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Jenny From the Block
Topic Started: Feb 17 2017, 03:13 AM (654 Views)
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((Jordan Green continued from If You Had My Love))

"I can kinda see that. He was trying to do what he believed in. I mean that's why it's a tragedy after all, when two things that are right meet in contradiction."

Jordan was sitting on one of the tables, back leaning against some of the equipment. Some of it was familiar in a way, like some of the devices they used backstage, but like Vanessa (had it been Vanessa?) had told them none of it was working.

"But even if the circumstances lead to it, I think people have the chance and the choice to change, and Valjean had given him both. But at the end he really couldn't handle it, could he? That the world was more complex than he ever thought it was."

He let his legs swing under the table.

Jeremy wasn't here yet.

That was unnerving in it's own way. He'd said he'd be here but every moment that past made that seem all the more unlikely.

"I don't know, it's hard for me to really sympathise I guess."

He paused, thinking a little harder about what he was saying.

"Besides, he's a spoilsport." Jordan declared, standing up to punctuate his statement, as if that was all that really needed to be said.
Edited by Randomness, Feb 28 2017, 05:34 AM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

Those no longer with us

It's the Grand Map of Doom! v6
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"Cleaning up isn't the term I'd use."

Jordan pushed the other body gingerly, trying his best not to be disrespectful, yet still trying to actually get the work done. The way they were being dragged looked like it hurt and he couldn't help but feel sorry for them.

Jennifer, the photographer, she liked movies too, and he was quite sure he remembered talking to her about the Oscars a few months back. Leslie, she wrote too, but her personality was a little abrasive for him to really care to hang about her. But they were dead, and any concerns of the 'how much do I actually know you' and the 'oh my god, I know you but I've forgotten your name' kind, were replaced by the question of what the socially appropriate way of laying a classmate's corpse to rest was.

Definitely not this.

"I don't think it was really ever in doubt. He's a thief who tried to break out of prison, but there are people in school who'd done way worse, but I don't think of anyone as really bad."

Bad taste, he realised. He'd been thinking of people who went above and beyond to belittle to hurt and embarrass, the arseholes who didn't think twice about anyone but themselves, and not the very real things that were happening right now. Then again, he had been trying very hard not to think about it, and it seemed to work.

Maybe if he kept talking Hazel wouldn't realise the blunder.

"Y-yeah, but I think people can change. Like, your experiences build upon each other, right?" He placed one hand over another to illustrate his point.

"Kinda like a tower. But you don't have to build straight up, you can kinda build diagonally sideways? So as you get older, your experiences and choices can move you further away from the person you were before, but you're still not that different from you were yesterday, or the day before, and maybe it's only when you look down at the foundation that you realise that it's someone completely different down there looking up at you."

He stopped there, not quite pleased with the metaphor. It's supposed to be harder to change when you have more experiences, but buildings were able to bend more at the top because they were supporting less weight there. Something about feedback, but the thoughts came as a tangle, and he gave up on going any further with it.

"Okay, there was supposed to be more but my analogy has completely gotten away from me."
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"Really?"

The thought was amplified by Hazel's next statement.

He didn't know what to feel.

Scratch that. He knew exactly what he was supposed to feel which made it all the more weird that he wasn't feeling it. The compliments were nice, yet at the same time they were almost suffocating, squeezing the air out of him slowly, as if smothering someone with words was something that could actual happen in reality.

"I mean- Yeah, um, me too. It's been..." Cool. That was the word on the tip of his tongue but did nothing to capture any part of what he felt. Neither did good. Nor nice. Nor lovely, nor great, or any other words that his mental thesaurus was bringing up at the moment.

"Fun." It sounded wrong like this. Seperate in its own sentence, as if it was some sarcastic comment when he was trying to be absolutetly sincere. And past tense. As if it was the end of it. As if something was changing now, that everything good was about to dissappear as abruptly as they had found it.

But it had been fun.

It had hurt too, he was tired and miserable and had had more near death experiences than he'd ever want to have. It had been an absolutely pain to be here these past few days.

And yet it had been fun.

The most fun that he'd had all senior year.

More than arguing with classmates in the hallways over movies, more than working with the rest of the theater club on a production, more than anything that he could remember in the longest time.

"So, thanks."

But the thought made him worried.

Should he really be feeling like this, right now?

Feeling like he had found the friendship of a lifetime when he was basically on the verge of dying. Wasn't that ironic?

There was something else. But he didn't know what. Somewhere in his head was a thought half-formed, that he wanted to say, that he needed to say. But the door flung open and the thought escaped him, flittering away in a way that let him knew he was never would have caught it even if he hadn't been interrupted.

It was far later than expected, but Jeremy was here at last. But surprise faded into relief and then back into surprise, the scrapes and bruises a telltale sign that something had happened in the time they'd been apart.

"What- Are you okay?" A chisel and a disc player? What had he been doing?

"And baseball bat?" he added, the level of incredulity in his tone slightly strained.
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He'd gotten in a fight. That made sense. There were people killing out there. There were people dead right at the door, so he couldn't just pretend that it was a figment of his imagination. But even Jeremy should know that his story was adding more questions than answers, right?

Junko of all people. She may have been impulsive but, the way Jeremy put it was just dismissive.

And why did everyone he meet seem to go on a journey of violence after they'd met him. Tara, Jay, and now Jeremy. As if everyone he interacted with had to show just how messed up the island was. As if they had to prove to him that people could be messed up.

The point had been made days ago.

"Wait- Is she..." The question didn't need to end. Jeremy was looking away now and Jordan knew, he knew what the answer was.

"Oh my god." He didn't mean to say it out loud. But this was too much to completely internalise.

Alex was a self absorbed prick and Jay was a gothy jerk but Jeremy was Jeremy was Jeremy and he was trying and failing to sympathise with a murderer. And he hated the nagging self justification that it was okay that he was failing because he was moral and not a murderer but it was Jeremy who was the murderer. Ha, All his talk about Javert, and now he was like this. He was the absolute worst hypocrite he knew.

He wanted to pace, pacing always seemed to get his thoughts in order, but there didn't feel like there was enough room for that here.

Instead, he found himself leaning against the desk he had been standing near for support, his hands slamming on the table just a little too loud for comfort.
Edited by Randomness, Mar 6 2017, 09:31 AM.
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Oh god.

She was looking at him for help.

He didn't have the heart to tell her that he wasn't really capable of giving any, and even if he had somehow found the spine necessary for that much, he'd still falter because Jeremy was right here and he was freaking out right now.

But she looked away and took out the CD that they had found at the gym. The scratched surface of the case had pointed them to this radio tower as well. Was that a coincidence? Or something deeper?

He didn't really know, but now was as a good a time as any to find out, right?

Jeremy collapsed against the wall, Hazel looking blankly at the CD player. Him doing whatever it was he was doing.

Something needed to change and maybe the disc was just what they needed right now.

Maybe the disc was a message of some sort. Maybe someone had recorded something for them to hear as some sort of plea for help or something.

"Alright. Let's do it, then."

There was a light whirring noise and the clicking seek sound that he had almost forgotten existed as it prepared to play the song.

The tinny little speaker blared to life and something completely obnoxious started playing.

"What in the-" No. He didn't really want to know, did he?
Edited by Randomness, Mar 8 2017, 04:45 AM.
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Dancing wasn't his thing anyway, and he merely looked on as the song played on. It didn't feel like a dancing song, anyway, and he didn't know the lyrics, so he might as well let the ones who enjoyed it have their fun.

And besides, their fun was infectious enough, and he found that he had a stupid grin on his face by the time they were done, one that almost made up for being left out of things.

--

Sleep was a thing that was hard to come by but somehow he'd gotten several hours of it that night. In fact, he'd managed to wake up without his back aching or his legs screaming, or the million other things that had assailed his sleep these last few nights.

Now if only he hadn't managed to wake up at what looked and felt like 3 am in the morning.

Jordan continued to lie there, staring up at the ceiling, wondering what on Earth he was doing.

It was weird how much fun it had been having these last few days.

How he was here laughing and talking and there were people dying outside. There were people dead right outside the door and he had helped put them there.

If he was in school he would be worrying about his finals grades, about that one play still missing everything that wasn't the opening three lines, and a silly monologue, Jacob bugging him to try out a new game or something, and a million other tiny daily worries that had seemed to stop existing for just a little bit.

And yet, it wasn't a good feeling.

Somehow they seemed to loom even larger now that he could do nothing to try to deal with them. There were ways to deal with each and everyone of those worries, and he had plans, little ones, but still plans for most of those. Nothing long term, nothing really bright, but they were there and he was going to tackle his own problems at his own pace.

But now they would be tacked on to the list of problems that would never be solved, along with perennial favorites such as why people had to be such dicks for half their lives.

A sob from beside him.

Was Hazel crying? It sounded like it, and yet it seemed like she was sleeping soundly at the same time. Was it a dream? A nightmare? Some vision that would strike astonishment into the heart of angels?

He couldn't know.

Hazel didn't ever want to show how much things hurt her. He could almost count them, the myraid half-lies that she had told. But he couldn't force someone to be better. To be happy beyond all reason. But she'd let it show once, and now twice and now all he could do was wonder how much more she was suffering than he could ever see, than he could ever imagine.

His hand moved closer to her, unsure if he could or should do anything to help.

He didn't need to decide.

She grabbed his arm, clenched it tightly, tighter than he remembered from when they had first met Alex. It almost hurt, but he couldn't bring himself to wake her up.

She was muttering something, some things he understood and more that he didn't but one name stood out from the rest. He didn't want to have heard it but he had and he could only wish that he hadn't.

He still couldn't understand. He knew, but he could never understand.

He didn't understand any more than he had that day, even though they were sharing a room with a murderer now. The first two murderers that they had met had barely felt like people to him now, more so as they started to fade into memory. Carciatures of what a murderer was meant to be. But Jeremy was different. And yet, Jordan didn't want Jeremy to be different.

If Jeremy wasn't different from Alex, if Jeremy wasn't different from Jay, that meant that-

He had moved slightly, and Hazel seemed to stir at that.

"Sorry." The words were so quiet, that he wasn't sure if she'd heard them. "Go back to sleep."

She looked at him for a brief moment, confusion clear in her eyes, then he guessed she realised what she had done, and she let go of his arm with a quiet apology.

He went back to sleep too after that, feeling just a little emptier.

--

Morning arrived and the moment that they had all been dreading arrived.

Junko was dead, confirming absolutely everything and nothing. Jeremy looked shocked, as if he didn't believe his name would be read out loud on the announcements, as if they'd somehow forget him out of everyone on the island who had killed yesterday.

But they hadn't and he couldn't understand why Jeremy would ever be shocked by something so obvious.

Nancy and Alvaro were dead too. Other names too, Astrid, Maria, killer or not, nice or not, more dead classmates joining the ever growing pile.

A real surprise came at the end though, Jeremy's name again, but it wasn't another death to his name. Not that getting nominated for "Best Kill" was much better.

What did the terrorists mean by best anyway? Goriest? Most dramatic? Did they have stupid voting systems like the Oscars? It was almost nonsensical, really.

Jeremy wanted to get his award. He didn't care, really. There was food, anyone would want to get it. And maybe some part of him wanted some of that food too. But he wasn't about to tell Jeremy that.

"I guess." Jordan replied.

Jeremy simply told them to meet on the far side of the bridge. Wait. No he'd said west hadn't he. Which way was west? It was on the bridge at least. And it wasn't as if it was all that far. They'd work it out when they got there.

Jeremy left after that, and it wasn't long before he was out of sight from the door.

"So, how much do you think we can trust him?"
Edited by Randomness, Mar 19 2017, 11:34 PM.
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She did realise what she was doing with her choice of words, right? His brain wasn't just making that up, right? Was it just bad phrasing, or did she mean anything more by that?

He looked at her, hoping to see a sign of it being a joke, but none came, he only felt increasingly disquiet.

"I don't know, it's a mess, really."

She was right, he could have killed them if he wanted to. So he didn't want to kill them. Probably. But that still didn't mean they could trust him, there were so many ways you could hurt someone without killing them.

And Alex. He was with Alex, a thought half-forgotten in the jumble of days that had passed since they had last saw him. He'd thought of Jeremy as a killer at first, hadn't he, lumping together with Alex. And somehow he had been right, even if only after the fact.

"My gut says no, but I want to trust him? He's not the kind who'd... yeah, but, part of me says to watch out, I guess. I mean, just because he's not lying right now, doesn't make him one hundred percent reliable. But then another part of me says that I'm being a jerk for suspecting him because all he did was defend himself."

A sigh. It wasn't as if there was any way he could intepret Jeremy's actions based off four sentences. It just served to show how little he actually knew Jeremy. They'd talked, they'd argued, but Jordan still had no idea what made him tick.

"I really don't know, but I don't want to treat someone badly when they don't deserve it."
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A sheepish grin crept across Jordan's face at her reaction.

"Of course you didn't."

It was weird how easily conversations could turn from serious to light here. But humour was good. It kept thoughts away from the little things, from the thoughts that should be all-encompassing, thoughts that would consume people from the inside out. They would trust Jeremy until something happened. That's all they could do.

"We'll just hope he doesn't."

There wasn't much to pack though, the supplies in the bag were starting to run thin, though he did leave some of the wrappers inside the bag, just to make it more comfortable as a pillow.

That left the chisel and CD player that Jeremy had left on the table, both of which Hazel scooped up and pocketed.

"Are we really taking that along? I thought we were going to toss it. But, yeah. Ready."

It didn't matter even if she took it along, but they really need to? Still, he wasn't about to stop her if she insisted. Besides, they needed to go to the bridge. Jeremy might even be waiting already.

((Jordan Green continued Where Will You Stand When the Flood Comes?))
Edited by Randomness, Mar 29 2017, 11:22 AM.
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