she actually just said that.............i

2

V after D

66

“I want to hear more about him.” Dr Jackson said.

“Who?”

“Your ex-boyfriend.”

“Urgh. Really?” I grimaced.

“You say you were with him for around a month?”

This must have been the first therapy session for a while where I rolled my eyes, but that was more to do with him than it was the actual therapy itself.

“Yeah. He cheated on me. I threw things. The usual.”

“What about the actual relationship itself? What made it bad?”

“He was just… nasty.” I sighed. “He called me poo-eyes.”

I could see she wanted to laugh, so when I started giggling, she took that as her queue to join in, letting out a little chuckle, covering her mouth.
I wanted to start out with something a little humorous before I delved into just how horrible he was.

“Why?” She asked after her brief spout of laughter.

“He didn’t like the colour of them. Once said that he thought they were lifeless. I have… a scar on my leg, and I hate it. The first time he saw it he laughed, and called it ugly.” I could see her face dropping as I continued. “He always had something bad to say. He was always poking fun at my insecurities, y’know? He tried to stop me from talking to a few of my friends who he didn’t like, and when I didn’t stop he told me I needed to be careful. That he could do better than me, and he would leave if I wasn’t fully committed to him and our relationship.”

“And you didn’t leave him?”

“I… No. I guess it’s one of those things. It’s easier to look back and realise it was toxic, but at the time… I dunno. It felt normal. It felt right. But… I don’t think I’ve ever been with someone who was nice. They’ve all been fucking pricks.”

She made a few notes in silence, and to be honest, it was only just fully dawning on me that I’d spent a good percentage of my life around people who pulled me down, people who had driven down my confidence, and I’d been none the wiser because it was all I’d known.
When I’d moved to the city, everything in my life improved. I was away from my family, I was making friends with people I truly cared about, and who truly cared about me, but by that point the damage had already been done.
I was lucky, to be around people who were wonderful influences on me and my life, and I had to wonder what silent effects it had been having on me. I had to wonder how badly I truly felt whilst I was at university.

“And then he cheated on you?” She asked, once she was done writing.

“He did.”

“How did you find out?”

“Oh, he told me. He was very casual about it. It was very much, what do you want to have for tea? And also, I slept with someone else. Pizza maybe? Bastard.”

“You must find it difficult,” She sighed. “To accept… affection.”

I scrunched my nose, looking down to my fingers, fiddling with my clothing. We’d discussed this kind of thing before, but every single time it hurt to hear it. I hated that I’d wound up feeling that way towards myself, and I hated that I was only realising it after months of therapy. Without therapy, which I had been so reluctant to go to in the first place, I would still be lost within my self-loathing and totally unaware of it.

“I guess so… Yeah.”

“I’ve been trying to think of a way we can change that.” She placed her book down.

“Any luck?”

“Maybe. I already feel like you’ve made a lot of progress, and that’s good.” She smiled. “I think it’s also good that you now spend time with people who have positive influences on you. It all must be doing you a world of good, even if the rewards aren’t instant, or even fully noticeable.”

“I was just thinking that.”

“And I believe there’s quite a simple way that you can add to that. A way you can elevate it.”

“I hope you don’t want me to look in the mirror every morning and say three things I like about myself. I hate that kind of bullshit.” I snickered.

When I’d first started the sessions, my sarcastic comments were always met with more notes, silent stares across the table, and basically Dr Jackson despising every second of it as much as I was.
Now, I could make snarky comments like that, and she knew me enough to appreciate that that was just what I was like. That was my humour. That’s how I worked.
She smiled.

“That would work for some people,” She let out a stammered laugh. “But I know it wouldn’t work for you.”

“Good.”

“Mahatma Gandhi once said, be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“I’ve heard that one!” I grinned proudly.

“I think it’s a good one to live by. I believe that if you start being affectionate with the people you love, if you start being more vocal about how much they mean to you, how grateful you are for them, and everything in between, it gives out a positive energy. Does that make sense?”

“I guess so.” I shrugged, maybe still a little puzzled.

“Be the change you wish to see. I want you to make it your goal that no one you know ever has to feel as lonely as you did. No one has to feel as low as you did. Spread the kind of love that you should have been given your whole life.”

I nodded, firm, calm, collected.
She was right. Again, she was absolutely spot on, and she’d figured out a way help me, that would also suit me, what I was like as a person. She’d managed to work me out, and she was working with me, and I appreciated that so, so much.


67

March the 11th featured an uneventful Saturday afternoon, for the percentage anyway. I was sprawled across my sofa, a bag of crisps balanced on my bloated belly, and Titanic on the tele.
I’d invited Mo to join me, because I was almost sure he’d told me he wasn’t working, but when I’d told him I was watching Titanic, he’d blurted out that he was working.
I didn’t believe him for a second.
Especially when I heard some footsteps crashing about above my head.

“What kind of idiot doesn’t like Titanic?” I mumbled to myself.

Still baffled by the mere concept, I stuck my middle finger up to the ceiling and carried on enjoying the film in peace, but that didn’t last long.
My heart jumped when my phone started buzzing loudly atop my coffee table. It also meant that I’d have to move to answer it, which made me groan and sulk as I moved the bag of crisps and sat upright, stretching a little before I reached out for my phone.
I grinned when I saw that it was Harry calling.

“Hey!” I chirped when I answered.

“Hi!” He was just as chirpy. “You alright?”

“I’m good. Watching Titanic.”

“Surprise, surprise.” I could almost see him rolling his eyes. “Anyway, I come to you with a plan.”

“Oooh, a plan. Okay. Go.”

I hadn’t actually seen him since our meal the weekend before, but we’d been texting back and forth a lot. We weren’t even really talking about anything important, or noteworthy, but there’d been times where he’d had me howling. It felt good just to be talking with him again. It kind of reminded me of where we were before the fake dating, when we were just spending time together, getting to know each other.
It was nice.

“So, every now and then, our boss at work just tells us to close the bar. It literally happens like, once or twice a year, and he just says, alright, you’re not working tonight. So then me and the boys are welcome to spend the night drinking there. We raid the bar, totally free, and we’re allowed to bring a few people. It’s kinda like a lock-in for staff members, and a few friends. You in?”

“I’m invited?” I squealed.

“Yeah, of course.”

Although I understood the reasons behind it, I was still silently bitter that they only hired males at the bar where he worked. It sounded bloody ideal. I knew they worked ridiculously long hours, and they all worked hard, and they probably had to deal with a lot of idiots, but the perks of the job and the pay and everything else seemed wonderful.
I was jealous.

“That sounds amazing.” I sighed. “But, I was planning on drinking with the guys from work tonight. I’m sorry.”

“They can come!”

“Really? But that’s four of us.”

“It’s fine. Bring them along. I’d like to meet them anyway.”

“Okay, great. Good. Thanks, Curls.”

“So what’s happening on the Titanic right now?”

I settled back into my spot, throwing my legs back up and balancing my head on the two cushions I’d propped up so I could watch the film effortlessly.

“It’s sinking.”

“Well don’t spoil it for me!” He cried.

“Are you saying you haven’t seen Titanic?”

“I haven’t.”

“Well, you have to come round and watch it. I have it on DVD twice. You have to watch it. It’s great.”

“Why do you have it twice?” He chuckled.

“I just do. Also, can I ask… Did you genuinely not know the ending to Titanic?”

“No, I knew.” He laughed. “I just didn’t know you’d be so offended by the fact I haven’t seen it.”

“Of course I would be offended by that, Harry. It’s my favourite.”

He kept laughing down the line, the sound pushing through the speakers and swelling my chest.
We were doing incredibly well at this whole friendship thing, because even though a percentage of our time together had been based around falsities, we were incredibly natural around one another. We’d quickly ignored the mistakes of our past and started something new, and it was working wonderfully.

“I’m sorry. I promise I’ll watch it with you.” He chuckled.

“Good. I’m looking forward to tonight.”

“Me too. It’s always one of the best nights. V after D.”

“V after D?” I whimpered.

“Yeah. Vocatus after Dark.”

“Oh my god. No. No. The go to thing there is vagina after dick.”

What?” He cried down the phone. “No it’s not! That’s just you and your dirty mind.”

“If you said V after D to anyone, they would jump to vagina after dick. I’m telling you.”

“They would not!”

“Except, in that case, it should be D after V.”

“Except after C.”

“Fuck off.” I laughed. “You’re such an idiot.”

There was a small knock on my door, and at first I thought it would have been Mo, but then I knew that Mo would have just let himself in.
I lowered my brows as I jumped to my feet.

“I can’t believe your automatic thought was vagina after dick.” He huffed over the phone. “You’ve let me down.”

“Just know, I will not be calling this evening V after D. It just sounds rude. Is there a certain time I need to be there? Or should I just-”

I’d swung my front door open, and the sight of who was ahead of me had brought my sentence to abrupt halt.
I stood breathlessly staring at my sister.

“Ren? You there? You okay?” Harry quizzed.

“I’ll call you back.” I hung up quickly.

She looked just as uncomfortable as I felt, stood just outside my doorway, completely silent.
I could feel an intense anger crawling across my skin, and that was before I’d spotted the small gift she had held under her left arm.
I felt sick.

“If that’s a fucking present for me, forget it. I don’t want it.”

“Florence-”

I left the door open, welcoming her into my home without actually being welcoming, and stormed back through to my kitchen. I didn’t want her to be there. I didn’t want to have to repeat the words I’d yelled at her last month because I knew they wouldn’t have gone in the first time. I didn’t want her pathetic pity gift and I didn’t want her intruding on my boring day. I liked my day being boring.

“I’m sorry I forgot.” She followed me swiftly inside, slamming the door. “I’ve just been so busy.”

I flicked the kettle on, in dire need of a brew to get me through what was bound to be a difficult conversation, and I leant against the counter, arms folded, scowling at her.

“What about mum and dad? Were they too busy too? You’d think mum would remember the date she pushed an entire human out of herself.”

“Florence, why are you being so crude?” She cringed.

“It’s a valid point! You managed to get an excuse out of them, too? Because I still haven’t heard a thing from them.”

“I spoke with mum, and I think she just doesn’t know how to approach it. She feels terrible. Please,” She held the present out to me. “Take it.”

“I don’t want it.”

“But I bought it for you!”

“When? Fucking yesterday? On your way here? That means nothing to me, Matty. Absolutely nothing.”

It sometimes feels like bullshit, when people say it’s the gesture rather than the gift, but in that moment, I knew it was the gesture that really meant something. A gift from her, no matter what it was, only meant something if there was some thought and love behind it, and there was zero.

“Fine.” She practically threw it down on the counter. “Look, I know I’ll never be able to apologise enough, but that’s not the only reason I’m here. I really need to talk to you.”

“About what?” I huffed.

“About what you said to me on the phone.”

“Oh, so you did listen? I thought I might have to repeat myself.”

“Florence, you told me I needed to fix this! So if you could just drop the attitude for five minutes and let me try, I’d be really grateful.”

I bit my tongue, feeling the heat of my sadness pushing from my stomach and shooting right up to my throat. I looked down to the floor, unable to face her, suddenly with very little to say.

“Fine.” I swallowed.

“Why wouldn’t mum let you dance?”

I scrunched my nose, not wanting to have this conversation again.
I shifted my weight from one foot to the other.

“She said something along the lines of… I’d make a fool out of myself. That I didn’t have the coordination for it.”

“Which is true.”

“Matty, I know it’s true!” I barked. “But it’s not really the point, is it? I wanted to dance, and it shouldn’t have mattered how fucking bad I would have been, she should have given me the chance! I should have been able to try and fail. It was an option for you, so why wasn’t it an option for me?”

“Maybe… Maybe she just wanted to save you the embarrassment.”

“MATTY, CAN YOU FUCKING HEAR YOURSELF? Stop trying to justify it!” I screamed. “I think the only reason you’re struggling to realise how shitty that is, is because that was just that start. I think me pointing this out to you opens your fucking mind up to how unfairly I’ve been treated.”

I could almost see it happening. I could almost see her regular memories twisting and reshaping as she saw things she hadn’t done before. She saw me waddling about in her dance shoes whilst our mother sniggered. She heard my mother praising her whilst telling me I needed to buck my ideas up. She remembered my mother helping her when she really needed it, and being disappointed in me when I really needed some support.
I got to witness her memories readjusting and adapting to match my own, and it was clear she had no idea how to handle it. Because it wasn’t her fault, but the fact she’d been so blind to it felt like a contribution to me. She’d ignored it, turned and looked the other way, and that hurt too. I felt like my sister should have been my support system, and she never had been.

“Have you… ever spoken with mum? About it?” She eventually gasped, unsure what else to say.

“I… No.” I felt defeated even saying that. “I tried… once, but… I caved. Couldn’t do it.”

“I’m sorry, Florence. I just… I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about it before.”

“I know you haven’t.”

“Do you… want me to maybe say something?” She tried.

“No.” I shook my head, quick to answer. “It needs to come from me. I… I don’t know when I’ll have the guts to do it, but I will. One day, I will. It needs to come from me. It has to.”

I couldn’t blame her, when she found herself struggling to find the right words again. She was just starting to wrap her head around something that had been happening for years.
She was clearly a little baffled.
But I had been baffled too. It may have been brand new to her, but it was still relatively new to me, too.

“I never really understood why she was so harsh on you when you dropped out of university.” She sighed. “And… there were a million times I wanted to drop out. Even spoke about it with her a few times.”

“Really?” My eyes went wide. “What did she say?”

“Well she wasn’t happy, but… I know she will have supported me. I could tell.”

I expected nothing less, really.
Another spell of silence cast itself upon us, both of us with our heads down, lumps in our throats, and the realisation that even though the conversation had calmed, the crater in our family had never been larger.

“I don’t think you need therapy, Florence.”

Those words, for some reason, made me smile. But it wasn’t because I felt happy, or because I agreed with her. I was smiling because she was wrong. I was smiling because for once, I was aware that I knew more than my perfect sister did.

“I think I do.” I whispered, a raw honesty in my voice.


68

The muscles in Harry’s arms were flexed and tight as he rocked the cocktail shaker, drowning the silver appliance with his giant hands. He was smirking to himself as I sat on the barstool and watched him work, propping up my chin and ignoring the bustle of our group of friends who were all introducing themselves behind me as Harry prepared the first round of drinks.

“Only you could make that interaction with your sister a funny one.” He chuckled after my tale.

“I’m doing it to save my sanity. It was actually extremely draining.”

“You okay?” He turned to face me.

“I’m fine.” I shrugged. “It’s a good thing, really, in the long run. It just feels shit now.”

“You need this drink.”

“I do. I’m ready for it!”

He had around fifteen cocktail glasses all lined up, and once he’d done preparing the mix, he loosened the lid and began to pour out the liquid, smoothly moving so it poured from one glass to the next, and even though it looked like he was putting in no effort whatsoever, each glass held exactly the same amount.
I watched him fill the glasses, completely entranced.

“Your friends were looking at me all weird.” He commented.

“Huh?”

“Your friends.” He nodded towards them, filling the final glass.

“Oh. Yeah, it’s because of the whole… Well… they think you’re my ex-boyfriend. So, they think we’re getting back together.”

“Oh yeah. That makes sense.” He stumped. “Shit, I’ve just realised my friends will think the same thing!”

“See, this is another reason we originally agreed to cut ties!” I squealed. “Because of all the weird complications.”

“Genuinely, did we think any of this through? At any point?” He sniggered.

“No. We just dove straight in. Seriously idiotic.”

“It was.” He agreed, still smiling to himself. “I wonder what it’ll take for me to regret it.”

I smiled to myself, liking that Harry was making it clear that even though we’d stumbled across a million bumps in the road, and our emotions had been torn and tattered and tested, that he still didn’t regret what had happened between us. He was still happy we’d been insane enough to go through with that ridiculous scheme.
I wanted to fire some form of witticism at him, but I couldn’t. My cheeks were burning up for some reason, and I think he saw it, and decided to add fuel to the fire that was already scorching my skin.

“You look amazing tonight, Florence Daisy Valentine.” He smiled, placing his drinks on a giant silver tray.

“Why are you trying to flatter me? What do you want?”

“Nothing!” He snarled a laugh. “Just being nice.”

I lowered my eyes slightly, thinking about what Dr Jackson had told me to do, about making the people in my life feel worthy and loved.
Something that needed pointing out to me, something I needed to be guided into doing, was something that just came completely naturally to Harry, without even a second thought, or a second motive.

“Spreading niceness. That’s your thing, isn’t it?”

“I-I dunno.” He shrugged. “I didn’t realise I had a thing.”

“Your thing is being just… the nicest person.” I put it into practice, that method we’d spoken of. “And I want you to know that I’m very glad we’re friends. Because anyone would be lucky to have you in their lives, and I now realise I was lucky. Stupid and lucky.”

He stopped his movements for a few moments, watching me with his features somewhat dropped. I figured he was a little thrown by my honesty, and everything I had just said to him.
But after two months of shutting him out, it was time to open myself up. Not just to him, but to everyone. But Harry was there, and I felt like maybe he deserved a little bit of extra attention.
Maybe I owed him that.

“Well… I feel the same way about you.” He eventually gasped

We were both just grinning at each other across bar, and it was quickly dawning on us the reality of our situation. Not just that we were being friends, and not just that I was obviously making a conscious effort to better myself, but it was something else.
It was the reality in general. This wasn’t fake. They weren’t words being thrown about in the hope of impressing our parents, or letting people think we were a couple.
We were being real, and maybe this was one the first times where the lines between our real feelings and our fake ones weren’t blurred.


69

“So tell me,” Zayn leaned in a little closer. “How many people here know about you and Harry?”

“They all know we exist.” I quipped, the alcohol I’d consumed audible in my tone. “Everyone knows about the existence of both of us. Amazing, right?”

“I’m sure you weren’t this sarcastic the first time I met you.” He scowled.

“You probably just blocked it out.”

“Probably.” He let out a low chuckle. “But you know what I mean! How many people know about the whole… fake… thing?”

I was many, many drinks down, as was everyone else. The earlier part of the evening had mostly been spent with us all in fits of laughter, everyone talking and bonding as a group. But as the sun started to rise outside, people had kind of drifted apart, conversations had toned down and the rounds were getting smaller.
The night was slowly ending.
I looked over Zayn’s shoulder, seeing Harry and Sasha sat laughing away over something or other. The two of them had formed a quick bond, and it was nice, the two of us joining our groups of friends together and everything working so well.

“Just you.” I said, turning to face him again.

“Just me?” He placed his hand on his chest. “Shit. I love that. I almost feel like I’m part of a cult or something!”

“That’s… a little dramatic, but I see where you’re coming from.”

I’d figured Zayn was an extremely forward person when we first met him on the train. He hadn’t shied away from talking to us, questioning us, holding my gaze when I’d caught his eye. Sitting with him then and spending my evening with him confirmed it. He was sat close to me, leaning his body my way, talking so lowly it was like there was no one else in the entire world. He had that same charm that the rest of the staff had; it was no wonder they’d taken him on. He was a little extravagant, extremely charming and weirdly confident.

“Can I ask you something else?”

“I feel like even if I say no, you’re going to ask me anyway.” I smirked.

“Are there any… real feelings there between you two?”

“Huh?” I gasped.

“Did you fuck?”

What?” I squealed, hitting his arm. “No, we did not! We’re just friends.”

He held up his hand, his little finger extended as he nudged even closer to me, a sceptical look raising one brow and doubt running through his eyes.

“You gotta pinky-promise me, because I don’t believe you.”

“Are you calling me untrustworthy?”

“No, but I’m just doubting your honesty on the matter.”

“We’re just friends.” I reiterated.

“Then why did you stop talking and then start talking again? I need to know everything. If I’m gunna do this fake dating thing with someone, I need to know the real repercussions.”

“How many times can I advise you against it?”

“How long do I need to hold up my pinky before you promise?” His other brow raised to join the first. “You like him.”

I clasped my hand around his, forcing his little finger down to join the others, giggling and shaking my head at him, tittering to myself as he waited for an explanation, and the scepticism on his face was increasing with every move I made.

“It went beyond the fake thing very quickly.” I said. “But it’s not like that. I think very highly of Harry, but how could I not?”

“He is a great lad.”

“He is.”

“And youuuuu like him.” Zayn sniggered.

I glanced over his shoulder and my eyes caught within Harry’s, and I noticed the way he was observing, shooting an almost jealous glare across the room towards us. I really hadn’t been expecting it, to be honest. He was obviously still a little attached to that ridiculous idea that me and Zayn were going to do the whole fake relationship thing, there was no other explanation for it.
I hiccupped, trying to ignore the fact that my head was spinning, trying to ignore that Harry was still watching the two of us. I was suddenly even more aware of our close proximity.

“You alright?” Zayn quizzed me.

“Bit drunk.” I sighed. “Think I’m gunna head home.”

“There’s a taxi company a few doors down.” He nodded. “They work with us so we can get home safe at the end of our shifts. Go to them and say it’s V after D, and they’ll give you a free lift home.”

“What was your go-to thought when you first heard V after D?” I asked quickly.

“Vagina after Dick.”

Thank you!” I cried. “I knew it wasn’t just me.”

I tried to get up to my feet, falling back down for a split second before I successfully lifted myself the second time, noticing that Harry still had his eyes fixed on me as I moved.

“I’m going home!” I called to everyone, saving me from doing the rounds. “You’re all very wonderful people. Thank you for a lovely evening. You’re all very nice and I like it.”

I just sounded like I was being one of those drunk people who got all lovey-dovey after one too many, but I was just trying to execute my new thing of spreading happiness, and I think I was better at it when I was drunk. It was extremely genuine. Not that it wouldn’t have been when I was sober, but there’s something about drunken love that seems so honest, so sweet.
They all chimed their goodbyes at the same time, loud and rowdy and drunk as hell.
I began to make my journey outdoors, and Harry’s head followed me like an owl until he twisted on the sofa.
I stopped briefly, snapping my body down so I could lean close to his ear.

“Thank you for tonight.” I whispered. “I’ve really loved it. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He whispered back, turning his head so his lips lingered close with mine. “There’s a taxi company just round-”

“Zayn told me.” I smiled softly. “I’ll use them.”

“Right.” He nodded, turning to face away from me again.

I should have kept my mouth shut, really, but with an array of cocktails swimming gleefully through my stomach, I couldn’t quite bite my tongue.

“Are you jealous?” I whispered, being extra quiet.

“Of who? Zayn?” He snorted. “Fuck no. Definitely not.”

“I’m not going to do the fake thing with him!” I cried, as softly as I could. “You have to believe me.”

“I do believe you.” He turned back once more. “But he still wants to do it with you, and it’s… It’s annoying. It pisses me off.”

“Doesn’t matter what I say, does it?” I huffed. “Goodnight, Curls.”

I shot upright again, waving to everyone before I made my way out the front door, the cold air raising my skin as I began marching down the street, seething through my clenched teeth as an automatic reaction to the mornings bitter breeze.
I couldn’t wait to get home, to wrap myself up tight and wake up with a pounding headache. I was ready for it.

“REN!”

I whipped around as soon as I heard Harry’s voice, watching as he did a little jog to catch up with me, and it was hard to feel any negativity towards the freezing cold wind when it played with his hair in the way it was doing then. It fluttered across his face, wrapped around his skin, eclipsing his features and enhancing his beauty all at the same time.

“I’ll share a taxi with you.” He said once he’d caught up.

“You’re in the complete opposite direction.” I told him, even though I knew he was very well aware.

“I just wanna make sure you get home safe.”

I was about to argue, tell him that I was getting into a taxi with a company he knew and trusted, but I didn’t. I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t about to fight him on it, because really, I wanted him there. Not because I felt unsafe, but simply because I wanted him to be with me.

“Okay.” I smiled.

Once he was at my side, we took off again, our shoulders bashing together as we strolled down the street, and I watched my feet as we went, very wary that I could trip up at any minute.
We were quiet for the entire journey, only letting out a small giggle at one point as Harry pulled at my arm, dragging me to the side so that I didn’t walk into a lamppost. Other than that, we were both quiet up until we walked into the taxi firm, the man behind the glass grinning wildly at Harry as soon as he saw him.

“My boy!” He greeted.

“Hey!” Harry chuckled happily. “I need two drop offs tonight, that okay?”

“Whatever you need, Harry. Whatever you need. He’s pulling round the front for you now.”

“Thanks. You’re the best.”

There was a drunken man asleep in the corner, but obviously Harry was a priority, because within seconds a car appeared outside for us, and Harry was bidding the cheery man farewell.
We scurried outside and hopped in as quickly as we could, and thankfully, once Harry had given my address, we were soon speeding down the road, my head lolling back and my eyes falling shut, my stomach performing little flips and churns every time the road altered its level.
We stayed quiet.
Nothing was said, not even when I felt Harry’s fingers toying with mine. My hand was laying in the centre of the car, and from nowhere he began to modify it, accommodating my fingers so he could slot his own between them, and I instinctively clasped back, holding his hand tightly, totally natural.
What felt weird was the fact it hardly computed, it wasn’t something that felt strange. Holding his hand in that moment made me feel like I should always be holding his hand, like I’d merely be searching for his touch if it wasn’t already there, soft against mine.
When we pulled up outside my building, I didn’t want to let go.

“I’m gunna walk her upstairs.” Harry spoke to our driver. “I’ll be five minutes, do you mind waiting?”

“Not at all, pal.”

“Thank you.”

I squeezed his hand before I let it go, opening the door and tactfully clambering out of the vehicle, only experiencing a slight stumble, and then we were on our way, pushing through the front door and then making our way upstairs.
I wasn’t entirely sure why our journey had been so silent. Usually myself and Harry just bounced off each other, making jokes and laughing and just talking about anything and everything. The silence wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was unfamiliar.
When we reached my floor, I knew I needed to break it.

“You didn’t need to do this.” I swallowed.

“Do what?”

“Get me home. I can look after myself.”

“Ren, I’m aware you can look after yourself.” He shook his head. “But it doesn’t mean that the people who… care for you, don’t want to look after you. It’s nice to have support.”

I guess I’d never thought of it that way before. I’d always seen support and aid as co-dependence, rather than people actually wanting to be there for me.
The headache I’d been anticipating for the morning introduced itself early.
When we reached my door, I pressed my back against the wall just beside it, once again routing through my bag in the hope of finding my keys, praying I hadn’t lost them.
Harry watched me in silence for a few seconds, and then I noticed he was edging his way closer to me.
With my hand still buried in my bag I shot my head up, my eyes aligning with his momentarily. My throat was constricted, my eyes flitting down to his full lips. I felt sick.

“Ren, I need to tell you something.”

I took my eyes back to his, and they remained there, our gazes locked together, and our aura was intense, nauseating.

“Okay.” I hushed.

He looked nervous, like he was questioning whether he should really tell me what he was just about to, his mind racing and his heart pulsing wildly, but his eyes always with mine.

“I fucked some random girl.” He finally gasped. “I fucked some random girl and she meant nothing to me.”

My head fell back and hit the wall with a thud, and my heart ached.
That wasn’t what he wanted. He had never wanted it to be that way. He had waited 23 years to find someone special. He had been hoping for someone special to be in his life, and he’d lose his virginity to that person.
But it hadn’t worked that way, and that pained me.
Still staring at him, trying to be blind to the sadness that crafted the look on his face, I stuttered the only sentence I could articulate.

“I’m sorry it ended up being that way, Harry.”

“I… I know.” He finally dropped his head. “I just… I’m gunna go.”

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.” He brushed. “I am. I’m good.”

“And I’ll see you soon, right?”

“Of course you will.” He looked back to me. “Really soon. Promise.”

With a weak smile, he once again pushed his head forward, planting a delicate kiss to my forehead, and then he began his journey home, this time not turning to see me.
I was left feeling completely lost, and praying that Harry didn’t regret his first time in the same way I did, because it was a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

@keshetaylonit In some circles, apparently. An [one might say “more legitimately”] intersex friend of mine invited me to join an intersex community group because she knew I had PCOS and said it was, in her opinion, part of the community. I looked into it and apparently it is something that has been discussed at length

For me, I don’t just have regular PCOS, I have an rare variant of it and was actually diagnosed as an infant due to pediatric hormonal problems, which could be why I have a lot of squick reactions to my body. 

Just one of the reasons I’ve been thinking about whether to re-approach this or not lately.

anonymous asked:

Every time you post about Anne Rice my response is initially "she can't possibly have actually said that", followed inevitably by "oh wow she totally did". Basically everything I know about the vampire chronicles I've learned from your writings and podcasts (I've watched the Interview film but that's about it) and I just. What was it like to realise someone whose work was super important and formative for you (and by work I mean three books out of apparently billions) is a giant asshole?

I mean….I mean it sucked, anon. It really, really sucked. It had an indelible effect on how I interact online. By the time I stumbled into the fandom it had already started going underground and the pervasive sense of fear was pretty constant – if you didn’t know about it to start with you learned right quick. Not only was fanfic a no-go, this was also when Anne had rediscovered religion, so acknowledging that she’d written enormously queer books was also unwelcome.

It was massively nervewracking. In the mid-2000s the attitude toward the internet was very Stranger Danger oriented anyway – everyone always had a story to share about The One Kid Who Got Murdered that their cousin’s uncle’s aunt had heard. It is good to be careful, but most people got to get over that paranoia for the most part. Not us. The boogeyman was totally real and she was sending threats of lawsuits to fans. For me personally, that translated into “someone is going to find out that I’m doing shitty RP, and they’re going to tell my parents, and everyone I know will find out i’m in the closet and THEN I’ll get murdered.” 

I was always an anxious kid to begin with, and that atmosphere exacerbated it until I had an honest-to-God nervous breakdown at 15. Our little group was never found out – the trigger event was some incredibly stupid chain email that was common at the time, of the “teen makes online friend who turns out to be an adult stalker” variety, at which point it clicked in my head that even the place I thought I was safe wasn’t safe. I cut off ties with everyone I’d made friends with and didn’t use my home computer for six months. I didn’t use the internet at all except for the bare minimum I couldn’t avoid for school projects. I was afraid “they’d” found out that i’d done some lousy RP and read some VC fanfic. 

From the point that I withdrew from VC fandom in 2005 the first time to 2014, when I was coaxed into joining Tumblr, I didn’t participate with other fans online. For nine years, I lurked, because that’s what it was safe to do. Don’t leave any trace, don’t talk to anybody. Learning about Anne’s unprofessional behavior taught me a lot in theory before I was ever published about how act and how not to be precious about my work, but it had an extremely palpable effect long before then. 

Which is probably why I maintain that uniquely personalized anger when for just about every other creator, if they act shitty I can sort of shrug, let go of their work and move on with my life. Not Anne, though. I have scars from her. 

Ok story time. So I was coming out to a few of my friends over snapchat (cause the new bitmojis were v pretty) and then one of them was like “wait are you actually bi?” and I sarcastically said “no it’s all a big joke” and i left the groupchat for about 5 mins and then when I came back they were all like “lol i knew it, she obviously wasn’t gay haha” and I realised it was too late to say “um no actually I’m kidding”. ALSO I told one of them that I had a crush on some girl and? She? Told? Them? I told her not to tell anyone and I’m just >:(

“Don’t smile until Christmas”

I remember when I first started teaching, multiple people told me, “Don’t smile until Christmas.” A lot of teachers follow this advice. Many teachers never want to seem “nice” to their students, and take pride in not being anyone’s “favorite” teacher. A colleague actually posted an article on Facebook a month or two ago about why she was proud to not be anyone’s favorite teacher. The article basically said that when you are a “favorite” teacher, you may not be able to teach the students as much, or have as much control over your classroom. I have found many older teachers (though certainly not all) have this same idea.

Let’s set my first year of teaching aside (because I just didn’t know what I was doing, and my student teaching was at the best school in the county, where I had 0 management issues, then went to teach in the worst school in the county, where no matter what you did, kids would still misbehave.) Years 2-5, getting better each year, I generally was well-liked as a teacher, and yes, many students called me their “favorite”. I don’t agree with the idea that you have to be “mean” to have control of your classroom. Now, my first year, 100% I was too nice. I didn’t set standards, didn’t follow through. But I think there is a way that you can have a mutual respect for your students, smile, laugh, and maintain control. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey so uh. I used to really dislike you, but after breaking away from ladystarfuck I started to realize that you're not a bad person, and everything she said about you to me was just over exaggerated or even untrue. I'm sorry I ever let her think that of me, dude. You're actually really cool. I hope your night is swell.

wow thank you, i really appreciate that. 

hell0dollface  asked:

I've started watching the show just in April (and all caught up before 714 haha) so I've been here for about 2 months instead of 7 years. And When Mona was shown to be the original A, was that her doing all the crap to the girls beforehand? Or was it Charlotte all along from the start, and Mona just said it then and there, to get it over with without actually being THE A who used to threaten the girls?

1x01 to 2x25: everything was done by Mona

3x01 Charlotte stole the game and she revealed herself in 6x10.

Charlotte did most things in between those episodes, however Toby did a few in 3B since he was a fake A and also Mona was a double agent for all of season 3. So Mona technically was 1x01 to 3x24.

And now AD is supposedly 6x11 to 7x20 but a lot of people (not me) are expecting a plot twist whereby AD was there since 1x01.

Hope that helps!

birealist  asked:

While I find the sparkling vampires very original and interesting, I really hate the whole marble skin thing. I used to think it was because because humans were so fragile that vampires felt really hard in comparison but the more I read the more I understood that SM truly intended for her vampires to be stone hard. In the Bree Tanner book, she actually said, "just stone lips, no give." That's just weird, unnecessary, and unromantic.

There’s a lot in Bella’s narration that I understood to be hyberpole or metaphor, only later for SM to clarify like, no, they really DO feel like stone, and feel like ice, and all that. I had just thought Bella was being poetic and exaggerating. 

Because, like, how would that work? How could Carlisle, with ice-cold, marble-solid hands handle patients all day and no one is like ???

So I still think of it as mostly hyperbole/metaphor, and a little truth. Carlisle’s touch being cold (but not literally icy. .. and he carries around hot coffee mugs all the time to warm his hands), and his handshake being weirdly firm but not obviously marble works in my head.  

I seem to mentally block out that Bree Tanner thing because that’s just really bizarre and not at all romantic or appealing. And if that’s the sound they make when they kiss, what would sex sound like? I just can’t see them as actual living statues, clunking around stonily everywhere they go. The clickety-clack kisses also don’t really seem to correspond to Bella’s descriptions post-vampiring in BD where she describes Edward as feeling warm and soft to her now that she’s also a vampire–so wouldn’t Victoria and Riley’s lips have seemed soft to each other? 

hungry-joe  asked:

Yo what the FUCK please tell me your mom still paints and please pass along I said she's talented as fuck

she DOES she dropped it for a really long time and then got into trying water colors and acrylics a couple years ago and now our house is literally covered in her paintings

it actually got to a point this last year where she just took the giant canvas she was working on off the easel and hung it straight on the wall while she was still working on it so whenever she feels like it she’ll just sort of walk by and add to it it’s my favorite thing

anonymous asked:

I really want INBTS to be "something that I've saved, I want to see you lose control" but it could just as easily be "he said, stop playing it safe, girl I wanna see you lose control" /: I hope it's the first, but with her using "girl" and she pro nouns in the other two songs, idk if she would be allowed to take it another step further and actually have it be her singing about a girl

im5-tw  asked:

The other one; 98) Holbrook left to do some work with a few guys from Internal Affairs. Tanner said he was with his dad but that was a cover up, so the girls didn't know what he was really doing. And honestly, Ali was probably just using Holbrook to get closer to the investigation, like she did with Lorenzo (but not as much because she actually liked Lorenzo) Holbrook was her key to all the information. Holbrook was completely manipulated by her.

I guess so. This is what they want us to think. But as an Ali is AD believer (well, hoper more so than believer!) I feel like Ali’s story isn’t over. Again, after the finale I’m literally going to spend hours inputting every single answer on that list - both the answers we get from the finale itself and also from the Tell-All special. This is the answer they want us to think but yeah, since I feel like Ali’s story isn’t over/as simple as made out, I’m leaving it blank just for now.

anonymous asked:

What is your opinion of lust for life? And what's your favourite album?

I mean.. God Bless America, Yosemite, Tomorrow Never Came, Beautiful People Beautiful Problems, Change and White Mustang are all songs I’m looking forward. I love the album trailer & I love the music video for Love. I like the whole twilight zone/ retro/ spacey witchy magical vibe. I’m obviously not digging the whole mainstream sound / mainstream lyrics. It feels more generic.. but that is sort of expected of singles. I’m hoping the beats aren’t as overpowering as it seems.. but also she said the album will have more acoustic songs so I think there will be a little something for everyone. 

Ultraviolence is by far my favorite album. I became a fan in 2012 and I just always dreamed of her voice over great instrumentals like real instruments/ guitars.. like any indie/ classic rock sound with ambiance.. and the fact that she actually DID. Was everything I ever wanted. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for & pleased by an album in my life. <3 

Ok!! Like and Reblog if you know that Wonder Woman is Bisexual

Ok this might be confusing. But my mother literally refuses to believe that Wonder Woman is Bisexual even though I have given evidence from officials. And it just makes me really mad. Mostly because my mother thinks that I’m saying I’m Pansexual because it’s popular to be apart of the LGBT and she has even said things like “Trans women should not be nominated for Woman of the Year” told me she would be disappointed in my if u was “actually gay” made very transphobic remarks without realizing she’s being transphobic, Using She/Her pronouns for my FTM Trans friend even after being told so many times to stop, saying “when do you want you sex change surgery” every time I do something that is not stereotypically feminine to try to make fun of me, etc. so to prove her wrong I’m going to prove to her that her Favorite Character ever is LGBT. I want to show her that it’s not just now that LGBT people are starting to exist it’s just now that we are being represented and more accepted in society. So PLEASE reblog and like so I can show my mother to prove her that LGBT people have always existed and to stop her from not realizing she’s being a little homophobic and Transphobic

anonymous asked:

Legit question, I honestly just want to know, why do you not like kim?

okay I have two different asks about this right now rjkakska I never said I don’t like Kim I actually love her drag and I saw her at the Roast I just don’t think she’d do great on an all stars season, and I think her spot could be given to someone who has something to prove. She’s already shown that she’s talented but I just don’t think she should be on as3

anonymous asked:

The thing about Jmo "playing a gay Sherrif": Emma IS gay, everybody knows that except Emma and JMo 🤣 (It's actually quite funny, I can just see her scurrying away with gay panic)

What JMo should have done is say thanks and moved on.  

What she did was react in a way that confirmed the opinion of everyone who thinks she has gay panic.  It opened the door for homophobic fans of hers to talk about how much they love the gays but calling someone gay is a traumatic insult.  It made her, in the eyes of her homophobic fans, a victim of the terrible gays.

All of that said … it was still a shitty performative thing to do.  It was an ambush with an awkward question filmed so that either you could get JMo to do exactly what she did or have her reaffirm the asker’s opinion thus proving that the only reason she has behaved like she has for the last few years is because she had secret PR orders from the show which she is no longer under the thumb.

Which … I want you to think about that.  This was an ambush video in order to use a real person to affirm or deny others.  No matter what answer I wish she’d given or think would have been a better one (see the first sentence) it was still an asshole move.  It’s a really affirming and positive thing when actors acknowledge their fans and what they see in the story.  But we’ve known for ages that JMo was not going to do that.  Laying a trap in hopes that she would do so spontaneously isn’t going to get her to do something she has had the opportunity to do for ages.

She doesn’t understand.  She doesn’t want to understand.  She’s just not that into us.  She doesn’t want us.  Don’t be the person chasing after someone who has actively through every measure shown she’s not interested in you, your money, or your adoration.  And don’t set yourself (and her) up for failure through manipulative ambush bullshit.

anonymous asked:

What's "Gigi's Scandals"??

In terms of appropriation things there was the Vogue Italia shoot of her in an afro and then Marc Jacobs last September, we had her doing a Melania Tr-mp impression that turned into her some how being a xenophobe and the right going totally ape shit over it, her mimicking the face of the samurai cookie turning into her being racist and hating Asian people, general discourse over her loosing weight that just got heavier and heavier through the year because people felt like she was being a hypocrite, and people thinking her and Zayn are pr and- worse yet- her actually responding to those people online, and then her responding to drama involving that in general, she said something about the womans march that got people mad, too, but that wasn’t much an issue, I’m really only including because my biggest pet peeve in life is celebrities trying to clap back on social media and responding to ‘fans’ and rumours. I think Melania and the cookie were the major issues for her because there was mass backlash and hate against her.

anonymous asked:

YES I UNDERSTAND ROWAN MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABUSIVE AT THE BEGINNING BUT WHY NOT ANTI THE BEE MOVIE A BEE LITERALLY SAID HE FELT LUST TOWARD A HUMAN AND SHE WAS OKAY WITH IT LIKE ?? Okay rant over sorry if this upset you I just hm

lol um okay I will go make a side blog RIGHT NOW about a stupid BEE MOVIE that literally NO ONE even likes. Because that just seems like a better thing to complain about than a book series where people are totally fine that the boyfriend, an actual humanoid character let me add, punches his lover in the face and mentally and physically hurts her. :D Yep. Seems legit.

I had an interesting conversation with my roommate who is a radical conservative Christian that’s fucking crazy. And I don’t pay her rent, I pay my rent to an organization called the Council on Aging. She basically doesn’t want me living there because I’m not a Christian and I don’t talk to her and she wants a companion. And she heard I’m wiccan and said she doesn’t want dark magic there cuz she’s ignorant and doesn’t understand what being a wiccan is. And I lied and said I’m agnostic, so I went back in the broom closest and luckily she doesn’t know I’m gay cuz she hates gays too. But I was homeless back in August 2016-October 2016 and my godmother told me about this room for rent and it’s rent I can actually pay. I just don’t want to be made homeless again because of this crazy woman. It feels like so many obstacles keep getting in my way of reaching my dreams. I’m so close to finishing up here and being able to transfer schools. I just want to reach my dreams guys. And now I’m feeling that fear that comes with having to hide your religion and sexuality and I’m just really stressed out and scared.

New nurse came in and I once again explained that I’m not refusing anything just letting them know I already have and know about the infection. She said ok and left?

Doctor came back in and I told him I’m still dizzy. I’ll at 110 resting which would mean 140 standing which means I’ll faint if I stand.

He said he’d give me anther dose of the actual medicine I need. Making some progress

Some moments from tonight’s interviews

• Marlon ships Eva and Jonas, he said they’re golden.
• Ulrikke played FMK and she chose Elias, Noora, and William respectively
• Simo brought actual Balloons when they arrived
• Marlon would FMK PChris, Girl Chris, Even
• Cengiz wants to marry everyone! He would fuck Even and kill himself.
• When the interviewer asked Cengiz who he would choose for random sex he just looked shocked and replied “I’m not like that.”
• Iman said that the most difficult thing about playing Sana particularly in season 4 was being angry.
• When she read that Sana smiled her reaction was “Finally!”
• To the theory of Eskild x Elias, Carl responded that it would be cool.
• Henrik feels that with Even there is this an entire story that hasn’t been told.
• If Adam could be any character he would be Sana because of how important her character is to Muslims
• Simo took forever in FMK and he decided he’d marry Sana, kiss Linn, and friendly kill Yousef.
•Henrik said it was challenging to portray someone with bipolar disorder because he did not want to create a stereotypical character because you have to respect those whom you portray.
• Josefine said the biggest difference between her and Noora is that Noora doesn’t wear mascara.

• Iman is enlisting in the army

• Tareji and Henrik both went to continue scting.
• Ina has two years left at theater school.
• Ulrikke says there are many things she wants to change in the world and she’ll be focusing her attention on that.
• Marlons favorite moment is when the girls pick up Sana in Los Losers.
• Iman hopes that people have gotten a positive experience of Muslims after the season and her massage to us is that regardless of everything we are all the same.