until you see a photo of a celebrity who fits the bill

Where She Went

[PART TWO]

pairing: daveed diggs x reader

summary: daveed and reader were high school sweethearts who had a bad breakup before they both left oakland. four years have passed and fate (and a well-timed cello concert) bring them face-to-face.

warnings: swearing. that’s really it.

word count: 2,504

a/n: day three of @hamwriters write-a-thon is lit day :-) based on the novel “where she went” by gayle forman which is actually a sequel to “if i stay” but i do what i want. this is in Daveed’s POV because the original book is in the guy’s POV, and i’m planning on posting a second part on POV day so be on the lookout for that. okay love u happy reading


“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for flying with us today and enjoy your time in the Big Apple.”

Daveed unclips his seatbelt as the other passengers begin to file off the plane, standing to grab his carry-on from the overhead compartment. It’s the only bag he packed, because he’s only in the city for 24 hours. Tour starts in two days, and his manager had all but physically forced him onto the plane to NYC.

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On Falling Stars


Until this past Monday, I’d never heard of the rape charges/statutory rape allegations against David Bowie. After posting about an experience I (sort of) had with the legendary singer when I was a child, a friend posted a link to the allegations which led me down a rabbit hole of “groupie” stories, memoir excerpts, internet manifestos etc. etc.  

I had to stop propping artists I adored on pedestals long ago. I have learned far too often that great artists do not equal great people. I do not buy the music/merchandise of or go to movies directed by/starring/produced by known sexual predators (or any other oppressive people for that matter.) Choosing to not pay their light bills is what helps me sleep at night. I don’t condemn others who take a different route than me. (Though sometimes I’ll come across an allegiance to a shitty celebrity that thoroughly astonishes me.)
 
Due to this new (to me) information, I decided to hide an Instagram photo of David Bowie along with a memory I had posted of him from my Facebook timeline. It was an easy step. One click and it was done. Of course, the story is still true. The event is still terrifying and spectacular, but I just don’t feel right keeping his face on my page.  

That said, I have a different story I want to share. One I’d held in my body for quite some time, only recently telling it to a friend who, in turn, encouraged me to write on it…
 
- - -  
 
I was assaulted by a man I hardly knew back in 2000. He was a mutual friend of a friend who quickly became infatuated with “saving” me—a lowly single mother of two. This struggling tattooed damsel!  

In retrospect, I see him as someone who repeatedly ignored boundaries. Though at the time, I just thought of him as sad & desperate. Not really dangerous. What unsettles me is that I was willing to settle into my discomfort instead of cut him off.

It started when he lied to my friend and got her to give him the keys to my car. Her car was out of commission so she was borrowing mine. He showed up at her place of employment and said I wanted him to take my car. He then paid to have its interior completely detailed. Sounds nice, right? I was a single mom with two kids and a full-time job. Imagine the layers of petrified fries and crumbs and action figures mixed in with broken crayons and empty juice boxes stowed in every crevice and corner of my car. GROSS.  

Only, he didn’t have my permission to do that. He knew I’d say no if he asked. I didn’t WANT all my punk rock stickers removed from the dashboard. I didn’t want the hot glue gun’d rhinestones scraped from my radio dial. It was MY CAR to be dirty and STAY dirty.  

I was livid. I’d known this guy maybe a week, and he was attempting to “correct” my ways. I wasn’t the adult he needed me to be. I didn’t “fit” his idea of how a wife should present herself to the world. He always spoke of our future which was extremely troubling to me because WE WERE NOT TOGETHER. There wasn’t even a hint of a future. Plus his mix tapes were horrible.  
 
Over the next six weeks, the gifts kept coming. A box of long-stemmed roses on my desk at work. A basket of cookies and a new telephone left on my porch (my phone had broken leaving him no way to contact me once I got off work, much to his alarm.) Concert tickets and chocolates and toys for my kids…    

One time, a girlfriend was marveling at his tenacity. “Eh, I’m not into him,” I said, “it’s weird that he’s doing all this.” She looked confused. “You mean, you won’t even consider trying to date him?”    
 
I answered honestly. “No. I’m not attracted to him one bit.” She accused me of being shallow. I could see in her face she was truly mad at me. I started to feel guilty.  
 
Understand, I’d just left a five-year relationship with someone who was physically abusive. My head was truly not in any place to try and navigate a relationship. Especially one with a dude who latched on so hard & fast. But then I worried that I was treating HIM poorly because he wasn’t treating me the horrible ways I’d grown accustomed to.   

And because I felt obligated. Because the gifts seemed harmless. Because he manipulated me by saying, “My friends don’t like you. They think you’re after my money.” (????, he was unemployed)  I finally agreed to let him come over and make me dinner.  
 
Looking back, I confuse my own self. I had ZERO interest in him. But he was also doing every “romantic” textbook thing. How dare I not appreciate such chivalry? I won’t get into the actual event, but just know the entire time, I felt obligated. Felt pressured into being POLITE. Worst of all, I felt like I’d sound like an ungrateful bitch if I said no, so instead, I fell silent. I rolled my eyes and sighed heavily. I think I even took the remote and changed the channel a few times. Thankfully, he struggled so much with my lack of response and his…physical lacking, I eventually just rolled out of bed and walked out.    
 
The next day, I got a vicious email from a friend of his. A woman I’d never met, saying, “You broke my friend’s heart you fucking welfare cunt. If I ever see you I’ll break your face.”  
 
“How John Hughes of you,” I replied. Then blocked her ass.     
 
- - -  
 
Eleven years later, in 2011, I received an email from an unknown sender.  
 
It was him. Attempting to make amends. He apologized for his behavior, though only for “that night.” In retrospect, he understood it was assault. That I had done everything in that moment to show I was “not into it.” He hoped I could forgive him, but understood if I did not. He assured me I was under no obligation to respond.  
 
I replied in four lines. Here are two of them:  
 
“Let me be frank: I have been assaulted a number of times in my life…and, while I appreciate your efforts to make things right, your dick was so goddamn small I never even counted it.”    

A decade after that fucked up night, as the cursor blinked in the reply window on my computer monitor, I was given the opportunity to go straight for my assailant’s jugular, pointing out the most obvious, devastating truth he held in regards to his manhood. (He mentioned its size repeatedly that night, as both apology and lure - he wanted me to say it WASN’T small. I chose to remain silent.)    
 
I understand I am lucky. What happened to me on that specific night was not this spiritually devastating event that left my soul clawing out of my body into the muds of despair. It pissed me off and sickened me, yes, but it didn’t do what the other times would do: when I was drugged, when I was penetrated awake from a sound sleep, when I wasn’t present enough to survive it. 
 
- - -  
 
It’s true, too. I never called it assault until now. 
 
- - -  

 
Sometimes, there is power in un-naming a thing.    
 
- - -   

The child groupie who lost her virginity to David Bowie doesn’t consider it rape. Four decades later, the now-grown woman contends it was just the culture of the free-loving 70s. Things were different back then! “I feel blessed,” she is quoted as saying in a recent interview. And that’s okay.  
 
I call it something else. But I’m not here to name things for her.
 
 Instead, I’ve chosen to opt out of memorializing her assailant publicly. This doesn’t make Bowie’s art less meaningful to people. It doesn’t mean his art didn’t affect me. (Is this where I mention Grace Jones was and remains a far more bold and innovative artist?) It just means, simply, I am willing to believe in corruption and the fangs of wealth. I am also willing to believe we can fail or terrorize each other over and over and still manage to recover and become better people if we work hard enough to recover, as both victims and assailants. Believing there is only one way to respond to rape is our first mistake. It’s a soft ignorance that hardens like a nail in our tongues. Many people have said rape is not about sex, but power. But this leaves it to only have one face. And as someone who has looked that monster in the eye three times, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the monster has MANY heads. It is a shapeshifter. It can be armless, all teeth and hiss. Or it can be a quiet, unspeaking thing. What matters most to me is that I believe in my own recovery, that I know there is a brilliant life beyond each terrible thing that has derailed me. If I lack faith in men because of it, fine. If I never drive down a Maple Street again, so be it. If I want to strip the dignity from my assailant with a cunty email, fabulous!  
 
Our survival and healing depends on this small permission - we must must must only ever be left to heal in a way that most resembles who we want to be.
 


[Fic] Arion Photography

Title: Arion Photography

Rating: T (mild language)

Pairing: Jason Grace x Nico di Angelo; mild!Frank Zhang x Hazel Levesque; implied!Annabeth Chase x Reyna Avila Ramirez-Arellano; implied!Piper McLean x Travis Stoll 

Genre: Fluff; Humor; Romance

Summary: Octavian’s being a butt. Nico needs to cover his butt. And Jason needs to cover up. Or not. Seriously–either or. 

Notes: Based on this drawing and what tinybro said about that drawing and we all just wanted dorks lbr

There were pros and cons to moving out to California to be closer to his sister. 

 

Pros: Moving in meant free living with Hazel and her husband Frank while Nico figured out what he wanted to do with his life. 

 

Cons: For some reason, Frank wasn’t any less afraid of Nico than he had been when Nico gave Hazel away during the wedding. (Their father was a busy man who hadn’t been in their lives since they were thirteen. For the longest time, Nico forgot what their father looked like. Between meeting Hazel and Bianca’s death, Nico’d only seen Hades once, which was during the funeral.) 

 

Nico had nothing against Frank. Aside from his choice in best men, Frank was a really good guy, and Nico was looking forward to tonight when Hazel would tell her husband that she was seven weeks pregnant with their first child. 

 

Pros: Hazel had an amazing job. She insisted that for the time being for Nico not to worry about paying any bills and assured him that she was just happy that he moved out to Cali. 

 

Cons: They only had one car to share. Nico fought her until she let him help out for payments, but aside from that, they usually spent the mornings dividing up errands for the day and prioritizing who needed the car more than the other for the day.

 

So after Nico did the grocery shopping for the promised super-romantic meal he said he would make for the Big Night, he took the freeway to Arion Photography and parked his car in Hazel’s usual spot.

 

“Hey,” he said as he made it through the door. As soon as the light hit him, he grimaced, and sought out his sister through the throng of people.

 

“Hey!” she practically squealed as she saw him. Not to Nico, though. To the bag of goodies. “You bring beef jerky?”

 

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