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Dismantle, Repair; Private
Topic Started: Aug 12 2016, 07:01 PM (390 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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((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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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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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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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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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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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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Who is this sassy lost child
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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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Who is this sassy lost child
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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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