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A Session in the Bedroom; Private by nature
Topic Started: Oct 18 2012, 06:58 AM (1,768 Views)
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Joe smiled a little back as Gabby grabbed a cookie and made herself comfortable. He picked up a cookie as well and placed the bag back down, shifting a bit to get more comfortable and leaning back on the edge of the bed. A little voice in the back of his head, one that sounded irritatingly like his father, nagged him and said that he should be working. Normally, Joe made that annoying fatherly voice go away with pot. But toking up in Gabby's bedroom was obviously not an option.

"People get wound up. It's fine. You do better than I do when I'm really wound up," Joe said, shrugging. If last year was anything to judge by, mental breakdowns and drug habits seemed to follow getting wound up. Not good.

He stuck the cookie in his mouth while scribbling down a couple of more notes down in his Biology book. His brain didn't want to shut off working. But it was hard to relax when someone else was working, and he wanted Gabby to relax and not stay wound up or have a mental break down, so he made himself put the books aside properly after a few moments.

"On the bright side," Joe started, once he'd swallowed his mouthful of cookie. "Maybe you can move out for college. Then you can play all the music you want. It's not far off, right?" He didn't mention the downsides, like the fact that the workload would probably be a lot heavier, not to mention the fact that nearly if not everyone would be a complete stranger again. That was probably not as big a problem for Gabby. She was better with people than Joe. (Then again, who wasn't?)
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“Yeah, that’s true.” She sighed, her words hollow of faith. Living away from her parents would most definitely be a god send, not having to look after her brothers every other weekend anymore, or having to put up with their constant nagging to work harder. The second one was a habit that would undoubtedly be hard to break, but that wasn’t really something that Gabby had realized, nor was it her concern.

The thing was, she just couldn’t accept that she’d become independent just by a change of address. Her parents had been meddling in her life since the day she’d been born, pushing her in a direction she didn’t want to go and deciding what she could and couldn’t do with her free time. The thought that they’d just back off the moment she went to college was unbelievable, almost ridiculous. It’d be more likely that she’d end up somewhere close to home and they’d force her to live with them so they could keep an eye on her grades, or that they’d insist she ring them every time there was a test so that they could tell her to study.

Escaping from the Parker parents was simply not possible, as far as Gabby believed.

She winced, rubbing the temple of her head as her headache pulsed, growing, kicking her whilst she was stuck down in a worthless afternoon of studying whilst she kept finding reasons to stress. If she got the chance, she would end up screaming her lungs out into a song later, but for now Joe was still present, and she still had books to go over.

Cupping her hand under her mouth to catch the crumbs, she took another bite of the cookie. They really were delicious.

She took a moment this time to empty her mouth, something she obviously should’ve known how to do in the first place, before she spoke again. “Where are you going? Do you know yet?”
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Joe nodded, but he couldn't immediately reply because he'd stuck the rest of the cookie into his mouth. After a few moments of chewing, he swallowed and said, "I got a place at Gonzaga University. It's in Spokane, so unless my parents try and move out with me..."

Parental freedom was kind of an odd thought. Joe could barely imagine it. He suppose he'd stick with his reclusive study habits anyway. He certainly didn't want to start failing, and he was sure his parents would ring him a lot just to make sure.

"But yeah. It's good. Papa's actually really pleased about it. Can't remember last time he was this happy with me." Joe scratched the back of his head, grinning in a slightly embarrassed way. "He actually hugged me. It was kinda freaky. Like a bizarro world father that hugged instead of lecturing, y'know?" College had always been insanely important to his father, though.

Joe picked up his notebook automatically before remembering again that they were still relaxing and put it down again quickly. Stupid habit. Instead he laced his fingers together and leaned against the edge of the bed.

"What about you? Any places yet? I mean, you're pretty much a shoe-in for somewhere."
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“That’s great.” Gabriella said as Joe talked bashfully about his excitement over college. Even though she still didn’t feel like smiling, her headache about her own trapped future still present, she did so to make it clear that she was happy for him. Pleasing his dad was obviously the big thing for Joe, but it was a trait that the two did not have in common.

It wasn’t that she didn’t love her parents, for the simple reason of them being her parents, but the fact remained that she constantly wanted them to back off and let her live her own life. Whilst Joe worked hard at school to please his dad and get into a good med school, in spite of his passion for baking, Gabby wanted nothing more than to quit schooling and focus on getting her and Cho’s big music break whilst her parents left her alone. She’d send them concert tickets and say how much they influenced her afterwards, that was how she’d always known she’d do her press persona, but until they stopped forcing her to go to a good school and study some language she didn’t care about, that acknowledgement was never coming.

She reached for her glass of water again, her headache starting to subside from the therapeutic company of her friend, as Joe asked her about her own plans whilst she drank.

“Yeah, but I haven’t decided where yet. I’ve got a few possibilities though.” She replied once she’d finished. She paused for a moment to think about where she could go to before continuing. “I don’t think I’d like to go all the way across the country for school, but then, I don’t really want to stay too close to home either.” She finished with an undecided shrug. Whilst her self-sufficiency skills were quite limited, the fact remained that staying within nagging distance of her parents was quite undesirable.

She was about to continue when there was a knock at the door. “I told you two to leave us alone!” she yelled out at her two brothers.

“Gabriella?” said the voice behind the door, which was most definitely not one of her brothers’.

“Shit.” Gabriella whispered barely above a breath, before she scrambled for a notepad as her mother walked in. Even with all the notes that she and Joe had already taken, there was no doubt that her mother would take their brief rest as the proof that her studying had been for nought, and she’d never hear the end of that.

“Hello Gabriella, Joe.” Ayala Parker said, her native Israeli accent still notable even after all her years in the US, as she gave her daughter’s company a quick but hospitable smile. “Were the boys well behaved?”
“Fine, mom.” Gabriella replied, looking her mother straight in the eye and without a concern for how her brothers had been really acting. If she’d wanted them to get into trouble she could’ve easily said something, but that would’ve just taken up more of the time she could’ve spent with Joe whilst resenting her parents.

“Oh, that’s good then. Well, your father and I finished shopping early, so we thought we’d let you two study in peace and quiet by taking them off your hands.” Her mother continued, her elaboration uninvited and certainly not appreciated by her daughter, who replied with a forced thanks and nothing more.

“Well, dinner should be at seven tonight, if Joe would like to join us.” She finished, picking up on her daughter’s antipathy that she’d been on the receiving end of many times before, and let herself out. Having a conversation with her daughter could be an exhausting ordeal from time to time, but apparently it’d been the same with her mother when Ayala was Gabriella’s age, as she had been reminded more than once.

Alone with Joe once again, Gabriella only sighed at her mother’s intrusion before cocking an eyebrow towards her friend. “Do you want to stay for dinner, then?”
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The moment that Gabby's mother could be heard, Joe picked up his notebook again and tried to look like he was working. He didn't want to get Gabby in trouble by making it look like they were slacking off, and especially didn't want the parents to think that he was causing said slacking off. Then he probably wouldn't be allowed to study with her.

He stayed quiet, only politely grunting as a greeting.

Go away, I can't speak with parents watching. It's weird.

Gabby's mother left after a while, and Gabby asked whether he'd want to stay for dinner. Joe shook his head, smiling wryly.

"No, thanks. I wouldn't be that great a conservationist. 'How are you, Joe?' 'Errrhuaghhhrhduh.' 'That's lovely.'" He pronounced the imitation of his own speaking patterns slowly, like a simple-minded cartoon character.

He flipped to an empty page of his notebook. "Suppose we should get back to working, yeah? Before your mother checks the notebooks to make sure we're not slacking off and eating pastries and stuff."

((Joe Carrasco continued in Tuxedo Magic.))
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Gabriella laughed heartily at Joe’s impression of himself. Inviting him to stay for dinner had been something of a joke in the first place, of course, considering Joe’s proficiency around people who weren’t his friends and his riff on himself just added to it. After having to deal with her mother, it was really brightening up her mood, as if the whole joke was at her expense, rather than at Joe’s, for bothering to invite him in the first place. She actually didn’t mind when he prompted them back towards working.

As crappy as it was to lose the afternoon to her personal arch-nemesis, Joe being there had still made it all the better.

((Gabriella Parker continued elsewhere))
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