the row backpack

Trang An in Vietnam. Some call it the inland Ha Long Bay. To get there, you need to travel to Ninh Binh then it’s a short ride on a motorbike. This was definitely the highlight of our trip in Vietnam. These amazing strong women row these boats fo 2 hours straight, through low dangerous caves. This isn’t in Lonely Planet’s guide, but it should be.

Still Beating

I’m awake underneath my closed eyelids when my alarm sounds. Internally, I groan. Outwardly, I don’t move a muscle. It’s the first day of my third year and the last thing I want to do is get myself up and ready for my nine a.m. class. I stare at the ceiling for a few minutes, prolonging the inevitable for just a little while longer. My back arches off the bed as I give my body a good stretch, my feet nearly hanging off the small dorm bed. It’s one of the reasons why I now sleep with my legs tucked against my stomach. That, and because it helps me feel like I’m not falling apart.

In between bites of a granola bar, I pull on my jeans, practically hopping around my room. My clothes and books are neatly tucked away in their appropriate places, a product of my decision to arrive on campus a week earlier. I had time to put everything in order, but as they say, looks are deceiving. If only I was as put together as my temporary home.

It didn’t take long to put my things away—I don’t have much—so I had a lot of free time spent doing nothing. Still, being here beat the looks of sorrow and pity from the people in my neighbourhood. All I wanted was to stop being the girl whose best friend got killed in a car accident as soon as possible.

Of course, being away at school doesn’t necessarily help with that. For one thing, I’m much too close to home still. The bar Aiden was at before he started the car at a blood alcohol level above the legal limit is a half hour away from campus. And that’s if I walk. And second, being at school is just a reminder of the fact that Aiden is not.

With my backpack slung over my shoulder, I close the door shut and walk down the halls of Brenner, not making eye contact with any of the fellow girls in my dormitory. The bright light of the sun hits me forcefully as I push open the heavy double doors and step outside. Despite the fact that smiles have been hard to come by lately, when I see a certain boy my lips curl upwards.

He’s standing with his backpack on one shoulder, one hand in his pocket and the other leaning on the stone railing for support. Until one month ago, there were two special boys in my life. Aiden, my best friend, and Evan, my boyfriend. Evan knows what Aiden meant to me, and I realize that he feels pressure to fill both roles in my life now. I met Evan during my first year at Columbus and by the time final exams were said and done, we were dating. I met Aiden during kindergarten. There’s a pretty big difference between the boy who kisses your lips and the one who kisses your scraped knee.

“Hey,” Evan says quietly, pulling me into a quick hug. He’s gentle with me, even more than usual, as if he’s waiting for me to break at any moment. He puts his hands on my shoulders and pushes me back a little. His blue eyes scan my face, looking for any traces of sadness. I notice the slight frown of his lips when he lands on the dark circles under my eyes, indicating my lack of sleep. When he’s done with his assessment, I speak.

“Hey yourself. We better get going, class is starting soon,” I remind him.

We fill the short walk to the auditorium where my English class is held with small talk about the weather, his family and everything but Aiden.

“So, this is me,” I say in front of the old wooden doors.

“Have a good class,” Evan says sweetly. I don’t respond. His casual suggestion seems impossible to me.

“Oh, I forgot to mention. I won’t be around Friday. I’ll be home for the weekend. My grandmother is sick and my mom wants everyone together.”

My eyes widen in surprise. “Oh my god, Evan. I am so sorry. I didn’t even know. When did this happen?”

His grimace answers my question. “It wasn’t really a good time to tell you….”

I nod quickly. “I get it.”

“You going to be alright if I go?” He doesn’t look at me as he speaks. A habit of his when he feels guilty.

“Yes, Evan.” I sound more irritated than I want to.

His lips mash together. “See you around then, call me when you’re done for the day.”

One tight hug later and I’m alone.

The dimly lit auditorium is fuller than I anticipated. I’m either later than I thought or this group of students is especially keen. It’s more likely the former. This is Columbus, not Columbia, and the public university I attend in Brooklyn is definitely not as prestigious or academically gifted as the one in Manhattan.

The first few rows are mostly empty and the middle rows are full save for a few seats here and there. With my head down and my bag hoisted on one shoulder I walk up the aisle to the final few rows. My backpack lands on the table with a thud and I pull out the wooden chair beside a brown-haired boy with glasses. His hood is pulled over his head and his shoulders are hunched as his fingers work quickly on a small device of some sort. Upon noticing my presence, he turns his head to the side, not fully looking at me. I wait for squirrel-boy to say something, but instead he just grabs his bag off the chair and takes another seat a few rows in front of me. Inconspicuously, I pull a lock of hair under my nose and take a good whiff. My shower schedule has been off lately. I had went a good two weeks without a shower after I first got the call, and part of me thinks the dirt is too deep now to get rid of, no matter how hard I scrub.

Deciding that the faint smell of strawberries from my shampoo is an innocent enough odor, I turn my attention to the front of the room. A tall boy dressed in a black t-shirt and black jeans is talking to a petite woman at the front of the classroom. I can tell by his lob sided smirk that this boy is confident and probably used to getting what he wants. I roll my eyes at how casual he is with our professor; her red sweater set and pencil skirt give her title away. Idly I wonder if he’s fucked her, and if that’s where his confidence comes from. I wouldn’t put that past the boys at this school.

With a light touch to the boy’s arm, the professor turns away and approaches the podium. I cast my gaze onto my laptop screen on my desk and write the date in the top left corner on my Word document. Just when I think I’ve forgotten about the professor’s buddy, the chair beside me pulls out with a squeak and suddenly he’s next to me. I don’t address him, but for some reason I grow a little nervous in his presence. Quickly, I hit backspace and retype the date, just for something to do.
“Do you bite?” A male voice asks from beside me.

His question catches me off guard, and any initial intention not to talk to this guy goes out the window.

“Excuse me?” I look at his face properly for the first time and am thrown off by the fact that he’s actually quite good looking. Really good looking, in fact. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t notice his appearance before, but now that he’s close I notice his green eyes, his thin and arched eyebrows and his sharp cheekbones. He’s pretty, but in a masculine way.

“Last time I checked, some other kid was sitting in this seat. But then I saw you sitting here, and that poor boy is sitting way up there,” he points in that direction with his chin, “so whatever you said or did to him, must have been pretty scary.”

The light tone in his voice and that damn side smirk indicate he’s joking but his words do have a strange sense of truth to them.

“Not that I’m complaining, of course. I’d much rather have you beside me than that squirrely kid.”

I know he’s blatantly flirting with me, but I laugh at how we both pegged that other guy the same.

“Trust me,” I say finally. “I didn’t do anything to that guy.”

The still unnamed boy winks and pushes back in his chair so that he can put his feet on the table. The professor, who introduces herself as Ms. Wilson, begins her lecture. I struggle to keep up with the notes while I see out of the corner of my eye that my new friend is doing everything but paying attention. His eyes dart from a girl’s round ass who got up to toss a wrapper into the garbage to checking his phone every two minutes. As distracting as I find his behaviour, I’m jealous. There’s something carefree about his attitude, while I’m hanging on to the professor’s lecture on symbolism like my life depends on it.

Liam greets me with a bright smile as I enter Right Round Records five minutes before my shift begins.

“Sup, girl?” He says as continues pulling out the new shipment of CDs onto the “Just Arrived” shelf.

I fight the urge to roll my eyes as I grab my navy blue vest from the coat rack behind the cash register. I appreciate Liam’s kindness. He’s one of the few people in my life who know about Aiden and doesn’t treat me like he’s waiting for me to break down any second. But sometimes he’s a little too kind and is more than just “friendly.”

I sigh. “Not much, I’m done my classes for the day. How have you been?” I begin to open the rental binder to see the reminder emails I need to send out to clients who have items that are due within the next two days.

“It’s been steady here. A few professors looking for DVDs for their classes, that’s really it. Lucky bastards get movies on the first day,” he says with a chuckle.

What Liam tells me isn’t out of the ordinary. Right Round Records is a small shop located beside the Faculty of Music that sells things that pretty much everyone can get for cheaper and easier somewhere else. But, they pay well and give decent hours, so I don’t complain. As a thank you, I convince Evan to let me rent a DVD from the store instead of using his Netflix for our Friday movie nights. I only work weeknights and weekends, but Liam, who only needs two more credits to graduate is here during the day as well.

Liam notices that I’m not really in the mood for small talk and we go about our work without interaction, except for a few business-related questions. The bell signals the opening of the door and a mop of curly red hair walks in with a tray of two Starbucks drinks.

“You, my friend, are a lifesaver,” Liam says as he grabs his order off the tray, giving Maggie a quick hug. I notice the way she lingers into his touch and I fake gag where they can’t see me.

“Oh, sorry Sienna, I didn’t know you’d be here, otherwise I would’ve gotten you one too,” she says as she takes a sip of her own caffeine and sugar concoction. I nod sweetly, despite knowing that she knows the work schedule. She was the one who created it.

“Boy, it’s dead in here,” she groans as she pushes herself onto the counter, flipping through the records.

“Yeah, pretty much all night,” I say quietly. I don’t comment on her insensitive word choice. If you want Liam you can have him, I want to scream.

I try to zone out for the remaining half hour of my shift. I vaguely hear Liam and Maggie discuss a party at the frat house this upcoming Friday. It’s the first I’ve heard of it, but since there’s a party, sometimes more than one, every weekend I’m not surprised. Maggie is unsure if she’ll go but Liam is certain he will, is what I decipher.

“Hey Sienna,” Liam calls from across the room. “You in?”

I look up at him with mock cluelessness. “Sorry?”

His cheeks flush. “The party this Friday. Do you want to go… with me? Do you want to come with me, I mean?”

“And me,” Maggie chirps. That took long to change her mind.

I nod, because I can’t think of a good enough reason to say no. Evan will be home in Scarsdale and I don’t want to be alone in my dorm room.

“Party, party!” Liam cheers quietly as he puts away the last of his work.

I smile at the joy in his voice. At least some people still manage to get excited.

The week goes by surprisingly fast despite the fact that I feel like I spend each lecture watching the clock. Waking up to go to my morning lectures proves difficult and it takes everything in me to make it to class, making things like presentable clothes and makeup fall to the side. Aside from my very first lecture on Monday, I haven’t spoken to anyone in the rest of my classes. With a hoodie pulled low onto my forehead and my arms folded across my chest, I’m not exactly welcoming, but a larger part of me knows it’s because when people think of me they think of Aiden. Even at home, if people weren’t offering condolences or flowers, they steered clear. I’m a reminder that not only do bad things happen to good people, sometimes the worst things happen to the best people.

I like my classes and professors enough. Most of my courses are for my English degree, but I’m also taking a Calculus class, which I’m beginning to regret. I want black and white, questions with a straight answer but it’s been so long since I’ve taken it in high school that the material in the review session feels foreign. It’s just another thing I’ll lean on Evan, the Computer Science major, for.

Work has been uneventful. It’s been Liam and Maggie and I for the majority of the week. Liam’s company I don’t mind. He’s a good guy who minds his own business. Maggie’s company, I mind a lot. Most of the time she acts like I’ve stepped on her cat’s tail so I tend to avoid getting in her way. It’s too bad. It would be nice to have a female friend for once.

By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I feel so drained from the first week festivities that I almost want to back out from going to the party. I say almost because all week Maggie has been dropping hints that she thinks I might bail, which makes her all too happy. And if there’s one thing I can’t give people, it’s satisfaction. More than that, I’m going for myself as well. For Aiden, too. I feel like in some weird way it’s up to me to live the life that Aiden would have. We are—were—so close that we tended to want to do the same things anyways, and I know that I can’t not do things just because he isn’t here anymore.

There’s a weirdly pleasant sensation in my stomach like I’m about to do something positive, so I put slightly more effort into my appearance. I can’t help but cringe when I see the pale skin contrasting against the dark under eyes but at twenty one years old, I’ve had enough experience with makeup to know that sometimes layers of concealer only makes the matters worse. My mom has always told me, if you can’t have good skin, have good hair. Taking my time, I loosely curl random sections of my brown hair and part it to the side. Pulling on the tight jeans I haven’t touched since Monday, I tuck a black long sleeve t-shirt in and call it an outfit.

Just as I’m wiggling a jet black mascara wand through my upper lashes, my phone buzzes with a text from Liam, signalling he’s pulling into the dormitory.

The excitement I see from girls in the hallway is almost contagious. There’s a carefree feeling in the air, as if on this Friday night, with a backless dress instead of a backpack, we can be anything. For tonight, all I want to be is happy.

I see Maggie and Liam in the front seat of his Civic and take a deep breath before I slide into the backseat. Cars aren’t the problem, I remind myself. Alcohol is. And trees. Alcohol and trees. I have learned the hard way that those two things can be a deadly combination. Literally.

Liam’s ever-present smile grows wider when he sees me and he reaches behind to clear a blanket and some other junk out of the backseats. There’s a case of beer on the floor and I hold my breath as I look for any missing bottles. I lean back in my seat trying to relax. Maggie grunts me a hello, which is more than I thought she’d say.

The frat and sorority houses are located at the perimeter of campus, beside the Ainesley dormitory, which happens to be the farthest dorm from mine. It’s also Maggie’s dorm, though from what I hear from Liam, she much prefers to spend time in a library. There’s always overflow noise from the frat houses.

“Ooh, stop for a minute,” Maggie says over the radio blaring some poppy boy band song. “I forgot my camera, I just want to run in for a second and get it.”

I roll my eyes. Her phone has a camera, but she needs her professional one to take her pictures for her precious Instagram. Because not only does she need to show people that she has a life, she needs to convince people that she has a good one.

Liam listens like a puppy and pulls into a parking spot in front of the doors. He leaves the car running but turns the radio down. I fold my hands on my lap, in preparation for the conversation I know he’s going to start.

“So,” he says, turning around, putting his arm around the passenger seat. “I’m really glad you could make it out with us, Sienna. I think it’s good for you to get out.”

A tight smile is my only response. People love telling you what’s good for you. Because of course they know.

“You look really nice by the way,” he says sweetly.

This time I respond with words: Thank you. Liam really is a good guy and he’s hard to dislike. It’s what makes him a good friend.

“Where’s Evan tonight?” Liam asks with less enthusiasm.

“Oh, he’s home this weekend. His grandmother’s not well.” I quickly type a text to see if there’s any updates. I last spoke to Evan this afternoon, when he had just arrived in Scarsdale.

“Huh, well I hope she gets better soon. But you’re still with him, right?” His hopeful face makes me feel guilty, even though I know it’s unwarranted.

“Yes, we are,” I say in a voice that suggests our relationship status won’t change any time soon.

With her camera bag in tow, Maggie climbs into the passenger seat, saving me from the rest of this conversation.

“Got it!” she squeals.

Her hair looks freshly hair sprayed and I could smell her perfume as soon as she walked out the doors of the dorm. I can’t help but feel bad for her. She tries hard but I haven’t ever seen her have a conversation with anyone at the school aside from Liam.

Liam strums on the steering wheel and Maggie grasps her purse tightly as we pull onto the already full lot. I nearly slide into the door as Liam drives over a log to park onto the grass. Our car is not the only one here and the lawn is already littered with cigarette butts and beer cans. I pray for Liam’s sake that no unidentified substance makes its way onto the windshield of his car.

The porch lights illuminate the dark September night as we make our way up the steps. Liam puts an arm on the small of my back which I immediately shake off. Maggie, who has watched the whole exchange, smiles. To my surprise, it’s not a malicious smile, but one of relief.

The wind whips my hair around my face and I unfold my arms to peel the strands away from my eyes. A flash of red in a bush beside the steps catches my eye. It’s a thong, and I want to stop in disgust, but more people have arrived and bodies are walking forcefully behind me trying to enter. It’s too late, I’m already part of the crowd.

I decline every drink offer, even the ones that are supposedly non-alcoholic. Instead I sip from the water bottle I brought in my purse, because I know for certain what’s in it. I’m sitting on a worn leather couch watching the growing intoxication of my class mates. I check my phone for a message from Evan. He reports that Grammy is in good spirits, but is a little weak. I respond telling him I miss him. He isn’t the only person I miss, but at least with Evan, I know within seconds he’ll write back telling me he misses me too.

I realize then that I’ve managed to go at least five minutes without thinking about Aiden. And now that I am thinking about him again, the pain hits me forcefully. It makes me delirious and I can practically picture him in front of me. If he was at this party, he’d be right there. He’d be in the kitchen, by the keg, with a red cup filled with that stupid drink he’d always complain burned but drank anyway. He’d be surrounded by girls, each wanting some of his attention, but to their displeasure, he never dated. Some thought it was because he didn’t want to settle down, but little did they know that it was because he was already in love with a girl that wasn’t them. A cluster of guys would be around him, too, half staring in awe and half staring in envy. Because if you didn’t want Aiden, you wanted to be Aiden.

Aiden Clarke was loved by everyone. But Aiden Clarke only wanted to be loved by one person, a person who didn’t love him in that same way.

And that one person was me.

The room begins to feel too hot. I stand from my seat and hesitate for a moment, not exactly sure where I’m trying to go. Liam’s in the backyard so Maggie’s likely there too, and as much as I want fresh air, I don’t want to be around people. I decide to look for a bathroom. I feel like I’m invisible as I push through sweaty bodies to reach the stairs.

No matter how my mind lies to me, Aiden’s not here. And it feels like I’m not either.

The narrow hallway on the second floor is not crowded, but litter lining the floor screams that people were here. Most of the doors are closed and I try my best to block out any noise I might hear from the other side. Angrily I swipe at the tears forming at the inner corners of my eyes, but when one escapes and lands on my cheeks, I decide to let it evaporate on its own.

I come to a closed door at the end of the hallway. Unlike the other doors in the hall, it doesn’t have a number on it, so I assume that means that it’s not a bedroom. Cautiously I turn on the handle and seeing that it’s not locked, I pull the door open fully. The room is slightly darker than where I’m standing and once my eyes adjust I realize two things. First, the room certainly is not a bathroom, and is deceptively larger than how it appeared from the outside. Second, the room isn’t empty. There is a girl in a lace pink bra straddling the lap of a boy who is pulling his belt out of his black jeans.

Funny how I recognize him by his black jeans. Even before his head cocks to the side to look at the interloper and I see that cocky grin, I know it’s that boy from my English class. The girl turns around and tosses her honey blond hair across her shoulder. Her eyes narrow as she addresses me.

“Sorry, hun, but you’re going to have to wait in line for this one.”

“Uh, I was just looking for the bathroom,” I stammer.

“It’s not here,” she says stupidly, as if she actually thinks she’s pointing that fact out to me. Helpful.

I quickly close the door and immediately start walking away. I collide with a tall, hard body and before I can step away my shirt is drenched with beer. My shirt is black, so I know the liquid won’t show, but it’s cold and wet and just another reason why I need to find a bathroom. The man utters a drunk apology and I mutter that he should watch where he’s going.

Finally, I find a bathroom. I splash water on my face and run toilet paper under the tap to smear away any mascara that fell onto my under eyes. When I decide that the beer stench is mostly gone from my top, I step outside and rejoin the party.

I’m sitting beside the unlit fireplace, talking to no one and watching everyone. My phone buzzes with a text from Liam, saying that he only plans to stay for a half hour more. It’s only 11:18. I guess the employees at Right Round Records aren’t the most fun of the bunch.

A few more people come in through the front door and I roll my eyes at how their night is starting only now. I can’t help but shake my head as one guy awkwardly hugs his girlfriend with one hand, barely holding onto a pack of beer in the other. While I’m watching the exchange, I notice my English-friend come down the stairs and without making eye contact, playfully lean into the shoulder of the girl with the honey blond hair.

And that’s when I put two and two together.

“She has a boyfriend,” I think aloud.

I’m staring in disgust as he hangs around the kitchen talking to another girl.

“Ah, Harry Styles, you’re not the first girl to find him disgusting,” a voice suddenly says. Surprised, I turn my head to see a pretty girl with thin eyebrows and curly blonde hair sitting on the couch with a red cup on her lap.

“I’m sorry,” she continues. “I just saw you looking at him and you seemed kind of upset. Trust me, girl, I’ve been there. You meet Harry, you think he’s nice, then you sleep with Harry, and realize he’s not.” She extends her hand. “I’m Alanna Morris by the way.”

I ignore her introduction, digesting her accusations. “Oh God, I haven’t slept with Harry.” His name sounds foreign on my tongue. “I barely know him. And trust me, I don’t plan on it.”

She smiles and I see that she is really quite beautiful. “Good. Because if there’s one thing you ought to know about Harry is that he doesn’t date.”

I nod once and take a sip from my water bottle. Her smile slightly falls at my drink and I briefly consider saying that it’s straight vodka just to get a kick out of it. After I tell her my name and decline her offer for a different beverage, Alanna gets up and goes to the kitchen.

I’m not sure if Liam is ready to leave yet, but I sure as hell am and make a beeline for the backyard. On my way out, I bump into another hard body and feel someone grab my arm. Tingles erupt on my skin and before I can yank my arm away, I’m face to face with Harry. I freeze.

“Shit, sorry. You okay?” Harry asks with surprisingly raw concern.

I’m surprised to see him this up close. My face is basically in line with his shoulder. There’s light stubble above his lip which I never noticed before. He’s staring at me with wide eyes, waiting for me to say something. I shake his hand off my body and softly push him further into the hallway.

“She has a boyfriend!” I whisper-hiss.

His green eyes look like they’re dancing in the dim lighting. “Who has a boyfriend?” He asks, voice in a similar volume to mine, which I think he did just to get a kick out of me.

“That…that girl!” I sputter, realizing I don’t know her name. “The one you were doing…stuff with.” I roll my eyes at my graceless vocabulary.

“Stuff with,” Harry repeats, his eyebrow raised. He’s making fun of me. I know he is.

I stare at him, growing hot. I’m bothered by the fact that he doesn’t seem bothered.

“Harry,” he says, extending his arm. He must remember we didn’t introduce ourselves in class.

Reluctantly, I shake his hand. “Sienna,” I mumble. I’m thrown off by how small my hand feels in his. He warms my cool skin.

“Who are you here with tonight?” he asks me casually.

I glare at him. “You’re disgusting,” I say.

Harry clucks his tongue, the soft pink darting out from between his lips. “Not the first time I’ve heard that. But I’ll admit, usually it takes a little longer than a conversation before I’m told off.”

Harry smiles and dimples make an appearance in his cheeks. My stomach flips and I can’t help but feel charmed by the easy way he takes my insults. I change my tune.

“By the way, I’m sorry for um…interrupting earlier,” I say sheepishly.

His face erupts into a lob-sided smirk. “Don’t worry about it. I probably should have known she had a boyfriend. After all, she called me Chuck.”

Despite myself, I laugh. I’m about to say something in return but someone from the living room calls “Styles.”

“See you around, Sienna,” Harry smiles, walking past me, placing his hand on my shoulder. I’m momentarily stunned.

I find Liam and Maggie. I zone out as they tell me about their night. It’s Friday night, the first night of the weekend, but I’m surprisingly looking forward to Monday.

This was posted as part of an experiment of mine. There’s lots more to this story, please let me know what you think. x

Number 9

Prompt: the reader and Liam get into an argument that leads to them not talking for a few days. At a lacrosse game against Devenford Prep, Brett flirts with the reader and Liam gets jealous.

Warnings: paints Brett in a bad light (sorry Brett) and the reader bitch slaps Liam

“You can’t be serious right now. I mean, do you hear yourself?”

           Liam’s face was bright red; the veins in his neck were sticking out. Breathing heavily, he checked our surroundings, making sure there were no stragglers in the school hallways trying to get a scoop of drama. “Of course I’m serious right now. I saw it with my own eyes, Y/N. Don’t you dare lie to me.”

           Scoffing, I shoved my books into my locker. “You’re freaking insane. There’s no way in hell that I like Brett. I’m with you- despite the big ugly green monster you’re harboring right now.”

           Raising his eyebrows, Liam propped himself on his shoulder against the lockers. “I think I have a right to get pissed off when I hear my girlfriend talking to her friends about someone who’s pretty much my enemy.”

           “You’re totally misinterpreting the conversation!” I slammed my locker shut. “All she asked was what I thought of Brett. I said that he’s funny but you don’t like him.”

           “Oh, so what you’re saying is that if I did like him you’d hang around him more?”

           “That’s not what I was saying at all!” I fought to keep my voice level when really I wanted to scream out of frustration. “Why does it matter to you so much? I’m not cheating on you or anything!”

           Liam shoved himself off the lockers. His jaw was clenched. “How can I be sure of that?” When I just glared at him, he dropped the bomb. “I think we should take a break.”

           I jerked back as if he had hit me. “What?”

           “Why does it matter to you so much?” Liam asked in a falsetto voice. Then he cleared his throat and stared at the ground, muttering, “I mean, this will give you a chance to make your relationship with Brett public.”

           Tears pricked at the corners of my eyes. Gasping, I managed to state, “I am not cheating on you. I’m not, and I never have, and I never will. Especially not with him.”

           Liam rolled his eyes. “Sticking to the same story, huh? Fine. I’ll see you around, Y/N.”

           Watching him walk away with an angry bounce to his steps, I whispered, “Liam…” But he forced the doors open and was gone.


The following week after that crushing discussion in the hallway on Monday was the worst of my life. Maybe that was a little dramatic, but it felt true. Liam refused to talk to me.

           My first attempt was the very next day, Tuesday. He hadn’t picked up his phone the night before, and I was worried about him. When I spotted him in the cafeteria with Scott, I rushed over as quickly as I could, plopping down in the seat in front of him, winded, “Liam, I-”

           He got up. And he walked away.

           I stared at the spot he had been in, confused. Did he really just…?

           Scott gave me a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry Y/N; I don’t think he really wants to talk to anyone right now.”

           “Okay.” I said in a small voice. “That’s fine.”

           “Hey, so, are you coming to the game Friday night?” Scott was suddenly leaning closer to me, an excited spark lighting up his dark eyes. “We’re playing Devenford Prep again.”

           Biting my lip, I thought it over. “Sure. I’d love to come watch you guys play.”


My second attempt was Wednesday after school. I was dying to hear his voice. Liam was standing with Mason in the parking lot, chatting casually. As soon as I approached them, Liam nodded to Mason, spun on his heel, and left.

           Mason gave my shoulder a squeeze. “Ouch.”

           “Eh,” I shrugged. “He did that yesterday, too. I guess I should’ve expected it.”

           “Still… he told me you guys broke up…”

           “Did he tell you the reason why?” I asked, brushing a strand of hair out of my face. When Mason nodded, I pressed further. “Do you believe him?” This time he shook his head. Shocked, I questioned, “What? You don’t?”

           Mason laughed. “You’re not sneaky enough to cheat on someone, Y/N.  No offense. And you can barely handle Liam as it is, so I don’t have a clue how you would juggle two guys.” I giggled. Then we sobered up. “No, but seriously, I think Liam’s over-reacting. He’ll come crawling back to you in a week tops.”

           I brightened. “Really? You think so?”

           He smirked. “Yep. It’ll go something like this,” Mason screwed up his face and made a voice that sounded oddly like Barbie’s Ken. “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry I saw you talking with your friends and decided to eavesdrop and that assumed that you were cheating on me with that sort-of attractive asshole-ish giant. Please forgive me.”

           Laughing, I shoved Mason’s shoulder. “I’m sure he’ll sound just like that.”

           “He will, trust me.” Mason’s face lit up. “Are you gonna come to the game Friday?”

           “We’re playing Devenford Prep, right?” When he nodded excitedly, I laughed. “Yeah, I’ll come. Scott asked me to yesterday as well.”

           “Of course he did. Beacon Hills wouldn’t last a game without its two best cheerleaders, Mason and Y/N.”


My third and final attempt was Thursday morning in the hallway. Liam was ranting to Stiles about something. I made eye-contact with Stiles, and he murmured something to Liam who then promptly took off for the boys’ bathroom.  

           Did he just warn Liam that I was coming?

           Angrily, I stalked over to Stiles. His eyes narrowed as I placed my hand on my hip. “Sorry, I try not to fraternize with cheaters.” My mouth dropped open. He didn’t really pay me any mind, just turned to dig through his locker.

           Suddenly filled with confidence, I slammed his locker shut, nearly getting his hand caught in there. Not that I would’ve fretted over it too much if he was going to be acting this way. “Listen, Stilinski,” I growled. “I don’t know what kind of crap Liam is spoon-feeding you, but I didn’t cheat on him. At all. Ever. I love that egghead too much, and I’d really appreciate it if you stayed out of our relationship.”

           Stiles rolled his eyes. “No one believes him because they’re all beyond convinced that you’re a little angel who would never do that to him. But I see you, you little diva. You-”

           “I was talking to my friends and they asked me about Brett. I said and I quote, ‘He’s funny, but Liam doesn’t like him.’ Liam was eavesdropping and heard that. He blew it out of proportion and broke up with me.”

           He blinked. Awkwardly, Stiles scratched the back of his head. “Oh…”

           Holding out my arms, I asked, “What?”

           “He never said anything about that. He just said that you cheated on him.” Stiles shifted his weight. “This sounds more likely. He’s always been a dramatic, jealous diva, you know what I’m saying?”

           I rolled my eyes. “What’s with you and the word ‘diva’ today?”

           “It’s kind of a long story. Malia and I were playing around, and… you don’t care.” Stiles rubbed his neck. I knew apologizing wasn’t really his style, so I didn’t expect one. “Hey, are you coming Friday night?”

           I nodded. “Scott and Mason beat you to asking me. Devenford Prep vs Beacon Hills. I’m sure it’s going to be one for the record books.”


By the time Friday night rolled around, I was both sad and pissed that Liam still wouldn’t talk to me. I found it childish and ridiculous. If this was how things were going to be, I was going to have to kill him.

           The bleachers were packed with screaming high schoolers, all eagerly awaiting the start of the game. Mason bumped me with his hip. “We better get up there before all the good seats are taken.” He teased.

           “Actually, I was thinking of sitting behind the guys.” I gestured to where I had left my backpack- bottom row, last spot on the right.

           He pursed his lips and nodded. “Yeah, that would work too. I like that idea better. Not as much climbing involved.”

           Scott slung an arm over my shoulder. “Glad that you could make it.” He pecked my cheek before Coach called him over. Stiles patted my head awkwardly, making me laugh. I watched as the sea of maroon invaded the field, starting their warm-up.

           As I scanned the numbers, I noticed that I couldn’t seem to find my 9 anywhere. There was 11, 24, and even 15. No 9. “You see Liam anywhere?”

           Mason looked around. “No. You?” I shook my head. “I wonder where he’s at. Bathroom maybe?”

           “Eh… Liam’s not really one to get nervous about stuff, you know?”

           He snorted. “I wasn’t saying that it was because of nerves. Maybe he ate a bad burrito or something. Explosive diarrhea all over the stall.”

           “Gross!” I smacked his arm while he laughed. “I’d rather not think about that, if you don’t mind.” A shadow loomed over us. Glancing up, I saw that it was the cause of all our problems at the moment.

           I forced a smile onto my face. “Hey Brett. How’s it going?”

           Brett smirked. He was dressed in green. For some reason, he reminded me of the Slytherin house in the Harry Potter series. “I’m alright. About to cream you guys.”

           Mason snorted from beside me. “Yeah, alright. We’ll see about that.”

           Snickering, Brett placed his hand on the bleacher’s railing so he could lean down closer to me. “And how are you doing, little lady?”

           Casually, I scooted closer to Mason. “I’d say I’m doing fine. Real excited for the game.”

           He licked over his lips. “That color looks good on you.” His hand softly brushed the fabric covering my shoulder. “Compliments your eyes.”

           Uneasily, I laughed. Mason swooped in for the kill. “Yeah, her boyfriend thinks so too.” He draped his arm over my shoulder, causing Brett to remove his hand.

           “Boyfriend?” Brett raised an eyebrow. “I thought you swung for the other team, Mason?”

           “I was talking about Liam.” He glared. Then he craned his neck around, looking towards the gym doors. “And here he is now.”

           Breath catching in my throat, I peered around Brett’s tall form to see a maroon jersey jogging over to us. To my great disappointment, he went right past us, going over to Coach. “I guess I’ll have to take Dunbar’s good luck kiss, since he doesn’t seem to want it right now.” Even from here, I could see how Liam’s back went rigid. He could hear everything that we were saying.

           Mason laughed bitterly. “If you do that, you’ll get your ass kicked.”

           Brett chuckled. “Don’t take everything so seriously. I’m just playing around with a pretty girl.” Blushing from embarrassment, I lowered my head. This was so awkward. It was making me extremely uncomfortable.

           Clearing my throat, I stood up. “I, um, I have to go to the bathroom. Excuse me.” As I tried to leave, Brett grabbed my arm.

           “Don’t I get a hug?”  I blanched. “By the time you get back, I’ll probably already be on the field.”

           I felt like I was trapped. If I said no, I would look like a total bitch. If I said yes, I would be letting him invade my personal space when I was already beyond apprehensive. Either way it would screw me over.

           Mason was an angel. He stood too, and held out his arms. “How about I give you a hug and Y/N goes to the bathroom?” I didn’t wait to hear his response. I was already walking as fast as I could for the restroom, fighting the urge to run.


Brett had been right- by the time I got back, the game was well under way. Green and maroon clashed as I sat beside Mason. “Thanks for that.” I mumbled, nudging his shoulder with mine.

           “Anytime, Y/N.” He looked away from the field to look at me with serious dark eyes. “You looked terrified.”

           “I don’t know what my problem was. It just really weirded me out is all, I guess.”

           The sound of a whistle blowing had us both jumping. There was a crowd in the center of the field, yelling and acting like a bunch of fools. I saw Coach in the middle of the mix. Then, suddenly, Scott and Stiles were holding a furious Liam, tugging him away from the circle.

           “Dunbar! McCall! Stilinski!” Coach was roaring, waving his arms and clipboard around. The trio ignored him, stumbling back towards the school and through the doors, disappearing from sight. Mason and I exchanged a look.

           “You go check on Liam, and I’ll talk to Coach?” Mason proposed.

           “Sounds like a plan.” I agreed, and then we split.


This was starting to become stereotypical- well, I thought so anyway. Liam would get pissed during a lacrosse game, leaving Scott and Stiles to drag him off and calm him down. It was almost predictable. Then again, lacrosse was a very intense game, and Liam had I.E.D.. Being a werewolf didn’t help any of that at all. I tried to keep that in mind when I burst through the doors to see the three-man dog pile.

           “Scott, we’ve got to get him into the locker room!” Stiles yelped as Liam thrashed beneath them.

           “Don’t you think I know that?” Scott growled. “He’s putting up too much of a fight… Y/N, what the hell are you doing here?”

           “I saw what was going on and figured I could help.”

           Stiles groaned.  “No offense, but I don’t think you can handle this.” Suddenly he was flying, crashing to the floor several feet away. Scott grappled onto Liam’s shoulders, but he was shoved aside.

           It all happened very fast. Liam had me by my throat, eyes blazing, teeth mashing together. I have no idea what came over me. I was just mad: mad that he had broken up with me, mad that he wouldn’t talk to me, mad that Brett had flirted with me.

           So I slapped him across the face as hard as I could muster.

           That was all it took. Liam’s yellow eyes faded to a soft blue; his lips parted as he dropped his hand, staggering backward.

           “Yeah, that’s right. Back up because I feel like hitting you again, you son of a bitch.” Scott and Stiles watched from their positions on the floor with wide eyes. Liam gulped. “Do you have any idea- no, that’s a dumb thing to say. Of course you don’t know. So let me educate you on what the past week has been like for me.

           “My first love dumps me because he eavesdropped on a conversation I was having with my friends and blows it out of freaking proportion, accusing me of cheating on him. Then he proceeds to act like a five year old and not talk to me, telling all his friends what a dirty cheater I am. To top it all off, he listens to a guy hit on me and make me uncomfortable, acting like it isn’t affecting him, but then he tries to kill the guy on the field. And then, when I come to check on him, he has the nerve to put his hand around my throat? No. I will whoop your werewolf ass right here, right now. I don’t care. Fight me, bitch.” My finger prods his chest for emphasis.

           Liam gaped. He looked like a fish out of water. Stiles was laughing softly in the background with Scott whisper-yelling at him to please shut up because it’s not that funny.

           “What?” I threw my arms out. “Don’t have anything to say? Gossiped it all away to Stiles, did you?”

           “No,” He mumbled.

           “Then what is it?”

           Liam ran his fingers through his hair, cheeks flaming. “I’m sorry.”

           I scoffed. “You’re sorry? That’s all you have to say? Sorry?” I’ll admit, I was acting like a bitch, but I was so damn mad at him. I felt like I couldn’t control myself. Besides, a small part of me thought that I was reacting just fine, that he deserved it.

           “Yes, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I didn’t listen to you, that I got jealous, that I broke up with you. I’m so freaking sorry Y/N. I was sorry the second I suggested breaking up, even more so when I saw the look on your face. And I hated myself when I walked out those doors and left you alone. I hated myself so damn much.”

           Scott and Stiles slipped out the doors behind us. I barely noticed. I was too busy watching Liam sweat. “Then why did you do it?” I raised an eyebrow.

           He flushed. “I told you; I was jealous.”

           “Of what? All I said was that he was funny. I clarified that you didn’t like him- something you continue to neglect.”

           “Yeah, okay, I’m an idiot, alright? I know. But when you said that… I mean, Brett’s tall, and I’ve been told that he’s attractive, and you think he’s funny. Plus he’s popular back at Devenford Prep. Like, everybody wants him. So when I heard you talking about him… I thought that you might want him a little, too.”

           I was shaking my head before he had even finished his sentence. “No, Liam. I want you. I’ve always wanted you, and I always will.”

           Liam looked down at his feet in utter confusion. “That’s hard for me to believe though. It doesn’t make sense to me, someone like you somehow being with me. You’re so… perfect, and I’m so… me.” I couldn’t help it. I laughed. His head came up to stare at me with disbelieving eyes. “Why are you laughing?” He asked warily.

           “Because you’re my definition of perfect. You don’t see yourself as other people do, Liam. You see someone with a disorder who became a monster. I see a strong, brave guy who has his problems and takes them in stride. You deal with them, and you move on. I really admire you for that, you know.” I stepped closer to him resting my chin against his chest. “And for the record, I find you tall. Don’t forget that. And you’re incredibly handsome- sometimes I forget where I am or what I’m saying because I get lost in your eyes. Plus, you’re hilarious. Remember that time you made me laugh so hard I peed?”

           “You mean that time I sarcastically danced like a cowboy?”

           Giggling, I squealed, “Yes! I still have it saved on my phone.” Once I had calmed down, I rubbed his arm. “And as far as popularity goes, I’m glad that you’re kind-of sort-of on the down-low. It helps keep this werewolf thing under the radar. Plus, it’d be a damn Hunger Games trying to keep girls away from you- which it already kind of is.”

           “Not true.”

           “Very true, actually. You just don’t see it. For someone with enhanced abilities, you sure are oblivious to a lot of things.”

           “Okay, now you’re just blowing sunshine up my butt.” Liam beamed as he rolled his eyes. I shook my head, “No, I’m not. I’m telling the truth. You’re perfect to me; you’re my everything.”

           Liam blushed. “I love you Y/N.”

           I smirked. “Not as much as I love you.”

           He rolled his eyes. “I highly doubt that.” Then he furrowed his eyebrows. “Does this mean we’re back together?”

           “I don’t know; do you want us to be back together?”


           “Well, then, I guess we’re back together.”

           Liam leaned down to kiss me softly. When he pulled away, he sighed happily. “Okay, now it’s time for me to go and kick Brett’s ass for flirting with my girl.”

           I cocked my head to the side. “I thought you already did that?”

           “Oh, no. That was because he asked me if I knew if Mason was free after the game.”

anonymous asked:

Hey, can you recommend me some arm exercises that I can do without equipement? thank you xoxo

Sure thing :) If you don’t have access to weights, there’s always waterbottles, books and backpacks (with books) to make the exercises more challenging.

For the biceps (muscles at the front of your upper arm)


Reverse row from a table or chair [x]

External image

For the triceps (muscles at the back of your upper arm)



For the shoulders

Backpack shoulder press

Backpack upright row

Handstands/handstand push ups (against a wall)

Also see this

Other helpful sites with good and Exrx - Most have the option to sort exercises by bodypart, difficulty and equipment, and on you can also find training plans.

I hope this helps! x