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Survival of the Fittest > Franklyn Senior School > A Matter of Convenience

Posted by: Megami Jul 1 2006, 05:04 PM
(Continued from:

The somewhat lengthy car ride from Benson's Bar and Grill to this small convenience store had been relatively quiet for all the persons involved, and Whitney had had a lot of time to muse over her thoughts once again, unable to express any of them lest she revert Jodeen to all thoughts and feelings before the word "ice cream" escaped her lips. The wheels of the car turned into a suitable parking lot in front of the store and the blonde-haired girl put the car in park, killing the engine after a moment.

Reaching around behind her to retrieve her purse from its half-toppled over position in the back seat of the car, she dug around momentarily before a twenty dollar bill protruded from the top of her purse. Handing it to Jodeen, she cast a warm smile at the younger girl. Somehow, she couldn't help but feel at least partially responsible for the ongoings that had occurred at Benson's, and this was sort of her way of trying to make it up to both Jodeen and Matthias.

"This one's on me," she mused cheerfully, "Just grab whatever you want."

Hitting the button on the side of the door to unlock the car, Whitney unbuckled her seatbelt, and swung the door open, stepping out and reshutting it, but not heading into the convenience store quite yet. If she timed it right, she could get Matthias alone just long enough to find out the whole story on what had happened at the bar and grill, and hopefully spare him the incident of being reprimanded by his younger sibling.

Leaning against the driver's side door of the car, she eyed the convenience store with a bit of curiosity, having never been here before. It wasn't often that she came to this side of town. She had a few friends scattered here and there that she went to go see on occassion, but for the most part, she had no reason to venture too far from the Kensington Heights subdivision on the south side of town where their home was located.

Her musings over the little store were cut short as her attention turned back to the Kovalenko siblings. Momentarily, Whitney locked eyes with Matthias, casting him that signature look that ran across her face when she wanted something. After all, the whole point of this little endeavor had been to talk to him in privacy, if only for a moment. And slowly but surely, her curiosity was getting the better of her, and she just had to know.

Both hoping and assuming that Jodeen would probably run ahead of them into the store, Whitney slowly made her way around the small sports car toward where Matthias was standing. In a low, almost hushed voice, she finally vocalized her thoughts on the matter, hoping no one outside of the two would hear the oncoming conversation. Inwardly though, she couldn't help but wonder if he would even be willing to talk to her about today's events.

"Hey Matt..." the blonde mused quietly, "You wanna tell me what happened back there?"

Posted by: LadyMakaze Jul 1 2006, 08:12 PM
((Matthias and Jodeen continued from:

For the duration of the car ride, Matthias had taken to silence, relaxing at the front passenger seat and calmly watching the ever changing scenery of buildings, cars, streetlamps, and trees as they drove through the district. After all that excitement, Matthias finally had a chance to relax and recollect, putting himself back in a state of ease. Though after a rather meditative car ride, they finally reached the parking lot before the convenience store, at which Matthias waited until the engine quieted down before exciting with a relieved sigh.

Jodeen, on the other hand, was on the verge of bursting out excitedly almost as soon as Whitney stopped the engine, though she blinked in sudden surprised as Whitney addressed her with the twenty dollar bill she had dug up, offering it to her with a cheerful smile. Jodeen stared at it with an open mouth for a moment, her eyes alighting in what could undoubtedly be sheer glee.

“Really? Anything at all?” She gasped in pure delight, and grasped the bill tightly in her hand. Smiling gratefully at the other girl, she told her, “This is great, thanks a bunch! Wow…”

As Matthias looked back to see what in the world Whitney had given her that Jodeen had to be all excited about, his eyes caught the twenty dollar bill, and he blinked in surprise. Quickly, trying to be gracious, he reassured Whitney, “Hey, you don’t have to do that, you know? You really don’t.” He smiled a bit awkwardly. “I can pay for it, you know? I think I have enough….”

“Don’t make her change her mind, Matt!” Jodeen told him simply, sticking her tongue out at him. “It’s not like I’m gonna spend the whole thing….not all of it anyways.” Without allowing Matthias to let in another word of protest, she burst out of the car, opening the door to jump out onto the parking lot, practically dancing on her feet in energetic excitement.

“Hurry up, you slow pokes!” she called to them in an impatient voice before running off on her own, disappearing within the convenience store in only a matter of seconds before Matthias could even say, “Wait.”

Sighing at the incredulity, he shook his head, smiling in slight affection for his younger sister as he unlatched his seatbelt and opened the car door, exiting the car and walking around a bit to stretch his legs a bit. It was then that he noticed Whitney standing nearby, having not followed Jodeen into the convenience store, rather stopping to give Matthias a look of interest and inquiry.

Matthias sighed again, before she even asked, he knew perfectly well that she wanted to know exactly what happened back at the bar and grill. For all her curiously, Matthias could understand, and despite wanting to push it as far back in his mind as it would allow him, Matthias decided that talking about it and getting it off his chest wouldn’t be too bad. In any case, Matthias appreciate Whitney’s sense of tact, for not bringing up the subject in front of Jodeen.

“Yeah, I guess you do want to know what went on back there, huh?” Matthias asked her with a weary smile. He leaned against the wall of the convenience store, resting his back against it with arms crossed over his saxophone case as he began his recollection.

“Well, it was after…just after you went off into the ladies’ room. Silvstedt and Callahan…or maybe it was just Silvstedt doing all the talking, he was basically making some crude comment towards you about how you got your shirt wet. When I had something to say about it, he went over the top and went ahead and picked a fight.”

He looked down for a moment, kicking his shoe against the dusty sidewalk.

“I’m not one to pick a fight for a reason as trivial as that. Just pointless, you know? But in my defense, he basically trashed my alto sax.” He held up the saxophone case in his arms a bit. “I’d just gotten it repaired today too, and now that it’s completely wrecked, I don’t even know if it’s even playable anymore…”

He sighed, silently mourning his loss for a moment, before brushing the image of his destroyed instrument off into the back of his mind.

“So I guess you can see why I was willing to fight him,” he told her with an apologetic smile. “Or maybe it’s as stupid as any other reason to pick a fight in the public…but I just couldn’t let it go, you know? The way he was acting, it’s enough to make anybody sick.” He sighed yet again.

“To tell you the truth, if you or Callahan hadn’t upped and interrupted the fight, I don’t think any of it would have ended up pretty. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt. Even though I didn’t want to hurt Eric, I had to at least defend myself, you know? And for a moment, I thought he really wanted to kill me.”

He shook his head, closing his eyes in contemplative silence as he leaned his head back against the wall of the building.

“And now, after all’s been said and done, I feel just pathetic.”

Posted by: Megami Jul 2 2006, 11:11 PM
Looking on with interest as Matthias leaned against the wall of the convenience store and began to recollect on the day's events, a sympathetic smile formed on the fair-haired girl's lips. She knew internally that this discussion was not one that Matthias cared to be having, but she was grateful that he'd at least go over the basics of the events leading up to the fight with her. At the mention of herself, though, she began wishing she'd never asked.

"So then... all that started because of me?" she mused quietly.

It wasn't a good feeling, for certain, to know that if Matthias had never stood up for her against the snide remarks of Eric Silvstedt that he would have left Benson's Bar and Grill with both his prized saxophone and his dignity still in tact, not to mention the fact that he never would have had to explain to his sister all the ongoings that had occurred and how an argument had escalated into a public display of violent acts.

As Matthias continued his story, Whitney listened on, now only halfway paying attention to the other details of the story. It's not like it was her fault that Matthias stood up to Eric, or that Eric had a bad temper. However, she couldn't help but feel guilty that in a roundabout way she had caused all the drama that had unfolded at the restaurant. Overall, she just felt bad. She felt bad that Matthias's chivalry had cost him his pride, his prized alto saxophone, and had caused him the stress and frustration of contending with his little sister, and, quite possibly, having to contend with Eric later on.

"You know... you didn't have to do that. It's sort of silly, really. They can say whatever they want about me... Eric Silvstedt's opinion of me as a person doesn't really count for much, you know? You could've saved yourself a headache if you hadn't stood up to them."

Casting her companion a faint smile before returning her glance to the ground, Whitney couldn't help but smile inwardly at the situation as well.

"But... thank you."

Taking a few steps away from her former position of leaning against the car, and instead heading toward the door of the convenience store, Whitney stopped short of the door and turned back toward Matt, her arms folded loosely across her chest.

"I feel bad about what happened to your sax... is there anything I can do?"

While the Acosta family was rather well-off, certainly not as wealthy as some of the other local families here and in the nearby towns and cities, they still had quite a bit of money. Whitney felt partially responsible for the destruction of Matthias's prized saxophone, and as such, she couldn't help but feel somewhat obliged to at least offer some sort of assistance in repairing the instrument.

She could see Jodeen inside the convenience store from the corner of her eye, and after a moment, she motioned inside the store, indicating that they should probably enter before Jodeen became suspicious as to why they had fallen so far behind in the short distance to the door. She'd certainly caused Matthias more than his fair share of problems on this day, and didn't feel like causing any more trouble, especially in the form of raising more questions from his younger sibling.

Posted by: Theseus Jul 3 2006, 07:41 PM
Sam was standing in the back of the convenience store, shuffling a pack of playing cards mindlessly as he was looking over some snacks. He continued to shuffle, listening to the sound of his cards. He was wearing faded blue jeans and a black t-shirt that advertised the magic shop he worked at. He didn't see the trio pull up to the convenience store, but he heard the door ring as Jodeen came in.

Quickly putting the deck in its case and putting it in his pocket, he grabbed a king sized snickers bar and walked towards the counter. He looked at Jodeen for a brief moment, just to see if he recognized the girl. Looking outside he saw Matthias Kovalenko and Whitney Dawn Acosta. The basketball player and a cheerleader.

Not usually the crowd Sam hung out with, he just focused his attention back to paying for his snickers. Once bought, he went to the end of the counter, and leaned against it. He really wasn't in the mood to drive back home, he just felt like standing here, eating his snickers bar.

((Sorry for the short post, I didn't really know what to have him do, him being a new character and all))

Posted by: Croco Jul 3 2006, 10:08 PM
((Continued from:

The red Toyota that Vesa was driving pulled into a parking space nearby and the pilot hesitated for a moment before shutting down the car and getting out. He didn't know that the three kids he saw down at Benson's were in there; nor did he care. All he knew was that Olli, his "little brother," kept bugging him on the phone, saying that he wanted something before his adoptive mother, a middle-aged woman named Carola Soranen, picked up the phone and told him to get a gallon of milk while he was out. So he figured that since it was along the way, he would stop in and get the things he needed and get out quickly.

Once inside, Vesa quickly recognized Whitney when he turned back, one of the few students in the school that had longer hair than he did. He already knew she was taken, but still wanted to see if he could at least talk to her as a friend, but knowing that he had to not make it look like he was trying to hit on her. The young Finn made his way to the back of the store and picked up the must-get, which was a jug of milk; soon, a 2-liter bottle of A&W root beer and a bag of Doritos ended up in his hands, which would be split among himself and Olli. Vesa took a long time to think about whether or not he wanted to say something or just let it be, having already set in his mind that he would confront Eric the next day. But when he got to the counter, he made up his mind as he put the items up and handed the cashier another ten-dollar bill.

After collecting his change and his items, Vesa quickly made his way to his car, put the bags on the back floorboard nearest to him and turned back to approach Whitney, Matthias and Jodeen.

"Hey..." he said in a somewhat nervous tone, though his promenent accent was unmistakeable, "I saw what happened back at the restaurant...and what Eric did was totally uncalled for."

((Sorry for the short post...I'm on a limited time frame at the library here. Maybe next time I'll be able to start, recharge my minutes, and pick up my future posts until I get online at my new place.))

Posted by: LadyMakaze Jul 7 2006, 12:32 AM
Matthias shrugged at Whitney’s remark over the story, trying to look as though he wasn’t at all bothered by the events, though likely with little conviction. He smiled at her, a wistful, weary smile he put on whenever things didn’t go his way. It was his way of saying outwardly, ‘It’s nothing’, when really he was hiding the pain inside of him. Such was a fascade he felt the need to put on as he listened to Whitney’s sympathetic words as well as those of gratitude. Blushing slightly, Matthias rubbed the back of his neatly cropped hair, casting a sidelong glance to the street beyond Whitney.

“Eh, I couldn’t let it go, you know?” Matthias told her, trying to brush off the serious matter. “I’m not trying to be chivalrous, that’s just the right thing to do. I don’t regret actually standing up to him. Picking an all out fight with him over a broken saxophone…” His voice trailed off. He just couldn’t bring himself to say that it wasn’t a big deal, when really, the instrument had meant the world to him.

He looked towards Whitney in surprise as she approached, his eyebrows raised slightly in confusion as she asked if there was anything that she could do.

“Something that you can do?” Matthias inquired, before he understood what she meant. “You mean about the sax? Well…” He scratched the head in contemplation, slightly unsure as to how to answer the question. “…Really, you don’t have to do anything. That aside, I’m not sure if there’s anything that can be done. If it can’t be repaired…I can always buy a new one, but those things are hella expensive. I’d really like to get it repaired, but it won’t be worth the trouble if its not as playable anymore…” He smiled apologetically at her.

“It’s nothing, really,” he told her. “But I appreciate it, really.”

Just as Matthias was about to walk inside the store, he caught the sight of Vesa, a casual acquaintance from Franklyn, who appeared to have just finished his shopping at the convenience store. Smiling a bit at his words, Matthias shrugged again and said, “Yeah, that guy sure has nerve, I’ll give him that much.” He shifted uncomfortably. “So you saw that, huh? Man…I wonder how many other people saw that. Hope this doesn’t get around the rest of the school.”

Meanwhile, Jodeen had long since tired of waiting for Whitney and her older brother since she had made her way alone inside the convenience store, eagerly looking over the frozen food section at the various selection of ice cream and frozen sweets they sold here. Though she wondered just what Matt and Whitney were doing, taking their time outside the store like that. Was Whitney Matt’s girlfriend? If that’s the case, that was certainly a first for Matthias, Jodeen knew that much.

They’d better not be making out by the time I get out of here, she thought to herself, selecting a chocolate and raspberry ripple cream bar and making her way over to the counter, Whitney’s twenty dollar bill in hand. You just couldn’t go wrong with Haagen Dazs.

It seemed as though there was a line up…or else some weird guy was just standing around the counter, conveniently in Jodeen’s way, just munching on a Snickers bar. Anxious to pay for her ice cream, Jodeen found herself getting impatient, speaking up in a slightly irritated voice.

“You just standing around, or are you waiting to pay? Mind moving before my ice cream melts?”

Posted by: Theseus Jul 7 2006, 01:31 AM
Sam was lost in thought, not so much concentrating on the snickers bar he was currently eating, but about other things. School, work, his magic career which wasn't taking off anytime soon. He just stood there when he heard a girl's voice.

“You just standing around, or are you waiting to pay? Mind moving before my ice cream melts?”

Sam just looked at the girl and smiled and said, "Yeah sure sorry." Sam stepped aside and looked at the ice cream bar she held in her hand. He smiled, seeing an oppurtunity to perform one of his favorite magic tricks.

He watched the girl with the 20 dollar bill in hand, and knew that the change she got back, if she got any coins back, he could perform his trick. Sam was definately one to love being the center of attention, and even if in most situations this would be ackward, Sam didn't find it ackward at all. He just said to the girl, "Do you like magic tricks?"

Posted by: Megami Jul 7 2006, 05:46 PM
Only halfway listening to Matthias's reassuring words about the destruction of his saxophone, Whitney had instead taken to focusing her attention on the concrete parking lot of the convenience store, noting it to be littered with cigarette butts and dirt. Kicking absent-mindedly at a pebble near her foot, the feelings of guilt still had not really surpassed, but Whitney tried to shrug it off the best she could.

It was not until she and Matthias were approached by the large Finnish boy that Whitney fully snapped back to reality. Naturally, the large figure that was Vesa Turunen had just inquired about the events at Benson's as well. Whitney had somehow not noticed Vesa amongst all the patrons at the restaurant, which was quite a feat in itself considering the sheer size of the boy in question.

So, needless to say, his comments about Eric Silvstedt and his horrendous temper had taken Whitney completely offguard. Tilting her head to the side curiously, she couldn't help but note the seemingly uncomfortable expression on Matthias's face as he responded to the Finn's remarks. News about the fight seemed quite wide-spread, especially for the small amount of time it had been resolved in.

Then again, Whitney couldn't help but muse to herself, Benson's was a popular hangout for many of the Franklyn kids. Several of them worked there or ate there on a regular basis. Even kids from other schools came in to enjoy the food sometimes. It was only natural that news of the brawl that had occurred just outside the restaurant would spread like wildfire around town. People gossiped about the silliest things.

A polite smile formed on Whitney's features as she took in the large boy standing in front of she and Matthias. She'd seen him around, knew him to be a big sports fanatic, namely hockey. Couldn't really say they were friends, which was a shame, Whitney found she didn't really seem to have all that many friends outside of the cheersquad. Just casual acquaintances. Turning toward Matthias once again, Whitney couldn't help but respond to his nervous statement with a more ridiculous one of her own.

"You don't want the story of Matthias the War Hero, Wielder of the Almighty Saxophone Case to spread around school?" She laughed aloud at the thought, before continuing, "Really Matt, I can't imagine why."

Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the interior of the small convenience store. Jodeen had already gone up to the counter to pay, and Whitney found it amusing that indeed the girl had had no intentions whatsoever of waiting on herself or her older brother. Watching subconsciously through the corner of her eye as Jodeen approached a figure standing out the counter, she couldn't help but think the boy with the Snickers bar looked familiar.

After a moment she placed a name with the face she was looking at, his name was Sam Mervin? Merlin? ... Myron! Her attention turned to face the glass door of the convenience store as she watched the boy. She didn't quite know him, but rather, knew of him. He was the magician boy from school. Aspired to be the next David Blaine or something. He was quite good, at least, from what she'd heard. He and Jodeen seemed to be talking inside, something Whitney found harmless enough.

Looking on curiously at the events going on in the interior of the store, she had now noticeably stopped paying attention to the conversation both Matthias and Vesa were entangled in. She had to admit, she was rather curious as to what Sam Myron could possibly be talking to Jodeen about. Then again, from what she knew of him, he was quite popular amongst the student body, especially for his magic tricks, so really, randomly striking up a conversation with a 13-year-old girl didn't seem so weird. Maybe he knew the family or something.

Posted by: Croco Jul 7 2006, 09:35 PM
A coy grin formed on Vesa's face as Whitney made that proclamation, deciding that he had a few more minutes to kill before he had to go...either that or Carola would be calling his phone wondering where he was and what was taking him so long. He leaned against the large window, looking over the other three, then glancing back at Sam as he stood by the counter. After a moment of thought, Vesa looked down at Matthias before glancing back at Whitney, taking a moment to study her inconspicuously. He knew she was already taken, but still felt she was attractive and he definitely wanted to get to know her a little better...maybe this was the break he was looking for.

"Nah..." he said softly, "I didn't see anyone I knew, though that doesn't mean anyone else from school was there. If there was, then it could get out of that case..." Vesa took a deep breath, then let it out in a contemplative sigh as he ran his left hand through his hair. "...someone's gonna have to finish it, one way or another."

Vesa then took the time to regard Matthias again...for starters, he knew that he was on the basketball team and had seen the FHS basketball team play before. He also knew he was in the band, but that was after Whitney had revealed the incident with the saxophone case and the destroyed instrument, which happened just before he stepped in the door. Once again, he smiled as he continued to lean idly against the window.

"It's not the saxophone I have an issue with...but rather the kid who trashed it. I..." He was interrupted when he heard his phone ringing. A soft growl came from Vesa, muttering an obscenity in his native tongue to himself as he looked at the display, then sighed when there was no number. So he did what came naturally...he opened it and took the call, holding up a finger to excuse himself. "Hello?"

It didn't take long for the long-haired Finn to light up when he heard the voice on the other end. "Hey, Hannu! Kuinka aari te aikana paikalla taaksepäin kotona Suomi?" (How are you over there back in Finland?) The voice on the other end was that of Hannu Setanen, Vesa's best friend back in his hometown of Kerava, Finland...he was a year older than Vesa, but the two were always together in everything they did. And it was no surprise that they were on Finland's top line at the world junior hockey championships in Vancouver; Hannu played right wing and wore number 14 while Vesa centered the line, his hair coming down to the top of the number 23 on the back of his jersey.

"Hienosti...kuinka on se kotona Amerikka?" ( is it in America?) asked Hannu, the voice audible to Whitney and Matthias.

"Se on aivan aivan, ainoastaan kanisteri minun herättää te taaksepäin vähäinen määrä myöhempi? Minun heimo astuva jotta hankkia masentaa aikana minun pöytäkirja..." (It's all right, but can I call you back a little later? My family's going to have a cow over my minutes...) Vesa replied.

"Ei arvoitus...juoruta jotta te myöhempi, Vesa!" (No to ya later, Vesa!) Vesa then hung up and smiled at the two kids he was with before the call interrupted him. "That was my best friend back in Finland," he explained, "He's a year older than me and we were on the same line at worlds...but that's enough of that. Where were we again?"

Posted by: LadyMakaze Jul 11 2006, 07:20 AM
"Thanks," Jodeen muttered as she stepped aside the boy who had been daydreaming whilst snacking on a Snickers bar, making her way over to the counter to purchase her ice cream. As she lay her selected ice cream bar and the twenty dollar bill Whitney had given her on the counter, the burly teen at the counter frowned slightly as he began to irritably count out the respective change. Jodeen gave him a look that said plainly, Deal with it, and began to unwrap her ice cream and bite at it happily as she waited for her change to be handed back to her.

As she collected her change in bills and coins, Sam's voice caught her attention, and while she regarded him with a look of caution, the expression on her face said clearly that she was appealing to his question with a bit of interest. She nodded eagerly as she took another bite out of her ice cream bar.

"Yeah, I do!" she said, before asking curiously, her head tilted to one side. "What, you know any good ones?"

Meanwhile, Matthias had taken to pausing yet again in front of the convenience store, laughing yet again as Whitney made her own remark on the prospect of the whole brawl becoming known to the whole school. War hero? he thought sardonically, relaxed enough by now to see some humour in the whole matter. Yeah, real likely.

It was a while before he could recover himself, holding a hand over his aching stomach to keep from laughing himself into utter exhaustion. He stood up straight yet again, regaining his composure while still chuckling at Whitney's remark. "War Hero, huh?" In a mock act, he began to take up a defensive stance, holding his saxophone case two-handed as though he were wielding a heavy weapon. "Have at thee, fiendish rogue! Taste six-ply hardwood, and know that only one shall leave the grill alive!"

He set his saxophone case down and shook his head incredulously with wry grin on his face. "Honestly, I don't think I'd be able to handle all the glorification. A hero like me has got to keep a low profile, you know?" He chuckled a bit, suddenly sobering up a bit as he regarded Vesa's suddenly serious remark with a solemn expression on his mature face. Out of hand, huh? he thought to himself, mulling over his newfound situation to himself. Well there’s something to worry about…

He shrugged, trying to seem nonchalant about it. After all, there was no point in complaining in front of his friends, right? Whatever happened between him and Eric Silvedst was for Matthias himself to deal with. Though he didn’t ask for this sort of burden, he did get himself into a fight that cost him his saxophone, his pride, and overall just caused him a whole lot of trouble. As for the aftermath…it was just one other thing he would have to deal with later, by himself. It wasn’t fair to get everyone else involved.

“”It’s alright,” he reassured Vesa, putting on a friendly, calm smile to hide the feeling of unease that had welled up inside him. “Y-you know, I’ll handle it when the time comes. People who come round asking for trouble usually get more than they’d bargained for, you know? But whether it’s glorifying me or the opposite, I can handle it myself.”

Yeah… he thought to himself wearily. I’m no Hero. I’m just an ordinary kid who fell for some dirty trick and got into a fight over nothing. Is that what a Hero is? Ridiculous.

For all the stormy tides of unease and discomfort that raged in his heart, he covered up with a cheerful smile, as he often did whenever he was upset or unhappy. After all, no use ruining the mood right? You just had to move on, no matter how bad things got. Move on, and hope things turn out for the better from here on.

As he stepped into the store with Meg and Vesa, he listened with mild curiosity to Vesa’s side of the phone conversation, though it quite obvious that he did not understand a single word of it. Wondering briefly what could Vesa and his friend were talking about, he turned his attention towards the counter, where Jodeen was. From where Matthias was standing, in the somewhat cramped aisle of the convenience store directly perpendicular to the counter, he could see quite clearly that another person…older, and taller, had approached her, and was striking up a conversation with her.

His eyes narrowed in sudden caution, and immediately, in brisk, meaningful strides, he quickly made his way over to the counter to where Jodeen was standing. He could not yet see the stranger’s face, and thus regarded the situation with a look of caution, suddenly concerned for Jodeen’s safety and well being.

“Everything alright there, Jo?” he called out to her, moving to stand protectively alongside her as he warily regarded the stranger who had brazenly approached her. Immediately, all sense of pretense fell as Matthias recognized with relief the familiar figure of Sam, yet another schoolmate from Franklyn. Relaxing a bit, and smiling awkwardly, more at his foolishness than anything, he greeted Sam with a friendly voice.

“Hey…fancy seeing you here, I see you’ve met my sister.”

Posted by: Croco Jul 11 2006, 03:32 PM
"Okay, okay," said Vesa as he put his hands up, "I'll let you handle it in your own way...but Eric'll still have some explaining to do if I see him tomorrow." He looked at the phone and his eyes went wide as if he were staring at an empty net. "Voi, paska!" (Oh, shit!) he growled, "I gotta get going...if I'm not back home soon, it'll be my ass." He gave Whitney a smile and a nod while heading back to his car. "See ya tomorrow in Dolph's hellhole..." Vesa got into his car and was about to start it up when he heard his phone ringing again. Grumbling something to himself as he had a feeling of who was on the other line, Vesa wasted no time in picking up.

"Hello?" he said before bracing himself for the onslaught that soon followed, "I'm at the store...yes, I got the milk you told me to get as well as a couple other things that Olli, he called me first and told me to get them...oi, whatever!" If they could hear the conversation, they might be able to tell that a parental figure was on the line as it continued. "Kohtuullinen...minun jälkisäädös olla koti- kotona koiranvitjat pöytäkirja, Carola...hyvä, hyvästi..." (Just...I'll be home in a couple minutes, Carola...okay, goodbye...) Then he flipped the phone back up and muttered a few Finnish obscenities to himself before starting the car and backing away.

((Continued in:

Posted by: Theseus Jul 11 2006, 10:45 PM
Sam looked at everyone who was entering the convencience store. Jeeze, the gangs all here. Sam eyes everyone, wondering why everyone from his school chose this time of the day to come to this store. He shrugged and looked at Matthias Kovalenko. Basketball team, and saxophone player, the kid was pretty well known.

Sam did not know however, that the girl he was talking to was his sister. That would explain the protectiveness. Sam smiled at the Matthias and said, "oh I didn't she was your sister man. Actually I was just about to show her a magic trick, you can watch it too if you want."

Sam then focused his attention on the 13-year old girl and said, "Could you please hand me one of your coins?" Sam held out his hand. This was one of his favorite tricks, one that he watched his uncle perform hundreds of times, but like all magic tricks, the end result was almost unbelievable, but to get the result was so simple.

Sam really wouldn't say he was friends with Matthias, only a good acquantence. Then again, Sam didn't really have any "friends". He just knew mostly everyone in the school, more or less because of his showman attitude, and how he would walk up to random people, like Jodeed today, and ask to perform magic tricks.

Since Sam wasn't the normal geeky kid with big thick black glasses, so cliche, but since he looked decent, they would accept, and Sam eventually built up a reputation around school, and he liked that. He liked to be able to perform small tricks for people, because in the end, Sam loved to perform for people. Pure and simple, that is what he loved. He loved to watch people be amazed, and smile, and wonder how he did what he did. That is what pushed Sam to talk to people he didn't know like Jodeen, and that is what will continue to push Sam, until one day his name is world famous, and there will be magic tricks named after him. Sam smiled as his hand was still outstretched, awaiting one of Jodeen's coins.

Posted by: Megami Jul 12 2006, 07:05 PM
Whitney couldn't help but laugh aloud at Matthias's display of "heroism". In a way though, the events that had unfolded at the Bar and Grill really were the very basics of fairy-tale and folklore. The brave knight had rode up on his galliant steed to save the Princess from the perile that had befallen her. When the hero had suddenly found himself in a dangerous predicament, the Princess had saved him right back. Laughing at the comical and somewhat childish idea that had popped into her mind, she had slowly begun to find the entire ordeal somewhat amusing.

That is, until Vesa spoke up once again, a serious tone overtaking his formerly cheerful and friendly voice. By now, Eric's threats of more trouble to come had completely subsided from Whitney's mind, but they quickly found their way back as Vesa brought the subject up once more. Sighing under her breath, she didn't really feel the need to speak up about the incident. It wasn't her place, and in a way, Whitney couldn't help but feel as though it wasn't really her problem either... not that she wasn't concerned about Matthias's well-being, but she had simply found herself put in the roll of "onlooker" throughout the spat anyway.

And besides, Matthias had already proven once that he could hold his own against Eric.

The blonde couldn't help but laugh inwardly at the display between Matthias and Vesa that was unfolding in front of her. Matt was adamant about the fact that he didn't want Vesa fighting his battles for him, and it showed. Vesa even seemed to pick up on it as he threw his arms up into the air in response to Matthias's remarks. Tilting her head to the side lightly, Whitney couldn't help but imagine that it must be a male pride thing or something. That was the thing about guys, all of them seemed to put on this faux macho act and pretend to be tough. Personally, Whitney would've let the Finnish boy handle the entire situation, had it been her. Then again, it wasn't her, and she wasn't Matthias.

It was about that time that Vesa's cell phone rang and he bid the duo who had been conversing with him adieu in a rather hasty manner. Smiling a bit, Whitney waved goodbye to the Finnish boy absent-mindedly. Almost instantly thereafter, she was brought back from her daydream as Matthias seemed to catch sight of the boy who had been conversing with Jodeen at the counter of the convenience store, and just like that, he was gone.

"H-hey, Matt?" the blonde called after him, following at a jogging pace in an attempt to keep up as Matthias made a bee-line for his sister and the new person in question.

Matthias seemed to relax visibly at the discovery that it was simply Sam Myron, and Whitney couldn't help but crack a smile at the situation. She supposed the things she'd heard about Matthias being extremely overprotective of his little sister were indeed true. Then again, judging by the time she'd spent with the duo, the fact didn't really surprise Whitney much. The two seemed very close. Following up behind Matthias, she cast a curt wave toward Sam as she approached, just in time to hear Sam mention that he was going to perform a magic trick.

Looking on in curiosity, Whitney couldn't help but muse over how many of her fellow classmates she'd bumped into today, especially in this tiny little convenience store of all places. Then again, they all probably lived in this general area. Whitney had a longer commute than most from her parents' residence on the south side of town. Really, it shouldn't have been that surprising.

As Sam requested a coin from Jodeen, Whitney glanced down at the pink screened Fossil watch that adorned her wrist. It was a lot later than she'd thought, she should probably be getting home soon. Rather than interrupt Sam, however, Whitney smiled and looked on politely, somewhat curious as to what the magician had in store. She had always been amused by magic, from the corny coin-behind-the-ear tricks to the spectacular magic performances that were often put on in nearby Atlantic City. Thus, Whitney was rather intrigued by what Sam might have in store for them.

Posted by: LadyMakaze Aug 16 2006, 04:50 PM
['s been a whole month already. *bows repeatedly* Sorry muchs for letting it slow down for this long @_@]

He'd always been protective of Jodeen, often up to the point where it was impossible to hide. Even those who did not know him could tell the way he stood near his sister, the way he spoke, and the suddenly serious and slightly tense expression on his normally good-natured and relaxed visage. Of course, Matthias had long since gotten over seeing the obviousness of it all as a source of embarrassment. After all, what was it compared to his younger sister's safety?

Of course, that wasn't saying that Matthias didn't have any pride, being a given that just about everyone in the world did, to varying degrees. But he could tolerate a bit of embarrassment and awkwardness every now and then. After all, he had given up plenty of his dignity at the face of Eric Silvstedt and the fight that unfolded between them. All of it over a saxophone...

Damn, my saxophone... He thought gloomily, before dismissing the thought entirely.

In any case, unlike what the Finnish boy Vesa(whom Matthias bade farewell with a wave) probably had in mind when he made his offer and was met with a refusal, Matthias wasn't looking for another fight. Far from it in fact, and even Matthias knew that he'd be asking too much simply to hope for one like Eric Silvstedt to forgive and forget about the whole ordeal overnight. Rather, it was simply a responsibility he had to take for himself. It was his burden. It was his...well, 'punishment' was a bit of a strong word, but to some degree it seemed fitting. After all, the cause of the fight was partially his fault. It wasn't Whitney's, it wasn't Jodeen's, and it wasn't Vesa's. It was his own. It was the only thing Matthias could accept. After all, it had been his fault Jodeen nearly had something horrible happen to her. Just what kind of person Matthias was to not owe up to his actions?

But there was no reason to dwell on the past now, and the future Matthias was more than willing to deal with later. Much later. For now, he turned his attention back towards Sam Myron. Shrugging casually, though more to relax his nerves a bit than anything, Matthias nodded towards Sam before replying casually, "Well, why not? I've heard about you, but I've never gotten a chance to see any of your tricks. Why not show us what you can do?" He gave a friendly grin as always, though he lingered closer towards his younger sister, who had cast a glance towards him in acknowledgement.

Matthias returned the smile before looking back towards Sam with a curious, observant glance. He had seen Sam around from time to time, and from what he had heard and seen of him, he was quite the entertainer, known particularly for his sleight of hand and magic tricks. Matthias had never gotten to know him particularly well...but at face value, he seemed like a friendly, yet decent and harmless guy. He cast a glance towards Whitney, murmuring with a grin, "This ought to be something." Though really he was looking to stay by Jodeen's side, he couldn't help but feel a sense of genuine curiosity for what Sam had in store, having a slight interest for sleight-of-hand tricks himself.

Jodeen, meanwhile, grinned and replied a cheerful, "Okay." She sorted through her handful of change, handling her ice cream bar at the same time with a bit of difficulty, and then with a light smirk, she flipped up a single dime, letting it fly through the air towards him. Obviously enough she was quite interested and eager to see what Sam had to show for his reputation. She, herself, had not noticed how pensive her older brother Matthias had become over the last few moments, though she did notice the protective nature of his presence standing by her.

Not that she didn't appreciate his concern for her well-being...but more for the sake of Matthias himself, she thought to herself.

Come on. Lighten up a little, won't you? I'm not a little kid anymore.

Somehow, if she said this out loud, Jodeen didn't think that Matthias would be quickly willing to accept this plain and simple fact.

Posted by: Theseus Aug 17 2006, 01:14 AM
Sam smiled as the girl flipped the dime at him, and he caught it with his left hand and smiled. He looked at Matthius, who was obviously being protective of his sister, and Sam respected that. He didn't have any siblings to look out for, and he found it noble that Matthius was so protective of Jodeen.

Sam was also happy to have a bit of a group to watch now. He was planning on just one trick, but now he had a couple of ideas spinning around in his mind to impress the group. He was wearing a short sleeve shirt, so there was no need to roll up the sleeves. He held both hands out in front of him, palm up. In his left lay the dime, in his right lay nothing.

He made eye contact with everyone and said, adding on to the show, "Well, on my many travels across the land I met an old monk. He taught me that everything was just a giant illusion, and the skilled could manipulate the laws of Earth and bend them to their will. Like this."

Sam closed his left and right hand. Both hands were still out in front of him, far away from his body. His left hand traveled to his right, He visibly showed everyone he was stuffing the dime into his right fist. After what looked like a struggle he opened both hands, and the dime was gone. He moved both empty hands in front of his audience showing them the dime was gone, and his hands never once came close to his body.

Smiling he said, "I also learned another trick by him, a way to multiply common objects." Placing his hands in his pockets he brought out what appeared as a red sponge ball, about 1 and a half inches thick. He pulled the sponge ball into two sponge balls right in front of the group. Of course that was for beginners. He smiled and placed both spongeballs in his left hand, and closed his fist. Just like the dime, he brought his left hand over to his right, and visibly stuffed the two sponge balls into his balled up fist.

When he opened both hands both sponge balls were gone. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out another sponge ball and said to Jodeen, "Could you please hold this for me, and hold very tightly." Placing the sponge ball in her hand he smiled and made one of the two spongeballs appear in his right hand, which was empty just moments before. He frowned and said, "I had another one...Jodeen please open your hand for me." When Jodeen opened her hand, she would find two spongeballs in it, and not just one.

Posted by: LadyMakaze Aug 17 2006, 05:20 PM
Matthias, having had seen plenty of various sleight of hand shows in his time due to his interest in them, had figured out for one thing that there were various common techniques that all magician's used to perform their tricks. He knew that one was to focus the line of vision of the audience in order to distract their attention from what he was really doing, like an optical illusion that made the eye focus on certain aspects and details instead of the big picture. That was why, sometimes even the eyes lie.

Such a concept had always fascinated Matthias, and it was because of this, he watched intently, trying to see exactly what Sam was doing with the coin. It was quite difficult, following the movements of his hand as well as his commentary while at the same time trying to crack the illusion he was making. And before Matthias knew it, Sam had stuffed the dime into his right palm....only when he opened both hands, it was completely gone.

Matthias had trouble hiding his bewilderment. No matter how hard he tried to figure out just what the tricksters themselves were doing, no show ever failed in having him end up asking the same question over and over again. Just how did he do that? Jodeen, meanwhile, was just as amazed, as her eyes widened as she looked over his hands, trying to find the elusive coin that was supposed to be there...but wasn't.

"Wo-ow..." She murmured softly, just as Sam began wasting no time moving onto the next part of the show. Once again, Matthias was just as determined to uncover the very guile and craft of this particular trick, moreso out of fascination than anything else. But of course, his efforts turned up fruitless as Sam's hands moved quickly, pulling out a single sponge into two without any sort of explanation involved, then likewise stuffing them into his right fist and opening both hands to show that both were gone.

Matthias covered his mouth slightly, too awed to comment, as Jodeen let out a small gasp in surprise yet again at the disappearance of the two spongeballs. As Sam handed her the sponge ball, she smiled at him.

"Sure!" she remarked excitedly as she tightly clenched the sponge ball in her free hand with vigour. She was distracted from it though, as she and Matthias watched intently as one of the spongeballs appeared in Sam again. At first it seemed as though something was wrong when Sam frowned with a scrutinizing look, though when Jodeen was prompted to open her hand, the pair were once again caught at a loss for words when not one, but two sponge balls popped up in her open palm.

"Wow, Jodeen," he murmured quietly, before he added in a joking tone. "Did you do that?"

At this, Jodeen shook her head vigorously. "No! I didn't do anything at all!" She stared at the two spongeballs in her hand, still binking in utter amazement. Matthias likewise did the same and gave an impressed whistle, murmuring lightly, "That's really something..." He looked towards Sam Myron with a wry look on his face.

"That's really amazing," he remarked. "You know, I would ask you, 'How did you do that?' But I know you're probably gonna turn up with the usual, 'a magician never gives away his tricks.' But really...that's really something."

Posted by: Megami Aug 17 2006, 05:47 PM
The placid look that remained fixated on Whitney Acosta’s features belied her intrigue and amazement over the somewhat simple tricks that Sam Myron performed effortlessly in front of them. Although she was not visibly awestruck like Matthias and Jodeen were from the events, the fact remained, she was quite impressed. From what she knew about Sam, he took his work as a magician very seriously, almost as though it was a form of artwork for him. In a way, she supposed, it was. It was his passion, his life. And honestly, he was good. Quite good.

Smiling warmly at the excitedness that had overtaken the younger Kovalenko sibling, Whitney remained lingering somewhat behind the duo, her head tilted to the side ever so slightly in mild curiosity. As Matthias inquired as to the technique behind the magic, Whitney couldn’t help but laugh quietly. Of course a magician wasn’t supposed to tell his secrets, then the entire illusion would be ruined. Overall, Whitney wasn’t really curious as to how Sam had managed the tricks, seemingly on the spot, on a whim. It was quite impressive.

Though absent-mindedly, she couldn’t help but wander what ever happened to the coin that had seemingly vanished without a trace in the palm of Sam’s hand. She mused over the fact that he’d probably pull it out from behind Jodeen’s ear eventually, and laughed inwardly at the thought. Her eyes cast down to her watch once more, she knowing full well that she had to be home relatively soon. She was enjoying herself though, and her parents would understand if she was a little late. They never seemed to mind too much.

Then again, if her father found out the reason why she was late, that she’d spent the afternoon with one of her classmates who just happened to be a guy – his understanding demeanor might come to an abrupt halt. He always was a bit overprotective about Whitney, especially when it came to her being around other guys. She never quite understood why, perhaps because she was the only child of the family and his little girl to boot, but her father was notorious for treating her like a child at times.

Sighing a bit at the downhearted thought, she quickly shook it from the back of her mind, determined to ensure that the thoughts of her father getting angry over something so trivial wouldn’t ruin the enjoyable time that she was currently having with the trio. Besides, Matthias and Sam were both nice boys. It wasn’t as though her father had anything to worry about, right? Really though, the only classmate of hers that her father ever seemed to warm up to well was Sam Sorenson, and that probably had a lot to do with the fact that before her father got his position on the EMS squad, he attended church with the Sorensons on a regular basis.

The brooding thoughts inevitably vanished from her mind, with a bit of effort on Whitney's part. No sense brooding over such things, no good ever seemed to come of it. Besides, her father was a good man. A bit overprotective, sure, but after the incident with the fourty-year-old man following her two and from school several months prior, he had a right to be, really. Besides, he was just looking out for her, ensuring that no harm came to his baby girl. The thoughts subsided from her mind once again as the cell phone located in her back pocket began to vibrate, and she could only imagine that it was one of her parents calling to inquire about her location.

Choosing to ignore the phone call she was receiving, Whitney's thoughts returned to the here and now, and she looked on with a smile at Sam, Jodeen, and Matthias. Clearly, the Kovalenko siblings were enjoying the show which Sam had provided, and she wandered quite curiously what else the Myron boy had up his sleeve. She'd never really watched him illustrate his prowress in magic before, and she was quite impressed by what she'd seen so far.

Posted by: Theseus Aug 19 2006, 11:46 AM
Sam smiled at his audiences reaction to his tricks. This was the best part in his opinion, watching the reaction of everyone. He looked at them all, taking in their amazement. He collected the two sponge balls from Jodeen and said to Matthius, "Well you're right, a good magician never reveals his secrets." Sam knew he had to go home soon, and he wanted to do something impressing, go out with a bang.

First he walked over to Jodeen and, unknowingly did what Whitney had thought of, he pulled her dime out of her ear, of course after flashing that his hands were empty before hand. He handed the dime to her and started to walk to the door, putting some distance between him and the trio.

Looking at them all he said, "Well, I have to start heading home now, but I have one last trick to show you." Sam watched them closely, and took his time with this one. After about twenty seconds of just standing there, it appeared that he was hovering about a foot off the ground. It took Sam long hours and hard work to master this one, but it was great for just like most of his tricks, it required no work before. He could do it on the spot. He thanked David Blain quietly in his head for making this trick famous.

After about ten seconds of hovering, his feet made contact with the ground. He smiled and just said, "Later guys." He turned around, and walked out the door. He loved to leave the show keeping people in amazement, and leaving right after a finale was his way of adding mystery to himself. As he walked outside he looked back inside, and glanced at the trio one last time. Then he made his way to his car.

All in another days work he thought to himself.

((continued elsewhere))

Posted by: Megami Aug 24 2006, 04:21 AM
Once again, Whitney Acosta consciously hid the sense of awe she felt at Sam's illusions. He was quite good, she once again reiterated in her mind. She'd seen the dime trick coming, but at the very least it should amuse Jodeen. At Sam's seemingly magical ability to levitate, however, Whitney was truly impressed. She hadn't seen that one coming, nor did she understand how he'd managed to do it with no setup or anything. Her eyebrows raised slightly in the air and a visibly impressed expression overtook her features. Sam Myron turned and exited the doorway of the convenience store, leaving as quickly as he had come, and presumably leaving the trio standing at the counter in awe.

Cool exit.

It was a subconscious, almost juvenile thought on Whitney's part, but it was still there. Turning toward Matthias and Jodeen, Whitney attempted to gauge the expression on the features of the duo before allowing the trademark Whitney Acosta smile she almost always bore to once again dissolve her impressed, if not a little confused, look from before.

"Wow, Jo. You even got your dime back," she mused, "What did you think?"

The two were, of course, visibly impressed by Sam's artistic ability as an illusionist. That much was evident even to Whitney. Whitney was interrupted, however, as the back pocket of her jeans once again began vibrating, causing an annoyed look to pass over her features. She could only assume that once again, her father was calling. This was the second time he'd called in a matter of minutes, so it was probably in her best interests to answer the phone. Sighing audibly, Whitney held up her hand, signalling the duo to hold on for a moment before turning away and flipping the phone open.

"Hello?" her voice held a tense, almost fearful tone to it. There had to have been a reason why her father kept calling, and Whitney was fearing the worst.

"Where are you?" the voice on the other end of the line sounded tired, if not a bit irritated.

"I'm out with Matt and Jo," she responded quietly, not stopping to think that from her father's end of the line, it sounded like she was out with two guys.

"You're supposed to be home, Whit. Your mother just flew in from Denver, I'm not on call tonight, we were supposed to spend the evening as a family. You're not supposed to be running around with two guys I don't even know. Are they more important than your own family now?" The voice wasn't angry, but more disappointed. That, apparently, got under the skin of the blonde girl.

"I'm sorry Daddy, I didn't realize... I'll be home soon, okay? I'm gonna take Matt home, and then I'll come home."

"Where's this boy live?" The interrogation was immenent, Whitney could tell even now.

"Carrington Pointe. I gotta go, Dad. I'll be home as soon as I can, okay?"

The resigned sigh and click of the phone on the other end hanging up left a disappointed, if not a bit upset, look on Whitney's face. How could she have forgotten that her mother had flown in tonight? Most of the time it was just her, cooped up in that big, extravagant house all by herself. Tonight was supposed to have been spent with her family, and her father was obviously annoyed by the fact that she'd all but blown them off. Casting a resigned look at the duo, she forced a smile -- probably fake to all of those in the immediate area.

"Hey, we need to go, okay?"

She didn't say anything further and she didn't plan on it. How do you tell your friends that you'd completely forgotten about a family affair with the family you never get to see and that your father was angry about it -- as well as the fact that you were out with a guy -- and wanted you home pronto? It was better to leave the details as vague as possible, at least in her own opinion. Nudging Matthias lightly as she walked passed him, Whitney slowly headed toward the class doors of the convenience store and toward the car outside, assuming the two would follow en suite.

Posted by: LadyMakaze Aug 26 2006, 06:40 AM
As Sam's hand moved towards her ear, Jodeen blinked in surprise with an expression of inquiry, though a look of silent amazement took over her when she saw that Sam had pulled the dime she had given him out of her ear. Wordlessly, she cupped her hands and stared at the dime being handed back to her, now in her open palms. A look of surprise and astonishment still adorned her features as Sam concluded his little magic show by levitating into the air a good foot off the floor, and once again she was left staring in wonder as he calmly made his exit to retire to his home for the evening.

By now, not only was Jodeen thoroughly entertained and amazed at Sam's almost impossible talent, but she was left wondering just how in the world did he manage to do all of that. Everything had to have an explanation, didn't it? Like most magic tricks, it just had to be something so obvious, yet something so elusive that no matter how obvious it was, you had to have someone else point it out to you for you to notice it. And no matter how much she thought about it, she couldn't come up with any explanation for the feats that Sam Myron had demonstrated today.

Even as she looked towards Whitney, the look of amazement on her face was still quite apparent. "That cool! You saw it too, right Matt? He was pratically floating in the air! That was just brilliant! I wonder how he did that though. It just seems too amazing to be real, but at the same time-"

"Jodeen, your ice cream is starting to drip a bit," Matthias interrupted her gently with an amused smile.

"Huh? Oh!" Jodeen let out a shout of exclamation when she saw that the soft ice cream of her bar was indeed starting to drip in a white line down her wrist. Immediately, she exchanged the dripping stick of ice cream to her other hand and began licking the melted stain off her fingers to prevent the mess from running down the length of her arm. Becoming more aware of herself, and how she must look doing such a thing, she blushed furiously and continued to suck quietly at her ice cream bar, deciding that the counter advertisements were interesting enough to look at for the moment.

Matthias shook his head as he glanced at her and shook his head in an apologetic expression towards Whitney.

"That was quite impressive," he remarked, as a sort of afterthought to Sam Myron's performance. "If there's anything I wouldn't do to learn a trick or two like that...."

He found himself being interrupted however, by the sound of Whitney's cellphone vibrating in her jeans. Politely, he left her to her phone conversation for the moment, though he could not help but listen to the one side of it that happened to be audible on his end. Noting what she was saying, it seemed as though she were speaking to a parent, though with an almost apprehensive tone in her voice. At this, Matthias could not help but frown slightly, more in concern and for a bit of curiosity as to what Whitney had to be tentative in her speech about.

He adjusted his grip on the saxophone case slung over his shoulder as Whitney announced that the three of them needed to leave. Noting the rather upset expression on her face, he met her with a slight smile as a way of cheering her up.

"Sure, not a problem," he reassured her. He looked towards Jodeen, who was for the moment occupied with her ice cream bar in blissful silence, and had been oblivious to Whitney's reaction to the phone call. "Hey, we're gonna go now."

Jodeen nodded in reply, the ice cream bar still in her mouth, turning to follow Matthias, as he likewise picked up his pace to catch up with Whitney.

"That was your Dad, right?" Matthias asked her, though it seemed a more awkward question than anything, given Whitney's reaction to having him call her so suddenly. He shifted his hold on the saxophone case resting against his shoulder blade. "Is he worried that you're out this late?"

Posted by: Megami Aug 29 2006, 12:56 AM
Hearing the concerned voice of Matthias behind her, Whitney slowed her pace drastically, waiting on him, and Jodeen who was presumably tagging in tow, to catch up. All but coming to a halt, the blonde-headed girl turned back toward her counterpart, all the while making a vain attempt at hiding the frustration and annoyance toward the recent turn of events with her parents. Of course, even through the artificial smile and emotionless expression that the blonde attempted to convey, her features were clearly readable.

From a young age onward, Whitney Acosta had always been one of those people who wore their emotions on their sleeves. Despite the fronts she always tried to put up, her true emotions always shined through without remorse. Perhaps that was why Matthias so easily seemed to read between the lines when Ricky Callahan had appeared at Benson's earlier in the evening. It was always something Whitney silently ridiculed about herself, she despised the fact that she was an open book to nearly everyone who encountered her.

Perhaps that was part of the reason she had come to admire Matthias over the course of the evening. Not crush on, persay, but she did admire the fact that he was able to conceal his true emotions with what seemed to be little effort. After everything that had happened to her companion over the course of the short evening, Whitney could only imagine that if she had been in a similar position, she would have broken down into tears long ago. Matthias, however, seemed to take it all in stride, and through the thick and thin of the evening seemed ever calm, ever confident... something Whitney wished that she herself was capable of doing.

At Matthias's inquiry, she could only look back and smile through the forelorn look that plagued her expressions like a nuisance, "Yeah, that was my dad."

Averting her gaze to the ground at the next question to come from Matthias's lips, she sighed inadvertantly and began rubbing her arm as though she were mulling over something. Of course, the fact that her mother had flown in and she'd missed spending the better part of the evening with the family that she never got to see in the first place was weighing on her conscience. When she got home, her mother would smile and give her an understanding hug, but in the morning she'd be off again until God knows when, and Whitney would have wasted the time that could have been spent with her.

Her father... well, her father would probably just be disappointed. The tone of his voice when she'd spoken to him on the phone earlier clarified that much. While in a sense, she and her father were very close, his constant overprotectiveness and incessant need to treat her as if she were a child had driven a stake between them during the course of the last few years. After all, since a young age, Whitney's mother had unintentionally instilled a fear of being disliked and ridiculed in the blonde's head. It wasn't helping that even though she was sixteen years old, her father all but forbade her to date, and that fact in itself had the potential to make her an outcast in school.

Sighing audibly at the fleeting thoughts that drifted through her mind, she looked back at Matthias before finally speaking in a quiet tone of voice, "It's... no, it's just... my mom flew home today," she explained, "Mom's a CEO for Globo-Tech, so she's out of town a lot. Usually it's just me at the house, what with Dad out on patrol and mom going here or there for this conference or that business meeting, you know? She wanted to spend tonight as a family and it just completely slipped my mind."

Shrugging somewhat, she did her best to smile again, "I just don't get to spend a lot of time with her anymore."

The awkward silence that followed momentarily made the blonde shift uncomfortably, and soon a nervous laugh escaped her lips as though it were a cue to end the confrontation over the subject. Of course, ending the subject was the furthest thing from Whitney's mind at the given moment -- instead, her mind was rushing with the disappointed look on her father's face and the mock satisfaction her mother would portray when she walked through the door. Her mother always understood situations like these, she always understood when something slipped Whitney's mind or when she accidentally overlooked something.

At one point, so did her father... but that was a long time ago. Now, Whitney almost felt as though she could never please him, no matter what she did. He was a good man, always kind to her and her mother, never spoke a harsh word to either of them. What never failed to get under her skin was the sense of failure and disappointment that reigned in his voice when he was dissatisfied with something. More often than not, it seemed like that dissatisfaction was directed toward his only child as of late. She didn't drink, she didn't party, she didn't go around having sex with every boy who looked twice at her -- hell, she didn't even date. Regardless, her father seemed to overlook all the bad and only convey his disapproval at the things she neglected to do -- such as tonight, when she had neglected to come home and spend the evening with her parents.

Pushing the thought to the back of her mind, she held the auto-lock up to the black sports car sitting in the convenience store parking lock and pressed the green button causing the car to beep and its lights to flash before the door unlocked. Rounding her way to the driver's side of the vehicle, she opened the door and stood waiting for Matthias and Jodeen to enter on the passenger's side. Forcing another plastered-on smile, Whitney tried to think about the scenario that would inevitably unfold after she took the two home and headed back to her place of residence in the Kensington Heights subdivision. Actually, she'd rather not think about it. Whitney Acosta was one of those people who was easily guilted over, and always aiming to please her parents. The two aspects of her personality hadn't proved to be a very nice combination so far. Sighing a muffled sigh, Whitney drummed her fingernails on the top of the car lightly as she awaited the entrance of her companions.

Posted by: LadyMakaze Sep 2 2006, 02:57 AM
Matthias strode over to match his pace with Whitney's, though he kept at something of a speedwalk in case the other girl was that anxious to return home to her family. Though she seemed calm on the surface, Matthias could not help but sense an underlying tension in the air, as though she were either not looking forward to seeing her parents again, or that she couldn't wait another minute to just get home. But that was only a presumption on Matthias' part. He was no expert when it came to reading people. All that he did was make guesses on his own based on what he saw, and heard. And as much as he didn't want to seem a braggart, he had to admit...more often than not he was almost right on the mark.

Not that he would ever make assumptions aloud, of course. Who knows just what sort of trouble he'll get himself into asking Whitney if she really liked that boy Callahan. In any case, his big mouth had gotten into more than enough trouble for the day...including the loss of his prized instrument and a good deal of his pride. But to be honest, he sort of felt better about it now, as though time had worn off all the tension and allowed him to be his normal self again.

Which was what allowed him to pay more attention to the people around him than just himself, and his own troubles. And from what Matthias could see at face-value, Whitney seemed to have enough troubles of her own, as she explained to him wearily of the reason as to why she'd recieved the phone-call, giving something of a hint as to why she seemed to have fallen into a gloomy mood all of a sudden. From what Matthias took from her explanation, it looked as though her father had given her a bit of trouble for being out so late when the whole family had planned to spend time together. Yeah....that seemed to be the reason why she looked somewhat troubled at the moment. Of course, leave it to parents to be harsh over little things to their children, Matthias himself understood that well from his own experience.

"I see," He replied as he walked alongside her, lugging the weight of the saxophone case over his shoulder. "Well you know, spending quality time with your family is pretty important no matter how old you are. I mean, sure, we're at the age where the friends we meet and grow close to become important, but we shouldn't forget about the family too. I guess parents in general go through some sort of phase when their kids become teens. They find it hard to believe that they'll be out on their own in the world, all grown up and living their own lives. Guess that's why they stress so much over how much, or how little quality time the family spends together."

He nodded as he spoke, as though agreeing with himself, casting something of a smile towards Whitney, as though to cheer her up. Though leave it to his sister to make the moment awkward as her voice popped up beside him.

"Matt. You're babbling again."

At this, Matthias became more aware of himself, as well as of the 'speech' he just made. "Ah." His smile became somewhat awkward and embarrassed, and he gave an apologetic look towards Whitney. This was before flashing a glare towards Jodeen, which plainly said, 'did you have to mention that?'

But he shrugged it off, trying to return to the casual mood from before. "Well, I dunno, that's just me and what I think about parents and their kids in general. Of course, parents can be real ....well, bull-headed at times...which is why it's up to the kids themselves to make themselves understood. But as you can see, I'm just talking aimlessly again...." He shrugged and let out a bit of a laugh as he opened the car door of the back seat, holding it for Jodeen as she slid in, still holding her dripping ice cream.

"Better not make a mess with that," Matthias told her in a surprisingly stern voice as he placed the saxophone case next to her, slamming the door shut.

Had he left the backseat door open for a second or two longer, he would have caught his sister mumbling in a simple voice as she clipped on her seatbelt, "You're the bull-headed one..."

Casting a smile towards Whitney as he slid into the front seat alongside her, Matthias reassured her, "It's not that far from here, just three blocks over that way and turn right before you get to the intersection. It's the house at the corner with the driveway, I'll point it out to you."

Posted by: Megami Sep 3 2006, 12:11 AM
The incessant rambling on Matthias's part had almost become white noise to Whitney -- she had been so deep in thought that it swept right past her and went almost completely unheard. The blonde-headed girl cast him a faint smile as a means of acknowledging that she indeed heard him speaking, but his words fell on deaf ears. Instead, she'd taken to watching Jodeen maneuver to slide into the backseat of the compact sports car. As Matthias sternly warned his sister not to make a mess, Whitney couldn't help but smile and shake her head slightly.

"It's okay, it happens."

It was true. Whitney herself was notorious for dropping this and that in the floorboard of the car. Once, Lexie had accidentally stepped on a ketchup packet that had fallen from a fast-food bag and smeared it deep into the carpet on the passenger's side. And Whitney herself had knocked over a soda or other object on more than one occassion and spilled the substance all over the interior of the car. A couple drips from an ice cream weren't going to hurt this car -- Whitney had to admit, it was pretty durable.

While Jodeen's sarcastic remark fell on deaf ears with her brother, Whitney slid into the front seat as the younger Kovalenko sibling stated the fact and couldn't help but laugh slightly at the comment. Tempted though she was to side with Jodeen and harrass her companion a little, she eventually thought better of it, quickly remembering that Matthias had probably had more than his fair share of excitement and cynicism for the day.

Glancing over haphazardly to catch the smile radiating from her companion in the front seat, she returned the smile, though couldn't help but still feel a bit forelorn over the inevitable fate that awaited her at her own home. The guilt trip that would follow would be worse than any punishment or beating her father could have possibly inflicted on her had he been capable of doing so, as it was the disappointment in his eyes and the disheartened look on his face that tore into her deeper than any physical wound ever could.

Nodding slightly at Matthias's directions toward the Kovalenko abode, Whitney wheeled the vehicle around to the exit of the parking lot they currently occupied and, after waiting on a dark green suburban to pass, pulled out onto the road. Three blocks and turn right, huh? It shouldn't be too bad. Still, although she was grateful that she was within minutes of Matthias and Jodeen's house, she couldn't help but think that it would probably take her fifteen or twenty minutes to reach her own subdivision, and that was assuming traffic wasn't too bad.

Pulling up to a stoplight on the corner of Wedgewood Drive and Flintwood Avenue, Whitney looked around, noticing the apparent lack of motorists on the road at this time of the evening. She had to admit, it was nice. Her thoughts remained preoccupied, however, as she drummed her fingernails lightly on the steering wheel of the car. Given the lack of traffic, she should be home relatively quickly, but even then, Whitney wasn't sure if she wanted to go home.

The stoplight lingering above her turned green, and Whitney proceeded to pull out into the intersection. That was when she saw it. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the large truck barreling through the stoplight it had just ran and straight toward the vehicle that she currently occupied with the Kovalenko siblings. Slamming on her breaks, Whitney could feel the tires squeal and the car spin slightly as it attempted to come to an abrupt halt. She could hear the horn of her own vehicle that she subconsciously hit as the truck continued to barrel toward them. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the truck, which had also apparently come to a stop and had, astonishingly enough, narrowly missed her vehicle.

"That... that idiot just ran the light," she stated warily.

Looking down at her hands, even she could tell that she was trembling noticeably. Trying desperately to hold in the emotional outburst of tears that was welling up inside from narrowly escaping a potentially horrendous accident, she could only sit there in pure astonishment and fear for several moments before finally regaining her composure enough to come to her senses.

"Are--are you guys okay?"

By this point, Whitney could see the driver of the maroon truck that had nearly plowed into her car stepping out, stumbling around, then falling to the ground. She could see the beer bottle he held in his hand, as well as the confused and disoriented expression that was clearly plastered to the balding man's features. Even though the two vehicles had miraculously not collided, Whitney couldn't help but still feel nauseated at the entire incident. Her breathing returned to a normal pace momentarily, and although her hands were still trembling at the shock of it all, she cupped them over her face and closed her eyes briefly.

"I'm sorry," she stated quietly, "I'm so sorry."

Within moments, she could hear the police sirens bellowing down the nearby road, and out of the corner of her eye, the figure of an older woman -- probably in her fourties with long blonde hair worn in a ponytail and an overall soccer mom-ish look to her -- tentatively approaching the sportscar that was still sitting sideways in the middle of the road. Seeing the woman approach, Whitney reluctantly rolled down the window to speak to the newcomer, who had apparently witnessed the events that had just unfolded and taken it upon herself to call the police.

"Are you okay?" the woman inquired softly, receiving only a nod from the blonde in the driver's seat as a response on her part.

Within seconds the cop cars arrived, most of the officers making a bee-line to the drunkard plastered to the asphalt. One officer meandered in Whitney's direction, eyeing the car lightly in an effort to see if they'd been hit. Noting that the car really had no damage to it, there was nothing that could be done. The officer approached the car window along with the woman and a kind smile formed on his lips.

"Everyone okay in here?" he inquired.

"We're fine..." Whitney stated simply, "Can... can I go now? I just want to go home."

The officer cast the blonde girl a compassionate smile and nodded his head. After all, they hadn't been hit, so at this point, there was little else that could be done on their part. No one had been injured, and for that, Whitney was thankful. The woman and the officer both waved her off as she tentatively pulled back out on the road. Trying to push the incident from the back of her mind, Whitney could see from her rear-view mirror the policemen handcuffing the driver of the maroon truck -- probably for driving under the influence.

Coming to her turn, Whitney slid the black mustang into the turn line and made a right down the street on which the Kovalenkos lived. At Matt's direction, Whitney pulled into the driveway of the house before quickly waving the two siblings off. Had she not nearly been in a potentially fatal accident, she might have been more talkative, but at this point, all Whitney Acosta wanted to do was go home. Besides, she'd see Matt in class on Monday, she could talk to him then.

After the siblings exited her vehicle and closed the door, Whitney sighed to herself. Looking behind her and making extra sure that nothing was coming, she tentatively pulled out of the Kovalenkos driveway and took off down the street. From here, it would probably take her fifteen or twenty minutes to get to the other side of town, and as much as she didn't want to drive at this point, she couldn't wait to be home -- even if it did mean condescending looks from her father. All she'd have to do is tell him about the incident that had transpired on her way to Matt's house, and his sour mood would fade into one of worry and concern.

((Continued elsewhere.))

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