i should have spent the time to study for my spanish class

Black Girl, NYC

Greetings people. I identify as a Black female who was born and raised in NYC. I am slowly progressing through my study of education and history in college. Other then that, I spend (probably) an unhealthy amount of time reading and writing sci fi and fantasy. But by high school, I got sick and tired of the same story featuring blonds and brunettes saving the day with their straight, lean male heroes so I turned to my librarian seeking something new. She pointed to Octavia Butler and the rest was history. I’ve been seeking diversity in media ever since.

Family life and Culture

I grew as the middle child of six siblings with my single mother and grandparents. Yes, my working-class household fits the stereotype. We even have an absent father *sighs* But, hey shit happens. And with the biological father turns out not to be the best father figure, shit had to go right out the door. Yup. But make no mistake that this is a norm. Most households on my block do have both parents involved in their children’s lives. Our circumstances called for us to have one. That’s all.

The house was full, loud and rambunctious. We made up a good portion of the children on the block (unsurprising) and basically ran it. There’s a whole novel that could be fleshed out of my childhood if I wanted to. Our neighborhood is very tight knit. Next door neighbors were treated like Aunts and Uncles. When summer came around, we were sometimes divided into groups as the parents who were off from work overlooked us while braiding our heads. Blackouts became an all night bbq and sleepover on each other’s porches. Crooklyn by Spike Lee was a good representation of what it was like in fact. Somewhat. Minus the brownstones, plus a couple more fights (lol).

My grandma was a nurse who’s pretty big on us knowing our family history. She made sure to talk a lot about our Gullah Geechee roots. We also had some Dominican culture influence since her closest friend and our Madrina was, well, Dominican. But she is fairly strict on gender norms and how my sisters and I should act especially with brothers. She antagonized me the most growing up because I continued to ignore this. We don’t get along but i can’t say i don’t get why she’s the way she is. She has a pretty dark past. My mother, a latchkey kid of the finest stock, is more laid back and gives all of us free range to make our own mistakes. Most times. Other times, she’d rather lecture us. Depends on our crime.

I don’t know what my grandpa used to do. He retired waaaaay before my grandmother. I also don’t know much about his culture. He’s 1st gen Jamaican who fully assimilated into American culture. Well, beside his food choices. Now, he gambles and goes to church. When I was younger, he used to teach us how to gamble too. And how to cheat and not get caught. We got a lot of free fast food while he taught us. He has gotten more frugal the older he got. And more isolated.

Dating and Relationships.

I don’t date. I have no interest. Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I’ve considered it but I rather have not seek out anything outside of platonic right now. I have a tight knit circle of friends and several other groups of friends I associate with depending on the activity. I’m realizing it seems like I’m using the term “friends” loosely but I swear I’m not. I’m a virgin and I feel nothing about being one until someone goes “*gasp* You’re a virgin really?” and then I end up on high defense saying “So?” Believe or not, that messed with me a lot.

My love life and lack of interest in having one has always been a struggle. In middle school, the group of friends I hung with were becoming more infatuated with love and sex. Yes, middle school, fifth through eighth grade, ages nine to thirteen. But, when they would talked about who’s hot or not, they would look at me funny when I didn’t join in the discussion. Instead of explaining myself, I simply copied other’s reactions and gushed along with them. This instinct followed me through High school til stopped out of annoyance. I became a listener and adviser in their relationships because I really do love stories in many shapes and forms. And I would never turn down hearing a story.

Language

My primary language is English and AAVE. I’ve been living in a neighborhood filled with Blacks and Latinx. Most of my friends are Black and Lantinx. I didn’t meet a white person my age until college. Okay that’s a partial lie. I’ve been in a summer camp that was made up of predominantly white children. But as the only black kid in my age range, I was sorta uncomfortable. I never made lasting friends there. After High School, I spent a year abroad in Tena, Ecuador where I learned Spanish and Kichwa. I still suck at both languages.

Clothing

Lots of my clothes when I was younger were borrowed or hand-me-downs. Half of them still are. It’s like thrift shopping without the hiked prices thanks to its popularity by rich white people (Thanks rich white people!) All my siblings’ taste varies. In my case, I’m fond of combining loose and tight clothing (tight jeans and a loose sweater/ baggy jeans and a tight top). No makeup. Silver accessories.

I used to have a short bob cut permed. I hated it. But I rather a perm then getting my hair straightened with a hot comb because the back of my neck and big ears would always get burned. It wasn’t until I made a friend with a natural afro that I realized my natural hair was even an option.

Academics

Lol I was a nerd with bad grades.

Religion

My family practices Santeria, which has historical roots in both Catholicism and Yoruba thanks to slavery (Yay slavery!). However, because the religion is not fully accepted or well-known, I tend to say I’m simply Catholic if asked. Apparently, a Black Catholic is hard to believe. It is assumed all Black folks are Baptists or some branch of Christianity. I have no idea where that stereotype came from. But I can give some guess. (*cough cough* Tyler Perry….).  

As I stated before, I love scifi and fantasy. I especially love urban fantasy involving witches. I blame this love on Practical Magic and Eve’s Bayou, my childhood faves. It’s because of this love that I wish to see more stories with witches of color. And no, I don’t mean that one evil/mysterious southern/Caribbean Voodoo/Hoodoo witch hollywood loves to portray so much. That always plays into the “Black is evil” trope. Give me some damn variety!

I would squeal so hard if the mythology involved in a story isn’t even Eurocentric. I’m not joking. This is serious. When my religion was simply hinted at in the Raven Boys series (It was also a great way of making even more obvious that the character was definitely not white.) and Kenya Wright’s Habitat series, I squealed. All the authors did was write the names of some of the Orishas and I couldn’t help but put my phone down for a moment and inwardly scream with glee. That being said, if a writer does decide to use afrocentric or any religion involving “witchcraft” as a basis, I would personally ask that they make sure is is not a closed religion.

Santeria is, in fact, a closed religion. And while I don’t mind mentions of it in fantasy and even a main character stating they practice it, do not go any further than that. Don’t even research the practices within the religion other than what is public knowledge (And if you don’t have any public knowledge, just ask) Respect that there’s a limit. Anything further spelunking  is consider rude, disgusting, disrespectful and dangerous. There’s things that I don’t even know because I haven’t been properly initiated. And the internet has a lot of these practices exposed when it shouldn’t be so please don’t look into it. Please.

Food

Most of the cooking in the house has been done by my grandmother. Because of her various relationships, our food has always been a mixture of Black American, Gullah, Lantinx and Caribbean influences. It is so good. So, so good!

The only thing I don’t eat of hers is her seafood gumbo because I don’t like shellfish. One of my sisters said I should have my “black card” taken for my distaste. I said she could take it if she can name more black movies than me. She still can’t take it. My other sister wishes we could switch places because she loves crab but is allergic. The crazy girl actually sends her husband to buy some benadryl so she can eat some if we ever have some on the table. Smh. Siblings.  

Holidays

My family on both sides are quite fond of reunions. On my grandpa’s side, the family uses Fourth of July and Christmas to get together. On my grandma’s side, they tend to host annual summer reunion and send out RSVP invitations complete with schedules of the whole two to three day event. I didn’t mention this under my family life, but both sides of my family are boujee to different degrees. Lots of black sorors and frats members on both sides. I can’t believe that slipped my mind typing.

I’m a little iffy with Christmas. It’s more of a holiday for the older generation and our niece and nephews. The younger generation, however, don’t particularly care for the holiday. For some of us, it’s because it’s not really Jesus’s Birthday and Santa was whitewashed. For others, it’s because we don’t care to feed into the corporate holiday. For most of us, it’s a combination of the two. But we do love getting together when we can. My older sister and I have conspired to celebrate kwanzaa instead for the past two years. So far, it hasn’t grasped the interest of anyone else in the family.

Struggles

  • Being nerds from a young age, my siblings and I have been called “Oreos” or“Not really black” by kids in school on more than one occasion. We shut them down by fighting. Probably not the best strategy but it was best one I could think of in middle school and below. Made it easier to go back to reading my manga.

  • I got compared to my sisters a lot. It was the absolutely most annoying thing ever. And a major source of my insecurities growing older.

  • Need I address colorism? My highschool was filled with it. #TeamLight v #TeamDark. I was on neither team, because in the region I live, skin color was a pretty long spectrum. I fell in the between. Who came up with this?

  • I’ll admit it. I hate my own tears. They make me feel weak. Which isn’t true…I know. But, it is a mentality I always had. I have depression and PTSD. This isn’t really a secret. I tell people if I’m asked. But have you ever had someone look at you and say, “Really? You don’t seem like the type.” ……

  • I am a black female. I’ve been labelled “Strong” and “Independent” the older I got. By my mother. By my siblings. By my peers. And I get those labels. Even from friends. I loved those labels. I call myself by those labels. I mean, who doesn’t want to be seen as strong and independent? Those are positive affirmations, right? I think they would be. If that wasn’t all the positive labels we could get. Somehow, society has decided we are beings that are incapable of being multifaceted. I was indirectly taught to hate my own tears because black girls don’t cry. You can’t cry and be strong. What a terrible mantra fed to black girl at a young age. So, instead you tell everyone “It’s fine.”

I told my therapist it was fine. Until she told me straight up it was not fine. And it was okay to cry. I don’t like to cry. But I still (involuntarily) did it.

Things I’d like to see less of/Things I’d like to see more of:

  • I’m sick and tired of seeing black and latinx folks being portrayed as only fantasy gangs members. We are not only gang members. That’s a terrible popular myth the media put out there and I hate it even more so when it’s portrayed in SFF genre..

  • I’m tired of having one black person in a novel being described as having skin the color of “midnight.” And he’s (it’s always a he) not even that important to the story

  • I hate how every time someone decides to add a person of color, they have to be ambiguous brown. I’m not saying ambiguously brown don’t exist and don’t need representation but is it really that had for a dark brown skin person to play a major role in a story that’s not about slavery? Speaking of which….

  • Why we always gotta be slaves? Or better yet….

  • Why don’t we exist at all in High fantasy stories? Urban fantasy? Brooklyn wasn’t always the gentrified white town it is now. Still isn’t. How are you erasing people of color from NYC??? We make up way too much of the population to be completely erased

  • Stop racial coding other creatures to surround your white human characters. Especially as the bad guys. That’s just shitty writing. Step up your game!

  • I love Black love

  • I love Gay love. I wish more would follow moonlight’s example and show poc are gay too and gay doesn’t always equal to stereotypical femininity.

  • I love interracial love HOWEVER, can we pair people of color with other people of color as well? I’m starting to hate seeing it always a white person paired with a Poc. Variety damnit!

  • Friendships between boys and girls that don’t transform into love.

  • Friendships between girls that didn’t start out as a rivalry.

  • Different body types besides the skinny and tall. Make a main character that’s fat for once. It’s not a problem.

  • Magical characters of color that aren’t “Noble Savages” or “Wise Monks” that used their magic for personal gain for once instead of waiting for the white hero to come.

  • Nerdy black characters who aren’t 100% competent and cries. One that isn’t in a five token band that always gonna be compare to the white main character. Make the nerd the main character!

That’s all I can think of at the top of my head. But my list really does go on. 

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.

Sink or Swim (Sicheng)

genre: swimmer! au, high school au!, for the sports au NCT mini series @k-stagram and I are working on

summary: sicheng is a foreign exchange student at NCT School of Sports & Arts and one of the best swimmers the school has seen in years. But his English grade, might be the only thing keeping him out of the water.

“Hey y/n!”

Looking past the door of your locker, you saw your friend approaching, waving a piece of paper in the air.

“The new tutor assignments just came out, I grabbed yours for you from Mr. Kim’s office.“

She leaned against the lockers as you finished grabbing the books you needed. “Thanks! So, who did you get this time? Jaehyun hopefully?” You flashed a wink and a smile as she rolled her eyes. “Yeah don’t I wish, Jaehyun is super smart, I don’t think he will ever need a tutor.”

You and your friend were some of the smarter kids at NCT, not to brag. But you two had some of the highest test scores and GPAs in the whole school. And because of that, they asked you two, along with other students, to be tutors. However, most of the students you got paired up with were athletes. And it never failed that when you got new assignments, they were always one of NCT’s top sports stars.

“No, I got Haechan again. You know, I’m starting to wonder how that boy got here on scholarship with the grades he gets in some of these classes.”

You laughed as you closed your locker, starting down the hall with your friend as she handed you your assignment. Then looked over the tutor report of Haechan’s grades and performance in class.

“Maybe, he is actually really smart, but he just chooses to get bad grades so he can have you as a tutor. I mean, maybe he has a crush on you.” Your friend stopped in her tracks as she chuckled. “Y/n, we are talking about Haechan. That boy has never cracked a book unless it’s about football. You honestly think he is failing statistics on purpose just to spend time with me?”

Thinking about it, you realized that your thought was probably farfetched. “You’re right, let’s forget I ever even thought for a second Haechan was some secret genius.”

The two of you stopped at the coffee stand, grabbing something to drink and taking a seat during your free period. “Who do you think you got?” Eyeing your envelope, you just shrugged. “As long as it’s not Johnny Seo, I’ll be happy.”

The two of you laughing as your friend remembered the story of the last tutor session you had with Johnny. “I mean, he’s nice. But I don’t understand him getting bad grades and not being able to play, just to have tutor sessions with me. And, the fact that he tried to kiss me while I was teaching him about conjugations of the verb jugar. I mean, I get Spanish is a romance language but.” You shook your head as you opened your envelope.

“Well, it’s kind of cute. Almost like something you’d see on tv or in a movie. What, who did you get?” Your friend stopped talking about Johnny as she noticed your expression. “I got Sicheng.” “The foreign exchange student from China, who is on the swimming and diving team? Didn’t he go to the Olympics? He needs a tutor?”

“Yeah well apparently you don’t need a passing grade in English to go to Rio. He’s failing, and he can’t swim again until he gets his grade up. Well, I should go. Something tells me this assignment might take awhile.


“Sicheng, come on. It’s not that hard. Form a sentence with the words in the word box, but not all of them have to be used. So, you don’t have to use every single word. Okay?”

You’d been tutoring Sicheng for two weeks now, and his grade has only gone from an F to a D. And while that was good enough for Sicheng, it wasn’t good enough for his coach.

“Okay, check it now.”

Looking over the sentences he’d formulated, they were all correct. But it only took him thirty minutes or so to do it. And this was only the first exercise you’d done so far.

“See, why can’t you get the right answer the first time? You know what you’re doing. I think, you just rush yourself, or don’t take the time you need in order to do things right.” Writing down some notes, Sicheng just pulled out his phone, scrolling through Instagram, not thinking you’d care.

“Hey!” You grabbed his phone, turning it off and putting it in your backpack. “You have to focus. Remember what coach said, you don’t get at least a B-, you don’t get to swim at sectionals. And you have a huge test coming up that could get you the B- you need, but you have to focus and study.”

Sicheng sat quietly, a bit surprised at you being so strict with him, but he knew you were right. And you’d found the way to get him to work, threaten him with not being able to swim. Though you knew how much it hurt him to imagine not being able to swim in such a big tournament, you had to make him realize school is just as important as athletics.

Giving Sicheng another worksheet, you sat and watched as he cautiously filled it out. Looking at you every now and then before writing something down. “Sicheng, take your time. There’s no time limit or anything. okay? I’ve got all night.”

He nodded his head, giving his full attention to the worksheet, reading and rereading each question. Erasing his answers every now and then, cursing himself for making silly mistakes.

As you watched, you wondered how hard it must be. For Sicheng, being a foreign exchange student and not speaking much of anything besides Chinese. Having to make new friends, come to a new school. Sure he had swimming, but right now he didn’t even have that, unless he got the grade he needed. Before this tutoring session you honestly hadn’t ever noticed Sicheng. Mostly because your classes were in different parts of the building, or he was always by the pool in his free time. But now spending time with him, seeing he was just struggling with adjusting to a new school, it made you want to not only be a tutor for him, but a friend.


“Y/n! Y/n!”

Sitting outside working on some homework with your friend, you heard Sicheng as he came running toward you. Noticing the piece of paper in his hand, you realized he’d gotten his test score back. And this would determine whether or not he could swim at sectionals.

“Oh my god, your test!”

Practically jumping off the bench you were sitting on, you ran over to him, trying to grab the test from him. “Okay, wait.” He held it above your head, making you sigh as you waited impatiently. “Before I tell you what I got. I just want to say that I really appreciate you tutoring me. I know we spent a lot of time in the library. Sometimes probably too much time. But, whatever I got, I’m happy with it.”

You smiled at him, “You’re welcome,” then jumped and grabbed the paper while he wasn’t paying much attention. “Now let’s see.” unfolding the paper you scanned the page, looking anywhere for a B- to be written. But you didn’t find anything.

“I don’t get it, where’s the B-?”

Looking up you saw Sicheng holding the results paper that was stapled to the paper, which you ended up ripping off when you took the test from him. “It’s not there because,” Sicheng flashed the paper at you, revealing a big red A written on it. “I got an A!”

Your jaw practically hit the floor as you were shocked, you were really only tutoring him to get a B so he must have done some extra work on his own. Wrapping your arms around him, you hugged him tight, Sicheng taking a moment before reciprocating. But the two of you didn’t find it awkward considering you’d spent numerous hours together the past few weeks in the library.

“I’m so proud of you! This means you can swim at sectionals!”

Sicheng smiled wide, almost forgetting that he needed this grade in order to swim again. It had been so long since he’d been in the pool.

“Y/n, would you, like to come to sectionals? And see me swim?”

“Of course! I need to see for myself how you got the nickname Winwin!”

Sicheng smiled wide. It was like this grade on his test had made him a little less nervous at NCT. He was starting to open up more already, and you only hoped grades like this would continue so he didn’t have to sit out from swimming again.

“Awesome, well I gotta go tell coach. Then get back in the pool, I’m gonna need a lot of practice. Thanks again y/n!”

Dorks

I wrote another thing. It’s actually fluffy and… well maybe not romantic but certainly less angsty than my usual stuff. 

Enjoy Keith and Lance being dorks getting together because of aliens. 

Read on AO3


Lance is about to pee himself.

Why, you may ask?

Well, now, that would be an excellent question. The short answer is the presentation he is listening to is hilarious. It’s supposed to be about one of the early humans, he doesn’t remember which one, but the point is it’s supposed to be boring as dirt. And he supposes if this kid was actually talking about what he’s supposed to be talking about, it would be.

That’s why no one in the class is listening, anyway. The slides for the presentation have neat little pictures of early human skulls and the perfect amount of text and boring titles. And every now and then the kid clicks through them to make it look like he’s going along with it.

The words coming out of this kid’s mouth, however, do not match his slides at all. He got started on a tangent at some point and just rolled with it. The teacher hasn’t said anything, and every time Lance glances over at Professor Sendak the man has had his head down over his desk. No one else is paying attention, either, hence why the kid went on with his tangent.

The tangent? Conspiracy theories. This kid has been ranting about fake moon landings and aliens for five minutes now, and he shows no signs of stopping. It’s kind of adorable, actually.

Keep reading

mbti types as “community” quotes
  • ENTJ: “I discovered at a very early age that, if I talk long enough? I could make *anything* right or wrong. So either I’m God, or truth is relative. And in either case: booyah.” — Jeff Winger (“Pilot”).
  • INTJ: “As a student of character, I have the feeling that trying to make this commercial may cost the Dean his sanity — and my camera follows the fire, not the smoke. Ever seen, ‘Hearts of Darkness’? Way better than, ‘Apocalypse Now.’” — Abed Nadir (“Documentary Filmmaking Redux”).
  • ESTP: “You know, we laugh? But the fact is: student/teacher relationships *do* happen, and they are a *magnet* for lawsuits. In fact, physically attractive students and faculty are actually placed on a watchlist, and are ranked by their potential to incite fraternization.… You guys be extra-careful now! Two people of *your* rankings in this small room? With this type of lighting, and his upper body, and what her heels and hemline are doing to enhance what were already *quite* a few favors from God? It’s all the more important to keep it tasteful!” — Dean Craig Pelton (“Interpretive Dance”).
  • ESFJ: “I told Pierce a thousand times! I never wanted to meet LeVar in person! I just wanted a *picture*!! YOU CAN’T DISAPPOINT A PICTURE!! ….Butterfly in the skyyy! / I can go twice as hiiiiiigh. / Take a look, it’s in a book / A reading raiiiiinboooow. Reading raaaainb… *sobs* Set phasers to LOVE ME!!” — Troy Barnes (“Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking”).
  • ISFJ: “I don’t like it…” “That’s okay. You know, you’re just reacting the way the world did to Jesus.” “I’m reacting the way the world does to movies about making movies about making movies! I mean, come on, Charlie Kaufman, some of us have work in the morning, *damn*!” — Shirley Bennett and Abed Nadir (“Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples”).
  • ENFP: “Hey, sorry for bailing on the psych experiment.” “That *was* the experiment, Troy. We were testing to see how long people would wait in the room.” “……WHOA.” “Oh! Gotcha.” “*Gotcha*? That’s all you have to say?” “Yeah.” “You sat in a room for *twenty. six.* straight hours. Didn’t that… *bother* you?” “Yeah, I was livid.” “Then why didn’t you LEAVE?” “Because you asked me to stay and you said we were friends.” “……Wait, is this still part of the experiment?” — Annie Edison and Abed Nadir, feat. Troy Barnes (“Social Psychology”).
  • ISTP: “So, in the experiment, Stanford students were divided into prisoners and guards. The guards *immediately* started to—” “UGGGGGGGH.” “What’s wrong?” “I’ve got this weird pain right above my eyebrow…” “*rolls eyes* It’s called a stress headache. I got my first one when I was four.” “I hate it!” “Well, get used to it! You’re knee-deep in it now, brother. This is *debate*!” — Annie Edison and Jeff Winger (“Debate 109”).
  • ESFP: “What is *WRONG* with you people?! Huh? I thought you were supposed to be *friends*! I thought you were supposed to LOVE each other! Your love is *WEIRD*! And *TOXIC*! And it destroys everything it touches! I no longer *care* about grade… or biology… or finally graduating from college like I promised my dying father! I’m going *home*. I am gonna hold my wife and my child close, and I am gonna finally TAKE MY INSULIN SHOT. …OFFENSE TAKEN! …Offense taken.” — Todd Jacobsen (“Competitive Ecology”).
  • INFJ: “What if a ghost took the pen.… Seriously: why not. Why not just, ‘A ghost took the pen?’” “Okay, I’ve been saying that for *hours*—” “And we should’ve been listening to *Troy* from the beginning. Guys, look in your hearts and answer this question honestly. What’s more likely: that someone in this group *doesn’t belong* in this group, or ghosts? If we have to choose between turning on each other or pinning it on some spectre with unfinished, pen-related business? I’m sorry, but my money’s on ghost.” — Jeff Winger and Troy Barnes (“Cooperative Calligraphy”).
  • ISFP: “I boiled the yams! Vicki’s yam never sprouted, and I didn’t want her to fail, so I threw off the grading curve, so she wouldn’t have to go to summer school and we could finally have sex at my parents’ cabin! GOD FORGIVE ME, I DID IT FOR LOVE!!” “Holy *crap*! We are *definitely* dissecting pinecones next year!” — Fat Neil and Dr. Marshall Kane (“Basic Lupine Urology”).
  • ENTP: “You didn’t hurt my feelings, Shirley.… I was just trying to throw you a bone because I like you.” “Oh? Well, you can keep *that* bone. Listening to a story about a stranger pissing me off and taking the stranger’s side? And then you can’t talk about your own business, but you insinuate my mama’s a robot because she and I want *makeovers*. *That* is the ladies’ room, Britta. A place where ladies go to share, listen, support each other, and discreetly eliminate waste. And I like you, too. I even like that you’re a little hard. But if you can’t learn to be soft in *there*? You need to pee alone.” — Britta Perry and Shirley Bennett (“Football, Feminism and You”).
  • ISTJ: “You’re mad at me?” “I spent a week planning a party just to make you happy. And then I bailed on the party and ruined it — again? Just to make you happy. And it turns out, while I was wasting my time trying to make you happy? You were making *yourself* happy all over everyone else by doing yet *another* stupid movie spoof.” “I prefer the term, ‘homage.’ …It wasn’t about making me happy. I chose ‘My Dinner With André’ because it’s about a guy who has an unexpectedly enjoyable evening with a weird friend he’s been avoiding lately.… You and I hung out more last year.” — Abed Nadir and Jeff Winger (“Critical Film Studies”).
  • INTP: “What does it mean? …No riddles. You’re screwing around with everyone, you gave *me* a tiara. What does it mean? Are these — are these *blood diamonds*? Are they *Holocaust diamonds*?!” “No!” “Well, what does it mean?!” “It means… you’re my favorite.” “…What does *THAT* mean?!” — Annie Edison, feat. Pierce Hawthorne (“Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking”).
  • ESTJ: “I got freaked out by that, ‘boyfriend’ label. I’m afraid of commitment.” “How original.… You’re acting like I’m a Venus flytrap. I didn’t want or need more than what we were doing.” “Let’s get back to it! Should I get the door?” “I can’t now, because you went to the, ‘friend’ place. That’s *you* getting official, not me. Because unless there’s something I need to know about the lunch lady or that blonde in your Spanish class with the infinite supply of leather jackets? Somewhere between our ninth and eleventh slumber parties, statistically speaking? Most people would call us more than pals.” — Jeff Winger and Michelle Slater (“Interpretive Dance”).
  • INFP: “I don’t think I can finish my commercial. But I think I know how your documentary ends.… I have failed this school. I have failed it because I thought I was better than Greendale. You see, I went to a university, so I thought it was my job to *improve* this place. But it turns out that the only thing wrong with Greendale? Is that it’s run by an insecure wreck, who holds five dances and two talent shows a year because he’s afraid that this school isn’t good enough. But Greendale *is* good enough because it accepts me for when I’m not. Greendale is the best! school! in the entire world! And I’m so sorry, what I’ve done to it.” — Dean Craig Pelton (“Documentary Filmmaking Redux”).
  • ENFJ: “The truth is? I’m lying when I say there is no truth. The truth is — the stupidly, pathetically, inconveniently obvious truth is: helping only ourselves is *bad*, and helping each other is *GOOD*.… It’s that easy. You just stop thinking about what’s good for you, and start thinking about what’s good for someone else, and you can change the whole game with one move.” — Jeff Winger (“Introduction to Finality”).
Teenage Dream Chapter 2

Lauren parked her black Mazda 3 hatchback in the garage, grabbing her bag from the backseat as she stepped out of the car. Since she excelled in school and her family being rather wealthy, with both her parents being doctors, they offered to buy the girl any car she wanted when she got her license as a reward. Originally she had her eyes set on a cute black BMW 120i but she figured it’d draw too much attention, after all they were in a small town in Miami, not many people owned a BMW or any of the luxury car brands. Instead she settled for a more average type car, a black Mazda 3.

No one really ever took notice of her car; they were all too busy fawning over Siope’s Chevy Camaro that he received for his 16th birthday. Unlike the girl he wasn’t afraid to show off his wealth to which also boosted his popularity.

She walked into the kitchen greeting her mother with a kiss.

“Hi, mom” she greeted as she opened the fridge taking out a can of soda.

“Hey, Lo. How was school?” asked her mother as she was cutting vegetables.

“Good, I got 100% on my maths test.”

“Ah, that’s amazing. I’m proud of you. I always knew you got your brains from me” praised her mother.

“Yes, mom.” The Girl said rolling her eyes, “Oh, before I forget a girl from school’s coming over tomorrow at around 6” she added.

Mrs. Jauregui had stopped cutting the vegetables and looked up at her daughter with one eyebrow raised.

“A girl hey?” she asked winking.

“It’s not like that mom” the Girl said rolling her eyes, “I have to tutor her. She’s pretty behind so my teacher asked me to help her. That’s all”

“Ok, whatever you say Lo. Just so you know, open door policy”

“Mom, stop. I told you it’s not like that”

“Ok, ok” laughed her mother, resuming her cutting.

“I’m going over to Siope’s after dinner” added the Girl, grabbing a cookie out of the jar.

“Ah, Lo I wish you’d make some new friends. I love Siope like a son, but I think you should spend time with other people besides Siope” Mrs. Jauregui sighed.

“I know. I just don’t get along with anyone else. Anyway only 2 more years and I won’t be here anymore. I plan to go to New York or something. Why would I bother making friends with people I won’t see after graduation anyway?” answered the girl.

“Ok,” sighed her mother, “Dinner will be ready in an hour” she added.

“Alright, I’ll be upstairs doing my homework”

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

After dinner Lauren had was in her lounge room sitting on her couch as she played on her Play Station 3. She was currently playing Fallout: New Vegas when she heard Siope’s car’s ridiculously loud engine through the air. Looking out her window she saw her childhood friend step out of his car with a smug grin on his face. Yep, he just got laid. She thought.

Quickly saving her game before turning off the console and screen she ran out the door yelling a quick farewell to her parents. Since Siope was the only person she ever spent time with she never really had to tell her parents where she was going.

She jumped the fence before letting herself in the front door of the Folau residence. They had been neighbors and family friends ever since the teens were 5, so naturally they didn’t bother with knocking on the door anymore.

“Hey, Mrs. Folau” greeted the brunette hugging the woman.

“Hey Lauren. How are your parents?” asked the older woman making small talk.

“Ah, they’re good” replied Lauren.

“Jauregui. PS3, lounge room. Let’s go” called Siope as he descended the stairs.

“Siope, your father’s working late tonight. I’m going to head over to Lauren’s house since you two are always so loud when you play your video games in the lounge room. Food’s in the kitchen if you want some” informed Mrs. Folau as she made her way towards the door.

“Call of Duty?” asked Lauren.

“You know it” replied Siope setting up the equipment.

They had each settled down on separate beanbags each with their eye staring intently at the large TV screen, letting the sound system deafen them.

“So, I’m guessing you got into some girls pants. FAR OUT SIOPE, WATCH OUT. I know what that smug smile means” she practically had to yell over the sound that was originating from the game.

“Yeah, you know it Jauregui. She was so – JAUREGUI! SNIPER! - hot. Practically begged me to let her ride the Folau-man.” The boy said with pride.

“Trust. Can I ask you something?” she asked still practically yelling.

“You already did. What is it? Wait, I’ll lower the volume” he said lowering the volume on the sound system.

“What do you know about Camila Cabello?”

“Hm…SHIT SHIT HELP ME OUT…well she’s really hot” Lauren just rolled her eyes.

“Anything else?”

“Well, she’s 2nd in command to Dinah Hansen on the Cheerios. Girl can dance and I mean dance. Not the smartest girl there is but she’s hot, not as hot as Dinah though. Those are the two girls I practically haven’t slept with” he stated, his eyes still fixated on the screen.

“Really? Interesting” hummed the green eyed girl as she continued to play.

“Why do you ask? I’m going to the other side, maybe we can flank the bastard”

“Yeah, wait…OH, HEAD SHOT!” yelled the girl fist pumping the air, “Oh, I was just wondering. I’ve got to tutor Camila until her grades go up or something like that. Seeing her after school everyday, I think.” she added.

“WHOA SHIT! You’re so freakin’ lucky. Spending time with that fine ass right there.” congratulated Siope, patting Lauren on the back.

“I’m tutoring her, that’s all. Don’t take it the wrong way.”

“Hey, since she’s pretty tight with Dinah you reckon you could put in a good word for me? You know, so she can pass it onto Dinah?” he asked waggling his eyebrows.

“I’m just her tutor, that’s all. I will not help you get laid.” huffed the girl.

“What? Come on? I’m your best lesbro” he begged.

“You’re my only lesbro. Ugh, maybe” she said, placing her controller on the table, “I better head back home, I want to study a bit more.” she added.

“Seriously Jauregui? You’re one mega nerd.” teased the boy.

“If I were you I’d be nice. Remember who has the power to make or break your chances with Dinah.” reminded the Girl as she walked out the door.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

The next day in school Lauren noticed that Camila had been in more classes than she thought. How did she not realize the Brunette was in her, History, English, Math and Spanish class, oh right, she was always too busy doing her work to ever notice.

As she sat in the library furiously scribbling equations into her book she overheard a conversation in the cubicle opposite. It sounded like Camila and another girl she assumed to be Dinah Hansen, the girl Siope was fawning over.

“Sorry, I can’t hang out after practice for a while. I’m getting tutoring.” She heard the brunette say.

“Oh, it’s ok. How long do you have to get the tutoring for?” asked the other girl.

“Until my grades are above a pass. I’ve done pretty bad.”

“Who’s tutoring you?”

“Um, I think her name’s Lauren Jauregui.” The way Camila said her name made it sound more exotic, she now decided that hearing the brunette say her name had to be one of the most angelic things she’s ever heard.

“Lauren Jauregui, Lauren Jauregui…hm I don’t know who that is.” Pondered Dinah, trying to figure out if she’s ever met the girl.

Before she could continue eavesdropping someone had tapped the girl on the shoulder causing her to abruptly stand to attention and squeal. Everyone in the library turned their heads to the Girl who was now standing, her eyes darting everywhere eventually landing on Camila.

The brunette cheerleader gave her a sweet smile before getting up to leave with the head cheerleader.

Clearing her throat the girl turned towards the person who had frightened her.

“Ally?” she asked, adjusting her glasses.

“Hey, Ally. As you know I’m the co-captain of the Glee Club and –” before the diva could finish her sentence, Lauren was already packing up her equipment before turning to leave.

“I told you before, I don’t want to join Glee Club.” She answered before hurrying out the door.

This hadn’t been the first time Ally had tried to recruit the Girl. It first happened when Lauren stayed after school after picking up some extra credit homework. She was at her locker singing to herself when the diva heard her and from that day on she had been ruthlessly trying to recruit the girl. Ally claimed that Lauren had a unique voice, although not as skilled as her own it was unique none the less.

This hadn’t convinced the Girl to join, truth is she wanted to join, she loved to sing and play her guitar but she didn’t want to have the attention that came with being a Gleek. Sure, no one knew her name or called her a loser or nerd from time to time but this was better compared to what the Gleeks received.

Slushies were thrown on them on a daily basis and they often performed at school assemblies, she didn’t want to deal with all the attention. Instead she chose to refuse, however this never deterred the diva from trying to recruit the Girl.

It always ended the same, the diva would ask and the Girl would decline before running away.

Lauren ran into the girls bathroom trying to avoid the small diva who decided to chase after her. She ran into the room so fast she didn’t realize there was another girl standing in front of the mirror applying lip gloss. In her rush she had crashed into the girl, dropping her textbooks and stationary.

She opened her eyes, everything looked blurry. She realized she was on the ground and her glasses had fallen off. Great. She though as she lay there.

“Hey are you ok?” a sweet voice asked her, offering a hand.

“Uhh, yeah.” Groaned the Girl, taking the hand as she lifted herself up.

Since she still didn’t have her glasses on everything was a massive blur, all she could see was a tall girl who seemed to be wearing red and white and what seemed to be brunette hair.

Her vision was finally clear when the figure placed her glasses over her eyes for her. There she saw her, the girl crashed into, it was Camila.

“Oh, shoot. I’m so sorry Camila.” She apologized, trying to pick up all her stationary.

“Oh, it’s ok.” Chuckled the cheerleader, crouching down to the ground to help the Girl collect her fallen possessions.

“It’s ok. Y-you don’t have to.” She stuttered to the Brunette.

“I want to.” Chuckled Camila, handing the taller girl the last item from the floor.

“Um…thanks.” The brunette said awkwardly.

“No problem. I guess I’ll be seeing you today at your house.” Smiled the cheerleader.

“Y-yeah!” Lauren coughed trying to hide her enthusiasm, “Um. Yeah, sure. See you then.” She said trying to act calm and collected.

“You’re funny.” Giggled Camila as she headed out the door, “Bye.” she said sweetly.

“Bye.” Squeaked the Girl, watching the door close.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

“Hey Mom.” Greeted Lauren, kissing her mom on the cheek.

“Hi, Lo. How was school?” she asked as she filled out paper works.

“It was good. I managed to finish all my homework at school. Now all I have to do is study for upcoming tests.”

“That’s good. Since your dad ended up taking the night shift do you want to order in?” her mother asked whilst shuffling around some papers.

“Sure, want anything?” asked the Girl as she flicked through the various fast food pamphlets.

“No, it’s ok. Just order for yourself.”

“Alright, I’ll order later after I’ve studied.” Said the Girl as she trudged up her stairs towards her room.

2 hours later the door bell rang, Mrs. Jauregui called for her daughter to answer the door. Receiving no answer she got up from her desk and made her way towards the main foyer before opening the door.

Mrs. Jauregui saw a brunette girl who was donning, what seemed to be her daughters high school’s cheerleading uniform. Taking in the girl’s facial features she had a childlike innocence radiating from her presence. What she noticed was the Brunette girl’s eyes, they were a unique shade of brown and looked like they were filled with love and she had a feeling that this girl would drastically change her daughter’s life.

“Hello.” Mrs. Jauregui greeted politely, smiling at the girl.

“Hi, I’m Camila Cabello. Um I’m here to get tutoring from Lauren?”


diningwithhannibal  asked:

Hi! So I saw that you are reading long fics at the moment, and I was wondering if it's not too much trouble, which are they? I was looking for good long fics but I don't know which are nice >: .

Hahah oh snap I’m an idiot who doesn’t bookmark fics I’ve read “OTL LET ME JUST GATHER SOME OF MY PERSONAL FAVOURITES FOR YOU;;; I’m sorry if you’ve already read them!! I think 99% of this list are just Destiel AUs (I have an unhealthy obsession with them, oops)

Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Wedding Cake
Word count: 30,784
Summary: Dean is a waiter in a strip club to put his kid brother through school. Castiel is dragged to the club as a part of his sister Anna’s bachelorette party. Dean and Cas hit it off, but Dean thinks Cas is the one marrying Anna.

Exonerated
Word count: 104,108
Summary: Years ago, Dean Winchester was the detective who put serial killer Castiel Goodwin behind bars. Last spring, Cas was proven innocent and his conviction overturned. Neither could’ve predicted the way their lives would intertwine…

300 Things
Word count: 76,863
Summary: Dean’s life at twenty-four makes him feel like he’s forty—he works two jobs to help pay bills for his house and put his genius little brother through private school, and has spent six years (on and off, let’s be honest) working on his mechanical engineering degree at KU. With so much of his life devoted to his family, Dean has little time in his schedule for class and no time for social interaction. Then, while getting his classes together for the fall, he finds himself in a do-or-die situation: He must take his last literature class now, his spring already filled with those left for his major…except that none of the English classes will fit his schedule.

This is how Dean grovels and begs Dr. Castiel Milton to make a special arrangement for him, and Dr. Milton does.

Out of the Deep
Word count: 488,608
SummaryStay away from the light-beds. Stay in the deep.

It is the first thing hatchlings are taught the moment their fans unfurl and they can swim without their parents to buoy them along. It is the first rule, the first law. It is the beginning of every boogey-monster bedtime story told when they settle against the cliffs to sleep.

Castiel should have listened better.

Ghost Dance
Word count
: 51,194
Summary: In post-apocalyptic isolation, Castiel nurses Dean back to something like his former self, but will a time come when Dean’s recovered —and rediscovered— too much?

The Breath of All Things 
Word count: 65,389
Summary: Dean Winchester was twenty-six years old when a car accident killed his father and left him paralysed from the waist down. A year and a half later, Dean is in a wheelchair and lives in a care home in Kansas, where he spends his days waiting to die. It’s only when Castiel Novak starts volunteering at the care home that Dean starts to wonder if a changed life always equals a ruined one.

The Ends of Earth 
Word count: 46,990
Summary: Dean Winchester should have died that Thursday. His murder would have started a civil war between the entitled rich and the starving poor. Equality, and the chance at food and clean water had been one throat-slit away. In the end, it only took one man to ruin it all.

Tagged as a traitor for saving Dean’s life, Castiel’s world is torn apart by the vengeance of an unseen enemy. Little by little, he loses hope—until he himself is rescued by the kindness and love of one man.

Only You 
Word count: 17,001
Summary: After John’s death, Dean moves out to Palo Alto to be closer to Sam, who is studying at Stanford. Despite their proximity, the brothers barely have time to see each other between Sam’s studying and Dean’s two jobs, leaving Dean feeling tired and lonely. However, when he meets a slightly awkward and completely serious graduate student named Castiel, all of that changes.
((Not as long as the others but I loved it a lot!))

What I need
Word count: 46,998
Summary: A joking phrase commonly heard between a surgeon and his tech is “Give me what I need, not what I ask for.” Dr. Novak and his tech Dean will soon learn the impact this phrase has on life outside the operating room.

Jump the Track
Word count: 83,180
Summary: High school AU. It’s Dean’s senior year at Lawrence High, and he’s already given up on himself. It takes the arrival of the strange, intense, awkward Castiel Delacroix at the school to prove to Dean that maybe his life is worth saving after all.

Silverwing
Word count: 148,563
Summary: Captain Dean Winchester has everything he wants: an amazing brother, a great ship, a sweet fiancee, and a life dedicated to fighting in the war, protecting his country. He really has no intention of associating with the aviators, the dragon riders. What he doesn’t know is that no aviator ever has chosen his position in the army; he finds out when a newborn dragon, Castiel, chooses him to be his rider. Dean has no choice but to obey.

As Dean and Castiel join the order of aviators, Dean finds himself in a strange situation. There’s more to Castiel than meets the eye, the regiment he’s now a part of isn’t much, prophecies he’d always thought of as legends are creeping their way into his life, and fighting out of the sea is so complicated. Soon he realises that there’s more at stake than his own life, and there are far worse things than not surviving the next battle.

Count On Me
Word count: 40,658
Summary: Castiel Novak is an unpopular kid at school, his brother’s reputation the only thing keeping him from a regular beating, but not the occasional shove. When one other person in the school helps him out, it inadvertently starts a marathon game of IOU.

Inevitable Homoeroticism in Spanish Romantic Heroes
Word count: 41,701
Summary: Dean is a grad student studying for his MA in Spanish literature, and he’s pretty content with his sexuality as it is — that is, fairly undefined and also secret. His attraction to Castiel, a professor to the undergrads, doesn’t seem like a big deal until it becomes a very big deal, and Dean scrambles to keep his head above water.

PSA - How I Became "Fluent"

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of messages that have to do with how to become fluent. And this more applies to my personal experience, but I’m thinking that there’s some definite overlap with language learning in general.

I grew up in a very diverse community in New York. And I’d been learning Spanish from the age of 10 because it was a mandatory class. In high school, I pursued Spanish because I thought it would be easy. Not because I had some big special tie to it - that sort of came later. It was my thought that if I’d spent 5 years studying basic Spanish, then OBVIOUSLY, actual formal Spanish classes talking about how to construct sentences would be WAY easy. I was wrong. It wasn’t easy. As good at remembering things as I was, I got a 2 out of 5 on the AP Spanish exam when I was 16. I remember doing the listening section and being so nervous and overwhelmed I literally said nothing on the speaking part. I missed an entire section because I didn’t think I was eloquent or good enough. Even worse by the fact that my dad is from Spain, so I thought being good at Spanish was my birthright or something. In a way, I felt like I was letting myself down.

And in college, even though I was placed in Spanish 3 right out of the gate, I didn’t feel particularly ready for it. It might surprise you to know that Spanish 3 and 4 were my worst classes in college (aside from math), because I felt like I should know things but I didn’t and studying for Spanish was such an ordeal that I felt like I was battling with it. I only started to become good at Spanish once I started taking 300 and 400 level classes because it was literature at that point. Reading and understanding and writing were usually my strengths. But every time I had to do an oral exam, I was shaking with fear. It didn’t matter if I could write an 8 page paper on Don Quixote; I was shaking because of speaking and listening.

And that’s my own personal struggle. Some people are very good at the speaking but can’t spell to save their lives. It’s a mixed bag. And no one is the same.

Part of becoming fluent is accepting that you are not other people and that you have to do the best you can with what you are. 

But I did it, at some point. I think.

Here’s the big secret of fluency - NO ONE EVER AWARDS IT TO YOU. No one is ever going to give you an award for fluency. They might give you exams on proficiency but those depend on your natural aptitude towards whatever they’re testing you. I TOLD MYSELF I WAS FLUENT BECAUSE I DECIDED I WAS. I’d studied, I’d learned, I knew about 90% of the grammar, I had a sizable vocabulary. I could express myself mostly decently.

In other words, think about how you “became fluent” in your first language. You took classes. The fact that you were understanding and responding to things in the target language is proof of fluency. Fluency is not “I know all there is to grammar and vocab” because if that were true, all of us English speakers would know the difference between “who” and “whom” etc. Fluency =/= “Correctness”. Fluency is the ability to be fluid in your target language; to be able to sort of understand things, and when you don’t know, you can inquire about it and learn as you go. Fluency is adaptability - your ability to use the language effectively, not how much you know.

So leaving all of that aside…

The first thing I want to say is that while I appreciate people being a bit envious, I’m not fluent in Spanish because I was born that way. Being fluent in a language requires a lot of effort, and a lot of failure. You won’t be fluent immediately. No one is. Even small children who grow up speaking their native language make mistakes in it. That’s when the parents or the school teach them correct grammar and how to express themselves.

You had to learn how to read and write at one point. And it was an ongoing process that took a very long time. That’s essentially how you learn a language in a formal class setting. Obviously, if you do full-immersion it might be less formal.

But for every message I get that’s “I’ll never be as fluent as you are”… I don’t know, I feel like… Well, first I feel disheartened for you. Because you’ve pretty much said, “I’m doomed to failure” but if you’re going through the processes of learning a language, you on some level have to really want it. To count yourself out at such a (relatively) early stage is so sad for me to read.

Think of it this way. Would you say that to someone else? Would you see someone struggling with a language and say, “You’ll never be fluent, no matter how hard you try”…? No. You wouldn’t. And if someone like a teacher said that to you, you’d probably feel upset or angry. So why do you treat yourself that way? At what point did you start to judge yourself and say that there were things you couldn’t achieve? If someone else did that to you, they’d be a bully.

Don’t bully yourself.

To me, learning languages (not just Spanish) has been an exercise in humility. Because as fluent in Spanish as I might seem, there are so many times when I make a huge typo and stress out about it, or I’ll spend time listening to something and not really understand it completely.

But I consider myself fluent because I’m adaptable.

Fluency is equal measures of hard work, humility, patience, and adaptability.

To be fluent, you have to spend a lot of time learning. You will invariably feel overwhelmed because there’s so much you don’t know and may never know. You have to be patient and kind with yourself.

Don’t compare yourself to someone else who’s fluent because they’re at different points. And you’ll always be at different points, more or less. There are people who know how to drive… and then there are people who do it for a living, or do it for sport, or are famous because of how fast they can drive.

It’s really the same with language. Someone else’s fluency doesn’t negate what you know or who you are or what you’ve done. It can be daunting to see what someone else has achieved, absolutely.

But don’t ever sit there and think that you can’t do it because someone else is so much further along than you. You have to start measuring your abilities on your own merits, not based on how good someone else is or isn’t.

I am still learning Spanish. You don’t learn a language and then you’re done. You practice a language, just like doctors practice medicine.

The language keeps evolving, the language is always different in various places, and you learn some words you didn’t know before, or you find some words that no one else uses, or you get completely lost sometimes because someone’s accent or talking speed is totally confusing to you and that doesn’t make you less fluent.

You don’t have to be unkind to yourself because you don’t know things. There are millions of things no one knows. People are constantly learning, even the experts.

If you want to become fluent, then do it. You’ll never know everything, but if it matters to you, then knowing everything isn’t important. If you’re lucky, it matters to you and your ego in it just falls away.

And that’s how I became fluent.

show you all the bad if you love me (trixya) - Crimson

a/n: hello it’s me again! i just couldn’t let go of high school so here i’m again with a high school au fic! it’s a companion piece to she wears short skirts (i’m wearing them too) but can be read alone. i hope you like it!

the inspiration came from kate-boosh’s beautiful art and the title is from ugly by courtney act :)

Keep reading

PSAT FANFIC (I’m so sorry)

Herminia was just a normal girl. A girl who loved to write poems. She wrote about many things; love, family, her problems, but the one thing she was most passionate about, was her love for her country and for her freedoms. She couldn’t stand the fact that her people were suffering so she used the only outlet she had to express herself, which was a pen and paper. Recently, a man had approached her about publishing her work in the paper and she was all for it. It was all she ever dreamed of, so she accepted whole-heartedly. But, the day the paper came out, her father got extremely angry. “What’s wrong with you?” He screamed. She couldn’t look him in the eye, she felt like her wolf pups. Of course he was angry, she just risked her entire family’s safety. “But Papa! This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Everyone loves it! Even Mama! This is what I want to do for the rest of my life why can’t you understand?” she yelled back. “Yes miha, but why did you have to drag us into this?” He said softly. That tone always scared her but she looked into his eyes and said, “Well maybe I’m just going to leave. You can live in your little bubble, while I, I’m gonna fight for what I believe in.” And in the flash of a pan, she grabbed her belongings, summoned for her wolf pups and left forever.

She didn’t know where to go. She felt tears streaming down her face and the gaze of the confused people on the sidewalk but she ignored it all. Herminia went to the park and pulled up a bit of Spanish moss and cried. She cried until she couldn’t feel her face anymore, but she felt NO CHANGE. She looked around until she saw a cafe and right on cue, her stomach growled. She had $2 so she figured she could get some water and a cookie.

As she walked in she noticed a young man at the counter yelling at the barista. “No miss, it’s not all for me are you insane do you think a human can eat all this by himself? Yes I’m the one who ordered the cookies and water. Yes, I know 45$.” He paid and turned around. They made eye contact and Herminia was struck by this man’s beauty. He gave her a goofy smile and walked over.

“Hi…” He said.

“Ummmm… hello…” She replied shyly.

“I’m Thad.”

“Nice to meet you Thad, I’m Herminia"

“What a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”  

At this point she was blushing profusely. “Ummm thank you.” She managed. “Herminia, would you like to share a cookie with me? You look like you could use a cookie.” Thad said. “Yes please thank you.” They went back to the park where they ate their cookies and water and Herminia introduced Thad to her anti-social wolves. They didn’t look him in the eye either but that was normal. They talked and talked until Thad realized he had to get to a meeting. “Herminia it was so nice meeting you.” He said. “You too Thad.” Herminia said. There was a pause and simultaneously at the same time they blurted out. “WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO OUT TO DINNER WITH ME?” They smiled at each other. “I work at the museum if you want to meet me there. I can set up a ticket for you, and you can stay for more than four hours.” He said. “Okay!” She said, “It’s a date!”

Later that night, Herminia met up with Thad at the museum. They spent some time at the  Texas Longhorn Dinosaur exhibit before they left. They went to dinner at this fancy restaurant downtown called Affect… or was it Effect… Anyways it was a very posh place. Thad was a perfect gentleman in the beginning and Herminia talked to him about her poems and her family. He seemed to be genuinely interested. They ordered their food, which was tilapia.

They continued to talk until the food came, when Thad grew a concerned look on his face.

“What’s wrong?” Herminia asked.

“I think…. I think this is farm grown tilapia…” Thad whispered.

“Yeah, so what?” She replied with confusion.

Thad slowly looked up from his food, his face filled with absolute rage and shock.

“HERMINIA THIS IS FARM GROWN. I DON’T EAT FARM GROWN TILAPIA. IT IS FILLED WITH GROWTH HORMONES AND BACTERIA. THEY SWIM IN EACH OTHERS FECES. DO YOU KNOW THAT?!?!” AND THE WATER IS RECYCLED FROM TROUT FARMS. WHICH MEANS DOUBLE THE FECES AND BACTERIA. I ONLY EAT FISH FROM THE FARMERS MARKET”

“Oh I’m sorry… I just don’t think that’s too big of a deal. I mean the fat content in salmon is higher on farms soooooo…”

“HERMINIA THAT LITERALLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WHAT THE HELL?!?!??! YOU KNOW, I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. MOST WOMEN ARE STUPID LIKE YOU. I MEAN ONLY 52% OF THE WOMEN IN MY CLASS ACTUALLY GOT A CERTIFICATE SO…”

“OH MY GOD THAD YOU ARE A SEXIST AND SEDITIOUS MAN AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I FOUND YOU ATTRACTIVE. I JUST LIKED THE FACT THAT YOU LIKED THE DINOSAUR WITH THE BIG HORN FACE BUT YOU KNOW WHAT?!?!?! YOU’RE LIKE THE TRICERATOPS. YOU JUST DON’T CUT IT!!!!!”

And with that, Herminia rushed out of the restaurant.

This was becoming too much. She had lost so much in one day. Her family, a promising romance with the man with the cookies. She wasn’t gonna be able to fix this. If only she had a calculator for her life, but she probably wouldn’t be allowed to use that. Herminia was so deep in her thoughts that she didn’t even realize that she was about to walk into a man on the street.

“Oh god I’m so sorry! That was totally my fault!” She exclaimed. “Oh no no my dear the fault was mine.” The man replied. A loud boom came from down the street and fireworks lit the sky. “Oh wow, I totally forgot! It’s July 4th isn’t it!” She exclaimed. “Actually, it’s not that exciting. IT’s such an unfair holiday I mean the slaves don’t even have their freedoms yet why should they have to hear us celebrating it?”

The man looked down at her in shock. “…yes… yes indeed…” The man whispered. “Yes… THAT’S WHAT I ALWAYS SAY!!!! My name is Frederick Douglas. What is your name my good lady?”

“Herminia.” She replied. She could feel herself getting a bit hot. The Mississippi Delta was starting to get wet.

“Herminia, I have not met a single person who thinks like me. I gave a speech today about this and everyone just booed at me for making them think I was siding with the whites. Do you think I could take you out for some coffee?”

“Why I would love that.” She said.

And the rest was history. The two hit it off really well and eventually fell in love. They were both strong willed and wanted to show the world their ideas. Later in life, they moved away to Minnesota so that they could study the Spanish Moss together and use it to do research on dog pups and wolf pups. Surprisingly, the wolf pups actually made eye contact with Frederick, and that was how Herminia knew she made the right choice. But she never forgot about the man from the museum who ordered too many cookies though, and she was never bitter about their fight. He led her to Frederick and that was the greatest thing in her life. She couldn’t be happier.

remorse

holy shit I tried so hard you guys why

summary - it’s hard to tell which one of us was being selfish. natsu/lucy, gray/juvia teeny bit of gray/lucy. but I never fully betray my ships.

italics are flashbacks - also the first flashback gets semi steamy. hehe

It was the rain’s fault.

So gloomy and dim – any other day, it would’ve been absolutely perfect.

But, since it was rainy and Gray, today would not be the day that Lucy Heartfilia got over Natsu Dragneel.

It wasn’t yesterday either, heavens no, she lost a volleyball game the night before, and no one could expect her to get over her ex-boyfriend with the weight of a loss on her shoulders.

It wasn’t the week before that. That was a tough week – the hockey team lost in the playoffs.

Or the week before that, just for the record. She was on her period that week – not her fault.

Tomorrow she would get over him. Tomorrow, she would forget him, and his smile, and his laugh, and everything about him that made her want to keep holding on.

~

“Hey Juvia.”

Juvia turned around quickly – blush evident from getting caught.

“N-Natsu-san!” She remarked, embarrassed.

“Sorry for scaring you,” Natsu apologized with a good-natured smile. “What are you…” he trailed off, at the parallel sight of Gray speaking with Loke in front of his English class.

“…Oh.”

Juvia bit her lip a little, hiding behind the door of her locker with a guilty look. “J-Juvia wasn’t staring! She-“

“No, it’s ok.” Natsu covered, leaning against the locker next to hers. “I understand.”

Juvia sighed in relief. “J-Juvia doesn’t mean to be creepy. Gray-sama is just so…” she looked back at him longingly, before shaking her head. “Perfect…”

Natsu smiled sadly, Juvia had been in love with Gray for the past four years, and spent them pining in the shadows. Gray was perfectly aware of her crush of course, but he hadn’t acted on anything yet. It was a work in progress, he liked to think. Unfortunately, their time as seniors was drawing to a close.

“You should talk to him,” Natsu advised.

“J-Juvia’s too shy! Besides, she doesn’t deserve Gray-sama, he deserves someone beautiful, like Erza-san, or-“

He stopped her before she could say the next name, sure that the name would send a pang of guilt through him. “Juvia, you’re great. He’ll see that. The year is almost up; you might as well talk to him a little before you run out of time.”

Juvia blushed and looked towards Gray, unsure. “W-well…Juvia could…try…”

Natsu’s smile broadened. “That’s the spirit! Go get ‘im!”

Juvia smiled too, his being contagious enough. “Thank you, Natsu-san.”

“You’re welcome Juvia,” he said as he walked off towards Sociology.

It’s strange – ever since he broke up with Lucy, he’d had this urge to fix every problem in his life and everyone else’s around him. Closure. Final year, final chance to fix every problem before he was off to college.

But there were some things that just couldn’t be fixed.

~

“Natsu…” she groaned at the location of his hand, inching closer and closer to the hem of her tight little jean shorts.

“What?” He asked playfully, fiddling with the little zipper, teasing her like he usually did.

“This is not studying for my anatomy test,” she whispered, nearly breathless even though the only thing she was doing was lying on her bed.

“Sure it is,” he reasoned, popping the bronze button with ease.

“No,” she argued back as he kissed her neck, softly, and then with much more force. “It isn’t!”

He laughed against her throat, tickling her with his offbeat breath. “Come on Lucy; let me study your anatomy!”

She groaned in annoyance, his constant need to pepper her with puns and kisses grinding on her nerves. “Careful, one thing you learn in anatomy is exactly where to hit you if I want you paralyzed from the waist down.”

“Yeah?” he challenged, nipping at the skin of her collarbone. “I bet I can paralyze you first~”

She scoffed lightly. “Sure you can, go ahead and-“ she was cut off by her own moan when she realized exactly what he meant.

“We can study…after…” He said, slowly lowering his head, leaving a trail of kisses as he got lower and lower.

She laughed softly, pulling his body closer to hers. And she knew in the back of her mind that they weren’t going to get any studying done that night.

~

“J-Juvia was thinking about…talking to Gray-sama…” Juvia stuttered anxiously.

Lucy smiled, the first real smile she’d given since the day Natsu broke it off with her. “Really? Good for you, Juvia!”

“C-can Lucy-san help Juvia? She’s nervous…and Lucy-san is very good at talking to boys…” Juvia sputtered nervously.

Lucy laughed at the irony of the statement. “Of course I can! What do you want to talk with him about?”

“Eh…anything. Juvia just wants to hear his voice.” Juvia whispered with a pale rosy blush.

“Awe. Ok, well…do you have any classes with him?” Lucy asked.

“Yes. Juvia has Spanish and pre-calc with Gray-sama.” She informed eagerly.

“Just ask him for notes or something. Start it up naturally, there’s no need to be nervous! Gray won’t bite.” Lucy assured.

“Are you sure? Juvia is afraid that Gray-sama won’t like her…” Juvia said self-consciously.

Lucy nodded her head. “Of course I’m sure! Gray is my friend, there’s no way he won’t like you. You’re nice, funny, and sweet. He’ll love you.” She added with a wink. Juvia’s smile nearly blinded her.

“Thank you so much Lucy-san!” Juvia enveloped her friend with a tight hug and rushed off to her next class. Lucy’s smile lingered until she disappeared. She had always hoped that Juvia would string up enough courage to talk to Gray, but she was a little bit disappointed that it had taken this long.

She would talk to him. She’d speed up the process a bit.

Even if she wasn’t going to get her happiness, Juvia still deserved hers, right?

~

“Gray.” Lucy said, a sort of half greeting as Gray shut his locker and smiled, backpack slung over one shoulder memorably.

“Hey Lucy. What brings you here?” He asked, showing her bodily that he was going to walk her to her car.

“I have a request,” she said thinly, reminding herself to scan the hallways for Natsu. He and gray were best friends, it wouldn’t be uncommon for him to join them, and she really wasn’t into masochism.

“What can I do for you?” he asked without missing a beat.

“You know my friend, Juvia?” She started, playing with the straps of her flowery backpack leisurely.

“Uh…blue hair, right? She’s nice.” He said. “What about her?”

Lucy twisted her lips, trying to pick the perfect way to phrase it. “Would you…talk to her for me? You know, she-“

“Lucy.” He stopped in front of the crowd of people flooding out the school doors, eagerly awaiting their weekend.

“Huh?” She uttered, forgetting what she was saying due to the intense look on Gray’s face.

“I…think I know what you’re trying to ask me.” He said, a hint of disappointment in his voice. The tone worried Lucy, this wasn’t how she saw the conversation going at all.

“You…do? Are you sure? I don’t think-“

“You want me to date her. I’m not stupid Lucy – I know she likes me. I’ve always known.” He said, thick seriousness baked into his voice that sent nervous tingles down Lucy’s spine. Something in the back of her mind was telling her to leave, to walk away right now-

“That’s not entirely…” she trailed off as he placed a hand on the side of her neck, almost intimately. She gulped at the gesture, dreading what he was going to inevitably say next.

“I can’t do that Lucy. I can’t…because…”

Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no-

“I love-“

“-you.” Natsu gasped, hands tightly grasping her shoulders.

“W-what?” Lucy responded, shocked at his sudden confession.

‘I should’ve told you – I’m sorry, I just…wanted it to be special.” He admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. “Guess I kind of screwed that up…”

She laughed then, glomping him in the most uncharacteristic of matters and tightly kissing his cheek.

Surprised, he lifted his hands to support her weight and looked up at her like she had announced him to be the winner of the state lottery.

“You…you’re not mad anymore?” he murmured, admiring the way the city lights illuminated her skin.

“Of course not! You idiot – you made me wait so long! I hate you!” she accused, no malice in her bubbly voice as she leaned down and kissed him, square on the lips like he had always wished.

He responded lightly at first – careful not to drop her in astonishment – before fully giving himself into the kiss.

He had waited for so long, wanted for so long, and now he finally had her – the girl of his dreams.

~

Lucy wasn’t sure what possessed her to kiss him back.

Gray tasted the way laundry smelt. Sweet, a bit bland, but still nice. It was a kiss, after all.

Of course, he tastes the opposite of Natsu.

Natsu tasted like fire and everything exciting, his kisses made her toes curl and her eyelashes flutter, everything about them sent her flying into space at the speed of sound.

She blinked hard, trying to squeeze the life out of the memory. Nowadays, it seemed like the memories owned her and not vice versa, the way it should’ve been.

She almost pulled away, she almost told him that she couldn’t be with him, she had a boyfriend for cripes sake, but she stops all at once because she doesn’t – there is nothing stopping her from being with Gray. There is no boundary between them, if she wanted too, she could drown herself in his touch and end her suffering over Natsu at the hands of another man, a man who cared for her –

And all she wanted was to be happy…

So she let herself melt into him, forgetting the way her life once was and shutting away the heart-wrenching twist in her heart that screamed Natsu’s name horrifically loud.

-this is what she wanted, right? To finally be happy?

Her hands shook a little when his wrapped around her waist, encouraging her to just forget him…

But she can’t.

She just lets him kiss her, because dammit; it hurts, but she’s not about to turn away her only source of affection.

All she wanted was to be happy.

~

He heard about it from Erza – which was obnoxious – if anything, he wanted to hear it from the source itself.

Gray and Lucy had hooked up. The news was everywhere.

And he was pissed. Actually, he was furious. It had been just a few weeks since he broke up with her, and that bastard couldn’t have waited? Did he have any idea how much it hurt?

Not only to him – but the full fledged 9.9 had hit Juvia.

He didn’t know who was the one that told her – he couldn’t even fully imagine how broken she was right now. Lucy knew, dammit, she knew full well that Juvia loved him, and she did it anyway.

He supposed his anger was mostly at himself, as well. He was the one who’d broken it off, not her. She had every right to flounce off with another guy.

But dammit, why did it have to hurt so bad?

He felt the crunch of his pencil in his grasp a second after he felt the pain of a shard of wood digging into his palm. Why was everything so fucked up? All he wanted to do was tear Gray’s head off – to tell him never again to touch what’s rightfully his – but he can’t.

The magnitude of the situation hadn’t even hit him until around fourth hour – he broke the Mr. Agard’s pencil sharpener into six pieces.

He couldn’t even think straight anymore. The only thing he could think about was her and what could’ve possessed her to do something so drastic.

What had he done.

~

Lucy could’ve died, In fact, she would’ve appreciated death at this point. The guilt and disgust that filled her was absolutely unbearable.

She had hooked up with gray. She knew it. And now everybody knew it –she couldn’t even look at herself in the mirror anymore, all she saw was a girl she didn’t recognize. A girl who had carelessly hurt her friend, and herself in the process, all for her selfish pursuit of happiness.

Juvia – oh god, Juvia – when Lucy saw her that morning, the only thing she desired was a sucker punch to the face. She wanted Juvia to scream at her, to vent her anger, to hate her with all her heart.

But what she’d done instead would haunt Lucy for the rest of her life.

She met Juvia’s watery blue eyes, and she was frozen.

Juvia’s eyes widened in the slightest, before she blinked and bit her lip, harshly, to keep in the rush of tears that were hiding behind them.

Lucy gulped, staring down the hallway without relent.

Yell at me, scream at me…oh god, Juvia…rip me apart, please…I…deserve it…

Juvia looked down, and ran, as fast as her legs could carry her to the girl’s bathroom.

Lucy felt her own eyes prick with tears. It was her fault – she was a selfish bitch, who deserved to feel this.

She deserved this, she deserved it so much. No wonder Natsu left her.

She was a horrible person, and she would never forgive herself for what she’d done.

~

“Oh, relax…it’s not that bad…” He assured her, looking at the shirt sideways.

“Oh, she’s gonna kill me! I’m such a horrible person – this is Levy’s favorite shirt, and I got paint on it!” Lucy wailed, flopping onto Natsu’s bed in exasperation.

“Yeah, I’m still trying to figure that one out.” Natsu said, running his hands through her silky ponytail. “How the hell did Levy’s shirt fit on you?”

“I made it a crop-top. But that doesn’t matter now! What am I supposed to do! It’s latex paint, it’s in there for good!” Lucy moaned into Natsu’s shirt.

“Hey, come on. She’s your best friend. Sure, she’ll be pissed, but it’ll only dent your friendship can.” He reminded.

“Friendship can? What the heck does that mean?” She sniffed.

“Ah…it was supposed to be a metaphor, didn’t work out as well as I wanted it to…” he admitted, pulling her up so she was sitting into his lap. “She’ll forgive you.” He murmured into her hair.

Lucy sighed and rested her head into the crook of his neck, inhaling the scent of cinnamon and sand. He and Gray had had a recent brawl at the beach volleyball court after a call that was ‘on the line’.

“Thanks Dragneel.” She muttered tiredly, lips grazing his tan skin.

“Anytime, Heart-feel-ya.” He said in the most annoying way possible.

She smiled then, wishing she could stay buried in his arms forever…

~

“We need to talk.”

Lucy swallowed the lump in her throat – how could he act so calm? It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair-

“Ok.”

A small crowd congregated at the edge of the track, hoping to get a glimpse of the awaited confrontation between Natsu and Lucy. Natsu – not being an idiot and all – led Lucy to a safe place, underneath the silver bleachers, shielded from the sun and any wandering eyes.

Lucy shut her eyes once, before forcing any distracting memories from her mind. This was going to happen – whether she wanted it or not. She just had to get this through, she just had to stay standing-

“What the hell were you thinking?!?” He growled all of a sudden, scaring her out of her daze successfully.

“I-I wasn’t.” She said, voice smaller than she had hoped.

“You weren’t? Do you have any idea how much you’ve hurt Juvia?!” He accused.

Lucy almost broke.

“You think I don’t know?!? I wasn’t thinking, ok! I regret it, I do, but only because of that! I didn’t want to hurt her-“

“Well you did.’ He seethed, more angry than she ever could’ve imagined.

And all of a sudden, all she wanted to do was hurt him.

She wanted him to feel every last emotion she’d experienced since the break-up, she wanted him to cry, to ache in fury because if she had to go through it, why in god’s name didn’t he?

“You know what?” She said flatly, fresh out of remorse. “I don’t regret it.”

Natsu stopped breathing, for what felt like thousands of years.

What?” He rasped, hands reaching out blindly to grab onto something for support – but there was nothing.

“You heard me.” She said persistently, taking a daring step forward. “I don’t regret it – I deserve to be happy, don’t I? So what if Gray is the one who makes me happy?”

He inhales so sharply, he could’ve chopped down an entire forest.

“You’re lying.” He said. “He doesn’t make you happy.”

“What do you know about me?!” She screamed, giving him a firm shove to the chest. He staggered backwards a bit, before steadying himself out of shock.

“You don’t know anything about me.” She whispered. “You never did. You never cared about me – I see that now.”

Natsu snapped, reeling like she had slapped him – she may has well have.

“Don’t,” he said, voice ragged. “Don’t say that.”

“You used me!” She screeched – and in that moment, everything stopped.

Natsu grabbed her wrist, despite her twisting, pulled it to his heart, and kissed her.

It wasn’t like any other kiss they’d had before – this kiss was positively desperate. She melted into it immediately – the force of Natsu’s emotions hitting her until her knees were weak and her heart begged to keep beating.

He pulled away, devastatingly slowly, and clasped her head in his hands. He never let his piercing eyes eave hers, and she thought she might collapse.

“Please, don’t ever say that.” He begged, holding her hands in his and leaning his forehead against hers.

“I just wanted you to be happy,” he whispered.

She gasped, tears rolling down her cheeks despite her desperation to keep them locked away.

“You idiot,” she choked, “you made me happy.”

He just laughed in bitter silence, embracing the thought of her and letting himself – for once – make the selfish decision, and hold onto her for just a minute longer.

~

“You…what?”

Natsu inhaled, not wanting to repeat himself.

“Lucy, we…we have to break up.”

She laughed emptily before answering. “Is this a joke? Why?”

“We’re both…” he swallowed quickly, repeating to himself the words he wanted to say over, and over, “going off to college soon. I’m not going to let myself hold you back. Our lives are going in different directions, Lucy…I won’t be selfish.” He let go of her hands to prove to himself that this was it…this was the end.

“What?” She whispered, eyes brimming with unshed tears. “you…you’re completely serious? Natsu – I want to be with you! I don’t care if we have to go long distance, I’ll do it, don’t you believe in me at all?”

“Don’t, Lucy…you’ve never dated anyone besides me. I want you to experience life…with…”he swallowed thickly, almost making himself sick from saying it – “someone…else.”

The tears streamed down her face now, faster than the time he spent with her had went by and she cried – he had made her cry, something he promised himself long ago he’d never do.

“Please don’t cry, it’s better this way. I want you to be happy. I just want you to be happy.”

And with that, he left, because he knew if he stayed any longer he would’ve made the selfish decision and held onto her like she was his life force.

~

When she told Gray that she wasn’t going to be with him – he did the unexpected. He smiled sadly and nodded.

“I know.” He said, smile fading slowly. “I’ve always known.”

“I’m so sorry,” she apologized, but he brushed it away.

“It’s ok – I should’ve moved on a long time ago. I’m sorry too. I knew you were vulnerable.” Then he laughed, not a normal one, but a sad, hollow one that she hoped she’d never have to hear again.

“I guess we both used each other.”

She inhaled, to say one last parting word, maybe to salvage the last of their friendship.

“I’ll be fine, Lucy.” He glanced back into the crowd of graduating caps, and Lucy could’ve sworn she saw a swirl of familiar blue hair. “I’ll find someone else.”

And then he walked away, leaving Lucy to herself.

She exhaled and looked through the hoards of people, hoping to see the one and only person she wanted to say goodbye to.

But she saw nothing.

~

Dear Lucy

 

How’s campus life treating you? My roommate is awesome – he likes COD. Hah! Told you I wasn’t alone on that one.

 

The I joined like six clubs on accident. I guess I’m now part of the campus alcoholics anonymous group? Not sure how that happened, but hey, they’re a pretty good group a people.

 

Except for Mark. Bastard.

 

Anyways, what about you? Have you had any volleyball practices yet? I bet they’re brutal – you always did hate lap running.

 

I have my first class in a week and I’m beyond nervous. I know, right? Me, nervous? It happens, believe it or not. Once every third blue moon, that is. I bet you’re not nervous though, you nerd.

 

Levy says hi, by the way. I’m sure you know that though.

 

I miss you. A lot. Way more than I should, especially after the way I treated you.

 

I’m sorry.

 

I’m so, so sorr-

 

Natsu crumpled up the letter, and threw it in the trash can. There, it joined its brother, stacked up to the top of the can, never to be read by Lucy’s eyes.

Natsu broke, dropping the tiny pencil to the ground and letting himself go – anywhere, really. Anywhere he could escape the memory of her.

Ironic, really. The lengths he’s go to keep her safe, when all he was really doing was breaking them both.

 

they all have their demons, I suppose

why did this take me so long oh god throw this and me into a trash can bye

also yeah this is my first angst attempt please don’t hate me

this totally doesn’t fit under a prompt, does it?

fashionablefrisk  asked:

I've been studying Spanish for five years now and feel like I have plateaued. I know that I should probably get some experience with talking in real life situations and that would help me become fluent, but how can some people become fluent so quickly? I don't even feel confident speaking when some people who focus on Spanish for a couple of months have a better grasp than me. I'm sorry for the rambling. My question is, why do you think some people have an easier time learning a language?

Don’t get caught up on the word “fluent”, it’s kinda meaningless and it’s not an end goal “reach one time and have it for life” thing anyway. I’d consider myself fluent in French and yet I met up with someone last Saturday, very tired and after having spent all week with friends from home, and I was struggling to get out fairly basic stuff. Skills fluctuate based on a ton of reasons.

Also, the amount of time you’ve been doing it shouldn’t be a factor either, it depends completely what you’ve done with your time. I’ve technically been studying French and Croatian for roughly the same amount of time - French is my best language, and my Croatian is basically average at best. If somebody does a couple of months of intense hours a day of Spanish, and especially if that person already has experience with language learning (even more so if another Romance language), they could easily achieve more than someone just taking it in school for several years and doing nothing else with it.

It’s hard not to, but you have to try not to compare yourself to others. Your own language learning is a completely personal journey, and nobody else will live that quite as you do. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and everybody has different learning methods and histories with languages and all that comes into play when learning a new language, so you really can’t compare your progress to that of others.

If you’ve not had that much experience with real-life uses of the language that is absolutely something to focus on - most language-oriented native speakers will be helpful and patient (especially if it’s in the sense of a tandem or exchange where you also help them with English) and it’s a great way to put into practice the stuff that you learn in class, as well as learning more stuff you never would’ve otherwise. Try sites such as polyglotclub, mylanguageexchange, conversationexchange, italki, lang-8, studentsoftheworld, linqapp etc to find someone if you don’t know anyone in real life!

The best way to cure a plateau is just to do something different than what you have been doing already tbh. Shake it up and vary it a bit.

Good luck!