do or die

i only picked the name octavia because i am the 100 trash ALSO i don't know what to put here because idk what this is about xxo peace NOT EDITED (v v v rough)

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1. prologue

"oh hell no." the girl is full of fire. the ends of her blonde hair seem smokey, and her eyes are dark. she pulls a small device out of the pocket of her pale pink skirt and presses a few buttons.

 

"my do or die!" says a voice from the machine. it's deep and excited, and buzzes with energy.

 

the girl tugs on a curl. her eyes are filling up with little ponds. "alex," she says. her voice catches, but she's able to breathe once she hears him.

 

"hey," his voice is immediately softer. "o, what's wrong?"

 

she breathes one breath, in through her nose, out through her mouth. like her mother taught her. god, thank god she has alex. "i work on opening night," she says. she can barely get it out, but once it is, the tears come faster.

 

the phone stutters, and pops quietly. what happens when there're so many people around. "what?" but she can't say it again. and he knows.

 

she presses her foot harder on the ground to stop it from shaking. "i think i might pass out."

 

the boy is silent for a moment. "o," he says. "stay with me, okay. i'm coming, right now. where are you?"

 

she wipes a tear with her finger. it's smudged with black when she pulls away. she doesn't answer his question. "it's our last show," she tells him. "our last show for a long time, maybe forever. i can't miss opening night. i can't. i'm the goddamn star, for gods sake, and stars don't miss opening night." she stops abruptly, distracted. "god," she says. "julian's scheduled too." it shocks her so much she stops crying. "i didn't even know he worked at lex."

 

alex isn't a patient person. he never has been, and all he can think about now is the day he told octavia that he liked the bow in her hair, and she tripped him because she though he was making fun of her. "o," he says again. "you need to listen to me. quit lex. please. you know what it could do to work on the eleventh. you know it could kill you." all he can think about is how she cried when she realized he wasn't.

 

she's not listening. "what if we reschedule the show?" she says. "you can do that, right, for a lead? and no one will come, anyway. i told ms. bentley no one would come because it's lex day, and all everyone cares about on lex day is lex. so we'll reschedule." she's walking now, walking as fast as she can without taking up both her feet at the same time. her eyes are lighter now. she's changed.

 

alex bites down hard on his lip. if she were here, if she were in her right mind, she would know something was wrong with him. but she isn't. "octavia, stop worrying about the play. that's not what i'm worried about! i'm worried about—"

 

she's changed, and now she's determined. and you can tell. "alex, i'll call you back in a minute, okay? love you." she takes the phone away and presses another button.

 

you, he finishes from the other end of the dead line. i'm worried about you.

 

"bradley," says octavia. "i really need to talk to you. now. in private." she bites her lip. she learned it from him.

 

the older woman finishes the line. her handwriting is beautiful, something octavia says all the time, but right now that doesn't matter. right now, what matters is the play. right now, octavia can't wait. not another second.

 

bradley smiles up at her. "anything for my lead," she says. the smile is hard to look at, because her teeth are bright or her wrinkles are too deep. o's not sure. she doesn't care.

 

"we need to reschedule opening night."

 

bradley's eyebrows go up farther than octavia thought possible of a person. her glasses slip down a little on her nose, like a librarian's. "why?" she says simply.

 

octavia breathes in, and then out, and as fast as she can, she says the words "i'm scheduled to work on opening night" for the second time of the day. and if she's expecting a better reaction, she doesn't get one. bradley's glasses drop to the floor.

 

"octavia," says bradley, not meeting her eye for the first time. "i'm very sorry." he wrinkles seem to be getting deeper with every passing second.

 

"don't tell me you're sorry. tell me you can change the date." she can only think of alex. she has to think of alex, or she doesn't know what will happen. something bad.

 

bradley doesn't flinch. she lowers herself into her chair, her favorite chair, the chair she got for christmas from her grandmother 20 years ago, before she was dead. she places her rough hands, folded, on top of the letter she had just been writing. she says, "i'm sorry." and to her credit, she looks it.

 

octavia finds the only thing left in her mouth. "but i'm your lead," she whispers.

 

a little color comes back to bradley's cheeks. "that's what understudies are for," she says calmly. and she picks up her pen and continues to write.

 

octavia is dizzy tired, the kind of tired you don't think is possible until you're there. when alex appears, running, she's not surprised. she's not surprised when he leads her away with his hand either.

 

"alex," she says to him, once they are away from her. "i don't know what to do." she can't cry anymore. she tries to cry, but she can't.

 

he brushes a curl out of her face. his face is calm. "you'll know, octavia. i know you will." she falls asleep in the high school hallway, on the dusty floor, in his arms.

 

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