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Holly Maddon

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a character in “A New York Life”, as played by Writer

Description

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Name:
Holly Jade Maddon

Age:
16

Birthday:
June 10th

Sexuality:
Heterosexual

Job:
Student

Hometown:
South Bronx, NY
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Personality:
Her most notable characteristic is definitely how energetic she is. As long as she is awake, she makes her presence known through her constant chatter and curious questions. She struggles to keep her attention centered on one thing and is known to jump from task to task, and even stop mid-sentence in a conversation if something new catches her attention. She would never go out of her way to insult or be mean to someone, but lacks a speech filter and tends to say things that she overheard and weren't intended to be repeated, or ask invasive, personal questions. She's naive, absentminded, inattentive and forgetful, but she rarely does any of this intentionally, and it's mostly related to her ADHD. It certainly gets annoying, especially when there are nine other people stuck in the same room as her, but she usually fails to see any signs of people getting tired of her. She's a cheerful and optimistic person, who, for the most part, is always happy. If nothing else, she serves as a reminder to people that not everyone has malice intentions. She's one of the few people you'll meet who does most things with honest, innocent intentions.

One of her major faults is how dependent she is on other people. If it weren't for her sister, she most likely would already be dead by now. She is not intelligent book wise and the same goes for her street smarts. Not only does she struggle to read people, but like a child, she tends to trust everyone and expect them to be just as genuine as she is. Her naivety and overall delayed development is probably linked to her learning disabilities and drug damage done while she was in the womb, but the years of abuse probably play a role in it too. They caused her to become easily nervous, jumpy and emotionally unstable. Though she definitely struggles with learning and mental disabilities, and is probably in the mental age range of a ten to twelve year old, it's likely that they're all issues that could be worked through if she was ever able to receive proper treatment and therapy. The possibility of that happening at this point is slim, though.

Likes:
Candy, dogs, sunny days, nail polish, hot showers, socializing, gifts, attention, watching movies, her sister, her hair when its dyed red, macaroni and cheese, snow days, Beanie Babies, new clothes

Dislikes:
Arguments, school, being called stupid, rain, milk, coffee, isolation, silence, darkness, bugs, spicy food

Fears:
She has many "normal" fears, with spiders, clowns and rodents topping the list, but her biggest fear is probably school. She did so poorly throughout her academic career and it not only resulted in humiliation in the classroom, but physical abuse at home, so it's tied to painful memories for her.

Dreams:
Holly's dreams vary drastically depending on the moment, but they all share the similarity of being virtually unattainable. Between wanting a dog, a pool, meeting Zac Efron... they're just not going to happen. What would be most beneficial for her at this point would to get her high school diploma or GED and manage to get some sort of normal job and living situation.

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History:
Holly was born to a teen runaway mother and a teen father who was never present in Holly's life and probably never would been, even if had he known he was her father. Her mother, Nancy, came from a family that was the epitome of the phrase "trailer park trash". Her father was an abusive addict who turned their tiny trailer into a meth lab, and her mother was too much of an alcoholic to care for her six children. Nancy dropped out of high school when she was fourteen with the intentions of helping to take care of her three younger siblings, but it was inevitable that she take a turn down the wrong path. Drugs and alcohol had always been such a common thing for her, and when she started a relationship with a twenty-two-year-old boy who lived a few trailers down from them, it became a part of her life. She started with alcohol and marijuana, and soon tested out heroin and crack. Using the drugs seems detrimental in itself, but things became even worse when Nancy found out that her older sister was also seeing the boy she was sleeping with. Even worse again, when she found out that she was pregnant with his child. It was an impulsive move, but she fled. She didn't tell her boyfriend or her parents that she was pregnant because she knew that they were going to tell her to get an abortion, or worse. Her family hadn't care for her when it was just her that they had to support, and another mouth to feed just wasn't going to be an option.

She was living in upstate New York at the time and boarded a train to New York City. She didn't know anyone there but was sure that a big city like that would have more resources to help her than any of the other poor, small towns in her area. The fifteen year old was desperate for help upon her arrival to New York, but was told that all of the shelters for teens and women had months-long waiting lists. Even pregnant, she was still addicted to drugs, with her drug of choice being cocaine, and rather than save the hundred dollars she fled with for food or a hotel, she sought out a dealer. It happened to be someone who worked for Rafael Barnes, one of the biggest drug lords in the Bronx. The dealer thought Nancy might be helpful in their distribution game, and brought her back to their house. A few months later, she had Holly. It's a miracle that Holly even survived the pregnancy with her mother's poor habits, but six months after conception, she was delivered in an emergency C-section. Had the hospital staff really took interest in the family, they may have been able to prevent the poor life that Holly would soon face. She could have been put into foster care or even adopted, but instead, once she had reached a stable point, she was brought home. Home for her first five years was Rafael's drug-ridden home. After a drug raid busted up their group and he, as well as many of the other men in the house were incarcerated, Nancy was forced back out on the streets. This time, however, she had more connections. She had secretly been sleeping with Clinton Wright, the leader of another drug group, and was welcomed into his home.

Her life here actually made her first home seem desirable. Not only was Clinton equally involved in drugs, but he and the men he lived with were abusive and possessive. He quickly claimed Nancy as his girlfriend - something that she probably didn't mind - but he made it clear that he hated the fact that she had a child with another man, despite him having a broad of his own with many women. Clinton never touched Holly, but his brother, George, who resided in the house did. It began as physical abuse. If Holly ever dared to cry in his presence, he'd take off his belt and beat her with it until she learned better. Whenever her mother cared enough to acknowledge how poorly Holly did in school, it would result in abuse as well. School had never been her strong point. She suffers from severe ADHD, learning disabilities, and dyslexia. At her peak, she could read at a third grade level, but after two years away from school, even that has probably become a stretch. She had no academic support at home, and it didn't help that she was attending a school in one of the most underfunded districts in the nation. The school didn't have the resources to help a child like her, so she couldn't be put into a special needs program, and instead, she was frequently held back, only managing to reach the fifth grade when she was fourteen.

The abuse she was receiving at home only made her more emotionally unstable and unable to focus in school. If the physical abuse wasn't bad enough though, George soon stepped it up a notch. The sexual abuse started when she was eight and continued until the day he was arrested, when she was fourteen. He was one of the many people taken during the police raid on their apartment, with two of the others including her mother and Clinton. They were charged with a multitude of drug related charges, as well as some armed robbery and attempted murder ones. Apparently, they had been tied up in more than just making drugs in the kitchen. Holly spent three weeks in a foster home before custody was given to Makayla. She's definitely doing a lot better with just Makayla, even if Makayla can't say the same about herself.

So begins...

Holly Maddon's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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Thursday, November 26th, 2015 | 11:00 AM

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Marie Casanova
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#, as written by Bandit
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{Written with Writer}


Even though she had lived in New York for all of her life, Makayla had never been to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade before. Obviously, growing up, her family was never actually family-oriented, so the idea of them making the trip into Manhattan to see the floats was laughable. Even as a teenager, though, she never went, and last year, she didn't even think of it in time to bring Holly to it. This year, she took advantage of the festivities and decided to go see it with her sister. Honestly, she didn't do it for herself as much as she did it for Holly. Anything new to distract her and keep her occupied was worth trying out, and even though it was only eight in the morning when she and Holly headed out, Makayla was already ready to crawl back into bed, so she opted to walk the hour-long trek uptown, rather than take a cab. She hoped walking there and back would tire out her sister, who was always bursting with energy. Plus, Makayla knew the cab fares would be substantially greater on a busy day like today, and she didn't have money to throw away like that.

By the time they reached the parade area, the streets were so packed that they could barely get a glimpse of the floats passing. Luckily, Holly didn't seem bothered by it, and Makayla was happy enough that the girl managed to remain content with standing on a corner and essentially staring at the back of people's heads for forty minutes before growing antsy, giving Makayla the signal that it was time to head back home. To many, spending over two hours total commuting to and from the parade, for a lackluster view would seem pointless, but it was free, and Makayla tried to take advantage of as many free activities as she could with Holly. It was essential to keep her moving and out of the apartment, or else everyone would go crazy, Makayla included.

"Can we get brunch today?" Holly asked, noticing a sign outside of a small cafe a block away from their building that was advertising brunch specials. "Since we didn't have breakfast or lunch yet, we can combine it into one."

Leave it to Holly to try to turn a trip that was supposed to be free, into one that would cost Makayla good money that she didn't have. She and Holly never ate out at restaurants. Cara would take her sometimes, and sometimes Chanel would insist on a lunch out, but it just wasn't something that Makayla could afford, and she hated feeling like charity. It was one thing for someone to treat Holly, but Makayla stuck to the food that her food stamps could buy, or fast food if she needed something on the go. "We can have brunch at home. I bought you that cereal you said you wanted yesterday, remember?"

"You're not supposed to have cereal on Thanksgiving, Kay! That's not something pilgrims would eat." Mimosas and fancy omelettes probably weren't served at the first Thanksgiving either, but cereal didn't sound exciting or festive.

"We're eating our Thanksgiving meal tonight, remember? Cara invited us over, so we'll have food pilgrims would eat then. And you told her you would make cupcakes, right? So we need to get back home to work on those." At first, Makayla had wanted to smack Holly when her sister volunteered that they would bring cupcakes. Knowing Cara, she would expect some organic, gluten free, thirty dollar box of cupcakes from some bakery in the Upper East Side, and frankly, Makayla didn't have the money for that. She knew she couldn't complain, since she was going to get a free meal (and hopefully, lots of free booze) out of the evening, but she still couldn't toss money to the wind like that. However, Holly insisted that they make the cupcakes, and Makayla could deal with that. She had already borrowed the baking materials from Cara the night before, had spent five dollars on the cake batter and icing, and had the eggs and other needed ingredients in their kitchen. Not only was it an affordable option, but one that would again keep Holly busy, and one that Cara couldn't complain about, because it just seemed like Holly wanted to bake, not that Makayla was being cheap.

"I wish that you got the vanilla and chocolate frosting, Kay. I think Nick would like chocolate more than vanilla," Holly stated as she followed Makayla inside of their building. The thought of a fancy brunch was out of her mind now, as baking cupcakes did sound far more interested. She was excited for Thanksgiving at Cara's, especially since it was going to be the first real Thanksgiving she would ever have. Or the closest thing to a real Thanksgiving, since this was last minute too.

"He'll get over it," Makayla insisted, nudging Holly to walk faster up the stairs. After that walk, the five flights up really had Makayla wanting to crawl into bed again, but it was only eleven o'clock, and she knew she couldn't do that for at least another twelve hours. "Put your jacket in the closet and then we'll have cereal, and then work on those cupcakes," Makayla instructed as she set her bag down in the kitchen of the apartment. She wasn't sure if Marie or Chanel were home, but she was curious as to whether they were coming to Cara's too or not. She wouldn't have been surprised if they weren't. Though she knew little about their pasts and family lives, she always felt like people's lives had to be more normal than hers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester
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A rush of heat burned her fingertips before she could yank them from the flat iron that unraveled her curls. Now two hours into the task and still not finished, she was beginning to regret the decision to even straighten her hair. As she sucked her finger, her phone slid across the dresser some as it began to vibrate. When the screen brightened and a picture of her mother surfaced on the phone, a quick surge of fear ran through her stomach as she sat the flat iron on the towel she had placed down. It wasn't so much that her mother had such power over her to make her afraid, but it was knowing the reason she was calling that made Chanel hesitate before gliding her thumb across the screen. Before she was able to get a word out, her mother beat her to it.

"Chanel, you were supposed to call back. Are you okay? You didn't call back," her mother said in her newly characteristic frantic way. She'd never really been a helicopter parent. Not so finicky. At least not before...

"Actually, Mom, I...uh. I think I'm going to stay in New York this year."

"What?" Her mother gasped. "But why? You didn't say anything."

"I know, I know. But I just got this new job, and the boss kinda hates me, and he wants me to work tomorrow, so I kind of have to. I mean, I don't have to, but if I want to pay the rent and have a place to stay and..."

"Chanel." Her mother said sternly, indicating that she was talking too much. Or at least she hoped that's what the tone signified, and not the fact that she could detect every ounce of lie she was telling. "You never said anything about a new job."

"Yeah, well." Chanel danced the phone in her hands a bit, staring at the picture that reflected. It was one of her and her mother about two years ago, a little before she'd moved out. Her heart clenched. "Look, I'm straightening my hair, and I kinda want to finish. I'll call you later, okay?"

"You know what I said about using that flat iron so much. It'll ruin your hair. Do you want your hair to fall out?"

"I think I'd look good bald actually. Mom, I'm kidding, I'm kidding," she said as soon as her mother began to panic. Another five minutes passed before she was actually able to hang up. Chanel sighed and grabbed the flat iron, running it down the fine pieces of hair near her ear. Part of her felt guilty, but another part of her felt relief. No, she didn't get a new job anywhere. Nothing came up. Her suitcase was still packed in the corner of the room, her train ticket bought and wasted. She'd packed a week in advance and bought the ticket two weeks early in hopes that it would prevent her from flaking. But here she was straightening her hair for nothing and avoiding her family. Then there was another part of her who told herself that they'd have just put her in a bad mood anyway. And they would have. It wasn't her fault they were so overbearing to the point of pushing her away. None of this was her fault. It wasn't.

When she finally finished, and now in a freshly bad mood, the room was a couple degrees warmer and her neck was already damp with perspiration. She pulled her hair up into a messy bun and unplugged the straightener. As she exited the room to get somewhere cooler before she sweated her hair out, she fiddled with her phone, looking for a distraction. She swiped through her messages before getting to Cara and it was then that she remembered Cara saying something about coming over. Chanel opened the fridge and dug out a breakfast smoothie she'd made the night before. It wasn't very filling, or all too tasty, but hours of unqualified google research told her that this small 'meal' would give her plenty of energy. It was bullshit, but she was too cranky to really care. "Hey. Is the offer still on table?" When Cara finally responded confirming the invitation, she quickly responded with "All right. I'll be over in a bit!" It was now eleven, and Cara was right down the hall, so she figured she could take her time. Besides, she had to mentally prepare for the day if she wasn't to project her shitty mood on others. Taking a quick swallow of her smoothie, she hopped on the kitchen counter and opened Instagram, losing herself in others' lives to distract from her own. Before she could be completely consumed, though, Makayla and Holly entered the room. Chanel smiled widely, putting her phone down. "Hey, you guys. Busy morning?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Chanel Owens
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It wasn't that cold out today, but Holly tended to get cold easily, so she was somewhat relieved when they got into the building and were met with a wave of warmth. Upon Makayla's nudge for her to take the lead, she led them up the five flights of stairs to their apartment. "I wish we had sprinkles for the cupcakes. Sprinkles and chocolate frosting, because not everyone likes vanilla, Kay. And some people like sprinkles, like me. Did you forget to buy them or did you not buy them on purpose?" Holly continued, still stuck on the topic of the cupcakes as they entered the apartment. Makayla seemed to be over it, instructing her to take off her jacket and get ready to eat, but Holly wasn't going to move on that quickly. She wasn't planning on moving on that quickly, at least, but when they stepped into the apartment, Chanel was in the kitchen, and the sight of another person had her switching her train of thought immediately. "We went to the parade," she exclaimed when Chanel asked if they had had a busy morning. They had, but judging by Holly's energy, you would never know. All of the walking would hit her later on when she would become fatigued, but living in the city meant that they walked a lot in general, and coupled with Holly's unusual abundance of energy every day, she tended not to crash until the night time, regardless of what she did that day. With everything that was going on today, from spending an hour walking uptown and an hour back downtown and nearly every minute of that time talking to Makayla about everything and anything, and then all of the festivities at Cara's later that night, it was possible that she would crash sooner, though.

"Why didn't you go? There was a balloon of Ronald McDonald and we almost got brunch but we didn't because we're going to have cereal instead," she continued, glancing towards Makayla at the thought of cereal, and only then remembering what her sister had told her to do. She left the kitchen abruptly and briefly - only for long enough to toss her jacket onto her bedroom floor and kick her shoes off before returning, and continuing the conversation as if no time had passed. "Want to have cereal with us? Makayla finally bought Fruit Loops, and then we're going to make cupcakes to bring to Cara's. But just cupcakes with vanilla icing." She sat down at the small kitchen table, looking towards Makayla for a second as if she was preparing to say something to her, before looking back to Chanel. "Why does your hair look soft today?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester
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She couldn't really be too disappointed. She'd technically gotten to sleep in late, but it still feel like she'd just woken up since most of her time awake had been spent straightening her hair. So when Holly's burst of energy came full force, she couldn't say she was totally prepared for it, but she also wasn't surprised. Chanel opened her mouth to respond, only getting a "Well," out of her mouth before Holly disappeared into her bedroom and returned just seconds later, this time without shoes or her jacket. In that time, she took to glancing at Makayla who definitely looked like she'd just been out for some time, unlike Holly who was not sitting at the table looking completely unfaltered. It was strange how consistently energetic she was, albeit admirable to an extent, and Chanel tried feeding off of this positivity.

"Fruit Loops actually sounds pretty bomb," she said. And it did. She preferred Apple Jacks, but that wasn't what resulted in her saying, "I'm just gonna stick to this though," as she raised the hand with the smoothie in it. She kind of had an idea that no one was helping Makayla. She didn't like to pry or anything, but she'd feel kind of like she was mooching if she helped herself to some. Not only that, but she did have some of her own cereal. "Oh, awesome. I think Cara likes vanilla, so that should be good. I should probably figure out what I'm bringing, now that I think about it." Just as she thought that, her phone vibrated before her three times back to back. She raised her brow as she grabbed it. Speak of the devil."

She smirked and shook her head as she wrote back. "What did I tell you about dragging people, Cara? Let's go to Trader Joe's. I need to get some conditioner and some turmeric for a face mask I've been wanting to make. Give me like ten minutes and I'll be over." If they were to have this turkey done at a reasonable hour, they'd need to go now. Chanel grinned some at Holly as she jumped off the counter. "Because I straightened it. I like it like this for the holidays, but it took forever so I'm not doing this again for a while." After chugging the rest of her drink, she put rinsed it in the sink quickly. "I'm about to go out, so I'll hit you guys up later. Just text me if you want me to pick up anything while I'm out." she said. Normally she'd invite the two of them, but right now she sort of just wanted to hang out with Cara. After the conversation with her mom, she wanted to just worry about herself. And this turkey that was somehow going to be cooked within the next few hours. "Holly, you can tell me about the parade later on, all right?" she said without really waiting for an answer. She was sure she wouldn't hear about it anymore if something more excited happened between now and when she saw Holly next, but anything was possible. After taking five minutes longer than she said she would to get dressed, she rubbed her lips together to blend in her lipstick and was out the door with a final wave to the others if they were still in the kitchen. Within the next moment, phone in hand as she'd gotten a text message from somebody else, she knocked on Cara's door. As she waited, she thought back to Cara's earlier messages. She wasn't quite fond of Roman either, and she didn't have any particular opinion about Brooke, but part of her felt weird about not inviting them. Especially if Nick were to come. It wasn't any of her business or her place to decide who was invited, and maybe they had other plans, but she didn't know. It wasn't that dire anyway and soon she'd forgotten the whole ordeal and instead began obnoxiously drumming on Cara's door in some made up rhythm.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Chanel Owens
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Makayla tried to focus on getting their late breakfast together as Holly went on and on to Chanel. Between her and Marie, and both of their tolerances for Holly's... Holly-ness, she knew that she had to be grateful. Even after knowing her for so long, and growing to love her like a sister, Holly was a lot, and it didn't take a genius to see that. She didn't understand a lot of social clues, was always rambunctious, and rarely ever stopped talking. Makayla loved her, she really did, but she knew that others didn't need to love Holly as much as she did. Marie and Chanel both could have easily gotten sick of her after a month of them living together. They could have gotten genuinely angry by the way that Holly would sometimes leave their bedroom without Makayla noticing and wake one or both of the other two up. They could have been bothered by her constant need for conversation, or by how she would sometimes watch television with them, even though Makayla couldn't afford to chip in for the cable bill. Their own family members couldn't even tolerate Holly, so the fact that two girls who had been strangers to them could, seemed like nothing short of a miracle.

Aside from smiling at Chanel when they walked in, Makayla hadn't said anything to her. Holly was doing enough talking for the two of them, and really, she was tired. What she really wanted to do right now was smoke, but she was out of weed and out of money, so she didn't want to test her own patience by trying to be more friendly than she felt. She had only pulled the cereal out from the pantry when she realized that the room had suddenly gone silent, and she glanced over her shoulder to see Holly gone. For a moment, she furrowed her brows and considered going down the hallway to make sure that Holly wasn't in Marie's room or something, but a second later, her sister bounded back in, now without her coat or shoes. Rather than commenting on it, Makayla took advantage of Chanel keeping Holly's attention for another minute as she finished getting the cereal ready, and she poured the last of the lemonade they had into a glass for Holly. Their food stamp benefits weren't going to be refilled until the third of December, so running out of one more thing only had Makayla's mind back on how badly she needed to smoke and relax.

As she carried Holly's bowl of cereal and drink to the table, Chanel was hopping off the counter, doing something by the sink, and then waving goodbye to them. Makayla hadn't been following the conversation at all, having been zoned out in her own thoughts, so she offered a smile and said, "have fun," hoping that was a relevant response to wherever Chanel had said she was going. She sat down across from Holly once they were alone in the kitchen and smiled. She was tired, she wanted to crawl back into bed and sleep for the rest of the day... or maybe the year, she wanted to roll a joint right there, or down a bottle of vodka, but she had to pretend like she was okay because she needed Holly to be okay. Makayla didn't like getting sentimental, but it was hard not to acknowledge that Holly was the strongest person she knew. Through everything that they had ever been through, Holly had always maintained her smile and her hopefulness. She didn't know any better... but at the same time, she did. She had experienced enough in her sixteen years to know how cruel the world could be, and Makayla was determined to do whatever it took to make sure that Holly had a reason to keep on being happy and hopeful, now that they were on their own. "We'll start cooking when you finish that," she said. "And then maybe we can go across the hall and see if Cara needs help with anything else."

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon
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Now that Chanel was gone, Holly knew that she was going to be bored. Makayla was fun, but she had spent all morning with her and Holly could tell that she was tired. "Can I see if Marie is in her room?" she asked after Makayla explained that they would start cooking once she finished eating.

"No, we need to leave her alone. I don't know if she's in there, but if she is, she's probably sleeping." She pushed Holly's bowl of cereal towards her, signaling for the girl to start eating.

"I won't wake her up if she's sleeping," she objected. She would just knock on the door, and if no one answered, she would go in just to make sure that Marie was alive if she was in there.

"No, Holl. We'll see her later. Maybe Cara will invite her over if she's not doing anything for dinner." Makayla wasn't sure who Cara had invited at this point. She imagined that Nick, Brooklyn, Roman and Ryan would be included since they all lived there, but she also knew that Cara wasn't friends with Roman, and that obviously, she wasn't a great friend to Brooklyn either.

"Want me to go ask her now if she's inviting Marie?"

"No, I want you to eat now."

"Why aren't you eating?"

She wasn't in the mood to eat, but now thinking about it, she was kind of hungry. Makayla appreciated the fact that both she and Holly had small appetites. It paid off when they were low on money and food. She would usually force Holly to eat three meals a day, just to keep her healthy, but there were some days where Makayla went on just a few snacks. A lot of the time, she wasn't starving, but sometimes, she was hungry but just knew that it would end up being more stressful if she ate and they had no food, over not eating and still having enough for Holly. "I'm going to, I just don't know what I'm in the mood for."

"Scrambled eggs? Toast? Fruit Loops?" Holly began to list off things before putting a spoonful of cereal in her mouth.

"We need to save the eggs for the cupcakes, but maybe I will have toast. Good idea," Makayla responded with a smile as she got up to prepare her toast. It seemed like it would be light enough to not make her feel sick, but hopefully enough to quench her hunger until they went to Cara's later.

"Maybe Marie would want some toast too. Want me to ask her?" Holly said, putting her spoon down and getting ready to stand up.

"Nope. Eat." She looked at Holly with a glare that told her to sit her ass back down without it having to be verbalized. Marie was nice enough where Makayla doubted that she would really be bothered by Holly storming into her room unwanted, if she was even in there, but Makayla wasn't going to test the theory. She did her best to keep Holly reigned it, because if she let Holly hang around their roommates as much as she wanted to, there was no way that the girls would be able to tolerate her like they could now. She wasn't trying to be mean to Holly, but it was in everyone's best interest sometimes.

"Where do you think Chanel went?"

"I'm not sure, Holly."

"Can you make me toast too?"

"No, eat your cereal." She wasn't trying to be mean, but it was all too typical for Holly to insist on having one thing for a meal, and then change her mind halfway through and ask for something else. Sometimes Makayla went along with it, just because she wanted her to eat, but by the end of the month when they were running low on food, she couldn't entertain that side of Holly, even if she wanted to. They didn't have the resources to just waste food like that.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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Holly ended up only requesting toast a couple more times before agreeing to just eat her cereal instead. She was a slow eater, mostly because she got so easily distracted and ended up talking more than eating, so before she was halfway done with the bowl, the Fruit Loops had gotten soggy and she wouldn't finish it. She wasn't hungry anyway, and after a bite of Makayla's toast, she was ready to move on from breakfast as a whole. "Let's bake," she insisted, hopping off of her seat and heading towards the counter where the box of cupcake mix sat. She had chosen the Funfetti mix at the store, but they didn't have the funfetti icing to go with it, so she had to settle for plain vanilla frosting. While she preferred vanilla over chocolate, she was still convinced that someone was going to be upset that Makayla refused to buy both vanilla and chocolate icing.

Makayla had put two pieces of toast into the toaster but barely finished one piece, including the bite Holly took out of it, by the time her sister was apparently finished with eating and ready to move onto the next thing. Marijuana usually made her more tired than she already was, and that wasn't going to help her feel any less washed out today, but she couldn't get her mind off of the drug today. She didn't have energy on most days, but at least when she was high she felt lighter somehow. She would still feel tired, but it was like she didn't care as much about all of her problems. As she finished up her last piece of toast, she sent a text message to Nick, and responded to Holly. "Alright, get the eggs from the bottom shelf," she said, still eating as she nodded towards the fridge. "And then get the oil from the cabinet, and the measuring cup from the drawer over there," she continued. She knew she would have to stand up at some point to make sure that Holly didn't put the entire egg in the batter or something, but she really was really very fatigued suddenly.

To: Nick
can you hook a girl up for $5 :)? friend discount or something?

As soon as Makayla directed her to where the ingredients were, Holly began to search for them. Their refrigerator always had a good amount of food in it, but Holly knew that she was basically forbidden from touching anything that wasn't on the shelf that Makayla put their things on. It didn't stop her from occasionally testing out an organic drink that Chanel would bring home, or something cool that Marie would keep in stock, but she never did it to "steal". She just didn't seem the harm in it, especially when it never seemed like anyone else cared about money or wasting food as much as Makayla did. "How much do I pour in?" she asked, looking back towards the table once she had retrieved the ingredients.

For a moment, Makayla felt guilty for wasting money on drugs. She didn't think it was wasting money, since it was the one thing that kept her sane, but she sometimes felt like it was wrong of her to spend money on it when she could have been chipping in towards the cable bill, or offering more money to Cara whenever she looked after Holly. She didn't feel guilty enough to retract the request from Nick though, so she just set her phone back down as she looked towards Holly. "I don't know, Holls. Bring me the box."

"Are your legs broken?" she asked with a grin, though she eagerly returned to the table with the box, along with the measuring cup and the oil. Holly wasn't good academically, but even out of school, things that involved math and reading didn't go over well with her. She was definitely insecure about it, so a part of her failure was probably tied in with her overthinking things and getting nervous, but she just wasn't good at the subjects in general. Her dyslexia would make it impossible to pour the oil to the right level in the cup, no matter how hard she tried to remember and match the number up with what Makayla said, so it was easier just to have her do it for her.

"I'm tired!" Makayla groaned, shooting her sister a deviant smirk when she suggested she was being lazy by not walking over to her. "Let's take a nap and then we'll bake. I'm too tired to do this now." She expected the response that came a beat later, but it was worth a shot by trying. "Nooo, I want to make them now. They won't be ready in time for Thanksgiving if we wait," Holly objected, extending her hand to grab Makayla's arm to pull her to her feet. "And Chanel said Cara loves vanilla, so she's going to be so disappointed if we don't make them, okay?"

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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Makayla knew that there was no way that Holly was going to let her off the hook with baking these cupcakes, and absolutely no way that that she could convince her to sleep with her over baking them. It was worth a shot, but after Holly's pleads, Makayla got to her feet. "Alright, alright. We'll make them," she said, tying her dark hair back in a pony tail. "Wash your hands," she instructed, as she did so for herself first. She looked at the back of the cupcake box, reading the directions before setting them down. Her phone was on silent mode, but she noticed the screen light up and paused in her baking preperations to read it. When she saw it was Nick, her energy level jumped up a tiny bit. Knowing that she would have her weed shortly was the light at the end of the tunnel that she needed in that moment.

To: Nick
yesssss tysm. come over whenever. my roommates are out so we can smoke in my room.

She usually felt disrespectful smoking in the apartment because of the smell. No matter how much air freshener she sprayed after doing it, she was sure that the smell was still somewhat evident. She didn't think either girl had a major problem with drugs like Cara did, and she guessed that the two smoked once in a while themselves, but she didn't want to be that horrible roommate. Today, she really just didn't have the energy to care though. It didn't even bother her that she would be doing it with Holly in the other room, although she did know that getting Holly to stay out of their room while she did it was going to be a challenge. Normally when Makayla smoked with Nick, it was before or after she worked, which meant that Cara was taking care of Holly. It was hypocritical, but she did her best to be a good influence on Holly, and through that, the girl had developed a strong dislike for drugs or drug users. It helped that both of their parents had cared more for their drugs than them, but it didn't help Makayla's case since it made it all the more essential to make sure that Holly didn't catch her smoking. Drinking was another thing. At this point, she was over hiding her drinking from Holly. She just went with the saying that as long as you're twenty-one, it's fine to drink in moderation (with "moderation" sometimes meaning a bottle of vodka straight for Makayla).

While Holly washed her hands, Makayla grabbed a large bowl from the cabinet and a spoon from a drawer. "Okay, we need a cup of water," she said as she nudged Holly aside from the sink to fill the measuring cup up with water. She handed it to Holly when she was finished, and nodded towards the bowl for her to pour it in. Makayla knew it would go ten times faster if she did it all on her own, but clearly, Holly had been excited about this and she knew she wouldn't hear the end of it if she didn't let her participate too. She moved on to crack the three eggs in a separate smaller bowl, and when Holly had poured the water into the large bowl, she took the measuring cup to refill with the oil. "Now you're going to pour the oil, the eggs and the bag of the cake mix into the bowl and stir it. It has to all be mixed together," she advised. As Holly did that, she worked on lining the cupcake tray with the cupcake wrappers they had purchased, but she couldn't stop hoping that Nick would show up sooner than later.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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"I want to do that part too! Don't do it!" Holly exclaimed when she realized that Makayla was busy putting cupcake liners in the tray. She didn't put down the spoon she was mixing with, but she paused in stirring and flashed Makayla a distressed look. Baking cupcakes had been her idea, and Makayla didn't even seem to want to do it, so it only seemed fair that she should get to do most of it. She glanced over at the oven in a panic when it beeped, signaling that it had reach desired temperature and for some reason, Holly felt like that meant that they needed to hurry up. As she began to stir again, she decided to be more reasonable. "Okay, fine, you can do that, but when I finish mixing I want to pour it into each one." The batter was almost completely smooth but Holly wanted to make sure it was perfect.

Holly wasn't acting out of character today, but for some reason, Makayla felt like her own temper was unusually short. She would be the first one to say that she was a patient person, because anyone who dealt with Holly regularly had to be patient. It would be easy to be mean to her, to tell her to shut up and sit down because she was annoying, but she wasn't annoying on purpose. Being energetic and loud and ditzy was just Holly's nature and Makayla wasn't going to be one more person in her life who cut her down for a personality that she had no control over. At the same time, she was human too, and it was hard to always have the patience of a saint. Sometimes, all she wanted was for her to shut up and sit down, and if she was pushed far enough that day, she would snap and say it. She was trying to make sure that today wasn't one of those days, though. It was a holiday, and this was the first Thanksgiving that Holly was ever spending in a traditional manner.

When Makayla was very young, before she knew Holly or Holly was even alive, for that matter, she would spend Thanksgiving like a normal person, in her grandmother's apartment surrounded by food and cousins. She was seven when her grandmother was put into a nursing home, and once that happened, so did any normal celebrations. For the next thirteen years, all of her holidays were spent in her father's disgusting apartment where she would take care of Holly and any other kid whose mother happened to be sleeping with her dad, or whose parent was involved in their drug operations. Nothing festive went on, but Makayla had grown used to it. So much so, that over the past two years, when they were out on their own, she hadn't put much effort into holidays either. Money was obviously tight, and she hoped that she could convince Holly that big holidays were unnecessary because she really couldn't afford them. This Thanksgiving didn't seem harmful, though. She spent a few dollars on cupcakes but the meal was being entirely prepared and financed by Cara. Seeing the parade had wasted a couple of hours and hopefully drained a little bit of her sister's energy, so celebrating Thanksgiving this year seemed like an okay idea, especially when she reminded herself that she wanted Holly to be able to live a normal life now. She had been abused and neglected for most of her life, and now, Makayla had to make up for that.

She tried to be patient as Holly attempted to get the gooey batter into the cupcake holes, but it was hard to watch half of the batter end up on the counter, so she ended up doing most of it herself. She got the cupcakes in the oven and during the twenty minute duration it took for them to bake, she managed to get Holly to attempt the homework she had been assigned to finish over Thanksgiving break. It didn't end up going that well, but that was to be expected. Holly always got frustrated one problem into whatever she was working on and though Makayla had graduated high school and taken one year worth of college courses, sometimes the material even messed her up. It was mostly the math problems, or English assignments that heavily relied on whatever the teacher had been talking about that day in class, but sometimes, she wasn't much of a help. "Hey, hey, hey, no getting upset on Thanksgiving. Don't worry, Holl. We'll bring it over to Cara's later on. You said her brother, Ryan, is smart, right? He'll help you with it, and we have all the way until Monday to finish it, so don't worry," Makayla said, glancing back at Holly who had put her head down on the assignments on the table in defeat, as she removed the hot cupcake trays from the oven and set them on the cooling racks to cool off. Could Nick take any longer?!

As she tossed the towels that she had used in place of oven mitts on the counter, she returned to the table Holly was sitting at and took the homework off of the table. "Stop being dramatic, Holl," she said, trying to be playful as she poked her sister in the side. It spoke to how desperate she was to be able to smoke in peace, but she held onto Holly's arm and pulled her into the living room. "I'm gonna let you watch TV for a little while, alright?" Since she couldn't afford to chip in for the cable bill with Chanel and Marie, she did her best to keep Holly away from the television. It was hard, since that was probably the only thing that could keep her quiet and in one spot for prolonged periods of time, but Makayla hated seeming like she was leeching off of the other girls. "I need to do some work in my room and Nick might come over to help me, but we don't need your help, so you need to sit out here and be quiet, okay?"

Working on homework had completely ruined the good mood Holly was in, but being able to watch TV definitely brought it back up a few notches. "Okay," she responded, with an eager nod. She wasn't even listening to the part about Nick coming over, them not being help, and her needing to be quiet. She lunged for the remote, readied herself on the couch, and began to skim through the channels. "And then we have to ice the cupcakes!" she called out to Makayla, though her eyes didn't move from the screen.

"Yup, as long as you listen now, we will," Makayla responded distractedly. She had stepped away from the television area to retrieve her phone from the kitchen. She was hoping that there would be a text from Nick, but there wasn't. The desperation had her back at the front door, and she actually opened it up, hoping that she might spot him or one of his roommates in the hallway, so that she could ask them where they were. For once, luck was on her side, and he was actually heading in her direction. She couldn't hide the pleasure she was feeling as a smile appeared on her face, and she welcomed him into the apartment. "Finally!" she hissed, playfully squeezing his arm in anticipation. Speaking more loudly now, so Holly would be able to hear, she led Nick into the apartment towards her bedroom. "Holly's here too, Nick. She's going to watch TV while you help me with all of that math work I have to do, so we'll hang out with her when we're finished." Anyone aside from Holly would sense the "play along" tone that came with her words, but she knew after Holly's breakdown minutes before, between the TV in front of her, and her anti-academics attitude, there wasn't a huge chance that she would want to hang out with them to do that pretend math work.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Nick left the apartment with a kiss from Brooklyn, but no Roman in tow. He guessed that Roman was going to shower or at least put on a new pair of clothes since he had literally just rolled out of bed, and he didn't feel like waiting. He was sure that Makayla was waiting on him, and more than that, waiting for Roman wasn't worth dealing with the awkwardness that he would feel if within those few minutes, Cara returned. It just wasn't worth it, and with the cold beers in his hand, he had one more reason to get across the hall quickly. The fact that he didn't even have to knock on Makayla's door, and that she was actually waiting for him in her doorway quickly brought a smirk to his face. He and Makayla were unlikely friends, but she was someone that he genuinely enjoyed spending time with. "Spending time" for them almost always meant smoking, but that was besides the point. She was a good customer when she had the money, and when she didn't, Nick was a good friend. Like today. She had offered him five dollars, but he wasn't going to take what he was sure was some of her last money. "Sorry, I didn't know there was a rush," he commented as she playfully squeezed his arm.

In one of Makayla's texts, she had mentioned her roommates being out, and for a slight moment, he forgot about Holly living there too. Makayla brought her up before Nick even noticed her sitting by the television. "Oh, hey Holly," Nick commented, waving at the redhead, despite seeing that she seemed pretty engulfed in whatever show she was watching. "Uh, yeah, that math stuff sounded pretty tricky when you were telling me about it. It may take a while to get it done," he said loudly, awkwardly following Makayla's lead in misleading Holly about what they were doing. Honestly, sometimes he forgot that she was sixteen. She looked that age, maybe a year or two younger, but emotionally and mentally she didn't seem like any of the teenagers he knew. He sold weed to kids a year or two younger than her, and Nick doubted that she would even know what the drug looked like. It wasn't like it was a bad thing, though. Holly wasn't stupid and she wasn't hard to be around, she could just be a lot to take in sometimes. Nick mostly knew her through when she would stay with Cara while Makayla was working, and since Holly seemed to be fascinated with Brooklyn, he ended up spending more time than he would have intended to hanging out with her. In times like this, he couldn't blame Makayla for wanting to shield Holly from knowing she used drugs and from being around them in general. She seemed too sweet and innocent to really understand why Makayla would want to use something that she had probably grown up being told was horrible.

"Smells good in here," he added in a hushed tone now as they left the room that Holly was in and headed into Makayla's bedroom. "You put together some snacks for when we've got the munchies? I never would have pinned you as being the baking sort." He sat down on the edge of one of the beds, not paying much attention to whether it was Holly's or Makayla's, as he opened up the bag of weed and focused on breaking a handful of it up slightly, to fit it into the bowl of his pipe. He tossed the bag to Makayla when he finished. "You've got your bowl, yeah? Just save some for Roman." There was a good amount of marijuana in there, so he wasn't actually concerned with her using it all, but Makayla could smoke a fair amount, so it was worth mentioning. He glanced at his phone upon receiving Isaac's text and added, "I think Isaac might come by too. That cool with you?" He had already invited him and assumed that Isaac was on his way already, so he hoped the answer was a yes.

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Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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When the two were left alone, only little conversation had started between them. To be fair Marie would probably be more talkative if she were more awake. She still needed that good smack in the face to wake up, or just some time and to finish the coffee. Taking another sip she could feel it seep into her body and run in her veins. It gave her a bit of a jolt and slowly helped her wake up. She was almost lost in her train of thought and didn't hear what Oliver had said.

"I have never really done the whole holiday thing, to be frank." Marie said shrugging her shoulders. She wasn't going to get very into it with him at this moment, but her family wasn't something that gave you the warm feelings inside. She didn't have the excitement and joy about Christmas. Every birthday she would be greeted by a tipsy crack whore mother that would do nothing but shout profanities at her or tell her what a shit daughter she was and how much of a mistake she was. Of course Marie knew she was adopted, because as you could imagine that came up once she got older in their arguments.

Although Marie knew she had a whole other family out there, she also knew if they wanted to connect with her they would come hunt her down. She wasn't going to go tracking down people who didn't even want her. Either way she held no resentment towards it all. She came to terms with her well being awhile ago, so now she just had herself a future to build up.

What seemed like awhile, was only a minute at most. Soon Collin came out in his usual moods all fine. Not long before followed Isaac. She watched Collin as he pulled out the vodka, it'd be a dumb move on her to turn it down. Free liquor wasn't something anyone should turn down, especially when you were at the wealth status that Marie was at. Despite working two jobs, it was barely enough to pay bills and buy food. If only she had an actual acting career. Perhaps she could work her way up in the pornography industry, some of them got paid some actual good cash, something Marie only wished she could have.

Getting up she met the boys where the shots were. Grabbing one she lifted her shot up to toast with them to making memories to be thankful for. A smirk placed on her lips as the situation unfolded. She took the shot glass and put it to her lips where she tilted her head back and drank the shot. It had a bite to it, but she was used to most liquor at this point.

It wasn't long before Isaac had mentioned they found something for them to do. He took another shot and began backing up to the door and he gave the signal. If it was younger Marie she wouldn't have passed up the chance, but by this point, she had her fair share of drugs in the past. They weren't something that she had really got super hooked on. Marie herself just preferred the contents in a bottle and the intoxication from it was enough for her. Walking to the door, she watched Isaac head to her apartment of 5B. Figures that was where they were headed.

"I'm not going to light it up with them, but I would prefer to get some better clothes that were preferably my own." She said with a slight chuckle remembering her morning prior to this. "Feel free to follow at your own will, but Holly is probably home. She's harmless though, sweet kid." Marie said with a smile and with that she also left the apartment of 5A.

Walking into her apartment she took her shoes off and walked in going through the kitchen with the smell of cupcakes wafting up into her nostrils. They smelled delicious. "Good morning Holly." Marie said smiling at the girl before entering her room to get her clothes for the day and have a shower.

After doing what she wanted to do, she got dressed in the outfit she picked out. A pair of burgundy leggings and a nice white blouse. She figured she'd dress with more class today, seemed to be the theme of everyone else. She threw on a black beanie however and walked out to sit on the couch next to Holly.

"So what are we watching Holls?" She asked the girl grinning at her.

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Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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As each shot was thrown back, a tasteful choir of sharp breaths and clanging glasses made music to the ears of the boys. They smiled at each other as their two friends joined in, with the toast and the shot itself. Soon after it seemed as though everyone made their own separate ways. Marie to her room and Isaac to join one of his friends to go smoke. Smoking wasn’t one of Oliver’s favorite things to do but he didn’t want to get stuck in the house when everyone else had plans. He considered for a second texting Ryan to see if he was up to anything right now so that the two could relieve the mild awkwardness of sitting on someone’s couch they barely spoke to. He removed his phone from his pocket and sent Ryan a quick text, not expecting a quick reply.

To: Ryan
Busy rn?

He slipped his phone back in his pocket only to notice that he was, in fact, already alone. He scoffed at his empty surroundings, “Fucking typical.” He shook his head and followed everyone’s ghost out the door. He shut the door behind him and walked a few feet over to apartment 5B where he was sure at least Collin would be, with Marie. He knocked on the door shly and waited for an answer to come.


* * *



Everyone dispersed quickly and before they knew it Collin and Oliver were alone in the apartment. Marie walked her way out and invited anyone who wanted to join to do so at their own risk. He noticed Oliver on his phone texting God knows who and playfully scoffed to himself. He walked out of the apartment, following Marie, leaving Oliver behind in the apartment. He left their door open so that Oliver would get the hint to follow, hoping he would.

Collin followed Marie into the apartment by a few seconds, he took his shoes off at the door and took in a deep breath of whatever it was that they were baking. “Ladies,” He kindly greeted as he walked in. “That seems awesome,” He pointed over to the kitchen as he made his way over to get a closer look at what they were doing. Cupcakes. One of Collin’s guilty pleasures. He didn’t have many of them because the sugar made him feel like shit afterwards but he did have to say that if he were to ever indulge in an extreme cheat meal, cupcakes would be the way to go. Collin made his way back over to the couch where Marie and Holly sat and joined them, placing his legs on top of Marie’s and leaning back on the arm of the couch, Collin playfully made himself comfortable. He slipped his phone out his pocket and sent out one single text.

To: Marie
Hey hottie, how bout a quicky ;)

He hit send and looked up to watch her reaction to the text. Collin was back in his playful mood and now he wanted to play.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King
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Holly didn't watch television alone frequently enough to know which television station coincided with each channel number, so she spent a good ten minutes scrolling up and down through the program choices before landing on a Phineas and Ferb episode and staying there. She was easily entertained, so the cartoon had her laughing within a few minutes. She had barely noticed Makayla bringing Nick in, and surprisingly, the same went for Marie when she had come in and said good morning. Normally, she definitely would have been one of the people who Holly would have leaped off of the couch to greet. Marie and Chanel were both very nice to Holly, but Marie's kindness was always very genuine seeming. However, Holly had seen Marie yesterday, and Makayla hadn't allowed her to watch television in over a week, so the latter was winning her attention today.

When fifteen minutes passed and Marie reemerged from the bedroom hallway, now in new clothes, and came to sit with her, Holly was still emerged in the show, but definitely glad that Marie was there. She pulled her legs onto the couch and crossed them as she turned to Marie with an energetic smile. "Phineas and Ferb," she answered quickly. "It's so funny," she giggled, clutching Marie's hand with enthusiasm. "And do you see the boy with the green hair?" she continued, before pointing to the screen when Ferb appeared. "That one! He talks like Roman does. Do you know him? He lives at Cara's house, and he has the same voice as Ferb," she said, referring to the English accent. "Do you think that means Ferb was adopted, because he's supposed to be Phineas' brother I think, but no one else in their family has green hair and no one else talks like that." She had released Marie's hand and had slowly begun to turn her attention back to the show midway through her commentary, but then a commercial came on and Collin walked in, and she lost her focus once again.

Holly didn't know Collin or any of the boys from that apartment very well. Because they lived across the hall, she did see them from time to time when they happened to pass in the halls. Sometimes Holly would make a comment about a bag one of them was carrying, if she recognized a store logo, or about Collin's tattoos if he was wearing clothes that revealed them, but she didn't know him to the extent that she knew the boys in 5C. "Don't let him eat them! They're for Cara's!" she whispered frantically, smacking Marie's arm softly. Normally, she would have just said so herself even despite not knowing Collin well, but the commercial that was currently playing caught her eye, and she didn't want to speak so loudly where she couldn't hear the advertisement. When it was over, she turned back to look towards the kitchen area and was relieved to find Collin heading back towards them without a cupcake in hand.

Despite it not being a new thing, Holly was unaware of the hookup relationship that Collin and Marie had. She was always asleep when Collin was in their apartment at night to be with her. If it had ever happened where he was coming out of her bedroom in the morning and Holly was awake, Makayla would give some lame excuse about how he was there to fix a light bulb or something, that Holly would believe without a second thought. When he sat down next to Marie and rested his legs on hers playfully, Holly narrowed her eyebrows in confusion. She wanted to ask Marie why he was doing that to her, or tell Collin that Makayla probably needed his help with her math work too, since she and Nick had been in there for what seemed like a while, but her show was back on, so Holly's attention switched back to that. "Did you tell Cara to invite you to her house, Marie? We're going to have turkey," she exclaimed, though still clearly distracted by the television show.

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno
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Normally Isaac wouldn't think twice about letting himself into someones place, but it felt a little strange to just open up the door to 5B without any kind of warning. Especially since it was midday; so he checked his phone again, to make sure he had the right apartment. He did, but before he had to make a decision himself, Marie was in front of him and opening the door.

He followed in after her, smelling something baking almost immediately and hearing some kind of cartoon. He arched an eyebrow, wondering how many people had already lit up, but when the living area came into view it was only a young redhead sitting in front of the tv. He recognized her, knew her name was Holly - only because sometimes in the hallway she commented on something he was carrying (and once his Wonder Woman teeshirt) and the woman she'd been with had said her name in exasperation before a full blown conversation could start. But that was about as far as that went.

He also knew she couldn't be much older than fifteen or sixteen, so while Marie was telling the kid hi, Isaac just made his way through the apartment towards the bedrooms. One door was open, one door Marie disappeared into, and so he took his chances with the last, giving it a knock before drawing it open just wide enough to peak. He grinned when he saw Nick, and nodded to the girl whose room he was probably in. He thought her name started with a M...Michelle? No, something closer to McKenzie? He let himself in then, gently pushing the door shut behind him.

"Hey," he greeted with a grin, then glanced up at the girl. "Sorry for just, like, letting myself in your place. But yo, Nick said something about buds on the house so, ya know."

Given that they had already packed, Isaac felt a little late to the party, but he didn't let that stop him. He just picked a spot on the floor to sit between the two beds - seemed less invasive that way, if not the most roomy - and glanced around until he saw the bag of weed sitting next to Michelle-McKenzie-McWhatever. He grinned and made grabby hands like the child he definitely was (especially on Adderall). "Hit me up, girl."

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Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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(Collaboration with Bandit)

"Yeah, yeah, Isaac's always chill," Nick reassured Makayla when she gave the approval for him to come. It wasn't always true, but that was usually when he was taking uppers. He didn't know if Isaac would want to mix something like that with the weed, but then again, when free weed was on the table, most people would feel compelled to take him up on the offer no matter what else was in their system. He took a hit before answering her question, about what they were doing for Thanksgiving. He thought that Makayla, out of everyone, had no way of knowing about what he had done with Cara, so he felt stupid for being paranoid and thinking that she somehow knew. If he wasn't sure of the quality of his weed, he would try to tell himself that maybe it was the weed that was making him paranoid, but this was something he had been feeling consistently for the past three weeks. "Brooke wants to eat with you guys, yeah," he began, taking one more hit, letting the smoke remain in his lungs for a good few seconds before finally exhaling. "So we'll probably stick around for a little, eat, and then head out. We always do the movies on Thanksgiving, so we're going to go see the James Bond movie that's out." A lot of the time when he was high, Nick felt more inclined to talk. Even though he was comfortable around Makayla sober, he was pretty quiet in general, and small talk wasn't his forte. Smoking opened him up to a degree, though, so just talking casually about nothing didn't feel strained. "Those cupcakes smell good, so I'll try to get her to stick around for dessert too. It's not even one and she's already drinking, so for all I know, she'll be passed out before we can even get to the theater. We're just gonna play it by ear, I guess."

Unlike Nick, Makayla tended to zone out more while high. It was what she did to relax, so that was really the only thing she wanted to do while smoking. Nick's conversation never bothered her, and didn't bother her now, but she mostly just nodded along. She wasn't going to push the topic of it being Cara's dinner, and how that would be with Brooke there because it wasn't her job to police Nick's behavior or tell him that she knew. They weren't that close, and as long as he hooked her up with free weed occasionally, Makayla would turn a blind eye to him being a murderer if it came to that, so being a cheater wasn't a huge deal. Her main goal at the moment was to get high enough where she could survive, and possibly even enjoy the rest of the day, but she knew that she needed to do it quickly. She didn't want to be doing this if her roommates came back, especially since she had left Holly to watch their television. No matter how many times they said they didn't mind Holly using it, Makayla did feel guilty when she wasn't helping to pay for it. It would only make her feel worse if she was letting Holly use it while she got high. Makayla was used to smoking quickly, and she usually took toke after toke until her bowl was empty. Sometimes it took three minutes, sometimes ten, depending on just how fast she was going. Her first bowl took five minutes, and just as Isaac came in, she reloaded it. One more couldn't hurt.

She tossed him the bag when she was finished, and spent the next fifteen minutes on the second bowl. She wanted this high to last, and she knew that once she finished this bowl, she was going to have to go check on Holly. If everything was still okay, she figured that she could get away with coming back to smoke one more. It would seem like a lot of weed for such a petite girl, in such a small amount of time, but Makayla had been smoking since she was fifteen or sixteen, and she was used to smoking a lot. She hadn't engaged much in the small talk that Nick and Isaac were in, so when there was a pause, she set her pipe down and got up from the bed. "I'm going to go check on my sister. Isaac, you should treat us to pizza since Nick covered the weed," she said teasingly. She definitely wasn't close with Isaac and had only remembered his name when Nick said in during the conversation, but when you smoked with people, it was a bit of a bonding experience. It was one that likely wouldn't extend past the duration of being high, but she didn't feel weird pushing the offer playfully. That toast from earlier wasn't going to keep her munchies at bay. Before leaving the room, she doused herself and the room in general with Febreeze, knowing that it still wasn't likely to cover the smell considering the amount they were smoking. She considered trying out some eye drops on her eyes, but thought that it was just Holly in the apartment, and Holly wasn't going to be observant enough to notice them being bloodshot.

"Dude, that girl can smoke," Nick laughed when Makayla left the room. His bag of weed was basically depleted at that point. Roman wasn't even on his mind anymore, since Nick figured he was no longer coming, but if he did, he was going to be disappointed. Nick tended to be generous when he was high, but even he knew that he couldn't get away with giving out anymore free weed at the moment. Brooklyn would kill him, and it would hurt his own wallet. "You going to Cara's too later? Pizza sounds good right about now, but I'm stoked for that turkey."

A few steps out of the room and Makayla realized that it wasn't just Holly in there. She heard voices and as she turned the corner, found Marie and Collin sitting on the couch with Holly. Fuck! She had no idea how long they had been out there or if they knew what was going on in their room. It probably wasn't a huge deal. Marijuana was much more accepted than other drugs, but it just went back to the point of Makayla not wanting her roommates to think of her that way. At the same time, in her state, she couldn't find it in her to be too bothered by it. A natural smile appeared on her face as she waved to them and then looked over at Holly who seemed consumed by the TV. "Hey Marie," she said. She knew Collin mostly just from seeing him in the apartment sometimes with Marie, but she didn't think it was necessary to specifically greet him. "Holly, let them watch the TV now. They don't want to watch this," she said as she rounded the corner and saw that a cartoon was playing on the screen. By the way that Collin was sitting with Marie, she assumed that they were trying to get cozy and she didn't need Holly getting in the way with that. "Come and ice your cupcakes, leave them be for now. Nick and Isaac and I are almost finished with our work, so I'll come help you in a few minutes," she continued, walking into the kitchen to check on the cupcakes. They really did smell good and she was so tempted to just eat one, but she knew Holly would make a big deal out of it. Isaac was going to need to order that pizza, and soon. She grabbed the icing and a knife and left them on the counter for Holly, who she turned to tell once more to get off of the couch when she heard a knocking at the door. It was only a few feet away, so she opened it without waiting for Marie to. The boy on the other side was familiar to her too as a neighbor, but she didn't know her name off of the top of her head. "Oh, uh, Marie, he must be here for you," she said, looking at the boy for another moment before somewhat awkwardly turning away and leaving him in the doorway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Marie Casanova Character Portrait: Collin King Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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Marie had been sitting comfortably on the couch. Upon asking what the girl was watching she had responded that she had been watching Phineas and Ferb. A show that Marie wasn't hugely familiar with, but she knew it just based on Holly in general. Marie couldn't help the soft spot that she felt for the girl. She was just so naive and she had a rough life from what Marie could remember of the bits and pieces she had heard. Either way Holly began talking about the show and about Ferb in particular. Marie listened intently and was engaged in the conversation she was having with Holly.

At the mention of Ferb speaking like Roman, Marie couldn't help but laugh a little bit. "You know, he kinda does." Marie said in agreement with an amused smile on her face. Holly really was the safe place for Marie. Marie didn't have to worry about building herself up to be someone grand. She could just be less guarded around the girl and it was nice to have that in her life. Something she hasn't really had for a long time. Holly had gone off on a rant, but Marie had followed.

Shaking her head she responded to Holly, "I don't think he is adopted. Doesn't he sound a bit like the dad?" Marie asked hoping she had remembered correctly. The dad wasn't in every episode, but he showed up from time to time. Soon Collin had walked in and made a remark on the cupcakes being awesome. Holly had got concerned that Collin would eat them, and informed Marie that they were for Cara's later. Nodding Marie was about to tell Collin not to touch them, when he came and sat down on the couch with them. His legs had been resting on hers, and Holly had asked if she was going to Cara's or rather had been invited.

"Don't you worry Holly, I'll be there, and then I can try one of your delicious cupcakes." She said with a grin. She felt her phone vibrate in her hand, but just as she was about to look at it, she heard someone coming. She turned her head and had seen it was Makayla. "Hey Makayla." She responded. Marie knew what people looked like high, and she could see the red in her eyes. However Marie also knew that was where Isaac had gone to, just Marie wasn't that into marijuana at this point in her life. When she was a teenager, yea, but now, no.

Listening to the girl tell her sister that the TV should be left to her and Collin, Marie checked her phone and grinned. Once Makayla left, she turned to Holly, "Hey, it's okay. I like to watch a good cartoon from time to time. Have you ever seen Curious George? It's pretty great to. Also feel free to watch TV, I don't mind. I'm hardly home to watch it anyways." Marie said reassuring the girl it was alright if she wanted to continue watching. Marie was about to reply to Collin when Oliver had come in as well.

"Oh, hey Oli!" She said and then looked to Holly. "Holly, this is Collin, and this is Oliver. Guys this is Holly." She said pointing to the right person in correspondence with their name. While she gave them time to say hi to each other she looked back down to her phone and responded back to Collin.


To Collin:
"Someone's in the giving spirit ;)"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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{Written with Writer}
"Come on, Kay!" Holly said, rapping on the bathroom door that she sat outside of. Although Makayla had been in there for less than ten minutes while she showered, it felt like three hours to Holly. She didn't know why Makayla needed to shower now, of all times. They were supposed to be at Cara's and Holly had been expressing how excited she was to go all day. After they iced the cupcakes and taken a random trip downstairs to the building manager's apartment, she had gotten dressed in the outfit she had picked out for the dinner. It wasn't anything fancy, just a pair of black leggings, a sweater, scarf, moccasins, and a pair of $2 fake pearl earrings, but Holly was excited over it. After weeks of complaining about how every other girl in her school wore moccasins, Makayla had bought her a pair, but they were hard to wear walking through the busy (and dirty) city streets, so she really only wore them around the apartment. Being able to wear them out, without it really being "out", was fun for her. It was the first time she was wearing the sweater, so that in itself was something Holly could ramble on about for an hour. Cara had bought it for her a couple of days before when they were out at Forever 21, and the scarf had been a gift from Cara too, but one that she had given her out of her own closet, rather than purchasing it. It was new to Holly, and that was all that mattered, but she felt like it wasn't going to feel new anymore if they didn't get over to Cara's soon.

Holly's knocking had been persistent and loud enough for Makayla to hear it for the entire duration of her shower, but unlike most days, she didn't turn off the water for long enough to tell Holly to stop or that she would be done soon. She just didn't have it in her, and it didn't help that she was on the brink of sobbing as she attempted to scrub every inch of her body until her skin felt raw. It was a ritual that she endured every night after she worked, but it was rarely something that she had to do during the day. Prostitution was mostly a nighttime job for her. Doing it during the day was too risky, and there was a smaller clientele pool any time before ten at night anyway. She didn't know if she could call what she had done today, and what she did on a monthly basis, prostitution, but it didn't feel any different from what she did regularly at night.

Every month, Makayla was short on rent money. Paying her share of the $1500 was just impossible. With the cost of living in New York, her phone bill, and just the necessities she needed to keep her and Holly alive, she never ended up with enough money at the end of the month. Most of the time, she was lucky to have half of it. She had gotten by living in the building for close to two years through the agreement she had with the building manager. Whenever he was craving sex, he'd text her, and she'd end up in his apartment sometime that day. Normally, he worked with her to allow her to get there at night when Holly was in bed already, or before she left to work, when Cara had her, but there were times like today, close to the date of the month's rent being due, when he knew he had the power to get her on her knees the minute he was craving it. She couldn't say no unless she wanted to end up homeless with Holly, and today he insisted that he needed her there before five, because he was leaving to eat at a family member's house on the other side of town at five. When it was done and over with, all that she could think was that she was glad Nick's weed had been free, because she would have been more than upset if she had wasted money trying to lift her mood, only to have to endure the one thing that completely shattered it. Every single time. Selling her body to survive was the most dehumanizing thing she had ever done, but for Makayla, there weren't many other options at the moment. She desperately wanted to keep Holly out of the low-income housing units that they had grown up in because it only spelled bad news.

Needless to say, she was in no mood to be socializing after the thirty minutes she spent in his apartment, but she knew that she had to. So, she made sure that Holly was dressed and ready, and then hopped into the shower, hoping to use the few minutes of alone time to collect herself and rid herself of the slimy feeling that unwanted sex left her with. It didn't do much good, and as Holly's knocking and requests for her to hurry up only increased in volume, she knew she was just going to have to try to survive the night without killing herself. On the bright side, she was sure Cara was going to have alcohol, and that was the only thought that was strong enough to pull her out of the shower and allow her to get dressed before opening the door for Holly. "You need to learn how to be patient, Holly," she said, looking down at her sister who was sitting on the hallway floor. She wanted it to sound scolding, but she didn't have the energy to make it anything more than a monotone statement. She turned back into the bathroom and applied a quick layer of makeup and put her hair into a messy bun, because she didn't have energy for life at the moment, nonetheless dealing with her hair.

"I was trying to be patient, but you were taking too long, and Chanel already took everything out of the oven. I didn't want to be late," Holly explained as she got up and followed Makayla into the kitchen. Chanel and the majority of the food that had turned their marijuana-scented apartment into one that made Holly's mouth water, were gone, only making Holly feel more anxious. "Can I hold the cupcakes?"

"No, just grab the door," Makayla responded, taking the large plate of cupcakes from the counter as they left the kitchen. She didn't need Holly dropping them on the way over there, and she didn't have the patience to even humor the idea. A minute later they were outside 5C's door, and Makayla nodded at Holly to knock on the door. "I don't have it in me today to deal with any attitude, Holl, so be good or we're leaving," she advised. Again, her voice felt shallow, but Makayla meant it. She already wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for ten years straight, so Holly giving her a reason to leave this party was almost a welcomed idea at this point.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester
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Somewhere during her short conversation with Roman, Brooklyn's mood had switched from okay to bad, and she didn't like that. She didn't really care about snapping at Roman, and definitely not to a degree where she would ever apologize, especially since he had been brazen enough to touch her phone, but she didn't like feeling so uptight in general. She knew that she had a reputation of being negative, pessimistic, a bitch, and so on. What others thought of her didn't bother her, but her reputation was primarily true, and it was the fact that she didn't feel happy a lot of the time that bothered her. She didn't care if she treated people poorly so long as she felt content while doing it, but lately, she hadn't been feeling content. Her only solution was to sleep, so after he left her room, she took a nap for a few hours. She woke up feeling a little better, and the long shower she took made her feel like the night might be bearable. She didn't want to give Cara credit for anything, but whatever they were cooking in the kitchen smelled good. When she had walked out their briefly after her nap to get a bottle of water, she noticed that Cara had picked up a ton of alcohol, so there was that too. She felt like she wanted to force Nick to go to the dinner instead of eating out like they normally did, to watch him squirm. He knew that he had slept with Cara, Cara knew that she had slept with Nick, and Brooklyn knew that too, but as far as she knew, neither knew that she knew. That meant that she had the upper hand and could toy with him and maybe even her a little bit. It could be fun, but with those thoughts came the reminder that this wasn't fun and games. Her boyfriend had cheated on her with Cara, so no matter how many mind games she played, she wasn't going to win. She had already lost.

When she returned to her bedroom after getting ready, she found that Nick had gotten himself ready too. She sat her makeup bag on her dresser before walking back towards him. His compliments were nice and appreciated, but the happiness in her smile didn't reach her eyes. She wanted to blame it on just still being groggy from her nap, but the shower had knocked much of that tiredness out of her. "Save that for later," she said before he leaned in to kiss her. She returned it, her hand gliding across the side of his face before she pulled away. "You still want to catch that eight-thirty movie, right?" she said as they left their bedroom and headed into the kitchen. The apartment layout was open enough where the kitchen and living room blended into one, so they had a view of everything but the bedrooms as they headed in. She was surprised to see that Chanel was the only non-resident of the apartment who was there. Brooklyn didn't know the girl very well. Nick had mentioned her once or twice as being someone that he dealt to, Holly had brought her up more than that in her conversations that Brooklyn always tried to put on mute, and she would occasionally see her in the apartment very well, but she didn't know her personally. Being cordial wasn't going to kill her though, so she smiled at her, Ryan, Cara and Roman as they stepped towards the island that they were all standing by. "It smells good in here," she commented, trying to sound as positive and cheerful as was possible without it seeming sarcastic. "And I definitely approve of this," she said with a small laugh as she separated herself from Nick and walked towards the counter where the bottles of drinks were waiting. She poured a 50/50 ratio of rum and Coke into a cup and was back by Nick's side a couple of seconds later.

When there was a knock at the door and she found herself being the closest person to it, she answered it. With her drink in one hand, she used the other to open up the door, unsurprisingly finding Makayla and Holly on the other side. Like Cara, Brooklyn wasn't sure how to treat her relationship with Makayla now. Before Makayla had told Brooklyn that Cara had confided in her about her and Nick, she despised Makayla. She annoyed Brooklyn for no real reason. It was petty and childish, but that was how Brooklyn was sometimes. Now, she felt like she owed Makayla, at least enough to be nice to a point where she'd do her best not to snap at Holly tonight. "Hey," she smiled, stepping aside so they could come in. "Happy Thanksgiving, Holly. Is that a new sweater?" She felt like she was biting off more than she could chew by actually initiating a conversation with Holly that had the potential to last thirty minutes, but she also knew the rum wouldn't take long to kick in.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Oliver Carver
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If Ryan hadn't invited Oliver over, and subsequently his roommates and Marie, he definitely would have left and spent the night at his dad's place. Cara was eating away at every last ounce of patience he had. Did she think that he wanted to spend his afternoon cooking? That making sure a turkey was cooked enough that it didn't poison all of them, was something that was on his bucket list? He knew nothing about cooking! The two of them had grown up without a mother, with a father who probably didn't know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and with a personal chef. It baffled him that she thought that he somehow knew more about it than her, but then again, this was Cara, and she didn't care about that. If she wanted something done, she expected you to learn a whole new skill set in thirty seconds to accommodate her. Ryan was used to it, but it was still highly irritating.

His laptop was on the counter next to him, so as Chanel and Roman came in and Cara started conversing with, Ryan was busy with the cooking webpage on the screen. He had used it, and a plethora of Youtube videos, to help him figure out what cooking a turkey entailed. It said that he was supposed to let it sit for twenty to thirty minutes before cutting it, but he wasn't going to verbalize that direction to his sister. It would just result in her complaining more, and quite possibly him reaching a point where he really would leave. From the sound of it, Roman was having a bit of fun trying to knock Cara off her pedestal, but Ryan felt like he still had to be there to keep her in line for when Oliver and his friends came over. It would not only be completely rude, but completely mortifying to him too, if she was as insulting as she was being now, when they came over. It was one thing to say things like that to Roman, who RJ felt could handle it, but Oliver, Isaac, Collin and Marie didn't know the bitchy side of Cara well enough where they would realize she was harmless.

To: Oliver
Turkey's out of the oven, should be able to eat in 20-30. Come over with your friends whenever you feel like it! Fair warning - my sister is in a bad mood

He didn't think cutting the turkey would be that hard, when the time came for it, so he closed his laptop down after texting Oliver and headed out of the kitchen, just as Brooklyn and Nick were coming in. Since Oliver wasn't there yet and he wasn't particularly close to Chanel, Brooklyn, Nick or Roman, he considered staying in his room for a while. He was too thoughtful though, and decided that he was better off in the kitchen in case Chanel needed help with any dishes that were left, or in case Cara had another irrational demand for him. He made a quick stop in the bathroom, and then back to his room to spray on cologne for no reason other than because he didn't want to smell like turkey and sweat all night, before returning to the kitchen. When he got there, along with Nick and Brooke, was Makayla and Holly. "Here, let me grab those for you," he said as he took the large plate of cupcakes from Makayla. He didn't know Makayla that well. Cara hung out with Holly a lot, but he was told that was because Makayla was working. The vibes he got from her when she was around were always tired and maybe stressed out ones. It was very different from Holly, who could talk for hours about absolutely nothing, but considering that, it wasn't surprising that someone who had to live with her would tire out easily. He looked to Chanel who had been doing more work than Cara, as he carried the tray from the door to the kitchen's island area. "Where do you want me to leave these?" he asked, momentarily placing them down on the counter behind them. She had been bringing dishes in all afternoon, so he wasn't sure if there was a specific setup in mind, and with his luck that day with his sister, if anything went wrong, she'd find a way to blame it on him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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After a few hours of hanging out in 5B, Isaac, Collin, and Oliver had headed back to their own place, making plans for the rest of the afternoon. Isaac wanted it to include alcohol and possibly some games, but before he got too far into his planning Oliver excitedly announced that Ryan had invited them all to Thanksgiving Dinner. Which was ironic, really, given Isaac's words about the situation not even an hour earlier.

Isaac did not want to go to Cara Forrester's (Probably Disastrous) Thanksgiving Dinner. He'd actually laughed when it was brought up, but the other two were heavily considering, probably craving some feeling of tradition that Isaac didn't have any memories of. He'd scoffed at them both, and then Collin had turned towards him with a grin and said, "But you could make your brownies!"

And, well, Isaac made fucking amazing brownies. And he was high on Adderall, with the pot wearing off he was suddenly itching to do something, and cooking would keep him interested. So he'd grudgingly agreed and spent until five o'clock slaving away in the kitchen. Isaac didn't play when he came to cooking. It was a passion and an art form. Everything was made from scratch, from the brownie mix to the cookie dough to the drizzle on top. He'd make chocolate from scratch if he knew how.

True to the schedual of the day, however, thirty minutes before they were supposed to leave, Collin's parents called. Apparently his uncle was requesting some family time - the more the merrier - and so Collin was welcome to bring his friends as long as they could get in a cab right then.

Honestly, Isaac would be much happier spending his night with the King's than with Cara Forrester (and Brooklyn West, who he was admittedly terrified of). But by that point he had a copious amount of brownies on his hands, and it kind of only felt right to take some over to 5C, because Oliver had promised they wouldn't show up empty handed. So Isaac packed up a batch to send down with Collin and Oliver, and then grabbed a plate himself to take across the hall.

The door to 5C was still open, and while normally Isaac would probably feel nervous approaching it, the pills he was on didn't really let him care so he just leaned over and knocked on the still open door, feeling too weird just walking in. It wasn't his place, anyway. There was a good amount of people already inside, and Isaac wasn't really sure if he should seek out Cara or Ryan...in the end, it didn't matter, because Nick saw him first and made a general motion that meant it was alright for Isaac to cross the threshold. "Hey man," he greeted.

Holly and Makayla were just passed the doorway themselves, which was probably why it had still been open. Brooklyn was talking to the redhead, so Isaac pointedly avoided her gaze and shot Makayla a peace sign. Regardless of having never talked to her before earlier that day, they'd smoked together, she was deserving of the Peace Sign Category of Friendship.

"Just gunna take this plate of pure diabetes to the kitchen," Isaac explained as he held up the brownies, talking to Nick more than anything because he defaulted to the one person in the room he kind of knew.

All the apartments were laid out kind of the same way, so Isaac knew exactly where the kitchen was, and when he made his way through there he finally found the Forresters and Chanel, and was just about to open his mouth and explain he wasn't staying when he caught sight of one more person.

Roman Killens.

Isaac's heart skipped a beat - a feeling which he aggressively shut down as quickly as he could, because he did not have time for that shit. It was just the Adderall anyway, always made his heart go a little funny, skipping a few beats wasn't anything to worry about. Was probably even completely normal, in his state.

It definitely, most certainly, had absolutely nothing to do with a tall, blue-eyed, brown-haired, twenty-one year old wrapped up in a fucking fantastic tattooed package. Nope. No way. Totally did not.

Isaac hated himself sometimes. He really did.

The thing was, normally he could deal with his stupid crush. It wasn't even so much as...an addiction he'd developed, to Roman's presence. As long as he got a fix every so often (which was as simple as seeing the guy in the hallway), Isaac could actually forget how pathetic he was. How fucking bad he had it. And then Killens would peace out for awhile - like, oh say, four days or so - and Isaac could easily convince himself he was fine. Roman who? Killens what? He didn't miss him, of course not. Couldn't even remember what his face looked like, much less care he was gone.

And then the fucker would show back up and it was like the first time Isaac had laid eyes on him all over again. A rush of feelings he really shouldn't be having passed the age of seventeen...or at all, really. He was a mess, and it was ridiculous, and he was actually pretty sure his hands were shaking and he wasn't fucking breathing.

He sighed out a breath and thankfully it came out with a chuckle on the end as he shook his head and focused on putting his plate of brownies down next to the salad...which was, coincidentally, next to Roman. He bumped shoulders the same way he always did with his guy friends and grinned. "Nice seeing you around. Thought you might have died."

His phone vibrated then, and with his now free hands Isaac went ahead and pulled his phone from his pocket. It was a text from Collin, telling him to hurry his ass up. Isaac told himself not to do it, he really did, but then he was already texting back and he couldn't stop himself even though he knew it was a really horrible idea. And honestly, he blamed Roman for it a little.

To: Hey Jude
actually im suddenly not feeling well. nausea. might puke if i ride in a taxi that long. have fun tho!


Oh he was a terrible person. And completely pathetic, but really, neither of those things were new.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Ever since they had left the building manager's apartment, Makayla had been in a bad mood. It was bad enough for Holly to notice and frown when Makayla rejected her request to carry the cupcakes in. She didn't know what was the matter. Makayla had to help the man with something and Holly got to sit on his couch and watch part of the Good Luck Charlie Thanksgiving episode. The man had seemed happy when he came out of his bedroom with his arm wrapped around Makayla like they were good friends, so it didn't make sense for her sister to be angry or bothered. As they walked across the hall, Holly momentarily sulking over not being able to carry the cupcakes, she decided that Makayla was probably just tired and cranky because of that. She was the one who always told Holly that sleeping would make her feel better, so it probably worked the other way around too.

Unlike Makayla's bad mood, Holly's literally only spanned from the walk from their door to Cara's, because as soon as Brooklyn opened it up, Holly was grinning again. She had gotten used to the smell of all of the food in their apartment, but it smelled even stronger and better in Cara's, and then there was the people. Lots of them, or so it seemed that way in the small apartment. Though the apartment was the same size as her own, Cara's apartment was decorated and designed nicer than any other unit in the building, which always interested Holly. Cara mirrored her apartment in that manner tonight, looking like she was ready to walk down the runway in a little black dress. Before she could address her though, she had Brooklyn to talk to, and Brooklyn actually starting a conversation with her was a big deal, especially when that conversation was founded on a compliment. "Happy Thanksgiving!" she responded first, feeling like it had to be said before she could get into the good stuff. "Thanks! Cara bought it for me when we were shopping. And this scarf is hers, but it's actually mine now because she gave it to me because our necks are the same size." She noticed Brooklyn's cup then and decided that she was thirsty too. Since they had run out of lemonade during breakfast, Holly had to downgrade to water for the rest of the day. Cara always had good drinks, though. Cara always had everything. "What are you drinking?" she asked Brooklyn.

Holly really wasn't that bad, especially when Brooklyn was making an effort to be more relaxed and tolerant of the energy. "Soda, she responded, swishing the drink around in the cup momentarily before she took a sip of it. It was just as much rum as it was soda, but there was no need to tell Holly that. "Do you want to get something to drink? Cara has a lot of choices today," she continued, pointing towards the drink area. She knew she could have ended it at that, both it looked like there was more alcoholic drinks than non-alcoholic ones over there, and she didn't need Holly accidentally pouring vodka into a cup somehow thinking it was Sprite, and her getting blamed for it, so she walked over there with her. "What do you want? I'll pour it," she offered as she set her own cup down.

"Lemonade," was Holly's immediate reaction. It was her go-to drink. She liked Sprite as well, but the carbonation bothered her sometimes. Although Brooklyn had offered to pour for her, Holly was in front of the table looking for herself, only to find that there was no lemonade on the table. "Why doesn't she have lemonade?" she asked with concern. Cara knew that she liked lemonade. What was going to be next? Was she going to say that there wasn't going to be mac & cheese with the turkey too?

"She has Sprite. It's basically the same thing as lemonade. Just have that," Brooklyn suggested, already pouring some of the clear soda into a cup in an attempt to not allow Holly to refuse it.

Holly accepted the cup that Brooklyn handed her but she was still concerned over this. It seemed like a big deal to her, and with a weak objection of, "But I wanted lemonade...", she turned away from Brooklyn to take her problem to the girl who was responsible for it. "Cara!" she exclaimed with urgency as she hurried towards the blonde sitting at the island. "Cara, you forgot to put the lemonade out. Is it in your fridge?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Roman typically disliked when people brought up his drug use. Usually it was meant as an intervention of sorts, and he immediately shut down. Cara was different though, and that was one of the few and only things she could constantly bring up, and so it didn't really bother him. Sometimes it did, especially if he was high, but to him it just proved she had no reason for being such a bitch. He was certain she thought he was smoking crack and doing meth as religiously as people go to church on Sunday, but that wasn't the case. He'd never done, and didn't plan, on doing any of what he considered the hard core stuff. No heroin or meth--just the party drugs and a few prescription drugs to help with his muscles. Until he started doing the other stuff, he didn't really see himself as having a problem. Still, Cara was right to a point. Not just about him not needing to be there, but hell, it was free food and it was interesting to see what Thanksgiving really was. But she was right about not wanting the night to go to shit the way that it likely would. He didn't want to argue with her all night, but he also didn't really want to hear her mouth. He'd just have to pick and choose his battles as best as he could, and for now, he was done. So he kept quiet once Chanel left, just after Holly and Makayla, and Nick and Brooke had arrived. The group exchanged some words, but he didn't say anything because he didn't really feel the need to. Not only that, but he wasn't entirely sure what to do.

Around people he didn't know, he was actually quite shy and quiet. He went to parties quite a bit, but he was never sober long enough to actually have to worry about the pressure he felt under socializing. His discomfort came in disinterest which fostered itself in silence as he dabbled on his phone. Plus there was the fact that he just didn't know how to act. It was his first Thanksgiving and for some reason, at least in his mind, he was making it out to more important than it probably was to most Americans. He figured it safer to just sit back and follow the crowd, if so not much to make a mistake than to hear it from Cara as soon as he did something unorthodox. Currently, the crowd was in the kitchen just talking, so he'd stay where he was until he started feeling too suffocated. As he stood, part of him wished Ryan didn't invite him, although he did appreciate it. He didn't want to admit it, but it probably would have been far more awkward to have no where to go and have to sit in the apartment while everyone feasted in front of him.

Roman had hardly noticed the person standing beside him until he was nudged. When he looked over, he saw it was Isaac. He wasn't sure why he was surprised, since he knew Isaac was invited as well. Perhaps it was just the strangeness of seeing actually in Cara's apartment. Seemed like a sort of fusion of alternate universes. It was usually Roman going to Isaac's apartment to get out of his own. Roman smirked in response, glad to see him since Isaac was a pretty chill dude. Killens doubted he was taking the dinner too seriously. "Yeah," he said with an amused exhale. "But don't hold your breath. Still have to make it through this thing." Killens glanced down at what Isaac had just sat down in front of the salad bowl Chanel had brought. The place already smelled quite amazing, but Roman had quite the sweet tooth, so seeing the delicious looking brownies in front of him only made his mouth water, and it even brought a small smile to his face. "Shit. Did you make those?" It was a stupid question. Roman knew that Isaac could cook, which was admirable considering Roman himself only put in enough effort when it came to his feed to keep him from starving. There was no way in hell he could make something like what was before him. "Hell yeah," Isaac said with a grin. "Fuckin' A, right?" Roman nodded, glancing at him before looking back at the brownies. "Yeah. They look great," he said. For some reason, and almost as if out of no where, he was very nervous. A wave of jitters hit him. Roman opened his mouth to make some dry joke about how awkward this all was, but he'd only got a breath out before Chanel appeared, her hands on Isaac's shoulder and eyes wide in amazement at the brownies. She wore a large smile, clearly twice as impressed with the brownies as Roman. He didn't have much opinion on the girl. She seemed nice enough, but he did have to question some things about her, considering the company she kept--namely Cara. If he knew one thing, he knew that the girl could talk. With an amused and borderline apologetic glance at Isaac, he slid away from the two, avoiding the vacuum or conversation best he could and retreating to the living room where there was much more space, and much less people.





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Chanel made sure to hurry as she went out to get the banana pudding, if not by Cara's request at her quickness, than because she really wasn't sure if Roman and the girl could survive on their own without going at each other. She didn't really have a reason to dislike Roman per say. It was just one of those things where someone rubs you the wrong way. She had a tendency to validate her injustifications through Cara's dislike for the guy, but that still didn't change the fact that he'd never really done anything to her. It might have been his aesthetic, the way he carried him, the stuffy London accent and how he pronounced 'th-' as an F sound. Surely, none of these were the reasons why, and even if they were, it wouldn't have helped her case any. Of course, since she was working towards being a better person, she felt kind of bad for automatically feeling this way towards him, and so was typically a bit more friendly around him than she normally would try to be with others, as if to over-compensate. It was just a lot harder with him since he seemed to shut down immediately once she started talking to him. That'd have to change tonight, though, she reasoned. After everyone got some alcohol in them, it'd be a lot much easier to socialize. Normally she wouldn't care so much, but it was off-putting for someone not to receive her as openly as she was used to. For now, though, she needed to focus on the banana pudding. So as she left, she quickly greeted Holly and Makayla coming in and hurried back. She'd just set that pudding and her sauce on the counter when Ryan came over with the tray of cupcakes that Holly and Makayla had brought. "Hey!" she exclaimed. "Happy Thanksgiving. Yeah, here, give those to me and I'll just put them on a plate or something. Thanks, Ryan. Let me know if you need help with anything else."

After taking the cupcakes and placing them in front of the pudding, she went through the cabinets, looking for a plate that was large enough to fit all the cupcakes on them. When she found what she needed, she carefully placed the cupcakes around the rim of the plate until they were fit on the dish. She looked at it for a minute, shrugging internally. She was now wishing her and Cara had gotten some kind of cupcake display where they were at, but it was whatever now. She turned around to observe the scene. Everyone was chatting and everything seemed to be going okay. She'd have to check in on Cara in a second, but first she needed to figure out how exactly they were doing this. Perhaps the main dishes on the island counter and the deserts on the other side? Was this buffer style or were they putting everything on the table? Just as she was about to go ask Ryan, she noticed Isaac talking to Roman. She wasn't sure why, but she really did like Isaac. Him hanging with Roman wasn't that great, but it was no matter. She went over excitedly and greeted him with a large smile. "Isaac, hey! I'm so glad you made it. Oh, my god," she said upon seeing the brownies. "Did you make these? Holy shit. They look amazing! How long did this take you?"

Just after asking him, she realized that she'd gotten distracted and would need to find Ryan asap, and then give Cara a quick pep talk, just in case. Once they finished talking, she gave his shoulder a quick squeeze. "That's seriously the best thing I've seen. Do you mind if I put these over with the other desserts?" she said, already reaching for them. "We'll talk later, okay?" Without waiting for an answer, she put the dessert with the pudding and the cupcakes. Upon finding Ryan, she touched his shoulder. She had a tendency to be very touch-y. It probably made some people uncomfortable, but she did it before realizing that she shouldn't, and sometimes she didn't even recognize it, like now. "Hey," she said, giving him a slight squeeze. "You okay? So, how did you want to do this? Do you want to put everything on the counters for people to put on their plates and then just take to the table, or should we try squishing things all on the kitchen table?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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Cara was definitely less demanding to her friends than she was her family, but Ryan still wasn't sure how Chanel handled being friends with her. Her nature seemed too good to be mixed with Cara's so easily, but then again, compared to Cara, anyone could seem like Mother Teresa. Regardless, her friendly and welcoming ways put Ryan at ease a little bit. His sister could be as negative as she wanted to be, throwing a pity party for herself over nothing, but at least everyone wasn't in a horrible moo. It made him feel guilty for allowing his own mood to be soured and he tried to perk up as he thanked her for the help. Until the turkey was ready, there wasn't much to do. He considered sneaking back off to his room and actually staying there this time when he got a text from Oliver. Apparently, he and Collin were on their way to Collin's family's house. Something had come up last minute where their plans changed and he had forgotten to text Ryan to tell him. He apologized and said that he thought Marie and Isaac were still going to come, and just as Ryan finished responding with a "no problem. Have fun" text, Isaac appeared carrying a tray of brownies.

"You can stop sulking now," Ryan said as he neared Cara. "It's only going to be him as your unwanted guest. Collin, Marie and Oliver have other plans." He doubted it would do much good. Collin and Oliver were the two that Cara probably approved of most. At least compared to Isaac. Still, he felt like it was worth mentioning. "And it looks like Holly's excited about that scarf dad gave you last Christmas," he added, trying to lift the mood further as he watched Holly talk to Brooklyn. "Plus, the turkey should be good to cut any minute now, so there's that too." he didn't know why he cared enough to try to lift her mood when she had been selfish all day, but it was just a part of his character at this point. Overly considerate, with no way to keep himself from being that way. Without another word, he headed back towards the stove and a minute later Chanel caught him off guard with a squeeze to the shoulder. "Yeah, yeah, everything looks and smells really good," he nodded. "Uh, it's your call on that. Leaving everything up here will probably be easier, but it's whatever you think will work best. The table only seats six, so you and Cara and maybe Holly and Makayla and two other people should sit there, and the rest of us can just sit at the island or on the couch or something," he offered I surely. Cara had tried to make it seem like this was his party once she didn't get her way with the guest list, but he wanted as little responsibility as possible with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Makayla Wright Character Portrait: Holly Maddon Character Portrait: Roman Killens Character Portrait: Chanel Owens Character Portrait: Nick Moreno Character Portrait: Caraline Forrester Character Portrait: Brooklyn West Character Portrait: Ryan Forrester Character Portrait: Isaac Rankin
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When Ryan told her that Isaac was the only person who hadn't originally been invited who was coming, Cara knew that she needed to stop complaining, but part of her had wanted the other three to show up, just so she had something to complain about. So that when something went wrong, she could turn to Ryan with rage in her eyes and blame the whole failure on him. She could still do that since Roman definitely counted as an additional unwanted being on top of Isaac, but three less people took the emphasis out of it, really. Now, all she had to hold onto was that it was even ruder for them to not show up last minute because for all they knew, they had spent tons of extra money planning on those three extra bodies being there. Cara wanted to say that to Ryan and really considered doing it when Chanel was out of the apartment, but she held her tongue, or more accurately, kept her wine glass pressed to her lips so she couldn't open them to speak.

If for no other reason, she knew that she had to cheer up because Holly was there now and she really did want to make this fun for the girl. She had seemed excited about it ever since Cara had mentioned it to Makayla, and the idea of being the host of someone's very first real Thanksgiving made her feel like the job of hostess was more important than it seemed. Holly was usually easy to please and with the assortment of baked goods she had delivered, on top of the cupcakes that Cara saw Makayla give to Ryan, she was sure Holly would have a good night too. Cara would have considered the brownies that she saw Chanel take from Isaac to count as a possible treat to delight Holly too, but there was no way that Cara was going to let anyone she cared about consume those. It didn't matter how good they looked. The last thing that she needed on top of everything that had went wrong today was for Holly to die of a drug overdose because that creep had thought it would be funny to put pot and other drugs into the desserts. Roman could definitely finish those off on his own with Isaac without Cara trying to stop him.

For a few minutes, she did sulk like Ryan had made fun of her for doing. This wasn't how she wanted to be spending her holiday. It was a holiday that emphasized feeling grateful, and she had a lot to be grateful for. She had an apartment that was nice enough and definitely more than most people had, that was filled with nice people (and Roman and Isaac) and tons of food. She had her health, she had great friends outside of this apartment, a father who was healthy and supported her beyond normal means, and a life where she would absolutely never be subjected to destitution or even the stress of having to work to pay bills. Cara was immensely lucky and privileged and she had a ton to be thankful for, but all she could think about was the things she didn't have. Watching Holly interact with Brooklyn, and the huge smile on Chanel's face as she talked to everyone, reminded her of what the holiday was about but it was still hard for her to change her persona suddenly like that. When Holly approached her, Cara smiled, not even noticing the despaired look on the girl's face until she was right in front of her. "Lemonade?" she repeated, setting her empty wine glass down on the island as she stood from her chair. "I don't know if we have any lemonade," she responded, lacking certainty. With everything they had purchased today, it was just her luck that she would forget something that was a staple for Holly. For someone who spent a lot of time with the girl, Cara wanted to slap herself in the face for forgetting. She led Holly over to the refrigerator to check it out herself, and found that her fears were right, and they hadn't gotten the beverage. "Ryan must have forgotten to get it when I told him to," Cara said, inaccurately blaming her brother for the mistake, but doing so loudly enough where she was aware he could hear from where he stood a foot or two away with Chanel. She was throwing him under the bus, but in her defense, her voice was lighter and more playful now. If Ryan was bothered by it, she would just tell him that she was obviously joking. "Do you want me to ask one of the boys to go get you some from the little convenience store around the block?" she continued. Maybe it was because she was standing by the oven that had only been turned off a few minutes ago, but the apartment was starting to feel hot and stuffy, and she wouldn't mind losing a body and quelling Holly's whining in one move.