Dashed Expectations

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:25 pm 
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SOOO, Mecha and I may have come upon a CHALLENGE, to each other, to write a story in a week. The deadline for this first one's become a little convoluted due to some troubles on Mecha's side (having his fingers cut, making typing difficult, plus just being straight busy), but that's aside from the point. For the subject, Mecha chose one of his little ideas from over in this thread at random (more or less). To be specific, the subject chosen was this one:

Spoiler: click to show
-Two girls fall for each other, but have no idea that they are interested in one another. One girl is a star sports athlete, and the other is a quiet nerd, and they both have no idea how to express interest for one another in a school environment that would likely tear them apart for such a relationship. Between private tutoring classes, two school trips, and a dance, these girls can hardly stand it. until, one day, their friends lock them in a room together, and all their feelings come out after a few hours stuck together.


So with those formalities out of the way, here's the garbage I birthed for this CHALLENGE:

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As Audrie stared at my face, my pounding heart was the only indication that time was passing at all. Eventually, though, even that failed me, as stars began bursting forth in the cosmos and then fizzling out in between each heartbeat. Focusing on those stars was all I could do to maintain eye contact, but as I felt my cheeks grow as red as those stars, my eyes plummeted to the floor.

As I had a staring contest with the floor, I couldn't help but be reminded of the tutoring we shared, being the closest to alone together we've had before now. It was with our science teacher--I, having requested it because I had issues learning and was interested in what we had been going over: space, and all the different rocks residing in it; Audrie, because... well, I assumed it was to get ahead of the curve, but she seemed unhappy to be there (plus I'm pretty sure the teacher mentioned something about unfinished homework).

Then, though, there was our instructor and our work to keep us distracted. Not so now, however--our mutual friend Eclair had invited us to her party here, and now had locked us in her bedroom for reasons she refused to disclose, leaving us with nothing but each other and our own thoughts. Our dangerous, dangerous thoughts.

"So.." Audrie began, finally shattering the silence with her uncertainty, "you, uh, come here often, Tessa?"

The way she spoke, the way she looked at me, the way she leaned forward, the way she used my name when she didn't need to--speaking nothing of the way she looked--it was all too much for me. It had barely even registered in my head she had asked me a question, but that realization did nothing to stagnate my emotions. If anything, it made it worse as the panic set in: the seconds that were previously lasting eternities had collapsed in on themselves, now passing by as the air rapidly grew more and more tense. Finally, my mind gave up, deciding to release the next words that came up so as to give the poor question the partner it so longed for. "I'd love to nestle in your chest."

At that point, my eyes widened, my face somehow grew even more red, and I turned around, wanting to run as fast and as far away as I could. But I couldn't. We hadn't stopped being stuck in here. I looked to the windows, considering if jumping from the second story was worth it.

As I stepped toward the window, Audrie grabbed my shoulder, which I was pretty certain would melt off from the pressure (and was disappointed when it didn't). "Look, it's pretty obvious we've been checking each other out." Audrie stated, "Even Eclair's noticed, which is obviously why we're in here. How about we just get our feelings out of the way now?"

I tried as hard as I could to will my body to spontaneously combust. When that failed, I reverted back to spewing surface thoughts: "Hello, my name is Tessa, nice to meet you!" My voice very audibly cracked with every word.

Audrie frowned. I wasn't even facing her, but somehow, I could just feel her perturbed face. With a sigh, Audrie retracted her hand, now holding her head in her hand as she poke, "Y'know, I always thought your shyness was adorable, but you're really not giving me anything to work with, and your lack of expressing is annoying, and just... I need a smoke." Growing increasingly frustrated, Audrie turned around, herself, approaching a corner of the room as she took a cigarette from her pocket, weighing the repercussions of lighting it in here in her mind.

Thoughts raced through my brain, rushing through the flurry of emotions the back-handed compliment roused before settling on her last word. "You smoke...?" I asked, my mind struggling to process this, "That's illegal at our age, and it will kill you, and, and... it's gross." I was nearly stumbling over every word, but in a rush, all my thoughts managed to come out, by some miracle.

"Yeah, yeah, it's my body to kill, and what, are you going to tell on me? We both already know you don't have the balls." Audrie went on, turning back around as she was now rolling the unlit cigarette around in her mouth, nearly chewing on it as she continued to ponder if filling someone else's house with the smell of smoke was worth it. Now pressing her fingers on her temples, Audrie sighed before loudly muttering "I never shoulda come to this party, they're always a bad idea. Hard to say no to Eclair, though, the way she always makes everything sound fun, and is always so nice, and is quite the looker herself, and..."

"And she doesn't smoke." I added, finally turning back around.

Audrie rolled her eyes, but had the slightest hint of a smile. "Sure. Point is, she's always been there for me and actually knows how to stand up for herself, I aughta be crushing on her." Audrie mused, her slight grin growing as she considered the thought.

My eyes could only focus on the toxic stick in her mouth, but my mind followed her words, finding them surprisingly agreeable. "Yeah... she's pretty cute, too." I absently stated.

Audrie seemed to ignore me, looking upwards as she replaced the poisonous wrapping of chemicals in her pocket, nodding to herself as she came to a conclusion. "It's decided then, I'm going to go out there and make out with Eclair, and I'll never have to be made fun of for worrying about your sorry jock-ass." With that declaration, Audrie walked up to the door that was holding us prison and gave it a loud knock.

"Um..." I stuttered out, trying to argue with the "solution" that Audrie was already moving through.

Slowly, the door inched open. "Yeeess?" came Eclair's familiar voice, "Did you two have fun?"

"Mm, no, but I did notice something." Audrie replied, being sure to shove the door the rest of the way open, revealing a curious Eclair as well as several other party-goers, "All this time, I never realized how you were always right there for me, so I think we need to become an item, Eclair."

"I'd also like to nestle in your chest!" I added from afar.

Eclair simply stared, her mischievous smile slowly deflating. "That's... no. Your love was so obvious and adorable and I put you in that room so your affection would come to fruition despite the judgements of society and grow to be even cuter than anyone could ever hope to fathom. That's how the story's supposed to go. Not... whatever apparently happened there." she quickly (and oddly passionately) explained.

Far from deterred, Audrie stepped into the hallway, placing a hand on Eclair's arm, "Ah, but don't ya see? We'd only admired each other from afar before. Locking us together's not going to show us anything new to love--just give us a close-up of each other's !#%$ sides, to shatter the idols we've made of each other. YOU, on the other hand, have always been a better friend than I've ever cared to notice--until now." Audrie explained right back, going in for a hug.

"NO!" Eclair interrupted, tearing her arm away from its loving prison, "I'm not the love interest here! I have better things to do... Stories to write... and yours was supposed to be one of them!" She was shaking her head, now, on the verge of panicking, then suddenly fled downstairs--and then out the door.

Audrie, meanwhile, simply stared, taken aback. After a moment, she turned to me, just as I did the same to her. Once the awkward pause reached critical mass, we came to a silent understanding and both flew off after Eclair. As we came outside, I just ran. And ran. And ran. Running always was my strong suit--it was the only time I felt I could let myself out, to escape--both literally and metaphorically. It would only be a matter of time before I cau--"OOF"

"OOF" Eclair repeated as we tumbled to the ground in tandem, but instantly pushing me right off, "NO, dammit, I don't care how good a runner you are, I'm not going out with you!"

"Still... letting yourself, huff, get pushed around, I... see." Audrie chimed in as she walked up, bending forward as she struggled to catch her breath.

Frowning, I slowly brought myself to my feet, turning towards the exasperated Audrie. She looked so pathetic, huffing like that, to take insults from her... "Well..." I began, faltering as I considered if I wanted to do this even still, "Well, at least I'm not dying after running one block because of relying on some mind-consuming candy to make me feel better."

Slowly, Audrie rose her torso up, glaring at me as she got her breathing down to deep, deliberate inhales. Eclair, too, simply watched, also breathing heavily, albeit from the subsiding frustration and panic. It took all of my will and focus to hold my stance among the dead air.

"What'd you say to me?" Audrie finally spoke out, her voice and expression both devoid of emotion, visibly sizing me up as she carefully approached me.

"I... I said..." I stuttered out, my words breathy as I barely managed to force them out against their will, my single ounce of confidence rapidly draining away, "if you weren't so... dependent on that... sickening garbage, maybe you wouldn't be so... so... so pathetically out of shape!" Indeed, by all rights, I was much more fit, as well as much taller than Audrie. That was perhaps the one thing making me stand my ground, although in that moment, as Audrie put her body near millimeters from my own, staring me down, she managed to make me feel much smaller.

Audrie squinted at me, probing me for a sign of weakness in my face--how she didn't find it instantly is beyond me. In another moment that felt like a cosmic amount of time, we all simply stood there, staring.

Unable to contain herself any longer, Audrie finally reached out, and in an instant I'll never forget... she hugged me. "I knew you had it in ya." came her muffled voice from my chest. Just behind me, a squeal came from Eclair as she joined the "unable to contain herself" club.

As much as I wanted to join said club, about all I could muster was to stand there awkwardly, now flustered for a very different reason than I was a few seconds ago. "Th...thanks?... Should I still be upset at you?" I thought aloud.

"Hah, probably. I def judged you too harshly. I mean, if you being lovably shy is your worst quality--"

"Well, actually," I interrupted, "there's also--"

"Sshh, don't ruin it." came Eclair's voice, her hand now covering my mouth.

"...Right. As I was saying, not only is that not so bad, but it's easy to improve on, as you've already shown." Audrie clarified, finally releasing me as she stepped back and nodded. Her grin diminished slightly, though, as she turned her gaze away, practically mumbling, "and... I guess I can try to stop smoking."

Still unsure what to make of all this, I gave a hesitant nod, eventually returning the smile.

"So, shall we get back to the party, girlfriend?" Audrie asked, her tone almost mocking with that last word.

"U-uh..." I stuttered before getting a swift elbow to the rib from Eclair, "I mean, yes, of course, the romantic friends, that's us!"

Audrie simply shook her head and laughed, taking my arm in her own as she came to my side, frankly stating, "Good enough."


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