"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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Irene unconsciously watched his hand as it rather nicely worked his hair. Was in a virtual coma when her phone was suddenly back in her hand. Pixels on her text drafts menu. How long had she had this many? She couldn't even remember half the words staring her in her face now. Her eyes traced loop-d-loops and figure eights back and forth. Noah was looking at her again.

"Oh, alright! And, uh. Yeah, I guess it does help." She couldn't really remember why she'd gotten mad in the first place. Weird. She just remembered thinking at some point that it hadn't mattered. It really hadn't. It had just been this thing in her hand that had caused the metaphorical train to derail. If that was the right metaphor? Her hand tensed, she felt tendons poised to snap in two. The urge to break the phone herself came and went. One more time for good measure. Noah was still looking.

And now he was gone.

The doors quietly swung shut behind him. At least he'd smiled. Irene stared after him, eyes vacant of vacancy. Life sparked somewhere in them, some emotion yet unspoken, though she wasn't quite sure what contrivance she could summon that would be apropos. She would happily have worn some inappropriate emotion on her sleeve if she could find the right one. Maybe a smile, a giggle, a sigh of relief... She was compelled to bite her lip, suckle on the tender flesh of her innards. The phone she somehow hadn't yet destroyed flickered with activity under the oppression of her thumb.

She pulled up the draft of an even older text. Read almost exactly the same as the one Noah had just deleted. She soundlessly scrubbed the entire text, wondering just who had typed all this shit up.

At the end she made a quick edit, letter by letter, crawling her finger slowly as wasn't even possible. Was she getting it right? Memory was already hazy, somewhat. She remembered dry tears and soundless sorrow, or something contrived like that. And maybe she remembered this:

'My little sister is an amazing kid, and I know she's going to rule the world someday, and I believe she can do it.'

Irene considered it for a moment, then saved the draft and shoved her phone back into her pocket. Started for the door. A couple passed through it, laughing about nothing in particular. They looked good together. Totes complimentary. Irene watched them for a second, remembered she had to call her mother. Phone back out as she walked in. She started to rub at her face a little, it felt all crusty and grimy and stuff.

And hey! Right through the crowd there was Noah, looking all good and stuff again...

((Irene Djezari continued in I didn't know what I was supposed to say about that, so I just said Wow))
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