"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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Cicada Days
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"Gesundheit." Irene's trigger-happy brain read Noah's impulsive hand-to-mouth as an impending cough and the rest was history. To say nothing of how horrifically she'd butchered the German. 'Ges on date' may have made more sense in a conversation discussing the romantic history of a hypothetical character named Ges but here it was left wanting for context. "Seriously though. But, maybe if I looked like that I'd get people to let me into their houses even harder than they normally would. Mmm... If Asimah won't help me do it maybe I could figure it out myself. How hard could it possibly be?" Uh-oh. The seeds of something horrible had probably been planted, germinating their corrupting tendrils into the depths of the Djezarian gray matter. Inception, only with a far less attractive lead the way things were shaping up.

Irene had a brief coughing fit, this one legit. Lasagna too dry and spicy. Hey, if the appetizers were that cheap maybe she could get the taste of over-processed mozzarella out of her mouth. As much as that didn't solve the coughing problem.

"I- cough- oh, huh." Irene actually wasn't too up to date on her collage game. Too far in the future for the oblivious little Junior girl. All she knew was the obvious culprit Ivy Leagues and that Texas A and M had apparently made a good showing in the collegiate League circuit last year. Maybe she'd have more of a solid idea when this year's tourney was over and done with. "I guess UCLA is always a good one if you can get into it? You could try to get noticed in the big shot clubs and all." As much of a sore history as she'd had with Noah she couldn't deny he was pretty damn funny. Just in a way that sometimes made her feel guilty for laughing, when she remembered she had cause to.

"Oh okay, so you do have Webber too." She didn't have the other two mentioned, or at least the names rung none of Irene's poorly constructed bells. "Is she making Senior classes do the same thing as Juniors? T-B-H-" and here she actually spit out the letters of the slang for 'to be honest', "she really overdoes the discussion circles sometimes, doesn't she? I swear half of any given class doesn't actually have much to say for a selected passage. Like, reading too much into it or whatever." But she'd had this argument before, often vehemently and not too rarely with the teacher herself, and she knew where it led. That fact had just, for the moment, conveniently slipped her mind.

"Oh, you're next? 'Kay, get ready to break legs." This was going to be interesting. She'd never actually seen Noah live before. She had to imagine it would be different from playing his YouTube videos in the background while making a mess out of her room or whatever.
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