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Arabella Swift

"You dumb fucking bitch,"

0 · 2,677 views · located in Booth Lane College

a character in “Skins: Secrets Out”, as played by LivyGrey

Description

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Intelligent | Sensitive | Confident | Charismatic | Sarcastic

[ Light Behind Your Eyes || My Chemical Romance ]

” Made a pledge to never grow up a bitter dinosaur
Never make mistakes that I made before
Never feel entitled
I just want to know I've contributed

I wanna live selfless
Instead of just floating by
Living every day like it's my last
I can catch up on my sleep when I die
Aren't you sick of being selfish?
I wanna show that I try
Living every day like it's my last
I can catch up on my sleep when I die”







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Full Name: Arabella Astrid Greyson-Swift
Nicknames: Bella, Bells, Arab
Age: 17
Sexual Orientation:Pansexual
Occupation: Philosophy Student
Religion: Agnostic
Heritage: English
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Birth Day: 16th November
Birth Sign: Scorpio
Home Town: Chelsea
Languages: English, Spanish and Mandarin
School Year: 12
Character Role: FC: Michelle Trachtenberg







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Pessimistic || Sophisticated || Loyal || Mischievous || Difficult

[ Selfless || New Found Glory ]

” Its conceptual. You just can't see it.”

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Family Members:
Mother – Anna Greyson-Swift
Father (Missing) – Daniel Greyson
Step-Father – Paul Swift
Younger Brother – Donnie Greyson-Swift
Academic Career: Arabella is a girl with many outstanding GCSE grades- Spanish, Dance, English Literature and Language, Philosophy & Ethics- all of those she achieved A* in and the rest of core subjects she managed all As and Bs. At A-Level, she is studying her A* GCSE subjects and is predicted a minimum of an A. She hopes to go to University in Nottingham but cannot decide what she wishes to study.
Future Plans: Arabella plans on going to University or if not, she has her hopes strung on dance and joining a dance academy but she knows her Mother would be incredibly reluctant to let her work in anything but academics and it’s a daily struggle for Bella to try and convince her Mother that dance could be a productive career for her.
Personality: Arabella is highly complicated and the kind of girl you never really know because just as you’ve got her sussed she’s off again doing something else you never saw coming. She changes with the seasons and the wind, if you can keep up with that consider yourself fortunate because most cannot. It’s hard to tell when Arabella is genuinely happy and that falls down to the fact that she rarely is anymore, she’s so scared of her Mother that she finds it difficult to keep attached to her friends and the moments that make her feel good about herself. Bella makes out to the world she has all the confidence in the world and with her appearance and grades, she does but she’s constantly second guessing the world around her and herself- her personality and her life. She doesn’t have much faith in herself that she’ll make it anyway but this is brought upon her by the words of her Mother. Although Bella is quite withdrawn and occasionally quite cold with the group, she can be incredibly affectionate to all of her friends and the people that she finds a place for her in her heart. That’s what she perceives to be the problem- that she still loves people regardless of how they wrong her, they can wrong her again and again and again but she can never find it in herself to let them go especially in romantic relationships. She’s also fairly untrusting but she isn’t at all paranoid, she’s nearly always got it right about people and she’s quick to suss them out too, she just doesn’t always like to face-up to the truth about them. Bella is known to be the girl who can turn a dinner party into a piss-up or getting her first ear piercing into a full on tattoo- she’s a spirit you can’t hold back but a night out with Bella Swift is never one to forget or regret. Well, maybe regret but you’d have a good one at the time. She thinks in the moment and doesn’t like to plan or plot because she deems it to be messing with fate which is a force she very strongly believes in and avoids challenging. The other thing is, Bella is quite lonely, saddened and weak at times which is what has led to her self-harm and on two occasion’s suicide attempts. She’s supposed to be seeing a therapist but she can’t bring herself to go and is having to be pushed into it by her peers.
Fears: Bella has a crippling fear of clowns, dolls and masks. She’ll never go to a circus and is even quite reluctant to fair grounds in fear of people with painted faces or theatrical make-up, she just can’t handle it. This is why the group have a tradition which they’ve had since they were all 13 to get drunk at Bella’s house on Halloween- that way she doesn’t have to go out and see anybody and she’s always been grateful for their consideration about that, the only other thing Bella is scared of is her Mother. As long as there’s no clowns and her Mother isn’t about- she’s practically fearless.
Quirks: Bella has a habit of pulling faces, lip biting, hip popping, eyebrow waggling- she isn’t always very talkative so a lot of her expression is in her body language and her eyes. She’s very dramatic with her figure and stature but that could be because of her habits and mind set of being a dancer. Another fairly obvious thing about Bella is also is how she tends to accidentally start swearing, speaking or shouting in Spanish when she’s upset or pissed off.
Hobbies: Ballet, street and original dance are all Bella’s really got hobby wise disregarding table top dancing at parties and smoking drugs, she hasn’t got any other distinctive habits.
Passions: Dance. She’s incredibly dancing about her dance and would do anything to make it her career- she’d even live past 25 if it meant she got to spend her life feeling as free and spirited as she did when she dances.
Bad Habits: Swearing, smoking, drinking- they have to be the big three.
Guilty Pleasures: Musicals, she has a big old passion for watching musicals and theatre.
Likes: Alcohol, dancing, drinking, musicals, old TV shows, poetry, piano music, her friends, the idea of travelling, Spain, coffee and green tea. Monster energy drinks, playing with children and animals, helping out, supporting people needier than herself.
Dislikes: Her mother, physically aggressive people, neglected parenting, cheats, liars- people who give up too easily. Being kept in the dark or disregarded, she doesn’t like being challenged or opposed to.
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[font=Garamond] Wild Hearted | Free Spirited | Challenging | Complicated | Affect

[ Stressed Out || Twenty One Pilots ]

”She screams in silence,”







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Face Claim : Michelle Tratchenberg
Height: 5,8
Weight / Build : 9 stone, skinny
Hair Colour: Brown
Eye Colour: Blue
Other:







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Insecure | Delicate | Resentful | Judgemental |

[ Tear In My Heart || Twenty One Pilots ]

”I hate being alone, I long for that feeling to not feel at all. The higher I get, the lower I sink. I can’t drown my demons they know how to swm,”







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History: Bella grew up in Chelsea in London, arguably posh and always well presented she did well at school and had a nice an very comfortable life until her Navy working father went M.I.A and her Mother became slightly passive aggressive towards her two children, Arabella and Donnie but even at this point, things were still bearable. Arabella grew up and always looked out for her Brother, she fought his older school bullies and beat off unworthy girlfriends and did everything a good sister should even though no one ever did that for her. At an excellent school for people who were supposed to be naturally academic or 'gifted', you'd have thought Bella had some kind of social ranking but she was always fairly frowned up on by her peers at school, teachers and various members of her Mother's socialite groups. She became use to it but that never stopped hurting. Eventually, at around the age of twelve in her second year of school she started acting out to try and get somebody's attention, for someone to stop ignoring her and start noticing her- she was sick of being the invisible girl in the background of Donnie's and her Mother's life. She had enough pain and enough upset, so she started kicking off. She smoked and drank on school premises- lost her virginity to a boy five years her elder and started self-harming for the first time. In the short term, Bella got exactly what she wanted- attention. She was excluded from school and attended sessions with a children's therapist and she tried to talk to her Mother and for a while, she gave it a rest but later her Mother's ne boyfriend came along and she felt forgotten and neglected. It started off quite subtle, like forgetting to cook meals for the kids before she went out or dropping her favourite things whilst she was cleaning but the abuse really started when Arabella got expelled from school for robbing the school Nurse's medicine cabinet and over dosing in the girls' bathroom.

That was attempt number one but after that, things only became worse and it was a slippery slope. When Bella's Mother brought her home from hospital, the first thing she said to Bella was; '"You dumb fucking bitch," and she hit her with the back of her hand across her baby girl's cheek and naturally Bella cried, so she hit her again and from that day one wards, that kind of pain became frighteningly regular. After being expelled, Bella joined the local secondary school where she met all her current friends and she settled in there to some degree but still suffered with her anxieties and her self-harming habits, the only person who ever knew were FC: Jenna Mcdougall and FC: Oliver Sykes. There were her to best friends after all- her trio. Years later at the start of this summer, she tried to kill herself by washing down alcohol with pain killers but she was found and taken to hospital- this attempt was the most recent and the last one only two months ago. She is know associated with a mental health support society and is supposed to be seeing a therapist but she refuses to go out of fear and is desperate not to attend alone and has admitted she wishes someone would go with her, just to hold her hand whilst she tried to find the words to speak being Bella, the kid no one really cares about, no one's ever offered.

Present: As it stands, Bella is still living with her Mother and is registered for therapy sessions, group and one and one although to date she has attended neither sessions. Her step-father is planning to leave her behind when he takes her brother and leaves her Mother but Bella doesn't know this as of yet and her boyfriend is cheating on her. She's questioning her sexuality and thinks she may also be attracted to women as well as men but wanders if she has feelings for her age old best friend FC: Oliver Sykes. She is attending Booth Lane College and taking four A-Levels in varying subjects. She's also going to frequent theatre and dance classes behind her Mother's back and works Tuesday nights at a night club as a waitress and bar staff, she finds the job emotionally challenging and physically draining but won't tell the others about it in case they try to talk her out of it because she needs to pay for her classes and medication.

So begins...

Arabella Swift's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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To: Jamie
Can I come see you today? I'm worrying myself out of mind and plus I think they'll let me now


Bella paused at the door, her dark eyes almost black with misery and exhaustion. She hadn't slept since Jamie's crash and she hadn't been home either. She'd slept at the hospital a couple of times but once Jamie's parents arrived and everybody realised she was lying about being his family, they didn't let her back in. How many days had it been? She tried to count it on her fingers but she had no idea, she didn't know how many days she'd been away from home- going from hospital to trying to sleep in cars in the car park to wandering the town all night and not sleeping at all. It had to stop.

She took a deep breath and opened the door, within seconds of stepping inside and shutting the door she witnessed a foul screech of her name.

"Bella is that you?" Anna's voice cut through Bella look glass and she visibly trembled, with all Bella's attitude, spunk and bravery- she'd never have enough to truly face up to her Mother. She couldn't do it, she looked in her eyes and wanted nothing more but to curl up and sob or on the worst days, she'd rather just die but there was too much Bella needed to do now to let her Mother force her around.

"Yes,"

"Where have you been? Do you have any idea how worried I was? You haven't done any of your chores, you haven't been to school, no one has seen you, some lad came around asking where his truck was- have you even showered? You look like absolute shit," Anna appeared in the hallway staring at her daughter with pure disgust and once she was close enough, Bella felt it.

The disappointment, the disgust, the anger, the outrage- she felt it in the fresh bruise forming on her cheek after knuckles struck flesh. Bella looked at her without tears only sourness in her eyes.

"I'm not staying. I'm showering, I'm getting my clothes and I'm going back to the hospital. I need to see Jamie," Before she could be stopped or before she could chicken out, Bella bolted up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door behind her- having a look on the door not only meant Anna could lock her in but it meant Bella could lock her out, even if it was just for a while. Running on borrowed time, Bella slipped into the en suite and jumped into the shower as soon as she'd stripped despite the water being icy cold. For a long moment she just stood there thinking, watching the remains of her black make-up drip down the funnel, she couldn't stop thinking about what happened to him and how responsible she felt for his pain. She even cried a little as she stood there but soon she started rubbing the shampoo into her hair and began to hurry. Once she was clean, she was aware of a sharp numbing pain in her stomach- it'd been constant for a while now, when had she last ate? She couldn't remember but she knew she'd throw up if she tried, not even by intention. She looked at her reflection and sighed, why couldn't she look like Ellie or Sky? Or any other girl from her school. She was never usually one to dwell on her appearance but since she'd started losing weight she'd become very self conscious. She stared at the scales on the floor and found herself stepping onto it with her eyes closed, she didn't want to look and when she opened her eyes she could have bawled in horror.

That number.

It was smaller than the radius of the mood ring she used to wear as a child.

She sighed and began towel drying her hair as she walked into her bedroom and dressed in the first bits of clothing she found which turned out to be her shredded black jeans and a vintage nirvana shirt that fell slightly short of her prominent hip bones. She bit her lip and forced on her black vans and began stuffing her clothes into her bag alongside her phone charger, her iPod and any money she had saved up. She wasn't running away but she was going to spend as much time as she could at the hospital helping or anywhere that wasn't home. So she packed everything into her black backpack, pulled on her leather jacket and then climbed out her window so there was no risk of her Mother stopping her on the way out.

Once out the house, she started the short walk into the main city and the hospital. When she arrived, she pleaded with the receptionist but she wouldn't give in, so when she turned a blind eye, Bella snuck upstairs into the ward and looked around to try and find him. Her cheek was still stained red but she wasn't bothered about who noticed, she just wanted to talk to him and see he was okay.





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Nate's life had gone back to how it always had been before he was smoking a lot less though. Everything felt a bit more relaxed now he wasn't head to head with Ellie but then there was Jamie. He felt so bad for him but he didn't think there was anyone to blame. He'd text him a couple of times to wish him well but considering Bella hadn't even managed to get in to the hospital to go see him, he hadn't tried. Bella deserved to be the first one to get to see him again. Nate could imagine she wasn't exactly being easy on herself about it so he was trying to keep himself out of the way for a while until things levelled out a bit more for them all. He'd been worrying about Ellie though, he hadn't heard from her for a day or so but he figured she was probably just being Ellie so he hadn't done anything about it yet.

He was sat on the fence of his Grandfather's field when his phone began vibrating in his pocket. He had a joint in his hand but at least it wasn't a blunt and it was his first since the party. He was staying at his Grandfather's farm house to celebrate the man's 80th but he wasn't far from home, it was only on the outskirts of town. He quite liked it here, it was calm and relaxed- he had nothing but good memories here and it was just such a therapeutic and beautiful place to be.

As he looked at the name on his phone, he could remember bringing Ellie here once as a young teenager- the family had decided it was a good to play lacrosse with all the relatives and he'd practically begged her to come be his moral support for the day. He laughed gently at the memory and answered the phone.

"Hey Els, how are you?" He asked instantaneously to putting the phone to his ear.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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His phone buzzed on the little table beside him, and he winced as he reached over for it. The pain was better than it had been, but every movement still hurt. The fact that he only really had the use of one arm made things worse as well. He smiled a little as he saw the text from Bella.

please do. room 112, first floor. the nurse that's on the wards here will probably cast a blind eye if you look really worried and scared.

Apparently Bella had lied to try and see him that night, and they'd only found out when his parents turned up. They hadn't even intended to get her kicked out, but when they'd let it slip that they weren't actually related, they'd kicked her out and had refused to let her back in. It was so stereotypically Bella that it was almost funny. He really appreciated the gesture, and just wanted to see her again. Especially now that he was lucid- he wouldn't have wanted her to see him when they had him so dosed up on painkillers that he was basically sleeping all the time. That had made things look much worse than they actually were- a lot of the pain had even been from the surgery.


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She'd momentarily stopped crying while she'd waited for him to answer- but as soon as she heard his voice, she was in tears again.

"Nate, I fucked up. I really fucked up this time," she sobbed, wrapping her free arm around her chest. "Can you come get me? I'm... I'm at the King's Road bus stop," she said, reading the name from the map to her left. "I just... Everybody hates me, don't they? Jamie and Bella and Alex and you and Sky..." She just really wanted her best friend right now. No, not wanted- needed. She was sitting in a fucking bus stop in the same dress she'd worn to the club whenever the hell she'd gone. Did she even have any spare clothes? Or had she just been wearing this for the past four days? She didn't even know. She just wanted to go home and forget this ever happened. "Please don't hate me, Nate, please, just come get me, I just want to go home," she sobbed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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To: Jamie
I'm on my way. This is the perfect opportunity to put that drama a-level into practice hey? ;)


Bella hung her head down and exaggerated her emotions for a long while after she'd red Jamie's text and rushed upstairs to the room Jamie had indicated. She hesitated at the door once she found his room and gazed in through the window, she didn't know what state he'd be in- what'd he'd look like and she didn't want him to see her reaction if it was upsetting. She looked at him and sighed softly. She'd probably never seen him so injured or hurt but she could see him and he was breathing and awake, he'd get better. She hadn't realised how lonely she'd been until she saw him and now she could finally talk to him again and be there for him through something that'd be really hard both of them but he'd done the same for her. He'd practically carried her in himself when she needed him and she'd never hesitate to do the same for him, in fact she'd sooner die than let him down when he needed her.

She checked around herself and then pushed the door and let herself in and instantly put on a brave face. She wouldn't be upset in front of him, she'd do everything she could to cheer him up instead so she poked her head around the door like a weasel and grinned gently at him. "Hey," She greeted letting herself in and shutting the door behind so none of the staff would realise she wasn't his family. She walked in and sat down in the visitor's chair, part of her just wanted to hug him and not let go again because last time she let him leave, he ended up here but she wasn't blinded by her emotions so much she couldn't see how much a hug like that would hurt him. "The staff in here are really bitchy you know? Did you parents tell you about how they dragged me out of here? I had to do like a mission impossible to get in here today," She told him softly.





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His whole expression and bubble of calamity came crashing done the second he heard the tone behind her voice. "Of course Ellie, it'll be okay. I'm at my Grandfather's so I'll be ten minutes but I'm coming. Do you need me to bring anything with me?" He asked already running inside to get his coat and leave. The celebrations for his Grandfather had been the previous day, so he wouldn't be running out on his birthday but he felt the need to briskly explain and he held the phone away for a moment and he knelt by his grandfather's chair to talk to him.

"Pops? You remember, Ellie right?"

"Your girlfriend sure,"

"No Pops, just my friend. But yeah she's a girl so you could call her that I guess. I think she's got herself a bit lost and I'm just gonna go pick her up. I'll make sure she's alright then I'll come back for dinner. Is that okay?" His grandfather had always been the kindest man Nate knew, he was the man Nate tried to be and so the man just nodded smiling.

"Bring her tea. She's good fun that girl but you go, go on," Nate smiled gently at him and voiced his appreciation before making off to get in the car, scribbling down the address on his palm with the pen he always kept in his coat.

"I'm coming Ellie, I'm leaving now,"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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He laughed a little as she mentioned the staff. "Yeah, they were a little embarrassed about it- they didn't realise that they'd react so badly to you not being family. But the nurses on this floor aren't so bad, they'll just turn a blind eye. As long as it's nothing too bad, obviously," he remarked. If she'd looked bad the night of the campout, she looked even worse now.

"You okay? No offence, but you look like shit," he said. It felt really good to have her here now- he'd been lonely as hell with only his parents to keep him company. It didn't help that, whenever they were in the same room as each other, you could cut the tension with a knife. But he could tell that everything wasn't okay. He'd known the night of the campout, but they were alone now. They could talk properly. "C'mon, you can tell me. But if the nurses or my parents come in, you're telling me a story that happened in school, okay?" He said, knowing that the chance of someone walking in on them was pretty high, and he knew that this wasn't something Bella wanted anyone but him to hear. Better to have a backup plan.


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"Just... just bring a hoodie or something, I'm freezing my butt off here," she said, wiping her eyes. Nate didn't seem mad- if anything, he seemed worried. She hated herself for tearing him away from his family, but she just needed someone right now. She hung up and handed the phone back to the other girl. "He'll be here in a few minutes. Thank you," she said, wiping her eyes again.

"Do you want me to wait with you?" The girl asked, handing her a tissue. Ellie shook her head. "He'll be here in like, ten minutes. I'll be fine. Thank you," she said, wiping her eyes and cheeks, before blowing her nose. The other girl didn't look entirely convinced, but she stood up and left. Ellie wrapped both arms around herself, still having to wipe stray tears from her cheeks. She felt like shit and she knew she looked like shit. She couldn't even remember the last time she'd eaten. But she could kind of remember climbing in through her window and getting her dress, so maybe she didn't have clothes lying abandoned anywhere. It seemed like something she'd do, so that was something.

But she'd still fucking relapsed. After this long. Had it been because she hadn't been taking her methadone? Or had she just gotten drunk and majorly messed up? She just wanted to go home and sleep properly and forget that this had ever happened. But that couldn't happen- because now they'd have to adjust her methadone dose to compensate so it would take her even longer to get off of that fucking thing and everybody would hate her for relapsing and Nate probably hated her for making him leave his family and-

Her hands were knotted in her hair and her knees drawn to her chest. She didn't know if she was sobbing again or hyperventilating but she just knew that she really, really wanted to be somewhere else.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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She looked up at him and smiled sadly at his comment, her first instinct was to try and make a defensive joke to brush over things; "Hey, I know I've got no foundation on but still," but she instantly withdrew. He was right, how could she even try to pull the cotton over his eyes about this? It's not like she had any kind of harrowing, bad secret. It was just that she didn't know how to talk about it and she was scared of what might change if she did. She sighed in defeat and nodded to him gently.

She took a deep breath and nodded. "Okay Jamie. Just promise me you'll still be here if I tell you because no body needs this shit but honestly, I can't do without you. You know it yourself you're the only person I really care about anymore." She sighed quietly looking at him with such sad eyes it'd trouble even the most innocent hearts. She didn't want to have to tell him anything like this because she wasn't stupid- though she questioned if his feelings were in the same context as hers, they'd always been friends so he was bound to be bothered by the truth when he found out and she didn't want to put that on him.

"I know you never really met him properly but my Step-Dad, he left. He ran away and left me behind with her and she's, got so much worse, so, so much worse," She found herself subconsciously touching her cheek and wincing slightly at the sting, she pulled her hand away and frowned, glaring at it as it fell in her lap.

"And I've missed you like hell this week just to be frank and nothing I've said so far is very new, I know that and I'm at peace with it mostly but I guess we need to talk about what I said at the camp out don't we?" She questioned looking up at him. Could she tell him?

Could she really tell him like this?

Could she tell him at all?

She didn't want to talk about her Mother because then she'd have to explain her weight loss too and even when she had opportunities to eat now she could barely stomach it- not even the thought of it. It's like her stomach had just been completely crippled, then again maybe that's exactly what had happened but she couldn't talk to him about that because he'd want her to fix things and make things right again which she wouldn't mind but there'd be Doctors and questions and neither of those were things she could handle. So she mentioned the camp out as a kind of distraction and maybe it'd be good to get things out in the open, she was clinging on to some kind of false hope that he might understand and still be there for her but she knew better than to have so much faith.





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"I will. I'll be as quick as I can be El. Just hold on for me okay? I'll be quick," He sighed with worry as Ellie hung up the phone, she sounded so upset he'd barely recognised her. He'd never even heard a story of Ellie crying like that, Bella maybe but not Ellie. Ellie was tough and resilient and that's what scared him the most out of all this. How bad must it be to make Ellie cry? It had to be something beyond terrible and for every new question and fear that entered his mind he put more and more pressure on his accelerator to try and get to her as quickly as he could. He had his suitcase in the car, so he knew he had a coat or jacket he could give her when he found her so he drove right there to find her and within 20 minutes, he was slowing down on Kings Road, his head turning as he looked for Ellie. When he spotted at the bus station, his heart kind of broke for her. He'd never seen her like this in all the years he'd known her, partied with her, fought with her, laughed with her and just generally go through life with her- he'd never even seen her close to this kind of low. He instantly climbed out the car, grabbing his hoodie from the back seat and he parked his car in a dodgy manner and ran over to her.

"Ellie, oh god Ellie- what happened?" He took the hoodie and wrapped it over her shoulders but once he saw she was still crying and so heavily, he simply wrapped his arms around her and held her in a tight embrace. "What's happened El? You scared me, y'know- you can tell me El, you know I'm here for you, you know that- always, I'm always here. What happened?" He was becoming increasingly emotional himself seeing his best friend in a state like this but he held up, he was strong for her because she'd taught him how to do that long ago. Hell, she was the strongest person he knew and that was why he knew it was really bad this time- whatever it was, it was bad and he already wished he could take whatever had happened away and that he'd been there to protect her from whatever had hurt her like this- that was his job as her friend, he was supposed to look out for her so she didn't ever have to feel like this.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arabella Swift Character Portrait: Jamie Chapman Character Portrait: Ellie Wallace Character Portrait: Nate Carlile
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She smiled sadly at his joke but her only real response was a delicate shrug; "You know what I meant," in a quiet and fragile tone Jamie would recognise as one she barely ever used. Bella was so fierce, determined and fiery it was rare to get this kind of sincerity out of her but it was the tone of voice she'd use if she was conversing with Jamie about something that was bothering him or when she was trying not to cry when Mufasa dies in the Lion King (which a known secret between the two is that it gets her every time.) It's the voice she uses when a tiny part of her has broken and she doesn't know where to find the missing chips of herself anymore. She didn't quite know how to explain her feelings for Jamie but she couldn't deny there was a port of her that would always be with him. He was by far the most important person in her life and someone she did truly love both as a friend and in the rare way that made her hurt with confusion and fear.

When he held his hand, she didn't hesitate to take it and she held on more tightly than she meant to but it was the small gesture that kept her grounded and gave her some familiarity and reassurance. "I will when the time is right Jamie, I'll reach out and make things better again but I can't do it yet. You know I've got nothing to fall back on but I do want to talk about it Jamie, I'm not sure how to explain things or what to say but if you think I know how your feel you're misguided because I'm confused J. There's things I've done and things that happened before that I haven't told you about, that I haven't told anyone and I will one day because I don't ever want to keep a secret from you but it's too much. And I just want to sit with you and tell you how I feel but I just don't know how to explain," She sighed gently focusing on his expression to his reaction, when she closed her eyes and thought about things she could remember the real dark days, when she'd play up all day at school and then come home and empty the medicine cabinet into her stomach to try and relieve herself from the pain of breathing and how so recently- was it six months? She'd tried again and it was all because of her Mother but she needed to tell him one day. It was too big to keep from him but it did feel right to tell him that at the same time.

"Fuck, look at me getting all emotional again huh? Think I've cried more this week than I have the rest of my life put together," She laughed gently trying to relieve them both a little somehow as she dabbed her eye with the back of her free hand. "It's ridiculous isn't it really? That there's girls like Sky with beauty, money and love at their finger tips and yet there's people like us with so much shit on our plates we can't see the china beneath it," She sighed rubbing her eye lightly before looking at him again.





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He held onto her for a long moment and gently rubbed her back reassuringly. "It'll be okay Elle. What ever happened, we'll work it out, we'll fix it," He promised gently, he put a hand on her face to gently wipe away the tears there and he looked at her in all sincerity. "I promise Ellie, it'll all be okay," He told her and honestly, he meant it and he'd do everything he could to make sure he kept that promise. Maybe his ways were old fashioned and offensive to feminists but one thing everyone could appreciate was a man who kept his word and Nate was one of those men- no body could take that from him.

"Look, here's the plan okay? There's a diner down the road, I'll drive us there. I'll get you some food and then why don't you come back to my Grandparents with me? Then you can get a shower and a change of clothes off one of my cousins or something before you come. My Pops would love to see you, your family to them just as much as I am you know that. They'd love to see you and I think it'd be good for you to have some time to gather yourself a bit before you go home. You don't have to of course, it's just an offer but you know you are welcome," He told her honestly, he was so, so, so worried for her about what had happened the night before but she wasn't explaining herself and he wasn't going to force answers out of her especially when she was in such a state like this. They could talk later once she felt a bit better.

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He listened to her speak. He wished that she would tell him, or at least tell him some way he could help her- but god knows, he understood about not being able to get the words out. "Bella, it's fine. We all have our secrets, and I know that it can be hard to get them out." He had a whole list of secrets that he wanted to tell her- about his dad's relapse, about his mom's affair, about all the fucking shit going on in his own head- but just like her, she couldn't get them out.

"Yeah, but Sky also probably couldn't put up with all of my shit like you can," he remarked. "And she isn't as good a dancer as you, or as good a musician... You know that all great artists are as fucked up as hell, right? Like Van Gogh cut off his bloody ear. Sylvia Plath suffered terribly from depression." He wasn't really one for poetry, but Plath had stood out to him. It was the one time he'd seen everything he felt represented in poetry that showed its horror perfectly.

"And besides, Bells, we couldn't deal with a perfect, ordinary, dull life. We'd end up causing all kinds of trouble just out of pure boredom."


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She nodded at his suggestion. "Yeah, that sounds good. I like your grandad too. He's cool for an old dude," she remarked, pulling the hoodie on properly. At least now her arms were covered. No risk of him seeing the needle marks now. "C'mon, I want my burger. I can't remember the last time I ate and that's really screwing with me," she said, getting to her feet. Her eating habits weren't the best when she was at home- the constant worrying about her dad and everyone else she loved that she hadn't cut off completely ruined her appetite at times, and when she did eat, she had a habit of reaching for comfort food. She knew that with the rest of her issues, her eating habits probably needed to be monitored better- but that could be freaking hard at times.

"Thanks, by the way, Nate. I'm glad that I don't have to try and get home now. I just- I just really need a friend right now," she admitted. It was the first time in her life she could ever remember admitting to needing someone that wasn't her father- and she hadn't even admitted to needing him since she was 12.

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She listened to him in content and the more he spoke, the closer her lips came to that quirked smile of her until it settled softly on her expression. She rolled his eyes a little at his comment about her dancing but shrugged her shoulders softly. "I'd hope so considering how many late shifts I've done to pay my classes," She scoffed gently, looking down at the person who couldn't simply just be defined as her best friend because he was so much more too.

"Yeah, you're right actually J. I'd say as always but I'm the one who's always right here," She teased gently. "Hey maybe one day we can write a song about the stupid knob who nearly killed himself trying to save a deer. That's so you, y'know? I should have figured out straight away you'd be saving the world one furry friend at a time" She sighed lightly.

"Promise me next time I have to break in to come see you it won't be in a hospital and also promise to listen to me because I'm always right," Although she was overwhelmed with happiness and relief to see him, she hated having to see him like this all strapped up to wires and injured. She'd have genuinely swapped places with him if she could have.

"God can you imagine? You remember what I was like when we first met right? Freshly expelled from a private boarding school, fighting everyone who gave me a reason to think I had a reason to kick off- it'd be like that all over again but with some extra witty comments considering all the wisdom I've gained over my years," She realised as she spoke that there was one thing both her and Jamie were mostly definitely guilty of- black comedy. Talking about the things troubling them with random punch lines and good humour, so neither of them would have to really admit quite how emotional they felt. After a while she sighed, leaning her head against the chair.





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He looked at her for a moment when she admitted she needed a friend but didn't verbally react, honestly he was surprised by two things; firstly the fact that she'd confessed to needing somebody's help but secondly, by the idea that somebody actually needed him. No body had ever said that about him- even if it wasn't him specifically but just him to fill a role. Nobody did- it was the price of being a dead beat but he smiled softly at her nodded. "Well I'm here El. I've got it all covered okay?" He assured. He guided her over to the car and opened the door for her before climbing round to his own seat and sitting down inside, turning the air conditioning right up in temperature to try and warm the car up to take the edge off the chill he imagined she must have.

"You don't need to thank me El. It's me, it's Nate- you know I'll always be there to do these things, it's why you called me," He pointed out as he put the key back in the ignition and brought the vehicle to life as the aged engine crackled slightly with the effort of starting up but reliable as ever, they were soon going and he drove the way slightly further down town to a local diner.

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He rolled his eyes at the joke about the deer. "I probably would have ended up going off the road even if I'd hit it, so it just... made sense to cause as little damage as I could while I was at it," he said, but he laughed, wincing a little. "And I promise that I won't make you break into a hospital for me again," he said, praying that it was true. "And I'll listen to you 99% of the time- that 1% is when you're drunk or stoned," he said.

"Jesus, you were mad. I'm pretty sure you threatened to punch me a few times for just asking you the wrong question. Like I said, it's definitely a good thing that we don't have a boring life. Always someone to punch, always some trouble to get into or out of," he remarked. Even as messed up as they were, he wouldn't sacrifice their friendship for anything. They'd been through thick and thin together, and even as much as he could mess up, he was pretty sure that Bella wouldn't ever totally abandon him. Not if she'd stuck with him after he'd ignored her for that long. It was like that had never happened now.


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She got into the car and pulled on her belt. Nate seemed to know exactly what she needed- warmth, comfort food, her best friend- and not to be alone. As much as she wanted to get some proper sleep, she needed to be around other people even more. The heat of the car was welcome, even if it did make her a little sleepy. She didn't say much, simply watched the world go by.

How would he react if she told him the truth? That she'd relapsed into heroin? He was her best friend- he'd understand, right? But even though she knew that it would be completely out of character, something in her mind was convinced that he'd be frightened away, that he wouldn't want anything to do with her. He probably didn't want her problems as well as his own, even if he wasn't going to run away. Nobody would want to have to deal with that- her mom only did because she had to.

All she could do was hope that she hadn't done anything ridiculously stupid while high. But if she didn't have any broken bones, then she'd be able to deal with it.

"How's Jamie?" She managed to ask, zipping up the hoodie to hold onto as much warmth as possible.

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"Thank you- next time I break in somewhere, I'd rather it was somewhere cool like an Aquarium or something- maybe we go could free all the animals in Sea Life centres, they're arseholes to the animals there, it could be like our own special Paper Towns trip," She joked gently, she knew neither of them had it that easy, especially over the last couple of months but she could honestly say she'd never been happier to see him or just be there, holding his hand and joking about all the dumb things that crossed their minds. Jamie was the one person she could say anything to without fearing the reaction or worrying about what he'd think of her- he was the only person who's opinion she really cared about but he was the only person who's opinion she didn't need to worry about because he'd always be there. He'd been there for her through everything, even the worst of the worst- if he knew about it, he'd done everything he could to fix it and there was nothing she appreciated more.

"I know but I never did- well not properly, I liked you. I was saving the punches for the Madison Gill's of the world," She told him with a laugh referencing to a girl in their school who'd once tried to up stage Bella in a squabble and learnt the hard way not to call the skinny, quiet and angst ridden girl in the corner a 'dumb fucking bitch'. Any over insult and it would have gone straight over Bella's head without a second thought but those three words, in that order- that's what her Mother always said but in fairness, Madison never said it again after that. "Yeah, I'm happier just getting stoned and dealing with retarded slightly sociopathic ex-boyfriends- I'd rather not be that kid again," She laughed referencing to what she was like when they were younger with a tone that wasn't quite regret but somewhat shame and slight remorse.

"What have they said anyway? Are you coming back in for the final performances for our music A-Level? That's not far away, I can handle it if you won't be back but it'd be so much more fun to do if you were there," She admitted gently looking over to him with a small smile.





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He'd been drumming his fingers on the wheel as he drove, like he always did. It'd been a habit of his ever since he first started driving to always be tapping his fingers on the leather bound steering wheel to his own made up rhythms that lacked any kind of frequent pattern or beat. He didn't have any kind of musical coordination- he wasn't like Bella or Jamie who could probably play piano upside down in the dark with their toes. He couldn't even dance to a beat, Ellie had always teased him about that and he'd never been able to argue back about it either.

"He's doing better. I spoke to Bella yesterday and she was planning on trying to con her way into the hospital today to go see him. I haven't heard from her though- so I assume it worked," He told her. "He's not out yet but he's getting there El," He explained, he looked over at her from the corner of his eye with true worry and concern hidden in them. Ellie was so dear to him it was sometimes hard not knowing the full story because it meant he could never permanently fix anything that went wrong for her or say the right words but he understood- it's why he never asked her questions. He just wished he could take it all away, all the pain for all the good people in the world, he just wished he had that kind of power and if he did, the first person he'd help is Ellie. He wouldn't even think about it.

"Once his allowed non-family visitors we should go up there, send our wishes and that," He suggested looking over at her. "Suppose no one told you about Bella did they? When it happened. She tried to sneak into the hospital by telling them she was his sister, when they found out she was lying I think it was security who had to drag her out of there. I think she might He was trying to distract himself from his worries but also Ellie from whatever terrible thing had happened to upset her so much and he hoped it'd eventually work because she didn't deserve to feel like this. He honestly believed that.

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He rolled his eyes at the mention of Madison Gill. He could still remember that particular incident- he'd nearly had to drag Bella off of Madison. "I wonder how Jace's face is doing," he joked. With everything that had been happening to them in the past while, they hadn't had a conversation like this in far too long. Where they could joke and say everything they were thinking, and where it was just the two of them. It felt good.

"I should be out in another few days, as long as the doctors are happy with how I'm doing," he said. One doctor in particular- then again, he'd probably be made to visit the psychiatrist as an outpatient anyway. "I should be back in for the final performance, anyway- and hopefully I'll still be on form." He was praying that his injuries wouldn't affect his performance. The doctors had said that his arm would be out of the sling by that point, and that he should be able to play with no problems, provided that he took pain relief beforehand. He'd asked the doctors to only give him painkillers that weren't particularly addictive, and while that meant that he was in more pain than he would have been on the stronger painkillers, it also dramatically reduced his chances of addiction. The psychiatrist had said that was a good thing, than it showed that he was aware of his weaknesses. Now they just needed to sort out everything else that was wrong with him.


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She nodded as he spoke. By the sounds of things, there hadn't been any lasting damage, anyway. Thinking about that night made her stomach twist uncomfortably. God, she just wished that she could deal with her problems without ruining either her own life or somebody else's.

She didn't say anything as he mentioned visiting, twisting the fabric of her skirt between her hands. She was pretty sure that she was the last person either Jamie or Bella wanted to see, seeing as how the whole thing was basically her fault. But Jamie would be too nice to say that- instead, they'd all sit there in an awkward silence for a while, then she'd leave, and everybody would sigh with relief and hope that she'd stay gone.

This was why she fucking hated withdrawal and drugs- they made her hate herself, and they made her feel weak. She wanted to be her usual self with her bulletproof skin and her "don't give a fuck" attitude.

"That's so typically Bella," she remarked in reply to his story, smiling a little. She did think that the hospital's reaction had been a little unfair, but chose not to comment. "Of course she'd manage to break into a hospital of all places," she said.

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"I saw him walk past my house a couple of days ago- to be honest, it could have been the angle but I swear to good he looked wonky," She told him with a small laugh. She looked at Jamie and although they had been laughing, teasing and joking, out of no where everything seemed to creep on her and suddenly pounce all at once- the reality of their situation and it left her feeling kind of hollow and sad. It was terrible. The two of them were so guilty of black comedy, hiding their pain by drowning it in wit they didn't even realising they were cowering away from honesty. It was just easier to forget about things then it was to talk about them. Her gaze hadn't moved from the boy who laid injured besides her and her heart clenched. She felt so responsible and guilty. She pushed the shadows away and smiled at him softly, flashing those white teeth she took a considerable amount of pride in and forced an expression of relief; "Good, I wouldn't be able to do it without you," She commented honestly but it was said lightly with an effort of laughter as she leaned back in her chair again.

Listening to him talk about Doctors reminded her of the brown envelope laying on the door mat at home. She knew what it'd be- her referral to another round of group and private therapy but she couldn't stand the idea of going. Part of her desperately wanted to talk to Jamie because she knew he'd understand- he always understood her but she couldn't bring herself to tell him everything. If he told her the same things, she'd be broken hearted and miserable with guilt and that sinking feeling of when you know your truly let someone down and it wasn't his fault, so she couldn't put that on him especially when he was the only one who'd ever made anything better- even if he didn't know he had.

"Jamie when have you ever given a bad show? You'll do fine as long as your there," She told him gently in response to his comment about form. "And if your there, I can follow your lead and scrape through so all will be swell," She added gently.





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"I know, they both text me about it and honestly picturing it in my head, I could have cried I laughed so much and before you say anything, I was perfectly sober- I just found it funny," He told her with a small shrug. "Dick move on the Nurse's part though," He commented running a hand through his hair for a moment when he took it off the wheel. After ten or twelve minutes he carefully turned the car into a generously sized parking space and climbed out, resisting the urge to naturally go open Ellie's door because it was finally dawning on him how she felt about those things. Instead he stood on the curb and waited for her so they could head inside.

The diner was one he'd visited often as a child, he used to come with his Mother and they'd always get grilled cheese after Nate went to football on Wednesdays and then they'd get strawberry ice cream- he remembered it perfectly and he tried to distinguish when that had stopped but he couldn't. It'd stopped long before he quit football, around when his father disappeared.

There was a slight drizzle but they were close to being indoors where the shelter would protect them from it, so he didn't worry and held the door for Ellie before being quickly bombarded by a waitress about where he wanted to sit. Realising he hadn't been to the diner for years but everything inside was still the same, he chose the corner booth and sat on the left like he always did as a kid and sighed gently. "I used to come here all the time as a kid. It's funny though, nothing's changed at all- not even the wall décor, the same Elvis canvas, same newspaper print wallpaper the only difference is the date on their food health and safety rating," He commented thoughtfully looking around himself at all the all too familiar space.

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He grinned a little at her comment. "Yeah, well, I've also never played a show with broken bones," he remarked. Singing and screaming with broken ribs probably wouldn't be the most enjoyable experience of his life, but hey, he had to do it. At least they'd be somewhat healed. He'd heard stories of singers breaking ribs during shows and managing to finish the shows. "But I'll still give it my all, even if you have to drag me out of the performance room afterwards," he joked.

His phone had packed in somewhere between the accident and it returning to him- and while he had a new phone, he didn't have any music on it yet. And that was killing him. As if not being able to play wasn't bad enough, being unable to tune out of the world just made everything five times worse. He still had to listen to his parents arguing. He still had to lie in the awful silence at nighttime, able to hear every little thing. That was why he was so glad for Bella- she was company, someone who didn't treat him any differently than usual, and who was more than happy to ramble on about anything and everything. It was a break in the silence.


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As soon as she climbed out of the car, she felt like people were staring at her. She knew that she was probably a strange sight- in a dress and heels, with a hoodie a size or two too big on top, and her makeup smudged as hell. Part of her wanted to go back to the car and hide- but instead, she lifted her chin and stared straight ahead. She wasn't going to appear weak any more.

The diner felt oddly familiar- it reminded her of huge ice cream sundaes and chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs. She laughed at his story, nodding a little. It suddenly dawned on her why it was familiar. "Yeah, I think we used to come here all the time as well. Or at least, when Dad was home. One of the last times I was here was when he told me that he was being deployed again," she said, but didn't add any more. She didn't want to think about that- not now, not when everything else was all wrong.

Fortunately for her, the waitress reappeared by that point. Her cheerfulness contrasted starkly with Ellie's mood. "I'll have the double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a Coke," she said, knowing already exactly what she wanted.

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"Hey! Maybe you could be the next Dave Grohl, remember when he did the 'Broken Leg' tour last year? We could do 'the broken ribs' tour," She joked gently grinning at him softly, making every effort she could to create a positive, hopeful and enjoyable atmosphere for him because no one considered a hospital to be a happy place- not a soul in the world, especially not a patient. She was always very aware of that Jamie's parents were hardly the entertaining sort and from Bella's personal experience, the nurses were complete and utter bitches so she had taken the responsibility herself of bringing some kind of brightness into Jamie's hospital room but talking about music reminded her of something especially important and her eyes widened suddenly like they would before she said something intellectual in class, like when she took everything that one step further in Philosophy for English Literature and everybody stared at her in confusion for a long while before they caught up.

"Jamie, when the crash happened- the woman gave me your phone, before I gave it to your parents a few days into you being here, I tried to get it fixed but they told me it was totally fucked- like beyond fucked and I felt pretty bad that I hadn't found a way in to see you and that Ellie and Nate had found excuses to not even try and the Nurses are vile to be frank and have vulgar taste in lipstick- so I figured, it'd be pretty shit around here. So I dug out one of my old iPods and synced it for you- I mean it's all the music off my laptop because funnily enough I don't have a random copy of your database but a lot of our music overlaps and plus I still have a shit ton of old videos and photos on there from when we first started hanging out that are hilarious, I nearly had a seizure laughing at some of them. We were such dicks but there was that and there's some stupid games on there too but voila, consider it my I'm really sorry I got myself banned from the hospital and left you to endure social interaction on your own present," She rambled before passing him a metallic blue iPod with a pair of earbuds. "And oh those are the earbuds you lent me a couple of weeks ago and I forgot I had, so there you go- sorry I forgot," She chimed with a small laugh. "Sorry the delivery took so long," She added gently.

She'd been nervous about doing this for him because she felt like it was kind of pathetic but if she was in hospital by herself, there'd be two things she wanted; to see Jamie and music and she realised, at least one of those things would be the same for Jamie so she'd wanted to do anything she could.

"And because I'm an amazing best friend, I brought vegan chocolate too. I figured you'd be starving in here being the eco warrior you are so you better love me for this because do you have any idea how hard it is to find that anywhere?" She asked him taking the bar out of her bag and grinning gently at him. "I know none of this is going to mend those bones of yours but I thought it'd help make the time pass or hoped at least, I don't know," She sighed shrugging gently.





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He listened to her very closely when she talked about her family because such a conversation was rare with Ellie and he treasured every bit of information she ever trusted him with. "I'll have a chicken burger please with a Corona if you've got one," He ordered after Ellie, only ordering a beer because he hadn't drank at all and it was something he could consume and still be under the limit. He just wanted the psychological relaxation of drinking alcohol even if it wouldn't have the slightest physical effect on him. The waitress scribbled the order down and then disappeared which is when Nathaniel turned to Ellie with a more serious expression.

"Do you want to talk about it then Ellie or do you want to leave it? I don't mind but I need you to know, one, that you can tell me anything- I'm still here now and I always will be and two, I'm not going to judge or scrutinize or anything- I just want to be there for you, so if you want to talk- we can talk, that's all I'm going to say on the matter. Okay?" He asked her softly and very sincerely, looking over at her with an intense but soft and caring gaze. He really wished he could do something that would make all of her problems go away because Ellie wasn't a bad person, sure she could be a bitch sometimes but she was good at heart and she was one of few people who'd ever showed Nate any real respect- yeah, no one was horrible to him but no body respected him, because he wasn't academic he was only ever met with patronising remarks and ridicules. However none of that mattered because he couldn't make it all go away because the reality of the situation was that he didn't even have a clue where the problem began, he didn't have even the most vague idea about anything so what he could do except give her a shoulder to cry on and make sure she was always safe and had what she needed to look after herself?

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It was almost as if Bella had read this thoughts and produced an old, but still working iPod. "Bella, if I could give you a hug right now, I would," he said. Chocolate and music. While they weren't going to make his problems go away, they'd certainly make being stuck in the hospital a lot easier. "The hospital doesn't serve vegan food, and apparently they weren't going to go sourcing vegan recipes and cooking them for just one person. So I was told that I could either have vegetarian or go without. So it's nice to have something tasty and vegan," he said, taking the chocolate. This was why Bella was his best friend- she always knew exactly what to say or do.

"The nurses aren't that bad, though. Okay, there are a few who are complete bitches, but they look like they've seen some things. I think I saw a prison tattoo on one of them," he joked. In reality, while they were strict, they were friendly enough to him. Then again, that could have been only due to his continued visits from the psychiatrist.

"Seriously, though, Bella, thank you. I was starting to go insane without any music to listen to," he said.


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Ellie twisted her hands as Nate started speaking. She couldn't tell him. Not now, not while everything was so raw. She honestly didn't know if she'd ever be able to tell him fully about it- but at the same time, she felt like he deserved something.

"Remember what I said to you the night of the camp-out? About having gone through some shit? I fell back into that pile of shit- and I'd been doing so well. And now my mind's turning against me and making me feel like shit, and I'm starting to feel the effects of the past four days. So, basically, I've been through shit I can't talk about, and I feel like shit as a result," she said, shrugging a little. "I can get help, proper help, though, so I'll be back to my old self before you know it. And just don't get mad if I yell at you over something stupid, okay?" She said, looking up at him. "And thank you for sticking with me for this long. I know I can be a bitch, and I honestly don't know how you've stuck with me for this long. But thanks for sticking with me even after I act like a complete asshole to you for a week."

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She laughed softly shrugged. "Let's just call the hug an I.O.U then because I don't want to be responsible for breaking the rest of your ribs," She told him light heartedly, so relieved to see she had done some kind of good and brought some kind of light around for him but when he announced there was no kind of vegan food in the hospital, she genuinely looked quite horrified as if she might genuinely get up and go say something to the nurses.

"You are kidding me right? They don't do anything vegan? What the fuck? I'll drop some hints to your parents and do what I can. That's not fair- would they make a Jewish person eat pork? Or make a pregnant women eat pate? Or a lactose intolerant eat a fucking baby bel, I bet they bloody wouldn't," She vented folding her arms in a childish mannerism that only proved how that news came to her in distaste. "I'll fight them," She joked. "I might be 5,4 and incapable of opening heavy doors but I will fight them with my stealth and midgetness," She insisted smirking a little in good humour.

"Oh Jesus, I thought she looked like something out of 'Orange is the New Black' and to be fair, this place is kind of like a prison in one sense- just with much shinier interior designs," She shrugged, looking to him with soft eyes when he thanked her. "Don't thank me, honestly it was just kinda nice to have something to do- I couldn't sleep the other night so sitting up and doing something productive felt pretty great and oh yeah, I made a playlist of recommendations- you can give me feedback next time I feel like breaking into a hospital," She told him. She turned around because she heard the sound of a voice just outside the door and her eyes widened a little but she raised a finger as if to tell him, she had an idea. She then dashed to the other side of the room and squeezed herself into a fairly hidden gap between a cabinet and set of equipment and as the Nurse returned into the room she had both hands clamped over her mouth to hold back the laughter threatening her and her body squirmed a little at one point but she gained some self control and stopped herself, biting her tongue harshly to keep herself grounded. She wasn't quite sure what had given her the idea to hide but she figured that was better than getting escorted out by security again, she really wasn't very happy about that one. On her way out the building she'd been shouting that she'd only give them two stars on 'TripAdvisor', she hadn't been amused at all but her way of dealing with pain had always been black comedy and dry humour. She watched the Nurse walk over to Jamie and address him and Bella bit her tongue.

"Jamie right? Right so, your blood tests have just been sent off and we'll give you the results of those as soon as we have them, it could be a couple of days though and in a couple of hours another Nurse will be in to change your cast and bandages..." With an arched brow she noticed the iPod and chocolate and she looked at him. "Have you had any visitors today then?" She asked in a tone which created the atmosphere of being in a sweaty examination hall and almost drew a reaction out of Bella who again had to bit her own tongue and a sudden flood of warmth and pain revealed to her, that she'd actually managed to tear the tissue a slight bit and she inwardly groaned but nothing audible.





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He listened to everything she said and predictably, it was all very vague but he focused on every last word and then smiled at her reassuringly when she was done, nodding in understanding and patiently waiting till she'd said her piece to speak and once she had, he let it be. He understood now just like he always had, even when he was in the dark- he could understand why.

"Okay Ellie, I get it. But if there is ever anything I can do, you know you only need to ask me yeah? You don't have to do everything on your own and having help- doesn't make your weak, it makes you honest. Except maybe when you've done any homework for me and I've said it's my own work but still," He added the joke softly to try and keep her smiling, keep her positive even when she'd obviously landed in a slightly darker place within her life.

"Ellie, how could I and when have I ever been mad with you?" He responded to her honestly and the question wasn't rhetorical and he was making a true point although Ellie had a tendency to mess him around a fair amount, he never reacted- Sky hadn't been a reaction to falling out with Ellie, he'd been lonely and made a friend. Sleeping with her, he probably would have done regardless of his status with Ellie because he was a guy, a single guy in college- most guys would have. Nothing he'd done had ever been to make a point to Ellie and spite her.

"Your welcome Els, thank you for putting up with a loser of a completely different quartile of intelligence to you- that particular loser very much appreciates having a friend as intelligent, individual and interesting as you. That same loser also just managed to use a literary persuasive technique called alliteration successfully for the first time in his entire existence but realises it was about time to stop talking in the third person because it's quite creepy," He rambled away for a moment and just smiled at her softly in reassurance before their drinks were brought to the table and gratefully accepted his Corona and took a small mouthful from the bottle before leaning back with a gentle sigh.

"Forgetting the circumstances, I'm actually really glad you called me because eating Diner food with my nearest and dearest friend, really beats smoking on a rotting fence watching cows. Cows are the first thing I've found that isn't funnier after smoking pot. Kind of gutted," He told her, the waitress shot him a judgemental stare and he rolled his eyes a little before looking at Ellie. "There goes her tip," He joked lightly.

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He laughed at her indignant response. "Bella, it's a choice. You can't really compare it to anything based on religion or actual healthcare- and as long as I'm not eating animals, I can deal with it," he said. Before he could respond to her comment about the playlist, though, they both heard a nurse approaching. In a millisecond, Bella was hiding the other side of the room- where he could see her, but just about nobody else could. He quickly recovered his calm expression as the nurse walked in. As she asked about visitors, he shrugged. "Yeah, my parents," he said. It wasn't a lie- they'd been in earlier. He was just leaving out the bit about Bella as well.

"Okay, then. The doctor will probably be around with the blood test results, he'll probably want to talk to you about them," she said, hooking him up to the blood pressure monitor. It seemed to take an eternity to inflate, and he was sure that either he or Bella would get the giggles and give them both away- but eventually it was over, and she wrote down the result. He thought she'd leave then- but she still had a number of tests to do. Once his temperature and pulse were done, she hooked the chart over the end of the bed and left. He started to laugh, looking over at Bella. "That was close," he remarked.


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She smiled as her Coke was put down in front of her, and she took a mouthful out of it. She honestly didn't know what she'd done to deserve Nate. She was a complete bitch, and he was the biggest sweetheart she'd ever had the fortune to meet. She laughed at his comments, finally starting to feel a little better. This was why she called him instead of anyone else- because he didn't judge, and instead he just focused on making her laugh.

"You'd have to be completely off your head to find cows in any way funny. Magic mushrooms or LSD or some crazy trippy shit like that, and even that's pushing it," she remarked, laughing a little. "I don't think cows can ever really be funny- they're like the most boring animals ever," she said, taking another mouthful out of her Coke. "Sheep have to give them a run for their money, though. Chickens can be somewhat entertaining at times. But farmyard animals in general aren't particularly that funny."

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As soon as the door was close, Bella dropped onto the floor laughing almost uncontrollable grinning over at him as she tried to catch her breath. After a moment of trying to pull herself back together, she scoffed softly and shook her head climbing back onto her feet and re taking her place by his side in the chair. "The bloody things I do for you Mr Chapman- I swear I could probably get arrested for this," She sighed gently sitting back in the seat with an amused expression. "Christ, I can't believe I even fit in there, it's like the size of a locker down there," She groaned rubbing her forehead a little as she spoke but she instantly regretted her words because it brought attention to her weight but she brushed over it quickly by smiling.

"Do you think I'll grow up one day? Like do the mature adult thing?" She sighed, uttering her words softly- the dimple in her cheek however giving away she still found the whole situation incredibly entertaining. She was so caught up in the adrenaline of hiding, the joy of his company and just general positivity- she'd completely forgotten everything she had to go home too, her Mother, the nausea that had been haunting her like a ghost for the past week and the harrowing glow on the scales and the constant reminders everywhere at home of all things negative. From the second she arrived at Jamie's hospital door to this very second none of those things had even occurred to her and she genuinely hadn't stopped smiling either. It was just undeniable that Jamie had a way of keeping her anchored and grounded like no body else could and she appreciated that with every single second spent in his company.





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"I know right but it was still majorly disappointing. I know two things about cows though, one being that they have like four stomachs and two being that they always sit down before it starts to rain- it's dumbshit but that's actually all I know," He laughed rolling his eyes a little at himself before taking a long drink from his corona, he hadn't realised how uptight he'd been for the past weekend till he'd relaxed a little bit again, he'd been really short and withdrawn from his Grandad and thinking about now he felt quite bad but he decided that he'd make up for it, when they got home he'd crack open some beers for him and challenge him to a round of Blackjack or something.

"Nah sheep are quite funny, that weird baar-ing thing, that's quite amusing but that's probably because I'm 6 years old," He shrugged. He looked around the diner and then his eyes lit up at the sight of a helium balloon. "Hey, wanna do something funny and dickish?" He asked waggling his eyebrows at her mockingly.

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"Bella Swift? Grow up? Never. You're basically Peter Pan," he remarked, laughing a little. "Well, mentally at least." He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt this good- it had definitely been back before the summer, back before things had gotten really bad- back when he'd still been talking to Bella and hadn't had Jace to worry about. He knew that this was all short lived- Bella would have to leave, he'd be left alone, and he'd get anxious and depressed all over again. But that just made him appreciate it all the more.

"The only person I've met who's more immature than you is Nate when he's stoned, seriously," he joked. "But at least you made me feel better- laughter is the best medicine and all that," he said. "Well, that and the chocolate and the music. They help too. I don't suppose you fancy hiding under my bed until I get out of here?" He asked jokingly- but really, he wished she could stay all the time. He wouldn't have to worry about her that way, and he'd have her all of the time to keep him company and make him laugh. That was all he really wanted.


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She rolled her eyes at his comment about sheep. "You're literally a six-year old who drinks and smokes, I swear," she sighed, but she laughed. She followed his gaze, and was able to guess his thought pattern when he saw the balloon. This was Nate. There was only one thing on his mind.

"No," she said, managing to keep a straight face. But then she grinned at him. "But I'm always in the mood to laugh at you doing something funny and dickish," she said. That seemed to be so much of their friendship- him doing something stupid, and her laughing at him. If she was in a better mood, she probably would have joined in- but not quite yet. Her insecurity, frustration and self-hatred still lingered at the edges of her mind.

The waitress appeared, putting her food down in front of her. Ellie thanked her, spearing some fries on her fork and putting them in her mouth. "Dare you to do it before she comes back with your food," she whispered as soon as the waitress had walked away from the table. Ellie was still grinning, incredibly glad that she'd remembered Nate's number and had been able to call him.

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She laughed gently at his 'Peter Pan' comment- it was one of her favourite films after all. "I could so be Peter Pan, just with better style I reckon- I never really got the whole leaf jeans thing," She replied softly running a hand through her freshly washed black locks with a short smile. "Oh my god but no body is more immature than a stoned Nathaniel Carlile- that doesn't even count, that's a whole new level," She sighed grinning gently.

Though her smiled became more consistent and warm when he said she'd cheered him up and honestly, that touched her heart because that was all she'd wanted to do. That was exactly what had dragged her onto her feet this morning from whatever dark corner of their town she'd been hiding in, to face up to her Mother (again)- she'd done it all so she could be here with him today and try and make anything she could happier or even just more bearable for him, anything as long it helped him.

"Good, that's all I wanted to do," She told him honestly, looking over to catch his eye for a moment as she spoke simply because he wanted him to understand she meant every word she'd ever said.

"I'd genuinely try if you want me to," She replied and it was true. Bella really would try and hide under the bed, if he told her to- she'd do it in a heartbeat because that's just how he was- she was the one person who did all those crazy things people joked about doing but knew better than to try. "I'm already wanted out here- what more can they do hey?" She scoffed smirking mischievously before it crumpled as she broke down into laughter.





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"You think I won't but you really should know better by now Els," He looked at the balloon, the waitress and then Ellie and smirked at her cockily before nodding. "You are so on," He told her looking a mixture of pleased with himself and completely entertained. He turned around and looked at her before winking mockingly; "anything to make you laugh love," He joked rolling his eyes at himself before he walked off to where the balloons were being kept and he snuck one whilst the staff weren't paying any attention to him before rushing back over to their booth and plopping hiself down in his seat looking satisfied.

"And so it begins," He told her, he carefully unknotted the balloon pinching it so no helium was lost before bringing it to his lips and sharply inhaling but not the full amount- he wanted to save some for when the waitress came back.

"Hello," He squeaked- his voice higher than a girl scout's and then laughed out loud but with the helium it made him sound like an animated Disney character. "Oh holy shit- I sound like foetus Justin Bieber," His eyes lit up with the passion that he only ever had when it came to his bad ideas, pot or pranks and with another quick breath of helium in his lungs, he began to sing; "Like baby, baby, baby oooh," By this point he was genuinely in stitches at the sound of himself and his whole body seemed to crease as he fell back a bit against the booth howling.

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He laughed at her response. "Nah, you'd only end up getting sick of me," he said, but realised that he couldn't just say that. "I snore something terrible with all the medication I'm on, and I don't have anything to stop me from biting my nails, so I'd only end up driving you mad," he teased. If the psychiatrist had been present at that point, he wouldn't have let that point drop. It would have been "interesting" and a discussion point. Apparently, he wasn't going to make any guesses as to a diagnosis until he heard the full story. Part of Jamie wanted to talk- but not with his parents constantly hovering and doctors walking in and out. But on the flip-side, there was a chance that he wouldn't be discharged until all of his doctors were happy with him.

"Anyway, have I missed anything major at school? How many times have you had to tell people what happened?" He asked, eager to get the topic off of him. Now that some people knew, he was terrified that everyone would end up knowing. And he didn't want Bella of all people finding out. He was still scared of her leaving, even with everything they'd gotten through together.


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The moment Nate opened his mouth after inhaling the helium, Ellie was in pieces. And the more he talked, the worse it got. By the time he started singing, there was genuinely a pain in her stomach from laughing. Nate was the only person who could make her laugh like that, who could make her laugh until she cried. The fact that he sounded like a demented Disney character while laughing only made things worse.

"Shut up, I think she's coming!" Ellie said, straightening up and taking a mouthful out of her coke as she tried to calm herself down. She shoved some fries into her mouth, hoping that would help. But as soon as she thought of Nate's ridiculous voice, she very nearly lost it again. It was exactly what she needed today. Sometimes she wished that there were more people she could be this ridiculous around- but at the same time, she was kind of glad that it was saved just for Nate.

The waitress put Nate's food down in front of them with a smile. "Now, can I get you guys anything else?" She asked. Ellie looked over at Nate. "I'm good anyway. Nate?"

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"oh it's take a lot more than that J, don't be stupid," She laughed softly smiling at him but she tried to stop herself because she was worried she was making things too obvious when she was around him. She looked at him for a moment and realised just how much she admired him because even know in bandages and hospitalised he was still smiling and laughing even though everything outside their friendship in their lives seemed to be falling a part and sometimes even know they seemed to struggle when Bella got too caught up in her feelings and feels the need to isolate herself to a degree to hold herself back.

She sighed at the mention of school, the truth was she hadn't done a full day at school since the party- she's only gone in for her music lessons and philosophy and occasionally art because she felt like she needed. Perception and spirituality more than ever at this moment in her life with Jamie away and her Mother so...hard to live with but her attendance was below 70% and she'd get pulled up for it soon- maybe even excluded.

"Well, I've actually been going in for a start," She lied because if Jamie knew she wasn't at school, he'd be concerned and he didn't need that on top f everything else at the minute. "I finished that piece in Art- the deamentor from Harry Potter but now whatshername- that blonde Netball captain bitch, she thinks I'm insane and I made up deamentors. I actually haven't explained it to anyone, I told everyone from Music they could go fuck themselves with a pineapple and I still wouldn't tell them somebody's else's business. I might have called our philosophy teacher a ' c u next tuesday' because she accused us of asking for trouble like this anyway and people stopped trying to ask me after that. I'm sorry I just thought you'd rather tell the people you wanted to know yourself when you come back y'know," She explained gently. "Oh and Cassidy asked me if we fucked in a tent- apparently that's a rumour going round now but you can imagine my response to that- it was colourful to say the least, people are so rude. Like so what if we did? It's no their business, I mean I know we did not of course but if we had- why do they care?" She asked raising her arms in the air looking ever so offended and almost passionate about her small vent. She told him these stories because they were the onl laughable ones, she missed out the questions that we're raised in the dance changing rooms when a girl noticed her scars and bruises because she slipped whilst taking off her jeans. She missed out the part where she went to the headmaster's office for her language towards their pho sloppy teacher or every time her Mother beat her over skipping a lesson. She didn't tell Jamie because right now he didn't need to know and she'd tell him when he was stronger but for now, she had to be the strong one for a while and she could do that- she could do that for him and his sake.





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Nate clamped his mouth shut to try and stop himself laughing, his body rippling slightly and his expression creasing in a suspicious and recognisable manner. He looked over at Ellie having to turn around as she spoke to the waitress to inhale more helium before turning around to the waitress and grinni; "Everything is crackalakin' thank you very much as my dear idol Chris Rock would say," His voice rang like a prepubescent primary school boy but at the same time it was so much worse it wouldn't even be believable at that age. Other customers were looking at them with a disapproving locks of distaste and disgust but Nate couldn't have given a toss, he was still laughing and he genuinely thought he might even cry because he couldn't stop any more, it all just poured out of him- honest, genuine and happy laughter. The kind of hysterics that were completely contagious and would made everyone else want to laugh and join in even when they didn't think you were funny and his foolish grin was so innocent and child like it was hard to be mad or be irritated by him. After a few moments of heavy chuckling, the helium's effects wore off and he sighed rubbing the corner of his eyes were genuine moisture had arisen- his eyes threatening tears and his whole body cringed because of it as he finally calmed down from the minute of amusement.

Grinning he sighed shaking his head a few moments later. "I don't remember the last time I laughed like that," He admitted running his hands through his hair to fix it from where it's been spoilt during his fit of hysterics. He didn't even know if the waitress was there or not anymore, he just couldn't ground himself properly. "Fucking hell Ellie," He groaned after a while of shaking his head.

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He laughed at her stories. Of course he could rely on her to stave off the worst of the questions. People would still be asking what happened when he went back, but they'd probably be a bit more reserved about it now. They'd learned long ago that it was a bad idea to get on Bella's bad side. She was like his own personal guard dog. Admittedly, that did usually end up getting her into trouble, and he'd had to do some fast talking to stop her from getting into serious trouble before. But when he didn't feel like dealing with people and just wanted to be left alone, Bella was able to get everyone to leave him alone. But unfortunately, that involved telling her when he was having a bad day, and that was basically every day now. So he saved it for his worst days.

"Do you'll think there'll ever come a day when one of us isn't at the center of the drama?" He asked jokingly. In previous years, they'd mostly kept themselves to themselves, besides Bella's big mouth occasionally getting her in trouble. But this year, the only drama happening seemed to have them at the root. And Jamie kinda just wanted that to go away so he could deal with his own issues.


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She held her straight face until Nate started talking, and then disintegrated into laughter. She couldn't remember the last time she'd laughed this much, to the point where there was a moment where she genuinely thought she was going to throw up. But then it subsided, and she managed to stop herself from laughing, Tears were streaming down her cheeks for the second time that day- but this time from laughter. She wiped her cheeks as she still chuckled to herself.

"Jesus fucking Christ, Nate," she managed to say. "I think I'm just going to call you whenever I'm hung over from now on," she remarked, picking up her burger to take a bite out of it. They definitely hadn't skimped on the bacon, and the presence of something in her stomach was comforting. She certainly wasn't the most ladylike eater, especially with a burger, but she didn't particularly care. "Oh, holy crap, this burger is amazing," she remarked. "Then again, I did have a killer craving for bacon, so basically the fact that this contains bacon pretty much guaranteed it to be good," she continued,

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"Jamie darling," She started jokingly, a white toothed smile betraying her attempt at keeping a straight face. "The week Nate spends more than 3 days sober will be the day somebody doesn't find something about us to start a drama over- even before we started our A-Levels we always got dragged into shit which to be fair, was mostly my fault- I apologise for that sincerely," She replied him to gently running a small hand through her thick dark hair, looking at him contently but she knew better than to know his question came purely out of jest. He was genuinely concerned this wouldn't die down wasn't he? She wandered for a moment but deep down she knew he'd never find the kind of attention they'd been getting lately easy. In a moment of courage, she swallowed her pride and leaned over, gently taking his hand in hers and looking down as she thought to herself, watching her own hand.

"It'll pass Jamie. You'll get out, we'll go to school- keep our heads down, finish our A-Levels and then move out, the drama won't follow us till the end of the year forget to our adult lives," She assured softly. "Then we can like go to London or somewhere and I'll go to a Dance academy or something and you'll start climbing the music ladder- y'know get a band and a record deal going, then I'll take a year off to come tour with you guys and to make sure you don't embarrass yourself in the tour bus and then I'll drag your sorry ass to a recital of mine and we'll sit there in a bar in the early hours of the following morning, at 2am thinking; fuck, remember when we were at school? That was pretty shitty but hey, got us here," She told him, listing off the story like it was something she'd thought about hundreds of times before and maybe it was. "Or- I suppose you could be a vet nurse but I'm sorry I'm not coming to watch you do some kind of operation, I'd faint," She replied with a small joking smile.

It was funny for all Bella's fearlessness, pride and attitude- you'd never see her wince at anything except her Mother and a certain, very specific insult. You'd never see her cringe about anything else other than those things except for a hurt animal. It'd probably reduce her to tears, she could remember walking to school once with Jamie when she'd first started after getting expelled from her private school back in Chelsea and they'd found a road kill and out of no where this girl in gothic patterned tights, black lip stick and boots started crying and it was almost unbelievable how sudden the impact of it was. She remembered that with a fond smile because she could recall how she used to look like Mavis out of 'Hotel Transylvania' like it was the reflection she'd seen in the mirror that morning.

So out of seemingly nowhere she turned to Jamie with a sheepish smile of amusement. "Hey Jamie," She whispered like she was about to tell him some insanely confidential gossip; "Remember when I used to look like Mavis?" She asked with a soft laugh.





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He laughed with her grinning softly before he had a go at his food, trying it and shamelessly savouring the taste with a slight moan but after he finished his mouthful, he was already brought to slight chuckles again after hearing Ellie's comment and seeing how casually she ate her food- her table manners were genuinely worse than his and he was a male stoner, how the hell could she be worst? It was only because Nate was such a posh boy at the same time, he spoke, dressed and had the mannerisms of a posh boy but at the same time he was incredibly thick skulled, lazy and of course- a stoner. It didn't make a lot of sense but it was something most people had gotten use to over the years.

"Ellie my darling- call me whenever you have a hangover, I insist you do because I haven't laughed this hard since like Year Two," He told her honestly, grinning gently. He rolled his eyes at her comments on the food; "You sound like me when I've got munchies," He commented before taking a sip of his drink.