Lovino’s never been very good at chess, so why he agreed to play at all is a bit beyond him. He flexed his fingers as he moved a rook, eyes glancing up at Arthur to see how closely he was watching, wondering if he could just move it slightly(more) to the left-
“This is fucking stupid.”
“You just need to strategize, Lovino. Honestly, it’s not that hard.”
“I’d rather read one of your boring ass fantasy books than play this.”
He rolled his eyes and got up to walk behind Arthur’s chair, leaning down and placing his mouth to the man’s ear. “I can think of a lot of things I’d rather be doing…”
“What the fuck!?”
“Maybe if you stopped thinking about sex for five minutes and actually paid attention, you would win too.”
“Yeah, well right fucking now I’m thinking about no sex for at least a week.”
“We both know I can go without far longer than you.”
Arthur looked unimpressed, instead focusing on setting the board back up. “Did you want to try again?”
“And stop trying to cheat.”
“You gotta look away at some point, old man.”(less)
it feels like a
writhing, weaving its way
around my body,
beginning at my gut --
(more) I feel the wrongness bloom
and then harden, turning to stone, weighing
me down, but its tendrils
still work their way through me,
burning all the way.
the more I try to follow you, the farther
you go, and
the farther I feel from myself,
the deeper the wrongness burrows
the more I know I am
going nowhere good.
my feet are raw from walking
but yours are untouched.
I see this, and pause
wondering if I am cheating myself.(less)
The hunt was on. Having ducked behind the trunk of a great Elm tree, Fox was sure that he had lost the rest of the boys. Peter would be so proud--Fox was, of course, the cleverest of the Lost Boys. He shimmied up the trunk, swinging himself up onto(more) one of the thicker branches, before resting in a comfortable position from which he could see most of the direction from which his pursuers would come. He sat for a long time, his eyes blinking steadily into a sleepy trance when he heard a thick "crack" from above him. Fox sprang to his feet, balancing on the branch like a bird. "Hello?"
The "crack" repeated, followed by a rustle. "Hello?" came the response, and Nibs' face peeked from above. "Am I the winner yet?"
Fox blew a raspberry, thoroughly frustrated that it would seem he was no longer the cleverest Lost Boy. He was about to retort, when there came a call from below. "Anyone up there?"
Their commotion had brought attention to Toodles, one of the many hunters in their game of Hide-And-Go-Seek. Sitting quietly, Fox and Nibs looked at each other. Nibs was grinning--a sure sign he understood that if anyone were to be found first, it would be Fox, as he was closer to the ground. Fox understood this, too, and promptly grabbed the tail of Nibs' jacket, flinging him from his high perch to the ground below. "Aha!" Cried Toodles. "Knew you were up there!"
Nibs sat splayed on the ground, shaking off the confusion. "No! HE CHEATED!"
Fox hopped down from the branch, grinning from ear to ear. "But, I was last to be found. I am the cleverest Lost Boy!"
Nibs crossed his arms indignantly, tears welling up. "Cheater."
Fox shrugged. "No. Winner." (less)
Matt did not want to play but we made him. The game we like to play could always use one more person. Usually people do not have to be invited. Everyone plays mostly because there is little else to do. Matt has never played before, though. He always just(more) sits in the corner doing God knows what. We asked God and now we know too.
That's why he needs to play with us. He's complaining now and that makes us feel bad but he'll warm-up to it soon. He'll get better and then he'll always want to play with us. And then nobody will be left to sit in the corner doing God knows what.
But we don't like the way Matt plays. He cheats. When we called him out on the rules he was breaking he said he knew. We told him that was not okay. He thinks the game would be more fun if it did not have the rules we gave it. We told him a game has to have rules. He said a game has to have participants. He said pretty soon other people will not want to play the game. He said the rules make the game no fun.
We asked him what his problem was. He told us he did not want to play. We said he had to. He said that was cheating.(less)
maybe i was the one you kissed. maybe i was the one you thought about as your fingers dripped down my shirt. maybe i was the one who your hands sought after that afternoon out on the balcony overlooking the swimming pool and you said that you wanted me.(more) and you took me. carved my outline with your tongue and i fell so hard against the concrete of that school balcony.
but it wasn't really me, was it? as your body thought only of me your mind and your heart were pining for someone else entirely. and of course there was nothing i could ever do to stop it. twist it. reverse it. out of you. make you look at me with more that those daring eyes and make you desire me with more than your body.
when we felt each other's cold skin she was there too, wasn't she? maybe she was the one you were touching, hugging, caressing, kissing. and you knew it even while you let me fall, drunkenly, against the freezing concrete of that school balcony.
Serah had always considered the kid in front of her class in 2-A to be smarter than the average student. Finals had already rolled around, and the summer air was beginning to permeate the classroom's stagnant atmosphere. She blinked heavily, lightly wiping away the small drops of sweat from(more) her brow as she focused on the papers before her.
"Think." The single word haunted her mind as she mulled over the answer to the question on the sheet. For what seemed like an hour, she desperately grasped at the strings of knowledge that seemed to elude her in her hour of need. Looking forward, she noticed that Kyuu sat with an awe-inspiring confidence. His posture was relaxed, and he seemed to be looking out the window as if his mind wasn't present for the exam. She followed his glance to the nearby window and noticed from the reflection that he had lightly tilted his page up, and she could just barely make out the characters for "I noticed you looking."
Stemming back a blush, Serah focused on her page again. "That jerk!" she though immediately, fighting back the urge to punch him in the back of his head. Slamming her pencil down to the page, Serah began to construct a sloppy thought that seemed to mimic an answer, before giving up on it altogether. With a stroke of the eraser, the lead on the page disappeared, as did her hope of passing this exam. The instructor sat idly at the front of the class, seemingly distracted by the summer weather as well. "Maybe this once..."
The thought took root and began to flourish. As she looked up into the window, the text had changed.
"Let me take you out for some coffee instead. I'll help you. Kyuu."
I hated tests. They hated me. We hated each other. That's just how it was for us. We had come to an agreement that we both hated each other, and we were okay with that.
It was especially frustratin(more)g this time around, because I had been sick for the last few lessons, so I didn't know the material. I thought about what would happen to my grade if I failed this test.
Tap, tap, tap, tap. Pause. Click, click. Pause.
The person next to me always got high marks in this class. Our professor often praised her in public, which was obviously something she wasn't fond of.
Click, click. Pause.
Just one look couldn't hurt, could it?
Tap, tap, tap. Pause. Click, click. Pause.
I really didn't want to fail this test. I just needed a passing grade. Besides, it's not fair for me to take the test since I didn't learn all the material, right? This would be like a replacement for the lessons I missed. I would learn from the answers to the questions, and everything would be a-ok.
Tap, tap, tap, tap. Pause. Click, click. Pause.
She was such an honest person, and worked very studiously for the grades she had. To be stealing answers seemed too unfair.
Tap, tap, tap, tap. Pause. Click, click. Pause.
The teacher wasn't looking. He was reading a book at the moment. This was her chance if she planned on going through with it.
Tap, tap, tap, tap. Pause. Click, click. Pause.
Just one glance...
Tap, tap, tap, ta-
"ENOUGH OF THE TAPPING!"
"Thank you...back to work everyone...No tapping!"
She looked over at me, and smiled. So genuine and honest.
The nurse hands me the compact mirror and places it at the palm of my scarred hands. She then quietly departs as two anxious pair of eyes stare at me from the foot of the bed. Benny glides forward and closes my palm abruptly.
(more) "Are you sure you want to do this?" He whispers fiercely. I feel his voice resonating in my mind; I am not sure. But I do want to see what I look like presently before the... thing happened. I stare at him in silence, hoping my eyes do not betray my feelings.
People gasp when they see my face now, but they do not know what I went through. It was a bleak and dark phase in my life where I thought mutilation was a way of survival for myself. Whatever clean untouched skin I had, it was gone. My mind was warped with sick ideas that in my drugged state did I realize how grotesque they were. I shudder and look at Benny, who is watching me with his dark eyes. I give him a nod, and he takes his hand off mine.
I gently open the compact mirror and stare at myself. I can feel my heart breaking as my eyes trace the scars on my face. Big, hideous scars that I had created. What had I done?
I had heard whispers of the nurses. They could not believe I did it to myself; the amount of blood on the floor was apparently shocking, and they were so sure I would be dead by the time I ended up in the hospital. They even said I was cheating on death, and I could agree with them. I look deathly pale.(less)
I've spent months wrapped around you. Trapped in a never ending cycle of waiting for hope to spring again. You wake and I wait for your word. You my captain, I the never failing soldier. I am nothing if not true, my debt undoubtedly owed to you. You're the(more) one who pulled me from the wreckage of a sinking ship with a psychopathic captain and zombie crew. From that moment you controlled my heart and soul and in the darkness of the missed phone calls and ignored texts I sit alone and think. "I have no choice. I am bound to you" Though you swear it off and say the debt is paid, my mind is tied to those sweet brown eyes that saved me. God have you any clue what you've done? You've tamed the wolf to follow the sheep, I am hearded and corralled with nothing but a veil memory. I love you, therein lies my crime. I love the young brown girl with glowing eyes who lights up my life and makes me smile, but it is not this greatness where my crime lies. It falls in the wretchedness that I also love the angry brown eyes who push me away and hide from my arms. I love every part of you, I have no conditions, and yet you hold no chains, no rope but I am bound. I have fallen in love now, which you know, but the invisible link does not break. I love you brown eyes, I love you broken spirit, I love you savior...I love following you. (less)
I am holding your hand right up until the moment I see him from the corner of my eye. The boy that hounds my mind at night and shadows your face when I kiss you. Suddenly I move the way people do when they don't have the time to(more) think. Instantly my hand was gone from yours and I step away.
Then he is gone again.
I look back at you, at your eyes cast down, hurt, and shame bubbles in my chest like hot tar. All at once, there is suddenly lightyears of distance between us now, further than my apologetic grasping hands could ever reach.(less)
He's pressing hot, open-mouthed kisses to her jaw when her fingers slip on the final buttons of his shirt; she threads her fingers through his hair and tugs, hard, at the same time pressing his head into her as he moves down, down; he nips at the lie caught(more) in her throat, smoothing it over with his tongue, and her skin tastes like guilt and feels wrong with smooth perfection, but there's an animal stirring from its hibernation inside him that is so close to being human for the first time in so long that it's impossible for him to believe that this could be anything but right.(less)
"You-!" He lurches backward and very nearly topples over the table behind him, partially covering his flushed face with a raised arm.
"Wow, that's the brightest red I've ever seen. I could probably use you as a flashlight right now!" She cackles, clearly enjoying his embarrassment as h(more)e bristles, determined to wipe that smug grin off her face.
"Okay, no, you caught me off guard!" He wills his blush to vanish, but to no avail; he's completely and thoroughly flustered. "I, if I had been expecting it..!"
"You would've what, turned the tables? Swept me off my feet? Face it, as hard as you try you aren't as smooth as you think you are. But you know, I really like that side of you."
"Well," he snaps irascibly, "I'm just saying that was definitely a sneak attack, it really shouldn't count. It's not like it'd be the same if I knew it was coming."
"Oh?" Her grin is positively shark-like now, and he resists the urge to punch himself. Seriously, is he ever going to learn that sometimes he should just really shut up? "In that case, I'm telling you right now - I really want to smooch that cute crimson face of yours again." Her hands slip around his waist as she peers up at him over the frame of her glasses. "That's not getting you all hot and bothered, is it?"
He swallows. "Nope," he says, choking out an obvious lie. "This is a fluster-free zone, thank you very much. Composure Center is open for business, and yes, there is a line."
"You realize you are making no sense, right? Come on, champ - in this situation, you're Mary-Jane."
She pulls him into another kiss and he thinks holy shit she's right.
When you're in fifth grade, and life is still fun and innocent, and all that "stresses" your small brain out is acing a history test you didn't study for (one that you didn't need to study for), cheating is taboo to the soul. Especially when you have Chinese parents,(more) expecting you to live up to their ideal child, when even a 94% is shameful compared to the 98% compared to the 101%.
Living up to your own expectations is even harder. Being the first child, the first and only girl, there's pressure riding on your shoulders. There's your class reputation to uphold - being one of the smartest in there, you're bound to get one of the best grades.
And for the most part, the test is already complete. Steam engines. Canals. Inventors. Matching names and places and dates and people. Simple as a catch. Even the bonus questions have been filled out. But that one question still eludes your thoughts, and no amount of desperate thinking will help. Cheating is the only option. That, or submit to a crushing 96% versus an uplifting 98%. Big deal.
Big deal indeed.
At least when you finally commit the deed, it's with class and a ninja-like attitude. The teacher, who loves you, would never expect you to cheat. Nor does she see your wandering eyes glance ever-so-slightly over the other smartest kid in the class as you throw away your not-very-much-used tissue. Well, the tissue-used-as-an-expendable-device to earn that 98%.
In the end, it was something of shame to you, but nobody ever found out. After all, it was the expectation. Because failing - well, that would be cheating yourself and cheating everyone else. (less)