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City Living

City Living

A look into the lives of the tenants of an apartment building at 304 W 14th Street, in Manhattan, New York

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Topics: city, fanfic, life, and new york (Add Tags »)

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

https://www.roleplaygateway.com/roleplay/a-new-york-life
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Introduction




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New York, New York

This story focuses on the lives of the tenants living on the fifth floor of the apartment building at 304 W 14th Street, in Manhattan, New York. This particular building is located on the border of the West Village and Chelsea, and is approximately a fifteen minute walk from both Union Square Park and Washington Square Park. The building isn't the nicest, so at least once a month, you'll probably be knocking on the building manager's door about a leak, pest problem, or utility issue that you know will never be fixed, but considering it offers decent, livable apartments in one of the most expensive cities in the world, it's not a horrible place to live either. It's a walk-up building, with no doorman or elevator service, though there is a keypad at the front door of the building as a puny security measure. Pets are not permitted in the building, and it does not offer any services such as a rooftop area, gym, or swimming pool. However, on the block and in the surrounding area are many restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, and schools.

The building has seven floors of apartments, with ten apartments per floor, made up of a mixture of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments. Studios generally run around $1400 a month with a kitchenette/bedroom and bathroom per apartment. One bedrooms separate the bedroom from the kitchen/living room, and also have one bathroom, and run around $1900 per month. A two bedroom apartment, with two separate bedrooms, a kitchen and living area, and one bathroom will run you $2650 a month, and a three bedroom apartment, fitted with three separate bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living space will cost approximately $3700 a month. The fifth floor consists of a mix of all four of these apartment types.

ImageImageApartment 5A

Apartment 5A is a studio apartment, currently occupied by one male. He's the newest addition to the floor, having only resided in the building for three weeks.

{Room 1: Roman Killens}

ImageImageApartment 5B

Apartment 5B
{Room 1: Makayla Wright, Holly Maddon}
{Room 2: Chanel Nasiri}

ImageImageApartment 5E

Apartment 5E

{Room 1: Cara Forrester}
{Room 2: Brooklyn West}
{Room 3: Collin Forrester




Rules
  • This roleplay, its ideas, and all of the text above and below this, must be credited to the original creator, Collapse! She's GMed this roleplay more than once, and has given me permission to try it out since her schedule doesn't permit her to be online much, at the moment. I'm not taking credit for her wonderful work, simply bringing it back to life :).

  • More than anything else, the most important rule in this roleplay is that you must be active! I really don't want to be that annoying GM sending PM's every week asking if you're still interested, so if you don't have the time to post at least once every three days, don't join. More important than the three day guideline, though, is that you just need to post to an extent where your character is slowly down the scene. I ran this roleplay a few months ago and it went great for a while, but all it took was one character to stop posting regularly for the entire thing to fall apart. I really do not want that to happen again, so if you are just looking for a quick roleplay to satisfy a craving, please do not join this! If you have participated in this before and were unable to keep up, please do not attempt to join again.

  • Being active in the IC is obviously very important to me, but I would love it if everyone was active in the OOC too! I want this to be a fun and social roleplay, so I think it's important that we all are comfortable with each other and are willing to bounce ideas off of each other!

  • I won't obsess over minor grammatical errors since none of us are perfect, but please make sure your posts are understandable. Read everyone's posts so you aren't writing completely out of the current plot and try to put effort into your writing. I hate putting numbers on posts, since I do prefer quality or quantity, but I think a minimum of 300 words per post isn't asking too much of anyone.

  • Multiple people can try for the same role since this will not be a first come, first serve roleplay. When you post in the OOC, please just state that you will be able to post once every three days, to stress that you read these guidelines. Please also include the character that you are trying for, and what face claim you will be using. You have three days to get a WIP up, and five days to finish the character sheet. The character sheet code below is simply an outline. Make it as fancy as you want, but make sure your writing is as detailed as all of the frilly, prettiness ;D.


Character Sheet
Code: Select all
Full Name:

Nickname:

Age:
21+ (Willing to make a few exceptions to this for 18, 19, 20 year olds, but please PM me first)

DOB:

Sexuality:

Personality:

Likes:

Dislikes:

Background:

Occupation:

Hometown:

Height:

Weight:

Face Claim:

Rules

The GM of this roleplay hasn't created any rules! You can do whatever you like!

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright "Patience is a virtue."
Character Portrait: Holly Maddon
Holly Maddon played by Writer
Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi
Zoey Saidi played by A Thought
Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
Ruby Barr played by LaurenAFI
Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
Nick Moreno played by Collapse
Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
Dylan Taylor played by Thunder

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These poor, unfortunate souls were once a part of this great world, but have been abandoned. Why don't you consider viewing their profiles and making a decision on whether or not you can roleplay them accurately?


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Events

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #db0083
Surprisingly, Holly was more concerned with possibly being in the wrong apartment when Roman answered the door, than she was with the mean attitude that he answered it with. The smile that she was wearing while knocking remained on her face, though she furrowed her eyebrows in momentary confusion as she looked at Roman. She wasn't really processing what he was saying, as she was more attuned to being confused about his presence when she was sure she had knocked on Cara's door. He had insisted to her earlier that Brooklyn was at work, so it didn't make sense for him to be here. When he pulled her into the apartment, she confirmed that she was in the right place, which meant that he was the one who wasn't supposed to be here. Nonetheless, she still had a confused smile on her face as she obliged his demand to sit down on the couch. She hoped that maybe Brooklyn had come home early from work and he was going to get her. Shockingly, though, even if Brooklyn did appear, Holly was still able to remind herself that she was here to get her ice cream and then go back to her apartment. For the first time ever, she had a real friend over, and that excitement, coupled with being more focused than she was used to, allowed her to remember that despite the excitement of seeing Roman, and possibly even Cara and Brooklyn.

Even though the hit to the back of her head wasn't hard, Holly rubbed it as if it had hurt more than it did. She was momentarily overwhelmed with that and Roman's comment, and then Cara bombarding her with her words, especially the claim that she was drinking alcohol after she snatched the can from her. Her smile returned, in what may have been a strangely inappropriate time given the circumstances, but she was really only smiling because they were acting silly for no reason. Of course she wasn't drinking alcohol! Alcohol was disgusting and Holly would never dare to touch it. Cara was a good reader as far as Holly was knew, so she was confused about why the girl couldn't just read that it said lemonade right on it, in big letters! "It's not alcohol," she explained with a laugh, pointing to the can. "It's lemonade! And Makayla didn't give it to me. My friend Dylan did. He's having pizza and I came over to see if you have any ice cream that I can have, because I'm not really hungry for pizza," she explained, shifting back comfortably into the couch. She looked at Roman then, giggling, "Why are you naked?" she asked, though he was really only shirtless. "We don't wanna see your little pink boobs, Rominty!" she exclaimed with an amused laugh, before managing to re-focus herself. "So, do you have ice cream that I can borrow? If you have enough for two people that would be even better, because I'm sure Dylan will want some too!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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ROMAN || KILLENS
Outfit
Hex code: #11519E
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Roman was done dealing with Holly for the night, so after he made his comment, he headed towards the kitchen for a glass of water. He caught Cara's expression and returned the same, shaking his head and rolling his eyes. Roman wasn't entirely sure how Cara could manage to be so patient, and even nice, to Holly at the moment. It was strange seeing her turn into an almost entirely different person. From being callous and impatient to being sweet and patient. He watched the two with some interest, unable to suppress a groan as he listened to Holly's obliviousness. He had moved to stand by the other of the couch when she mentioned someone named Dylan. It was then that Roman's expression turned from that of annoyed to perturbed. He was focused enough with trying to interpret what that could mean in Holly's foreign language that her comment about his 'little pink boobs' mostly fell on short ears, but he did catch he new nickname and resisted the urge the give her the middle finger. Unlike Cara, upon seeing Holly at the door, he didn't feel the need to scramble to get decent. In retrospect, it's something he would have done, but he was so focused on just getting Cara to alleviate the situation that it didn't cross his mind. And with this Dylan character now in the mix, it seemed like less of an issue. He took a short sip from his glass, glancing over at Cara to see whether or not she was as equally confused and concerned as he was. Roman had no reason to assume that Dylan was some harmless kid sharing a pizza with her. Of course his immediate assumption would be that Holly had gotten herself caught up with some child predator who had lured her with pizza and ice cream. Roman's annoyance hadn't had a chance to settle down, and now it increased, but the reason behind it shifted. He didn't particularly like Holly, as if that needed to be said, but she was still a kid and if thought that was some creep involved, he was going to be easily angered and protective.

Sighing heavily, not really due to Holly's ignorance, but more because the more he conjured up the idea of a gross pedophile talking to Holly, the angrier he got. "Cara will get you ice cream, Holly," Roman said, placing his glass on the coffee table and exchanging one more look with Cara, noting that he would handle this odd part of the story. The next time he reappeared in the living room, he was fully clothed and left without a word. Roman figured the best thing to do was to scope out Holly's apartment before anything else. He didn't necessarily know that the guy was there, but it made the most sense to him to check it out. Not surprisingly, the door was unlocked. The first thing he smelled was the pizza Holly mentioned, and it caused his heart to pick up a few paces. Not because he was scared, but because it verified Holly's story that there was some dude with pizza. It took only a quick scan of the apartment to see someone was on the couch, and as soon as he saw that there was someone, it was a wrap. He was to the living room, reaching over and grabbing the guy's shoulder, yanking him up and pushing him against the wall in a matter of seconds. Had he been calm and not seeing red, things would have been far clearer, obvious even. But he didn't start to focus until he had Dylan against the wall and then realized that hr was a bit...young. Like really young. Like go to jail for assaulting a minor kind of young. Roman's confusion registered on his face for a second, because he definitely hadn't expected a teenager, but in hindsight it did make sense since the guy did feel pretty light just then. Roman was pretty angry, nearing streetfighter mode, but he wasn't so far gone that he didn't care that he had a child in his grasp. Roman lowered his forearm from the kid's neck to his chest, not using as much brute force to pin him back. Teenager or not, though, he didn't know this kid and he knew there wasn't an age cut off for being a pedophile.

"Dylan?" Roman tried, not sure if he actually wanted this to be Dylan or not. Because if it wasn't, then he was about to be in a bit of trouble. But if it was, then he was a bit conflicted. Looking around the room, he tried to make sense of things because this couldn't be right. He was expecting some overweight forty-year-old with a beard and a stained shirt, not some high schooler with freckles. But there was the pizza, and alcohol he noted, which only made him turn to Dylan, or whoever this was, with a slightly darker look. It was hard not to notice the faint scent of weed coming off the guy, or the bloodshot eyes, which definitely worsened things, so by now, the only thing that was saving him from getting hit was the fact that he was clearly around Holly's age. And it was for that reason, and that reason only, that Roman engaged in conversation first. "Look, who are you and why the hell are you in this apartment?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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Hex Color: #BEA353
Hudson laughed as Riley insisted that he would think of her as an alcoholic if she drank both drinks. He wouldn't have thought that. He wasn't a big fan of mixed drinks, though he would have them from time to time. He often felt like they were too watered down and sugary, especially from bars that didn't seem like their bartenders were the type to be well trained in making perfect cocktails. He wasn't picky or elitist enough to verbalize those thoughts, but even given that she was a skinny girl, he doubted that the alcohol in it would be enough to really do much to her. Then again, he was a guy with a lot of muscle on him, so it was easier to assume that that much alcohol was minuscule. "Come on, I wouldn't judge you like that!" he insisted, though he didn't push the glass towards her or anything because he didn't want to seem too pushy.

Zoey then returned, apologizing for "crashing" their conversation, though Hudson didn't see it that way, and then proceeding to discuss with Riley how their blonde roommate had left. He was glad that Riley had mentioned, albeit playfully, that it wasn't a night out without drama, simply because he was happy with himself for correctly picking up on the tension that he had felt when Jetta had taken her jacket from them a minute ago. He knew that girls, especially college-aged, tended to come with lots of drama. He didn't think that in an insulting or demeaning manner, but simply a factual one. He remembered back in high school and college how it seemed like every other day one of his female friends hated a new girl. Even to this day, he felt like a lot of the girls he socialized with carried around too much drama with them. That wasn't to say that guys couldn't be dramatic and unnecessarily petty too, because they could be, but Hudson found girls to be much more passive aggressive about their problems, whereas guys were aggressive, and would hash it out in the moment and then move on.

He was going to insist that it was fine, and that if they wanted to go sort it out there was no pressure to stay with him, though he doubted that even needed to be said, but by the time he had finished swallowing some of his drink, Zoey was colorfully responding to Riley's comments about him. Even if she was putting him in a position that others would likely feel was awkward and uncomfortable, Hudson couldn't resist smirking. This was probably the alcohol in her shining through, though he didn't know her at all to say so for sure, but she was still funny. The two of them were an interesting pair, and he wouldn't have believed them if they had told him that they didn't know each other that well. Riley was the more reserved, yet poised and more thoughtfully spoken one, while Zoey was vibrant, humorous, and carefree seeming. They meshed well from his point of view, even if he caught the embarrassed look that Riley was wearing after her friend spoke. "Daaaaammn, CEO?" he asked, playing along because he got the sense that Zoey was really just talking out of her ass. "I mean, that's the ultimate goal one day, but I haven't reached it yet. I was working as a gym teacher at a high school, actually, and I recently quit that to focus full time on personal training. [color=#BEA353]"The money's a little better and I want to open up my own gym in the near future, so it just seemed like it was time to go all in on it." Smiling lightly, he continued, "And just because I know that's not gonna let me beat out the CEO, I will name drop and tell you that I train Karlie Kloss pretty regularly when she's in New York. She's one of those models, you know who I'm talking about?" Looking back at Riley, he continued his lameness from earlier. "I mean, I know you must know her, but what about you, Zoey?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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Dialogue Color: #336A3B
One moment, Dylan was sitting on the couch, setting down the glass of wine for himself, and the one for Holly, and getting ready to dig back into his pizza, and the next, he was glancing in the direction of the door opening, and before he could react, being pulled out of his seat and thrust against the wall. Being high only delayed his reaction, but it certainly took him a few seconds to realize what the hell had just happened, and even then, a lot of the details, like dropping his full wine glass onto the couch, were nothing more than a blur. He stared at the face in front of him for a second, not processing what the guy was saying once he realized that he was holding him with such force. While Roman had his well-intended reasons for treating Dylan like he did, Dylan couldn't be blamed for reacting as he did either, by kicking Roman with enough force in the groin area to cause him to relinquish his grasp all together. Even in a situation like this, Dylan felt like a shot like that was a low blow, but he literally had no idea what was going on. For all he knew, Holly was some decoy that this guy was using to lure him into their apartment so he could proceed to jump him. "What the fuck is wrong with you, man?" Dylan snapped, shoving back at Roman once more before moving away from him quickly. He wasn't scared to fight, even if Roman had a few inches on him, and a street-fighting history that Dylan was unaware of. Dylan was an athletic kid, and one who could definitely hold his own against most people, and he probably would have even been a somewhat decent match for Roman, had Roman not fought professionally. Even under the assumption that he could hold his own if it came to it, Dylan wasn't trying to fight anyone. He really had no idea what was going on. He thought he was about to have a nice, chill impromptu date with a cute girl. It seemed like one of those occurrences that were so rare and well-timed, that they only happened in movies. Being attacked out of no where was a very clear wake up sign that this wasn't a movie, not unless they were going to list it under the horror movie genre. "I don't know who the fuck you think you are touching me when I was fucking invited over here by the girl who lives here, but you know what, fuck her, and fuck you too, man. Don't ever fucking lay a hand on me again."

He looked away from Roman now, but only to gather his things that were on the coffee table. He wasn't sober enough to think that it was worth leaving without the food that he paid for. "Try that with me again, bro, and I'll have my brother knocking on this door tonight with a fucking AK in hand," he continued, though distractedly. He spoke seriously, though he knew that Hudson didn't own a gun, and the comment should have been more of a realization to himself that he needed to stop playing so much Call of Duty. "Fucking asking me why I'm here," he muttered to himself, shaking his head in anger and annoyance, and ignoring the puddle of wine forming on the couch beside him as he closed the pizza box back up. "Maybe because I was fucking invited over? Why else would I fucking be here?" he continued under his breath, growing more enraged by the minute as he processed what had just happened.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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M a k a y l a ~ W r i g h t
Hex Code: #FF8400
Outfit: Here
Makayla offered Nick her middle finger in a half-hearted manner as he commented on her needing more tequila to warm up her soul. Unlike Chanel, even after he started questioning Chanel about her work life, Makayla didn't suspect that Nick was drunk. She probably should have, since as far as she knew, Nick had to have been here for at least thirty minutes, given how long it had taken them to get ready and come down here, and simply assuming that they hadn't come a minute before he had gotten here. However, as surprising as it seemed thinking about it now, she had never seen Nick drunk. Not as far as she could tell, anyway. She had seen him stoned, but even that didn't seem like a big deal for a guy who was a drug dealer, and who, as far as Makayla could guess, probably drank regularly too. He had a subdued personality to begin with, so if he had ever been high on something else other than weed, that had offered a similar quiet yet clearly out of it experience, she wouldn't have noticed. For someone with a heavy involvement in this world though, she did think it was interesting that she had never seen Nick on a bad trip, or just in a very intoxicated state. While he wasn't always talkative and friendly, she didn't immediately feel like he had to be drunk to act this way, though Chanel bringing it up did make her curious, and her smile reflected that, as she tossed back her second shot.

For a small girl, Makayla's tolerance was pretty high, but she was obviously still human. Two shots back to back would have her feeling a buzz shortly, and she didn't need or plan on drinking anymore, especially because she still wasn't planning on spending any money on alcohol here. "You would make some good side money doing what I do," she said to Chanel, rejecting her impulse to allow that conversation to fade into nothingness in favor of playfully grilling Nick on his intake. She was sure that Chanel's tips would be a lot higher than hers, if not because of her model-like appearance, than because she was just simply a lot more friendly than Makayla was. Even though being a cocktail waitress at a gentleman's club wasn't exactly the same as doing it in a restaurant, your tips more or less still depended on how well liked you were by the customers. "But what the hell am I saying?" she then said, shaking her head. "See, you're lucky. You've got a mom and a dad who would probably beat your ass if they found out you stepped foot in a place like that," she laughed, before turning to Nick to say, "Stop trying to corrupt her. Let her make a clean living where she ain't exploiting herself for shit." She had no reason to think that Chanel was already tampering with that world in a sense.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon
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C A R A - F O R R E S T E R

Location: 304 W 14th Street
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #1BB3F5


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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #db0083
Cara didn't even really realize that Roman was leaving to go see who this Dylan person was, until after he was already gone. Had she not become acquainted with him in a more intimate manner recently, than she simply would have taken his disappearance as a sign that he was annoyed, and had returned to his own apartment because he didn't want to deal with this. She was sure that he still didn't want to deal with this, but she was fairly certain that he had seemed just as perplexed and surprised by this as she was. He was definitely more visibly irritated, and maybe it was simply because she had just gotten out of bed with him, but she felt like he wasn't that much of an asshole, to just up and leave her with what she, too, assumed to be a possibly disturbing situation. As she tried to wrap her head around all of this, she pieced together that some male named Dylan had given her alcohol, and that she now wanted to go back to her apartment to eat ice cream with him. Like Roman, she could only jump to the worst possible conclusion, which probably wasn't entirely fair, but they knew Holly in that way, where she was a child. It seemed impossible to be dumb enough to give her alcohol without being evil and wanting to corrupt her in more ways than just getting her tipsy. Especially given how Cara was privy to the fact that Holly didn't have many (if any) friends her own age, it never would have even seemed possible for this Dylan person to be a teenager who was actually just trying to hangout with her.

She was too caught off guard by all of this to even laugh at Holly's silly and innocent comment about Roman being shirtless, and that was only noteworthy since normally, Cara definitely would have had to stifle back a laugh at a comment like that. Right now, she could only focus on feeling relieved that Holly wasn't asking why he was shirtless in her apartment, and how confused she was regarding what was happening. "This isn't lemonade," Cara reconfirmed, shaking her head as she moved away from Holly and into the kitchen, where she poured the drink down the sink. She returned only a few seconds later with the empty can, and held it out to Holly as she pointed to the words on it. "See? It literally says 'Warning: Contains Alcohol' on it," she said, though she knew that it would be silly of her to expect Holly to actually read something so basic when picking something up to drink. Luckily, the can had felt pretty heavy, and Holly seemed fine, so she wasn't worried about her having had too much of it. What was more concerning was what could have happened... not only with the alcohol, but with this stranger she had referenced.

For some reason, even as she stared at the can Cara showed her, where it explicitly said that the drink contained alcohol, Holly didn't believe it. Had she been sipping on alcohol, she surely would have tasted it, and she definitely would have felt like a horrible person the second that the liquid touched her tongue too. She was convinced of that. "Okay," she said, nodding in an almost feverish manner, simply because she didn't want to talk about something that couldn't be true for any longer. "But do you have any ice cream? Dylan might think that I got kidnapped if I'm gone for too long!" she said with a laugh, that was really meant more for herself, since it was in response to her imagining him panicking about her absence. She got up then, and while normally she would have been so set on the thought of ice cream that she would have disregarded how impolite it was to go through someone's things, and went to check for herself, she lingered by the kitchen counter, looking back at Cara with an expectant smile and somewhat puppy-like expression. "Please, please, please?"

Tonight was definitely one for the books in terms of weirdness. While most people probably wouldn't notice it, Cara did sense the subtle differences in Holly's personality tonight. She wasn't bouncing off of the walls, she wasn't perturbed by the idea of drinking alcohol, and she just seemed more contained and balanced than she normally did. Granted, it was nighttime, and because of that, Cara simply assumed that this was Holly's tired side overwhelming her normal exuberant personality. That was also why she wasn't going to cave in to these ice cream requests, either. She knew that Holly was supposed to be in bed by now, and partially because of that, but also partially because she was annoyed (albeit in a discrete way) about her night being interrupted to an extent where she didn't want to abandon any hope of it being a good one in favor of babysitting, she wasn't about to just feed her sugar. "Don't be silly," she said shaking her hand and following Holly to the kitchen where she gave her a more stern look, "It's way too late to be eating ice cream. I'm getting ready to go to bed," she continued, motioning to the pajamas she had frantically thrown on a few minutes before, "And you need to too. There's no reason for you to be up this late, and there's definitely no reason for you to be hanging out with some boy. Who's this Dylan person you're talking about?" If the can of alcohol hadn't been involved, Cara wouldn't have put it above Holly to just make up an imaginary friend named Dylan, and use "him" as a ploy to get ice cream from her. She was more unsure now, with that involved though.

"It's not that late," Holly stressed, though had she turned to look at the clock, she would have been surprised to see the time, knowing that by now, she normally was fast asleep. She didn't feel tired though. Not at all, actually. Had she felt tired, she never would have gotten out of bed and discovered her sister's disappearance to begin with. "And he's my new friend that I met when I was going to look for Makayla and Chanel! He was carrying pizza inside, and his face is nice like Collin's!" she exclaimed, again referencing having a sharp jawline in as descriptive of a way as she could explain, without knowing how to properly term it. "He's going to wait with me until Makayla and Chanel come back from wherever they were taken to!"

"I don't think your sister would want you staying in your apartment alone with a stranger, Holly. It's way too late to be making new friends." Cara was normally very easygoing with Holly, and she wasn't even being strict with her right now, but it felt that way compared to their normal interactions where she was typically very indulging in whatever the girl wanted. She wasn't acting more sternly out of spite for her night being interrupted (at least not consciously), but the situation felt like it warranted a bit of a reality check for the younger girl. If Dylan, whoever he was, had convinced her that a can of alcohol was just pure lemonade, then Cara felt like he easily could have convinced her into doing worse things. She hoped that Roman was taking care of that, and had her phone not been in her bedroom, then she would have already started texting him to demand an update. "We're just going to wait for Roman to get back here, and then we're going to go back to your apartment, you're going to get into bed, and go to sleep for the night, okay?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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ROMAN || KILLENS
Outfit
Hex code: #11519E
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As soon as Roman was doubled over, Dylan's words a muffled sound beneath the whirring in his ears, Roman regretted his decision for going soft; he should have just kicked his ass on sight. It was a smart (and reasonable) move on Dylan's part, and something that annoyed Roman simply because for someone who did fight professionally, that shouldn't have been the thing to take him down. If Roman wasn't busy trying to gather himself, he would have punched the kid across his smart ass mouth, but by the time Roman regained his senses, the kid was gone and it was just Roman in the room. He slumped his body against the couch, pressing his head to his forehead, trying to figure out what this night was turning out to be. His heart was still racing from the all the adrenaline, so he needed to cool down before he ended up hitting a wall. A part of him just wanted to go back to his place and call it quits, since it seemed like there was some kind of omen after him. Luckily, there was another part, just barely bigger than the former, that had some sense of morals and knew that he needed to go back to the girls, to at the very least let them know everything was good. More or less. It was when he stood that he saw the red stain beside the couch. "Fucking brilliant," he muttered. For a second, Roman considered trying to get it up on his own, just so that it wouldn't sit for too long, but he didn't want to find himself snooping around the apartment. Because with the way his luck was going, Chanel and Makayla would come in, and he'd have a lot of explaining to do.

Still annoyed with himself for not breaking Dylan's neck, he made his way over to Cara's, opening it with a deep groan. Upon seeing Holly, and reasoning that she was the common denominator here, his annoyance and frustration returned back to her. The momentary halt in that anger towards her was shortlived, and he didn't plan on renewing it anytime soon. In fact, the thought crossed his mind that maybe Holly needed to get kidnapped or something because she was way more trouble than she was worth. Managing to pull his glower away from her to turn to Cara, he said, "It's handled. There's wine on the floor, though. Where are your cleaning supplies?" Without really waiting for an answer, he headed for the kitchen, thinking that was a reasonable place to look for them.

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Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens
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C A R A - F O R R E S T E R

Location: 304 W 14th Street
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #1BB3F5
Cara was glad that Roman returned fairly quickly after disappearing. She was confused when he mentioned wine being on the floor, but at the same time, this entire situation was confusing, so given that Holly had come over here unannounced with alcohol in her hand, the mention of wine didn't seem as out of place as it typically would have. "It's handled" was how Roman described whatever had happened, and since it had been taken care of so quickly, Cara could only assume that it wasn't as bad as they had both seemingly envisioned it to be. Had it be a pedophile across the hall, she was sure that there would have been an actual altercation between Roman and the person. Despite there being a sexual attraction between her and Roman that she couldn't deny, especially on tonight of all nights, she didn't necessarily think of him as being a good person. Not morally speaking. At the same time, she could admit that he wasn't as bad as she often pinned him as being... or at the very least, that she didn't know him well enough to justly make the character-assassination type of claims that she often did. Cara speculated that Roman had enough of a heart to defend Holly if there was a real threat across the hall, but she was also sure that he was simply aggressive enough to fight someone if a moral conflict existed, even if it wasn't necessarily to defend Holly.

She was confused at the mention of wine, but also more-so because Roman seemed like he was concerned about it. While she could argue over whether he was a good enough person to try to remedy the situation across the hall with Holly's male friend, she couldn't rationalize why a guy like him would care about cleaning up spilled wine in an apartment that wasn't his, after Holly had just ruined their night at literally the worst possible moment. Placing a hand on Holly's shoulder, she began to lead her towards the door. As she glanced back over her shoulder though, she spoke to Roman, and flashed him a look that spoke to the annoyance that she hadn't been outwardly showing in front of Holly, "Don't bother, I'll take care of it." She gave Holly a gentle push out the door, and though she followed behind, that wasn't before she poked her head back into the doorway and mouthed "Give me five minutes," to Roman, wiggling five fingers, before clasping her hands together in a begging-like motion and flashing a puppy-dog pleading look. She wasn't sure if they would actually be able to pick up where they had left off after this untimely interruption, but she would be damned if she didn't at least try. She was definitely going to need a glass of wine first, though. "Your sister would be really upset if she knew that you were up and roaming around this late," she insisted as she led Holly back into her apartment. She barely paused to notice the spilled wine that Roman had mentioned, as she purposely made a quick paced push towards Holly's bedroom. "But I'm not going to tell her. I don't want you to get in trouble, but for that to work, you actually have to go to bed now, okay?" Typically, Cara never would have been the type to do something so impulsive, albeit probably fairly harmless, but when she noticed the box of Nyquil tablets on their dresser (likely from when Holly had been sick a couple weeks before), she grabbed a packet from the box and popped the two capsules out of it. Had this been any other night, even with her new mantra of being more selfish when it came to rationing her time with Holly and Makayla, with the latter being a moocher in her book now, Cara would have been a better person, and simply insisted Holly go to bed, but waited in the living room for an hour or so, just to ensure that the girl actually fell asleep. Tonight, she wasn't going to let herself do that, and to ensure that there were no more interruptions, she handed Holly the pills. "These will make it a lot easier for you to sleep tonight. I take them all the time, and it really helps, so let's take these, get a good night's rest, and tomorrow maybe we can go to the movies," she said, though she was lying about using sleep aids herself, and also about having intentions of hanging out tomorrow.

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Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Oscar Teenson Character Portrait: Kamon Leavitt Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Neil Vincent Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Kaz Martin Character Portrait: Ruby Barr Character Portrait: Riley Paige Character Portrait: Griffin Hughes Character Portrait: Jetta Babin Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Dylan Taylor
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Saturday, January 7th, 2017 || 1:00 PM

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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Outfit: Here
Hex Code: #91415d
Typically after a night of work, Brooklyn was not up by one o'clock. She sometimes had to work her restaurant job only a couple of hours after getting home from her job at the strip club, and those nights, she never bothered trying to sleep. Most nights after working, however, she was too tired and hungover to even attempt getting out of bed until two o'clock, maybe three. Although she had been stripping for a while, and therefore, felt comfortable enough doing it that she wasn't like some of the novices who needed to down at least three tequila shots before getting on stage, she often did drink on the job. It wasn't so much for the liquid confidence anymore, as it was to be in a better mood. Most people who knew Brooklyn, knew that she wasn't the sweetest person. She could put on a smile and act nice when she needed to, as anyone who saw her working her waitressing job knew, but her patience was normally thinner than the average person's. She didn't like being toyed with, she didn't like being touched, and she didn't like being berated. She had a tendency to be bitchy. Those weren't traits that one would typically associate someone who worked two jobs, with both being in industries where you had to work to please people to earn your money. She managed though. At the strip club, alcohol just happened to be the perfect vice to help her manage more easily. Because she drank so regularly and in such large amounts (at least in terms of the standard for hard liquor), her tolerance was pretty high, and having a hangover spoke to how much she had drank.

Nevertheless, though, she was awake, and had been awake for a few hours, actually. She had woken up around ten and have gotten sick, purging whatever alcohol was left in her stomach. She had gotten back into bed for an hour or so, but found that sleeping seemed impossible, so she got up and forced herself to go to the gym. An hour later, she was back home and hoping to fall asleep again, but after showering and then laying in bed until twelve thirty, she knew it wasn't going to happen. Despite her phone being on silent, she hadn't missed the screen lighting up multiple times from across the room where it sat on her dresser, and after a while of laying in bed in a futile attempt at sleep, she got up to retrieve it. The last person she expected the slew of texts to be was from Holly, through the email address she was apparently using to text with from her iPad. Her surprise mostly came from the fact that she had been sure that she had blocked Holly weeks ago, after she had first gotten Brooklyn's number from someone and had spammed her with messages that contained at least fifteen emojis per piece. These texts were no less annoying in terms of that, but the content of them did make Brooklyn smirk. Amid all of the crying emojis and ones similar to that, Holly was explaining that Makayla was selling her iPad because she was mean. It probably wasn't nice that Brooklyn found Holly's sadness to be humorous, but she was laughing more-so at the fact that there was drama, and the melodramatics of it. With the way that Brooklyn was, the drama made her curious, and after weighing the pros and cons of what she was about to do (and realizing that there were more cons than pros), she still went ahead and headed across the hall to Holly, Makayla and Chanel's apartment. After a swift and stern knock on the door, she waited.

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Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri
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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit:
Collin's Friday night had been fairly uneventful. He had spent a few hours at a party at one of his friend's apartments, though it wasn't really something that could constitute as a party. The small apartment in Stuytown could barely hold the ten or so people that were there, but even so, it was very low key. Some people were smoking, most were drinking and just hanging out. Collin had stayed there for a little bit before leaving to get pizza with a girl that he thought he was going to be able to take home, but midway through their meal, her friends showed up and convinced her to go to a club with them. The invite had been extended to Collin, but he had declined it. He returned to his friend's apartment for a couple more hours before going home. Luckily, by the time he got home, there was no sign of Roman in his apartment, and it was silent, which was only good because walking in to hearing him going at it with his sister would have been nothing short of a disturbing night-ruiner.

His Saturday had started in a relaxed and slow manner. He had nothing planned, so he didn't rush to get out of bed and it was only around eleven that he did manage to. With school out of session for winter break, and no job that he had to report to, Collin's schedule had been pretty open over the past few weeks. It was times like these that he actually wanted to get a job. He had no need to financially, but to pass the time it seemed like a good idea sometimes. Plus, he always wanted something to beef up his resume, as the one year he worked as a lifeguard during high school really wasn't much. The thing about Collin's type, though, was that a resume meant very little. His family was well-connected, so it was highly likely that he would end up working for his father, and then taking over his business. Work experience wasn't required when things were destined to be handed to you. His free time now was often spent hanging out, and today, he spent a few hours of it eating pizza, and then going to the gym before coming home and showering. He spent a couple hours at the gym before returning home to shower. He was more tired than anything at that point, so he found himself making his way to a nearby coffee shop for a pick-me-up. Collin wasn't typically a coffee drinker, but the sudden bout of exhaustion, coupled with the cold weather, made it seem more appealing than it typically would.

He didn't know that the shop he was walking into was the one that Chanel worked at (and he actually didn't even know that she worked at one to begin with), until he was in line and couldn't miss her on the other side of the counter. He wasn't sure if she noticed him until it was his turn to place his order and she was the one there to help him. "Hey," he said with a smile. "I didn't know you worked here."

"Surprise! I didn't know you came to places like this."

"I'm not usually a coffee drinker," he admitted, his eyes drifting from her momentarily as he scanned the menu that hung overhead behind her. "Recommend anything?"

Even though Chanel basically had the menu memorized, she glanced behind herself as well before looking back at him. "Can't go wrong with a vanilla chai and a cookie," she said lightly before nodding her head in slight surrender. "Well, I mean, that's what I usually get when I stop by."

"That sounds good," he said, nodding in agreement as he pulled out his wallet.

[color=#c7256e]"Don't worry about it,"
she said as she walked to the display, grabbing a chocolate chip cookie. She placed it in the small oven that was typically used for warming up sandwiches. The cookies weren't usually warmed, but Chanel knew him well enough to not really think about doing the extra step.

Collin was appreciative of the kindness that Chanel was showing him, though he was definitely aware that this was just how she typically was. It was hard, after that weird time in Disney, to go back to thinking of her as just his sister's friend. Of course she was going to be nice to him, if that was all that their relationship was again. He didn't want it to just be like that, but he also didn't know how to proceed in any other direction, especially after his attempt during Christmas time had been shut down in what he felt was a harsh way. So, in a move that was probably mirroring what he did at Christmas, though he was ignorantly unaware, still, of how it could be construed in a negative way, he pulled a $100 out of his wallet and dropped it into the tip jar while she was still turned away towards the oven. He didn't want her to notice because he didn't want it to be something she had to thank him for. He didn't even really want her to know that it was from him. He just felt like it was a nice thing to do to return her kindness. "I'm surprised you're working on a Saturday. Maybe you and my sister are a little different. I think she'd kill herself before she missed an opportunity to go to brunch on the weekend," he joked.

Chanel offered a soft smile instead of a polite laugh that would have been more characteristic of her. She actually hadn't been scheduled to work until Monday, but she was covering someone else's shift, which included opening the store. They were supposed to be back by 11, but hadn't come in until about 15 minutes ago. Chanel wasn't completely delirious, but she was still tired enough for it to relax her mood. "I was covering for someone today actually," she said as she prepared the chai. "I'm about to get off though, thank God. Besides, you can't have brunch without working so. Not that I'd expect you to know that," she added after a second. She still hadn't learned her lesson than maybe she didn't really know Collin like that to make those kind of jokes yet (which would be true enough), or maybe he just didn't like them, but she wasn't trying to be rude, evident by her warm smile and mischievous glance. But, just in case, she raised her hand some, like a physical side note. "I'm just...kidding by the way. Don't take me too seriously. Oh, and I warmed up your cookie. I like mine warm but I probably should have asked."

Collin rolled his eyes, the only combative reaction he could have to a comment that had him smirking nonetheless. Again, he had to remind himself that Chanel was just being playful and friendly... something that she seemed to be to nearly every person that she encountered. "I appreciate it," he said as he accepted his drink and cookie. "And I'll have you know that looking this good is a full time job," he added in an equally playful, though admittedly more corny manner, before adding, "Not that I'd expect you to know that." He definitely wasn't feeling as bold as he was in Disney, where he was acting out of character in terms of brazenness, but if she was being friendly, then he could be as well. In a platonic way. They didn't know each other well, but if she could be nice to him in a "my friend's brother" way, than he could be nice to her in a "my sister's friend" sort of way. "Since you're getting off, though, does that mean I get the honor of walking home with you? We could always stop and get brunch on the way. I mean, just to make sure that you can keep up your image for all of your Instagram followers. You'll need something good to top that picture from yesterday. Everyone likes a good, old fashioned brunch picture."

Chanel raised her brow, some confusion but also amusement clear on her face. "I didn't know you were such a brunch fan," she said before looking over her shoulder at her coworker tapping her as she passed. She offered the girl a cute smile and noticed the obvious look she gave Chanel towards Collin, as if he wasn't standing right there. Chanel shook her head and pulled her phone out to check the time. "If you're serious, I just have to do some things in the back, but I should be done in 5 minutes if you feel like waiting. You've gotta share some of your cookie though." Chanel didn't really have brunch money like that, but she was just realizing that she hadn't eaten anything this morning because her body was still physically asleep when she was up at 6 am, so she hadn't eaten all day and she was now, understandably, starving.

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright
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M a k a y l a ~ W r i g h t
Hex Code: #FF8400
Outfit:
Holly was lucky that Makayla had decided to pick up a Saturday shift. She typically didn't work her retail job on the weekends, mostly just because she didn't like leaving Holly alone, and she obviously didn't have school on the weekends. Because she had been forced to leave her alone over the past few weeks, without Cara offering to babysit, it was beginning to feel like more of a comfortable practice to Makayla. It had been, until last night, at least. Apparently, while she and Chanel had been out, Holly had gotten out of bed, somehow gotten her hands on a bottle of wine enough to spill it on the couch and the floor, and then went back to bed. Of course, when angrily confronted about it this morning, her sister had come up with some wild story about how she hadn't done it. In this fantasy of hers, she had met some boy named Dylan on the stairwell, eaten pizza with him, brought him back to the apartment, and then somehow, Roman became a part of it too, and it must have been him who spilled the wine. Needless to say, Makayla wasn't buying it, and she chewed Holly out for it before leaving for work. A wine stain left sitting overnight wasn't going to be simple to get out, and after trying to blot it up, and then rewetting it and pouring salt on it, in hopes that the salt would absorb the pigmentation, she realized that it probably wasn't going to work. She left it there to sit, but doubted that it would look much different by the time she got home, and on her way to work, she ended up calling a professional cleaning service.

Obviously, if Makayla lived alone, she would have just dealt with the stain. She lived with Chanel though, and it was just in Makayla's nature to want to be the best roommate possible. That meant that even if Chanel insisted that the stains were no big deal, that she was going to ensure that they were gone, whether she went broke doing so or not. In this case though, she was not going to go broke. She was angry at Holly for being so immature and selfish. She was sixteen years old and couldn't be left to sleep for a few hours alone without destroying the place? With all that Makayla did for the girl, it was impossible for her to not snap sometimes like she did today. She was a twenty-four year old who was being forced (albeit by her own moral compass) to raise someone else's child, and someone else's child who had mental difficulties at that. It was a lot to ask someone her age to do, and though most people would insist that Makayla did a good job at it, she was only human. And sometimes, Holly did deserve the frustration and anger that Makayla occasionally reacted to her with. She needed to know that there were consequences to her actions, and that was why Makayla fully intended on selling some of Holly's Christmas gifts to pay for this cleaning service. She doubted that it would cost more than $200 if that, but even so, her iPad was going to be the easiest thing to pawn for that money, so that was what was going to go.

The fast pace of her work environment made the time go by faster, and she opted against taking her break mid-shift so that she could leave thirty minutes early. It wasn't ideal physically, since by now she was without breakfast and lunch, having gotten here at six o'clock in the morning, but after last night, she was feeling more reluctant towards leaving Holly alone.

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Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Kamon Leavitt Character Portrait: Ruby Barr Character Portrait: Griffin Hughes
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Ruby Barr
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Hex: #A52A2A
By one o'clock on Saturday, Ruby found herself at home in her kitchen. She had been up fairly early today, at least by most people's Saturday standards, but it wasn't something that felt dreadful to her. Sure, she enjoyed the rare day that she stayed in bed to ten o'clock, but she was typically an early bird, and a functional one at that. She enjoyed productivity, so often, even if she didn't have anything to do, she liked to get out of bed anyway. Laying in bed staring aimlessly at the ceiling felt wasteful to her. Today, she had a few appointments with some of her patients, so she didn't have that opportunity anyway, but she didn't mind it. Her first appointment was with a teenage girl she had only recently begun to work with, and they spent their hour discussing a multitude of things that were on her mind, from the effects she was beginning to feel from the Prozac she had started a few weeks back, to successful coping mechanisms regarding the loss of her dog a few days earlier. After that she met with an elementary-aged boy and his mother for their first consultation regarding the severe separation anxiety he had recently begun exhibiting, and following that, she met with one of her longest-running patients, a young girl who struggled with an eating disorder that had arisen as a coping mechanism to abuse she had experienced years before, who she had worked with during her residency, before taking her on as a patient at her own practice. After that, she picked up an All Day, Every Day salad topped with avocado and roasted chicken from The Wild Son, and returned home.

Seated in the kitchen now, distractedly eating her salad while the majority of her focus remained on the book. When Breath Becomes Air, that her free hand held, she appreciated her roommates even more. She wasn't sure if Kamon or Griffin were home, but the silence that existed in the apartment was nice. As they were both aware of, Ruby was probably the most social of the the three, but even she enjoyed peace and quiet. She wasn't the kind of person who always had to be interacting with others, and in fact, it was quite common for her to spend her days reading, researching, or people-watching. She didn't enjoy being involved in the chaos of life as much as she did observing it from the outside, but she also possessed a maternal, nurturing urge of sorts, that often made it hard for her to disassociate entirely from the people around her.

When her salad was finished, Ruby decided that it was time to put her book down as well. Though she was tempted to check in on her roommates to see what they were up to, she opted against it momentarily, if only because the full trash can caught her attention. To her surprise, as she headed down the hallway with the full bag, she found that the garbage chute for their floor was taped up, with a note about how maintenance was working on fixing some problem with it, and that they could use the chute on the floor above or below them for the time being. Simply because she had made it a goal for 2017 to exercise more, Ruby opted to walk up a flight of stairs rather than down one, and headed to the chute on the 5th floor. It was her first time up there, though admittedly, it wasn't a monumental moment. All of the floors in the building basically looked the same, outside of the people on them, that was. She only passed by one person on her way down the hall, a blonde who stood in front of a door, as if she was waiting for someone to answer it, and though Ruby offered a soft smile, she obviously had no reason to interact in any greater depth than that with her as she continued towards the garbage chute.

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Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #db0083
Saturdays were usually the best day of the week for Holly. There was no school and Makayla was usually off from work, which meant that typically, Holly was able to do something that she considered fun. It wasn't always her first choice of fun, which would have been a trip to the movies and then to Panera to get macaroni and cheese, or Wendy's to get a Frosty, but for her, trying on clothes that she knew Makayla wouldn't buy her in Forever 21, or dragging Makayla into the crowds of Times Square to walk around the Disney store or the M&M store was just as satisfactory. Lately since Cara had been a nearly absent presence in her life, Holly had admittedly been feeling more lonely, and in turn somehow, more restless and unsatisfied. There was no one who could deny that she was a very social creature, and it was that constant need for socialization and interaction that kept her from thinking about more serious things. Of course Holly's issues were more deeply rooted than her just being silly and youthful to avoid addressing other things. Her issues were ones that possibly stood a fair chance of pervading even medication and therapy (though it was too soon to say that in confidence, since she had only just started it). However, it was certainly easier to forget about years of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, on top of currently being in an economically tiring situation, and being perceived as an outcast by most of her peers, when she let her mind live in a fantasy world where everything was funny, and where every problem could be solved by vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles and gummy bears.

Because of how innocent and harmless she came across as being, people indulged in Holly more than they needed to, but Cara had been incomparably kind to her, ever since they met. She was quite possibly the only real friend that Holly had, even if from the outside, it probably just seemed like a relationship that Cara sustained out of pity. Cara had not only provided Holly with distractions in the form of things she could never do otherwise, like Broadway shows, frequent movie outings, and even a Disney World trip, but most importantly, in the form of a companionship. Without that, Holly had been feeling more unsatisfied than she normally did, though she wasn't aware that the lack of socialization with Cara was the root of that. Additionally, in a more short term sense, on her second day of Adderall use, the irritability and restlessness could probably also be connected to that. Nonetheless, Holly's moods had been shiftier lately than they typically were, and her big fight with Makayla this morning over the wine stains that she knew she had nothing to do with, was only the icing on the cake.

For reasons unknown to her, Makayla refused to believe the truth: that she had made a friend randomly, and he had come over, and then she had left momentarily and Roman had come over, and then once she returned to the apartment with Cara, her friend was gone, so it was either her friend, Roman, or Cara who had caused the stains, but not her. In theory, the idea of all of that happening in the short span that Chanel and Makayla were gone from the apartment for, did seem unrealistic, but Holly couldn't look at it from another point of view, especially after Makayla had screamed at her for it and promised that the cleaning costs involved would come from them pawning her new iPad. Since Chanel was gone from the apartment all day too, Holly felt like she was a prisoner locked in solitary confinement, and had resorted to sending out lots of texts on her iPad to Brooklyn and Cara, in between watching TV in her pajamas. When there was a knock at the door to the apartment though, she didn't assume that it was either of them, and instead thought that it was Makayla, which had her purposely pausing for a long minute out of spite before going to answer it. When she did open it though, she ditched her well-prepared scowl immediately when she saw that it was actually Brooklyn who had knocked. "Hi Brooklyn!" she exclaimed, and though she normally would have immediately found something important enough to launch into conversation over, she was surprised enough (and also still dealing with being in an off-mood) that she didn't know what to say, though her enthused look spoke to how excited she was at the surprise visit.

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West
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Outfit: Here
Hex Code: #91415d
Brooklyn had no reason to be surprised when the door opened and Holly was standing there, but she couldn't help but to raise an eyebrow at the pajamas that Holly was still wearing. Given that she had apparently been home all day, still being in pajamas at this hour wasn't outlandish, but it was the youthfulness of the clothes that had her wanting to roll her eyes. She refrained, though. She was getting herself into this mess by inviting Holly out for a little while, so she knew that she couldn't explain or act bitter just yet. The girl would undoubtedly do something stranger than wear cat pajamas in only a few minutes' time. "Put normal clothes on," she said, pushing gently through the space between Holly and the doorway to invite herself into the apartment. "You're coming out with me for a little while. I don't need you pushing your sister to throwing herself off the roof," she explained concretely, as she made her way into the kitchen. Her stomach still felt a bit off, but that was typical on days when she had drink enough the night before to have to throw up the next morning. Nonetheless, she was hungry, but the apartment's fridge didn't offer anything extremely interesting, so she turned back towards Holly a beat later. "And I'm hungry so you better hurry up before I leave without you."

While the way that Brooklyn spoke to the teenager would probably come across as being harsh and unnecessarily short, anyone who knew Brooklyn (which granted, in a real sense, wasn't many people) understood that this was just how she was. In fact, she tended to display her affection in harsher ways, and the fact that she was offering to take Holly out for a few hours, even with an attitude laced tone to her voice, made it evident enough that she liked her more than she showed. Holly was annoying, and obnoxious, and infuriatingly ignorant sometimes, but she was also a small piece of home. Her youthfulness reminded Brooklyn of her sister, who, after her death, had been engraved in her mind as someone who had been too pure, and innocent, and sweet for this disgusting world. She had an energy that was somehow contagious, even when you wanted to resist it the most. Even for Brooklyn, who constantly tried to remain cold and unbothered in order to prevent herself from seeming vulnerable, it was hard to not feel some sort of attachment to the girl, if only in the way that you would feel one for some puppy that wouldn't stop trying to play with you.

It was clear after a few moments that Makayla truly wasn't home, so Brooklyn decided that it probably was respectful to text her, even if stating that she was taking Holly, over asking if she could, probably wasn't entirely respectful of the girl's authority in itself.

To: Makayla
I'm taking your child out for a few hours. Food and errands. Thank me later, but not in your suicide note.

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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ZOEY . SAIDI
Hex Code: #551a8b
What was a Saturday without a hangover? As Zoey tried to cope with hers, that somehow was clinging on to her body even though she had woken up hours ago. She was working the opening shift at the restaurant, but luckily for her, the opening shift meant that she only had to come in at 9:30, since they opened at 10:00 for brunch. Given that many restaurants opened much earlier to catch the breakfast crowd, she was lucky that she got to sleep in, comparatively, but it didn't feel like much to celebrate over as she recovered from the previous night's drinking. Normally, Zoey wasn't one to struggle badly with hangovers, but she had consumed more liquor than she planned on doing last night, and had stupidly went to bed without taking Advil, chugging water, or eating anything. That had typically been her foolproof plan for averting bad hangovers, but it was difficult to implement when you came home too drunk to care about it. She wasn't at a point where she needed to be within five feet's reach of a toilet, or where sunglasses were a necessary accessory even indoors. However, she absolutely had to down a nice, greasy burger before her shift started to get her body somewhat functioning for her shift. She was only scheduled to be here until three, when brunch officially ended for the day, but if the rest of her shift spoke to anything, it was that this last hour was going to drag on. Despite the restaurant being as typically busy as it was on a Saturday, the day was still dragging on, and as each minute passed, she craved her bed more and more.

On a trip back to the kitchen to check in to see if one of her final table's order was ready, she slipped her phone out of her pocket and texted Riley, who she hadn't seen this morning. Zoey hadn't been gone enough to not remember the event's of the night before, but she had also been drunk enough to be oblivious to how obnoxious she had been acting at some points. Even still, she still had enough sense to know that she had probably been a bit crazy, even if she wasn't truly worried about having done anything offensive or outlandish.

To: Riley
If I was crazy ln, sry girl!!! I blame the tequila shots! Did I at least get you laid?!

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Character Portrait: Zoey Saidi Character Portrait: Riley Paige
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Riley Paige
Hex Code: #8365A1
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Though by everyone else's standards sleeping in until just before 2:00 didn't count as 'early,' but in Riley's world it did. At least on the nights that she worked. Because it was just the most feasible thing to do versus waking up in the morning and then trying to manage to get through a late night shift on top of it, she tended to try to shoot for three pm as the earliest wake up time should she have no other priorities. And because the late night scene already wasn't her typical jurisdiction, it did take a bit more for her to not get absolutely drained from working. She was fortunate enough to not have to work out an actual club, where she would probably die from anxiety, but even the place she worked at had a tendency to get packed quite frequently. She shouldn't have been that surprised because she was well aware that drinking causes her to wake up early. She pushed the creeping irritation aside as she got up and tried making sense of her surroundings.

Fortunately, she didn't have a hangover. Just a gentle throbbing at her temple that a little juice and Advil could cure. She hadn't had enough to drink to not remember last night's events, if they could really be called that. To a lot of her friends, it would have been considered pretty flat, but for someone who rarely lived life 'on the edge,' it was a success in her eyes. No, she didn't get laid, as she would soon tell her roommate, and she would have needed way more to drink since that wasn't her thing, she still had enjoyed herself. Having very little consequence to face afterwards also made any night seem all the more enjoyable. The odd thing was that, subjectively, Riley didn't really see it as much of anything. Just something that was on her to-do list and that she could successfully cross off. So it was less about the actual night itself than the fact that she got to say she accomplished something--especially something she was wary about to begin with. She was trying to be a bit more spontaneous and allow herself more freedom this year, but old habits were hard to die, so it would probably take a minute before she was able to just authentically enjoy a rare occasion such as going out. For now, it would just be seen as an obstacle to overcome and that, once done so, would allow her to indulge in things she already really liked doing. So today, and like every other day when she found the time for it, it was taking her time drinking her tea and listening to music. Boring was not at all a new adjective that had been used to describe her many times, but it never bothered her. After getting Zoey's text, she couldn't help but wonder if she was taking to the wrong things in life just a little bit, because how many twenty-year-olds can honestly say the night was a success because she didn't go home with a very handsome guy, and because of such a tame night, she got to enjoy her already planned cup of tea? Sure, there were several, but she was definitely a minority it felt like.

To: Zoey
can't trust the tequila! but no, you didn't tho i guess i can always use that fake CEO you made up as my back up Image

Allowing the little voice in the back of her head that was questioning if she should be a little more invested in last night, she sent another text to address her concern.

To: Zoey
was that a total fail on my part? bc...i'm realizing all my friends would probably kick me for passing up the opportunity

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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M a k a y l a ~ W r i g h t
Hex Code: #FF8400
Outfit:
Even if Makayla was surprised at the text she received from Brooklyn shortly before finishing up at work, about taking Holly out, she wasn't in a place where she could object. It definitely rubbed her the wrong way that Brooklyn spoke to her in a definite tone, as if she had no choice in the matter, but given what the topic of conversation was, it was excusable. After finding the large wine stain in the living room this morning, and knowing that it was only possible for it to have come from Holly, despite her outlandish excuses, Makayla was feeling very mentally exhausted when it came to her sister. In the many years that she had known Holly, she had been through hell and back with the girl. Holly had gotten on every one of her nerves, and then some. She was a lot to handle, and she probably would have been a lot to handle even for a grown adult who wanted children. Makayla was still a young girl herself, this child wasn't hers, and this child, who was actually a teenager, wasn't a normal teenager at all. In Makayla's opinion, it all fit right in to her nothing-ever-goes-right life, though, because really, nothing ever did go easily for her. It was barely even a woe-is-me attitude. Out of the general population in a developed nation like theirs, her life probably would have been classified as one of the more difficult ones. She had lived in poverty throughout her entire life, was raised in a single parent household where, though she was not physically abused herself, she watched violence and abuse occur daily. Drugs became a normalized part of her childhood, as they were how her father made money. And then there was Holly. Makayla was thirteen when Holly first came into her life, and although her mother had come with her, even way back then, Makayla was the one who was expected to take care of Holly more than anyone else.

Fast forward to now, thirteen years later, and taking care of Holly was second nature to her. She couldn't give her up, even if that was an option, but that didn't mean that she went without thinking about it sometimes. Sometimes she thought about it because she felt like her life would be easier without Holly. Other times she thought about it because she was sure that there was someone out there who could give Holly more than she could. At the end of the day, though, she firmly believed that life had brought them together for some reason. Just as badly as Holly needed her, Makayla needed the girl too. On days like today it was harder for her to think that way, but it was true. Nonetheless, today wasn't the kind of day where she could mentally be too protective over Holly, in an instance where she knew Holly was completely fine. Brooklyn could be cruel and brash in a lot of ways, but Makayla was well aware of how her core was much softer than she let on. She had simply responded to Brooklyn saying "okay thanks", before finishing her shift, and walking home to a pleasantly silent apartment. She indulged in a long, hot shower - something that felt overly needed with how cold it was outside, coupled with how stressed out she was feeling.

When she finally emerged, she was relieved that the apartment was still silent, and that the new text on her phone wasn't one from Brooklyn saying they were on their way back, even though she knew she probably wasn't going to get one of those anyway. Instead, the message was one from an unknown number that was in a group chat with Chanel, reading, "Hey! This is Ruby, the new roommate :). Emily gave me your numbers last week. I just wanted to let you guys know that I should be arriving in about 15 minutes with some movers to bring my stuff up, just so I don't surprise anyone by coming in." Despite recalling that Emily, the girl's old third roommate, had said that the girl taking over her room on the lease was moving in this weekend, Makayla really had completely forgotten about it until now. Since she had received the text about ten minutes ago, she rushed to get dressed. Even if she didn't think it was necessary to be super friendly or homemakerish, and be ready with a platter of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for the new roommate's arrival, she knew that it was probably best if she at least looked presentable and was friendly and showed her face when the girl did arrive. She could only hope, too, that the girl did so before Holly got back.

Opting against responding to the group chat, because it didn't seem necessary on her part, she instead texted Chanel privately.

To: Chanel
Lowkey completely forgot she was moving in today Image

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Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri
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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit:
The Crooked Knife was a gastropub located just a minute or two's walk away from their building, so it was a convenient place to stop at for brunch. Collin had been wanting to try another local place, Copellia, that had great reviews, but he wasn't as in the mood for Latin fare this afternoon, and Chanel didn't seem bothered by the first suggestion he gave, so that was where they ended up. Though he knew that asking her out to brunch was living life on the wild side (for him, at least), he also tried to reassure himself that it wasn't that deep. She was leaving work, he happened to see her... it was just two people getting a meal together. While he wouldn't go so far as to call Chanel a friend (not to her face, at least. Had someone asked about her, he probably could have used the label), they did know each other in a way that by now, could probably extend past him calling her just his sister's friend. That was true to him, even if he wasn't considering the alcohol-fueled events of that night in Disney. The mere fact that they had been on vacation together suggested that they qualified as being friends, even if they weren't exchanging friendship bracelets. Nonetheless, Collin was overthinking things as always, and "The Amalfi" cocktails, a blend housemade tarragon infused vodka, blood orange puree, fresh lime with club soda, that he had been drinking steadily throughout their meal, was the only reason why this probably hadn't been too awkward on his end. He had ordered The Southwest Omelette that came with grilled steak, avocado chunks, and pico de gallo, and his sweet tooth had him ordering the creme brulee french toast, served with fresh strawberries and vanilla bean ice cream too. He was just starting the sweeter of the two dishes that had been brought to the table just a minute or two before, as he looked to Chanel. "You've gotta split this with me," he said, pushing the plate towards her before he touched it himself. "I'm gonna opt against taking responsibility for being full because of ordering two dishes, and instead blame you for talking me into getting that cookie at your place... which I will admit, hit the spot."


Chanel wasn't really the frugal type. Certainly by her own standards, she wasn't poor, but she wasn't rich either. She did grow up in a family where budgeting their money was a reality, and she couldn't get every single thing she asked for (although she definitely was spoiled, especially being the first born and only daughter of the family). There were times, though, especially around the New Year when she, like everyone else, was convinced that she would make changes to their past behavior. So that was why she wasn't indulging in an entree, dessert, and cocktail. This behavior was sure to change as soon as her refund check dropped, or until she got bored trying to be responsible and it wasn't entirely reckless for her to be so. In the moment, she also wasn't entirely pressured to keep up. The Govn'er Omelette (that came close to second to the Canadian Kevin Bacon simply by way of its name) was enough to suffice her, along with the glass of water she had. Though when Collin slid the french toast her way, she didn't hesitate to accept. If she could have gotten something, that was what she would have chosen too, but even looking at it, it made sense why Collin would need to share it. "Our cookies are kind of like kryptonite," she said, ushering her fork towards the plate. "Mmm. But this definitely comes close." After a couple of chews, she covered her mouth. "I'm seriously going to have to fight you for this," she said laughing. "Or maybe I won't have to since you seem pretty busy over there with those cocktails." Chanel winked playfully.

Collin laughed, raising his glass and examining it as if he was surprised himself that he had had a few cocktails with brunch. Drinking with brunch wasn't an abnormal thing in itself, so what Collin was more surprised at, was that Chanel was insistent on not drinking herself. She seemed just like his sister, who thrived at these socially marketable meals where all you needed was a cocktail and someone to take a photo of you with it, to rake in hundreds of social media hits. "Which reminds me of how weird you are for not drinking. Who the hell goes to brunch with the intention of just eating? Especially after working all morning." he asked with a playful smile, though he genuinely was curious as to why she wasn't drinking. He wouldn't have thought that finances would have played a role in it, so to him, the most logical answer was that she was going to claim that she was on some alcohol cleanse or something superfluous like that. "Unless you've got some crazy important thing to do later, just know that I'm hardcore judging you for this."

Chanel took another bite, rolling her eyes at Collin's teasing. He was right--it was pretty weird that Chanel wasn't partaking in a few cocktails. Not only because this was kind of her scene, but also because she was pretty much always enthusiastic about alcohol, but that just went to show just how tired she was. Moreover, with her newly adapted financially reasonable mindset, and the fact that she still had to wait a few weeks until her refund check came in, a $13 cocktail seemed crazy. Especially since her meal itself was $16. "Plebeians like me who don't have the money to pay thirteen, sixteen dollars on a cocktail." She glanced at the drink on the table, trying to recall which number this was before shaking her head as she shoveled some food onto her fork. "I seriously can't believe how much money you have. You might have consumed my grocery budget's worth of alcohol and you didn't even blink." While Chanel was teasing him, it was a bit funny in an intriguing kind of way. It really was hard to grasp just how much money the Forrester's had, and she wondered if they even know how much the had since money was such a non-issue for them. "Okay okay. Tell me this: what is 'expensive' to you? Because--"

The vibration from her phone interrupted her. Because her phone was just beside her, she saw right away that it was a slew of random numbers. Her face contorted in slight confusion until shortly after Makayla texted her. "Oh shit..." Like Makayla, Chanel had totally forgot. She was still getting used to the swing of things after a pretty nice vacation of her part, so remembering that her new roommate was moving in was definitely going to be on the bottom of her list of things to remember. She was sure it wasn't that serious, because it wasn't like she had promised the girl to help her with moving in or anything, but Chanel still felt like she should be there just because she liked giving people warm welcomes. Knowing her, she would have likely made it an entire event or something. Instead of responding to the group chat right away, she responded to Makayla first.

To: Makayla
fuuuuuccckkkk. i totally forgot too. i feel like i should be there... are you home?

Setting

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Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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H O L L Y . M A D D O N
Outfit: This[/url]
Hex Code: #db0083


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Outfit: Here
Hex Code: #91415d

Her afternoon with Holly hadn't went too badly, though there were definitely moments where Brooklyn questioned why she had basically ensured that she would end up with a headache by the end of the day. They got a quick bite to eat at Panera, since macaroni and cheese seemed to be the only thing Holly enjoyed eating, and did some casual shopping for nothing in particular. Shopping was a pastime of Brooklyn's, and just as easy as it was for her to buy things, she could spend hours just browsing too. With Holly talking her ear off in the background, touching things that were breakable, and attempting to justify why she needed Brooklyn to buy her random things, it was a bit less enjoyable, but Brooklyn had become accustomed to tuning the girl out by the time that they ended up at Whole Foods. She was nearly done with her shopping, with a cart that only had a few things in it, though that wasn't abnormal for her. She preferred to shop multiple times a week than to stock up on a bunch of food that would go bad before she had the time to eat it.

"And I don't know why she was being so mean to me this morning! You know how I'm always really nice to her, right? Even when she's in a bad mood for no reason, like the other day when I was just showing her this candle that smelled really good in CVS she yelled at me for no reason! You would think that she would be happy that I was letting her smell a candle that smelled like cinnamon instead of having to smell normal air that doesn't smell like anything, but nope!"

"Do you ever think that maybe she acts annoyed because you're annoying?"

"I'm not annoying."

"Sometimes you are. Touching shit that you know you aren't going to buy is annoying. Opening up your sister's wine and spilling it all over the floor is annoying."

"I didn't do that! I'm serious! Roman and my new friend did it."

"A-K-A you tried your sister's wine, got drunk, and imagined that you were hanging out with Roman and your invisible friend. If that's what happens to you with wine, you better not ever try liquor, kid." Brooklyn didn't imagine Holly to be the type who would ever willingly want to try wine or liquor, but then again, she was stupid. All it would probably take was a bottle having a label with an illustration that caught the girl's eye for her to open it up, she assumed.

"No! Roman was at your house with Cara, and I went over because I needed ice cream, and I saw his little pink boobs because his shirt wasn't on," she recalled, unable to stop a small bout of laughter as she recollected on that part. "Why don't you believe me?"

"You think you saw Roman in my apartment last night, without a shirt on? And Cara was there?" This was the first time that Brooklyn was hearing this addition to the story, and she was sure that Holly hadn't mentioned this part earlier, because even though she had been drowning out most of what the girl had been going on and on about all afternoon, she would have perked up at the mention of Roman's name. Normally, the mention of Roman being shirtless in her apartment, when she wasn't home, which meant that he was solely there for Cara, would have made Holly's story only all the more unbelievable. In fact, she was sure that had Holly told that part to Makayla, Makayla would have found it to be all the more unbelievable too. Only because Brooklyn had seen that photo of Roman and Cara kissing, and had presumed to question him about it with Nick in the room, did it actually somehow make Holly's story more believable.

"I don't think that I saw it, I know that I did!" she insisted, though it was clear by the way that she had turned to face the shelves of snack food beside her, that she was losing interest in this conversation. Plucking a bag of popcorn off one of the shelves, she dangled it over the cart that Brooklyn was pushing. "Can I get this?"

Since she had rejected every other item that Holly had tried to throw into the cart since they got there, and since she now wanted to drop the conversation about Roman and Cara too, because she was now going to investigate on her own, she nodded to the popcorn request. “Fine.” A few minutes later, they were leaving the store, but not before she sent Roman a text saying, "Heard you and Cara went at it for round two last night. Cute." Brooklyn recruited Holly to carry a couple of bags then, since she had her hands full with those and some from earlier purchases. Although it was cold outside and they had hands full of bags, Brooklyn chose the fifteen minute walk over calling an Uber for them. For one, it probably would have taken the same amount of time by the time the car showed up and maneuvered through the ever-present New York traffic. Most importantly, though, the point of her taking Holly out this afternoon was to give Makayla some respite. Even if they hadn’t been gone for more than an hour and a half or so, she still figured that an extra fifteen minutes of walking would be that more amount of tiring Holly out that she could do.

As Holly would inform Brooklyn, she was quite lucky that Cara had given her such a warm jacket for Christmas, because she barely minded the cold walk home. Walking outside for a prolonged period of time wasn’t pleasurable to anyone when it was this cold out, but Holly wasn’t one to complain. Especially since she was with Brooklyn, there were a lot more important things on her mind than complaining about the cold weather. Although Makayla had given her an Adderall pill this morning, Holly had opted against taken it, and had hidden it in room. She had not realized that the weird way she felt yesterday was from the pill she had taken last night, and she had only decided against taking it today out of spite because Makayla had been mean to her. As she got to thinking throughout the day though, it was probably better to save the pills secretly. That way, when she had an important test, she could take a bunch of them at once and be super-focused. “You’re gonna come back to my apartment and hang out, right? Because I don’t want to have to hang out with Makayla now that she’s gonna be home from work,” she pressed, as they got to their building. A truck parked outside of the building, its hazard lights blinking as it stuck out far enough into the road to potentially block some traffic, caught her eye. Seeing something like that wasn’t abnormal, especially in a city where cars always wanted a reason to blare their horns at someone. What sparked her interest though, was that men were carrying things from the truck into their building. She and Brooklyn had to pause just outside the doorway as two men maneuvered a dresser through the doorway. If the thought of carrying a few grocery bags upstairs seemed tiring, then Holly didn’t know what the word for carrying a heavy piece of furniture up who knew how many flights of stairs was. “Are you who’s moving in?” Holly asked, as she followed the movers up the stairs and got close enough to nudge one of them in the back as they hauled the piece of furniture up.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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Ruby Barr
Outfit
Hex: #A52A2A

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C A R A - F O R R E S T E R

Location: 304 W 14th Street
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #1BB3F5
With a rather large box in her hands, it was impossible for Ruby to see much of anything ahead of her. She craned her neck to the side of it, hoping that being able to see what was to her side would somehow be enough to get her from the side of the road, into her new apartment building, and up four flights of stairs. As she learned after only a few steps across the sidewalk, when she bumped straight into someone else, she had overestimated herself. "Oh God, I'm so sorry," she said, placing the box on the sidewalk in a frazzled motion as she mentally criticized herself for being so careless, and tried to focus on making sure whoever she had just walked into was fine. She was being dramatic probably; it hadn't been too much more than a bump, but it wasn't just out of politeness that she felt the need to be apologetic and worried. Ruby was the kind of person who was genuinely concerned about other people, simply for the fact that they were humans and to her, that warranted some sort of care in itself. The degree of interest that Ruby had in other people was probably why her expression softened and became more friendly when she realized that the blonde girl she had bumped into wasn't just a stranger heading towards the same building door as her, but an old... acquaintance?

Cara Forrester wasn't someone that Ruby would necessarily call a friend, but to her, that was simply because of their age difference. Their fathers were good friends, so as children, it wasn't unusual for the two to encounter each other at social functions or more intimate parties. There had even been summers where Ruby had spent weekends with her family at Cara's family's Hamptons house, and winters that the Forresters had flown out to the Barr family's house in Aspen to ski. Growing up was a crazy and busy thing, so while their parents definitely still socialized, it had been a while since Ruby had spoken to Cara. They had never been close, and especially as they had both begun to hit the teenage years, Ruby's more intellectual based interests had conflicted with Cara's socially inclined ones. There had never been drama, but simply difference that had prevented them from wanting to mend the distance that had allowed their relationship to seem like it had simply existed because of their parents' relationships. Still, unlike Cara, Ruby wasn't the type of person who was okay with pretending she didn't know someone that she definitely knew. While Cara was quite comfortable with being cold and unfriendly when socializing didn't benefit her, Ruby was a much warmer and genuinely kind person. "Cara?" she asked, a smile growing on her face despite the stoic one that remained on the blonde's, until eventually, an uncomfortable and forced smile emerged as she seemed to recognize who Ruby was. "It's Ruby Barr. God, it's been a while, hasn't it been?"

In Cara's defense, her resting bitch face was nearly a part of her identity. It was nothing personal that it remained on her face for a long second even when she realized that the person who had walked into her was Ruby, an old family friend. Even if Ruby was someone who Cara had no problems with, the mere fact that she was seeing someone from her childhood life when she wasn't in that mindset, felt like an inconvenience to her. As pathetic as it seemed, there was still a part of Cara that possessed that immature, concerned about what other people thought, person in the back of her mind. It was why she would never even consider inviting any of her childhood friends over to her apartment. This wasn't the kind of life that any of them were living, and it certainly wasn't the life that she should be living either... at least given who she was supposed to be when she was around them. In truth, Cara didn't mind the West Village apartment. It was a taste of independence, and a taste of reality... even if her father still paid for her rent. While she didn't have to worry about what Ruby thought of her, per se, it still brought her into that uptight mindset. "Yeah, it has been," she agreed, offering a tight-lipped smile, as she stepped past Ruby and opened the building's door. She didn't even process that Ruby had just walked out from the back of a moving truck and was carrying a box, clear signs that she was moving into the building. "Well, it's been nice seeing you. Maybe we can catch up soon," she said, assuming that stepping inside would be her quick and easy getaway.

"Definitely!" Ruby chirped. She definitely caught on to Cara's curtness with her, so she wasn't going to push interacting when it was clear that the blonde was either in a rush or uninterested. However, as she hauled the box of books back up off of the ground, she knew that she needed Cara for one more thing. "Would you mind holding the door for me?" she requested, since it seemed like Cara was unaware that she was also coming inside.

"Oh... you're... moving in here? Why?" The "why?" came more quickly than it needed to, and Cara was at least able to recognize that that sounded rude, so she continued to explain. "I mean, what's bringing you all the way downtown here? Don't your parents still have a place uptown?" Cara didn't plan on chatting, but now it seemed inevitable. If not because Ruby was walking right behind her, but because as they headed upstairs, they soon became trapped by two guys hauling a dresser up the stairs (a nice reminder of the lack of luxury the building possessed... since living in a building without an elevator was cringe worthy)... and Holly and Brooklyn. Even after a peaceful morning filled with yoga and a manicure, Cara didn't have the patience to deal with all of this at once.

"They do," Ruby nodded, her head again blocked by the box that she was trying to carry more carefully this time around, since lugging it up stairs was even more difficult than just carrying it across the flat sidewalk. "I haven't lived with them since high school actually, though. I just opened up my own practice, so moving down here made the most sense. What about you?" As they caught up with part of her hired moving crew, they also ended up just behind two girls walking up behind the movers. Feeling guilty for delaying them, Ruby piped up when she heard one of the girls asking the guys if they were the ones moving in. Struggling but somehow managing, she tilted the box to the side enough that she had a view of the backs of their heads as she said, "Totally my fault for the stairwell traffic." She offered an apologetic smile, "We're going up to the fourth floor; I'm the one moving in, they're just helping me get everything up there."

Interacting with Holly and Brooklyn was going to be inevitable, simply because of Holly's personality, but now that Ruby had spoken directly to them, it was immediately inevitable. It wasn't right that Cara felt so strained and burdened in this socializing when it really wasn't that big of a deal, but it reflected the changes she was trying to make, and unfortunately, how easy it was for her to morally justify them. The fact that she had seen Holly just last night when the girl had ruined her night with Roman, and then Cara had proceeded to immorally give her a sleep aid to prevent her from interrupting it again, only made her feel more uninterested in conversing. Even so, she could save face in public. "They actually live on the fourth floor too. This is Brooklyn, one of my roommates, and Holly, who lives across the hall in 4B." It probably would have been appropriate to introduce Ruby in return, but Cara already felt like she was doing more than she needed to. All she wanted right now, was for these two imbeciles to hurry up. They both looked strong enough to move a little faster than this, she thought in annoyance. With how slow things were moving, and with Holly now on her mind, Cara had the time and thought to text Roman.

To: Roman
If it ever comes up bc of Holly's mouth, you and I never saw each other yesterday. We don't know wtf she's talking about. K?

"4B?" Ruby reiterated, catching herself just before tripping over a step. Luckily, she regained her balance, half considering setting the box down to give her arms a break for a second but resisting, as it seemed necessary to keep up with the slow pace of the others. "That's the apartment I'm moving into... I think? I'm taking over the lease for a girl named Emily." This was a rather uncomfortable way of socializing, but for Ruby, that was only meant in a physical sense. Her arms were full of a box that was heavy, and she felt guilty for slowing the others down. Ruby wasn't typically overly friendly. She was definitely warm, and was certainly the type of person who could make anyone feel welcome, but in truth, she was more of a listener than a talker. She enjoyed socializing with people, but more-so, she enjoyed watching others socialize and interjecting occasionally. She was aware though, that meeting people for the first time (or reuniting with someone from the past) usually required a little bit more effort, and she didn't mind that either.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Hudson Taylor Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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There were days when Hudson sometimes wondered if he had made the wrong move by quitting his teaching job to fully embrace his physical training career. A teaching job was a steady job, and during it, he still had summers off to act as a full-time trainer. He was still getting to teach people about health and how the body worked. It hadn't been his passion, though. It was the safe route, and it had done its job for the few years that he had worked as one. He was glad, overall, though, that he had dropped it to work full time as a personal trainer. In the end, the salary was nearly the same, and though it didn't offer the same job security as working for a school did, he felt like it offered more potential. The uncertainty of it was what kept him dreaming bigger, and kept him pursuing the dream of eventually opening up his own gym. It was still out of reach right now because he didn't have the finances or investors lined up for something like that, but he was planning. His time would come, he often reminded himself. He just needed to keep his mind focused on that end goal.

After he finished wiping down the equipment that his last client of the afternoon had been using, Hudson spent forty-five minutes completing his own workout before heading to the showers. He was sweaty and feeling fatigued, but it was that tiredness that somehow felt good. It felt like an accomplishment, and as he checked himself out in one of the mirrors on his way out of the locker room once he was dressed again, the accomplishment felt even more worthwhile. Though Hudson wasn't nearly as much of a conceited jerk as he had been in his younger days, when that college frat-boy mentality had been second nature to him, he didn't think that there was any harm in admiring his own strengths. If his appearance happened to be one of his best qualities, than so be it. It wasn't like he didn't work hard to maintain it. With that in mind, even if he was humble and truly wasn't the type of guy who expected girls to spread their legs just at looking at him, he still was a bit disappointed that last night hadn't ended in any action. The girls that he had been talking with at the bar had been cool and attractive, but it just didn't lead to where he hoped it would. While it was mildly disappointing, he didn't take it as too much of a hit to his ego. Today was Saturday, and as he told himself, Saturdays were usually luckier when it came to getting that type of action. After a hard workout, he was feeling even more invigorated in that sense.

As he returned to his apartment building, he found himself stuck behind a small group of people who were slowly trailing up the stairs behind a couple guys moving furniture. As to not seem bothered by the delay, he remained a few steps behind them as he slowly paced himself up the flights of stairs. He definitely made a mental note of how moving to this building so far seemed like a good move; all three of the girls who looked over eighteen were all smoking hot. Noticing that was all it took for Hudson to want to make an initiative at being friendly, so he caught up to them. "Need help with that?" he asked the only brunette of the group, once they had reached the landing of the flight they were on. She had a large box in her hands that, if not heavy, at least seemed inconveniently sized for her. "Moving sucks, I actually just moved in here a couple days ago myself, so I feel your pain."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makalya Wright Character Portrait: Collin Forrester Character Portrait: Chanel Nasiri Character Portrait: Ruby Barr
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C O L L I N - F O R R E S T E R
Outfit: This
Hex Code: #7d9959
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Hex Code: #c7256e
Outfit:
Tossing his head back gently, in a sign of dismay, Collin only returned to a normal position to look at her, just as her attention turned to her phone, to say, "Did you really make me sit here, drinking alone, because of money? Come ooooonnnn," he complained, as if Chanel was the lamest person on the planet, in the most inexcusable way, for doing so. Granted, as she pointed out, he genuinely could not emphasize with her. Unlike what she probably assumed, he understood the concept of money. He understood that if he could buy a bottle of standard vodka for twenty dollars, that it was surge pricing to be charged fifteen dollars for a drink that contained a shot's worth of that same vodka in it, and probably fifty cents to a dollar's worth of additional mixers in it. Even when accounting for the extras that went into the drink price - the money the restaurant had to pay its waiters, and managers, and cooks and so on, plus rent, and electricity and all of that, they were still obviously making a generous profit. He recognized things like that, but when money was expendable, it wasn't something he had to consider in the moment. It was one of those things where he understood the principle of how money worked, but it was all about relativity. Had Chanel had asked her question without becoming distracted by her phone, Collin wouldn't have answered because he would have felt weird doing so, and he probably wouldn't have known what to say, but for someone like him, expensive wasn't blowing a couple thousand dollars on a helicopter trip to the Hamptons. That was something that fell within his family's budget. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on private jet flights, like his father was sometimes known to do, was something that qualified as expensive and hard to justify for him, though. Most of the time, it just depended on the situation. He didn't like feeling scammed any more than the next person, but because money wasn't something that he had to worry about, the unfairness or absurdity of a price probably had to be substantially more than it would need to be for an average person, for him to really care. "And don't tell me you're about to try to not let me get the check, because I'll be offended. I'll play the politically correct card and claim you're disrespecting my chivalry-stressed upbringing, or something," he continued playfully, pushing the plate towards her after cutting a piece off for himself, and deciding that he should focus on finishing the last of his drink instead.

From: Makayla

Yeah I’m home. Let’s hope she’s normal lol.

To: Ruby, Makayla
cool, thanks for letting us know! i'm not there at the moment, but i can't wait to met you later :)!

Chanel only half rolled her eyes in Collin's direction when he seemed aghast that money was the issue for her. He didn't answer her question since she was turned to her phone, but his reaction sufficed its absence enough. When she got the response back from Makayla, it alleviated her nerves a tad bit. Makayla was already a chill person, and her expressing her hope that the new roommate wasn't a weirdo made Chanel smile enough to make her not feel as bad for not being there. While she still felt like she needed to, she considered the fact that Makayla probably wasn't in the same mindset as her and wasn't thinking of this as needing to be some sort of event. In all actuality, Chanel didn't have the energy to be very grandose and welcoming as all she really wanted to do was eat and then go straight to bed, but she knew well enough that she wouldn't be able to even do that in good conscience. It went without saying that she was carefree about many things, but she was particular when it came to making people feel welcomed and as at ease as possible. There was a genuine desire for it, but there was also the selfish bit that was to stroke her own ego so she didn't feel like the exploitative person she believed herself to be. She was able to get those moments out while sugaring, and besides that, it was easier to exploit strangers versus people you actually knew which is why she didn't agree to hang out with Collin just because she figured he would comp her costs. Even she wasn't low enough for that, but she wasn't going to fight him over the bill, even though there was that inner voice prodding her to politely decline.

"All right, all right," she said, holding up a free hand in surrender. "But if I had known you were paying, I would have gotten a cocktail with you. That Strawberry Hickey sounded nice." Even if money wasn't an issue, Chanel also just wasn't in the right brunching mindset. After a long shift and little sleep, she was pretty exhausted and even someone like Chanel had her limits. Of course, the cold did make her all the more lazy, so that likely played a role in it too. "I don't like feeling totally incapacitated, so here," she began, reaching into her pocket and ignoring whatever kind of protests Collin might have sent her way. She slid a nickel and two pennies across the table, giving his hand a light pat. "I know this is just a piece of lint to you, but to us common folk, this is the equivalent of a ripe kidney, so you're welcome." Chanel had been around his sister enough to not feel totally strange about not having to pay for things a lot of the times, and even she couldn't resist dramatizing her socioeconomic status which was certainly far from poor. But still, Collin wasn't at Cara's level as far as relationships went, so Chanel felt a need to make herself a little less uncomfortable by poking fun at herself. "But why are you drinking so much? Because I'm also hardcore judging you."

Collin eyed the change that Chanel had passed towards him with an amused smirk on his face. Apparently, the waitress was going to be seven cents richer, because he didn't know what he was supposed to do with that. Chanel was right that that was like a piece of lint to him, but he was sure that that was how it would be to most people. In his defense, he had a mason jar filled with change on the floor of his closet. Obviously for someone like him, saving up pennies wasn't something that needed to be done to fund a vacation or to treat himself to something special, but he recognized that it was literally just stupid to let change disappear into the cracks of sofa cushions or the washing machine. Still, he wasn't that concerned about seven cents to feel inclined to do anything other than look it at, unsure of how he was supposed to react. Simply because Chanel had pointed out his financial status, he was overthinking how laughing at her action could possibly be offensive, despite knowing that she knew that seven cents was meaningless too.

As the waitress passed by, Collin requested the check. Although they were still finishing up what was left on the table, the pace of the restaurant had picked up, and while he had her attention, eh figured it would be convenient to get that out of the way. "Unfortunately for you, hardcore judging me over drinking on a Saturday just makes me wanna hardcore judge you even more," Collin countered, leaning back in his chair and stretching out his arms before finishing off his drink. "I'd classify it under a thing called 'living a little'," he continued with a joke, before placing the empty glass on the table. "Admittedly, it's something that's kinda new to me, but I'm pretty sure I'll get used to it." That was more Collin-like, at least in terms of being more humble than playfully cocky. "I'm working for my dad once classes start up again, so I'm taking advantage of this winter break while it's still here. You stuck doing an internship this semester too?"

Chanel shook her head, purposely stuffing her mouth full of food to delay the need to speak. In actuality, it wasn't that odd for her to say that no, she didn't have an internship, but in her mind, it seemed so bad because all of her friends seemed to be making moves while she was slowly but surely losing certainty over her life choices day by day. One of them included if she was even in the major she wanted to be in anymore. She had already taken time off from school, and against her parents wishes. She had convinced herself (mostly because she had to convince them of it too) that that would be a time for recalibrating and she could finally devote her time to planning the next few years out appropriately. That, of course, didn't happen, and she came out of that semester and three months knowing less than she did before. If she switched anything up, it would delay her even more, which would cost money she didn't have and didn't want to ask her parents for (out of guilt, embarrassment, and fear of rejection). Then on top of that, something she realized the other day, she was on track for her brothers to graduate before her which was something she knew she'd never live down. "Nah," she said once her mouth was emptied. "I'll probably do one over the summer though. If I can find one that pays enough, that'd be great. Killing two birds with one stone."

She considered joking that his dad should give her a position out of pity, but then she realized she didn't actually have any clue what his dad did. It was embarrassing because she felt like she should have known by this point, but she couldn't for the life of her recall a conversation she'd had with Cara where it came up. "Wait, what does your dad do? He...owns something," she tried, figuring that was the most reasonable thing because it always seemed like super wealthy people owned fancy things like buildings and islands and political votes. "Or he doesn't... I feel like I should know this."

"I feel like you'd be the type to get some internship at Vogue or something," Collin offered. He didn't have any basis to think that, other than that he felt like Chanel looked like the kind of girl who could be on the cover of a magazine like that, so it fit her vibe. "He owns an investment management firm, yeah," he confirmed, at her question about his father. The world of finance was a confusing one, even for Collin who had grown up in a household where the terms were often thrown around and incorporated into dinner-table conversation more frequently than questions about school or how the day went. "So basically people or companies or governments that wanna invest their money and make a profit give it to his company, and they do the investing." With a more relaxed smile, he pushed Chanel's change back towards her. "You should learn the stock market. Maybe one day you'll be able to turn this seven cents into seven million dollars, or something," he joked. "Something tells me that you're not a Wall Street kind of girl, though. What kind of place would you wanna intern at? Starbucks?"

"I think working at a marketing firm could be pretty cool," she admitted. "At least from what I think I know about it. I haven't really thought about it, but just something that's creative and not dull and boring," she said before winking. "Like finance. I seriously didn't peg you as a numbers guy. Especially since it didn't seem like you were counting those cocktails," she laughed. "I almost forgot you weren't...y'know," she said, not wanting to accidentally be overheard by a staff members. "Do you just use your fake casually, like, all the time? I was scared as hellllll to use mine outside of going out." It didn't seem to fit her personality since she was a bit of a party girl and even know she still liked going out with her girlfriends for a good time, and she enjoyed not having rules to follow. She was a carefree and careless person, especially back then with an ego to match. It was something she couldn't explain, but she was just always incredibly cautious. Even in practice it didn't make much sense, but she figured if she got her I.D. revoked at a club, she could just not go there anymore and she probably could just pay to get it back. Working things out in broad daylight switched things around because she wasn't sure what would or could happen, but anticipated it to be a lot worse. That, and she felt more exposed and likely to get caught then than at night, and that was an issue simply because at the time she was afraid of her parents finding out. Because even now they gasp when she has a glass of wine during the holidays, it was understandable why she would be petrified of them catching her drinking underage. "I honestly think my parents would have tossed my body over a bridge or something."

Not meaning to totally change the subject, she tried backtracking. "I feel like the best creative ones are over the summer anyways. But they're also typically all damn summer which means I probably won't get to travel too much. Are you and Cara gonna traverse the globe or anything? If you do, feel free to pack me in your suitcase."

Collin nodded. He could see her in marketing too. His father often warned him that it was an over saturated field, but in New York, what wasn't? If anything seemed overly populated in New York, it was finance. It seemed like every person he knew was trying to get into the field in one way or another. It was where the money was, so it made sense, and if you wanted to do finance, New York was the place for it. Still, he was sure that Chanel was the type of person who would thrive in a field like marketing because as she referenced, it was a creativity-based field, and she seemed like the type who could be proficient in that. He was kind of glad that Chanel changed the subject, because he didn't want to explain that he was only pursuing finance because of his father's influence. He didn't want to seem like that unoriginal and drive-less kind of guy. "It's a lot easier to use it at restaurants. Waitresses don't really care like bouncers or bartenders do. I guess they know that expensive alcoholic drinks mean a bigger tip for them," he admitted with a shrug. "But yeah, I agree. The only thing with summer internships is that you've got more competition, though. So many people come from out of state to get the good ones, so sometimes it's better to do it during the year if you're already living here, you know?" The only reason that Collin was doing an internship this semester was because it was part of his course-plan and he was getting college credit for it. His advice was well-founded though. He knew that many of his childhood friends who went to school out of state all planned on getting internships in the city when they returned home from school this summer. Then again, it was possible that that influx of kids looking for internships would be leveled out by the increased offering of them during the summer months.

He didn't have any summer trips planned out, but Chanel's question did have him wondering what he was going to do this summer. If his father had anything to say about it, it would be interning again, full-time for the company. Collin wasn't even sure if he'd survive doing it part-time this semester, so part of him wanted to book some international trip now, just to avoid that. "Doubtful," he commented. "At least doubtful that I'd do it with her. I know you won't admit it because you're friends and all, but my sister's a huge bitch," he said seriously, before cracking a small smile. "I'd have to be suicidal to willingly go on vacation with her again, alone at least. I usually spend most of the summer in the Hamptons. What about you? Big plans outside of that possible internship?"

"Not the Hamptons," she snorted with a coy smile, conveniently ignoring the snob about her friend. Summer seemed too far away to think about seriously, but that was simply because she didn't anticipate it to be as enjoyable as she hoped, though that could have been her displeasure for the upcoming semester clouding her judgment. Additionally, it was likely her family wouldn't be go on any trip this summer because of the one they just got back from. "I think I'm playing it by ear though. More than likely, the only 'big' plan will be my hair thanks to the summer humidity," she said, preemptively cringing at the inevitable volume she got in the city during the hottest months. It wasn't something she necessarily disliked, because she did like her big hair, but Chanel still had her limits, and it did kind of suck when you left the house thinking your hair looked good as is, only for it to completely transform after being outside for 10 minutes. "My family just got back from Morocco, so we'll probably chill this year, y'know? The obligatory cookouts and such. That's if they don't totally abandon me for being a total fuck up and calling them for help every five minutes. Oh!" She pointed her finger out, noting that she just remembered something. "But Makayla and I are getting a new roommate, Ruby, which should really help out with the rent, much to me and my parents' excitement. Butttt, of course she's moving in today and I totally forgot. Like, I get I totally don't need to be there, but I just wanted to have something nice prepared so she felt welcomed, you know?" she said before shaking her head to her own question. This was clearly an isolated incident that wasn't super relatable. She saw the waiter behind Collin a couple of tables down and redirected her attention back to him. "Are you sure you don't want me to pitch in? I wasn't expecting you to pay or anything. I mean, only a little because free cookie and all," she said, adding in a bit of humor for her own benefit, just because she didn't want to feel like she owed Collin anything, even though she knew that was unrealistic.

Collin couldn't tell if he was just unfriendly, or if Chanel was just a homemaker in the making, but he couldn't relate to her claim that it seemed necessary to welcome a new roommate into the apartment. He supposed that girls were different though. He had lived with a roommate during his freshman year of college, and though they were friendly, they rarely interacted in the apartment, or out of it. With guys it was just easier, maybe. Not being ultra-friendly wasn't as offensive as girls sometimes construed it to be. Then again, Collin knew for a fact that Chanel was extra-friendly so maybe it was that, too. "I'm sure," he said, rolling his eyes, though still smiling. He wanted to comment that that cookie had been good enough that he was still indebted to her, even after this, and that it warranted him taking her out to dinner one night this week, but he wasn't that confident. "If you ever meet my dad, you can thank him," he said, purposely knocking his own role in paying the bill day a bit as he pulled his credit card out of the check holder and signed the receipt before sliding that back into it. "I'm good if you are," he said. His drink was empty, and she seemed ready to get back to her apartment for this new-roommate deal, so he didn't feel rude standing up and sliding his jacket on.

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