"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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👀 (credit to Kotorikun)
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They made a good team, really. Simple and effective divide-and-conquer. The knocking crap over was pretty cringe-worthy, but Ben figured he had a modicum of excuse. Heavy unwieldy objects made moving with grace something of a chore. Just avoid the table with the expensive picture frames... there we go. Ben was some sort of origami crane, the way he had to bend and flex to awkwardly position himself away from accidental home-wrecking. Stupid looking or not it got the job done. Also seemed to be a surprisingly effective workout. Triceps sore, maybe he could log this as his exercise for the day.

Wait, what was it she was talking about? Mojave? So she would be staying in the area after. Maybe that meant their association wouldn't be eradicated from the realm of flesh and blood so soon. Ben had been accepted to a few state U's on scholarship, but he had deferred making a decision to attend any. He was pushing up against admissions deadlines, it had been a few days already. School? Military? Too damn busy to make a call. Too much to do. Everything was just maybes, except for the chores. Those were definites.

Wait, there was a 'despite'. Despite? Serious word for a serious girl. Ben snapped off the vacuum, suddenly very much done. He wasn't done, the couch was now decidedly streaky for his efforts. But he had to make sure he was hearing her right. He looked at her, and she was shooting him a pretty smile. Sudden. Disarming. Ben had no choice but to smile back, even if he didn't know why.

"Huh? Despite what, Lucilly? Mojave?" Cheap a school as it was Lucilly had younger sisters. Maybe money was tight without financial aid or whatever.
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Be Still · Before the Dance