Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]
Welcome to Survival of the Fittest, a RPing board loosely based off of Koshun Takami's Battle Royale, with its own unique plot and spin on the 'deadly game'. We've been around quite a while, and are now in our thirteenth year, so don't worry about us going anywhere any time soon!

If you're a newcomer and interested in joining, then please make sure you check out the rules. You may also want to read the FAQ, introduce yourself and stop by the chat to meet some of our members. If you're still not quite sure where to start, then we have a great New Member's Guide with a lot of useful information about getting going. Don't hesitate to PM a member of staff (they have purple usernames) if you have any questions about SOTF and how to get started!

Let the games begin!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
After the Battle; Gray's detention thread, open, after school
Topic Started: Jul 14 2012, 08:04 PM (3,224 Views)
BROseidon
Member Avatar
Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
And just like that, Steven Salazar made Cassandra snap.

Cassandra always had a bit of rage in her, after her mother's death. She'd mostly gotten it under control in the immediate aftermath with the support of her godparents and her therapist, but there was always a residual spark of anger at the world. It was that anger that drove Cassandra to be better, to do more, to succeed in life.

It was also that anger that made it hard for Cassandra to make friends.

"You know what, I think that it's pretty fucking fair to confront the person whose actions made my day worse." Cassandra could feel her voice getting louder as she spoke, but she made no effort to stop it. "That food fight killed my entire lunch period, which is the only fucking time I get to enjoy myself. And do you have any idea why I don't have free time?"

"The world isn't fair, Steven. You think I enjoy watching others suffer? I guarantee you that I have seen and experienced suffering beyond anything that you can imagine." Cassandra was screaming at the top of her lungs at this point. It didn't matter if she made a scene, if she made an ass of herself. Steven had pushed her too far and now he was going to get a verbal evisceration. "Maybe you, having grown up in your little idyllic suburban world, don't understand that the world isn't nice and cushy and going to fucking make everything okay."

"So, go ahead, cast me as the villain, if it makes you feel better about yourself, but at least know that you are being a judgmental ass with no understanding as to why I am this way. For someone who prides himself on sticking his nose into other people's private matters, you seem pretty terrible at understanding the motivations for how others behave."

"And to answer your question, no, I don't keep a bullwhip under my bed. I left the weapons behind with the slums of Detroit. All I need now for defense are my words, since the worst I ever encounter here are unmotivated, lazy, spoiled-to-hell rich kids."

Cassandra never actually had owned anything beyond a kitchen knife that could have been called a weapon, but the parallelism was too good to pass up. Hopefully Steven would get the picture and realize that she's not one to mess with.
Edited by BROseidon, Aug 8 2012, 12:11 PM.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
MurderWeasel
Member Avatar
You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Steven was still smiling. His voice was still level in volume, but the sarcasm was coming through pretty strong now.

"You could have left," he said. "It takes less than thirty seconds to get out of the cafeteria. I do it all the time, and that's counting packing stuff up.

"More than that, you say the world's not fair? Man, that's a real news break to me. I mean, I thought it was totally fair that it took three years to get my grandparents to have a conversation with me without reminding me I'm going to Hell for how I was born. Everyone's gotta deal with that, right? Oh, and how about the fact that every one of us is wearing shoes worth more than a month's wages for the thousands of child workers in China who make them? I always thought that was totally fair. I'm so glad you've shown me the light."

He was getting worked up. His hand darted into his right hip pocket, flicked the record button on his old microcassette player. He was always able to keep composed better when he was on the record. He left his hand where it was, though. No need for anyone else to know that little tidbit.

"If you don't have free time, who's fault is that? Your life is the result of your own choices. I know plenty of honor roll kids who play in sports and work—you know, actual jobs to help feed their little kid siblings—and still have free time.

"And you know what? I am judgmental. I see something messed up, and I say something, because the world's not fair, but if enough people do the right thing, it can be just that little bit fairer. We can stand around all day and play misery bingo to figure out who's had the rougher time, but that doesn't mean shit, Cassandra. What matters isn't how much you've suffered. It's what you do. You? You revictimize. That's your right. Hey, it's a free country. Me? I call it like I see it, and I think you're being a bitch. All you've said is I don't understand. I think what you don't get is I don't care. I see how you act. Nothing justifies or excuses that, no matter what you say. All you have is platitudes and insults, and like they said in first grade, sticks and stones may break my bones but words won't ever hurt me."

This wasn't what Steven had been prepared for when he'd come over. He'd just wanted to talk to Gray, find out what had happened in the lunchroom, see what their was to see, maybe get an interview in. Now, though, he was knee-deep in someone else's self-righteous fury, expressed through harassment and general jerk behavior. He'd sort of figured Cassandra to be the type to care enough about how she looked to back down, but that didn't really seem like the case. Didn't matter. He'd danced the bully dance before, and he knew all the steps by heart.

He wasn't gonna convince her of anything. That ship had sailed as soon as he'd started in on her. Didn't matter. He'd basically already won, because now she was dealing with someone who knew how to give it and take it and who was up for that, instead of going after Gray. He'd been right in his assessment; she wanted to vent and was picking the most convenient target. By becoming that target, he could do a pretty nice job of making sure it wasn't a fulfilling mode of stress relief.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Mimi
Member Avatar
are you upset?
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Things had escalated quickly, devolving from simple barbs into a full on shouting match, just as rapidly shifting from amusing to annoying. Andi had managed to maneuver closer to the action before things heated up and she found herself regretting it almost immediately, not only because the shouting was obnoxious, but it was embarrassing, every so often catching a curious glance from bystanders hoping to see what all the ruckus was about. Instinctually, she turned her body to hide her face, God forbid someone she knew walked by and saw her.

More annoying than that, however, and the thing that drove her from her safe position on the sidelines and into the fold was the hypocrisy dripping from just about everything Cassandra had said. Steven had done his part to call Cassandra out on her bullshit, but Andi couldn’t just sit back and let it slide, never could in situations like this.

“Idyllic suburban life? Are you joking?” Andi spat, her voice even but saturated with annoyance as she crossed her arms over her chest, ”Bitch, you live in the same neighborhood as me. Your uncle or whatever drives an Audi. It’s not as if you’re slumming it under a bridge somewhere begging for scraps. Honestly, is your ass jealous of the shit that comes out of your mouth?”

“And frankly, I don’t think any of us care what hood you came from. I don’t know your story, Cassandra, and I don’t really care to, but you’re here now and it’s about time you do as Steven says and put on your big girl panties, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and appreciate the shit you have now.”

There was so much more Andi wanted to say, but she stopped herself, knowing full well once she got started she’d never stop. Her blood was boiling though and her opinions danced just beneath the surface, begging to be set free. This girl was walking around thinking she was Jesus incarnate and that the townspeople were casting stones at her without reason. The difference was, of course, that Jesus never went around bitching about being poor and raging at his disciples.

Posted Image





I◄◄
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Deamon
Member Avatar
Humans...
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Anger had suddenly exploded around Gray as Cassandra began yelling at Steven. She was yelling that the food fight had killed her lunch time and that it was the only free time she got. It was the same old reason she'd given originally and to had no impact anymore besides sounding extremely selfish. It wasn't like Alba had personally destroyed Gray's lunch time and his free time after school. No Gray was just going to be able to go home and chill out; he didn't have to explain to his parents what had happened. Gray didn't care about costing Cassandra her free time anymore because the fact was she was making it much more difficult for him to carry out his punishment than it needed to be. Then she began screaming at him and she kept going.

It looked like all the pent up frustration was erupting and it was a meltdown for the ages. She said something about weapons and Detroit and then the line she ended on was that she only met lazy rich kids. Gray shook his head at that. It showed that Cassandra knew nothing about him apart from his life at school. His family wasn't rich; they had had trouble paying for their house for as long as Gray could remember. It was only his Mom's job keeping them afloat for most of his childhood; and now he was being called a lazy rich kid. He'd only been able to buy half of his equipment with money or gift cards he'd won from small contests; for someone to call him rich rubbed him the wrong way.

"I'm not actually rich." He muttered as Cassandra finished her tirade.

Steven kept his voice level in his reply but Gray could easily notice the sarcasm dripping from every word. He was annoyed as well but unlike Cassandra he was able to control himself and not scream. Gray saw that as a point in his favour. That and Steven was staying calm which was always a bonus. Instead of talking about himself and how bad he had had life, Steven just turned everything Cassandra had said back on her and he was verbally ripping her apart.

Then Andi spoke up, Gray expected the worst but surprisingly Andi managed to keep it fairly tame. Sure it was still amazingly brutal but she kept it short and it got her message across admirably. It seemed everyone was now more angry than they were originally. It looked like they were all set to continue arguing and Gray could continue to be the passenger and catalyst that had caused it all to happen, but he really didn't want anything to do with it anymore. Everything had gotten out of hand amazingly quickly and if Alba had chosen to sit somewhere else at lunch nothing would have happened and Gray would have been able to have a normal drama free day. That wasn't to be and now he was getting to watch three people argue. One in his defence, not that he had asked for it, one because she was pissed at him and a third person who was just annoyed with everyone. He knew what he done to end up in the situation but at the same time he hadn't expected everything to spiral as much as it did. He just wanted out so he reached into his pocket and checked the time on his phone. Unfortunately he'd only been picking up litter and getting yelled at for two hours so he still had one more hour to complete.

"Dammit."
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
BROseidon
Member Avatar
Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
None of the other three backed down in any way. Not that Cassandra really should have expected them to, but she honestly didn't think any of them really had the spine to stick around for a fight.

She heard their arguments, analyzed them quickly, and quickly came to a single resolution. These people just don't get it. They really don't understand. It's hysterical.

"You know what Steven, it's cute that you think I revictimize." Cassandra had lowered her voice a bit. She was a bit more composed in her arguments, but still visibly livid. "Yes, I have made choices that have given me no free time. Those have been entirely self driven. And you know what, look where it's fucking gotten me. I'm going to one of the hardest colleges in the world to get into, the school that's going to give me the some of the best access to a lucrative future, and that's just the beginning of the plan. Freshman summer at a top-tier bank or consulting firm. A non-summer intern at another finance firm. Junior summer at Goldman, because god dammit I'm going to get that, and by the time I graduate college I'll have an offer from Blackrock and everything will be golden." Cassandra had planned this out meticulously. Most kids wanted to become doctors or lawyers, but Cassandra wanted what would make her most financially successful.

"And yeah, the shit that I've gone through has shaped where I want my future to go. I'm not going to go back, I'm not going to not be there for my kids and not give them everything that they need to be happy.

"Yeah Andi we live in the same neighborhood now, but god dammit don't think that I'm there by my own volition. What I was forced to sacrifice to end up here was not fucking worth the cost." Cassandra wasn't going to tell these idiots about how her mother died. That wasn't something on the agenda for revealing.

Gray had said something immaterial. He wasn't causing problems anymore, and she'd made her point with him. She didn't need to address what he'd said, he could just go back to serving whatever punishment the school had deemed fit for him. Actually, now she felt a little bad for him, given that he had very little relevance to the argument at hand at this point, but now her argument was inconveniencing him. Sure, Steven and Andi still were deserving of some verbal evisceration, but Gray was good now.

"Look, Gray, I'm sorry that this has blown up. I get that you were trying to help your buddy out, but next time, just grab a teacher, and now I should take my own advice and stop inconveniencing you further while you do your punishment." Cassandra managed to control her anger enough to get the apology out while making it sound relatively sincere.

"As for you two," she said, turning back to Andi and Steven, "It's really not worth my time to try to teach you some basic lessons about how to interact with the world. You're never going to get ahead if you only ask 'what' instead of asking 'why.'"
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
MurderWeasel
Member Avatar
You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"It's really cute how you take everything I say and ignore it and try to make new shit up to make yourself not sound awful," Steven said. "It's cute how by apologizing you just pretty much admitted I was right about you being unreasonable but you're still gonna try to tell me I was wrong. You've got something to teach me about how to interact with the world? Christ, you sound like you've never even read 'A Christmas Carol'. You don't have any free time 'cause you're too busy figuring out how to die with the most cash? There's folks all around the world right now getting teargassed to stop people like you from sucking them dry.

"I bet you don't read science journals, so this may come as a surprise to you, but they've done studies on what money does for quality of life. The answer's basically jack shit. People get a bit happier when they start making more money, yeah, but that goes away really quickly. The long-term effects of increased income on happiness are virtually nonexistent. The rich think their lives suck just as much as everyone else. More than that, you say you want to be there for your kids? When are you gonna find the time? You already got that scheduled in? You have finding a husband slotted between those internships? Is there some formula for that?

"Your problem is you want everything. You say I don't ask why? Sure I do. I know what I want to do after school's done. I work really hard at it, and I don't bitch about it because it's something I actually like doing. If I'm good at it, I'll make enough to live a happy, healthy life, and I'll enjoy every day of it. I'm not gonna look back and wonder where my life went. I'm not gonna be sitting on a giant pile of money, sobbing 'cause I've never had a happy day or a meaningful connection or a real friend. Maybe you should think about the whys some yourself, because all I hear now is that you want more, more, more.

"Well, why?"

It was strange, how Steven's mood had shifted. Normally, he just got more and more angry in these situations. Yeah, there was an element of that now, and he sure wasn't gonna let Cassandra go without making sure she knew in great detail why she was wrong, but he also felt just a hint of pity for the girl. He'd seen lots of kids like her, been friends with a few. They were the ones who burned out, who crashed and melted down and hated everyone else just a bit less than themselves. There were few things worse than endless avarice, because no matter how much someone had, there was always somebody else with more.

He was quite focused on Cassandra now, wondering how someone who presumably got decent grades could possibly be this stupid, shortsighted, and confrontational. He wondered just what could've gotten her head stuck this far up her ass, but he wasn't really even sure he wanted to know. He'd meant everything he'd said about actions mattering more than history, and he wasn't about to cut Cassandra any breaks. An explanation was not a justification. That was one of the biggest moral messages Steven had learned, one he tried to live by, and one he saw no need to abandon or relax anytime soon. Certainly not for someone as socially maladjusted as the girl he was arguing with.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Mimi
Member Avatar
are you upset?
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
“This is ridiculous,” Andi spat, tapping her foot forcibly on the ground.

Cassandra was like a gnat, buzzing insistently in her ear. ‘I hate rich kids, boohoo,’ ‘But I also want to be rich, boohoo,’ ‘But then again I’m rich right now but not because I want to be, boohoo’. She might as well be arguing with Helen Keller, because Cassandra wasn’t hearing a word Steven or her were saying above her hypocrisy. It stopped being fun a long while ago, it was just embarrassing now. It was as simple as that; she was embarrassed for Cassandra, although Andi, who was only signed up for Beauty School after graduation, couldn’t fight a twinge of jealousy after hearing Cassandra’s master-plan for college.

She looked over at Steven, as if to say this was useless. Out of everyone in the group, Steven was the one she had the most respect for, the age old ‘an enemy of my enemy is my friend’ coming in full force. Even Steven’s acid wasn’t going to melt Cassandra though, and while he’d proven himself winner long ago, Cassandra was going to keep shitting out lackluster arguments until she was blue in the face.

“I’m out, this is beyond embarrassing and I have better things to be doing,” She said, giving Cassandra a pitying look before Cassandra, “You should really take your own advice and stop wasting what little precious free time you have, because it’s literally embarrassing to watch.”

Turning on her heel, Andi caught sight of Gray, whom she’d all but forgotten in the storm. In some strange way, Andi could relate to him, considering the way her parents had pushed her before Noni stepped in. She didn’t know how to stand up for herself back then and took whatever people gave her, so she knew how frustrating it was to constantly take people’s shit. It was something she didn’t want for other people.

“And you need to seriously man up, Gray. People aren’t gonna be around to fight your battles forever, you’re gonna have to learn how to take shit into your own hands and watch your own ass.” She said, the words coming out harsher than she’d intended.

Andi wasn’t a huggy-lovey-Dr.Phil type and she knew it. Sugarcoating things didn’t help anyone in the long run, not that Andi had ever been able to sugarcoat anything. Words just didn’t come to her that way. You don’t learn anything sitting around singing Kumbayah and making friendship bracelets, you learn things when someone looks you in the face and tells you to fix it. Tough love.

Turning on her heel, Andi popped her earbuds back into her ears and quickly made for the Student Parking Lot.

** Andi Victorino, continued in.. Three Peaches

Posted Image





I◄◄
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Deamon
Member Avatar
Humans...
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Still the arguing went on. It was becoming tiresome to Gray, all that had happened to him today was people arguing. To say it got old fast was a major understatement and yet Cassandra and Steven were still going at it. Gray just wished he had been left alone with his punishment and that Cassandra had never come over in the first place because it would've saved him a lot of hassle and prevented everything from happening. But no she had decided to have a go at him and now he was here; standing by two people who had started arguing solely because of him. It was a weird feeling, and not a good one. Gray had long since given up hope that Cassandra would just be rational and leave, but it seemed she was far too proud for that. Then she started talking about her future and Gray couldn't believe she had everything planned out. He knew and understood some people had plans for what they wanted to do in life, but to have their whole life planned out to such an insane degree. It made Gray's sole goal of becoming a professional skate or snowboarder seem amazingly inadequate. Then again it probably was.

Then she did something Gray didn't expect she apologised to him. Gray was a little confused at first until he realised that she was being sincere. Even when he knew she meant the apology he still didn't entirely believe she was apologising. It had just come out of nowhere, but he wasn't going to complain about it. At least she realised that she had been being a bitch and that was always nice.

Steven continued his verbal destruction of Cassandra however, and all of his points made sense regardless of what Cassandra said. He was just able to pick apart her every word. Gray guessed it was something to do with being a writer for the school newspaper, being able to analyse whatever someone said and call them out on it if they needed to be called out. That was what it looked like Steven was doing. Gray felt a little sorry for Cassandra because it was obvious that she wasn't able to hold her own against Steven in an argument. Steven was really laying into her though and Gray wondered how much of what he was saying was affecting Cassandra, because it was getting pretty brutal. Throughout all of it Gray just watched. The argument had long since left him behind and he was caught in the middle of it. It was funny how that had happened. One person had started hassling him and the other had stepped in to defend him, but now it was just the two of them verbally tearing chunks out of each other. It had nothing to do with what they were originally arguing about and Gray had to wonder how much of it was based on ego. Since it was starting to seem like the only reason the argument was still going on was because neither one of them wanted to "lose". Even though it was clear who had won.

Andi then forcefully made her presence known. This time she wasn't going to hold anything back, Gray could tell from the tone of her voice. She was clearly fed up with what was happening and she was about to make it known. It was an incredibly short series of statements but they made their point loud and clear. Andi was done putting up with Cassandra and didn't like listening to her. She had made that much known. Surprisingly she didn't say anything to Steven, or maybe she just knew he was in the right. After giving Cassandra some parting words Andi turned and Gray saw her eyes dart to him. It was as if she had only just remembered that he'd been standing there the whole time. Then she said something to him for the first time in what felt like an age.

“And you need to seriously man up, Gray. People aren’t gonna be around to fight your battles forever, you’re gonna have to learn how to take shit into your own hands and watch your own ass.”

And with that Andi was gone. Walking off towards the parking lot with her ear buds in. If anyone had wanted to say something in retaliation Andi had taken that chance away because she wouldn't have heard them. It wasn't like Gray had anything to say in response to what Andi had said though, because in all honesty...she was right. Earlier Kyran had stepped in to protect him from Adonis. Gray hadn't asked him too but he hadn't stopped him either. The same thing had happened with Steven stepping in to stop Cassandra from having a go at him. He hadn't asked Steven to do it but again he hadn't stopped him from doing it. It was made worse by the fact he'd been the reason both those situations had occurred in the first place. Yet what was his punishment, cleaning up the athletic fields; whereas Kyran had ended up being banned from the prom. That was all Gray's fault and he hadn't stepped up and taken responsibility for it. Instead he'd rubbed it in Adonis's face, while forgetting he'd ended up condemning his friend to the same punishment. There was something very wrong with that.

Gray just watched Andi as she walked away, he felt a lot of respect for her at that moment. He turned back and looked at the bin bag in his hands. He felt slightly sick with himself. He slung the bag over his shoulder and started to head over to where his bag was. He looked at both Cassandra and Steven dimly wondering what his eyes would tell them since he didn't feel like saying anything to either of them, before continuing towards his bag. Gray could safely say he was done with the day. Dropping the bin bag to the floor Gray put his actual bag before picking up his skateboard and the bin bag. He took one last look at Cassandra and Steven before jumping onto his skateboard.

"Peace out."

Yeah...he was done.

((Gray Emerson continued elsewhere.))
Kimiko Kao - - - - - - - The Lagniappe
Travis "Trav" Lynch - - They Stumbled Into Faith and Thought
Cameron Herrig - Ω - Ω - Shock Me

V5
Unknowns
"They'll tell you failure is not an option. That is ridiculous. Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times. But it's a choice. You can choose to fail. You can choose to succeed."
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
BROseidon
Member Avatar
Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Stephen wasn't going to back down. That much was obvious, but Stephen was making what were legitimately good points.

Cassandra knew that having the most money wasn't going to make her happy. Cassandra knew the reality that the world she wanted to enter was very competitive, but she thought she could hack it. Even if she couldn't, even if somehow everything she had built wasn't going to be quite good enough, those jobs on a resume would give her access to a bounty of other careers. And what ultimately mattered to Cassandra was not even the most money, but enough that she could live in a safe neighborhood and provide for her kids in the way that she was never fully provided for.

Then Andi made a snide comment and left, earbuds in such that she wouldn't hear any response. Whatever, it's not like she's ever going to matter in my life or anything. Then Gray was done with his punishment and gone. The entire reason she was here was gone, and yet here she was, arguing with a tiny hispanic kid who spent a little bit too much time in other people's business.

"Look, Stephen, I don't think you get it, and I guess that's my fault for not fully laying out everything," Cassandra's normally calm demeanor had returned; apologizing to Gray had also had the effect of calming her tremendously. "The reason that I'm willing to work so hard in my twenties is exactly so that by the time I'm in my thirties I'll have a good amount of money saved up and enough seniority so that I won't have to work as hard. Yeah, I'll find a husband during college or while I'm working, that'll work itself out. I'll have my kids in my mid-thirties, and I'll be able to largely be there for them. Yeah, we'll probably end up having a live-in nanny or something, but I'll have evenings and weekends with my kids until I retire, which should be fine.

"But what really matters is that my kids grow up safe. I grew up surrounded by violence. God bless her my mother tried her best but working dead-end jobs just to make ends meet month to month in a violent neighborhood is no way to raise a child, and, as God as my witness, I will not put my kids through anything remotely close to that."

Thinking about her mom was getting the better of her. For as hardened and rigid Cassandra was on the outside, for as driven and focused as she was on the inside, her mom was her only weakness. It was really the only thing that could make Cassandra feel sad. It was the only thing that could break her focus.

"There is nothing I fear more than going back to what I had in Detroit. I'm not going to let there be even a remote chance that I am not financially stable at any point after college. I need that security."

Cassandra paused for a second, thinking about what Stephen had said about himself and his future.

"And what happens if things don't work out for you? Journalism, right? I've heard that journalists have it rough right now. I've made my contingency plans. Have you?"
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
MurderWeasel
Member Avatar
You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra's entire demeanor changed with the departure of Andi and Gray. Things had gotten a little bit ugly at the end. Steven had almost forgotten that Andi and Gray weren't on perfect terms either, and Andi had definitely left with a bit of a shot at the boy. It didn't really mean much, though. Steven and Cassandra were left, and there were still things to talk about.

Her admission of culpability for not being clear was an odd point for Steven. It was probably supposed to be an attempt to placate him. At some point in there, she'd switched to focusing on her issues and future and all of that rather than his own initial problems with her. It wasn't a surprise. He'd realized right at the start that she was a very self-centered individual, and this just went to support it. Still, it also suggested that she knew she'd crossed a line, that she had enough capacity for embarrassment to want to salve her ego a bit by dialing things down.

She said she wanted to make money so that she could take it easier later on. Maybe that was normal. Maybe it was how most people were. Steven had never really understood that. All through school, his classmates wanted nothing more than to grow up, to be done with high school, done with college, always moving forward and advancing at a breakneck pace. They were so busy trying to get whatever the hassle of the moment was over with that they didn't actually enjoy themselves. Steven wondered how they'd feel when they finally retired in their sixties, if they'd maybe regret their haste.

Cassandra also emphasized how very much she wanted her kids to grow up safe and well provided for. Once again, Steven felt a little disconcerted by that. It seemed like Cassandra was pretty messed up because of her experiences and, rather than taking the normal route through therapy, had decided that the path to healing lay in vicariously experiencing a sane childhood through her own kids. Steven hoped those kids wouldn't end up getting messed up by that. He could only imagine the sorts of pressures Cassandra would exert upon them, the sorts of expectations that would be tied up with her own ideals. He thought that she wanted a perfect world, but that she was so absorbed in herself that her conception of one only extended as far as her own sphere of interaction.

Then those musings went away because she was asking him about his contingency plans. She was acting like she had a big point, like he was in trouble if he didn't have a flawless backup idea.

"I'll roll with the punches," Steven said. "Life's not something you can plan for. Maybe tomorrow I'll get hit by a bus. Maybe someone'll lie and say you cheated and you'll get kicked out of school and won't be able to do all those things you want to. You never know what's gonna happen 'til it comes, and then you just have to adapt.

"I'll be fine, I think. See, one of the big things I've learned is adaptability. I'd love to write, but if I have to flip burgers, then I know I can do that. If I have to work for a corporation, I can do that too. And, if that happens, I can always keep looking for something better, something I'll like, and eventually I'll find that. Flexibility's the way to go, from all I've seen."

He shrugged.

"I mean, like I said, can't plan for everything. The best opportunities in life are the ones you never see coming."
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
BROseidon
Member Avatar
Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
And just like that it was just Steven and Cassandra, having an honest conversation about life. Steven gave his response to Cassandra's question, and it was pretty much the exact opposite of how she approached life. Adapt. Roll with the punches. Flexibility. Words and phrases that Cassandra had had to use in her life, but didn't like as a life philosophy.

"That seems like a quick way to waste your life away. How can you build anything if you don't plan for it? How do you set yourself up for success later?

"Like, I get that it can all be for naught. I understand that shit can turn south real quickly, that drastic life changes can be instantaneous." Cassandra thought back to her mother, back to how suddenly everything had changed. The police arriving at her, at their home. Her aunt and uncle staying with her through the funeral. It all was now blurred together.

"But that isn't an excuse not to plan for everything. Yeah, maybe I've planned everything out in too much detail, but that doesn't mean that I can't readjust if something goes awry. It doesn't mean that I can't plan to shoot for the stars, to do something big."

"And I don't think that the best opportunities are the ones you don't see coming. As little as there are guarantees in life, it's still more comforting to me to strive for something I know will be good than hope that things will just happen to fall into place."
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
MurderWeasel
Member Avatar
You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra had her own thoughts on Steven's plan. He hadn't asked for them, and he didn't really care what she had to say, but he listened anyways. He'd always believed that it wasn't possible to intelligently argue against someone if you didn't listen to them, even if they were spouting nonsense.

Cassandra didn't quite fall into that category. She said that adaptability didn't preclude planning, and to a point that was true. She also claimed that she could adapt, and disagreed about where the best opportunities came from. She said it was more important to work hard for something good than to just hope things would work out well.

It all pretty much proved that she'd already forgotten that Steven had a plan, and just hadn't mapped out contingencies down to knowing the best careers for lepers, just in case he somehow contracted leprosy and had to move into a colony. He resisted the urge to say as much. That path led to redundancies and escalation, to having the same argument again and again.

"I'm not sure," he said. "I mean, maybe this is out of line, but you don't seem very happy to me. I don't see the point of planning everything if it doesn't make you happy. If you lock yourself in, plan everything out, then what happens if it's not working for you? What if you hate your job? I'd rather be able to change it up, do something I like."

He shrugged.

"I mean, how do you know what you want will be good until you've had it?"
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
BROseidon
Member Avatar
Fata viam invenient
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
You don't seem very happy to me

Happy. That was a word that Cassandra had not thought about for a while. Accomplished. Intelligent. Driven. Those were the adjectives that Cassandra thought about, because those were the ones that could be used to describe her. However, Cassandra never thought about her happiness distinctly because she wasn't particularly happy. Content, perhaps, with moments of doubt about her goals, but Cassandra had not been truly happy in a while. She'd gone through her high school life mostly between unhappy and content, never enjoying the experiences she'd had.

Before Cassandra could fully formulate a response to Steven's first point, he'd already asked a followup question. How did she know what was good? After all, it's not like she'd already been a banker, or a hedge fund manager, or anything else that was on her list of acceptable careers. Cassandra couldn't really fully know if her choices would pay out the way she saw fit, and the reality of the situation was that everything was a gamble. Nevertheless, Cassandra had placed her bet and was willing to stick to it.

"Eh, I don't really care that much about being super happy all the time right now. I'm mostly satisfied, and that's good enough for now. I've got plenty of time to be happy."

"As for my career choice, I guess I can't fully know, but I think it'll work out. I like the finance reading that I've been doing, so it should be fine. I mean, it's sort of hard to get practice as a teenager managing money when people aren't going to trust you with billions of dollars, so I just have to do reading and theoretical problems to see how I will like everything."

Cassandra looked at her watch, and she realized that her aunt or uncle was probably waiting for her.

"I've got to run. It's been... interesting. See you around, Steven."

And with that, Cassandra was gone.

(Cassandra Black continued in Diversions)
Edited by BROseidon, Sep 10 2012, 11:35 PM.
The Living:

Matt Vartoogian -- Weapon: Unarmed -- "This isn't a game. This is evil." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Cassandra Black -- Weapon: Kama -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Virgil Jefferson-Davis -- Weapon: Saiga-12 -- "Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant." -- 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
MurderWeasel
Member Avatar
You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Cassandra said she didn't care about being happy right now, which either meant she was messed up in some fashion or willing to lie to win a silly debate. Steven didn't really care to figure out which. She said that she liked what she'd done so far in her idealized career path, and that she'd have time to be happy later. Then she headed out with a backhanded little comment.

Steven didn't let it get to him.

"Later," he said.

He reached into his pocket, flipped the recorder off, and started walking. He knew that he'd delete the tape. He always did. Nothing ruined a good day like reliving a stupid argument.

He felt a bit bad that he'd gotten sidetracked from talking with Gray. He'd been meaning to offer to help the boy pick up the garbage, to just chat with him and maybe find out what had gone down. Looked like he'd be falling upon the normal rumor mill instead. Oh well.

Planning careers, though, that was maybe a topic for a column. He wondered how explicit he could be without Cassandra catching on and getting upset.

There'd be time to brainstorm at home.

((Steven Salazar continued in Pretend This Thread Title is a Witty Lyrical Reference))
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you
« Previous Topic · Athletic Fields · Next Topic »
Add Reply