Author Topic: sweet / private  (Read 232 times)

Offline SULTAN

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sweet / private
« on: December 16, 2020, 10:52:25 PM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
Hetal had a revelation while twirling an end of her hair. She didn't really like it here. She was transferred to this school as part of an agreement that would prevent her from facing something much worse, but she could have a little groan or two as a treat, couldn't she?

She huffed, flopping down on her shitty bed in her shitty apartment next to her shitty school. She let her mind wander for a bit; would she rather be experiencing the fate that was initially presented to her than whatever hell she was in right now?

Her eyes narrowed a fraction.

No. Not really. I think I can deal with boredom and a superficial bond or two just fine.

Hetal's phone buzzed on the cupboard as soon as the thought left her mind.

"Why, Rachel..why..?" It had to be her. Rachel was the only one who ever texted. Ever since she broke it off with the senior a couple of weeks ago, it couldn't possibly be anyone else. She reached over for it anyway.

Hey.

She stared at the screen in mild confusion. Texts from Rachel were usually her groaning or gushing about her stupid boyfriend. Hetal's advice was usually just to tell him to fuck off or send him to her so she could take him off her hands (gross). A simple "hey" was never in the mix, which led her to believe something was terribly wrong.

She typed out a message.

You good?

Her thumb hovered over the send button, but ended up pressing delete. She typed in something else.

Wanna come over?

Sent.
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Offline RACHEL COLE

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2020, 11:49:47 PM »
//tw for a kidnapped younger sibling + speculation as to whether the sibling is still alive, and references to smoking weed and metaphorical blood

Her texts weren't always about Benny. Sometimes they were about food or clothes or whatever random twitter thread had her absolutely enthralled. Sometimes she was just trying to bribe Hetal with dippin' dots for some love. Not actual love, of course. According to her mother, real love was bold and unflinching and honest. It didn't hide, it was evident and without strings. Heidi used to say that love was like what she and Rachel's father had, even after the divorce, even after she remarried. But then Rachel asked if she and Rajendra were in love and then the example became Gareth. He was always the example of everything good and pure. It was almost sickening. He was perfectly preserved in Heidi's mind, an angel that could do no wrong. He was watching over her now, or so Heidi believed. It was how she coped.

Rachel coped by trying to find him. It was getting harder and harder, though, ten years out from when he'd been kidnapped. Keeping that shred of hope, that shred of belief alive wasn't easy and sometimes she understood why her mother longed to believe that he was dead. But she couldn't give up. She wouldn't let herself think that she would never see her little brother again.

It was a lot to deal with, day in and day out, searching for clues, for reasons for the police to give a fuck about the ten-year cold case. And maybe it distracted her from her studies and her boyfriend, but she had her moments. Any time she did do her own homework she got full marks, and she must be doing something right to keep Benny.

But she didn't want Benny, didn't have the energy to give him the attention he surely craved. She sure as fuck didn't have energy for school. But she needed a break. Scooter? No, she was pretty sure he'd said something about Marli. Even if she did go and spend a few hours smoking with him, that would just make Benny jealous. Oh, but hitting up her beloved "side ho" wouldn't? She'd already grabbed her phone, navigated to Hetal...

Was it okay, to not be okay? To need to turn off, to shut off her overwhelming personality? She got sick of it too, sometimes. Being herself. Being wild and friendly and bitchy and flirty and everything all at once. It was draining, but being alone with her thoughts would be so much worse.

Rachel tried, she really did, to come up with something fun to begin the conversation with. But once the tears started pricking in her eyes, she sent a simple hey. Who was she kidding? Whatever this friendship she had with Hetal, it wasn't one where she could run to her and bare her real heart to her. She could show her a caricature, so long as no blood was spilled. If she wanted to vent about her feelings she should just get Scooter really high. Or ask Rajendra if they had enough money that week for her to book a therapy appointment.

But even if those options were available, she didn't want them. She wanted the woman that would tell her to quit being a baby and get over herself. Who would push her to stop feeling like this. She didn't want to dwell.

Wanna come over?

already omw

Rachel wiped her eyes and stood up, taking a moment to compose herself. Okay. Time to go.

It didn't take long to turn up outside of Hetal's apartment, dippin' dots in hand. She had to have something to compensate for her less than sparkling personality. (The short notice was less of a problem for her.)

Offline SULTAN

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2020, 12:29:42 AM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
Hetal wasn't good at friends. No, she just decided she wasn't supposed to be. She couldn't remember the last time she sent a text like that, but her heart was working faster than her head.

already omw

Her chest tightened. She was?

Hetal blinked, then set her phone down and sank back into her pillow. What was this feeling? Curiosity? Trepidation? Relief? Why? Who was Rachel to her, anyway?

A girl she liked. Someone she talked to sometimes. A friend.

The last time she had one of those was while ago. When she was foolish and thought she needed people to survive. They were the ones who abandoned her when she needed them the most. But it taught her an important lesson; no one was obligated to stick around.

Not even her lawyer, because he left her too.

Hetal must have fallen asleep, because the knock at her door jerked her back to life (and came faster than she thought). She rose to her feet, hesitating before she answered.

"..Coming."

She turned the knob and peeked out into the hallway. The expression she was met with made her stomach lurch.

Hetal glanced down at the dipping dots to avoid looking at her. "Thanks," she gathered up the courage to look back into her eyes. "come in."

She usually greeted Rachel with a sarcastic comment or something outrageously flirty, but she couldn't find it in herself to even muster a smile. Just looking at her face made her heart drop. Hetal was awful. Horrible. Why did Rachel even speak to her? They had known each other for two years and Hetal didn't even know why she was down. Every conversation that they ever had probably made the poor girl feel worthless.

She reached out for the dipping dots and cradled the box in her arms. She looked into Rachel's eyes again. There were words, suggestions, waiting at the tip of her tongue.

Thank you.

Are you okay?

I love you.

Hetal shook her head and put the box on her cupboard.

"What's up?"
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Offline RACHEL COLE

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2020, 02:37:24 AM »
She thinks she's giving up on knowing people.

She knew her parents for her whole life, yet her mother's decisions still baffled her, and her father's departure was so sudden and gradual at the same time she couldn't help but wonder: are people gradient? Over the course of their lives, do people change? Or is the curtain just slowly pulled away to reveal their true nature? She thought that at one point, no, for most of the points, her father wanted to be in her life. What was worse, he was always disinterested but got worse at hiding it, or him suddenly realizing he didn't want to be in her life?

Even if people don't change, and even if they do, you can't really know them. If someone leaked her every secret to gossip girl, would that mean that the entire school knows her? No, not really. Because they don't know what went through her mind, through her body in the moments that it happened and the moments it was posted.

She could tell someone, tell Hetal, that when she was eight years old she came home from school to find her mother sobbing on the kitchen floor and her father frantically searching the house and the yard while on the phone with the police. That was a fact about her life, a very important one, one necessary to understanding the fabric that made up her being. But knowing that wouldn't mean that they knew her. She could describe the events, but how does she explain that the world was spinning and the ground kept moving under her feet? That the only thing that she knew for sure was that she was glad she'd skipped lunch to play outside, because now there was nothing in her stomach to throw up?

Humans are visceral creatures, Rachel had decided. They experienced the world in unique, incomprehensible ways. Therefore truly knowing people was impossible. And she was okay with that. If she could be unknown, she could be invincible. Even if she complained to Hetal that Benny was more interested in her phone than her, the other woman wouldn't know that every time she looked over her shoulder at him and saw him laying on her bed, texting away, she got this sinking feeling. Or that sometimes he looked up at her and smiled and she felt silly for feeling that way, because there he was, smiling at her. Not some other girl, her. Of all the places he could be wasting his youth, he was doing it with her.

Her invincibility was a lie, and she could feel the cracks forming, splitting off and becoming deeper and more devastating with every passing second. And now she was standing in front of the most perfect, imperious, insufferable, gorgeous woman Rachel knew. (Hey, if admiring was cheating, Benny had a lot to answer for.) And the crevices and ravines were right there, under the scorching sunlight of Hetal's gaze. This was a mistake.

But humans were visceral creatures, and the only way you could see what another was experiencing was through their eyes. The way they dilate when they see something they love, the light that enters (or doesn't enter) when they laugh, the reflective sheen when they hold back tears. But it was not tears being held back, it was something Rachel could only compare to concern. Did Hetal care for her? Surely not. Surely she had people as perfect as her falling at her feet. Surely they begged for a scrap of her attention and had offerings more impressive than fucking dippin' dots.

But here was Rachel, standing at her full, ridiculous height with her chin held high, and her stupid bleeding heart on her sleeve, and her meager tribute. It was all she had. She had her pride, though right now she wasn't so sure she had anything to be proud of.

Maybe if things were okay, she would have made a lewd joke. But if things were okay she wouldn't be pushing back inexplicable tears. "My hormones, I think." Yeah. She was gonna call this one PMS. It happened sometimes. She hated it. "What's up with you?" She shifted uncomfortably, amazed that she was able to present even this feeble front.

Offline SULTAN

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2020, 12:00:25 PM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
Hetal popped open the packet of dippin dots and grabbed herself a handful. She offered the bag to Rachel, then tossed it onto the bed. "Yeah, uh.." she shrugged, pursing her lips. "I don't know."

She went over to the mirror and combed her fingers through her hair. "Just fucking boring myself to death." She turned to her with a deadpan expression. "Because Sammy..can't handle a real woman." Hetal dawdled over
to Rachel and snaked her arms around her waist. "I mean, I dropped him, but still."

She didn't know what kind of relationship the both of them shared. Half of the time she wasn't even sure if they liked each other. All she knew was that she was the only person who texted her and had just showed up at her apartment without her even having to ask.

"Wanna go somewhere?" Hetal mumbled, arms still locked around her.

She hated Benny. She knew he was handsome and seemed okay but he was hers. And everyone seemed to know that. Rachel and Hetal didn't even acknowledge each other in the group text unless somehow prompted. She wasn't even sure that people knew they were close like that.

Hetal hugged her tighter. She didn't really know anyone in this school other than everyone's name. She didn't know anyones favorite color, and doubted anyone knew hers. Hell, did she even know hers? What about..

"Rachel," she loosened her grip so she could look up into her eyes. "What's your favorite color?"   
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Offline RACHEL COLE

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2020, 12:37:05 PM »
Rachel's hand plunged into the bag and her fingers curled around what was perhaps a greedy amount, but she'd let Hetal have the rest. "Mmm." She'd been bored before, of course - who hadn't? But she didn't have the luxury of letting that feeling linger. There was always something that needed to be done, or at least, could be done. "Sounds like his problem." She wrapped her free arm around Hetal's shoulders, since that was about the only part of her that the taller woman could reach like this. "I swear, I'm this close to thinking that no man can handle women like us." It sounded like an indictment of men, but maybe, just maybe, there was a little bit of hopelessness. That she'd be too much, or not enough, that maybe she was just a bit unlovable.

Maybe it was genetic, a curse passed down by her mother. Kirk had left her, and now she was in a loveless marriage for the sake of some company and getting the bills paid. And now Rachel got to have that burden. Her father left, Scooter was in and out of her romantic life (and she could only hope he stayed in her platonic life) and there was no telling how long Benny would keep putting up with her.

"I don't think so." Rachel's arm loosened from Hetal's shoulders. "Unless it's just us. I don't really want to be seen right now." But it was easy enough to be unseen. Feed something to gossip girl and then don't do anything to draw attention, people would forget she existed until the drama died down. Even easier to spend a few hours locked in her room with her phone in a shoe box in the closet.

Hetal's next question caught her off guard and she blinked. "I dunno. Blue, maybe? Or brown." Blue was the easy, acceptable answer, no one would question why she liked it. Brown was different, though, something that would spark interest. She didn't want interest, but she didn't want to lie, and brown was closer to the truth. It was so unassuming, and there was something comforting about that.

Offline SULTAN

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2020, 06:17:36 PM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
Hetal nodded, unraveling herself from Rachel. "Brown's so you. It was either that or gray." She murmured, half to herself.

She wandered over to the window as if in a trance. She leaned her elbows on the sill, cupping her cheeks in her palms. "Mine's orange, maybe." She might just be saying that because of the sunset. But it was the only thing she could think of, and it felt right. She'd never really put much thought into stupid things like this before.

"Yeah, it would be just us." Hetal glanced over her shoulder, but not necessarily at Rachel. "I wouldn't know who else to ask."

She didn't mean for it to sound suggestive. She really didn't have anyone else to take around. Even though she knew everyone's face at school, she could hardly ask them to come over for a chat or drink. But it was fine with her. It was easy.

"The little flea market's still open. We could just go there." She took a quick up-down at Rachel's outfit, then went over to rummage around in her closet.

"Here," she tossed her a cardigan. "It's a little cold." And Rachel's outfit was a bit hard on the eyes, too, but she wasn't going to say that. There were some other issues they needed to go over, anyway.   
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Offline RACHEL COLE

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2020, 07:25:01 PM »
Rachel cocked her head to the side, watching as Hetal slipped across the room. "What does that mean?" She would have thought that her preference for brown would be surprising, considering that she had what she would describe as a vibrant personality. "Oh, yeah?" She studied Hetal for a few moments, somewhat surprised that she didn't say something dark, a royal color or that of a jewel. But orange made sense, in a way. It was unexpected and often underappreciated, much like Hetal herself.

How were there so many people at their school, so many friendships yet none of them were real? Real enough that they could get together to get high, rally around helping one of them pass a drug test, but what did they do when they were sad and needed to vent?

Yeah. Get high. And normally Rachel was perfectly content to take that option, but not tonight. Tonight she didn't want to get lost in some smoke, she wanted to do her best not to get lost in brown eyes that weren't hers to fall into. She looked at the cardigan for a moment but then pulled it over her head. "I never took you for the flea market type."

Offline SULTAN

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2020, 09:56:04 PM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
Hetal wasn't sure if she should take offense to that. What did she take her as? "Who the fuck is a 'flea market type?'" Well, she was, apparently. "Ugh, whatever. Let's go." She nearly started out the door without her shoes, but quickly turned around and slid her feet into some sandals she discarded under her desk.

"It's just a quick walk, so we don't need to drive." Rachel probably already knew that, but Hetal just wanted to say it so she could keep up the illusion of her owning a car. She had..a bike, though.

Her lip curled at the thought.

"Wait, so did you mean that you didn't think I was into cheap shit?" She scoffed incredulously. "I can't even look at you!" Hetal flipped her hair, increasing her pace so she was a few steps ahead of Rachel.

That probably wasn't even what she meant. Flea markets weren't even cheap! Was Hetal just being dumb? She - god, whatever.

"Oh!" she stopped in her tracks, pointing at the large ferris wheel that towered over the stalls. "We should totally go on that at the end of the night." She declared, shooting her a cheeky grin. "But before that, we've get you something new to wear. I've seen you in that sweater way too many times to count."

But it looked nice, to be fair.   
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Offline RACHEL COLE

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2020, 03:16:31 PM »
Well, brilliant. She'd managed to go and offend Hetal, and over something so stupid too. "I dunno, I just took you for someone that would go for designer stuff." Rachel shrugged, hoping that would be enough to soothe any ruffled feathers. "But I guess now that I think about it, one of a kind flea market stuff would suit you too." Did that make it better? She was trying, but it sure felt like she was failing.

Rachel adjusted the sleeve of the cardigan, following along without saying anything else. She did actually have a car, though she hadn't driven here. New York's traffic was a pain in the ass to navigate, so if she could manage walking, she did.

And just like that, it was like Hetal had forgotten her offense. "Okay." Maybe if she had felt like herself, she would have teased the other, said it sounded romantic. But now the cold December air was nipping at her jawline, and after upsetting the other the discomfort and self-consciousness was setting back in. That wasn't helped by Hetal's comment on her sweater. "What's wrong with it?" Sure it was baggy and plain, but it was also comfy and warm.

//screams I'm sorry for this

Offline SULTAN

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Re: sweet / private
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2020, 01:35:55 AM »
<3
claire loves u!
HETAL BHARDWAJ

AIN'T NEVER FELT THIS WAY, CAN'T GET ENOUGH SO STAY WITH ME ・✧
"Nothing," There really wasn't. "I just..thought you may want some new clothes, that's all." Hetal wasn't sure if her intentions were that simply put, but she didn't want to ruminate on it for much longer.

She noticed her friend's discomfort, though, and suddenly felt somewhat apologetic. Maybe she should curb the assyness, just for tonight.

"Here. Let's just go on the ferris wheel now." Hetal grabbed hold of Rachel's wrist and attempted to drag her over to the growing queue. "It's gonna be so cute and romantic and you won't have to think about Benny or any of your other stupid boyfriends for the rest of the night."

Okay. Maybe that was still a little assy. She might have some problems other than those ones, right?

Well, none that she knew of, but that was hardly the point.

"Sorry. But seriously." She nodded her head to try and beckon her over willingly. "It'll be fun."

Would it really be that fun, locked in with each other for fifteen or thirty minutes or so?

Hetal would probably say something stupid. Or nothing at all. And Rachel..well, no one knew about her. Maybe she'd talk more about the issues that Hetal didn't know about. But it was doubtful.

They would just sit and stare out the window and either Hetal or Rachel would point out their school and then that would be it. Then they'd get a new sweater or something and go home.

Go home to their separate homes. 

Hetal bit her lip and looked away. She didn't know why she was thinking so much when there was nothing to think about. She didn't even give a shit about Rachel like that.

"So are you coming or not?"
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