"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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Is in some state of existence
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"Really?"

The thought was amplified by Hazel's next statement.

He didn't know what to feel.

Scratch that. He knew exactly what he was supposed to feel which made it all the more weird that he wasn't feeling it. The compliments were nice, yet at the same time they were almost suffocating, squeezing the air out of him slowly, as if smothering someone with words was something that could actual happen in reality.

"I mean- Yeah, um, me too. It's been..." Cool. That was the word on the tip of his tongue but did nothing to capture any part of what he felt. Neither did good. Nor nice. Nor lovely, nor great, or any other words that his mental thesaurus was bringing up at the moment.

"Fun." It sounded wrong like this. Seperate in its own sentence, as if it was some sarcastic comment when he was trying to be absolutetly sincere. And past tense. As if it was the end of it. As if something was changing now, that everything good was about to dissappear as abruptly as they had found it.

But it had been fun.

It had hurt too, he was tired and miserable and had had more near death experiences than he'd ever want to have. It had been an absolutely pain to be here these past few days.

And yet it had been fun.

The most fun that he'd had all senior year.

More than arguing with classmates in the hallways over movies, more than working with the rest of the theater club on a production, more than anything that he could remember in the longest time.

"So, thanks."

But the thought made him worried.

Should he really be feeling like this, right now?

Feeling like he had found the friendship of a lifetime when he was basically on the verge of dying. Wasn't that ironic?

There was something else. But he didn't know what. Somewhere in his head was a thought half-formed, that he wanted to say, that he needed to say. But the door flung open and the thought escaped him, flittering away in a way that let him knew he was never would have caught it even if he hadn't been interrupted.

It was far later than expected, but Jeremy was here at last. But surprise faded into relief and then back into surprise, the scrapes and bruises a telltale sign that something had happened in the time they'd been apart.

"What- Are you okay?" A chisel and a disc player? What had he been doing?

"And baseball bat?" he added, the level of incredulity in his tone slightly strained.
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Jenny From the Block · The Radio Tower