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After that rainy night, things have never been the same. It was Jasmin's job to build the utopia. Now, she's forced to watch it burn.
Would you stay to watch what would unravel?
Or leave to start something new?

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Tristen sat across from me, the constant noise from his buzz filled the silent air. He must be texting another girl. It’s what he’s been doing for the past month. Sometimes he comes to me for advice on what to say. Most of the time I just google corny love phrases. It seems to work well enough.

“Tristen can you please put that away”

Tristen glanced up. The familiar gleam in his eye tells me he was talking to another girl. With a small sigh, he clicked off his phone. Impatiently he stabbed his fork into his pepper shrimp Alfredo. I watched as mom downed another cup of red wine. She’s been drinking a lot lately, I don’t blame her.


 

    Everyone else is asleep but me. Taking a deep breath before I open my window. The cool night air drifts in. The moon shows little light behind the clouds. I look back at my door to make sure it was locked. Nodding to myself, I jump out the window.


 

    I disappeared behind the tree line before a pair of headlights spotted me. My heart raced. This is the closest I’ve ever been to being spotted. Before running deeper into the woods I look back. My

father stepped out of his white ford Mondeo. His hair and clothes is a mess. Another night he returns drunk off his ass. Biting my lip I run deeper into the woods.  


 

    Sticking my arms out, I walk across a fallen tree. The sound of rushing water no longer frightens me. Now it’s a sound I’ve come to enjoy. For me hearing the sound is like entering a force field. And once I do pass into the force field, the chaos I leave behind me cannot follow me here.  Stepping sideways I walk down a steep slope. Just a little further and I’ll reach utopia.

    The trees grow tallest around here, creating a roof with their leaves and branches. The river runs through here, along it stands giant willow tree. Two swings sway gently in the breeze.

    For me this is home. This is a place where I’m in charge.

 

“Well look who finally came”

Celeb pulled me into a hug. Leah was not far behind him. She looked at me.

“Long time no see huh?”

“Leah it’s been two days”

“Yeah but a very long two days”

I laugh a little before pushing past them. I take a seat on the swing. Caden sat next to me. A book of poetry sat open on his lap. His glasses sat on the brim of his nose. Even though he doesn't need them, he still wears them everywhere he goes. He states it’s just to tell him and his brother Celeb  apart. They look exactly the same, though their minds spin in different directions.

“What's it about?”

He jumps a little.

“I don’t know”

He says glancing back at his book.

“I haven't started reading it yet”

He closes the book and sits it down in the grass.

“Oh. I have a brain teaser for ya”

I raise my eyebrow.

“Oh ya?”

“Ya”

“Than lay it on me”

“Okay. If there are ten birds sitting on a line, and you shoot one of them. How many are left?”

I smile at how cheesy and easy this one is.

“None. They all flew away”

“N- Ya that's right”

I jab him in the arm.

“C’mon give me a tougher one.

“Lets see… Um okay how about this one. If you have four apples and take two away. How many do you have left?”

“You still have four, because you're the one who took the apples away”

The look of frustration broke across his face.

“I give up”

Is all he says before leaving to join his brother. I decide to stay put. Looking down I see the book he left. Howl is printed on the cover. Allen Ginsberg is listed at the bottom. Just out of curiosity I pick up the book. After a while Caden came back. He spotted me reading his book. I expected him to rip the book from my hands. Instead he sat next to me.


 

Leah had her head on my legs. Her blond hair lays tangled in the grass. Leah’s skin looks elegant in the moonlight. She talked on and on about some boy named Will. I just nodded my head, not listening to a single word she said. I don’t know if that makes me a bad friend. I just can’t relate to her world.

I sigh and start to play with her hair. She looks up at me with her bright green eyes.

“You need a boyfriend”

I yank one strand of her hair.

“Ow. What was that for?”

“You were being annoying”

Leah got off me and left. I roll my eyes then lay down in the soft grass. The trees block out the stars, only the moon's light is powerful enough to break through. I wonder if love is like that. It takes one person to know it down. And you're left to rebuild it. I guess Leah can never build her walls strong enough. That or she never even built her walls. Every relationship ends with a box of tissues for her.

I roll onto my side. Grass along with a couple of wildflowers are squashed under my body. From this angle the trees are blocked out and replaced with grass. A couple of moths flew from their hiding spots, flecks of white in the night sky.  

A pair of black converses squish the forest of grass. Celebs.

“I found a ladybug”

“Cool”

I say looking up at him.

“His name is Kenny”

“I think he is a she

“How can you tell?”

“Female ladybugs are larger than the male, and that’s a pretty big ladybug”

There's a slight pause.

“Well this ladybug is a manly bug”

“It’s a girl”

“It’s a transgender ladybug okay”

I laugh a little. Causing speckles of dirt to fly up. I roll back onto my back. The sound of Celeb making cooing noises at the manly bug is bit amusing. Then out of the corner my eye, I see Kenny fly off his finger.

“No! Kenny come back!”

You're an idiot I think quietly to myself



 

    Cadens the one who's walking me back. A year ago, my dumbass got lost. The sun was creeping up in the sky, I needed to get home. And fast. So I decided to go straight rather than take a right. After five minutes I knew I was lost. The forest is a lot denser in that area, the little light casted from the sun made everything a lot more eerie.

    Celeb was the one who found me. I was trying to climb a tree, when I fell. I remember laying there, looking up at the sky. I screamed when Caleb came stumbling through the trees. I must have scared him more because his scream was a lot more higher pitched than mine.   

“What the fuck is wrong with you!”
He yelled at me. From then on, they escort me home. I haven't decided if I enjoy the company, or hate it.  

“You're quiet tonight”

He’s right.

“Is it your dad or…

“Not him this time”

Caden nods his head.

“What are you doing this weekend?”

I glance up at him.

“Nothing I think. Why?”

“Just wondering”

Caden pushed his glasses up. After a few more moments of silence the house finally comes into view.

“Well. See you later”

“See ya”

I don’t look back to see him leave.

 

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