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Topic Started: Jan 25 2013, 07:25 PM (831 Views)
Pippin
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((Owen Kay continued from I Hate Free Study))

For whatever reason, Owen didn’t actually go down to the Centennial Park all that often. He himself wasn’t totally sure why. It was a large, well kept place, and there was a green that was pretty much perfect for playing football on. Maybe it was the fact that, despite how good it was for playing football, he normally only did so for the school and local teams on actual pitches, or in his back garden. Or maybe it was the fact that there were generally a lot of people around, and Owen couldn’t shake off the feeling that they were watching his every move, waiting for him to fluff an easy save, or miss a tap-in or anything else stupid or embarrassing.

But Owen had turned up to the park on this day, despite his thoughts. He’d just finished an English essay and some music revision, and normally he’d have turned to playing Kid Icarus or Fire Emblem for a break. But the weather was pretty great, and he had just been staring at a screen for a couple of hours, so he’d grabbed his white and blue Mitre football and headed for the Centennial Park.

On hindsight though, it might have been a good idea to ask some of his teammates whether they wanted a kick around or something. Standing on his own with a football, Owen felt, well... like a prat, basically. He supposed he could practice free kicks or something, but still, it was kinda lame doing so on his own. A familiar feeling of awkwardness arose, and Owen felt the eyes of every person in the park watching him. He’d never really kicked that whole shy awkwardness thing around teachers and people he didn’t know. With his friends and classmates, it was a completely different matter, but, annoyingly, he couldn’t see any of them close by.

Absentmindedly, Owen spun the football on his index finger, hoping that someone, pretty much anyone would turn up. He would wait a few more minutes, then either go home, practice some free kicks, or leave the ball at home and go for a walk. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but really, Owen really hoped he'd get to do his original plan.

The ball slipped off of his finger, and before he could catch it, it hit the ground and started bouncing away. Owen moved swiftly, grabbing it before it could roll too far away. He tried to look around without looking as if he was doing so; a much more difficult feat than it sounded.

Welp. This bodes well.
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[[Gwen O'Connor continued from A Recursive Process

Gwen enjoyed spending time in the park. When she had the free time, she would sit on a shady bench and sketch; sometimes people's faces (not in a creepy way, of course!) or simply animals and plants in the area.

Poetry on hot summer days tended to reflect that hot summer days sucked when you were fat and wearing makeup.

Right now, she was walking over to that specific bench; there seemed to be plenty of people around, talking or playing or relaxing and whatnot, but the bench was free and that was good.

Nobody seemed to notice her, which was a mixed feeling; on one hand, nobody getting all freaked out just because she dressed differently. On the other hand, that was sort of the point, right?

Then a soccer ball rolled in front of her. A boy roughly her age (Gwen thought he was a soccer player or something, and maybe a drama guy too) darted over to grab it. He seemed nervous, and Gwen saw his eyes shift.

"Hi." She said with a green-lip gloss smile, wiping a bit of sweat from her face so her eyeliner didn't smear. "You're...Owen, right? I don't usually see you here, but you go to Aurora, right?"
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Owen wasn’t going to lie; he had jumped in shock at the voice he heard after picking his football back up. It had been pretty obvious after all. He hadn’t expected the voice, especially seeing as they’d managed to walk up to him without him noticing. The fact that he’d been getting a little nervous and worked up before hand probably hadn’t helped, either.

A relieved smile appeared on Owen’s face, as he recognised the girl who had spoken to him as Gwen O’Connor. She was one of the more arty types, as far as Owen knew, with more than a smidge of a rebellious streak. It was kinda reflected in her style of dress. Not that it was a bad thing, not in the slightest. Gwen looked unique, and sometimes unique was good. It was better than if everyone in the country walked around in the same style of clothes, after all.

“Hey Gwen.” Owen said, relieved smile still on his face. “Yep, got it in one; I’m Owen.” A moment’s pause, then Owen decided to clarify a little. “That’s, uh, Kay, not Veveris. English, not Latvian.” Owen didn’t know much about the other boy, aside from the fact that their names, occasionally, got confused for one another.

“So, what’s up? Everything going a-okay for you? Can’t be much worse than me, standing here on my own like a dork, eh?” Owen realised he still had his relieved grin on, and hurriedly toned it down a little. Smiling like a dork and talking about he was looking like a dork was a recipe for having no friends.
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Gwen smirked. "No more of a dork than me, sitting alone and drawing stuff." In truth, she wasn't sure what the guy was doing alone; he was a lot more of a social butterfly than loner Gwen. He was an okay guy, but she didn't know him super-well, other than being a bit of a class clown on occasion.

...Why was it so hot? Because astronomy, and/or climatology, said it would be. Still, Gwen could totally go for perpetual winter, or maybe fall. Gwen liked fall and spring; not too hot or cold, and it was really pretty.

"But yeah, I'm doing pretty good. I mean, there's nothing bad going on, so I'd say I'm good." Gwen brushed a drop of sweat from her face again. She fanned herself with her sketchbook, which helped, but it was still unpleasantly sunny.

God, why was it so freaking hot?! Gwen wanted to sit down on her bench like usual, but she wasn't about to blatantly walk away from a conversation like this.

"So how're you doing?" She asked, but she didn't look at him while she did. She was giving a not-so-subtle glance at her bench in the shade, hoping he could take the hint.
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Owen chuckled a little at Gwen’s response. Everything was good here, they were both dorks. Dorktastic. His true aim in life, really. Or so his brother said. And a lot of his friends, really. Ah well, it could be worse. It was a mark of a good friend, in Owen’s eyes; the more they made fun of you, the closer you were.

Owen smiled and nodded as Gwen said she was doing fine. She seemed kinda overheated though, and his suspicions were confirmed when she fanned herself with the sketchbook she was carrying. Owen hadn’t really noticed how hot it was; he seemed to be rather immune to it at most times. Snow? He could walk out into it with nothing more than a fleece and trackies. It was unusually hot right now though, Owen had to admit, even if he wasn’t suffering quite as much as Gwen.

“I’m pretty good, yeah!” Owen replied, shrugging slightly. “Got rid of an essay and a bit, so that’s always a good thing. I’d kinda expected a couple of guys from the footy team to be here, though. Hence the ball.” Owen tossed the football low into the air and catching it again. He paused a little before speaking again. He’d seen Gwen’s glance towards the bench moments before.

“... Buuut given the weather and all, I doubt Miles or Mallory’ll be coming here anytime soon. You wanna go sit there?” Owen nodded towards the bench, before grinning a little. “Unless you’re secretly the next Messi or Ronaldo. Could happen.”
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Gwen smirked. Owen seemed pretty bright, and was a nice enough guy to pay attention to the weird girl's needs. That was a definite plus on his part.

"Yeah, It's pretty warm out here, so I'll take a seat," I wouldn't mind tossing the soccer ball to you or something, though." She brushed a limp strand of hair from her face and set a brisk pace to the bench.

As soon as she got to the shade (which was remarkably cooler than the sunlit area) she turned back to him, squinting to see him.

"So, what was it like in England?" She called out. Gwen had passing interest in foreign cultures, especially their varieties of the arts. "Was it ever this warm out?"

Gwen took a seat in the bench, and was glad that it was quite cool, though not damp. She plucked a pen from her pocket and prepared her prose. Then she looked up at Owen to await his response.
Edited by Espi, Feb 19 2013, 12:56 PM.
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Owen’s hunch had indeed been right; Gwen had been angling to go sit over on the bench. She set off towards it at a brisk pace, speaking as she did so. Owen smiled at her remark about chucking the ball to him. Not eeexactly what he’d expected before setting outside, but it was a legit goalie training technique. Maybe Gwen was secretly a super amazing footballer and nobody knew it. Including herself, most likely. Owen followed her at a slightly slower pace, lightly tossing his football into the air as he did so.

Owen stopped a few metres away from the bench, as Gwen adjusted herself to the shade, before asking him whether the weather ever got this hot back in England. Owen put on a rather exaggerated laugh at this.

“Haha, England being warm. That’s a good one. Don’t you know that there’s non-stop rain and cold in England?” Owen grinned and shook his head. Silly as it was, he had actually met a couple of people who had this idea of England. “Nah, England was generally pretty mild, really. Bit windy, quite a lot of fog, but generally pretty mild. Thing is, when it rained, it really rained, and when it was hot, it was reaaally hot.”

Apparently not having learned from last time, Owen began to spin the football on his finger again. Amazing what you could learn as a sub sometimes, huh?

“I think the biggest change, though, was that I lived in a village back in England. Moving to the city was a bit of a culture shock. I mean, the only places to eat out there were pubs and a fish and chip van, and-oh, blimey, really?”

Just like last time, the ball had again toppled off of Owen’s finger, and bounced away before he could catch it. Owen looked over at Gwen, rather sheepishly.

“Uh, just so y’know, I don’t say shit like ‘blimey’ and ‘cripes old chap’ all the time. I think I’ve been watching too much Life On Mars.”
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Gwen nodded as Owen talked; she watched him spin the ball and drop it again, listening carefully. It was very interesting to her to learn about a place so far away.

As she watched, she did a brief sketch of the ball; a practice of sorts, not especially good, but it was quick. She carefully made sure each colored spot was the proper shape, and that the ball looked appropriately round with a few quick strokes.

"Hmm, sounds a bit like my dad's place a bit south; rural, but I bet it's very pleasant and peaceful."

Then she watched the ball roll away, and snorted. Her laugh was exasperated by his comment on English stereotypes. "You just can't keep a handle on that thing, eh?" She smiled, before shaking her head and watching the ball roll away.

"Uh, want me to get that?" She asked, for some reason. She didn't want to get up and hunt that thing down, but it would be polite to do so. She turned to look at him to see his response, wondering if he'd actually take her up on her offer.
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It was Owen’s very most favourite time again; sheepish grin time. This was most likely not helping him make a decent first impression. You could say everything pretty much perfectly, and yet one physical slip-up and you’d be remembered as that guy forever. Of course, it worked the other way as well. Owen considered telling Gwen it was cool, he could get the ball. But she had offered, after all. Was it ruder to ignore someone’s offer, or make them go through with it when you were perfectly capable? Whatever. It was probably one of those things that seemed a big deal at the time, but would be swiftly forgotten about.

“Oh, hey, uh, cheers!” Owen said, sheepishly ruffling his hair at the back. “You’ll probably have better control over it than me, after all.” Owen shook his head ruefully. Sure, he’d been doing a trick suited more to basketball than football, but it still made him look silly.

“Man, this is kinda embarrassing, actually,” Owen muttered, partially to himself. “I mean, me being a goalkeeper and all. Not exactly being a safe pair of hands right now, am I?”

Owen decided it was probably time to change the topic, rather than going over how much of a div he was being. He’d noticed Gwen drawing in her sketchbook as he’d been talking before. Art and drawing was always something he’d enjoyed but never exactly excelled at. He was only really confident with pencil and paper, and whenever he drew something he was even mildly pleased with, he’d find a piece of art that’d blow his out of the water and ruin any confidence he had in his drawing.

“Hey, uh, what’re you drawing? ‘s always been something I wish I could improve on. Art, y’know, that sorta thing.”
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Gwen smiled, trying to cover up her mild disappointment in actually having to get the ball. She stood, setting down her sketchpad (facedown, just in case) and quickly pursued the soccer ball.

It had rolled down a slight incline and landed in a slight indent. Gwen groaned as she knelt to grab the ball, almost losing her balance. Standing, Gwen shook her head, sending a violet storm around her face. She turned to glance at Owen, holding up his soccer ball.

Climbing back up the incline back to him, Gwen smiled at his question regarding her drawing. Didn't he know better than to bug an artist on their craft? Of course, Gwen didn't mind, and Owen obviously meant it innocently, so she answered.

"I was just doodling, drawing this ball," Gwen held up the offending object. "Oh, if you want to improve, the best suggestion is to practice and just try things out, see what works and learn your own style."

She smiled, and giggled as she listened to herself sound like a cliché teacher. "So do you draw?" She asked, trying to keep the conversation going.
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Owen smiled appreciatively as Gwen returned with his football. He did feel a slight pang of guilt, though. It had rolled a little further than he’d thought, and down an incline as well. He needed to pay her back, in some way. There wasn’t exactly anything he could do for the moment, though. He promised himself that he’d get anything that escaped from now on. If his football escaped again, he’d be on that. If, say, a page from Gwen’s sketchbook was taken away by the nonexistent wind, he’d go and grab it. Even if it landed in a tree.

Owen smiled as he took the ball back, which Gwen had apparently been sketching. He’d noticed her turn the book upside down. He never really understood that. He’d had a friend back in England, coincidentally also named Gwen, who’d been an honestly fantastic artist. She also hadn’t been exactly fond of showing her work. Was it just an artist thing? Owen was certain that if he could draw like she could, he would be parading it about in insufferable triumph.

Ah well. I guess we shall never know what lies in the mind of an arteest.

“Gee, thanks teach.” Owen grinned as he responded to Gwen. “But, uh, yeah, I draw. A little. Took art for GCSE, in fact. I’m, uh, not too good at it...” Owen was silent for a moment, before he corrected himself. “Actually, no, that’s not too accurate. Most of the stuff I do at home is just, y’know, crappy little doodles. Fire Emblem characters, all that cool stuff. Main problem with me is that if I wanna do something worthwhile it’d take me about a week to do. Like, if you said to, say, my brother that you were just drawing this-“ Owen hoisted the football into the air at this. “-he’d be like, ‘Oh well that’s easy just draw a circle you idiot’. But I tried to draw an orange once, all realistic and stuff. Hardest thing I’ve ever done.” It was a little-okay, a massive-bit of an exaggeration, but a little hyperbole never hurt anyone. Except, perhaps, Owen himself. He tousled the back of his hair, face feeling a little hot.

“Jeez, sorry for rambling there. Feel free to shut me up at any point, if I get long-winded again.”
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Gwen smiled gently. "Don't worry, I don't mind rambling." In truth, she'd lost focus a bit and began daydreaming a bit, but she was mostly aware of what he'd said. "I can be a rambler too. Tip for the future; don't get me started on obscure animal trivia." She snorted in laughter.

Gwen rolled the ball over to him, and walked back over to her sketchbook. Picking it up, she took up her pencil and began erasing a few errant lines. While she did so, she said to Owen, "I'm not sure what Fire Emblem is, but if you're drawing characters, that's not a bad start." She snorted in laughter again. "Spheres can be tricky, too, since it's hard to make them look 3-dimensional on a flat plane.

"The good thing is that you doodle. Doodling is great for just playing around with stuff, and it's a good time-waster, too." She traced a clean line around the last hexagon, and then began carefully shading in the shadows around the soccer ball.

Gwen looked up from her page, at Owen. "So you have a brother? What's he like?" Gwen was still somewhat intrigued by people with siblings, having never had one herself. She imagined it must be really loud all the time.
Edited by Espi, Feb 25 2013, 07:22 PM.
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“Animal trivia, huh?” Owen said, amused. Oh, he could open up a whole new level of long-windedness here. He himself was fairly adept at the subject. Idly watching QI and reading random trivia books had that effect. Still, probably best to save that for a later date, seeing as Gwen had gone on to different subjects, so Owen simply said “I’ll make sure not to mention that, uh, starfish don’t have hearts, then?” and left it at that.

Gwen hadn’t heard of Fire Emblem, just like 95 per cent of the people Owen had ever spoken to, but she did mention that character drawing was a good start. It was a little bit of a relief for Owen; he occasionally wondered whether he was starting off with too difficult a subject. But if somebody who drew as much as Owen played video games said it was easier to draw Chrom than an orange, then they were probably right.

This whole conversation was actually having a bit of a positive effect; Owen was getting an urge to pick up a pencil and start drawing again. It was something to do aside from stare at a screen as soon as he got back home as well. So basically, it was a-okay all round.

Owen grimaced a little as Gwen enquired about his brother. Hooo boy. Where to start with this subject? Really, there wasn’t any one clear answer. Owen’s relationship with Noel changed pretty much every second.

“He’s... uh... alright, most of the time, I guess...” Owen ventured, still trying to work out what he wanted to say. “I think there’s kind of a, like, social rift between us. He’s one of the popular kids, I’m... less so, I guess. We argue. A lot. Mostly about stupid shit, football teams and all that. When we get along, though, it’s pretty great. Helped him beat Pokemon Diamond, which I count as a personal achievement.” Owen involuntarily smiled a little. Noel could be a completely arrogant little shit at times, but when he wasn’t, things like the Pokemon adventures pretty much made up for it.

“So, you don’t have siblings, then?” Owen asked. “I’ve always wondered what it’s like, not having someone to constantly test new insults on.”
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Gwen smiled at the starfish hearts comment, but otherwise listened carefully to Owen's little mini talk.

"Yeah, being a single kid is...interesting," Gwen rubbed her eyes. "I mean, on one hand, I never had to fight over the TV or whatever. On the other, it got kind of lonely to have no other kids in my house when I was little."

"So, you play Pokémon? I think I know that. That's the thing with the little animals? I've heard that that has some neat animals in it, like sea angels."

Gwen glanced up at the sky. It was beautifully blue, rich and clear. Gwen could imagine the thick strokes that would create the image. She imagined the gentle swirl of pale yellow, almost cream that would make the sun. The gentle dashes of crisp green to craft the fields. The darker green for trees.

She got so distracted by the image she was crafting in her mind, she totally forgot about the conversation, staring off into space.
Edited by Espi, Mar 2 2013, 09:37 PM.
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“Yeah, I can definitely see how that could get lonely.” Owen nodded as he responded to Gwen’s comment on being a single kid. “I mean, Noel’s been away on school residentials and such, and it’s always kinda weird not having him around the house.” In truth, Owen was sometimes glad for the little peace and quiet that occurred whenever Nathaniel went on holiday with friends or something similar. It did feel weird though, after the first few days. Quiet too. Owen honestly couldn’t imagine living his entire life that way, as Gwen had. He guessed it was just something you got used to, though. He’d never been able to imagine living in a city before moving to America, after all, and now here he was.

Owen chuckled a little at Gwen’s description of Pokemon. It was somehow both not too far off, and also pretty inaccurate.

“I’ll confess to not being certain on what sea angels are, but uh, yeah, that’s basically it!” Owen said, a grin forming on his face. “Not just animals, though. There’s ones based off of ice cream and eggs and golems. Because, you know, why not, eh?”

Owen smiled, looked at Gwen, and saw that she was staring off into space. His smile fell a little, but not too much. It wasn’t like he could claim innocence to that, after all. Daydreaming and spacing out were two of his specialities. Owen waved a hand in front of Gwen’s face.

“Yo, Earth to Gwen? Anyone still alive in there?”
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