Avani

Submitted for Contest #47 in response to: Suitcase in hand, you head to the station.... view prompt

Jun 27, 2020

Drama

You weren't expecting that to occur. It was a horrible reality check, brief and unexpected, like the immediate emptiness you felt an hour ago. But why did you even expect everything to stay the same, you uncomfortably questioned yourself? Did you expect nothing would happen to her?

If so, which you-deep down-knew you did, you were wrong.

Suitcase in hand, your journey to the train station was the very proof of that. To add to that, the increasing darkness and the accumulating clouds indicate that you'll be soaked if you don't get into the train fast enough.

The train doors slid open, and you sank into one of the familiar bouncy gray seats, lost in thought. The conductor came by to check your ticket, and all you could do was helplessly hold it out, staring at his polished dress shoes. He left, and then your hand was hanging in midair, the ticket about to fall from it. The train starts, and your hand quivers, and your ticket slips from your fingers, spinning like the maple leaves you and her would watch as they fell from the towering trees.

Others are staring, murmuring to each other, giggling, pointing.  Your reputation comes to mind, and you straighten your back and pick up the ticket and pull out your phone. But all you do is stare at the lock screen, well, stare at the picture on your lock screen. It's a picture of you and her when you had gone to that water park in the city.

The picture was snapped mid-laugh, and your eyes are filled with tears from laughing so hard, and she had leaned against you, weak from giggling. You stare at the waterfall in the background and marvel at it unknowingly; it looks just like a veil. It's so wide-spread it's practically transparent, and it sprays across in such an elegant arc that for a moment, you imagine a falling bride, turning her head. Her veil swishes behind her as she beams at you.

Why does the bride look like her?

And the events of your return replayed through your mind. You had left from the small town sixteen years ago, had become one of the most successful businesspeople of the decade, and come home expecting your childhood friend.

Instead, when you knocked on the door of the worn brick house, number 101, you found a little boy, and a small baby girl tottering not far behind. For a moment, all you see is her in his face. And then the boy asks you who you are, a serious expression on his petite face, and it vanishes, and it's a little boy and his baby sister again.

You hear a man's voice call out to the children, and the boy whips his head around, running towards a man looking to be about your age. His facial features alight with recognition, and he explains that he's seen your pictures, that he's heard a lot about you.

You laugh awkwardly, remembering you were on a business trip during the wedding. You stare at your feet, and then you remember the reason for your presence. You asked the man about her, and he smiles, all too fake. He looks up for a moment, reddened eyes focused, seemingly crying, but you can tell that he doesn't have any tears left. The man clears his throat.

She passed away a few days before your arrival, from lung cancer.

You nodded, unsure of what to say, and while you were still standing upright, you felt empty inside. Everything just vanished, melted, sunk.

When you had fallen apart sixteen years ago, she had pulled you back together, slowly, calmly sewing the broken pieces together into something new, something better. And now this-this was pulling out every stitch, one by one, and you were falling apart all over again.

And now the slideshow of events is over, and you pull out the letter she had sent a week ago.

I know we haven't talked in years, but I'd like you to come to my house. It's the same house that I lived in before you left. I hope you can make it.

You smile from the irony. I made it.

Staring out of the sleek steel-paneled window, watching the trees and bushes and buildings melt together into a blurry streak, you can't help but compare yourself to the train.

You've got your life figured out. You have a specific destination you'd like to reach. You've chosen this path for yourself, and there's no turning back. You're zooming through life, your surroundings blending into each other; you simply don't care about anything else. But now you do, and you realize that you shouldn't have gone so fast. You shouldn't have burdened yourself with work that you would need to complete five years from then. You should have paid attention to what was going on with her. Not only her, but you should've spent more time with your family, with your other friends. How long had it been since you'd visited or even checked up on your family? How long had it been since you'd had dinner with your friends? You should have involved yourself with her more.

Her wedding was unattended by you-business trip. There was no gift from you on the teetering pile of gifts at her children's birthday parties, your presence not there-gala with the elites. You had finally made it now, for the first time since you'd left, just not fast enough. Your train had been hurtling down life's tracks, and for the first time, it was too late. It couldn't make it in time.

You examine the envelope and trace your finger over where she signed her name, slowly, carefully.

A. v. a. n. i.

Avani.

(Note: Thank you for reading my story!! For the next few weeks, I am dedicating one story to each of my followers! This is dedicated to Avani Gupta; make sure you check out her account and stories! Thanks for all the support :D)

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347 comments

21:19 Sep 26, 2020

It was an exhausting process, but I got you 919 points! YAY!!! :)

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Laiba M
00:23 Sep 27, 2020

Kylie, oh my gosh, thank you so so much!! That actually means so so much to me and I'm so glad you helped out, wow~~ I'll never forget this!!

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00:29 Sep 27, 2020

Aww, you're so welcome! You're one of my Reedsy friends!

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Laiba M
00:36 Sep 27, 2020

You too!! I'll upvote any comments I see of yours :)

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00:39 Sep 27, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Avani G
18:08 Nov 02, 2020

How do you upvote besides just liking stories?

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18:09 Nov 02, 2020

Press the Up Arrow next to people's comments, comment on stories, and that's pretty much it!

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Avani G
18:11 Nov 02, 2020

Ohh! That's so cool! Imma do it to you and Laiba right now!!

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B. W.
21:25 Sep 22, 2020

Laiba i know who the person is.

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Laiba M
21:26 Sep 22, 2020

The person who's downvoting others?

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B. W.
21:26 Sep 22, 2020

yes.

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Laiba M
21:27 Sep 22, 2020

Who? Do you mind sharing?

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B. W.
21:27 Sep 22, 2020

Mia Rigini

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Laiba M
21:28 Sep 22, 2020

Oh, huh. I've never seen that name here. How did you find out?

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B. W.
13:14 Sep 22, 2020

Laiba i've hit writers block, could ya help?

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Laiba M
14:37 Sep 22, 2020

Sure! With this week's prompts or..?

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B. W.
14:43 Sep 22, 2020

This week's prompts AND my novel tbh..

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Laiba M
18:07 Sep 22, 2020

Okay, well, I have given suggestions for both but our opinions were different about my ideas :) Maybe it could be a plot twist and Willow turns out to be au/evil Harlow's sidekick and betrays the real Harlow? For your novel :)

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B. W.
18:42 Sep 22, 2020

ehhh no i don't think i'd want that kind of plot twist, any other ideas?

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Laiba M
19:00 Sep 22, 2020

For this week's prompts, the apocalypse wouldn't necessarily be a zombie apocalypse... It could be other creatures like Greek mythical creatures... that would link it back to your series... just an idea ;)

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B. W.
17:28 Sep 10, 2020

Laiba you may or may not be going to be in a story along with some other Reedsy friends :) how do you wanna act in it? i dont wanna get anything wrong

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Laiba M
18:07 Sep 10, 2020

I'm fine with any character doing whatever :) even the antagonist! It would be super fun to be the antagonist reflecting the protagonist in the au!!

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B. W.
18:10 Sep 10, 2020

wait i told you the au story right? i don't mean to add you in that story if thats why you mentioned the au. i'm doing a different story thats with you and some other Friends like Aerin, i need to know how you'd act for that. not being a villain though.

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Laiba M
18:52 Sep 10, 2020

Ohhh okay! I'm still fine with being any character and acting any way haha it's up to you!

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B. W.
18:54 Sep 10, 2020

alright and question, did i ever mention a spin off thing to you with my demi-god series?

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Laiba M
18:56 Sep 10, 2020

Nope :)

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B. W.
01:37 Sep 02, 2020

Hey Laiba? i was wondering if you could maybe try and help me with something? its alright if you can't but i need some help with some ideas for something. i'm going to try and make a new story later but the only idea i've been able to get is having a princess and maybe powers. could you help me with some ideas?

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Laiba M
11:14 Sep 02, 2020

No problem! Is there any specific genre you'd like the ideas to be categorized as?

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B. W.
12:42 Sep 02, 2020

well i guess it would have to Be Fantasy since it would have a Princess and something with powers.

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Laiba M
13:53 Sep 02, 2020

I know that haha :) I meant do you want it to be scary? Sad? Happy? Funny? What ending do you want the fantasy to have?

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B. W.
14:03 Sep 02, 2020

oh sorry! Hm..how about sad? i want it to sorta be sad i like happy stories but eh lets try Sad

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Laiba M
14:39 Sep 02, 2020

No, no problem ahaha don't worry, I should've worded it better. She can lose her powers, be exiled from the kingdom and try not to use her powers in the outside world but ends up using them in front of everyone, or she can be exiled from the kingdom and use her powers to survive in the wild. Or become a great magician and come back to the kingdom all successful!

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Laiba M
23:16 Sep 02, 2020

It all depends on the prompts coming up :) I always base my stories on the prompt so I might ask for your help when they come out on Friday! Also, just to clear things up, it might seem like I have so much time responding to comments all day, but it's super easy to type a sentence rather than having to invest tons of work into an idea, then a first draft, then reading it over and changing the plot, then getting feedback, then posting it :)

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B. W.
23:19 Sep 02, 2020

Alright ^^ yeah sure if you need my help with anything i'll be glad to help you especially since you just helped me a bit with my stuff ^^

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Laiba M
23:32 Sep 02, 2020

Thanks for offering :)

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B. W.
23:34 Sep 02, 2020

No problem ^^

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AWESOME!!! Keep it up, Laiba! —Aerin!!! (P. S. Would you mind checking out my story ‘A Poem By A Star’ if you have a chance? If so, thanks!)

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Laiba M
21:19 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you!! It means a lot, Aerin :) I will definitely do that!

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Grace M'mbone
17:58 Jun 30, 2020

Beautiful. The only word I can use to describe this.

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Laiba M
19:30 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you, Grace :) It means a lot!!

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Avani G
14:01 Jun 27, 2020

Aww, thanks so much, Laiba! I am flattered you chose me as the first follower to dedicate this story to! ❤❤

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Laiba M
14:27 Jun 27, 2020

Haha, no problem! ❤❤ You were the first friend I made on here and the first supporter of my writing, of course, it would all start with you!

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Avani G
14:28 Jun 27, 2020

❤❤

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Laiba M
14:30 Jun 27, 2020

❤❤❤❤ Thank you for everything, without you I wouldn't have enough motivation to continue! ❤❤❤❤

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Avani G
14:33 Jun 27, 2020

No problem! I loved making friends with you, too!!

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Laiba M
15:05 Jun 27, 2020

Aw :)

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B. W.
14:34 Sep 23, 2020

Hey laiba?

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Laiba M
15:01 Sep 23, 2020

Yes?

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B. W.
15:03 Sep 23, 2020

i checked something and i'm being down-voted again.

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B. W.
15:05 Sep 23, 2020

i'm pretty sure it's still her possibly as well

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Laiba M
15:13 Sep 23, 2020

She did reply and say you'll be downvoted so maybe she's finding your comments and downvoting them :(

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Laiba M
15:14 Sep 23, 2020

Oh my goodness I lost 100 points since yesterday!!! I just checked!

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Laiba M
15:15 Sep 23, 2020

And am losing more and more by the second...

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B. W.
15:16 Sep 23, 2020

we could go on another up-voting spree for each other?? as we're speaking i'm literally still being down-voted at the moment

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B. W.
19:47 Sep 21, 2020

my gosh, someone's down-voting me again.

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Laiba M
20:00 Sep 21, 2020

Oh, that's too bad. How do people downvote? Like, downvoting comments?

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B. W.
20:02 Sep 21, 2020

are you asking HOW to? like how do you even do it? or like why people do it?

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Laiba M
20:12 Sep 21, 2020

Yeah, does downvoting comments mean losing points? I'm not doing it haha just wondering... but that too, people work hard for their points and it's not nice to decrease them :(

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B. W.
20:15 Sep 21, 2020

Yeah when someone Down-votes the other person loses their Karma Points and someone's been down-voting me and some others a lot. i dont think they care if its nice or not

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Laiba M
20:16 Sep 21, 2020

We can do an "upvote exchange" :D upvoting each other's comments!

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B. W.
14:39 Sep 21, 2020

are ya still planning on doing some stories soon? and ones that are kind of for some friends like this one?

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Laiba M
18:12 Sep 21, 2020

Yes, I'm so sorry for not posting at all! In my bio, it says mid-September and September's almost over, so I definitely need to try and get out a few stories this week! In August, my schedule was filled with competitions and presentations, and I thought in September everything would clear up, but voila, we have tons of applications I have to fill out :) I'm finally done with all that, and while I am still loaded with homework and such, I can try and write a few stories this week :)

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B. W.
18:18 Sep 21, 2020

will you even be able to do it though with this weeks prompts? they really aren't that good tbh. If your also maybe planning on doing stories that involve some Reedsy friends, i was wondering, could you maybe do one about me? It's fine if ya don't want to, just wondering. i also know you'd probably do other people instead to

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Laiba M
18:38 Sep 21, 2020

I'm definitely doing one for you!! Each and every single one of my Reedsy friends :) For this week, I'm doing someone who has waited for their story for months, maybe next week?

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B. W.
18:41 Sep 21, 2020

Yeah sure Next week is fine ^^ I dunno how you'll do it for the other friend with this weeks prompts but i know it'll be good

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Laiba M
18:47 Sep 21, 2020

This week's prompts are basically the same thing, just modified for each genre. I'm taking the thriller way, I love horror :)

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B. W.
12:57 Sep 18, 2020

Laiba i need help

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Laiba M
18:07 Sep 18, 2020

Hi, sorry for not responding to your comments. I haven't checked Reedsy in a while so I didn't see them at all. What do you need help with?

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B. W.
18:11 Sep 18, 2020

My gosh did ya have to send like nine of those? but it's alright. and well, do you know about the novel i'm working on? that's what i'm needing help with but i'm not sure if i've told you already or not

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Laiba M
03:09 Sep 19, 2020

Oh my gosh it was a tech issue haha let me delete the extra ones hold on

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Laiba M
03:10 Sep 19, 2020

Okay, done! I can help you with it, what specific help do you need? Ideas? Characters?

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B. W.
03:12 Sep 19, 2020

Oh that's alright ^^ and i guess it's with some ideas, though i think i have to tell you the plot for the story, i'm not sure if i told you yet

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Laiba M
12:51 Sep 19, 2020

I don't think you have, as far as I know :)

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B. W.
20:24 Sep 14, 2020

Hey :D imma be actually making a novel ^^ so if you have any questions then be free to ask

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B. W.
17:00 Sep 11, 2020

Its out ^^ go check out "Adventure with friends" and tell me what you think

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B. W.
16:06 Sep 04, 2020

Hey Laiba i just finished a new story so go check out "useless" and tell me what you think ^^

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Laiba M
17:39 Sep 04, 2020

Okay sure :)

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B. W.
22:13 Sep 04, 2020

hey i have two other stories that i'd want you to check out and leave feedback for ^^ the names are "Getting her back" and "Bonding?"

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Laiba M
23:53 Sep 05, 2020

I'll check them out, including the story called "Useless" in the span of the next few days, I'm kind of busy :)

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B. W.
23:54 Sep 05, 2020

Alright thanks ^^ its alright its fine that your busy, just take your time with whatever it is :)

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Laiba M
23:55 Sep 05, 2020

Yep! Thanks for understanding, Hope :)

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Djenat Remmache
23:01 Jul 23, 2020

I love it! Beautiful story. Do you mind reading my stories and give me feedback ?

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Laiba M
03:20 Jul 24, 2020

Thank you and no problem, Djenat!

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:16 Jul 13, 2020

I’m so sorry, I thought I was following you a while ago but I guess not. 😂💖

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Laiba M
15:19 Jul 13, 2020

Ah, it's fine! Thanks for following me, we haven't talked in a while 💖

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:23 Jul 13, 2020

I know! See, I was working on a show with Daryl Gravensade if you remember him and that got us kind of busy but now that’s slowed down a lot. How’ve you been?

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Laiba M
15:39 Jul 13, 2020

I remember Daryl! He's really nice~ What kind of show, that sounds really interesting! I've been doing fine, haven't been posting consistently but during the upcoming weeks, I'm going to be writing a ton! By the way, I'm doing this thing where I dedicate stories to my followers, do you mind being mentioned as a character in my story? Thanks!

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:42 Jul 13, 2020

Haha, that would be great! And if you hear from Daryl let me know, because he’s kind of not talking to me but I think it’s because he’s busy... our show is based off the format of The Office though if he doesn’t ever write me back it’s going to be a horror film called the Ghosting. 😂😂😂

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Laiba M
16:53 Jul 13, 2020

Okay, thank you! I will try and see if he responds, fingers crossed! That's really cool about the show! Just wondering about some things, you don't have to answer :) Are you planning on just writing the script or actually attempting to make it? Would you rather it be animated or live-action?

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Arwen Dove
23:45 Apr 29, 2021

This is amazing!

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B. W.
01:03 Nov 06, 2020

ya wanna hear a joke?

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Laiba M
01:52 Nov 06, 2020

Sure!

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B. W.
01:53 Nov 06, 2020

Knock Knock

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Laiba M
02:05 Nov 06, 2020

Who's there?

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B. W.
02:15 Nov 06, 2020

Harry

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Laiba M
13:52 Nov 06, 2020

Harry who?

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B. W.
16:09 Oct 01, 2020

I hope i'm not bothering you or anything when i keep asking about it. But it'll be out today right?

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Laiba M
18:01 Oct 01, 2020

Yep~

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B. W.
18:23 Oct 01, 2020

have ya started? how much words ya got for it so far

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