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 Lonely Night

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Jay
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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 1:45 pm

Lotte kicked a pebble, looking down to the ground at that last thing. "I get it," she said, admiring her soccer shot. "And sometimes you need to be a little selfish. I don't know, everyone is sometimes, it isn't wrong." When they reached the rock, she kicked it again, and thrice over when they came to it once more, until she looked up and saw his apartment building. That was pretty quick. Her stomach growled from the false promise of food, which she rubbed her stomach to with her metallic hand.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 4:26 pm

Dublin nodded, though he wasn't exactly sure if he believed her or not. Maybe he was just a hypocrite. It was okay when everyone else was selfish, but when he did it he beat himself up over it. He walked the rest of the way with her in silence, the only sound was the rock clattering down the street. He enjoyed how the lack of conversation between them was comfortable, how they could walk along and he didn't feel the need to fill it with pointless small talk.

Once they made it to his apartment, he saw light reflect off of something on Charlotte, and his eyes followed it. Ah. Her arm. He had yet to bring it up, and had nearly forgotten it was there. "Can I ask about that?" He asked casually as he made his way up the stairs, his eyes on her arm. He fully expected a no.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 4:30 pm

"No." It was what she got. The 'no' wasn't hurtful or curt, but rather a bit airy. She didn't seem to fault him for asking, but her answer was clear. She sighed, climbing the stairs, suddenly all too aware of the artificial hand. "It's complicated. A lot of things have happened, in and out of this school. I don't even know why I came back." She laughed a little after the last sentence, though it didn't come out with any humor. She absentmindedly began flexing her fingers when she reached their floor, no longer holding onto the banister.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 4:41 pm

Dublin nodded, having expected that answer. He didn't feel bad for asking, the same way she didn't feel bad for not answering. He too had things he didn't want to talk about. Facing away to unlock the door to his apartment, he spoke. "We've all got scars. Stories that hurt too bad to tell. Ghosts that won't let go. I think we come back here because for us, there's really no place else to go." With that, he opened the door and stepped inside, the playful smirk on his face contrasting the sad, thoughtful tone of his previous words. "Now come on, I have a bag of Doritos with my name on it." He was giving her an out, a bridge to a safer topic of conversation, if she chose to take it.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 5:54 pm

His smirk was rather silly for such an existential comment, and it caused Charlotte to stare and smile as well, standing for a moment in the hallway until he disappeared into his apartment and she followed. Ghosts that won't let go. That was more literal than he would have thought.
When he mentioned the bag of Doritos, Charlotte seemed a little hesitant. Though she was hungry, an old bag of Doritos didn't sound too good. "Anything else on the menu?" she asked uncertainly, brushing her bangs and collapsing on the couch. She took out her phone and read the time. 1:05.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 6:17 pm

Dublin had journeyed into his room and came out with the bag in his hand, three doritos stuffed in his mouth. He just heard her comment and tilted his head as the chips crunched in his mouth. "Lumme 'ee." He tried with a full mouth. Realizing that didn't come out right, he finished chewing before speaking again. "Let me see." Making his way to the kitchen, he looked around, listing off everything he saw. "I have... Bananas, orange juice, milk, one lime, mini chocolate donuts, macaroni and cheese, ramon, a frozen lasagna my mom sent me... yeah, I think that's it." He came out of the kitchen and stood there, waiting for an order. "Anything sound good?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sat May 28, 2016 6:57 pm

"Didn't your mom ever teach you to not talk with your mouth full?" she asked, looking up at him and stifling a short yawn, looking back at the screen in her hands. There was a notification. She thought it was Dublin's call not registering as having been heard for some reason or another, but a chill ran down her back as she saw 'Mom.' It was a text message from thirty minutes before. What convenient timing. Her lips became pursed and crooked, her face entering a brief shade of red, and when Dublin appeared, she put the phone away.

The whole list sounded tantalizing, but her eyes lit up especially at 'mini chocolate donuts.' "Donuts!" she said, a little louder than she meant to. She decided to roll with it, and kept up the tone. "Gimme, gimme!" She really wanted those donuts.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 29, 2016 7:21 pm

Dublin shrugged. "My mom taught me a lot of things, but I've never been good at following rules." All of the Andrews children were a bit of a handful, but Dublin was fairly certain he had been the worst. None of the other kids had as much of a record as him, and he had made his parent's lives a living hell for a while there.

When Charlotte made her decision, Dublin couldn't stop the smile from spreading across his face. He watched her for a moment before heading back into the kitchen and grabbing the bag. Making his way back into his small living room, he tossed her the bag before taking the seat beside her on the couch. "Sorry I don't have much else. If you start coming by more, I might have to start stocking my kitchen."

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Sun May 29, 2016 7:46 pm

Charlotte took the bag easily, raising the arch of her legs the fit Dublin on the couch. The light in her eyes were still there, but it faded a little along with her smile as she fingered the volume button of her phone, the device facedown on her stomach. So she got a text from her mom. It was almost as late in Phoenix as it was in North Dakota. What was she messaging her for? Was it about Emery? Was she okay? Thinking about her sister, Charlotte swung her legs to the floor. She looked over to the boy next to her.

"Excuse me, I'm going to use the bathroom," she said, figuring she could find it on her own. She stood and, unlocking her phone, found the small lavatory and shut the door. A few taps later, she leaned against the sink, and read the message that appeared on her screen.

Emery won't talk to us. Well, she hasn't talked for a long time, but she won't talk to us because of you. Why don't you come back home? You're hurting your sister, and you're hurting us. She and dad had a fight, and the cops were called.

We love you. Come back, please, and we can work this out. We don't want to lose you again, nor do you want to lose your sister.

Mom.


There was something about the deceitful sentimentality, the way the guilting intermingled with the professions of caring. She thought of her sister, alone in her room, unable to contact her. Her mother bought Emery a new phone. Her mother changed Emery's phone number. Her mother blocked Lotte's phone number.

There was something about hearing from her sister again, thinking about how much she pitied herself for being alone, when really it was her younger sibling that was alone. What kind of big sister was she? What kind of adult was she? She was nothing more than a child.

Tears fell on the screen. She couldn't help but cry. Why did her mother have to message her? Why did she have to break the facade that everything was for the best?

She thought of going back home.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 5:24 pm

They sat in silence for a while, the only sound was the crunch of chips in Dublin's mouth, preoccupying him from attempting conversation. From time to time, he glanced over at Charlotte and studied her as she fiddled with her phone. He knew that look. The 'I'm really dreading whatever this is going to be' look. Still, Dublin knew better than to ask. The more time he spent with Charlotte, the more he realized they both had plenty of demons of their own. And neither of them were ready to share.

She got up, and he watched her go, frowning as she retreated to the bathroom. He needed to let her deal with whatever problem she was facing on her own. Still, he couldn't stop the worry gathering inside him. It gave him an uneasy feeling in his chest, and he really didn't understand why he cared so much.

After a few minutes, he couldn't take it any longer. Pulling himself up from the couch and tossing the chips to the side, he made his way to his only bathroom. As an afterthought, he worried about whether or not it was clean. For a moment he stood outside the door, uncertain if he should check on her. Would it be rude? Intrusive? He leaned back and forth on the front of his feet in a jittery nervous gesture. Then he heard a sniffle from within, and knew his suspicions were correct. He stepped forward, knocking on the door. "Charlotte? Are you alright?" He asked, uncertainty creeping into his voice without his consent. He waited for a reply from the other side of the door.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 8:01 pm

The knock startled her. It was weird, the human cry. She could not stop herself from descending into a sob, no matter how muffled she made it or how far she tried to suppress it, but as soon as the knock game and shot a pulse through her heart, the will to cry stopped. Eyes still teary, she found the toilet paper roll and began to wipe them, holding back the urge to sniff. She rubbed an eye with a fatigued paw. "Yeah," came her voice, wobbly, "I just saw a spider, is all, it kinda freaked me out. No biggie, give me a moment--..."

Charlotte turned on the sink, and began to wash her face, pocketing the phone. She felt like crap. There was a sudden fatigue that spelled her, like she'd taken a nighttime allergy pill. She dried her face and looked at her reflection. It was as good as she was going to get. Her eyes were a tint red, almost orange in their lightness. She rubbed them, but no luck; if anything it made them worse. Sighing and taking a moment to slap herself lightly on the cheek, she exited the bathroom.

"What time is it?" she immediately asked wearily, not wanting to withdraw her phone and get the answer. It was an attempt to change the subject rapidly, to anything before he could inquire what was up or why her eyes seemed a little more sparkly than they did before the bathroom break. "It must be late."

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 8:50 pm

Dublin didn't believe her excuse for a second. When she opened the door, he immediately noticed her red eyes and slightly puffy face. And he had heard her. But it was better to keep pretending like nothing was wrong than to bring up something she obviously didn't want to talk about. "Yeah, sorry. Loads of spiders in this place. The little fuckers don't even pay rent, either." It wasn't true, he'd seen two spiders max in his apartment since he moved in.

Dublin tried to hide the sympathy in his eyes as she carried on as if she was fine. He understood that well enough. He'd had to go through the same song and dance many of times before. He didn't even point out that she could have easily looked at the phone for the time, instead glancing at the watch on his wrist. "2:12. Shit, I didn't realize it had gotten so late. Are you tired? You can stay here if you don't feel like going home." He told her, figuring she probably didn't feel like carrying on with their impromptu hang out.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 9:06 pm

Charlotte giggled at the rent comment. She laughed so freely she wiped her eye with the back of her hand, her flesh hand, and nodded. "Perhaps I should stay here," she said solemnly, in a low voice that hinted fatigue and a lesser spirit, one perhaps brought by the lethargy or something else entirely; her eyes seemed unkindled. That bathroom was a portal that took away the flame, a bucket of icewater; her smile was thin and earnest, though, and she almost looked serene. Where her face was once red from crying was now a moonlit pallid--she was always too pale for a Phoenix girl--save for dapples around her eyes, which grew pink in waves along her eyelashes and in the crest of her nose. "You have extra pillows and blankets?"

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 9:38 pm

Dublin smiled along with her, thankful that he had at least gotten one honest laugh out of her. He hoped that would lift her spirits a bit. The red had faded from her face, leaving her pale and solemn. He couldn't help but think she looked beautiful like that. Achingly real with all the imperfections of crying still evident on her face. It was refreshing, a kind of beauty he wasn't used to.

He didn't realize he was staring until she spoke again, snapping him out of his slight daze. "Yeah, I should, but you can stay in my bed if you want." There was a beat before he realized what he said implied, and his cheeks lit up. "I mean, I can stay on the couch, and you take the bed. Not um..." He rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "I don't mind." He finished with a shrug.

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PostSubject: Re: Lonely Night   Tue May 31, 2016 9:49 pm

Charlotte admittedly misinterpreted him initially; the red across her nose bathed to her cheeks and she smiled a crooked smirk, a sleepy smirk, her eyelids still heavy. "No," she yawned. "I wouldn't be able to sleep then if I stole your bed," she said, finishing her yawn with a cough that seemed to almost throw her off her feet. She rubbed her eye once more. "Come on, before I fall sleep on the spot."

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