Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

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4alifetime
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Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by 4alifetime » Aug 10th 2009, 11:45 am

I was initially writing my first fan fic in journal entry format alternating between Angela and Brian. I struggled with moving the storyline along that way and then out of the clear blue this new story hit me like lightning all at once. Any feedback would be appreciated as I wrote this very very fast so I'm sure there are a lot of mistakes. I have trouble writing dialogue so if anone wants to volunteer as my editor that would be great, lol! Also, I need a suggestion for the college that Brian is in(has to be within driving distance of his home) and also another nearby college that Angela and Rickie are about to head off to. (I tried to highlight where the second chapter starts but it wouldn't let me!) THANKS!

Chapter 1: The Best of Friends

A very tired Rickie Vasquez clumsily tried shoving the key to his apartment into the lock and missed. He tried once again with an ounce more of concentration and succeeded. As he entered the small two bedroom dwelling he now called home he wondered how, at the age of 18, he was already at the stage in life where he was too exhausted to simply enter his home without fumbling. Finishing high school with a 4.0 grade average and working a full time job was taking it's toll.
"Uncle Rickie! Uncle Rickie! You home!" Screeched two year old Love. The little girl ran to Rickie and jumped in his arms, her brown curls bouncing around her head in unison as she ran. He was never too tired to hold little Love.
"Where's your mom?" asked Rickie. The little girl shrugged. Rickie threw Love onto his back and walked to the back of the aprtment to where the bedrooms were. Rayanne's door was adjar but he knocked anyway. "Rayanne?"
"Rickie? Where's....come in...do you have Love?" Rayanne, interrupted from a dream, threw the covers off and sprang up from her bed. In truth, it was just a mattress and box spring set she had brought from her mom's apartment, lying on the floor. They hadn't been living there long enough to have accomplished any real decorating, nor could they afford it. Besides, the living situation was only temporary for the summer-until Rickie left for college with Angela, Rayanne's former best friend and Rickie's current. Things had improved significantly in Rayanne and Angela's relationship in the the last of their high school years, after Rayanne had slept with Angela's would-be boyfriend and before Rayanne gave birth to Jordan Catalano's baby. Angela and Jordan had tried getting back together, several times in fact, but when news of Rayanne's pregnancy spread through Three Rivers like wild fire, Angela had ended things permanently. Jordan had been devastated. When Rayanne asked Angela to be there for Love's birth(she was terrified and needed someone significantly calmer than her own mother) Angela had accepted despite herself and it had been a bonding experience for the pair. The guilt of squashing into oblivion any 'what could have been' for Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano, however, would never leave Rayanne and as she walked to her door to let Rickie in she felt heavy, like a weight was pulling her to the center of the Earth. Were it not for her precious Love, she would probably not mind being pulled into the Earth and buried. "There's my girl!"
"You know it's not the best thing for a 2-year-old to be running free around the aprtment. She could get hurt...even if there are like, no cleaning supplies in here." said Rickie, throwing his arms up in the air. Becoming a mother had changed Rayanne and for the better. It was almost as if giving birth had clicked something in her brain and calmed her wild ways. She was an excellent mother, but there were times that Rickie still did not trust her instincts, he was hoping to help Rayanne fine tune them. The basics were already in place.
"Rickie, give me a break!" Rayanne was offended. "We were napping together, she must have woken up when she heard you come in. I'm a heavy sleeper- you know that!" Trying to deflect the unwarranted attention on herself she said, "How was work?"
"Oh you know, same old."
"Did you make good tips?"
"Not really. The lunch shift doesn't pay out as well as dinner. Luckily, Graham's restaurant is an upscale one, so even lunch can be expensive...I didn't do that bad."
"Good."
"Rayanne, are you coming tomorrow?" Rickie knew this was a loaded question. Despite Rayanne's pregnancy she had managed to graduate high school with her mom, Amber's, help. Amber had her flaws as a parent but when push came to shove she was always there for Rayanne. Usually just in an unconventiional kind of way.
"Oh Rickie! What...do you think?" With a heavy sigh Rayanne threw herself back onto her bed and buried herself under the covers. Love had wondered over to a few toys in the corner of the room, bored with the big people's conversation. Rickie, seeing an opportunity, climbed on top of the covers smothering Rayanne beneath him. He could feel her begin to strugglee and he smiled.
"Say Uncle!" Rickie yelled at Rayanne.
"Never!" Rayanne yelled back.
"Ok, fair enough. Then say you'll go to our one and only, ever, high school graduation tomorrow." Rickie knew it was a moot point but was having too much fun to let it go. And he knew deep down that Rayanne would regret not going, even if she couldn't see it now. Rickie knew Rayanne way better than she knew herself.
"No way, Vasquez!" Rayanne heaved. "And I will NOT regret this later in life, oh wise one."
Rickie stood up and pulled the covers off Rayanne. He looked at her with an intensity only reserved for the best of friends and said, "So you are like, reading minds again, eh? You better get ready for work, I'll watch Love."





Chapter 2: The Charade

Watching Rayanne Graff give birth had been free birth control for Angela Chase. As she slipped on her graduation gown the thought crossed her mind that she would be graduating high school today, as a virgin. She hoped that college would change all that for her. She imagined what her apartment with Rickie would look like and wondered how many boys would come in and out of it in the years they would live there. This thought made her laugh out loud. She vowed to allow herself to have fun, as long as her grades were not suffering. Looking in the mirror was never easy for Angela, she frankly hated her appearance. But not today, she felt older today and even allowed herself to entertain the idea that she might be a little pretty. She wondered if Jordan was coming to the ceremony and immediately became nasueas at the idea that he still affected her in this way. That he still, after all this time and the mini-soap opera they had starred in together, made her nervous and excited at the simple idea of being in his presence. She had kept up the charade of being over Jordan so well that even Rickie believed her when she said it was true.
Then all at once it came back to her, blurring the image of herself in the floor length mirror. Her emotions attacked her like a ruthless wild bear. She felt as though she was frozen in the moment she found out Rayanne and Jordan had done it in the backseat of his car. She was warmed by the memories of how Jordan had tried, and initially succeeded, in winning her back. The time shortly after that had been the best of her life so far. Jordan had been patient with her. Then the hurricane came and swept her up and spit her out and there she was again scrambling out of Jordan's bed, half dressed, and searching for the remainder of her clothes on the floor. The knews and the timing of Rayanne's pregnancy had collided in her mind, right there in Jordan's bed just as they were about to have sex for the first time. Jordan had been thoroughly and understandably confused. He had no idea how his life would be changed the next time he spoke with his girlfriend. He had called after her as she ran out his door but she hadn't heard him.
The years following these events were not a blur at all for Angela. If anything, they were her deliberate and calcualted actions to free herself of Jordan and stop the pain. Angela knew, unlike Rayanne, that simply numbing the pain did not work, it only made things worse. She had experimented with such behavior, but the alcohol only acted as a magnifying glass for the things in the past she could not erase, like the time she made out with Corey Hellfrick in the boiler room to try and replace old memories of Jordan with new ones of anyone else.
For the first time in a long time Angela truly missed Brian Krakow, her anchor. He had graduated a year early to exactly no one's surprise, and had gone off to ? college. He came home for the weekend on occassion but it was not the same. She never appreciated Brian Krackow until he was no longer accross the street and at her immediate disposal. Rickie was her best friend, there was no doubt, but Brian had become something else to Angela that was just as meaningful. Rickie maintained a close friendship with Rayanne that had him, at times, primarily focused on walking the balance beem between her and Angela's friendship, whereas Brian did not. He did not have to be Switzerland. Instead he had focused solely on Angela, when she had need that the most. Brian was coming home to attend the graduation ceremony with his friends so when Patty, Angela's mom, yelled up to her room to tell her that she had company, Angela assumed it was him.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

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stburr91
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Posts: 122
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by stburr91 » Aug 11th 2009, 9:18 pm

I generally don't like to give much feedback because I don't have much writing experience, but I'll offer some.

It's hard to give much feedback with only 2 chapters posted, but what you have so far is actually pretty good. I like the twist of Jordan getting Rayanne pregnant that night in the backseat of his car.

The story would benefit from more dialogue. One of the reasons I write in script form, is to let the characters tell the story. I always keep any descriptions of the scenes or characters feelings to a minimum, that allows the readers to interrupt the meaning of the dialogue and scenes for themselves.

As for writing dialogue, I always just went with my gut. I used my gut instinct to tell me what the characters would do or say in a certain situation. I'm sure you know the characters well enough, so just go with what you feel they would say. Sometimes it helps to not know what you want to happen in a scene, and just start writing dialogue, and let the dialogue direct where the scene goes. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, because I do have an unorthodox writing style.

I'll check in to this story when I have time to see what you come up with.

Good luck.

Steve
What's amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like, that second."

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4alifetime
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Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by 4alifetime » Aug 12th 2009, 8:59 pm

Hey Steve,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to read what I have so far. I appreciate it a ton!

I agree that I need more dialogue. I didn't even realize it at first but it seems my 2nd chapter has, like, none! :lol:

Like I said, this popped into my head and I wrote it in an hour or two at most. I also have little writing experience. I guess the only explanation I have is that I am trying to write this more like a book than a script. The first several chapters are meant(in my mind) to update where the characters are now for those who have seen the show and at the same time give the background of the characters for someone who has never seen it. I really wanted anyone to be able to read it and know the characters, regardless of whether or not they were fans of the show. I think once I get through all of that then more dialogue will come naturally because I'll be telling the story from the present on and not including bits here and there about what happened in the past. I hope that makes sense! :?

If anything else comes to mind please let me know. I guess the biggest question I want answered is: Does what I have so far make you want to read more? Even a little??!

I have 2 more chapters that I will put up even though I don't think they are quite ready. It will give more of an idea where I'm headed.

PS. I think you are right on about not knowing what you want to happen in a scene! That's when the best stuff comes out. And when is your next fan fic coming??? :wink:
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapters 3 & 4

Post by 4alifetime » Aug 12th 2009, 9:30 pm

Sorry Steve...no dialogue in Chapter 3....dude, what is my issue there lol? Well, there is no meaningful dialogue anyway! Enjoy....and I promise more dialogue coming in the future! PS. I'll admit to Ch. 3 being a little boring but I had to get some of that stuff out of the way, it was necessary to explain certain things like why Rickie and Rayanne were living together with her kid! I really like Ch.4 though, I hope you guys do too!

Chapter 3: The Outsider

Rayanne knew that she and Rickie were both benefiting from their living arrangement together. It had kept Rickie from having to move into Pride House and from overstaying his welcome at the Chases'(if that was even possible). For Rayanne, it meant not having to live with her mom and Rusty. Rusty was Amber's boyfriend. He had come and gone over the last several years but now seemed to be a permanent fixture in apartment A. The times that Rusty were around had never been good for Rayanne. It was the only time that she felt any distance between herself and her mom. His constant drinking had become too much, even for Rayanne, and she finally decided she wanted Love around Rusty no longer. Even taking all of this into account she still felt that part of the reason Rickie had said yes was because he felt too bad to say no. She could never quite shake that feeling.
In actuality, Rickie was relieved to be on his own and would have given up almost anything to be a bigger part of Love's life. He loved the little girl as if she were his own, and he was constantly reminding himself that she was not. Occassionally, when Jordan would come to pick Love up for a visit, his mind would slip into some alternate universe where he and Jordan were an actual couple and Jordan was coming home from work for the day to spend the evening with his family. These fantasies of Rickie's were infrequent and short-lived, but he could not stop himslef from having the daydreams while Jordan waited in the doorway for Rickie to finish tying his daughter's shoes and got her ready to go.
Rayanne undressed and stepped into the shower. She thought about the long night of work ahead of her at the restaurant. She loved and hated her job at the same time. Graham, Angela's dad, had recruited some of his daughters friends to work at his restaurant, (restaurant name tbd). It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. When thinking about Rayanne's indivdual talents, Graham had decided that Rayanne would be a great hostess. It was her job to greet each customer and find them a seat. Rayanne hoped Sharon Cherski, who was a waitress at the restaurant, would be working with her tonight. Sharon, like Rickie and Angela, would be heading off to college in a few months, and Rayanne would miss their time together. After her shower, Rayanne got dressed and peered out into the living room to make sure that Rickie was preoccupied with Love, which he was. She took 2 cigarettes out of her dresser drawer and slid them into her purse with her bus fare.
"Rickie, I'm heading out now." Rayanne said goodbye to her friend. Love was sitting on the floor very close to their 19" television set and would not have noticed her mother leaving if Rayanne stood in front of her and did a song and dance to get the girl's attention. "Take care of my baby, ok?" Rayanne gave Love a squeeze from behind and the little girl ignored her. Rayanne looked at Rickie and rolled her eyes while smiling. "Geez, you give someone life and this is how they treat you!"
"I know, right!" replied Rickie, who was lying on the couch. Mr. Katimski, Rickie's former English teacher during high school who had at one time taken the boy in when he had had nowhere else to go, had donated the couch when Rickie and Rayanne had first moved into the apartment. Rickie moved his hand slowly over the arm of the couch, which barely showed any wear at all, and thought fondly of his mentor. It was because of Mr. Katimski that Rickie had found his true passion in life, acting.
"Vasquez!" Rayanne interupted Rickie's thoughts. "I'm, leaving, k?"
"Yeah yeah, sorry."
"Thanks! I'll see you tonight if you are still awake." And with that Rayanne slipped out the door, leaving her two favorite people on the planet alone together.
It was hot outside, especially for being so late in the day. The news had proclaimed that today was to be a record breaker. Rayanne had already broken a sweat by the time she reached the bus stop. She glanced at her watch and realizing she had a few minutes to kill before the bus would come, sat down on the bench and lit a cigarette. There was no one else there today and suddenly Rayanne felt very small. She always felt small when she was alone. She thought about Rickie and Love, pictured them cuddled up on the still new-looking couch together watching tv. Suddenly, and without warning her thoughts turned to Graham, Angela's dad. She shook her head and thought, not today. I will not entertain any thoughts about Graham Chase today. Sure, Graham had indulged her on occassion with a little returned innocent flirtation, but Rayanne knew that if he was ever to let anything truly innapropriate happen with someone other than his wife, it would surely be with his business partner, Hallie Lowenthal. Graham and Hallie, according to Rayanne, were a bubble of sexual attention waiting to pop.
Rayanne felt like an outsider in life and knew that she would always be everyone's second choice in the end. She was Jordan's second choice when Angela would not have sex with him. She had become Rickie's second choice as a best friend. Her mom's second choice after Rusty. Her dad's second choice after...well, any girlfriend he had. Graham's second choice for-Rayanne interupted her own thought, realizing just how ridiculous of a thought it truly was.
The bus pulled up in front of Rayanne then and she climbed the stairs and sat down in the back. She allowed herself to think of nothing but her daughter the rest of the way to the work.





Chapter 4: Something Like Goodbye

"Love, is when you look into someone's eyes, and you go all the way inside."

After Patty Chase left the front door Jordan Catalano put a cigarette between his lips, lit it, and inhaled. He blew the smoke out and watched it float away and then dissipate into the air. He didn't know what he was going to say to Angela, but that was part of what would always draw him to her. With Angela, he was never bored. He sat down on the front steps and waited, he rarely went inside the Chase home anymore. Jordan, like Rayanne, was finally graduating high school by the skin of his teeth and had no intention of attending the ceremony. As he sat and pondered what exactly the skin of one's teeth actually meant, Angela emerged from the house and sat down next to Jordan, startling him. He looked her in the eyes and Angela all but melted into the cement steps. An outsider wouldn't have noticed this particular reaction, Angela had become a master at hiding her physical reactions to Jordan Catalano's seductive stare.
"So..." Angela sighed. "What are doing here?" She amused herself with this question, she knew why Jordan was there. She was glad for their friendship, and instantly saddened by the loss of what could have been for the two of them. She was unmistakenly and whole-heartedly in love, and while she waited for Jordan to answer her she wondered how much of her affection for Jordan stemmed from the fact that they were never able to truly explore what they could have been to eachother. How much of it was wanting what you simply can not have? She searched the recesses of her mind and came up with an answer. None of it. She had loved Jordan Catalano at first sight. Her love for Jordan was a pilar of rock at Stone Henge. It would be there for all of eternity. This was a source of both comfort and despair for Angela. To her relief Jordan interrupted her thoughts.
"I just wanted, you know, to come by and say good luck today, or whatever." Jordan was looking at the ground now instead of at Angela. He flicked his cigarette with one hand and pushed his hair out of his face with the other. So little had changed about Jordan since he and Angela had met.
"Thanks." Angela said. "It's not really, like, an instance where you need luck, though, really...it-" Just shut up, Angela thought to herself, just zip it! She felt in that moment like she was 15 again and sitting with jordan in his car. She had had to work hard for his attention back then. Not anymore.
"I know," Jordan replied. "I guess I just wanted to see you. To say goodbye, or whatever." Angela was taken aback by his comment.
"This is not goodbye, Jordan. We still have the summer and..." Angela trailed off. She wanted to finish by reminding Jordan that he had a girlfriend, not to mention a daughter! That it didn't even matter anymore if she was ready to be with him again. She wondered if that was even completely true, or why would he be sitting on her steps looking at her the way he was?
"We're graduating today, so it just feels like- feels like the end, something like goodbye."
"I know, but it's not. It will only be goodbye if we want it to be."
"Do you want it to be?" Jordan looked straight at Angela as he said this.
Angela looked into his eyes, went all the way inside, and said, "No."
Their moment was interupted by the sound of a car coming down the street. Brian Krakow beeped at Angela and Jordan, waved an emphatic hello, and pulled into the driveway of his house directly across the street. The photography major got out of his car and opened the back door, extracted a large black suitcase and yelled "I'll be right back!" accross the street to his friends.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

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stburr91
Liberty High Student
Posts: 122
Joined: May 18th 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by stburr91 » Aug 16th 2009, 6:56 pm

4alifetime wrote:Hey Steve,

First of all, thanks for taking the time to read what I have so far. I appreciate it a ton!

I agree that I need more dialogue. I didn't even realize it at first but it seems my 2nd chapter has, like, none! :lol:

Like I said, this popped into my head and I wrote it in an hour or two at most. I also have little writing experience. I guess the only explanation I have is that I am trying to write this more like a book than a script. The first several chapters are meant(in my mind) to update where the characters are now for those who have seen the show and at the same time give the background of the characters for someone who has never seen it. I really wanted anyone to be able to read it and know the characters, regardless of whether or not they were fans of the show. I think once I get through all of that then more dialogue will come naturally because I'll be telling the story from the present on and not including bits here and there about what happened in the past. I hope that makes sense! :?

If anything else comes to mind please let me know. I guess the biggest question I want answered is: Does what I have so far make you want to read more? Even a little??!

I have 2 more chapters that I will put up even though I don't think they are quite ready. It will give more of an idea where I'm headed.

PS. I think you are right on about not knowing what you want to happen in a scene! That's when the best stuff comes out. And when is your next fan fic coming??? :wink:
I think you have a real knack for story telling. I don't usually read past the first paragraph in most fanfics, especially ones that jump ahead by several years, but yours is pretty well written and makes me want to keep reading.

Your chapter 4 is pretty good, I like the dialogue. The dialogue is the meat and potatoes, it makes or breaks the story, so keep it coming, you're doing nicely so far.

I did have an idea when reading your fanfic. What about flashbacks to the time when Rayanne, Jordan and Angela find out that Rayanne became pregnant that night in Jordan's backseat. There's so much you could do with that, and it could give the readers some more insight to how the characters were, and how they have changed in the last several years. Anyway, it's just an idea I had.

Keep writing no matter how many people read it, fan fiction is all about the writer not the readers. Have fun with it, enjoy the process and write what makes you happy. That's one of the reasons I stopped writing, I wasn't enjoying it like I enjoyed my first episode. I'm starting to want to write again, so when I have the time (whenever that may be), I'll start rewriting my last episode.

Steve
What's amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like, that second."

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4alifetime
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Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 9th 2009, 3:19 pm

Thanks for all the great ideas and feedback Steve! I like the flashback idea, and may use it. I've written a few more mini-chapters but have yet to address Angela and Rayanne directly, but I will. You'll also be happy to know that there is more dialogue!

It's been a few weeks, have you written anything new?

I'll post my last few chapters here in a bit! There is a nice little cliff hanger at the end.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
stburr91
Liberty High Student
Posts: 122
Joined: May 18th 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by stburr91 » Sep 9th 2009, 8:24 pm

I look forward to reading the new chapters.

Unfortunately I haven't had time to write anything. I hope I'll have some time in the late fall to start writing again, because it doesn't look like I'll have the time in the next month or so.
What's amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like, that second."

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Jody Barsch*
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Re: Chapters 3 & 4

Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 27th 2009, 8:09 pm

I'm really loving this story 4aliftetime! It's very well-written (I'm in love with some of your sentences). What I like about the story is that doesn't pick up when the series left off but the characters all seem to be very much who they were on the show -- the changes in circumstances and relationships all seem very grounded -- there have been no 360 changes, and no one's a caricature of themselves or operating in a completely in genuine way.
4alifetime wrote:He flicked his cigarette with one hand and pushed his hair out of his face with the other. So little had changed about Jordan since he and Angela had met.
I’ve played around with a story in which Sharon becomes pregnant (well there’s one where Angela becomes pregnant, but that’s really just an exercise in character and reactions; I don’t really see that happening) and in the confusion of the rumors Jordan mistakenly comes to believe that it is Rayanne and not Sharon who is pregnant, and that it is his from that night. I like how you’ve written it; very matter-of-fact. It happened and they’ve adjusted. It’s very appealing, as a reader, to know the story but not to be dragged into the initial drama of it. Does that make sense? What were you thinking when you chose the name Love? (Does it come from Amber’s hippie past? Is it Rayanne’s post-grunge ironic twist on it? Is it a reference to the lack of love in her conception, or what Rayanne’s now focusing on in her life?)

I like that Katimpsky gave them a couch. That's very cool.

As for schools... Maybe Oberlin for Brian? In my FF I sent him to Cal, but if he's pursuing visual arts, with his academic strengths, Oberlin seems like it might be a good fit (just judging by the two people I know who attended Oberlin). (Do people like Brian Krakow graduate a year early to major solely in photography?) For Angela ... I don't know what you had in mind for her (and I don't know if she's this granola-y), but Colorado College is a really great school where students take one course at a time, then are given time off to delve into that course of study in a practical way before beginning a new course. Two of my favorite people went there, and while I loved my college experience, I was always a little jealous not have had that experience, or to not have known about it when applying, or to have known myself enough at that point to have known that I would have loved that. Anyway, Angela seems like someone that would really take advantage of that kind of learning environment. But if Rickie and she are attending school together... then... something in a city... ?

Personal criticism: I don't think it's necessary to restate that Patty is Angela's mom, or that Rusty is amber's boyfriend. Fans will know, and newcomers will figure it out.


Can't wait for more!
Kickstart The Riches movie!

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4alifetime
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Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 27th 2009, 11:42 pm

Jody Barsch,

Thank you soooo much for the feedback! I don't know how you do it so well- I always get mixed up in what I want to say and end with "I really liked it!" But I try.

As far as the name Love goes, you said it better than I could, it's all of those things. I see Rayanne as a person missing genuine love, in all of its forms, and I really didn't think she- of all people- would give her baby a common name. I go back and forth on liking it and not, and whether I want to keep it or not, but that comes from my insecurity as a writer and thinking people will not get it. I was obviously wrong, the fans would get- I should have known better!! But I definitely had Amber's hippie past in mind, when I read that I laughed out loud.

I take your comment that the characters still seem to be who they are to heart. Because that is exactly what I was tying to do. It's impossible for me to see them any other way(although some change is of course necessary or there is no story). I only tried one other fan fic and it was a direct pick-up from where the series left off because those are my favorite stories. But I kept getting stuck and this idea came to me one day and it all just flowed out...who knew!

I can see why you'd say my writing is matter-of-fact, I am very much like that in life and I guess it comes out in my writing.

The whole college thing is throwing me off, even to the point where I thought about making the entire story about the summer and then ending it. So I really really appreciate the suggestions, huge help! I still at least need names to plug in here and there.

I have written several more chapters...I'll put them up now. It's picked up a lot more. I'd like to read any of your stories, are they here? The storyline idea about having Jordan think Rayanne was pregnant with his baby when she wasn't , I think, is genius! Very Three's Company LOL!
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapter 5

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 27th 2009, 11:53 pm

Chapter 5: An impossible task

As soon as Brian disappeared into his house across the street, Jordan stood up to leave. "Well," he said, "I gotta go."
He shifted back and forth on his feet for a minute before Angela said anything. She appeared to be in deep thought but simply stated, "Aren't you going to wait, to say hi to Brian?" Another lame attempt of hers to get him to stay a little longer with her, so that she didn't have to think about him with Taylor.
"No...I gotta go. I'm supposed to pick Taylor up from work. But tell him I said hi." And with that he turned and walked away. Every time he said the name Taylor in Angela's presense it felt like a verbal assault to her heart.
"Hey Jordan-" Angeled half-yelled to his back. Jordan stopped mid-step but kept his back to Angela. Every time she called out his name as he would be walking away from her in the past few years his heart would skip a beat and he would ready himself for the epic moment he had been waiting for, for Angela Chase to stand up and declare her love for him right then to his face instead of calling out his name to his back only to launch some lame comment at him. To tell him that she couldn't stand not being with him anymore. She could forgive him for his indiscretion with Rayanne, she could look past and at the same time accept the fact that the very same indiscretion had produced a baby. "There's another bonfire tonight at the bank...if you want to come. I think everyone is coming this time, you know, to celebrate graduation...our freedom and all." Angela was smiling now, but a soft kind of half-smile.
"Angela..." Jordan trailled off.
"Yeah? she whispered.
"Nothing. I mean, maybe. I'll think about." And with that he was gone.
To put it simply Jordan Catalano was confused. He got into his car and as he sunk down into the driver seat he began to feel like a deflated tire. He put the key into the ignition and turned it, then for a split second forgot where he meant to go. Taylor, right. He was going to pick up his girlfriend from work at the mall. She worked at the cosmetic counter at one of those big stuffy department stores, the kind that Jordan never went into, as policy. And she was pretty. Prettier than Angela, in fact. She was about as pefect as any guy could ask for in a girlfriend. She was patient and honest, and always there for Jordan when and how he needed her to be, yet she also had a wild streak. As she walked out of the mall towards Jordan's car he began to clear thoughts of Angela Chase out of his head, to make room for Taylor. But even as Taylor plopped down in his passenger's seat, grabbed his face, and planted a kiss on is lips, he found that to be an impossible task. Jordan pulled away suddenly.
"You know, our one year anniversary is coming up!" Taylor said excitedly. She pulled the rearview mirrow in her direction so that she could see the top half of her head and began pulling her long dark hair up into a loose ponytail.
"It is?" Jordan teased. He bit his lip and looked at her.
"Yeah!" Taylor returned, slapping Jordan's arm playfully. "SO where are you taking me to dinner? And don't say my Aunt Hallie's restaurant. I don't want to go there anymore, especially on our first anniversary. I mean, it could be romantic I guess, since we met there...but Angela could totally be there. Angela is cool and all, but she is technically your ex." Taylor looked at Jordan with a look that said 'don't screw this up.'
"So." Jordan narrowed his eyes at Taylor.
"So...let's just go somewhere else." Taylor said, emphasising the 'else.'
"Ok! Ok...." Jordan replied defensively.
"So then, where are you taking me...Saturday night?"
Jordan had to think for a minute. "Uh, Saturday I told Rayanne I'd take Love for the night. She's got plans, or whatever."
Taylor was getting visibly upset now. "Well can't Rickie watch her?"
"Yeah, he probably could. But she's my daughter Tay. And I don't get to see her that much as it is. Let's just do dinner another night, ok?" Taylor calmed down then. She apologized for getting so upset and climbed onto Jordan's lap to make her peace offering.
Later, after they were each back in their own seat, Taylor asked Jordan, "What did you do today while I was at work?"
"Not much, nothing. I worked on my car." Jordan lied, and sped off, all the while wondering how long you could date someone that you knew you did not love.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapter 6

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 28th 2009, 12:00 am

Chapter 6: Secrets

Rayanne shoved an earring into her ear as she walked into the restaurant to begin her shift at work. She went into the back room, behind the kitchen, to hang her purse and look for Graham but he wasn't there. Sharon was. "Cherski, hey! I'm so glad you are here-I mean-I haven't seen you in a few days-where have you been- I mean-not that I need to know every detail of your life-I just...was wondering."
Sharon looked Rayanne over. She set down a tray full of salt and pepper shakers very carefully, walked over to Rayanne and put her hands on Rayanne's shoulders with as much care as she had handled the shakers. "Rayanne, what's wrong? Why are you talking so fast?" She removed her hands from Rayanne's shoulders, as if she only needed them there to speak, put one hand on her hip and waited for an answer.
"Oh...nothing. Eveything is fine, great. Literally could not be better."
"You are lying, and we are going to talk about this after work." Sharon walked away to finish getting ready for the dinner shift. "Rayanne, help me out, ok? It's supposed to be really busy tonight. We can't just stand around here waiting for all this work to get done by itself. Cause it won't you know?"
Rayanne walked over to Sharon and put her hands on Sharon's shoulders. "Sharon, what's wrong? Why are you talking so fast?"
Sharon rolled her eyes at Rayanne. She didn't appreciate being mocked but she knew Rayanne was one person in her life who she would let get away with it. "Nothing."
"You lie. Cherski, what's up? Seriously. I can, like, help. We can help eachother, it'll be therapeutic." Rayanne revelled in the idea that she could entertain herself with someone's problems that were not her own.
"You said nothing was wrong with you!"
Rayanne stepped back a few steps, obviously caught off guard. The two girls, who had become quite close in the last 2 years of high school, were now carefully guarding secrets. It felt weird to both of them and neither girl was sure why it was happening. "Oh, right. Well you know me. There is always something wrong with me! I'll think of something..." Rayanne paused. "Maybe you are right, we should talk after work."
Sharon and Rayanne hugged then, just as the door to the back room open and Graham Chase made a grand entrance. "Hey girls!" Graham said. He wasn't looking at either of them when he spoke but was looking around the room slightly frantic. He seemed disoriented and distracted. "Anyone seen those new signs I had made for the front window...the ones for the...you know...the signs with the menu for the front window."
"Are you ok, Mr. Chase?" Sharon asked. "You seem..." Sharon trailed off while she found the menus on Graham's desk, which was really just a table pushed up against the wall in the corner of the room. She handed the signs to Graham.
"Thanks." said Graham taking the signs. Sharon looked at Graham questioningly. "Oh! Nothing. Nothing is wrong. Really. I...there's a food critic coming tonight from the paper-at least that's the rumor. I just want to make sure everything is perfect. I guess I'm just a little nervous." Graham smiled nervously at Sharon and then looked over at Rayanne. "You behave tonight!" he joked with her. He was fidgeting with the signs. "Anyone seen Hallie?" The girls just stared at Graham trying not to laugh. "Ok, great then. Thanks." Graham left the back room and disappeared into the kitchen.
Sharon turned and looked at Rayanne. "What was that? What is going on tonight...must be a full moon or something. And why are you so quiet all of a sudden?"
Rayanne ignored the question. "You know we are going to miss all the fun at the bank tonight."
"Are you going to graduation tomorrow morning?" Sharon asked. Rayanne said nothing. "You should at least talk to Rickie, if you aren't going to talk to me."
"I can't talk to Rickie, he's already watching me all the time, like I'm gonna snap any minute."
The girls turned from eachother and walked away to do their work.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapter 7

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 28th 2009, 12:16 am

Chapter 7: Across the fire

Chapter 7: Across The Fire

There are several spots along the river in the town of Three Rivers that the students of Liberty High made nightly hangouts out of. Sometimes kids hung out in spots designated for higher grades, but the kids that hung out there tried to keep it stictly for other kids in their own class. There were exceptions for girlfriends and boyfriends, and generally some kids who were so popular they could take there pick from any spot from any class. And often times a senior would bring beer to a junior, or even sohpomore spot, because there would be a girl there he had his eye on. The beer always worked.
There was usually a fire pit for a bonfire, though there was rarely any marshallows being roasted or hot dogs on sticks being toasted. It was mainly for ambience, and a chance for the boys to play with fire. It also helped the kids stay warm and be able to stay later at night in the colder months. This particular night in June, at the senior's spot on the bank, no one was cold but the bonfire raged.
It seemed everyone was there. It wasn't unusual for the senior's spot along the river to be crowded the night before graduation. Angela and Brian set their blanket down in an open spot and began people watching.
"Can you believe it? Tomorrow we- I mean I-graduate...like, high school!" Angela waited for Brian to respond.
"Yeah, I know. And to think here we are at the end of high school and you are finally not embarrassed to be with me in public!" Brian teased her.
"Oh shut up!" Angela pushed his arm and he pretended to fall over. "It's the hair, ever since you cut off the curls you've been cool enough. That's all I was waiting for." Angela rubbed Brian's head playfully. "But can you imagine...if the two of us..."
"I know. It's a ridiculous idea." Brian rolled his eyes.
"No, not ridiculous. I look at it like bad timing."
"Meaning?"
"Well, when you were...available, for lack of a better word-"
"Yes?" Brian iterrupted.
"I was- Ok, I was in love with Jordan Catalano." Angela said very fast.
"And now?"asked Brian.
"Now, you have a girlfriend, and I..."
"Am still in love with Joradn Catalano." Brian finished her sentence for her.
"Brian! I am not! Ohhhh, you really need to take that back!" said Angela.
"And if I don't?" asked Brian.
There were kids everwhere. So many, in fact, that it was hard to notice exactly who was and wasn't there. Angela felt herself comforted by Brian's presence. Comforted and something else, something she could not put her finger on. She discarded this thought and left his lingering question unanswered. It floated up into the air and neither Brian nor Angela cared.
The next thing she knew the little hairs on her arms began to stand up and Angela got a chill. She had seen Jordan and Taylor out of the corner of her eye. Jordan had appeared suddenly and was sitting on the opposite side of the bonfire. The shadows danced across his face and Angela looked at Brian, noticing the shadows that danced across his face as well. Jordan was sitting in a lawn chair with a beer in hand on one knee and Taylor on the other. Taylor was leaning into Jordan's chest, the pair looked very comfortable and very happy together. If only Angela knew the truth.
In the past the four of them, and occassionally Rickie or Sharon, would have all hung out tgether for at least part of the night. Not tonight, however. A guy approached Jordan and Taylor, and they began talking. Angela figured it was safe to watch then, and found herself staring at Jordan, her mind unusually void of any one particular thought. Taylor sat up and looked directly at Angela. Angela smiled at Taylor and Taylor smiled back, but it was more of a warning to back off than a friendly jesture. Angela wondered what on earth Taylor could be worried about. She and Jordan were so clearly over, and had been for years now. He had never even like her all that much anyway. Angela knew she could not compete with someone as pretty as Taylor, why didn't Taylor know that?
Angela needed a distraction so she turned to Brian and asked, "So how are things going with Sarah, anyway? And when do I get to meet her. I'm starting to think she doesn't even exist. Are you making her up, Brian?
"No, I'm definitely not making her up."
Something about the way Brian had said 'definitely' made her suddenly aware that Brian had something he wanted to tell her about Sarah, but he was holding back. "Spill it." she said.
"Things are great, it's nice to have someone at school, you know?" Brian looked at Angela out of the corner of his eye. He had noticed Jordan and Taylor and had been watching them as well.
"Brian." Angela prompted him to keep talking. She sat up straight, crossed her arms, and waited.
"What?"
"Out with it!"
"Out with what?"
"Whatever it is you are holding back from telling me."
Brian waited a long while. "If I tell you...you have to swear not to repeat this to anyone. I promised Sarah it would stay between her and I." Brian looked around at everyone suspiciously as if they were all trying to eavesdrop on his conversation.
"Ok." said Angela, "I Promise."
"Angela, we had sex." Brian laid it out there, saying it as if he could hardly believe it himself.
"No really, what were you going to tell me?" Angela blinked, shook her head, and asked again. There was no way on Earth that Brian Krackow had had sex before her. This was a lie. Clearly, Brian was just messing with her. She felt betrayed and didn't know why. Brian certainly didn't owe her anything in that department. She waited for Brian's real confession. When one did not come, and all Brian did was look at her, she let it sink in that what Brian had said happened was the truth. The truth stung Angela's heart. She felt as though she was about to cry and was completely unaware that this time it was Jordan who was staring at her across the fire.
"Earth to Angela! Are you still with me?" Brian laughed. "I knew you would be in too much shock to believe me. But it's true. Your geek-neighbor, Brian Krackow, is no longer a virgin." In the past Brian had mistaken Angela's intentions with him. Once when she had asked him for a ride to the school dance Brian had promptly ditched his date only to find out that all Angela really wanted was a ride to the dance. He was determined not to make another mistake like that, with Angela or anyone else. Now he was doing just the opposite. He was completely unaware of certain feelings his friend was beginning to wrestle with for him.
Suddenly Angela wished for Rayanne. In that moment every bad feeling she had ever had for Rayanne vanished and all she wanted was to be able to have a conversation with her friend. She didn't know what to do or what to say. Her mind was reeling and she felt out of control. She was standing on the edge of a really tall building with the feeling that someone was standing behind about to push her off, only she didn't want to jump. She noticed Jordan watching her then, and was aware that Brian was waiting for her to say something. "Brian." she whispered, "Please don't hate me."
"What? Why would I..." he said, confused.
And then suddenly Angela Chase kissed Brian Krackow. She kissed him and he did not pull away. Part of him wanted to pull away, as Sarah's face popped into his head. But the part of him that had been waiting to kiss Angela Chase as far back as he could remember fought back- and won. Jordan sat across from the fire with his mouth hanging open, as well as almost every other person there. If they were not interested in what Brian and Angela were doing that night at the bonfire before, they were now.

************

Brian drove Angela home in silence. Both were baffled by what had just happened, out in the open for everyone to see. And there it was. It was not how Brian could ever have imagined his first kiss with Angela would be, mainly because he had given up hope of that fist happening in his life a long time ago. He was climbing a staircase of emotions in his head. The first step: happy, then confused, then excited, nervous, worried, hopeful, horrified, and scared. Scared of what his girlfriend was going to think or say or do when she found out. But he couldn't think about that just yet. First things first, Angela. Deep breaths.
When they pulled up to their houses Brian parked the car on the street in front of his house. Angela sat in the passenger seat, looking at her house and wanting desperately to be in there instead of Brian's car.
"Ok. So what was that?" Brian asked.
"If I knew...after everything we have been through I owe you honesty if nothing else. I know that. But right now, I just need some time to think. Is that ok?" Angela began to tear up, warm tears began to spill down her face.
"Yeah, it's ok." Brian reached over and wiped the tears from Angela's face. "We'll just talk later, another time." Brian paused. "You might think you owe me something, Angela, but the truth is, you don't"
"Thanks for that." Angela smiled through her tears at Brian.
"And hey, if there are things you want to say to me, but can't. Well, maybe you could write me a letter."


Angela went home but could not sleep. She felt as though she had drank 8 cups of coffee. She was buzzing. She needed something emotionally solid to hold on to but could think of nothing. She questioned everything she felt and had answers to nothing. She nervously went over to her bedroom window and looked outside. 'Damn it! What now?' she said out loud and loudly. She went over to her bedroom door and slowly opened it see if her outburst had woken anyone up but there was only silence in the hallway. She went back over the window and nervously paced back and forth for awhile. Brian had said to her, "maybe you could write me a letter." What was that supposed to mean?
Then all of a sudden she was in her closet, and things began to fly. Old clothes, shoes, winter hats and gloves, old text books from school, and finally a shoe box. Memories. Pictures and letters. Letters from Rayanne, letters from Rickie, and one in Jordan's handwriting from Brian.
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
Jody Barsch*
Lifehead
Posts: 1166
Joined: Jun 30th 2003, 1:30 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Honest Feedback and College Suggestions Needed!

Post by Jody Barsch* » Sep 28th 2009, 12:19 am

Yea! I just read thetwo you posted and now see there's more to read! I love this instant ff gratification! I'm going to keep reading :)
Kickstart The Riches movie!

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapter 8

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 28th 2009, 12:20 am

Chapter 8: Rob

Rickie emerged from the back of the apartment and stopped short before entering the living room. After 6 books,3 goodnight hugs, and 2 cups of juice Love was finally asleep. He hoped Rayanne knew how lucky she was to have Rickie there for the way he was and what he was giving up to do so. But he couldn't fault Rayanne for not appreciating things she did not exactly know about. He leaned against the part of the wall that jutted out between the dining room and the kitchen. Some of the paint was peeling off the wall. He had a clear view of Rob sitting on the couch. The two just stared at eachother for a minute before Rickie went over and sat down next to him.
"I'm glad you called me tonight, to come over. It's been 2 solid weeks since the last time we saw eachother. Two long weeks." Rob took Rickie's hand in his.
"I know." Rickie looked at the tv ass he spoke. "I've just been juggling a lot of different things. But school is over now, I'll have more time for us."
"Love is not your kid, you know." Rob reminded Rickie. "You don't have to do any of this."
"Why does everyone keep saying that to me?"
"Because it's the truth."
Rickie leaned back into the couch and exhaled loudly. "I know. But I made a promise, that I would help Rayanne if she kept the baby. I can't go back on that now. I'm not even sure I want to. I love that little girl."
"I'm sorry. Listen, Rayanne will be home in a few hours, let's enjoy the time we have for now. Ok?"
"Ok." Rickie leaned in and kissed Rob. Then he said, "Do you want to watch a movie?"
Rob leaned his head to the side and rested it on his hand. He was smiling at Rickie. "I had something else in mind."
"Oh. I don't think, it's just that, we haven't really known eachother that- I mean-" Rickie was nervous. He had thought about what it would be like to be with Rob in that way, maybe a hundred times. Maybe if he wasn't Mr. Katimski's son things could be less coplicated. Or was that what should make it easier? The plain fact was, however, that Rickie was just not ready and they both knew it. Luckily for Rickie, Rob was a a very patient person.
"It's ok, I was joking- sort of. I would settle for something smaller, like maybe telling one of your friends about me. They all know you are gay, that's the hard part."
"Yeah, they do. But no one has ever actually seen me with a guy. I can't explain why, but for me that's the hard part...the seeing." The pair were silent then. Rickie leaned into Rob's chest and they sat watching tv until they fell asleep. They were awoken by the sound of keys turning in the front door.
"Well well well, what do we have here?" Danielle asked, coyly.
"Danielle!" said Rickie, slightly panicked. "Danielle, what are you doing here?"
"Dad was going to be home soon. They've been fighting again, Rickie. Every night when dad comes home from the restaurant he and mom fight- and I get woken up. I know it's late but can I just crash here on the couch, pleeeaase?"
Rickie looked at Rob and then back at Danielle. "Uh, Danielle, this is Rob."
Danielle sat down on the couch next to the two guys and leaned over Rickie to shake Rob's hand. "It's very nice to meet you, Rob. Finally." She winked at Rickie and said, "Not bad, does he have any brothers who are straight?" She elbowed Rickie in the ribs and leaned back into the couch. "So what's on the tube? Anything?"
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

User avatar
4alifetime
Liberty High Student
Posts: 115
Joined: Sep 25th 2007, 3:07 pm

Chapter 9

Post by 4alifetime » Sep 28th 2009, 12:27 am

Chapter 9: Searching for signs

The lights in the restaurant glittered and the melting candles flickered. The feel of the place was very romantic and one might not have had to guess very hard at what Hallie Lowenthal was subconciously thinking, hoping for, when she planned out and executed the decorations. It certainly was not a romantic reunion dinner with her ex-fiance, but romance was the theme nonetheless. She and Graham had fought over whether or not to have a bar in the place.
"It's a restaurant, Hallie." Graham had argued. "Not restaurant and bar. We don't need a separate bar. People can order drinks at their tables."
"Graham. A restaurant like the one we are trying to create needs- a bar! Please....Graham. Show me one restaurant that isn't like, a chain, that does not have a bar. Name one, just one. Come on."
"I-I-" Graham stuttered. "I can't" He had smiled at Hallie then and she thought she might faint. She thought that maybe if she actually did faint that Graham would have to rush to her and hold her, and that maybe that would not be so bad. Her knees had become week at just his smile. But that wasn't all. In the time they had spent together planning the grand opening of The Lotus Hallie had learned that almost everything Graham did made her uncontrollably weak in the knees. When he walked through the door each day and said hello, when he smiled, when he stood next to her and questioned her about the week's invoices, when he sat cursing at his desk trying to come up with new recipes, when he scratched the back of his neck in deep thought, when he argued with her about small inconsequencial things or even big ones. What made her heart go weak was when Graham said goodnight to her every night and went home to Patty, his wife. Graham and Patty seemed happy and Hallie did not really want to mess that up. So she did nothing about her feelings, except wait. She waited for an opening from Graham. Any kind of sign that said yes, I feel the same way about you.
That night, after the dinner shift had ended, Hallie decided that she did not want to wait to watch Graham walk away from her and go home to his wife. "Do you think you could close up by yourself tonight?" Hallie asked, searching Graham's eyes for signs. "I know it's late but...well I have a date!" Hallie lied, laughing out loud.
"What? Hallie that's great. Uh...I have everything under control here, go ahead. You always stay late, I can do it. Besides, Rayanne and Sharon are here, they can help set up for tomorrow."
"Sharon left, she took a phone call and said she needed to go...so I let her. But Rayanne is still in the back."
"Oh, ok." Graham looked around the room, who or what he was looking for Hallie was not sure. "Have a good time tonight."
"Thanks." Hallie smiled. She turned and walked out of the restaurant, letting the door slam behind her as she went. When was safely outside she leaned up against the side of the restaurant and cried until her entire body was shaking.
Graham didn't notice the door slam as Hallie left. He did notice Hallie, however. But unlike Hallie, who noticed a million little things about Graham, Graham noticed Hallie in her entirety and all at once, in one whole piece. She was possibly the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in person. She was smart and funny and witty and charming and exciting and daring- a few of the things his wife was and a few extra she was not. As soon as he allowed himself to entertain the idea of chasing Hallie Lowenthal back to her apartment and intercepting her date at the door- Graham walked over to the bar and poured himself a shot of whiskey. He laughed at himself then, thinking about how he had argued against having the bar in the first place and now here he was standing behind it, grateful. He swallowed the whiskey in one shot and set the glass down gently. He did not want to go home. He heard noise coming from the kitchen and was suddenly aware that Rayanne was still there. He poured himself another shot of whiskey and downed it. More noise from the kitchen, another shot. He heard the kitchen door swing open, and Rayanne came out and sat down next to Graham at the bar.
"So." was all she said.
"So." Graham said back to her. The liquor was making it's way through Graham, allowing him to be someone his sober self was not. Alcohol was truth serum for Graham. Most people would argue that alcohol made them do and say things they would ordinarily not do. But not Graham. It had the opposite effect for him, it freed the traps he set in his brain and allowed him to think and do and say exactly what he wanted, and this was how he had begun going home to Patty in the last few months. "Drink Rayanne?" Rayanne looked at Graham in shock. "Oh right," Graham corrected himself. "Sorry."
"Do you want to talk about it?" Rayanne asked.
"What? Talk about it, what?" Graham asked. The three shots he had just taken were clearly not the only three he had had so far that night.
"I'm going to go get you a cup of coffee-"
"This restaurant....was a great idea. Don't you think?" Graham was stumbling over his words.
"Of course, I mean, it's why I have a job-" said Rayanne.
"And I...love....my wife. I do. I've always love her. You should know that."
"Maybe we should head home. I have to catch the bus, I'm going to call Patty, have her come get you. You probably should not drive tonight."
"It's not far, I'll be ok."
"Well, I'll call Patty anyway. You've been at work all day, you're probably also really too tired to drive. I'll be right back ok." Rayanne watched Graham as she walked away. This was a possible golden opportunity that she was going to let slip right by her. She was going to do the right thing. She called Patty Chase and told her to come pick up her inebriated husband.
Rayanne went outside after saying goodbye to Graham and leaned against the side of the restaurant, exactly where Hallie had stood not long before and cried. She took a cogarette from her purse and lit it.
"You got another one of those?" Graham asked. Rayanne had not seen him coming and the sound of Graham's voice made her jump.
"What are you doing?" she asked him.
"Nothing. Why? I'm waiting...for my wife."
There's so many different ways to be connected to people.
There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to,
even though there's not even a word for it.
There's the people who you've known forever, who know you in
this way that other people can't, because they've seen you
change...

they've let you change.

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