The "Something" Series: Season 2

A Little Something Crispy: A Scene.

Jamie stands in front of the bathroom mirror and looks at his red, sunburnt skin. He winces every time he touches it to apply aloe vera gel on it. Shawn walks past the bathroom and returns to see what Jamie is doing.

Shawn: *confused* Hyung?

Jamie looks at Shawn through the mirror.

Jamie: What?

Shawn: What happened to your skin? You look like a tomato!

Jamie turns around to physically face Shawn, who is now laughing at Jamie’s appearance. Jamie takes the aloe gel and exits the bathroom door. Shawn follows Jamie to his room.

Shawn: Seriously; what happened to you?

Jamie: I went to the beach and… didn’t apply enough sunblock on.

Shawn: Are you sure you put any on?

Jamie rolls his eyes and proceeds to apply the gel to his skin.

Jamie: I wanted to experience what it was like to get a tan–

Shawn: *laughs* Hyung, that is not a tan!

Jamie: Listen, it will! Grace told me it will eventually…

Shawn’s eyes widen as he crosses his arms, leaning on the doorframe.

Shawn: Grace, huh? So you went to the beach today with Grace?

Jamie: Ya, it’s not even like that. You took her cousin away from her today; I guess she was bored and I was the last best thing…

Shawn: More like the first best thing. *teases* So you’re trying to impress her with a tan?

Jamie sighs as Shawn is heard laughing at his own jokes. Jamie tries to get the conversation off of him.

Jamie: What did you and Skylar do today?

Shawn: We went to the Promenade and explored the shops before we ate at a Japanese restaurant.

Jamie: *confused* Japanese?

Shawn nodded as he began to read the words on the aloe gel bottle. Jamie chuckled.

Jamie: Skylar knows you’re Korean, right?

Shawn: *confused* Why wouldn’t she?

Jamie shakes his head and proceeds to put a tank top on.

Jamie: You and Skylar should try a margarita when you go out again. Apparently, it’s a fruit-like alcohol beverage.

Shawn: How is it?

Jamie: I don’t know; I didn’t try it.

Shawn hands Jamie back to aloe gel bottle.

Shawn: Then how do you know about it?

Jamie: I saw it on this menu and it sounds good, but I didn’t get one because Gr– I had to drive Grace back home.

Shawn: *laughs* I bet you Grace had one then!

Jamie doesn’t answer. Both Jamie and Shawn hear the front door open downstairs. They both look down toward the front door and see Kevin walk in. Kevin is seen dropping all of his equipment near the door; out of control.

Shawn: Did you die on your hike?

Kevin looks up at Shawn. He rolls his eyes.

Kevin: I can’t feel my legs; I need to soak in a bath…

Kevin walks up the stairs and stops at the sight of Jamie.

Kevin: Hyung, what the hell happened to your skin?

Shawn starts to laugh all over again.

Jamie: Nothing, Kevin. I went to the beach today–

Kevin: Did you apply cooking oil on your skin instead of sunblock? Really though, you look like crispy fried chicken–

Shawn laughs hard enough to the point he begins to cough.

Jamie: Ya~ that’s enough.

Shawn: He went to the beach with Grace today…

Kevin: *shocked* Why did you go to the beach with Grace?

Jamie: Because Shawn was with Skylar and she was probably bored. I didn’t have anything to do, so I just went.

Kevin: And that’s all you went for? Just to keep her company?

Jamie nodded his head. Shawn watches the interaction. Kevin walks past the two men to go toward the bathroom.

Kevin: I mean I guess that’s okay since Shawn was out with her cousin.

Once Kevin closes the bathroom door behind him, Shawn slaps Jamie on his arm, causing Jamie to wince in pain.

Jamie: Ya! What was that for?

Shawn: Why are you lying to Kevin? You know you wanted to go and see Grace again.

Jamie: *annoyed* You don’t know that. I went to keep her company, and that’s all I did.

Shawn: Keep telling yourself that. Isn’t that how you first fell in love with her back in New York?

Jamie walks toward his bedroom, wanting to end the conversation.

Jamie: This time is different.

Shawn: Again, keep telling yourself that!

Jamie’s bedroom door closes shut. Jamie takes in a deep breath and sits on the edge of his bed. He hears his phone vibrate on the nightstand next to his bed. He looks back at it and reaches for it. He reads the notification on his lock screen.

Grace: You still owe me kpop idol jamie in a karaoke bar! >:]

Jamie smiles at the message. He unlocks his screen and responds back to her.

Jamie: Just pick the time and place, jagiya--

Jamie quickly backspaces the message and corrects himself.

Jamie: Just pick the time and place, Grace 🙂

The Teenage Monologues.

After-School Ritual: A Milo Monologue.

“Can you pass the red pepper?” Mollie asked. I passed her the red pepper shaker and watched her cover her entire slice of pizza with it. She looks up at me staring. “May I help you?”

I couldn’t help but laugh. Even though my day was absolute shit, Mollie always knew what to do to make it not that shitty. I pointed at her slice of pizza covered in red pepper flakes.

“You might as well just buy a jar of red pepper flakes,” I teased. Mollie wasn’t even phased by my joke.

“How long have we’ve ate pizza after-school, Milo?” Mollie said as she took a bite of her slice of pizza. “For years,” she answered herself with a mouthful of pizza. I handed her a napkin to clean her mouth.

“I guess old habits die hard,” I answered Mollie.

“You gotta stop hanging out with your dad and Jennifer. Your jokes are so 1990’s,” Mollie stated. I rolled my eyes, sipping my soda. Mollie puts her slice back down on her plate and wipes her hands with her napkin.

“So, our vocal class is… interesting,” Mollie started.

“Our vocal class is just Beverly Junior High all over again,” I said, annoyed at the subject. “Like, how the hell am I suppose to go through that class with everyone knowing that the vocal teacher is also my dad?”

“People will get over it,” Mollie responded. “We have four years to get over it.”

“I barely could get through it today, Mol!” I complained. Mollie started to laugh and continue eating her pizza. I was annoyed that she found my pain funny. “How would you feel if one of your sisters or your parents were your teacher and everyone found out?”

“Milo,” Mollie began. “This is high school. You don’t have to be the middle school Milo version anymore. Fight them! Beat them up! Establish yourself as a tough guy in Waverly! That’s what I would’ve done.”

“I’m not you, Mollie,” I said, feeling defeated. Sometimes Mollie forgot that not everyone handles problems the way she does. It’s times like this that make our friendship not the easiest to handle.

I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I took it out and read the notification on my screen.

leesophie: After-school ritual?

I smiled at my phone, and I guess Mollie noticed.

“Is that your girlfriend-that’s-not-really-your-girlfriend?” Mollie said. I looked up at her and rolled my eyes.

“She’s not my girlfriend,” I stated, which was probably the 100th time since Mollie found out that Sophie and are still friends even after middle school. Mollie wasn’t happy when she first found out. For a while, Mollie and I argued about it since she kept saying I was replacing her with Sophie. First of all, I can’t not be Mollie’s best friend; we are practically family… well we are family since my dad married her older sister, Jennifer. I try not to think about the fact that Mollie is technically my aunt… “best friend” is the better title.

Secondly, Sophie’s friendship is so different than Mollie’s. With Sophie, we can talk about different things for hours, go around the neighborhood and always find something fascinating about it. I like hanging out with Mollie, but I enjoy hanging out with Sophie every time we do.

I began to get money out of my bookbag and place it on the table. Mollie rolls her eyes. I sighed, knowing I needed to make sure Mollie was okay.

“Mol, you know we’re best friends for life, right?” I said. Mollie doesn’t answer. I tried again. “And even if you wanted to escape me, you can’t. We’re bonded for life.”

I guess what I said makes Mollie smile and laugh. She sighs before she said anything.

“Just remember that I’m your best man at your wedding with Sophie,” Mollie teased. I threw my paper ball from my plastic straw at Mollie, who then laughs. I put out my fist, in which Mollie gave me a fist pound back.

“I’ll text you later,” I said before leaving the pizzeria.

I finally arrive on the block that my grandparents live on. I saw my grandma water the flowers in her front yard. She stops when she sees me walking closer to her house.

“Milo,” my grandma happily said, kissing me on the forehead. I tried to quickly step back, just in case anyone would see me. “It’s not Thursday; what are you doing here?”

“My friend and I are going to hang out in the treehouse,” I answered. My grandma didn’t say anything back; she just raised an eyebrow. “My friend Sophie.”

“I know which friend,” she said. She started to water the flowers again. “Does your dad know you’re here?” I don’t say anything back. Technically, I’m still with Mollie. My grandma sighs.

“Please tell your father you’re here,” she demanded. I nodded my head as I began to climb the treehouse.

I don’t tell my dad.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Somewhere Sunny, Something Tasty: A Scene.

Grace: *laughs* Are you okay?

Jamie winces in pain as he slowly sits in the chair at a boardwalk restaurant. He looks up when he finally sits down.

Jamie: This is nothing!

Grace pokes Jamie’s arm, where his skin is so pink from the sun, Grace’s input turns that one spot white. Jamie reacts to the touch.

Jamie: Aigoo, okay you’ve proven your point.

Grace laughs; Jamie smiles at the sound. They both flip open the menus in front of them.

Grace: The food is to die for here; I’m even lucky if I could grab something during my breaks at work.

Jamie: Really?

Grace nods her head. They continue to look at their menus, deciding what to eat.

Jamie: *points at a page* We can start drinks if you’d like.

Grace: What did you have in mind?

Jamie: *scans menu page* Well, if you’re up for a… *looks at menu closer* mal-ga-li-ta”—wow, that looks good— we can have that.

Grace: *laughs* It’s a margarita, and it has alcohol in it.

Jamie’s eyes widen.

Jamie: Oh! I mean, if you’d like one, you can order it. I’m driving you back home, so–

Grace shakes her head to interrupt Jamie’s sentence.

Grace: No no, it’s okay…

Grace fidgets in her seat for a moment. Jamie notices and looks up at Grace. She also takes notice of him looking at her.

Grace: I’m… actually sober.

Jamie: Oh! I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have assumed you did!

Grace: It’s completely fine, Jamie, really… If you want a drink, it’s cool; I can drive us back if you want.

Jamie: *shakes head* No, it’s alright; I don’t wanna… drink with… you.

Grace tilts her head to the side; Jamie gets flustered.

Jamie: I don’t mean it like that! I just don’t want to drink while you are sober, and–

Grace giggles at Jamie’s flushed appearance.

Grace: It’s okay, Jamie. You can still enjoy a drink around me if you want it.

Jamie nods, taking note. Before switching the subject, Grace begins to speak.

Grace: I haven’t had alcohol in about 4 months now. It’ll be 5 on June 26th.

Jamie: That’s great, Grace. Congratulations on your sobriety.

Grace: Thanks, Jamie.

Jamie: *without any self-aware* So what made you quit altogether?

Grace looks at Jamie with slight annoyance. He quickly picks it up and backtracks.

Jamie: That was inappropriate of me. I’m sorry–

Grace: *stern* I was an alcoholic. I needed to stop drinking, so I did.

Jamie’s face flashes red in embarrassment. He’s relieved when the waitress comes by to get their choice of food and drinks. Jamie ends up ordering an Iced Americano as a drink; Grace ends up getting a cola.

When the waitress walks away from the table, Grace notices Jamie lost in thought. She bites the inner corner of her cheek and sighs.

Grace: It’s okay, Jamie. You didn’t know, and I didn’t expect you to know.

Grace crosses her arms and leans on the tabletop.

Grace: Just how I should’ve expected you ordering an Iced Americano. Still drinking that nasty expresso coffee?

Jamie laughs, looking more comfortable than before.

Jamie: Iced Americanos are what get me through the day.

Grace: It’s 1:30 in the afternoon.

Jamie: *confused* You say that as if it’s a bad thing.

Grace shakes her head and laughs. The tension that was between them vanishes. Jamie smiles, then sighs when the silence gets to be too much for him.

Jamie: You mentioned that you’re still dancing; how’s it going?

Grace: Good! Next weekend I have intense practices for an event that’s coming up.

Jamie: Your company is having an event?

Grace: No, no; the studio I dance for is having an event. Well, a showcase… some of the dancers in that academy are looking to get scouted, so the company has this showcase every season to either scout new dancers or send their dancers off for professional jobs.

Jamie raises his eyebrows in shock; he’s curious about the dancer side of Grace.

Jamie: Are you looking to get picked for a professional job?

Grace: As great as that is, I’m already “too old” to be considered for a professional job. I’m just in the academy to dance, stay local; y’know?

Jamie: Too old? Aren’t you turning 30 in October?

Grace looks at Jamie. She surprised that Jamie still remembers minor details such as her age and birthday.

Grace: I am.

Jamie: Is that not ideal for a dancer?

Grace: The younger, the better. in the division I dance for, 21 to 24 is the age most professional dancers are. *laughs* I was too busy in college and law school at that age.

Jamie: You were simply fulfilling another passion of yours.

Grace scoffs, then sighs. The drinks are served with their food, and Jamie immediately takes a sip of his Iced Americano.

Grace: Did you want to do anything else beside be a lawyer when you were younger?

Jamie’s face turns red; it grabs Grace’s attention.

Grace: Oh God, is it embarrassing?

Jamie: No, no… it’s just that it’s silly thinking back at it now…

Grace: *eager* Oh my God, what was it?

Jamie: *sighs* I wanted to be an idol in Korea.

Grace laughs out loud, but immediately stops to maintain her composure.

Grace: Oh, wow, that’s…

Jamie: Silly?

Grace: No! It’s… something I wouldn’t guess you out of all people would want to become.

Jamie: There’s a lot you don’t know about me yet.

Grace and Jamie look at each other; nothing is said between them. They continue to enjoy the meal in silence until Jamie looks up at Grace. She doesn’t notice he’s looking at her.

Jamie: How about we go to a karaoke bar the next time?

Grace looks up from her plate.

Grace: Karaoke?

Jamie: Yeah! So I can show you that I really could sing… a little.

Grace: You want to go to a karaoke bar? With me?

Jamie: Why not? We did it years ago back in New York. I just didn’t sing the last time we did.

Grace: *recalls* Oh, right! For my birthday! Holy shit, that had to have been like… 3, 4 years ago?!

Jamie nods; Grace is visibly still in shock.

Jamie: So, are you up for it the next time we hang out?

Grace is taken back by the assertiveness. She didn’t know there would ever be a next time, but smiles at the thought of there being one.

Grace: We can do that.

Jamie smiles and Grace returns one back.

The Teenage Monologues.

The Teacher’s Son: A Milo Monologue.

The eighth period of the day finally came; it felt like it took eight years for us to get here. Band class was really cool; our teacher had us sit in our places where our sections are. Being out in the back of the classroom sucks, but at least I can see Sophie play throughout the entire class time. I sit next to some guy named Aaron. He’s this really tall kid that apparently kills on the drums. I’ll definitely see if that’s true someday.

I entered a basement-like classroom next to the back exit of the school. I was initially confused; was this where the vocal room was located? I can’t lie; I was nervous going to vocal. Yeah, I was a Dual major, but something felt weird for me being in the vocal program. In a sense, I felt the need to prove myself even more.

When I entered the classroom, there were a good amount of people already in class. They all seem to be in my grade; in a sense, they all look as confused and nervous as I am. I look at the vocal teacher, trying to not stare at him too hard as I walk towards the seats. Mollie enters a couple of minutes later, waving her hand as she walks toward my direction. She also looks at the teacher quickly, then turns her head back toward me.

“So,” Mollie bagn to say. I roll my eyes and sighed, knowing where this conversation was heading.

“Mol, I know,” I stated. Mollie starts to laugh harder than I expected her to laugh.

“Did you know this was going to happen when you auditioned for the vocal program?” Mollie asked.

“Of course I did!” I answered a little louder than I thought. I looked back up at the teacher, who stands in front of the piano in the middle of the room. More students– both new faces and old– come into the vocal room. My eyes widen to see Laurie Warren walk into the vocal room.

“Is that–“

Mollie turns around and makes a gagging noise. We watched her walk to a seat in the vocal room, in which there were a couple of girls already surrounding her. How the fuck do you even get popular on the first day of a new school?

“I hate her so much,” Mollie stated.

“I know, Mol,” I responded back, trying to end the conversation. The teacher quiets dow the class and I could feel the sweat drip down my face. Please don’t introduce yourself, just pleeeaseee just–

“Hello, newcomers! Welcome to your first day at Waverly High,” the teacher began. He walks toward the chalkboard and picks up a piece of chalk. I feel myself sink further down my seat. Mollie looks down at me and shakes her head. The teacher writes in big letters his name: “Mr. Kamalani”.

“I’m your vocal teacher, Mr. Kamalani,” he introduced himself. I squeezed my eyes shut; I didn’t want to see anyone look at me.

“So, excited for your first day, bud?” my dad asked at the dinner table. Jennifer was feeding my baby twin sisters while my younger brother, Micah, sat at the table playing with his food. My father scolded him quickly before waiting for me to answer.

“I guess,” I answered, not excited. I dropped my fork on my plate and looked up at my dad. “You’re not gonna do those stupid introductions in class?”

“What do you mean?” my dad asked.

“Like can you just teach the class without them ever knowing who you are or something?” I pleaded. My dad started to laugh as he wiped Micah’s messy face.

“Bud, my students need to know who I am,” my dad answered. “I will be their vocal teacher for the next four years.” I placed my hands on my face and sighed loudly.

“My high school experience is already going to be horrible,” I stated. My dad sighed loudly.

“You’ll be fine, bud,” he reassured. “If it makes you feel any better, I will not give you any special treatment. You’ll be another one of my students.”

“Milo, he’s looking over here,” Mollie whispered in my ear. I opened up one eye and saw him quickly glance at me before moving towards the opposite side of the vocal room. I let out the breath I was holding in for what felt like hours.

“So, I will be your vocal teacher for the course of your high school career,” my dad spoke to the class. “We will learn music in different languages, we will sing different genres of music, perform in different venues, and make you guys prepared for your futures beyond the four walls of this classroom.” One thing my dad is passionate about is his music. He was a student in this very school back then, probably sitting in this very classroom too. He was known for having some of his students go to the top colleges for music in the country. My dad cared about his students, and from the sound of it; it seems like his students liked him. It just sucks I have to be related to my goddamn vocal teacher.

“Since these are your peers and choirmates for the next four years, let’s introduce each other,” he said. My eyes widen. No, no, no, no; please! I could feel my face get hot.

“You need a bag to puke or something?” Mollie asked. I didn’t answer her. I just wanted to hide in a cave for the rest of my high school life.

After the first couple of students introduced themselves, my dad looks at Mollie, nodding in her direction to give her the floor to introduce herself.

“Hi. I’m Mollie,” she said. “I think I’m a soprano? Uhm… yeah,” she awkwardly sat down. Laurie chuckled across the room, which made Mollie look over there and stand back up. “I don’t know what’s so funny, but that’s my intro.”

“Class, please be respectful to each other’s introductions. All the drama and bad tension any of you have with each other stays out of this classroom. We are a team,” my dad sternly said. I don’t know if that was fair for him to do. He knows Laurie and Mollie would kill each other if they were left alone in a room with each other. Once he finished, he looks in my direction and nods to proceed with my introduction. This is when my high school life ends; right now on the very first fucking day.

I stand up from my seat slowly and look around the classroom. It makes me a moment to actually say something. Fuck, just get this over with.

“Hi, uhm… I’m Milo,” I started to say. “I’m a band and vocal dual major… tenor, I–“

“–am also related to Mr. Kamalani!” someone shouted from across the room. The class starts to laugh as I quickly scanned the room to see who said what they said. It wasn’t Laurie. It was a guy towards the back of the room.

It was Aaron from my band class.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Something in the Water: A Scene.

Grace and Jamie step on the sand and walk along the path to find a spot to settle at. Jamie is holding the beach umbrella in one arm and Grace’s bag in the other. Grace turns around to look at Jamie, who is clearly struggling.

Grace: Are you sure you don’t need any help?

Jamie: *struggling* Nope! I’m okay.

Grace and Jamie find a spot in which Jamie places Grace’s bag on the sand gently, but chucks everything else on the ground. He crouches down by putting his hands on his knees; attempts to catch his breath. Grace goes into the mini cooler and takes out a water bottle for Jamie. He looks up at Grace and kindly accepts the water bottle.

Jamie: Thank you.

Grace: Of course! You look like you’re about to die on the sand.

Jamie rolls his eyes.

Jamie: Ya, it was just heavy.

Grace: *laughs* I offered to help! You wanted to show off your *mimics superman pose* manly-man side!

Jamie laughs at Grace and shakes his head as he picks up the umbrella to set it up.

Jamie: A man, no matter how weak or tired he may be, should always take care of the heavy things for a woman present.

Grace is taken by surprise. She watches Jamie set up the umbrella.

Grace: You know some women would literally kick you in the balls for not letting them to do the work equally, right?

Jamie: Let’s not hope you’re one of those women; I would like to be laying in the sand peacefully, not painfully.

Grace giggles and sets up the blanket in the sand under the umbrella. She takes off her dress and reveals a navy blue bikini with white anchors on them. Jamie’s face flashes red as he sees her bare skin. He quickly puts his sunglasses on to hide his blushing face. He glances at Grace putting sunblock lotion on her skin.

Grace: You could put your shirt in my bag if you don’t sand getting into it.

Jamie looks down at his shirt.

Jamie: It’s a swim shirt.

Grace: Oh! I thought… you, uhm…

Grace gestures removing her shirt from over her head.

Grace: Take it off at the beach.

Jamie: *teases* Are you asking me to take off my shirt?

Grace’s face flashes red. She shakes her head nervously.

Grace: Only if you want to! I mean, I don’t know how comfortable you are wearing a shirt at the beach but if you want to wear it, you can I was just–

Jamie: *laughs* I wear it to protect my skin. I don’t get tanned skin when I come to the beach.

Grace: You don’t like the sun?

Jamie: It’s not common for Koreans to have tanned skin, but I can see that it’s different in America.

Grace: Oh! Yeah, the tanner you are, the more it looks like you’re living your summer dream here really. Would you ever try tanning?

Jamie ponders on the thought. He slowly takes off his shirt, which Grace finds herself staring. She clears her throat and looks ahead towards the water.

Jamie: Grace?

Grace turns her head to face Jamie without even dealing he is now shirtless, sporting a tiny 6-pack and toned arms.

Jamie: May I borrow your sunblock lotion?

Grace: Oh! Yeah, here…

She watches Jamie put the lotion on his skin. She reaches for the mini cooler and takes out a bottle of water. The two sit in silence, yet it is not awkward; just mutual.

After a while, Jamie looks over to Grace, who is sunbathing. Jamie clears his throat before saying anything.

Jamie: I can see why you came to California; it’s very peaceful.

Grace looks over at Jamie, who is now looking out to the water. Grace doesn’t answer right away. Jamie looks at Grace and catches her looking at him.

Grace: Yeah…

Grace’s smile starts to fade. Jamie notices.

Jamie: Do you not like it here?

Grace: No, no; I do. It’s just… different. My family and friends are back in New York so, things just feel different here.

Jamie nods his head, listening to Grace speak.

Jamie: I understand.

Grace: And now Skylar spends most of her time with Shawn, which is fine; I’m glad someone was actually able to entertain her for longer than a night.

Jamie: Shawn is quite the entertainer.

Grace giggles. Jamie smiles, happy to see her smiling again.

Grace: Thanks again for agreeing to come to the beach with me.

Jamie: Thank you again for inviting me.

Grace smiles at Jamie and then closes her eyes to sunbathe. Jamie gets up from under the umbrella and stands over Grace with his arm extended out to her.

Jamie: Come on.

Grace: *confused* What?

Jamie: Come to the water with me.

Grace: *skeptical* Jamie, the water is…

Jamie: Just water that will cool us off.

Grace leans back down and closes her eyes.

Grace: You go.

Jamie huffs.

Jamie: Come with me in the water.

Grace takes off her sunglasses to look at Jamie directly head-on.

Grace: I don’t want to go into the water. The saltwater and my hair do not mix.

Jamie: What’s the point of going to the beach if you aren’t going to swim?

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie: *mocks* Jamie.

Grace scrunches her eyebrows; lost for words.

Grace: You’re not getting me in that water.

Jamie: You’re getting in the water with me.

Grace: I would love to see you try.

Jamie looks around the beach and quickly lifts Grace off of the blanket without letting Grace react.

Grace: Jamie!

Jamie carries Grace and runs toward the water; she shouts and tries to get free from Jamie’s hold on her.

Grace: Jamie Kim I swear to God if you drop me in the water–

It was too late; Jamie was now in the water and he tosses Grace into the ocean. Grace screams as she falls into the water. She quickly resurfaces and wipes the water from her face. Jamie laughs out loud. As revenge, Grace splashes Jamie, which catches him off-guard. When she finds her opportunity, she runs toward Jamie and dunks his head into the water. He quickly pops back up, coughing.

Grace: You see how it feels?

Jamie doesn’t stop coughing, which immediately worries Grace.

Grace: Jamie?

She walks toward Jamie to check on him, in which he quickly stops coughing and lifts Grace’s body from the water. Grace screams, but Jamie tosses her into the water once again. This time, Grace comes back up laughing, splashing Jamie in the direction he stands. They both play fight in the ocean water, laughing and yelling like little kids.

The Teenage Monologues.

The Epitome of Band Geek: A Sophie Monologue.

Finally.

I walked towards Milo; it would be the first time today that I got to see him. The night before, we spoke on the phone and shared our excitement for high school. It was a new chapter of our lives in a new school, and the bad memories from the past can stay in the past.

“So, all honors class, huh?” Milo asked me. I sat on my bed with my legs crossed and headphones plugged into my phone. Milo and I would always call each other over the phone on the days we didn’t hang out. The past summer was one to truly remember! We spent most of our days riding our bikes in the park, or going to the movies to watch anything and everything. There were even times I hung out with Milo and his best friend, Mollie; she’s definitely a cool person once she gets to know you. Yes, she needs to get to know you first. I sometimes think she only tolerates me because of Milo, but–I mean– things could be worse.

“Yeah, I’m really nervous though,” I responded. “I heard that there are upperclassmen in those honors classes. What if I’m the only freshman in my classes?”

“You got this, Scout,” Milo reassured, calling me by the nickname he gave me the summer we first met. He says I remind him of Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. To my surprise, he actually read the book for his English class and not just see the movie.

“Yout think so?” I honestly asked. I was nervous to enter a school where the other people were older and more experienced. High school is the place where we spend most of our teenage lives and discover ourselves as people. I couldn’t imagine how I would ever get to be where most of those teenagers are. I will like a tiny guppie in a sea full of big and tough fish.

“Yeah! You never know if you’ll be the only freshman in those honors classes. And even if you are, that makes you cool as shit! Sophie Kim: the coolest freshman in Waverly because she takes classes with the older cool kids!” Milo excitedly said over the phone. I couldn’t help but laugh. Milo always knows the right things to say to cheer a friend up.

“Thanks, Milo. I needed that,” I replied. “It’s just a bummer that we don’t have many classes with each other.”

“We have band, which let’s be honest, it’s the most important class,” Milo stated. Milo and I are both band majors; he’s going to be in the percussion section of the band while I sit in the strings section.

“Really! I’m excited to play with everyone else and be a real ensemble!” I said with a smile on my face. I can hear Milo smile through the phone.

“It’s gonna be so much fun,” Milo finally said.

I was taken aback when Milo greeted me with a hug in the band room. After he let me go, he looked down at the guy that was sitting in the seat next to him. He quickly got up and walked away. I felt bad that Milo would make that guy leave his seat, but when he did, he insisted that I sit down next to him.

“How has your first day been so far?” Milo asked. I sighed loudly and then laughed to shake it off.

“Definitely not what I expected it to be,” I began. “I realized that ‘honors’ was just a fancy word for upperclassmen doing whatever they want to do.”

“Really? So they aren’t, like, super smart?”

“Oh no, they are, but I feel like they do their work but don’t like to participate? I was answering almost all of the questions in my Chemistry class, and one of the older classmates called like ‘the epitome of a band geek. I was so embarrassed.”

“Epitome?” Milo asked.

“It means a person or thing being the perfect example of something,” I answered. “Basically, I am a perfect example of a band geek. The violin case didn’t make things easier.” Milo scrunched his eyebrows; he was upset that someone would say that about me. I put a smile on my face and shook my head. “It’s okay though. It’s only the first day. How has your first day been so far?” Milo rolled his eyes before he answered.

“Okay for the most part, but every damn class they want us to do an introduction of ourselves. One guy was like ‘oh, are you related to Mr. Kamalani?!'” Milo recalled. Mr. Kamalani, Milo’s dad, works at Waverly High. I’m not sure what he does exactly, but I can only imagine how annoying it must be to get asked the same question over and over again.

“I’m sorry you had to go through that. That could be annoying after a while,” I said.

“Not only is it annoying, but I don’t want people thinking I got into Waverly because of my dad,” Milo said, a little annoyed at the conversation. I looked away, not wanting to upset Milo even more. “Scout?” I turned my head around to face Milo again. His face didn’t look as angry as it did just before. “Things will get better for us.”

I smiled and then faced forward when the teacher closed the front door and began class. I took out my notebook from my bookbag, as well as a pencil. Here goes the first date of band class for the next four years.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Trying Something New: A Monologue.

At this point, the car is driving me more than I’m driving it. I don’t really recall what I did within the last hour besides frantically trying to find something to wear to the beach. I nearly packed everything for this summer vacation besides the one thing I should’ve brought with me: a swimsuit.

I run upstairs, skipping every other step to reach the top floor faster. I ran towards Shawn’s room, hoping he was still there.

“Ya!” I called out into the room. Shawn jumps up and turns around. He holds his chest; startled.

“Hyung, are you trying to kill me or something?” Shawn said more seriously than I thought he was. I shook my head, trying to catch my breath before I spoke again.

“Do you bring a swimsuit with you here?” I asked. Shawn cocked his eyebrow up; clearly confused at the random question I’m asking.

“Huh?” he said, clearly expressing his confusion in words. “I think so, but why?”

“Is it okay if I borrow them for the day?” I didn’t bother answering his question. I was hoping he would just lend it to me, no questions asked.

“Why? You don’t have one?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t have to ask you if I did,” I said back, annoyed and anxious about the time. Shawn went to his closet and pulled something out of the top shelf. Before he hands them to me, he smirks.

“Why do you all of a sudden need a swimsuit?”

“Because it’s the middle of summer?” I tried to avoid the truth as much as I could. Shawn laughs in an uproar.

“Hyung, are you going to the beach?” Shawn teases. My face begins to feel hot, which means it’s most likely turning red. Shawn laughs at the lack of answer I have. “Are you going out with Grace to the beach all of a sudden?” Shawn hands me the swimsuit and I grab it quickly.

“Thanks,” I said.

“If I knew you were going out with Grace, Skylar and I would’ve done a double date,” Shawn teased some more while exiting his room. He pats me on the shoulder before leaving. “I hope your beach date with Grace is straight out of a summer drama,” he faced me and said. He laughs as he exits his room.

The GPS tells me to take the next exit off of the highway. The sun is out and bright; there’s literally not a cloud in the sky. I’m excited, nervous, and confused as to why all of the people Grace can possibly spend her day with, she calls me. I go through all of the possibilities in my head. Does she feel bad for you or something? Does she feel like she has to make up for the last time we saw each other? Aigoo, did I just agree to a pity hang out? Why do I feel like the charity case for Grace today? I start to sike myself out. I think about telling Grace I’m sick all of a sudden; I can’t imagine her really being upset if I cancel our plans.

You know you want to see her. You don’t know if this will be the last time you’ll get to see her. I don’t turn back. I eventually get to her condo; I feel more nervous than I was the last time seeing her at the bar. Maybe it’s because I had time to prepare myself. Now, I feel like I’m running on pure adrenaline.

I drive up her walkway and park the car out front. I turn the car off and take a deep breath. Ya, you’re going to be fine. I look at myself in the rearview mirror before eventually exiting the car. I walk up to her door, not knowing if I should knock or ring the doorbell. The doorbell felt like the safest way.

Moments later, the front door opens and Grace stands there. She wears a short, flowery dress and her hair is pulled back, away from her face. She smiles.

“Hey,” she greeted. I smiled back.

“Hi,” I was too nervous to say anything else at that point. I think she was too. She lets out a deep sigh and looks at me again.

“Shall we go?” Grace asked. I snap out of my thought and take her beach bag from her as we walk to the car. She enters the passenger’s side as I put her bag in the backseat. Jaemin-ah, just fucking breathe. I enter the car on the driver’s side, about to spend my day with Grace Ashmore.

I figured it was best to take the highway towards the pier. Her hair was blowing in the wind, and I felt bad that she kept tucking strands of her hair behind her ear.

“I could roll up the windows and put the air on,” I insisted. Grace shook her head no.

“The fresh air feels so much better,” Grace answered. I nodded, agreeing with her. “It’s like the perfect summer day.”

“It is,” I answered. “I’m looking forward to going to an American beach,” I honestly said. It was true. I always enjoyed a day at the beach, even though I try my best to not get too dark in the sun. But, something told me today I should just allow myself to get tan. I’ve never been, and everyone in California seems to have one. Shawn and Kevin will pass out if they see tanned skin on me.

“You never been?” Grace asked. I shook my head.

“The city doesn’t have beaches,” I answered.

“But there’s Coney Island,” Grace explained. I look over to her and then quickly back towards the road. I shouldn’t be upset that she doesn’t remember our summers back in New York. At this point, they feel so long ago, so intangible. It’s like they didn’t even happen. “We never got around to going to Coney Island?”

My eyebrows cocked up. She remembers.

“We were both always too busy to take a beach day,” I recalled.

“Well, I hope your first American beach experience is everything you wanted,” Grace sincerely said. I look over to her just in time to catch her smile. It will be.

The Teenage Monologues.

First Day in the War Zone: A Milo Monologue.

High school is a lot different than how it is in movies.

It seems like half of us who graduated from Beverly in June were so excited to leave middle school behind, not realizing that high school is just an extension of all the drama, especially if half of your middle school comes to the same high school as you.

I look at the clock above the blackboard in my classroom. Time has been moving slower than usual, and it’s only the first day of school. High-school math is a different language; how was I passing Math back in middle school?! I look around and see some freshmen that look just as scared as I am, and then there are the classmates that seem to be relieved to not be the “fresh meat” anymore, and then there are juniors and seniors that are doing nothing but talking at the back of the classroom. Man, I miss being a senior in a school.

“So before the bell rings, let’s quickly go around the room and introduce each other!” the teacher said. She pointed toward the first student who sat closest to the door. Poor guy; he looks like he’s about to throw up today’s lunch. The juniors and seniors at the back of the room had something to say about every new face in this goddamn class. I rolled my eyes, dreading when it’ll be my turn to introduce myself.

The teacher finally looks at me with a massive smile on her face. She waits for me to introduce myself. I take in a deep breath and let it out before standing up from my desk.

“I’m Milo Kamalani. Dual major. Freshman.” I quickly said so I could sit back down and the teacher could move on from me. Of course, as I’m making my way to sit back down, someone from the back has something to say.

“Kamalani? Yo, you related to Mr. Kamalani?!” one of the older classmates from the back yells out. The teacher quiets down the class to continue the introductions.

“Yo, Global is going to suck,” Mollie said as she struggles to open up her locker during passing. “Like the teacher thinks he’s teaching a college class for starters, and–” Mollie bangs the locker door with her fist. “Oh my god, can this fucking door just open already?!” A group of older students walk by and laugh in our direction. Mollie turns around and watches them walk by. “I don’t know what the fuck is so funny.”

“Mol, please,” I pleaded with her. The last thing I needed was for my best friend to get into her first fight in high school, let alone with upperclassmen. I walked closer to Mollie’s locker and unlocked it for her. She looked at me like I had just done a magic trick.

“Well, look at you, hotshot,” Mollie teased. I laughed and rolled my eyes at her. We both grabbed what we needed from our lockers and looked at our schedules.

“So, what’s your next class?” I asked.

“English,” Mollie answered in a monotone voice. “Like for fuck’s sake, how are you going to put me into “hard-as-fuck Global” and then into “make-me-snooze English” right after each other? The Waverly god is trying to test me.” If there was one thing Mollie will always be is dramatic, no matter where or what. “How about you?”

“Band,” I said, smiling. Mollie sucked her teeth at my answer. “Man, finally! I feel like I’ve been waiting for a class like this all day!”

“Lucky,” Mollie began. “Vocal isn’t until–“

“8th period,” I answered. Mollie’s face immediately changes; she has on a Joker-like smile.

“Holy shit, we’re in the same vocal class?!” Mollie said, excited. We both hi-fived each other before the warning bell rang. “See you in vocal then!”

“See you,” I responded back. We both went our separate ways, and I realized I had no fucking clue where the band room was.

I walked into the band room and saw a couple of people from my old middle school sitting together. At first, I noticed Davy, who noticed me as soon as I walked in. Davy was introduced to me through one of Mollie’s friends, Ronnie. He actually went to Beverly with the rest of us, but I swear I did not even notice he did until after Ronnie had introduced him to us. He walked towards the seat I was putting my stuff on and sat next to me.

“Yo, look at us being in band class together and shit,” Davy said, nudging my arm. I grabbed my arm; he nudged me a little too hard than he thought.

“I know, it’s crazy,” I said, not as excited as Davy. “How have your classes been? You’ve bumped into anyone we know from Beverly?”

“Besides Ronnie, I saw Laurie in Biology. Kinda funny to see her not being able to bully around anyone since she’s not running the school,” Davy said. Davy was a cool guy but completely plays for both teams. He was friends with Simon, Laurie’s… ex-boyfriend, I believe? They’ve been all over social media this past summer breaking up and making up; I don’t even know what the fuck they are anymore.

“I tried to say hi to her,” Davy continued. I raised an eyebrow at him.

“Really? How did that go?” I asked.

“… She looked at me and said, ‘do I know you?'” I choked in my laugh. Davy sucked his teeth and brushed the embarrassment off. “It’s whatever, we’re in high school and there are waaay more girls prettier than her.” I shook my head about his response.

I looked up towards the front of the classroom where the door was. I instantly smiled; it felt like I waited the whole day for this. She looks so pretty today. She finally sees me, which makes me even smile more. She smiles back and starts walking in my direction.

“Hey, Sophie,” I greeted her as I got up from my seat.

The "Something" Series: Season 2

Prove Something to Myself: A Monologue.

Weekends are the hardest for me. Maybe it’s because I’m off of work on the weekends, and the days drag until it hits Monday. The weekend gives people like me too much time to be inside their heads and question every life choice and decision we’ve ever made.

I sit on the sofa in the living room, scrolling on my phone with my feet resting on the coffee table in front of me. Skylar walks down the stairs and walks right passed me, pushing my legs off the coffee table. I look at her; she walks to the mirror next to the front door. She looks at herself way longer than she typically does.

“You’re good, Sky?” I asked her from the sofa. She turns around and looks at me. She sighs as if she’s stressed about something.

“No,” she started. “I feel like my hair is wrong and my outfit is wrong and I hate myself.” I couldn’t help but chuckle. Skylar Ashmore doesn’t get insecure, ever.

“Sky,” I begin to say. “You look fine. Your hair is cute, and your outfit looks good.” Skylar looks at me. I know she doesn’t believe me. She turns back around to look at herself, nitpicking everything. I get up from the sofa; I have to stop the self-sabotage before it even begins.

“I just want to look perfect,” Skylar says.

“Since when?” I questioned. It took a while for Skylar to answer. I really didn’t need the answer. I had a feeling why. I sighed before she could answer. “Sky, he’s not gonna care about how you look.”

“But I do! I want to be the only woman he stares at today!” Skylar whined.

“Trust me, if I know anything about Shawn, he will definitely have his eyes glued on you,” I stated. Skylar turned around and looked at me like a lost puppy.

“You think so?” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered. “You’ve never been this way with a guy before. Did he tell you anything that made you feel… I don’t know; insecure like this?”

“No! Oh my god, he would never,” Skylar explained in a panic. “He’s just… worth it.”

Skylar and Shawn have been talking and hanging out almost every day since meeting each other at The Voyage. I could tell Skylar is serious about spending her time with him. She’s not one to apologize for anything, so when she came to me one night to say sorry about leaving me at the bar that night, I knew this one was different.

“You really like him, huh?” I asked, smiling halfway into my question. Skylar’s face lights up. She doesn’t even have to tell me at this point.

“He’s such a gentleman,” she started. “Like, he’s a huge goofball and his English is so tiny and adorable and he’s just so… handsome too.” I nudge her, teasing her as I laugh.

“He’s… definitely a character from I’ve witnessed and heard from Jamie,” I started.

“Seriously, the next time you see Jamie, you need to tell him I said thank you for bringing Shawn with him to The Voyage that night,” Skylar said as she fixes her makeup in the mirror. I looked at her, scrunching my eyebrows.

“What makes you think I’m gonna see him again?” I questioned. Skylar stopped what she was doing. She turns around, scoffs, and then continues to do what she was doing.

“Girl, stop lying. Tell him what I said the next time you see him,” Skylar says. Skylar’s confidence about this bothers me. It’s like she has no care in the world about how I might be feeling or how Jamie may be feeling. Skylar only knows so much about Jamie and I’s past. She thinks it’s easier said than done to just “see” Jamie again. It’s not. I don’t think it ever will be.

“Who said I was lying?” I said, in a more serious tone. I walk back to the sofa as Skylar turns around to finally face me.

“Grace, come on. We’re talking about Jamie,” she pleaded.

“And?” I responded; nonchalant.

“I don’t know why you keep torturing yourself by believing things you even know aren’t true,” Skylar admitted. I crossed my arms, getting annoyed with Skylar and this conversation. Of course, she doesn’t let up. “If you didn’t want to see Jamie, you wouldn’t have gotten out that night.”

“Yeah, the night that you dragged me out for,” I debated back. “Plus, I didn’t call his number; you did.”

“And you’re the one that kept his number,” she spat back.

“Yeah, on my nightstand where you shouldn’t have been snooping in the first place,” I said back, now feeling more annoyed than before. Skylar rolled her eyes at me.

“We’re getting off-topic,” Skylar stated. “I’m just saying that you have to let go of whatever happened in your past with him. It’s in the past for a reason.”

“Yeah, well it’s not as easy as you think, Sky,” I bickered back at Skylar. “Jamie and I have a… long and complicated past. It’s just not as easy as picking up the phone and asking to hang out.”

“No, it actually is,” Skylar responded. She’s definitely trying to make something out of nothing. “If it was as messy and difficult as you think it was, Jamie wouldn’t have agreed to come and meet you that night. He also wouldn’t have given you his number, Grace!”

I sit on the sofa, not really knowing what to say next. Skylar is right; why would Jamie agree to go out that night if our past was just full of bad memories and heartbreak? Does Jamie see it differently? What is his motive in the long run? Does he even care about the past anymore?

“It sounds like you’re the only one torturing yourself with your past,” Skylar concluded. She walked over to where I was sitting, and hands me my phone that was on the coffee table in front of me. “Call him. See what he’s up to. If you really want to see things through with him, you should make your move. Don’t make him be the one always making them. It’s your turn now.”

Skylar looks at the time on her phone and quickly grabs her bag and keys near the front door.

“I gotta go! Wish me luck!” Skylar waved back as she left the house. I look down at my phone, not really knowing what to do at this point. Skylar is right. He has shown time and time again that he just wants us to be cordial. I open my contact list in where Jamie’s name and number is located. What if he’s busy? He literally is on a vacation with two of his friends. I took a deep breath and backed out from my contacts. But Skylar literally is going out with Shawn, and Kevin is… well Kevin. Plus, Jamie did mention he has a serious girlfriend he’s always calling and chatting with…

“For fuck’s sake, Grace, it’s not the end of the world if you ask him to hang out,” I tell myself out loud. Asking is okay; it’s just an invitation and if the person declines, at least I tried, right? But fuck, it will hurt if he doesn’t want to hang out. Jamie has always been good company, and life in California where I don’t really know anyone besides the cousin that literally is out every single day of the week. My life was back in NYC, and California is sometimes too quiet for my brain to handle. Jamie will always be good company to have.

“Fuck it,” I said as I go back into my contacts. Without hesitating, I clicked Jamie’s name and the phone began to ring. I panicked. I begin siking myself out. I can’t do this, what the fuck was I thinking? I get ready to hang up the phone before he answers it.

The phone stops ringing.

“Hello?” Jamie’s voice comes from my phone.

Fuck.

Black Sheep in Society.

A Black Sheep Bathroom Cyph: An Epilogue.

It was too cold for Rosie to stay in her apartment that night. We had just left the campus as she was trying to catch up on all the work she missed when she was in the hospital. My folks were out of town with Reagan and Dylan as they traveled to their dream colleges, so I felt a lot better offering Rosie to stay with me for the night instead of in her ice box of an apartment.

“Micah, I’m fine,” Rosie tried to fight me on this. I rolled my eyes at her.

“No, you’re not. Just take the damn offer,” I responded back to Rosie. Rosie rolled her eyes as a response and continued to follow me in my direction. I guess I’ll take that as a yes.

We got back to my place around 10 that night. I opened the apartment door and turned on the lights. Rosie looks around the apartment, which really made me confused. Roe, you were just here a couple of weeks ago when you–

“Nice place you got here,” Rosie randomly said. I didn’t fight her on this; I nodded my head.

“Thanks, my parents really know how to decorate a place,” I teased Rosie for saying such a weird thing about the decor. I laughed just to let her know that I was joking. “Let me find something for you to wear to sleep.”

“I can literally sleep in my jeans and shirt,” Rosie stated. I gave her an annoyed look. “Okay, fine!” She finally gave up and sat on the couch. I smiled and headed toward my room to get Rosie some sleep clothes.

“I hope this is fine,” I came out of my room and walked toward Rosie in the living room. She jumped up like she was scared. It took me back a bit; I didn’t know how to react to Rosie reacting so hard on me walking in. Without saying anything, I handed her the clothes, which she took slowly.

“Thanks, Micah,” Rosie said. She stood there awkwardly; I did too. Fuck, why is it so damn awkward? Rosie sighed and broke the silence. “Sorry, I’m just… a little jumpy. More than usual.”

I know, Roe. I wanted to tell her that I knew what was making her so jumpy. I know why she’s not completely herself. She feels fragile like she’s still on her last legs of survival. I don’t know if I’ll get back the Rosie I know back. The Rosie I’ve gotten for the last week and a half has been just an empty shell of her old self. I fucking hate Prescott Jones for breaking her. Hurting her. Making her believe that shit was fucking normal to experience.

Still, I don’t know what I should say next. I don’t want to fight with her if I say the wrong thing; even more so, I don’t want her to run out of here while it’s literally 13 degrees outside.

“Come to the bathroom,” I simply told her.

Rosie sits in a chair that I put in there so she can be comfortable. She kept looking at me as I went back and forth, to and from the bathroom. I carried my wireless speaker into the bathroom and connected my phone to the speaker. I turned on the LED lights on the speaker and turned off the bathroom light.

“Micah, what the fuck are we doing in here?” Rosie asked, which made me smile. That sounds a lot like Roe. I turned around to face her and then picked up the tray I bought into the bathroom from the floor. Rosie watched me and my every move; it was interesting to see her so watching me so intently.

“Do you smoke?” I asked her. She didn’t shake her head no, but she was definitely thinking about what she wanted to say. “I ask because I do,” I continued, beginning to roll up.

“I remember back at the Lounge,” Rosie started as she watched me. “Did you buy this weed from there?” I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.

“Nah, this is from Tanner’s brother,” I answered as I sprinkled the weed onto the rolling paper. “I usually cop my bud from him.”

“Who’s Tanner?” Rosie asked. Before saying something smart-mouthed, I realized that I never introduced her to Dani and Tanner, which I felt terrible as soon as I realized.

“Tanner’s one of my closest friends,” I simply answered.

“Is he the really tall guy with the blonde hair? Always with that short white girl that you’re always yelling at?” I looked at Rosie, kinda shocked that she knew who I was talking about. Does she know more about me than I realized?

“Yeah, Tanner and Dani. They’re a couple, but Dani’s more like family. My parents are best friends with her parents.” I overexplained. I looked at Rosie to see if I was boring her to death. Surprisingly, she was listening to what I was saying. She nodded her head at my explanation.

“So you guys were like friends at birth?” Rosie asked. I chuckled as I finished rolling up the blunt and placed the flame over it to light it.

“She’s technically older than me. She was born in 2017; me in 2018,” I said as I hit the blunt. “But we did grow up with each other.”

“That’s cool,” Rosie blankly said. After hitting the blunt several times, I passed it to Rosie. She hesitated at first, not wanting to grab it.

“It’s okay if you wanna smoke, Roe,” I reassured her. Not trying to stereotype Rosie, but when I first met her, she gave off the vibe that she smokes bud in order for her art to come alive. I know some of my best tracks came out of high moments, smoking on the roof when my parents were asleep at night. Eventually, she took the blunt and started to smoke it. She took a couple of pulls of it before she spoke.

“What if I told you that smoking this broke my sobriety?” Rosie randomly asked. My eyes widen, almost yanking the blunt out of Rosie’s hand. She starts to laugh. “I’m totally kidding, dude!”

“It was mad convincing,” I responded, still trying to calm myself down after the scare. “You never even spoke or drank with me to know if that was true or not.” I hit the blunt a couple of times and pass it to Rosie, who’s now more relaxed and chill about smoking.

“Nah,” Rosie simply said before hitting the blunt. “I just don’t like to always drink or smoke weed. Shit isn’t really that fun.”

“Did you use to do it a lot?” I asked. I was curious to know more about Rosie’s life. Why was she the way she was and what was her normal routine like? I found myself wanting to know even the littlest things about Rosie. She was interesting to learn about, and she always had a way of telling you a story that really wasn’t the entire story. Rosie was the queen of being that way; it was like I thought I knew everything there needs to know about Rosie and then she hits you with a curveball. It was usually something I never would have guessed about Rosie.

Rosie shook her head no to my question. “It was never really my thing. I also never had the money to buy it, so I just stayed away from it…”

She passed me the blunt and I sparked it up to keep the flame going. I was too focused on lighting the blunt and didn’t even realize Rosie was watching me as I did so. I hit the blunt and looked back at Rosie.

“My ex-boyfriend was a junkie,” Rosie said out loud. I felt like she didn’t mean to say what she said, like it was meant to be a secret she was meaning to keep to herself. “He would get all stupid and high and drunk and think he was a man. I once found him passed out near the Girard Point Bridge and when I tried to get him back to our place, he nearly decked me in the face, thinking I was trying to steal his trash-ass drugs.”

“Roe,” I wanted her to stop but she kept going. I wanted to know and now that I know, I wish I didn’t. But she didn’t stop, and a part of me allowed her to keep going because this was the most I gotten to know Rosie since first meeting her.

“I… don’t tell this to everyone, but I stayed with him for most of my years as a teenager. There was no one telling me how guys should treat ladies and shit like that. I thought that shit was normal, until I learned it wasn’t.” Rosie confessed into the smokey air. She stopped talking and looked at me, in which I passed the blunt back to her.

“Your parents didn’t do anything?” I asked.

“My parents didn’t give a shit,” Rosie answered. “They were too busy dealing with their own issues to even care about me. That’s why I seeked it out through guys and shitty relationships.” Rosie passed the blunt to me and I declined.

“Finish it,” I told Rosie. I felt like she needed it more than me at this point. She nodded her head and pulled the blunt once more.

“It’s why I don’t go back to Philly to visit and shit. Why go back to the place where you felt like shit, were treated like shit, and had everything good turn into shit?” At this point, it very much felt like Rosie was talking to the air, confessing everything that had been bottled up inside her for what felt like years.

I understood Rosie in a sense. Rosie felt like a lost girl more than anything, just trying to make her way through life and keep afloat. I felt like my life was built in a similar way: live another day to keep your parents proud! I love my family, but I always felt like the odd one out, the one that can’t do anything right, the black sheep.

“Sometimes I wish my family didn’t care about me,” I admitted. Rosie looked at me, and I looked at her before continuing with my thought. “Maybe then it would’ve been easier to kill myself when I was younger.”

“Well,” Rosie began. She shifted in her seat and crossed her legs up onto the chair. “I’m glad that you didn’t follow through about it. And I thank your family for caring about you enough to let you know that if you did kill yourself, they would be completely missing as a family without you there. You are an important part of this society.”

“You too, Roe.” I looked at Rosie with sincere eyes. I meant what I said; Rosie’s life felt so important to me because she is important. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why she would allow Prescott to treat her so badly. Rosie deserves the fucking world after living a shitty past couple of years, and to not have her family support and care for her… I can only imagine how heartbroken and lonely that could feel.

“Am I though?” Rosie asked in the air. “Nobody would truly miss me if I was dead.”

“I would,” I said immediately to cut her sentence off. “I would fucking lose my shit if I found out anything bad happened to you. I lost my shit when you got put in the hospital. Like, fuck Rosie.” I couldn’t keep my thoughts in anymore, and this would’ve either make the tension go away, or make Rosie run away. “No one gets me like you do. No one; not even my best friends and family. Just you. You just fucking get me.”

“And you just fucking get me too, Micah,” Rosie said with a smile. She leaned over to grab the tray from the bathroom floor and I gently placed my hand in her palm. I looked at her, who was now looking at me.

Micah, don’t. I don’t want to listen to my mind in this moment, even though I knew it was the smartest thing to do in a situation like this. I knew I didn’t want to be like the other people in her life; use her, then abuse her, and then she’s back at square one and not trusting anybody with herself. I wanted to show her something different. I wanted to show her just how fucking amazing and frustrating and awesome and beautiful she is–

“Micah,” Rosie said, gently. I snap out of my thoughts and focus on her. “Do you mind if I rolled the next blunt?”

I don’t answer her back right away. I keep looking at her under the LED lights from my speaker. Her eyes are low, but still open enough so that I could see her dilated pupils.She has freckles that mainly run down her cheekbones, nearly touching her jawline. She has one single beauty mark near the corner of her mouth. Her nose piercing is placed weirdly on her nostril; something tells she she didn’t get it done at a shop by a professional. It still suited Rosie perfectly though.

For fuck’s sake, am I falling for Rosie Delgado?

With my free hand, I place it along Rosie’s hair and brush her hair back with my fingertips. She doesn’t move or fight. Nothing was said. We just kept looking at each other. I quickly looked down and took my phone out, which Rosie looked confused about. I played a song on the wireless speaker, blasting the song in the small bathroom with Rosie and I. I look back at Rosie and let the music just play with the lights flashing all over the dark bathroom. I cupped her face with my hands and closed my eyes before slowly kissing her on the lips. To my surpirse, she deepens the kiss; her fingers are now running through my locs. I never thought I’d be sitting in my bathroom, making out with Rosie. I don’t know if it was just the weed talking, or maybe this was always meant to play out this way. I don’t question it, and I take this moment for what it’s worth; even if she doesn’t remember ever kissing me like this, I know I won’t ever forget.

How can I? She just gives me even more reason to fall in love with her.

“So are you rolling, or…” Rosie asked after we broke up the kiss. I look at her ot get a good reading on her face. Is she going to run away? Is she ging to think I just kissed her for the hell of it? Micah, she kissed you back, bro. I couldn’t help but think about what the fuck we were going to do after our high wears off. I didn’t care in that moment, and she seemed like she didn’t as well. Maybe we both know this was just a night where we can not think too hard about our lives outside this bathroom. I smile at her, and she smiles back at me.

“I got you, Roe,” I said as I softly kissed her on the lips before grabbing the tray to roll up.