Wrecked

After finding out the news that they were going to have a baby come April, he and she decided to spend the weekend cleaning out the spare bedroom in preparation. Saturday was the day of grand plans that turned awry with a few strategically placed happenings that lead to nothing getting done. Friday, on her way out of work, she realized her back passenger tire was low. Once she got to his work it was nearly flat, completely flat at 10pm when they left. He decided to drive them both home that night and put the spare on in the morning in order to drive it to get fixed. That would have been simple enough, but as they had learned, life is full of little surprises.

Saturday morning, a big day for football in their college town, his brother called and asked for a ride to a tailgate. Figuring out how to fit he, she, his brother, and two other girls in his three-passenger truck was going to be rough. As he and she pulled into the parking lot of his brother’s hotel, he began clearing out the front seat for the overload of passengers. Being pregnant, she opted not to sit on anyone’s lap or even be in the car due to the obvious safety hazard. He began the short drive into town as she waited at the hotel for his return, giving her mom a quick call. Within three minutes, he called her. “Did you get pulled over?” She asked confused at why he’d be calling already.

“No, my brakes went out on this truck too…” He stated, upset at the fact that he had gotten this truck three weeks ago to replace the other one with no brakes and a bad transmission. “I almost couldn’t stop. You’re gonna have to walk over to the field where everyone’s tailgating and wait with me.” She wandered over to him, sad at his unfortunate vehicular situation. When she found him, they hugged, both happy she hadn’t been in the car.

The truck wasn’t going anywhere at this point. Knowing this he called a tow truck to take him across the street (not even a block away) to the mechanic for fixing. Other friends picked up his brother and the two girls within ten minutes of the brake blowout, leaving he and she to wait an hour for the tow truck. She was growing increasingly tired (pregnancy will do that to a woman, even only 8 weeks in) unsure how far into this day she would make it without crashing. On the bright side, they had each other and a sweet ride in a tow truck while surrounded by drunken tailgaters. The tow ended up costing him $100 bucks, which for less than a block seemed steep.

A mechanic wouldn’t see his truck for hours and her car sat still in his work parking lot with a flat rear tire. 20 minutes was a long distance away from home and a vehicle that had a quick and simple fix. They walked a block over to the mall right next to the mechanic and spent some time calling every cab service in the area. The football game going on slashed any chance they had at finding transportation. All they got were busy lines. They began calling people they knew for rides but most people they knew were part of the drunken tailgating genre. They had already been walking around since 9:30 and at this point, it was noon. The bus wouldn’t come for another hour and he could see her growing more and more tired from the walking and excitement. He finally called his art professor who finished up her lunch quickly to come and get them. The woman took them to his work at the university to drop them off at her car where he changed her flat tire to the spare in a matter of ten minutes.

From there, they decided to grab some food at the grocery store and finally return home. Upon getting home, he received a call stating that his truck that he just bought for $800 would cost $1600 to fix. This deeply upset him for several hours. All she knew to do was hold him until he was calm while stroking his hair and then change the subject to something happy.

The next day he saw the quote that explained the bill to only be $500 and then rest recommended. No longer trusting this mechanic he decided to find a way to fix it himself. Luckily, her tire had a screw in it and cost only $10 to fix. Although they would have to share a car for a while, they always found a way to make unfortunate situations work. It will be this mentality that helps them through an unplanned pregnancy and any other obstacles they have yet to face.

Be Positive

He and she were having an ordinary week when the conversation rolled over the fact that she was a bit late this month. It wasn’t the most unusual thing, since the pill always messed up her cycle making it always next to impossible to predict. She felt a tad queasy, but this too was something that was normal for her when on the pill…only not during the sugar pill week. He drove them to the nearest Walmart to grab an 88-cent test just to ease their worries as they had several times before. They had spent a short time in the mid afternoon making a whopping $45 at the casino that they used to buy ingredients for a crawfish and shrimp dinner that mimicked the ones in Maine that were dumped across the table for all to crack into and share. They wanted to wait until the next morning to take the test, fearing that it may not be accurate if she took it that night, so they went along with the dinner as though they hadn’t a care in the world.

When the meal was ready, they sat on the floor conversing and enjoying a glass of whiskey and the fun social event they had created for themselves. They learned quickly how to break apart the crawfish and eat the good parts, saving the shrimp for last. “I love you so much.” He said, as they exchanged a kiss and a smile.

“I love you too, sweetie. This was a good idea.” She said holding up her next crawfish victim that she would devour. He agreed as they continued while watching Modern Family.

When they began to slow down, they started back up on the possibility that she was pregnant. “You don’t really think you are, do you?” He questioned in a tone leading her to respond with no. The truth was that she didn’t know. They had had plenty of “scares” that were nothing. She figured this occurrence would be the same. “Why don’t you just take the test now?” He asked.

She walked into the bathroom following the necessary instructions. He entered the bathroom to wait with her. The results headed up the test agonizingly slow. “If the T shows up first and then the C that means I am pregnant.” She clarified to him as they sat and watched. Almost right as she said so, the faintest line began to show on the T line.IMG_6044

“Oh my God.” He said, as she begged for an invalid test, running into the living room to sob and sob. He remained in the bathroom gazing at the test that marked the biggest change in either of their lives and relationship. The sight of her crying and upset sparked a few tears from him as he held her close. He sent a picture of the positive test to his mother, which resulted in an immediate phone call. She was still bawling as his mother attempted to calm her, but at this point all she needed was her own mother there with her. Sadly, her mother was in Hawaii for the next week and, knowing her mother, this wasn’t the news that should be delivered over the phone. He and she went right back out to Walmart for a better test, though that one showed an instant positive. She began to count the days until her mother’s return.

The week felt long as the nausea grabbed hold of her and refused to let go. That Tuesday she called a doctor to set up an appointment. They didn’t want her to come back until she was closer to ten weeks, which apparently is a time where many things can go wrong. Tuesday was also the day she had planned a job shadowing at an animation company, though it was a mute point for her now that she was pregnant, she still thought it would be a fun experience. On several occasions, she nearly puked right in front of everyone there. Now seven weeks along, she still had yet to throw up. It was something she hoped she could just skip. The one thing she wanted the most was to talk to and see her mom. When her mother returned, she called and asked if he and she could go on the annual ski trip come January. She could not yet say to her mom that she couldn’t go because skiing at around 6 months pregnant would be dangerous.

Though it felt like months, Saturday finally came and she headed back to her hometown. He went back to his own hometown, understanding that this was a conversation that she needed to have with her mom alone. It wasn’t hard for her mother to guess as they sat in the nail salon, her mother questioned her motives for coming back without him. “I thought you came back to tell me you were married or knocked up or something.”

“Well, I’m not married…” Her face turned bright red as her mother suddenly realized that her daughter was pregnant. Her mother grabbed her in and held her, shocked but ready to support he and she’s decision to keep the baby. She told her dad over the phone that Monday, though shocked as well, was also supportive. He and she, though caught off guard by the unexpected, were happier than they had ever been, ready for the new baby due in April.

When it Rains it Pours

The past few weeks he and she filled their time with work and preparing for the impending school year. Hers began a week earlier than his, though she wouldn’t be able to participate in the learning. She just worked at a school. He was about to begin his fifth and final year of undergrad work. Although they still worked on building their portfolios, they felt like most of the time nothing was accomplished. Deadlines were approaching fast as she battled with the notion that she already acquired enough student loans at this point and that maybe a cheaper certificate program would be a better choice. In three short months her grace period on her loans would end and the sum of her debt was to be due in increments she was afraid she couldn’t afford. He was worried about whether he would get into the schools he wanted for graduate school, though money was something that came and went in a vicious cycle he chose not to fight with.

This day, however, began with the sound of running water.

She awoke slightly at the sound of a stream of water splashing atop more water. At first it seemed normal, the fish tank made a sound like that. On previous occasions, she had woken him to ask if something was wrong with it or if it was spilling. “No,” he would say, “that’s just the sound it makes in a quite apartment.” Checking her phone, she decided 7:30am was far too early to wake up when she didn’t have work until 11am. She nestled her face into the pillow adjusting it until her face was caress and prepped for more sleep. The sound of running water, again, grabbed her attention until all the sudden it stopped. There was no familiar trickling noised escaping from the living room where the fish tank sat, no more running water, just quite apartment. Her eyes snapped open wide as she jumped up to her feet in a millisecond. Without yet waking him, she ran out into the living room. All she could see without her glasses or contacts was the tank at the halfway mark. She almost couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Babe! Babe! The fish tank!” She cried out. He didn’t even hesitate, as he leapt from the bed to see the disaster in the living room. She grabbed her glasses to better see the mess. The water had sprayed across the entire room, slashing the couch, the expensive purple rug they loved, and drowned the carpet. The outcome was simply murderous, not only to their apartment but to their relationship.

They both had separate ways of handling the situation. She approached it calmly, throwing down towels and moving things into positions where they could dry. He was totally freaking out without a better way to be described. From his stress emerged anger, which spewed into the morning air, hurdling towards her with high velocity. She attempted to disengage by stating that his anger would do nothing for the situation, though this bomb wasn’t as easily diffused.

They headed down the street to their grocery store where he rented a rug doctor to suck up excess water. Deciding she had had it with his temper, she stayed in the car while he went in. The woman at the desk was taking her sweet time, as he impatiently grew even more frustrated. The woman attempted a joking banter but he dismissed it and went on with the rental.

When they got home, they went back and forth pushing blame and anger in every direction until he finally, after two hours, finished sucking water from the rug and the carpet. They had both had enough, sitting in separate rooms doing their own thing until they had to carpool to class and work. Time had seemed to ease the tension as he came from where he’d been and apologized for his behavior. Not every day could be the best but luckily the worst had already past by 10am.

That night, they enjoyed a lovely meal of shrimp Alfredo, watched TV shows, and drank a nice glass of whiskey.

Making New Friends

He was a bit uneasy when it came to making new friends. Not because he was anti-social but because his track record was mildly torn by the fallout between he and T. She wasn’t the best at having friends either, since he and she rarely liked to spend much time apart. To some people, this is unhealthy or odd, but to them it felt like being able to spend as much time as they wanted with their best friend. They couldn’t understand couples who didn’t live this way, though understood that everyone in this world is different. In an attempt to broaden the spectrum, she spent a morning and an afternoon cleaning the apartment so they could have some company over. At the school where she worked, there were a number of young teachers that held the possibility of friendship. One in particular, though not to be confused by the revenge hungry character on Pretty Little Liars, A was a friendly girl with tattoos on her right forearm. Since she had a tattoo of her own on her left inner bicep, this sparked conversation. A told she about her boyfriend E and expressed that they lived a building away from he and she’s own apartment.

He was a bit frustrated at the thought of entertaining for the evening but when E and A showed up with some mixers, the party begun. The four hit it off, talking non-stop and inviting a couple other people over (Another girl from her work who brought a guy friend along). Those two were the first to leave, stating that they rode their bikes from miles away. He, she, E, and A took a 30 second stroll over to E’s place for another drink and a tour. It looked similar to he and she’s place thought a tad smaller with the opposing set-up. By this time, they were pretty well off into the night as the clock ticked towards two in the morning. They all laughed and conversed about a number of things as they all headed back over to he and she’s place for a final drink. She nearly fell asleep in her chair as E and A got up to leave for the night. It had been a long week for everyone but the night of fun and new friendships seemed to relieve some of the tension that had built. Though she woke with a massive hangover, he and she carried out the weekend happily working on art projects and glad they had made some new friends.

A Weekend of Surprises

They had finally come to terms with being back home, though they had spent the weeks in between looking at colleges. She wanted to get another degree; one in film and animation. He was looking to further his education by getting his Masters in Fine Arts. They searched all the schools in the country for ones that had what they both needed, ending up with twelve choices. They knew they would eventually narrow it down a bit but as for now they would have to buckle down and create at least 15 art pieces each for their portfolio submissions. It was exciting for them to have somewhat of a plan for the future. She liked her job at the school but it wasn’t paying the bills the way it needed to. Money was tight but they somehow made it work month-by-month.

On Friday night, he texted her at work, telling her that she should go home after instead of meet up with him at his art building desk monitor job. There they would usually talk about art or life, maybe watch Netflix to pass the time. Not this Friday. He wanted her to be home and dressed nice-casual at seven when his shift ended. From there, he’d texted “I’m gonna plan something for us to do. I’ll come get you when I get off.” She quickly raced home to shower and ready herself for a surprise evening. This wasn’t a common occurrence in their relationship, since they usually just stayed in to save money.

At seven, the door swung wide as he stood in the doorway already in nice attire. “Are you ready to go?” He asked looking her up and down, admiring the dark jeans and dress shirt she wore for him. She didn’t have to answer to respond but a mere smile and nod sent them out the door into the evening.

In the car they discussed the contents of their day breifly as she attempted to guess where they were headed. To her the surprise was that he was surprising her in the first place. Things like this didn’t happen often, so she was appreiciating every moment of it.

He pulled into the driveway of a brewery/restaurant that they had only been to once for a quick beer. “I am ordering us some bacon cheese fries.” He announced, having looked at the menu online before picking her up. They ordered the appetizer and some beers as they looked through the menu for their main course. Hamburgers just seemed to fit the meal as they ordered two different types. He played a game with her, asking which he would choose befre he ordered. Her first guess was the one he went for, since she had been right; he did, in fact, love bleu cheese the most on a burger and although there was peanut butter on it as well, she knew he liked to try anything once.

When the meals came, she was feeling a slight buzz since she hadn’t remembered to bring lunch to work that day and was feeling a bit starved. They scarfed down the fries practically forgetting about the hamburgers they ordered. He ate majority of his though she couldn’t bare to touch hers after all the fries and beer. “What else do you want to do tonight?” He asked her.

“I don’t know. I kind of want to drink more.” He smiled and told her to text one of their mutual friends, D. He had known him longer than she had but this friend was one they had in common and both liked. D had agreed to meet them at one of the campus bars for a drink or two. A few months prior they had come to this same bar. D had ordered one of every martini on the menu which had been around twelve that he shared with the table. This night, he and she got their own selected drinks and left it at that. It was fun to hang out with D for an hour or so, though they left him early knowing they had to wake-up early for a surprise party in her home town.

The next morning they headed out a tad late. He was going to pick up a planer that he found on eBay though she insisted they get to the party first and retrieve the new equiptment after. As they pulled up to her aunt’s house, she noticed her stepdad’s car. He parked behind it. She walked to the nearest house, certain it was her aunt’s. Since she had only been there once before, she couldn’t be too sure. As she rang the doorbell, a man she did not recognize stepped out. She asked him if her aunt lived there but all she got was a confused, “No…?” It was at this moment that she realized the number on the house across the street was her aunt’s. He stood back and laughed as they moseyed across the street. The cars had been parked down the way so that her grandmother wouldn’t see.

“It’s about time!” Her mother exclaimed as they all exchanged hugs. The party was going even though her grandmother had not yet arrived. It wasn’t for another 15 minutes that her grandmother arrived, inching her way up to the door as her family and he hid behind walls and furniture. What felt like several minutes of hiding later, the familiar sound of her grandma’s voice reached across her aunt’s house. Just as the footsteps grew closer, everyone leapt from their hiding spots, “Surprise!”

“Oh my God.” Her grandma exclaimed with a wide grin. She was happy to be able to come and spend a few hours with her mother’s side of the family. After some food, conversation, and cake, he and she left to pick up the planer for his studio and headed back three and a half hours home.

Mexico

He and she had only flown on a plane one other time, which was from New York back home. This vacation would be different than the last. His parents had invited them to come along with all expenses paid (they could not afford it otherwise). Upon arrival the heat was stifling, though he and she welcomed it with open arms. Due to the fact that they had awoken at 3am to make their 5am flight, their fight for consciousness was a difficult battle. When they got to the Paradisus Hotel in Cancun, the all-inclusive eight-day venture would begin. He and she were granted their own room. Walking in, it felt as though they were in a dream, one where they were older with a well-supplied bank account and endless vacation days, one where there were three meals a day and no worry of whether the next paycheck will be enough.

For the first few days they lazed around the pool, drinking and relaxing, catching sun through 50spf. He was the one who suggested quite enthusiastically on the 4th of July that they go to CoCo Bongo. His brother, the one who shared her first and middle name, came along with them. One thing about the all-inclusive resort that she was highly excited for was free sushi. Before CoCo Bongo, everyone had joined to eat at the sushi place called Bana. He and she ordered 4 rolls each with a few cups of sake to start their night of drinking.

He, she, and his younger brother headed to CoCo Bongo on the bus. She was unsure of their carbon copy slip of a ticket but he seemed confident, so she went with it. Upon arrival, the night was alive. People were dressed up as box office stars willing to be photographed as long as they received a couple bucks in return. There was music blaring from hidden speakers and a line down the street all waiting for a night of shows and booze. He scrambled around looking for someone who could give them their wristbands. A man came by connecting the yellow bracelets that indicated free drinks at any bar inside the club. The wait seemed a tad long until a different man came out offering drinks on a tray that were much stronger than they looked. After more waiting, the velvet link holding them back was released and the trio was set free into the night. They were led through several sets of bars and escalators before making their way into the main area where there were women already dancing on the bars.

“Let’s grab some beers before the show starts!” He yelled over the pumping music. Leaning into the bar he ordered them drinks though the bartender had already slid three shots of tequila toward them. She and his brother made eye contact, both not fans of the stuff but figuring they were there to drink, they all knocked them back. It was then that they were handed their beers. Once finding a nice place to stand, they watched as the show begun. There were shows based off of Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge, Spiderman, Beetlejuice, and a variety of musical numbers by famous pop icons like Michael Jackson. The amount of confetti at this event was more than they had seen in all three of their lives combined. They had to remember every time they went off to cover their drinks or else they would later be surprised by the papery texture with a swig of beer.

The night ran into the early hours of the morning as they danced and drank. He and his brother complained of aches in their feet and insisted they call it a night. Just as they were leaving, the cast of the show got up onto the middle bar. For lack of a better word, a midget, who was part of the cast, began pouring tequila shots in people’s mouths. He scooped up all her hair in his hand and nudged her toward the man on the bar who gladly poured the shot straight into her mouth. “I hate tequila, but that was pretty awesome!” She claimed as they stammered out of the club. They grabbed a cab back to the hotel, and she was happily united with the leftover sushi waiting for them in the room.

The next couple days they took it easy, lounging at the pool, again visiting the swim-up bar. He wanted to take her to La Isla de Mujeres and spend the day while his brother and mother went to swim with sharks in a tank. He and she took a ferry ride and rented a golf cart to drive around the island. It was a beautiful and romantic getaway for them as they stopped at major tourist points. They grabbed a beer at a local restaurant as she felt the sunburns draped across her shoulders. They had begun to blister. When he noticed her attempting to pop them, he swatted her hand away warning that it would make it worse. The heat was a reason they kept close to the golf cart as well as the fact that a few vendors tried dealing them drugs when all she was in search of was a souvenir. Jail time in Mexico wasn’t quite the “something special” she was looking for. It felt free out there, almost like they had the funds to do stuff like this on their own as a couple. Before heading back, they stopped and had enchiladas at a local restaurant.

The trip was coming to an end far too soon. For their final days, they all rode jet skis. She wanted to ride with him though he went wild almost losing her several times. They eventually switched places, but they learned that from then on separate jet skis was the way to go. When they got back to the pool, a man was there holding a small brown monkey. She had always liked monkeys though she was somewhat terrified of them. He encouraged her to hold it and get her picture taken, pushing her into an already growing line. When she walked up to the man, the monkey got on her shoulder, wrapping its tiny hand across her face and smiling at a cameraman. He and his brother also got pictures taken. The man asked he and she for images together. Even though they would have loved the pictures, $17 for a single tiny print didn’t seem worth it. They decided to capture the memory in their mind instead.

He and she made a final reservation for two at Bana for more sushi (no one else was a fan of sushi). They felt a tad sick from all the food and alcohol they had consumed over the eight-day period. Heading to the airport was a sad venture that was inevitable. He and she boarded two more planes and endured two, two-hour car rides before finally making it back to their apartment and their cats. They spent the rest of the weekend lounging around and catching back up with reality before fully starting back up on Monday.

Tiny Houses and Pipe Dreams

He and she had watched a documentary on Netflix about Tiny Houses and the movement surrounding it. They had decided long ago that they would rather have a smaller house that was really nice while having extra money to travel and go out to dinner on occasion. This was, however, a very tiny light at the end of a long tunnel since they still had plans to further their education. He had recently traded his motorcycle for a boat that resided at the apartment until they decided whether to fix the old thing or make another trade. The documentary had inspired their need to live simply and to create their own environment.

He had found a beat up trailer that held half of a camper at the front on craigslist that a man two hours from them agreed to a trade for the boat. The problem was that his tiny $700 beat up Ford Ranger could barely pull the weight of the boat let alone a large gooseneck trailer. He willed it to work, installing the proper gooseneck hitch in his truck bed. They made a few trips to the local habitat REstore, finding around 20 square feet of Maple wood that they wanted to put in the kitchen of their tiny house. The excitement was mutual as they thought of what it would be like to completely uproot their lifestyle and mold it into something new.

The day came for the trade, a frightening time for he and she that would be followed by excitement for their Mexico trip with his family (That is if they made it to his parents house). Early that morning they made sure their cats were taken care of for the duration of their trip, hiring someone from her work at the school to make visits while carrying all of their luggage down the steps of their apartment. The boat was heavy for its size as he began to attach it to the one hitch he had attached to his bumper. As he released the weight onto the rear of his truck, there was a noticeable dip as the bumper lost more and more space from the pavement. It wasn’t too bad, except for the fact that the wheel of the boat trailer was stuck in contact with the ground, unable to be turned up for driving. He was able to prop up the back end of his truck to remedy  the issue though the small prop wheel had to be placed at a 90-degree angle or it would collide with the road if they bottomed out.

They took it easy, only going around 45mph in a 55mph area to ensure their safety. The boat was making a violent dent in his gas gage as they drove the allotted amount of miles toward the trailer. Sadly enough, this half of the trip wouldn’t be nearly as stressful as what was to come. When they reached the man’s house, she understood why MapQuest couldn’t find it. The tiny farmhouse was nearly covered in overgrown weeds that felt like a page out of ISpy as she caught glimpses of tiny trinkets and tools splayed across the lawn. The man also had a few other boats parked in front that looked as though they had found their permanent resting place. He jumped out of the truck to greet the man as she stayed put in the passenger seat. With the windows rolled down she could hear him exchange facts about the boat as well as, “Do you have a bathroom?” He ended up just going in the man’s back yard instead of a nearby rundown camper that the man initially offered up. She, too, had to go but with no running water and outside this strange man’s house, she decided to just hold it. The sooner this exchange was over the sooner they could finish up their treacherous journey.

Attaching the beast of a trailer to the back of his tiny truck was a feat. His tires looked ready to burst as the weight was lowered down onto the gooseneck hitch. “Well, I hope we make it to my parent’s house.” He said with a nervous look in his eyes. For three hours, they listened to the burps and hiccups of his truck in agony. Stopping to get gas, they bottomed out causing a simultaneous gasp. Luckily, they got back on the highway safely, going 45mph again.

After an hour and a half of driving to his hometown, the beast bouncing on the trucks rear tires, the engine began to heat up. “If it gets to a certain point I’ll have to pull over for an hour at least.” She sighed, hoping they didn’t have to live through the fear and torture of this journey anymore than they had to. He slowed his speed even more, which fixed the heat issue. When they finally reached a close point to his house, the tension grew. There was smoke flying from the back of the truck. The source was unidentifiable with the massive trailer hitching a ride. Pulling into the driveway of his parent’s house, she noticed how she hadn’t been breathing as deeply as normal, the stress must have clutched on her lungs, holding a firm grip until they arrived safely.

The journey was long but they survived with the promise of Mexico right around the corner.

The End of a Partnership

He and T had been friends for a little over a year until a cavalcade of events that led to their demise. They had begun a business, renting a studio to be able to build their artistic product. T had eventually moved out of he and she’s apartment because it hadn’t been running smoothly. The studio was T’s new apartment and described it as the ideal situation, which made he and she wonder why T had ever lived at their place. After a month of saying he would move out, T still had all of his stuff at he and she’s apartment.

He had gone to the studio one morning to continue the countless hours he had spent building a loft, an office, and storage space in the studio (while T did anything else elsewhere). To his surprise, he saw all of his stuff piled into the middle of the shop floor (stuff T had said could stay there while it was listed on Craigslist to be sold). He was obviously shocked and upset, going back to the apartment to begin packing T’s things up and putting them out in the hallway.

She had been organizing her own stuff, sitting cooly by as he packed with ferocity. He explained the circumstance and she became equally as upset. At this point T had stayed with them two months and hadn’t paid a dime of rent. When he went back to the studio, he and T somehow made up as he asked T to kindly pick up the stuff that now riddled the hallway of the apartment.

After that incident, things seemed to be going fine though T still had the tendency to act as though the business was solely his, never mentioning he in any business related conversation, even when he was standing right next to T. He was getting very frustrated after working on the studio for over 60 hours, building and developing with little help from T, who was busy collecting new friends and giving them all keys to the studio. Their roles were like that of Blaire’s mignons in Gossip Girl (which he and she are not ashamed to say they had watched).

He was beginning to feel pushed out of the business and the friendship, getting irritated by the negative feedback he was hearing from people in their inner circle about himself. He had been spending the past week recruiting cliental for their business, successful on three accounts. These work orders were what was going to get them the laser they needed to make their products. He and T were on okay terms at this point, progressing in their business venture.

T’s fiancé came down from Seattle. After that, he and she didn’t hear from T in a week. He had gotten frustrated, not wanting to intrude on the reunion that was going on at the studio, but also not happy that he couldn’t work because of it. Finally, he got a text from T. The text stated that T felt he was the only one doing anything for the business.

T expressed that he thought that He wasn’t bringing anything to the table. This made he irate, thinking on all the times during the protest where he supported T, thinking on all the hours spent building, all the stress from gathering clients to be eligible to lease-to-own the laser for their company…or as it always seemed, T’s company.

They decided to meet for a final beer. She thought they would work it out during the interaction, but when he walked back through the door of the apartment, his face said the opposite. It was over.

T had said all the people in their inner circle, including their artist professor, had said it would be stupid of T to go into business with he (which he found later that night was a fabrication of T’s imagination). She was severely upset at this news, knowing just how much time, energy, and money he had spent on the rise of the company, the one where he had no chance of making a name from. T had painted he as the bad guy, which couldn’t be more wrong. He and T signed handwritten documents stating that he must have all his stuff out of the studio in 30 days.

She had no idea what to do or say, as she spotted the heartbreak on his face that night. He jumped right into the shower as she moved to the bedroom to give him some space before he fully explained the outing. After a long 15 minutes, he seemed to be in better spirits. “I don’t need him. Everything will work out and hey, now you and I can move in a year and do our own thing. This is for the best.”

“You make me want to cry right now.” She could feel her eyes twinge, knowing his hurt but proud of his resilience.

“Don’t cry, sweetie. Everything will be fine.” They spent the weekend taking all his stuff (even the stuff T thought he could hide from him, though there were a lot of things of his that T had thrown away without asking) to a two car garage he rented through their apartment complex. As he began to organize his stuff at his own personal studio, she could truly see just how okay everything would be.

Catching Up!

Over the past month, he and she had been the most busy they had ever been. They had moved from separate apartments to one apartment. T had moved in with them for the first month, but recently moved out due to living conflicts. He and she had realized they had tried to live together for four years and another person moving with them caused them to nit pick often. Anyone that moved in with them would have had to deal with that. He and she were a team who liked their own personal space with each other. It was difficult, but he and T remained friends and business partners. She had gotten a job at a private Pre-6 school as the office assistant manager after graduating. Her family had come down to visit her, which was fun and helped him better connect with them. A couple weeks later, he and she made a trip to her hometown to visit her parents. There were several morel mushroom excursions along with some kayaking as well to kick off the summer.

Now, he and she are currently going through the summer awaiting their trip to Mexico in a few weeks. He will begin his last year at the University in the fall, while also building the studio and selling products as he and T had begun already. She will continue to work at the school until they decide to leave the place they have resided for the past four years.

The Protest

He had been stressing about it since the night before, expressing concern about his own collegiate status and whether he, too, would be reprimanded by association to T and the expulsion. She had work during the first few hours as he and T rose early that morning to make signs. Their world-renowned artist-professor had stayed closely tied with them through the duration of meetings and the final act of expulsion. Once the protest was up and running, their professor decided to come outside the art building to give them water and ask how the process was going. Though only out there with them for ten-fifteen minutes, the professor received a phone call that ultimately lead to a suspension, followed by an investigation of safety precautions the woman had supposedly mis-taught in the classroom. It seemed like another act of retaliation with the association to T and his cause.

“Leave Your Free Speech at the Door.” One of the signs read, signifying that the art building had become a place where freedom of speech was unwelcome. When she arrived it was one of the first one’s she saw. She pulled in to the parking lot and walked over to the protest that was only five people strong three hours in. They stayed out there holding signs as the yearly art fest was going on to attract to most attention. Several cars passed asking what the protest was for. Some even walked over to obtain more information, to which T handed them all the evidence of the events leading to this point. There was the initial faux sign-up sheet that T had put in the bathroom to call out the several numbers of sign-up sheets that riddled the art classrooms, some almost as pointless as a sign-up sheet for the bathroom at the collegiate level. T also had the open letter he had sent out across the art department calling out the director of art and art history after he had threatened him behind closed doors, as well as the expulsion letter that removed T from the school for reasons that seemed to be made up in order to get T out of the University.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to associate herself with the protest. After all, she was graduating that month and wanted to be able to get her diploma after coming this far in her education. Luckily, no cops were called and he and she were able to leave at the end without any further retribution. She went for him. He knew that she was there to support him because she loved him and stood by him when he needed her. After the protest ended, he, she, T, and one of T’s students from the class he could no longer teach, went to eat. The conversations over dinner were much more relaxed than those the night prior and the morning before the protest. From the evidence, T and the professor spoke with a lawyer who wants to help them push forward with a class-action lawsuit against the University.

 

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