything they ever wanted you to be.
A vegan, nature-loving, pacifist who refused boundaries
and cried when his girlfriend ate shellfish.
You had no concept of emotional distance,
of emotive management and they love you for this.
They filled you up until you were overflowing with
empathy then never told you how to deal with the aftermath.
A descendant of their dream to touch the sun
and be one with nature. They hold you up
as the hippie ideal, telling us to forget the part
where you died in the street. After all,
Nobody wants to admit that’s the reason you’re dead.
It doesn’t fit their narrative.
People are always putting words to what you are:
hippie, musician, actor, angel, prodigy,
genius, pacifist, vegan, cult member,
part of nature, guitarist, river born to be a giver,
matinee idol, street performer, drug user, light,
But they always forget the most important one:
A twenty-three year old boy who dropped dead on an L.A. Street.
There is no way to make your story beautiful.
It’s time we stopped pretending otherwise.
“Ode to River Jude Bottom” by s.g.g(jealovsofthemoon)
for a friend that was down and i thought u guys might enjoy a lance showing u how proud he is that u made it today :D its hard, but you did it. each day brings new challenges but remember you made it despite everything thats happened and thats worth celebrating :D
A Highschool AU SnowBaz fic for the Carry On Valentine’s Celebration
might not be entirely truthful to say that Baz joined Vocal Jazz because he
loved singing. This is not to say that
he didn’t love singing, it just wasn’t
something that he tended to broadcast.
And yes, Vocal Jazz was a good way of coming out of his shell, breaking
past that barrier of shyness when it came to his own voice, plus maybe making
However, let’s just say that Baz
might not have auditioned if it weren’t for the blonde-haired blue-eyed tenor.
And maybe he didn’t get up for those
early morning practices before class purely because he loved singing, but
because he loved something else. Someone
Baz was more than a little
disappointed when the group was split into two for the Valentine’s Day Musical Candy
Gram event. Granted, some might find it
a little overwhelming to have ten people singing at them in front of the class,
but couldn’t he at least have been put in Simon’s group?
No, because the ensemble only had
two basses and two tenors. Both groups
needed one of each, and Simon couldn’t miss third class.
So Baz was left to swallow his
disappointment as he followed his group down the halls of Watford High, singing
excerpts of Beatles songs at poor unsuspecting students. Objectively, it was a cute little setup. They would barge into a classroom with the
chorus of “She Loves You”. Then Trixie,
one of the sopranos, would call out the names of any “lucky” students, who
would then have to make their embarrassing way to the front of the room to
accept a flower or a card or both from Trixie and be serenaded with “8 Days A
Week”. All in all, not horrible. Objectively.
Baz was just glad he wasn’t on the subjective side of things.
After fourth period, which he spent
both quietly chuckling at the sound of his choir mates in nearby classrooms,
and also praying they wouldn’t burst into his classroom or, heaven forbid,
bestow a Musical Candy Gram upon him,
Baz returned to the empty music room for his coat, which he had left there when
the group had met at lunch. As he buttoned
up the coat, he couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit melancholy. He hated to admit it to himself, but while
singing was great, it was nothing compared to singing with Simon. Because when he
was singing with Simon it made “I’ll
Be Seeing You”, their competition piece, feel different. He wasn’t just singing words; it was more of
an outlet. Like pouring his bottled-up
feelings down a drain. They weren’t
going to Simon, but at least they were going somewhere.
loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah…”
Baz’s heart sank when all nine of his
choir mates filed into the room, singing and snapping their fingers, this time
directing their song at him, but he had to smile a little.
“Really?” he smirked as Trixie came
forward to hand him a single rose with a card attached by a ribbon. “Is this all necessary?” In response, they burst into “8 Days A Week”,
beaming at him like he’d won some sort of prize. It was mortifying, but it was almost nice.
snuck a glance at Simon, who was singing through a grin, and even though he
knew he was probably blushing, Baz held his gaze for a few more seconds, saving
the sight to replay later.
who’s it from then?” he demanded when the others had finally finished
singing. “There’s no name on the card.”
a secret admirer!” squealed Trixie, but nobody had an answer for him. Baz didn’t miss the smirk that twisted Simon’s
mouth though, or how smug the boy looked when he left the room.
know, don’t you?”
didn’t answer right away, but Baz saw his mouth twitch. “Know what?”
sent me the card and the flower yesterday.”
Baz tried to sound indifferent as he trawled through the philosophy
section of the library. “I could see it
on your face.”
pulled a book on Aristotle off the shelf, not looking at Baz. “It’s possible,” he drawled. “After all, you are my best friend, I ought to
know who has a crush on you.”
you ought to do is tell me, best friend.”
can’t,” Simon turned to him
giggling. “If I tell you who sent the
Valentine, it would be breaking confidence.”
He solemnly put one hand over his heart and one in the air by his
head. “I am under oath.”
oath to whom?”
person who sent it, of course.”
shot a look at him. “So you’ve talked to
them about it?”
could say that.”
being annoyingly cryptic.”
you have any suspicions?”
course Baz had thought about it all day yesterday after school, but his mind
had kept wandering back to what Baz wanted. Because there was only one person he wanted
to be behind the Valentine.
if Baz was being honest with himself, it Simon hadn’t sent it, Baz didn’t want
just shrugged. “No one I can think of
really makes sense.”
love doesn’t make sense,” Simon murmured in reply, so softly that Baz thought
maybe it wasn’t for him to hear. Granted
they were in a library, but still.
you tell me if I guessed correctly?”
guarantees, but you have permission to interrogate me. Ask away.”
raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘hopefully’?”
in theory,” Simon stammered, “whoever sent it cares about you enough to know
that you’re gay, and if it were a girl, hopefully she would respect you enough
to know better than to send you a Valentine.”
had to admit he had a point. “So basically
what you’re saying is that it was a boy?”
smiled. “If that’s what you think.”
thought occurred to him. “It wasn’t
Agatha, was it? Just to get that off the
it was not,” Simon admitted, “that would be a bit weird.”
since she’s still carrying a torch for you,” Baz snorted, maybe a little louder
than was appropriate in a library. Simon
gave a wry smile that Baz couldn’t quite interpret.
wasn’t her,” Simon assured him, “guess again.”
was honestly stumped. There just wasn’t
anyone else who seemed even the least bit interested in him. He had thought that maybe Dev had had
feelings for him a few years earlier, but now Dev was happily involved with his
girlfriend, which eliminated that possibility.
Simon smirked. “No one?”
just isn’t anyone who shows any signs of liking me like that,” Baz shrugged.
might be surprised at the number of people who would gladly date you. I mean, you’re certainly not hard to look at.”
shot a surprised glance at Simon, who was apparently very interested in a
chapter about nihilism. Did he just…
there anyone you want it to be from?” Simon asked quickly, like he didn’t want
Baz to question him further.
looked up at him with a smile that seemed just a little bit painted, and looked
back down quickly. “You should ask them,”
he said in an overly cheery voice, “you could get lucky.”
no point,” Baz shook his head.
no way it was them,” he chuckled sadly, “absolutely no way.”
shrugged without looking at him. “Maybe
that’s for the best. If you never know
who it was, you can just imagine that it was who you wanted it to be, and the
person can just imagine that you like them back.”
didn’t have an answer for that. It
sounded like an easy solution, to just let the whole thing fade away and
imagine that Simon had picked out the rose with care, that he had skirted
around Baz when the group prepared all the Candy Grams so that Baz wouldn’t
find his own name among the Valentines.
That he had done something silly like kiss the card before tying it to
it was too good to be true, and Baz knew it.
He would never stop wondering if he didn’t find out for sure.
he steeled himself and forced the words out of his mouth: “Was it you?”
looked up at him with practiced innocence, but his eyes betrayed a touch of
fear. “Why would you think that?”
just had to ask,” Baz floundered, hoping he hadn’t gone as scarlet as he
felt. “So that’s a ‘no’ then?”
it’s not a ‘no’.”
brain was going at a thousand miles per second, and yet he couldn’t for the
life of him comprehend what Simon was saying.
“Oh,” was his scholarly response.
“So that means…”
stared straight ahead into the bookcase.
“I sent it. You got me.”
finally turned to look at him. “Why? Gee, I don’t know, Baz!” He was whispering, but with so much force
that it felt to Baz like he was shouting.
“Maybe because in all the years we’ve been friends you have astounded me
and I only just made sense of it all!
Maybe because you’re brilliant and gentle and so goddamn beautiful and
when you sing I never want you to stop, and even if you never found out who
sent you the stupid flower or if you didn’t care, at least I would have tried
to tell you how much I like you, at least I would have -”
next sound he made was one of shock as Baz’s mouth covered his own.
sound after that was one of oh god,
finally because Baz had him backed against the philanthropy section and was
tangling his fingers in Simon’s curls, burying his lips in heat and need and oh, this is what all the hype is about
and it was a million times better than Simon could have hoped for.
oath to whom, again?” Baz teased against Simon’s lips, and Simon laughed
lightly as he snaked his arms around Baz’s neck, already desperate for more.
got me,” he whispered, reaching up for Baz’s mouth again, and Baz couldn’t help
but grin as Simon pulled him down to meet him. Baz angled his head and deepened the kiss, a
low sigh escaping his throat. In the
back of his head he remembered the rose and the card, and took to moment to
appreciate the fact that he wouldn’t be throwing them away after all before
setting up a long, slow rhythm against Simon’s mouth like they had all the time
in the world.
it’s highkey annoying when Black people do something monumental and every nonblack person and their mamas goes “yes!!!! this is a win for ALL PoC!!!!!!!“ because listen: it isn’t. i mean look at what was done to Moonlight, what’s bound to be done to BLACK Panther. Black people do not represent all people of color. “Black people” isn’t interchangeable with “People of color” acting like it is is erasure all across the board. when the Black community does things that benefit and uplift the BLACK COMMUNITY, it’s a win and something worth celebrating for BLACK people. you wouldn’t say “yes!!! #PoCPride” when something is done for and by Native people, because you recognize that it’s for Natives, that this is their achievement, this is their moment, not that of all PoC. give Black people the same respect.
Sometimes I think about how soft Bellamy and Clarke will never get to be. Their softness, their innocence, their youth has been stolen from, in an even crueler way than it was from the rest of delinquents. In that way where their edges had to be hardened for them to lead, in the way where the weight of responsibility presses down on you until you’re as hard and sharp as a diamond.
In another world, Clarke would have allowed herself compassion- she would have cared for people as a doctor, brought beauty into the world as a artist. Clarke was always destined to make the hard calls, yes; but they would have been about rationing medicine or when to operate or an intense vote on the council on the ark. She wouldn’t have to cut her own heart out of the equation to cut out someone else’s. The blood on her latex-clad hands wouldn’t seep into her soul. She would have been free to love and be loved in return and she would have two parents and a whole unbroken heart.
Bellamy’s life never would have been easy, but there would have been a way, one day, for him to have a life where his love for people could always be rewarded; a positive, healthy, giving kind of love and devotion that doesn’t twist in his gut, that doesn’t inevitably turn into rage or revenge. He could have led a unit of the guard, and formed his own found family and given inspirational speeches without also knowing the scalding heat of a machine gun pumping bullets into bodies. He could have taught a classroom of boisterous children, without a mountain full of dead ones awaiting him in nightmares. His rash choices would lead to mouthing off to a councilman or getting in a fight with a rude boy at school, not bear the consequences of dozens of lives. In another world, Bellamy could hug and touch and love and be held and loved in return- in another world his vulnerability wouldn’t have to be rationed, or hidden, or protected and locked away.
And that’s the thing that makes Bellarke both devastating and beautiful to me. They didn’t have a choice in the hand they were dealt, and it’s not an easy life, and it’s not a fair life. They have both been broken down as people: their worst traits drawn out, their best tested to the limits of endurance. As individuals, they feel the weight - the loss - of what they were, of what they could have been. And they didn’t have a choice. But. But at least, in this life, they will never be alone. In this life, they can chose to be together. And, together, they can be whole.
Together they find those shades of softness they thought had been wrung out of them; together they bare vulnerabilities in defiance of their circumstances, a quiet show of resistance to world that has turned them into monsters. They offer understanding unconditionally, they offer forgiveness for the unforgivable. They make apologies on behalf of the world to each other. They trade the will to live, to love, to press onward between them, taking turns carrying each other to the finish line. If you’re on that list I’m on that list.
And they didn’t just fall from the sky into each other’s hearts - their love, their trust, their bond - is earned. They fell in love with each other’s ideals before they even liked each other; as that one article said - in the most idealistic way possible.
Bellamy fell in love with the hope and idealism Clarke had about humanity; he wanted to be what she saw in him, wanted to live in the world as she imagined it. He fell in love with a girl who through sheer force of will could bend the world to how she wanted it. He fell in love with her belief that there was a better way, that humanity could and should be good, that goodness can and will prevail. He fell in love with what she saw in him -never is Bellamy more whole than when he is looking at himself through her eyes.
And Clarke… Clarke fell in love with Bellamy’s heart. With the idea that someone’s heart could be both their weakness and their strength, their resilience, their courage. She was inspired by the intensity of his love for his sister - a love like nothing she’d ever seen, a love that changed the way she thought about love. She fell in love with his ability to reach straight into the hearts of people, with just a look, with just a word. She fell in love with his humanity - and with his ability to inspire it in others. And when she’s afraid she’s lost her own humanity, when she feels it slipping, he’s there. He’s there for her but also as living proof: that love doesn’t have to run out, that it doesn’t have to burn you down like fire to a candle. He reminds her that her humanity isn’t destined to be lost.
So after all that has been forced on them, and all that they’ve suffered - there is a measure of innocence, of softness that they will never regain, that they can never have. But what’s extraordinary - what makes Bellarke extraordinary to me - is how jealously and defiantly they have held on to that last measure of softness, of vulnerability, of humanity. They cling to it and share it between them and somehow, through that choice, they turn it into something more. Because when they are with each other, they are not only at their most vulnerable - they are at their strongest. They turn each other’s softness to strength, their compassion into determination. That kind of love transcends desire or declaration, definition or dismissal. And it’s damn well worth celebrating.
Bitty closed the screen of his laptop very gently.
Then he buried his face in his hands, scrubbed them over his eyes, and said “Good Lord.”
He only jumped a little when he heard Jack’s voice behind him.
“Everything all right?”
Bitty twisted around to face Jack, not concerned about the way his hair was going every which way from his fingers raking through it, and said, “Can we elope already? I don’t think I can stand six more months of this.”
Jack filled a glass from the kitchen and tap and said, “Which one? Mine or yours?”
“Mine,” Bitty groaned. “I swear she thinks it’s not a real wedding without yards of white organza and orange blossoms. She keeps sending me pictures of men decked out in white tailcoats with ridiculous pastel cummerbunds and ties. And there was a link to a story where you could rent doves to release to … symbolize something or other. I told her we just wanted a low-key wedding. Why is she doing all this?”
Jack leaned against the counter and drank his water.
“Is she feeling left out, maybe?” he said. “Because we’re doing it in Montreal?”
“I don’t know.” Bitty said. “Maybe. Probably. But I don’t care if same-sex marriage is legal – there’s nowhere in Madison that I would want to do this. Even at home – it could make things difficult for Coach. And too many people would get wind of it here in Providence.”
“Parse suggested we head out to Vegas,” he said. “Then at least she wouldn’t feel like she’s losing out to my parents.”
“First, no,” Bitty said. “Not Vegas. And second, it’s not a competition! Your folks have room, and it’s private, and they offered. They even offered to let my folks stay at the house. What more does she want?”
“Maybe something to do?” Jack suggested. “So she’d feel part of it?”
“But you should see what she’s sent, Jack. How can I put her in charge of flowers or wedding favors or anything if she’s trying to make this into a recreation of Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles?”
“Wasn’t that like, in the ‘80s?”
“When my mother was in prime dreaming-of-weddings mode, yes, Jack. Flower girls, Jack. She wants flower girls. Does she think we can just rent them?”
“It’ll be all right, lapinou,” Jack said. “Let me shower and then we can head for the market, OK?”
“Of course I care about Uncle Mario and Uncle Wayne, and Ray and Steve and all of them, and Julia and Meg and Sandra too,” Jack said to his mother later. “But we can’t have them all at the wedding, Maman. This is my wedding, mine and Bittle’s, not yours and Papa’s.”
He paced on the balcony in the chilly air, his phone held up to his ear. He paused to listen, glad that Bitty was busy in the kitchen with his music going and couldn’t hear his half of the conversation.
“I know they care about me,” he said. “And marrying Bittle is well worth celebrating, I agree. But we really want to celebrate with our friends – our friends from Samwell, and Providence, and some of Eric’s family. Even with that, I’m counting about 50 people, give or take. But at least none of them require their own security.”
“Thanks, Maman. If you want, maybe we can have a party after we get back from France? Invite the whole world if you want. It can be your world, but I’ll bring Eric so you can show him off.”
“Yes, Maman, Eric said he got the pictures of the suits you sent. He liked them, I think, but there was some change … I don’t remember. You’re going to have to talk to him.”
Jack ended the call and went into the kitchen.
“I think I have it sorted,” he said. “But we might have to show up at a party when we get back from the honeymoon. I told her to talk to you about the suits.”
“Mm,” Bitty said, concentrating on a tiny lattice for a mini-pie. “As long as they’re not white, they’re fine, really.”
“I have an idea,” Jack said. “Tell me if it’s too much.”
“You know how we were going to Montreal over the bye week to taste food and pick a florist and all?”
“Why don’t we invite your parents to come, too? Or just your mom, if your father is busy?”
“Because then she could feel like she’s involved,” Jack said. “Don’t worry about all the white lace and stuff. Maman will make sure we get something you’d approve of. But then Maman would also have someone to gush to.”
“She does think your mother’s a style icon,” Bitty said.
“She’s never seen my mother in yoga pants and one of my dad’s old T-shirts,” Jack said. “And anyway, my mother thinks your mother is refreshingly unjaded and one of the most genuinely nice people she has ever met.”
Bitty snorted. “Yes, well, she’s never challenged my mother’s jam supremacy.”
“So you think it will work?”
“Probably,” Bitty said.
“Good,” Jack said. “Then they can both convince you it’s not a good idea to make five dozen mini-pies with lattice tops for party favors the day before the wedding.”
i. you’ll always be better than the person you were yesterday. sometimes i fall into the trap of thinking i’ve always been in the same place, but that’s just it: it’s a trap. it’s my mind tricking me again. it’s searching for one good thing i’ve done in the last year and finding twenty because there really are infinite.
ii. maybe i’m still not over it and maybe i should be but maybe i shouldn’t be and maybe it doesn’t matter because every day, i’m healing, even on the days where i don’t think i’ll ever be. i’m looking back and seeing only smog where my trauma used to be, but when i dare push through it, i find behind it, well, everything.
iii. there are things that are worse than last year but there are things that are better and i guess that’s life - nothing is ever going to be all great at the same time, but there’s always going to be little accomplishments worth celebrating.
iv. and yeah, some days it hurts so bad, i think my trauma controls me. some days i think i am nothing without it, that i need it for my art, that there is nothing artistic about being happy, that the only people who are are living inside of a delusional feeling. and maybe i’m right in a way: the most amazing people i’ve ever met are, in their own way, hurting. but that’s everybody. that’s everybody. really. i know it’s been said so many times, but once you really realize that everybody is struggling do you realize that you’ve never been alone in this. you’ll never be alone in this. really.
v. we’re going to get through this. it’s going to be gradual, never all at once. maybe it’s never going to be over in the way we want it to be. but we’re going to get through this. together. always.
Because she loves him. She loves him, you know? She’s not gonna let him control her, or be her “everything”, you fall in love with someone and there’s a commitment there.They made a commitment with their marriage to each other, support and be there together, through ups and downs, through thick and thin. It was made a long time ago, and through all the bad he has done, it’s always been with the guise of protecting her. It’s never been with destruction in mind, or causing harm and pain towards her.
“You… what?” Draco raised an eyebrow at Harry as if daring him to repeat what he’d just said.
Harry attempts to say it again, although with much less confidence than his previous try. He mumbles it under his breath, and it comes out incoherent.
“Potter, if I’d wanted to hear incoherent murmuring, I would’ve went to the kitchen and spoke to house elves instead,” Draco wore a scowl that matched the impatience dripping in his tone.
It sent shivers down Harry’s spine.
Draco always gave harry shivers. And tingles. And adrenaline. But often for different reasons. Now? Now was a reason not worth celebrating. And it frightened him to the bone.
“I… kissed Cho Chang…” Harry once again muttered under his breath, each word a pain to utter.
Harry had his head down, refusing to take on the seething boy’s icy glare.
The silence was eerie.
Draco raised his head up and stood taller, straighter, with his chest out. He kept his eyes on Harry.
“Well, technically she kissed me,” Harry offered in a hopeful tone.
Draco raised an eyebrow once more. “And you let her.”
Harry could not argue.
Draco started pacing, his slow yet daunting footsteps filled the stillness of the moment, eyes still on Harry.
“You see, Potter, I really couldn’t care any less at technicalities. It’s all fuss, who kissed who and that bit. The point is,” he walks closer to Harry who was now staring at him, intent and cautious. Draco lifts Harry’s chin up slightly through nimble fingers. “You brushed lips with someone else.”
He stared at Harry’s lips with an indefinable look in his eyes, and huffed. “Now I could not possibly place my lips where others have been,” he scoffed, repulsed by the idea another had felt Harry where none should. Tasted him. Held him. Known him.
Harry stared and saw Draco’s face painted with sheer annoyance.
Draco’s muscles visibly tense and Harry knows anger is coursing though his veins. Draco tries to keep it at bay through a sharp inhale, but fails miserably at that.
He leans closer to Harry, faces close. His eyes were gleaming. Seething. Dangerous.
“She may have tasted your lips,” his voice left his lips in a soft whisper, giving Harry tingles. “But she will never know what it’s like here,” he kissed Harry’s forehead tenderly. They’re eyes meet and Harry sees Draco’s anger vanish. “Here,” he kissed his nose. His eyes are closed. “Here,” he spoke softly, lovingly as he kissed his cheek.
Draco’s fingers trace the side of Harry’s neck as his lips went lower, his nose nuzzling his neck on the opposite side, just below his ear. Harry whimpers at his touch. “Here,” he claimed Harry’s soft spot and whimpers became moans. His lips linger longer, then he moves to his jaw. “Here,” he whispers again and showers him with kisses all over, each one rougher and more determined than the previous. When he reaches Harry’s ear, he bites on his earlobe and Harry grunts.
Draco smirks. “If there’s one thing you must know about me, Potter. It’s that I don’t share.”
He finally crashes his lips into Harry, determined to erase every bit of memory there was Cho had left for Harry.
Draco’s lips were soft. Commanding. Maddening.
And they’re all that fill Harry’s mind.
Draco ends the kiss with Harry in a daze. With a dangerous look in his eyes, he gave a mischievous grin and spoke once more. “I’m quite territorial, you see.”