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#also i know i’m very late but my best friend just went through a bad breakup so i’ve been helping him through that for the last few hours
a-cowboy-like-me · 29 days ago
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it doesn’t fit the theme but it’s like 80° and my wonderstruck shirt is my only short sleeved merch so oh well
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butteflyrecords · 3 months ago
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What phantom love can do to you.
What phantom love can do to you.
First of all, I’ve never really heard a good term for loving someone, but not truly loving them. So I made it my own term for this sort of toxicity in a supposed romantic relationship.
To be honest, I’m supposed to be doing my assignments, it’s the final lap of my school year. But I can’t seem to get myself together this time around. The usual same routine for the past 1 week. I wakeup after I don’t even know how many rounds of bad dreams about my ex I had broken up with 3 months ago, I lay in bed feeling shitty about life, get myself up in the late afternoon, use social media while contemplating about life and delaying the work I should have gotten done weeks ago. It’s not an everyday occurrence that this happens. On the good days I wakeup up early, I meditate and plan out my day and end my day off repeating gratitudes towards myself like prayers to myself, and there were many good days that offsets the bad ones which is the main reason why I’m still in my high vibrations even though I’ve been slugging off.
I blame this on my monthly period, once it’s over I’ll be fine. Every month during the battle with my own body and my womb committing seppuku since I did not , I enter this state, I call this the cocoon state, hence the name of this blog. 
Anyways, back to the main topic. 
Shadow toxic relationships. I’ve been in one, I’m sure many others had too. It could last for years, without you even actively realising that whatever effort you had put into the relationship, up till the moment you broke up, were almost futile and worthless. The relationship ends and whatever monetary gifts involved, those late nights arguing with your partner trying to fix your relationship back and wondering how the heck did you hit this deep in your relationship?
They always say that by the 3rd or 4th year of a long-term relationship, it’s usually the final call to see if your partner, is truly the one. Well for me, it started just a few months into the relationship. I knew the man I dated, seriously at that for the first time ever in my life, wasn’t the one for me. Now before you comment and try to educate me up on how ‘if he wasn’t the one you should have just left!’ in the comments section, I just want to say. I know! I should have! But, my partner was a very endearing man during the first 2 years of our relationship, I was held captive with his smooth words and the charismatic speech he gave to me each time I tried to go. Soon I found myself spiralling down this love, for a man I did not love. This is my story.
I’ll be talking about myself so that you get to know me a bit better and be the judge of this entry, the relationship, and my views towards life now, I’ll also drop in my advices for you if you feel similarity in ways to what I have gone through. (Please bear with the lengthy posts! If not you can skip to the relationship part)
A little about myself. I’ll go by ages because I’m constantly in a state of evolution, I’m easily influenced by the people around me and my own emotional mind. I remember I had a lot of friends back in the neighbourhood I stayed in, but there were never any kids my age. I was used to playing with kids older my age and I barely got along with anyone my age. (Age 7-12)
 When I entered secondary school, I started spiralling down into a hermit. It was great for the first two years until I lost myself due to the indifferences with my peers. I was lost and also an angsty phase back then. I think that was when depression started to surface.I suffer from minor mental illnesses still which I have yet to properly diagnosed my entire life because I was a coward who was afraid to get diagnosed, but I’m finally going to see a therapist to get proper diagnosis in 2 weeks time. (Age 12-15)
I started a new hobby and did cosplaying. I fell deep. I met many people, many  many many many people, made tons of friends(that I have now lost most of them). I thought I found the place I belonged. I was happy and proud of myself for making it this far in a hobby. After opening up, I started to think of myself as a fun, quirky person who adapts to her surroundings pretty well, at least to the basic minimum. I met a girl and we had a long-distance relationship (thats another story) that ended within a year. And right after the breakup that was also when I met my ex-boyfriend. (Age 15-16)
He approached me first, he knew about my existence for almost a whole year even. I gave him the impression that I was a very happy, smiling girl who was mature and knows what she is doing, well. Back then when I just broke up with my ex girlfriend, two of my best friends confessed to me right after and that pretty much threw me off because I was confused with my own feelings. I did try to handle the situation well but in the end I hurt them. At the end, they felt that they were better off without me, one of them did not even what to remain my friend if I did not return their feelings while the other was mentally unwell to handle rejection. I was stressed out from my the situation with my ex-girlfriend and my ex-best friends. I bonded with my ex, let’s call him B. B and I hit off right away, we instantly connected. To be honest my first impression of him was not great. He wasn’t my type at all, and after thinking it through, then again I never really had a type...which was what I though to myself back then so I did think he was cute a week in after he first invited me out to eat. We met almost every single day. He would fetch me from my school and bring me home almost everyday too. But I’ll be honest, I was clueless about the fact that he was trying to woo me. Around 2-4 weeks after meeting him (Yes it’s fast, I met him for almost 14 days straight) he confessed to me and I decided to give it a try. Back then I knew I wasn’t fully in love with him yet, it was mere puppy love, but I know I’m slow when it comes into falling in love because back then, I still had a strong sense of self love for myself, so I did not wield to his affection easily.
The first 3 months was great, he treasured me, treated me to food and we often hang out in my house. I experienced base A(if you know what I mean) within 2 weeks into the relationship because I was interested and wanted to experience it too. He started coming to my house everyday and asking to get into action with me which I consented, I guess that was the most of it to my honeymoon phase now that I think of it. But to me, it was pretty alright since I enjoyed alone time together.
I was happy and contented, until he made his first mistake. Long story short, I prepared for the first Christmas ever to celebrate with a s/o (remember my long distance relationship?) I got ready and dressed up in the morning, all ready to present myself to B and maybe receive a compliment or two. B had a cosplay shoot that day, but what I did not know was that the shoot would last for hours. I’m talking about 12-6 PM hours. I met B at 10 am. I was helping out for his shoot, in a new dress I had bought to show him for our first ‘event’ date, did my makeup in a new special way and did my hair for half an hour. After almost 9 hours of being outside, my date finally happened at 7PM that day. I was tired, my dress was ruined from sitting on the dirty carpark floor and my hair already died 2 hours into the day. I was mad. Best part is? He did not notice I am mad. I voiced out my concerns and anger, he replied it with his own argument. ‘It’s a shoot, we usually shoot that long so what’s the problem?’ (Mind you, I knew he had a shoot that day, but was not prepared to have to meet with such long hours and it was the first time I was helping out for his shoot)
He apologised and tried to bring me go shopping, but the entire mall was closing soon. I lost it and got angry and wanted to go home (for the record, I put up with his shit for more than 12 hours, that’s more than enough) He apologised and talked me out of being angry and promised things like that would never happen again. I gave in and we called it a day.
This will serve as one of the many examples for the shit I had to go through in my relationship. I can’t list out every single argument we went through as it would take weeks to write them all out, But this would be a gist of our fights, it’s always 
>He makes a mistake 
>I get angry and give a cold shoulder 
>He gets worried and tries to talk to me
>I lash it out on him
>We fight, I cry
>I bring up breaking up
>He apologises, promises me not to do it again 
>We settle the problem
For the first two years, I knew I wanted to leave, or at least he wasn’t the man for me. B did many things I didn’t like and did not do many things I liked. But to be honest, that wasn’t enough to be ‘toxic’ to me, it was simply, I wanted to leave not because he was a horrible person towards me or anything like that, but because we simply do not suit each other. In all seriousness, he is a very okay person. He’s pretty crude but still has a kind and loving gentle heart, especially towards children. He tries his best to make me feel happy when I ask for something. It sucks that sometimes the love in your brain and the love in your heart does completely separate things. Some days I feel like it’s fun being with him and some days I get irritated by him. This only delayed the ending of this relationship even more, and my love for him grew each day for the next 2 years.
I know this is getting confusing right? But to be honest, even if you were to face someone you get irritated by on some days, you would feel like you love them because, you’ve already been with them for years! They are your s/o, how can you not love them? Then what is this feeling I have towards B? Is it still the same puppy love I had for him back then? or is it something different?
I realise I did ‘love’ him somehow, there was love, but the love was at a mere 60%-70%. So I did ‘love’ him, but I never truly love him,
I’d put true love this way, you would be willing to sacrifice your own comfort and entire life for them if you had to, that love would be at infinite%. No matter what the heck they throw at you, deducting from infinite would reduce to the same amount, while deducting from a 60% meant that my love for him would fall even lower. Whenever the 60% dropped, that 60% also grew. I’ll call this phantom love.
And this my dear readers who have followed up till this far, is the main problem with my relationship (and could be yours too, again if you are currently going through this)
Let’s face it, love is hard. Some says it’s an emotion, some says it’s a concept we have to figure out how the heck to work it out, and the smarties would say it’s a pact with another person so that humankind can continue walking on this earth. To me, love is fate (and half concept, ngl, we need to also be technical with this haha). Love is something that comes to you, not something you work to have. How the heck would I know? Of course I do. I worked for 4 whole dang years to love B, but it never happened. It did not even hit 100%, so let alone infinite%. But love pulls you back to do things that betrays your true feelings. I masked up my true self and became independent on B to have happiness. I was testing him throughout the 4 years of our relationship, hoping that this love would hit even just 100% one day. He had already became the face of ‘the one in my life’ by then. 
I started to bring break up into every single argument we had to face, instead of working things out together. I knew I was tired of him, I wanted to leave already, but also wanted to test him at the same time to see him chase me back. I just wanted to make sure, he is the one. After-all, we were together for so long. Whenever he did, I felt that my love renewed and strong emotions of love came back to me. In a way, the loving light he shows me after a fight was what watered and grew that 60%.
The reason why I couldn’t fall in love with him was because he was living too recklessly. He doesn’t really share his own feelings with me and we were constantly clashing in terms of ...almost everything! even to how many kids we should have...jeez. He delayed the things he had to do for this relationship to work out, he never told me I’m beautiful or cute after we had gotten together and he never offered to show much affection towards me. I started to get distant too, I felt that if I was the person who initiated first, it would be unfair for me and he would become dependent on my affection. He and I were also getting bored of our relationship when COVID happened, we barely went out, even for movies anymore. One of the biggest contributing factor was also the fact that our sex life was stagnant and he started to suffer from ED too. This increased my fears that he had long gotten tired of my body. I was lost. And because B does not know how to share his feelings with me, I blamed it on myself and that he no longer had any interest in my body. This scared me so much that I bought pills from online website to try to enhance my body, only to meet with earthquake like mood swings due to the pills messing up with my hormones. This was all on part of my own insecurity that stemmed from this relationship. I was insecure with this relationship and because of that, I became a very insecure person. Reason? I viewed this relationship as my own life. It was never B’s and mine. I’m sure he was tired by the 3rd year and stopped properly talking things out with me too, simply apologising. This only made my paranoia worse.
There were no flaws with B as a person. B was simply not the person for me that made him flawed. He din’t compliment me? He was probably doing so in his head, he just did not feel the need to say it out. If I were a confident girl and trusted him, I would know he thinks I’m beautiful. 
But because He and I both force this relationship to work out, I fell into a deep hole for someone I was not meant to be with. Depression, panic attacks, episodes of mania fits and suicidal all happened in the past 4 years. I was tired, tired of everything I had to deal with, I was confused why I was so mentally unwell.
By then, with all the fights we had been through, he had already broken many promises he made with me that was proven empty. Each time I trusted myself that my decision to believe in B was right, however he would break my trust again. I forgot what self-love was like, I forgot what being alone was like and the thought had scared me. We fought on valentines, christmases, birthdays and anniversaries. I would be bawling my eyes out at the end of every event.
When we broke up on his birthday (Yeap, like how I mentioned, we always fought on special occasions, without fail. Yes I am a true asshole for breaking up on his birthday, however, given the circumstances which will be explained in future posts, I don’t regret it) I was full of confidence that I made the right decision, I was very calm too. I knew that we couldn’t continue this anymore.
After that, I downloaded dating apps almost immediately to look at other guys photos to try to get his off my mind. Yes yes I have better ways, but i’m single after 4 years? The immature me headed for that direction right away. At least for a week, just swiping that app helped to take my mind off B.
He wanted to save the relationship once again but this time I remained strong. We met a week later to try and end the breakup on a good note. However, he still continue to believe we will have a chance together. He told me that he could only see his future with me which left me soft hearted once again. We ended things off pretty awkwardly but he asked me to give him a month. I told him that I wouldn’t wait for him but assured that he could stay around me. 
For that month, I tried my best not to think about him. I knew I still ‘love’ him back then, but played it cool. I hung out with friends and had a lot of heart to heart talk. I told everyone I’m moving on well but deep down I had already left a space for when he comes back with the newer version of him.  For the whole month, it was pretty chill. Until the supposed ‘one month’ is up. I was confused as to why he did not contact me. He did tell me to give him a month after all. I decided to phone him, and turns out that he had already moved on and found himself a new girlfriend in a span of 2 weeks or so.
Of course that left me broken! Well what the heck am I supposed to do with this 60% I left for you? It is 60% but at that moment, it was an illusion of an infinity% I was blinded by the fact that he promised me that he would chase me back, only to meet with this results. I became the desperate one who wanted this relationship back. I wrote love letters. I fell to my knees and begged him to come back to me. I went back home to drown myself with pills, tried to hang myself and fainted. I cried until there were no tears left. I was dehydrated from all the drinking. I blame and hated myself for all the mistakes I had made, because while he has hurt me so much for the past 4 years, I was equally toxic to him too. 
He refused to even talk to me and give me closure. I was too emotional to even properly talk.
I thought that it was unfair that he left me hanging with this love I had left a space for in that one month, while he moves on with someone else. I was furious at the fact that he did not even bother to tell me he had moved on, and found someone else. What did he take me for? And then I realised. Empty Promises. Again. If he hadn’t made those empty promises and just left the situation be, let the break up happened as it should have, I could have well used that month to clear up the space I intentionally left for him.
I looked back in those 3 days of turmoil. 4 years of empty promises. 4 years of fights on almost every single special occasions. I had enough. My friends got me back up in just 3 days. That has got to be the proudest moment of my life. I also talked to a guy from the dating app and we shared our own dating experiences. I talked to many people, many people came to check up on me. My friend living overseas sent me my favourite flowers to cheer me up too. A friend of mine also introduced me to meditation and soon I got into meditation. Meditation saved my life. I got myself back up.
I did not have a single depressing episode, panic or anxiety attacks or act up from the PTSD. There were bad days when his presence from my memories visited my dreams, and I turned those bad days into good ones whenever he kept showing up. I realise it was the past version of him I had loved, and not the version he is now. B had already became a stranger in my heart.
I moved on from a 4 year relationship within 2 months. While there are still lingering feelings left, its not love anymore but rather intense emotions towards the actions I had did and mistakes I also made towards him. I’m still in the process of forgiving both him and myself for whatever happened. I’m in a good place now with hopes for new love. I decided not to shut myself out and let life take place. I’ve learnt to love myself the past 2 months and get myself interested in other people too. 
Advice
Well of course, life is not gonna get any better immediately. Take it slow. I told myself this sentence every single day, repeating it like a mantra. I meditate almost every day and write down my feelings at the end of the day. 
I started to believe that this relationship was a karmic relationship, that was meant to serve as a learning lesson for true love. It is true, I learnt about my own capabilities and the fact that I now know how to identify between a 60% and an infinity% is probably one of the biggest gifts this past relationship can give me. Your relationship is not your life and only when you are truly happy on your own, can you be truly happy with someone else. Don’t rely on your partner to survive but don’t let them leech you off either. Finding someone with a similar outlook in life is the more important than looks and wealth. You’re living your life for yourself until you decide to share it with someone, but never give it away.
If you’re like me, who also hurt their partners with huge amounts of toxicity and you’re blaming yourself, I want to tell you, go ahead. Hate yourself, hate yourself to the core, then tell yourself that you did what you had to, and remember the exact reason why you did so.
It happened for a reason. 
It’s harder to forgive yourself because you’re telling yourself to let go and forget about it. It won’t happen again, but is there a guarantee it wont? 
I’d say, don’t forgive yourself for what you have done towards the other party, hold it deep in your heart and make sure you will never hurt someone like that again. After that, work hard to make your new life better to weigh off the blame.
It will take some time but you will get there, I’m sure of it. The only thing that will block you guys is the fear from messing up again. Well I can’t be certain it, I’m that if you maintain a strong healthy mindset, things would work out properly.
This relationship taught me alot and raised my standards in my partners by milestones. I know what kind of person I am looking for now and never to settle for less and always for more. It’s alright to be greedy when wanting to find a partner, just don’t force the other person to change to suit your needs when you have found them. I hope that one day I will find my infinity%, and I hope that you guys will too, will find your infinity%
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ayybtch · 4 months ago
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The One
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Pairing: Bucky Barnes x f!Reader
Summary: Things are going up and down for you as you try to navigate life after your breakup with Bucky. Everything leads to an accidental run-in with him at a coffee shop that leaves you and Bucky wondering if things could have been different. Based on the song The 1 by Taylor Swift.
Warnings: This is an angsty fic. The reader is actively struggling with mental illness and a breakup. There are mentions of being on antidepressants and symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and sometimes not having the energy for personal care, but nothing in-depth.
Word Count: 11,261
A/N: I owe a very special thank you to @borkingbarnes​, who has supportively been screaming at me for writing this ever since I told her this idea and gave me some brilliant suggestions during her beta read. The dividers were made by the lovely @whimsicalrogers​.
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“So, how have the new meds been treating you? Are they still making you nauseous after you first take them?”
You looked across the room at your therapist and shook your head, “No, they’re not making me nauseous anymore. I’ve been making sure that I’ve got food in my stomach first and not just a cup of coffee. I’ve also been better about taking them at the same time each day,” you said.
She smiled at you. “Do you feel like they’ve been helping?”
You shrugged and offered a half-smile back. Not satisfied with your answer, she continued probing. “Well, do you feel like you have more energy than on the other meds? Are you sleeping more….?” She trailed off at the end, voice hopeful.
“Oh. Yeah, I have been sleeping a little better. I’ve been sleeping closer to 5 hours each night, though it’s still taking a really long time for me to fall asleep. I’ve had more energy but I don’t know if that’s because of the meds or the sleep?” You trailed off a bit at the end, unsure of if that truly answered her question.
“It could be a mix of both. I’m glad to hear you’re sleeping more though, you weren’t getting very much when you first started seeing me.” She offered you another smile before adjusting herself in her seat and continuing, “Now, what have you been doing with this extra energy? Any new hobbies, catching up with friends, going on dates, anything like that?”
You shook your head no. “I don’t have much of a friend group anymore, not since…” your voice faded before the sentence finished. You closed your eyes and shook your head slightly. Pull yourself together. “I am meeting Natasha after this, actually. She and I were friends before everything and she’s the only one that’s really stuck around since. It’s been about a month since I last saw her so I’m looking forward to seeing her.” The therapist nodded and offered a sympathetic smile that made your stomach turn. You decided to continue before she chimed in.
“I’m running again too. I used to go on a nightly run before things got bad. It’s not for as long or as far as I used to but it’s better than sitting on the couch, I guess.”
She nodded and began writing on her notepad, “That’s wonderful. What do you enjoy about your runs?”
Her question was unexpected and it took you a minute to answer. “It’s peaceful. It’s one of the few times I can shut my brain off and zone out. Though, if it’s a bad day it doesn't always work.”
She nodded and paused, as if trying to carefully choose her next words. “One thing I’ve noticed whenever stuff comes up is that you always talk about ‘before’, but what about the ‘after’? Have you thought about trying to get back out there and start your ‘after’?” An uncomfortable knot formed in your stomach as she spoke.
“I don’t think I’m ready for that yet,” you whispered.
She pursed her lips but didn’t say anything. Eventually, she nodded and continued to make notes.
                                         ***
The session continued for another half hour before it ended with a smile and a brief conversation with her secretary, confirming your appointment for the same time next week.
As you stepped out the door, you let out a sigh of relief. Therapy sessions were hard. Even though today’s session had been relatively mild, the process was still draining and left you feeling exhausted most days. It really helped though and making the decision to go was one of the best decisions you could have made for yourself. A smile settled on your face as you pulled your jacket tighter across your chest before beginning your walk to meet Natasha.
You had discovered soon after starting therapy that walking to and from the appointment gave you the time you needed to prepare yourself for the session and unwind after. The hustle and bustle of New York created the perfect background noise for you to organize your thoughts. Most days it helped you process the questions the therapist asked. Often, you answered them a little deeper than what you had in the session knowing that nobody would know the real answer except for you.
Guilt gnawed at you as you thought about it. Wasn’t the whole point of therapy to be honest? Were you still getting as much out of it as you could if you were completely honest? You shook your head and sighed. Sometimes there were things better left unsaid.
One of the many things that had been left unsaid had to do with what you missed most about being with him. You had shrugged it off when she asked, saying it was nice having a person around because it was less lonely. While true, the full answer was more painful than you felt comfortable admitting out loud. He had understood you in ways nobody else ever had and nobody else ever would again. It gave you the freedom to be unapologetically you every second of the day. The thought of not being known like that again and having to put on a facade felt like the loneliest existence the universe had to offer. It made your chest ache.
Today though, it gave you the chance to collect your thoughts before Natasha had the opportunity to interrogate you. To be fair, it wasn’t really an interrogation. She was far too gentle when she asked you questions, though you’re sure that’s one of the many techniques she chose from. Interrogation or not though, she would be watching you like a hawk the entire meal to make sure you were actually doing as well as you were claiming.
It wasn’t long before you were standing outside Natasha’s favorite Italian restaurant. She always recommended meeting up here purely because of the breadsticks. She swore they were the best in New York and ate at least three full baskets by herself each visit. You paused before entering, suddenly nervous about how it would go. There’s nothing to worry about, Natasha isn’t going to bring him up and isn’t going to push me past my boundaries. You weren’t quite as convinced as you would have liked to be, but you couldn’t delay it any longer as you stepped inside.
A blast of warm air surrounded you as you were greeted by the hostess. It didn’t take for her to lead you back to where Natasha was sitting, a glass of wine already in her hand. A second sat waiting on the table for you.
You walked over, bending down to give her a side hug and a peck on the cheek.
“You’re late,” she said reproachfully, eyes zeroed in on yours.
“I know, I’m sorry. My session went a little over today.” You pulled out your chair and sat down before continuing, “How are you? It’s good to see you.”
Natasha smiled brightly. “I’ve been good. I’ve been really looking forward to this, I was so happy when you said yes. It feels like it’s been years since I’ve seen you.” You grinned slightly and she continued. “I’m sorry that it’s been so long since we’ve had a chance to catch up. Work has been keeping me even busier than usual. Stark has been working on all sorts of new tech developments and has somehow recruited me for testing.”
You nodded as you took a sip of your wine, “Nothing he’s made has killed you yet. That’s impressive.”
She snorted, “He’s lucky I didn’t flat out say no. His last update to the Falcon wings sent Wilson through the ceiling and landed him in the medbay for three days with a concussion.” Natasha noticed the look of concern on your face and waved her hand as she sipped on her wine. “He’s fine, don’t worry. All of the Avengers men have skulls harder than concrete.” The two of you burst into laughter at the thought.
A waiter arrived as your laughter died down to take your orders and to refill Natasha’s wine glass. You both thanked him as he turned to walk away. A quiet settled over the table and Natasha’s gaze landed firmly on you.
“So how have you been?” she asked softly, voice far gentler than anyone would expect from a former assassin. You shrugged and avoided eye contact.
“Some days are better than others,” you said, “Overall things are better than they’ve been for a while now though. My shrink has me on some new meds that seem to be helping and I’ve been working harder on doing little things to take care of myself every day, not just the good days.”
Natasha nodded, eyes still fixed on you. Slowly, she reached a hand out across the table and placed it on top of yours. “You know I’m always here for you, right? You can call me any time of day and as long as I’m not on a mission, I can be at your apartment within the hour.”
You felt a lump form in your throat at her words. You nodded quickly, eyes blinking fast to try and keep the tears that were welling up from falling. She gave your hand a quick squeeze before pulling back.
“Now where the hell are our breadsticks? This is going to be a failed meal if I have less than twelve in me before the main dish arrives.” Her words made you burst out laughing once again and succeeded in putting a smile on your face for the remainder of the meal.
                                        ***
“Are you sure I can’t drive you back to your apartment?” Natasha asked, wrapping her scarf around her neck as the two of you stepped out of the restaurant. You nodded at her and smiled.
“I enjoy walking, it clears my mind,” you said. She let out a disapproving hum but didn’t argue further. She pulled you into a bone-crushing hug before turning and walking towards where her car was parked. You watched as she stepped in and waved as she pulled out of the parking lot. You stood and watched until her car was out of sight before turning to start the walk home.
As it was on the walk to the restaurant, the busy streets provided the perfect background noise needed for you to quiet your mind. You focused on your breathing, allowing yourself to try and channel any residual nervous energy outward. With each breath, the faces passing by began to blur. Neon signs hanging in the windows of the shops you passed by became nothing more than a gentle glow in your peripheral. With each step you took, the background seamlessly blended together more and your focus on yourself heightened. A sense of calm settled itself in your chest. The feeling grew stronger with each block you passed until a small smile made its way onto your face. That feeling ended abruptly as you turned around the next block.  
There was a large crowd waiting at the bus stop, but your eyes focused on one man. You stared at his silhouette, panic building with each second. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of you and your feet had magically turned into cinder blocks. Is that...? No, it couldn’t be…
Almost as if he heard your thoughts, the man turned slightly so you could see his face, and a sigh of relief left you. You stood there a moment longer to examine his side profile. It wasn’t him; he just happened to look like him. He was about the same height and weight, with similar chocolate waves. Your eyes landed on his light brown leather jacket and a lump formed in your throat. He had worn a similar jacket the day you met. It felt like being thrown back in time as you continued to stare at the man in front of you.
Natasha drug you through a hallway, not caring about your protests to slow down. “I have someone I want you to meet.” She smirked as she spoke, leaving you to wonder what she was plotting.
A group of choices greeted the two of you as you entered the room. You waved at Steve and Sharon sitting on the couch as Natasha continued to pull you across the room to where two men were standing. One of the men was Sam, whom you had met the last time Natasha brought you to the compound. The other was Bucky Barnes. You hadn’t met him before but you knew who he was. It was impossible not to given how public everything about Hydra had become.
“Barnes, I have someone I’d like you to meet,” Natasha said, turning slightly towards you.
Bucky turned to look at you, offering a charming smile as he held out his hand. “Nice to meet you, ma’am. I’m Bucky.”
You shook his hand and introduced yourself, hoping to god you didn’t look as flustered as you felt. The pictures of him floating around on the news did not do him justice. Bucky was absolutely breathtaking. His smile lit up his eyes in a way no camera could ever hope to capture. His hair was cropped just above his shoulders, falling into a beautiful wavy pattern. You realized you were staring and felt your face get hot.
“Uh, I like your jacket,” you mumbled, hoping he hadn’t realized you were staring. The leather jacket was a beautiful light brown. It looked old, but well loved at the same time.
He smiled widely at you, “Thanks! Leather jackets are kind of my thing. Sam here thinks I have too many but there’s no such thing as too many leather jackets, wouldn’t you agree?”
As the memory floated away, you couldn’t help but think how Bucky probably would’ve gone up to the man to ask about his jacket. You chuckled at the thought. As soon as he walked away, he would’ve immediately started looking up where he could find one for his own closet. It didn’t matter how many leather jackets he had. He always wanted more.
The chuckle died on your lips and was replaced by an uncomfortable knot settling in your stomach. A heavy weight fell on your chest and you forced yourself to find the energy to trudge forward.
The remainder of the walk was a blur, but not in the same way it had been before. This wasn’t the good kind of blur that helped you to focus. It was the kind that left you feeling suffocated and as if everything would come crashing down all at once. That had been the first happy thought about Bucky since the two of you broke up. His presence in your thoughts was so strong, he might as well have been walking right next to you. You could practically feel his knuckles brushing against yours with each step you took. If you closed your eyes, you swore you could smell his cologne.
The harsh reality of how alone you were hit you as the greeting from your apartment’s doorman pulled you from your thoughts. You shot him a small smile before rushing inside and all but sprinting up the stairs. Your hands shook as you unlocked the door to your apartment, though you couldn't tell if it was from your thoughts of Bucky or from the sudden burst of energy that left you slightly winded.
Once inside, you rushed to your bedroom and changed into the first sports bra and pair of leggings you saw. You needed to get Bucky off your mind and the only way you knew how was to run. It was going to be a long run tonight.
The doorman waved at you again as you exited the building, surprised to see you again so soon. “Someone is feeling motivated today I see,” he joked. You shrugged and slowly began to jog.
                                        ***
It took a while to get into your groove, but once you were there you felt good. The movement helped settle the anxious energy that had been building since you had seen the man at the bus stop, while the steady breathing brought your focus back to the here and now just like it had before. That’s something else to mention if she asks about my runs again, you thought.  These runs bring my focus to this exact moment in time.
That thought was lost as you passed a small, hole in the wall theater. Small groups were exiting the building, each talking excitedly amongst themselves about the movie that had just finished. The nauseous feeling from earlier came back as memories resurfaced. That was Bucky’s favorite movie theater. Every Sunday they played movies from the 1920s and 1930s. He used to drag you along with him whenever he saw one he remembered from his childhood. Each time he swore up and down that you were about to experience a cinematic masterpiece like no other and that it would change the way you looked at movies. You always rolled your eyes as he said it, but the magic you felt in that theater with him was like no other.
Movies made back then were so different from the movies made now. The characters felt so much more real. They were allowed to be people. Their faults and flaws didn’t take away from the good things about them. These films never failed to make you feel all of the emotions you were meant to feel and each time you exited the theater, you couldn’t help but wish you could’ve remained in that little bubble just a few minutes longer. Those bittersweet feelings about the ending never lasted long though, as Bucky would wrap his arm around your shoulder and proceed to talk your ear off about the movie until you made it home.
“You know Doll, the greatest films of all time were never made,” he said, smiling down at you.
You just laughed and shook your head.“Bucky that makes absolutely no sense.”
Bucky rolled his eyes dramatically, making you laugh again. “Think about it though, how many movies haven’t been made because someone decided they weren’t good enough for the big screen? How many stories have been brought into existence but never been told to another living soul?”
A car horn brought you back into reality. Bitterness crept into your chest as you processed the memory that had just played out picture-perfect in your mind. Those afternoons with him in the theater had been some of the best afternoons of your life. Even if you weren’t crazy about the movie, Bucky’s sheer excitement about it was enough to convince you of how wonderful it truly was. If only he had felt that same amount of joy in other areas of your relationship.
Your bitterness slowly began to turn to anger as you thought about the last few months of being with Bucky. Sunday matinees had stopped being a regular thing as Bucky’s work schedule picked up until they stopped happening entirely. His new position training new SHIELD agents and prospective new members to the Avenger ate away at his time. All of his time. It got to the point Bucky never stopped working. Even at home, his thoughts were on paperwork to be filed, training to be planned, or meetings to be run. You’d be sitting on the couch next to him trying to talk only to receive disinterested “hmms” or the occasional “That’s nice honey.”
You tried bringing it up to no avail. He always brushed it off and said things would calm down eventually and that he just needed you to hold out a bit longer. He never outright said his work was more important to him but the implication was there and you felt the weight of it every single day. You bit your tongue and played along for a while, but after several months of hearing the same excuses, you finally snapped. Unfortunately, so did Bucky.
“All you ever do is work. I can’t remember the last time we went and did something together. Hell, I can’t even remember the last time you cared enough to even ask me about my day. It’s like you don’t even want me around anymore,” you hissed, glaring at Bucky.
“Excuse me for caring about my fucking job. One of us has to if we’re going to continue affording this place,” he scoffed.
Ice filled your veins as you stared at him, fist clenched at your side. “And what is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh come on, we both know you’re barely getting your work done on time. You lay here on the couch all day watching TV. You’re lucky you’re allowed to work from home because you look like a walking disaster half the time. You’ve stopped wearing clean clothes, you hardly shower, you hardly eat, and you hardly sleep. Face it, you’re depressed.” His voice was flat as he spoke.
You furiously blinked back tears that were trying to well up as you processed his words. “First of all, I am not depressed,” you muttered, “Second, if I’m such a walking disaster then what are you even still doing here?”
“I am still here because I care about you. I have lost track of how many times I have asked you to get help. I’ve been where you are, I know what you’re going through and I know what it takes to come back from it. If you never bleed, you’re never going to grow. If you can’t move past this, then we -” he paused to motion between the two of you “- can’t move past this.” His eyes never left yours as he spoke. There was no malice in them, but there was also none of the kindness or warmth you wished for. His gaze just felt indifferent.  
You remained silent as you tried to find words. Bucky continued watching you, waiting expectantly for a response. A response never came, however, and he let out a loud sigh.
“If you don’t have anything to say to that, then I think we’re done here. I can’t keep doing this anymore. I love you, but neither of us is happy. I can’t give you what you want and you can’t give me what I need,” Without another word, Bucky grabbed his coat and walked out the front door of the apartment.
That was the last time that you saw Bucky. He had sent you a text a few days later asking when a good time to come pick up his stuff would be. You responded begrudgingly, telling yourself that the sooner his stuff was gone the sooner your life could get back to normal. When the day came, you forced yourself to get out of the apartment. The thought of seeing him after what went down between you left you seeing red. When you finally went back after he left, you felt none of the happy emotions you had convinced yourself you would feel.
Instead, you felt the empty spots in the room. Every missing item you noticed felt like a blow to the stomach and caused fresh tears to well up in your eyes. Pictures were no longer hanging from the walls; random gaps were in the bookshelves; his leather jacket was no longer slung across the back of the chair he loved in the living room. You stumbled back to your room with your eyes closed, refusing to see what other memories had been ripped from their rightful homes. Once there, you collapsed on the bed and laid there for two days. It wasn’t until Natasha broke into your apartment to check on you after countless missed calls and ignored texts that you finally moved from that spot.
For the millionth time that day, your stomach twisted as thoughts of Bucky floated around in your head. Despite it all, you regretted not being there when he came to get his things. There was never a proper goodbye between you and the thought drove you mad sometimes. Maybe if I had been there, we could’ve worked this out. You scoffed at the thought, but couldn’t deny the heaviness lingering in your chest.
At times you considered reaching out to him, wondering if he would be willing to give you the closure you so desperately needed. Even if it was just over text, it might be better than the nothing you currently had. You still had his number. The two of you even still followed each other on social media. He liked what few posts you made, but you had never been able to bring yourself to look at the stuff he posted. The lines of communication were there, you just had to use them. But communication is a two-way street; if he wanted to talk to you, he’d reach out. Right? That thought had kept you from texting him more times than you could possibly count.
Questions about what could have happened that day swirled throughout your head as your feet pounded against the pavement. Could you have fixed things, or would it still have ended in breaking up? Could you have agreed to still be friends? Would you have at least been able to say goodbye, or would he have walked silently out the door again?
The thoughts continued to plague you until the ache in your legs was too strong to take another step. Out of breath, you looked around at where you stopped trying to figure out how far you had run. It wasn’t until you noticed the fountain about a dozen feet behind you that you realized where you were.
Tony had once rented out a plaza nearby for a 1920s themed fundraiser gala the first year you and Bucky were dating. The gala was the first public event you ever attended with him, though it certainly hadn’t been your last. Natasha had taken you shopping and helped you find a flapper-style dress leading up to it. The two of you did your hair and makeup together, giggling about how you felt like you were getting ready for a high school dance. When you stepped out of the room with Natasha, Bucky wasn’t able to speak. He spent the whole night staring at you like a lovestruck teenager, only to turn bright red whenever someone mentioned it.
Towards the end of the night, you and Bucky had drunkenly stumbled out of the plaza to escape the crowd and found your way over to this fountain. Rather, you had stumbled out drunkenly. Bucky wasn’t affected by human alcohol and hardly had any of the Asgardian mead Thor had so generously brought. While he was a little more cheery than usual, he wasn’t intoxicated enough to even pretend like he was tipsy.
A giggle left your lips as you stumbled forward. “Bucky, I need to find somewhere to sit down. I need to take off my heels.”
Bucky laughed at you and picked you up, carrying you bridal style. He spun around slowly as he searched for somewhere he could set you down. His eyes eventually settled on the fountain and began walking towards it. He carefully set you down before sitting down next to you. His eyes were fixed on you as you took off your shoes, a sigh of relief leaving your mouth as you did. You smiled over at him, before turning around to stare at the fountain in wonder. A giggle left your lips as you pulled up your dress and began walking around in the fountain.
You laughed any time you went through a jet of water. The temperature difference was soothing against your skin and almost left a tickling sensation as you passed. Eventually, you arrived back at where he was sitting and the smile on his face filled your stomach with butterflies. You bent down slightly to press your lips against his, your hands making their way through his hair. His hands landed on your hips and pulled you closer to him. You felt dizzy as he held you, though you weren’t sure if it was him or the glasses of champagne. You pulled away abruptly as an idea struck you, leading to Bucky’s eyes opening in confusion. His gaze fell upon the mischievous look you wore and he opened his mouth to speak. Before he managed to make a sound, your hands left his hair and were reaching down to splash water onto him.
He tried to catch your hands to stop you, but you stepped back just out of reach, but not far enough you couldn’t keep splashing him. Without a word, he reached down to take off his shoes and socks. A gasp left you as he stepped into the fountain and you rushed to hide behind the fountain’s centerpiece. He chased after you, hands eventually catching your waist and spinning you around to face him. He stared down at you, wonder and adoration written on his face. He slowly leaned forward to press his lips against yours.
The dizzy feeling from before came back, though this time you could say with absolute certainty it was because of the man standing in front of you. His lips were so soft against yours, yet still carried such a force they left you breathless. Fireworks had nothing on how he made you feel. No words could ever hope to describe the love and adoration bursting in your chest.
This time, he was the one to pull back first. He moved his lips up slightly, pressing a kiss to your nose and your forehead before leaning his head against yours. “Would you like to dance?”
You nodded and the two of you began to slow dance in the fountain. You don’t know how long you were in the fountain dancing; it felt like eternity paused to give you and your love all the time the universe had to give so you could enjoy this moment a little longer. The only sensations tying you to reality were Bucky’s warmth and the cool water moving at your feet as Bucky spun you around. You pulled away slightly and smiled at him. “We should make a wish,” you said.
Bucky looked at you with confusion. “A wish?”
You nodded, a small smile filling your face, “You know, toss some coins into the fountain and make a wish as we do.”
The laugh that left his lips made your heart flutter. “I don’t think this is a wishing-well. Although -” he paused to laugh again, “-I hardly think they meant for anyone to dance around in it either, so why not.” One of his hands left yours and reached into his pocket, looking for his wallet. He opened it and pulled out two pennies and handed one to you. “It looks like we only get one wish each tonight, so we’d better make it a good one.”
You stared down at the penny in your hand, wondering what wish could possibly be better than the night you were currently having with Bucky. The wish hit you suddenly, a smile breaking out on your face. You pressed your lips to the penny and wished with all your might, ‘I wish for us to have more moments like this together, from now through the rest of our days”. You opened your eyes and tossed the penny outward. Bucky’s coin was soon nestled safely at the bottom of the fountain with yours.
“What did you wish for?” he asked, pulling you back into his arms to continue dancing.
“I can’t tell you or it won’t come true,” you teased, pressing a quick kiss to his cheek as he spun you. “And let me tell you, I really want this wish to come true.”
Bucky chuckled, “Me too honey, me too.”
Your eyes came back into focus and a quiet sob left you. You stood in front of the fountain and cried into your hands, cursing all of the emotions you felt. That night had left you convinced that Bucky Barnes was the one. You had fallen asleep dreaming of dancing like that with him at your wedding. But now? Now all you wanted to do was scream. You wanted to scream at him, at yourself, and at the universe for being cruel enough to lead you back to this fountain without him at your side.
As the tears began to slow, a new kind of weight settled in your chest. He really could have been the one. He could have been everything you dreamed of and more, but there was nothing you could do to go back in time to change things. He decided to walk out that door and leave you with nothing more than an empty space in your heart, one to match the empty spaces he left in your apartment.
The questions the therapist had asked you started ringing through your ears as you continued to stare blankly at the fountain. What about the ‘after’? Maybe she had a point bringing it up today. You were still stuck in the ‘before’. Maybe it was finally time to start moving on. Missing items could be replaced; missing love could be given by someone else. All you had to do was make the decision to take your first steps into the ‘after’.
Your feet remained glued in place as you tried to make sense of it all.
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You were confused as to where you were. Looking around, nothing seemed familiar. It wasn’t until a familiar silhouette caught your attention that you realized where you were. Bucky stood at the top of the mountain, staring down at the canyon below. Green trees and bushes lined the ground and the air was filled with the sound of birds chirping. The view was beautiful, but you couldn’t stop staring at Bucky. He looked the same, yet something felt different. Bucky seemed calmer than you had seen him in years, almost as if all of his stress had faded away. His body language was relaxed and he seemed to be in no rush to leave where he was.
Suddenly, the once green mountain top was now covered in a blanket of snow. Bucky was now wearing a thick winter coat and was strapping his feet onto a snowboard. He soon had his helmet and goggles on and began his descent down the mountain. It felt like you were flying along with him as you watched him expertly weave his way through the trees. The ease at which he moved confused you. Since when did Bucky know how to snowboard? He expressed wanting to try but never had while you were together. Confusion clouded your mind until Bucky reached the bottom of the mountain and came to a halt. He removed his helmet and a look of pure exhilaration filled his face. His excitement made your heart burst. As you reached out to try and touch him, the scene changed once again.
This time you were in the middle of the ocean. The vast expanse of blue was the only visible thing in sight other than Bucky. He was in full scuba gear, just floating there waiting. He was so still that if it weren't for the stream of bubbles that came with each exhale, you wouldn’t have been able to tell if he was breathing. Out of nowhere, a shape appeared in the distance. As it got closer, you felt your stomach drop. A large shark swam slowly towards Bucky. You rolled your eyes at the realization. Of course, he would go swimming with sharks with no safety cage. That idiot had no respect for your nerves or your -
You were woken up abruptly by the sound of your phone ringing. You groaned and cursed yourself for it somehow not being on silent. In your confused state, you reached out and slowly felt around on the top of your nightstand trying to find your phone. Once you found it, you tilted the screen so you could see who was calling. A beautiful picture of Natasha filled your screen and you sighed. Only Natasha could call randomly and happen to wake you up from a dream about Bucky. You pressed the answer button and begrudgingly brought the phone to your ear.
“Morning, you better have a good reason for waking me up,” you mumbled, letting out a yawn as you finished speaking.
“It’s past noon, you know. Most decent people are already up by now,” You could hear the smile in her voice as she spoke.
“Shut up. It’s still morning if I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. What do you want? I was having a nice dream.”
Your gruff response got a laugh from Natasha. “Well I was calling to see how your Tinder date went last night, but now I’m wondering if I should be asking what you were dreaming about that has you being this testy,” she teased.
You rubbed your eyes and groaned, “The dream was nothing special, I’m just mad you woke me up. The Tinder date was also nothing to write home about. The guy was awful. He started off super charming like they always do, but he got snappy with our waitress and then tried to get snappy with me when I called him out on it. I paid for my half of the bill and left as quickly as I could.”
“Ugh, gross. Men are actually the worst,” Natasha said. You hummed in agreement and she continued, “So are you ready for me to start setting you up, or are you going to keep giving these Tinder people a try?”
You sighed and paused for a moment to think. “Nat, I know you’re trying to help but the only people you have that you can set me up with are all SHIELD employees. I don’t see it ending well if I go down that path given my prior dating history.”
A scoff came through the phone. “He’s dating again too, so he has no right to be pissy about anything if that’s what you’re worried about. Besides, he was also the one who ended it so he doubly has no right to be upset.”
You sat up straight as she spoke, your stomach dropping at the thought. “He’s dating again?” Your voice sounded small, smaller than it had in ages.
This time it was Natasha’s turn to pause before responding. “Yes. He’s taken a few of the receptionists here out on coffee dates, but nothing seems to be sticking. If Wilson is to be believed, he’s also on Tinder. I can’t imagine that’s working out very well for him either though.”
You felt nauseous, but you forced yourself to pause to recenter your thoughts. Of course he would be dating again. It’s been almost a year since you broke up. If you’re dating again, it only makes sense that he is as well. He deserves to be happy too. A heavy sigh left you, “Well, I hope he’s having better luck than I am.”
                                        ***
You were on the phone with Natasha for another twenty minutes before she had to go. It felt nice catching up with her, and the two of you made plans for another lunch get together later in the week. The conversation had quickly transitioned away from dating, but the fact Bucky was dating again lingered in the back of your mind for the entirety of the call.
You had been on Tinder for a while now, but somehow it never occurred to you that he might be too. How does a superhero just casually join the worst dating app in existence? Do people actually believe it’s him when they come across his profile? You couldn’t help but snort at the thought. Conversations on dating apps sucked enough as it is, but having to try and prove you’re who you say you are the way Bucky must have to certainly would make it that much less enjoyable.
Almost as if it knew you were thinking about it, a Tinder notification popped up on your lock screen. You opened up the app and saw two new messages from someone you had matched with. You typed out a response and then proceeded to scroll through the list of other potential matches. Most of the profiles you looked at were immediate no’s, but there were a few you swiped right on. It never ceased to amaze you how bad the men on this app were at smiling in pictures. Most of them had only a slight grin in one or two pictures. Any profile with a man properly smiling almost always got a swipe right. The only other type of picture that had that sort of response was for cute cats and dogs.
You continued to swipe, pausing occasionally to respond to a message. Out of nowhere, a familiar pair of blue eyes started staring up at you, causing you to nearly drop your phone in surprise. Of course the day you find out Bucky is on Tinder is the day you come across his profile. You quickly took a screenshot before swiping left and exiting out of the app. You sent the screenshot to Natasha. She responded almost immediately, Guess Wilson was telling the truth 🙄
You laughed at her response as you got out of bed, ready to finally start your day.
                                        ***
A sigh of relief left you as you collapsed on your couch after spending most of the afternoon running errands. It hadn’t been anything too bad, but that didn’t stop you from being thankful it was over. You laid there for a few minutes, just enjoying the stillness and the comfort of being on your couch. Once settled, you reached over to the coffee table and grabbed the glass of wine you had poured, and opened up your phone.
You opened up Snapchat and responded to the few snaps you had from Natasha and other friends before opening up Instagram. You mindlessly watched people’s stories, skipping through any of the ones that didn’t interest you. You paused however on Bucky’s.
He was standing next to a beautiful woman, each of them holding a painting in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Both of them had smiles that filled their faces. You stared at the picture, unsure of what you should be feeling. On one hand, it was nice seeing him so relaxed and happy. His posture reminded you eerily of how he looked in your dream. On the other hand, you couldn’t help but feel a touch of bitterness. You had practically begged him to go with you to a wine and paint night while you were together. He always used work as an excuse, either he was too tired from work or he had too much work left to do. You stared at the picture for a minute longer, wondering if they’d be going home together or parting ways for the night. You sighed, shaking your head at your own stupidity before continuing to scroll.
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The wind blew violently around you as you struggled to make your way up the street. The weather turned unexpectedly as you were out on your run, so you rushed towards the closest coffee shop hoping to wait out the weather and avoid having to pay for a cab back home. The barista greeted you as you stepped inside and you offered her a smile.
“What can I get for you?” she asked.
You stared up at the menu, considering your options. “One large hazelnut latte and a cinnamon roll, please.”
She entered everything into the computer and you held out your card for her. Once your payment was processed, you turned to find a seat. The coffee shop was crowded, no doubt due to the bad weather driving people indoors. You looked around unsuccessfully and had almost resigned yourself to standing when a familiar voice called out.
You jumped at the sound. You turned around and made eye contact with Bucky Barnes for the first time since he walked out your front door. He was sitting there grinning ear to ear, almost as if he was genuinely happy to see you. The thought made your heart burst and it was impossible to hold back an equally big smile.
“Hey Bucky, how’s it going?”
“It’s going really well! Thanks for asking,” he paused and looked around before continuing, “Do you want to sit down? There’s not a lot of seating left and it’s just me here.” His hand gestured towards the empty seat across from him as he spoke.
You paused, unsure of if you should take it or continue to look elsewhere. You looked around the room for an empty seat but didn’t see any. Well, I guess we’re doing this. You stepped forward and mumbled out a thanks as you sat down.
“I’m kind of surprised to see you here if I’m honest. I didn’t think you came to this part of the city very often,” he said, taking a sip of his coffee. You couldn’t help but laugh.
“I generally don’t. The weather took a bit of a nasty turn while I was out on my run. I stepped in hoping that by the time I’m ready to leave it’ll have calmed down.”
Another smile broke out across his face as you spoke. “You’re running again? That’s awesome.” He sounded sincere as he spoke which made you smile back.
You nodded, but before you could respond the barista arrived with your coffee and cinnamon roll. You thanked her and took a long sip of your coffee, enjoying the warmth you felt as you did. An awkward silence filled the air as both of you tried to size the other up. You decided to break the silence.
“So, what’s new with you?”
                                        ***
An hour later, the two of you were still chatting away happily at the table. Once the conversation started, it didn’t stop. Everything felt like it had at the start of your relationship: easy, comfortable, and filled with excitement. The only pauses that occurred were when the barista refilled both of your coffees and brought Bucky a cinnamon roll, which he ordered after you spent five minutes going on about how incredible it was.
One of the things you had forgotten about being around Bucky was the warmth he exuded. Even on his worst days, he had the unwavering ability to make the room feel safe. You couldn’t ever quite pin down whether it had to do with his cologne being a comforting smell or if that’s just who he was. All you knew is that he always left you aching to lean into his chest and stay there until you absolutely couldn’t. Needless to say, today it left you feeling quite confused given everything that had happened between you.
The thoughts you had several months ago about getting closure were brought back to the forefront of your mind. How had things gotten so bad between you? How had both of you let this wonderful thing fall to pieces without even one final attempt at holding it together? Each little pause in the conversation as you transitioned between topics left you aching to ask all of the questions you had. Everything was so easy and so smooth between you today that you almost felt hope that things were salvageable between you. Maybe, just maybe, your fountain wish could still come true. As you were finally working up the courage to ask, his next sentence knocked all other thoughts out of your head.
“Did you hear that Steve and Sharon are finally engaged? Took that meathead long enough to ask.”
A gasp left your mouth, “No way! It’s about freaking time. Have they picked a date yet?”
He nodded. “First weekend in June. Sharon’s already picked their wedding colors too; sage green and rose gold. She explicitly said she picked rose gold because she wants to serve that rosé champagne you introduced her to. It’s still her favorite to this day.”
A bittersweet smile made its way onto your face as you thought about what he said. You had brought two bottles of that sparking rosé to a dinner Sharon hosted once, back when she and Steve were still circling around their feelings for each other. Sharon had barely taken her first sip before asking you for details on where you bought it. Ever since, Sharon always had a bottle in her fridge. Her friendship was the one you missed the most after the breakup. There had been a few half-hearted attempts from both of you to reach out, but each time her responses felt forced. Eventually you stopped trying.
“Well, I’m sure it’ll be a beautiful wedding. They deserve it,” you said. A chuckle left your lips as a new thought entered your head. “How on Earth is Steve going to choose between you and Sam for best man?”
Bucky joined in on your laughter, making your stomach do summersault after summersault. “Sam and I were actually wondering the same thing, but apparently they’ve decided to not do a bridal party. That makes things easy for me though. I get to kick back and enjoy the wedding knowing I have no responsibilities.”
The idea of Bucky having a blast at a wedding made you smile. The smile faded slightly as you realized this meant Bucky was now going to need a date for this wedding. Images of him in a fancy suit, twirling another woman around the way he had in the fountain with you flashed before your eyes. You felt your heart breaking all over again at the thought of how it could’ve been you if you hadn’t fucked it all up. How stupid could you have been thinking the two of you could talk things out after all this time. He’s probably already planning on asking that girl from the wine and paint night to go with him. She had appeared on his social media several times since that night and each time it made your chest ache a little more. Bucky’s voice broke you from your thoughts.
“Hey, you okay?”
You swallowed thickly and nodded. You tried smiling but felt yourself falter and knew he noticed it too. “Yeah, just caught up in my thoughts.” You needed to get out of here and fast. Conveniently, your phone screen lit up and you were able to fake gasp at the time. “Oh my god, look how late it is. I really should get going.”
Bucky stared at you, unsure of how to respond to the sudden change in the atmosphere. You stood and rushed to collect your things.
“It was really nice seeing you again Bucky,” you said, offering him a half-smile as you take your first steps away from the table. He nodded, still looking unconvinced.
“It really was. Maybe we could do this again sometime?” He asked, trying his hardest to keep too much optimism from creeping into his voice.
Your eyes went wide with surprise, but you slowly nodded. “Yeah, maybe.”
The same awkward silence from before filled the air, only this time neither of you seemed to know how to break it. You offered a small wave and made your way out the door, refusing to turn around and hug him despite how strongly your body was screaming at you to do so.
Bucky stood there staring after you until you were out of sight. A sigh left him after you rounded a corner and he began to collect his things.
                                        ***
Bucky had made his way back to the Avengers compound with relative ease, though his mind was still stuck back at the coffee shop with you. He had nearly choked on his coffee when he saw you walk in and hardly realized what he was doing when he called out to you. His mind had started screaming at him from the second he offered you a seat and apparently had yet to find a good enough reason to stop. Talking to you had been magical. He had forgotten how well the two of you meshed once a conversation was started. Nobody else had ever been able to keep up with his constant jumping between topics, not even Sam and Steve. You never made him feel bad for his quick transitions; you just understood and accepted that was the way his mind worked. Even after all that time, you took it all in stride.
An unexpected slam of a cabinet door caught his attention as he made his way through the communal kitchen. Sam was standing there, unloading dishes from the dishwasher. Bucky greeted the man with a gentle nod of the head as he pulled out one of the barstools to sit.
“That was a long coffee shop visit, you run into a cute girl there?” Sam teased, smirk playing across his face.
“I ran into her.”
Sam’s motions paused as he processed Bucky’s words. He looked up at his friend, who was conveniently not meeting his gaze, unsure of how to respond. “Her as in…?”
Bucky nodded and Sam let out a slow puff of air. “How are you feeling?” Sam asked cautiously.
It took a few minutes for Bucky to find the words. “You know Sammy, I actually don’t know. There are too many contradictory feelings in my head to pinpoint just one.” He finally looked up and met Sam’s eyes.
Sam motioned for him to continue.
“It was so nice to see her again and talk to her. It made me feel like things were back when we were both still head over heels in love with each other. She’s doing so well. She’s made huge progress mentally, she’s been given a promotion at work, she’s just out there living her life. It made me so happy to see...
“But the happier I got sitting there talking to her, the angrier I got with myself for being such an ass while I was with her. Who has a woman like that in their life and chooses to ignore her for work? What kind of jerk does that?” He paused for a moment, staring down at his feet before continuing.
“There was a moment where she looked at me and I looked at her and I just knew we were both wondering where the hell we went so wrong. She looked like she wanted to say something so badly, but decided against it and just...got up and left. I kinda deserved it though-” he let out a dark chuckle, “- it’s what I did to her after all.”
Sam had continued unloading the dishes as Bucky spoke, trying to keep things casual while he got everything off his chest. Once Sam knew Bucky was done, he paused and rested both hands on the counter to give his friend his full attention.
“Yeah, you were an ass who put work first. She was a great girl who loved you unconditionally. You let her down and yourself down too. But she also had her issues that contributed to what happened. It’s not all on you.” Sam shot a reassuring smile at Bucky.
Bucky nodded, knowing Sam was right. He couldn’t help but sigh and put his head in his hands though as more thoughts swirled around in his head. “I can’t help but think about how my actions probably worsened things for her though, you know? She was depressed for a while before I started acting that way, but I certainly didn’t help the situation. And just...I walked out on her. I walked out and didn’t even give her a proper goodbye.”
Sam stood still and nodded along. “You did, but what you’re forgetting is that you also did because it was also the best thing for you at the time. Both of you were unhappy with who the other was becoming at that time. Sometimes breaking up is the best route to take and they don’t always end with a clear-cut goodbye. You guys may have missed out on some closure, but if today went as well as you said it did, maybe you’ve got a different kind of closure coming down the pipe.”
Bucky’s eyebrows furrowed and he looked up at his friend. “What do you mean?”
Sam rolled his eyes and laughed softly, “Man, what did your dumb ass do with girls before I came along?” He continued laughing for a moment before resuming, “What I’m getting at is that if today went as well as you think before the awkward ending, what if there’s a possibility of reconciling? Even if it’s not in a romantic sense, you could always try and be friends.”
For a moment, Bucky’s heart surged. Maybe Sam was right, maybe things could be fixed. He knew things were going well before you got up to leave, maybe he could try and make things right.
Then, the memory of how uneasy and uncomfortable you looked at the end of the conversation replayed in his mind. He felt his throat tighten and tears well up in his eyes. You didn’t want him back. He had his chance today and he blew it.
He shook his head slowly and whispered, “I don’t think that’s going to happen, Sammy.”
                                        ***
Sam eventually let the topic drop and Bucky was free to make his way back to his rooms. A familiar meow rang out from across the room and was soon followed by the sound of excited footsteps rushing towards him. Alpine rubbed himself against Bucky’s legs, meowing expectantly. He chuckled and crouched down to rub Alpine’s ears.
“Hey there buddy, did you miss me?”
Alpine meowed, almost as if to say yes. Bucky smiled and picked up the cat before standing up. He made his way to his bedroom and let Alpine jump down onto the bed once they were close enough. His boots were kicked off haphazardly at the foot of the bed before he climbed into bed. Alpine came and curled up under one of his arms, purring slightly as he did. A sigh left him as he mindlessly pet the cat and adjusted his position until he was comfortable.
Bucky’s thoughts turned back to you almost immediately. His heart ached as he began to relive the night he knew he had fallen in love with you. How he wished he could go back in time and experience it all over again.
“So, Stark is holding a fundraiser in about three weeks. I was wondering if you’d like to come with me?” Bucky asked.
The smile on your face made his heart flutter. “Of course! What’s the dress code?” you asked. “I’m not sure if I have anything fancy enough to wear to a Stark gala.”
“It’s a 1920s theme. I’m not entirely sure what he means by that though, considering I was barely old enough to remember the first half of the decade.”
A teasing smile broke out across your face as he spoke. “So what you're telling me is the oldest man in the room somehow still isn’t old enough to remember the roaring twenties? Tsk tsk,” Your teasing tone made him laugh and lean over to kiss you.
“I’ll have you know young lady -” he paused to place kisses all over your face “- this is a completely unacceptable thing to say. Don’t you know you should respect your elders?” You continued to giggle as he continued to kiss you.
                                        ***
On the day of the gala, you were whisked away early in the day by Natasha. She claimed the whole day was needed to properly prepare, which left Bucky standing there rolling his eyes. But when you finally stepped out of the elevator into the lobby of the compound, Bucky felt his heart stop. You looked ethereal. The flapper style dress you were wearing fit you perfectly, your hair was elegantly framing your face, and your lips were painted the most perfect shade of red he had ever seen. He couldn’t keep his eyes off you the entire night.
By the end of the night, the champagne finally had gone to your head and you were desperate to leave. You grabbed his hand giggling, rushing as quickly as you could out of the reserved plaza. You stumbled a few times over the uneven cobblestones, so he kept a hand on your waist just in case.
“Bucky, I need to find somewhere to sit down. I need to take off my heels.” you giggled as you spoke, making his heart flutter for the millionth time that night. Without a word, he picked you up bridal style and slowly spun around as he searched for somewhere you could sit.
His eyes landed on a large fountain a short distance away and he began walking towards it. You settled comfortably into his arms, with one hand sneaking under his tux jacket and gripping gently onto his shirt just over his heart. Bucky wondered if you could tell it was about ready to beat out of his chest as he leaned slightly to set you down on the fountain’s edge. He had hardly sat down next to you before your heels were kicked off. It was amazing how much more relaxed you looked just from doing that.
He was so focused on how beautiful you looked he almost didn’t hear you giggle or realize what you were about to do. His jaw dropped slightly as you stood in front of him in the fountain, dress pulled up slightly as you waded in.
Bucky’s eyes never left you as you walked around, letting out the cutest laughs with each stream of water that you walked under. When you arrived back at where he was sitting and his whole world stopped as you bent forward to press your sweet lips against his. Your hands found their way to his hair as his made their way to your hips. With every ounce of his being, he wished his hands could make their home. They belonged there, allowing him to hold you so tightly against him it was almost impossible to tell where his body stopped and yours began.
It startled him when you pulled away suddenly, but the confusion didn’t last long as he was met with a handful of water and mischievous laughter. The splashing was relentless. You refused to stop despite him begging for you to quit it. He rushed to remove his shoes and socks so he could jump into the fountain with you. The excited squeal that left your mouth as you started rushing through the water trying to escape him made him grin. He was going to catch you and you knew it. That didn’t stop you from trying to delay the inevitable though. You tried to hide behind the fountain's centerpiece and to fake which direction you were going to run. When you decided to leave the safety of the centerpiece, he had you back in his arms facing him within seconds.
As he watched your face, the overwhelming urge to confess the extent of his feelings filled his chest. He loved you. He had known for weeks now, but staring at your beautiful face reaffirmed it so deeply in his soul that it felt like an integral part of who he was now. Bucky opened his mouth to speak, but the words failed him. Instead, he leaned forward and he channeled everything he had into a kiss. He wanted this to be the kind of kiss written about in fairytales; one that leaves audiences tearing up over and longing for. He hoped you felt everything he didn’t have the courage to say tonight and the small voice in his head hoped you felt the same.
He felt you smile into the kiss, making his heart swell. He pulled away gently after a moment, staying close enough to press kisses across your face. You had told him once how special you felt when he did it; now he couldn't stop doing it. He needed you to know how special you were to him, how loved you were in his arms. When he was satisfied, he rested his forehead against yours. An idea struck him and he smiled at you, “Would you like to dance?”
You nodded and he began to lead you in a slow dance throughout the fountain. He had never felt more grateful for the dancing experience he gained in his youth and that it was a skill he somehow kept throughout the years of brainwashing and torture. The feeling of your body against his calmed his mind and kept his focus from wandering back to the past. The only thing he wanted to think about right now was how beautiful you were and how lucky he was to have you.
After a few minutes of him leading you aimlessly around the fountain, you pulled away gently and looked up at him with a smile. “We should make a wish.”
His face twisted with confusion. “A wish?”
You smiled as you nodded at him, “You know, toss some coins into the fountain and make a wish as we do.”
Bucky laughed as he thought about how much like a fairytale this night was turning into. Apparently his kiss had done the trick. “I don’t think this is a wishing-well. Although -” he chuckled again, “-I hardly think they meant for anyone to dance around in it either, so why not.”
Reluctantly, he let go of your hand and fished around in his pocket until he found his wallet. He’d never felt more relieved to see pennies in his life as he pulled out the only two coins he had. He pressed one into your hand as he leaned in to kiss your forehead. “It looks like we only get one wish each tonight, so we’d better make it a good one.”
He watched as you stared down at the penny, wondering what wish you were going to make. Your face was serious as you thought but broke out into the most beautiful smile. You stood there, coin pressed to your lips, before tossing it out into the fountain. You stared up at him expectantly, waiting for him to make his wish.
He didn’t need to stop and think about his wish. He knew what his wish was from the day he met you. Following your motions, he pressed the penny to his lips and wished, ‘I wish for a life filled with more wonderful nights like this, with this beautiful woman in my arms’. He tossed the coin in and his hand found its way back into yours.
Without a word, he pulled you back in close to him and resumed leading you around the fountain. After a few moments of peaceful silence, he spoke.
“What did you wish for?”
“I can’t tell you or it won’t come true,” you said, voice teasing as you pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. “And let me tell you, I really want this wish to come true.”
“Me too honey, me too.”
As the memory faded, Bucky couldn’t help but let the tears that had been building fall. That night had been so wonderful. You deserve someone who could give you nothing but nights like that, not the heartache he put you through. He closed his eyes and whispered to no one but himself, “You could’ve been the one. You should’ve been the one...”
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euphorichxlland · 6 months ago
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lyrics were slightly altered for this one
word count: 1.3k
love her || h.o.
One second he's Sir Sentimental Then he’s afraid he's said too much
To be completely honest, Harrison never had the greatest relationships in the past. They were always so toxic in their own way. He never found someone who loved him for him. But then he met y/n.
Harrison’s relationship with y/n was easily the best relationship he’d ever been in. They took things at the pace that made each other comfortable. He was more than patient with y/n and for that they were grateful. He never pressured them into doing something that they was eerie about. He never tried to push the boundaries. He proved to them that chivalry was a trait that could still be found in few men today.
Often times, for most people, when it gets very late in the night, they become sentimental–or “in their feels” as they like to say. It was that time in the night for Harrison. He stayed up having a conversation with y/n as they cuddled in bed.
“Sometimes when it’s late at night, I think about us.” Harrison turned to look at y/n.
“Yeah? What are these thoughts?” they gave him a cheeky smile.
“As cliché as it sounds, how lucky I am to have you.” they shook their head. “Okay but hear me out. As you well know, I haven’t had the cleanest track record when it comes to people that I’ve dated. They were all twats and the relationships went sour. Then you came along and the world didn’t feel so gloomy anymore. It’s like you brought this ray of sunshine that I never knew I needed.”
y/n was left in awe. They really found themselves a keeper.
Upon realizing y/n wasn’t saying anything, Harrison started to worry. Did he just scare them? Is y/n about to breakup with him? Did this make them uncomfortable?
“I’m sorry.” he shook his head, “it just came out.”
They gave Harrison a confused look, “why are you apologizing, bub?”
“Someone in the past told me to stop it with the ‘sentimental claptrap’ the last time I opened up about how I felt about the relationship. After that, I went back into my shell and never mentioned anything again.”
“Haz, I’m not that person. I love you more than words could ever describe. I’m here to stay.”
“That’s what they all said and looked at how it all ended.” he sighed.
“You being cute isn’t going to be the demise of this relationship and I refuse to let that be the reason.” they stroked his cheek with their hand, “plus, it’s a little too late for you to get rid of me at this point.”
And they say love can hurt But seein' him smile can get you every time
y/n meant what they said when they said that they loved him. They would move mountains for him if need be. y/n knew how damaged he was when they first met him. But they also knew that there was something about him that had them wrapped around his finger.
y/n gave Harrison this sense of safety and security for him to be whoever and do whatever he wanted. He wasn’t perfect but they never judged him for what he did or what happened in the past. They only paid attention to the person that he had become.
They went to an art gallery together for the sake of getting out of the house and escaping boredom.
“You can put your acting skills to the test and pretend you’re an art collector or something.” y/n joked.
“Don’t tempt me.” he walked up to a painting, “ah yes. The...” he leaned closer to the plaque, “Son of Man by René Magritte. Lovely painting. The symbolism of the apple is beautiful.”
“And it means what exactly?” they wanted to see what the blue eyed bloke had up his sleeve.
“That apples were quite juicy during his time and green apples were the best. This was the inspiration behind the man in the bowler hat in the Haunting of Hill House.”
“Actually,” they laughed, “it’s a surreal painting. The meaning behind it is that everything we see hides something else. Like you can see the green apple, but you probably didn’t notice the man’s eyes peeking over the apple until I mentioned it just now. Or that his left arm is twisted at his elbow.”
“Nerd.”
His laugh was music to their ears. His smile was something that lit up the room and it was infectious nonetheless. It didn’t matter what side of the bed they’d woken up on that morning, anytime they’d see him smile, their day would be better.
And I promise I'll never walk away
y/n remembered they once came to his place after a long day of running errands and he was staring blankly at the tv in the living room, tears running down his cheeks. They didn’t know what he was crying about but seeing him in that condition was heart shattering. They didn’t know what to do or say to help him feel better.
“Haz? What’s wrong?” he didn’t reply. “Bub, you’ve gotta talk to me.”
“I’m a burden. It is what it is and it’s embarrassing and it’s stupid. But it’s true and I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t say that.” they sat next to him and held him, “you’re not a burden.”
“I feel like I am.”
“Look at me,” y/n let him go, “you are not a burden. Okay? You’re a strong person who wears his heart on his sleeve. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, you don’t let your past define who you are today. But what you are is a bad cook.” they winked. Harrison wiped his tears and smiled. “There we go. That’s all I needed to see today. Your beautiful smile.” they kissed him.
Opposites attract and we're the livin' proof of this But I keep on comin' back like a magnet
Harrison was an outgoing guy. He loved being out and about with friends, doing God knows what. y/n was quite the opposite. They liked staying indoors and reading. They were a homebody and didn’t like going out much unless they were absolutely required to. Sometimes that would annoy Harrison because he just wanted to explore with them, but they just wanted to explore the shows on Netflix.
At the beginning, the pair would get into petty arguments about being too outdoor-sy or being too indoor-sy. They couldn’t find a middle ground. He would complain that sometimes y/n came off as a sad sack throwing their life away by consuming themselves in fictional worlds. y/n would rebuttal by saying that all he does is go out to the pub(s) and have multiple drinks with his friends and come to their place when he was drunk. They each knew that the other was right.
After giving each other a couple hours to simmer down, they’d come back together and work things out like adults. They came to the conclusion that they would go adventure every other weekend and on weekends that they weren’t adventuring, they’d find a movie to watch together. Some of which were recommended by Harry.
Because you love him
Harrison and y/n being together was perfect. They molded so well together. They understood each other in ways that no one else had understood them. Their chemistry was something that some people had never seen before. But here they stood. True, pure love at its finest.
With all the fun that they’ve had together over the years, Harrison knew that y/n was someone he saw himself living the rest of his life with. There was no way he was letting them go. Ever. 
Love him, yeah
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ssurveys · 12 months ago
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766
My dad is starting to gear me up for ~adult life~ and has made me start a Paypal, a social security number, and all that jazz and it’s making me immensely anxious, so expect more surveys than usual in the next few days lmao.
How frequently are you inclined to read, and how much? Not frequent at all. I’ll read only if I have to; and when it comes to reading for leisure, I’ll only reread books I’ve already read in the past. I find it sad considering how big of a bookworm I was as a kid. When was the last time you questioned the direction your life was taking? Right now, what with the Covid crisis. My life would have been mapped out ever so neatly if my life’s schedule went as expected - finish the sem, finish my thesis, graduate, travel for a bit, get a job. Now that that has been thrown out the window I essentially have to start from scratch and go into the world blind. And if you've been reading my surveys, you’ll know my least favorite thing to have to deal with is big change. Would you say that your personal views align with society's, generally? Not the society I have no choice but to be surrounded by, which is mostly Catholic, homophobic, sexist, and just very backwards in general. But when it comes to people I voluntarily choose to be with, like the friends I make and the people I follow on social media, I make sure their views are as liberal as mine so I don’t go completely crazy. ^ If not, in what ways do your opinions drastically differ? I just said it, but yeah Filipinos continue to be very resistant to more open-minded, modern views. Girls will still often be told to cover up, religions other than Christianity are viewed as wrong and of lower status, abortion is the most scandalous thing a woman could do, drug addicts must be handled with bullets and not rehab, etc. Basically everything you can roll your eyes over, that’s what Filipinos will tend to side with; and it’s very difficult to want to have your voice heard here because you will be ridiculed and thrown Bible verses instead of legit arguments. What small things have the ability to get under your skin? People who only start picking their orders once they’re the ones at the cashier, drivers who do have their turn signal on but will go THE OTHER DIRECTION, finding out there’s a car accident and I find out traffic has been building up only because drivers slow down to look at the crash site. The last one makes me especially mad every time it happens lol.
When was the last time you were caused to be upset with someone? I haven’t been upset with anyone in a while. If I’m upset these days, blame it on the weather. ^ Have you made up with that individual yet, or will you ever? I will never be ok with the summer climate over here. What is something small that has the ability to cure a bad mood? Hearing a favorite song on the radio as I’m driving, hitting all the green lights while driving, finding a parking spot near the mall entrance... man I really miss going out :(( What beverage is best capable of quenching your thirst? Water. What was the last big change through which you went? It hasn’t happened yet but I’ll be graduating and will officially be done with school forever in a few weeks. I mean, that’s the case unless I decide to take up a master’s but honestly the chances of that are super blurry as I’m over school at this point. ^ Do you deal well with change, typically? Have you always? I am honestly terrible at it and as much as I’m excited to get my first real job, I’m also scared to see how my adjustment pans out. I’ve had a pattern for not being able to adapt well to a new phase – I didn’t adjust in high school until my junior year, and I didn’t adjust in college until the latter half of my sophomore year. I really wish the trend doesn’t continue in the workplace because I can’t handle another mental slump. How do you feel after spending a great quantity of time online? I feel nothing? I mean I need the internet to do almost everything so it’s just become a part of daily routine; it’s normalized already. I would tend to feel some shame if I’ve been unproductive online when I could’ve been doing much more important stuff, but I’ve been avoiding that - I’ve been working on my thesis again, working on stuff for my org, participating in my other extracurriculars, etc. I feel relatively productive given the current circumstances. What do you consider to be the biggest drawback to being you? Like I said, I’m terrible with change. It takes forever for me to warm up to new conditions, and in that period I tend to feel very alone and miserable. I don’t know why I’ve never learned to just get out and make friends earlier. What do you consider the best part of being who you are? ^ Related to said drawback, once I have adjusted to the change, I do very well. I make lots of friends and am back to being my bubbly, social self. I just wish She could come out more easily. What kinds of things do you have on display in your room? Several Audrey Hepburn frames, a couple of paintings, and a poster of a Korean actor. What do you think your room and its contents say about you, if anything? I think more than anything you’ll see how my interests have shifted over the years haha. There’s tons of old WWE magazines, Paramore albums, Beyoncé albums and DVDs, crafty stuff like painting sets and coloring books, etc. When was the last time you felt insecure about something/some situation? Half hour ago when my dad was encouraging me to register for a bunch of grownup stuff. He doesn’t pester me a lot in small bits everyday (which I would really prefer); he’s more of a I’ll-dump-all-this-shit-on-you-in-one-go kind of person, which pressures me even more. I mean I’m excited for this new chapter but I wish he didn’t tell me to start a bank account and a Paypal and a social security number and a TIN all at the same time. What is something about which you are very confident or self-assured? I pride myself on being a good worker/co-worker. Do you ever stop to contemplate infinity? No. Are you comfortable amongst nature, or does the wilderness discomfit you? Sure, it makes me feel at peace. When was the last time someone or something caught you off guard? Andrew did a buuuunch of progress on our thesis this afternoon after a few days of passive-aggressively telling him that I’ve been doing all the work in the last week. How much time do you put into maintaining your appearance and hygiene? I don’t want to take a lot of time since I’m usually on a tight schedule but I do put enough effort to look and smell nice, if that makes sense. Like I wouldn’t take hours to do my makeup and put up an intricate hairdo, but I will still make sure I don’t exit the house looking shabby. Are there any foods you eat daily? . . . Or wish you could? I have rice and some sort of meat everyday. When was the last time someone new entered your life? Start of the semester when we had a new wave of applicants joining our org. ^ What was your first impression of that individual? They all seemed nice and fun to be around, and I’m glad their batch has had amazing chemistry from the get-go. But because of the lockdown I never got to know them all that well so I’m a little sad about it, since I’m already graduating. Do you put much thought into your handwriting? No? It’s not really something I can control anyway haha. What are some of the top priorities in your life right now? Ugh I’ve talked about this so much on here that it’s almost stupid because I take these surveys to begin with to distract myself from my current anxieties only for the surveys to ask about said anxieties ksksksks. Can I say pass for now? Lol In general, how do you feel about romantic relationships? They’re nice, and it feels good to have a person you can share everything to, be affectionate with, who supports you in everything, etc. I’ve been used to being in one for so long now I honestly can’t imagine being single. Which emotional sensation inconveniences or bothers you the most? As if I haven’t talked about it on this single survey enough, anxiety. Are you capable of consoling others in their grief? It depends on how bad is the thing they’re grieving and how accepting they are of help. I don’t know if I’m capable of talking to someone who has lost a parent, but I’ll be able to talk to a friend who’s going through a breakup. Do you ever find it awkward to compliment another being? No. I can give compliments, but I’m unable to take them. When was the last time you had a new experience? What was it? Earlier this afternoon when my dad made me make a Paypal hahaha. Skskss plz stop reminding me of scary things Do you dress more for yourself, or to the expectations of others? A little bit of both. I want to look nice, but I also make sure I keep up with the trends so others think I look nice. What kinds of things tend to stress you out? The stuff I’ve mentioned throughout this survey... What is one way you cope when you feel like crap? I watch videos, I eat whatever I’m craving, I talk about it with my girlfriend, I hug my dog... I have a lot of coping mechanisms.
Name an insult you regularly receive, if there is one? My mom tells me so many insults on a regular basis I can put each one of them in a spinning wheel and give you whatever comes out lol. Name a site that takes up a lot of your time? YouTube. What is something you used to believe about life that you no longer do? That money was easy to acquire. It was certainly so easy to fantasize about as a kid. What is a lesson you have recently learned? I don’t recall picking up anything new lately. Realizations, sure; but I’m not sure about lessons. Do you have a tendency to look on the morbid side of life? Sometimes. When was the last time you went shopping? What did you buy? A weekend before the quarantine. I bought a couple of new tops. When you shop for clothing, how long does it take you? 10-15 minutes tops. I just pick out whatever looks pretty. What is something fun you have done within the past week? It’s been a horrid week. I can’t answer this question. What is something you hope you never have to do again? Stay at home with nothing to do for this long. How does the rain affect your mood, if it does? It makes me feel happy and at peace.
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atlfics · a year ago
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Wasted- All Time Low Fanfiction
A/N: This is a request!
“Hey, where’s Jack?” Alex asked, walking into the front lounge of the bus.
“He’s still in his bunk,” Rian replied, taking a sip of his coffee.
“Really? It’s already past noon, he normally doesn’t sleep this late,” Alex pointed out.
“Aren’t you just now waking up?” Zack asked.
“No, I’ve been up for a few hours now, I’ve been doing some songwriting in the back lounge,” Alex explained, holding up his songbook.
“I’m not surprised that Jack’s still in bed, he was up late drinking last night. He didn’t get into his bunk until after three, and he sounded pretty hammered. I’d guess that he’s got the worst hangover ever right now,” Rian stated.
“Shit, he was up that late? That show we played wiped me out, that’s why I crashed so early,” Zack said back.
“That’s not good that he got that fucked up. Have you guys noticed that he’s drank a lot on this tour?” Alex asked his friends.
“He drinks a lot on every tour,” Zack causally replied.
“He’s always drank more than us, Alex. Well, you do give him a run for his money sometimes, but he usually does have the most,” Rian added.
“I know, but I feel like it’s been more of a drastic difference this tour. A few shows back, he went onstage absolutely shitfaced. I know he usually drinks to have a buzz onstage, but he took it a lot farther than normal,” Alex explained, starting to sound worried.
“I guess I picked up on that, too,” Zack agreed.
“You’ve got a point there, Alex. Do you think he’s got an actual problem?” Rian asked.
“I don’t really know, I know life has been a bit tough for him over the past year, but I think he’s drinking to cope with it. For a while, I thought I was just overthinking all of this, but these past few shows have really gotten me concerned. He’s also been saying a lot of negative shit about himself recently, too. I’m a bit worried about him,” Alex confessed.
“I think that you may have a point there, Alex,” Rian replied.
“I really don’t want something bad to happen to him. I don’t want him to drink too much and have it affect his health, and I don’t want him being bombed to result in him making really bad choices. What should we do?” Alex asked his friends.
“I think that you should talk to him, Alex,” Zack replied.
“Just me? Shouldn’t it be all three of us talking to him?” Alex continued.
“I think Zack’s right, it should just be you. I think it’ll freak him out if all three of us sit him down about this. Besides, you two are best friends, I think this talk coming from you will mean a lot more to him. Also, this is all totally based on your observations, for the most part,” Rian explained.
“I guess you guys are right, I’ll talk to him alone, but not until after the show tonight, I don’t want him to get pissed at me, and have the whole day ruined because of it. We have an off day tomorrow, so if he’s mad then, it won’t matter as much for us as a band,” Alex decided.
“Sounds like a plan, Alex,” Zack replied.
Seconds later, they heard loud footsteps coming towards the front lounge, and they instantly knew who the footsteps belonged to.
“Hey Jack, what’s up, buddy?” Rian asked as Jack walked into the front lounge, looking terrible.
“I have the worst hangover ever,” Jack whined, putting a hand to his head. Alex quickly stood up, then walked over to his friend.
“I’ll take you over to the couch, then get you some pain medication, sound good?” Alex offered.
“That sounds fantastic,” Jack replied, letting Alex guide him over to the small couch against the window. Alex grabbed a red Gatorade, and a couple Advil’s, then took them over to Jack.
“This should help you feel better,” Alex said as Jack took the medicine.
“Thanks, Alex, I appreciate it. This is the worst hangover I’ve had in a while,” Jack admitted, still holding his head.
“How much did you drink last night, man?” Rian asked back.
“I don’t really remember, to be honest. All I know, is that everything hurts, and I feel insanely dehydrated,” Jack weakly replied.
“Are you going to be okay by the time we get to the venue? We have about an hour left of this drive,” Zack stated.
“Hopefully,” Jack said in reply.
“Well, drink that Gatorade, and we’ll do what we can to help you feel better until we get there,” Alex promised.
“Thank you, you guys are the best,” Jack replied with a small smile.
“We try to be. Now, drink that Gatorade and relax,” Alex instructed. Jack took another small sip of his drink, then put a hand to his head, wincing in pain.
Alex let out a quiet sigh; he knew they all had a long day in front of them.
------------------------
It was ten minutes until showtime, and for the first time in years, Alex felt nervous to go onstage. He wasn’t nervous about messing up, but about how Jack would be for their set. They jumped into soundcheck right when they got to the venue, and it was very obvious that Jack was still hungover; he wasn’t playing as well as everyone knew that he could, and his head was still pounding, which made him feel very unwell.
Alex had hoped that Jack would just rest in the green room until it was showtime, and stay sober for the day, but some of the crew had gone out and gotten Jack more alcohol, as per his request, so he could cure his hangover by getting wasted. The four of them were used to performing tipsy, but Alex couldn’t remember a time where Jack had performed as bombed as he currently was, intensifying his anxieties about Jack’s drinking.
Once Alex decided that he was ready to go onstage, he walked out to the stage entrance, where his bandmates were waiting with their instruments. After grabbing his guitar from his tech, Alex went over to his friends.
“Okay, who’s ready for this show?” Alex asked, trying to hype everybody up.
“It’s going to be great!” Rian replied with a smile.
“It’s going to be the best one yet!” Jack slurred back.
Alex really wasn’t sure how this show was going to go with Jack being as inebriated as he was, but he took a deep breath, and hoped that he was just overthinking things. Seconds later, they got their cue to go onstage, so they walked on and took their places before starting into the first song of their set.
Jack messed up more than he usually did during their first few songs, but the other three did their best to cover up Jack’s mistakes. After their fifth song, it was time for some banter.
“You guys have been amazing so far!” Alex exclaimed into his microphone, earning some cheers from the fans.
“They really have been, these kids fucking rule!” Jack added, his slurred words earning more applause.
Even though the fans were into it, Alex was embarrassed by how shitfaced Jack clearly was, and started into the next song sooner than usual.
Throughout the rest of their set, Jack continued to mess up and stumble around the stage, but Alex could tell that his good mood had faded over time. He didn’t engage with Alex in the banter like he usually did, and by the time they were playing Dear Maria, he looked very down.
“We’ve been All Time Low, thankyou guys so much for coming out, we’ll see you next time!” Alex yelled as the fans started to cheer again.
Alex turned, and saw Jack quickly walk offstage once they were done playing and felt concerned for his friend. After interacting with the crowd some, Alex left the stage and was told that Jack had gone to the bus.
Alex quickly walked out of the venue, and got onto the bus, and could immediately hear crying coming from the back lounge. Concerned, Alex made his way there, and saw Jack laying on the couch with his face in a pillow, crying some. Alex quietly walked over to the couch and sat on the floor by Jack’s head.
“Hey, are you okay, buddy?” Alex carefully asked, putting a hand on Jack’s back. Jack slowly turned his head to look at his friend and did his best to wipe the tears from his eyes.
“I’m fine,” Jack replied, his voice cracking.
“Yeah, you definitely seem it. Why did you go offstage so fast?” Alex continued. He helped Jack sit up some, then sat next to his friend on the couch.
“I fucked up so badly out there, Alex. Like, I couldn’t play through a single song without making a mistake,” Jack replied, as Alex put an arm around him.
“I know, maybe you shouldn’t drink so much before we go on again,’ Alex suggested.
“Yeah, we’ll see about that. I could go for another drink right now, so I can try and forget about tonight,” Jack said back.
“Actually, I wanted to talk to you about that. Why have you been drinking so much recently, Jack? I know we usually drink a lot on tour, but you’ve had a lot more than usual lately,” Alex pointed out.
“It’s stupid, we don’t have to talk about it,” Jack replied, sounding embarrassed.
“Jack, I’ve been really concerned about how much you’ve been drinking. Like, the amount you’ve drank isn’t healthy, it’s like you’re trying to drink yourself to death. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you, you’re my best friend, and I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if something happened to you, and I didn’t try to help. Please, tell me what’s going on?” Alex tried, sounding genuinely concerned for his friend.
“It’s been a rough few months for me. I know you know this, but my ex and I broke up, and that really messed with my head. I’ve been down about things before, but I’ve never felt so depressed in my life,” Jack explained, more tears slipping from his eyes.
“I’m sorry that breakup has been so hard for you to deal with, and I’m sorry that I didn’t try to help you more when it happened,” Alex replied, hugging Jack closer to him.
“Don’t apologize, it’s not your fault that I didn’t tell you. I really thought that I’d be able to handle it on my own. Like, I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t think it’d be this hard. When things started to get unbearable, I started to drink a lot more than I usually do, because it numbed me, and it let me forget about my problems for a while. It’s started to feel like I can’t function without that numb feeling, because my head feels so fucked up when I’m sober. That’s why I’ve been drinking so much during this tour, I’m sorry for concerning you so much, I just didn’t want to deal with reality,” Jack explained.
“I’m glad you told me about all of this, I really want to help you through this, man. I wish we weren’t on tour right now, so you could focus on helping yourself get better,” Alex said back.
“I’m actually glad we’re on tour, playing shows is a nice distraction, too. That’s why I got so upset about fucking up so much, music is usually my escape, and it wasn’t tonight. I shouldn’t have drank that much before a show, I should’ve known that there was no way I would’ve been able to play well while that drink,” Jack continued.
“Well, now you know, and you can learn from your mistakes,” Alex pointed out.
“I learned quite the lesson tonight. I almost feel like I should just be sober for a while, but that’s so hard to do when everyone around me is drinking,” Jack replied.
“You know what, I’ll go sober with you,” Alex decided.
“Yeah right, you love to drink on tour,” Jack said with a laugh.
“That’s true, but I love you and our friendship more, and I don’t want something bad to happen to you. If not drinking will help you, which I think it will, but you need someone to help hold you accountable, I’d love to be that person. Seeing you drink so much lately has scared me, so I really do want to help you, man. What do you say?” Alex offered. Jack took a deep breath before speaking.
“That sounds great to me, thank you so much. Sorry I’ve been so shitty lately,” Jac replied.
“You’ve not been shitty, you’ve been feeling shitty, but we’ll get through this together, I promise,” Alex stated, making both of them smile.
“Do you want to watch a movie together?” Alex suggested.
“I’d love that,” Jack said back. With that, the two of them quickly changed out of what they wore onstage and got comfortable in the back lounge before putting on a movie that they both enjoyed.
Alex was glad that he’d talked to Jack, and that his friend was going to start trying to go in a positive direction. While Alex wished that he could’ve done something sooner, he was happy that Jack trusted him and had accepted his help. Alex knew that getting Jack into a better place would be a long journey, but he was more than happy to help his best friend through it.
A/N: Hey guys, this is a request for someone on here! I've actually always really liked writing fics that deal with what this one does, but I think that's the aspiring therapist in me lol. I've still got a couple more requests to finish up, but always feel free to send in more ideas, I love writing for you guys! I hope that you all liked this one, and there will be another new fic up on Thursday! Lots of love, Liv.
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starkdanverss · a year ago
Text
Devil’s Advocate
Chapter 1
Summary: After a violent breakup with her now ex-boyfriend, Liza is ready to give up on relationships. In an attempt for safety, she moves to a city across the country. That’s where she finds herself now. In her new apartment, staring into the eyes of the devil, who claims to be in love with her. Also, since when is the devil a woman?
Word Count: 2186
A/N: Wassup my lovely fucks! I am in quarantine and have decided to show myself once again! This is a story that is NOT marvel related but I’m working on stories outside of fanfiction to practice writing my own characters. This will be an 18+ story. I really like this one so far, so even if you followed me for marvel content, please give it a try?
P.S. I am not a doctor so this will be filled with medical inaccuracies, sorry.
Warnings: domestic abuse, descriptions of injury, scene with a violent fight (I will warn when the scene starts and ends)
Happy reading!
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“... Twenty-four year old female… multiple….”
“... C.T. is ready…”
“... We need to…”
“... Liza? We need you to…”
(!!!)
“Where are you going?”
Liza nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of Luke’s voice. He was supposed to be at work for another three hours, and she needed all the time she could to pack her things. 
Slowly, Liza turned around to see Luke standing in the entryway of the living room. He looked mad. He always looked mad. 
“Hey honey, you’re home early.” Liza replied, not answering his question and fighting to keep her voice even. If she showed fear this would be even worse. 
“You weren’t answering my calls.”
Shit. 
“I’m sorry, I was cleaning and I guess I didn’t hear my phone-“
“You’re lying. Don’t lie to me. Where are you going?”
Liza’s eyes flickered from Luke to the nearest exit. She knew in her bones this wasn’t going to end well for her. 
The closest exit was past Luke, but there were multiple objects she could use as a weapon. The wine bottle at the bar seemed the best. 
“I was headed to Jess’. She’s really sick and needs someone over there-“
“You see,” Luke interrupted as he stepped closer, his hands in his pockets and his eyes trained on Liza, “I gave you a chance to tell me the truth, and I warned you not to lie to me. I stopped by the hospital, Jess was there. Said you felt sick so you stayed home today.”
Liza could feel her heart in her throat. She couldn’t very well argue with him. Jess, bless her, had tried to cover for her. Because the reality of it was that she had quit. She had planned on leaving an hour before Luke got home. She needed to leave him or he would quite literally be the death of her. 
In a last minute attempt to save herself, Liza bolted towards the bar, but was stopped short when Luke grabbed her wrist. 
He spun her back to face him, and punched her square in the face. 
“You thought you could leave me? After everything we’ve been through?” Luke asked, as he backhanded Liza and threw her against the wall, “I did everything for you. I was so good to you. I loved you! And this is how you repay me?”
Another punch, this time to her stomach. Then another. And another. 
Liza coughed, and blood dripped from her mouth. She knew the only way she would get out of this alive was if she called for help now. 
Luke was currently going on a rant, so while he was distracted she quickly tumbled towards the couch and grabbed her phone from her bag. She unlocked it, found the app that Jess had made her download weeks ago, and pressed the panic button multiple times before a wad of her hair was grabbed and she was tossed across the room. 
“You fucking bitch! You listen when I talk to you! Are you leaving me for another guy? Huh? Is that it you slut!” He added emphasis on ‘slut’ as he reared his foot back and kicked her ribs, “I bet it’s that fucker, Dennis? The one at the coffee shop you like so much?” Another kick to the ribs, “I’ll fucking kill him!”
Luke dropped down on top of Liza, grabbed her hair and slammed her head into the floor several times before adding another punch to the face. 
Liza was wheezing and coughing, trying to keep awake and from choking on her own blood. Tears stung her eyes and she felt herself slipping. She faintly heard the sound of sirens, but they were too late. She saw the metal glint in Luke’s hands. 
She was dead. 
Luke leaned down so that his face was right next to her head. 
“I’ll kill him,” he whispered, “Right after I kill you.”
At first there was pain, and then, there was nothing. 
***(!!!)
Sounds. Sounds came back first. 
The first thing she heard was beeping. Then as she began to come out of her sleep she could make out the faint sounds of voices. 
Next was smell. 
Wherever she was, it smelled clean. And oddly familiar.
Suddenly, like a train, all of her senses crashed into her at once as she realized where she was and why she was there. 
Her eyes flew open, as much as they could, and then there was a loud alarm next to her. 
She knew that alarm. She needed to get her heart rate down. 
But it didn’t matter. Because Luke could come find her at any time and she had to hide.
She threw the blankets off of her and went to stand, but fell to the ground, bringing her IV drip with her. 
Several nurses suddenly burst in the door, as well as a security officer. 
“Ma’am, you need to stay in bed,” One nurse tried telling her as the other nurses tried to get her back on her bed. 
“No, he’s going to find me!” Liza shrieked, fighting against the nurses, throwing weak punches where she could. She vaguely registered someone yelling out for a sedative.
“No! No you can’t do that! He’ll find me and he’ll finish what he started and-“
“Liza,” 
That voice. She knew that voice. She opened her eyes, which she hadn’t realized were closed, and saw a blurry image of her friend in front of her.
When had she started crying?
“Jess?”
“Hey girlie. I need you to calm down okay?”
Liza’s chest heaved as she forced in a breath. Jess was here. Jess always kept her safe. 
“But… But Luke-“
“Is in jail.” Jess said with a certain finality to her voice, “The police found him when they got to your house. At first they thought…” Jess swallowed the lump in her throat and Liza was vaguely aware of the other nurses inserting new IVs. 
“But they rushed you into the ER. They paged me saying there was a critical Jane Doe. But I knew, I knew it was you. When I saw you I- It took everything in me not to go and kill him myself.”
“So… He’s... gone?” Liza asked, her voice shaking. 
Jess nodded, “Yeah. He isn’t going to hurt you again. So could you please lay your stubborn ass down so I’m not constantly on the verge of a heart attack, please?”
Liza smiled, or tried to, it probably looked like a grimace. She laid back down with the help of the other nurses. 
Now that she was up and the IV had unhooked for a few minutes, her brain fog had cleared enough to let her understand the situation. 
“How bad?” She asked. 
Jess placed a hand on the shoulder of another nurse, who Liza recognized as Rhonda. She was always nice to her. She always looked out for Liza.
“I’ve got this,” Jess spoke quietly. Rhonda nodded and finished the IV she was placing before leaving the two friends alone.
It was quiet for a moment before Liza asked again, “Jess?”
“You won’t remember anything I tell you right now. They’ve got you on some pretty strong stuff. Go to sleep, I’ll be here when you wake up and I’ll tell you.”
She wanted to fight, but Liza felt the medication pulling her under and she just didn’t have the energy. So she let the darkness wrap around her once again.
***
Jess was sitting in a chair next to her bed. Liza was finally moved out of the ICU and demanded that her friend tell her what all Luke had done.
“... Contusions everywhere. Ruptured spleen. And a stab wound to the abdomen that pierced multiple organs,” Jess sniffled and wiped a tear off her cheek, “They lost you twice in the first surgery. They wouldn’t let me in the room, said I was too close to the case. Honestly, everyone was shocked you made it out alive.
“You were in critical care for the first several days. On a ventilator for the first four. God, when you started breathing on your own I actually threw up, you know. I was so nervous.”
It was silent for a few minutes, Liza soaking up all of the information she had just been given. 
“How long was I out?” She asked. 
“Almost a week and a half. After you woke up the first time they put you into a coma so it wouldn’t happen again.”
It was quiet between the two for several minutes before Jess sniffed and swiped at her tears again, “You need to rest.”
Liza nodded and leaned back onto the bed once more, and attempted another smile when Jess squeezed her hand before leaving the room. 
***
“So I was thinking we could find you a new apartment, one of the fancy ones with extra security. Then when you’re feeling better you could come back to work-“
“I’m still leaving.” Liza cut off Jess’ thoughts, “I mean, I don’t want to. But I also do. I don’t feel safe here. I want to restart. Somewhere where nobody knows me.” Liza was poking at her food with her fork. Suddenly, she had no appetite. 
“Oh, okay. Yeah. I get that. I just, I guess I thought it would be easier… But you’re right,”
“Jess, I’m sorry.”
“Hey, no need to be sorry,” Jess sniffled and gave a watery smile, “You need to do what’s best for you. I’m just going to miss my best friend, is all.”
“I know. I’m gonna miss you too. But you’re gonna come out to visit me as soon as possible, right?” 
“Duh,” Jess gently pushed Liza’s shoulder and the two of them giggled, “Jack and I are coming out as soon as I have enough vacation saved up.”
A pang of guilt hit Liza. Jess had used up most of her vacation time while Liza was in the hospital, a majority used after she had woken up the first time. 
A feat that the doctors couldn’t figure out how it had happened, she learned, since she hadn't been weaned off the sedatives yet. 
Liza barely remembered that. Jess had to tell her what had happened. Though she supposed it was a good thing she didn’t remember most of that incident. Apparently she had nearly gone berserk. 
“Hey,” Jess’ voice stirred Liza from her train of thought, “You okay?”
Liza cleared her throat, “Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little tired.”
“Yeah, of course. You should rest. I’ll come see you later.” Jess got up and pulled the small table Liza had been eating on to the side of the bed and pulled the blankets up to cover her. 
Grabbing the food tray, Jess snuck out of the room and headed to the nursing station, dropping the food tray on the cart as she passed. 
“Hey, she sleeping?” Lynne, one of Liza’s nurses, asked. 
“I don’t know if she’s sleeping. But she’s resting.” Jess said as she slid into one of the empty chairs. 
“That’s better than nothing,” Lynne looked back up from her paperwork, “Why do you look constipated?”
Jess shot a look at her friend before pinching the bridge of her nose, “She still wants to move. And I get it, I do, but I can’t keep her safe if she’s all the way across the country!” 
Lynne sighed, “Jess. Honey, she was half way across town and was very nearly killed. I know you feel responsible. But you were doing everything you could. From what she told us, you were helping her get out,”
“I should have given her a way to defend herself.”
“You can’t dwell on the past. Not anymore. Because that’s all she’s going to do, and you need to be strong for her. You need to be that beacon of hope, even if you’re clear across the country.”
“How do I keep her from finding someone like him again?” Jess didn’t dare speak his name. It was like poison. And she didn’t want it on her tongue, “Because, Lynne, if someone lays a hand on her one more time, I might actually go to jail. No, scratch that. I definitely will go to jail. I would have that night if Doctor Tiruneh didn’t physically pull me into a supply closet and refuse to let me leave until I calmed down.”
Lynne blew out some air, running a hand down her face, “You can’t guarantee she won’t find someone like him again. In fact, it’s entirely possible she will. Some people end up in a cycle they can’t break, some people can break it after one relationship gone bad. Hopefully, this was enough for her to break that cycle. All you can do is be there for her and try to guide her.”
“I should have called the cops when I saw the bruises the first time,”
“That wasn’t your call to make,”
“Yeah, well, look where it got us.”
“She’s alive. That’s all that matters,”
Jess sat there for a few more minutes before she stood abruptly and headed out. She needed fresh air to think.
------
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scroll-of-thought · a year ago
Good evening! It is the Rowan and dandelion anon. I just wanted to hear whatever experience came to mind when being powerful was mentioned, so I got what I was looking for. Anyways I'd love to hear the story about that breakup if you'd be willing to share. - Shy Anon
Hi Shy Anon! I’m glad you got what you were looking for 😄 And I don’t mind sharing. It’s been a couple years and sometimes it’s good to talk about such things.
So to set the stage. My partner, Silver and I, have probably been together for about 9 years at this point. One of our close friends, we’ll call her Dawn, was going through a rough time. Dawn and I both have PTSD, though her’s is much more severe than mine, but talking to me helps because I can relate and share coping techniques and Silver just helps her relax and keep calm. We reached out to her, helped her out and supported her, the way friends do. Her and her partner, we’ll call him Mark, have been great friends for years and years. I went to school with Mark, stayed over his place when we were teenagers, we all played D&D at Dawn and Marks pretty much every week, play other games with them online all the time, and sometimes we all just got in a skype call and chatted into the early hours of the night. Dawn’s also a witch and Mark is spiritual and dabbling in things, so we have a lot of things to talk about besides the mundane. They are like family to us.
Long story short, Dawn starts to crush on us and wants to know if we’re open to the idea of a foursome, or if that would be weird. Not gonna lie, it was kind of a weird idea to us. We’re just not sure about casual sex with our friends, and she’s cool and very respectful. We’re all adults and though we’re not about that, we can respect that some people are, and we think that’s cool if it works for them. They’re still our best friends and we hang out all the time. A few months later we end up staying at their place for a whole week, which turns into a month, which turns into a few months, which turns into a poly relationship that we never knew we wanted. Still not having sex with them, but we’re both definitely romantically in love with Dawn and she loves us back. Mark and us are much more like a family relationship with occasional cuddling and light romantic goofiness, as he’s still figuring out his sexuality, but he’s very ok with everything going on.
Longer story still kinda short, turns out he wasn’t as ok as he let on. Like, as this relationship was taking form and we were learning about ourselves and each other, we knew that communication was super important and we wanted to be open and talk about it all. Generally speaking, he just straight up lied 😐 He was jealous and envious and spiteful about the whole thing. And he just kept this bottled up for like a year and a half? Meanwhile we’re all talking to him, talking to each other, making sure we’re ok and comfortable, trying to be responsible and make something of this. This surprise relationship looks like it’ll last and we’re in a solid respectful and supportive thing. I even call him at work to make sure he’s ok when I hear about an accident at the plant (he worked in the same factory as my dad so I heard about it the second it happened). Bastard didn’t even answer which gave me a heart attack, but I digress. In the end, one day they both just stop answering our calls, and then we get ghosted on all social media. It was heart breaking. Absolutely devastating. I still don’t know much more than little fragments he shared with our mutual friends. Silver and I literally spent about a week just crying and sleeping.
So now the stage is set. I’m emotionally devastated and lost. On top of that, I feel terrible for Silver because this is her first breakup. She’s only ever dated me since high school, and we’ve never even really had a fight in our, then, 9 years. So it’s real rough on her. I can’t just lay here slowly dying, I’m a witch god damn it. I grab a notebook and head outside, I gather twigs and fallen branches from the black walnut in the yard, breaking them into manageable pieces. Black walnut is a good wood for emotional control, and I know this. On the side of the deck there’s a little portable brazier and I build a small fire there where I sit. I clear my mind the best I can, using some chaos magick and psychology to switch my mindset. I draft up a sigil demanding that this has no power over us and this sadness will leave. They can’t hurt us and this betrayal is their loss, not ours. I set the sigil in the flames to charge it and cast it as the ashes fly away, floats off in the direction they live in.
As my work is finished I drift back into my default mindset, watching the sigil disappear from sight. I don’t really know how it happened, but as I’m looking at the flames in my little fire, I can’t help but sing. I’m not a singer, but I’m moved to sing a song about our relationship, the good and bad, and how we’ll be ok. The rhythm and words just flowed through me so naturally and it felt like a spell. Like, I knew I was casting a spell while I was doing it, but I had no real control of what I said, it was just words from deep inside. I’ve never had an experience where I’ve been so strongly compelled to do something as I was to sing to myself as I looked at that fire. As the fire died down to embers and it got cold I went back inside. Silver was sitting on the bed, she’d dried tears and looked a little better. She decided we’d be ok. We still had each other, which is a lot more than many could say, and we learned a lot about ourselves from this. We determined that maybe someday we’ll fall for someone else, but the important thing is we learned that we can love someone else, too. We never really gave any thought to polyamory before Dawn and Mark. It’s still not something we actively seek, like we’re not going out and dating people, but if it happens to happen someday then we’re not going to fight it.
Like I said in the last Dandelion post, it’s hard to quantify power when it comes to magick, but I felt some kind of power as I sang those words. I felt like I had snatched control from the jaws of heartbreak and anguish, guiding us back on the path to recovery. And now talking about it feels good. Getting this story off my chest feels like taking a deep breath, every time I share it.
Thanks a lot for the ask, Shy Anon. I hope you found my experience interesting and I hope you have a good night. It’s late and I’ve got to call it a night, But you know how things go, follow up questions and more asks are always welcome 😊
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