Doing homework

Ayla looked at her phone, clicking the home button to bring her screen to life. The time smiled prettily at her, in the cutesy new font she had changed it to after having the no nonsense factory default font installed since she had first gotten her smartphone. She sighed. No texts. She pressed the lock button on her phone. And she had checked her phone about six times in the past two minutes. She stared out her bedroom window.

She supposed that her street looked quite nice. She tended to not notice it much. She didn’t go walking often and she didn’t spend time outside in general. She was always studying and when it was windy it was hard to study outside. In general, it was just easier to study inside because there were outlets and air conditioning units and it was nicer.

Her street looked normal, just as she had imagined it in her head. Across her house was the opening to a cul-de-sac. There were two tiny trees, spaced in the grass space in front of the sidewalk in front of her house.  They were close to each other,  yet far enough apart that you could look at one without seeing the other. You had to turn your head to look at one then the other. She knew that plants needed proper minerals and water and whatnot to grow properly,  and that it wasn’t good to put them in competition for natural resources so unnecessarily, but  she still wondered why they couldn’t have been planted closer together.

Then she heard a knock on the door. Her heart jumped.

“Ayla! Your friend is here!”

Ayla’s heart jumped. Today is the day. The thought made her stomach squirm. But she knew it was now or never. She could drag…this on forever and ever but she really needed answers. She needed to move on one way or another.

Ayla didn’t bother responding to her little sister, though. For some reason, Beyza never learned Mawar’s name. She knew Samantha’s name. But Mawar never could determine why Mawar wasn’t on Beyza’s radar. As racist as Beyza was, Ayla would have thought that her little sister would like Mawar more than anyone else, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

Ayla went down to the stairs and put one hand on the doorknob and used her other hand to unlock the deadbolt.  She opened the door.

And there she was.

“Hey!” Mawar smiled serenely, her dark face framed with a light pink hijaab decorated with lavender and light blue roses. Ayla gave a small smile back, stepping away from the door so Mawar could come in.

“So,” Ayla said. Mawar was already taking off her light pink ballet flats.

“Are you hungry?” Ayla asked. “We could go grab something to eat before we start.”

“Not really. I ate before I came. But thank you.”

“Alright.”

Mawar took a few steps to the dining room table, which now served primarily for group homework use, as Ayla did homework by herself upstairs, but whenever someone came over to do work, they worked downstairs. She put her backpack down on the ground and got out her laptop.

Okay, here we go. Ayla sighed. She locked the door and joined Mawar at the table.

Mawar was logging into her laptop by now. Ayla got out her earth science binder and opened the front cover, getting out a packet from the front flap.

“So. I have no idea how to do this,” Ayla said, staring at the elegant profile of Mawar’s face. She looked down at her paper

Mawar looked at her, expression etched somewhere in between sympathy and amusement. “I think I get it. We’ll figure it out.”

“You’re so smart.” The words hung in the air, slightly breathy with awe. Ayla felt the words glare at her, in angry red whiteboard marker, and she wanted to erase them as quickly as possible.

“Haha, not at all,” Mawar said, clicking laptop mouse loudly, and staring at the blank Excel sheet. “This class just makes no sense.”

“It literally has no relevance at all,” Ayla added.

Mawar smiled stiffly. “Okay. So.” And then she proceeded to explain the group assignment that probably doesn’t really matter at all I just really don’t want to write this part of the story it’s awkward and it hurts.

The assignment was actually easy enough to finish. Ayla just really sucked at using Excel, a skill that apparently was “not a big deal” and had been acquired by Mawar in elementary school, when she had involved in science fair every year. Which of course made Ayla feel even worse because–science fair? In elementary school?  With projects that that weren’t “how many seeds are in an apple?” and “does sunlight affect plant growth?”\

“Now what?” Ayla asked as Mawar printed the assingment. Mawar was over often enough that Ayla’s dad connected Mawar’s laptop to their printer. Something about that just made Ayla really happy, made her feel content.

But the satisfaction was overshadowed today by unease.

Mawar didn’t look up at Ayla when she asked her question.

“Well, I brought English and French,” she said.

“Okay. Or, there’s probably something on TV.”

Mawar looked at her, faint amusement barely flickering in her eyes. “There’s always something on TV.”

Ayla laughed. But it wasn’t her normal laugh. It was a forced half cackle half cry for help. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“Ayla, you have homework, too,” Mawar said.

“But don’t you want to have fun?”

Mawar barely twitched a pristine eyebrow (on fleek). “There’s a time and place for fun.”]

“And certain people?” Ayla asked. While she did, she regretted it, feeling so self sacrificing and like she was baring her neck to Mawar. She hated attention seekers and she felt like one now–people who asked for sympathy when they didn’t need it. She didn’t need it.

But I want it, she thought begrudgingly. Sadly.

Yet, Mawar didn’t seem fazed by her albeit pointed question, at all. “Of course.”

Ayla felt frozen and numb for the rest of the time. She did homework methodically. Every so often, she would say something stupid and Mawar say something biting back in response, and it made her heart prick, but somehow, sometimes stomachs were better indicators of mood. Her stomach was not moved. Part of her she felt was moved on habit but. She was letting go. Eventually there was a knock on the door and Ayla said, unnecessarily, “that’s your dad.”

Mawar was already packed up.

“Thanks for coming,” Ayla said automatically.

Mawar smiled at her. “Thanks for having me over.”

Ayla watched Mawar leave. She smiled at the door. She moved on from homework, feeling like she deserved it. Things will be okay.

***

I haven’t posted in so long and I need to post!!! I don’t know with this one.

A Barry Awkward Situation

As Barry looked up at her nervously, like a trembling chipmunk, big brown eyes wide in fear, Reyna thought she should feel powerful. She thought she should get a rush from looking at someone cowering under her, even though the brown haired boy was several inches taller than her.

But she wasn’t. She just felt…tired.

“I’ll let you know.”

Barry nodded, gulping. “Yeah. Okay. Thanks, Reyna.”

Reyna slid her thumb across her other fingernails,  her perfect manicure a deep dark chocolate color. “I didn’t say yes yet.”

“I know.” Barry’s voice wavered, like an insignificant blade bending in Reyna’s careless summer breeze. “Thank you for agreeing to think about it.”

“You’re welcome.”

Barry nodded a few too many times, and lingered for a few too many seconds. It was plain to see on his face, that he was debating whether to say something or not. He couldn’t look Reyna in the eyes, but he kept trying, resulting in a painful sight before Reyna. She was dribbling  his gaze like a basketball.

“Bye,” he said, hitching his backpack up, only for it to fall in the exact same way that it rested against his back before. He made his way to the door.

“You forgot your lunchbox,” Reyna said, finishing her sentence just after Barry doubled back, and wrapped his fingers around the handle.

“Thank you,” he said, far too solemnly for someone who had–truly–remembered his lunchbox on his own in the first place.

“Yeah, sure.”

With that, Barry headed towards the door and actually crossed it. She heard his footsteps clatter down the hall–he was heading to his Robotics Team meeting after this–in fact he was probably going to be late–for moments before her the silence of the classroom, which was pretty much her whole world at that moment, echoed in her ears louder than anyone else’s noise could have.

Finally, she thought, looking down at her own plain black backpack. She pressed her lips together.

She knew she would have to make a decision soon. Now, maybe. Definitely soon. Homecoming was the day after tomorrow. Reyna hasn’t even been planning on attending. She knew that Ayla was going with her boyfriend–she had to go, he was on the football team. Samantha would go for Ayla, because Ayla wasn’t really friends with the girlfriends of the other football players, and because Ayla was her best friend, of course. Reyna has no desire to attend, and she was sure her parents would think the idea was stupid, anyway. She wasn’t sure if they had even had “homecoming” in Macedonia.

“Reyna!!”

Reyna’s heart lurched at the familiar sing-song voice that flew into her ears and sped through her bloodstream.

What the fuck, she told herself, rubbing at a prickle that went up her arm. Chill.

She didn’t look up, but she knew Izzy was through the door now.  She was (most likelystill) wearing the sunshine yellow dress that she came to school in this morning. She wore navy leggings with a flower print underneath that and navy converse with her ankle length white socks still peeping out a little bit.

The yellow dress looked really beautiful against Izzy’s dark brown skin. In fact, Izzy could be one of those girls who were so intimidatingly beautiful that boys and girls alike were scared of her. Reyna told her something like that once, in response to Izzy murmuring about some insecurities in front of the dresser mirror when they were in Reyna’s room one day a few months ago. Izzy hadn’t taken the advice to heart, of course, and Reyna, and she was somewhat surprised at herself for finding that she was quite content with Izzy’s decision (not that it mattered–since it was Izzy’s decision but, she was still happy.) In fact, Izzy had found Reyna’s gaze in the mirror, and Reyna couldn’t have read her expression if she had tried, but she was too captivated to try, anyway. Then, just when Reyna was about to look away in a panic, Izzy broke the spell and whipped around, grinning widely at Reyna. Reyna looked back at her, hoping the gratefulness wasn’t too evident on her face.

“You think I’m pretty?” Izzy had asked.

Reyna studied her for a few moments, then silently panicked at the thought of Izzy thinking that she was taking too long to answer. “Yes.”

Izzy laughed. “Aw, Rey. Thanks, bae.”

Reyna felt something freeze inside her. “I mean, you’re alright.” She put extra effort into her arrogant frown (she had perfected it in the third grade. Izzy told her so, one time.) “And don’t call me that.”

“Call you what, Rey-bae?”  Izzy pouted, and twirled a piece of thick curly black hair, exaggeratedly innocently and cutely.

Drop the bae!

Izzy had proceeded to beat box a sick bass drop and Reyna went through the motions of her eyeroll really quickly–so quickly that she wasn’t sure if Izzy had even seen it, which was the entire point of it all. If Reyna was honest with herself (which she found was sometimes extremely hard to do) she never wanted to look away from Izzy ever. But she thought that Izzy would have expected Reyna to do that (roll her eyes) and thus would have “seen” it even if she hadn’t actually seen it. Which was also fine. Everything was fine.

And Reyna had continued to notice that Izzy’s fashion game was always on point, just shrugged, laughed and said, “well, I had nothing to do with it. My mom buys all my clothes.”

“Hellooooo?” Izzy face was right in front of Reyna’s now, their noses almost brushing and Izzy’s brown eyes looking like pools of stars swirling with magic and wonder and everything unattainable in life.

Reyna jerked back. “What?” she snapped, much harsher than she had intended to. She was about to apologize, but Izzy just smirked at her easily, like she always did. Reyna wondered, slightly uncomfortably, if she was always this mean on a regular basis, that it had become her “normal,” not even her “mean.”

“Am I giving you a ride or not?”

Reyna stared at Izzy’s face for a few blank seconds. “What?”

“Are you riding my diiiiiiick???” Izzy yelled, contorting her face and leaning back with her arms outstretched, in what she called her “straight white boy pose.”

“Oh my god,” Reyna hid her gaze with her palm, as she supported her head with her hand. “Yes, your mom is dropping me off at home, Izzy!”

“Okay.”

Reyna sighed.

“Are you riding Barry’s dick?”

“NO!” Reyna snarled, snapping her gaze to Izzy.

“Okay.”

Reyna felt the flames in her eyes die down, as if she was blinking them away.

“Do you think he wants you to?” Izzy asked.

“Why do you care?”

Izzy scoffed, with a sanctimonious expression, ever in her exaggerated state, so much so that some people actually thought it was her normal state. Reyna knew it wasn’t, and she clung to that knowledge, the fact a tiny sliver, curled up in her heart.  “Because I want to know if I have to beat him up in the future for ever hurting you,” Izzy said. “Uh, duh!”

Reyna snorted. “His friends are going to be the ones who are going to try to beat me up if he gets hurt.” She looked up at Izzy. “But they will fail of course. At beating me up. I will beat them up.”

“I’m sure you will,” Izzy said, with a determined nod.

Reyna looked at the whiteboard, but wasn’t able to read anything on it.

“So… maybe don’t hurt Barry then?” Izzy prompted.

Reyna felt magma well in her belly. “What? Do you like him?”

“No.”

“Okay.”

Silence.

“Do you like him?”

“No.”

“Then why lead him on?”

“Who’s Reyna leading on???”

Izzy and Reyna jumped back from each other, surprised at the intrusion. Well. Izzy jumped. Reyna looked up sharply. It was just Samantha, eyes bright with inquiry, her red hair shiny and perfect from the curling iron this morning.

“Tony,” Izzy said without  missing a beat. “She refuses to choose between him, Bruce, and Thor!”

Samantha laughed. “Poor Iron Man!” she exclaimed.

“And poor Hulk and Norse god of thunder,” Izzy piped in.

Then she launched into a story.

“You know, once I led a boy on. In the third grade.”

Reyna tried to focus on the blue letters on the board. The list was of the dates for the quizzes they were going to have until next week. Reyna had written them down in her agenda forty five minutes ago.

“Actually, I led all the boys on in my third grade class.”

“Oh, really?” Samantha laughed. “What happened?”

It was third grade. She can’t be serious. Izzy was never serious. But Reyna’s logic didn’t stop irrational envy from burning holes in her skin.

“Yeah. I led them on and on and finally I ate all the cookie cake myself. They were so sad.”

Samantha guffawed. “Oh my god, Izzy!”

“Yeah. I probably could have shared, but I didn’t want to. And anyway, I told them I was going to share, but then they still kept following me, as if I was going to change my mind.”

Samantha made a face. “Ugh. That’s gross. Boys are gross.”

“Right?” Izzy exclaimed.

“Alright, that was a wonderful story,” Samantha said. “Should we head out?”

“Yeah, of course.” Izzy said. She turned to Reyna. “You coming?”

“No, I’m going to stay here the entire night and have a slumber party. By myself. At the school.”

“That’s the spirit!” Izzy exclaimed, folding her third and fourth fingers down, and sticking her tongue out.

Reyna rolled her eyes.

“But yeah. Even though boys are dumb, I still told them, you know? If boys weren’t dumb then they would have known not to follow me.”

“But they are so dumb,” Samantha piped up.

“Yeah, of course,” Izzy said. She glanced at Reyna then looked back.

“Alriiiiight, guess what happened in APUSH today!”

Reyna walked on the left side of Izzy while Samantha walked on the right side. Samantha was as usual completely transfixed by everything Izzy was saying. Samantha in general made people feel like they were really listened to. That was something nice about Samantha, Reyna supposed.

Reyna thought about homecoming and Barry. She didn’t know what she should do. She knew what she shouldn’t do, which she supposed was a start.

She got out her phone and opened up the Facebook messenger app. She opened a conversation with Barry.

“Hey,” she typed.

Within five seconds, Barry replied back with, “hi.”

Reyna sighed, gritting her teeth.

“So, I have an answer for you now?”

“Oh, wow,” Barry typed back. “So soon?” Then he quickly typed, “not that that’s a problem of course. Whatever is fine. It’s fine. So. What is your answer?”

“I can’t go with you. I’m sorry.”

Barry took a little while longer to reply back to this message. Reyna sighed.

“Oh. Okay. I understand.”

She didn’t know why she felt compelled to send this, but she sent a, “thanks.”

“Yeah. Sorry if I made things awkward,” Barry typed.

“Things are awkward no matter what.”

“Oh. Right.”

Reyna didn’t think that needed a response.

“Are you going to ask someone else to go? Or has someone asked you?”

Reyna glanced towards her friends. She wondered if they had noticed her silence. Thena gain, she was usually silent. But had they noticed her lack of attention? She didn’t always ignore them after all. She just sometimes pretended to.

“That’s none of your business,” she responded.

“Of course. Sorry.”

“Bye,” she typed.

“Bye. Sorry again. I hope you still go and have fun.”

Reyna looked at the text, pressing her lips together in a thin line. “Yeah, thanks. You too.”

“Thanks. Bye, Reyna.”

She locked her phone and put it in her purse. She looked at her friends who had stopped walking.

“Who were you texting?” Samantha asked.

Reyna looked at Samantha, then looked out the window. Izzy’s mom’s car was in the front.

“Probably Iron Man,” Izzy said.

“Or Thor,” Samantha laughed.

“Or both at the same time!” Izzy exclaimed.

“Oh my god,” Samantha laughed.

“Your mom is here,” Reyna informed Izzy.

Izzy looked outside.

“Oh yeah!”  she exclaimed. Then she laughed. “What would I do without you, Reyna?”

“Probably fail everything,” Reyna murmured.

Izzy looked at her, surprisingly warmly, for such a rude answer.

“Something like that, probably,” Izzy replied tartly. “Okay, let’s go!”

Reyna followed her out of the school into the cool autumn air.

***

Author’s Notes

I’m going to start putting this here because it’s like AO3 except wordpress am i right.. yeah okay.

Wowowow that took forever. Like. 4 hours. Maybe 3. But it took a really long time.

This post was inspired by this write practice post and these nerds and just yea <3.  Okay. I’m posting this.

Also. Don’t look at the title. Just. Don’t do it. Bye.

A Halloween Sleepover

Samantha sat on her bed, two pillows stacked one in front of the other against the wooden headboard, laptop in her lap, several Tumblr tabs open, and mug of hot chocolate to her right on the dresser. She had long red hair, straightened to perfection, still perfect even though it was of late hour, because she had only done her hair about three hours previously. She wore an orange turtleneck even though she hated the color, and black leggings, though you couldn’t see them, since they were under the covers. Her bedsheets were white with fall leaves printed on them, their shades varying from light orange to dark brown. There was the occasional tree, full of orange flowers printed on the sheet, as well. Last week, when the bedsheets had to be changed, her mom placed them on her bed without a word. Samantha obediently obeyed silently, because what else was there to do? She didn’t feel like fighting about bed sheets. And today, before her Halloween “party” her mother put out the black leggings and orange turtle neck.

“Where did that come from?” Samantha wanted to know, when she went to downstairs to fill her water bottle. It was 4:30, and she would have to start getting ready for her party soon. She wouldn’t need all that time to get ready–she could be fast if she wanted to–but today she didn’t want to. She just wanted to relax before the party, and during the party. She wanted to relax for as long as possible without having to think about anything other than her friends, food, and possibly Tumblr.

She pressed the water bottle to the water dispenser in the fridge.

“Where did what come from?” her mother asked. Her mother had thick red rimmed glasses, rectangular in shape, over her bright blue eyes. Her eyelashes were darkened with ample coast of mascara and a sharp line of black eyeliner. The rest of her makeup, save her light pink glossed lips, was done so that it wouldn’t be noticed, with primer, foundation, powder, and a few other magical ingredients. Samantha knew this because she learned her own makeup routine from her mom, and that was what she did, too, usually. Her mother wore a white long sleeved t shirt with a slinky black cat on it. The cats eyes were wide and green, and somehow slightly terrifying. Her jeans were dark and her feet in black socks.

“That orange turtle neck.” Samantha took her water bottle from the fridge and tightened the lid on it. Her water bottle was just a plain dark blue one, but it had a built in straw that Samantha found extremely convenient, and she liked it a lot.

“It’s for you. Wear it for your party.”

Samantha took her water bottle back upstairs to get ready for her party.

So that’s why she was wearing an orange turtle neck, and why her bedsheet was fall themed. Also, the rest of her room was decorated for fall too, even though all the decorations would have to come down at some point during November, because then they would have to get ready for Christmas, right? Sometimes her mother made her wait till December 1 to go into Christmas and Winter mode but sometimes it was barely halfway through November 1 before her mother flung fake snow and snowglobes and red and green trinkets at her and her room.

Other than the artful leaves hanging from artful places in her room and the seasonal artwork her mother insisted on [15:00, but i also decided to text neha about math homework so yea] hanging about the house, her room was also decorated with friends. That part made Samantha especially happy. Maybe almost jumping for joy, but certainly very content.

To her left was her best friend Reyna. Reyna had short black hair that always looked like it should be featured in a hair commercial, with Paul Mitchell running his fingers through it in vague patterns,  and clear bright olive skin that glowed there was sunlight captured beneath her skin, and light green eyes, so inquisitive and demanding and mysterious. She wore black eyeliner but other than that, very little make up. She didn’t need it, and she preferred to spend her money on school supplies. The notebook, that Samantha had inquired about when Rey got it out at the beginning of the party, in her lap was  indeed new, and it was a simple black composition book, with a standard marble cover. It did have a big square sticker of Queen Elsa, like the stickers the dentist always stocked for young children, but that expected age range clearly had not stopped Reyna from getting an Elsa sticker. She had a similar sticker on the inside cover, but it was of Princess Tiana. Rey was wearing a black shirt with short loose sleeves. One delicate, tanned shoulder was exposed, even though it was completely freezing outside. The shirt had a huge gold crown printed on it, and underneath in font that mimicked a paintrbush’s strokes, it said, “queen.” Izzy had given her the shirt for her birthday this year, and though it was fitting, well the shirt fit, but also the design of the shirt fit Reyna’s personality, Reyna would never actually wear anything like that, so it was basically for a joke. But then Reyna wore it to school the next week and Izzy was head over heels ectastic. It was actually completely adorable. Reyna wore black leggings, and each leg had a single gold stripe running up its length. She wore thin white socks with green stripes on them. But, she was also under the covers, so her pants were not visible at the moment. When she had arrived at Samantha’s house, though, obviously her entire ensemble was visible.

At the foot of the bed, specifically, at Reyna’s feet, was Izzy. Izzy lay curled around her laptop (Samantha thought that position was probably going to hurt tomorrow), blogging with one hand, and her back was pressed against Reyna’s legs. Her dark fingers blogged at a frantic pace–all their dashes would be flooded. Her thick black hair was braided in two plaits on either side of her head. She had no make up on at all, but she was beautiful, too. Her skin wasn’t nearly as clear or flawless as Reyna’s, but really, no one else’s skin could match Reyna’s perfection. But everyone was still quite adequate. Izzy wore light blue pajama bottoms that had Hello-Kitty like white cats that wore scarves striped with dark pink and light pink all over them. Each cat had a bow that was one of three varing shades of pink perched on one ear. She wore a black hoodie that was significantly too big for her, and a huge smile on her face. She had insisted on changing into pajamas as soon as she learned of the plans of the sleepover.

Ayla and Mawar were on the some kind of sitting thing together by the window. Both girls had their laptops open as well. Ayla had beautiful pale skin and dark almond shaped eyes. Her eyelashes were naturally dark and thick. Her lips were small and pale, maybe looking like they always  pursed.  There was very little color in her skin and she looked like a marble statue. Mawar next to her was dark skin in contrast. She had straight thick black hair that was cut to below her shoulder, but she had her hijaab strewn on top of the shelf on the other side of  the window. The hijaab was soft and a plain pale pink. Mawar’s eyes were dark chocolate brown too. Ayla wore a red and black plaid shirt over a plain navy blue t shirt, and black skinny jeans, and no socks. Her feet were rather large, and her toenails had chipped bright blue nail polish on them. Mawar wore blue jeans, plain white socks, and a plain long sleeved t shirt.

They all blogged together happily ever after.

***

I am literally so tired of this prompt. I never want to describe anything ever again. Oh my god.

I could have described the laptops, too, but I don’t care. I have already spent so much time on this story. It’s not even a story. And guess what, Izzy and Reyna are totally dating ❤ It’s canon 🙂 Well its like subtle canon.

The prompt came from here and I mean yeah I didn’t do exactly as the prompt asked but prompts are meant for prompting writing not for limiting it (: smh.  Yeah, so this post was brought to you in part by The Write Practice, Halloween, and Tumblr. Also not wanting to do math homework. 🙂 See you tomorrow!