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Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Anna and Wayne had agreed to meet at their bench and Anna couldn't help but be nervous.  She just had had a bad feeling about their future together recently.  She'd gone to Abby for advice and then talked to a couple girlfriends who had just come home from their freshman year at college.  Her friends had tactfully told her that it was difficult for freshman year relationships to make it when both people went to the same school and even harder when one added long-distance to it.  One girl had suggested that maybe Anna and Wayne were different and Anna wanted to believe her...but....

What I really don't want is to stay together and then start fighting and hating each other.  He's gorgeous...girls will be all over him at college.  I'd rather break up now than find out that he cheated on me or something because he couldn't say "no."

She was glad that she was the first one there, so she sat down on the bench and stared in front of her, wondering if he was having similar thoughts or if she was completely alone.

This could be the last time that we meet here, she realized sadly.

"they're just so unblended."

It wasn’t a typical pass time for Mark to zone out in front of the TV– unless he had a video game controller in his hand, or he was watching something awesome like Pinks– but on Wednesday afternoon, it was all he felt like doing. He didn’t feel like playing a video game or messing around on his quad; he just wanted to lay on the couch and watch whatever show happened to be on. Mindless entertainment was just the thing he needed.

Not like things were necessarily going bad. Given the circumstances, his life was actually running along pretty smoothly. Most days he was pretty okay with the thought of becoming a father. But on other days, the thought of his impending career in parenthood entered his mind in a negative light, and it was all he could do to keep from freaking out. Today was one of those days. He was doing a relatively good job of not freaking out, but he was also trying to think of something –anything– to distract himself. Like how corn is always mentioned on Roseanne. Or try to count how many meals the Cosby family ate in one episode. But after a few episodes, he was starting to realize that watching these ‘perfect’ families on TV weren’t helping his downward spiraling mood about his own soon-to-be family.

Look at them... all perfect and... and unblended, he thought glumly as he heard the front door open. It wasn’t really the fact of being a dad that caused him angst. It was more the fact that his kid wouldn’t be their kid... whoever the other half of his ‘their’ ended up being. And it bummed him out more than it probably should.
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I KNOW THE PIECES FIT 'CAUSE I WATCHED THEM FALL AWAY...

Maybe you should talk to Renée yourself...

Carly's words from the previous afternoon echoed in Troy's mind as he ashed his cigarette out the truck window. His trip to Stamford to see Stiller afterwards had given him enough cash to not only have his phone turned back on, but to finally get his meds refilled as well -- something he had gone without for over two weeks. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this focused -- not only had he managed to get to school on time, but he'd attended every one of his morning classes... something else he'd gone without doing for roughly the same length of time. Troy knew that, with graduation only a few weeks away, he needed to get his act together if he actually wanted to walk across the stage with his classmates -- and while he'd never been too knocked out by the idea of wearing the robe and stupid square hat thing in front of half the world, he was -- surprisingly -- slightly more concerned with what it symbolized.

Troy had already seen two classes graduate before him, both of which he could have been a part of if he'd actually put a little bit of effort into school. It wasn't that he was stupid, exactly -- although he'd be the first to admit that it probably had at least a little to do with it -- as it was, he hadn't actually been held back since sixth. While he'd been close a few times since then, he'd always managed to somehow squeak by at the last minute. His senior year had proven to be no exception -- he was "still skating on thin ice," to steal what seemed to be his guidance counselor's favorite figure of speech when it came to anything involving Troy Parker. And for the past few weeks, he hadn't even had the extra push from Katie that he'd grown so accustomed to.

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SORRY, TROY... ONLY GIRLS CAN BE REVERSE PSYCHICS.

Carly leaned up against the driver's side door of Troy's truck, tightening the drawstrings on the hood of her sweatshirt in attempt to protect her hair from the rain.

Ugh, thanks a lot, Ryan... I'm gonna look like a drowned orange rat by the time he finally gets his butt out here.

After what felt like an eternity, she finally spotted Troy across the parking lot, making his way towards the truck.  Carly folded her arms across her chest and tapped her foot impatiently as he approached her.

"'Open sesame' didn't work," she informed Troy curtly, sidestepping out of the way as she gestured to the door.  "Are you like, the only person in the world who actually locks their truck?  'Cuz in case you didn't notice, it's not exactly the mean streets of Manhattan around here, T-Dawg."
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Well, you're where you should be all the time...

"Here," Tom finished washing the last of the dinner dishes, a saucepan, and handed it to Gillian for her to dry off. It had been a relatively uneventful Mother's Day. Tom had never cared much for the pointless holiday, the invention of commercial America, and neither had their mother. But, despite any misgivings, both of the males in the Cates family wanted to make sure that Gillian didn't feel like she was missing anything today, which is why they had made pancakes for breakfast, stir-fry for dinner with lots of family activities crammed in between.

Tom was rising his hands, when the cellphone in his back pocket vibrated. Quickly wiping his hands on his pants, he reached around and pulled it out.

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Cannot Predict Now

Renée took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, trying to rid the enormous knot that was forming in the pit of her stomach. She read over Katie’s journal entry for a third time, even though she knew exactly what she was saying after the first time. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that she was Jolene and Katie was threatening her. And Renée didn’t like that one little bit.

I’m a skank? She wondered to herself, slowly spinning around on the chair and standing up, not wanting to look at Katie’s journal anymore. She flopped down onto her bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering how– or why– she got herself into such a mess in the first place.

She really thought she did everything right. She didn’t know about Katie, and when she found out, she told Troy he had to make a decision. It wasn’t as though she kept sneaking around with him even after knowing about Katie. And she was planning on emailing Katie and explaining her side of the story– so much for that idea now. She was trying to be a good person, and this girl was still out to get her.

She covered her face with her hands and sighed. She had no idea what Katie was capable of –or even if she would actually do anything– but she really didn’t want to find out. She liked Troy a lot but couldn’t help but wonder if the thing they had going on was worth her constantly looking over her shoulder.

But I really like him... she thought to herself. I don’t want to let her bully me... But I don’t want to be scared either...

She rolled over onto her stomach abruptly and reached her arm down, feeling under her bed for an old standby. She felt a little silly as she grasped the Magic 8 ball in her hand and pulled it towards her, but it was worth a shot.

She examined the ball carefully, absently wondering how many times she’d turned to it to solve all her problems. From silly things like should I wear the blue shirt? to more serious questions like should I sleep with Ben?, the Magic 8 ball always had an answer– albeit not always the right one– for everything. However, she generally tended to go with whatever the ball told her, as the whole reason for using the ball in the first place was her own inability to make up her mind.

Renée gave the ball a couple brisk shakes while thinking about her question– should I stop hanging out with Troy?– before flipping the ball over and peering at her answer.

Yes.

She wrinkled her brow at the answer and tossed the ball aside with a sigh, trying to convince herself it was just a stupid ball and just the luck of the draw. It could have just as easily said my sources say no.

But it didn't.

Mike is Unpleased, So He Emails Lena

To: bewitching_lena
From: menacing_mike
Subject:
It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver. < None >

I thought we had an understanding, Eileen. I am quite disappointed in you.

If I were you, I would watch my back. There are two things I hate more than anything else: Being deceived and having someone hurt my friends. I believe you did both.

Take Care.

M.H.
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(no subject)

"I love you too. Bye!" Jeff said into his cellphone, flipping it shut as he ended the hour long call. I am so glad I have unlimited weekend minutes. What had started as a simple "Happy Mother's Day" phone-call had quickly turned into a long and involved conversation.

Jeff leaned backward in his chair, reveling in the afterglow that always came from talking his family in California when a sudden realization crossed his mind. Oh, no! It's Mother's Day. I completely forgot...Elise. He quickly leaned forward, reaching for his phone, ignoring its burning weight in his palm as he snapped it open.

Hey E.  Just checking in since it is Mother's Day . You ok?