even though she did everything they asked

She Bit First

by Kirsten Hubbard

Ruby didn’t know where she’d first heard it.

“From another friend?” Arlo asked. Ruby just laughed and braided her legs through Arlo’s.

It was about a boy with rough hands, and a girl who saw a shimmer around the edges of things, and their walk together in an orchard. The girl found an apple that shone like a prism, but only she could see its light.

“She bit first,” Ruby said.

But then the boy took a larger bite, even though the girl asked him not to, and the light dimmed and died, and so did everything, everyone.

“He didn’t listen,” Arlo said.

“Do boys ever?” Ruby asked.

Arlo shrugged. At thirteen, she didn’t know much about boys. They just starred in all the stories.

“Probably he was doomed anyway,” Ruby continued.

“Why?”

“Because of the poison.”

Arlo giggled. Their mothers had warned them about the poison in their blood. At thirteen, they barely felt it. But soon it’d come over them like a virus: burning limbs, aching teeth. Ruby’s were already sharper when they grinned in the mirror to compare.

“We’re the most dangerous of them all,” Ruby said.

Then she kissed Arlo in that joyful way of hers, like giving. Like apple juice instead of poison.

*

Then they turned fourteen, and Ruby moved away.

At least Arlo had the story. A dark story by any measure, but because Ruby had given it to her, Arlo saw its light.

It became a sort of solace. She’d hurry home after school, her back still angled from the rigid seats and her ears stinging from teachers’ voices, and spend entire evenings curled around it. The boy and the girl and the shimmering orchard. Sometimes, Arlo could almost feel the apple her hands, and Ruby’s legs braided around hers. Savoring the twist in their middles when everything, everywhere went dark.

Then Arlo turned fifteen, and sixteen.

So did Ruby, on some far-off shore that pictures couldn’t capture. “Come visit!” she’d write (when she remembered to), as if it were something Arlo could control, as if turning sixteen gifted you the freedom you longed for instead of more awareness of the walls.

Walls that closed in more every year. For so long, the story had been a prism, casting light into the corners, loosening the edges.

But Arlo was starting to forget the way it felt in her hands.

She was sixteen and her teeth ached.

*

One morning, Arlo woke up with glass on her tongue.

It frightened her. She ran to the bathroom and spit out nothing. Double-checked her mouth in the mirror. She had nobody to compare her teeth to, she realized. Her hands were empty. Her unbraided legs felt hot.

“It’s because of the poison,” she said out loud.

She was sixteen and she had nowhere left to hide.

*

“I have to find him,” Arlo wrote in a letter Ruby never answered.

The boy, she meant. The rough-handed boy who bit second, whose larger bite turned off the light.

Arlo knew the story like breathing. The boy was the star of the story, like all the others. But other stories had happy endings. Maybe Arlo could change her story’s ending, she decided, if she could get the boy to listen.

She just wished it felt more like hope and less like surrender.

At sixteen, Arlo didn’t know much about boys. She thought finding him would be a matter of simple seeking, now that she’d widened her eyes. But the harder she looked, the less she saw.

The less she saw, the more she felt the poison.

Day after day after day, Arlo sat in her classroom, where the edges looked straight and still. So did the other students. Rows of forward-facing faces, clasped hands, legs crossed. Boys, girls, they were all the same. They had no fire in their blood.

“Arlo,” the teacher would say.

Ears stinging, Arlo would face forward. Clasp her hands. Cross her legs. Try her best to think about stillness as her fire grew. She’d try until it burned too much and she’d twitch or jerk, knock over her pencil or worse, her book. That’s the only time the other students broke their forward gaze, to turn and stare.

“Arlo,” the teacher would say, even louder.

It’s because of the poison, Arlo wouldn’t say.

One day, her foot kicked out into someone else’s, a boy’s. “Oof,” he yelped.

Arlo jumped to her feet, so crookedly her chair fell over. A bedlam of snickering sent hot darts into her cheeks.

“What’s the matter with you?” the teacher yelled.

“It was an accident,” Arlo said. She stumbled through the gridlock of desks, out the door.

Outside, she sat on the sidewalk, in a starscape of spat-out gum. Her searching hand found a patch of weeds, a wildflower. As the stinging in her ears shifted to her eyes, she thought she saw a quick shimmer before the world blurred.

“Are you okay?”

Arlo wiped her eyes, then looked up. It was the boy she’d kicked. A boy she’d barely noticed, like all the others. Arms, face, shoulders. She couldn’t see his hands. “It’s no big deal,” she replied.

“I asked about you,” he said, “not it.”

“I’m fine.”

“Why’d you flip out? You’ve always been a weird one.”

Like he knew her. Arlo ran her tongue along the spurs of her teeth. “I’m just no good at—all that. All that nothing.”

“Yeah, nothing is right.”

She felt slightly encouraged. “It’s probably because I’m filled with poison.”

“Want to find a place to talk?”

“I guess.” Arlo wanted to ask if he’d heard her about the poison, but then he caught her hand and pulled her to her feet. His palm was rough.

“Follow me,” the boy said.

They walked together: down the halls, into the gym. But there weren’t any orchards, just stacks of wrestling mats greased with old sweat. As Arlo sat beside him, she realized she wasn’t sure what a star actually looked like. Not up close, anyway.

“You’re so hot,” the boy said, leaning in.

He kissed her like taking. Arlo didn’t know what to do with her hands, so she put them on his arms. His ropey muscles felt like snakes beneath his skin.

“Wait.”

She had to say it twice into his mouth before he pulled away.

“What?” the boy asked.

“You said we could talk.”

“Okay, yeah, I guess. What do you want to talk about?”

Arlo wasn’t sure anymore. Her mouth had gone sour. She wondered if that was the way the boy tasted, or if he’d stolen all the sweet taste from hers. He was squinting at her now, like Arlo’s edges had gone out of focus. Her words came out in a panic.

“I have a story,” she said.

“A story? Like… about someone we know?”

“Not really. It’s just a story.”

He sighed, like he was doing her the favor. “Whatever. If it’s a quick one.”

“It’s about a boy with rough hands,” Arlo began. “And a—”

“Rough hands?” He swiped a sandpaper palm over her shoulder.

“Okay, quit it. Anyway. A boy with rough hands, and a girl who saw a shimmer around the edges of things.”

“Was she high?”

“I don't…”

“High or drunk or crazy.”

Arlo sighed. “Can you just listen?”

“I am listening, obviously. It’s called active listening.”

In fits and starts, she told the rest of the story. The boy, and the girl. The orchard, and the walk. The apple the girl found. For the first time, the story kept moving away from Arlo, like wisps of a dream when you thought right at it. She had to chase it. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to share the story with this boy, she worried too late.

“And so did everything, everyone,” she finished.

“So it was the girl’s fault,” the boy said.

“Huh?” Arlo said. “No, you weren’t listening. Everything was fine until he took the apple. It was never his to begin with.”

“Why didn’t she just give it to him?”

“Because it was hers.”

“Then she was being a bitch,” she boy said. “She made him take it.

"He couldn’t help himself.

"She probably seduced him.

"Why does it even matter?”

Arlo’s legs burned from chasing. “You’re still not listening,” she said.

“Because you talk too much,” the boy replied.

He kissed her again, gripping her arms with his scaled-covered hands. Sliding them over, under. The poison was raging through Arlo now, but the boy didn’t even notice. His skin was flushed with stolen juice. Her juice, running though his veins. The apple was never his to begin with.

She wanted it back.

“Ow!” the boy yelped. He touched his mouth with a finger. It came away red. “Why’d you do that? What’s the matter with you?”

Arlo swallowed. She grinned.

“We’re the most dangerous of them all,” she said.

*

She didn’t feel bad about it, she told Ruby later.

Because he wouldn’t have listened, even if she’d warned him. That it’s not just about the apple, it’s about the sharp teeth.

That the boy isn’t the star of the story.

It’s the girl who bit first.


Kirsten Hubbard is the author of the YA novels LIKE MANDARIN & WANDERLOVE (Delacorte/Random House Kids), and the middle-grade novels WATCH THE SKY & RACE THE NIGHT (Disney-Hyperion), along with a forthcoming Disney series as Kir Fox. When she’s not lost in some far-flung desert, you can find her in Los Angeles, California.

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And I know she’s older than me, and I know to you I’m just a little girl, and I know there’s so much more you could say about her than about me if someone asked you, and I know you think she’s beautiful, and I know you can speak to her on the phone for hours, I know.
But darling I loved you, even though you’ve now drawn a line on me I know you remember how I always did everything I could to please you, how much I cared. You can’t deny it.
And despite everything that she is, despite the fact that she’s clearly so much better than me, I’m not sure if she would stand by your side the way I did if you treated her the way you treated me.
Tell me if you ever feel that she loves you as much as I did, if you ever feel that she loves you as much as I could have if you’d only let me.
—  Tell me if her love is as selfless

Done with my first day of work!

It was ok I think. It was register training, so I had to interact with a lot of people, and it was kind of awkward, but the lady teaching me everything was really nice! She told our manager that I did a great job, so I guess I did a great job, even though I didn’t feel like I did? It’s hard to gauge something like that on my first day.

Then I came home and my mom started asking me specifics about changing my legal name, and basically implied that she wants me never to change my legal name, and just “be Jane” anyway?

…Anyhoo, my name is Jane Marjorie Crocker, no matter what some piece of garbage birth certificate says, and I will erase my deadname from history as soon as possible!

I only stopped at home to pick up my computer, so now I am absconding to go hang out with Tori and Elli for the rest of the night! 

Stay safe, everyone!

cats-are-assholes  asked:

I'm sorry I'm so behind but is there actual evidence of Hamilton having a relationship with Laurens? B/c if so that would make me SO HAPPY OMG

Ohhhhh yeah. There’s a fuckton of very flirty, very suggestive letters. Some of it is the more florid writing of the time, but when Hamilton’s son has to censor it and deny us of the gay? Yeah, there’s a strong chance it was real.
He refers to himself as a jealous lover, had multiple fits of “I hate everything in this world but Laurens”, and while he did ask Laurens to help find him a rich wife, there’s also the letter in which Ham basically says “I’ve found this girl [Eliza] and she’s great and imma marry her but don’t be jealous boo I still love you like crazy”.
I could go on. Point is, yes, there is a good deal of evidence. I get a bit bugged that Lin never mentions it even though he believes they were lovers, but that’s not the point.

anonymous asked:

I must admit I do find it a little hard to understand how Robert can love Aaron as much as he does, change for him etc, yet he never would have left Chrissie, she had to be done with him for him to realise and that still kinda bugs me tbh

The thing with Chrissie even though Robert did love her, he also loved the lifestyle and everything else that came with her. He enjoyed it and he didn’t want to lose it. I think one of the reasons he fought so hard for Chrissie especially when the affair came out was because Aaron didn’t want anything to do with him, and Robert didn’t want to be alone either. But like Robert said it took him a long time to come to terms with (loving Aaron) so even though he did love Aaron he didn’t realise how much until he properly started to fight for him.

I’m only half a Taylor swift blog but here is what I think is really going on:

•Kanye called and asked Taylor if she cared if he used the sex line, but not the bitch line

•K obviously did not see a problem with the sex line so he probably just assumed saying bitch would be fine too

•song was released

•Taylor’s PR got to the situation before she did and just denied her knowing anything about anything

(I’m guessing it’s the same mentality like when you tell your mom you’re saying home even though u gonna be the DD like you’re not doing anything wrong but it’s easier to cover everything with a lie UNTIL KIM K IS AT THE PARTY WITH HER SNAPCHAT)

•Grammys/backtracking to Taylor only not knowing about bitch line

•Kanye and Kim get mad bc they feel like Taylor was calling them liars

•Kim decides to out Tay

•Tay claims she still didn’t know about bitch line or about recording


Kanye West is Kanye West so like he doesn’t see the problem calling a woman a bitch in his song like I’m guessing in his mind Tay approving one thing meant she approved anything else but she didn’t and now he mad

Taylor lied and backtracked

Kanye didn’t tell her everything

Hollywood is fake

Everything is for publicity

I still love Taylor

I am still going to buy album 6

I still occasionally jam to Kanye

Nobody’s career is going to be ruined we are talking about KIM KANYE AND TAYLOR

okay I think that’s all

2

Anika and Priscilla cleaned up before they settled in to talk a bit before Priscilla took off for the night.

“I hope you enjoyed your baby shower.” Priscilla grinned. “I almost made it a baby bachelorette party because you’re getting married next week, but I didn’t want to make you go into labor.”

“I did, most definitely. It as nice to see so many of my friends from my past. I’m worried about Cadence though.” She confessed. 

“Why? She’s fucking weird. She was asking me all kind of weird questions about this baby shower. I should have uninvited her.” Priscilla mentioned. 

“Priscilla, relax,” Anika warned. “She just gave her son up for adoption, she’s a little on edge.” 

“Even still, I don’t think everything is right with her. Just be careful with her, I don’t trust her.” She urged. Anika thought she was being paranoid, but she knew she was just looking out for her little sister.

More often than not, she knew Priscilla saw things she didn’t. Last time she disagreed with Priscilla’s gut feelings, she married Walker. She was going to look into Cadence just to ease Priscilla’s paranoia.

“I will, I promise.”

I Can Handle You

“It’s so close.”
Jemma commented, swinging her legs over the side of the bed so she could face him as he leaned against the wall. Fitz smiled and nodded.

“I know, Jemma. Soon I can call you my wife.”
He said before walking over and sitting next to her on the bed.

“And I can call you my husband.” She countered with a small smile followed by a content sigh. “Did you ever think this day would come for us? After everything we’ve been though?” Jemma asked him curiously and laid her head on his shoulder.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect anything remotely close to this happening for us. Figured we’d stay best friends forever and that’s it. A year ago I didn’t even know that the feelings I was having for you were mutual.” He admitted. “Especially after everything we’ve been though. I mean, most of it was terrible. Brain damage, alien planet, Hive, all terrible things.”

Jemma poked his arm gently. “You’re leaving out all of the good things that outweigh those events, my love. Such as, us kissing, saying our feelings for each other, some more kissing…sex, Seychelles.” She reminded him optimistically with a smile.

He laughed a bit. “Point made, those were are all great things and actually, some of them still are like the kissing part-” Fitz teased.

“Ugh, Fitz!” Jemma grinned, shaking her head as she lifted it from his shoulder. “I don’t think anyone else could handle you except me. You-You with your childish humor and all.” She laughed.

“Handle me?” He asked, hysterical at this point. “The woman who has to take all of the covers in the night and sprawl out in bed to be comfortable thinks that no one else can handle me and my childish humor?”

“It’s true! No one else can. It’s my job and I intend on keeping it even if I have to kiss you to keep you quiet!” She teased him and tussled his hair a bit.

“So you’re saying I should keep talking then?” He asked her with a playful smirk.

Jemma rolled her eyes and wrapped her arms around his neck, leaning in to place repetitive kisses on his lips before pulling back only to speak. “There, you’re quiet. See? I can handle you.”

I don’t understand how people do it

How people are able to share their work outs, current weight, or endless IG posts of their healthy food. Yesterday, I had my first session with a personal trainer and she did an InBody assessment and it was so hard to see it all in writing and even though they are numbers it is so hard not to focus on them. On top of everything, I had to explain my surgery and complications and she asked to see my scar and it was the first time I’ve showed a stranger. And it’s been a very long time since I’ve had an “I hate my body” moment but it hit me HARD. I have to just come to terms that after everything I’ve been through, my body won’t be the same and there are exercises that I won’t be able to do for a while. I get so frustrated feeling pain after running for just a short period of time and I understand that it takes time to heal and I have to be OKAY with it. So, my journey to health will be mostly private (aside from this post) because the encouragement really has to come from within and the only person that I want approval from is me. 

dreamoftrahearne  asked:

What does Rei like to eat? does she have any addictions? Guilty pleasures? What's her favourite kind of day?

The savory dishes before her had Rei salivating, for too long had she been stuck on Pact rations- she had been having flashbacks to Mandragor root cakes.

Across from her Trahearne was giving her a bemused expression. “The rations aren’t /that/ bad Commander.”

“For you maybe but rations and I have a long and unpleasant past.” Rei shot back digging in to the plate of roasted chicken and potatoes eagerly.

The Pact Marshall chuckled lightly, eating his own food at a more sedate pace. “So you like chicken then?” He asked.

Rei knew he was probing, she was an oddity amongst the sylvari having woken up not remembering her Dream and even worse being Soundless and completely cut from the Pale Tree. Maybe she’d tell him one day, she did consider Trahearne a good personal friend. Though damn everything to Torment if he didn’t remind her of Mhenlo sometimes.

“I like savory foods in general. Nice home cooked meals. Not too sweet or bitter, especially roasted potatoes like these. They’re actually my favorite.” Rei told him, internally laughing as she saw what she had come to call Trahearne’s ‘note-taking-face’ appear.“

————

“Boss, why do you have so many candy canes?” Braham asked hesitantly.

Rei turned to look at him one the confectionary in question sticking out of her mouth, “Uhh, habit?”

It somewhat was. She always stockpiled Candy Canes during Wintersday in her past life. They used to be made with a special enchantment that helped the consumer recover from resurrection sickness faster, but also supplied a bit of a sugar rush. They had come quite in handy during her past life.
It almost felt wrong not to be sucking on one when out and about even if resurrection magics were lost during the intervening years between her past life and this one.

————

Rei stared at Logan Thackeray.

She really didn’t want to be rude but it was her first time meeting Gwen and Kieran’s great-something grandson. And didn’t that make her feel old?

“Why are you staring at me like that? Do I have something on my nose?” The man in question asked her.

Jolting back to the present Rei shook her head, “I’m sorry, you just reminded me of someone.”
He totally took after Kieran.
“Here.” Rei offered a single red iris flower she had picked for nostalgia’s sake when she’d seen it on her way to Caudecus Manor.

“Uhh, is this a sylvari thing?” Logan asked in confusion while Zojja started snickering and muttering “Jennah’s got some competition!”

But Rei just smiled serenely, even if he’d never get it or know about it, the reborn Ritualist swore to look after her honorary nephew.

Her past seemed to be a bit of a guilty pleasure for her with how often she indulged in nostalgia and left hints or made inside jokes no one else would get. Sighing Rei thought to herself it was one of those ‘You had to be there’ things. And then subsequently wanted to smack herself for doing it again.

————

Rei was grinning ear to ear as she gazed up at the cloudy sky. A storm was coming, but as it was now with the sky overcast and wind blowing she couldn’t help but just enjoy the weather. She’d be as miserable as the next person when the rain dumped on her but just before that; that just before a storm weather, was glorious.