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Dominique Norwood

"You can be shattered and repaired so many times."

0 · 435 views · located in New York City, US

a character in “The Wild & The Wicked”, as played by Jaybt9

Description

♡Dominique Norwood♡


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Profile

Full Name:
“My full name is Dominique Elise Norwood.”

Nickname:
“I live with plenty of nicknames: Dee being the most common one amongst my friends and family. My sorority sisters like to call be Dee the Divine Lioness. It's the hair. *chuckles*”

Age:
“22 years old. I must say that I've gotten years of experience on my belt for someone so young.“

Gender:
“The round eyes, plump lips, petite frame, breasts….yeah, they’re all natural. Always have been.”


Appearance


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Ethnicity:
“African-Canadian, just to say it plain and simple. People say I’m mixed, but I don’t see it. Knowing my French first name I might have some Caucasian ancestry. I'm interested in researching about my family heritage.”

Head, Hair:
“My hair was naturally dark Brown, until I was 14 when one of my friends thought it was a good idea to dye my hair blonde. At first I didn’t like that at all, but I was like “How about a middle ground”, so I decided to dye only the top half of my hair, and leave the rest. My hair went through hell when I did it, but thank god it was taken care off. I still have to take care of it now. A big impact it made to my hair as well, since it grew from my collarbone down to my chest area. As far as the hairstyles…nothing in particular. Sometimes I like it straight, sometimes I like it curly, sometimes I like it in a ponytail.”

Face, Body:
“Well, I’m 5 feet 8 inches, which is a little taller than usual chicks, but it’s short enough for most guys to crowd around me. My weight? You really want to know? Too bad I can’t tell you. I haven’t stood on a scale for months. I’ll just say that I’m skinny and you’ll figure it out for me, how about that?”

“My skin color is caramel, but that’s only in the winter. Spring is here, so once I come back in a few months you’ll notice that my skin had darkened. I have the tendency to put on more moisturizer than the average person, so you won’t see a sign of dry skin anywhere on my body. However, walking outside in the cold weather can suck all of the moisture out of my skin, so I keep a bottle of Shea Butter lotion in my purse, and the smell of Shea Butter lingers around the vicinity once I pass through. That's something one of my friends told me, but obviously it was a joke.”

“My face? Well, I hate boosting my ego, but people do tell me that I look attractive. Can’t really make a response to it, but I do appreciate it, since not very many girls take the time to look at themselves in the mirror and say that they are beautiful. My eyes….eyes like a lunar eclipse, as one person described, whatever that means. All I can say is that they’re deep brown, but far away they appear black. With so much pain I had to suffer with braces, you better believe that my teeth would be as straight and even as a road in Texas.”


Scars, Tattoos, Piercings, etc.:
“Closest thing to a scar I have is a small birthmark on my….Iliac Crest? Let’s just say it’s on my left hip. You wanna see it? (laughs) Sike. I’m not the sporty type to have legs and arms full of cuts and bruises though…..okay I’m lying. I’m a jazz dancer, so time to time I may have bruises on my toes. Yeah…I don’t show my toes to very many people.”

“I used to have a disinterest of tattoos, but one of my sorority sisters pressured me into having “at least one”, which I took her word for. A Venus symbol on my left side under my arm. It was a pain to get, but I thanked God that it was over as quick as possible. I wanted this to represent femininity to the fullest.

I have only three piercings: my ears and my navel. It had to take some convincing to my parents that I was capable enough to have a navel piercing. You all know how parents can get about those things.”


Clothing:
“Any girl likes to dress cute and sassy. I’m no exception. My favorite color is blue, so typically you’ll see me in a blue dress, or so many blue jeans. Shoes I have a unique collection of, from boots to stilettos. Obviously, no open-toed shoes.”

Personality


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“My personality in three words. How about “Heart”, “Colorful” and “Young”? Sounds like those could describe me perfectly.

I get the feeling you want to ask me why I chose those words. Easy. “Heart” means that I’m pretty friendly towards people. Anyone really. The Heart of Gold. My parents have always told me to be optimistic about everyone in the world, but be smart about the people you trust.”

But the biggest problem is that some take my kindness as weakness, and after so much I’ve gone through, I had to repair my heart, and lock it tightly in a bolted box so no one would ever try to open it. Now I’m very guarded about who I can, and cannot, open myself up to. Trusting people can be a hard thing to do nowadays.

“Colorful” meaning I’m very talkative, and imaginative. Just throw the paint on the canvas and do whatever you want to do with it. Not saying that I live life to the fullest, but I’ve always dreams of venturing outside the Canada line. Go to Puerto Rico, or to Europe. I learned that even around the corner, there’s many things you’ve never seen before and it might add more to those episodes that you daydream about.”

“Young” is my last word, because…I’m still young and learning the ropes in life. Even if this comes off as me being naïve, but it’s not my fault. It’s a common thing that people go through. You have to discover about things somehow. Even if it hurts you.”

“After the many things that have happened to me, I've let so many boundaries go, and just enjoy life while it last, but still focus on my future. I want to make a name for myself, so of course I treat dancing very seriously.”

Sexuality:
“Of course, I am attracted to guys. They are protectors, so of course I want to be around them, so they can protect me. I’m too much of a scrawny chick. (laughs)”

Hobbies:
“My favorite hobby of them all. Art. Any kind of art I have a liking of, but since I can’t sing, I don’t know how to play an instrument, except some tambourines, and all I know how to draw is a stick figure, I stick to what I do best: Jazz dancing, which I’ve been doing since I was 9 years old. It’s the perfect way to express my feelings and thoughts going on in my life. One of my dance instructors said it in the perfect manner: “Imagine yourself in a blank white room and you had three colors to paint the room with: Red, symbolizing your heart, blue symbolizing your soul, and yellow, symbolizing your mind. You’re doing nothing if the room stays white, you’re bringing too much if you cover the room in colors with no sign of white.” Didn’t know what she meant by that, but it did make some sense."

Favorite Color:
“(laughs) Maybe I answered that too soon.”

Favorite Food, Drink:
”I like many fruits that tastes sweet like sugar, and they’re good for you: strawberries, red apples, bananas, oranges, passion fruit, etc. Unfortunately, some fruits can also be sour and bitter. I keep away from those.

My favorite drink? Grape Juice is good. I have the tendency to crave on Capri Suns whenever I’m thirsty. Geez, they need to start making those drinks in a gallon.”


Favorite Music:
“I like R&B and Neo Soul. No denying that. My favorite artists are Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Melanie Fiona, Maxwell, Quadron, Brand New Heavies, and much more. I can be optimistic, so I like plenty of Soul Artists.”

Favorite Places to Go:
“Thanks to Mordicai, I’ve been visiting art museums whenever anyone has an exhibit. New York is full of them, but besides that, I like to go to the movies. Anything with dancing in it I’ll go and see automatically.“

Favorite Person in the World:
“My favorite people have to be my family. Whenever I have something on my mind, I have no problem telling them, and they’ll give it to me with wisdom and support. Sure they can embarrass me, but that’s their job. (laughs) I thank my dad for forcing that comment down my throat so many times.”

Least Favorite Color:
“Don’t really have a least favorite color. I do, however, find some colors ugly. Muddy green, especially.”

Least Favorite Food, Drink:
“Anything bitter like grapefruit, lemons, and cantaloupe can leave an undesirable taste. Also why I keep away from hard liquor.”

Least Favorite Music:
“Don’t have a least favorite genre of music. Just some things I don’t listen to like country and metal, but I can understand that they have some talented musicians.”

Least Favorite Places to Go:
“Everybody hates going to funerals, so I’ll say that’s my least favorite place to go. Hospitals, too. The smells in there. (shivers)”

Least Favorite Person in the World:
”Let’s not get into that one right now.”

Quirks and Habits:
“Whenever I get nervous, I have the tendency to graze my bottom lip with my teeth. I hear that is pretty common.”

Fears:
“I fear death above all things. I know that death is coming for me and all of those around me. I just hope that it isn’t soon.”

History

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“Where do I begin? Well, I was born in a snowy day on February….Okay that’s a little too dramatic. I was born in Ontario by an artistic mother and a computer engineer father. How did two people with totally different career backgrounds manage to hook up and stay married for so long? I don't know. Anyways, I also have two older siblings: Kianna, who is back home in Toronto pursuing a career in film directing, and Jamal, who is studying in computer engineer at New York University just to please Dad, but also have an interest in basketball.

My younger days were safe. A little too safe. I was always stuck in the house with my cousins on my father's side while my parents went to work. At least until I could go to school. Even then, I was around them in classes and after school. No one could do anything wrong toward me or my cousins would huddle around and gang up on them. It was irritating at first, but I understood that it was for protection.

Around age 9 or 10 was when I moved from Ontario to Belleville, closer to my paternal grandmother, since she lived at a different city than her children. Only one cousin was in the same school as me, compared to the many I have around North America, and even then I spent a half a year with that only cousin, before she went to middle school. From that point on, I had to take care of myself in school. My lack of self-protection was confusing to me. Not to mention that I got older, and I couldn't find a love for anything besides cartoons and sitcoms. My mom would often ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up, and I tried my best to ignore.

This problem was solved when I found my creative interest through television. I discovered jazz dancing. I remember watching Debbie Allen on a television show and she danced on stage. I had my eyes glued to the TV. I told my mom that I wanted to do jazz dancing, and she took me straight to ballet. Hated ballet when I was little, because it was so painful to endure, but the instructor taught me well.

Middle school was when I began to experience...life lessons. Relationships, especially. My cousins all had boyfriends and girlfriends, and I was stuck as the single one, or the third wheel on dates. I wasn't too much concerned, but then I started feeling like I was never going to get a boyfriend. Stupid of me to think of that at 14.

My first "boyfriend" boyfriend at age 15 was...(sighs) an interesting experience. I thought he was pretty cool, and laid-back when I first met him. He always had these street clothes on, but his accent was the opposite of that. What a weird combination.

Our relationship was good though. We'd always went to the local Starbucks just to talk about whatever. Throughout time, layers started to peel off, and I realized that his laid-back personality was beginning to be overshadowed by his true outgoing personality, and I would be sucked right into it, going to so many parties. It was ridiculous.

One thing he kept asking me though was to make out with him, which I was hesitant at first, because this was my first time having sex. A few months later I was like "Well, since our relationship has evolved, I figured I'd give it a try. You only live once right?" Well, that turned out to be a huge mistake, because after we.....did it, he broke up with me the next day in school, as if he was scoring me. Then, I heard that I wasn't the only girl he did this to. I was pretty naive to not know his true intentions, but you know how guys are treated in society. No need to even repeat it.

I spent the rest of Freshmen and Sophomore year focusing on education and dance, reevaluating my life, then everything changed when my Junior year began. What was responsible? Well, his name is Mordicai, or Love, which is what I like to call him. Our relationship started off small. While I wasn’t paying attention, Mordicai was always drawing pictures of me in classes we had together. It wasn’t until weeks that he confessed that he had a crush on me, and asked me out on a date. I’ll admit that I was hesitant at first because of my pasts I’ve had with having no strings attached, but I was willing to just let all of the grudges go and give it a try.

I remember our date too. Instead of some five star restaurants, he took me to his studio. He had on this black vest with dark blue jeans, converse sneakers, and glasses. I couldn’t help but laugh since I was a bit too overdressed. The date actually turned out great since we were so relaxed, and his sweet personality was really soothing. He also painted a portrait of me that day.

After that we’ve been inseparable. Too bad we aren’t so lovey-dovey in school. Rather outside of school. It’s something about him though. I feel like after months of dating, he’s hiding something. Unfortunately, I didn't know about his secrets until it was too late. I remember hearing the news from his mother that day. Found him dead in his room from a drug overdose. I spent that entire weekend in my bed sobbing until there were no tears left. I didn't want to attend school after that weekend, but I had to stick it out and keep my composure, but I wasn't fooling anyone.

That same day was when I encountered another secret about Mordicai. He had his own circle of unique friends, and one of them knew about me after hearing the many things Love would say about me. He invited me to a cave just to have a good time and celebrate Mordicai's death. At first I was hesitant, but thanks to Mordicai's best friend, I felt more comfortable with them. I actually did smile after feeling so depressed and lonely before that. After that and Mordicai's funeral, I had to focus on my own life. I didn't want to let the thought of Mordicai go, but I was still young. I had a whole life way ahead of me. After that day, and a text message from one of the guys in the group, I never heard from his friends again. One I heard had succumbed to a terminal illness. ”

With the future on my mind, I went back to studying at school, focusing on dance, and graduating as swiftly as a cool breeze. Why? Because I was on a mission to attend one of any university that could accept me for a Performing Arts degree. Who accepted me? My third choice, New York University's Tisch School for the Arts, but I had to major in Business and minor in Dance. I was so elated because my brother Jamal lived there, and he let me live with him once I moved to New York. It's a long walk to NYU from his house though, but it is worth it.”

“My freshman year was such a blast at NYU, but very overwhelming. This was a totally different country. I assumed that many would judge me and my Canadian accent, but throughout the first semester I began to warm up to people, and I got quite a few friends, and as the years passed, it progressed from there. I also joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. However, being so active in campus life, I still had to focus on dance, and after graduating, I was given the option to extend my education by getting a Graduate Degree, which is where I am now. Had to move out from my brother's little one bedroom apartment to something more “me”. Sure it's a little harder this time, since I'm also paying for rent, but at least my brother, and scholarships, are helping me out a little as well. Plus I managed to get a job as an intern at Alvin Ailey Dance Company thanks to one of my dance instructors, as well as a cashier at J. Crew clothing store.

From the few, yet tremendous heartbreaks I have experienced, I must say that I persevered. However, my life journey has not finished yet. There is a long road in front of me that I still need to drive until I reach the end.”

So begins...

Dominique Norwood's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Elliot Monroe Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Alexandra Kaersson Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Scully 'Spitz' Rollins Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood Character Portrait: Adam Banksys
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ImageThe distant violin, a component of one of Lana Del Rey's songs, hummed airlessly from an ajar window on the seventh floor. Jaylene, the occupant of 7C, laughed in spite of the wintry mix that danced among the maximum height of the complex in which she lived. Heat would always ardently rise regardless of the seasons, causing her to irritably jam her fingers under the small window helve and crack it wide open. Faint tottering resounded on the floor she shared with other tenants. An oversized, black polished clock above her kitchen sink read '10:37AM'. Still 'Born to Die' looped from the night before, whirling from the bedroom door where a sleepy, blond-haired woman growled into her pillow then turned and threw her wrist over face.

The young woman's jade eyes glistened like fatigue smeared on glass. Her abundant mess of blond hair was tied wickedly to one side of her head, stray tresses here and there. After pulling together about two centimeters worth of motivation, she got out of bed. An unorthodox ache in her long fingers had them craned, pointed acrylics close to her palm. It was always the winter that had her so sore and exhausted, but she did a damn good job of waxing all of the above clear from view with cosmetics and a smile. Her slightly tanned skin glowed under the soft luminescence of her energy-efficient bulbs. The foot of her cotton pajama pants dragged on the linoleum as she drudged towards her coffee maker, turning over the itinerary for the day in her mind. In less than an hour she'd have a small complex assembly to attend on the second floor - something about new residents and potential upgrading, reconditioning and reiteration of 'house regulations'. The concept so often made her ironically amused but she did keep in mind that the building was absolutely filled to the brim with twenty-something's and addicts. They did need to be reminded how normal human beings worked and lived to coexist fittingly.

After a quick shower and a black coffee with a pinch of espresso, Jaylene seated herself comfortably in front of her vanity. But the look on her face was less than enthused as she pressed the pads of her index fingers to skin just below her eyes. To her, bags were setting in deep. To everyone else they weren't visible. And she knew it wasn't the makeup - it was more of a placebo effect sort of thing. She believed they were there, so it appeared that way. With hesitation she dabbed her finger into some tinted moisturizer, only slightly applying it to her naturally aglow face. She put in a quick set of rollers, only held for maybe twenty minutes before she worked in about five different hair products and pulled them out again.

The rest of her process went by in a blur. After the meeting she'd return to her apartment and throw herself together proper. For now, supple nude lips rolled leisurely to spread chapstick. Flowing waves of blond hair stopped at her waist which significantly narrowed before widening again just at her hips. Her unadorned eyes were wide, radiant and emerald with newfound energy. Lack of interest led her directly to faded floral leggings, knee-high leather boots and an oversized cream-colored cardigan. She knew Elliot would say some sideways remark about the absence of her false eyelashes when entering a room full of people, then follow it up with some 'you're beautiful without it' save line. His turnaround humor never failed to enliven otherwise boring events. Since their first encounter, dappled occasions brought them closer over time. He was easily her best friend in the city, if not her only best friend at all. The solidity that came enclosed was something Jaylene always needed. Especially while living in the same complex as Kaleb. One could say that Elliot was Mr. Right - just more in the context of unfaltering friendship. Walking arm-in-arm so often had a lot of questions popping into the air. Elliot and Jaylene always giggled about it quietly. They enjoyed the suffering curiosity they imposed on their audiences.

'How long have you two been together?'
'Such a sweet couple!'


A small smirk spread across her lips as she stepped into the hallway, locking her door and leaning against the aged frame. Just across the way, Elliot lived in 7D. He'd be out any minute. When he finally emerged, Jaylene padded across the foyer and immediately melted into him, her head pressed to his chest as she made some unearthly, grumbling noises, "Haven't we been living here long enough to be excused from these shitfest meetings?" With an exaggerated sigh, she softly beat on his chest like a tantrum driven child and added innocently, "Also, heh. Would you kill me if I told you I needed last minute party favors for an event at Manhattan Tower tonight?" She simpered sweetly up at him. After a drawn out silence, and him staring back down at her in a sort of scolding way, she countered, "Okay, listen. I'll throw in some Herrera goodie bags for little Marie, and a new Valentino suit for you. Please?"

In the back of her mind flickered the last chance meeting with Kaleb where they directly interacted. Mick's bar, editorial celebration and model recruits. His band played and he was way less than pleased to have run into a ghost from his past. Especially since she was the one paying out. Seeing him wasn't so painful anymore but, knowing that he was so close yet completely intangible caused a perpetual ache in her soul. And she was sure that the drugs he pumped himself with only escalated his hatred for her. So to be put plainly, she kept her distance. Who knows if he'd even show up to the little 'union' on the second floor.






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"Ayo Banks!"

A thundering string of pounds on Adam's already rickety door sent his bloodshot eyes shooting open. Another connection with someone's fist would probably split the damn thing in half. A large palm slapped across his face, dragging downward and pulling his lower lip away from mostly straight teeth. He sat up, half expecting to see a random curled up next to him. But the only thing in sight was a roll of hundred dollar bills, rubber banded and tucked slightly under his pillow. That alone was enough incitement to spin a grin and get him to his feet to answer the door.

Another day, another dollar. Though his stage of life and sufferings circulated in cold azure eyes, his face was younger than his factual age itself. He still looked like he belonged in a juvenile correctional facility with the exception of his looming height and well spoken intellect. Unfortunately for most circumstances he involved himself in, not many got to see the intellect part of his personality. Sometimes he partially wanted to get to know some of the females from the complex just to lay his insight bare. So they knew he wasn't just a drug dealing, silent but violent type. But as it were, Adam never felt like he had to prove shit to anyone. Especially girls. Besides, he pulled enough into bed with him without having to so much as recite a hook line. The only thing that bothered him was that for whatever reason, he went to bed alone the night before.

Unlike other tenants, Adam pulled open his door without indecision or curiosity as to who was on the other side. The building had good enough security and well, he was always prepared to say the very least. As expected, the outside margin presented his good friend and technical 'business' partner. Still shirtless, Adam itched tiredly at his right shoulder and grunted, "Wassup man?" The two exchanged a quick handshake before Spitz strolled in casually, sinking into the couch like it was his own house. Adam crossed the distance of the compact living room. He kicked open the bathroom door, sweatpants half sagging off of him to show a pair of symmetry lines at the extremity of his toned abdomen. The sink needed to be cleaned, it was obvious that a woman's touch was never at hand. Drops of water rolled from the rusty faucet which was turned off. Lazily he jammed a toothbrush loaded with paste into his mouth and unintelligibly called to Spitz, "Is that deal at Manhattan tower still on tonight or what?" Next, he spit out a wad of bloody phlegm and toothpaste to repeat slightly, "That thing your girl on the seventh floor is doing… some fashion shit." Momentarily he peered into the mirror, met with a yawning face that couldn't be bothered to take orders from anyone or anything.

"Yeah she puttin' on some party for an editor or whatever she do." Spitz lit a blunt.
"Alright alright." Adam beamed and rubbed his hands together, "After party?"
"True. Get a new whip up in that old ass garage."
"I'm saying!" Adam acclaimed.
"Finna see if I can get shorty from my floor to come kick it, uuuuuuh uh."
"Got a mouth on her."

The two men laughed. Adam snagged the blunt from Spitz to take a hit, letting the stimulant dilate in his abused lungs. He held his breath, passing the joint back to his friend and finally letting out an abrading cough. Hopping up and down, Adam shook his shoulders and hawked, "Train wreck sweet? Damn, good shit. I'm gonna' need that for this fuckin' council shit they have going on on the second floor." For a moment the two got quiet, looking at each other and realizing it was a mandatory meeting. Spitz held the joint in his mouth, eyes wide as he rushed towards the door and called out, "I'll see you up there bruh!"

Adam was left to hastily wash himself, throw on a spray of Axe which, normally he wouldn't do but, he was too lazy for anything else. The landlord would watch him with her bird ass, beady eyes when he snuck in late. But it wasn't too big of a deal, Adam had lived at Empire Heights for more than six months. He knew how everything worked. He fought his way into a Supreme hood and a pair of khakis, almost forgetting his Airmax 90's on his way out the door. As he jogged down the stairs he near tripped as he blew past a blond from the third floor, someone he'd seen a few times but never caught her name. He knew she was kush friendly. At least, that's what he heard. She looked younger than himself but he never got the chance to really converse with her. Maybe her name was Alex? Ally? Something like that.

When he finally spilled through the double doors into the lounge area, half of the complex was already seated. Eyes shifted towards him, some with disapproval and some with amusement. With a straight face, the young man shrugged and loudly yanked a chair to sit besides the light-skinned girl he had stolen more than a few glances at in the past. As surmised, the landlord looked ready to snap at the sight of Adam. Without shame he raised his hand high and called out, "Don't worry Ms. Furman, I'm here. You look stunning." He heard Spitz hoot in response, followed by a few chuckles.






What was left of Spitz' little treat from the deal he had the night before was almost gone already. At the crack of dawn he always had a wake and bake session, but cut back on this particular morning so he had some left. 'Train Wreck Sweet', one of the most intense mental highs he ever felt. He usually kept his hands out of the coke and various narcotics he dealt anymore. Only once in a blue moon would he dabble for fun. Besides, he was more than capable of attaining any type of weed he wanted at a great price if not for free. With the assistance of Banksy, another Empire Heights resident, Spitz never went without good kush. The connections the two had gave them the eligibility of king pins. And life was good.

ImageSpitz didn't have any complaints anymore. He was at a steady place in a secure home, mostly surrounded by friends and good business. Whatever came in never left without him getting a good look, which was the pleasure and mass of his income while living on the first floor. Wasn't a bad gig at all. He had a spacious place, two bedrooms and a large bathroom. The only drab thing about it was the white walls which were strictly forbidden from being painted, part of EH edict. A black and white scheme of contemporary portraits and photos were methodically hung from his walls. Reflection of brisk sunlight scattered across their surfaces from large windows. In the center of the living room was a large LED flatscreen, just adjacent to a black leather sofa that Spitz sat on to play some video games and make phone calls in the early morning.

After making more than enough business calls, Spitz tucked his iPhone into the pocket of black slim jeans. He kicked down at the heel of his Vans, securing them and deciding to get a coffee from the second floor before all the bullshit started on it during the meeting.

Snugly perched in plain view was Amil, another EH tenant he had the satisfaction of knowing and bumping heads with. Something about her outstanding wits and sailor's mouth always had him peeping her but never getting too close. He figured she was smart enough not to fuck around with his type, what with her nose in books and her priorities seemingly together. The only problem with the equation was that she was exactly his type. The length of her lean body was graced with perennial artwork, her skin taut and tawny. He was always fighting the urge to lick his lips like some animal in her presence. He simply nodded towards her, unsure if she acknowledged him or not as he made his way to order a coffee from the regular cafe counter attendant.

A short distance away was another local, Patrick or something was his name, as Spitz vaguely remembered. He was looking tired as usual, typing away on his computer like all he knew was work. Spitz looked down into his wallet at the counter, minding his own business and smirking slightly. After tipping the barista he peeled the lid off of his coffee and tossed it into the trashcan. He hated the taste of plastic. As he sat down he looked around the second floor lounge area. Not many people inhabited it despite the space being actually pretty affluent. There was a coffee area, couches, two TVs and a dart board. The other half of the room was bare, usually utilized for meetings. He knew mostly everyone from the building by heart and was sociable with all of them, so sometimes meetings weren't half bad. Some people just didn't want to be within so much as hearing distance of him. And he got it, he understood. He never took it as disrespect. It was all good with him no matter what.

The warmth from the coffee filled his body to the point that his camo jacket and hoodie almost had him sweating. "Ooowee," he mumbled, grasping the cup with one hand and straightening the bill of his hat with the other. He finished off the liquid and made his way to the fifth floor to wake Banksy's lazy ass up.

After beating on the door for five minutes straight the fool finally got up and answered the door without a shirt like some crack fiend. Spitz strolled in and plopped right onto the couch and lit up a joint to unwind for a little before he had sit and listen to Furman ramble on and on about keeping the halls clean and not filing complaints about construction noise. Banksy's living room was dark, the curtains were pulled shut haphazardly and the walls were bare. Things weren't utterly disorganized but the dude definitely could have used a morning maid or something. Everyone lived differently, but sometimes Spitz just didn't understand how.

After sharing his blunt with Banksy he suddenly remembered that it wasn't so early anymore. The two of them seemed to conclude it at the same time which had Spitz power hitting the train wreck sweet and running out of the door to make it to the meeting at a punctual time. Only a few minutes before it began he was snagging a seat in the center row of carelessly placed chairs, waiting for the rest of the crowd to arrive. And one by one they made their way in, some looking asleep still, others like Jaylene and Elliot looking like they were ready to go shopping or some shit. He saluted the two, walking in the way they always did, while Ms. Furman stood in front of all of them, beginning humorlessly, "I don't want to have to hold these meetings anymore, so I'll make it quick."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Corey A. Delgado Character Portrait: Elliot Monroe Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Alexandra Kaersson Character Portrait: Juliet James Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Scully 'Spitz' Rollins Character Portrait: Patrick Murphy Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood Character Portrait: Hudson Hawthorn Character Portrait: Adam Banksys
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#, as written by Jaybt9
Next to a queen sized-bed, a loud buzzing sound of a cell phone on a dark cherry stained night stand. The stereotypical introduction of an proactive city's morning. The calls of roosters couldn't strike one's ears in New York since they migrated to the South. The alarm boosted his ego during the winters, lasting longer than rooster calls. An irritant sound that could continue unless it's purpose was achieved, which was catching the attention of a person, forcing them out of the subliminal cloud above them and into the real world.

The phone continued its vibrating hum until a tan-shade hand with white nail polish came forth from under a fluffed white comforter, quickly grabbing the phone to silence it. Whose hand was this? It was not soon after that the covers folded outwards to reveal, from the waist up, a young woman as complected as the hand. A black scarf was tied her head, covering the majority of her hair, but blonde and black peeked above her forehead. Her eyes felt like they were freed from being glued together.

She figured she would listen to some rhythmic therapy to shake the cobwebs away. The volume taking a break away from silent. From a playlist of random selections, the first song to makes it way to the top was an alternative Szjerdene. The dark ethereal introduction began as she strolled towards the small bathroom by the balls of her feet. She lifted her arms to the ceiling. Her clavicle getting a soft pop to relax after 7 hours of stiff tension and busy work, and if stretching didn't work, then the warm shower would.

However, the warm shower had to be brief. Why? A mandatory meeting at 11:30 am, and it was less than an hour and a half away. The landlady could have arranged a better time. Work was at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and Dee couldn't afford to miss even a second of it from her landlady talking on and on in her “Mob Wives” Brooklyn accent. For her third day in the apartment, Dee figured her landlady wasn't lenient, or assumed that all of her tenants were young and wild. With her wide curves and large eyes, this gave off the semblance of a daunting predator, and Dee was already one of her prey who made the first mistake checking out the apartments and signing her blood on the lease.

Because of the predator, Dee couldn't be belated to the mandatory meeting either, especially when it was 10 seconds of walking distance. Why make an excuse to be late or absent? Why even attempt it? Why already start the many days in Empire Heights on a negative note? Dee had to make this meeting on time. Even with the thought of boarding a subway in order to get to work. The time to walk and take the subway felt like eternity.

But until then, she had to start the day. She traveled to her scarlet hued curtains to separate them, lifting the blinds and her lips for a wide yawn. Chilly and snow white were the characteristics of New York's November through February days and nights. The large hot ball of plasma tried it's best to shine in the apartment, only for clouds to block its way. Instead, the wintery mix dominating the city the night before caused the aftermath. The entire setting illuminating in bright honeydew hue. Dee's apartment affected by this brightness, and also nearly blinded her. Her eyes squinting, but her raising hand saved the moment by blocking her view. Once her eyes began to adjust to the abrupt transition in lightness, she witnessed every second of life outside her window. People socializing as they dug their boots into the white layer above the sidewalks. Some sidewalks covered in dirty snow from being plowed to the side by a plowing machine, while what was left on the roads melted from the large packs of organically shaped Sodium Chloride thrown around. Since they didn't have machines for sidewalks, residents had to shovel a pathway from their doorsteps. The landlady was no different. A heavily-built man of middle age decked in flannel did the heavy work for her, pushing the shovel with ease as the landlady stood at the stoop with a cigarette in one hand and a grip of her long black coat with the other, trying to keep warm from the freezing climate.

Dee's nose felt the cold winds freezing her window, attempting to slither inside of her apartment and snatch all of the moisture from her clean body. Fortunately, it fell submissive to the knob-controlled heat circulating in the homely air, mixed with warm cinnamon apple pie fresh out of the oven. This was an illusion, and the Glade plug-in beside the window was the magician. However, a chill pierced at Dee's collar, and a reminder that Dee's belt was loosening from her waist.

But all Dee would hope for was the meeting to equate to skimming the many pages of a novel until the main points were discovered. After lowering the shades to prevent any lewd public acts, she practiced her morning ritual, like any female. It was prepared and unluckily long: Aloe Vera moisturizer on her limbs and face, winter clothing with undergarments underneath, ample pink plushgloss on her lips, black eye liner, and others in between that can't be mentioned. Her five10-hour long braids loosened from her fingers, flowing curly and wild above her chest. Her appearance was finished, but later than her expected time. 11: 10 am, which she proceeded to sigh over. The thought of her landlady being a rather strict woman over lateness of any kind. Dee couldn't let that strict side emerge, so her gait began to quicken.

Her breakfast had to be quick, so a banana, two slices of toasted cinnamon bread, and a cup of orange juice could fill her up temporarily to prevent the lion in her stomach to growl at the meeting. The plate and glass cup was empty. This time? 11: 24 am. She was ready to go to the meeting....

Wait...she had to brush her teeth, but the meeting was getting closer. She couldn't brush her teeth in time, but she couldn't cause a gas of “food and morning” breath to smother the room. People may think she's exaggerating, but she was a woman. That was more than enough.

Instead of brushing her teeth, she ran to her bathroom to search for mint mouthwash under the sink, rushing to pour a dose into her cup and pour into her mouth. The gargling wasn't as directed because of the time, but it got the job done. Spitting the mouthwash into the sink, she exited the bathroom to see how many minutes left until the meeting. 2 minutes.

What was left? Leather boots, purse, money, identification, keys. She thought this would take 30 seconds because of her rushed pace.

Now she was ready for her day. She snatched a black coat from her closet, turned her music off, and headed towards the door.

Behind the stairway, she could see people already sitting in the lounge, but no heavy lady in a gown. Dee didn't have to experience her strict landlady, or so she thought......

“11: 32 am. Fashionably late aren't you?”, a voice crept behind Dee. A voice that suffered from mucus down her neck, or future throat cancer.

The fear was beginning to happen. Only because Dee was two minutes late, she had to endure being thrown under a bus, or a finger bit off. Dee just had to deal with the pressure and reply with a nod.

“Hmmm..” the landlady continued as she scanned Dee's neutral winter style,“Since this is your first meeting, I'll be easy on you this time, but do not be late again.”

Dee's heart quickly dropped. In her mind, she was shocked over the landlady giving her a warning. Just a warning for being a new tenant. To prevent judging her landlady, she couldn't express it with her face. A warning. This thought conflicted with her motor skills. She wanted to freeze like a snowman at the door.

“Go ahead and a take a seat.”, the landlady quickly commanded Dee, causing her nerves to function again. Dee left her a grinning nod before heading to her seat. An improvised seat near a window, since the other seats were taken.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Corey A. Delgado Character Portrait: Elliot Monroe Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Alexandra Kaersson Character Portrait: Juliet James Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Scully 'Spitz' Rollins Character Portrait: Patrick Murphy Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood Character Portrait: Hudson Hawthorn Character Portrait: Adam Banksys
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While Ms. Furman continued, Kaleb’s mind drifted before he could even realize it was happening. His eyes kept scanning over the crowd, jumping across all the faces. There was Juliet beside him, the bar vixen. He had played at a couple gigs she’d tended, and she had always slipped him a few drinks now and again. She always seemed to have someone tailing behind her, like a lost puppy begging for attention. They had never fooled around, much to his own surprise seeing that if given the opportunity he would probably do so. He had a soft spot for blondes though.

Especially a specific blonde that lived on floor 7. As much as he would resist, Kaleb time and time again found himself stealing glances at Jaylene. Kaleb didn’t see her as often as he had initially feared, now when he did find himself around her, he’d often find himself hiding from her, peeking through much like an amazed explorer. Everything about her had changed, the way she carried herself, the way she talked. Perfectly manicured head to toe, dressed like New York Barbie. It was freaky.

Plus he felt a twist in her gut every time he saw her.

He forced his mind to wander, his gaze following. A pair of full lips immediately distracted him. Her dark, full eyes read BORED in bold font and her body language mirrored the message. There was something familiar about the girl, a memory stirring in the back of his mind, framed in filtered sunlight from where she sat, making herself comfortable in a makeshift seat in the window. She was gorgeous, creamy mocha skin and a full shape. He entirely blocked out anything Ms. Furman could be saying, enraptured by the pretty young thing before him. He narrowed his gaze, sure that he knew who she was. It was on the tip of his tongue, he could taste it.

He was digging through his memory, watching the young woman, just on the edge of making the final connection. Just as he could feel her name crawl out of his mind, the startling interjection of a much too familiar voice spoke. Where his landlady had just stood, instead it was the devil herself, poised and perfect. Despite his usual urge to leave as fast as possible, seeing her so open and vulnerable to the stares of others left him enraptured. It was funny to him how despite how much she had changed, he could still read her like a book. Standing tall and confident before them all, Kaleb saw her squirming from within. She looked onto the faces of each one of the EH tenants, skipping over Kaleb’s curious eyes, it was like he didn’t exist. ”...listen, if nothing else, the bar will be loaded and you’ll get party favors. Everyone is seriously welcome. Like I mentioned, your cover charge is on me. Just come out and have a good time. Oh and Hudson, we would kill for a live act. I’d pay you. So, yeah. Thanks.”

He chuckled to himself, ‘You mean you don’t want my band to play?’ He thought to himself, resisting yelling the question across the room to her, put her on the spot, make everyone else see her squirm like he could.

Then he rethought, startled by his malicious thoughts. It had been years since Kaleb had been visited by the darkness, somehow going through the struggle of homelessness and finding a way back on his feet had given him a sense of wholeness and happiness. There was something about having Jaylene around that made him feel like the ghost of his demons fought to resurface, rekindling old emotions and inner rage. Of course she couldn’t have meant that he was invited as well, or she could just be just assuming he wouldn’t shown even if given the opportunity. Throwing his arms over the back of his chair, he leaned back, glancing to Juliet beside him who’s reaction to the invite had been comical enough to warrant a chuckle.

“Yea, I don’t know how I feel about being around that crowd, free drinks or not.” He mumbled, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his knees, clasping his hands together as if in deep thought. His eyes watched as Jaylene walked off the stage and wrapped her arm through Monroe’s once again. “Shiesty people, you think that they’d be above pettiness but most of the time that’s how they trick you.” He left his words hanging in the air, his dry tone letting his quip be interpreted as either a joke or insight. Getting to his feet, he slung his knapsack over his shoulder, walking to where the light skinned shapely vixen had remained, by the window.

He couldn’t help but to run through a variety of greeting, scratching one after another. It almost felt like a movie, his mind in frenzy as he approached the pretty girl, going to overdrive in the last few seconds. Finally he stopped before her, feeling his charm turn on like a switch. He felt smooth, relaxed, pushing his hair back from his face and a handsome smirk lighting his features. He pointed a finger to her as he spoke, “Don’t I know you?” He asked, and as he spoke the words, her face flashed in his mind once again, but instead this time it was in a sketchbook, drawn with charcoal. It had been in the hands of his beloved friend Mordy once when they had spent a night in the cove after a night of doing drugs and drinking too much.

“Dee?” He said, more in a tone of recognition than as a question, a dark shadow passing his expression briefly as he felt the loss of an old friend tug at his heart. He had only met Dee once, after Mordy’s funeral Kaleb had invited her to the cove with him and their friends to mourn for their loved one together in a place where he had been for so many great memories. Even with only having met the girl that one night, Kaleb understood why Mordy had fallen so deeply in love with her. She was beautiful and down to earth, and her smile lit everything up. Was it strange that Kaleb felt a connection with her when he recognized her grief from hopelessly lost love?


He set down his bag, gesturing to himself, “I’m Kaleb, remember I invited you out after Mordy’s...erm..yea.” For some reason he couldn’t spit out the words, then shuffling his feet and looking around as if to find the words to say hanging before him. “Sorry, I just...I knew that I knew you, I just couldn’t figure out how.” He laughed awkwardly. Silence hung between them briefly before he asked, “What are you doing in America?”

ImageIn any other circumstances, Patrick would have completely disregarded Barbie’s offer, even if Amil or Kaleb would beg him for hours, but feeling the weight of the unwritten article burdening his beloved laptop, Patrick found the idea of a distraction enticing. Amil finished her pastry beside him, watching Kaleb and Juliet exchange words and then Kaleb straggle to the new tenant that had caught his eye. It was obvious she had to resist rolling her eyes, the same for Patrick. For claiming to love his girlfriend enough to consider proposing to her, he sure sought out other girls often. Amil never minded being a casual fling, there was absolutely nothing romantic between the two. However after the second week Amil had been at EH and Kaleb took her out for drinks, the two would occasionally wake up in one another’s bed. The first month the boundaries were a little fuzzy, but they had worked everything out and considered each other’s friends first. Now and days their encounters happened as few as once every one or two months. The only downside was that Patrick always knew when something had happened between them, somehow sensing it in the air, often calling them out on it. It had become a bit of a joke between them.

“Whore.” Patrick said to Amil, gesturing to Kaleb. Mouth full of pastries, she stifled a laugh, shoving him gently. She nodded in agreement, finishing her tea and taking her dirty dishes to the counter, Patrick following suit. Watching as she walked, Patrick asked himself why he seemed the only one that hadn’t submitted to Amil’s charm. He watched her deep teal hair, slicked into a high ponytail, swish in count with her hips, the tip of her mane tickling the tawny divot along her back from where her slouchy knit sweater had slid. Her mannerisms were endearing, and her crude sense of humor was refreshing. Perhaps it was just that they had never been in a situation to find sexual interest in one another, Amil always seemed to have someone else in her paws, Patrick would usually play the role of wingman.

Tugging her arm, he swerved her in the direction of a mutual friend, Corey. Perhaps it was slight egoism, but he enjoyed having Amil at his side, so that everyone else could see that the pretty tattooed asian girl had decided to hang with the craze haired cynic from 2C. It was like he was sporting the jewel of the ball, anyone who knew Amil liked her, she was friendly and easy going - for her to choose to stick by him over anyone else made Patrick feel just a few ranks higher than the other tenants in a almost humorous way. “What do you think?” He said once they came to Corey, Patrick leaning against the table and holding his laptop under his arm like a book.

Amil plopped in a seat across from Corey, looking to Patrick with an annoyed expression, “You can’t just start a conversation like that, idiot. You’re a writer, use complete sentences.” she bitched, rolling her eyes.

Narrowing his eyes, Patrick stared her down briefly before looking back to Corey with exasperation.”What do you think - about the invitation to the banger?” he said, almost mocking Amil.

Amil crossed her legs delicately, answering before Corey could. “I don’t see why we shouldn’t go, I never go out with people from Empire Heights besides the recluses that barely venture to a dive bar.. oh, and Juliet.” She said with mild humor, referring to Patrick, Kaleb and Corey, all either very busy or a bit of a homebody, although Amil wasn’t sure what Corey would be doing most of the time. She watched him from the corner of her eye, the way the fabric would stretch across his muscles. Smirking, she rested her elbows on the table and leaned forward, folding her hands together like a hammock to prop her chin up. Corey had never been dissapointing to Amil, although the whole act of mystery got old quick.

“Well I wasn’t asking you Amil.” Patrick said as she batted her eyelashes at him playfully. Throwing up her hands in exasperation, Amil stood, backing away from the pair.

“Stop talking shit, man.” She said simply, turning on her heel as she walked away, Patrick then taking her spot. He gestured over his shoulder, shrugging mildly, “Always has shit to say.” He joked, remembering why Amil and himself hadn’t been intimate, ever. They’d probably end up killing each other in the process. Shaking his head, Patrick set up his laptop as he peeked back at Corey. “So what’s the verdict, are you going?” He asked.


ImageAmil was planning on swing back to Juliet, maybe the two could help each other pick out outfits and how to do their hair. Out of the lot, Juliet probably was the only one who had similar taste in fashion, so Amil knew if she couldn’t find anything in her own closet, she probably could in Juliet’s. However she had to walk past the notorious dealers of the complex, and in passing it was difficult to avoid eye contact with either boys, although it was when she locked eyes with Spitz a smile cracked across her lips. The blonde who’s name Amil always forgot sat nearby, twisting seductively from where she lain, looking over to Spitz. Turning a chair, Amil sat facing the two, sitting sideways on the seat so that one arm could go over the back of the chair while her legs crossed over one another. “What’s wrong, you can’t say hi to me anymore or something? Your boy got you on a leash that’s too short?” She joked, gesturing to Banksy and winking playfully.

She stuck her thumbs through the holes of her sweater, folding her elbows against her side and gently cupping her own face delicately as she leaned forward with obvious amusement. “So when you say you’ll treat us good...” So close to the two, she playfully trekked her finger tips along Spitz’ leg, mocking foot steps across his jeans. “Does that mean your own product is in the goodie bags as well?” She joked, looking between the two. At the moment of silence, she leaned back in her chair. Aware that as far as they knew, she was clean cut, but she wondered if they would take her words as a joke as she intended. Although depending on how the night went, she wouldn’t exactly turn down a bump or two.

Amil hadn’t gotten on the level of comfortability with Banksy as she had with Spitz, something about his cold eyes left her a little at ill ease. She had heard enough about his violent history and tendencies that had left him with a cloud of danger that was both alluring and left her cautious. Still despite his somewhat friendly demeanor, Amil had played it safe and normally did her share of joking around with Spitz.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Corey A. Delgado Character Portrait: Elliot Monroe Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Alexandra Kaersson Character Portrait: Juliet James Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Scully 'Spitz' Rollins Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood Character Portrait: Lee Harris
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#, as written by Jaybt9
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After Dee settled for a wide window sill as her seat at the tenants meeting, the landlady decided to start with a cut short introduction about how blunt her words would be, since she understood that many of these young adults had jobs to keep. Dee grabbed the edge of the sill to keep her balance, and resist laying her back onto the cold glass pane. Her long legs pressed together.
“I know we’ve been talking renovations for months but in a few days painters are coming in to fix up the main foyers. Some drywall construction will follow, so I’ll need you all to be patient with the noise and temporary chaos. As per usual you’re expected to abide by EH regulations, your leases…”

Furman paused after witnessing what she knew she was going to see in front of her. Few individuals causing a scene to express how uninterested they were. A rather bold move on their part, but she tolerated it. This may have not been their first tenant meeting since they've been here. Since she was new, Dee was trying her best to listen to the landlady's plans to improve the apartments, but she also had dancing on her mind. A recital coming next Saturday and she had to practice all she could since she reduced her daily work hours for this day. She couldn't practice consecutive mornings last weekend because of moving to Empire Heights.

Dee used her 20/20 vision to glance around the room, observing the new tenants of the house. A colorful crew the Empire Heights had under its roof, including Dee herself, and a variety of body languages. Dee's “judging the book by its cover” habits were kicking in the double doors. She could honestly see herself communicating with them, but not on a friendly basis. Some seemed too flamboyant. Others seemed too cynic and anti-social, especially one of them, sitting with a cold blank look on his face. His entire frame was small. His medium brown hair combed to the back of his head. Dee wondered who this individual was. He seemed like someone from a glooming background.

Dee, however, shifted her attention from him to everyone else, trying to seek for comparisons. The obvious one being ethnicity. Only very few minorities within this group of career and thrill seekers. One man in particular, with a darker skin complexion than Dee, pushed his way onto a pair of women sitting on the couch together. Ever since Dee went to New York she had seen many men like him flirting with the blondes who could make it in a covergirl commercial. Not that Dee actually minded this behavior. She just found this amusing, since this wasn't such mainstream activity in Belleville. Everyone liked anyone they could connect to. The hair and skin color was never a preference. In New York, or better yet U.S.A., statistics were involved. She didn't understand this until her sorority sisters educated her. Bad idea. Let's just say that the word “privileges” are involved.

And this girl he was pushing his appeal on was not the only blonde in the lounge area. The majority of girls were blonde, whether born or dyed. Even bleached to rich platinum. One of the blondes in the back of the lounge had a boyfriend she was clinging to. So much that she could constrict him if he ever mistreated her, but from how much of a gentleman he seemed by the way he looked into her eyes before going in for a quick kiss, arguments would never occur between them. How this blonde stuck out to Dee? Her extravagant fashion sense. Name brand clothing from all around Europe. With how this blonde carried herself into the front of the lounge, Dee would assume that she took a trip or two there.

This woman and her boyfriend went up to the front of the room to introduce themselves to the new tenants, but based on some of their reactions, they were familiar with her. Some more than others. Dee reminded her of a blonde in Belleville who was at a house party once for one of the football players. The dirty blonde was slipping and falling in every room that day, including their garage. She remembered a brunette hanging around with her. The brunette was at a worse drunk state than she was. She wondered what ever happened to them.

Back to the tenants meeting, this particular blonde, who Dee now knew as Jaylene, invited the new tenants to a party she was hosting with her boyfriend that the new tenants, including Dee, could be interested in attending.

“I usually don’t do this kind of thing, but I’m busting open a huge deal for my agency and we’re having a banger at Manhattan Tower tonight. Everyone has to pay a cover charge but I’ll let you all in for free because honestly, I’d just love not to be surrounded by anorexic models all night.......”

By that time, Dee's cellular phone vibrated on her palm, nearly causing her to jump in fright. She wondered who would give her a message at this time, but since her friends and sorority sisters are all working in jobs or careers in the morning, it was no surprise that one of them would contact her. She proceeded to investigate, needing her ears to multitask.

“You've received a video message from: Erica”

Dee smiled to herself in delight. Her best friend from high school. The one that was cautious about her little “cave trip” in honor of Mordicai. After high school graduation, they split separate ways: Dee heading to the United States, and Erica moved to Toronto to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. Dee hadn't heard from her best friend until her senior year, thanks to social media. After giving Erica her number, they talked for three hours that day, reminiscing on old memories and sharing new ones.

Ironically, Erica had married a Muslim Physical Therapist at the college she went to, and she was expecting a baby boy soon. The same month of graduation to be exact. The husband wanted to name the boy Kareem, which Erica found to be intriguing. She thought it was named after a grandfather of his, but it was actually named after the American basketball legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabar.

Now to present time, Dee wondered what the video sent from Erica could be. She opened the small envelope icon. A video of baby Kareem in Erica's living room. The climax was Kareem already walking, adding his own manner of communication by waving to the camera with only his fingers. Not even a year old and he's already moving his legs. Dee's smile lit even more. Who knew something so enlightening could control her emotions, and have her day at a great start? It even calmed her tensions of potentially being late for work.

“.....would kill for a live act. I’d pay you. So, yeah. Thanks.”

That was the last she could hear from the blonde in front of her, but at least Dee got the location. She wasn't so sure about the time, since she had to work the whole afternoon to closing at night, but the day was on a weekend.

She could see a slim lower body heading her way. Someone wanting to speak to her? Who knew what this persona wanted to say? She didn't know the tenants too well, so she couldn't have them in her personal business just yet. She closed the video of Baby Kareem on her cellular phone before turning it around. Once the person was finally standing across from her, she lifted her head with a warm smile to whoever the lower body belonged to.

A young man piercing her with his dark eyes. His handsome face surpassed his eccentric sense of clothing. Comparing him to the blonde from earlier, they were complete opposites, further complimenting the varieties of Empire Heights, and after brushing his dark hair back with his fingers, he had a coolheaded charm that many women loved. He proceeded to speak to Dee, and she was curious over what he would begin the conversation with.

“Don’t I know you?”

A rather odd introduction. She quickly wanted to respond with a shaking head, but then it got even more strange when he said her name.

“Dee?”

Her narrowly gazing eyes began to widen, and by the way she had responded, this man was right. How did this man know her name? Better yet, her nickname. Only friends and family know her by “Dee” rather than “Dominique”. Maybe she had seen this man in a distant memory. The more her eyes was drawn to him, the more his appearance seemed acquainted to her. His black strands of hair sprouting wildly from his scalp, and above his eyes. The light fawn shaded skin, with hints of stubble on his chin. Before she could ask him the obvious “how do you know my name?”, he quickly gave her the answer after placing his bags down to the crowd.

“I’m Kaleb, remember I invited you out after Mordy’s...erm..yea.”

His name was only said once, and Dee felt gravely affected by it. A soft catch of her breath. Her eyes widening more. She didn't know whether to feel dumbfounded, or ecstatic over a long-lost mutual friend reuniting with her after only hearing about him once, and seeing him from time to time in high school. These past few years have been a trip to the past for Dee. First her best friend, and now her beloved and dearly departed Love and what was left of his legacy. Was this fate wanting her not to forget about Mordicai? No, Kaleb staying in the same apartment building had to be a coincidence.

These many thoughts couldn't distract her for long. She had to respond to Kaleb.

“Kaleb! Hey! It's nice to see you again.”, Dee responded in her distinctively light, raspy tone, greeting him with a handshake. From what Dee could remember of Kaleb, every part of him remained the same. Even his stubby facial hair. Only exception was his height, which was a slight upgrade. Dee was, regardless, still shorter than him.

“Sorry, I just...I knew that I knew you, I just couldn’t figure out how.” He added a laugh into the sentence that he may judge as awkward and timid. Dee could imagine how he still felt that way. Even after meeting each other for the first time, their diaries were still locked tightly to their hearts. They were not as open to each other as they were with Mordicai, and since they lived in Empire Heights together, the cliffhanger had another opportunity to raise itself up to the ground.

“What are you doing in America?”, he finally asked after a moment of muteness to gather up the letters in the alphabet to form words, and finally a sentence. That was an excellent question to ask. Of all places, they both managed to migrate to the United States. What was the fascination over the United States?

“I go to college here in NYU.”, Dee easily responded. “I've been here for more than four years now, and I'm working on getting my graduate degree.

Dee's future in dance had to involve one of the greatest schools in the country. In a location where many aspiring dancers lived, wanting to compete to the lead roles on stage, or the television screens.

So how about yourself?, Dee questioned in turn, I didn't think America was such a common place for Canadians to live.”
Dee sneaked in a lighthearted joke to mellow their awkward encounter, and secretly Kaleb's diffident mannerisms. His current status after mourning Mordicai's death was still a mystery to her. even the other friends Mordicai left behind, or rather joined him in the case of the student who allegedly succumbed to a terminal disease. From Kaleb's warm skin complexion, Dee assumed that he moved on from the past like Dee had to.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Corey A. Delgado Character Portrait: Elliot Monroe Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Juliet James Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Patrick Murphy Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood
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Kaleb Dean Sivaj:
Fate always played funny games with Kaleb, although maybe it was karma - he lived life in disarray, so life had a fucked up way of unfolding. He could see a light go off behind Dee’s light eyes when he said his own name, bittersweet fondness mingled with grief. He figured the image of Mordy had popped in her mind, as it had in his own. When they shook hands, he almost flinched at her soft touch, his warm mitt clasping her cool docile paw. Gliding his fingers across the palm of her hand as he pulled away, he couldn’t pull his eyes from her as she feigned excitement in them reuniting all these years after a brief encounter.

He could feel his phone buzzing in his pocket, a text, most likely from Kaycee - not many other people texted him throughout the day. Fidgeting, Kaleb looked over Dee’s shoulder as she answered his question to where Amil and Patrick had been sitting. Still attentive to her words, Kaleb almost did a double take when from the corner of his vision it seemed as if a certain cap wearing individual had stooped down to be so brave as to kiss a familiar head of blue hair. He felt as if something had twisted from his throat to his chest, his tongue heavy. A few choice words threatened to slip out, and he felt his stare darken. From what he could see, Patrick didn’t offer any strong reaction, so Kaleb dismissed his former presumption, although it didn’t put him at ease. Amil hadn’t pushed Spitz back like Kaleb would of preferred, instead Kaleb could tell even from afar she was sizing up her prey.

First and foremost, Amil was a good friend of Kaleb. She was wild and sassy, alluring and seductive. Amil was like a product of some perfect woman cyborg a inventor rock star would create, with very few program flaws. The two had their share of intimate moments, although not as many were with their clothes off as other people liked to assume. Still, even with Kaycee always reminding him of his presence, Amil was an important lady in his life. Ironically she gave him a lot of advice about Kaycee, and she never would be the one to initiate anything between them. It wasn’t that Kaleb knew he would sleep with Amil again, but it just always seemed to come up again. The nights would come from out of nowhere, a perfect cocktail of drinks, location, laughter, stolen glances and magic. They would wake up confused, share a laugh and grab breakfast from the cafe and most likely be busted by Patrick, who would openly call them out. They knew they had no romance between them, maybe it could just be described as an animalistic attraction.

The fact that Spitz was even around her made his blood boil, but he didn’t seem to linger long, walking away carrying Alex on his arm. He didn’t know the girl very much, she almost reminded him of Jaylene sometimes, how she seemed dismissive of most people. As Jaylene popped into his mind, she popped into his vision, predictably hanging off of Monroe. Before he could let his blatant disdain betray his expression, Kaleb turned his attention back to Dee before recognizing her questioning eyes. His reaction was a bit delayed, not comprehending her question until after she asked it, nodding his head and saying “oh,” under his breath, as if reminding himself to answer her. Clearing his throat, Kaleb coughed into his fist before shoving his hands into his front pockets.

ImageShe had no way of knowing the weight of her question, the story of how Kaleb had ended up in New York. He had forgotten pieces along the road, he definitely wasn’t going to open with how he had to hitch hike from New Jersey to New York alone after leaving his once best friend and was homeless for months. Shrugging, he chuckled to himself as he reached to grip the back of his neck, as if he were almost nervous to answer. “I was actually born in New York, I moved to Belleville in middle school. So, I’m actually American.” He laughed again, dropping his hands to his side.

When a silence fell between them, he offered a weak question, “Are you going to that party you think?” Choosing to ignore that Jaylene was behind the banger, someone who Dominique might know by name, it would just make the entire conversation easier if it were like Jaylene was just a insignificant detail. From over Dominique’s shoulder, he could see Juliet and Amil fall into fits of giggles. He looked back to Dee’s searching eyes, down to her full painted lips. Smiling, he looked back to her eyes, awaiting her answer.

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Amelia Sheffield


Juliet made no effort to move, only further making herself comfortable in Amil’s lap. Huffing with false annoyance, she rested her head once again, looking over to Patrick and Corey. Both of them usually spoke in low voices, their words inaudible to Amil’s ears. She frowned, assuming they must be talking about her. Biting her lip out of habit, she watched them with curiosity. Patrick and Corey had always gotten along well, so Amil had been told. No one really noticed when Amil and Corey started seeing one another, if that’s what someone wanted to call it. It mostly consisted of late night visits, infrequent lavish dinners and many unanswered questions, which was what clued Patrick in eventually, her curiosity being what betrayed her. But it was pointless to even ask Patrick about Corey, he made it clear he didn’t know anything either.

There had been something in the way he carried himself, possessing culture and tact unlike most people Amil crossed paths with. To say that he made her nervous sometimes wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration, something in his eyes that showed much more than he meant to let on. There was some dangerous edge to him that was intoxicating to Amil, although the mystery he seemed to hold so close drove her crazy. She and Corey hadn’t ended on bad terms, just sort of drifted away and loss the initiative to see one another. If he had been affected by her at all, he never let on, and vice versa. It had been an adventure while it lasted, and Amil would never out rule him from her pool of options.

Her mind had drifted, realizing she had been watching Patrick and (mostly) Corey as long as they had been talking when Corey looked over to her and Juliet, locking eyes with Amil. At first Amil felt startled, as if she had been caught sneaking through her mother’s purse. Then her expression softened, offering a weak smile and a little wave, head rested against the arm of the chair. Patrick had said something to break Corey’s eyes away from Amil’s, but she didn’t bother to look away. Her fingers played with Juliet’s locks. “My legs are falling asleep.” She whispered, almost affectionately, wiggling her legs from under Juliet.

Laughing more to herself, Amil used her arms to hoist herself from beneath Juliet, sitting on the back of the couch to have Juliet lay as she had fallen into the cushion of the love seat. Her eyes glided across the cafe, most of the tenants had gone to hide away, but the social ones remained, and one not so social tenant who seemed to be falling asleep in his seat. Giving Juliet a look that said be right back, Amil swung her legs over the arms of the couch, sliding down to stand on her own two feet, Juliet undisturbed. Amil looked over to Noellen for Juliet to understand.

Noellen had been a project of Amil for quite some time, the guy was eerily quiet, and had the a similar mixture of danger and mystery that allured her to Corey, but there was something about Noellen that made Amil aware that he was thrown a little off-kilter. He never seemed to show any kind of genuine emotion or interests in anything anyone had to say, and was rarely seen talking to anyone, let alone laughing. Running her hands down her sweater as if to smooth it out, she primped her hair once before turning before Noellen. “Wow, did Furman have to bribe you with a month of free rent to get you to make it to the meeting?” She joked, taking a seat across from him and crossing her legs delicately.

Noellen had the perfect chisled features of an American Hollister God, a pretty boy cut and piercing eyes. Grade A meat, but such a fucking weirdo. His apathetic expression put her ill at ease as she wrapped her arms around herself, her smile growing weaker. “Yea, I just wanted to say you should go tonight, I’m forcing Patrick, and he’ll probably force Corey and Kaleb, it’ll be a whole table of disturbed insociable minds.” She joked nervously, her humor bordering inappropriate, her awkward tendencies forcing her to make a fool of herself. Looking across the room, she looked to Juliet pleadingly, as if asking her to save Amil from saying something that might actually offend someone. Even sober Amil could make herself look like an asshole. It was as if she was missing a layer of a filter that other people seemed to have that kept those random pieces of grit from slipping out. Smiling, Amil shook her head, looking down to the floor and pulling at the hair at her temples. “Sorry, my mouth likes to run ahead of my mind.” She said, wincing slightly and hoping her joke was not in bad taste.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amil Sheffield Character Portrait: Corey A. Delgado Character Portrait: Kaleb Dean Sivaj Character Portrait: Alexandra Kaersson Character Portrait: Jaylene Sullivan Character Portrait: Scully 'Spitz' Rollins Character Portrait: Patrick Murphy Character Portrait: Dominique Norwood Character Portrait: Adam Banksys Character Portrait: Lee Harris
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#, as written by Jaybt9
Dominique could feel some tension reaching Kaleb's nervous system and frequent eye contact to her left. In her mind, she wondered what was disturbing him. Was this disturbance outside of the glass window? Was a pedestrian passing by that he was familiar with, or was there someone in the room that Kaleb felt uncomfortable with? Did he hear this person's voice resonating to his ears.

Of course these questions were all based on Dee's own assumption, but once Kaleb began his response with a mumbling “oh,” with his eyes to his worn off shoes, this proved that Dee's assumption was correct. Something, or someone, was bothering his aura.
Dee didn't want to display her curiosity in an obvious manner by following his focus. She just met the man after many life changes. Their relationships and mindsets of life have developed since the adolescent years. Secrets revealed to the public or added and locked into their mental journals. She didn't want to drive straight on to the personal questions full speed like most women do.
After some hesitation, continuing his uneasy habits, he finally came up with the answer to Dee's question involving migrating to the Bald Eagle country. Opening his mouth, Dee's speculative thoughts took a break.

“I was actually born in New York, I moved to Belleville in middle school. So, I’m actually American.”

“Really?” Dee thought internally, but only nodding to surprise externally. This man was American? She couldn't tell, but who really can when Canada and United States are two big melting pots? The ingredients being descendants from other continents. They can, however, tell by accents.

Dee still spoke her native dialect, which was a subject for New Yorkers to ask about. She wasn't short or thick with her vowels, or creaky with her consonants, so it wasn't rare for someone to ask where she was from. She couldn't answer that to strangers, but her dialect was a dead giveaway that she wasn't from New York.

Kaleb, while he lived in When she first met Kaleb, he had a clear Canadian accent. One that could exaggerate the “o” in “sorry”, but talking to him now, it was different. It was like his Canadian heritage was snatched away from him once he reached the border. Even with his body language, he was well adjusted to the New York Urban scene. Much quicker than the 4-year New York citizen in front of him. This no longer drew questions as to whether he was lying or not.
Kaleb drew more of his adapting skills, asking Dee about another subject.

“Are you going to that party you think?”

This was when Dee's conscience kicked in. The party that the well-dressed blonde was hosting this weekend? A party that may be filled with young adults that knew each other, but didn't know Dee? Dee felt hesitance over attending a party full of strangers. Watching as boys and girls perform various acts that may be comedic or crude.

On the other hand, this is the beginning of where social connections happen. Dee could get a chance to communicate with more people. Even those who may be her tenants. Even those who were mutually friends with someone Dee knew from work or college. The chances of meeting new friends were wide and open with an invitation.
When she came up with her answer to Kaleb, she wanted to display confidence in her body language, but her conscience still didn't want to leave her.

“I'm not sure with my work schedule, but I can change things around.”

Since Kaleb was the one to address if she was going to Jaylene's fiesta, this implied that he would be doing the same, but Dee proceeded to ask him anyways.

“So how about you?”

Hopefully, he could attend. So far, Kaleb was the only tenant she was closer to, and this was their second time communicating together. Nonetheless, she felt more at ease with him around, since he may know the neighbors living in Empires Heights.