Drop by the Fashion Fair!

Author Topic: Natural | Wildweed  (Read 202 times)

* Felicity Wilding

    (08/15/2018 at 08:42)
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Late July
Around sunset

Not for the first time this Summer Felicity was reminded that her relationship with Orion had forced her to all but cut ties with Jeremiah. It wasn't what she wanted, of course. Felicity wanted one of her oldest friends to still be part of her everyday life while she explored this new thing she had with Orion. She understood how Jere felt, however, and she wouldn't push. She could only hope that things might change in the future.

Or maybe they'd change today. Also not for the first time this Summer Felicity was feeling like she was living in someone else's body. Obviously she had known she was going to grow up at some point but was it really supposed to happen within a few months? It certainly felt that way. And unfortunately for her she wasn't growing in the way she would like; vertically. Her legs had gotten longer since the Christmas holidays but she was still barely over five feet tall. No, her body was choosing to develop...other things.

The problem was that she didn't know who to ask if she still looked mostly normal. The blonde had never been very self-conscious, although she'd never really thought very highly of herself either. With this newfound doubt in her head, she couldn't just talk to anyone. The most obvious choice would have been Lecia. She was probably the closest thing Felicity had to a female best friend. She just didn't want to seem insensitive because it was clear that her fellow lioness was going through a rough patch. Felicity could have told her not to trust Julia Cole.

The next option that came to mind were her brothers but that would have felt too awkward and, besides, they were hundreds of miles away. There was also Pax but Felicity could just imagine the once-over he would give her and sometimes she felt they flirted with each too much already.

The two people she would rather die before asking were her mother, because the woman would see Felicity maturing as an opportunity to begin looking for marriage prospects; and Orion. She'd never be able to bring herself to ask him. Because what if he hadn't noticed and what if he didn't like what he saw if she pointed it out?

(She hated herself a little bit for having that worry in the back of her mind.)

And then there was Jeremiah. Their relationship was...strained to say the least but as far as she knew he was always honest with her and she thought he was someone she could trust not to go blabbing all over camp about her insecurities.

So Felicity had spent the day marching through camp in a white blouse that felt a little too tight across the chest (the whole reason she decided today was the day she wanted answers) and a pair of green shorts that came to mid-thigh. She didn't know where Jere liked to hang out anymore and the orchard was one of the last places she was checking.

After marching down row upon row she was beginning to doubt that she'd find him here either. And then, suddenly, there he was. In one of the last rows, leaning against the base of the tree.

"There you are!"
Captivating while evading...

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (08/15/2018 at 15:44)
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He associated the vineyards with Camilla, partially because of her obsession with fruit, but mostly because he was perhaps not even ten steps from where she'd leaned in and kissed him. It hadn't been the first time they'd ever kissed, but it'd been the first time she'd initiated it; somehow, though he couldn't quite place why, that felt significant.

Jeremiah stood now in the twilight, a lit cigarette in his hand. As usual, he was thinking partly of her, partly of True, and partly of Cece; a threeway-split that was never quite even, one which shifted depending on the time of day, the location, and a myriad of other things that swayed him one way or another. 

Felicity Wilding's voice cut through the half-darkness, jarring him from his thoughts.

She was someone that he barely thought of these days, because it had been easier to write her off as someone lost than to try to move past the betrayal. He'd always been good at holding grudges at little cost to himself.

"Here I am," he echoed.

If he was surprised that she had apparently been looking for him, it didn't show on his face as anything more than the slightest hint of a raised eyebrow. Jeremiah dropped his cigarette into the dirt at his feet and squashed the glowing tip with the sole of his shoe. He glanced up to meet her gaze. 

"How've you been, Fliss?"

The name felt almost unfamiliar on his lips, it'd been so long since he'd last used it out loud.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2018 at 15:45 by Jeremiah Smallweed »
I've been dreamin' 'bout us
workin' hard and savin' it up
we'll go and see the man on the moon
my girl, we've got nothin' to lose

* Felicity Wilding

    (08/25/2018 at 21:29)
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The nickname shot straight through her heart and pinged around inside her chest; recalling both sadness at what she had lost and memories of when things were simpler and they were just Fliss and Jere sharing a package of sweets from her father.

They'd gone and complicated things in fourth year but not nearly as much as Felicity had when she had, essentially, chosen Orion over Jeremiah. Sometimes, when her thoughts darkened and her belief that nothing good ever lasted was at its strongest, she wondered if it was worth it. She was meant to ruin everything, from her very first days in life so it was only a matter time before her and Orion would be over. Would the boy she'd grown up with, who was now a guy leaning against a tree and smoking a cigarette before her, still be in her life when Orion wasn't?

Heaving a deep breath, she attempted to concentrate on the now. The future would come when it did and she'd figured out the best way for her to handle it then. Her purpose today wasn't supposed to be anything too serious. She was sure Jere didn't really want to deal with that.

Well, it wasn't supposed to be anything too serious for him. For all she knew he'd find her questions and insecurities hilarious. It was a bit serious for her otherwise she wouldn't even bother bringing it up. Felicity always tried to keep as much to herself as possible. Except there were rare moments when she did need help or advice from another person.

"I've been alright, I guess. And you?"

She waited a few moments, taking a couple of deep breaths to prepare herself for what might happen next.

"I wanted to ask you something."

Was it just her imagination or were cheeks already beginning to flush?
Captivating while evading...

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (08/25/2018 at 23:39)
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"Yeah," he nodded, and, in a direct reflection of her own words, "I've been alright."

It wasn't really the truth, for alright hardly did any justice to the turmoil of emotions he'd experienced over the last few weeks -- hell, or the last couple of months; it'd been that long, or even longer, probably, since they'd last exchanged words. He'd been better than alright, and he'd been a hell of a lot worse.

He'd given up on trying to figure out how his days would unravel a while ago now. He was learning to take them as they came, with whichever girl showed up first. It was getting easier, even as the thought of going home again got more difficult to swallow.

"I wanted to ask you something."

"Yeah?"

She caught him by surprise, again, for the second time in probably as many minutes. She'd always been good at doing that, at sneaking up on him when he least expected it. She hadn't grown out of that, at least, even if she'd grown out of him and their relationship. 

Part of him was glad that she'd come to find him, that she still felt like she could, even after everything. He missed her, he couldn't lie to himself about that. Another part of him wanted to tell her to piss off, or to ask why she couldn't ask her boyfriend instead. Maybe she couldn't ask Alricsson because it was about him. Or, worse, it was about Alricsson and Cecelia together, and she wanted to know what was going on between them.

God, he hoped not. That was the last thing he wanted to think about.

"Go on, then, I'm listenin'."
« Last Edit: 08/27/2018 at 12:15 by Jeremiah Smallweed »
I don't want this night to end
it's closin' time, so leave with me again
you got all my love to spend
let's find a place where happiness begins

* Felicity Wilding

    (09/01/2018 at 18:42)
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It was the standard response when one probably wasn't alright and just didn't want to say. They had been close once and if either of them said things weren't alright, the other would probably ask why and then the conversation would get too heavy. They weren't that close right now and Felicity knew he wouldn't really want to talk to her about his problems or hear about hers, considering one of her biggest problems was the fact that Orion had told her he loved her at the beginning of the Summer and she still wasn't quite sure how to feel about it.

Maybe one day they could get back to how they'd been. Whether Jere would be open to that while Orion was in her life remained to be seen. All she could do was hope and keep working on him.

"Go on, then, I'm listenin'."

"Okay," she said quietly, reaching up to run a hand through her hair. There were very few times in her life she could remember being this nervous. After taking a deep breath, Felicity spread her arms out to her sides.

"Do I look different?" That wasn't quite what she meant, of course she looked different. "Like, in a weird way?"

Godric, he probably had no idea what she was trying to ask.
Captivating while evading...

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (09/01/2018 at 22:03)
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Oh, Jesus.

He would have been lying if he had said that he hadn't noticed, because even if they weren't as close, even if he'd taken to avoiding her wherever possible, that didn't mean that he'd ceased to care about her existence altogether.

Again, he thought about telling her to take this to Alricsson, whose job it was to be there to answer her questions and to tell her she looked good, and that, no, she didn't look fat in that dress (though, when he considered it, he couldn't really imagine Felicity asking that last one).

Again, he decided that he was glad she'd come to him, despite it all.

He recalled his conversation with Skye Orchid, a couple of years back now and on the South Bridge, and how he hadn't wanted to have that conversation with her; he stood here in the present, and thought that this conversation felt like it was running along very similar lines, but that maybe it was different, because it was Fliss, who he'd known right from the start.

"You look different." His gaze shifted down and back up her body, lingering in some places, skimming over others. If he had been anybody else, he might have been overly-conscious of her watching him too, but he wasn't anybody else, so he took his sweet time.

"Not in a weird way. In a good way." He wanted to kiss her; he folded his arms across his chest instead. A grin, one that he hadn't used in a while for her, curled, "You could probably do with a new shirt, though, huh."
« Last Edit: 09/03/2018 at 09:24 by Calypso Ross »
I don't want this night to end
it's closin' time, so leave with me again
you got all my love to spend
let's find a place where happiness begins

* Felicity Wilding

    (09/02/2018 at 03:41)
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The words were out; the question, such as it was, floated in the air between them. Her heart was skittering in her chest so fast she couldn't be sure it was actually making full beats at the moment or just dozens of shallow ones. It was too late to take any of it back, even as she was still contemplating whether this was a good idea or not.

Her teeth pulled her bottom lip between them and chewed anxiously as she stood there, arms still outstretched as she waited for Jere to respond, react, something.

And then, he did. It was the movement of his eyes that registered more than the words he spoke. She was watching him closely but she wasn't offended by the way he took her in. She had asked him to look, after all. And if he was looking for as long as he was, she couldn't be turning into some hideous creature or something.

A crooked smirk slowly pulled one side of her mouth upward.

"Not in a weird way. In a good way."

A breath of relief whooshed out of her and she let out a sort of strangled laugh as her arms dropped back to her sides. "Merlin, I'm ridiculous, aren't I?"

Felicity had always prided herself on not being like other girls yet here she was worrying about what she looked like. Worrying that maybe her boyfriend wouldn't find her attractive if puberty wasn't very nice to her.

"You could probably do with a new shirt, though, huh."

The tension broken now, Felicity laughed fully and finally went to stand next to Jere against the tree, close enough that her arm brushed against his but hopefully not too close to crowd him. She didn't want to push the boundaries on the walls between them that she felt had just cracked a bit.

A hand slid down her face as she shook her head. "I know. I wrote my Mum but she's probably going to be difficult about it."

And then, because she couldn't seem to stop herself, she bumped her shoulder against his and said, "I miss you."
Captivating while evading...

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (09/02/2018 at 14:46)
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Her arm touched his, perhaps accidentally, but he suspected not. A jolt of something slipped electric through him; he twitched at the unexpected contact, and almost pulled away, but caught himself at the last moment. This was the most they'd interacted in weeks. To rebuild that wall so quickly, when it had taken this long to pull it down, seemed like it would help neither of them.

"I miss you."

Their shoulders touched, and this time, he was sure it was deliberate.

"Yeah." He leaned in against her, returning the pressure, for only a second, maybe two. "I miss you too." And it was true that he did miss her, if not always, then at least sometimes, in odd half-moments, like when he pulled out a sugar quill that was cherry-flavoured, or when he flicked through his journal and caught the tail-end of a description of her on a page.

Still, she'd made her choice, and even this tentative confession wasn't really enough to fix things, not properly. His hands balled into fists, hidden beneath crossed arms.

"You should tell her it's a new shirt or no shirt," Jere steered back into easier territory, where they could joke without talking about any of the deeper, more serious, feelings that lurked beneath the surface of this uncertain conversation. "Though, personally, I'd prefer the second option."

He almost said that Alricsson probably would too, but even thinking the name suddenly turned everything sour; saying it out loud would only wreak further damage on what had already been destroyed.
I don't want this night to end
it's closin' time, so leave with me again
you got all my love to spend
let's find a place where happiness begins

* Felicity Wilding

    (09/02/2018 at 23:35)
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For a few moments her breath caught in her lungs as she wondered whether it was too much, if leaning against him for those seconds would actually push him farther away. She felt him move next to her and regret filled her instantly. Her heart sank; she was ruining everything again.

But then he pushed back against her for a beat and Felicity breathed again.

"I miss you too."

The words hurt her heart, more than hearing her nickname after so long had. It wasn't often she let herself think about just how much she actually did miss him. In this moment, however, standing next to him and laughing almost like they used to, it hit her hard and the corners of her eyes started to burn. At her side, her hand itched to reach out and uncross his arms and take his hand in hers. She managed to resist, reminding herself that they hadn't even held hands during their non-relationship and it probably wasn't a line she should cross now.

No matter what she was feeling or what she wanted, she wouldn't let herself cry. He didn't deserve that, all of this was her fault and she wouldn't make him feel worse while he attempted to make her feel better which was something he'd probably do, however much he might resent it. A deep breath, a gulp and a few extra blinks had most of the sudden emotion pushed back.

"You should tell her it's a new shirt or no shirt,"

Jere steered them back to easier terrain and Felicity was grateful, even if the topic was her shirt or her not wearing one as he was suggesting.

Bending forward with a burst of laughter, she responded between breaths, "That's genius." A sly smirk pulled at her mouth as she regained her composure. "I wonder if she'd dare to call it a bluff."

Felicity would see it as a challenge if she did and then she might just have to do something drastic, despite her self-consciousness (although remembering the way Jere was just eyeing her up might help with that).

"I might have to send proof that I'm serious."

G
Daring, Determination, Drive

Jeremiah Smallweed

    (09/04/2018 at 16:25)
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It had been a long time since Felicity Wilding had laughed like that with him.

A smile of his own caught at the corners of his lips, entirely unexpectedly, and his arms slipped from where they were folded across his chest to fall back freely to his sides. Talking to her, laughing with her, lifted a huge weight from his shoulders that he hadn't even known was there.

He thought back to Aiden hanging about outside his cabin at the start of summer, and how he'd figured it was easier to let everything slide, to drop the grudge. He wondered whether it would be just as easy to do the same now, but couldn't quite bring himself to say anything out loud. The divide between himself and Fliss ran deeper than that between himself and Aiden. It had cut deeper, mattered more, been about them, rather than being a lingering byproduct of other people's chaos.

Whatever lightness had buoyed him up a moment before slipped away; something tightened around his ribcage, his lungs, his heart. Jere sucked in a sharp breath. It was time for him to go, before he said or did something he'd regret.

"I might have to send proof that I'm serious."

"You let me know if ya need any help with that." He pushed away from the tree trunk, and shoved his hands back into his pockets. "I gotta get back to stuff. I'll see ya later, Fliss."

It felt too like too sudden a goodbye, as he flashed her one last grin -- this one felt too forced to quite pass as genuine -- and turned away, but it was no less jarring than the rift she'd torn between them however many months ago it had been now.

They were getting good at abrupt endings.


fin.
and watch him grow into a shell of a man
everythin' is takin' shape and goin' to plan
how quickly, though, life can turn around
                   one step forward,
two steps back,
he’s lost in the crowd

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