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 Lonely Night

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Jay
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PostSubject: Lonely Night   Sun May 15, 2016 7:10 pm

Charlotte lay on her couch, eyes up, looking out the window of her small apartment. She saw the moon, its wondrous form, towering silently over her residence like a flag of dominion. It reminded her she was tethered to reality. It was a weird thing, not being tethered to reality. She'd experienced it well so soon before, when she had been cooped up in that insane asylum to the loudness of her own head. It was awful, the worst two years of her life by multiplicative degrees, but the trivial worries of living didn't exist there. She didn't have to worry about her next bill or social responsibilities in there. Through the mayhem and horror she only had to worry about surviving. The worst struggles were simple ones. All other struggles faded away.

When she was tethered again through a new facet of her power, a new command that saved her life at the cost of her hand, she thought it'd be tranquil. In ways, it was, but in ways, she found herself again at the mercy of trivial things. In the asylum, there was one problem, that insane fucking voice, the thing that wouldn't go away in her ears. In the real world, it was little pinpricks in subsitute for the claymore, harder to dodge and wholly uncomfortable. They would not kill her quick, and maybe not kill her at all. They were there to torture her. She had a paycheck to pick up from the school office, a lunch period to monitor, groceries to get, clothes to watch, friends to have. It was a marathon she was taken from halfway through, a metronomic cycle she lost the rhythm of. Everyone got the hang of normal life after being exposed to it, but she, she was pushed off the treadmill. It was hard to hop back on when it was in such a full swing. Everything about life was so complicated.

The moon was her tether. She no longer felt the spirits' eyes on that side of the ether, but she felt the moon's.

Charlotte blinked out of her entrancement, her metallic hand twitching under her stomach. She had been sitting stomach-down, her chin resting on the arm of the small couch. Perhaps it was the craning of her neck that broke her thought process, the numbness of the arm dangling to the floor. She straightened up, massaging the parts of her body that hurt.

It was a hot day in North Dakota. Though night had taken its hold, the humid air never left the small town, and the air conditioning system in her building was more than broke. Cicadas buzzed on the backs of heat waves, tendrils of moisture wafting through the room's windows without a breeze to carry them. The dull whirr of a fan carried across the room from beside the television, and Charlotte sat dazed and dreary in a tanktop and shorts. Had she been in the same clothes all day? Sundays meant no work, and no work meant no anything.

She missed Jace.

Her phone sat on the redwood nightstand by her couch, unlit by incoming traffic. She frowned. She gave Dublin her number, and he hadn't called her since. She brought her feet up on the couch and hugged her legs, watching the television absentmindedly and thinking about the night as it transpired. Were they not hitting it off as much as she thought? She found it fun, but did he? The girl tried dismally to regain her former cheer, her social tact and charm, but she felt that maybe it was like Ethel. Maybe it was a ghost from her past life, one that faded with her admittance to the asylum. The girl signed, burying her mouth into her knees and ignoring the sweat on her lip that came from it. She should have gotten his number. Maybe she'd call him.

Maybe she'd invite him over.

Was it too late to hang out? It had only gotten dark an hour or so before.

Perhaps it was too muggy.

Perhaps he didn't like her.

The girl picked up her phone, clicking the homekey and activating the home menu. She pressed the camera app, and took a few snaps of the large moon outside her window. Then, placing her phone down on the table, she lay down adjacent.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 15, 2016 7:57 pm

The moon washed over a nearly empty room, casting it in blue light. Dublin lay on his bed with his head hanging off the end, his brown eyes glazed over and his body feeling light. He closed his eyes hard, trying to calm his racing mind. Unfortunately, every time he closed his eyes, he saw headlights flashing, heard a single gasp before the sound of metal being crushed around him, felt the pain course through every part of his body, felt glass shatter around him and little shards litter his skin. When he opened his eyes, he thought he could hear her whimpers as she slowly drifted away. He thought he could pinpoint the exact moment she died, and he could count every second before the ambulance arrived and pulled him out of the wreckage. In fact, he was sure he could.

He lived through it every day.

Sighing, he sat up and crushed the lit end of the blunt between the pads of his fingers, tilting his head as he vaguely felt the pain of the fire dying inside. Weed had only made him feel light, it did nothing to rid him of his memories. Not that he had expected it to. He didn't even know why he tried to forgot anymore, he still spent every night lost in the same dream.

He knew it was his fault. It hadn't been as bad at school. There, he had something to distract himself with. He had the comforting knowledge that three other people were in the same dorm, that he wasn't completely alone in his thoughts. He had classes to attempt to focus on, people he was forced to interact with every day. Now he had small things he had to do, but the majority of his time was spent with himself, free to reflect on life. A dangerous blessing Dublin did not need. Maybe if he wasn't so alone, he wouldn't dwell so much on the past.

Still, it was late and he didn't want to disturb his family. His parents would surely be in bed, and Preston and Verona were at school anyway. Then he remembered. He looked at his arm, but the number that had once been there had since been washed off. If he looked closely, he could see a faint blue mark on his skin, but other than that, it was unreadable.

Luckily, he had put the number into his phone as soon as she had left. He grabbed his phone from his bedside and found her contact. Charlotte. He stared at it for a while, debating. Dublin glanced at the time. 9:56 PM. She probably wasn't asleep, but what if she was? What if he woke her? And what would he even say? He could ask her to come over, take his mind off his pain. But maybe just a phone call would suffice. Making up his mind, Dublin pressed the dial button, noticing a slight pain in his finger. Oh yeah.

He listened to each ring before they abruptly stopped and she answered. "Charlotte?" His voice was a bit rough, and he realized he hadn't talked to anyone in days.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 15, 2016 8:28 pm

Her ringtone was a foreign sort of sweetness to her. She knew the little tune, but only for its rarity. If it rang, she knew someone was there for her; it'd been so long since even her parents contacted her, what with her return to the school. She perked up, looking to see the phone lit up in a nighttime blue. Picking it up, she saw an unregistered number under the late hour. 9:56. Accept call?

She pressed the green button, and a silent moment brought the phone to her ear. She didn't speak first, as a voice interrupted hers before she had time to say hello. It was him. Who else would it be? She smiled a giddy and stupid smile to herself and gave a fleeting glance to the eavesdropping moon, pinching her tired eyes with her free hand and resting her forehead against its palm. "Hey." Her voice was also rough, in a same sort of unused murmur. Behind her was the faint murmur of late night television and a fan on high. "What's up?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 15, 2016 9:08 pm

Even hearing another voice made him feel worlds better. Still, he hadn't thought over what he'd actually say to her, and he panicked and said the first thing that came to mind. "Do you want to come over?" He blurted, flushing a little after he said it. He hadn't meant to actually ask her that, but he couldn't exactly take it back now. His words were slow and deep and yeah, maybe he was a bit more under the influence than he thought he had been. "Uhh, if you're like, not busy, and stuff."

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 15, 2016 9:30 pm

He wanted her to come over? Charlotte looked over at the digital clock on the table to make sure what time it was. Yep, it was 9:56. She flushed a little as well, removing the palm from her now-red forehead. "Isn't it a little late?" Though it was an accusatory question, she said it with a smirk, and a little giggle. "Sure. Let me get dressed and I'll be right over."

Charlotte took an hour to get ready. Despite the late night, she took a shower to get the day's humidity off her, and put on decent streetclothes, despite doing so in the night glow. She felt like a factory worker rising before dawn, and left her house when everyone was sound inside. 11:15 pm. She walked the streets of Rosebury slowly and serenely, taking in the small town like she'd never seen it. She didn't feel in danger; the girl felt safer than she'd ever been, going to see a friend and walking in the bask of a new perspective. She smiled. No one passed her on the street. She arrived at Dublin's apartment almost forgetting the number, but knocked on his door at 11:35. Less than thirty minutes from midnight. She'd probably be asleep by then.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 17, 2016 9:14 am

Dublin hadn't thought this through. When she actually agreed, he panicked a bit. Did he need to put on pants? Probably. Did his apartment smell like weed? Probably. He shot up and stumbled, nearly tripped over an astray jacket making his way to his closet. After throwing on some acceptable clothes and running his hands through his hair in a last ditch effort to make himself look slightly more presentable, he glanced at his alarm clock. 10:18.

With the apartment now smelling of vanilla thanks to the plethora of candles his grandmother gave him every year, Dublin tidied up a bit to get rid of anxious energy. At 11:35, he heard a faint knock on the door. Opening it, he smiled softly when his eyes landed on his guest. With tired eyes and messy hair, he was sure he looked a bit different from their first meeting. "Hey, come in." He gestured her inside and stepped back.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 17, 2016 3:44 pm

When the door opened, Charlotte was taken aback by the wafting scent of vanilla, as well as how well-dressed he was for so late at night. Granted, she was too, but she had come to him having crossed town. "Hey," she said, holding her bag across her jeans. She walked in past him and looked around. It seemed a bit tidier than it was when she was last there. "Lots of candles here."

Charlotte collapsed bowlegged on a kitchen chair and looked up at him, letting her bag hit the floor. She looked up at him with a soft, equally tired smile. "What'd you want me for?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Thu May 19, 2016 6:47 pm

"Heeey." He rubbed at his dry eyes, reminding himself to get eye drops at some point. At the candles comment, he flushed a little and rubbed his neck. "I have too many. My grandma gives me one as a gift every year and soon they're gonna overthrow me so I thought I'd like, use them up." Shrugging nonchalantly, he made his way where she made herself at home and leaned against the counter edge.

Good question. He couldn't really give her an answer that didn't sound depressing or sexual, so he felt himself shrug again. And the truth- Oh you know, I got high and impulsively called you because I was deep in my feels and didn't want to kill myself or something. probably wasn't a good second meeting topic. "I didn't want to be alone tonight. Was boring." He settled with, looking at his feet. It was the truth at least, albeit the watered down version. "You know, most people wouldn't have come over at this time of night anyway if I asked."

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Fri May 20, 2016 3:43 pm

Charlotte shifted in her seat. So he turned the question on her. I guess we're both kind of losers," she said with a laugh, squeezing her hands between her legs. "Candles are a little odd, though." She gave a youthful, teasing grin, flashes of her own self appearing through the cracks of her mature facade. Suddenly, her nose seemed to twitch, and she narrowed her eyes. The corners of her mouth still stayed upturned; she looked sly, like a smooth detective. "You've been smoking, huh?"

She jumped up and snapped, or at least tried to, with a start of realization. "That's why there are candles!" It all made sense.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Fri May 20, 2016 6:07 pm

"I guess we are." He enjoyed how smooth and casual the conversation was going, and with it he was already beginning to feel better. But when he noticed the realization dawn in her eyes, and saw her jump up and accuse him, he paled. Forcing out a laugh, Dublin did his best to appear amused, but there was an obvious nervousness and embarrassment about his demeanor. "Jeez Charlotte, can't a guy just like vanilla candles? Is that such a crime?" Another laugh, this one pathetically fake and really, Dublin was a horrible liar. He really needed to work on that.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Fri May 20, 2016 7:16 pm

Charlotte saw right through him, and said nothing at first, eyeing him with a look of self-congratulations. It was replaced with the contorted wince of a sudden yawn, and she brought her backhand to her mouth as a deep groan arose from her. It had hit the AM. She looked up at the clock intently, and sat down. "You think anywhere is open right now?" She knew there was a diner, but there weren't many options in the town and she couldn't count on much people being awake at the hour. The answer to her question was probably 'no.' "I'm sure you've got the munchies or something. That's what happens when you're high, right?" As an upper-middle class suburban white girl, it wasn't really something she'd gotten in contact with. Shew'd had a good amount of drugs, but they were mostly tranquilizers and medical sedatives. She had a morphine addiction for a few weeks, but that was long gone.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 21, 2016 4:28 pm

Dublin's first thought was to worry about whether she'd look down on him. It wouldn't bother him too much, he was used to that, but he didn't want to lose a blooming friendship because of his hobbies. But instead of judging him or getting upset, she simply looked proud of herself for solving the mystery. And when she recommended getting something to eat at midnight because of his munchies, he couldn't hold back the laughter that bubbled in his throat. His cheeks were still a little pink, but he was much more relaxed now. "Yeah, that is a thing that happens when you're high. Food just tastes better in general. And you know I have like, zero choices here, so if you want to go walk around and see we can." He wasn't thinking about the time, as he was used to staying up later than this every night.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 21, 2016 7:31 pm

Charotte's mouth straightened as she thought of his suggestion. It was a small town, and all the lights were off the last time she looked. Still, he said he didn't have much food there, something she saw for herself when she cooked a few nights prior. It would be fun to walk around town for him, maybe kill a few hours with someone before she went to bed. "Sure," she said with a small smile, a smile that showed she made up her mind. "The convenience store may be open."

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 21, 2016 8:07 pm

Dublin nodded when she agreed, and started to go find his jacket. "Great. We can go and see. If not, no harm done." He wasn't even all that hungry. He had a bag of Doritos that he'd nearly finished off and if he remembered correctly the last place he'd had it was in his bed. It would be waiting for him if he came back empty handed.

Grabbing the leather jacket he'd nearly tripped on earlier, he walked back out of his room as he shoved it on and made his way to the door, opening it for his guest. "Hey, thanks for doing this, by the way." She'd only been in his presence a few minutes and yet he was already starting to feel better.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 21, 2016 9:10 pm

"No problem." When Charlotte stood, she stretched with her hands shooting to the ceiling, stifling another yawn as if she were exhausted. Despite this, though, her eyes were wide and catlike. She looked nocturnal, like she was always awake at that time. "To tell you the truth, I have kinda been waiting by the phone the past few days." She put a finger to her mouth, and walked out the door he opened for her. She decided to leave her bag at his place, but took one thing: her camera. She went nowhere without her camera, especially when a good album seemed readily available to her. She put the strap around her neck and grasped it in her hands.

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