How to Love

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album two, track one -- don't let me get me

October 22nd, 1977
Lunch In
1:55 pm


"Why is Scott so nervous to be around you, Corrina?" Claire asked as she twirled her straw around in her ice water, tone sprinkled with a hint of mockery. "Perhaps any chance you ruined his life?"

Corrina and Heather exchanged disgusted stares, only Corrina had the balls to roll her eyes at the blonde. "Can it, Claire. Before," she pulled the straw out of her strawberry slushie, "I shove this straw down your narrow minded throat."

The know it all tsked towards her friend, wagging a condescending finger in her direction. "Guess that's the hormones talking."

"Do you want me to pull the pad off my underwear and shove it in your face? Is that enough proof for you?" Corrina shouted, stuffing a handful of bacon and garlic butter topped fries in her mouth before she said something she would later regret.

Heather sighed, glancing down at her lap, hands folded over her legs. Her heart panged, but she shook it off. No tears. Not then. Not with her there. Last thing she needed was for the word to get out, then her parents finding out. Instead, she swallowed back everything tearing her up inside, sipping at her water.

Then, the loud cheering of Lunch In's clock chimed in. Officially signalling the start of a new hour. It chimed and sang. Cheered and hollered.

Corrina wanted to punch it.

She threw down a fry back into the basket, gathering up her crocheted bag before she retrieved both her drink and food. "I got to go, practice is in thirty and I don't have my shit together yet."

"One of those things being a fresh, cheery attitude," Claire mumbled in what she thought was a quiet tone. Her eyes cutting towards the hasty teen, arms crossed over her chest.

Thankfully, both Heather and Corrina heard her harsh words.

Heather elbowed Claire in the arm before raising from the booth, ready to leave at any moment.

Corrina wasn't so kind. She reached across the table, throwing Heather's icy cold water in Claire's face. Then, she turned on her heels, leaving a fresh bird as her parting gift.

Never before had she felt so free. So rejuvenated. Even a little at peace. Though anger still boiled in a large pit of magma in the deepest pits of her stomach. Not even the cold, sweet slushie could calm the raging volcano ready to erupt.

Not so thankfully, cheer practice fell on the horizons. Her least favorite activity by a lot. Oh, she cursed Chicago's name every time the wretched team fell into conversation. The members, except for Heather, two faced bitches. None of them true friends though they profess to be sisters. All of their personalities more bland than bread.

Corrina despised it all.

"Hey, Cor!" Heather shouted from behind the rebel teen, careful not to start running.

Skidding to a stop, she popped a fry in her mouth as she waited for the taller girl to catch up. She shot her a small smile, fully ecstatic from the previous events.

"Practice isn't for two hours. Why did you tell her otherwise?" She asked, crossing her arms over her now too tight purple sweater.

Corrina slung an arm around her friend's neck, leading her off to her favorite red pick-up. "You see, my friend. That bitch got on my last nerves."

"Shopping?"

"Shopping."

☆●●☆

October 22nd, 1977
Rays' Basement
2:35 pm

Scott slung his left leg over his right, resting his ankle atop his knee, as the television filled the void behind him. The Rays' television offered some sort of reprieve from the constant turmoil torturing his mind.

It had been a few days, almost a week, since the last time he saw Corrina. Unsurprisingly, he couldn't get her off his mind.

During lunch, she had practice for the upcoming homecoming game and pep rally. The cheerleaders had some sort of routine to practice. None of it made much sense to him besides the girls shaking their asses in unison to upbeat music in short skirts. Entertaining at times, but a little too cheesy for his taste.

If I wanted Corrina dancing in a short skirt, then I'd. . .

"Hey, Scott!" Ray shouted, leaping down the last few stairs to join his best friend in the basement. Under his arm sat multiple packs of chips and. . .

"Damn, Ray. You finally smuggled the good beer," Scott hooted as he caught his can without hesitation. Popping the top, he chugged it until he forced himself to stop. The cold, bitter yet frothy liquid chilled his throat, but warmed his insides upon contact.

He loved every second of it.

Julian shrugged, jumping over the back of the couch to take a seat. "Guess I had to get it right eventually, Scott." When he tried to finish the last leap up to sit on the couch, his foot caught itself on the top edge, face-planting him into the antiqued, mustard fabric.

It was hard not to laugh at Julian's incompetence. More often than not, when he tried to do something stupid, he managed to fail in the most ridiculous fashion. Nothing new, but everytime proved harder to swallow a laugh than not.

Today was one of those days.

Scott shook his head, resorting to sipping at his beer to burying any remaining laughter. "You got that right, but can't sit on a couch properly. Been sniffing too much of Claire's bleached hair? Huh, Ray?"

Unstuffing his face proved harder than trying to sit down the way Matthew did. Julian pressed both his hands down against the firm cushions on either side of his body, pulling himself up, but just as quickly as he tried, he fell once again. Eating dirt and God knew what else. After Matt, Serena and Scott's confessions during their circle, he could only shudder at the thought.

"Can't believe they disgraced the sanctity of the basement," Julian grumbled to himself, trying and failing yet again at pulling himself up. It was almost comical at this point.

Though, it could be karma for trying to be something he wasn't. Or being such a tight ass about the 'sanctity of the basement'.

"You need any help there, buddy?" Scott chuckled out, angling his shot, then shooting his can straight into the trash can situated by the opposite door. Three pointer, my man!

"No," Julian shouted, attempting for the dozenth time to pull himself back up and save face. This time, however, he succeeded. Capping it off with an air fist pump. "Anyways, what are you doing about Halloween? Matt and I were thinking about hosting a rager down at his loft."

Scott shrugged, slumping back into his chair. He reached over towards the nearby freezer, fishing out a lone cherry popsicle sitting near the top. Each movement sent the wrapper crinkling, much to his dismay, but the end result was worth it. Sometimes it took doing things you didn't want to before reaching heaven. And a cherry popsicle was so worth it. "I dunno, man. Thinking about lounging around with an ice cold beer and some Led Zeppelin. Maybe even some Pink Floyd."

Julian tsked, rolling his eyes. "Man, you've gone soft. You love Halloween. Being able to finally sprout your stupid theories without someone to scold you. And free beer plus treats."

"Guess I'm not feeling it this year."

Julian glanced down at his own unopened beer, tossing it to Scott without second thought. "Here, take it."

Yet again, he caught it effortlessly. No fear of it busting, turning into another beer geyser. The last time Viper chased the three boys around, ready to shove his foot up their ass. And get them to clean it up soon after. While he never caught the boys thanks to some quick thinking on Scott's part, they were subjected to cleaning up the sticky mess. Popping the tab back, he took a long, refreshing gulp.

"Is it about your mom? Or the fact Corrina's sister called the police about it?" Julian asked, muting the television behind them.

Scott sighed, running his fingers through his hair, biting back some well choice words evolving in his mind, dancing over his tongue. "Dude, I already told you and your parents I'm fine. My old lady never really was much of a parental figure during her days, and this wasn't much of a surprise. I'm fine. I don't care."

Throwing his hands up, Scott took his snack and beer, storming off towards his room behind the stairs. His mini, temporary room. Until he found his way back to his old loft. Whenever that may be.

"You know it's fine to feel something. Sadness. Loneliness. Abandonment. Any of it. It's normal, Scott. You just have to remind yourself of that," Julian said from his doorway. He patted the aged, wooden door, offering the stoner a small, reassuring smile as he turned off back to their personal living room. "I'm here if you need anything, Scott."

Glancing down at his tattered boots, Scott leaped up from his bare mattress, chasing off towards Julian. "Hey, man. About that Halloween party?"

A wide, toothy grin spread across Julian's face as he patted the cushion next to him. "Sit down. Now, who do you think would look better as a sexy devil, Corrina or Claire?"

Scott rolled his eyes, though he couldn't hide the small smile creeping on his face. A sense of calm washed over him, no longer feeling the need to fidget around with a loose button on his grey, open button shirt. "You know you forgot two members of the group, Ray."

"Serena's a stick and Heather shouldn't ever wear a sexy devil outfit," Julian scoffed. "Now, answer my question."

A deep, disgusted frown crossed Scott's lips as he shook his head, unable to hold Julian's perverted stare. "Nah, I'm not. For one, your reasoning is disgusting."

He threw his hands up to his side, stumbling over his words. Panic crossed Julian's face. Something he couldn't hide. His eyes shrunk, stuffing his own foot in his mouth. "Woah, man! I -"

"If you're playing that game, Claire has just as flat a chest as Serena only with no ass. Based on your context, Heather with her fuller figure plus her ass and boobs should be on the list. But, your list is still disgusting either way. Period."

"But Heather's picked up more weight all over. Why would or should she even walk out in something like that?"

Scott groaned, running his hand down his face. A fire grew in the pit of his stomach, ready to punch the shit out of Julian for the umpteenth time this week. But, he couldn't drop the subject. Something about Corrina and the rest of the girls, even Claire, being subjected to such a trivial thing disgusted him. "To feel good about herself. Or because she has the confidence to. Just because her body doesn't fit your warped ideology doesn't mean she can't wear whatever she wants and not look fine as shit. Just because you've crawled in Claire's freshly dug judgmental hole doesn't mean you need to bring anyone else down with you."

"You know, I'm going to tell Matthew and Corrina you said that. Let's see how much they like you then," Julian shouted after Scott, who proceeded to storm off towards the basement door.

"You know what, Julian? You and Claire belong together with your manipulative shit. Oh wait, she tried to suck my dick at your birthday party, so that won't work out either. Besides, Corrina would be proud I stood up for her and wouldn't believe you in a second. Just because I have feelings for Corrina doesn't mean I can't defend other women!"

Shit, he swore to himself. Anguish washed over him as he caught Julian's wide eyes. He couldn't believe it. Disbelief much too strong. There wasn't anyway that just left his mouth, was there? It was just a figment of his imagination. It had to be.

Before anyone could say anything further, Scott stormed out of the basement, into the cold, unforgiving world, slamming the door shut behind him.

I like Corrina. I really do. Guess I can stop denying it.
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