had to make this early because i'll be busy this week :

Steal my car, I'll wreck your life.

Back story, i am apart of a small family-owned type used car dealership (cue used car salesman joke here) we have maybe 50 cars on the lot at any time and our main business is sub-prime or people with less than perfect credit. We truly want to help the people that can’t afford/have the credit to buy from a new car dealership. We’re actually very liked in our small community.

So recently I had these customers, lets call her wife and him husband (They’re early 20’s). They come into my store and I like them, they seem like a nice young couple trying to start their lives out, they have two very sweet little girls, and could just use a break. They have made some mistakes in their early lives and have less than perfect credit. I coach them on how to improve their credit and they seem sincerely interested in fixing it so I bust my ass to get them a loan with the wifes mother cosigning on a nice third row SUV. Wife is literally crying hugging me because every other dealer turned them down. Now they are a little short on the down payment so i take a check for the balance and we agree i’ll cash it on his next payday (Mistake number one) but pretty common in this line of work.

I forget about them until the next week when I drop the check at the bank along with other deposits. The next thing i know i receive a notice that the check has bounced. Along with a couple NSF fees attached for me, and the check comes back. It’s a dollar amount that is considered a first degree misdemeanor in our state, just under a felony. I reach out to wife to see what happened and how we can make arrangements to get this taken care of. The last thing I want to do is go after a young couple with two small kids. At first wife is a little shocked and insists the funds were pulled from their account and I show them the picture of the NSF check. She understands and says they can pay half in 2 weeks when she’s paid again and in another 2 weeks pay the other half. I agree to this and just take them on their word (mistake 2).

A couple weeks rolls around and I don’t hear from wife or husband and am now thinking i’ve been taken for a ride Ignoring my calls/texts/etc you get the point. I get a call from the bank and come to find out they haven’t made their first payment either.

Now with this particular bank if the customer does not make their first payment we have to “Buy Back” the deal. Basically we have to give the bank the money they sent us for the loan. After blowing up their phones and facebook they finally call me back. I get the sob story he got let go from his job and he just started a new one and mom is going to help them get back on their feet. I go through hell and high water with the bank to make a deal that if they make their payment they’ll keep the loan but i’m still on the hook if they miss any of the next 3 payments. Wife also tells me they’ll make payments to me on the bounced check once he starts getting paychecks. So i agree, they make their payment to the bank and i go about my life….Until the next month comes around.

I get an email from the bank saying wife didn’t make the next months payment and won’t answer their calls. At this point i’m furious and ready to just go get their vehicle. They won’t answer any of my calls and call mom, mom scrounges everything in her social security paycheck to help try to make the payment for them and is short. Wife and husband tells her they’ll cover the balance and of course don’t pay. Bank says deal is a buyback we need our money back for the loan within 7 days. Now the only way I can payback their loan is if my floor plan (Basically giant credit card we buy cars on) gets pictures of the car in my possession.

I try to call/text/email/message on facebook to get ahold of both wife and husband and they block me on everything. They’re basically just stealing the vehicle without paying. They even blocked mom who has been trying to help them get this handled, yes they screwed over their own mother in this ordeal. I just want the vehicle back and move on with life. So this is where i go @prorevenge on them.

I begin by dropping the check off at the local prosecutor, and they’re delighted to file charges against them. I do some skip tracing calling family members, all of which are more than happy to help because come to find out husband has had 7 jobs in 4 months and has burned every single family member with money they’ve borrowed. I find wifes Father on Facebook, Father has been trying to take custody of deadbeat wife and husbands 2 kids because of how they treat them. He informs me they are staying in sisters house right over the border (we are on the state line of 2 states remember this) I call up a repo company and even myself drive the hour to go get the vehicle. They’ve been hiding it in the garage (according to neighbors and repo company). I do some searching and find out they’re both on probation for stealing a bunch of stuff from multiple stores. So I of course find and call up Mrs. Probation officer to see if she has a last known address. I then mention to her they’re staying above the state line and bounced a very large check to me, and they’re facing fresh charges in my town, she appreciates the knowledge.

Now while I was up at their house one evening I talk to one of the neighbors (Who also hate them they’re always yelling at their kids and eachother) and convince neighbor to call me if they see the vehicle outside. It took one day, I get the call, I send a very large friend who lives nearby them to go get the vehicle. After many expletives, berating my friend, they hand over the vehicle. But not before finally calling me while he was there and tell me how they’re going to sue and blah blah.

I’m out quite a bit of money from the ordeal, but here’s the best part. I just found out by living out of state they violated probation and just got sentenced to 30 days in jail from that, and they also just had their “video court date”(because they’re currently in jail with the probation violation) with the local judge on the new charges of the bounced check. I got my vehicle back and guess what? Deadbeat wife’s Father got custody of the 2 kids.

guadalupe99s  asked:

"I'll never be enough"

They warned me about Harry. How he was magnetic, how you wouldn’t know how he had you wrapped around his finger until it was much too late. Much like how the moon pulled the ocean, he pulled you right to him.

I was warned and I proceeded without caution.

And now it was too late.

I watched him roll out of my bed, running a hand through his hair before stretching. His back muscles rippled and I noticed the scratch marks etched into his skin by my own nails the night before. He turned towards me as he pulled on his jeans and when he saw I was awake he offered me a small smile. “Sorry, love. Did I wake you?”

“Were you going to leave without saying goodbye?”

“Thought you deserved to sleep in, I know you haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in a while.”

That was true, but what Harry didn’t know was that I was having trouble sleeping because he wasn’t in bed beside me. “I didn’t know you’d be leaving so early.”

“Told you I’d be going home today.”

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kalendraashtar  asked:

My fair ladies of Imagine, I love you all in a insane manner, but this one is for Gotham. I loved We Live for Love - there's something so unique about their relationship in that story. So, even respecting the fact you feel that it's done, I would love to have a glimpse of their future - perhaps their first big concert together and how to deal with fame? Or our couple receiving an award? I'll leave the rest up to your brilliant mind! Much love, Kal.

They Live For Love

By Marsali MacKimmie

Exclusive to the Wilmington Gazette

If you didn’t know anything about Claire and Jamie Fraser – the millions of albums sold, the thousands of concerts on six continents, the ups and downs that come with any long-lasting career in the music business – the one thing that’s immediately apparent is their unwavering love and commitment to each other. That much was clear throughout the several hours we spent chatting over whisky at the trendy, yet understated brewpub in downtown Wilmington, where the Frasers played three sold-out shows last week.

“My ancestors in Scotland distilled whisky on their farm,” Jamie, 58, told me as he rolled up his sleeves after the second round – showing two arms full of colorful tattoos. “And I grew up with my father making his own in the backyard. This place has the good stuff.”

“Oh hush,” Claire, 63 and with wrists full of silver bangles, turned to me with a raised eyebrow. Somehow I got the impression that this was a typical exchange in their household. “He’s full of shit. His grandfather proudly got arrested during Prohibition. And Jamie’s been known to make his own whisky – even get the girls involved from time to time.”

The girls would be the two Fraser daughters – 31-year-old Faith, who just finished her residency in pediatric medicine, and civil engineer Brianna, 28. Both grew up touring with their famous parents – but never dreamed of a musical career of their own. “It’s interesting to us how they both chose jobs that keep them close to home – which I guess makes sense, since we dragged them all over the country when they were growing up,” Jamie mused, oozing with pride as he scrolled through picture after smiling family picture on his phone. “But now that they’re both settled, it means the wife and I can tour more without feeling guilty about it.”

Touring is something that Claire and Jamie Fraser have done since just about the moment they met – she was a recently divorced cabaret singer with a big dream, he was a down-on-his-luck guitarist living gig to gig in what was then the rough and tumble Alphabet City neighborhood in New York. “I used to crawl over junkies on my way home – and now on that same corner is a high class wine bar!” he laments. They released their first album in 1981, and the first single – “We Live For Love” – rocketed to the top of the charts. Eventually it hit number one in fifteen countries, and turned Claire Fraser into an overnight superstar.

“We were so unprepared for fame,” Claire says quietly as she looks away, thinking. “We’d been rehearsing and performing, and that’s fine – you can deal with that. It’s amazing to play for 100,000 people, and so cool to travel to all the places in the world you’d only seen on TV. But being followed by photographers to restaurants and having reporters go through our garbage – ”

“Nothing can ever prepare you for that,” Jamie added. “Thank God we had each other – otherwise we would have gone nuts from the stress.”

“Not to mention that this was the early 80s – there weren’t many successful female rock singers, like there are today. The stories I could tell you about asshole program directors or chauvinistic record execs – it would just stun you.” I watched Claire reach for Jamie’s hand, and he automatically took it. Effortless. “I had to put up with so much bullshit, just because I was female. I know I had to work harder, sing harder, just to get taken seriously.”

When Jamie said, “It was all I could do to not knock their teeth in” – I couldn’t tell if he was joking, or was serious.

That Claire Fraser endured her fair share of difficulty is well-known – she’s spoken about it numerous times over the years – but all that hard work paid off. Eleven records released – including a collaboration with, of all things, traditional Scottish musicians. Twenty million albums sold. Five Grammy awards. An Emmy for a live performance that was one of the first to air on HBO.

And now a special 35th Anniversary Tour – celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of their first album, “Outlander.”

“We get asked all the time – who is the Outlander?” Jamie smiled. “And we both have different answers.”

“I always say that it was me,” Claire insists, running her hand through her trademark curls – gone gray now, but still vibrant. “Because when we were making the record, I was a complete outlander in the studio – I didn’t know who I was or what I was doing, and I realized just how much I had to learn. About rock music, about how to make records, and about the whole industry.” Then she turns to her husband and raises one eyebrow, waiting.

He takes his cue. “And meanwhile, *I* say that it was *us* - the entire band. We had a very unique sound and nobody quite knew where to put us. We had to fight every damn radio station to put us in with the Rock rotation, rather than the Pop rotation. We had to fight to get photographers to take shots of Claire that weren’t gratuitous – that showed her off as the kick-ass singer that she is, not just some chick in tights.”

“Hey,” she playfully shoved him. “You happen to *like* the chick in tights.”

“I do,” he laughed. “I do, very much.”

So – how much of this tour is to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the album, or their 35th anniversary as a married couple? (Jamie and Claire married right before “Outlander”’s release).

“Oh, it’s definitely both,” Claire is quick to reply. “Because as far as we’re concerned, it’s one and the same.”

“The first single – ‘We Live For Love’ – that was the first song I wrote for her. We still play it every night – it’s the one song that everyone always wants to hear.” Jamie pauses, thinking. “And I find that so incredibly gratifying, because it was *our* song – and it still is – but now it’s *everyone’s* song. I had no clue that’s where I’d end up – that it’s where *we* would end up – when I wrote it in my shitty Alphabet City apartment, hoping and praying that Claire would feel the same way. And yet here we are.”

“Here we are,” Claire smiles at her husband – and suddenly I feel very much like an intruder. “Would you believe that he tells the crowd the same corny love story with that song, every night?”

“Yeah, but you love it,” he rolls his eyes.

“You know I do.”

And they know that we do.

Reference: Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo interview at SXSW, 2016

2

Jonerys Appreciation Week - Day 7, Free Choice

New Westeros - A Jonerys Space Odyssey

The year is 2517 and the world is plunged in chaos and turmoil as Prime Minister Elect of the Realm, Cersei Lannister has unleashed a biological weapon into the atmosphere in a grand scheme to gain control of the Iron Throne. 

Scientists are calling it Wildfire and it is deadly and spreading just as fast as its moniker implies. Suddenly, the dead are not staying dead and are rising up to fight with and devour the living.  

Danaerys Targaryen, world renowned genetic anthropologist, is on a dig in Dothrak, India and has just found three fossilized, perfectly preserved dragon eggs.  The end of the world could not come at a more inconvenient time as it is her life’s work that has come to fruition when she finds the eggs that her assistant, Doreah says is part of the prophecy that makes Dany the Mother of Dragons come to save the world.  

With her eggs in tow and a plan to clone them into living, breathing dragons, Dany boards a space-liner bound for New Westeros, a terraformed planet far beyond Orion’s Belt and goes into cryopreservation.  When she awakes, everything has changed.  The dead now roam the earth at will and Cersei sits high in the Red Keep, her castle impregnable by man, beast or missile.  Many had tried to take her down and failed.  She literally rules over all of the Realm though not many had survived her madness and wrath and the destruction brought forth by her undead army. 

Jon Snow is doing fine living his life of solitude at Winterfell, his wildlife conservancy range for the Direwolf population that he has singlehandedly brought out of extinction and above endangered status.  He is the Father of Wolves and in Westeros is revered and loved by all who know him. 

But, Jon hasn’t had it easy either. When he was only 15 years old, his father Eddard died of a heart attack.  Soon after, his stepmother sent him to Castle Black in New Westeros, a school for wayward boys and grew up hard and fast in a place where friendships were hard won, but lasted a lifetime.  From there he had gone on to be a world class veterinarian and was known all over the galaxy for his work with his wolves.  He is a busy man with a lot on his plate and with word of his family going into hiding back home in the wake of the Wildfire virus, he doesn’t have time to help some snooty anthropologist with a God complex. He is a wolf conservator; he knows nothing about dragons and thinks it’s all a farce anyway. 

Until the unthinkable happens and suddenly, it’s apparent that all the prophecies are true.  Now, it’s up to Dany and Jon to return to Earth and save them all from ruin; from the dead; and from Cersei Lannister.  

Can they return to Westeros to save them all before it’s too late?  Most of all, will Dany and Jon stop fighting the growing attraction they have for one another and give in to love?  With time of the essence, they are racing against the clock to save themselves and humankind and if they dare, stay and rule a new world….A New Westeros.  

Full length fic coming soon   

Reward

Jefferson knew he could be clingy. He was not embarrassed by this fact, and he also didn’t think Madison totally minded. After all, Madison was clingy in his own ways, texting Jefferson any time he was upset over anything because he couldn’t even begin to feel better until had vented, and also physically clingy, on cold mornings when he was reluctant to let Jefferson remove his heat from the bed. Yes, given these displays of Madison’s own clinginess, Jefferson did not think Madison minded that Jefferson had a deep need to see him in person as often as possible. Things were tough when Jefferson traveled for work, but weeks like this one were a special kind of torture. They weren’t apart–just busy. Madison was right there, in the same town and, for much of the day, even in the same building, but they could not find time to spend together.

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I Lost A Friend

This isn’t my usual tickle-related content, so just be weary of that. But it is something I’d like people to read. So please, give it your time.

Today, seeing as it’s just past midnight, is the 5 year anniversary of the death of one of my closest friends. He was only 21. I remember getting the phone call one random day at Uni. Another friend, informing me of the details. He sounded like he didn’t know how to tell me. I don’t think I knew how to react. I just said “thank you”. I sat there in my room all day. Just sitting. I kept thinking “why am I not crying? Why am I not screaming?”. I felt awful, like I didn’t care. Of course I was just in shock. I hadn’t processed it. But I’ll never forget feeling awful for not immediately breaking down. After a few hours it hit me. And trust me, I broke down then. I’m not typically an emotional guy, but I was then. I couldn’t stop sobbing.
A few weeks later I went back home for his stone-setting. I met with his family. Gave them some pictures of us. We shared good memories and grieved together. I can see the look on his 7-year old sisters face now. Like she didn’t understand why all the adults were sad. Like she was concerned about us. It was devastating for his family and I felt so helpless to do anything. I felt like my even being there reminded them of their son. Of what they lost.
Then that night some of our friends went camping in his memory. He loved to camp. He always said it was funny because he was gay and was “the campest man for many reasons!”. We sat there and reminisced into the early hours. We argued at one point, about some trivial detail, fuelled by loss. Like somehow yelling at each other about something that got out of hand helped us to air our issues with life being unfair. It was a good night. We were together.
But more than any of that, what sticks out in my mind is the last time I saw him before he passed away. I had just gotten home from Uni for a week off. We hadn’t talked in a bit cos I’d been away. As I was walking through the train station I saw him. Waiting for someone. He hasn’t seen me. I was already late to meet my family so I just ran around, saying in my own head I’d message him later, catch up with him while I was home. I’d see him soon enough. I didn’t. I didn’t message him. I was always too busy. I didn’t reach out to him because I thought why should I? Let him reach out. Let him do it. I didn’t see him again. I had walked away from my last time seeing him. I never got to tell him how much he impacted me. How much I loved him. How much he meant to me, as a friend, even if we weren’t talking. Today, for every year for the rest of my life, I’ll always remember the time I failed to put aside my own feelings and reach out to someone who was a part of my life. If only to say “Thank you. For making me laugh. Being there for me. Arguing with me. Protecting me. Sharing your life with me. I’m sorry I let my pride and whatever we both did let us drift apart, and that I was a bad friend or you were a bad friend or I did this or you did that it doesn’t fucking matter. It just doesn’t fucking matter. I’m sorry. But thank you”.

Folks, that will haunt me until the day I die. The pain. The memories. Our failings. All of it. It will haunt me.

I know I never ask this of people, but could people reblog this around the community if they read it? Share it as much as you can. Not for my story, but for what I’m about to ask next.

Message someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Maybe you didn’t speak because of a fight and you’re not talking? Maybe you just let it drift? Maybe you just haven’t found time? Regardless, message them. Even if it’s just to thank them for being part of your life. For being there for the good times and bad. Just tell them “thank you”.

And if you get a little “thank you” messaged to you, consider replying. Think about what it feels like to lose someone. Forever. To have no chance at getting them back in your life. And please do what I failed to do. Put it aside. Just talk. Even if it’s just a catch up. Thank them back. Make the effort.

I’m sorry this wasn’t a more fun thing to read, but thank you for reading. And please please do what I ask. Share it around and take part. I want everyone in the community to be able to do this. Just for today. Just for my friend. Just for a 21-year old lad, who none of you knew, and who never knew how grateful I was for him.
Reach out. Build back bridges. Don’t let it be too late.

Thank you. Both on my behalf, and his.

Divergence

Because I’m lazy and not sure when I’ll finish this, I’m posting the first part of my fanfic of a fanfic (is there an official name for that?) here first. It’s a what-if fic of electraposts’s Vapors. For those of you who have not read that, what are you waiting for? It’s the only Naruto-has-a-twin-sister fic I enjoyed.  Anyways, this is a what-if Mikoto had managed to adopt the twins- how would Aiko and Konoha have turned out? I don’t know yet how long it will be, but I’ll post it on Ffn and Ao3 once it’s longer. 

Note: Italicised passage is straight from Vapors. 

___________________________________________________________________

The view from the large windows showed evidence of the destruction that the Hokage’s office did not. If she turned her head around, she could pretend, just for a few minutes, that nothing was wrong. That the Kyuubi had not attacked Konoha, that 61 Uchiha had not been killed in a single night, that her brother hadn’t returned a week early to be one of them, that Kushina wasn’t- 

Mikoto turned around sharply, eyes staring at the empty Hokage’s seat. She could feel her husband’s gaze on her clenched fists and forced herself to relax her fingers, half moon marks inscribed on her palms.  They hadn’t spoken in the aftermath. Fugaku had been busy trying to lead the recovery efforts and her account of the events she had witnessed four days ago had only made him give her those veiled looks of concern.

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anonymous asked:

I am so interested in and happy about Sam and Cas's friendship. Like, they just quietly and subtly went through so much relationship development the past few years. Interesting to me because from the get-go, Cas was closer to Dean and I don't think Sam was used to not being the favored one and the one ppl were drawn to. And in those early years we know he felt threatened by their bond. Then they were mainly just connected through Dean. But now they have a genuine bond and deep friendship<3

Hi there! I know I’ve been sitting on this message for a while now (sorry about that, out of town and then sick and FINALLY feeling good enough to reply to stuff coherently… sort of… :P)

I think Sam’s known for a long time just how important Cas is. I spent the last week rewatching s6 and the beginning of s7, and even soulless, Sam did everything in his power to manipulate Cas into helping them in 6.10 (for example). Sure, that’s not a great example of Sam and Cas’s bond as friends, but there were extenuating circumstances there…

Even in 6.21, AFTER Sam learned that Cas was the one who brought him back soulless (and forgave him, because it HAD been an accident), and knew that Cas had been working with Crowley behind their backs all season long to do something absolutely horrible (crack Purgatory in a power grab), Sam STILL was the one to call out to Cas begging for help…

SAM: Castiel, it’s Sam. Um, so look, I don’t know if you’re in on this whole Ben-Lisa thing, but if you have any heart whatsoever, bring ‘em back to us, man. C'mon. Please. I’m begging you. I am begging you, do you understand? (Sam looks around. Nothing. He scoffs. As he walks away, Castiel is standing next to him, unseen.)

He could see that Dean had nothing left, had resorted to torturing demons for information to try and save Lisa and Ben. Crowley had what he wanted (Dean and Sam running around too busy to interfere with his and Cas’s plans). We all know how that ended, with Cas breaking Sam’s wall which led directly to the events of 6.22, and Cas taking on all the souls of Purgatory (including the pesky Leviathans).

In 7.01, DESPITE ALL OF THAT ^^, despite Cas deliberately breaking Sam in the most horrifying way possible, SAM AGAIN PRAYS TO CAS. Sam sees how hurt Dean is, Sam’s living through his own hallucinogenic Hell-o-Vision nightmare, and still he calls out for Cas. AFTER DEATH HIMSELF told Cas he was practically beyond hope, and that they only had one chance to make any of this right, Sam is the one insisting that THEIR Cas is still in there, that he’s not beyond help.

DEAN:  I mean, we can’t bring the horse to water, and we can’t make it drink. Why fool ourselves?
SAM: Dean, look, I know you think that Cas is gone –
DEAN: It’s 'cause he is.
SAM: He’s not! He’s in there somewhere, Dean. I know it.
DEAN: No, you don’t.
SAM: No, I don’t. But, look, I was pretty far gone sometimes myself, and you never gave up on me.

And then he prays:

SAM: Hey, Castiel. Um… Maybe this is pointless. Look… I don’t know if any part of you even cares, but, um, I still think you’re one of us, deep down. I mean, way, way, way off the reservation, but… Look, we still have till dawn to stop this. Let us help. Please.

All because Sam understands. He may not be able to identify with the scope of Cas’s problem right then, but he definitely understands what’s at the root of it. Doing the wrong thing for what you believe are the right reasons is basically s4 Sammy all the way, you know? Drinking demon blood thinking it’s what was necessary to kill Lilith and stop the apocalypse? Despite everyone telling him not to? Only to discover that killing Lilith was the final key to STARTING the apocalypse? Whoopsie?

Sam gets it. He understands exactly where Cas is at.

Then in 9.11, Cas turns that back around on Sam:

Castiel: The only person who has screwed things up more consistently than you…is me. And now I know what that guilt feels like. And I know what it… I know what it means to feel sorry, Sam. I am sorry.

If nothing else, the two of them do understand each other and share similar burdens. Granted a lot of that gets shot to heckeroo with the horrible lengths they go to in dealing with MoC and then Demon Dean, but by the end of s11 Sam is seeing Cas in a very different light. After watching what both Dean and Cas went through via the whole Lucifer and Amara nonsense…

And in s12, Sam’s ready to stand beside Dean to defend Cas as a brother, you know? But there’s still that element of difference between Sam’s relationship with Cas and Dean’s relationship with Cas. I’m just glad that Sam and Cas have come to this point where they not only understand one another and sympathize with one another, but they really feel like they trust and care for one another. I can’t wait to see how all of this develops in s13.

tips for seniors applying to college
  • Visit colleges - over summer, over winter break, over spring break, whenever you can, it’ll help you get a much better idea of the schools you’re applying to and what you might prioritize when looking for a college (size, location, etc)
    • interview? yes, if the college offers the option, then take it bc 1) lots of times it can (not always, but sometimes) impact how your application is considered and 2) alumni are always great sources of information about the school. bring questions! anything really. i talked with my MIT interviewer for hours about the school and he told me lots of stories about his experience!
    • local admissions events (like local visits from admissions officers) are also super useful - I remember the one for MIT a year ago and it was super chill and the speaker was funny and they had lots of alumni there. (Also I remember a distinct feeling of looking around at the hundreds of people and thinking “omg all these people from Southern California want to get in, how am I gonna outshine all these people” and i still don’t know how I got in versus all those people)
      • Fun story - At one event (for a school I eventually got in), I bought a Starbucks latte before the presentation and it was still pretty hot when I got to the venue. When I looked up though, I saw a sign that said “no drinks allowed” and had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach at my not even sipped latte when the presentation was supposed to start in five minutes. And this is how I ended up, right outside the door of the theater, frantically devouring a latte while admissions officers walked past me
    • college fairs- these can be fun and you can meet admissions officers! you might even find some new colleges you could get interested in. Collect free stuff like pens, bags, and more!
    • EA/RD/ED????? 
      • ED- early decision means you want to go to this school. this is your clear #1. Remember, if you get in with ED, you have to go, so be completely sure when you choose this option. If you’re indecisive like me, its best maybe to avoid this option. The pros of this are that often, admission rates are a bit higher during this round and you dont have to do any more applications.
      • EA - early action means you wanna go to this school, but you’d still be willing to consider other schools. ie I did this for MIT and Caltech (yes you can do two SOMETIMES,,,,watch out for “REA” which is restricted early action, where you can only apply to one school during the early round) pros include slightly higher admission rates, earlier knowledge of results, and freedom to choose. i like this option because it lets you remain flexible in the RD round. In other news, i heard a rumor that if you apply to UPenn early, you have a lot higher chance of getting in, but i can’t confirm that.  The rule of thumb is if your #1 school is EA, you should apply early.
      • RD - regular decision means you’re applying without restriction with everyone, including those deferred in the early round. Pros- more time to do your app, freedom to choose. Cons include sometimes much lower rates of admission - like Sta*ford, where you have to include all admitted athletes, legacy students, and students admitted from the deferred pool from early, the rate can go as low as 1% rip. Other sometimes super obscure cons is that the day they notify you is super late and then you can’t visit/consider. Example - Ivy day is characteristically in Late March, and one of the schools i got in, I wanted to go to their campus preview but my family couldn’t afford another trip to the East Coast since I already had booked a flight weeks before to visit another school. tl;dr couldnt consider going to that school bc it was just too late rip
  • Start your essays asap - once senior year starts, schoolwork is gonna get busy!!! and you’ll fall behind if you don’t watch out. so start in the summer coming up with ideas or maybe forming a couple of first drafts.
    • When possible, reformat other essays to fit other prompts. Two colleges might use the same or similar prompts for their essays, so you could essentially use the same essay. For example, lots of schools will ask “Why do you wanna study ____” and it’s completely justified to write just one essay for all these schools. –>saves time
    • Don’t overthink your essays. Write about a story, something meaningful that happened to you. I wrote about some family reunion where I played a alternative song on a ukelele and it was a pretty random topic, I admit, but hey it worked. It’s just it meant something to me, and it was a bit comical too, so don’t try too hard to make it sound “impressive” or “achieving”.
    • But at the same time, if you’re not funny, please don’t try to make jokes. Nothing’s worse than failed jokes. Focus on what you’re good at - I like telling stories, so that’s what I did.
  • Scores - dont stress out too much about it bc, well to be honest, you should have other things to worry about (KEEP YOUR GRADES UP. DO NOT GET RESCINDED.) also lots of schools try to focus more on other parts of your application. I like to look at scores where after a certain point cutoff, there isn’t much of advantage towards having a higher or lower score.
    • actually on that note, i just wanna say that GPA is still really important (a lot of schools will weigh that as #1), so your grades>scores

Other things that senior should consider

  • Spend time with your family/friends
    • likely this is your last year you will be living at home (maybe) and the last year you’ll get to spend time with a lot of your friends. You’ll find that you’ll miss them when you go off to college, so be sure to make tons of memories with the people that are important to you.
    • do new things - write that song for your friend, join that dance team to dance in front of the entire school, learn that language. have fun!!
  • Spend time at local events/places
    • this is kind of a weird one because I haven’t seen it anywhere, but that farmer’s market? that local fair that comes around every few months? your favorite restaurant? if you’re moving away for college, those will be gone soon, so you should go and visit and spend time there too. (With pokemon go, exploring/re-exploring your community becomes even better)
  • keep your grades up; dont get rescinded. That’s all i will say
    • start learning how to manage your time ie dont be up til 3am doing an essay, actually try to set aside time every day to work on it
  • Reconnect w/ old friends, repair broken bridges
  • start learning to be independent- ie do your own laundry, maybe cook/wash the dishes, learn to drive, learn how to do bank stuff
  • team mystic always

i hope i got this right, this was what i found in my experience. if any of you have any other questions, feel free to hmu. i will also let you know when i have learned to capitalize the beginning of sentences omg

A Cornucopia of Conundrums

Part 1. Part 2.

Summary: “So what you’re saying is; you had a one-night stand with some yakuza lordling and now you’re preggo with his baby?” SasuSaku. AU.

-

Fortune favors the brave. And the brave, make their own fortune. ~ The Perilous Sea, Sherry Thomas

-

August

Sakura was not above admitting that had it not been for Yamana Ino, she’d have never made it through the first few months. Only for a record breaking day, was she allowed to wallow in her misery, and then, like a golden goddess of vengeance, Ino had swooped in and thrown in her face: applications for Fellowships. Sakura had taken one look at the thick bundle of her shattered dreams and promptly burst into tears again.

Ino had refused to take any of it. “Haruno Sakura!” she’d cried, “You get the fuck up and apply for a fellowship right this second or I'll—I’ll disown you!”

Sakura had sniffled at her. So Ino had sat down beside her and put a comforting arm around her shoulder. “Come on,” she’d urged gently, “Let’s get this party started again.”

“What’s the point,” Sakura had said dispassionately. “In a few months, this baby is going to be born and I’ll have to be a full time mom anyway.” The notion had been so disheartening, she’d almost keeled over again.

“No” Ino had countered with such utter conviction, that Sakura had been slightly taken aback. “You’ll get a maternity leave, and after a few months, you’ll start taking on light shifts and the baby will go to daycare. In fact,” she’d leaned forward and grabbed the bundle of applications and started sifting through them efficiently, “Let’s select a hospital that has an awesome daycare as well a good fellowship program.”

Sakura had put a hand on her belly and wondered what she had done to deserve Ino. “Ino—,” she’d started to protest, but eyes blazing, Ino had raised a hand in the universal sign of stop.

“We’re not talking about this anymore,” she’d said, and with an economy of movement, shoved a handful of forms in her lap. “Start filling them,” she’d ordered. “You’re going to be organized, be prepared, and be on time.” Her voice had been perfectly ferocious and terrifying. “If you can manage that, there might be a chance for you. If you can’t, I wash my hands off you, Forehead.”

In the end, they’d settled on Konoha Memorial.

A week later, she’d gotten the call.

-

September

If Ino was a creature of whimsy, then Sakura was a creature of pragmatism. She liked to be prepared. And so, while Ino helped her manage the more…surreal aspects of her life at the time, Sakura got to work. If it was anything she’d learned in the past few days, it was that she did not like to be caught unawares.

Uchiha and Senju were notoriously famous—dating back to Edo Period. Uchiha descended from the bakuto branch, while Senju’s had adhered from tekiya. Somehow, the peddling of illegal goods had turned into a big profitable business for the Senju’s at the same time some, long dead ancestor of Uchiha had entrepreneured a very handsome, very illegal and very successful gambling business; and thus, the Village of Konoha had started thriving.

Disguised as machi yakko, the syndicates had run like a well-oiled machine, smoothly hiding any and all criminal behavior under the disguise of kigyo shatei, until one day, Tobirama Senju had murdered Uchiha Madara’s only living brother.

Driven half mad with grief, Madara had ordered a zetsuen on Tobirama’s life, who had absolutely refused to back down. The full might of Senju, apparently against Oyabun Hashirama’s blessing had gone to a vicious, bloody war against the Uchiha.

Sakura had studied the statistics; the number of people who had died, most of them innocent bystanders and her heart had clenched with fear. God, she’d thought dazedly, these people were monsters.

Apparently, the gun fights and bombs and terrible, terrible stuff had gone on for more than a year and a half, after which Oyabun Hashirama had ordered a hamonjo on his brother as a compromise with Madara. Then, and only then, had the murders stopped. But to this day, the bitter rivalry between the two syndicates remained.

In the turf wars almost sixty years back, there had been hand guns, machine guns and, when a certain party had turned even more deranged, rocket launchers. Now, if they were to ever decide they didn’t want the other side to breathe, there would be drones, 3D guns and if someone acted as senile as Madara had acted back then, neutron weaponry.

She had closed her eyes and let that sink in. Then tentatively, she’d reached out and ran a search on the Uchiha-rengo. Three tiers down the family tree she’d found him. Uchiha Sasuke, his name was. In the small headshot attached to his name, he seemed so…human; like he wasn’t capable of such cold-blooded savagery.

If she hadn’t just had an eyeful of Uchiha Madara’s sanguinary antics, she might have been tempted to reach out to him.

-

October

Every morning, since the end of September, at precisely seven in the morning, Sakura’s insides heaved, and she would barely be able to make it out of bed and to the side of the toilet before every bit of food she’d eaten the night before came right back up.

How long she’d kneel there, heaving, she wouldn’t know. But when she would come out of the bathroom—feeling a bit better, the basketball-sized jumble of nerves in her stomach shrunk to the size of an acorn—Ino would be waiting for her. Bleary eyed, she’d pat the space next to her and Sakura would collapse in her arms.

“Ino-chan,” she’d asked one day. “How does one have unprotected sex and not remember it?”

“Remember the sex?”

“No. The distinct lack of a condom.”

“It must’ve been one hell of a night.”

“Augh,” Sakura had grumbled in disgust. “It was.”

Ino had sighed tiredly. “Fucking shallow, double-crossing creep. He’s a little better than a common prostitute.”

“Sure, let’s go with that,” Sakura had agreed.

They’d lay there for a while until Ino had to get up for an early demonstration. Sakura had offered her a ride, and on the way, Ino had very matter-of-factly told her, “You can’t go regretting stuff because there wasn’t anything else that could’ve happened.”

Sakura had eyed her sideways as she’s slipped on her sunglasses and examined herself in the rearview mirror. “What do you mean?” she’d asked.

“You know,” Ino had said, slipping off the glasses and rubbing a smudge of lipstick from the corner of her mouth, “It’s cause and effect. Every time anything happens, it’s because of all the other things happening all over the world. Any time you make a decision, there wasn’t anything else you could’ve done because it was who you were, and it was all the things that had happened up to then that made you decide that. So there’s no point regretting anything.”

A moment of stunned silence, and then Sakura had scoffed. “So by your logic, all my life has led to the point where I say fuck it, I want that dick?”

Ino had laughed; and the loud, happy cadence of it had made Sakura smile. “Hey, you are the one who said it.”

-

November

In the biting cold of November, Sakura had finally mustered the courage to get her first ultrasound. The room had been bright and sterile and the seat had been cold. She could see the soft flakes of snow falling outside the window, and she’d imagined that it would feel just as cold as the ultrasound gel being rubbed on her belly. She hadn’t told anyone; not even Ino. She’d wanted to do it alone—to see her baby for the first time in the privacy of her mind and soul and not be judged if she found she didn’t love it.

She needn’t have worried. The moment she heard the small, amplified heartbeat; she was in love.

So much so, that when she had been handed the picture, she’d made a beeline to her car with a fist sized lump in her throat and driven all the way to the outskirts of Konoha suburbs, and parked right in front of her mother’s neat, manicured lawn.

There had been tears in her eyes as she’d rung the bell—and rung it again and again and again, until Mebuki had pried the door open and stopped dead in her tracks. Those clear, bright orbs of brown had regarded her—tiny baby bump and all—with an intensity that had made her warm with embarrassment.

Without a word, Mebuki had opened the door just as wide as her arms, and Sakura had felt like a child as she’d hugged her mother close.

“Who’s the father?” Mebuki had asked in her blunt, no-nonsense way that night.

“I don’t know,” Sakura had lied.

They hadn’t shown it, but Sakura could tell her parents had been disappointed.

“He didn't—,” Kizashi has started fretfully, looking anywhere but at her, “He didn’t force himself on you right?”

“No,” Sakura had been quick to reassure. “No, no, no. It was totally consensual and a total mistake!”

Kizashi had exhaled in relief.

“Does he know?”

Sakura had been smart enough to notice the shrewd glint in her mother’s eye to recognize the trick in that question. “I just told you,” she’d said slowly, patiently, deliberately as to leave no room for doubt. “I don’t know who he is, where he is, where he’s from, or—anything.”

“Then we’ll find him,” Kizashi had assured gently, slipping an arm around her shoulders and holding her close. Sakura had melted in his embrace, all the worries slipping off her shoulders, if only for a moment.

“Please don’t,” she’d asked them in a small, vulnerable voice. “I don’t want him to know.”

And that had been the end of that.

-

December

“What do you think it’ll be; a boy or a girl?” Ino asked excitedly.

“I bet it’s a boy,” said Mebuki, sure and confident of herself.

“Nope. It’s definitely a little girl in there,” said Kizashi, grinning in the driver’s seat. “I can tell.”

“Yes,” said Mebuki, a smile in her voice, rolling her eyes fondly, “Like you can tell the difference between an eggplant and a brinjal.”

“Hey!”

Sakura laughed. “I really don’t care.”

“Twenty bucks says it’s a he,” Ino challenged from the back.

“I’ll be very happy to take your hard-earned money, Ino-chan,” said Kizashi happily.

“Are you guys seriously betting on the gender of my baby?” asked Sakura incredulously.

“I’m with Ino-chan. You’re definitely losing this one, husband,” said Mebuki completely ignoring Sakura’s indignant cry of ‘hey!’

At the hospital, they’d all stood around the ultrasound table, and Ino had attached herself to the sonogram machine, which she knew how to read. Sakura’s OB had not been impressed, and as soon as the monitor had transmitted the video, Ino’s eyes had found Sakura’s.

“It’s a girl,” she’d whispered wetly.

Sakura had known. Somewhere deep inside, she’d known. Her baby was a girl—a strong, smart, independent, beautiful girl. She was going to love her so much.

“Oh,” Mebuki had choked on happy tears and Kizashi had had to put an arm around to support her. Together, they’d helped Sakura up, and held her in their arms.

God, she’d thought, her daughter was going to be born in so much love.

-

January

“Wow…” Moegei had frowned in disapproval. At seven months, Sakura’s belly was perfectly swollen, and her mood swings had taken an exchange of sorts with weird food cravings. The baby especially liked to eat ice-cream with bell-peppers. It had not been as disgusting as Sakura had feared.

“Sensei,” Takumi, one of the Resident’s on her team had probed hesitantly. “Touya-san is awake. His kidneys are recovering nicely.”

“That’s great, honey,” she’d patted him on the cheek and he’d scowled like an adorable puppy.

She knew her resident’s weren’t exactly fond of her patronizing maternity, but she made up for it by giving them live opportunities to learn in the OR. The baby now weighed exactly 2kg’s and measured approximately 44 cm from head to toe. More than twice a day, she changed positions, and Sakura made sure to check her fetal position at least once, to make sure she would crown perfectly.

“Senseii,” said Moegi, leaning a little in her chair and smiling playfully, “When’s your baby due?”

“Two months,” Sakura replied, chewing on a stick of raw bell-pepper and flipping through her tab. “Miyazawa-san’s craniotomy is in two hours. Who wants to take the lead?”

All hands shot up and Sakura grinned. “Well let’s see who won’t crack his head on the first try.”

-

Feburary

Eight months in and she’d felt like she hadn’t seen her feet in decades. She wadled around the house when Ino was out and watched all six seasons of Winx Club sitting straight backed in bed when Ino was home; It was the only thing the baby allowed her to watch.

The pressure on her bladder was incredible. Every time she felt comfortable, her body decided it was time to pee. And thus, she’d lay long hours in the night, planning for the baby’s future; she’d visit her every hour in the hospital day-care, make sure to keep any and all technology away, at least for the first few years, and when she would be old enough, she’d send her to an amazing Kindergarten she’d researched on KonohaOnline a few days ago. They’d visit Mebuki and Kizashi every Saturday and when the baby would turn five, she would quit the hospital and start a private practice.

Her name, she decided, would be Sarada; from Saraswati. Like the Goddess, her baby would be kind, gentle, wise and courageous.

Not once in her plans, she’d made contingencies for Uchiha Sasuke.

-

March

The day her water broke, it had been a downpour. The wind had risen to a howl and the first fat drops of rain had splattered just as they’d reached the hospital. Sakura had barely managed to keep herself upright as her father had driven like a mad man all the way to the hospital. Every time a contraction hit, she’d gasp and had have to brace herself against the side of the car door; it had felt like the baby had pinched the inside of her abdomen—hard. Each sensation had been short, but the dampness between her legs had been irritatingly sobering.

“Ino,” Mebuki had shouted in her phone, while holding tight to Sakura. “Her water just broke. Hurry!”

Grasping the sides of the hospital bed, Sakura had been surprised at the intensity of the contractions. For several minutes, she could talk and relax; then the ache in her back would turn into a searing pain that had felt like her entire midsection had been squeezed by a tourniquet of straight pins. Then the pressure would ease, and all she’d be left with would be a dull ache in her back.

She’d been between one of those, when Ino had been ushered into the room in a whirlwind of sanitary gowns and antiseptic masks. Gingerly, she’d held on to Sakura’s other hand as she’d arched her back and grit her teeth against the fiery pain of a contaction.

They’d been there; all three of her people as she’d screamed and raged at the nurse to put it in—just shove it the fuck back in and cut it out of her! They’d been there as she’d let out the tail end of a wail that had fused together with Sarada’s as she’d slipped out of her.

They’d been there as she’d, weary, and bone tired and sweaty, been handed her baby, and they’d been there as she’d held her close and cried—because, she’d finally realized; this little slip of a human, so beautiful and so breakable and so damn precious, had been the best thing that ever happened to her.

-

tbc

Castle Fanfic: Love the One You Hold 1/1

Love the One You Hold

A Season 3-4 AU

This was inspired by a little tagfic I wrote on this post: http://bunysliper.tumblr.com/post/151478983856 which then took on a life of its own.


I know I tried
I was not stable
And flawed by pride
I miss my sanguine eyes
So hold my hands up - breathe in and breathe out  - “Lover Of The Light,” Mumford and Sons


His daughter will kill him when she finds out what he’s been planning, but he can’t watch her do this to herself any longer. He can’t watch his child grimace and gasp in pain, even though she tries so hard to hide it from him. He can’t watch his little girl grow more distant, crawling deeper within herself with every passing day.

He can’t continue to watch Katie stare at her phone but refuse to use it.

If she isn’t going to call, isn’t going to reach out to someone, he’ll do it for her. She had given him a boost – a shove, really – when he had needed it most, when he had hit rock bottom and couldn’t see a way to climb out of his pain and his misery, and now he’s doing the same for her. She’ll be pissed, she may well rail against him (God knows he did all those years ago), but he has to believe his plan is for the best.

On a quiet, cool morning in early July, Jim Beckett steps out onto the knotted wood porch of his cabin and does what his daughter can’t or won’t do for herself: he calls Richard Castle.

Keep reading

I'll Be Home For Christmas (Luke)

“Mommy? When will daddy be home?” your daughter, Josie, asked you. You turned and your twins were staring at you. “Daddy probably won’t be home until the New Year” you looked at their sad eyes. “He won’t be home for Christmas?” Fletcher asked. You looked at your sad, four year olds. You knew it was hard for them. It was hard for you. But you and your husband, Luke were working on a surprise.

“Lucas. Do you understand how hard this is?” you whined to him over facetime. “They miss their daddy so much. And their little hearts are damn near broken thinking that you won’t be here on Christmas” you continued. “Babe. Tomorrow. Then they get their early Christmas present” he wiggled his eyebrows and you couldn’t help but giggle. 

The next morning you were woken up by two children crawling into your bed. “Mommy? When will we see daddy?” Fletcher asked. You sighed. “You know your daddy is busy working right now” you told them. They nodded, not keeping their disappointment a secret. You sat up. “Let me go get Carter and then I’ll make you two some pancakes. Does chocolate chip sound good?” you asked. “Yes!” they shouted in unison with small smiles creeping onto their faces. 

“We’re going over to Grandma and Grandpa’s today because there’s an early Christmas present waiting for you two and Carter. Are you excited?” you hadn’t told your kids until now that you were going to spend the day with Luke’s parents. “Early present?” Fletcher asked, eyes glistening. “Yes” you smiled. “And I heard that it’s a good one too” you told them.

You had the kids dressed and loaded in the car and drove the short distance to you in law’s house. When you arrived your twins ran to the front door as you got your baby out of her carseat. You heard the door open and the children yell excited greetings to their grandparent’s. You walked over and Liz immediately reached out for Carter and you handed her over. “Did everything work out?” you asked. “Their present arrived this morning” she smiled as Josie and Fletcher looked up at her with wide eyes. Liz leaned in closer to you so the children couldn’t hear and whispered “I think he’s more excited than the kids will be”. You laughed “I’m not surprised”.

“Are you two ready for your present?” Andrew asked. “Yes Grandpa” they shouted in unison. You laughed. They had always been quite in sync with each other. “Okay. Get ready” Liz said as Andrew walked into the kitchen. About two seconds later a black lab puppy came running out. You were shocked, in a great way. You had been talking to Luke about getting a dog and a lab was just the kind you wanted. 

The kids squealed and laughed as the dog came up to greet them, licking their faces and wagging his tail. You smiled, watching them pet the dog and thank their grandparents. Seeing the excitement in their faces made you anxious for their next surprise. When the lab came up to greet you you reached down to pet him, appreciating how well behaved he already was. “What do you think we should name him?” you asked your twins. “Bear!” Fletcher shouted. “Spike, like in Rugrats!” Josie exclaimed. “Actually, his name is Charlie” you heard a voice say.

You grabbed onto Charlie’s collar so he would stay by your side. The kids screamed and took off running. “DADDY!” they shouted, jumping into his arms. “Hi punks” he said, giving them both a kiss on the forehead. You let go of Charlie’s collar to go and greet your husband. You stood on your tip toes to give him a kiss as Charlie rubbed up against your legs. “Hi baby” he smiled. “I missed you” you told him. “I missed all of you guys” he said, setting the twins down. “Where’s my Carter?” he asked. Liz handed her to him. He kissed her forehead and smiled down at her. 

“Mommy said you wouldn’t be home until new years” Josie said, hands on her hips. “Yea” Fletcher agreed. “Mommy and I have been planning this surprise for weeks now” Luke told them. “Charlie was a special surprise just from me though” Luke added as Charlie licked the side of Josie’s face.

I'll Be There- Shawn Mendes Fanfic

Chapter One: http://taylor-caniffs-bandana.tumblr.com/post/81947603218/ill-be-there-shawn-mendes-fanfic-prologue

Chapter Two: http://taylor-caniffs-bandana.tumblr.com/post/82835952826/ill-be-there-shawn-mendes-fanfiction

Chapter Three: http://taylor-caniffs-bandana.tumblr.com/post/83119364770/ill-be-there-shawn-mendes-fanfic

Chapter Four: http://taylor-caniffs-bandana.tumblr.com/post/83247193023/ill-be-there-shawn-mendes-fanfic

Chapter Five

A week goes by and I have not thought about what almost happened at all. Shawn wants to talk about it, I can tell. He’s holding back whenever we’re together. Not being as talkative as he used to. But yesterday, we had a moment. We were in English and we got paired up to preform a scene form a play of our choosing. And we both decided on Romeo and Juliet because that’s one we both like and have read before. We were rehearsing today, doing the balcony scene where Romeo and Juliet confess their love for each other, or whatever, and I swear, it was like he wasn’t even playing a character. The lines didn’t seem forced like they usually are whenever students are forced to preform. He seemed like he genuinely loved me. And he apparently does, according to what he said a couple nights before. And the chemistry between us felt so real. I wanted it to be real, but I just wasn’t sure. I mean yeah, Shawn and I have gotten a little closer and we’ve been hanging out a lot, but he was still with Lauren.

So tonight, I had a lot on my mind. I was up all night. No sleep. None what-so-ever. All because I was too busy thinking about Shawn. About before I left. About what almost happened in his car. About him and Lauren. So needless to say, I was pacing around my room, biting my nails all night. I have no idea what to do about this. Things are going to be so awkward tomorrow between us. When I left him in the car, he looked so upset. I didn’t even know I still have that effect on him. Why can’t we just get over each other? Why can’t he just actually have feelings for Lauren instead of saying he does and actually having feelings for me? Why can’t I move on?

So by the time it’s time for me to get ready for school, I’m very stressed out. I can’t get this whole Shawn thing off of my mind. I can already tell I’m going to be very distracted and irritable today. That’s for sure. So I very slowly get ready, avoiding Aunt Patti almost all morning. I do my usual routine. Get dressed. Do hair and makeup. Brush my teeth. Then social media for about twenty minutes. I don’t eat breakfast, like normal.

Just as I’m about to head out, Aunt Patti blocks my path. “You need to eat,” She demands. She has her hands on her hips and looks determined to make sure I actually eat.

“I already ate.”

“Don’t you dare lie to me, Caroline.” She retorts. I sigh and roll my eyes. Handing me a banana, she watches me closely. “Eat it, okay?” She adds.

I nod and unpeel it. She watches me expectantly as I slowly take a bite and swallow. I am internally screaming and crying because I’m being forced to eat. “There. Happy? I’ll finish the rest on my way to school.” I say. She nods and hugs me, rubbing my back a little. Once she pulls away, I push past her and walk out the front door. I throw the half eaten banana into the bushes as I walk past them and to my car.

As I drive to school, I can’t help but think about Shawn again. What if he breaks up with Lauren because he still has feelings for me? I mean, I doubt that will happen and not because he doesn’t like me, but Lauren won’t allow it. She would never be okay with Shawn leaving her for me or even leaving her, period. She was like that when we were little. She would always throw a fit whenever things didn’t go her way. Shawn used to always get annoyed at that, so I’m honestly still wondering what she did to him to actually be able to go out with him.

The ride to school is short and I get there twenty minutes before I usually get there. I took the short way today and I left a little earlier so that’s why I’m early. And there’s a reason why I’m early. Once I get to school, I basically sprint to the bathrooms and barge into the handicap stall, locking it behind me. Leaning over the toilet bowl, I practically shove my fingers down my throat and trigger my gag reflex. Vomit spills into the bowl, splashing a little in the water. I empty the food I ate, out of me, along with all of my stress and anger. I start to sob as I keep making myself throw up. I calm myself down and stop throwing up after about two minutes. Flushing the toilet, I stand up and unlock the stall door. Once I walk out, I am confronted by the devil herself. Lauren.

“Wow, Caroline. I knew you wanted to lose weight but I didn’t know that that’s how you do it.” She sneers, cornering me against the wall. I just want to run away, but I can’t. She’s making sure that I can’t. Lauren laughs and tosses her hair back. “God, Caroline. You are pathetic. I don’t see how you even have friends. Like you really should just go kill yourself. It would put everyone out of their misery. We wouldn’t miss you. Shawn wouldn’t miss you. Just do us all a favor and end it already.” She snaps. Tears are now streaming down my face as she laughs maniacally and turns around, her hair smacking me right in the face. She walks out of the bathroom, not bothering to say anything else to me.

I walk over to the sink and grip the porcelain edge, looking up at my reflection in the smudged mirror. My reflection stares back at me with tear-stained cheeks and red, puffy eyes. I look like shit. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. Calm down Caroline. You have to calm down. Calm down. I glance down at my bare arms, and my scars catch my eye, my mind wandering to the other self-destructive things I used to do to myself. And that list was endless. Drinking. Smoking. Drugs. Self-harm. Not eating and making myself throw up. That’s just some of the things I used to, and sometimes still, do. I am so tempted to hurt myself. But I don’t have a blade. That never stopped me before though. If I didn’t have one because of school, I would bite myself or give myself bruises. I got really creative. I want to feel the familiar feeling of the cold blade cutting open the old scars, to feel that familiar release that I had gotten so used to.

Then I remember that I have a paperclip or two in my backpack. That can work for cutting, right? I guess I’ll just have to find out. I’m about to get a paperclip out of my bag as I get a text from Shawn.

Wanna meet up?

I smile a little and quickly reply yeah and for him to meet me outside of our first class. With what happened yesterday in English, I’m nervous to meet up with him. I know he wants to talk about what’s going on between us. And trust me, I want to talk about it too, I just get really nervous when it comes to this stuff. But I suck it up, completely forgetting about what I was going to do moments before he texted me. I slide mu backpack on and walk out of the bathroom and across the school to where I was going to meet Shawn. As I walk, I can’t help but rub the scars on my wrist. I regret doing that to myself, not because it’s not healthy, but because it ruined how I see myself. Now all I see is a girl who doesn’t deserve to be happy. And I worry that if Shawn finds out about them, that he’ll think I’m a freak. I know he would never think that, but I always worry about that.

I turn the corner and see Shawn leaning up against the lockers in front of our first class. He grins as I walk up to him and once I get close enough, he pulls me into a hug. His arms wrap around me protectively and he squeezes me tight. “Shawn. Can’t. Breathe.” I choke out, exaggerating the tone of my voice. He laughs apologetically and let’s go. We sit down on the floor, cross-legged, and I fiddle with my hands a little.

“How are you doing, Care Bear?” He asks softly. I shrug, dismissing the question.

“Fine, I guess. Why?”

“Lauren came up to me a couple minutes ago and told me what you did in the bathroom,” He whispers, his voice barely audible. I feel like I’m going to be sick. Shawn can’t know about that. He could tell Aunt Patti. I bite my lip nervously, not responding, as he scoots closer to me. “She was telling people.” I seriously think I’m going to be sick. This can’t be happening. Lauren ruins everything. Things were just starting to go back to a semi-normal place and then she had to go and tell people my secrets. “So I broke up with her.” Shawn says, bluntly.

I look up at him, shock clearly visible on my face. “I didn’t want to be with someone who talked about people like that. What she told people wasn’t her business and I don’t want to be with a bully like her,” He explains. I lean back against the lockers, my mouth hanging open in shock. I can’t believe Shawn would break up with her. I wonder how she took it. As if he read my mind, Shawn continues. “She was pissed. Made a whole scene and accused me of cheating on her with you ever since you came back. Pretty sure she’s gonna make our lives a living hell now. But hey, that’s what she does.”

“Why did you even go out with her if she always acted like such a bitch and a bully?” I ask, avoiding Shawn’s gaze.

He shrugs and I glance at him. He’s staring at me with intense eyes. “She looks like you.” His voice cracks a little and I grab his hand involuntarily and rub my thumb across his palm. “I thought that if I dated someone who looked like you, it would feel the same. I was wrong. I guess I put up with her because I kept thinking that maybe one day, my relationship with her would be like ours. But it never was like ours. Ours was built on trust and love. My relationship with her wasn’t. I did things with her that I wanted to do with you. I regret that more than anything.”

I look up at him, and I see him struggle to smile at me. Squeezing his hand, I reply, “I’m sorry, Shawn. About everything. About Lauren. And about how you had to find out about my problem.” I lean into him and rest my head on his shoulder. He rests his head on top of mine and we just sit there. Shawn and I end up talking about what Lauren said about me. He asks me why I do it and to be honest, I didn’t have a good enough answer. I simply can’t say I do it because that’s how I deal with my problems. That just doesn’t cut it. So I sit there, trying to come up with an answer. And I can’t seem to find a good one. As I’m thinking I hear someone call my name and Shawn’s name. We laugh a little, recognizing that high pitched voice. Alicia.

“Guys! You will not believe what I have been hearing since I got to school!” She shrieks as she sits down on the floor in front of me and Shawn. We wait for her to continue as she sits down criss-crossed. “Lauren is saying that you cheated on her with Caroline.” I groan and Shawn throws his head back in frustration. Of course Lauren would tell everyone that. “I mean, I know that what she’s saying is all bullshit but everyone else thinks it’s true.” I smile, knowing that my best friend can tell what’s bullshit and what’s not. That’s why she’s my best friend.

“She needs to mind her own business and stop spreading rumors,” I mutter loud enough for Shawn and Alicia to hear. They nod in agreement. As we all talk about random things, people walk by us. And they look down at me and Shawn and whisper about us to their friends. Of course people are going to talk about us.

The rest of the day goes by quickly. I barely pay attention, like normal. People talk about me, like normal. I talk to Shawn, like normal. But as I’m walking out to my car, something out of the ordinary happens. Shawn runs up to me, out of breath a little bit, and leans up against the drivers side door, preventing me from opening it. I laugh a little and ask, “Can I help you, Mendes?” He looks down at his feet nervously and rubs the back of his neck. “I was wondering if you wanted to go do something tomorrow. Like come over and watch movies or something? I wanna talk to you about some stuff.” He asks, looking up at me shyly. I nod and say yes. Once I say that, he gets the biggest smile on his face and tells me to come over around around 11 a.m. He also tells me that his parents want to have dinner with me and Aunt Patti to catch up. So I’ll most likely be staying with him all day. And that makes me happy.

I spend the rest of the night thinking about Shawn. About me. About my feelings for Shawn. Basically about everything. Do I like Shawn? Yes. Am I glad he broke up with Lauren? Yes. Do I regret not letting him kiss me a week ago? Definitely yes. Do I love Shawn like I used to? I have no idea. Do I want to see how things will work out between us? Yes. I want to admit that I still love Shawn. But I don’t know if that’s true. I haven’t been around for a couple years and we’ve both changed. We might not be as compatible as we used to. I don’t know. Things are different now. But Shawn was the first boy I ever loved. He was the only boy I ever loved. And I don’t think I stopped loving him. I have no idea what I’m even saying right now. Do I love him? Do I want to be with him? I want to say yes to both but I don’t eve know anymore. Love is confusing.

I am laying in bed, staring at my phone and scrolling through tumblr as I look over at the clock. It is seriously two in the morning and I am still up. I need to go to sleep. Or else I’ll be grumpy when I hang out with Shawn tomorrow. More like later today. But whatever. I plug my almost-dead phone in and let it charge, and I get up, taking off my clothes from earlier today. I change into a loose-fitting tank top and spandex shorts, which is what I normally wear to bed.

I do my normal night routine, which consists of brushing my teeth and washing my face and doing a load of laundry real quick, then go back up to my room. Just as I’m about to turn off the lights and lay down in bed. There is a knock on my window. I walk over and move the curtains out of the way. Smiling and laughing a little, I whisper, “Shawn. What on Earth are you doing? You haven’t done this in ages.”

“Just let me in before I fall,” He grunts. Laughing, I open the window and he crawls in and lays down on my bed. “Looks like neither of us could sleep.” He says quietly. I lay down next to him and it feels like how things used to be, again. Things finally feel right. All because Shawn being his romantic self.

I turn to face Shawn as he turns to face me. Our bodies are pressed up against each other and our faces are only inches apart. I close my eyes as Shawn leans in a little bit. “Do it, Mendes,” I tell him, urging him to do what I know he is going to do. I’m waiting for Shawn to do what he always does. For him to do what always makes me smile. For the reason I fell in love with him. I’m waiting for him to kiss me.