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 OH BOTHER, ft. August
May 23 2017, 06:23 AM
she/her
twenty


animal morphing
retail assistant
noor c. k. chadhar
Alice [she/they] • 84 posts


B
eing an adult was hard. Noor always found herself failing at the most menial of tasks. She'd shivered through half of winter after forgetting to buy a new winter coat. She'd forgotten to lock the front door more times than she could count, and her rent was never on time.

So, in the spirit of things, grocery shopping was never a priority. Whenever Noor got around to doing it, she filled her cupboards with cereal and pretty fruits that she found at the Indian supermarket. So, every couple of months, the need to buy actual food became particularly pressing and Noor would rush off to the nearest supermarket to stock up on the essentials that she'd been going without for weeks. Yes, it was impractical, but did that mean that Noor was going to try and change? No.

The thing was, it was all so boring. Buying grains and almond milk and vegetables wasn't particularly stimulating for Noor's mind. She could usually perk herself up by buying a tub of diary-free ice cream or a box of grapes to eat on the way home, but that day, she found something a lot more interesting: a man. He looked positively heartbroken (although Noor did have a tendency to exaggerate) as he talked to someone on the phone.

After tossing a box of porridge into her cart, Noor sidled up to the man in an attempt to listen in on his conversation. She was sad to find that he seemed to have already hung up. Had someone died, she wondered? Or was simply he having a bad day? "Excuse me?" asked Noor, "are you okay?" She knew that some might have thought that it was inappropriate to approach a stranger who most likely could have done with some time alone. But, she was a) nosy and B) genuinely concerned. @august m. glass

May 26 2017, 11:34 PM
he/him
twenty-five


gyrokenisis
stripper
august m. glass
apple [she/her] • 41 posts


august glass
When August had told Orson, the best friend who'd simultaneously ruined his life and made it worth living, that he would always be there for him, he hadn't quite meant to be interrupted while grocery shopping with an emotional phone call. It was hard, having Orson back in town again. August was trying to be supportive and a good friend, to live up to his promises, but he couldn't deny that it was painful too. Orson had come back because he'd divorced his wife, that girl he'd been with since high school, no matter how August eyed them with jealousy. He'd wanted so badly for that girl to be gone, and now that she was, he couldn't help but feel guilty.

Even when she was gone, she was all Orson wanted to talk about. August understood he was going through a rough time and needed to let it out. But really, it didn't do anything but remind August of just how far they'd drifted apart, and just how impossible his hopes had always been. "Yeah, Orson, I know. I remember that," August answered, a reply that did little more than fill in space. He'd been standing in the produce aisle for a solid fifteen minutes, hoping people would think he was just deeply concerned about the price of apples these days. Orson had been talking, maybe feeling freed now that they weren't face to face, about all these memories he had of his ex-wife. August was fed up with hearing about her and their perfect life together. It didn't exist anymore, but that didn't seem to matter. Orson didn't seem keen on moving on just yet. Not that he would move on to August if he did.

"Hey, listen, just pause for a minute, okay? I've got to go, but I'll come over tonight? You can cry on my shoulder and whatnot then......Yeah, yeah I know you're not crying, sure buddy. I'll see you." August hung up quickly, feeling like he would be trapped again if he waited too long. Orson's voice was such a paradox. August found it soothing and peaceful, but the words he said could be like a stab to the heart. He sighed deeply, like he was starving for air, like the world was pressing down on him with all its weight. He'd fucked things up so badly here.

And then, there was a girl. "What?" August asked out of reflex, looking up from where the ended call sat on his phone to her face. He'd been asked something, hadn't he? "Oh, um, yeah. I'm fine." What a total lie, he hadn't even bothered to make it sound like truth. He kind of recognized her, he went to this store all the time when he needed to buy food, and he thought she might have been here a few times too. He'd come here wanting to cook for Orson tonight and try to cheer him up, or maybe show off a little. But then things had spiraled and now August was the one in a not so good mood. "It's nothing, really. But thank you." That was August, polite even when he was hurting. It was so like him. Giving himself up always just so others would be happy.

Jun 5 2017, 09:22 PM
she/her
twenty


animal morphing
retail assistant
noor c. k. chadhar
Alice [she/they] • 84 posts


N
oor believed that she knew a broken heart when she saw one. She believed a lot of things, though, and few of them had any substance behind them. But, she recognised the defeated expression, the sad line of the shoulders – even the “I’m fine”. Even if the stranger wasn’t reeling from a broken heart, he was sad about something, and like most of the rot in the world, it had to be manmade.

Noor levelled the stranger with a look, trying to decipher what he meant when he told her that he was “fine”. It hadn’t occurred to her that even if he was hurting, he might not want to cry about it to a stranger. All Noor could think was that holding things in wasn’t good for the soul. She never held anything in.

”Babe,” she began, leaning on her shopping cart as if she was about to tell him a well-kept secret. Now that Noor looked at the man properly, she thought she recognised him. This wasn’t the first time that they’d passed each other in the cereal aisle, but it was the first time that Noor had paid any attention to him. That was hard to believe; he was cute. Very cute. ”You don’t look fine.”

In a rare burst of sombreness, Noor added, ”I’d feel terrible if it turned out I could help you, but didn’t. Are you sure you’re okay?” He didn’t even have to tell her what was wrong, but if he needed to borrow a couple of cents for the bus home, or get someone’s unbiased opinion on something, then Noor was his girl. She tried to do one good deed every day. Even if she didn’t always succeed, at least her intentions were solid and good. @august m. glass


Jun 14 2017, 01:17 AM
he/him
twenty-five


gyrokenisis
stripper
august m. glass
apple [she/her] • 41 posts


august glass
August sighed and shook his head, slipping his phone back into his pocket instead of continuing to stare at it longingly. It seemed much like him, this girl didn't really let things go. Not letting things go but not letting them out was a volatile situation to be in, and August found himself in just such a pickle. He was liable to explode at any moment from all this pent up emotion. But doing so in the middle of a grocery store to a woman he'd barely met was probably not the wisest thing. Having a meltdown between the potatoes and the tomatoes was a whole new level of pathetic, and August really didn't want to reach that.

"Alright..." August hedged, knowing he hadn't been convincing, but not wanting to worry her too much either. She seemed nice and probably didn't deserve a long venting session about his problems. "I suppose I'm not fine. It's kinda...complicated." Complicated was an understatement. This whole situation was just one big mess, and Orson only knew the half of it. He was going through a tough time already, adding August into the fray would only make things worse. He was supposed to be helping his friend, not hopelessly crushing on him.

"I'm sorry, I've just got a lot to deal with. But it's nothing for you to worry about. I'm sorry if I made you worry," August said, putting his walls back up and hiding behind them, like he'd done for years. He was really bad at letting people break them down, even people he'd known a long time or cared about. It was scary, the thought of being rejected or laughed at. He eyed the girl who'd stopped to check on him. It was nice of her, she seemed genuine. "Can I ask you something kinda personal?" He wondered, feeling impulsive. Maybe someone he didn't know at all was exactly the kind of person he needed right now. He didn't really wait for a confirmation before continuing on. "Say you loved someone, but you knew they'd never love you back. What would you do?" August felt like he'd tried everything at this point, and simply moving on was a plan that crumbled into pieces the second he'd seen Orson's face. It was impossible. Feelings like that didn't disappear overnight, or even over several years apparently. August didn't think he'd ever be over Orson. But how could he keep being just his friend and wanting so much more?

Jun 19 2017, 07:40 PM
she/her
twenty


animal morphing
retail assistant
noor c. k. chadhar
Alice [she/they] • 84 posts


N
oor liked to think that she had a talent for getting information out of people. To be fair, she was probably right. With those large brown eyes and that sweet nature, even the most cynical of strangers tended to find her trustworthy. Unfortunately, she could also be careless with other people's emotions.

She swore she could feel her heart aching as she looked at the stranger, but at least he was now admitting that he wasn't fine. God, Noor hated the word 'fine'; people only ever seemed to use it in situations that were definitely not fine. "Honey, it's always complicated," Noor replied. Still on her shopping cart, she propped her chin up in one elegant hand and pouted. Who'd hurt this poor soul? A friend? A sibling? A lover? The most important question was this, though: would whoever it was take back what they'd done if they could see how much they were hurting this man? If the answer was 'no', then there was hope for them yet.

Noor had been so sure that she was getting somewhere with the man, but then he seemed to start closing himself off again. She could only hope that he was going to go home and confide in someone that he trusted - over a carton of ice cream. "Don't be sorry. I just wanted to make sure you were okay," Noor replied, a soft frown marring her features.

She was about to say her goodbyes and get on with the rest of her shopping when her new friend went on. Noor nodded, eager to hear his question. With any luck, it'd clue her in on whatever he was going through. She was nosy, on top of concerned.

Noor had been a prisoner to unrequited love many times before. (Her sentence was never as long as she'd like to admit.) Despite this, Noor sensed that it'd be unwise to tell the stranger that she knew exactly how he felt, when he asked her his question. "I'd mope around for a bit, then get myself back out there," Noor answered after a moment's thought. "You- I mean, the empty space isn't going to fill itself on it's own, you know?" The question had been weighty, and Noor worried that her answer wasn't quite good enough. Who, in that same position, hadn't tried to move on? "So, in this situation, have I actually asked the other person how they feel about me?" @august m. glass


Jul 1 2017, 11:17 PM
he/him
twenty-five


gyrokenisis
stripper
august m. glass
apple [she/her] • 41 posts


august glass
Of course moving on would be the reasonable answer, August didn't know why he'd expected to hear anything else. It was obvious that's what he should do, and he'd been trying to do just that. But it wasn't easy at all. He'd met nice boys, yeah, several of them. He'd dated and even slept with a few. They were good, they'd helped him be happy and comfortable with who he was. But none of them were Orson. And it was all too easy to remember that when the cause of his problems was back in his life again, blissfully unaware.

"You say that like it was easy," August laughed to himself, shaking his head slowly. "I know I should be moving on, but somehow it just doesn't work out that way." August had thought Orson was really gone for good when he'd gotten married and moved away. But here he was again, very much single, and apparently in town for good.

Which left option number two: telling him everything. August's eyes widened at the thought and his head shaking became more rapid. "No, no I couldn't do that," he protested, the very thought scaring him. There was so much he had to lose if it all went badly. "He doesn't have any idea I like him or...or any boy, for that matter." August leaned forward and rested his arms on the cart in front of him, laying his head down on top of his arms. Why did this all have to be so stressful? Why did it feel like such a big decision to just come out and say everything he wanted to? "He's my best friend, okay? Isn't it better to be his friend than...than to risk it all?"

August looked up at the girl and kind of came to his senses that he was having a mini meltdown in a grocery store. He straightened up and ran a hand through his tousled hair. "I'm sorry, I'm asking too much of you, aren't I? You don't really care." He half smiled, trying to make up for the awkwardness of the situation. "I must seem really pathetic, huh? I'm sorry I'm wasting your time."

Jul 10 2017, 06:30 PM
she/her
twenty


animal morphing
retail assistant
noor c. k. chadhar
Alice [she/they] • 84 posts


N
oor was a gifted mover-oner. She never dwelled on one person for too long, which made her wonder... what it was like to love someone as much as this man did? He hadn't outright said that he was talking about himself, but it was obvious that he was. Did the love feel weighty? Painful? He wouldn't have looked so sad if it felt good.

Noor was so good at moving on, she couldn't relate to this man's pain. "You must be super head over heels," she sighed. Even though it was a horrible predicament, Noor felt wistful. She was the side character in some soppy romance novel, watching as the protagonist anguished over his unobtainable love interest.

She wondered if he was as unobtainable as the man made him sound, though.

Noor was getting sucked into her new friend's story - she was going to be thinking about him for days, she knew she was. He looked more hopeless with each second that crawled by, but Noor had the good sense to not try and give him a hug. He didn't seem like the type to appreciate hugs from strangers.

"I can't answer that for you," Noor replied, "but if your friendship is strong, then it'd survive you telling him how you felt, even if he can't reciprocate your feelings." She could only speak from experience. Noor wasn't a stranger to crushing on her friends, and she wore her head on her sleeves. Those had been feeble crushes though. They weren't comparable to whatever this guy was feeling.

It was barely surprising when he started hastily pulling his barriers back up again. Noor's eyes pooled with concern. "You're not asking too much from me at all. If I didn't have the time to listen, then I wouldn't have asked you if you were okay in the first place," she explained. "I don't think you're being pathetic. I think you're being all kinds of brave and noble for facing your feelings like this." @august m. glass


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