0
followers
follow

Jessa Van Zandt

"It's just another chapter in my life I'd really like to skip."

0 · 294 views · located in Outcast, USA

a character in “Outcast Boulevard”, as played by fauxreality

Description

Image

Name - Jessa Van Zandt

Age - 18

Gender/Role - Girl One. (:

Occupation - Street musician/Waitress

Appearance - Jessa is short, there's no denying that. She only reaches about 5'0, and that's if she's really stretching. Style wise, she'll wear whatever she can get. Which leaves her with a lot of baggy t-shirts, a dangerously short pair of shorts, and a pair of pants. Of course, she has her work uniform too. Clothes are expensive and she doesn't have money to waste. Her hair is medium length and brown. There was a point when she dyed it blonde, but her hair has since grown out. As for the haircut, she keeps it simple and cuts her own hair. There's a few layers in the front, and she makes sure he bangs are an appropriate length, but that's it. Her nose is pierced with a silver hoop and so is her tragus. She has a tattoo of a heart on her right, middle finger. When she's not working her old acoustic guitar is almost always with her. She's extremely pale so she tends to avoid the sun, sun burns are her worst enemy. Of course, every time she goes out she always manages to get a little pink.

Personality - In the beginning, she was very shy. She refused to talk to anyone and kept to herself. She didn't trust, and to this day she still has trust issues. She is constantly second guessing herself, whether it's about her talent or just her every day decisions. Jessa is almost always on edge, looking over her shoulder, especially when there's men around. Other than her anxiety, once she opens up she can be a sweetheart. When she likes something, she'll put her whole heart into it. Whether that's baking (which she isn't very good at...at all.), or arts and crafts, or music. She likes to help people and tries to be a good listener, despite not being a very good talker.

Likes - Music, rain, thunderstorms, Swedish fish, baking, singing, reading

Dislikes - Biological family, most men, alcohol, peanuts, hot days

Fears -
- Most men, do to her past, and spiders.

History - Once upon a time there was an heiress to the Van Zandt Hotel fortune....No, really. Jessa grew up in a very rich and very well known family. She was never one for the spotlight. Her parents were judgmental of her, and everyone else they had in their lives. Not that they were home long enough to ever judge her in the first place, and when they were it was constant screaming all the time. Her brother, eight years her senior, was not the best person to be around twenty four/seven either. It started out as small things, a drunken, grotesque flirtation, a slap on the ass. But then things got violent, he would hit her, and threaten her. This was all when she was still very young, only twelve years old. She got scared and had no idea what to do, or who to talk to. She was alone. So when he sneaked into her room one night, and brutally molested her, she had no one to turn to but herself. This was the beginning of her cutting/burning addiction. She would take a metal clip, warm it till it was just hot enough to burn, and would stick it on her stomach. There were razor blades, too. The abuse continued for years until she finally found herself running away for days on end, and finally leaving on her seventeenth birthday to live at The Firehouse. She's been there for a year now, and just as things were starting to look up she peed on a stick and two little lines changed her life yet again. This time it only took minutes.

So begins...

Jessa Van Zandt's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Brea Love Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

nau·se·a
noun
1. sickness at the stomach, especially when accompanied by a loathing for food and an involuntary impulse to vomit.


The last few weeks had been Hell on her stomach. She couldn't smell or eat anything without the sudden urge to throw up. For a little while, she had just blamed the flu. This was a just a really bad flu. What else could it be? Was she just having bad luck and getting food poisoning constantly? But of course, these things would never last this long and she had never gotten so sick in her life before. Her immune system was generally strong and would attack illness like an angry pit bull. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and pulled away from the rim of the toilet, leaning against the shower. She was running out of excuses not to take that damn pregnancy test.

She glared at the box on the counter, waiting there, unopened and menacing. She was only a couple a little late, a two months or so, and for her that wasn't uncommon; the amount of stress in her life was more than enough to keep 'it' away. Jessa stood up, still a little shaky, and grabbed the little pink box. The picture-perfect-model printed on the surface looked so happy, looking down at her positive test. Why couldn't they have a model for people like her? People who were terrified? People who clearly weren't ready to have a baby? She popped open the box, the tear making a quiet rip, , and pulled out the stick that could possibly change her life forever. And not in a good way.

It only took her a few minutes to read the instructions and follow them. Now she just had to play the waiting game. Ticktock, ticktock. After the appropriate amount of time had passed, she had somehow summoned up enough courage to actually look at the damn thing. She picked it up, staring at it for a long time. It was not the results she had been hoping for. It was not the results anyone her age would hope for. Instead of one blue line, there was two. It was positive. She was pregnant; eighteen and pregnant with no real job and no real boyfriend. She threw the box away and the test with it. No amounting of praying would erase that second line.

She didn't know what else to do, other than go about her usual routine of getting ready. She brushed her teeth, showered, got dressed, the usual, trying to ignore what she had just discovered. At the end of the day, Jessa knew she would have to tell someone. Aspen, maybe? Brea? Anyone besides Zack would do, anyone at all. After all, how do you tell the father that you're pregnant when you don't even want the fucking baby?

She went into the kitchen and poured herself a glass of water. It was hot today, but thank God they had finally fixed the air conditioner. It was one thing that everyone could check of their list of things to worry about.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway

0.00 INK

Greyson smelled like grass and sweat, not to mention coming back with yet another dark tan. It wasn't even orange - just brown. Oh well. He was use to it by now and the shock of his color changing skin had worn off for everybody, he figured. With a sigh, Grey walked down the street until he came to the back door of the Firehouse and let himself inside. His work-issued button up was sticking to his skin uncomfortably, and jeans weren't the best choice, but anything else wasn't allowed. Thanks, boss. Oh, but at least he had a hat, right? Greyson looked around the firehouse. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see Skyler and Aspen having a beer in the kitchen, along with Jessa. Three here and awake, four including himself. That left two others unaccounted for, if his counting was correct. Probably not. Hell, it had been a long, hot day and all he wanted to do was take a shower and have a drink... of water. "Hey," he greeted to anyone who was listening, then went upstairs.

Greyson walked into the bathroom and shut the door, quickly turning on the shower. He slipped out of his shoes effortlessly, then his clothes, and threw his hat to the side. Honestly, he didn't even see where it landed. After a quick shower, he got out and wrapped a towel around himself. Grey saw his clothes scattered about the bathroom, but walked right passed them. He'd get them later. Or make someone else do it. He worked hard enough to order around a few kids. Though, he was allowed to come home early today thanks to some extra help being hired, and most of the people in the Firehouse were about his age. Greyson stepped into his room and dried off. Hmm, if more people get hired, will they decrease his hours permanently? he wondered, pulling on some black jeans and a plain white shirt. The look of wrinkled clothes barely hanging on the hanger reminded him he needed to wash them eventually. Washing clothes, working -- wasn't life just fun?

Grey finally pulled on some Vans and made his way back downstairs. His hair was still noticeably wet, but after running his hands through it, he figured it was decent enough. Nothing had changed since earlier, the same people were in the kitchen. Grey nodded in response to seeing them, but otherwise didn't say anything. His main goal was the refrigerator. He pulled out a regular soda, then leaned against the counter, taking a sip. Later he'd go out for a run or something. Get reacquainted with one of the few good habits he'd forgotten. There just wasn't much time or motivation for him to get out and start running, though. He was about to finish off the drink when he heard the door open. Couldn't have been the back door, he thought. "You guys didn't invite anyone over, did you?" he raised an eyebrow as he left the kitchen and headed for the front door.

Grey's eyes nearly popped out of his head before he regained his composure. Was that? Why was she here? Grey looked around before walking over to the girl, unsure of whether to kick her out or offer her a drink. "What are you doing here, Emma?" He asked, not expecting his past to catch up with him this way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

Aspen smiled when Skyler had finally noticed she was there, after all, it kinda bothered her how she liked him so much, and basically everyone knew it by now, everyone but him. Especially because alf the time he didn't even seem to notice when she was standing right there.
He asked her how work was, and she shrugged casually, "Can't complain, I guess." She took another sip of her beer and glanced over to the entrance of the kitchen as she heard someone else walk in, Zack. That made her wonder where Jessa was, and taking a brief look around, she noticed she was sitting right at the kitchen table the whole time. She caught the alarmed look on Jessa's face as she saw Zack, before she quickly covered it up with an expression of indifference.
Zack didn't even say anything to Jessa, which Aspen thought was a bit odd. She felt a bit uncomfortable sitting there as Zack got himself a beer and then hopped up next to her on the counter, no one saying anything.
"Hey." Jessa finally spoke up. Aspen smiled slightly towards her and nodded, "Hey." she also nodded towards Zack, but when she did, she saw the way he was looking her up and down, which made her feel pretty uncomfortable. She just quickly turned away and pretended like she didn't notice, but she felt bad when she realized that Jessa herself had seemed to notice, and was frowning.
"Either of you want a smoke?" Zack then asked, holding out his pack of cigarettes towards them.
"I will, thanks." she took one and put it between her lips as she slid open a cupboard underneath where she was sitting on the counter. She took out a book of matches and struck one, raising it to her cigarette and lighting the end. She then waved the match slightly to put it out and took a long drag on her cigarette before taking it out and blowing out the smoke and letting out a content sigh as she glanced between each face in the kitchen. As her gaze shifted to Jessa, Jessa looked at her and said, "Hey Aspen. Could I talk to you later? It's important."
Aspen nodded quickly. "Yeah, of course." she wasn't surprised or caught off guard at all. Aspen was kind of used to this by now, everyone wanting to vent to her, there must just be something about her which made her seem trustworthy. She didn't mind so much, being trusted so much made her feel valued in a way.
She glanced over at Skyler, who seemed really distracted and even troubled somehow.
"So what have you been up to today Skyler?"

((Had to edit the end of my post because when I posted it last night is was rushed and not really how I wanted it :P)

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway

0.00 INK

Aspen drank slowly, so by the time Skyler was on his third beer, she had just finished her first. She set her empty bottle aside and hopped off the counter to get another as she blew out some more smoke from her ciggy. She leaned against the counter as she cracked her beer open, taking a small sip, immediately followed by a drag from her smoke. As she slowly blew out a stream of smoke, she watched Skyler carefully because she could tell something was wrong, there was a different look in his eyes. Also, his short, simple response to her question earlier just made her wonder even more. But what was the chance that Skylar would want to talk to her about it? That was another frustrating thing, of all the many people who trusted her, he seemed to be the one exception. Aspen's gaze flickered back to Jessa, something was definitely troubling her as well, and she actually wanted to talk about it, so Aspen decided she would be there for her, "Hey, you up to talk right now?" she asked her as she pushed herself off the counter and put her cigarette back between her lips. "I have nothing else to do, but if you wanna wait til later on, that's cool." she shrugged slightly and looked at Jessa.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

"I've kind of been here the whole time," Jessa teased Skyler. "Don't worry. I've been having an off day too." She shrugged.

From the sound of it, Grey was having a shitty day too. This day was just full of shitness. When her cigarette had reached its end, she immediately started another one. It appeared that they really helped with the nausea. Funny. You'd think they would make it worse, but she just kept breathing in their toxic air.

The conversation betweent a girl who was supposedly named Emma and Grey had caught her attention, and she had been listening to it for the last few minutes. She felt no shame in eavesdropping if she thought her family might be in trouble. And everyone currently residing in the house was her family. She felt more of an attachment to them than the thing growing inside of her.

She looked over at Aspen when she said she was willing to talk to her now. That was much sooner than Jess had expected. She really didn't have time to mentally prepare for the news she was about to break. But hell. She'd never be mentally prepared, she might as well rip it off like a band aid.

"Sure. I can talk now. But you might want to bring a beer, because you're definitely gonna need it for what I'm about to tell you, " She said, causing her to glance over at Zack. God, he didn't have a care in the world. If only he knew about the baby. Maybe then she could let him freak out and she could just calm down for a little while. Ha. Like that would ever happen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine

0.00 INK

Zack shifted uncomfortably on the countertop. Not only was Greyson looking uncomfortable in the other room, but the tension in the kitchen was unbearable. Zack quickly gulped the cold beer down and jumped off the counter to grab another. He pulled the beer out of the freezer and slunk off to the tiny bathroom in the firehouse. He had always felt left out, as a child and a teenager, but lately more-so at the firehouse. The displeasure between Jessa and himself was only growing and his relationships with the others seemed to be crumbling before his eyes. An outcast among outcasts, the irony made Zack smirk to himself.

He made his way down the hallway towards the bathroom and found it unoccupied. With his beer in hand he peered down the hallway to see if anyone noticed him and then quietly locked the bathroom door behind him. Zack set the bottle of beer down on the edge of the tub and sighed. He peered at himself in the mirror and ran his hand through his hair. His eyes had dark rings under them and his skin was pale. He frowned and quickly fished around in his back pocket for his pack of smokes. He opened the pack and pulled out a smoke and pressed it between his pale lips, letting the smoke sit there unlit.

Zack pressed his ear against the hard door of the bathroom before crouching down and prying a loose tile from the corner of the bathroom floor After removing the tile, Zack fit his hand into the small opening and produced a tiny vile along with a dollar bill and his old chewed up credit card. He stood up and opened the vile after placing the other two items on the edge of the sink. Fuck it all...Zack thought inwardly as he spread the contents of the vile along the window sill and began to separate the powder into thin lines. He pulled the smoke from his mouth and placed the rolled up dollar bill into his left nostril. All thoughts of being alone and unwanted faded with the euphoric feeling that soon arrived.

The sound of footsteps climbing stairs made Zack jolt as he quickly shoved the items back into his hiding spot. He grabbed the remaining beer from the side of the tub, lit his cigarette and proceeded to his room. Zack gently kicked open the door to his room and flopped down on the cool mattress. His hands wandered over to the nightstand beside him as he grabbed his mp3 player and slid on the headphones. Soft brown eyes peered at the ceiling while smoke filled the small room. Zack's mind began to silently wander as loud music filled his ears. What would it like feel like to not be alone?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

"Sure. I can talk now. But you might want to bring a beer, because you're definitely gonna need it for what I'm about to tell you."
"Oh yeah? Okay then..." Aspen was a little unsure now, hoping this wasn't anything too severe. Sure, she loved the fact that people trusted her but no one had ever faced her with a situation that was extremely overwhelming. She wasn't sure how it would feel to know about something but at the same time know she couldn't do anything about it, it probably felt pretty awful. She'd just have to do whatever she could and do her best.
Her attention shifted away for just a second as she watched Zack get up and leave without a word. It was kinda weird how him and Jessa were pretty much avoiding each other. She looked at Jessa carefully to see her reaction to him leaving, but her expression was blank and hard to see through, like she had built up a wall or something.
"Well, we could stay here to talk I guess." She looked at Skyler who was still appeared to be deep in thought and completely preoccupied, "Or we could go into the yard." Aspen felt kinda bad about leaving Skyler when there was obviously something wrong with him as well, but Jessa was needing someone to talk to and actually willing to admit it. Aspen could hear her out first, then assuming that the news wasn't too extreme, go back soon enough and maybe get Skyler to talk to her. She mentally wished herself luck with that one, in a sarcastic way.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

She watched Aspen and Skyler, studying them for what felt like hours but was only a few minutes. She had heard Greyson leave and Zack was doing Lord knows what. Did she mind if Skyler knew? Would he tell Zack? At the moment she wasn't entirely sure, but she wasn't sure she cared either. She hopped up on the counter next to Aspen and shrugged.

"Here is...fine I guess." She looked back at Skyler as she said this. "As long as you both promise not to judge me because I'm really freaking the fuck out right now, and that's the last thing I need." Jessa was shaking visibly and it felt like she was about to burst. She took another drag of the cigarette, wishing the nicotine would calm her more. She bit her lip and ran a hand through her long, wavy hair. What she could really use right now was her guitar. God, why hadn't she brought it down with her like she usually would? Oh right. She had been to busy in the bathroom to think about it.

She took a deep breath and looked at Aspen, then to Skyler, with tear filled eyes. She was really about to fall apart. She never fell apart about things happening in the present. It was always the past that got to her. This feeling, this fear, was all new to her and she was going at it alone. "Zack and I...we slept together you know? Fuck. I'm sure you all know that much. I don't know what's going on. I feel like it fucked up everything. But that's not even the bad part. I mean the sex was great or whatever." She was rambling now, like she always did when she was nervous.

Jessa was crying now.

"But I'm pregnant. Holy shit. I'm pregnant and I don't want to be a mom. And how am I supposed to tell him? It's like we're strangers now. I don't think I'm going to tell him."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

Jessa watched Skyler, noticing something was wrong with him. Maybe she should have asked what was going on in his world, rather than spilling her own word vomit all over the place. That would have been the polite thing to do but she was too involved in her own world to think that way. In her head, she made this another reason she wouldn't be a good mother: selfishness. She liked her party every day lifestyle and wasn't ready to settle down. But she brushed these thoughts aside and choked back her tears, drying her own eyes - though the pat on the shoulder from Skyler certainly helped. "Yeah, but...Neither of us want to be parents, I don't think. I could just go to a free clinic, get rid of it, and he would never have to know. It wouldn't be better that way, wouldn't it?" An abortion could end this in a couple of hours, and she'd never have to think about it again.

"Are you okay? Do you need like...some aspirin or something?" She couldn't help but notice the way he was holding his chest, but maybe he was just drunk with bad heart burn. Or maybe this was just another situation Aspen would hear about. Obviously, Jessa trusted her enough to spill her own emotional garbage on. Maybe the others in the house did too...but that had to put a lot on her. Poor girl. Jessa leaned her head on Aspen's shoulder, waiting for her advice as well. If nothing else, at least two people knew now, they were two good people.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway

0.00 INK

(Missed a couple of posts, so I'll be tackling a few at a time here...)

"Here is...fine I guess." Jessa said as she hopped up next to Aspen on the counter. Aspen nodded as Jessa looked at Skyler and said, "As long as you both promise not to judge me because I'm really freaking the fuck out right now, and that's the last thing I need."
"Of course I'm not going to judge you." she said softly as she looked at Jessa her gaze gentle, but attentive. She realized Jessa was close to tears so she reached over and squeezed her hand reassuringly before putting an arm around her shoulders to comfort her.
Jessa told them about her and Zack, and how she was pregnant but didn't want to be, and how she also didn't want to tell Zack. Aspen just rubbed her back comfortingly and let her cry on her shoulder while Skyler spoke, saying "Look Jessa, your only going to feel worse if you don't tell him. I would want to know." Aspen nodded in silent agreement, she didn't see how internalizing things would help, at all.
"Yeah, but...Neither of us want to be parents, I don't think. I could just go to a free clinic, get rid of it, and he would never have to know. It wouldn't be better that way, wouldn't it?" Jessa said.
Aspen shook her head slightly and let out a small sigh, knowing Jessa wouldn't like what Aspen was about to say, "He has the right to know Jess... it's just as much his kid as it is yours. The best thing to do is talk to him and make an agreement together... It's not going to be easy, but just trying to get away with this the easy way isn't always what makes you feel better and it's not always what's best in the end." she squeezed Jessa's shoulder lightly in reassurance, "Don't worry, I won't tell Zack for you, or pressure you into telling him, I can stay out of this if you want, that's just my input on it. It might be the hardest thing to do, but sometimes taking the easy way out is the worst choice in the long run. I know you'll do the right thing." she gave her a hug and when she pulled away shifted her gaze to Skyler who was starting his forth drink.
"Are you okay? Do you need like...some aspirin or something?" she heard Jessa ask him.
"I was wondering the same thing, actually. You doing okay?" Aspen asked, looking at him as concern creased the delicate features of her face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway

0.00 INK

"Close your eyes, and forget your name, step outside yourself, and let your thoughts drain, as you go insane... go insane!" The loud screams of Slayer blasted Zack's inner ear drums. He shifted uncomfortably beneath the covers, the effects of the drug were already beginning to wear off and Zack craved more. His mind raced as he thought about his friends in the room below him. He was sure Jess hated him by now, the way he had been blatantly ignoring her lately. He couldn't wrap his mind around the fact he had slept with her and presumably ruined their previous existing relationship. It's not like he hadn't had sex sure, he'd been having sex long before he should have been but with someone he was close to, not ever. Having sex with a random stranger was easy, you met, fucked, woke up the next morning and left, never having to see each other again, but this was different. Zack couldn't leave so easily this time and he regretted it.

The unwanted thoughts kept reaping his mind as he turned the music up as loud as the mp3 player would allow it to go but it only made his mind wander further. Zack grabbed the headphones and tossed them on the side of the bed as he stood up, grabbed his wallet from the nightstand and made his way downstairs. As he passed the kitchen/living area, he heard sobs from the other room. It was undoubtedly the sound of Jessa crying. Zack hung his head, figuring he must be the cause of her pain. He quickly pulled his hood over his head and exited the front door without waiting to see if anyone had noticed him.

The sun was still shining brightly as Zack made his way down the street. His mind quickly wandered back to his friends. He felt bad about Jess but he knew he was not the type of person anyone could ever be with more than once. He was trash, an addict, a dealer; he wasn't capable of living a normal life. He was surprised anyone accepted him at all, though he was greatful to have his family at the firehouse. He was never close to anyone, but had started to open up towards Jessa and Skyler over the time he had stayed with them, though lately Zack had even kept his distance from Skyler. Zack was worried about his friend, he had been acting strange himself lately, but Zack was never good with words, he figured if something was wrong, Skyler would have tell him.

Zack's body seemed to be on autopilot while his thoughts were elsewhere because as he made his way through the park near the firehouse, he felt a thud against his legs. Seeming to snap out of his mind, he peered down at the small body that had run into his legs. A young boy with light-blonde hair and a bright red shirt peered up at him with questioning eyes. The boy had clearly not been watching where he was running and had ran straight into Zack.

Zack extended his hand gently helping the young boy to his feet. "You alright there buddy? You had quite a fall there." Zack asked the boy, making sure he wasn't hurt. The young boy smiled widely and nodded as he scrambled back on his feet. Zack grinned back down at him and ruffled the boys hair as if to reassure him. "Alright, just be more careful next time." he said. "Okay!" The child exclaimed as he ran back towards the slide nearby. Zack watched the boy resume playing happily and sighed. If only his mind allowed him to be as naïve.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

She smiled contentedly as her friends comforted her, feeling slightly better than she had before. They were great, the people who lived here. Despite what everyone else on the block might think. They might have been hooligans, drugs dealers, and prostitutes, but at the end of the day they were all good people. Just trying to find a way to survive in this fucked up world, a world that chewed people up and spit them out without mercy, without care.

Jessa understood what they were saying, that she should tell Zack. She didn't have to go through this alone, they were both equally at fault for what had conspired...but part of her, the part that had always been alone - wanted to remain independent. She wanted to deal with it herself, live with what fate had dealt her, and go on about her daily life. It was the way things had always been for her. Since before she ever found refuge at the Firehouse.

She watched a clearly very drunk Skyler stood up. Oh goodness, this was going to be interesting. She could feel it. At least it would be a good distraction...right? Whatever it was, Jessa was clearly happy that the attention had turned off of her and onto him.

"Alright, Sky. Talk about your problems. It's your turn to speak in our Life Sucks Anonymous club." She smiled, lighting up yet another cigarette. What did cigarettes do to babies? She wasn't entirely sure.

"Are you okay, dude? You're kinda drunk...Are you sure you want to spill your guts?"

Jessa raised an eyebrow at him, wondering if this was just going to be some wild made up story about angry midgets in clown outfits or something. She glanced over at Aspen, wondering how she was taking all this.

"I just told you all my secrets. I'm sure I can keep a few of yours." She shrugged, taking a drag.

She heard the door open, and watched as Zack left the house. Obviously, she wouldn't be telling him anything anytime soon. She nibbled at the bottom of her lip, fiddling with the guitar pick that she had hung around her neck as a necklace.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

To be honest, Jessa was relieved with Skyler walked out. Not because she wasn't concerned for him, because she definitely was, but she knew a thing or two about wanting to keep some things private. When he was ready to tell her, he would. Simple as that. She wasn't about to force it out of him...and him walking out gave her an excuse to go outside and look for Zack. It wasn't that she wanted to go look for him, she needed to. She had to talk to him, she had to tell him about what was going on. As much as she hated to admit it, she had to make him part of this.

But part of her, a very large part of her, was screaming at her to remain independent. To leave him out of any decision because that was what was best for her and for him. That was the way she had originally learned to deal with things. She kept them to herself - aside from the occasional breakdown, i.e. the kitchen.

Before she left the house, the first thing she did was grab her guitar. She refused to go anywhere without that thing. Music and that guitar were her life, without them she would have died a long, long time ago. They kept her sane. Music was her escape, while the guitar was a physical security blanket. Protecting her from the outside world and all of the people in it. Her grandfather had given her the guitar when she had turned thirteen and she had kept it with her ever since. Every bad memory and every good one were stored into it, like a flash drive of her life. Plus...if she didn't find him she could always make a few bucks playing some songs on a street corner.

After she had gotten herself together, she went to comb the streets. It wasn't hard to find him, as there wasn't much to do in this damn town. She had watched as a little boy had run into him, watched the way he dealt with it...And it had all been very sweet. It was almost enough to make her smile. Almost enough.

She took a deep breath, trying to decide on how to approach him, trying to decide if she had enough courage to do so. After a few moments of this she had finally gathered enough to walk up to him. When she had finally gotten close enough, she reached out and put a hand on his arm.

"Hey Zack?" She said with a frown. "We need to talk."

Of course that was the most awkward phrase she could have used, but at this point...did it really matter? Their relationship was literally fucked, and everything had been awkward since then. He had been ignoring her and she had been avoiding him. Now it was time for her to be a big girl, a grown up, whatever, and tell him what was going on.

"And you're not going to like what I have to say." She added on as an after thought.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

Grey felt shivers go down his spine as she put a hand on his arm and tried to stop him. He didn't have time to shake her hand off before she started rambling and spilling word-vomit all over. How she was sorry, didn't know what she was doing, and he was the best thing to ever happen in her life. He stared ahead, refusing to look at her. Should he? What was he suppost to say in response? Greyson didn't even think she felt all of that. He assumed she came back for money, and when that was proven wrong, he wasn't even sure what the motive was. Angry, confused. There was nothing left to yell, nothing left to say involuntarily. He heard her take a pause before talking about Colby. His kid; their kid. Considering his involvement, or lack there-of, in Colby's life, he may have been Colby's dad in a technical, physical sense, but Colby would be just fine not knowing about Greyson. At all. What was the point? Would he go and say hi, and then watch Emma and Tyler take him back home, where ever they lived. Grey didn't think they'd get stuck out here. He looked down at Emma just in time for her to look up, right into his eyes.

The next move was up to him. Well, his last move involved fleeing the scene, so to speak. He'd tried being civil, he'd done the whole explosive anger thing. His mind was racing with thoughts that wouldn't help this conversation. And she hated herself? She was still and stiff as a board, not letting any emotion slip from her face, like a poker player. Hmm. Guess their relationship was at stake? Not that there was anything left of it. But he wasn't as convinced as she'd probably like him to be. Her words sounded like they were deep, coming from suffering, but her look didn't suggest that, and that's were Grey was confused. Honestly, neither of them were ever emotional people, and he liked her for that. Clingy, needy, girls who wasted words always annoyed him. However, he never thought he'd actually wish she'd snap at him. At least then the physical expression would match up with the words and he'd have a clearer picture.

But, if she wasn't jumping down his throat, maybe it would make it easier to tell her, Tyler, and Colby to kick rocks. Not that he would, not now, but it was always an option. Greyson looked around, never even noticing Zack walk by. From the way he looked at the park, something was wrong with him. God, he hated not being in the loop. He hated knowing his 'family' was in trouble even more. Grey watched him and Colby collide for a moment, then return to their previous states; Colby playing and Zack looking like a wreck. Then Jessa went by. She met up with Zack and they started talking, or at least she did. He was about to get lost in someone else's issue when his own came back to him.

Then a thought came to him. Did he consider Emma and Colby family?

Grey looked back down at Emma. "Sorry," he mumbled, hating having to apologize to people. He was at a loss for real words after hearing so much come out of her. Maybe words weren't even necessary at this point. Without really thinking about it, Grey reached down to give her a hug before pulling back quickly and keeping his arms back at his side.

It didn't mean he felt anything different toward her, but he was willing to work something out.

You know, for Colby.

"My offer's still good if you wanna go get some food." Grey rubbed the back of his neck with his hand, wondering what everyone else in the world was up to. "Or... whatever you want to do."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

"Hey Zack?" a voice suddenly appeared from behind. Zack flinched as he felt a hand reach out and lay gently on his arm. He turned on his heels only to face the person he couldn't stop thinking about. Jess was looking at him with red, puffy eyes. She clearly had been crying previous to her walk over here. Zack was slightly taken aback, not only did Jessa not usually break down, but she usually wouldn't have anyone see her in a weakened state like this. Why now? his mind ran a rampant race. I can't see her right now, I need to get high... He took a long drag from his smoke and pulled it free from his lips with his free hand.

"We need to talk; and you're not going to like what I have to say." Jess stated firmly. Great, this day keeps getting better and better. Zack tried to recollect his thoughts and come up with a half decent response. Time seemed to screech to a halt as Zack tried to think of an appropriate response. His hand dove into his pocket and he pulled out the red Bic and immediately started to flick it repeatedly. Only before his mouth began to respond did he notice a stunned looking Grey at the edge of the park. Zack's eyes quickly scanned the park. What was he looking at? Zack all of a sudden felt an uneasiness in the pit of his stomach. He'd distanced himself so much from everyone lately, he had no idea how anyone else was doing. The sight of Greyson made Zack wonder about his friend, he missed hanging out with him lately. Zack inwardly promised himself to catch up with Grey later.

Zack's mind suddenly snapped back to the situation at hand. Jess peered questioningly at him as she waited for a response. Zack mouth moved but he couldn't find the words he wanted to come out. Talking with people had always been one of his weaker points. Much to Zack's dismay, the only thing that ended up leaving his mouth was a half-hearted response. "Sup?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

Jessa tapped on the back of her cigarette, searching for what she could say next. He didn't want to talk to her, that much was clear from his indifferent "Sup?" She frowned, wondering how he would react to her news. Would he freak out, would he yell, or would he do something ludicrous like say it wasn't possible? She rubbed at her eyes with the back of her palm, like she was trying to rub the tears out of them. All she could focus on was the smell of smoke in the air and the brightness of the sun. Maybe she should just let it all out, like she had been doing all day. She was on a roll, why stop now? Oh right, you couldn't just throw that news at someone...

Could you?

"That night, you didn't....Did you..." She bit the inside of her lip, making it bleed as she searched for words. "I - we...I don't know." This was not working out well, she should have planned more, she should have had note cards, she should have been prepared. How did people in movies pull this shit off? They just ran up, said it, and there were happy endings all around! If only it had been so easy in real life. As it turned out, nothing in Jessa's life had been going easy. Not one damn thing. She was a starving artist, a musician, working as a waitress, living with roommates just to make ends meet, and now pregnant with a drug dealer's baby. Things weren't exactly a fairy tale, and just once? Just once she wished she could have her happy moment, where all the pieces clicked together, that day where everything just went right.

"I'm not good under pressure. I never have been. When something happens I just deal with it and move on. But this? I can't do that with this and it's driving me insane." She said, sighing, looking up at him and feeling totally defeated. "I mean, I guess I could but that would be wrong." That statement was meant more for herself than it was for him. She leaned against a park bench and looked down at the concrete floor. "Zack I'm..." She took a deep breath before finally looking back up at him.

"Zack, I'm pregnant." Finally, the words had come out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

"That night, you didn't....Did you..." Jessa began but couldn't seem to finish a thought. It looked as if she had so much to say yet couldn't say a word. "I - we...I don't know." Zack shifted his weight to his other foot. She looked as uncomfortable as he felt in that moment. It was awkward, to say the least. Zack's eyes fell towards the ground, his focus became his hand. Had it always looked so small? He moved his fingers as if to make sure reality had set in.

"I'm not good under pressure. I never have been." Jess started again. "When something happens I just deal with it and move on. But this? I can't do that with this and it's driving me insane. I mean, I guess I could but that would be wrong." She began to ramble. Zack pulled his eyes away from the ground and watched Jessa's face. She was chewing on her lip awful hard, but Zack realized he was fidgeting quite a bit as well. "Zack I'm..." He sucked in a breath as he felt the uneasiness begin to really settle in. The soft voice of the beautiful girl began to tremble which made Zack start to shake a little as well.

And then, those words..."Zack, I'm pregnant." It took a minute to process the words the girl had uttered. Zack stared at her in disbelief. "What?" was all he managed to croak. Pregnant? Wait what, with HIS baby? This was all too much. A billion questions began to swirl in his mind. Was she sure it was his? Did she want to keep it? What if she did? Where would she live? How would she support it? Did she want Zack to be with her to be a father? The questions kept coming as Zack stood frozen. Where did he begin? He couldn't be a father, he wasn't fit to be one, ever, let alone at twenty years old.

He shook his head "Are you positive? What are we going to do, Jess?" was all he could seem to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

"I don't things to go back to the way they've been" the dark-haired boy protested suddenly. He frowned at Jessa's feeble attempt to hide her feelings. She was visibly shaking. Zack felt the need to hold her at that moment, but resisted. He knew she was trying to be strong. He himself was trying to maintain his composure. He flicked the butt of his cigarette on the ground near-by and pulled out another. "Here" he gestured towards the pack as he held it out for Jess.

"Look" Zack started shifting his eyes away from her. "You know... that I suck at shit like this, talking about shit I mean..." Zack could feel his heartbeat in his ears. He understood Jess wanting to abort the child, neither of them were prepared for this sort of thing. He was twenty and she was eighteen, barely an adult. He was an addict, he couldn't provide for a child, fuck, he was high that very moment. The feeling of the withdrawl along with the swirling emotions made Zack feel nauseated. "But I just...want you to know, you...you don't have to go alone...I don't want you to, it's my.." Zack fumbled over the word "kid too, ya' know?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

A frown formed on the young mans lips. He hadn't a clue what to say in a situation of this magnitude. "It's just a baby" Jess seemed to choke out the words but her voice faltered. Zack's stomach began twisting, he felt like he would vomit the next time he opened his mouth. His hands were visibly shaking now, he noted, then shoved the free one into the front pocket of his jeans. He felt the sweat from his clammy hands stick to the material.

"Look, I'll come with you...if you need me too. I don't wanna fuck shit up anymore than I have." Zack sucked from the glowing stick again. He was sincere but he wasn't sure if he could go through with this to be honest. He couldn't think about this shit right now. He needed to escape, but he felt like a deer caught in headlights. He promptly shifted his gaze to the ground. "I was on my way somewhere actually. I don't wanna leave right now, but...I can't...right now...I just need some time, to think." He caught the sight of the city bus appearing down side of the road. "Look, I'll see you later" was the only thing he could think of to say before quickly dashing of towards the bus stop near-by.

The sweat began to drip from his face as his long legs carried him as fast as they would allow. It was warm outside this time of year, but Zack always wore an extra layer. He started to regret his decision as stopped at the bus stop right as the bus pulled up to the curb. The boy was panting hard now, his hair damp underneath his hood, the cigarette still burning brightly in his hand. He quickly tossed the smoke and quickly boarded the bus not bothering to look behind him. Fuck, what a stupid thing to do, Jessa probably though he was a coward. No wonder she didn't want to keep the baby, it would be the spawn of a lowlife coward. Zack made his way to the back of the bus and slumped in a vacant seat resting his head on the cool metal bar. A baby, why me? Why now? "Fuck!" Zack's voice echoed. A few surprised heads turned to stare at him but he didn't care. How was he supposed to react? All he knew was he felt like he was going to collapse.

It was only about four blocks away from where the bus had departed but Zack made his was to the doors and quickly exited. His destination wasn't far from here and his stomach couldn't take the motion from the bus. Zack hurriedly made his way down any alley near-by and proceeded to empty the contents of his stomach into a garbage can. The smell of vomit filled the small confines of the alley way as Zack's legs struggled to hold his body upwards. Panting was the only thing he could do before slowly wiping his mouth with his sleeve and wobbling behind old apartment buildings. There was only one thing on his mind now and he wasn't going to stop for anything to get it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

The musty smell of gasoline and garbage wafted through the air of the dirty streets. This was indeed the boulevard of broken dreams. Homeless people littered the street, young girls strutted promiscuously in skin-tight clothing and hoards of children were smoking marijuana like it was the newest fad. Zack slunk through the busy street with his head hung, his eyes fixed on the ground beneath him. A young woman dressed in tight shorts and a low-cut top waved and called out to Zack, but he was so lost within his own mind he didn't bother to look up.

He made his was towards a worn-down apartment building that appeared to have been built sometime in the early seventies. He halted at the front door and rang the buzzer. A crackled voice came from the barely working speaker. "What?" was all the voice said.

"It's me." The sound of buzzer rang and the old red door clicked open. Zack opened the door and proceeded to climb down a flight of stairs. The walls of the building still had tacky wallpaper that was peeling at every edge and graffiti covered each wall down the dimly lit hallway. Zack ducked his head underneath the ceiling to a door which he then knocked on. A woman from the other side open the door enough for her to peer outside and unlock the chain restraining the door.

"Hey doll!" the woman beamed at him before placing a chaste kiss on his cheek. "I was wondering where you've been." The woman ushered him inside the tiny apartment. Zack made his way through the apartment, trying not to step on the strewn items that lay on the floor, over to the bedroom.

The woman appeared in the room as well and closed the bedroom door behind the pair and locked it. The woman looked as though she was in her late twenties, with long auburn the fell over her shoulders. Her dull green eyes had darkened circles underneath and her skin gaunt and adorned with many scars along her arms. She wore a white tank top that exposed her bony midriff and pink underwear that sat on her hips. She made her way over to a dresser in the corner of the room while Zack plopped down on the edge of the bed and pulled his hood back.

"Look Marl," Zack started turning his head towards the woman, "I need some of that good shit, now."

"Rough day doll?" Marl asked as she handed Zack an eight-ball of cocaine.

"Like you wouldn't fucking believe." Zack replied as he went over to the small table and started to chop the substance.

"You look pretty bad, withdrawl?" the woman asked before wrapping her arms around him. Zack nodded as he made the powder into small lines. "Oh! I almost forgot, I guess we could use some straws huh?" Marley said as she left the room without waiting for a reply. Zack suddenly felt the vibration in his pocket. He yanked out his phone and flipped it open. Tomorrow. 4 pm. was all the message read. He paused for a moment before snapping the phone shut and shoving it back into his pocket. Marley returned with two stubby straws in hand. She handed one to Zack and kept one for herself as she let him take the first hit. His body was suddenly filled with the overflowing feeling of relief. He exhaled deeply and flopped onto the bed while his friend proceeded to do a line. He reached back into his pocket and pulled out the cell. His fingers ran over the keys at an alarming speed before he hit the send button. I'll be there, promise. 4pm, the time was now imprinted in his mind.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

The Firehouse was dead silent, a feat which could be in the Guinness World Book of Records. In fact, the quiet was so unusual, that Jessa felt the need to make sure everyone wasn't dead. She checked the rooms and called their names - all except for Zack, she knew he wasn't going to be here. She could hear the tick of the old grandfather clock, and watched as the seconds passed. Usually everyone was home by this time, drinking and having their own little party.

She went to the bathroom and searched through the pill bottles. Most of them were empty and the once that weren't were simple things. Like allergy medicine or tylenol. "Fuck!" She screamed in frustration, glaring at herself through the cold surface of the mirror. Her eyes looked as dead as she felt, empty and lifeless. She pressed her hand against the glass, desperately waiting to feel something, anything at all.

Tomorrow at four p.m. she would be killing her baby and she was numb because of it. There were times when she would give everything to feel this way. Now she was willing to feel anything, even pain, just to remind herself she was alive. The bitter memories of old habits began to resurface, the faded lines on her arms and hips begging for renewal.

There was a time, before the Firehouse, that her vice was not drugs but self mutilation. She crossed the hall into her bedroom, rummaging around on her desk. That's when she found them. Two shiny razors. She knew it was stupid, that it would just leave her with another scar to feel guilty about. But right now that hardly seemed to matter. The metal glided against her skin, releasing a stinging pain. It brought almost as much relief as her pills would. Almost as much.

She laid on her bed, staring blankly at the ceiling for what felt like hours, feeling the dull throb on her arms. It was just something small, but she could feel it. That was all she wanted right now, to feel. When her phone went off, she immediately reached for it. I'll be there, promise. She breathed in a shakey breath, not knowing if she should reply. She threw the phone on the opposite side of her bed. No, there was nothing she could say to him. Not in a text message anyway.

She quickly left her room, bandaged her arm, and went to the kitchen. Realizing she hadn't eaten all day, she grabbed a cereal box and ate the contents dry while sitting on the counter. Someone would be home soon. Someone would.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine

0.00 INK

Grey laughed a little, listening to the boy throw out question after question. "I don't have a dog of my own, technically, but I do know of a stray who comes around when he wants food. I kind of think of him as a pet," he shrugged, remembering the dog. A medium sized thing with curly hair, dark eyes, and a brave but somewhat reserved attitude. He'd come up to the back door or sit across the street, waiting for Grey to throw it some scraps. Grey wasn't sure if anyone else in the Firehouse knew about or fed the dog, but the mutt didn't come everyday, so Grey figured it was getting a good meal somewhere. And it was kind of cute in a look-at-the-poor-stray kind of way. He wondered why no one had picked it up yet. Grey wondered if Emma was ever going to get Colby a dog. Honestly, he couldn't see it happening - not if they were still living in Tyler's apartment. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Tyler walk off - something about CVS.

"Yeah, yeah, you can come," Grey nodded, looking up at Emma. He wondered if she had caught his remark about just being her friend. He really didn't know why he said it. Just being an ass, more than likely. As Colby grabbed his hand, he started to rethink some of his thoughts. Still, it would be too complicated to explain to the kid he was his dad. Why he was here. Why he and Emma weren't together. Grey looked down at the boy, biting his lip, but trying not to look alarmed. This was a pretty accepting kid. He didn't even know Grey and was already holding his hand, chatting like they were buddies. Honestly, he found that a little alarming, but if it didn't bother Emma, maybe it shouldn't bother him. What got to Grey was the fact that he'd just lied to a little kid who now seemed to trust him like a regular friend. They weren't friends, were they? If he didn't consider he and Emma friends - well, not yet, anyway - how would he think of this little boy as his friend, despite Colby being his son?

However, with no prior history between Colby and himself, it would be easier to become his friend.

Grey saw Emma look over at him, as if she was expecting the worst. Jeez, he wasn't an animal. Colby was still his kid, and Grey wasn't typically a jerk to other kids. He shot her a look as if to say what? then cast his eyes back towards the Firehouse. "You must make friends pretty easily, huh, kid?" he grinned slightly, letting go of Colby once he got to the door. He opened it for both of them and stepped inside.

The first thing he heard inside was someone in the kitchen. Who had come back? "There's some bandages in the bathroom over there," Grey pointed over to the bathroom, "and alcohol if no one's used it all up." He prayed she knew he was referring to the medical kind of alcohol and not something to make you drunk.
Right now he wanted to see who was in the kitchen, he felt like he hadn't spoken to anybody except Emma for a while. It was getting darker outside. "Be right back," he said, not really looking at Emma as he made his way into the kitchen.

The first thing he saw was Jessa, sitting on the counter, wrist bandaged, and eating pretty much an entire box of cereal. Great. Who else was going to hurt themselves today? However, he didn't want to bug her with her wrist. She was obviously having a bad day. But it didn't feel right not to speak. "What's up?" Grey asked, smiling. He leaned against the wall with his arms folded. "You seem hungry." He had some time to chat while Emma went and cleaned up Colby.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

When the door opened, Jessa hadn't been paying attention and she had jumped about a million feet in the air. However, after she realized it was Greyson, she was quickly calmed. There were definitely more people here, though, and her mind wondered back to the girl who had barged into their house earlier. That had been a little strange, but she was use to people coming and going. She put more cereal into her mouth, and munched away contentedly. She was allowed to eat horribly. She was pregnant and having a really bad day. A box of cereal wasn't going to ruin her.

"I am having the worst day in the history of shitty days," Jessa finally explained, looking over at him. "What about you?"

Again, her mind went back to the girl. God, she wished she could drink a beer or something right now. Then again, who said she couldn't? She glanced over at the fridge, thinking and deciding against it. Might as well give this baby a break the last day it was on Earth. She had already put it through Hell with cigarettes and stress.

"I'm starving. Want some?" She held out the box of cereal and shrugged. "I don't feel like cooking and this was here. So. Yeah."

The cereal was definitely a safer bet than anything Jessa could have cooked up anyway. She burned toast and always put too much water in instant oatmeal. The culinary arts were best left up to others. A guitar was where her talents resided, a guitar and her voice. She flipped the box over, reading about the game on the back and the nutrition facts. The only thing she understood on the latter was calories. Why couldn't they put the ingredients in normal people terms? So people who never finished high school, like herself, could understand what the Hell they were putting in their bodies? She didn't really care, but she was sure someone somewhere did.

She looked up at the ceiling, wondering about what would happen tomorrow. Of course she knew the procedure. They had explained that over the phone. Would she feel as shitty as she did now? Would she be questioning her choice as much? Would that moment haunt her forever, or would it be similar to getting your tonsils removed?

"Zack hates me," Jessa told Greyson suddenly, looking over at him and frowning. "I don't know what to do."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine

0.00 INK

"Eh, I can't say I'm doing any better," Grey shrugged, walking over to grab a hand full of cereal out of the box even though he wasn't all that hungry. It just felt like something to do. It seemed no one was really in the mood to cook, though. And he wasn't all that talented. Grey was never one for instructions ("Instructions were for losers") so he'd throw shit together his own way. Luckily he never made anything that required real time and energy. Just noodles here, or he'd make waffles. It's a wonder how they all weren't twenty pounds over weight; nothing they ate here was particularly good for you.

Grey watched her look up at the ceiling and wondered, for a moment, what was wrong. He hadn't really talked to Jessa recently, so he was out of the loop as far as she was concerned. And he hated not knowing things. It's like you're a stranger or something, you know? Everyone around you is going through something tough and you're just there. Watching. Not doing anything productive, just watching. Then again, what could you do if no one chose to talk? After all, his only problem was his ex showing up with his - surprise! - two-year-old kid. Grey still didn't know what he was going to do with that. More than likely, Emma was going to get tired of waiting and leave with Colby and Tyler. Funny. That's just what Grey did not so long ago. Two years, right? When he wasn't thinking about that moment, it felt old, but now everything was coming back to the surface.

And if he didn't think telling anyone was necessary, would everyone else in the house start talking? It's kind of hard to hide your issues from six other people.

Suddenly she looked over at him and told him; Zack hated her? Weren't they together or something? Grey racked his brain for an answer to his own question but ended up drawing a blank. And should he even ask why? She probably didn't want him completely in her business. "You know Zack. Just give him some space," Grey suggested. The boy had to come back eventually, and they could talk it out then. Grey reached for more cereal, "maybe he'll come home high and won't be all that mad."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Zack Turriff

0.00 INK

Floating. That's what it felt like Zack's body was doing as he made his was down the busy streets. He hummed to him self softly, wishing he had remembered to bring his mp3 player with him. A small smile danced on his lips as he pulled out yet another cigarette. Man, I really have to quit chain smoking, he pondered silently. He shrugged his shoulders deciding not to take an interest at that particular moment and proceeded to light the cancer stick. Why he was smiling, even he didn't know. Zack's mind was completely distant and blissfully unaware of the awful day that had taken place. All that was happening was the feeling of complete joy. It must be due to the Ecstasy, was the only explanation he bothered to come up with. The euphoric feeling of cocaine mixed with high of the E made him feel like he was on top of the world. Everything looked brighter, people seemed happier. It was a win-win situation in his mind.

Zack made his way through the park again, this time, heading home. He honestly had no idea how he would react when he saw Jessa, or anyone else for that matter. He was hoping to be able to avoid them for a bit somehow. Before Zack had even realized, he legs had carried him to the firehouse. He halted before he opened the door. Maybe he'd go in the 'other way'. Zack made his way to the side of the old building and spotted the old metal bars leading up to a window. They were an emergency escape route that had been taken down years before but some of the metal had remained, though the first ten or so bars had been removed to prevent the use of it. Zack proceeded to climb the fence near-by about a meter away from the wall. In once quick movement, he jumped towards the wall and grabbed the first bar hung high above the ground. It wasn't the first time he had done this, though climbing down was much more simple than climbing upwards. He made his way towards the window opening it and tumbling inside. Luckily, it lead to his own room. He stumbled upwards, smoke still in his mouth and proceeded to tear off his sweat covered shirt and sweater. He sat down on the edge of his bed in his jeans and pulled off his shoes and socks. He was panting, his muscular but small body glistening in sweat.

Zack went over to the small television and flicked it on along with the gaming console next to it. He grabbed the controller and threw it on his bed. He got up deciding he would splash some cool water on his head before he got comfortable. He opened the door to the bedroom and peered down the hallway, it looked as if no one was upstairs. He strode over to bathroom. The door was slightly ajar but he figured if anyone was in there they'd have fully closed the door. He pushed the door open only to find the same girl that had been with Grey earlier and the small little boy who had ran into him earlier.