ne me quitte pas.

" Hey, mom, I'm leaving- Klaude and Honora and me are going to go hang out."

" Dressed like that?"

Her mother looked at her with pointed distaste. She ignored it, because she was used to her mother looking at her like that.

She was wearing a shiny faux-leather skirt with a slit up the leg, torn-up hosiery, converse, and a Bauhaus shirt she had done a little DIY work on- chopping off the sleeves and cutting the sides almost completely apart. It was tucked into her skirt. She had a little purse with a bat on it, and she was wearing make up, too, for the first time in a long time, the first time that it wasn't a joke, the first time it was everything, foundation and lipstick and shiny blue eyeshadow, uneven winged eyeliner. She was nervous. She felt nervous. She hadn't ever really gone out so.


So feminine, before.

And when she stepped outside the door, Honora and Klaude were there, and she felt them light up, and she felt happy. For the first time, she felt some small measure of comfort.

" Vida, holy shit, I didn't even know you owned a skirt like that! It's so pretty!" Honora exclaimed.

She thanked her, and they began walking down the block.

" You know, it's been so long since I've met Rose that I can barely remember her at all," Klaude said. The air was getting a bit cold, and he had his hands in his jacket pockets.


A letter jacket?

" Klaude, I didn't know you did any sports..." Vida said in surprise, suddenly. Honora seemed to do a double-take too.

" Yeah, 'cause I'm good at minding my own business," he replied, though his tone was that of good cheer. He took a hand out of his pocket and swept his (long, shiny, silky, pretty-) hair to the side to show the team logo on the back. " I was in track and field because my stupid dad- rest in pieces- told me I had to go into a sport or else I'd be a faggot. So I went with what he called the most nancy-pansy ass sport."

His manner was exceptionally smug as he was telling this. Vida felt that the chilly air was making all of it seem so special and exhilarating.

" Of course, I went to state and we got like, 3rd place overall... Only because there was this Christian school with like, these calf monsters on their team. It was..." he paused. " It was nice to be away from everything going on, to have something to myself, where I could stop thinking for a while and just act like... I dunno. A deer. That's corny as hell, but yeah."

A deer.

" Oh, it's here," Honora said, pointing to a door ahead. Vida could already see some people smoking through an upper story window.

" It got caught up in a zoning dispute, so it's just sitting empty, and nobody knows who actually owns it, so it's like. The police just never get called unless there's a serious fight or something. It's really cool, it's like a couple apartments with a lobby. Just like, a party place."

Vida laughed.

" That sounds so weird. Who just leaves a house sitting around for random teenagers to party in?"

Klaude shrugged.

" It's seren-fuckin-dipity, don't think about it too much," he said, walking up to the open door.

He turned around and looked at Vida.

" It's been a while since you've seen Rose- will you be okay with her?" he asked.

Vida caught the subtext of his question.

" Y-yeah, I'll just. Stick with you in case she says anything weird."

He smiled softly.

" I'll look out for you, Vi."

She smiled, really wide, and tried to ignore the weird goosebumps she got when he said her name like that.

And they went in.