"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Hazel couldn’t help but offer a soft giggle to Jordan’s retort. It felt good to still be able to break a smile – Lord knew it wasn’t something she’d be doing much of in the days to come.

“You’d still be better than half the guys on our team,” she replied. “You know Isaac Brea? Could probably beat him by a long shot.”

She knew taking potshots at an ex wasn’t the healthiest thing in the world, but she’d abstained for so long and if ever there was a situation where she felt justified in venting her frustrations through throwing some shade, this had to be it. And Isaac was a much too easy target in her eyes; she’d gone easy on him.

She didn’t know how to feel about the fact that he wasn’t on the trip with them.

Jordan turned their attention towards the ocean that stretched out endlessly before them, and Hazel felt a rush of sadness begin to flow forth. It was crazy to think that such a beautiful ‘first’ as seeing the ocean could come in a place like this.

“I’ve seen it once before,” she said wistfully. “It was a few months ago, when my mum and I flew to New York for my Julliard audition. I looked out the plane window and saw that vast expanse in front of me for the first time, and I vowed that I’d see it again soon. I just never thought it’d be like this.”

The mood between them was suddenly broken as a figure came tumbling down through the undergrowth, steadily approaching the two of them. Hazel quirked an eyebrow at the unusual way the girl had chosen to traverse the island, but figured it was a better entrance than storming in all guns blazing. As she got a better look at her, Hazel formed a connection between the dust-covered girl and the classmate she’d once been. In all honesty, she was a relatively unknown figure to Hazel – a quiet someone she’d seen around school plenty (behind the scenes in theatre, even), but had probably only exchanged a dozen sentences or so with over the years. It was almost difficult to conjure her name – though Hazel was dead certain it started with a T.

She folded her arms against her chest, an indication of the slight apprehension rushing through her. She’d been enjoying her dialogue with Jordan; the entrance of another figure threatened to upset the stability of the situation, and with it the brief reprieve from a hell she’d yet to fully enter.

“You alright?”
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The World Turned Upside Down · The Slopes