living like this is a full time job

Headlines read: POKÉMON GO AWAY; POLICE ISSUE WARNING NOT TO POKÉMON AND DRIVE;  MAN QUITS JOB TO CATCH POKÉMON FOR TWO MONTHS

My mother sees this and shakes her head. My friends squabble about it. Internet comments read: you all need to get a life, aren’t you too old to play children’s games, wish millennials would hunt jobs instead of imaginary animals, I’m so ashamed of this generation

I’m so in awe of this generation and everything it has to carry. I am stunned by the way we persevere, by the way we find comfort and peace in such small packages. MAN QUITS JOB TO CATCH POKÉMON. Man indulges in nostalgia. Man leaves home, travels. Man pursues happiness, finds it in strange places.

Pokémon: Indigo League aired in 1999 on Kids’ WB. Picture: an alarm set, two pairs of tired eyes, TV trays and cereal, volume low because mom’s sleeping off her night shift at the bar, theme song lyrics printed out and sitting on the floor. I was eight. I never recall my father in these memories. He’d either already left or I’ve blocked out his face the same way my mom used family photos to cover up fist-sized holes in the walls.

Pokémon Silver and Gold were released in the US in 2001. Picture: anthrax, terror alerts, news footage looping, smoke and screaming, teachers crying in classrooms, the way fear can permeate an entire country and my small body the same way without ever having to name a reason out loud. I was ten. I was scared all the time, but I was also spending my weekends running around outside with my brother and the neighbor boy, throwing imaginary Poké Balls at squirrels.

It’s not that I didn’t know what was going on. It’s just that sometimes when things are loud or angry or hard, especially when you’re young, the best thing you can do is keep your head down.

2016: terrorism, police brutality, student loan debts, depression, anxiety, Brexit, the US political landscape. Pokémon Go begins rolling out its release around the world and there are days, at twenty-five, that I still need to keep my head down. I know there is immense privilege in being able to put the rest of the world on hold for a while, to step back from the things that hurt us; but I also know this brief respite is important. Whether it’s turning off the news for a few days or reading a book or taking a vacation or augmented reality as self care. It is hard to live full time in a world that always looks like it’s on fire. It sits so heavy on the chest. It is easy to look out at all this trauma and forget to look back at yourself.

What I mean to say is, I might not quit my job to roam the country and catch Pokémon, but when it comes to pursuing my own happiness, no matter the means, “I wanna be the very best…”
—  LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS by Trista Mateer

janjanbearr

Q: May I ask what happened? Like how’d you work from warner bros to Disney? Were you a free lancer and contract ended? Felt like it wasn’t a good environment? Sorry if I’m nosy once I get my BA in animation I kind of want to know the process of finding a job in a company or what artist go through. Btw CONGRATS! LIVING THR DREAM!!

+++++++

I already answered this on my post but I figure it would be good to post it separately for those who want job careers similar to mine.  

A: I was a full time employee at Warner Bros but Be Cool Scooby Doo ended productions arounndddd November? So I was looking for another job and got a recommendation from my art director to test for Ducktales at Disney. I took the art test and i just pretty much got the job but i’m at this 6 week trial thing where they want to see if i’m the kind of person they want to work with. 

The most important advice i can give you is NETWORKKKKK PEOPLE!!! Your friends will get you the jobs. People will want to work with people they already know —-> FRIENDS are usually the first to be recommended in anything. Don’t just sit there and dream that your art will be so dazzling that it’ll make recruiters hand you a job, you have to get out there and approach those people in the industry! That’s how I was even able to work for WB in the first place! 

(side story: I met my art director from WB when she was giving a presentation in my class, and then the teacher in that class gave me her email and i talked to her how i was interested in working in the BCSD team. At that time they didn’t have jobs but at least she knew who i was at that point and was interested! Then i met her again when i invited her to go to my Grad show and we finally got to talk one on one. After that my boyfriend’s friend was a BG painter at BCSD at that time and gave us a tour at WB where i met the art director again!!!! and FINALLLY there was a position opened for a BG designer. So through all those meet-ups my art director at that point gotten familiar with me enough that she emailed me to give me a art test and i got the job!!! 

So talking to people is IMPORTANT! You don’t know where that person’s career is heading so just be nice to everyone and at least say hi! The worst thing that they can do is just ignore you. So don’t be scared to reach out to your peers, teachers, WHOEVER! 

And when you DO GET THE ART TEST: 

Make sure whatever you do is strictly what they ASKED for. I’ve seen so many tests where the artist tries to put themselves in the art tests or just do the things the job says NOT to do (read EVERYTHING in the style guild). Showing yourself off is the WORST thing you can do. The tests aren’t about YOU. It’s about if you can fit in THEIR show’s style, they need consistency! That’s what makes you the better option, that you know your place and you can do what’s asked from you.

Hope that helps!

2

Phineas Gage is one of the most famous patients in the history of neuroscience. He was 25 years old when he experienced a serious accident at his work place, where a tamping iron was shot through his head - entering under his eye socket at exiting through the top of his head - after an explosive charge went off. The tamping iron was over a metre long, and after exiting Gage’s head landed 25m away. 

Initially Gage collapsed and went into minor convlusions, but recovered quickly and was able to speak after a few minutes. He walked with little assistance to an ox-cart and was brought to a nearby physician. Initially the physician did not believe his story because he was in such good condition, but was convinced when: 

Mr. G. got up and vomited; the effort of vomiting pressed out about half a teacupful of the brain, which fell upon the floor.

Gage exhibited a number of dramatic behavioural changes following the accident. Harlow, the physician who initially treated Gage, described this change “He is fitful, irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity (which was not pre­vi­ous­ly his custom), manifesting but little deference for his fellows, impatient of restraint or advice when it conflicts with his desires”. However the surgeon Henry Jacob Bigelow described his condition as improving over the course of recovery, stated he was “quite recovered in faculties of body and mind”. This may have been early evidence of neural plasticity. This recovery was also reported by a physician who knew Gage while he lived in Chile, who described his ability to hold on a full time job as a Concord coach driver, a job that required exceptional social skills.

Gage’s neurological deficits following his traumatic brain injury is thought to have been exaggerated and distorted over the course of history, to the point that he is often portrayed as a ‘psychopath’. Scientific analysis of the historical accounts of Gage’s life following his accident, namely by the psychologist Malcolm Macmillan, find that these distorted accounts are most likely untrue, and that Gage made a very good recovery.

Post-mortem analysis of the Gage case concluded that it was the left frontal lobe that was damaged in the accident, although further neurological damage may have resulted from infection. Combined examination of the Phineas Gage case with the other famous cases of Tan and H.M. have concluded that social behaviour, memory, and language are dependent on the co-ordination of a number of different brain areas rather than a single region.

How to Become an ALT in Japan

Basic Requirements

1. A university bachelors degree
-Any degree is ok, Latin American Studies, German, Linguistics, Astro-Physics, Sociology, doesn’t matter as long as it’s at least a bachelors 

 2. A clean criminal background check
-Have you been convicted of a murder? Are you a pedo? Do you have outstanding warrants in 3 states? Did you go to jail for a hit and run? Japan doesn’t want you. 

 3. Appropriately healthy and able bodied
-If you have a something that will prevent you from doing your job well, you will most likely not be hired. For example; you can’t use stairs, you can’t stand for 45 minutes at a time, you have a severe speech impediment (I know people here with lisps), things like this prevent you from teaching at full capacity and most places don’t have the time or resources to make special accommodations for you. 

What other skills might recruiters be looking for?

1. Japanese language ability
-NOT required for most positions, but helpful for communication both in and out of the workplace. Unless you live in a metropolitan area, the average Japanese person’s English is VERY limited. I know many people who came here with zero Japanese, but nowadays there are many with at least rudimentary Japanese. People rarely come here fluent, but many people study Japanese while living here to take the JLPT and their level improves by leaps and bounds. I am not one of those people, so don’t ask me for more details lol

 2. TESL/TEFL certification
-NOT required for most positions, but some private companies are starting to lean more towards certified individuals. And honestly, those give you a lot of skills you will absolutely need when teaching English. 

3. Teaching degree
 -NOPE, not required in 99.9% of the cases. I know a few people with them who are ALTs, I’ve heard mixed opinions on how well it helps them as an ALT. Some find it demeaning to work subordinate and be given limited control/responsibilities, other find it freeing because they can spend more time teaching and less time with test related paper pushing and discipline management.

4. Good attitude, flexibility, people skills
-You need to be able to present yourself as someone trustworthy and amiable to recruiters. The environments ALTs work in are often high-paced, prone to sudden last second changes, and being able to make friends in the office and keep a happy face with students is incredibly important. 

5. Prior experience
-Have you worked in a daycare before? Have you volunteered in tutoring centers? Have you led discussion groups as a major requirement?  Have you ever studied abroad? Have you ever volunteered in foreign classrooms? Have you taken charge of a club and organized events? Did you dorm with international students in university? Have you worked for an international program before? Have you given private language lessons before? These are the kinds of things that show you have experience in things that ALTs frequently encounter.

Can I mention my love of [INSERT JAPANESE CULTURE HERE]?

Yes, but keep is professional, relevant, and brief. 

“I became interested in Japan after watching Spirited Away, the cultural aspects of the movie fascinated me and made me want to learn more about Japan.” OK
“I have a collection of anime pillow cases, my favorite is Miku Hatsune in this pose.” NO 

“I started listening to Japanese music in high school. I eventually started learning Japanese to better understand the lyrics.” OK
 "When Pierrot broke up, I was shattered that the fanfic community would move on to other ships.“ NO 

“My school offered a short course on Japanese tea ceremony, and I thought the way that it formed historically was extremely interesting.” OK
“I want to learn the way of the samurai.” NO 

“I’m very interested in Japanese video game production companies. I went to college and majored in game design and I want to further study it by living in Japan and experiencing the community in person.” OK
“I want to play Resident Evil on fiber optic LAN with Japanese players so I can pwn more n00bs when I get back to America.” NO

What kind of ALT positions are available?

First and foremost: READ AND RESEARCH

If you do not do your own intensive research, you can get taken advantage of. You hear horror stories from people here all the time, and those mostly come from people didn’t research what they were getting themselves into. I cannot make a comprehensive guide to the THOUSANDS OF KINDS OF ALT positions across the country, this is only an overview. Look at that link, and always do extensive research of the companies/programs you’re interested in working for.

1. Government
 AKA JET Program
-The JET Program is the only government ALT program. It makes the Japanese government the middleman in your arrangements, which takes less money from your paycheck and gives you a more trustworthy means of income. It’s very competitive and the application process takes about 6 months. They only hire once a year. It’s arguably the best program, as it pays well, you have a lot of guaranteed vacation time, and they pay for your flights to and from the country. On the downside, you don’t really have a lot of say in where you are placed. Also, you cannot get a transfer unless VERY specific requirements are met. Also some prefectures/localities are nicer to their ALTs than others, but if they try to fuck you over you know you have the Japanese government backing you and they will keep you from being taken advantage of.

 2. Private Dispatch
examples: Interac, AEON, Borderlink, JIEC and MANY others
 -These are private companies that workplaces hire to provide them with ALTs. Workplaces do this because some of the intricacies in hiring an ALT and getting them a VISA and housing are really complicated, and they’d rather pay a middleman than deal with it. Upsides, you get a little more wiggle-room with being transferred. Downside by far is the pay. It depends on the company, but that middleman definitely takes a big chunk of your pay. If you work for a place like this, you need to VERY carefully read your contract. Research dispatch companies carefully, check their ratings online, see what former employees have to say about them. 

 3. Private Hire
 AKA working directly under the local government office, a private company, or even one-on-one’s in wealthy households
-These are places that will directly hire you without a middleman. Obviously, you need to look carefully at the details of your contract before working privately. Most local government places won’t hire you without prior ALT experience in Japan. Private English Conversation Schools (Eikaiwa) have non-9 to 5 working hours to provide for business workers and students. They sometimes require you to already have a VISA prior to being hired. Private Hire really is outside of my experience, but from what I understand they can pay as well as JET, but don’t usually have as many perks.

Where do I look for open positions?

GaijinPot is the website I’ve heard of the most. Check there and research research research. There are scammers, be careful. 

JET hires once a year starting around September or October. It’s available online on their official webpage.

There are a bajillion different dispatch companies. I couldn’t possibly name them all, I don’t really have a lot of experience with them, and don’t know which are particularly good or not. Check Google-sensei for their applications, websites, and reputations.

Other than that, please be wary of Craigslist. Although legit job openings do show up, there are scammers. If it’s someone looking for a “private female in-home English tutor from ages 19~25” or something like that, don’t be dumb. Many will require you to have a VISA with a minimum of 1 year on it already. Many will require you to already live in the area of the position. Research everything carefully.

Words of warning

If you think mental health issues are stigmatized in your home country, oh honey you ain’t seen nothin` yet.

If you have mental health issues, Japan may not be the place for you. You may think going to Japan, being surrounded by your hobbies and interests, and just “getting away” will make things better… IT WON’T.

Please be aware that you most likely will not be able to get your meds over the counter in Japan. And it’s not uncommon for your meds to be banned entirely even with a prescription. Bi-polar, anxiety, OCD, depression? Your meds might not be available here. Oh and having people send them over from home by mail can get you detained and deported if you’re caught.

You’ll also be leaving the support of friends and family by coming to Japan. The ALT community is pretty cool, but people come and go so quickly, it’s hard to find groups of people that will stick together through really tough spots.

Supervisors and coworkers aren’t much help either. In Japan, people don’t talk about mental health issues at all. If you take meds for anything other than a physical illness, you do it in private where people can’t see you. If you see a psychiatrist, you do it in a different prefecture, where no one can see you. It’s not uncommon for Japanese people to be asked to leave their jobs because their boss or coworkers have suspicions.

If you self medicate with something like marijuana, be aware that recreational drug use here is VERY VERY VERY illegal. Marijuana use is treated with the same seriousness as crack cocaine. You WILL be caught, you WILL be detained, you WILL be tried without a lawyer present, you WILL be held in solitary, you WILL be convicted of drug possession, and you WILL be deported.

Some ALTs will replace their marijuana use with alcohol. That goes about as well as it sounds :|

For LGBT, if you’re used to a very supportive queer community, it’s not the same here. Japanese people are extremely closeted and unless you live near a large metropolitan area, getting into the gay scene is nearly impossible. I’m fine because I was never in the gay scene back home, but for some people it’s very hard.

If you’re trans and want to come here to transition, please reconsider. I would suggest not coming to Japan as an ALT if you intend to transition in the immediate future. If your gender dysphoria is pretty bad, you’re gonna have a bad time. Gender segregation and enforcement of gender roles will probably seriously affect your mental health. The paperwork for transitioning is even harder from overseas and lot of things need to be done in person so you’ll have to fly back and forth from your home country a lot (which is damn expensive and needs vacation leave). Even if you do get everything done, there’s no telling how your work will respond. They won’t outright say they’re firing you for your gender identity, that’s illegal, they’ll come up with some other reason.

People who come here with a goal like paying off college loans or wanting to experience another culture usually have a better time that people who come here because OMG I JUST LOVE JAPAN. Please keep that in mind.

Butterfly

⇢ After the accident, you can’t remember anything about your life, including your relationship with Jimin.

Pairing: Jimin | reader

◦ Genre: angst, fluff, implied smut

◦ Word count: 13k

◦ Warnings: mentions of death and blood

cr.

“It’s like a wind that gently strokes me, it’s like a dust that gently drifts along. You’re there but for some reason, I can’t reach you, stop…”

Keep reading

actually i’ve been meaning to post about this for a long time– like i said it’s bothering me more and more how people still defend the equalists to this day, you would think that in the FIVE YEARS since book 1 we’d be politically wiser

the avatar world has historically and pervasively been divided into four elements, for obvious reasons. important note: NOT benders vs nonbenders, as nonbenders always still belonged ethnically and culturally to one of the four elemental nations, and they form a majority of the population of the world, including many upper class people.

republic city as a major meeting place of these four nations in a constructive rather than destructive way for the first time would naturally have representatives of those four nations as its government, and nonbenders would not have their own representative because they already belonged to one of the four nations at that time. this is important, because we have no evidence that the council members were at any point a “benders” establishment. i mean, sokka’s symbol is literally on the council desk.

then decades go by and by korra’s time the united republic has developed its own distinct culture in which the industrial revolution has gone full steam ahead and nonbenders and their technological advancements have left bending obsolete. at this point we see bending and benders as the following things:

  • entertainment as sport, which doesn’t pay a living wage despite the probenders being celebrities
  • hard manual labor like mako’s job at the generation plant
  • gang activity (the explicitly bending triads) which is a well-known indicator of a group being oppressed, BY. THE. WAY.
  • the out-of-date council and metalbending police

benders are a minority in republic city. mako and bolin literally grew up homeless in the streets.

meanwhile nonbenders like hiroshi and his kind make up an upper class that believes they should have power rather than the outdated old four nations benders, who have now been reduced to the lower class like i explained in those bullet points. they think it’s unfair that benders are below them yet still legally rule the country. literally if you look at the equalists in the show and the nonbenders who seem interested in equalism, they are all well-dressed and middle-to-upper class, from hiroshi to the rallies to the people listening to the protestor. the only time we see poor nonbenders as a group, in episode 8, they make it clear they’re against the equalists. that’s literally the only time we ever see nonbenders being systematically oppressed, and it was manufactured by the equalists in the first place. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH, there is zero evidence for benders oppressing nonbenders until the equalists intentionally guide tarrlok into doing it so that they’ll have “evidence” as justification for taking over the city. which by the way they then bombed.

the equalists’ rhetoric is literally taken straight from violent oppressor groups like, most pertinently today, white supremacists. the equalists refer to bending as an “impurity” that must be “cleansed”, they falsely blame everything wrong in the world on bender-on-bender violence, they falsely portray benders as in control and pulling the strings, they scapegoat disenfranchised “thugs” and gang members as evidence benders are violent and abusers of the ~pure and good~ nonbenders. the equalists talk about how “it’s time to take back our city” COUGH COUGH. they literally make bending illegal.

and as for “equalizing the world” aka their goal of bloodbending every bender in existence, the show makes it ABUNDANTLY clear that removing someone’s bending is a huge violation of their personhood. a violation that is the fantasy equivalent of something between cultural genocide, r*pe, and murder. and you would actually care about this if you cared about korra herself, the main hero of the damn show. not only this, but amon can’t personally bloodbend all of the millions of benders in the world. this tells us that they must have had other additional plans to “rid the world of bending”.

furthermore, the leader of the equalists is literally a self-hating bender. noatak/amon is someone without love and pride. HE is korra “gone wrong”, not kuvira (don’t even get me started on that). the show draws many obvious parallels and contrasts between korra and noatak and i think one of the big ones is that korra having self-love and pride in herself is a GOOD thing, it’s something noatak could have used when he was an abused child who hated his bending and then came to republic city and hated it even more. that’s why i will love and defend proud, confident, bold and brash book 1&2 korra to my death, her personality in those first two or three books was the single most powerful and important political statement the whole avatar franchise has ever made.

and guess what? all of this is specific to the avatar franchise! it is not a direct parallel to any real world oppression, because axes of oppression based on magical powers that let you control the elements are unique to this series! it is complex because it is an additional type of identity that we do not have in our world. but we can still analyze it all based on what we know of the human condition, and with critical thinking uncover who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed.

moving on, and then what happens when the council is disbanded and they have “open” elections? a nonbender is elected president.

all this is to say… that there is a reason the equalists were also referred to as “anti-benders”. in the show what we were actually shown is that the equalists were nonbender supremacists made up of wealthy upper-class nonbenders who were “racist” against benders, a poor and oppressed minority class. poor oppressed nonbenders exist too, and they are shown to be in solidarity with benders, for obvious reasons. i have been thinking about this for five years, there is nothing to refute it.

so anyway i have literally spelled it out for you and there is no reason for anyone to defend the equalists anymore or act like there was bender-over-nonbender oppression. thanks

in conclusion, in episode ONE when korra told the equalists “you’re oppressing yourselves”, she was RIGHT

You’re Safe Now

Raphael (2014/16) x Reader

Notes: Of course you can, Nonnie <3 I’ve never been in this position before; i’ve been blessed with a loving family, but if you are, please please please get help. This is not okay.

Prompt: “Can I request a Raph/reader where they met on a roof when she ran away from her abusive foster home? He ends up keeping her until he could convince April or Casey to adopt her?”

Word count: 1155

Warnings: Swearing, mention of abuse, suicide, rape and drug use

Disclaimer: I don’t own TMNT, and you belong to you <3


You wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. You hadn’t even taken a shower, and you did not put on an ounce of makeup. You grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover yourself with even though it was warm outside. You made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what you felt a male would want to see. You wanted to disappear.

This life is not what you had in mind. You didn’t enjoy the evenings, when they both were home. When they both drank, and smoked and turned themselves into the monsters they kept deep within. They’d use you for their own gain, and they’d let their friends go at it as well. They’d hiss insults and curse you out for doing the simplest things. You wished your social worker hadn’t left you with these demons, but when they heard that a heart surgeon and his wife wanted to foster a teen girl, they jumped at the idea. Not many teenagers from your old home got fostered, so it was a rare occurrence that someone was actually seeking for one.

Sure, you had releases from this torture: friends, work, the gym, food, but they all came to an end, and you were back to square one. Walking was one way you had found that kept your mind at ease, to keep you from hurting. You would walk for days if you could.

Making your way to the roof of the apartment building you stayed in, you wrapped the jacket tighter around you, feeling like eyes of people were on you at all time. Again, this isn’t the life you wanted, and today marked the second year you had been living like that, and you silently celebrated in your head when you remembered. Not many people could live for this long, in those conditions. Suicide was always an option for you, but you had too much to live for. You dreamed of a house in the Hamptons, with a full-time job and a beautiful family, everything you haven’t had in your short life.

You’d sat on the roof for God knows how long, just staring over the city. New York was your home, and had been since you had been born. You weren’t happy here, anyone could see that, but what could you do? You were still a minor, and you had no way to contact you social worker.

The police was never an option; not when one of them joined in with your foster parents fun.

You’d felt yourself fall asleep, but didn’t do anything to stop it. It’d been months since you had a good night’s sleep. You didn’t even wake when you heard the giant slam, and felt the shake under you. Someone or something had landed on the roof, but you didn’t move. You just laid there. 


Raphael’s patrol had been the west of the city. Nothing had really happened, he just beat up a few thugs. So, he went to his favorite roof (it had the best view of the city) and intended to relax for the rest of the night. He’d had an easy day, but that intention disappeared when he saw you lying on the ground on the roof.

Not knowing what to do, he edged towards you cautiously, his gaze on you at all time. You were obviously alive, you moved too much to be dead.

“Hello?” you let out a small squeak, turning slightly to get a better view of the person, but their giant figure covered all the moonlight, stopping them from being seen.

“Are ya alright?” muttered a gruff voice. Male. He had an accent: Brooklyn.

“Is anyone really ‘alright’?” you turned again, leaning the back of your head on the ground and stared up at him. It was obvious he wasn’t a serial killer, and if he was, he was a bad one for asking if you were okay.

You heard him huff a little bit. Raphael narrowed his eyes at your face. Bruises, cuts, dark circles. He concluded that you looked like shit.

“Who did this ta ya?” he motioned to your face, kneeling down next to you. There was no use lying to him, you couldn’t be bothered to fight anymore. You’d given up.

“My so-called foster parents. But hey, it’s okay. 2 years of this shit and I’m still alive.” You laughed slightly, your voice croaky and scratchy. Raphael didn’t laugh, he didn’t say anything, just stared, feeling his body well up with hate and anger.

“Yer comin’ with me.” He stated finally, after long moments of clenching his fists together and breathing heavily. They shouldn’t be allowed to be ‘parents’, they deserved to be beat up and locked up.

You didn’t say anything, you just licked your dry lips and began to stand. You didn’t know who this man was, but you didn’t care. Where he was going surely wouldn’t be as bad as the life you had with those devils.


“April please, she ain’t gonna cause ya any trouble, she just needs help.” You listened to the man, now you know as Raphael who is also a mutant turtle, talk to his other human friend. Of course you were shocked when you found out, but it was New York, you’d seen worse and weirder. You were more surprised to find out he was a teenager, like you.

You heard April mumble to him, and Raphael give her thanks. You were sat on the couch in April’s living room with a mug of hot chocolate. You hadn’t had one in months, and it felt so good.

April, the beautiful woman you’d seen on the news when passing the TV in your apartment, came into the room, Raphael following behind her.

“Yer gonna be in April’s care. D’you know when ya can go get yer stuff?” you nodded shyly, sipping the chocolate goodness before smiling slightly. You’d already tried to argue with Raphael about staying with someone else, but you’d given in when he stared at you with those pleading green eyes.

“Uhm, they- they go to work tomorrow at 2. We could go then?” April nodded, smiling at you and sitting opposite. Raphael stood against the doorframe.

“Okay [Y/N]. Yer safe now, yer with us, yer new family.” That’s something you’d never heard before, and it was like a bomb was going off in your heart. Raphael truly had a beautiful soul.

anonymous asked:

could you do the MC just graduated from high school one you were already working on?

@misschalant I love your icon.

NOTE!: she is of age and she can marry

I’m seriously surprised that this was requested TWICE, but I’m happy for it, because I like this one a lot.


Yoosung

  • Woot! He’s not the youngest in the RFA anymore!
  • On the other hand, how is she more mature than him? It’s not fair~!
  • On the other other hand, she is more than willing to play video games with him
  • And! She’s planning on going to Skyy University for college! So they could live together, go to school together, and come home together! ^///^
  • Plus, he feels like he gets to be the provider in the relationship
  • Her parents love him. Just adore him.
  • He’s practically perfect (young, smart, sweet, devoted, they don’t know about his gaming habits, is working towards a career, etc)
  • When he asks them for permission to marry MC, there is no hesitation when they say yes

Jaehee

  • So young and so confident!
  • Jaehee is genuinely impressed by MC and the kind of person she is at her age
  • She encourages MC to go to college, helps MC with homework, gives her free food (and leftovers) from the cafe so that MC doesn’t have to worry about her finances too much
  • She’s probably the least comfortable with having a younger partner
  • It’s not that she doesn’t like MC, that’s definitely not the case, she just feels odd about it
  • MC gets a business degree and, because she’s already the co-owner of a business, she’s able to graduate with flying colors
  • It’s not until MC is 20-21 that Jaehee feels comfortable furthering their relationship

Zen

  • MC is living alone at her age, and he knows full well what that feels like
  • He’s super supportive of her and definitely wants her to attend college
  • She works a couple of jobs to pay for the tuition not covered by her partial scholarship
  • MC decides to major in management so that she can be Zen’s manager, much to his glee
  • 90% of he reason Zen’s holding back “the Beast” is because he doesn’t want to push her before she’s ready
  • It’s funny because she’s about the same age as Kyungju
  • When MC and Kyungju meet for the first time at the first RFA party, EchoGirl is like a full blown Mean Girl, casually insulting MC
  • “Wow! That dress is so… unique! I never would have had the guts to wear a baggy dress to this party! It totally flatters your figure!”
  • “Thanks!” MC responds, not taking the bait by getting angry. “I really like my figure! I’m so glad I don’t have to resort to proclaiming my bust size to get a guy! :)” 
  • Zen was so turned on by her confidence and bravery in that moment
  • He will never admit that he was almost as turned on when Echogirl decided to grab MC’s hair and start a cat fight (which MC quickly ended by punching Echogirl in the neck and calling for the Tai Kwon Do security guards)
  • When they move in together while she’s studying, Zen makes sure to take her to and from school via his motorcycle (he eventually gets a car because it SO much safer and he’s so worried about her getting hurt)
  • Her classmates are super jealous that she has a hot, older boyfriend, who rides a motorcycle, and later when he starts getting even more popular, that she’s dating a famous star

Jumin

  • Okay, he was… surprised
  • But age doesn’t really matter when it comes to love. It’s just a number
  • Besides, he doesn’t give a shit what the media thinks
  • MC is level headed, free thinking, and is very capable of thinking for herself anyways, so nobody can truly say that he’s a creepy older man controlling his much younger partner
  • Even then, she’s a caretaker personality, and he has to encourage to act more her age. Be selfish. Think about her own wants and needs more often
  • Her parents are super split on the issue of them getting married, but Jumin (only barely) agrees to wait until MC is done with college to marry her
  • Jumin is really good to her and takes really good care of her, so her parents warm up to him eventually

Seven

  • Well, her age was just another reason for him to push her away
  • MC was too young to be saddled with the likes of him and his emotional baggage
  • She had a bright and shiny future ahead of her
  • Once they get close, however, its memes and jokes everywhere
  • He knows he can send just about anything to MC and it will make her laugh
  • His favorite is waiting until 2am to send her something ridiculous and send her into fits and giggles

V

  • When he found out Rika had picked a literal teenager, fresh out of high school, to stay in an apartment with a BOMB in it, V was beyond angry
  • How could Rika take such a young, innocent life and put them in danger with so little regard for their safety and well being?!
  • He’s like a mother hen
  • He fusses over her safety and her health and always triple checks to make sure she’s taking care of herself properly
  • V’s so reluctant to get involved with her, too, worried about how the media might portray her, how they might get the wrong idea and bash him and how she might blame herself
  • But MC is patient with him, never pushing, always just there for him

Saeran

  • Who cares how old she? She’s mature for her age, so she can survive this.
  • He watches her through the chats, and when the bomb threat is revealed, she stays calm in chat, but when he checks the CCTV, she’s crying, she refuses to leave the bed, too scared
  • Out of guilt and pity, he calls her, they talk, and he starts calling her every day
  • He calms her down, only talks about himself vaguely, but damnit if he doesn’t fall for her
  • When he’s ordered to take her to Mint Eye, she fights him until his voice masking system fails, then she feels betrayed
  • When she hears his story, she forgives him a little, but it’s not easy
  • After the major events of the story, she helps him return to the world, even if it’s difficult for both of them because they both have some serious PTSD
#MCVFX

It’s been almost a month since our little Valentine’s Exchange ended. We hope that everyone who participated had a fun time during the whole shebang. For those interested, here is the masterlist of the fics included in the exchange! We don’t know if more are coming but it’s been…a month…. Remember to leave a kudos or a comment, maybe, to show your appreciation to the writers! ♡

Gods, Daddies and Fake Dicks by JungTaco for lostmyjungkook

Jimin comes to Earth in search for his idol, Thor, but unexpected things await for him here.

Will you be my Valentine? by CmiMiu for SugaTheTurtle

Everyone was always scared of Yoongi that he never thought he’d ever receive a Valentine.

But every year his locker is decorated with festive ornaments and a note stuck on Valentine’s Day asking him “Will you be my Valentine?”

The secret Valentine, however, never reveals himself.

take all of me (I just wanna be the boy you like) by dokidokiharahara (anewkindofthrill) for InfernalMCR

It is way too easy for Yoongi to deceive himself with how brightly Jimin smiles at him, with how Jimin sometimes just looks for comfort and warmth when he curls up next to Yoongi after being fucked for hours. In reality, the boy would probably pack his things and run as soon as Yoongi stopped paying.

“Okay. Do your job then,” Yoongi sneers and maybe there is a hurt look on Jimin’s face.

Unfortunate fortune by otpshots for onecupoftae

Jimin is an injured fisher. Yoongi is a kind shepherd.

Burning cold thief by otpshots for onecupoftae

Yoongi didn’t understand what was going on. All Jimin ever did was loving Yoongi.

love is vivid (no we’re not in love) by btsmemehoes for okaymin

when you drown, you don’t drown when you fall into the water, you drown by staying in.

and in retrospect, that’s probably how it all began.

after all, yoongi had never been great at staying afloat anyway.

i’ll be a gentleman (‘cause i’ll be your boyfriend) by yururin for offthebeat

Yoongi isn’t an easy man to surprise, but kisses out of the blue and sudden boyfriend proposals can do the job.

when i’m with you by sassyneki for sugabox

To Yoongi, the piano is a second home. He finds a third in Jimin.

say you’ll see me again, even if it’s just in your (wildest dreams) by skyshocksuga for coconutbutter

In a world where people dream of their soulmates in the eyes of their closest friend, it was safe to say that Min Yoongi never expected to dream about his soulmate in all his naked glory.

baby take my open heart (and all it offers) by jeogi for otpshots

Jimin didn’t know what to expect when he decided to take over Taehyung’s shift at the daycare for a month, but meeting his high school crush Min Yoongi definitely wasn’t one of them.

-

(or alternatively, 5 times Yoongi threw Jimin off guard, and one time the tables finally turned.)

It’s you (I need you) by Penjasin for skyshocksuga

Park Jimin wishes he wasn’t so fucking unlucky all the time. That way he’d never have ended up in class, getting his heat a week too early.

Cloudy with a chance of thunder by sayfever for ryeogi

Yoongi never believed in the marks anyways.

a long time coming by onecupoftae for parkjizzmin

Yoongi and Jimin announce that they’re getting married. Absolutely no one is surprised.

to me, you’re a masterpiece by softgot7 for realitygetsdestroyed

“van gogh who?” taehyung all but yells, throwing another overdramatic wink over his shoulder. “i only know park jimin.”
yoongi simply nods along in the background, grinning when jimin sends him a helpless look.
even as taehyung continues to shout declarations to the rest of the campus, jimin can’t help but think that if he ever became famous, he’d like for the world to remember yoongi as his muse.

And So Here We Go by Pretenditwasjustadream for babygotbaek

Jimin’s a matchmaker and Yoongi doesn’t need his help.

Well…Maybe…

Say My Name by rosetintedhearts for sayfever

Jimin walks in on Yoongi moaning his name as he masturbates

rookie by realitygetsdestroyed for pandapressed

Yoongi looks up from where he’s been biting marks into Jimin’s skin. “How much do you want this?”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “I was just on my knees for you, I think that’s enough to say hey, I want you to possibly put your dick in me.”

Jimin doesn’t expect it when he feels a slap against his ass, making his dick leak even more. “Don’t get mouthy with me.”

“Maybe you should get mouthy with me, right?”

Baby Fever by ThePurpleStarfish for Pretenditwasjustadream

Min Yoongi is happy. He’s married to the love of his life, he has his health, his friends, and he’s making his way into the music scene. There’s nothing more he wants.

And then Jimin forces him to walk in the cold for groceries.

screenshots of youth by florations for softgot7

Yoongi and Jimin grow old together and make a home in each other.

Compathy by MauveTarte for dokidokiharahara (anewkindofthrill)

The world had a problem, and Min Yoongi did not want to be part of the solution.

(AKA: an ArrangedMarriage!AU a little different from the norm.)

Are You Scared? by rosetintedhearts for sayfever

“Are you scared?”
“Scared of what?”
“That you’ll fall in love with me”

Yoongi and Jimin partake in a game of 'Gay Chicken’. Jimin is convinced he is going to win no questions asked, naturally Yoongi is determined to prove him wrong and wipe that smug smile off of his face.

Clumsy Love by okaymin for kemosabe

Maybe it’s the snow, or maybe it’s the cold, but something changes in the air, and Yoongi isn’t really complaining.

off the mark (i found your heart) by lostmyjungkook for JungTaco

jimin tortures himself by walking into a valentine’s day fair with a broken heart and counts how many used cans he kicks out of sheer frustration.
aka the valentine’s day au where jimin and yoongi meet for the first time and actually kind of fall in love already

Inspired by you by kemosabe for maxx

Yoongi was a piano prodigy as a child, but after an accident in their teens forced him to be hospitalized, all of their passion seemed to disappear. Now, working on a cruise liner as a pianist, he meets Park Jimin, a very wealthy (and very bored) person who promises that he knows how to get the fire back into Yoongi’s piano playing.

fall, everything (i’ll always catch you) by lovelivesinthedream for jeogi

Jimin and Yoongi were adopted in to the same family, but they were always more to each other in their hearts. Not that they’d ever admit it to anyone, including themselves.

see normal people (we’re not part of them) by ziontea for btsmemehoes

Q: where do you draw the line between good and evil, law and criminal?
A: you don’t.

(In other words, Yoongi and Jimin live the happy married life during the daytime and play cops and robbers at night.)

Fanboying Should Be a Full-Time Job by pandapressed for sassyneki

Yoongi did not expect his first encounter with his idol to turn out like this. Yet there Park Jimin stood in front of him: wearing a really flattering pair of tight black jeans, silver hair fluffed to perfection despite not being styled, and dripping wet with a horrified expression on his face as everyone was shocked into silence by what Yoongi had just done.

let’s kick the tires and light the fires by MauveTarte for ziontea

“What—" falls out of Jimin’s mouth as he watches the man whip out a marker from his sweater pocket and, oh my god, deface the back of Jimin’s ticket. The very ticket Jimin was planning to, like, frame or something when he got back home.

(AKA: Novice business man Jimin may not know who this August guy is, but he does know he’s a complete fucking dick.)

hold me tight by coconutbutter for CmiMiu

When Min Yoongi speaks, he knows what he’s saying and he means it.

And he’s saying he hates Kim Taehyung. A whole damn lot.

(Or Jimin is jealous and Taehyung is not helping. At all.)

You’re All I See by SugaTheTurtle for Penjasin

When men come to Jimin and ask him their fortune or what he sees, he’s never afraid to tell them the truth. However, when the crown prince comes seeking the identity of his bride, Jimin can’t understand why all he sees in his future is himself.

I have no idea how this post is going to be received, but I’ve seen a few things today that set my teeth on edge.

This is a friendly reminder that fic writers and artists do what they do for free. People who run fic-finding blogs do what they do for free. People who make gifs do it for free. People who put together amazing rec lists do it for free. People who read and reblog every fic they come across do it for free. People who write amazingly-detailed, insightful or funny tags on their reblogs do it for free. And we get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. How cool is that? There’s so much amazing stuff out there for us to consume, and it doesn’t cost us a penny. It makes fandom fun and it makes fandom better.

And all of these people - the artists, the writers, the finders, the giffers, and the reccers - also have lives of their own. They go to school. They work full-time jobs. They have families and significant others and friends and hobbies. They have health problems. They have mental health issues. They have fandom for fun, and they have fandom to escape. Some people like to talk to anyone and everyone who hits up their inbox. Some people are more introverted. Some people prefer to keep a small circle of friends, or got cautious about making new friends after they’ve been burned a few times (haven’t we all run into toxic people online at some point?). Some people follow thousands of blogs. Some follow a few.

What they don’t have is a debt to fandom. They don’t actually owe anyone anything. Whether it’s an update on a multi-chapter, a response to a prompt, a new piece of art when someone requests it, a list of their favorite bed-sharing fics, a gifset, a like, a reblog, a comment, or a beta. 

(I’m not saying that feedback or likes/reblogs/comments aren’t important, obviously. *waves* Hi, I write fic. Of course it’s important. That’s not why I’m writing this.)

A lot of times people expect these things, and in some cases people demand these things. It’s not cool. And when the artist/writer/blogger doesn’t deliver, they get anon hate and snotty comments. One of the biggest complaints I’ve seen in the fandom - that good fics by lesser-known authors get ignored - is trying to be addressed by a new blog specifically devoted to promoting these authors. Amazing idea, right? Someone saw a problem and is making a genuine, good-hearted effort to fix it.

That blog is less than a day old, and they’ve already gotten anon comments along the lines of, “Why bother? It won’t help,” and “Why are you waiting before you start reccing? There are authors need your help now.” I repeat: that blog is less than a day old. Someone decided to take time out of their life to try and shed a spotlight on new/lesser-known authors - for FREE - and they’re already getting shit on.

So, I’m a writer. I don’t know how “famous” I am, or how famous other people think I am. I follow very few blogs because 1) I tried following hundreds of people when I first started on Tumblr and it got incredibly overwhelming for me, 2) I’ve gradually whittled my dash down to be as drama-free as possible, and 3) I follow authors and artists who I know from experience post quality content that I know I’ll love. And frankly, I can’t even keep up with everything they post and feel like crap when I fall behind on fic-reading.

Y’all, I work full-time. I have friends IRL and online. I follow a few blogs that make me happy. I try to write. I have serious struggles with depression sometimes. I hang out with my asshole cats. And I am tired. I don’t live in an online bubble to deliberately exclude people. All I do is try to make an online experience for myself that makes fandom more enjoyable for me, rather than more stressful.

I… don’t have any sort of grand thesis or conclusion here, other than we need to be nice to each other, and maybe take other people’s experiences into account when evaluating their behavior. And please, if you find yourself getting angry at authors or artists or gif-makers or rec blogs, remember that you’re getting angry at people who spend hours producing content for you to enjoy, for free. They never had to give you anything, but they still do.

Three times the sun gods bothered Icarus at work

Soooo this was going to be a “5 + 1” fic but I really gotta work on my project now, boo.  but I wanted to send you what I had :)  so here’s three parts!  I tried to write from Icarus’s point of view this time… not sure how great I did lol  anyway I hope you like it though  :)

——

Icarus is taking four classes this term; the standard for a full-time student.  He also signed up for a handful of extracurricular activities, not many, but enough to keep him involved.  He’s discreetly in the student LGBTQ+ club, though he doesn’t often speak up.  And of course, astronomy club, which is the thing he lives for every week. 

He also has five separate jobs, that require his efforts at various times of the day/week.  Between the five of them, Icarus manages to make enough money to keep his monthly bills in check, as well as taking a chunk off of the cost of tuition.  He’s not rich, for sure, but frankly, it’s enough for him to keep his head above water (a phrase that’s always made him shudder, for some reason), and not burden his family with debt.

So many jobs, classes and extracurriculars requires Icarus to keep a detailed schedule on his refrigerator so he can keep track of where he’s supposed to be and when.

Tragically, this becomes his undoing, as certain other individuals also consult this schedule at their leisure to determine how and where to find him and maximize their pestering.

Keep reading

I can’t believe I just saved the Bleach fanbase

Y'know what? I’m sick of the Bleach discourse. I’m ending it right now.

You ship IchiHime? Awesome. RenRuki? Great. IchiRuki? Neat. RenIchi? Beautiful. RukiHime? Marvelous. RenHime? Golden.

It’s all canon now. That’s right – the true ending is RenIchiRukiHime.

Ichigo and Rukia and Renji and Orihime are all married to each other, in a happy and healthy polyamorous relationship. Kazui is Ichigo and Orihime’s kid, Ichika is Renji and Rukia’s kid; the other two decide against having biological children because that would become extremely complicated due to laws in both worlds, but it doesn’t matter because all four of them are parents to any kids they have.

Kazui got Ichigo’s last name, Ichika got Renji, and they all agreed that Rukia’s next kid would have Orihime’s last name because Kuchiki is a fancy-shmancy super important name and can’t be given to any random person (Rukia isn’t a Kuchiki by blood, and thus cannot pass on the name). To make up for it, Orihime agrees to give her next kid the Kuchiki name, as she’s not bound by Soul Society’s laws and therefore they can’t do shit to stop her (Byakuya approves of this, but not aloud).

Ichika and her sibling are both Shinigami, Kazui gets a mix of Quincy and Shinigami powers, and Kazui’s sibling gets a mix of Hollow powers and whatever the hell kind of magic Orihime has.

Orihime runs a bakery called “The Four Corners Bakery”, known for letting just about anyone in so long as they promise not to kill people. She gives jobs to anyone temporarily staying in the living world (e.g., Shinigami on the job, Arrancars with nothing better to do, the occasional jobless Quincy, etc.). Riruka buys donuts from her on a daily basis (and is effectively a full-time employee but won’t admit it), and Urahara builds one of his crazy underground fight zones for people who need to work off some stress. Orihime also sells “feel-better treats”, which are custom-made baked goods that look like whoever the maker doesn’t like. Ironically, Loly buys them only from Orihime directly, because no one else is willing to make them for her.

Renji eventually becomes captain of the insert-number-of-your-choice-here division, Ichigo and Uryuu (who is dating Chad) bicker a lot, and Tatsuki gets some cool superpower because lord knows she deserves one.

There, I solved all your problems. Y'all can chill now.

The Brothers--Chuck’s Story

by Chuck Keyser, as told to mrs momona in 2008

© mrs momona 2017

My big brother Jimmy is 11 years older than me. We were born and raised in southern California. When I was 2 years old, our real father was killed in a traffic accident. Jimmy was 13 at that time, and for the next five years he was really like a dad to me. He was involved in athletics in high school, played football, baseball, and wrestled, and also had a part-time job, but he always found time to play catch with me in the backyard, take me swimming, and let me “wrestle” with him. My mother took me to watch every game he took part in. He was my hero. All my friends envied me because I had such a cool big brother.

When I was 6 and Jimmy was 17, my mom remarried. Her new husband was a fitness trainer who insisted that Jimmy and I call him “Beau”. He was real “southern California”—had a great year-round tan, was a nutrition fanatic, and always bragged about which rich and famous people he had trained. Even though I was still a little kid, I could tell that he and Jimmy just didn’t get along. There was never any fighting or yelling, but I could just sense it. A year later, when Jimmy graduated from high school, he headed east to the Philadelphia area, where our real dad had family. I was real sad when Jimmy left, but he promised he’d keep in touch with me.

For the next 11 years, I didn’t see Jimmy in person. He wrote me a couple of times a month, called me often, and sent me cards and money, too—on holidays, my birthday, and sometimes just for the heck of it, I guess. He wrote my mom, too, and always sent her pictures. Over the years, we received pictures of Jimmy as he started working as a construction worker, then got married (my mom flew east for his wedding), had kids, and started his own contracting company. So, I knew that Jimmy had a wife, who my mom said was “a very nice girl”, and over the years had three kids, two girls and a boy.

Whenever a card or letter came from Jimmy and his wife Emily, my mom would eagerly read the letter and look at the pictures, then show them to me. She also showed them to Beau. It always seemed to me that Beau never had anything good to say about Jimmy and his family. I couldn’t figure out exactly what Beau didn’t like about Jimmy, because my mom always changed the subject when Beau started his sarcastic comments. I remember hearing Beau say things like “Oh, heard from the blimp again?” when my mom got a letter. She’d shoot him a dirty look, and then change the subject.

By the time I graduated from high school, I looked like the typical tanned southern California surfer boy type. I liked the beach. I also went out for sports in high school. I remembered what sports Jimmy had gone out for, and I went out for football, wrestling, and baseball too. Beau never had the time to go to any of my games, and he didn’t like it when my mom did either, but she still went, and she sent Jimmy newspaper clippings about every game I played in.

Beau never had much to say to me, which was OK with me. The only area where he tried to control my life was in fitness and nutrition. He never bugged me about fitness—my being involved in athletics, swimming, and surfing meant that at 6'1", I weighed 170 with six-pac abs, broad shoulders, a 30" waist, and slim hips. I guess Beau was pleased that I was in good shape.

Nutrition was another story. He insisted that my mom cook vegetarian, low fat, low carb, all that stuff. Even on holidays like Thanksgiving, we’d have a soy-based turkey substitute (talk about stuff that tasted like shit!). Of course, when I was at school and when I was with my buddies, I ate what I wanted, but at home Beau strictly counted the calories for the three of us. Beau made my mom and me weigh in at the end of every month. I’d have to get on the doctor’s scale he kept in the room he had turned into a home gym (Jimmy’s old room), just wearing my jockeys. Beau checked my weight and gave me the “once over” to make sure, I guess, that I wasn’t getting fat on the vegetarian crap we ate at home.

At one of these weigh-ins, I remember him saying “I’m not going to be the step-father of a fat boy” when the scale showed a 5 lb increase in a month. Luckily, I had grown an inch taller since the previous weigh-in, and I was so active that I never really found out what he’d do if I did put on a little extra weight. I do remember thinking when Beau made the “step-father of a fat boy” crack, “Hey, buddy, don’t ever mention the word ‘father’ when you refer to yourself and me”. But I kept my mouth shut, not wanting my mom to suffer any grief from the jerk.

I turned 18 in April and graduated from high school in the middle of June without any plans for the future. I guessed I was going to enroll in a local junior college, but my real goal was to get a job and save money so I could move out of the house and get away from Beau. My mom was hopeless. I knew she loved me, but she seemed to love Beau, too.

The day before my graduation, I received a graduation card from Jimmy and Emily. In the card was a print-out confirming that an e-ticket in my name was awaiting me at the check-in counter of a major airline at LAX, one-way from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. Emily wrote that she and Jimmy wanted me to come east and live with them for as long as I wanted. There were a number of colleges in the area where they lived, and I could go to school part time or full time, whatever. If I wanted, Jimmy would give me a job at his contracting company. All I had to do was make a reservation and let Jimmy and Emily know the date and time of my arrival.

Beau wasn’t home when I showed the card to my mom. She cried when she read it, but she looked at me and said, “Chuckie, I think you should go. I know you’re not very happy here. Stay with Jimmy and Emily for a while and see how things go. If you feel like coming back to California, remember you’re always welcome here…with me, anyway. Please just promise me you’ll call me on my cell phone every week.” I promised my mom. I called the airline and made a reservation to fly east the next week, then I called and spoke to my sister-in-law. With the three hour time difference, Jimmy was already at work. Emily sounded overjoyed when I told her I was coming and kept saying, “Your brother will be SO happy. We’re ALL happy!”

That evening, my mom told Beau about my plans. He glanced over at me and said, “Just make sure you don’t end up like your brother, kid”. What the hell was that supposed to mean? My brother Jimmy was happily married with three kids and owned his own contracting company, for gosh sakes! I just ignored Beau, figuring that if I said anything my mom would be the one to take the heat, not me.

Over the next week, I partied up with my high school buddies. All of them were going to stay in southern California. There was lots of kidding about me surfing in the Atlantic Ocean, stuff like that.

The day of my flight arrived and my mom took me to LAX. Beau wasn’t with us, which made me happy. My mom cried a lot, but I promised her I’d come back to see her again in a year at the most. (I don’t know why I said that. I guess I felt so bad that my mom was crying so much that I just said whatever came to mind.) I boarded the plane and settled into my seat.

During the flight, I thought about how I’d recognize Jimmy when I arrived in Philadelphia. After all, I hadn’t seen him in eleven years. Everyone in California who remembered him told me that I looked just like him when he was in high school—blond hair, blue eyes, kind of tall, and an athletic build.

I arrived at the Philadelphia airport and headed to the baggage claim area. I got my bags and started looking for Jimmy. There was a mob at the claim area when I heard on the PA, “Chuck Keyser, please report to the customer service desk at baggage claim area B-1”. That had to be Jimmy, paging for me!

As I walked to the customer service desk, I scanned the area looking for my big brother, but I didn’t see him. All of a sudden, I was grabbed from behind and locked in a hug which knocked the wind out of me. “Chuckie, I could tell it was you! You look just like the graduation picture you sent us!” Without pausing for breath, the voice continued, “Kids, this is your Uncle Chuckie!” I took a step back and looked at the man the voice came from, It had to be Jimmy, so I said, “Jimmy, gosh, it’s sure good to see you” as I embraced him.

If you’re thinking I didn’t recognize my own big brother right off, you’re right! He was BIG! I don’t know why I was so surprised—eleven years is a long time. I guess the photographs I had seen over the years hadn’t really impressed me with how big he had grown. After all, I was only a kid for most of those years! Anyway, the Jimmy who greeted me was my height, but as wide as he was tall. He had a round face with chubby cheeks and a big double chin. You could tell he was a construction worker from his broad meaty chest and shoulders and huge upper arms and forearms. He was wearing a tight blue t-shirt with “Keyser Contractors” on the front, but the shirt was so tight it emphasized his massive fleshy upper arms, huge man boobs, enormous round belly, deeply sunken bellybutton, and wide bulging lovehandles In fact, the shirt was so small a good three inches of the bottom of his big belly hung below the hem of the t-shirt.

My attention was distracted though by Jimmy’s voice. He was introducing me to my nieces and nephew. “This is our oldest, Joyce, she’s 9, and then Jennifer, she’s 8, and here’s little Jimmy, we call him Junior, he’s 7.” The three kids all rushed up to me and greeted me like I was a long-lost relative, which I guess I was! Each one of the kids took a bag (I had a carry-on and two checked bags) and tried to grab my hand as Jimmy took the lead as we walked out of the baggage claim area and headed to the parking structure. I was trying to pay attention to each of the kids—they were all talking at once—and follow my brother at the same time.

Actually, Jimmy was easy to follow—all I had to do was keep his broad back, encased in the too-tight t-shirt, in view. I noticed that he had two thick rolls of flab on the back of his neck. Below his broad shoulders, his enormous wide lovehandles sat where his lats and obliques had been when I last saw him when he was 18. Below the lovehandles, the two huge buttcheeks which made up his massive wide behind shifted from side to side and wobbled and bounced as he waddled along. His t-shirt was so tight, it didn’t cover all his lovehandles, and I couldn’t help but notice that he had some major buttcrack action going as his massive white painters pants sagged down over his big fat butt as he waddled toward his van.

My attention was drawn back to the kids. I attempted to respond to each of their questions. At the same time, I noticed how each of them resembled their dad. All had the same blond hair he and I did, and all three of them were fat. Joyce, the oldest, was actually only chubby. Jennifer was fat, and Junior was really fat, as wide as he was tall and a miniature version of his dad

We reached Jimmy’s van and got my bags placed and the kids settled. Each of the kids wanted me to sit next to them, but Jimmy finally said, “Look kids, Uncle Chuck is my kid brother, so he’s gonna sit in the front next to ME!” We all laughed, and were soon on our way out of the airport.

Soon, we left the airport area and were headed toward Jimmy’s house. Of course, I didn’t have a clue where we were. After about 10 minutes, little Junior’s voice piped up from the back seat, “Remember, Daddy, you said that if we were good we’d stop at McDonald’s.” The two girls chimed in, “Yeah, Daddy!” Jimmy turned, gave me a big smile, and said, “Yeah, kids, I did say that. Let’s have Uncle Chuck decide if you were good or not!”

Of course, I said, “Yeah, Jimmy, they’ve been great. I think we should stop!” I was kind of hungry anyway—the airline didn’t serve anything but peanuts on both legs of my flight and I only had time at O'Hare to grab a hot dog as I changed planes. My brother gave me a big smile and said, “I was hoping you’d say that. I’m kinda hungry myself!” as he patted his huge belly, which was brushing up against the steering wheel. The kids all happily called out to me, “Thanks, Uncle Chuck!”

We got to McDonald’s and Jimmy went to order while the kids and I went to get seats. I sat in a booth, but Joyce said to me, “Uncle Chuck, we don’t sit in booths here because my daddy can’t fit in them, so we have to find a table.” So, we moved. Jimmy came to our table with five supersized quarter pounder with cheese meals, and an extra quarter pounder with cheese for himself.

We all dug in without saying much. I figured this was going to be dinner and it had been a while since I had last eaten. My two nieces didn’t finish all their fries and so Jimmy took their leftovers and gave Jennifer’s fries to me and ate Joyce’s himself. The supersize meal had filled me up but I managed to force down the leftover fries. As I was finishing, Jimmy said to Junior, “OK, Junior, are you going to finish all that? If not, pass it over to me.” Much to my surprise, my 7 year old nephew said, “No, Daddy, I’m going to eat it all” with a big smile on his face. I was stuffed after the meal and here was my nephew still shoving in the food. I noticed that Jimmy looked proudly at Junior as his son finished the whole meal.

We all finished and headed out to the van. After we pulled back onto the highway, Jimmy said to the kids, “Now kids, remember, when we get home and have dinner, don’t forget that you’re all going to clean your plates, right? Remember that your mom goes to a lot of trouble to cook great meals for us and we don’t want to make her feel bad by not eating all that she fixes, right?” “Yes, Daddy” chorused the three voices in the back seats. I began to get an idea about the reason for the size of my brother, nieces, and nephew. At the same time, I was relieved—Jimmy in person was the same nice guy I remembered from when I was a little kid. He was so cool!

Soon, we arrived at my brother’s home in Paoli, a suburb of Philadelphia. As I entered the house, my sister-in-law Emily came running to the front door and smothered me in kisses. She said how happy she was to see me and to have me as part of the family from now on. I could see why my mom had described Emily to me as “a very nice person”; she sure was very sweet and welcoming to me. As we stood in the entrance way and talked, I confess I checked Emily out. She was about 5'9", blonde hair and blue eyes, real pretty, and—you guessed it—very heavy. She was just big all over—huge breasts, which stressed the fabric of the t-shirt she was wearing and wide hips and enormous thighs which were encased in a pair of jeans which seemed to be painted on.

Emily then said, “Now, Jimmy, we’re going to have dinner in about an hour and a half, so take Chuck and show him the house and give him a chance to freshen up.” We were going to eat in 90 minutes? I was real full, but I remembered what my brother had told the kids when we left McDonald’s, so of course I didn’t say anything.

My new house was a large multi-level. There was a “granny apartment” on the ground floor—a bedroom, bath, small living room, and a kitchenette. This was where I was going to stay. Jimmy told me that he and Emily thought I might want some privacy sometimes although I was welcome to spend as much time with the family as I wanted. On the main level was a large living room, a dining room, a large kitchen (delicious aromas of dinner cooking came from the kitchen as we passed by), a family room, the master bedroom/bath, and then on the upper level were four bedrooms, one for each of the kids and a guest bedroom, and more bathrooms. Jimmy then showed me the property. There was a large patio with a built-in barbeque next to a big swimming pool. Jimmy pointed out how far the property went. The house sat on a couple acres of ground.

We heard Emily calling that dinner was ready and headed back to the house. Jimmy said to me, “Chuck, I can’t tell you how glad I am to have you here. It’s always been my dream to have you come and live with us. I feel like I have 11 years to make up to you. This is your home now. Over the weekend, we’ll talk more about your plans for work or school or whatever. Right now, just make yourself at home and get to know Emily and the kids.”

Dinner was a huge spread, like a Thanksgiving feast. Jimmy, Emily, and the kids all had seconds and even thirds. I had to force myself to eat “firsts”—the McDonald’s meal had filled me up, but I pushed myself. As I cleaned my plate, Emily piled it high again. I must have grimaced or something because Jimmy caught my eye and winked at me! I got the message. I better clean my plate or else Emily’s feelings would be hurt! So, I forced myself. Then, Emily brought out dessert–two pies. One was to be split between Jimmy and me, the other was cut into quarters, one each for Emily and the kids. I begged off, telling Emily I was jetlagged, and she said she’d save it for later. Gosh, I was already so stuffed!

I offered to help with the cleaning up and that gave me a chance to talk more with Emily. We talked about my mom and stuff like that. Then, I went into the family room to watch TV with Jimmy and the kids and Emily soon joined us. It didn’t take long for the snacking to start! Leftovers from dinner, bowls of ice cream, sandwiches.

My two nieces got into a minor squabble because both said they wanted to fix me a sandwich. I was so stuffed, I was going to say no, but before I could my brother said, “Girls, why don’t you each fix Uncle Chuck a sandwich. Joyce, you can make him peanut butter and jelly and Jennifer, you make cream cheese and jelly. Junior, you can bring Uncle Chuck a nice big glass of milk. We’ll see which sandwich Uncle Chuck likes best.” Jimmy winked at me and I knew I’d better make room for the sandwiches and milk. I didn’t want to disappoint the kids. The kids soon came with the food, and the girls waited for me to pass judgment. Of course I said that both were equally good! (They were, too. I had never had cream cheese and jelly before—I guess cream cheese wasn’t on Beau’s list of healthy food. Cream cheese and jelly sandwiches immediately became one of my favorites.)  By the time I went to sleep that night, my stomach was swollen like a tight round basketball. I had never eaten so much in my life!

That first evening set the tone for eating at my new home. Emily always prepared three huge, delicious meals every day. Breakfast was always hot cereal with sugar and cream, plenty of buttered toast, pastries, eggs, some kind of meat—bacon, sausage, ham, or what soon became my favorite–scrapple. (Scapple is a Philadelphia area specialty—pork, cornmeal and spices cooked together and made into a loaf, then cut into slices and fried in butter. Delicious!) On Sunday mornings, pancakes were added, with Jimmy doing the cooking. Lunches were always mouth-wateringly tasty, too. I soon discovered that the first dinner I had at the house wasn’t a special welcoming feast, like I thought that evening—it was just a standard dinner!

The next day, Saturday, my first full day at my new home, my nieces and nephew showed me where the snacks were kept—there was a whole kitchen closet filled with family-sized packages of chips, pretzels, containers of nuts, cookies, candy, and boxes of every snack cake you could think of, like twinkies, but especially snack cakes, pies, and pastries made by Tastykake, another Philadelphia area favorite. When I asked my niece Joyce if her mom or dad limited the amounts of snacks the kids could eat, she looked at me surprised and said, “Oh no, Uncle Chuck, just as long as we eat everything at mealtimes and clean up the mess, we can snack on what we want.”

I soon got into the routine of snacking frequently just like everyone else in the family did. In addition to the contents of the snack cabinet, there were always leftovers from dinner, freshly made pies and cakes, ice cream, and sandwiches to be made and enjoyed. And, there was always plenty of whole milk, white or chocolate, or orange juice in the refrigerator to wash down whatever I was eating. (Emily didn’t like the kids to drink soda because it was bad for their teeth). My nieces really got a kick out of making snacks for me, too, just like they did for their dad. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I always ate everything they made for me, even if I wasn’t hungry. Just as my niece told me, neither Emily nor Jimmy minded how much I snacked since I ate heartily at every meal. I couldn’t help it. Everything tasted so good, and it made me feel really part of the family when I ate like they did.

Later that afternoon, Jimmy and the kids were out at the pool, and Emily and I were inside talking as she was making some more pies. She was just so friendly, interested in me and my hopes, and happy to answer my questions about the Philadelphia area, and especially, about the family.

After the pies were put in the oven, she took me out into the family room. One whole wall was covered with pictures of the family. There were pictures of me as I was growing up, which my mom had sent them, and pictures of my mom too. There were plenty of pictures of Jimmy, Emily, and the kids, of course, and Emily explained each one of them to me. The, she brought out the scrapbooks. Emily had scrapbooks full of pictures, all nicely labeled, which really told the story of the family over the years. I was so eager to catch up on lost time that I found every picture real interesting.

As I turned the pages of the scrapbooks, one thing I noticed was the change in Jimmy over the years. At the beginning, after he first came east and met Emily, he was slim and trim, just like me.  The first picture showed Jimmy  in a bathing suit. His six pack abs and toned pecs, just like mine, were very obvious. He had one arm stretched around Emily’s big waist and his hand rested on  her plump lovehandle. Emily was snuggled against Jimmy’s chest, her massive right breast pushing against his left pec.. In her left hand, she was holding a fully loaded foot-long hot dog against Jimmy’s open mouth. He had a big smile on his face! Every picture from that beach party showed trim and muscular Jimmy eating: a mound of potato salad which covered a whole plate, a huge slab of pie a la mode, a triple hamburger layered with cheese and bacon.

When Emily showed me those pictures, she started reminiscing. “The first time I met Jimmy, I fell for him right away. He was such a nice guy, and so handsome too. And, Chuck, don’t tell Jimmy I’m telling you this, but on our first date, he told me I was the most beautiful girl he had ever met and he actually proposed to me. And I’m still surprised that I actually said yes! Of course, I think he’s even better looking now than he was when we got married…” She blushed, stopped suddenly, and resumed “…oh Chuck, I’m sorry to go on and on, but I love Jimmy so much! Don’t mind me.”

The following pictures in the album  gave a complete record of Jimmy and Emily’s life together.

When Emily and Jimmy got married (they were both 19 and he had been working construction for a year), the pictures of the wedding showed that Emily was already almost as heavy as she was now. You could see that Jimmy’s face had rounded out  during the year since they met and he had a small double chin and round rosy cheeks.  His suit jacket was unbuttoned (as if it were too small) and the front of Jimmy’s dress shirt strained to cover a pot belly which bulged over the waistband of his dress pants. There were pictures of Jimmy and Emily dancing which showed that his butt had gotten real big and bulky and stuck out even  more than his belly! I was stunned to see how much he had changed in that one year, but of course I didn’t say anything to my sister-in-law.

After the wedding pictures, I could see that every picture of an anniversary, christening, birthday, or other family event over the years showed Jimmy getting steadily heavier. His face got fuller, his body got wider and wider, his belly got bigger and bigger and rounder and rounder and hung lower and lower, and you could  see how from year to year he was developing the enormous fat man boobs, truck tire size lovehandles, and huge thick thighs he had now.

Wow! I thought to myself that it was so cool to see how happy Jimmy was over the years. In every picture, he had a huge smile on his face. You could just see how much he loved his family and was enjoying life. After eleven years spent with Beau and my mom, it was so nice to see what a loving family my brother Jimmy had. I made up my mind to do all I could to fit in with my brother’s family.

The next day, Sunday, Jimmy took me to see his main base yard and office and we brought little Junior with us. Keyser Contractors had been started 10 years before by Jimmy, with some financial help from Emily’s family. Business was booming. Jimmy specialized in building homes, commercial buildings, things like that. At any one time, there were more than half a dozen jobs going on. Jimmy and I talked about my plans. He offered to pay for me to go to college, whatever. I told him that I did want to go to college, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to major in, and I really had thought about taking a year off from school to work, anyway.

Jimmy offered me a job as a laborer. He explained that I’d be just another employee of Keyser Contractors, even if my name was Chuck Keyser! He said, “Laborers do all the heavy work, but you’ll learn the business from the ground up.” Jimmy laughed as he added, “Sometimes when I’m stuck behind my desk in the main office, I wish I could go back to being just a laborer again! But business is good so I put up with the desk stuff and get out to the job sites as often as I can.” We agreed that I’d start as soon as possible. I was to get the pay and benefits which any other new hire with a high school diploma would get.

When I asked Jimmy how much room and board he wanted me to pay, he said, “For the past eleven years, I’ve wanted you to live with us, Chuck. Emily and I agreed that you should save your money for the future. Plus, I expect that once you get settled you’re going to have a social life, and you’ll need money for that too. And speaking of your life, that SUV in the garage at home is for you to use. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go down so you can get your Pennsylvania driver’s license, and we’ll get you some work clothes too.” I was so overwhelmed at my brother’s kindness, I didn’t know what to say except, “Thanks, Jimmy”. He gave me a big smile and I noticed that there were tears in his eyes. He was so cool!

Before we said anything more, we were interrupted by Junior’s voice calling from another corner of the baseyard. Jimmy and I walked over to find Junior atop a pile of 2 by 4’s. He had climbed up to the top, but couldn’t get down! I ran over and positioned myself to lift him off the pile. Jimmy called to me, “Watch your back, he’s a big boy!” Jimmy was right, I hoisted Junior up and off the pile, but gosh, he was even heavier than he looked. Once Junior was on solid ground, Jimmy scolded him and Junior sheepishly went over to the van while Jimmy and I went more slowly. Jimmy noticed me rubbing my back, laughed and said, “See, Chuck, I told you he was heavy. I think Emily told me he weighs  150.” I was surprised but didn’t say anything. 7 years old and already 150 lbs! I didn’t weigh that much until I was a sophomore in high school! (That was the only time I’ve ever heard anybody mention the weight of anyone in the family.)

On the way back home from the Keyser Contractors baseyard, Jimmy said to me, “How about getting some coffee?” Of course I agreed. That was how I was introduced to that institution of the Delaware Valley—Wawa! Think of a convenience store like 7-11 but with all the food, coffee, and drinks much fresher, tastier, and better, including fresh made hoagies (sub sandwiches to you non-Pennsylvania-South Jersey-Delaware people) and a huge selection of snack foods. There must be a Wawa every quarter mile or so in the Philadelphia area, very convenient for stopping for lunch, a snack, or whatever!

At the Wawa, Jimmy and I got coffee and Jimmy picked up half a dozen small Tastykake fruit pies, three for him and three for me. As Jimmy was paying for this, Junior came up carrying a family size bag of chips and a big container of dip, and sheepishly said, “Daddy, I know I was wrong to climb on the pile of wood. Can I have these anyway?” Jimmy smiled, said, “OK son, just make sure you don’t do that again. It could be dangerous” and paid for everything. As we headed to the van, we watched Junior open the bag of chips even before we got into the van. Jimmy said softly to me, “He’s really a good kid. I’m glad he’s learned his lesson. And besides, he likes his snacks so much. I just can’t say no to him!” We got into the van and headed out on to the street.

We drove around for a while so I could get oriented to the area.  Jimmy drove past the jobs Keyser Contractors was working on and talked about each one, and then we headed for home and dinner. Damned if Junior hadn’t eaten all the chips and dip before we got home, and of course, Jimmy and I finished our coffee and pies, too.

My first job assignment was a new doctor’s office close to the King of Prussia mall. I fit right in as a worker at Keyser Contractors. The job was actually kind of interesting, seeing how the building took shape over time. We even put in the landscaping. The crew I worked with was mostly young guys, some my age, and I made some good friends. The workday started at 7:30 a.m. at the baseyard, then we went to the job site, and we ended back at the baseyard at 4:30 p.m.

Our lunch break was an hour long and we usually headed to the nearest Wawa for hoagies, some kind of dessert, and something to drink. I usually got a quart of whole milk (it just tasted so good with those delicious hoagies) or hot coffee with plenty of cream and sugar when the weather was cold. Sometimes, we’d hop into one of the trucks and head off to buy other Philly-area specialties. Cheesesteaks, any kind of Italian food, huge soft pretzels smeared with mustard—I loved them all! We took breaks for 20 minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Emily always packed me a bag of cookies or some home made brownies or something like that and a liter container of orange juice for the breaks.

I gradually got to know people and have a social life. Pizza and beer on the weekends with some of the guys I worked with as we played cards or whatever. I met some girls, too, and went out some, but didn’t really find anyone special. I wasn’t ready to settle down anyway.

I quickly fit in as part of Jimmy and Emily’s close family. Lots of love and lots of good food, too, whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. My appetite grew quickly along with my capacity, and in a few weeks I was putting away thirds at every meal without a second thought and I automatically headed for the snack cabinet or the refrigerator if I hadn’t had anything to eat for a while. No matter how much I ate the day before, I woke up starving every morning, mouth watering at the thought of what Emily was going to cook that day.

Outside of my strenuous job as a construction laborer, my physical activity slowed down. Weekdays, I came home from a hard day at the jobsite looking forward to dinner and then a comfortable evening in front of the television with the family. I mostly just sprawled on one couch in the family room while Jimmy sprawled on the other watching TV. The only time I moved from the couch was when I went to the kitchen to get a refill on the snacks. Even then, one of the kids usually volunteered to bring me something tasty, so I guess I didn’t move very much. On weekends, the most strenuous thing I did was toss around a football with Junior and Jimmy (no running, just tossing the ball—if the ball went wild, it was Junior’s job to hustle after it and return it to Jimmy or me).

I kept up my interest in sports, but I went from being an active participant in California to being a spectator in Philadelphia. Jimmy was a fan of all the Philadelphia pro teams, and I quickly became one too. Depending on the season, Jimmy, Junior and I watched all the Eagles, Flyers, 76'ers, and Phillies games that we could on cable, while Emily and the girls kept a steady stream of delicious snacks coming to us from the kitchen. All the physical activity I had been doing in California was forgotten as I happily adapted to the lifestyle of Jimmy and his family. Besides, during the winter, it was just too cold outside to do much.

I think I mentioned earlier that when I left California I had a surfer’s tan. Up until the end of September, I managed to keep my tan, even though we only went down the shore to Ocean City  in South Jersey a couple of weekends. (I hadn’t brought my surfboard from California with me, and the water was somehow different from the Pacific Ocean, so I didn’t do much swimming, much less surfing.)

Most of the guys I worked with took off their shirts in warm weather and of course I did too. So, I kept my tan, from the waist up anyway, until mid-September. To my embarrassment, the first couple days I started working I got the nickname from my work mates of “Buff Boy” because of my six-pack abs! After a couple of months, that nickname disappeared (looking back, that was around the same time my six-pack disappeared too). Suddenly, though, in the middle of September, it turned COLD! Well, not cold like it got later in the winter, but to me, raised in southern California, temperatures in the low 60’s made me put away all thoughts of working shirtless. Pretty soon, we were all wearing heavy sweatshirts, heavy flannel shirts, and down vests when we worked outside.

Time went by pretty fast. Autumn came and went, we had some snow right before Christmas, I enjoyed celebrating the holidays as a part of Jimmy and Emily’s loving family, we had more snow and cold weather, and then finally it was early April. There came the day in early April when I finally was able to take my shirt off at work again and try to start a tan. This one day (in fact it was the day of my 19th birthday the first week in April) the temperature suddenly rose into the high 80’s and it was HOT!

So off came my shirt. I didn’t expect any reaction. All the other guys on the crew, like me, were shirtless that day. During our morning break, I was sitting eating my morning snack with my work mates when one of them suddenly said to me, “Hey Chuck, look at you! You’re not ‘Buff Boy’ anymore. We’re gonna have to call you 'Belly Boy’ now!”

I looked down at the white round fat pot belly which was ballooning over the waistband of my low-slung jeans. On each side of it were bright red lines—stretch marks! I knew I had been putting on some weight—since I bought my first work clothes the previous June, every couple months I’d have to buy jeans, overalls, and even jockey shorts the next size up. I had started with size 30, and at that point in early April, size 40 relaxed fit jeans were real tight on me.  I must have blushed or something at the “Belly Boy” crack because one of the other guys said, “Hey, don’t worry about the belly, Chuck. Just look at the rest of us, man. Having a belly goes with working construction!” We all laughed, and I went back to finishing my bag of cookies. I confess, I didn’t give any more thought to my weight. Life was going great, and who cared what size I had to buy?

Even though I spoke with my mom on the cell phone every week, I was surprised when at the beginning of June she reminded me that I had promised to visit her after spending a year in Pennsylvania. When I offered to send her the money so that she could fly east to visit the whole family and see the kids, she declined. She had to work overtime and couldn’t take a vacation since Beau’s fitness training business wasn’t going so well and he had lost a lot of their savings through bad investments. So, I reconciled myself to flying west for a week to visit her.

When I told my plan to Jimmy and Emily and the kids that night at dinner, the kids all said, “You’re coming back, aren’t you, Uncle Chuck?” I said I definitely was. Jimmy and Emily looked relieved when I said that. I was due a week’s vacation anyway, so I booked my round-trip flight for a week at the end of June.

When it came time for the trip, Emily packed me some food to take on the plane, a bakery box with eight pieces of cold fried chicken, a dozen buttered home made biscuits, and a dozen 4” home made mini cherry pies. That provided me with lunch and some snacks for the trip. The plane trip itself was OK, but it seemed to me that the seats had shrunk since I last flew a year before.

My mom met me at LAX. Lots of hugs and tears. Then, we drove to my old home. I asked her how my old friends were doing and she mentioned that she had run across some of them at the mall and they were looking forward to seeing me. She also mentioned that Beau wasn’t going to be there for most of the week—he was in northern California with one of his rich clients. Frankly, I was happy I wouldn’t have to see him for a while. Once back at my mom’s house—I thought of Jimmy and Emily’s place in Pennsylvania as my real home now—I called some of my old buddies, three guys named Frank, Bill, and Joe. We agreed to meet at the mall the next day.

My mom went to work early the next day. When I got up, I put on one of my “Keyser Contractors” t-shirts (I confess I wanted to show off to my friends) and my newest pair of jeans shorts. I hadn’t worn them before. (None of the shorts I had worn last summer fit me, and I had bought these just before the trip. I was in a hurry at the store and just grabbed the next size up without trying them on.) The new shorts were tight on me, but I got them buttoned after a while and my thoughts quickly turned to breakfast.

All I could find for breakfast in the house was some skim milk, toast, and diet jam, so I headed to Bob’s Big Boy for some real food. It wouldn’t be the huge delicious home cooked breakfast I had come to look forward to over the past year, but it definitely would be better than watery skim milk and that other diet crap. (For the rest of my week in California, I ended up buying my own food. I had brought plenty of spending money with me, and there’s all kinds of fast food places in the L.A. area, so I didn’t go hungry. My mom was working super long hours and she didn’t have time to cook for me anyway.)

After a satisfying breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy I headed to the mall and got to where my buddies and I had agreed to meet, the food court. I was early so I grabbed a snack at Cinnabon while waiting. Back home in Pennsylvania with the time difference, I’d be having my lunch already at work and I was still kind of hungry. Suddenly I heard my friends calling out, “Hey there he is”, all that kind of stuff. The three of them. my closest buddies who I grew up with, all rushed me and we exchanged hugs and wassup’s.

The next thing out of the mouths of all three of them was “What happened to you, Chuckie?” “Yeah, what happened, dude?” “Man, Chuckie, just look at you!” I didn’t know what they meant so I said, “What are you guys talking about? It’s the same old me!”

“Oh no, it’s not the same old you! You got a pot belly now!” said Frank. “And titties, too, dude!” said Joe as he grabbed a handful of my left man boob and shook it. And then Bill, who was standing behind me, aid “Hey guys, Chuckie’s wearing size 42 relaxed fit shorts. That’s what the label says, and check the size of this muffin top and fat ass on him!” Frank added, “Size 42?, and his pot belly’s hanging over his waistband too! Damn, Chuckie, you’re a tub now!” They all laughed while I blushed. During the past year, I guess I had put on some weight, but nobody ever said anything to me except for that one time at work in April. Even my mom hadn’t said anything when she met me yesterday.

But my next thought was, who gives a damn? My life was going good. I didn’t even know what I weighed and didn’t care. At Jimmy and Emily’s the topic of weight never came up. So, I just brushed off what my old buddies were saying. finished my heavily-buttered cinnamon roll, and we got on with the business of catching up with each other and planning on what we were going to do for the next days while I was back visiting my mom.

One more thing my buddies gave me some static about—how I talked! I guess I had picked up a Philadelphia accent over the previous year. (If you don’t know what I mean, just ask somebody from the Philadelphia area to say “boat” or “coke”.)

The five days I spent with my old buddies went by pretty fast. Going to the beach with them every day and hanging out with them was great, but they continued to give me static about my size and about how much I ate! I guess I was just in the habit of eating more now and I needed to make food stops pretty often. Wherever we stopped,I always treated the guys to whatever they wanted when I placed my order. On the day before I was to fly back to Philly, when  we stopped for a snack (at my request) on the way to Malibu, Frank said, “Gee Chuckie, we’re gonna miss you when you leave, but if you stayed any longer, we’d all get as fat  as you, dude! Nah, just kidding, man”.

The guys also kidded me about my surfing. I went out on my old board a couple of times the first day, but I was just so out of practice. I was less agile now and getting up on my board and catching the waves took a lot more effort now than a year ago. So, I ended up relaxing on the beach watching Bill, Frank, and Joe ride the waves while I checked out the girls, dozed, thought of my family back in Pennsylvania, and snacked on whatever I could find.

There was this hot dog stand right across the road from our favorite beach, and I found out the first day that they had great hot dogs and low prices. I had been going to that beach since I was a kid, but this was the first time I ever thought to get food there and for that week I became a steady customer, buying three or four at a time while my friends were out on the waves. Man, those hot dogs were great! You could get them boiled, steamed, or fried in butter (my favorite) and you could ask for the buns to be toasted and buttered and have cheese melted on top of the dog. Plus, they had great take-out Mexican food, too. Hmmm, delicious!

Bill, Frank, and Joe kidded me about me about just relaxing on the beach and snacking, calling me “Fat Chuckie”, but hey, my life had changed over the past year and I deserved a week off just to kick back, relax, laze around, and snack whenever I felt like it. It was my vacation, right?

The day before I was due to go back home to Philadelphia, my mom mentioned to me that Beau was coming back the next morning. Oh great! I had been hoping to avoid him, but I’d have to put up with him for a couple of hours before I headed to the airport.

The next morning, I got up and packed. Knowing that I’d have to at least say hello to Beau, I put on my jeans shorts and one of my “Keyser Contractors” t-shirts. (Just wanted to show off to him, I know.) When I heard Beau arrive, I was watching TV and eating a bag of Chips Ahoy cookies (almost as delicious as Emily’s home made cookies!) and drinking a quart of chocolate milk I had bought for myself. I didn’t say anything until my mom and Beau came into the living room and my mom said, “Aren’t you going to say hello to Beau, Chuckie?”

I stood up and said hello. The first words out of Beau’s mouth were, “Well, well, didn’t I tell you last year to watch it, kid? Just like I thought, you’ve turned into a baby blimp. A few more years and you’ll be as huge as that big blimp brother of yours.” I was all set to tell him where to shove it when I caught my mom’s eye. She was silently shaking her head “No” and I realized, she’s going to have to live with this creep while I’m out of here for good in an hour. So I just said, “Yeah, Beau, I guess I have filled out a little” and gave him a big smile.

He replied, “How much do you weigh, kid?” I told him I didn’t know, which was true. I hadn’t weighed myself for the past year, since I left California last June. Why should I? Who cared how much I weighed? Beau replied seriously, “Well, kid, let’s get you on to the scale like we used to and see what it says. Then, I can give you a diet and fitness plan so you can drop the weight before any more damage is done.” I realized the guy was being serious and not sarcastic, and I decided to play along with him, just to keep the peace for an hour. I went inside the bedroom, took off my t-shirt and shorts, and came out wearing my jockeys.

I met Beau in the room he had set up as a home gym, where he had the doctor’s scale (I remembered it was Jimmy’s bedroom many years ago when I was a little kid and before Jimmy went east). I could hear my mom bustling around in the kitchen.

As I walked into the home gym room, Beau’s eyes opened wide. “My God, baby blimp, the damage is worse than I thought. Look at that flab jiggle as you walk. I can see you have muscles in your arms and chest and quads…” (thanks, buddy, I thought, I’ve been working hard in construction for a year—what did you expect?) “…but you’re just covered with ugly fat. Kid, you used to have great pecs, and now look—they’ve inflated up with fat into two big round tits. Looks like you need a DD cup. And check out those lovehandles, too. Plus, it looks like your bellybutton is drowning in the flab on your fat pot belly. And look at the way your fat ass balloons out! And those stretchmarks!  They look like a map of the Interstate Highway system! Jeezus, aren’t you embarrassed?” Hell, no!, I thought, but again I didn’t say anything. I put on a serious expression and said “Well….”

Beau actually thought I was serious. He was falling for my bullshit routine! I got on the scale ad Beau fiddled around and the scale balanced out at 274! Beau turned red and his eyes bulged and I thought he was going to have a stroke or something. He went to his desk and checked a notebook. What was he doing? Then he said, “According to my log, last time I weighed you a year ago, you were 170!”

My response was to try to look shocked. Actually, I was kind of impressed—104 lbs gained in a year. Pretty impressive!

Beau then continued, “We gotta do something about this RIGHT NOW! I can’t let anybody see you looking like this. What are people going to think of me as a fitness trainer if they see that you’re a baby blimp fat boy! Right?”

“Right, Beau,” I said, realizing that it wasn’t about me at all, it was about Beau’s image. That’s all he cared about. So, I continued to play along with him.

Beau just kept on talking. “Great, kid! Someday soon, I just know I’m going to have my own nationally syndicated exercise show. I’ll feature you on the show as one of my success stories. If only I could persuade your big blimp brother to get with the program, too. It’s not gonna be good for my image if some supermarket tabloid digs up the fact that my step-son in Pennsylvania is a big overfed fat slob with a big overfed family. Maybe I can get to him through you….”

I was getting angry at this point. Who the hell was he to put down my brother and his family like that? They were great, loving people. Beau and his big talk! What a shithead! But I thought of my mom and looked at my watch. 30 minutes more before I headed to LAX and then I’ll never see this bastard again, ever. “Right, Beau. I’ll do all I can….” I purposely didn’t say what it was I was going to do.

“Great, kid. Just keep one thing in mind when you’re following the plan I’m going to make for you. Who do you want to look like? Me…?” and his flexed his biceps and made his pecs jump at this point, “…or that overfed blimp fat ass brother of yours?”

My reply? “You can count on me to make the right choice, Beau.”

“OK, kid, I’ll work on the plan while you and your mom go to the airport, and when I’m finished, she’ll mail it to you. Don’t worry, I’ll get this blubber off you real quick and then I’ll put you on a maintenance plan.” Boy, what a prick! Everything was centered on him and his image. No wonder I could sense that Jimmy didn’t like him back when I was a little kid.

Beau was busy writing as I headed out the door. I quickly changed back into my clothes, picked up my bag, and went to the living room. My mom looked at me and said, “Everything OK between you and Beau?” “Sure, Mom,” I replied with a smile on my face, “when you come back from taking me to LAX, Beau will tell you all about it.” She smiled and looked relieved. I felt sorry for her.

I went back into the home gym room and said to Beau, “I’ll be on the lookout for your plan, Beau!” Yeah, right! When I received it, it was gonna go straight into the trash.

My mom dropped me off at LAX and I went through security screening. Gosh, I was hungry. I headed to McDonald’s on the main concourse and bought a supersize quarter pounder with cheese meal, three fish sandwiches with extra tartar sauce, and a strawberry shake. After I finished, I noticed that they were selling quarter pounder meal box lunches meant for people to eat on the plane. I bought three of them and a liter bottle of orange juice to hold me until I arrived home in Paoli and I could get a real meal.

I arrived in Philly and Jimmy and the kids were there to meet me. After we hugged, I asked, “How’s Emily?” “Mom is home cooking a special welcome home dinner for you, but she said it’s a surprise!”, Junior said seriously. Jimmy and I laughed while Joyce and Jennifer gave Junior dirty looks!

It was good to be home!

We soon arrived back at the house. Emily met us at the door and I gave her a big hug and kiss. It was so good to see her! I put my bag in my room downstairs and headed to the kitchen, where Jimmy and Emily and the kids were talking. Emily smiled and said to me, “I understand you know, Chuck, that I’m making a special surprise welcome home meal for you…” My mouth started to water and my stomach rumbled with anticipation as Emily looked at Junior at this point (he had a sheepish look on his face) and continued, “…so why don’t you men go outside while the girls and I finish preparing dinner. It should be ready in a couple of hours.”

As we headed outside, little Junior leading the way with some cookies in his hand, Jimmy said, “Hey, it sure is warm today! Let’s get more comfortable here” and took off his t-shirt. Junior and I followed suit immediately. It was a lot more comfortable to be shirtless in the late June heat and humidity.

Jimmy was wearing a pair of jeans shorts like the ones I had on. As we headed to the wooden lounge chairs by the pool (Jimmy had an extra wide one, specially made for him), I caught a glimpse of the label on Jimmy’s shorts. Size 62! As he waddled along, Jimmy’s enormous man boobs bounced and jiggled and his huge wobbling belly and lovehandles erupted over the waist of the shorts. The shorts were stretched to the max and straining to cover Jimmy’s massive wide behind, but they couldn’t do it. The tops of his fat buttcheeks ballooned over the top of the shorts, showing three or four inches of his deep buttcrack.

Jimmy and I sat down. Jimmy said to Junior, “Son, go into the house and bring us all some cold orange juice and some snacks. It’s going to be a while until we eat dinner.” We sat and talked about my trip, about mom, and how things were going at work. Neither one of us mentioned Beau at all. As we talked, I thought how cool my big brother was—just a great guy!

We stopped talking for a minute and Jimmy closed his eyes. I guessed he was dozing. From what he had told me, the last week had been real busy at work and he was probably tired.

As we sat there, I looked over at Jimmy. For the first time, I wondered how much he weighed. Of course, I’d never ask him, but I thought, gee, if I’m 274 and size 42 is tight on me, Jimmy has to weigh at least 425-430 to be stretching his size 62’s. His wide lovehandles, huge butt and enormous thighs completely filled the seat of the extra-big chair and hung over the sides. His overinflated man boobs, two huge bulging balloons thatched with blond hair through which two big stretched pink nipples peeked, contentedly sat on top of his magnificent big fat belly. His huge round belly rested on his lap, almost reaching to his knees, and hung down between his hefty thighs. His enormous meaty shoulders and arms completed the picture—he not only was a cool guy, he looked so cool, too!

After glancing over at Jimmy, I looked down at myself as I relaxed in the wooden large chair. Of course, I was nowhere as big as Jimmy, but I was pleased to see how my big pot belly ballooned over the top of my shorts, even though I had opened the top button to make myself a little more comfortable. I grabbed a handful of my bellyfat and jiggled it, making my man boobs and lovehandles jiggle and bounce. It was great to see how my big round fat man boobs sat on top of my belly, a smaller version of my brother’s awesome chest. I also looked down at my plump thighs, smaller versions of Jimmy’s impressive tree-trunk upper legs. On each side, left and right, my hefty hips completely filled the seat of the lounge chair. I was really getting a spread on me! Cool!

Earlier that day, Beau had asked me to choose who I wanted to look like, Jimmy or him. I knew then what my choice was, of course, but that moment by the pool confirmed to me that I was going to do all I could to be as much like my cool big brother as possible!

Junior came out and called, “Here’s the snacks!” Jimmy’s eyes opened and he smiled at Junior and me. I took the family-size bag of chips and extra-large container of creamy dip from Junior, balanced the container of dip on top of my pot belly between my big man boobs, opened the bag and the container, and dug in. Jimmy took a big bag of chips, too, and sent Junior back into the house for the orange juice.

Jimmy looked at me and smiled and I smiled back. “Jimmy…” I looked directly at him, “…it’s good to be back home with the family.”

Jimmy replied, “Chuck, we’re all happy you’re back. I missed you—we all missed you! The week you were away reminded me that you’re the best brother I could wish for.”

“Same here, Jimmy, you’re the coolest big brother anyone could have!” I really meant it and he knew it.

Jimmy opened his bag of chips and dug in as I shoved chips with big gobs of dip into my mouth. Damn, I was hungry!

As we both ate, I closed my eyes for a minute and thought to myself. Here I was, just a happy member of the best family going! Life was great and was going to get better.

Why do we still need feminism?

To everyone wondering why those loud, obnoxious feminists are still protesting today: American women have had mostly-equal rights for less than 40 years out of the entire recorded history of the Western world, thanks to loud, obnoxious feminists like the ones marching and protesting in cities across the US as I type this. There is currently a considerable and disturbing push by some conservative/religious groups to revert some of our hard-fought rights and freedoms to what they were back when we were considered property more than people.

To outline some of the injustices American women face, in case you’re wondering what’s wrong with our current set of rights and freedoms:

1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted or raped during her lifetime. Of those, fewer than 1/3 are reported to police.

For every 1000 women who are raped by men, 994 of the men who rape them will never see the inside of a jail cell for that crime.

As of 2014, US police departments had 400,000 untested rape kits sitting around, gathering dust.

31 US states allow a rapist to sue for custody of a child conceived during that rape, and most of those states will not allow the mother to give the child up for adoption unless the rapist father is notified and gives consent. There are currently multiple bills in state senates which would also prevent a woman from aborting a child conceived by rape unless the father gives consent.

It is still an extremely common tactic for a rape trial to focus not on the rapist’s crime, but on the entire sexual history of the female victim, what she was wearing, who she was with, whether or not she had been drinking, and often trying to coerce her into admitting it was consensual all along and she’s just trying to save her reputation by calling it rape.

Rape is the only crime for which arguing that the temptation was too clear and obvious to resist is treated as an admissible and sometimes clearing defense.

1 in 3 women will experience domestic violence. 1 in 4 women will experience *severe* domestic violence.

As of 2014, 38 million US women had experienced domestic partner violence.

Also as of 2014, 4.77 million US women experience domestic partner violence every year.

Between 2001 and 2013, more than twice as many women were murdered by their male romantic partners than there were soldiers killed in our overseas war efforts.

Disabled women are 40% more likely to experience domestic violence than normally-abled women, and it’s more likely to be severe violence.

Marital rape has only been illegal in all 50 states since 1993. Many states still have exceptions to the law, limit the degree of assault it can be considered as, and/or do not prosecute it as seriously as other rape and assault.

Most domestic abuse is never prosecuted.

Abused women lose a collective 8 million days of paid work every year directly as a result of their abuse.

The leading cause of death among pregnant women is being murdered by the father of their child.

The US has the highest maternal mortality in the developed world.

The US is one of two countries in the entire world without paid maternity leave, the other being Papua New Guinea.

Right-to-work states routinely overlook the firing and laying-off of pregnant women because employers abuse the loophole of not explicitly stating that as the reason.

Pregnant women are routinely denied even minor accommodations by employers, such as carrying a water bottle or being allowed to use the restroom more than once every four hours.

Access to contraception is still a hotly-debated subject, and a woman’s employer can legally dictate her reproductive choices based on THEIR religious beliefs.

The most effective contraception methods are an entire month’s wages for a woman earning minimum wage and who has no access to insurance.

Hormonal contraception has significant and sometimes fatal side-effects that were only approved because the testing was done on impoverished minorities, and it was assumed this would be the primary market for hormonal contraception.

Access to abortion is being increasingly restricted in many states, which has seen a corresponding rise in maternal mortality, infant mortality, and suicide by pregnant women.

Women accessing health care reproductive health clinics such as Planned Parenthood frequently face angry and even violent protestors.

Fake “crisis pregnancy centers” are legal in many states. These are not bound by HIPAA laws and often put their duped patients in actual physical danger.

A Texas anti-abortion group with 30,000 members infiltrated pro-choice groups and hatched a scheme to literally kidnap pregnant women by offering them rides to Planned Parenthood and holding them captive until they’d missed their appointment and/or agreed not to abort. None of them got into any legal trouble for suggesting this.

It is legal in some states for the state to keep a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support indefinitely, regardless of her wishes, her family’s wishes, and the stage of pregnancy.

Women are more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack than men are, for the sole reason that their symptoms aren’t taken seriously.

Obese women, especially minorities, frequently go without adequate care or any care at all in all levels of medical care, from the general practitioner’s office to the emergency room.

35% of single mothers live at or below the poverty line, even though most of them have full-time jobs.

68% of the elderly poor are women.

60% of minimum-wage workers are women.

More than 70% of those living at or below the poverty line are women and children.

There is no affordable child care. A single mother working at a full-time minimum wage job is likely to spend half her income on day care. This forces her to either drop out of the workforce entirely and take government benefits, or to take a second job and essentially never see her own child.

The gender wage gap is real. At all levels of employment in all industries, women are frequently paid less than their male coworkers despite having the same experience, the same seniority, and the same education.

Sexism is rampant in many industries, particularly STEM and manual labor. This leads to less participation by women who feel they will receive unfair treatment from employers and coworkers alike.

The number of women earning degrees in computing-based STEM fields has dropped from 37% to 18% since the 1980s. This was largely due to the creation of hierarchies, hiring practices, and social networking in the 1990s that explicitly favoured men.

Female video game developers routinely receive gender-based harassment online, with an entire socio-political movement of angry young men (GamerGate) emerging because a female game developer was given what they perceived to be an unfairly-high rating on her game by a journalist with whom she subsequently entered into a relationship.

Female celebrities routinely deal with dangerous stalkers, with a number of them being assaulted and/or murdered by such, and our cultural reaction is to tell them that’s what they get for being famous. Meanwhile, John Lennon’s killer has been in prison since 1980 and is one of the most widely reviled men in America.

Women online in any capacity routinely receive gender-based harassment, demeaning comments, and unsolicited photos of male genitalia.

Women on dating sites frequently receive so much harassment that they are forced to delete their profiles.

The cultural reaction to nude/topless photos of any woman being stolen and posted online is that she got what she deserved for taking them in the first place. Revenge porn (selling nudes/sex tapes of your ex to shame them and ruin their lives/careers by sending links to their family and coworkers) is legal in most states, with females comprising almost 100% of victims. Very little legal recourse exists for victims.

Filming yourself having sex with a woman without her knowledge and selling the video to a porn site is not only legal, but is a popular category amongst viewers.

Womens’ Studies is the most frequent butt of every joke made about “useless” college degrees.

Career fields that are high-paying, high prestige, and male-dominated lose their prestige and wages as more women enter the field. This is an observable and frequently repeated trend, and it generally only takes 5-10 years from the time when the number of women in the field exceeds 15-20%.

2017 marks the first year EVER that women have exceeded 20% representation in the Senate, and 19% in the House. Only four are minorities, with three newcomers joining Mazie Hirono, who had been only the second minority woman to ever sit on the Senate until the Nov. 2016 election cycle.

The first and only female Native American federal judge was appointed in 2014. The first white female federal judge was appointed in 1933, the first black female federal judge was appointed in 1966, and the first Asian female federal judge was appointed in 2010. Despite these minor gains, 73% of state and federal judges are still male.

—–

This seems like an exhaustive list, doesn’t it? Imagine how exhausting it is to be living it and having to explain it nearly 100 years after the Suffragettes were cruelly derided in editorials, comments, and assaulted on the streets over wanting something to be done about many of these very same issues.

Jared Leto x Reader

Author’s Note; Thank you so much lovely, I very much appreciate that. Feel free to send in as many as you want, i’m down !! currently I am accepting imagines so please, please, please, feel free to send me some so I can start working on them.

The distant stinging in your right eye was overshadowed by the distinct feeling of betrayal that resonated through the center of your abdomen. You knew you had lost all right to be shocked at his actions because it wasn’t the first time he had raised his hand to you, but it was the first time he had done it to this much of an extreme. Four months ago was the last time; he had grown angry with you for saying something out of line, and as a result the outside of his right hand had come into contact with your bottom lip and chin. It was easy enough to hide compared to the bruises you had now. Currently, your collar bone, your stomach, your upper right left arm, and your eye was bruised. The only way to excuse the damage when confronted by others was to simply lie and say you fell because no other “accident” could be explained with bruises like this. 

“I’m sorry baby, sometimes you just make me so mad.” he spoke in the distance leaning against the door way as you attempted to cover your face with make up. You didn’t say anything and you felt that, that was a bold move considering you don’t really know what set him off the first time he had hit you. The bright side about it all was the fact that all of this took place over 2 days ago, meaning the sores weren’t as painful as before, and slightly easier to hide behind foundation. However, the pain from the fact that he had beat you so abruptly was still there, and you couldn’t fix your eyes to look at him. “You forgive me?” He questioned except this time you spoke. “Yeah.” A gentle nod passed through your frame and you flashed him a small smile before attempting to walk past him. His hand reached out for you, but instead of touching you he placed his hand in front of the door way to stop you. Your eyes finally connected with his and he moved closer to plant a kiss on your lips. You didn’t kiss back and instead you simply stood there with his lips on yours. You did not forgive him for this and even though you knew your forgiveness was inevitable, you still wanted to take a moment away from him. How many times had you done this with him, and how many times had he followed up by continuing to hurt you? 

delicate fingers slide down the key pad of your phone as you texted your best friend, your best friend in which your boyfriend did not like. You could truly never understand the issue your boyfriend had with Jared, you guys had been best friends since before you even met your boyfriend. Yet every time you spent time with Jared, your boyfriend would become distant, cold and sometimes more verbally abusive than usual. however, you normally dismissed it as him being slightly upset about you not spending more time with him and it secretly made you feel needed. 

Jared’s response was quick as usual and he urged you to join him for lunch at his house, but you didn’t have the heart to tell him what happened to you, at least not yet. Jared was usually extremely passive with you and the idea of him being beat up by your boyfriend did not sit well with you. Your boyfriend was extremely short tempered, strong and he already held a strange distaste for Jared, and the last thing you wanted to do was to create an even bigger rift. 

A gentle knock was placed on his door as you fixed your hair to slightly cover your injuries. Your make up had already done a good job of hiding your dirty little secrets, but a little extra coverage was never a bad thing. You were ill prepared for him to open the door without his shirt, but you suppressed the urge to gawk by pressing a piece of your hair behind your ear. 

“Where’s the fire, ya late for some stripper convo?” You joked feeling a sly smile tarnish your lips in a wicked glee. she enjoyed what you saw, the delicate ridges in his torso tightened as you walked passed him, and his upper body vibrated slightly when he laughed. How had you not noticed this about him before? He was drop dead gorgeous. 

“In my defense, you weren’t supposed to be here for another 20 minutes.” he stated in an as a matter a fact tone before closing the door behind you. You could feel your excitement return to your body and for the first time in months you felt like yourself again. 

It didn’t take long for you to make your way to his living room, where like usual, his slightly large middle table was littered with papers full of music, writing and what looked like photography. You couldn’t help but wonder what sights he had taken photos of this time. Usually, they were well taken photos of the mountains he had recently climbed or trails he had hiked with friends. You liked the idea of travel, but with your job and lack of athletic talents you never really found yourself going on any adventures with him. You had hoped that one day that would change and you’d at least try, but with your boyfriend’s constant eye, it was extremely difficult. 

Your fingers lightly trailed over his work while you followed the trail of food to his kitchen and to your surprise it actually smelled nice. Although Jared was a talented cook, you didn’t share his lifestyle of being a vegan, meat was one of your favorite things. 

“That doesn’t smell like rabbit food.” You teased with enthusiasm as the knee length sundress attached to your frame bounced with you. 

“That’s because it’s not. “ he chuckled and you heard him move freely about the dinning room a few feet away from you. “I tell you all the time that vegan is not just rabbit food. Somebody’s closed minded.” He joked hanging on to the last parts of his sentence casually while moving over to the kitchen stove. The shirt he slid on over his frame read “holy guacamole” in black letters and the white cotton hung loosely from his skin in the most delectable of ways. 

his concentration was keen on the food in front of him and you couldn’t help but laugh at his tunnel vision. You feared the day he fell in love, for his focus was always so engulfed in things that he didn’t always pay attention to the people around him. 

You could feel your blood run cold as you glanced away from him, why were you worried about him falling in love? That was none of your business. The deep rooted smile that plastered against your lips was as comfortable as the cotton sweater that hugged the upper half of your skin over your sun dress and you tugged at the fabric gentle to ensure that it was still secure over your injuries.  

You were distracted and you didn’t hear his voice speaking to you. “Huh?” you asked and a slight jump rippled through you when you saw him so close. He chuckled casually while wrinkling his eye brows. “I ask if you were hungry….you alright?” a small hint of humor in his voice as he turned away from you and began putting things on the table. 

“Yes, Yes! I am….wondering what this is and how to let ya down gentle if it’s gross.” you joked even though you half heartedly knew it was the truth. His face displayed a humorous grin before finally looking up at you. He had prepared a pasta, in which he knew was your favorite thing in the world, and followed it up with some juice. You couldn’t help but laugh at it all, he had actually put some thought into it. 

“What is this?” You asked questionably as you poked your fork at it. It smelled undeniably delicious, but you always seemed to take a peak at what’s in your food before actually eating it. You looked up to find his gaze disapproving and for a moment you could swear that you had hurt his feelings. His stare reminded you like that of a father looking at his child after that’d said something that was incorrect.

“It’s Veggie Fajita Pasta, I’ll have you know.” He answered plainly and you instantly mocked him by twirling your fingers in the air and repeating after him, which earned you a laugh from him. You couldn’t help but laugh with him until the tip of your fork tapped against the glass sitting on top of the table with your juice inside. It toppled over towards you, splashing against your sweater and slightly hitting the bottom of your sun dress. 

“I’m so sorry!” you apologized and it was strangely like a mantra that you didn’t notice that you were repeating over and over to him. His eyes narrowed at you as you attempted to clean up the mess and before you realized it, he was right by your side. 

“Seriously, why’re ya apologizing? it’s just some juice. Here, take off your sweater.” He urged dabbing at the mess and reaching up for your sweater. The combination of your shock and his grip coming into contact with the bruises underneath your sweater made you pull away. His eyes connected with yours and you couldn’t come up with an excuse. 

“I um….I’m fine. I just, am cold.” You answered but furrowed his eye brows. 

“The heats on, and wearing a slightly wet sweater isn’t going to help. I got a shirt you could wear.” he admitted pointing his thumb towards the back room and you shrugged.

“Come on, just here, give it to me.” He demanded, holding out his arm, but you didn’t respond. Instead you began fiddling with the ends of your sweater.

“Are you….hiding something?” He questioned, but it came out as more of an accusation than anything else. You didn’t want this, and the idea of him knowing what was going on only made you even more tense. It didn’t take long for you to make your way towards the door and you were surprised at how fast he had caught up with you.

“I think I should go.” you said simply before he called after you in a tone you had never heard him use before. It surprised you enough to stop you. 

“Take off your sweater.” You had never heard that tone before, it mirrored dominance but held a hint of concern at the same time. Who knew he could channel them both. 

“Why?” You asked narrowing your eyes at him as you turned to face him. He approached you faster than you could stop him and he rested his hand on your shoulder. Pinching the fabric between his fingers he was attempting to pull it away from your skin, but you stopped him.

“Don’t do this.” You requested, but he ignored. He looked into your eyes with a stare you had never seen on his face before. It was so intense that you stopped breathing before you realized it and the fabric was already removed from your body. It wasn’t until his eyes flickered away and landed on your bruises that you felt your lungs pull in air and your panic set in. 

He didn’t move, or speak, there was just a heart breaking silence that you couldn’t help but try and shield yourself from. You attempted to cover yourself but his fingers wouldn’t budge, they became steel bars around the delicate fabric that separated his eyes from the truth. 

“Please don’t look.” You begged and his eyes only grew darker. They traveled the edge of your skin with what looked like curiosity.

“Are there more?” He asked, but his eyes didn’t meet yours. They were instead roaming over the confines of your skin in search of more. You couldn’t answer him and the shame of it all over took you to the point where you were crying now. 

“Hey, hey, stop that.” he spoke and his eyes were softer than before. The small hint of rage behind them surprised you given you had never really seen him angry before, but when his hand touched you it was gentle. 

You felt his arms around your frame and they were warmer than you ever imagined they would be. He had picked you up and began walking you into the living room. He disappeared for a moment and returned with a sack of ice and some fruit. When you reached to take a piece to put in your mouth, he swatted your hand away. 

“it’s for your bruises.” He educated, but there was no humor or causality in his voice, instead, there was another emotion there that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. It resonated at the base of his throat filling his words with a subtle hiss and you didn’t  know rather to be afraid or grateful. His fingers were like skilled toy soldiers the way they trailed down the bruises on your skin, slowly measuring them and calculating what he would need. He would press lightly for a few moments as if examining how old they were and how long they took to regain their color. He would put ice on some of them, but the others he seemed to be preparing a paste for out of the fruits he used. 

“Papaya, Pineapple and vinegar?” You questioned and he shrugged. 

“Among other things.” he admitted. The more he seemed to do to comfort you, the more you began to feel guilty about what had happened to you to begin with.

“I’m so sorry.” you apologized again and he shook his head, once again so engulfed in what he was doing that he didn’t seem to be paying any real attention to you. He released his utensils slowly before moving around to sit in front of you so that he could see your face. 

“This is NOT your fault. You cannot control the actions of another person especially a person who is capable of doing something like this.”  he spoke motioning to the bruises on your body and before you knew it, his hands were on your face. 

“Look at me, Look at me. He will never hurt you again, do you hear me? You deserve so much better than this. Do you really not know how beautiful you are?” his question was more of an after thought when it left his lips and you tilted your head to the side in confusion. 

“You are…..beautiful and you are one of the kindest people that i’ve met and I…..I  know a lot of people.” he chuckled slightly which forced a small smile to play on your lips. Although he joked, the truth behind his words sent a flame to your cheeks. 

“You don’t deserve this. You deserve somebody who’s gonna treat you right. You deserve somebody who’s gonna notice when you change your hair, when you can’t sleep at night, when you don’t want to be alone. You deserve somebody who wants to give you every piece of pleasure your mind and your body deserves, NOT someone who does this to you. Who puts their hands on you all because of what? Hmm? What reason did he even have to do this?” He questioned standing up from his spot near you and pointing down at your injuries. You couldn’t answer him because you truthfully didn’t know what sparked it this time. 

His body language changed again and he suddenly grew quiet, staring into the distance as if seeing something that wasn’t there. 

“Is this…..this isn’t the first time…..is its?” He questioned as more of a statement than an actual question. You couldn’t help but stare up at him dumb found because no matter what you said it would still hurt him. If you said no, he’d know you were lying and be more hurt that you felt like you couldn’t tell the truth. If you said yes, you’d just confirm that he’d been blind to it this long. Such a terrible catch 22. 

“And you’ve kept it a secret all this time?” He asked and there it was, that hurt look in his eyes that you wanted to avoid more than anything else. Hurting Jared was different than hurting a normal person in your life because his eyes did this thing you hated. They peered into you searching for a reason for the pain and you couldn’t bare his stare any longer. 

“You know what, no, no. I’m not doing this with you. I have been in love with you since the day you smiled at me.That stupid, crocked, smile that you always give me when you’re actually sad and not happy. The one you give me when you’re pretending everything is ok when it’s not. The one you give the world so that it smiles with you instead of frowning. Now I look at you and that smile takes on a whole different meaning. Did you smile at me like that when you were hiding these bruises? When he’d hurt you and you didn’t want anyone else to know? No, no more. We’re going there tonight, you’re getting your things and you’re staying here. Do you understand?” his demand seeped through your facade and you couldn’t fight him on it. 

The ride to your apartment was utterly gruesome and the silence he was giving you was nearly overwhelming. Your mind was racing with so many thoughts and you couldn’t stop the fluttering idea of his words about his feelings. Did he just admit that he loved you ? You wanted to question him about it, but his mind was else where. 

“Thanks for letting me stay with you, but I can get a hotel room or something. I don’t want to be in the way and it’s really ok. I don’t really need much from the apartment either, just a few things you know? “ your words were mere myths to his ears as he nodded absently while staring blankly out of the window. That same stare as before, as if he was focused on something else that wasn’t you. 

“You’re not….gonna do anything right?” he was non responsive, and instead of speaking he simply nodded his head while poking out his bottom lip as if to say “sure.” 

The short ride was complete and you found yourself standing in front of your apartment complex. He stood beside you unbothered by what was about to happen, and when his eyes flickered towards the parking lot to see your boyfriend’s car, his jaw tensed. Yet another look you had never seen on his face before, what was it?

Your eyes followed him as he marched without warning towards the front door of your apartment and you followed behind him in a messy run. 

“You….you said you wouldn’t do anything.” you reminded him and he smiled before knocking at your door.

“I never said anything.” He stated as a matter a factly. 

In an instant the door was opened quickly by your boyfriend who seemed to have been waiting for you. Jared’s breathing kicked up next to you and he smiled. it wasn’t his natural smile, it didn’t reach his ears or feel his face with amusement, it was almost frightening. 

“Hello ( insert boyfriend’s name ).” He spoke politely before glancing inside briskly and returning his eyes to your boyfriend. 

“Mind if we come in?” He asked and his words were drenched in honey. Alas, your boyfriend couldn’t resist and he ended up moving the door wider for both of you to enter.

“Sure.” He said nearly childlike as he allowed his eyes to fall on you. It was strange how kind he could be compared to how he usually was when he was abusing you. 

Once inside, your boyfriend closed the door behind you and you moved over to the couch. You twisted your fingers within each other with anticipation as you wondered how this would fan out. The sound of glass breaking pulled you out of your trance and before you realized it they were fighting. After you two had walked through, Jared flashed him a smile before punching him directly in the face. What happened after that, followed up with broken glass, loud punches, a few groans, and numerous amounts of crashing. 

You tried to intervene a few times only to find yourself shoved out of the way. You couldn’t figure out the next thing to do except grab the nearest lamp and smash it relentlessly against the group. The small crash of it, pulled them from their current fight, and their eyes landed on you.

“Stop, just stop, please stop.” You begged and Jared’s eyes fell on you only for a second. 

“Get your stuff.” It wasn’t a question and as soon as the command left his lips, your boyfriend’s eyes went from Jared’s face to you.

“You’re not leaving.” He spoke and it sent a chill through your bones. 

“You aren’t in charge here. It doesn't’ matter what you say.” Jared spoke pulling his hand back into a fist and you could see him fighting the urge to hit your boyfriend again. 

“She’s not going any where.” Your boyfriend spoke confidently. Jared’s eyes narrowed and he returned to his original assault on your boyfriend’s face. “You’re done! You’re done telling her what she can and cannot do!” The distant sound of blows landing clouded your ears and you stood there in confusion. What to do. What to do?

“Are you kidding me?! Are you fucking kidding me?! How long have you been fucking doing this to her? Does it make you feel good?! - - Pussy.” Jared’s eyes flickered to you and there was something there you couldn’t place. 

“I promise, if you walk away with me, right now, I will give you better. I AM better.” he promised, his eyes never leaving yours. You didn’t waste any time getting your things, for you didn’t really have much in the small apartment. A few items of clothing, your computer, your bathroom supplies, and your underclothes. Two bags worth of things were within your hands and you smiled at him. 

“That it?” He questioned. You nodded. 

He opened the door before turning back to your boyfriend and landing a good punch near his chin, knocking him into the living room table and on to the floor. 

“That should give us some time.” He answered, grabbing your bags. “This is your chance. If you don’t want to do this, tell me now.” he urged and you shook your head. There was no going back.  

anonymous asked:

Hey! I'm 17 years old and I'm currently trying to figure out whether or not I want to go to school to become a nurse after I graduate. I'm just hesitant because it's such a big move and I want to be certain that it's the right one. Would you recommend becoming a nurse/ is there anything I'd need to know? Thank you!

Lol no I would not recommend becoming a nurse. 

What are you in school for right now? Are there no good job prospects from that degree? Going back for another 2-4 years when you could have a job from whatever you did in school doesn’t seem like a good idea (and it’s what I did lol). 

Nurses don’t make a lot of money (it is possible if you end up somewhere that you work a ton of overtime), they have to do shift work (12 hours at a time, nights, holidays, weekends), at least where I live it is difficult to get a full time job which means no benefits. 

People will shit on you. Literally and figuratively. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to see it, it’s still the nurses fault.

I enjoy the intellectual challenge that comes with ICU nursing. But a big part of nursing is tasky. I clean up a lot of bodily fluids. I have to get my patient up, walk them, turn them, wash them, feed them, etc. I think TV romanticizes health care. It is exciting sometimes. 

But I frequently find myself thinking that a 9-5 job where having a bad day doesn’t involve someone dying in front of you would be nice.

anonymous asked:

Do you think part of Cassandra's irritation with Eugene is that not only did he rocket up from Corona's Most Wanted to a social position way above her, but that he also doesn't seem to care in the least about being respected? He seems to be fine with being socially awkward and more than a little obnoxious with everyone he meets (with a few crucial exceptions like Rapunzel), which makes sense as a former loner thief.

I think that Cassandra’s dislike of Eugene stems from multiple places. As the daughter of the Captain of the Guard, she’s spent a large part of her life thinking of this person as a wanted thief, and technically a traitor, since stealing some of the crown jewels is a treasonous act. We don’t yet know enough about Cass and the Cap’s relationship to know what the dinner table was like, but I suspect it was one of two things: he wasn’t home much because he was too busy doing his job (specifically, chasing Flynn Rider), or he spent hundreds of dinners bitching about Flynn Rider. Either way, that could easily put a bad taste in Cassandra’s mouth regarding him (Eugene).

Then, she met him. This criminal, who was headed for the gallows, is suddenly a hero! He returned the Lost Princess and has been pardoned of all his crimes and has moved into the palace and now lives a relatively cushy life. He has not been required to get a job or take on any responsibilities (something which actually surprises me. And yes, now he trains the guards on How to Catch a Thief, but that’s clearly not a full time job, because Cassandra still accuses him of being a freeloader. I hope this is brought up later by, let’s say, King Frederic) while still having access to all the amenities like good food and fine clothes. Again, as the daughter of the Captain, I imagine this affected her. The Captain clearly takes his job very seriously and has a lot of loyalty for the Crown. A loyalty he’s passed on to his daughter. Cassandra is likely feeling protective of Rapunzel, and is being weary of Eugene because Rapunzel refuses to be so.

And, of course, Cassandra is antagonistic. And Eugene doesn’t just put up with it. Most of the time, they can keep the banter light. Eugene is actually pretty used to people not liking him, and brushes it off when they don’t. He’s completely unaware of the people in the stands glaring at him during the Challenge of the Brave, but he is not as oblivious when he’s stalling for time during the Gopher Grab. And in “Fitzherbert P.I”, when he fails to get a job as a cobbler, he becomes Actual Kicked Puppy Eugene Fitzherbert again when Feldspar refuses to hire him because of his past.

Eugene is not oblivious to people not liking him, and he actually does care. He’s just incredibly used to acting like he doesn’t. but then there are the times when they get downright mean. And the more Cassandra pushes, the more Eugene pushes back, which only irritates her further.

As for social status, I don’t think Cassandra cares one way or another about that. For one thing, they lead fairly similar lives for the most part. They both have full access to the palace’s amenities, but live in the servant’s quarters. Eugene has no authority over her, and she has none over him (he checked!). The key difference here, though, is that Cassandra has to work and Eugene doesn’t, something she’s made very clear she doesn’t like about him. And not just that he doesn’t have to work, but that, given the option, he chooses not to. Almost as though he takes no pride in anything but his own cleverness.

I feel that, more than anything, she dislikes that he got off Scot free. But she’s clearly a complex character with complex emotions, and I hope things are spelled out a little more clearly in the future.

imperator-cj  asked:

You know it gets me when people are like "if people have free food/water/shelter/healthcare why would anyone work?" Because, there's still like extra shit people will want? Like people will work to have cell phones, tv, internet, cars, etc? People aren't gonna just stop working because the basic necessities to live a full, healthy life are met. People will still want the luxuries they would be able to afford if they didn't have to worry about baseline stuff.

That and people are actually naturally unsatisfied with doing absolutely nothing. People will have time to study, read, craft, write, make all kinds of art, and take care of loved ones. There have already been multiple universal basic income experiments and the result has been that most people kept their jobs for extra money. They people who quit their jobs were young people who wanted to go to school and single parents who wanted to be able to take care of their kids full time. It seems clear to me that providing people with basic shit will only make the world a better place but whatevs.