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Messages - jerome.

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1
Bluestem Prairie / LONELY SOUL // OPEN
« on: November 16, 2020, 09:09:30 AM »

standing amid the vegetable patch, jerome busied himself with burying a stake further into the ground. he stood surrounded by a few clothing articles and straw, lips pursed in concentration. careful and wary hands were far too gentle than most would’ve been. others most likely would’ve already had the task done by then. though jerome at least tried to make himself of use around bluestem. it wasn’t like he could be much help to the darker, more sinister deeds bluestem prairie often had in mind. he couldn’t allow himself to.

he wasn’t unaware of the plots going around in bluestem. in fact, to say he was oblivious wouldn’t have been the right assumption at all. in ways, it would have been missing the mark completely. he had known about the evil lurking in bluestem for quite a while, now. it seemed almost evident in the ways he silently found his way around not going to any of the raids, or the gentle frown and downcast eyes he wore during meetings as brock talked about their next big plans. the man’s hands were clean; that didn’t make him oblivious.

jerome was used to turning a blind eye to the darkness surrounding bluestem prairie and its members, oftentimes by keeping himself busy with other smaller matters. stepping away from the stake buried in the ground, he furrowed his brows. leaning, and looking close to toppling over with the slightest breeze. the blonde should’ve brought a few more supplies than what he did bring. placing his hands on his hips, he worried at his lower lip in thought.

Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

2
Bluestem Prairie / Re: FIGHTING BACK TEARS // OPEN
« on: October 28, 2020, 10:34:57 PM »

it was a conflicting, messy array of emotions whenever j saw eben. he wanted to feel a bitter taste reminiscent of bile to form in his throat. he wanted to dislike the man. in some small ways and in lesser degrees than he anticipated, perhaps he did feel those bitter emotions. however, he didn’t have to look too deep into his own feelings to find the adoration he had for the man. as much discomfort as he caused jerome, he was most always a source of comfort all the while. would he still offer jerome this same comfort if he knew the true extent to the blonde’s brokenness? did jerome ever plan to find out?
 
he blinked at eben, taking a moment or two too long before he started to smile absently. he gestured towards the other patron as he explained, “we were going to play go fish-”
“you weren’t kidding?”
his brows furrowed subtly. "i mean-" his smile felt tight as he forced himself to grin, holding his hands outwards as he explained earnestly, “i don’t know how to play any other game.” the other man shriveled his nose, waving his hand away with disinterest.
“forget about it. you two can play.”
 
jerome blinked in surprise as the man turned away dismissively, lowering his faltering features down to the poorly-shuffled deck. ouch. blues wandered over towards eben, gesturing towards a nearby seat as he forced another smile. “guess it’s just you and me, then? unless you don’t want to play either, which- is understandable, i guess.”


Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

3
Bluestem Prairie / FIGHTING BACK TEARS // OPEN
« on: October 08, 2020, 10:28:47 PM »

jerome didn’t know how he felt nowadays. most days, he’d go so far as to say he hardly felt anything at all. he sat by himself at the bar, absently swirling his half-empty glass of water. the lack of feeling felt completely paradoxical to how the man would often describe himself. he was known to feel so deeply; to picture him unable to feel anything at all seemed more of a cause for mourning than relief. still, the blonde couldn’t help but decide that the brief numbness was nothing short of bliss. at least he couldn’t feel the dull ache in his heart nearly as much anymore. that was nothing short of a miracle.

he smiled warmly at the person sitting closest to him; a kind and convincing smile.

why did he work so hard to hide the pain he felt on the inside?

placing his glass down, he opted to grab at a deck of cards nearby. “are you any good at cards?” he fished the deck out of the worn box, awkwardly shuffling the cards about in his hands. “i can’t say the same for myself, but i’m usually pretty lucky when it comes to ‘go fish’ at least.” his tone suggested playing the rather childish game. though for someone who didn’t grow up getting to play those games with other kids, who was there to say he couldn’t give it a go, now? besides, he could use the distraction.


Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

4
Bluestem Prairie / Re: CALM DOWN // OPEN
« on: September 22, 2020, 12:02:28 PM »

jerome should have a go? he looked towards eben with subtly raised brows and a gentle smile. the man couldn’t say he had ever paddled a boat himself before. there was a time for everything though, right? hands grabbed at the paddles, feeling around for a good grip before putting himself to work. this was probably not going to be nearly as smooth a ride as when eben paddled the boat along. bright eyes looked absently around at the sights, a gentle smile twitching at his lips.

it was arguably the most optimistic he’d heard eben sound in a long time. gaze flitting over towards him, he hummed a short note of acknowledgment. “where do you think this river goes?” he lifted his gaze and looked further down the stream thoughtfully. “it must go for miles.” he envisioned a chance to row far away from this prairie and the bitter memories. he dreamed of a chance to travel downstream without any plan but to start his life anew.

arms growing tired only a few minutes in, the blonde leaned back. eben made it look so easy. “it makes me think of when we traveled together.” it was nostalgic, thinking about those times. jerome didn’t have much if any childhood memories; traveling around with his friend was the closest thing to fond childhood memories he had. ”it feels like it was so long ago, bensie.”

Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .

5
Bluestem Prairie / NOT THE SAME PERSON // ONESHOT
« on: September 07, 2020, 09:46:59 AM »
tw: suicidal thoughts, overall depressing aspects, violence, death

snow fell serenely onto the ground below, blanketing the large estate in cloudy white. a young blond stepped outside and stood amid the falling flakes, blinking up at the pitch-black sky with wonderment and awe. hands in his coat pockets and lips parted by an amazed smile, the boy stood there for a couple of seconds. the gentle crunching of snow behind him caused him to turn his head, his smile softening at the familiar sight of a motherly figure. he turned back up towards the sky. alice. this is amazing, isn’t it?” he tilted his head back and stuck out his tongue, and tried to catch a few of the snowflakes as best as he could. “have you ever seen so much snow?” the woman laughed warmly, crossing her arms over her chest.

“you think this is a lot of snow? this is hardly anything compared to the snow i got back at home.” the boy hummed, brows furrowing in gentle contemplation. alice always talked about her home; the place she lived before she was hired to work at the hemingway estate. sometimes he couldn’t help but wonder why she decided to stay. her life back at home sounded far more amazing than getting to watch after a young boy all the time. she looked up at the sky, seeming nostalgic almost as she assured, “but i’ll be home soon enough, you know.” warm eyes turned back to the young boy. “you’re growing up so fast. it feels like just yesterday i was holding you as a baby. and now- oh, where does the time go?” sighing wistfully, she turned her gaze back up towards the sky. his gaze lingered on her before slowly looking up with her.

he was quiet. then, in a gentle breath, he admitted, “i don’t know what i’m going to do when you’re gone. i- i don’t want to be alone.” the admittance made his heart race with gentle anxiety, unable to turn his gaze away from the tranquil snowfall up above. he couldn’t meet alice’s gaze. his words were met with silence, then a forced clearing of her throat. she shifted uncomfortably. he swallowed hard, saddening eyes blinking up at the dark sky. she gestured towards the house.

“let's get you inside. your parents would lose it if they knew i let you stand out in this cold.”

the boy’s heart plummeted in his chest. he lowered his gaze to the ground as he followed after his nanny, head low. seconds later and his heart still ached from the fall it took.

greeted by warmth as he stepped inside the backdoor, the blonde lifted his head up to glance around. alice wasn’t anywhere to be seen, anymore. he sighed a gentle breath through his nose and closed the door behind him. he made his way through the large house and towards the sound of warm chatter. “heading out for the christmas party already?” alice asked. he stopped to peer around the corner, down the hall to observe the couple. the man chuckled warmly as he put on his coat, eyes alight as he wore a charming smile. the boy’s lips twitched gently.

“we would’ve left even earlier if i had a say in it. this weather-”
“alright. see if you can get a gift for me, while you’re there.”
“for you? of course.”

alice opened the front door for them to leave. this was the kid’s chance. he stumbled closer towards the front door, stopping a short ways down the hall. “mom, dad?” he said to their backs, turned to him. the words felt so unfamiliar on his lips. his dad looked back at him from over his shoulder, the charismatic gleam no longer in his eyes. the boy held his breath. straightened. then, he forced a smile to his lips, the same as his parents always did; the corner of his lips trembled as he tried to keep it there. “can i go?” it was hard to be brave with shaking hands and trembling fingers. the room felt tense. he looked between them all, his feigned smile slowly starting to fade.

“no.”

“just this once-”

“i said no, jerome!”

the boy’s eyes were like saucers, lips parted gently in surprise amid his father’s outburst. annoyed eyes met his own. beatrice placed a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “you deal with him. i’ll be outside.” he abruptly stepped outside. the young kid stood paralyzed. his mother turned to him with eyes feigning kindness.
“not tonight, sweetie. it’s too dangerous outside for you right now.” he swallowed hard. he heard this narrative many times before, for many years. he nodded his head slowly. “when the electricity comes back, we’ll all go out as a family. okay?”

his throat was tight as he uttered, “okay.” his mom uttered goodbye to alice before leaving, the door closing behind her. alice turned to walk past him. she paused, as if contemplating saying something- then shook her head and walked further into the house. eyes slipped closed in silent anguish, sighing heavily through his nose. he shouldn’t have asked; he should’ve known better. eyes slowly opened again to stare ahead at the door. he blinked. then, he stepped closer towards the door, turning the handle to open it just a crack. he looked past the sheet of snow, down the driveway and towards the gate.

eyes slowly wandered down the hall where alice had retreated. he could go, he thought. he could leave right now and no one would notice. he’d be back before anyone even knew he was gone. he could be free. careful hands slowly opened the door--

“hey, jerome?” alice called from a few rooms away.

he felt a rush of anxiety and he swiftly closed the door in one quick movement. his hands lingered on the doorknob, trembling gently as he leaned against the door. a quiet cry was stifled by a breath of air; he pressed the side of his head against the door. he moved away from the door with a shaky breath. “coming!” he turned to walk further into the house. only a few steps in and he slowed to a stop. spared a glance back at the door again. then, he turned and swiftly walked further back into the house, trembling lips pressed tightly together

jerome hemingway would never get to experience the freedom he so desperately craved for.




fingers danced purposefully over ivory with effortless ease. jerome had played the song so many times before, eyes hardly ever glanced up towards the sheet music. holding his fingers down on the final chords, he paused. then, turning his gaze towards the corner of the room, he stilled. an empty stool sat unoccupied and alone, picking up dust. his gaze lingered on alice’s old seat before looking back to the piano keys. he started the song from the top again, looking more somber than when he first played it.

piano wasn’t as fun, anymore. not when there wasn’t someone else to enjoy it with.

things were different now that alice was gone. he wanted to be happy for her- of course, he was happy for her. she spoke many times about her true home, painted a picture of this beautiful world outside of here. happy as he was for her, though, there was still the same sadness that lingered in his heart. jerome hemingway was all alone, in a world that didn’t much care how he felt or what he had to say about it. the house was a little more empty, the lack of company left the young teen often feeling uncertain what to do with himself. jerome had grown up - that was certain - though there were still parts of him that felt missing. love. friendship. eyes wandered towards the doorway as his dad stepped by, papers in hand. freedom. part of him wondered if his parents would ever give him those pieces back.

stopping abruptly, he stood up from the piano and stepped out of the room after his father. he watched as the older man disappeared into his study, waiting before walking to stand at the door frame. his gaze lingered on his dad as the man made himself comfortable at his desk, leaning back comfortably in his chair. jerome’s fingers gently knocked on the door. “what is it, jerome?”

shifting his weight to one leg, he cleared his throat. tipped his chin up. “so i was thinking,” he started. his dad continued to read over the newspaper, absently flipping through the pages. “it’s unfair to have the piano instructor come all this way every week.” donald hummed, nodding his head.
“so you don’t want lessons anymore?”
“no, i still want lessons,” jerome disagreed. “but. i was thinking it would be more fair if i took lessons at her house every once in a while.” confident as he sounded, eyes darted worried towards his dad, giving away just how false the confidence truly was. “i think she’d appreciate it.” the silence that settled in was stiff and deafening. the teen sucked in a short breath, watching his dad expectantly. the older man kept flipping through newspapers, unfazed.
“well,” he drew out in thought, clicking his tongue before deciding, “we’ll talk about it more once the electricity comes back.”

jerome blinked. then, he huffed a short breath of disbelief, a smile coming to his lips. he muttered, almost bitterly, if the electricity comes back.”
his dad finally looked towards him, brows furrowing. “what are you saying?”
the teen straightened as he responded with a disbelieving smile, dad. the electricity has been out for years now. isn’t it safe to say it’s never going to come back? not for a long time, at least.”
donald gazed at him. his gaze was hard to read. he lowered his gaze dismissively back to the papers, nodding towards the doorway. “you don’t know what you’re talking about. get back to your piano.”
usually jerome would’ve done just that. he would’ve hung his head in disappointment, trudged back to his safe space. chastised himself for not speaking up for what he believed in. though there was something that kept him rooted at the front door. he couldn’t let this happen; not again. how could he help his dad see the truth of the situation? turning his gaze away, he shook his head as he quietly said, “the electricity’s not coming back. so i think-”
“that’s enough.”
jerome swallowed hard. ”instead of waiting for it to come back, we should adapt. get used to-”
his dad stood up abruptly, smacking his papers down onto the desk. “enough!”

his heart raced anxiously in his chest, a sick feeling of dread numbing him, pins and needles at the tips of his fingers. “how many times do we have to go over this? there are people out there that would love to have your head on a platter. we’re protecting you by keeping you here. you should be goddamn grateful.”
his lip wobbled as he said feebly, “i am. i am grateful-”
”you have everything you need right here. it’s about damn time you started acting like it.”
“okay.” jerome swallowed hard and lowered his head, blinking away watering eyes.
his dad huffed a short breath. cold. “what, now you’re going to start crying?”
jerome quickly shook his head, reaching up a hand to wipe underneath his eyes. “no,” he softly rasped.
shaking his head, his dad waved dismissively. “if you aren’t going to be a man about this, then get out of my sight.”

not knowing what else to do, jerome turned and fled for his room. he still heard his dad as he climbed up the stairs, the disappointment in his voice as he remarked, “pathetic.”

hours later and jerome still laid in his room, blinking away whatever emotions that tried to surge to the surface. trembling lips and fighting back the urge to cry. the sound of his bedroom door creaking open made him tense, slowly closing his eyes. his mom sat on the edge of the bed opposite him, sighing heavily. “jerome-” she sounded disappointed. sad. she had never stepped into his room before. not since jerome could remember.
”i know,“” he murmured gently. reaching up to wipe at his face, he softly admitted, “i shouldn’t have said anything. but this- this what? this unfair treatment? this loneliness? these shackles? … this life? shaking his head, he swallowed down the lump in his throat before uttering, ”i don’t know what came over me.”

silence filled the room. his mom sighed again. she hesitantly reached a hand over towards the teen, hands cautiously running through his hair. jerome laid there, stunned and shocked. she’d never done anything like that before. the unfamiliarity made him want to embrace it and run away from it all at once. “you know what i wish i told you when you were younger?” she huffed a short breath of laughter. “be like a duck.”
he turned onto his back to look over at her. she drew her hand away. “a duck?”
yes. calm and happy on the surface, but paddling and working hard underneath.” a warm smile on her lips, she stared down at her son. “that’s what i see when i look at you. my little duck-” she paired the words with an affectionate touch over his arm; the action felt hesitant and forced. “i know this isn’t what you want, but it makes your father and i upset whenever you get this way. could you keep being my little duckling until this is all sorted out? for me?”

he didn’t know how to respond. though, after a long moment of contemplation, he slowly started to smile. forcing a warm smile to his lips, he murmured, “of course, mom.”

the smile almost seemed convincing.



nothing ever changed.

occasionally he watched his dad from afar, observing as he flicked the living room lightswitch up and down. up and down again. as if expecting the impossible to happen. jerome couldn’t remember the day he saw the defeat in his dad’s eyes; he couldn’t remember the last time he flicked the lightswitch up. the young man eyed the lightswitch every now and then, as if he himself were waiting for that miracle too. if his dad had stopped believing, what did that mean for the future? what did that mean for jerome? what did that mean for freedom?

instead of the family adapting, it seemed that jerome had adapted his beliefs. or, at least, he feigned acceptance of his new reality. years spent sitting by the windowsill, longingly looking outside but never saying a word about it. opportunities of escape wasted in the pursuit of making those around him happy. the years could wear down any person’s perseverance. at some point one simply figures that the other people are right. he wasn’t equipped for the dangers out there. he could never fend for himself. whether he believed that or not, he stuck to those beliefs anyway without so much as a complaint. his mom, his dad… they were strangers to him, and yet he chose their happiness over his every time. would that be his fate? always choosing the happiness of others over his own?

to keep those he cared about happy, he remained in the same routine. a day spent in the living room chair reading and studying, heading into the study room to play the piano for a while. the hours went by painfully slow; he was always grateful for the chance to excuse himself to go to bed. at least in his sleep he tasted some sense of freedom; a dream of the world outside of his own small bubble. if he had known that night as he laid his head down that his life was going to change forever, perhaps the old hum-drum would’ve been more bittersweet. perhaps he might have savored it that much more. that was the thing about the past; it always seemed so much sweeter than the present one currently lived in.

eyes groggily opened at the sound of a thundering crash. heart raced as he held his breath, eyes staring over at the door. silence. he blinked a few times. after a few seconds, he proceeded to dismiss it as nothing, shifting around to grow comfortable enough to go back to sleep. eyes closed again as he started to drift into a comfortable slumber. though at the sound of hurried footsteps and bursting of glass and doors, he felt his eyes open wide. gunshots. gaze fixed on the door, he slowly stood up from his bed, lips parted for each slow, shaky breath. screams. shadows ran past the other side of the door, jerome watching the moonlight underneath the door flicker. a nauseating swirl settled in his stomach.

he needed to get out of there.

but how?

with his heart racing anxiously in his chest, he stepped closer towards the door. if he made a run for it, there was a chance he could get out of there… but were the odds truly in his favor? features scrunched up helplessly as he, as quietly as he could, gently turned the lock. locking the bedroom door. that wouldn’t keep him safe, but it would at least buy him some time. right? but how much time did he have left? what other options did he have left? he stilled. and then, he slowly turned around to look at his bedroom window.

he hesitated and weighed his options. he’d be lying if he said that he wasn’t scared. he didn’t want to go out through the window. his head snapped towards the door at the sound of the doorknob turning, the person on the other end vigorously trying the locked door. his breath hitched in his throat. he really didn’t want to do this.

“hey! there’s someone in here!”  he turned and scrambled towards the window.

then again, did he truly have a choice?

trembling hands pulled the window up, crawling out onto the roof. as he stood there, looking down at the ground below, many thoughts raced through his mind. what about his parents? what about his life, ruined without putting up a fight? a man ought to have far more courage than jerome hemingway did in that moment. a true man would fight for his family and what he believed in. though in the face of fear, jerome was nothing more than a coward. he never would’ve been able to save anyone. he couldn’t have made this end up any differently. his throat tight with anxiety and shock, he shucked in a short breath before he went to the edge of the room- and jumped.

if he hadn’t been in such a shocked and traumatized state, the fall would’ve hurt a lot more than it did. it still hurt, throbbing joints and aching bones, winded lungs gasping for air. it took him a moment or two to get up, wincing with the slow struggle. then, full of adrenaline, shock, and fear, he did the only thing he could think to do. running toward the fence, he dared not to look over his shoulder. terrified of what he would see. terrified of it being the last thing he would see. if jerome died, at least let his last sight be the vision of running for the fence, towards the world outside.

clammy hands grasped desperately at the fence. then, with every ounce of strength left in him - strength he didn’t even know he had - jerome managed to pull himself up and over the fence to the other side. he spared one last glance towards his home before he turned and ran for a place to hide.

he didn’t know how long he sat among the nearby foliage, gasping desperately for air. lips gently parted, he peaked out through the tree’s branches to look towards his home. where were his parents? if he had made it out, surely they would have made it, by now. “come on,” he urged in breathless puffs of air. eyes scanned around the house. “come on.” his parents never made it out of the house. as jerome sat and watched the thieves leave the house, gathering near the front of the estate, he started to accept that his parents never had the chance to.

as the house went up in flames, jerome stood shockingly still. eyes wide open. paralyzed. the ground gave out from underneath him, the young man collapsing down onto his knees. the putrid smell of ashes suffocated him with each quiet breath. his home. he slowly shook his head. all the times he talked to his parents about wanting to get out of there… all the times he cursed himself for staying cooped up in there all these years… suddenly he found himself wishing to have those moments back. his life back.

was that the cruel twist of fate? would jerome always want what he didn’t have?

slowly, he lowered himself down to sit on the ground, scooting back to be hidden by the nearby foliage again. drawing his knees to his chest and back pressed gently against the tree trunk, he slowly started to process everything that had unfolded. life as he knew it was forever changed. his parents… he could say he hardly knew them, more so shadows in memories so long ago. distant memories from a time jerome was too young to remember. and still, his heart ached unbearably for the loss of his two detached, distant parents. hot tears started to prick at his eyes, sniffling pathetically to himself. eyes stared blankly down at the ground in front of him.

this was all his fault, wasn’t it? he was the one that always wished to be out of the house. he wished for a miracle to come and get him out of there. but this? features scrunched up slightly. he rested his forehead down against folded arms. then, he silently wept.

if only he had known that freedom came at such a price. if he had, he never would’ve wished for it at all.



night turned to day. days turned into nights. less than a week after the incident and things already started to look hopeless for the young man. each day became more bleak as he struggled to cope with the weight that had suddenly been thrusted on his shoulders. no place to call home, nobody to turn to, no means for survival… he wandered the streets alone, arms crossed over his chest comfortingly. eyes glanced around the abandoned and destroyed city, solemn features eventually looking back towards the cracked pavement in front of him as he walked. his stomach grumbled painfully in his chest; when did he last eat? how long could a man go without any food? how far could a man run if he had nowhere to run to?

it was glaringly obvious he couldn’t stay here; he needed to leave the city. however, there was a certain fear in the unknown that jerome never prepared for. time and time again he found himself standing at the edge of city limits, only to turn back around and head back to the familiar. he slowed to a stop at the welcome sign, somber eyes blinking tiredly. he couldn’t keep living that way. there was nothing for him here. sparing a glance back at the cityscape behind him, he breathed in a heavy breath. then, turning back ahead, he released a short puff of a sigh and started down the worn road, covered by foliage and forestry after years of misuse.

not even half a mile out, he slowed to a stop and stared at the treeline to one side. eyes lingered on a small trail of smoke leading up into the air, intrigued. apprehensive. slowly looked down the road, holding his breath. what good could come out of leaving the road? what if he got lost? what if his fear was right, that staying on this road was the best choice?  but then again, hadn’t it also been fear itself that kept him in such an awful predicament for all those years? with a surge of courage - a lot of courage for a man who never once had to summon such an emotion before - he sucked in a short breath before he stepped off the road.

he was free; he couldn’t let fear be the shackles that dared to hold him down. not anymore.

careful feet stepped past the trees and through overgrown grass, following the occasional sound of movement. he had no way of knowing whether the person he was bound to meet would be as bad as the rest of humanity he had witnessed in the last few days. his stomach growled almost on cue. scared as he was, the desperation and exhaustion longed to find someone who could put such a weary heart at ease. it was worth the risk in jerome’s mind.

following the smoke and the distant crackle of a fire, jerome eventually stepped into a small clearing amidst the woods. he blinked in surprise. the man he came across looked - more ghostly than he expected. dark. he sat next to the flames, unflinching next to the contained fire. contained. in control. did the man do that himself?

“... what?”
it took jerome a few moments to realize he’d been staring at the other man in uncomfortable silence.

he turned his gaze back towards the other man. he stared for a moment longer than he should’ve before he cleared his throat, shifting his weight onto one leg. with hands resting on his hips, he gestured with one hand towards the slow-burning fire. “did you make this fire yourself?” dumb question. catching his lip for a moment in thought, he quickly restated, ”how did you do that? i’m amazed, really.” the man seemed casual about it, as if making fire wasn’t nearly as great a feat as jerome played it out to be. he did, however, seem a bit chuffed by j’s awe.
“it’s nothing. i do it all the time.” a pause. the man looked down at the fire casually. “i’m actually a survivalist, so i was raised to be good at these kinds of things.”

jerome’s brows raised with intrigue. “really?” a lightbulb went off in his head. this man, jerome thought, might as well be his ticket to surviving out in this new world. crossing his arms over his chest, he repeated thoughtfully, “a survivalist...” the blonde tried not to look as elated as he felt, barely holding back a grin as he casually hummed, “i can’t believe it. you survive out here all by yourself? that’s quite the feat, isn’t it?” interested, he nodded towards the fire. ”what else can you do?” the man appeared reluctant at first, though the more he started to talk about his skills, the more jerome became absolutely floored. it seemed almost too convenient, too easy that the hopeless man suddenly stumbled across a survivalist-extraordinaire.

as the man talked casually about his expertise, jerome occasionally butting in with - over exaggerated, but not feigned - awed remarks, the man almost couldn’t stop himself from smiling. “you can do anything and everything, can’t you?”
“just about.”
jerome shifted contemplatively. this was it. if he didn’t ask for this man’s help, if he didn’t take a chance, then surely he had no means of surviving all alone. “say,” he started thoughtfully, “you sure know a lot about what it takes to survive out here. and i-” know nothing. shaking his head, he huffed a short breath as he opted to say, “don’t even know half as much as you do. i was thinking… it would mean the world to me if you let me tag along with you. it doesn’t even have to be a lifelong commitment, just long enough that i can learn from you. learn what it means to be a true survivalist.” he allowed the words to linger in silence, hopeful eyes staring down at the survivalist. he felt almost fearful of the answer as he asked, “so. what do you say?”

the man paused momentarily in thought. though, it didn’t take him too long before he smiled just slightly and responded, “sure thing. i can show you a thing or two.” jerome tried not to look as visibly relieved as he felt. though, the soft elation and happiness in his eyes as he adorned a gentle smile said it all. it meant a lot to the young man. he moved to sit down next to the warmth of the fire across from eben.
“thank you, uh…?”
“eben.”
he smiled as he offered in return, “jerome, but you can call me anything, really. i’ve never had a nickname before-”

at the time, j couldn’t recall a time where he felt so alive. for once he was around someone who actually didn’t mind his company. fingertips trembled with excitement and hope of living past the following day, the following weeks. time flew by so fast when jerome traveled the world with eben, before he knew it years had passed. everything felt so simple in the beginning, just two men making it in the world together.

if jerome had known what a winding path the friendship would’ve led him - if he had known those darker sides to eben - would he have done anything differently? his best friend was also his very own enemy, and jerome didn’t know what he could do about it.

lackluster eyes stared into the mirror that hung on the bedroom door. look at you. eyes wandered over his frame dully. slowly looking back up to look himself in the eyes. where was the happy kid that he used to be? why wasn’t he happy? would he ever be happy? he was supposed to find this happiness with his newfound freedom all those years ago, and yet he felt that he never truly experienced freedom before. he never had the opportunity to fend for himself. and he couldn’t. he couldn’t fend for himself. he couldn’t take care of himself.  slowly he raised the gun at his side, careful hands pointing it towards the mirror.

he couldn’t even protect himself.

his throat felt tight as he stared at himself in the mirror. what happened to you? memories flashed of that morning, of hands around his throat, of everything fading to black. hands started to tremble weakly. god, what happened to you? he hardly even recognized himself anymore after that. he felt broken. all those years went by and he hadn’t even found what he was looking for. he never got what he truly wanted. eben was both the prison and the man that set j free.

turning the gun, he pressed the barrel to his forehead, hands shaking and eyes slipping closed. freedom. there was much the blonde had learned about freedom. every time he found it, every time he thought he had it, he never felt completely satisfied. he always wished he could have more. was that how his life would always be? would he always be longing for freedom, only to want even more once he had it? would he ever be happy with what he had? brows furrowed as eyes remaining closed, slowly lowering the gun. not the head, he figured. it’d be too painful. the barrel of the gun stopped against his heart. he visibly paused, a finger awkwardly hooking around the trigger. he sucked in a deep breath through his nose, feeling the cold metal rise and fall with his chest. this was it. tears fell from his eyes, dull features cracking into more agonized features. freedom.

“hey, j?” eben called from the living room.

he felt a rush of anxiety and he swiftly lowered his gun, eyes blinking at the door. he paused. then, a quiet, anguished cry was stifled as he bit into his lip, quickly kneeling down to stash the gun underneath his bed. hands wiped away the trails of tears, willing himself to breathe and relax. then, he stood up from the floor, and with as even a voice as he could muster, he called out, “coming.” he turned away from his bed to open up his bedroom door and step out into the hall. only a few steps out the door and he slowed to a stop. spared a glance back towards his bed. then, he turned and swiftly walked to the living room.

jerome hemingway would never get to experience the freedom he so desperately craved for.

//yo yo yo ! ! almost 5700 words and i still am not completely proud of this oneshot
there's a lot i could've changed, a lot i could've done. i kept having to take a break from the oneshot out of the idea that if i worked on it any longer i'd scrap it - and i almost did. but i'm just leaving this out here because j deserves a oneshot
i hope it's okay

6

text


Spoiler: tags ― updated 08/31. • show
BASICSI'M STILL FINDING OUT WHO I AM
‣  ❝ jerome hemingway ❞ | j | male [he/him] .
31 years old . | january 11th; capricorn.
‣  currently a member of bluestem prairie


PERSONALITY EVERY TIME IT'S MY FAULT SOMEHOW
‣ genuine . humble . kind . reassuring . loyal . polite . put-together . charming . down to earth . amiable . appreciative . caring . colorful . honest . considerate . cooperative . curious . cultured . tidy . uncomplaining . understanding . warm .
↳ fond of drawing, reading, writing, and piano
↳ starting to exhibit signs of depression


APPEARANCENOW I KNOW WHY YOU DON'T TRUST ME NOW
five foot nine & one hundred and fifty five pounds ; reference .
↳ blonde hair kept short and neat
↳ average build - a little on the slimmer side
↳ baby blue eyes , warm smiles and gentle eyes


FAMILYI'VE BEEN STITCHING UP MY MIND
‣  donald hemingway x beatrice hemingway | deceased
‣ only child
‣ considers his best friend, eben viljoen, the last family he's got left

RELATIONSHIPSFROM THE TRICKS AND THE EASY LOVE
‣  bisexual ; monogamous | never been in a relationship before
‣ crushing on elinor rose
↳ thinks the absolute best of her; most likely will never make a move


INTERACTIONSDON'T YOU TREAD ON ME
‣   [ 9/10 ] physically  |  [ 6/10 ] psychologically .
↳ difficulty w/ guns [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ melees [ very easy ] | difficulty w/ hand-to-hand [ very easy ]
@elysian. | dm for any major plots .
‣  friendly or nonviolent actions may be powerplayed .





7
Bluestem Prairie / CALM DOWN // OPEN
« on: August 18, 2020, 09:37:21 AM »

jerome hadn’t gone boating before. careful eyes looked off one side of the boat, along the rippling cascade of water around them as someone else rowed. usually he was terrified of the unknown, of trying something new. he had grown used to staying within his own comfort zone, he often never left it. though, he felt almost grateful to get to go out on the water, even if it meant recruiting people to go out along with - and find someone to row the boat for him (he didn’t think he’d have the knowledge to do it properly). eyes wandered over the few other boats out with them, each with about two or three people sitting and chatting happily.

he looked down at the water with absent calm. peacefully. he found his reflection in the water after the gentle ripples went away. his lips couldn’t help but twitch into a gentle smile. “this is nice,” he remarked, lifting his gaze towards the others on his boat. “maybe we’ll have to do this more often.”

in a life where the hard days seemed to heavily outweigh the good ones recently, having a moment like this felt like complete and utter bliss for jerome.


8
Bluestem Prairie / Re: northern downpour sends its love // open
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:48:09 PM »

“i see.” so paisley didn’t mind the rain. j couldn’t particularly say the same for himself. he didn’t mind watching the rain, something about it feeling almost peaceful and soothing. actually standing out in the rain was a different story; he had been quick to find shelter, unlike the blonde next to him.

“a drowned rat?” he found amusement in that comparison, huffing a light air. running his fingers through his hair, he paused. then, with an easy smile as they observed the rain, he noted, “i would’ve looked worse, probably.” jerome hoped he wouldn’t ever have the chance to find out if those words held some truth in them.

as brock approached, boldly proclaiming how great the rain was, how great life was, jerome watched the man with a careful gaze. then, looking up towards the sky, he agreed, “it is pretty good, don’t you think?” although the words felt like a distasteful lie, he couldn’t say there wasn’t some truth to them.


9
Bluestem Prairie / Re: TAKE YOUR TIME // OPEN
« on: August 01, 2020, 09:55:23 PM »

glancing up from his absent writing, a gentle smile made its way to his lips at the sight of a familiar face. frank, hey,” he warmly greeted, as if he was glad to see him. and even while the man seemed to be keeping his distance from others - painfully so - he actually did seem happy to see frank of all people. although at first glance it seemed there was little in common between them, jerome started to find they were more similar than whatever lay on the surface.

frank was kind and genuine, one of the few good guys around graveyard; a delightful presence without being even slightly aware of it. dissimilar as they were, the other man was nice company to be around. frank had no expectations of who jerome was or ought to be; he didn’t judge him for being noticeably softer around the edges than just about anyone else in this town. for that, j came to truly like the other man - even if he could be a bit aloof and distant, reluctant to allow franklin to become any closer than he already was. as much as j appeared like an open book, if one were to dig - and dig quite a bit - they would find out he was more guarded than anyone would’ve figured.

humming in agreement, he tilted his head back, lifting the journal up just slightly. “a bit of both.” he watched as frank settled down next to him, pointing out that he was good at drawing. “really?”  as much as j liked the man, he had to say he was impossibly hard to read at times. last time he thought frank had been telling the truth about his piano skills, he had quickly been proven wrong. surely frank wouldn’t lie twice about his talents. right? his gaze lingered on frank’s gaze, as if willing that to be true. then, tearing a piece of paper out, he placed it atop the journal before handing it all to the other man. “let’s see what you’ve got.”



10
Bluestem Prairie / Re: SOUND THE SAME // OPEN
« on: August 01, 2020, 12:16:44 PM »

“you’re finally getting yourself a gun.” his gaze darted towards brock, lingering just long enough before turning to look towards the guns. being around the other man made him feel uneasy nowadays, even while he was slow to admit it. the more he saw of the man, the more his blind admiration slowly started to become tainted with a more grisly truth. the admiration he had for the man came to a jarring halt the moment brock wielded his gun and pulled the trigger on a man, running for his life.

would jerome ever have the guts to do that to a stranger, let alone someone close to him? would he set aside his own morals if it meant protecting himself? his skin prickled with unease and regret at the thought of even entertaining the thought. though he felt he was too far in now to change his mind. besides, perhaps even the act of owning a weapon would put him at ease, even if he never used it. he feared the idea that some day he might have to.

brock was quick to offer to show jerome how to fire one. he huffed a breath, a gentle smile forced to his lips as he lowered his head briefly. “if it’s not too much to ask,” he hummed, gesturing to the arsenal. “i need all the help i can get. i don’t know which one to even choose.” looking towards brock, he furrowed his brows thoughtfully before asking, “what do you think?”


11
Bluestem Prairie / Re: ❝ i'm gonna win — meeting [07/11] . ❞
« on: July 19, 2020, 10:04:17 AM »

jerome often assumed very little of himself; he was sure others thought the very same. when it came to this new world, j had little to offer in terms of useful qualities or characteristics. he wasn’t built to last and survive this new world on his own. how he made it this far - compared to all the people who hadn’t when they were far more capable - could only be chalked up as a miracle in itself. he felt useless more days than not.

he sat at an empty table, only briefly sitting up at brock’s offer. a chance to not be the same as he’d always been. a chance to prove himself. eyes darted around the room as people began to volunteer. eben, magnus, a few others. he clenched his jaw. this was his chance. he could go, make himself worth something. if he decided to go, he doubted anyone would think twice about it; the man was always eben’s shadow, following the man’s footsteps.

though, as much as he desperately wanted to volunteer, his chest swirled with conflicting emotions. it was tough, when his own morals and his emotions weren’t on the same side. with a heavy heart, he released a slow breath through his nose, eyes darting down to the table as if to avoid anyone else’s gaze. dismissing the idea of going in the first place. jerome remained silent.


12
Bluestem Prairie / Re: TURNING OUT // OPEN
« on: July 11, 2020, 10:41:14 PM »

jerome remembered how it felt when it had been just the two of them traveling around this new and treacherous world together. there had been all kinds of sights and skills eben had been more than glad to expose j to - even if some of those skills jerome still had yet to master. everything he knew in this world could mostly be given to eben’s credit. even on the days when j had been absolutely useless, helpless, and constantly in need of the other man, his dear friend remained by his side. kept him under his wing. he always did.

this group had torn them apart in ways the dirty blonde would’ve never imagined. none of it could be entirely their fault, right? people grew and changed; it was often hard to work to try and find middle ground. though every time he looked to his best friend, he realized he was still the same man he had always been. jerome was the one that changed. was this distance between them all his fault, then?

with all of this time left to his own devices, to sit and think, jerome ended up reflecting on himself more than he once did. his temperament was fickle, changing like a small ripple in a pond. he couldn’t hold eben accountable for his own actions and rather harsh treatment as of late. he dug the tip of one shoe into the dirt, watching the small pile of dirt accumulate at his toes. jerome had changed; was it truly right to punish eben for it?

then again, was it truly right that jerome got punished for it too?

“yes, that’s terrible.” usually the statement would be enough for jerome to visibly deflate. however, the evident uncaring and almost playful tone in eben’s voice made j look at him almost gratefully, a smile making an appearance on his lips. “tragic, i know.” only moments ago he thought he would have resented being anywhere close to the man. though in this moment, it felt like it was just the same again. just the two of the men without a care in the world. as eben suggested that they change the other man’s lack of equestrian experience, j visibly hesitated. he looked out uneasily towards the animals, lips in a thin line. “well… i don’t know.”

“-the feeling of freedom when you’re galloping across the plains is… well, you gotta see for yourself. there are no words to describe it.” something in those words caught jerome’s attention, eyes wandering to look towards his dear friend. freedom? he watched with careful eyes as eben called a horse over, stroking its muzzle with calmed ease. while eben seemed to have his guard let down comfortably around the horse, j looked more visibly tense than usual, shuffling the slightest bit to the side, away from the horse.

the other man made an offer; show jerome how to ride a horse. show jerome freedom. after so long of searching for such a feeling, the blonde couldn’t possibly turn down the offer. hesitating, he eventually stepped closer towards eben and the horse. with a hesitant hand, he ran a hand along the horse’s muzzle. when the animal didn’t flinch or rear its head, the smile on his lips felt so painfully genuine paired with awed features. “i would really like that. thank you.” he went quiet but for only a moment before he admitted, “i don’t know what i was expecting, but i always thought their fur would be- softer.”

everything felt more complete in that moment.

13
Bluestem Prairie / Re: SWEET HURRICANE // OPEN
« on: July 11, 2020, 09:45:01 AM »

jerome should have felt relief. though in a world like this, jerome found that there was often little relief he could offer up. in instances where one would expect the exhilarating flood of calm, j couldn’t say he had ever fully let his guard down enough to experience it. when they had stumbled across a place like bluestem, he couldn’t say there was an initial flood of relief. when he lost consciousness because of hands tight around his throat, the unconsciousness felt more like the world having mercy on the poor man than anything else. then, when he had woken up later to find that he wasn’t dead… jerome felt a lot in that moment after coming to, but he couldn’t say any of it was remotely close to relief.

it was a cold world j had learned he lived in. it was a world where he stood on the sidelines waiting, anticipating for a moment where he could step in and feel alive. there was a hard undeniable truth to be found the more he looked into this world. it didn’t stop for anyone, or anything. the longer jerome stood on the sidelines, waiting, the more he feared he had missed his chance to step into his own life long ago. he wasn’t living anymore, and he wasn’t sure what he had done wrong, or what he could do to make it right.

frank was more perceptive than jerome initially thought. perhaps not because he noticed jerome had been gone - he glanced over his shoulder as everyone else still drank without any acknowledgement his way - but that he noticed that j did exist. even when there was no desire between any of them to speak about his absence, there was still a warm swell in his chest just the same. shaking his head, he chuckled quietly to himself. “i can’t say i was even a pro to begin with,” he admitted, the man so slow to ever admit his own strengths. “it was one of those things that helped pass the time. you know what i mean?”

after playing a short tune, fingers dancing over keys, he quieted. “out of practice, my ass.” the remark was enough for jerome to huff a short breath, absently sliding his fingers across the tops of the ivory keys. he looked up towards frank as the man shrugged, then stated that sure, he played. had j not been looking at the other man and seen the humorous glimmer in his gaze, perhaps his expectations would’ve been higher. instead his lips twitched into an amused smile, saying a quiet, “really?” it was surely evident j was already in on the joke. though, as frank stepped over to press fingers down on three random keys, j’s gaze wandered back towards frank’s.

“just outta practice, s’all.” his gaze lingered on frank’s, almost looking grateful. though he wouldn’t dare to admit it, it had been a moment that he truly had needed, first thing after stepping out of his house. frank would probably never know how much j had needed the company. “you’ve got raw talent, frank,” he stated it so casually it might not have sounded like humor at all. turning to the keys, only then did his lips fight back a smile as he noted, “the next chopin, i’m sure.”


14
Bluestem Prairie / Re: LOVER IS A DAY // OPEN
« on: July 09, 2020, 11:07:35 PM »

he chuckled quietly to himself, enough for shoulders to gently shake, shifting as he placed his hands on his hips. “oh, definitely. i am known to be quite elusive.” there was an amused sparkle in his eyes, as if even he couldn't believe his own words. no matter how elusive jerome could be, eben always seemed to be able to find him. he seemed to be the only person that cared to look in the first place. eben was a hard man to pin down. one moment he could make jerome’s life feel pointless and empty; the next he was the very reason jerome felt fulfilled and complete. it was tiring to constantly go back and forth between such differing emotions. however, it seemed the lengths he would go for eben were still limitless no matter the way things were at times. he’d go to the ends of the earth for that man; did eben even realize that?

although a small voice told him he had every reason to be defensive towards the insulting question, he still found brows furrowing, eyes wandering away towards the railing in brief guilt with how he had spoken to his dear friend. he didn’t have the energy to fight and bicker with the other man; it was all pointless in the end. besides, jerome knew when he was in the wrong. shoving his hands in his pockets, shoulders hunched subtly in shame, he quietly uttered, “you’re right. i was out of place.” he looked back towards eben, cautious, as he apologized. “i’m sorry.”

jerome was getting so tired of apologizing.

eben was quick to be the bigger man, moving on - probably out of sheer frustration with j - and forgetting about the previous tensions. j gripped eben’s shoulder firmly as he walked, brows furrowed in concentration. where would jerome go if he had the choice? he contemplated it for a moment. in all honesty he wanted to tell eben everywhere. everywhere until he found the place he truly belonged. nowadays he felt so alienated and out of place, unsure of who he was, who he was supposed to be. he bit his tongue sharply, pondering before quickly saying, “you know that one place? uh- niagara falls?” he nodded to himself, huffing a short breath. "i'd go there first.” that was the simple answer, the easy answer. he couldn’t imagine burdening eben anymore with his troubles and woes.

briefly faltering, jerome stilled and firmly held onto eben, other arm flailing to catch his balance. he held onto his friend until he got his balance again. he huffed a short note of laughter, shaking his head. he patted eben’s shoulder, looking towards the man as he asked, closed-lip smile so big and seemingly-genuine that his eyes crinkled in the corners, “are you tired of being my crutch yet?” a double-edged meaning that jerome didn’t want to explain. was eben tired of jerome constantly depending on him? was eben growing exhausted with j? there was something serious growing in his gaze the longer he looked at his dear friend. shaking his head, he chose to let go of eben as he started to wander ahead, both arms held out at his sides. “it’s grueling work, isn’t it?”

15
Bluestem Prairie / Re: northern downpour sends its love // open
« on: July 07, 2020, 12:05:43 PM »

the rain wasn’t something jerome enjoyed, though it was something he was fascinated by when he was younger. old memories washed over him at the sight of falling raindrops. he would often sit, arms leaning against the window sill, occasionally pressing his forehead against the cold condensation forming on the window glass as he watched the pelting raindrops. sometimes he’d get to watch people stroll by, young kids his age taking the chance to splash around, dancing in the puddles that littered the street. at the time he would watch with fascination, wishing he had the chance to go out and dance in the rain.

he never got the chance to do it himself, but he couldn’t say he was particularly interested in the idea anymore. he was just as quick as everyone else to search for shelter elsewhere, trying to make his way back home and get as least soaked as possible by walking close to the buildings. though, it seemed like others weren’t nearly as lucky as him to have gotten out of the rain so fast. he slowed to a stop at the sight of paisley, standing a few feet from her as he remarked with a light chuckle, an easy smile on his lips, “you’re soaked.” quite the observation, he was sure. “couldn’t find cover fast enough?”


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