The Teenage Monologues.

Bus Stop Conversations: A Milo Monologue.

The bus was taking longer on this particular day after school. Not only was the weather getting colder as the days pass, but today was the day I just wanted to get home as quickly as possible. I sighed and decided to text Mollie to see what she was up to.

milolani: wyd?

I looked at my phone for a moment to see if Mollie read my message. Typically she writes back within a couple of minutes; if anything she’s probably on her way home or something–

“Hi Milo,” I heard a voice speak near me. I looked up and see Sophie standing there. She smiles at me, which makes me instantly smile back. I feel like I never get to see Sophie these days, so I was surprised to see her standing at the bus stop.

“Scout,” I answered back. “Whatcha doing here?” Sophie sat next to me on the bench.

“Well, Mr. Kamalani told me that you had left once the bell rang,” Sophie started. “I figured that you were waiting for the bus to go home,” I smirked, knowing that she went to my dad to ask where I was after school. I then remembered that she was probably wondering where I was since today was band rehearsal, which is something I’m not a part of anymore. Fuck, Scout doesn’t know that.

“Yeah, just waiting for the bus,” I answered, not really convincing. The air is awkward now; I can feel Sophie’s eyes look away from me and out toward the street. If anyone deserved to know, it was her. “Scout, I know there was a band rehearsal today.” Sophie immediately turned her head to look at me.

“You haven’t been in band class for the week,” Sophie admitted. “I was wondering if maybe you didn’t-“

“My dual major is suspended,” I finally confessed. I saw Sophie’s eyes widen in shock. “I got into a fight with Aaron at the dual major rehearsal.”

“Is that why…” Sophie asked as she pointed toward the cut on my face. I simply nodded at her. She looked like she was at a loss for words, and I don’t blame her. I wish I was able to tell her sooner, but I felt ashamed that I lost my dual major over someone that wasn’t even worth it. I was avoiding Sophie, but something in me is happy that even after not seeing her this week, she found me. It was a different feeling. I looked at Sophie; her shock turned into anger.

“Why would they only suspend your status and not Aaron’s? That’s completely unfair!” Sophie spat back.

“That was technically his first warning; I got mine when my dad sent me to the principal’s office…” I said as I tried to not look at Sophie. I felt ashamed to admit these things; things that not even Mollie knew about me. I looked down at my phone, wondering if Mollie ever texted me back. Nothing.

“‘I’m sorry, Milo,” Sophie said. “I hope that this suspension doesn’t last long. You deserve to be in band just as much as Aaron, and it’s unfair that Mr. Harrison would just throw you out of band like that.” I didn’t say anything back; I didn’t know what else to say about this besides the fact that I wanted to punch Aaron’s face at any given time I see him in vocal class. I simply sighed, wanting to just change the conversation.

“At least I’ll get to see you perform at the showcase,” I mentioned, smiling at Sophie. I’m glad I was able to at least make her smile still. I missed Sophie so much. “I’ll be the loudest in the audience!”

“You’re too sweet, Milo,” Sophie said as she laughed. “At least someone will stay awake for the string orchestra performance. I feel like we’re just there to put everyone to sleep.”

“That’s not true,” I reassured Sophie. I know that there were people talking about the String Orchestra and how their set for the showcase was boring. It makes me think of what Aaron said about Sophie at the dual major rehearsal. It angers me, but I wonder if she heard those same words go around in band class. Sophie looks at me, not convinced by my words.

“Every time we have our rehearsal, Mr. Harrison is constantly yelling at everyone else to be quiet because they all talk through it,” Sophie explained. “Today, it was so bloody loud in that auditorium that I kept messing up the notes. It didn’t help that people would point and laugh as they watched.” I saw Sophie’s face drop. She was getting lost in her thoughts, second-guessing every decision she has made up to this point.

I saw my bus come from down the block, moments away before stopping at my stop. Sophie looked up and saw the bus as well. She gets up from the bench once the bus slows down to stop in front of us. I didn’t want to leave Sophie here by herself. I didn’t want to leave Sophie; period.

“Well, here’s your bus,” Sophie pointed out. The door of the bus opened up. Before getting on the bus, I turned around and grabbed Sophie’s hand. She looked at me, confused about what I was doing.

“Come with me,” I said. Sophie didn’t know what to say; she looked nervous.

“I-I don’t take this bus,” Sophie said in a panic. I smiled, pulling toward me and the bus.

“I know,” I answered. “We’ll get you home before it gets dark.” I pulled Sophie in front of me so that she was able to get on the bus first. Sophie turned around to look at me; she smiled as she swiped her student MetroCard. I missed Sophie so much.

The "Something" Series: Season 3

Something About These Streets: A Prologue.

How can a place you called home for almost half of your life feel like a completely different place?

Growing up in Virginia with just me and my dad, I knew something felt off. I could never walk the suburban streets in my neighborhood and knew where I was going. I felt like I spoke a foreign language to those who lived in Virginia for most of their lives. Why wasn’t I one of those girls that married locally and had kids and stayed in Virginia? Why couldn’t my narrative follow the ones like the girls I graduated high school with? Why would my father ever introduce me to New York City when I was 17?

And why would this be the closest thing to home I would ever feel?

I turn around and look at the multiple suitcases, opened and ready to be packed. I sigh, wishing I was already done with this phase of packing up my life and leaving for another country.

I remember the night Morgan called my cell phone, letting me know that I passed the audition and got chosen to be a part of the dance production in Ulsan. It was also the night I almost threw away my sobriety, which in a couple of days would make it a year since being sober. If anything, this opportunity was the only thing keeping me from going down the rabbit hole of self-destruction. Spending the holidays with my family this year was something I haven’t done in a long time either. It felt good to be around my parents, to spend all this time with Willow, and to enjoy my time before saying goodbye for the next year.

I notice my mom walk into the room I’m staying in with a pile of folded clothes. She placed them on the bed and smiled at me.

“These bags aren’t going to pack themselves, sweetie,” my mom said as she placed the folded clothes into one of the suitcases. “You are catching a red eye tonight.”

“I know, mom,” I answered. “I’m trying to decide what to bring and what I could live without. Saves me money on the additional luggage fees.”

“Grace,” my mom says as she laughs. “It’s either you pack what you need or you’ll end up buying way too many things while you’re there.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I answered, not really paying attention to my mother. She could tell my head is in another place. She walks over to me and looks at me before she says anything.

“What’s going on?” she simply asked. “Are you having second thoughts about going?” I look at my mother’s face, trying to read her emotion before I say anything. I wonder if she looked at me with that same look when she left to further her career when I was a baby. Did she know that she was about to make one of the biggest decisions of her life, potentially leaving her home behind to possibly find one elsewhere? For some reason, I feel like I am now wearing that same face she wore when she was around my age.

“Did you go abroad because you didn’t feel at home anymore either?” I asked. My mom scrunched her face, not expecting me to ask such a deep-rooted question. She sat me down on the edge of the bed alongside her; I instantly regret letting my curiosity ask this stupid question.

“I didn’t feel like I belonged in the home I had,” she honestly answered. “And it wasn’t until I was away from home to realize I did. You and your father were always home for me, but I realized that later in life and-“

“No,” I interrupted her. “I mean did you leave because you tried everything in your power to make this place your home, but nothing ever worked?” My mom tilted her head to the side, which gave me the answer without her saying anything. Why the hell were we so alike?

“Between us, Grace,” my mom began. “It was very hard for me to stay put in one spot at your age. One inconvenience made me believe that I wasn’t the right person for anyone; not for your father, and not for you. And I think that’s something inevitable; something just in our DNA that we couldn’t ever fight against. I know home for you isn’t the people around you.”

“I don’t feel bad for leaving Willow here in New York,” I admitted. I sound like the world’s shittiest mother, but I’ve grown to learn that I will always love Willow. She will always bring out a part of me that I never knew even existed. Even trying to be even the slightest of what a mother is to a child, I know Willow will be just fine. Willow’s home doesn’t involve me in it, and I learned that on the days when I went to visit her and she simply didn’t cry whenever I had to leave. “New York and Max and Miriam are her home.” My mother nodded; I think she understood where I was coming from. “Does that make me a shitty person? Being a mom but not being a part of your child’s home?”

“Do you feel like a shitty person?” my mom asked back. She already knew the answer; I didn’t have to answer that for her. “You are doing what a lot of people are too afraid to do. That doesn’t make you a shitty person and you and I both know you are not.” My mother was one of the hardest, yet easiest people to talk to. She would tell you what was on her mind, but she also knew what was on yours; specifically on mine. It makes these hard conversations easier to have; nothing too hard-to-swallow really needed to be said out loud into the universe. She smiled back and got up from the bed. “I expect nothing but pictures sent to me during your time there though.”

“I’ll try to be better at doing that,” I laughed as I started to help my mom put things into the suitcases.

I was worried that my flight would get canceled when it started to snow in the city. I almost read it as a sign that I shouldn’t go and that maybe the universe was telling me to stay in New York. I fought with the thought ever since coming back for the audition. When I first came back to New York at the end of the summer, I questioned if I should just stay here and go back to the academy. It made the most sense to just stay in New York, run the dance academy, clock in and out, and go home to start all over again the following morning. Being in California should’ve been the realization that New York was always meant to be my home.

But it was walking by the cafe that would break my heart. I saw the cafe and felt the hollowness in the shell that my body is. It’s like I could still hear the laughs and the flipping sound of paperwork while sitting at the table closest to the front door. I could still smell the Mocha Iced Latte I would get to keep me up during the late nights trying to wrap up the case I was working on when I was a lawyer. I swear sometimes I can smell his cologne when I walk past this cafe. I thought maybe if I stopped walking past the cafe I would feel better about being back in New York, but even being in Brooklyn in Emerson and Cami’s apartment I could remember the game nights the four of us would have together. Even walking through Bryant Park made me remember that this was the place where I decided to introduce my home to a complete stranger, who I then started to trust. A stranger who I just met, but began to fall in love with.

I realized early on that New York City was only home when he was here with me. I still remember his words back in California when he explained how home was what he made it whenever he traveled. I wonder if he felt like he was home when he was in New York City? Something deep down tells me that he did, because then this fucking city wouldn’t feel so empty without him here. Maybe then I wouldn’t feel like he ruined the chances of me ever living here without him here.

How do you lose your home after building it and living in it for almost half of your life in a city? When you allow people who can’t stay to become a part of your home.

“Flight 427 to Incheon International Airport is now ready for boarding,” the announcement stated. I let out a sigh, getting up from my seat and rolling my bags to my terminal with the rest of the production team.

Let’s try to build a home in Korea for the next year, Grace.

The Teenage Monologues.

Loser Mol, Lover Mol: A Mollie Monologue.

At the end of the day, I walked into our vocal room for class, looking around to see if Aaron was in class already. Of course, he was; he even had his sheet music on his desk. I look at him and smile. I guess he saw me stand there because he smiled back at me. Before I can even react, I hear Milo walk into the classroom fast. I look at him and follow him to our seats. Milo sighed loudly, clearly annoyed at something.

“What’s got you all pissy?” I asked Milo. He rolled his eyes at my question. “Well, shit; I didn’t do anything to you.”

“I’m not in the mood, Mol,” Milo spat back. “I just want this day to end so I can go home.” I didn’t answer him back. It’s been a couple of days since I last saw Milo; I knew that he got injured in one of his classes, but shit; I thought maybe he’d be happy to see his best friend or something.

“How did you get hurt in band class? Drumstick hit your face or something?” I asked. Milo finally turned his whole body to look at me; he looked pissed.

“Can you just leave me alone, Mol? Please?” Milo said, louder than I think he thought he said it. My face flashed red out of embarrassment. He didn’t even bother apologizing, he just faced back forward toward the blackboard and pretended I wasn’t even sitting there. Ouch. I sank into my seat, waiting for Mr. Kamalani to start class.

“Alright class,” Mr. Kamalani began. “The showcase is less than a week away, so I expect everyone to be on time for rehearsal starting tomorrow. This is your first showcase as Waverly High student; the first of many while you’re here. Let’s get started on practice; everyone please stand in your assigned position.” We all got up from our seats and went to stand in our positions. I rolled my eyes at the fact that the person standing next to me was Laurie. She flips her hair when she sees me standing next to her.

“Try not to sing off-key this time, Mollie,” Laurie whispered in my direction. I rolled my eyes at her, not really wanting to answer her.

“You might be listening to yourself sing, Laurie,” someone behind me responded. Laurie turns around to see who said it. I then feel someone place their hand on my shoulder; I looked up and see that it was Aaron. I smiled and felt a little better afterward.

The bell rang, which meant that the day was now officially over. I look over at Milo, who runs past me to leave the classroom while everyone starts to pack their things. I rolled my eyes, annoyed that Milo is acting the way he was. I packed my bookbag at my desk and hear someone’s voice close to me.

“Hey, Mols.” I looked up and see Aaron standing there. He smiles down at me; I couldn’t help but smile back at him.

“Hi,” I calmly said, happy to see Aaron standing there. He ruffled his hands into my hair, which also made me laugh. “Whatcha doing after school today?”

“I have band practice,” he answered. I couldn’t lie, I was a little sad that he had plans considering that today was one of the only days I had time to hang out after school. “Do you want to come with me?” I looked at him, and I guess I gave myself up when I smiled the biggest smile I could possibly make. He laughed and placed his arm around me. “Let’s go.”

Aaron and I got on the 3 train and took it into the city for his band practice. I can’t lie, I was nervous to be going to this practice with him. Would his bandmates not like me being there? Will Aaron become a different person when he’s in practice? After his showcase and everything that happened that night, nothing was ever really spoken about. Aaron and I went on like nothing happened, and I don’t know if I did anything wrong or maybe he’s changed his mind or–

“What’s on your mind, Mols?’ Aaron asked. I looked back up towards Aaron, who was standing near the door, holding onto the pole next to him.

“Oh, uhm, nothing really,” I answered, trying to gather my composure again.

“You sure? You look like a lost New Yorker on this train,” Aaron teased, to which I rolled my eyes and huffed.

“Please, I was born and raised in New York,” I responded. “I just never had any reason to take a number train somewhere.”

“What trains do you live near?” Aaron asked.

“The R,” I answered. Aaron scoffed and laughed under his breath. “What?”

“The R is like the slowest train out of all of them,” Aaron teased. “It takes like an hour to just get into the city on the R train.”

“Well it’s better than taking a number train any day,” I fought back. Aaron laughed, and I couldn’t help but laugh either since I know taking a number train is probably the quickest way into the city. Aaron smiled and walks to stand next to me. He placed his hand into mine, which took me by surprise. Yep, I can definitely feel my face getting hot.

“Are you gonna tell me what’s really on your mind?” Aaron nearly whispered to me. I looked at Aaron, who is staring into my eyes, waiting for an answer. There was something about Aaron that felt… different. I’ve had crushes on boys in the past; I remember having my first crush in the 3rd grade. I mean, sure he did nothing but chew gym and trade lame cards with his friends and didn’t really pay attention to anything else, but he was still really cute… even if he thought my name was Maggie. And then there was Theo who ended up being the biggest jerk in 8th grade for using me for a bet. Aaron pays attention to me. He listens to me when I speak and he actually likes to hang out with me and truly wants to hear what I have to say. Aaron really made me feel like any bad day can be turned into good.

“I’m a little nervous about meeting your band members again,” I admitted. How was it so easy to be honest with another human being? Aaron nodded his head, understanding my nerves and possibly why my palms were sweaty.

“What’s making you nervous?” he asked. I took a deep breath and exhaled before I answered.

“I don’t know,” I began. I didn’t know why I was so nervous. They seemed like cool guys when we met back at Aaron’s showcase a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I felt like I didn’t fit in. Aaron was another person when he was on that stage, and I can only imagine he was that person around his band members.

“Don’t be nervous,” Aaron began. “The guys are cool, and they don’t mind you being at our practice.”

“They know I’m coming?” I asked, getting even more nervous than before. What if they gave him a hard time for bringing someone to their practices? Did they get mad at him?

“Yeah,” Aaron answered. He quickly spoke right after looking at me: he probably sees the nerves written all over my face. “Breathe, Mols. You’re gonna be fine.” Aaron squeezes my hand; I almost forgot he was holding my hand in the first place. It was like it was supposed to be there all along. He smiled at me, waiting for me to smile back. I couldn’t help myself; I smiled back.

Suddenly, he moves his head toward the temple of my head, gently kissing it and looking outside the train window like what he just did was nothing. It was like it was natural for him to do such a thing. I might as well paint my face red permanently.

y2katalogue: The Tapes

Tape #6: Me Against My Best Friends.

The bell rings and students begin to exit their classrooms and walk through the halls. Milo leaves his classroom and walks by himself to his locker. Before he opens his locker, he sees Jennifer walk pass him without acknowledging his presence. Milo sighs and calls out for her.

Milo: Pep!

Jennifer stops walking for a slight moment but then begins to walk away from Milo. Milo runs after her to catch up to her.

Milo: Pep! Wait–

Jennifer: *turns around, annoyed* What do you want, Milo?

Milo: Can we just talk?

Jennifer: About what? How you were being a dick at practice the other day?

Milo: You were literally trying to bring a douchebag into our band–

Jennifer: So you say something horrible about your friend instead?

Milo: *annoyed* You said that he was the better musician!

Jennifer: *louder* So you talk shit about my dancing skills?

Milo: Yeah, because you talked shit about my music skills!

The two friends bicker in the middle of the hallway until Jennifer sees Nicki pass by. Jennifer turns around and tries to get Nicki’s attention.

Jennifer: Nicki!

Nicki doesn’t answer back, she continues walking down the hall; Jennifer and Milo both follow her.

Jennifer: Hello? Nicki?

Nicki: *turns around* What do you want Pep?

Jennifer: Can you tell Milo that he’s wrong for saying what he said to me at practice the other day?

Nicki: Just how you were wrong for what you did at the pool place?

Milo looks confused, but Jennifer looks offended at Nicki’s comment.

Jennifer: What?

Nicki: I told you it was going to be a girl’s night, and you tell Danny behind my back to tag along?

Milo: Wait, what?!

Jennifer: *to Nicki* You wanted to hang out with him, I just got you guys in the same room finally!

Nicki: Who asked you to do that? I just wanted to hang out with you after what happened at practice and–

Jennifer: I don’t know why you’re mad at me, you and Danny ditched me at the pool place anyway!

Nicki: I left because you were so into playing with Danny!

Jennifer: And he left when you left!

Milo: *loud* Guys!

The two girls stop talking to each other and look at Milo. Milo wears a confused look on his face.

Milo: You guys went out, and Jennifer brought Danny along?

Jennifer: *tempered* This has nothing to do with you, Milo!

Milo: *to Nicki* Nic?

Jennifer: Can’t you mind your own damn business, dude?!

Nicki nods her head to Milo’s question.

Nicki: Literally wasn’t even bothered that she invited someone that should’t have been there.

Jennifer: Why are you both gaining up on me? I’m sorry that I was able to get Danny in the same room as you since you would never do it!

Nicki: I never wanted your help, Pep! Any chance I had with Danny is now ruined because you decided you were going to play matchmaker!

Suddenly, a boy passes by the group of friends and stops at Nicki. She turns around and widens her eyes; it’s Danny. Jennifer watches on as Milo grows angry.

Danny: Hey, Nicki.

Nicki: *nervous* H-hi, Danny.

Danny: It was fun hanging out with you the other night. I was wondering if maybe you wanted to grab a slice or something after school?

Nicki is taken aback. She doesn’t answer right away, but the expression of nervousness is replaced with a smile.

Nicki: Sure.

Danny: *smiles* Awesome. I’ll meet you at your locker. 327, right?

Nicki nods her head. Danny puts his hand on on nicki’s shoulder and walks away from the group. Nicki slowly turns around and looks at Jennifer and Milo.

Nicki: Di-did he just ask me to hag out with him after school?

Jennifer gets giddy and smiles wide; Milo is not amused.

Nicki: I’m sorry for blaming you for Friday! I really thought he didn’t want anything to do with me after that night.

Jennifer: Apology accepted, just know I always do things with good intentions, and it looks like my matchmaking skills are still considered the best!

Jennifer turns around to face Milo.

Jennifer: You got a crush on a girl you need me to set you up with?

Milo takes a moment to answer . He’s annoyed at the confidence Jennifer has after learning that Danny and Nicki are going to hang out with each other. He just looks at Jennifer, but says something when Jennifer waits for his answer.

Milo: I’m good; I don’t need you to hook me with Diaa or someone just as bad as Danny.

Milo walks away from the teo girls, upset at the whole situation with Nicki and Danny. Jennnifer stands there, stunned at the hurtful answer Milo just threw at her. Milo walks back to his locker and opens it, not realizing that there was someone in the middle of passing. He hits the person with his locker, immediately trying to help the person from the ground.

Milo: I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you pass–

He looks up and sees the black, stringy long hair cover the person’s face. The girl brushes away her hair from her face, not answering Milo back. Milo realizes it’s the same girl that he bumped into in his class the tower day. He doesn’t remember her name, and doesn’t want to mistaken her with another name. The girl grabs her things and continues to walk down the hall. Milo rolls his eyes, annoyed that the girl didn’t even say anything about his apology.

The Teenage Monologues.

Dual Major Duel: A Milo Monologue.

“Has anyone seen Aaron today?” Mr. Harrison asked the class during our rehearsal. I was personally frustrated that Aaron wasn’t in rehearsal considering that our showcase was just two weeks away and Mr. Harrison and my dad were going hard on the dual majors for their performance. No one was able to answer him, and I could see just how annoyed Mr. Harrison looked. “Well, we have to get rehearsal started, so–“

The door to the auditorium bursts open and everyone is now looking at Aaaron running towards the stage.

“Aaron,” Mr. Harrison calls out. “Class began 10 minutes ago.”

“I am so sorry, Mr. Harrison,” Aaron quickly apologized. “I had to stay late in my last class to finish my midterm.” Aaron drops his coat and bookbag on a seat and runs up to his spot next to me on stage. I don’t even look at him.

“Let me remind everyone once more about rehearsals,” Mr. Harrison began to address the class. “You are all dual majors and I expect nothing less of professionalism while in these rehearsals. That means making it to class on time and if something comes up to prevent that from happening, please present me with a late pass from your previous teacher.” Mr. Harrison stops talking and starts the rehearsal.

“Ms. Waterbridge didn’t have a midterm today,” I leaned over and told Aaron. It felt good giving him a taste of his own annoying medicine. Aaron looks at me, clearly feeling some sort of way.

“How about you mind your business and stay out of mine, Kamalani,” Aaron spat back.

“You heard Mr. Harrison,” I said facing the front towards my music stand. “As a dual major, they expect nothing less of professionalism, and lying isn’t very professional of you to do.”

“Is your life that boring for you to make it your mission to tell me what I should be doing with my own?” Aaron scoffed and laughed under his breath. “Go worry about your little friend and why she hasn’t been in school for like a week.”

I immediately get angry at Aaron’s response; I know he was talking about Sophie. Sophie was still recovering from her injury, and it was bad enough that she already feels anxious about missing so much schoolwork and rehearsal. I couldn’t help but say something back.

“She’s been injured, you jerk. She has a legit reason,” I responded back to Aaron.

“It’s cool,” he began to answer. “The string orchestra is really just made up of people that aren’t talented in their craft anyway.”

“Says the guy who can’t even sing the correct notes in vocal,” I quickly threw back at Aaron. He looks at me, even angrier in the face. In a way, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting under his skin; again, giving him a taste of his own medicine. “So much for actually being good in your second major.”

“Says the guy who only got into the vocal program because his dad is the damn vocal director,” Aaron mentioned. “Seriously Kamalani, do you think any of the dual majors actually think you’re a dual major because of your fucking talent? Newsflash, you aren’t that great in either band or vocal.”

“How about you say that to my face?” I got up from my chair and walked towards Aaron. The class turned around to face us. Aaron gets up from his seat and gets in my face now.

“Of course! You suck in your majors and only got to be a dual major because your father is the vocal director!” The class started to talk among themselves about what was happening. I felt my face get hot with embarrassment and anger. “Again, get your priorities straight like being a better friend to your best friend instead of swooning over a talentless violin foreigner.” I couldn’t help but push Aaron back when he spoke about Sophie in that way. He quickly got back up and pushed me back until I fell to the ground. The other dual majors began to loudly talk and bicker as Aaron and I start fighting on the stage. I pushed him back hard enough so that he hit his body on one of the music stands. He quickly snapped back and from there I heard nothing but a ringing sound when Aaron pushed me in the face. I immediately fell to the ground, and I can vaguely hear Mr. Harrison trying to calm the class down.

“Milo?” I heard a voice in the distance. I tried to open my eyes, but my head was pounding and the light above was hurting my eyes. It took me a while to realize it was my dad talking to me. I slowly opened my eyes and immediately felt the pain in my face.

“Dad?” I called out, just to make sure I was hearing things correctly. I finally was able to open my eyes and saw that I was now in the nurse’s office. My dad sat in the chair next to me, looking at the nurse and then back at me.

“Hey, Milo; how are you feeling?” the nurse said as she walked over to me to take a look at my face. I winced in pain every time she touched it.

“It still hurts a lot,” I answered, trying to not react too hard to the nurse checking my bruises. “But I’m okay.”

“That’s good,” she answered. She looks at my dad and starts to talk to him. “Try to keep him awake for the next couple of hours, apply ice to the bruise and he should be okay to return to class tomorrow.” She walks away and exits the room when her cell phone rings in her hand. I look at my dad, whose face immediately changes now that the nurse is not in the office.

“Milo,” my dad finally said. I looked away, not really knowing what he’s about to say. “What were you thinking getting into a fight during the dual major rehearsal?”

“Aaron started it,” I quickly explained. “He was–“

“That’s not what Mr. Harrison told me,” my dad spat back at me. “You know than that, Milo.”

“Why isn’t Aaron getting in trouble for hitting me?” I asked, annoyed at the conversation already. “Why am I the only one getting in trouble for this?”

“Aaron isn’t my son,” my dad emphasized. “You’ve only been in school for three months, and you already ahve gotten in trouble one too many times. Mr. Harrison went to the principal about this. He was furious at the fact that he trusted both you and Aaron to attended these rehearsals and act like dual majors.” I didn’t even bother saying anything back; my dad already had his mind made up about who’s fault it was for starting this fight.

“So what now? We’re out of the dual major performance at the showcase?” I asked. I can only assume that’s the punishment we’re getting for disturbing the rehearsal.

“Mr. Harrison decided to keep Aaron in the performance,” my dad started out. I turned my head quickly to face my dad, shocked.

“What?” I said, frustrated at Mr. Harrison’s decision. “What about me? I was the one that got hurt!”

“Milo,” my dad stopped me. “You already had your warning the first time you were sent to the principal’s office. You were already told once that if you got in trouble one more time, you’d be-“

“Are you kidding me?” I quickly got up from the nurse bed, and yelled out. “I’m not performing at the showcase because of this?”

“Your dual major status is suspended until further notice,” my dad finally confessed. “And Mr. Harrison does not want you in his clas until that suspension is over.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Something that Aaron did got my dual major suspended while he still gets to go to band and vocal. I’ve only been here for three months and I already lost my dual major status because of someone else. I was more than angry at this point; I was furious. I wanted nothing more than to find Aaron and bashed his face into a music stand or something. How could my dad not fight this for me with the principal or Mr. Harrison? Why didn’t he ask more questions and why did he let them take Aaron’s word over mine?

“That’s bullshit!” I yelled out. My dad quickly tried to calm me down.

“You’re going to hurt yourself, Milo. Sit down,” he said sternly.

“I don’t give a shit! How can you let them take away my dual major and not Aaron?!” I was trying hard to understand, but I couldn’t see the fairness in this.

“Aaron got off with a warning because this was his first time getting in trouble. For you, you were already told that one more time you get into something, you will get put on suspension. If Aaron ets in trouble one more time, he will also be put on suspension,” my dad explained. At that point, I didn’t care. If it wasn’t for the murse coming back into the office, I would’ve definitely screamed my frustrations out. Once the nurse cam back in to tend to me, I walked out of the office, not wanting to be around my ad anymore. I wanted nothing but to go home and hide.

It wasn’t until I finally stepped out of the office that I realized that I will not be able to go to band class anymore. Wait, that’s the only class I get to see Sophie in. My anger immediately turned into sadness; I promised her I will be her friend in that class and to always have her back when the other band members would try to bully her strings section. I felt like I failed her more than I failed myself.

I’m so sorry, Scout.

y2katalogue: The Tapes

Tape #5: In and Out Without Recognition.

Jennifer enters the front door of her house, running through the living room and the kitchen to go upstairs. She barely sees anyone in those rooms; her main focus is to get upstairs as quickly as possible.

She enters her room and gets scared when she sees her 11-year-old sister, Maryette, laying on one of the bds in the room.

Jennifer: What are you doing here?

Maryette: *confused* This is also my room?

Jennifer: *annoyed* Don’t you have friends to hang out with?

Maryette: Don’t you have friends to hang with?

Jennifer: I do, so get out of here until I have to leave.

Maryette: This is also my room, and I’m hanging out in here.

Jennifer: *even more annoyed* You never even hang out in here!

Maryette: Well I am today!

The sisters start bickering loudly until their mother rushes to their room to see what the fighting was about.

Lydia: Hey, hey! What’s with all the yelling?

The girls try to tell their sides of the story, but Lydia isn’t having it.

Lydia: One at a time! *to Jennifer* What happened?

Jennifer: Mom, I’m trying to get ready to go to the pool place with Nicki, and Maryette is bothering me!

Maryette: You’re trying to kick me out of my own room!

Jennifer: You’re never in here and now all of a sudden you want to hang out?!

Lydia: That’s enough! *to Maryette* Give your sister ten minutes to get ready, and then you can come back in here.

Jennifer: Only 10 minutes?!

Lydia: *stern* I can make it 5 minutes; your choice.

Jennifer huffs and stomps to her closet to get ready, Maryette steps out of the room; Lydia is still standing in the room as she continues speaking to Jennifer.

Lydia: Pep, I just wanted to let you know that you’re going to have to postpone your band rehearsal on Monday…

Jennifer doesn’t respond back; she is busy putting her outfit together in the mirror.

Lydia: You can push it to Tuesday, but remember that on Monday we are having dinner together as a family, okay?

Jennifer’s cell phone rings. She takes it out of her pocket and flips it open. She pressed the buttons on the tiny keyboard and laughs to herself.

Lydia: Pep?

Jennifer: *annoyed* What?

Lydia: Did you hear what I said?

Jennifer: Yeah, mom; I got it. I gotta go meet Nicki at the pool place–

Jennifer runs out of the room once she grabs her jacket from her bed.

Jennifer: Bye mom!

Lydia walks out of the room and watches her daughter run down the stairs toward the front.

Lydia: Be back home by–

The front door slams shut.

Lydia: *defeated* Curfew.

LED lights surround the billiards place; Nicki and Jennifer enter the venue and walk up to the front counter. Shortly after, they get tokens in exchange for money and walk away towards the game area of the billiards place.

Jennifer: So, am I going to still be the reigning champion of air hockey?

Nicki: Pep, no one likes to play you in air hockey. You’re too competitive!

Jennifer: I’m competitive in a lot of things, I just so happen to be good in air hockey.

Nicki: Yeah, well I actually want to leave here still being friends with you tonight.

Jennifer runs up to the air hockey table and caresses one side of it with her arm.

Jennifer: Come on, just one game? We’re here anyway, we might as well play a game!

Nicki ponders the thoughts Jennifer bats her eyelashes. Nicki sighs.

Nicki: Fine, one game and I’m ending it if you get too competitive.

Jennifer rolls her eyes and puts two tokens in the machine. Jennifer scores a couple of times during the game, in which Nicki is about to give up.

Jennifer: *laughs* Come on Nic, don’t be a sore loser!

Before Jennifer picks up the hockey puck to play the next round, she notices someone walking into the billiards place. Her eyes widen, not paying attention to the point that Nicki scored.

Nicki: Score!

Jennifer doesn’t react to Nicki. She continues to watch the person who walked in; she notices right away it’s Danny Campbell. Nicki notices Jennifer’s lack of response to the scored point.

Nicki: Okay, I would’ve been more excited about the point if you actually paid attention to it. *turns around* What are you looking at?

Danny gets his tokens at the front counter and walks away, looking further into the venue. Jennifer waves her hands, trying to grab his attention. Nicki looks and finally notices Danny. She quickly turns around.

Jennifer: Danny! Over here!

Nicki: Are you insane?! What is he doing here?

Jennifer: I invited him to hang out tonight!

Nicki: *angry* Pep! This was supposed to be a girl’s night out–

Danny approaches the two girls and Nicki turns around to face Danny. Jennifer waves her hand hi and smiles.

Jennifer: Hey, Danny! Glad you could make it.

Danny: *nervous* Hey… Yeah, just came to see what was up and stuff.

Danny looks at Nicki, who literally has not said a thing since Danny got here.

Danny: Hey, Nicki.

Jennifer nudges Nicki to make her speak.

Nicki: Uhm, hi Danny.

An awkward silence is shared between the two. Jennifer looks at the two teens and tries to break the ice.

Jennifer: We were just playing some air hockey, but Nicki is a sore loser.

Nicki: *defensive* I am not! *to Danny* Pep’s a sore winner.

Danny: Pep?

Nicki: *off guard* Oh! I mean, Jennifer. Pep’s what we call her…

Danny nods and walks over to the air hockey table.

Jennifer: Since you don’t want to play with me…

Jennifer pushes Nicki to the air hockey table.

Jennifer: Why don’t you play a game with Danny?

Nicki: *nervous* Uhm, I…

Jennifer: It’ll even be my treat!

Jennifer inserts two coins into the air hockey table to start a game. Before Jennifer passes Nicki, Nicki grabs her to talk to her in a whisper.

Nicki: What in the world are you doing?

Jennifer: I’m giving you guys time to bond and get to know each other…

Nicki: But this isn’t what I wanted–

Jennifer throws the first serve at Danny, who serves it back and even gets it into her goal. Jennifer looks up, surprised.

Jennifer: You got me when I wasn’t paying attention.

Danny: I think you’re being the sore loser now, Pep.

Jennifer puts her game face on, she gets in position and starts to play a serious game of air hockey with Danny. It’s an intense one; the score keeops getting tied every other round. Nicki sits at the side, watch the two play the game along, feeling like the third wheel. After awhile, Jennifer doesn’t even act like Nicki is there; she’s so focused on this game that after the score being 9-9, Nicki walks away from the table, and toward the front door. Danny notices and doesn’t pay attention to the table. Jennifer scores the winning point, throwing her hands up in victory!

Jennifer: Woohoo! I won! I won! I am still the reigning champion!

Danny doesn’t celebrate along with Jennifer; instead, he puts down the paddle and runs after Nicki. Jennifer watches him leave the table and go towards the front door.

Jennifer: Hey! Where are you going?

Danny doesn’t answer, he exits the billiards place. Jennifer grabs her jacket from the chair and looks around; she finally notices that Nicki isn’t with her.

Jennifer: Nicki?

She looks around, trying to find her friend. She walks towards the exit of the billiards place, trying to find Nicki.

Jennifer: Nicki? Danny?

No one is outside by the time she gets out of there.

The Teenage Monologues.

Visitation As Punishment: A Sophie Monologue.

I bounced my leg in place as I sat next to my mum at the kitchen table. She was clicking and scrolling on different pages on the computer, trying to figure out how to get to the page she is trying to get on. I would rather just be grounded like a normal teenage girl instead of sitting through this process.

“Mum,” I called out for her. She briefly looked at me before she continues to browse through the computer. I already know she was not going to let me get out of this. “Is this truly necessary?”

“Yes,” she coldly answered. “You haven’t spoken to your father in weeks.”

“I don’t have time when he calls,” I explained, trying to make it as believable as possible. My mum shook her head and continued clicking on pages on the computer.

“Well, you have time now,” she coldly responded once more, before turning the laptop to face me. I was getting nervous. Maybe I should’ve just called him on my own time; maybe then I wouldn’t be sitting here with my mom as I have this call with my father.

It wasn’t long after that the screen went blank and appeared my father. He was wearing a navy blue uniform; I expected my father to wear stripes or orange like how a prisoner typically wears.

“Hi, Edwin,” my mom smiled as she spoke to my father. I could tell that my mom still loved my father. Every time I heard her talk to him or visit him on these video calls, she smiled big with her teeth flashing and eye wrinkles showing. It made me upset at times; she was able to forgive him so easily after everything he put us through these last two years. Two years, dad. You broke my trust two years ago on Valentine’s Day.

“Hi, Haeun,” I hear my father say back. I could tell he is also smiling. “How have you been dear?”

“We’ve been fine,” mum answers. She looks at me softly, which is rare for my mum. She was always a hard person to read, but she has been like that for as long as I can remember. I was never close to my mum growing up; I think her Korean culture never interested me growing up, but she was always strict in making me follow tradition and grow up in the ways she did. It was my father that introduced other cultures into my life. It was him that decided that coming to live in America would open doors for me and my future. Now it feels like any opportunity or hope I had left for me in America wasn’t here anymore; it was back in the UK in a prison cell.

“And Sophie? How has she been?” he finally asks. I feel the knot in my throat get bigger and the pit of my stomach get deeper. My mum turns the laptop screen toward me and he finally sees me on camera. I see him on camera. The man on the screen looked like my father; same black hair, glasses, and smile. The only thing was that his facial hair was more noticeable. My father always preferred a clean shave.

“Hi, daddy,” I said to my father. He looked like he was at a loss for words.

“My Sophie girl!” he excitedly said. “You’ve gotten so big, my God!” He laughs after speaking. I miss his laugh. “How’s school going? High school is a big deal, especially being in that school.

“School’s going well,” I answered. ” I’m in the string orchestra in the band.”

“You were always so good on the violin,” he added. “Have you had any performances yet?”

“We have a showcase in a couple of weeks,” I answered. I didn’t want to share too much about myself with him. I just wanted to have this visit and then get as far away as possible. He nodded his head.

“And you’re making friends, right?” he asked. I nodded quickly, even though I can feel my mom’s eyes on me. Whatever; it made him smile. “Your mum told me you sprained your ankle at school the other day. How are you feeling?” I looked at my mom, not surprised she shared that with him on her video visits with him.

“I’m doing better,” I simply answered. “I go back to school on Monday.”

“That’s good,” he answered quickly after. I can tell his time is coming to an end. “As long as you’re keeping your grades up and practicing your violin and are enjoying yourself, that’s all that matters, Sophie girl.” I simply smiled for him. My mother sighed and turned the laptop to face her to say goodbye. I couldn’t help but get up out of my seat and walk away and out of the room. Any longer in the kitchen and I would’ve cried in front of my parents.

I waited until I closed my bedroom door to finally let everything out. I miss him so much.

Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Leaving Markers.

Cathy found it fascinating how I measure my progress by leaving markers.

I told her one Friday morning during our video call therapy session that I was afraid of 2023 turning into a year where I lost all the progress I’ve made. I was already entering the year with some challenges, and I was foolish for thinking the turning of a new year would ease those challenges. So I expressed this to Cathy, to let her know I had this unsettling feeling that my progress would not continue to be linear; the way that it was last year.

She told me she had never heard someone use years to measure progress. “It’s like you leave markers that you refer back to. You take those markers and they define your progress, but why not take ownership of the progress instead and not let time do that?”

How do I not honor those markers that have shaped me in this exact moment?

I am who I am because of 18-year-old Liz. She’s a version of myself I still try to protect because I remember her lowest of lows; when she truly felt alone. A part of that outcome was simply the fact she made dumb decisions, and she paid for those consequences. But, she also let all of those people walk all over her, and she tried her best to not let it get to her. But it did. She wanted to die. She wanted to disappear. She deemed herself a horrible person that deserved the worst to happen to her.

“Is that what you tell people when they ask what made you who you are today?” Yes.

I also mention grad school Liz; the 22 to 24-year-old women that tell the story about how they entered grad school with everything they ever wanted and left it as an outpatient at our local behavioral health clinic. I think back and remember sitting in the college’s library one night reading 100 pages the night before one of my classes, crying because I felt so anxious beyond repair that I thought about dropping out a semester before graduating. It was the first time I experienced what it was like to not take care of myself due to academics. I was so use to putting physical, living and breathing humans before myself; even that was easier to grasp than the fact that my studies was what was making my mental health deteriorate. It was the first time I told my doctor that I needed to seek out therapy and that I was not okay.

“And for you, what does this marker mean to you? What does it symbolize?” How I began my journey to understand myself deeper and relearn who I was as a person.

Cathy pointed out at that exact moment that even this journey was never linear. “Even with therapy, understanding and unlearning all the behavior is never linear.”

I was 25-years-old when I decided I needed to walk away from a person that defined most of my teenaged and young adult years. I remember crying the night before in my kitchen on the phone at 1 in the morning, knowing I was starting my first ever job the following morning. I wanted to die. I felt my heart ripping. I was losing a part of myself; my identity. But I was letting go of an identity that I could not identify with anymore. I needed to find myself after years of living behind other people. That’s a mother’s daughter. A sibling’s sister. Another girlfriend’s side chick. A person’s disposable friend. Up to this point, I was never just Liz; I was whoever people wanted me to be.

“Is that the marker you’ve placed where you decided to find yourself and honor yourself?” Not exactly. I mean. I’ve had ups and downs with people even after that so—


I had weight loss surgery when I was 27 years old. There was a moment I had the night before where I saw myself in the mirror for a couple of minutes. Sure, tomorrow I will still look the same and feel the same, but I knew that the next day would be the start of the physical changes to come. My face will not be as round anymore. My collarbones will pop out. I will drop down clothing sizes more than I could ever imagine myself dropping to. It was this butterfly effect once I made my choices. I was able to change my life because of my choices. Up to this point, I was able to make my own choices and live by my choices.

“So your markers are of all of the choices you’ve made throughout your life?”

My markers are my choices.

I continue to choose my path whether or not they were good or bad. My choices in 2012 are the result of what I experienced when I was 18. My choices in 2017 are the result of what I experienced when I was 23. My choices in 2019 are the result of what I experienced when I was 25. My choices in 2021 are the result of what I experienced when I was 27.

The choices I make now in 2023 will be the result of what I experience while I am 29.

My choices have left me alone at one point in my life; I realized that when I sat by myself at our school’s talent show where all of my former friends sat together in one spot in the auditorium. My choices led me to understand my mental heath after years of feeling like something was legit wrong with me. My choices led me to take care of myself, whether or not I need to define myself, reinvent myself, and honor myself.

Hi, my name is Liz and my measure of progress is leaving markers; typically of my choices.

The Teenage Monologues.

Friday Night Evening: A Mollie Monologue.

While everyone was leaving the venue for the night, I waited for Aaron to come out of the back. I was getting nervous; maybe he already packed his stuff and left without telling me. Maybe he just wanted me here at the show, but he didn’t say anything about wanting to hang out after the show or something. I started to feel stupid standing in the middle of this room as the venue got empty. I was beginning to walk out of the venue to just head home for the night.

“Mols!” I heard a voice call out for me. I turned around and saw Aaron walking towards me. I immediately smiled and turned around to face him as we continued walking to me.

“Hey, rockstar,” I teased Aaron as he approached me. He started to laugh, like the loud hearty laugh that he does when something is really funny to him. I’m glad I’m able to hear it and be the cause of it at times. “You were amazing out there tonight!”

“Thank you,” Aaron playfully takes a bow. “I appreciate you coming out here to see me perform.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” I quickly said back. I bit my bottom lip after saying it, feeling a little weird letting that slip out the way that it did. Aaron smiles before turning around to see his band members come closer to us.

“Mols, these are my bandmates,” Aaron pointed out as his band members came to us. “Thomas is our bass guitarist, Xavier is our rhythm guitarist, and Jordan’s our drummer.” I wave at the three guys, a little nervous at the introduction. They don’t look like they are also freshmen in a high school; I mean I’ve never seen them at Waverly. Aaron turns around to face me. “This is Mollie.”

“Hi,” I started to say. “You guys were awesome tonight.” The guys thanked me as they gathered their stuff. I figured that Aaron wanted to go hang out with his band members after having such a good show, but it was to my surprise seeing the guys give Aaron pounds, saying goodbye to him. They waved goodbye at me, and I return the wave. Once the guys leave, Aaron looks at me and smiles.

“Should we go grab something to eat?” Aaron asked.

“Please,” I begin to answer. “I haven’t eaten anything since lunch period.”

Aaron went to a local burger joint that he highly recommended; he typically goes here when he and his band have practice in the area. The burgers were alright, but the waffle fries were to die for. I think Aaron noticed since he trades his fries for my burger.

“You know, I was in that show feeling very lame with my uniform on,” I explained to Aaron, who is wearing casual clothing. It was nice to see how he dressed outside of school. It was very chill; an oversized sweatshirt and some jeans with a pair of Chuck Taylors on.

“I wish the show wasn’t right after school,” Aaron added on. “Carrying a change of clothes and your instrument is not cool.” I sipped on my soda before continuing the conversation.

“Wanna know what else isn’t cool?” I playfully asked. Aaron looked at me, nervous. “Pretending you don’t know what you’re doing but then singing the way you did in your performance.” I smiled, just to let him know I was obviously joking, and it was fun to tease him and watch him squirm. Aaron definitely squirmed in his seat.

“About that,” Aaron tried to explain. I laughed at his nervousness. I was curious to actually know what the explanation is. “The music we have to sing for vocal is sometimes just hard–“

“Hard doesn’t mean singing off-pitch on purpose,” I corrected him. “You know what you’re doing, so why did you ask me to help you in vocal if you really didn’t need it?” Aaron looked even more nervous, which actually now made me feel a little bad for pushing him this hard to tell me what’s been on my mind all night.

“Okay, you got me,” Aaron simply said. “I pretended I didn’t know what I was doing in vocal because I… just wanted to get to know you.”

“You could’ve just come up to me and got to know me though,” tried to explain to Aaron. I felt weird all of a sudden; why would Aaron have to lie about being bad at something just to talk to me. Was I that scary to approach or something?

“You don’t just approach the most talented girl in vocal class like nothing,” Aaron pointed out. I felt myself blush, but I hope that Aaron sees it as me feeling a little cold on this chilly night. “The day you went up and sang in front of the class for the first time, it was like… intense. Like, your talent made it hard for me to just come and talk to you at first.” Hearing Aaron explain why he did what he did has me left with a million more questions.

“Aaron, you’re a dual major,” I tried to reason with him. “That means that you were so fucking good at your auditions, that they decided to put you in two majors.”

“Being a dual major doesn’t mean you’re automatically the best,” Aaron responded back. “And Mols, you’re the best in our vocal class. I was just fascinated with you because even in being the best, you still work hard and practice your music and know what you’re doing not because you know you’re the best or you gotta stay the best, but because you have so much passion.”

Hearing Aaron talk about passion makes it feel real. This guy not only has to juggle the workload of two majors in school but also is a part of a band that is up and coming into the scene here in the city. It takes someone with passion to recognize other people with passion. It felt good to hear it from someone that doesn’t really owe you anything to tell you that you are good and worthy of the spot you’re in. I smiled. He returned the smile. I sighed before saying anything back.

“That means a lot, Aaron,” I began. “It’s hard to always feel like you don’t belong in a place or have people doubt your ability to do things because, well, they just see this girl who’s constantly getting herself in some sort of trouble.”

“Even the greats were badasses,” Aaron responded back. It made me giggle. “Even more of a reason to like you.” I looked at Aaron; I felt my stomach drop all the way down to my ankles.

“You… like me?” I said, without thinking at first. I shook my head, trying to cover up my tracks. “I mean, you like me as a friend, right?”

“Mols,” Aaron began. “I like you.” I felt all the air in my lungs evaporate. The Aaron Serrano, confessing that he likes me? I felt every jar of butterflies in my stomach explode, and there was no way of catching them all to put them back together. It was too late; I think it’s been too late for quite some time now.

“I like you too, Aaron,” I confessed. He smiled at my response, and it felt good to know that someone actually likes me for me, and not for the version that everyone wants me to be. The truth is I know I’m a mess, stubborn, and someone times don’t think before I speak. But if Aaron can like me for my broken parts, then he also actually really likes me for my good parts. Aaron gets closer to me, closing the gap between us. I feel myself beginning to blush even harder than before; this time, I hope Aaron knows it’s because of him.

“Would it be okay if I, uhm,” Aaron began to say; he was clearly nervous. Show him what it was like to be a badass, Mol.

“Kiss me,” I demanded. Aaron looked at me, surprised at my response. I smiled before he smiled and caressed my face, bringing me closer to his lips. He gently kissed me on the lips, and the electricity went through my body and brought me to life. It was innocent, nothing too aggressive or weird but… safe. I felt safe with Aaron. Our lips separated slowly. He looked into my eyes before releasing his hands from my face.

“Let’s get you home, rockstar,” I teased. Aaron laughed his infamous laugh before saying anything back.

“Not before we get the rockstar’s girlfriend home first,” Aaron flirted. I think I’m gonna like staying naturally red in the face.

y2katalogue: The Tapes

Tape #4: GNO, you know?

Jennifer slams her locker shut after grabbing the books she needs for her next class. Nicki looks at herself in the mirror in her locker, checking her hair and straightening out her outfit.

Jennifer: I really can’t believe Milo said that in practice yesterday like I swear he thinks he’s better than everyone just because he’s a dual major.

Nicki: I don’t think he meant it, Pep. I think he was just upset about what you said about Danny.

Jennifer rolls her eyes at Nicki’s response.

Jennifer: That still doesn’t give him the right to say what he said. He can be a real asshole sometimes–

Nicki closes her locker.

Nicki: Pep, you know you and Milo are one and the same. He hurts, you, and you hurt him back. You’ve both been this way forever.

Jennifer: Well he took it too far. Milo’s in that band class with him; he should put aside his feelings and actually see that Danny is a good fit for the band.

Nicki doesn’t say anything back, but in the middle of the girl’s conversation, a group of girls walks in between Nicki and Jennifer, interrupting their conversation.

Diana: You should really not be in people’s way.

Pepper: And you should really not be a total bitch, Lopez.

Diana turns around, followed by her posse of girls. She looks directly at Jennifer.

Diana: You’re not worth arguing with today, Castro.

Jennifer: You’re not worth it, period.

Diana: At least I’m not known as the school’s slut; you should really know the people that you hook up with better.

Jennifer lunges towards Diana, but Nicki holds her back.

Nicki: Pep, no!

Diana: *laughs* Tell Danny I said hi.

Diana turns back around and walks away from the two girls. Once they are out of sight, Nicki lets Jennifer go. She turns around to face Nicki, frustrated at her.

Jennifer: Why would you hold me back for?!

Nicki: Pep, you can’t afford to get in trouble again this year! One more incident and you can get kicked out of Waverly!

Jennifer: *annoyed* I don’t care! That bitch has made my life a living hell since the 7th grade.

Nicki: That’s because you let her do that.

Nicki puts her arm around Jennifer and starts to walk down the hall together.

Nicki: How about we do something tonight? Like a GNO, you know?

Jennifer: GNO?

Nicki: A girl’s night out?

Jennifer stops in front of her classroom and looks at Nicki before entering.

Nicki: Come on! We can go to the pool place ad play a couple of rounds of table tennis.

Jennifer is a little hesitant to answer back to Nicki’s plans. Before she can even say anything back, her eyes lock on Milo, who is walking down the hall and towards the same classroom that Jennifer is standing in front of. Without even looking in her direction, Milo walks past Jennifer and into the classroom. It hurts her a little.

Jennifer: Sure, why not? I’ll meet you there at 5 today.

Nicki smiles and jumps up excitedly. She says bye to Jennifer and runs down the hall to your next class. Jennifer’s smile fades as she enters the classroom. She walks to her seat and sits down; she just so happens to sit in the seat in front of Milo. They don’t say anything to each other. Moments later, Danny enters the classroom with his friends, walking towards their desks in the back. Jennifer watches Danny go to his seat; Milo rolls his eyes.

The bell rings and the students in the class pack their things to leave. As Jennifer puts her books back into her bag, she sees Milo walk past her desk, without even looking at her. This makes Jennifer angry. She quickly looks over at Danny, putting his books away before leaving the class. She gets up from her desk and walks over to Danny.

Jennifer: Hey, Danny!

Danny looks up and sees Jennifer standing there. He gives a tight smile before saying anything back.

Danny: Hi, Jennifer. What’s up?

Jennifer: This might be random, but whatcha doing tonight?

Danny cocks up an eyebrow, confused at what Jennifer’s getting at.

Danny: I don’t know, why?

Jennifer: Me and Nicki are going to be at the billiards place tonight. It would be cool if you came along to hang out with us.

Danny: *nervous* Nicki?

Jennifer flashes a smile and crosses her arms. Danny shakes his head and continues to pack his bookbag.

Danny: I don’t think that would be a good idea…

Jennifer: Why not?

Danny stops what he’s doing and finally faces Jennifer with his whole body.

Danny: I don’t think it would be cool if I went out to hang with a girl I hooked up with and her best friend–

Jennifer: –that you also like.

Danny is taken aback by Jennifer’s blunt response.

Danny: I’ll pass.

As Danny begins to walk away, Jennifer stops him in his tracks.

Jennifer: Wait!

She looks up at Danny, who is still trying to get past her.

Jennifer: Look, the past is the past and we can’t change what happened!

Danny: I don’t understand why you’re pushing this so hard.

Jennifer: Because I think you and Nicki would make a cute couple, and–

Danny starts to laugh, which makes Jennifer stop what she’s saying. She’s annoyed that Danny is laughing.

Jennifer: What the fuck is so funny?

Danny: Jennifer, I treated you like shit last year. Literally hooked up with you for a bet. You can’t believe that I’m seriously a right fit for your best friend?

Jennifer: I know you like Nicki–

Danny: So what?

Silence fills the air between the two teens. Danny shuts his eyes, knowing that he just admitted to liking Nicki.

Danny: It doesn’t matter. I doubt Nicki is comfortable wanting to hang out with a guy that hurt her best friend–

Jennifer: Dude, you gotta stop acting like I’m still hurt about what happened. I’m over it!

Danny: *angry* Yeah, well maybe I’m not.

Jennifer doesn’t respond. Danny takes in a deep breath and exhales.

Danny: I gotta go. See you around, Jennifer.

Danny walks away from Jennifer, and she exits the classroom once Danny does.

Outside the classroom, Milo is seen closing the door of his locker once seeing Danny leave the class, followed by Jennifer. Milo isn’t happy that Jennifer is now having secret meetings with Danny.