Misc., The "Something" Series

Something For The New Year: A Scene.

Times Square Ball drop: Everything you need to know about the Times Square  New Year's Eve Ball - CBS News

The music is playing loudly in a small apartment in Brooklyn. People are dancing and drinking; it seems as if everyone is having a good time. On one side of the apartment, Grace and Jamie sit on the sofa; Jamie’s arm is around Grace as Grace is leaning against his chest.

Jamie: Are you feeling okay?

Grace: *nods* Yeah. It honestly had to be something that I ate.

Jamie: Maybe. Just let me know if you’re feeling sick, we can always go home early.

Grace smiles as Cami and Emerson come over towards the couple.

Cami: Yo! We’re glad you came!

Grace: Of course, we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Emerson: *to Jamie* Do you guys celebrate New Year’s like this?

Grace: *annoyed* Em.

Jamie: *laughs* Uhm, sort of. We eat tons of food and celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Emerson: Lunar New Year at your place!

Jamie: It’s a date.

The couples continue to socialize and mingle with the rest of the party. Everything is going as planned and everyone seems to be joining their night as it progresses. Grace is seen sitting down for most of the night, which Jamie takes note of. Nevertheless, he stays by her side for most of the night.

Cami occasionally comes over with drinks for the couple. Jamie has had the first few, but began to feel tipsy. Grace declined all of the drinks.

Grace: Are you okay now, Jamie?

Jamie: Jagiya, I’m fine. I just… can’t keep drinking yours on top of mine. Are you sure you don’t want a drink?

Grace: I’m sure. *sigh* Honestly, I’m not just feeling great. My stomach as been bothering me all night and I just feel like I’m not someone anyone wants to be around right now.

Jamie: That’s not true, jagiya.

Grace: It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m not dancing, drinking, or dancing whille drinking. I’m a total buzzkill.

Jamie: *laughs* It doesn’t matter. As long as I’m ringing in the new year with you.

Jamie kisses the top of Grace’s forehead and puts his arm around her, she leans her head on his chest.

A couple of minutes later, Jamie gets a phone call. He looks at the number on his screen and sits up. Grace looks forward at Jamie.

Grace: Everything okay?

Jamie: Yeah, I just– give me a minute.

Jamie gets up from the couch and walks over to the front door. Grace sits on the sofa, examining the room. The aroma of alcohol is making Grace feel even worse. She begins to panic, and gets up from the sofa and walks in the other direction, away from everyone.

Jamie walks out the front door and picks up the phone.

Jamie: Hello?

Caller: Hi, Mr. Kim, we’re calling you about the extension request of your visa… unfortunately we weren’t able to approve the request. Your expiration date of January 21st still remains.

Jamie listens on the phone; disappointment and sadness immediately is written on his face. He hangs up the phone, and slowly goes back into the apartment. Everyone is still enjoying their night together, like the world keeps going despite his just completely crumbling.

Emerson walks over to Jamie and grabs his attention.

Emerson: Hey, the ball is gonna drop in a minute!

Jamie looks around the apartment, looking for Grace.

Jamie: Have you seen Grace?

Emerson: Grace?

Jamie: Yeah, she’s not where she was–

Cami finds Emerson and grabs him when people gather in the living room in front of the TV, counting the seconds down to midnight.

Jamie: *shouts* Grace?!

Someone is heard puking in the toilet. The person lifts their face up from the bowl and pushes their red hair back away from their face. Grace leans back on the tub and looks up towards the ceiling.

Grace: *whispers* Please, please, please…

She hears the people in the other room beginning to count down: 10!

Grace takes out her phone and notices missed messages from Jamie, asking her where she went. She doesn’t answer.

9! 8! 7!

Grace’s head is back in the toilet bowl; she flushes it and slumps down towards the floor.

6! 5! 4!

A knock is heard from the door, followed by a voice.

Jamie: Grace? Grace, are you in there?

Grace looks up at the door.

Grace: Jamie?

The bathroom door opens and Jamie sees Grace on the door. He rushes into the bathroom to attend to Grace.

Jamie: Aigoo, Grace–

3! 2! 1! Happy New Year!

Grace pukes in the toilet again. She comes back up and wipes off blood from her mouth. Jamie is concerned for Grace.

Jamie: Jagiya, you’re bleeding.

Grace looks at her hand and begins to panic.

Grace: Fuck–

Jamie: You’re going to be okay. You’re going to be okay…

Jamie gets up and lifts Grace off from the floor. He pushes the door open; Jamie and Grace sneak out of the apartment without anyone noticing them.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Invisible Mirror: A Scene.

I Was So Angry | I Almost Punched My Best Friend In The Face - TruthLines

Milo sits at his desk, checking his phone every 5 minutes. He’s stressed; hoping he didn’t ruin his friendship with Sophie. He keeps checking his phone; there are no messages from Sophie.

He looks at the composition notebook he had earlier today doing his project. He opens the book to see the Polaroids he took of Sophie at the stage in the park. He takes in a deep breath and closes the book.

When straightening out his desk, his phone lights up. Milo’s attention immediately goes towards the phone. He picks it up and sees a message from Sophie.

leesophie: Hey.

Milo swipes the screen and immediately responds to Sophie.

milolani: hi, scout.
leesophie: I'm not going to be around this weekend to work on the project.

Milo sighs; he’s anxious and doesn’t know how to respond.

leesophie: Lunar new Year is on Saturday, so my family and I will be celebrating.

Milo instantly feels relief, he finally writes Sophie back.

milolani: no worries. thank you for letting me know.

Before Milo gets the courage to talk things out with Sophie, he gets a message from Sophie.

leesophie: Have a good night, Milo.

Sophie signs off and Milo is back to feeling anxious. He rubs his eyes; he’s mentally exhausted.

Another moment passes, and Milo hears doors opening and closing in the hallway, followed by speed walking footsteps. Milo doesn’t pay no mind to it until a knock is heard. He turns to the door as its being opened. Milo rolls his eyes.

Milo: Can I at least give you permission to come in here, dad?

Milo Sr: We have to get going.

Milo looks at his father standing there with his little brother, Micah, in his dad’s hands. He doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Milo: Can’t I just stay home?

Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.

Milo scrunches his eyebrows, confused.

Milo: What’s going on? Where’s Jennifer?

Micah begins to cry in his dad’s arms; Milo Sr doesn’t answer back.

Milo Sr: We have to go, come on.

Milo grabs his phone and coat and leaves his bedroom door. They all walk down the stairs to the front landing, and Milo is still asking questions.

Milo: Is Jennifer alright? Where are we going?

His father opens the back door of the car and places Micah in the car seat. Milo stands there, now getting frustrated.

Milo: Dad? Dad??

Before Milo Sr opens the drivers front door, he stands in front of it, looking ahead at Milo on the opposite side of the car.

Milo Sr: What?

Milo: *annoyed* Can you at least tell me what’s going on? Where are we going? Where’s Jennifer?

Milo Sr: We’re meeting her at the hospital.

Milo: *shocked* Whoa, whoa; what? What the hell is going on?! Why are we–

Milo Sr: *softly* Milo…

Milo Sr looks down before he speaks.

Milo Sr: Pep’s at the hospital because Mollie is there.

Milo widens his eyes, he’s now panicked and worried.

Milo: Wait, what?! Mollie?! What the hell happened?

At first, Milo Sr is hesitant to tell his son, but he exhales loudly before saying further.

Milo Sr: Mollie tried to commit suicide.

Milo begins to breathe heavy, he’s on the verge of tears.

Milo: What?! When?! I– What?!

Milo Sr: We gotta go to the hospital, come on.

Milo immediately opens up the passenger’s door and gets into the car. Milo Sr goes into the driver’s side and starts the car to drive.

The boys enter the hospital lobby; Milo runs in ahead of Micah and Milo Sr.

Milo Sr: Milo! Milo!

Milo runs to the front desk and sees a woman sitting there.

Milo: Where’s Mollie? Mollie Castro?

Receptionist: *confused* I’m sorry, are you with an adult?

Milo: Just tell me where she is!

Milo Sr rushes up to the desk, still calling out for Milo.

Receptionist: Are you with an adult, son?

Milo: *furious* Where is she?!

Milo Sr: Milo! *to the woman* I’m so sorry, can you please tell us what room Mollie Sue Castro is. We’re family.

Receptionist: She’s with her mother and sisters on the second floor.

Milo Sr: Thank you, ma’am. *to Milo, embarrassed* Let’s go.

Milo runs towards the elevators, and Milo Sr follows with Micah in his arms.

They reach the second floor lobby where they see Jennifer sitting with another woman; her sister, Maryette.

Milo Sr: Hey, we got here as fast as we could.

Milo: Where is she? What the fuck happened?

Milo Sr: *stern* Milo.

Milo: What you mean she tired to commit suicide?! I– I–

Jennifer: Hey, Milo…

Jennifer reaches out her arms and Milo walks into them. He begins to cry buried in her chest.

Jennifer: Shh, shh; I know, Milo, I know…

Everyone else watches the interaction. Maryette gets up from her seat and takes Micah out of Milo Sr’s hands.

Maryette: Ima take Micah to the cafeteria with Dennis.

Maryette walks out of the waiting area. Milo pulls away from the hug and sits in between Jennifer and Milo Sr.

Jennifer: Mollie is fine, she’s in a room and our mom is in there with her.

Milo: What happened? I was literally–

Milo takes in a deep breath after realizing something.

Milo: Our last conversation was an argument. What if that was my last ever conversation I had with Mollie? What did I do, I–

Jennifer: Hey. You didn’t do anything wrong, Milo. Friends fight all the time, especially at your age. Don’t think you’re responsible for Mollie’s actions; Mollie is responsible for her own actions.

Milo doesn’t say anything, he faintly asks one more time before giving up entirely.

Milo: What happened?

Jennifer and Milo Sr look at each other; worried. Jennifer looks back down at Milo as Milo Sr rubs Jennifer’s arm for comfort.

Jennifer: Mollie cut her wrists in the bathroom. Mom found her.

Milo places his hands over his eyes and takes in the newfound information.

Milo: Why the fuck would she be so stupid to do something like that?! *looks up* Like, she’s going to therapy! Isn’t that enough?!

Jennifer: *disciplined* Hey. Mollie might be getting help from her therapist, but we don’t know what was going on in Mollie’s head when she made that decision.

Milo looks down on the hospital floor, he has nothing else to say, but has so many roaming thoughts.

Jennifer: The least we can do for her is support her and let her know that we love her. That’s all we can do as her family.

Jennifer gets up and walks out of the waiting room to get Micah from Maryette. Milo Sr looks at Milo, who still hasn’t said anything since.

Milo Sr: It’s not your fault.

Milo: I feel like it was my fault.

Milo Sr: And it’s going to feel that way until Mollie tells you that it isn’t. I know.

Milo: *looks up* You went through this before?

Milo Sr: *nods head* What Pep told you is true. You’re not responsible for Mollie actions, Mollie is.

Milo: *puts two-and-two together* Wait, was it…?

Milo Sr: I was about your age. Pep was in a really bad place and something bad happened to her and thought she didn’t want to be here anymore. Me and your Aunt Nicky and Uncle Danny were at the hospital, and I felt extremely guilty for not being there for Pep when she needed me. I was her best friend, and it felt like I let her down because I wasn’t there. But…

MIlo Sr takes a minute to ponder n the thought.

Milo Sr: The only thing I could do is let her know that I love her and care about her.

Milo: Is that why she seemed to be… kind calm?

Milo Sr: I think she was a lot more nervous when Mollie was first admitted into the hospital, but after hearing Mollie was okay, I think she just needed to be there for you and let you know before you allowed yourself to take the blame.

Milo’s phone vibrates in his pocket. He takes out his phone and looks at the screen.

leesophie: Can we please talk?

Milo puts his phone back in his pocket and takes a deep breath. He then looks at his father.

Milo: Are you sure Mollie is going to be okay?

Milo Sr: She’s getting all the help she can get. She made it, and that’s what matters.

Both father and son sit in the waiting room, waiting for the women to come back, or for a doctor to call them in so they can see Mollie. Nothing is said, and nobody moves, they just wait for something to happen.

Misc., The "Something" Series

A Whole Other Side of Something: A Scene.

Altech Electronics | Dark Sky Compliance

The two Korean women sit on the couch of Grace and Jamie’s apartment. Jamie comes out of the bedroom and closes it behind him. Grace stands behind the island watching Jamie get everyone situated.

Jamie: Bags are in the room, you both are more than welcome to get comfortable…

Mina: Thank you, sorry if we ruined your night out.

Jamie: Aniyo, I apologize for not being more prepared.

Mina smiles at Jamie and then at Grace. Grace anxiously stands behind the counter, watching the encounter.

Lia: May I use the restroom?

Jamie: Yeah, the bathroom is to your left.

Lia gets up from the sofa and walks towards the bathroom. Mina says something in Korean to her brother, in which he also responds in Korean. Grace turns around and starts to boil some hot water, bothered that the siblings are not talking in English anymore.

Suddenly, Lia comes back into the living room area, clearly confused.

Lia: Jaemin-ah, are we aunts?

Jamie: *surprised* Mwo? (What?)

Lia: There’s a baby room next to the bathroom.

Mina: Jaemin-ah, you had a baby and didn’t even tell your family?

Jamie: What?!

Grace finally steps up and speaks.

Grace: No, no; I have a daughter. That’s my daughter’s room.

Mina and Lia both exhale a sigh of relief. Grace is relieved that the tension in the room dies down. Grace comes over to the coffee table and places a kettle of water and teabags on a tray.

Lia: Thank you so much, Grace! You didn’t have to.

Grace: You’re our guests! I wish I had some type of pastry to have with the tea.

Mina: American snacks are known to be too sugary and sweet.

Jamie gives Mina the side-eyes as Grace nervously pours hot water into tea cups.

Lia: So, is it normal to be all dressed up at the airport to pick people up?

Grace: *laughs* No, no… we were at an event this evening.

Lia: The dress is really pretty, Grace.

Grace: *shyly* Thank you.

Mina gets up and walks to the bedroom and closes the door behind her. Grace looks at her while she does so.

Lia: She’s not a night person, don’t mind her.

Grace doesn’t say anything. Jamie walks to the room that Mina walked in. Grace watches.

In the room, Jamie closes the door behind him. Mina opens her suitcase.

Jamie: Ya…

Mina: Just because we’re in America, doesn’t mean you don’t respect me.

Jamie: Noona…

Mina: Is this what you came to live in America for? To be some American girl’s babysitter?

Jamie: *defensive* She has a name, noona, and quite frankly this is her apartment and her room you’re staying in for the time being.

Mina: Make it make sense, Jaemin-ah. How were you able to give up so much back home and be… here?

Jamie: Mina, you haven’t been here for more than an hour and you think you already have this idea on how my life is like here? Is that the only reason why you came here? To judge me?

Mina: I came to see my brother, since he so abruptly left home to come here.

Jamie: Be nice, noona. Grace is a good person.

Mina: You said the same thing about Seohyun.

Jamie: *angry* That was different, okay? Grace isn’t like that.

Mina: Hmm. Possibly worse? She is American…

Jamie rolls his eyes and stares at Mina. She’s not letting off about this topic.

Outside in the living room area, Lia and Grace silently sit on the sofa. Lia turns her head to start the conversation with Grace.

Lia: So have you lived in New York your whole life?

Grace: Most of it, not all of it.

Lia looks out of the window into the city lights.

Lia: It’s so beautiful. It definitely reminds me of Seoul; busy and full of lights.

Grace smiles. She takes a sip from her tea.

Lia: Are you and Jaemin a couple?

Grace nervously laughs.

Grace: We are. Jamie, uhh, Jaemin lives with me as well.

Lia: And you said you had a daughter, right?

Grace: Yeah! Her name is Willow.

Lia: Cute!

Grace smiles and the two women sit in the living room silent until Lia speaks again.

Lia: I’m sorry about my sister. She’s a hard person to adjust to things.

Grace: I see…

Lia: Do you have any siblings?

Grace: Uhm, no… it’s just me.

Lia: Lucky.

Grace laughs at the response.

Lia: Seriously though, Don’t read into Mina’s behavior.

Grace doesn’t say in return; she sits and ponders in thought until the door of the bedroom opens. Jamie looks okay; no signs of distress whatsoever. The two ladies in the living room look back at Jamie.

Jamie: Noona, the room is ready if you’ll like to rest for the night.

Lia gets up from the sofa.

Lia: Thank you for letting us stay here while we get our hotel situation sorted out.

Grace smiles and Lia walks into the room. She looks at Jamie, who is clearly exhausted.

Blankets and pillows are surrounded on the living room floor. Grace and Jamie lay in them together, staring up at the ceiling, clearly wide awake.

Grace: The last time I slept on the floor was at a sleepover when I was, like, 7.

Jamie: It’s pretty common for me to sleep on the floor whenever I visited my mom’s place. I told you that you could sleep on the sofa; I’m okay here on the floor.

Grace rolls her onto her stomach to face Jamie.

Grace: I can’t sleep if you’re not next to me though.

Jamie smiles the thought. He brings her closer to him.

Grace: I think your sister Mina hates me.

Jamie: Why’d you think that?

Grace: She just seemed very distant with me. I mean sure, we just met and all, but it seemed like sehe didn’t even want to be near me.

Jamie: *sigh* Mina is… traditional. She wasn’t on board with me coming here and leaving Korea. She has opinions, but she shouldn’t make you feel bad or anything of that sort.

Grace still looks worried.

Jamie: There’s nothing that you did wrong, Gracie.

Grace: I know, but those are your older sisters. I would want them to like me.

Jamie: Mina will come around.

The living room goes silent until Grace asks a question.

Grace: What were you guys talking about in the room?

Jamie: *dumbfounded* Nothing.

Grace: Jamie.

Jamie: We didn’t speak about anything important.

Grace: She hates me, doesn’t she?

Jamie doesn’t say anything, the silence makes Grace’s suspicions true.

Grace: Oh my god, your sister hates me!

Jamie: She doesn’t hate you! She’s just… an older sister.

Grace covers her face.

Grace: Your sister hates me, Jamie.

Jamie: Don’t say that! I’ll talk to her later this week. In the meantime, let’s just make the best of their time here.

Jamie kisses Grace on the forehead and puts his arm around her. Grace tries to sleep away the worry.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Fuck-Up: A Scene.

365 journal entries. One rollercoaster year as a high school senior | Post  Bulletin

It starts to rain heavily in the streets of Brooklyn. The streets begin to puddle around, and no one is in sight. Mollie sits on the stoop of Milo’s house, soaked and wet, and extremely mad. She was meant to meet up with Milo to rehearse for their auditions, but Milo has yet to show up and Mollie’s phone is dead. Her hair drips from being soaked and wet.

She looks ahead and sees someone running in the streets. When she gets a closer look at who it is. She gets mad to see that it’s Milo.

When Milo gets closer, he stops in his tracks when he sees Mollie. She stands up from sitting on the stoop.

Milo: Mol? Whatcha doing–

Mollie: *interrupts* Are you fucking kidding me, Milo?!

Milo: I told you I was working on the project with my partner!

Mollie: So was I! But at least I still did my part and kept with our plans for rehearsing for these damn auditions!

Milo: Why didn’t you text me?

Mollie: Because my phone died, ass wipe! And your dad and Jennifer aren’t home! Auditions are in two weeks and we have yet rehearsed for this stupid thing!

Milo doesn’t say anything, he just stands there, feeling guilty.

Milo: I’m… I’m sorry. I was just busy working on the project. I totally forgot.

Mollie: Yeah, you keep forgetting a lot of shit these days.

Milo: *defensive* No I don’t, stop exaggerating, Mol.

Mollie: You never hang out with me anymore! You’re always busy with Sophie doing this dumb project! What the hell is even going on between you two?

Milo begins to nervously stand in place. He doesn’t say anything immediately, and Mollie doesn’t wait for his answer.

Mollie: I’m suppose to be your best friend, Milo. I understand you got other shit to do, but it’s like you don’t even want to hang out with me anymore!

Milo: I don’t know why you care all of a sudden! You go and do your own thing all the time and I never complain about it!

Mollie: Because my shit involves dancing, therapy, and going to my dad’s house! You purposely are always busy whenever I want to hang out! You do nothing but work on that dumb project. *laughs* You think that plastic is actually your friend?

Milo stays silent, but he gets mad when Sophie is mentioned.

Mollie: You don’t think that bitch is going back to her friends and talking shit about you? That’s what girls like her do, Milo! Are you that fucking blind?

Milo: *yells* Just shut the fuck up, Mollie! You have no idea what you’re talking about! Instead of bashing others and shit, maybe you should try to be a nice and decent person and stop being like those mean girls you swear you’re nothing like!

Milo walks past Mollie and goes to the front door. He opens it and walks in. Mollie turns around.

Mollie: Fuck you, Milo! You’re such a lousy best friend!

The door slams behind him. Mollie’s eyes begin to water up, and she quickly runs away from the house.

Mollie tiredly walks into the front door of her house, still soaked from the rain. She immediately hears her mother’s voice in the kitchen.

Mom: Mollie Sue Castro! Where the hell were you?

Her mom looks at her and sees her wet clothes.

Mom: Do you know what time it is?!

Mollie: My phone died.

Mollie walks past her mom to walk upstairs, but her mom turns her around by placing her hand on her shoulder.

Mom: Mollie–

Mollie: What?! I told you my phone died! I was at Milo’s anyway!

Mom: Jennifer wasn’t home today. Where were you?

Mollie: *defensive* I swear I was at Milo’s! I was supposed to hang out with him and–

Mom: So you didn’t hang out with him?

Mollie begins to get frustrated.

Mollie: I was supposed to!

Mom: Mollie, this isn’t the first time you went out and I didn’t have no idea where you were! You’re about to graduate middle school, you have to learn how to take responsibility for your actions!

Mollie: I’m telling the truth! Why don’t you believe me?!

Mom: Because you lost that privilege when you kept making excuses for your poor behavior. I’m disappointed in you, Mollie.

Mollie: *upset* Mom!

Mom: Get changed out of those wet clothes before you catch a cold. Hand me your phone and laptop; you’re grounded.

Mollie: Are you serious?!

Mom: *angry* What else am I suppose to do? You will not listen to me and I can’t keep you letting things like this slide! You’re grounded, and you will not go to dance for two weeks.

Mollie: *furious* Are you fucking kidding me?!

Mom: Language, Mollie!

Mollie: No! I didn’t even do anything wrong and you’re grounding me? I have Waverly auditions in two weeks, I need to practice!

Mom: Well you should’ve thought about that when you were out and not checking in with me.

Mollie stomps her feet and walks towards the staircase.

She reaches her bedroom door and slams it shut when entering. She flops on her bed and screams into her pillow. She turns around starts to cry in bed. Her face is puffy and hot; she gets up and grabs clothes from her dresser and walks to her bathroom.

Emotionless, she enters the bathroom and closes the door behind her. She places her clothes on the floor and runs her shower. She looks at herself in the bathroom mirror; she’s tired, puffy, and mentally exhausted. Her family hates her, her bets friend hates her, and anyone else that tolerates her just secretly hates her. She opens up the medicine cabinet and reaches for something.

Mollie: Fuck everyone.

Misc., The "Something" Series

Something That You’re Hiding: A Scene.

150 Years Ago Brooklyn Renumbered All Its Streets. It Was a Disaster. - The  New York Times

Grace and Jamie walk down a Brooklyn street; Grace is carrying a gift bag while Jamie holds Willow in his arms. They walk up to a brownstone and knock on the door. Grace looks at Jamie, who is visibly nervous.

Grace: You’re gonna be fine, Jamie. They’ll love you.

Jamie: I hope so.

Willow squeals in Jamie’s arms. He looks down at her.

Jamie: Is that so? Okay, if little bean says I’ll be okay, then I’ll be okay!

Grace smiles and proceeds to knock on the door of the house. The door opens up and an older woman in her 60’s opens the door.

Jennifer: Hi! We’re glad that you can make it!

Grace: Hi, Aunt Pep. *towards Jamie* This is my boyfriend, Jamie. Jamie, this is my Aunt Jennifer.

Jamie: Nice to meet you, Jennifer.

Jennifer smiles and gestures the couple to come in. They walk upstairs to the living room area where they see Mollie and Weston.

Weston: Ahhh, happy birthday, Grace!

Grace: Happy birthday, daddy!

They both share a hug for a moment. Grace breaks up the hug and greets her mother. She takes a step back as Jamie puts Willow on the ground. She shyly hides behind his legs. It catches the attention of the family.

Grace: Uhm, there’s someone I would like for you guys to meet.

She grabs a hold of Jamie’s hand.

Grace: Dad; Mom, this is my boyfriend, Jamie.

Jamie: *holds out his arm* It’s nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Ashmore.

Mollie: Nice to meet you as well, Jamie.

Grace: Daddy, Jamie is actually a prosecutor; he works at the firm.

Weston gains interest in the new guy who is with his daughter. He nods his head in acceptance.

Grace: *whispers to Jamie* He’ll very much like the fact that you’re in the justice system.

Jamie nervously smiles at the family.

The night progresses and dinner is wrapping up. Weston wipes his mouth and begins a conversation.

Weston: So, son; Grace mentioned you’re in law.

Jamie: I am, sir. I’ve been a prosecutor for almost 4 years now.

Weston: Wow, that’s a long time. What firm were you working at?

Jamie: I was under a firm in South Korea before I transferred to a firm here.

The men chat it up as Mollie eats her food. Willow yells out and Jamie attends to her quickly.

Jamie: You’re okay, little bean? *wipes her hands* Look at you finishing all of your dinner like the big girl you are!

Grace smiles at the encounter, The parents and Grace’s aunt and uncle all watch the encounter.

Jennifer: She’s the absolute cutest, Grace.

Grace: Thank you.

Jennifer: *to Milo Sr* We need to have another baby around here.

Milo Sr: Absolutely not! Our baby care days are loooong over!

Jennifer: *to Grace and Jamie* Then you guys should totally have one and bring him or her over here all the time!

Grace widens her eyes as Jamie’s face instantly turns red.

Mollie: Ahh, Pep; let them be.

Mollie gathers up the dishes on the table; Jamie proceeds to get up and help.

Mollie walks into the kitchen and places the dishes in the dishwasher. Jamie walks into the kitchen after her with more dirty dishes.

Mollie: Oh, you didn’t have to do that.

Jamie: It’s okay. I always tend to help clean up after dinner.

Mollie: *intrigued* You just feel like it?

Jamie: It’s etiquette to help the women out before and after meals back in Korea.

Mollie is surprised. She loads the dishwasher with Jamie as he lifts the door up and starts the dishwasher. Mollie goes into the fridge to take out the birthday cake.

Mollie: So, how did you and Grace meet?

Jamie: We met at a cafe in the neighborhood of our two firms. I was here on a business trip and she was working on her case in the cafe.

Mollie: *smiles* That’s really cute. I know Grace was always in that damn cafe working on something when she was at the firm.

Jamie beings to prepare the coffee and is reminded about Grace’s departure from the firm. He’s not surprised that her mom would know about her not being a lawyer anymore, but he is surprised to see just how okay she is with it. She must’ve known longer than he known.

Jamie: It’s a great place to work on things like that.

Mollie: I can imagine. Do you guys still spend time at the cafe now that you’re here working on cases?

Jamie: We do. It’s like our second home.

Mollie: That’s sweet. I’m glad that Grace has a place to go to distress after a long day.

Jamie: Me too.

The kitchen goes quiet until Mollie remembers something.

Mollie: Oh! Before I forget to tell Grace, I’m assuming you’re coming with her but the showcase has moved to a different location. Everything’s the same, just different location.

Jamie doesn’t know what Mollie is talking about, but he doesn’t want to make it obvious that he doesn’t know.

Jamie: Oh… okay…. what’s the location?

Mollie: It’s in a venue in Midtown; much more space since more people are attending the showcase. You must be so excited for her.

Jamie: Very excited; refresh my memory please, what is the dress code?

Mollie: Formal attire, nothing too fancy.

Jamie still doesn’t know what Mollie is talking about. Clearly, him and Grace are not talking about something.

Mollie: Y’know, I was so worried for Grace for making such a career change like this. She’s such a good lawyer and she’s amazing at what she does, but I think with this new career she’ll be a lot more happier and willing to be more present.

Jamie: *plays along* I agree… so is the venue like a restaurant or something?

Mollie: No, it’s a ballroom like venue. Most dance showcases are presented in venues like that one, so it felt right to change the venue.

Jamie is shocked. He didn’t know that Grace was back in the dance business.

Jamie: I’m excited to see Grace dance.

Mollie: She’s a complete natural; she’s going to do amazingly at the showcase and honestly, I’m glad she wanted to take over the family business. Grace is going to be one of the best dance teachers to the next generation of dancers.

Jamie is annoyed that Grace never spoke to him about this. How could she hide such a major part of herself from him considering they’ve been dating for the last couple of months. He breaks out of thought when candles are lit on a birthday cake and Mollie is walking past the dining area. Jamie brings out the tray of coffee and cups.

The family begins to sing happy birthday to Weston and Grace since they share the same birthday. Jamie looks straight at Grace, completely upset at her. Grace notices it, but tries to not show her family that something is wrong. Candles are being blown out, and cheers are being said. Jamie doesn’t say anything.

Later on in the night, Grace and Jamie return home to their apartment. Jamie has a sleeping Willow in his arms. Grace puts her bag on the counter and turns to face Jamie.

Grace: Jamie?

Jamie: I’m going to put little bean to bed.

Jamie walks into Willow’s room to put her down to sleep. Grace walks to the door-frame of Willow’s room and stands there, watching Jamie put Willow down to sleep.

Jamie: Goodnight, little bean.

It makes Grace smile knowing that Jamie cares about Willow and is always here to help out with her whenever it’s needed. He turns around to walk out of the room in which Grace quickly leaves. Jamie walks out of the room. He sees Grace standing near the kitchen counter looking uneasy.

Grace: Jamie?

Jamie walks to the fridge to take out a bottle of water. He doesn’t answer Grace.

Grace: *annoyed* Jamie.

Jamie: Mwo? (What?)

Grace is taken back by Jamie’s response.

Grace: Are you okay?

Jamie: I’m fine, I’m just tired.

Jamie walks into the bedroom and Grace follows behind him.

Grace: You’ve been in a mood all night. Did something happen?

Jamie: Even if something did, which it didn’t, I don’t want to talk about it.

Grace is annoyed by Jamie and stands in front of the side of the bed that Jamie sleeps on.

Jamie: Grace.

Grace: What’s wrong?

Jamie: mwohaneungeoya? (What are you doing?)

Grace: Talk to to me.

Jamie: That’s the problem, Grace. You want me to talk but never want to talk to me.

Grace: *confused* What are you talking about?

Jamie: How are you making money now that you’re not a lawyer anymore?

Grace doesn’t answer right away. Jamie rolls his eyes.

Jamie: You might as well just tell me since I already know.

Grace looks at Jamie, still doesn’t any anything.

Grace: I’m taking over my aunt’s family business. Nothing major.

Jamie: Hmm, nothing major even thought there’s a whole event happening in regards to this reopening, huh?

Grace: Uhm…

Jamie: Grace, why wouldn’t you tell me this is what you were doing all this time?

Grace: I don’t know, it just never came up.

Jamie: I don’t know, maybe over dinner? A walk in the park? Relaxing in bed? Anywhere would’ve been fine, but instead I find out from another person other than you!

Grace: Look, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to hide it from you, I swear!

Jamie huffs and turns around to head out of the bedroom.

Grace: Wait, where are you going?

Jamie: I love you Grace, but you keeping important things from me is becoming a habit. How can we be a couple if I can’t trust you to tell me things?

Grace is on the verge of crying.

Grace: Jamie, please… I’m sorry, I-

The tears fall down from her face. Jamie looks at her. Grace whimpers the words “please don’t go”. Jamie doesn’t understand why Grace is so upset.

Jamie: Have a good night, Grace.

Jamie leaves the bedroom and Grace starts crying in her pillow. Jamie stands outside of the bedroom door and hears Grace crying. He doesn’t say anything, he just walks away from the door.

The next morning, Grace wakes up tangled up in her bed sheets. She’s first confused; her head is pounding. She looks at the empty space on the bed next to her. She slowly turns her head and gets up from the bed. She walks to her bedroom door and opens it. The living room is empty. She slowly walks into Willow’s room to check on her.

Once she opens the door to her room, she’s surprised at the sight. Willow is still asleep in her crib, and Jamie is sleeping on the floor beside the crib. He stayed here during the night. Grace slowly closes up the door and exits, allowing Willow and Jamie to get more rest.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Follower: A Scene.

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Milo sits at his desk playing with the phone in his hands. He looks down at it, nervous to open up the screen and see if Sophie messaged him. Every couple of minutes, he taps the screen to check; she never messages him.

He tosses the phone on the bed and holds his head in his hands. He keeps seeing the image of Sophie in the hallway, looking sad and hurt as ever. He feels horrible for turning his back on her, especially learning what Mollie did to her in the lunchroom.

He looks up and gets out of his desk chair and falls on his bed. He looks up at the ceiling until his eyes feel heavy and he drifts off to sleep.

The rain is pouring down the streets of Brooklyn. Two teenagers are running down the block, trying to take cover from the rain. They both run up the steps of a house.

Milo: Are you okay?

Sophie: *laughs* I’m alright, too bad we didn’t make it to a dry spot on time though!

Milo smiles and takes out his keys from his pockets. Sophie watches him.

Sophie: What are you doing?

Milo: Going inside?

Sophie looks anxiously as he turns the key into the front door. Milo notices.

Milo: You’ll be fine, Scout. Let’s go in to dry up.

Sophie doesn’t say anything, she follows Milo behind him as he enters the house. The teenagers kick off their shoes in the hallway. Milo walks up the stairs leading to the house. Sophie follows behind him.

Once they both reach the top of the stairs, Milo opens the door and holds it open for SOphie to walk in. She looks around as he closes the door behind her.

Sophie: This is a cute place.

Somebody walks out of the bathroom; a tall red-headed woman, Jennifer. She looks up at the teenagers and gets startled Sophie hides behind Milo.

Jennifer: Gosh, you scared me! Why are you guys all wet?

Milo: It started raining when we were hanging out.

Milo puts his head behind his back to grab Sophie’s. He slowly gets Sophie to stand next to him. He lets her hand go.

Milo: This is my friend, Sophie. *to Sophie* This is Jennifer.

Jennifer: It’s nice to meet you, Sophie. I might have some clothes you can barrow while I dry your clothes up.

Sophie smiles and nods her head.

Sophie: Thank you so much, Mrs. Kamalani.

Jennifer: Please, call me Pep.

Jennifer walks back to a bedroom while the teenagers stand in the walkway. Milo looks at Sophie.

Milo: She likes you.

Sophie: Huh?

Milo: Pep likes you if she’s allowing you to call her my her nickname.

Sophie: Why do you call your mum by her first name?

Jennifer walks out of the bedroom with clothes in her hand.

Jennifer: There you go, sweetheart. The bathroom is to your right. *to Milo* Remember to grab the clothes and put them in the dryer.

Jennifer walks into the kitchen to get the dryer ready. Milo walks into his room to get changed, and Sophie walks into the bathroom to do the same.

A little while later, the door of Milo’s room opens. Milo and Sophie walk into it as they overhear Jennifer yelling to keep the door open. Milo rolls his eyes as Sophie laughs.

Sophie: Mums can be overprotective, huh?

Milo: Uhm, yeah.

Milo walks to his desk to turn on his computer. Sophie sits on the edge of the bed, watching.

Sophie: Are you a gamer?

Milo: Nah, this is all for music. I record myself playing at times and see if I can become better. I gotta prepare for the Waverly audition.

Sophie: That’s exciting.

Milo: I guess.

Milo gets lost in his music while Sophie listens on. She’s amazed at how much Milo knows about the equipment and the different sounds to make everything come together. After awhile, he stops to take a break.

Milo: This is just a little bit of the things I work on.

Sophie: You’re so utterly talented, it amazes me. Who taught you all of this?

Milo: My dad. When I was a baby, he had his own recording studio in his apartment. Him and his band used to record demos when they were teenagers.

Sophie: Have you ever listened to it?

Milo: *shakes head* I haven’t. I feel like that’s something I have to do later, find my own sound, y’know?

Sophie: Well, what is your sound?

Milo looks at Sophie and ponders on the question.

Milo: I guess I still have to find out.

Sophie crosses her legs on Milo’s bed. She looks comfortable in his presence.

Sophie: Your mom is really nice.

Milo: Thanks…

Sophie: Her red hair is so bright! I wish i was able to dye my hair, but my mum would kill me.

Milo: Are you not allowed?

Sophie: *shakes head* In Korean culture, the longer and natural your hair is, the more beautiful and feminine you are. I mean, I call bullshit on that.

Milo: *smiles* You sound so tiny when you curse.

Sophie: *laughs* Whatever! If I could, I would be a leader instead of a follower, like you are!

Milo: I am no leader, Scout.

Sophie: Sure you are! You don’t try to fit yourself in what everyone wants you to be, you’re loyal to the friends that matter to you the most, and you are a style not all boys in our grade would ever have. That’s being a leader, Milo.

The conversation dies down and silence fills the room. Milo doesn’t look at Sophie when he begins talking again.

Milo: Jennifer isn’t my mom.

Sophie: What?

Milo: She’s not my mom. I never got to know my actual mom. She died when I was a baby.

Sophie doesn’t say anything, she sits there and waits for Milo to continue.

Milo: Sometimes… I feel like I don’t belong. That I don’t fit in. School doesn’t make it any easier. Everyone wants to fit in and then there’s me, not even fitting into my own family.

Sophie: Is you little brother…?

Milo: Mom and dad. They’re a family, and then there’s me…

Sophie: *stern* Hey.

Milo looks at Sophie.

Sophie: Family isn’t always blood, you know. Family is what you make it to be; those who love you no matter what you do in life, support you no matter how concerned they could be for you, and always welcome you with open arms. Jennifer is your mom, Milo.

Milo doesn’t say anything, he sits there and takes in what Sophie said. Moments later, Jennifer walks in with some folded laundry.

Jennifer: Alright, everything is cleaned and dried up for you guys.

Sophie: Thank you, Mrs– uhm, Pep.

Jennifer: Of course, sweetheart. Do you live far from here? Milo and I can drive you home since it’s getting late.

The two girls talk as Milo looks on, relieved that Jennifer takes a liking in Sophie and vise versa.

Milo’s phone lights up in his dark room. The vibration on his face wakes him up. He sees a notification from someone and instantly wakes up when he realizes who it’s from.

leesophie: Who would've thought you were the best friend to a mean girl, follower.

Milo unlocks his phone to write back a response when he sees Sophie has blocked him. Milo sighs in frustration.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Betrayal: A Scene.

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The halls are busy with teenagers on this particular day; people chat in between classes and walk in their groups throughout the halls. Sophie opens her locker to take out her books when she suddenly gets nudged. She turns around quickly to see a careless teenage girl chatting with a guy. The guy looks at Sophie apologetically, Sophie proceeds to go on with her day.

In the present day, Sophie opens her locker to put her books inside. The halls are busy with students passing by, like any other day.

Before she’s able to put the rest of her books away, she gets nudged and her textbooks fall to the ground. She looks behind her and sees Mollie look back and head to her locker. Sophie doesn’t say anything, she just kneels down to pick up her textbooks from the floor. She sees a guy’s sneaker in front of her. She looks up.

Simon: Hey, Sophie.

Sophie gets up from the floor with her textbooks and puts them in her locker.

Sophie: What do you want, Simon?

Simon: Ouch, is that the way to talk to your best friend now?

Sophie rolls her eyes in frustration and locks her locker, she Looks at Simon, and pauses before she speaks.

Sophie: You’re not my best friend.

Simon: *holds heart* Ouch, just keep punching me in the heart.

Sophie walks away from Simon, and Simon follows.

Simon: What has you so annoyed today?

Sophie: Nothing, Simon. I just have to get to class on time.

Simon: I know when something isn’t right, Soph. You know you can always talk to me.

Sophie stops and turns around towards Simon.

Sophie: No, I can’t. You lost that privilege when you decided to date Laurie.

Simon: Soph–

Sophie: Bye, Simon.

Sophie walks into the classroom of her class. Mollie is behind one of the pillars, who is now looking in her phone.

Sophie sits in her usual desk with her friends. She takes out her notebook and looks up to see Milo walk in with Mollie. She smiles at Milo, but he doesn’t smile back. Sophie feels a little hurt by the response. While her friends chat around her, Sophie takes out her phone.

leesophie: Are you mad at me?

She waits for a reply, but never gets one. She puts her phone in her bag, now frustrated. The teacher quiets the class and begins teaching.

The bell rings and the lunch period begins. Sophie sits down at her usual table with her friends. She takes out her lunch from her backpack. Laurie and Simon come into the lunchroom, holding hands, walking towards their group’s table.

Laurie: *to Simon* I can’t believe you called this our song!

She takes out the earbud from her ear and kisses Simon on the cheek. It makes Sophie uncomfortable.

Simon: It’s just as beautiful as you, baby.

Sophie rolls her eyes and downs her water. The couple sit at the table with Sophie and a couple of their other friends. Theo comes and greets the table, and does his special handshake with Simon.

Laurie: Do you guys always gotta do that?

Theo: Don’t be jealous you and your friends don’t have a secret handshake.

Laurie: Oh bite me, Theo.

Theo: I don’t think your boyfriend would like that.

Simon punches Theo in the arm, Theo holds the area. Simon sits back down next to Laurie. Theo spots Sophie.

Theo: *playfully* Hey, Sophie.

Sophie: Bye, Theo.

Theo: Hey, what’s with the attitude?

He sits next to Simon across from Sophie.

Sophie: Because you’re a jerk.

Theo: Where’d you get that from?

Sophie puts down her water bottle, which makes a loud noise on the table.

Sophie: You didn’t have to do what you did at the Halloween party.

Laurie: *interrupts* It was so funny though! Plus, Mollie knew what she was getting herself into.

Sophie: *to Laurie* It wasn’t nice though. She didn’t do anything to you guys for you to do that to her.

Laurie: *annoyed* Are you actually standing up for that loser, Sophie?

Sophie: I’m standing up for what’s right, and Theo was wrong for doing what he did.

Laurie: Why don’t you go be friends with her and her loser best friend?

Sophie visibly is upset, and Simon catches it.

Simon: Hey, maybe it was alittle too harsh to do.

Laurie looks at Simon confused. Sophie is just as confused as Simon’s actions.

Laurie: Don’t act like you weren’t laughing when we caught her with him.

Simon: Still, I think Sophie’s right about this one, babe.

Laurie: *to Sophie* Now I look like the mean girl because of you!

Simon: Babe, she didn’t do anything; please relax.

Sophie smiles at Simon sticking up for her. Before the bickering can continue, a girl is seen standing on a lunch table. Sophie turns around and notice it’s Mollie.

Mollie: *yells* Attention, Beverly Junior High! I hope everyone had a lovely time at the Halloween party this past weekend!

Sophie doesn’t understand what Mollie is doing. She looks around to see if she sees Milo, but she doesn’t.

Mollie: I know you all saw the pathetic excuse that was a prank on me at the party, but it’s so sad that while they were so into doing this prank on me…

Everyone’s phone vibrates and in comes a message. Sophie widens her eyes in shock; Laurie is visibly upset.

Mollie: Beverly Junior High’s favorite couple, isn’t so perfect after all! Simon Hempstead ischeating on Laurie with her own best friend, Sophie!

Sophie is in total shock. This picture was taken not too long ago. She looks at Laurie.

Sophie: Laurie, this isn’t–

Laurie: You’re nothing but a slut, Sophie! I knew you still liked Simon all this time!

Sophie: Laurie–

Laurie: *yells* Get out of my face!

Sophie grabs her things and runs out of the lunch room. Mollie gets down from the table, feeling successful with her plan.

Sophie runs down the hall to her locker. All she wants is to grab her things and go home. She suddenly hears a voice.

Mollie: Too bad you got caught up in all of this.

Sophie slams her locker shut and looks at Mollie.

Sophie: I didn’t do anything to you! I don’t care if you don’t like Laurie, but why in the bloody hell get me involved?!

Mollie nonchalantly shrugs her shoulders.

Mollie: I don’t know, it was easy.

Sophie: You know you’re not any better than Laurie. You are just as much of a mean girl as she is.

Mollie: Whatever.

Milo walks down the hall towards the two girls. Sophie, with tears in her eyes, looks at Milo. Milo looks at Sophie, then back at Mollie.

Milo: What’s going on?

Mollie: Nothing, just showing a minion that she’s just as much of a target as her bitch leader.

Mollie turns around and walks the other direction. Milo stands there, looking at Sophie. Sophie now has tears running down her face.

Mollie: C’mon, Mi, we gotta get to class.

Milo sadly turns around and leaves Sophie standing there. She begins to quietly cry near her locker. Milo keep walking with Mollie, feeling sad and hurt.

Misc., The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage-Parent Conference: A Scene.

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Milo winces in pain as his father puts alcohol on Milo’s cut on his face. His father tries to keep Milo still as he tries to clean the wound with a cloth.

Milo Sr: Bud, I’m just trying to help you.

Milo: It doesn’t mean it hurts any less!

Milo Sr. puts the last bandage on Milo and throws out the trash after he’s done. Milo touches the bandage on his face. Milo Sr. looks back at him.

Milo Sr: So, are you going to tell me what happened before Pep gets home?

Milo’s eyes widen. Pep, or Jennifer, is the last person Milo wants to tell this .

Milo: Please no! *sighs* I got into a fight.

Milo Sr: That much I got from your principal. What else?

Milo: … It was Simon Hempstead.

Milo Sr: That kid again? *annoyed* Milo…

Milo: *defensive* What?! He came up to me first!

Milo Sr: Then you stay out of it and let a teacher handle it!

Milo: So I could be the laughing stock of the school? No way!

Milo Sr. holds the bridge of his nose. He takes a deep breath.

Milo Sr: What is it about him that just gets you like this?

Milo doesn’t say anything.

Milo Sr: Milo? I’m talking to you.

Milo: Can I just go lay down? My head hurts.

Milo gets off the bar stool and begins to walk to his room.

Milo Sr: This isn’t the first time you and that kid had an altercation like this. What is up with you and this guy?

Milo: Nothing, dad. He’s just a bully.

Milo walks into his room and closes it behind him.

A couple of months ago…

Milo and Sophie sit together on two separate swings at the park. Sophie’s hair flies in the wind as she swings; she laughs out loud with Milo as they come to a halt. They slow down and just hang out on the swings.

Sophie: That was immensely fun!

Milo smiles at her, in awe. He takes in the beauty that is Sophie.

Milo: It really was!

Sophie: Thank you for hanging out with me today.

Milo: I had fun! I don’t normally get to hang out with people like this.

Sophie: Really? Why?

Milo: I’m… constantly practicing. I also don’t have many friends.

Sophie: Practicing?

Milo: Yeah, I’m looking to get into the music program at Waverly High. It gets really competitive so I’m preparing for my audition before the time comes.

Sophie: That’s a whole year and a half from now, I’m sure you’ll get in just fine.

Milo: *doubtful* My dad works there, so I have to get in for my talent, not because of my dad.

Sophie: What instrument do you play?

Milo smiles, excited that someone actually wants to talk about this for change.

Milo: I play the guitar, Piano, and drums.

Sophie: *amused* Whoa! We got a triple threat here!

Milo: *laughs* Shut up, I’m not! *looks at Sophie* What are your plans for high-school?

Sophie’s smile fades. She looks at the ground.

Sophie: I’m not sure yet… Actually…

Sophie lifts her head up to look at Milo.

Sophie: I was thinking about auditioning for Waverly High as well.

Milo: *surprised* Really?

Sophie: I haven’t old anyone that I wanted to go, but… I really enjoy playing the violin and I would love to study more in high-school for it.

Milo: Do your parents not want you to go?

Sophie shakes her head shamefully.

Sophie: The guy I like wouldn’t want me to go to another school.

Milo’s heart sinks. He didn’t know Sophie even liked another guy, and if she did, she didn’t show anyone that she liked someone. He’s confused that a smart girl like Sophie would make a decision like that for another person.

Milo: Who?

Sophie nervously looks at Milo.

Sophie: You swear you won’t tell anyone?

Milo: *raises hand* Scout’s honor.

Sophie takes pause before she reveals the name of the person she likes.

Sophie: It’s… Simon. Simon Hempstead?

Milo: *shocked* The football guy?! *laughs* You’re kidding, right?

Sophie doesn’t smile or laugh. Milo notices just how serious she is.

Milo: He told you to not go to Waverly?

Sophie: He doesn’t want me to go to Waverly because he’s going to some sports school in the Bronx. He wants me to go there with him and become high-school sweethearts.

Milo: Has he… said he liked you too?

Sophie: Sort of. He gave me his lunch one day when I forgot to bring my own. He also likes my pictures on Instagram and we always text each other.

Milo doesn’t know how to take this information. He’s angry, upset, but he doesn’t know if he’s more upset over the fact that she’s letting someone else dictate her life, or if she likes someone that’s not him.

Sophie: Milo?

Milo snaps out of his thought. His attention is now on her again.

Sophie: I really should get going before it gets too late. Again, thank you for hanging out with me today.

She leans forward to kiss him on the cheek and walks away. Milo is in a state of shock. Did… did Sophie just kiss me? He holds the palm of his hand to his warm cheek. He blushes and has a huge smile on his face.

Milo lays on his bed, playing with a rubber ball by throwing it up about the ceiling on his loft bed. He’s bored, and he’s grounded so his phone is officially turned off and with his dad. He takes a deep breath and moves to his side. He winces in pain. After awhile, he finally decides to drift off to sleep, in hopes the pain he is feeling subsides in the morning.

Misc.

Day 12: Q&A Of a Collector, From Other Collectors!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

I wanted to do something different for the blog! At first, I was thinking of just writing my thoughts and opinions on being a collector in the Kpop community, but then I thought: why not let the collecting/trading community ask me things they will like to know? So one night over the weekend, I asked people on my trading and collection accounts to ask me questions and, well, there’s a lot of interesting ones!

So without further ado, hi, I’m Liz and I’m a Kpop collector!

ktrades_cr (Cameron) asked: Where do you find your Victon non-album photocards and how do you know it’s for a good/decent price?

So for those who may not know: a non-album photocard is an official photocard that are not from their albums; they are typically from special events, merchandise, music show broadcasts, pre-order benefits, etc.

At first, it was really hard to find non-album PCs for Victon because I didn’t have the resources to find them. I say your moots (or mutuals) are your best way to score non-album PCs for any group that you may be collecting! My moot and friend, Amy, helps me find a lot of the rarer non-album PCs through sellers directly from South Korea. Many collectors have overseas connections so if you have a friend that can help you reach out to them for rarer photocards, I suggest doing that because it brings me to by next answer about pricing…

Pricing for PCs are insane these days, and if people are selling in-print album PCs for an absurd amount of money, people will do the same (if not worse) for non-album PCs because in most cases, non-album PCs are harder to find and not always available for immediate purchase. Sellers from the United States will sell a Seungwoo non-album PC for $50, but Korean sellers (directly) will sell them at a reasonable price just because of how frequent and available those cards are to obtain.

I say non-album PCs should not be more than $30 unless it’s a PC that is extremely rare and hard to find. Music show broadcast PCs should go for a little more just because they are only given out to people who attend these music shows during a groups’ promotion, so they have more of a rarity. It’s all about hearing from other moots and their buying experiences to see what price range works best for you.

hansetrades (Amy, my IG child) asked a couple of questions! She first asked: Any goals for my collection?

More space. I envy those who have, like, a real bookshelf for their albums and collection! So I guess for right now, my goals for my collection is to think smarter about it. When I started collecting, I started to buy albums that I thought I liked but I think I was just really in the moment of those releases, so there’s a couple of albums I might get rid of because I don’t like them being on my shelf! But I definitely would like to also finish my Seungsik collection to its entirety, I know some PCs are going to be harder to find than others, but honestly I’m even shocked that I made it this far into my Victon and Seungsik collections.

Amy also asked: How do you feel about your collection?

Oof. The deep question. Being a collector, I’ve realized there’s been many ups and downs. For starters, the great part about collecting is that it’s a hobby and something you look at and be proud of. I’ve always been an album collector (CDs in jewel cases) when I was younger and I guess it just transitioned into Kpop albums, but it’s been a really fun journey to have a collection and be so far into it.

But, my collection also can be a cause of my anxiety. I say that because although collection isn’t a competition and there’s no race to who collects the fastest, many collectors do run on that mentality and it always freaks me out if I’m trying to find a rarer PC that I might miss out on it because someone snagged it before I did. I’ve been on both sides of that scenario where I was lucky to find PCs and claim them before anyone else, and vice versa. But, I also am an adult with responsibilities so I know my collection will slow down for the time being, but – I don’t regret it. Should I have put all my money into a savings account for a rainy day? Sure, but I didn’t and I’m okay with that because I used it for something that has brought me an immense amount of joy.

My girl Amy coming in with the heavy hitters! She asked: What did you expect when you joined the trading community?

I expected to actually be kicked out of it because of my age. I am 26, and I always felt some shame behind me being so into Kpop and wanting to collect albums and PCs, so when my moot and friend, Ella, convinced me to open a trading account, I was skeptical at first because then it required me to expose that hidden fact about myself. I thought I was going to leave after awhile because I absolutely hate new things, and at first this account stressed me out. It’s been the complete opposite; I feel more accepted into this community more than anywhere, and I’ve made some amazing friendships because I joined the trading community.

The one thing about the trading community that I didn’t expect is that where there is a community, there will be some sort of drama. I try my hardest to stay out of any drama, whether that’s exposing people as scammers or time-wasters or just getting into arguments; I am more of the listener and occasional advice-giver! Just like any type of community, I know not everyone will like me for me or not connect with my energy and that’s cool; as long as we can keep things professional and just trade or sell for any given circumstance then that’s all that matters. But, you have to do whats comfortable for you at the end of the day and you have control what you want on your account or not.

Amy asked: Worst experience with a trade or a sale?

Juicy! I haven’t had many bad experiences with trades or sales; the only ones that come to mine are just the type of trade or sell accounts that kept things… very professional. I mean don’t get me wrong, the trading community is like a business so I know some people like to keep things professional and stoic, but with my own personal anxiety, I always feel the most comfortable when the person I’m trading or selling to is nice and excited for the transaction. I’m very grateful that most of my transactions with people have been smooth but I know I’ll get a bad experience sooner or later; it’s inevitable.

Amy & Mallory both asked: What’s your favorite/least favorite thing about collecting?

My least favorite thing about collecting is the judgment people have about people and the amount of love they have for a group based on their collection and priorities of collecting them. People have these assumptions about people’s true intentions in liking a group based on how their collection of them looks like: if someone only collects the most popular member of a group, then that person is deemed “not a true fan of the entire group”. If someone collects all members of a group, that means they “stan” that group more than those who only collect their biases. For example, I learned that moving forward, I will not be hardcore collecting Seungyoun’s PCs anymore because they are stressful and not fun to collect and find and the prices are expensive due to his popularity. Just because I’m stopping my collection for him, it doesn’t mean I like him any less than the person who decides. Collecting is all about preferences and priorities, not about who can collect the most and the fastest.

But, my favorite thing about collecting is being able to finally obtain cards and things that I couldn’t do on my own. I believe I wouldn’t have finished Seungsik’s album PC collection if I didn’t have amazing friends in the community that always help me with my collection and vise versa. The friendships made are definitely my favorite part of the collection process.

Last question from Amy! She asked: Do you have any plans for your collection if the group(s) disband?

Such a great question! To be honest, I have no clue what my plans are for my collection if the groups I collect disband. I believe if groups that aren’t my ult groups disband, I feel like I would probably sell them because I wouldn’t have space to put cards or albums I haven’t touched in awhile and they probably at some point will be forgotten. Ult groups, oof I don’t even wanna think about the fact that one day in the very distant future, Victon will individually move on to other endeavors. I think I would keep them, in all honesty – I feel like my collection is more than just a collection, it’s a representation of the person I am now and to look back at it in the future when collecting isn’t a hobby of mine anymore, it would be nostalgic (night) as hell to just see the progress I’ve made.

jiutrades (Jaqui) asked: What inspired you to start collecting?

I started to secretly collect when I started to collect all albums of Victon’s earlier this year. With photocard pulls, I was lucky not to get any duplicates of members, so when I bought their 6th Mini Album, Continuous, I had pulled 6 out of 7 members throughout their discography. The one member I didn’t pull was Seungwoo, and well, I also really wanted Seungsik’s nostalgia (nostos ver.) PC because it was the absolute cutest so, yeah – I bought Seungwoo’s VNTW PC and Seungsik’s nostalgia PC and the rest is history.

Because I pretty much follow Kpop IG on my personal account, I was always intrigued about people and their collections and even if I wasn’t going to initially go hardcore in collecting, I wanted to at least have an album collection. Well, 25+ albums and 2 binders full of PCs later, and here we are: a hardcore collector.

sub2jae6 (CeCe) asked: If you could design an album, what would you do that hasn’t been done already?

Very interesting question! I don’t think there has been a single thing that hasn’t been done yet in the Kpop industry, but a concept and album I would love is an album that resembles a composition notebook and the photobook itself would be showcasing the process of making the album from the members in the form of journal entries. The pictures would be taken by the members, the lyric book would be hand-written by the members who work on that specific song (and mark it up like actual sheet music); I guess what I’m getting at is that I would love to see an album that was personal and made by the members for their fans.

jeonswonu (Sunshine) asked: Least favorite album based on packaging?

Oh my god, so the first album that came to mind was WayV’s recent album, Awaken the World only because of the paper opening thingymabob that accesses everything else, but because I don’t physically have those in my collection yet, I’ll have to say Victon’s 6th Mini Album, Continuous. Personally, I feel like they missed a great opportunity to put some amazing imagery on the cover, like, hear me out:

How sick would these photos been as album covers?! Also, I really wish they did different photobooks for each version because, I mean, three versions but the same photobooks is not cool. She was an iconic era, but I reach for my Continuous albums the least because of the packaging.

jjongtiny (Mallory) asked: Rarest official merch you own?

I’m surprisingly not that much of a merch collector! If I had to choose just a couple of things I consider to be more on the rarer side, I think Seungsik’s Kapsul Collective necklace is a little harder to find. It was a limited edition jewelry collection that I haven’t seen anyone reselling yet, and I don’t believe many people got it when it was first released. PC wise, I think the rarest set in my collection is a set that is on the way to me! It’s the “Welcome to Wonderland” Fanmeeting photocards. From what I recall, they are a really hard to find in the trading community and when they do pop up, a complete set of one member goes for $40 ~ $60.

Oh! Also broadcast PCs can be a little rare; some more than others! Some of the rarest broadcast related things are actually photos and postcards which aren’t that common to do for music shows anymore.

I think the rarest album I own is my all-member signed X1 album, only because as a group they disbanded and although there are signed copies out there, not all of them are all-member signed; only promotional ones are.

That’s it for this post! Thank you to everyone that sent me their questions and made this post so interesting and fun to write! If I get more questions from people, we’ll write a part 2 for this series!

Until then, happy collecting!