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Dismantle, Repair; Private
Topic Started: Aug 12 2016, 07:01 PM (393 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Raina Rose continued from People II 2: Still Peoplin'))

Raina alternated between fiddling with her phone and her napkin, glancing up at the front window of the Starbucks every so often to scan the parking lot for any sign of Cris. It felt dumb to anxiously wait on him, she knew he'd come, but still...

The truth was, she'd missed him. They hadn't seen much of each other in the past few weeks, and that had suited her fine for a while, but then the longing that always drew her back to him kicked in again. She liked to tell herself that he probably missed her just as much after a while and that he was just too lazy or unmotivated to get around to calling her first instead of the other way around. Sometimes she believed it.

Raina wasn't sure that she loved Cris. Half the time, she felt like she didn't even like him, as much as his issues weren't his fault and as much as she tried to be understanding. Before she'd really known him in just about every way you could know someone, Raina had thought that she'd be ace at handling someone with depression. Then reality had decided to come along and knock her right on her ass, as it tended to do. For one thing, in order to help somebody out with their depression, they had to actually admit to you that they were depressed instead of insisting that they just "saw the world as it really was". She was certain that Cris wasn't actually dumb or delusional enough to buy into that, he knew he had a problem, but he never wanted to talk about it.

Instead, he'd just go off to smoke and throw himself into baseball, and they'd bicker about it, and sometimes stop talking for a while over it, until something pulled them back together again and it started all over.

It was draining, yes, but Raina didn't yet feel ready to give up on him. Maybe part of that was what she thought a future with him could be like, if he'd just get his act together.

She'd thought about it, of course. Raina didn't intend to marry young, or maybe marry at all (and let's not even get into the topic of kids), but she thought that it was probably the rare teenage girl who didn't look at someone once in a while and wonder what their names would look like together. She didn't go around doodling "Raina Luz" on her notebooks or anything, but she had thought about it.

It was just so frustrating to not be able to read what he really thought of her. Cris was old before his time, and with his mind stuck in the past and his heart firmly belonging to baseball, any thoughts of his future that included her never made it out in the open, if they existed at all.

But here she was anyway, waiting on him. Starbucks wasn't private and it was hardly romantic, but it was comfortable enough for them to sit and talk to each other and see if they maybe couldn't move things back into the "on-again" side of their on-off relationship.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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Crisanto Luz had been busy. Some people thought that meant he was in his cave turning it foggier than San Francisco Bay with weed, but no, he really had been busy. The season had started and gone hurtling along and there were so many expectations of last year happening all over again hanging around all their necks. His team and his studies and the blur of parties and nights spent in a woman's arms had been how he got away from his own head, and so many people didn't get that he didn't want to be in his own head long enough to tell them what he was thinking. At least on the mound it was simple, a duel of reflexes and skill where there were only a few possible outcomes, and he didn't have to think about what it all meant all the goddamn time.

Crisanto liked busy. Busy was better than depressed and about as good as high. Who had he even gone to that dance with? Raina hadn't asked him but one of the other girls he went to when they were in one of their down periods had, so he'd gone "why not," and then he'd gotten bored and that party Junko invited him to was kind of wound down by the time he was in a position to get there. He certainly hadn't been ignoring her, he'd sent a few messages and not gotten much in the way of response so he figured he'd let her have her time, allow her to unwind however she did and figure out where her head was. Nobody liked the clingy or overbearing guy, not even Crisanto himself.

Not that he hadn't appreciated her being willing to help out and listen, he just didn't really see it as worth listening to. And then she'd get pissed at him for wanting to deal with things the only way he knew how and wouldn't understand that talking this stuff out with people just plain didn't work. Did he say anything about how much she liked to look at the planets? No. They'd bicker a little and then go cold for a bit and before long one'd open up and they'd be all over each other again, and Cris would wonder every time when they'd just make up their minds about what this all was. Did he love her? Did she love him? Did he know what love even was? It wasn't like he'd never stuck with anyone for a time, but that was mostly because a given girl was a) hot, b) not terrible to be around, and c) wanted to keep seeing him - Raina ticked all three boxes, except those times when she decided whatever they had wasn't enough and pretended he didn't exist for a while, or looked at him like he was supposed to magically know what she wanted out of everything when he'd said who knew how many times whatever she was happy with was fine by him.

Baseball was fun, and so much simpler than all this. Everything used to be simpler, even as recently as when Taro was captain instead of him. The man hadn't prepared him for the position so much as gone "good luck, buddy" and pushed him into the pool. He'd tried to tell her a few times that he wasn't trying to shut her out, there was just so much more to all this than he'd expected there to be, but hell if he knew if it actually got through to her at all.

He knew the Starbucks she meant at least, the one they'd been to more than once, right down from the In-N-Out Burger restaurant he visited but never felt hungry enough to order from. The drive was simple, second nature, done on autopilot like... most things were, honestly, the sun and wind beating down on him and the fire-red Cadillac convertible restored from the days cars were built like tanks. He could put the roof up but the breeze felt good in a way, refreshed him, helped him think. He hadn't liked being separated, really, if he thought about it; sure, he wasn't especially enthusiastic about most things, but he found himself missing Raina. Not just waking up next to her in the morning, but the sound of her voice, how she got all excited about rocks millions of miles away, how with her digging she could make him forget for a while that they were watching the death throes of civilisation itself with every passing second. How even though he was sure he was right and she was wrong, he couldn't really bring himself to try to get her to despair like he did.

The Cadillac glid into a rare open parking spot by the door and let him out, its thrumming engine slowly dying down with the turn of a key. Spring heat blasted down on his shoulders but not as intensely as during the practise today, even though there was still a twinge of soreness running up his right arm from countless pitching drills. The cost of victory, really. Steps were taken automatically, long strides like he might take if intercepting a runner, and the bell on the door heralded his entrance.

If Raina looked up, he'd give her a little wave as he headed up to her table. It was hard to miss possibly the only blue-haired lady in all of Kingman.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 13 2016, 10:38 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Even if Cris himself hadn't been instantly recognizable, the car certainly would have been. The fire-engine red Cadillac convertible was Cris's baby, lovingly restored by him and a couple relatives in a tribute to all things 50s. Except, you know, the systematic racism, and how women were barely accepted in the work force, and the lingering shell-shock from World War II and the Holocaust, and the Cold War, and the impending unrest that would lead to the Vietnam War...

Raina just didn't understand how Cris could think the world seeming to fall apart was some kind of new thing. If anything, humanity was finally taking the first few steps to stitching everything back together.

She returned his wave, even though it felt a little silly when she was sitting right here and he was walking in towards her. She smiled when he got close enough, and it didn't feel forced.

"Hey."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"'Sup?"

The wave was better than just sneaking over to the table and waiting for her to notice him there. He wasn't terribly in the mood for such antics and there was a certain seriousness to the air between them anyway. At least she got him to give her one of his rare smiles, a quick little upwards turn at the corners of his mouth that even showed a hint of teeth. She was often able to get at least a little one out of him, surprisingly enough; maybe that was part of why he kept seeing her. For someone so interested in the universe, and surely aware of how useless a spec in it they all were, she seemed so interestingly hopeful compared to him.

Cris planned to order one of the items he always ordered when they came here, so he didn't bother looking at the menu as he took a seat across from Raina, resisting the urge to slouch comfortably while settling in. He could take this seriously.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Raina shrugged, noting how Cris seemed... tense wasn't really the right word, but he didn't sprawl out on the seat like he might normally. Maybe that just meant she had his full attention for once. "Not much, just chilling. Nothing to do after school today, you know."

She paused, unsure how to follow that up. The obligatory "I'm fine, how are you, I'm fine too" wasn't going to get them anywhere. Maybe awkward small talk between partners was just a lateral move from awkward small talk between friends, but it was the change in category that mattered.

"Anything interesting happening out there in the world?" She purposely left the question open-ended and broad, hoping that it would get Cris to talk a bit more, even if he wasn't inclined to talk about himself.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Not a whole lot. You know how busy I've been, year's end coming up and the season still underway. Sorting through some of my college offers, still dunno what I want to study though."

She probably didn't want to hear yet more baseball talk, though. Cris was pretty sure sometimes Raina thought baseball was the only thing that genuinely interested him. Which wasn't entirely fair. He didn't get all judgey about what she liked, and he had certain responsibilities anyhow. Captains didn't just sit around going "lol I'm the captain," they had to do things.

"I kept wanting to call and tell you how things were going, but well, you know."

Shit, did that sound too guilt trippy? Funny how Raina could actually make him care about how he came off.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Somehow, Raina didn't think Cris would really appreciate her speech about how he could just go into college undecided and figure out what he wanted to do by taking a bunch of different classes - she did get that not everybody was lucky enough to know how they wanted to at least start out studying like she did - so she focused on the last part of what he said.

"You can call anytime, you know. I won't mind." After a moment's thought, she added, "If my parents are a thing, they don't really have a right to mind, honestly. I can talk to them." Her parents were kinda... not exactly thrilled that she was more or less dating someone whose frequently getting stoned was something of an open secret, but Cris was as close to a model citizen as Raina was willing to get in a lot of ways. Great athlete, good grades, wealthy and well-known family. Considering the company that Cameron had often kept without complaint from their parents, Raina didn't think any scrutiny of her personal life was really merited.

Of course there was always the possibility that it was all just an excuse for not contacting her during the off-period. Raina wasn't naive enough to think that wasn't a possibility and that Cris had just spent the last few weeks pining away for her without any hope of reaching out. But she'd missed him, dammit, and the fact that he was here was proof enough that he had missed her too.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Figured you wouldn't want to hear from me, so I'd wait until you did rather than blow up your phone."

Did that sound like an excuse? Maybe. He wasn't used to giving enough of a shit about how he sounded to actually think about it, so instead he glanced at her as if trying to read her thoughts on the truth of how he'd felt during their latest off period. Not staring at her, although he'd stared before and she never seemed to mind, just giving her a considering look.

If they went back on, he was going off to college and she was still stuck here for another year. Wouldn't that be a spanner in things? Would it matter? In the long run nothing did, they were dust just like those stars Raina liked. He tried to care anyway but that thought was still burning in his mind, all the time, unless he was too high or too tired to think anything at all. It ate his ability to give a shit about people, even the ones he wanted to.

"Would've asked if you were going to that dance a while back but it didn't seem like your thing."

And what about Wayne? he kept wanting to ask, and kept wondering why he wanted to ask it.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 15 2016, 04:45 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Raina wished she could come up with some kind of response other than shrugging. "Yeah, I didn't go to the dance. Junko had a party and it was... alright, I guess." The party itself had actually kind of sucked for her, through no fault of Junko's, but she'd gotten a pretty good night out of what came after, so that counted for something right? Never mind the rumors that had sprung up from whoever it was that decided that her leaving with Wayne meant something illicit was going on.

And anyway, even if something illicit had gone on, which it hadn't, Cris had taken someone else to the dance. Raina considered them pretty much even on that front.

"Was it fun, at least? The dance, I mean. I've heard mixed things."
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Technically someone took him to the dance, but that wasn't worth arguing. Especially since she didn't really bring it up, that'd just seem weird and unnecessarily defensive. Was the dance fun, though? Cris wobbled his hand, and while a response of basically "meh" was par for the course from him, this time his expression showed a genuine intent to answer the question rather than just being apathetic as hell.

"It had its moments, wasn't great though. I actually got bored, left and headed to Junko's party too, but by the time I got there it was pretty dead. You should've told me you were having problems with Darius, I would've sorted him out."

In retrospect, the prospect of, say, a rock shooting for Darius' head at 90 mph might have been why Raina didn't tell him. Who knows. It felt nice to be talking to her face to face, though.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Cris's comment about Darius did manage to get a smile out of Raina. "If he hadn't bailed after I threw a drink at him, I might have. You should have seen that, though, real great curveball. Would've made you proud with that throw." Almost like flipping a switch, the mood lightened and she was grinning at him like always. Stupid Cris, always making her smile and forget why she was upset with him in the first place.

"Too bad for Junko, though. I don't think she expected to be wrangling so many rowdy guests when she started out." It had been a while now, long enough that she could laugh about it all.

Oh, she still wanted to smack Darius's stupid smug face whenever she saw him, no mistake, but that was hardly something that had only started at the party.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Maybe after this I'll take you to Sumac Park and you can show it to me."

He always kept baseball equipment in his car, including a couple gloves, after all. Sure, maybe she didn't mean it seriously, but it was fun to call her bluff.

Fun, huh. Odd how Raina could get thoughts like that out of him. He had enough years on her he sometimes wondered if it was right to pursue her at all, but she still managed to be like cold water in the middle of summer. He even managed a real smile of his own, to match her grin. As for Junko...

"I don't really know what she was expecting. We're high schoolers after all. Could've been worse though, nothing burnt down and the cops didn't need to show up."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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"Why not? I'm not doing anything after this." Who was calling whose bluff again? Though Cris was probably serious, and Raina wasn't quite so interested in one-upping each other now.

Maybe they were meant to be together. Maybe not. And honestly, who cared? She'd missed him. That was good enough for being sixteen and maybe in love.

"If you're not busy, I mean. But yeah, I'd like to do that sometime." She smiled again, genuine, without teasing. They could go to the park and Raina would make a fool of herself with her noodle arms and terrible aim, and Cris might laugh at her but she could never be that mad because she loved his laugh and he laughed so rarely.

Her hand inched across the table towards his, fingertips just brushing.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sounds fine by me."

Pretty soon he would graduate and be gone from Kingman, and she'd still be here another year. Then she'd go who knew where, somewhere in California, but she'd still be behind him if they tried this. How would that affect things? Did it matter? What about other girls, like Jane? And whatever other boys Raina did things with when she and Cris weren't on?

He felt her fingers brush across his skin and briefly lost that train of thought. He had time to figure all that out, to figure out what he wanted. And if he wanted somebody, and they wanted him, what was wrong with that? He inched his hand closer to hers and slowly closed it, to give her a chance to pull away if she didn't want the contact.

"I can teach you a few tricks, you'll be pitching better than the softball girls in no time."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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"Sure, sure. I'll see if I can't net some scholarships with my killer pitches." It didn't even matter that their jokes were stupid, and that from an outside perspective they probably looked every bit the cheesy movie couple in a way that Raina was sure she detested when it wasn't her personally involved.

Damn if Crisanto couldn't still give her butterflies when he held her hand.

And okay, he was older, and he'd probably be leaving soon, and he had his plans and she had hers. But he wasn't that much older, and overthinking things when you had probably gotten the right answer the first time caused more problems than it solved.

The future sprawled out in front of them like a spiderweb, and even if they did split up for good down the line, there was no reason why their paths couldn't intersect again.

Something poetic like that.

((Raina Rose Pregame Concluded))
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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