Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Life By Zach:

Lauren. That’s the pretty brunette’s name. I just got done working out and was jogging home, and my mind drifted like it usually does when I am running. She’s an environmental science major, which I think is really cool. She’s into animals and saving the environment and helping the world, which isn’t something you really hear people my age talk that much about. Her dad is a veterinarian and so she always grew up with one or two stray cats or dogs that came to temporarily stay at her house until they found a forever home. I like the way she talks about animals and the environment, her whole face lit up and she got really passionate.  I really respect when someone knows what they want out of life, when they have a passion and work hard towards that goal. I am the same way in my life and I know that I really want that quality in someone that I date. Clearly Beth didn’t fit that bill.  

This week I made my list of medical schools I want to visit in New York. Obviously NYU is at the top of my list, and I am pretty confident I will be able to get in. I met with my career counselor the other day to go over my transcripts and she said that as far as my grades go, I was doing very well. She did point out that I should be gathering more clinical experience, because that’s something that med schools really look for in a well rounded applicant. So, she set me up with an interview tomorrow at the local hospital for an internship. I’m very excited about it!

After my workout, I decided to run over to the bookstore to buy an MCAT study book. I know I don’t have to take the test quite yet, but I want to start reading about it so I have a good idea what to expect. I am not the best test taker, but I have noticed that for me, the key is knowing what to expect. I would much rather start taking practice tests now than be faced with a moment of terror when I actually show up and take the real exam.  As I was leaving the bookstore, I felt my phone vibrating and I searched around in my gym bag for it.  When I finally found it, I saw the buzz was a notification from Facebook. “Lauren Rosenthal has sent you a friend request.” Hmm. Interesting. We had exchanged numbers last night; I was a little bit weary after the Beth fiasco but Lauren seems so down to earth and sweet that I figured I shouldn’t be closed off to hanging out with her.  I accepted her friend request and browsed through a couple of her pictures,   they all seemed to connect with who she said she was; there were several pictures of her and her family, of Lauren at the beach with her dog, and of her internship at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Endangered Species in Oregon last summer where she helped conduct research on how to help end the extinction of several species.  I was about to text her when I decided to simply call her instead; I thought this might be the more chivalrous thing to do.  She seemed surprised that I called, but also pleased, and we agreed to meet for dinner on Saturday. I told her I would pick her up at eight, and got home feeling pretty good about my day overall.
That evening, shortly before going to bed, I spotted a pile of unopened mail sitting on my desk that I had yet to go through. I was expecting a letter from NYU Medical in regards to visiting dates, so I jumped up and started sorting through the envelopes. I stopped short when I spotted a very official looking envelope from the University's Disciplinary Committee.

“What is this??” I thought. “Must be a mix-up.”

I tore open the letter and as I started to read it, my heart felt like it stopped working.  The words started to get blurry and all I saw were phrases here and there:

“Your coursework contains material that is problematic with regard to the rules on plagiarism and will be investigated further.”

“Clear cases of plagiarism will be passed on to the Executive Dean.”

I tried to compose myself and think what this could possibly be about. Then I saw a date and time for a decision hearing on the matter, which was scheduled for two days from now, and the other attendee at the meeting: Andrew Johnston.

Oh my God. The paper I gave him.


LbA: Victorious, Part 1

A/N: Hey guys!  This post is a little different. I had been concocting it in my mind for awhile, and finally decided to go for it.  It's written from Victoria's POV.  I'm not sure how many "parts" of Victoria's story there will be, but I'll try to do them once a week until I'm through, and do Aleah's the other post during the week.  I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and write a different personality.  Please, be honest and let me know what you all think.  I mean, don't just be like "I hate it, yo!", but if it really is terrible or poorly written, or feel like it's not going to add any insight to Luktoria, please tell me.  I can definitely end her POV with the one I write next week, or I can keep it going for a few more (because I have several ideas).  Anyway, hope you enjoy!


I sighed heavily and set my pencil down on my always uneven desk, watching it roll to the edge, building momentum, and dropping off the edge, “tinking” onto the floor.  I put my head in my hands, massaging my scalp with my fingers, staring down at this math, and watching it disappear as the fiery cascades of my red hair flowed over it.  School- especially math- has always been difficult for me.  It probably wouldn’t have been, but I had chosen to not ever try, and to get by on my charm and good looks.  Literally.  I knew what to say, and who I would need to flirt with in order to pass every class I ever took in high school.  Whether that be the teacher, or one of the smart kids.

I’d had my job at Abercrombie for several years now and was a Manager In Training back in Kansas, until Luke asked me to start college classes up at UNL to be closer to him.  Of course I said yes.  I was able to transfer to the Abercrombie in Lincoln, but had to drop out of the MIT program in order to take full time classes.

I heard some giggling outside and turned to look out the window next to my desk to see her.  I scowled in disgust.  

 I knew I was hot.  I had never felt inferior- or intimidated- by anyone, until her.  Her shiny brown hair was up in a braided pony tail, golden glints teasing through each strand, with a head band keeping back the fly aways.  She was wearing a tight white tennis dress that hugged her athletic, clearly toned body, and her perky breasts slightly jiggling with each step she took.  Her tan, muscular legs, on the other hand, had no jiggle.  Her tennis bag was slung over her shoulder, and she was on the phone, oblivious to my gawking.  If I could look like any other woman on this planet, it would be her.  And I hated her even more for it.  What was even worse was that she was so fucking nice.  I mean, not to me, but I understood why.  If we had ever met on other terms, we probably could’ve... no, would’ve been best friends.  Best fucking friends.  I watched Aleah get into her car and drive away.

~~~~~~~February 2008~~~~~~~

I reached down acting like I was itching my leg, but was really picking up the note my best friend, Jill, had slid to me with her toe on the floor.  We were in Spanish class (our last class of the day), and Jill and I were doing anything other than learn Spanish.  Unfortunately, Senora Cortes also knew that, which is why we were both failing.  Well, Jill was failing; I had a D-.  I don’t really count that as failing.  It’s passing... barely.  We were only taking this class anyway because we had to take two years of a foreign language. 

Senora Cortes was married, so flirting wouldn’t work.  She wasn’t into girls.  And she seemed immune to my pleas and begging.  I knew I’d need to turn my attention to a classmate, but the pickings were slim.  Aside from Jill, the girls already hated me, and there were only two guys in my class, and they weren’t doing well, either.

Jill’s note was asking (telling me) to go to the mall after school with the other cheerleaders.  We were the only two freshmen to make varsity, and so whenever the upperclassman said jump, we asked how high.   Apparently today we were going to the mall.  I spent the rest of the class cleaning underneath my perfectly manicured fingernails.

We obediently followed after the cheerleaders at the mall, ooh’ing and aah’ing at the outfits they tried on.  We quietly took in the gossip and snarky comments they made about other people in the school, learning our place, and what our outlook should be.  Jill and I were already good at looking down our noses at all the other freshmen.  Since making the squad in the fall, we had immediately and exclusively hung out with the other cheerleaders.  Which, obviously, also meant we were better than the other peon freshmen.  We had made it to the top early, and had 4 full years to perfect our reign.

Walking through the mall, the lustful stares and gawking of the creepy old men and the other horny high school boys were not lost on me.  We giggled and flirted when appropriate, keeping our heads up and shoulders back, strutting like this was each of our own personal catwalk. 

We stopped by the food court and all got ice cream.  We gathered around the fountain, continuing our gossip fest.  The conversation turned to sex.  Until this school year, anytime I had heard the word “sex,” I had blushed uncontrollably.  But, I also had tamed my blush-reflex.  Plus, I had proudly cashed in my V card last fall at a party after one of the football games with a senior running back.  A few of the other girls had serious boyfriends, but neither Jill, nor I, did. 

“Hey, bitches,” Courtney hissed at us, “hot guys alert!”  She nodded her head behind us.

Of course we all turned to look which caused Courtney to whisper, “No!  Don’t look!”  And we quickly turned around, giggling.

“Ohmygawdheretheycome,” she gushed in one breath.  We all started fluffing our hair and checking each other’s make-up and teeth, as if on cue.

A group of tall, hot guys all came striding over.  We all made introductions around, and started making small talk.  Based on their letter jackets, they went to our rival high school.  And based on their patches, they were all varsity basketball players.  I tried to catch all the years on their jackets, and they mostly looked like 2007 and 2008.  Seniors and Juniors. 

Jill and I exchanged a giddy glance, but then went back to being chill.  I looked them all over, trying to figure out who my mark would be.  I spotted a super tall guy with a chiseled jaw and cutting eyes, brown hair combed to perfection.  To my 5’ 3” frame, he was definitely at least a foot taller than me.  He caught me checking him out and he moved behind a guy next to him over beside me. 

He gave me a cocky, half-smile and said, “I’m Luke.”

I blushed for the first time all school year and gave him my most coy smile, batting my eyelashes.  “Victoria.”

~~~~~~~June 2009~~~~~~~

“Ooh, Luke,” I moaned.  I was on all fours, on his bed, and he was railing me from behind: hands holding my hips to control the situation.  He slapped my ass and I slightly jumped, and I heard him chuckle.  I knew that there would be a hand print for about 10 minutes.

He grunted, and sighed, pulling out of me slowly.  He large cock flopping down.  He pulled the condom off and tossed it over into the trash can next to his bed.   He flopped back, naked, onto his bed, watching me wipe myself off with one of his dirty t-shirts.  “Thanks,” he muttered.  He had graduated earlier in the day, and this was my present to him.

I pulled my boy cut panties on, and my short, tattered jean shorts.  I went searching for my bra, throwing clothes around, with no help from Luke.  I reached blindly under his bed, and felt what I thought was a bra and pulled it out.  It was a bra, but not mine.

I stood up holding it up by the strap, completely grossed out.  I glared at Luke, raising an eyebrow at him.  He grinned and shrugged.  I threw it at his face, grabbed my shirt and pulled it on, my own bra forgotten.

“Fuck you,” I whispered at him.  His parents were in bed, and I was about to sneak out, without waking them.  It had become an art, really.

I quietly stormed out, knowing Luke wouldn’t come after me.  And also knowing I would be back the next night.

I snuck down a block to my car, and got in and left.  The 30 minute drive back to my house, I thought back to how we had come to this point.

After meeting in the mall, over a year ago, we had quickly become friends.  Our friendship was based on mutual need, though.  Luke was a junior, and the star basketball player for his school.  I needed help with Spanish, and Luke had taken four years.  I didn’t know what he needed until a couple months later, though.  Sex.

Our study dates quickly turned into study sexssions.  The first time hurt like hell.  I understood why he needed sex.  I was positive with his anaconda, no one would let him near them.  That was my justification, anyway.  He wasn’t gentle, but it got easier each time it happened.  I was sore and bled a lot, though, the first 6 or 7 times.

I naively thought that I was the only girl, at first.  Until I showed up at his house for a sexssion and walked into his room to find some whore sucking his dick.  I quickly found out who she was and she got a tire slashed for that.  Only one, though.  I wasn’t that mean.

We ended up at several of the same parties after that, and I would flaunt other guys in front of him, brazenly making out with them in front of him.  He didn’t seem to care. 

But after the third party we ran into each other, we fucked in the bathroom.  And fell back into our routine of studying and sexing twice a week.  Tuesdays and Saturdays.  However, I knew the truth this time. 

I knew what he was really like, and I wasn’t going to let my guard down again.  I knew our title.  Fuck Buddies.  Nothing more, nothing less.  But by the time his graduation was on the tip of our tongues, he had made it known to me that I was the only girl he was screwing (or so I thought), because he didn’t want to deal with drama of leaving other girls when he went to college.  He got a full ride somewhere for basketball and didn’t want some girl crying over him.

I realized, as I wiped the tears out of my eyes and parked in front of my parents’ house, that I had become that girl. 

I hated him.  I hated Luke.  I hated how he had used me.  I hated how he had physically hurt me.  And I hated how he had sex with other girls.  I hated how much I had fallen in love with him.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Life by Zach - Radio Silence

It’s been a long week. I spent the entire time channeling all of my energy into school and the gym and I am finally feeling like myself again. I spoke with dad yesterday and he asked me to send him a list of medical schools I want to visit, so I am going to start working on that next week. During my visit to New York with Aleah, I realized that I really want a chance to live in an incredible city like New York someday. Perhaps not for the rest of my life, but definitely for at a while. One of the things that I loved the most about New York is that the city has this amazing capacity to make you feel as though can virtually be anyone you want to be, and you will still be able to find a like minded crowd to relate to and befriend. I hope I can make both my dream to go to med school and live in a city like that a reality.
But anyway, enough about all that. Its football time!!! Nebraska is playing today and I decided to head over to a little sports bar near campus with Ben to watch the game. I haven’t had a chance to catch up with him all week and I am excited to watch football all day.
“What’s up bro?” High fives all around.
“Not much, studying, gym…you know.” Shoulder punch.
“If by working out you mean keg stands then yeah dude, I do know!”  Full on wrestling for 5 seconds.
Standard greeting for this bromance.
“Beers all around!!!”
The game was underway and I was having a great time, no drama, no Beth…nothing but a bunch of guys joking around and having a good time. As the game came back from commercial, the camera swept over the crowd of fans in the stadium, along with a brief glimpse of the tailgaters hanging out both before and during the game. Obviously tailgating is something of an art for people, and it is an event that is thoroughly enjoyed all day long. I remembered Aleah’s Aunt and Uncle usually set up a very elaborate tailgate for the Nebraska game, with beers and this amazing food, burgers, brats, and I think they even have other stuff catered in. So good. it’s seriously amazing. I knew she would be there today, and I couldn’t help but wonder if she’s with that guy I saw from the picture. Without thinking, I whipped out my phone and  texted Aleah “Go Big Red!” It seemed like such a natural reaction for me, like I just needed to reach out to her and feel connected somehow. I was sure she would respond; I figured we are friends above all so I should be able to text her if I feel like it. 
I slipped the phone back into my pocket just as a group of girls walked by our table and sat down just a few feet away from us.  I noticed one of them had long brown hair and hazel eyes, and the way she carried herself reminded me of Aleah, which was weird since I had just texted her.  Ben ordered a round of shots which we quickly downed (I promised myself I was only having one).
“Oh yeah!!!!” Ben shouted at the TV, gesturing wildly. At that exact moment, the brunette I noticed earlier walked by and Ben managed to sweep an entire beer off the table and directly onto her.
“Ohmygosh I’m so sorry,” he exclaimed, grabbing napkins and blotting furiously at her legs.
“Ben, dude, calm down.” I pulled him away from her before he was able to attempt to try and dry off her chest, and asked her if she was ok.
“I’m fine, it’s no big deal, just a little beer. I was on the way to the ladies room anyway, so I’ll just dry off in there but thank you.”
“Ok, I’m really sorry about my buddy here, he gets pretty excited and forgets about his surroundings sometimes.”
“It’s really ok.” As she walked away she turned around and smiled at me again, and I have to admit, her smile is amazing.
I went back to watching the game with the guys, and after a while our table sort of merged with the girls next to us. I mean come on, we're guys,  we like having pretty girls around.
When the game was over, we were all still in a pretty festive mood, and we decided to walk to the pub next door.
“Do you ladies want to come with us?” Ben asked.
I glanced at the brunette, who had exchanged a few looks with me earlier but we hadn’t spoken yet. She hesitated, "I'm not sure."
"Come with us, let me buy you a beer to make up for Ben over here spilling on you earlier." I pleaded with a smile.
“Ok. One beer.” she said.
I held the door open for her as we walked out, and after we found a little corner booth I asked everyone what they wanted.
“I’ll have a Blue Moon.” She said.
Yikes, that reminds me of Aleah once again, she loves Blue Moon.  As I walked to the bar, I pulled my phone out of my pocket.
No text from Aleah. Hmm.
I’m not really one to overthink things but that seems kind of strange for her not to even say anything. Was she mad at me? Does she not even want to be friends anymore? I’m so confused…

LbA: Twerk-fest

“Together again!”

Maddie, Elena, Sarah, and I clinked our glasses of champagne in the back of the limo.  It had been months since we had all been able to hang out, just the four of us, and so I had convinced my aunt, Chloe, to drive us in a limo.  She owned a limo business, more as a hobby than because she needed the money.  My uncle Sam, her husband, traveled a lot for work, and so to occupy her time, she bought a failing luxury car rental/limo business and had turned it around.  I didn’t take advantage of her generosity often, but she was always telling me to call her if I wanted a special ride, so I decided tonight I would utilize it.  Especially because we were choosing to go to Omaha to peruse the various clubs/bars there, and it would provide for the perfect DD.

We all looked gorgeous, having taken the time to actually go all out.  I had put my hair into loose curls and left it down and bouncy.  I was wearing a berry and black Alice + Olivia cutout back dress and Burberry pointed toe suede booties.  We were laughing a lot and had put back a couple glasses of champagne each by the time we arrived at the first club.

We immediately headed to the bar and ordered a round of Purple Hooter shots along with our drinks.  I had told the girls I would use my card for a tab, and the next day we could split the amount between the four of us so we didn’t have to worry about cash or having multiple tabs.  I went with my new fave, Goose n’ tonic.  It wasn’t long before we were on the dance floor, our drinks sloshing along with our bouncing bodies.

Sarah grabbed my hand and “drunk whispered” in my ear that she needed to go to the bathroom, and started dragging me along with her.  We dance-wove through the crowd to the bathroom, which of course had a line of about 10 girls in front of us. 

Sarah was doing the adult potty dance, which blended in nicely with the girls that were still dancing in line.  “Sarah, I’m not going, so once we get in there, I can hold your drink.”

“But look at this line!” she slurred.  “You’ll have to go as soon as we get out.”

“No, listen!”  My intoxicated wisdom was emerging.  I leaned in closer to her, so my face was inches from hers.  “Once you break the barrier, the waterfall of pee will just keep coming and coming.  I am holding on to that barrier as long as I can.”  I nodded my head with drunken finality.

She giggled and rolled her eyes at me.  We finally made it through the line and emerged from the bathroom, and scanned the dance floor.  We didn’t see Elena or Maddie, so we headed back towards the bar.  There, we spotted Elena talking to the bartender.

“’Lena!” I yelled so she could hear me, once we were behind her.  She turned around.  “Where’s Maddie?  What are you doing?”

She held up her hands victoriously, producing two shots in each hand, and smiled broadly.  She handed Sarah and I each one.  She then responded, “She was on the dance floor!  Let’s find her, so we can do these.”

We squeezed our way through the ever-growing crowd to the edge of the dance floor.  We were peering around over people, trying to find Maddie’s head.  I felt a hand grip my upper arm tightly.  I looked and Elena was holding onto me, her eyes widened.  I followed her gaze to see Maddie, ass pushed up against some guy’s pelvis, pulling a Miley twerking on Robin.  I closed my eyes, embarrassed for her.  Although, the one redeeming quality is that her tongue was still safely tucked away in her mouth.  But still, completely out of character for her.  Even if she and Gavin weren’t together, that still would be unlike her.  She’s a little more reserved than Sarah and I.  And fiercely loyal to Gavin. 

I pointed out Maddie to Sarah, and then stomped (or wobbly walked) over to where she and the Mr. Thicke impersonator were.  As I closed in on their twerk-fest, I slowed down, appalled.  Guy’s right hand was on Maddie’s hip bone, dangerously close to her vajay.  His left hand lodged right under her left breast.  I was shocked she was allowing that kind of disrespect to Gavin, knowing how protective of their relationship she was.  I stormed forward and put my hand on guy’s shoulder, pushing him back; Sarah and Elena each grabbed one of Maddie’s arms and pulled her away. She attempted shaking them off of her.  “What are you doing?” she shrieked at the same time guy slurred, “What the fuck?”

I glared at him and turned my attention back to Maddie, following them off the dance floor.  “Guysss,” she whined.  “I was having fun!”

Elena shoved the almost-forgotten shot into Maddie’s hand, and we downed them before pushing her out of the door, outside.  It was getting cold, so although the alcohol was definitely dulling the chills, we still all had our arms wrapped around our bodies. 

Sarah shot, “Maddie, what do you think you’re doing?”

Maddie rolled her eyes.  “Having fun.  It is our girls’ night.”

Elena, being gentler and a little less brazen than Sarah and I, tried next.  “Maddie, what about Gavin?”

“He won’t care,” she sighed, again rolling her eyes.

I grabbed Maddie by the shoulders, and lined my head up with hers, forcing her to look me in the eyes.  “Maddie, you would be pissed if Gavin was up on some girl like you were just letting that guy be up on you.”

She steeled her gaze at me, and pursed her lips.  She sharply inhaled, and immediately her face fell, tears brimming her eyes.  I wrapped an arm around her shoulders and we ushered her back out to the limo, climbing in the back.  I sat right next to her, scratching her back while Elena handed her a bottle of water, and Sarah gave her some kleenex.  I quickly texted my aunt not to go anywhere, we just needed a minute.  I had somehow managed to remember I needed to go close the tab, but first I wanted to find out what was going on with Maddie.

Maddie sniffled a few times and finally whispered, “We broke up.”

It was probably a good thing that Maddie had her head down, staring at her hands, because the shock was evident on all of our faces.  Sarah asked, “Why?  When?”

Maddie wiped some tears with a kleenex and sadly said, “Yesterday.  I don’t know why.  I mean, the past couple of weeks we were fighting all the time.  Gavin was so... distant... the past month or so, and it was getting to me.  I had told him he was being selfish, and he claimed he wasn’t, that he just was really busy.”  She sniffed and then wailed, “But I don’t know why he was so busy!”

Sarah, Elena, and I looked at each other, confused.  Maddie continued, “So I broke up with him.  He wouldn’t even talk to me about my feelings, and I just felt so neglected.”

I figured she was all over the place due to the alcohol.  We had all drank quite a bit in a short amount of time.  None of us really knew what to say, except muttering condolences.  We were shocked, and knew that more would come out later on, when Maddie was sober.  After a few minutes, Maddie sheepishly grinned at us, remnants of tears still staining her cheeks.  “Sorry for ruining girls’ night.”

We all chimed in, “Oh no, Maddie, this is huge.  You didn’t ruin anything.  It’s okay.  We can go home if you want.”

“No, no.  I’m okay.” She whipped out a compact from her clutch and started wiping at the makeup on her face, fixing it.  “Let’s go to another club.  I promise I’ll keep it in my pants.”  We laughed with her.  She added, "I just want to keep my mind busy right now."

“Let me run in and close the tab, and I’ll be back.”  The sitting and situation had sobered me up a little, so I was able to now slowly jog in my pumps back up to the club.  I realized I didn’t have a stamp on my hand, and I didn’t want to pay cover again, just to close my tab.  After some innocent flirting and the batting of my long black lashes, he let me in, with a lingering gaze of my body.  I turned and rolled my eyes, strutting up to the bar.  I got the bartender’s attention, and closed out my tab.  I was looking at the total as I was walking out, trying to figure out how we spent almost $100 in an hour when I bumped into someone.   

“Excuse me,” I mumbled as I tried to step around them.

The guy moved his body to block me, and I looked up annoyed, but then recognition crossing my face.

“Aleah, right?” the guy asked.  His blue eyes pierced mine, captivating me.  I quickly looked up and down his muscular body, to appreciate his light blue button up and dark jeans, and how they fit his body tightly, hugging all the right places.  His dark hair was styled perfectly.

Although I recognized him, I couldn’t place him.  “Yeah... and for some reason, your name is escaping me, I apologize.”

He laughed a hearty, yet airy, laugh.  “That’s because I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced.  I’m Aaron.”  He smiled warmly, his eyes crinkling, sweetly.

“Hi, Aaron,” I said, sticking out my hand.  He grasped it, enclosing it in both of his.

“I work with Brad.  Brad Stratton?”  Ah... detective unknown.   Now a detective known.

I smiled, flirtatiously.  “Well, Aaron.  It was nice meeting you, I need to get going.”  I turned to walk away, him still holding my hand.  He gripped it tightly, and pulled me back to him, placing one of his hands on the small of my back.

He looked at me seriously, but was still genuinely smiling.  “Aleah, I really do hope to see you around.”  And with that he let go of my hand and disappeared into the crowd.