Timelapse (a Rapunzel reworking)

Submitted into Contest #84 in response to: Write a story that spans exactly a year and takes place in a single room.... view prompt

1190 comments

Sad Fantasy Inspirational


Day 6274 + 0


You pace the length of the room, over and over and over. The same ten feet you’ve crossed a million times. Your shaggy lavender rug, with yellow flowers woven in, is tattered and torn from a century of weight.

Up, down, up, down. Feet hitting the floor.

There’s nowhere else to go.

Over and over and over.



Day 6274 + 29


Your room is your haven. One big box of space, with a bed pushed into a corner, a desk in another. The walls are painted baby blue, like an ocean dialed down.

It’s supposed to make you feel calm.




Day 6274 + 56


The books you’ve read have glorified ADHD. Sometimes it's a tool. Other times it’s just a pain. It’s always a small character trait, though. Like the author casually sprinkled in the crane that wrecks a life.

One, two, three. Crushed flowers.

You can never stop moving. Stop thinking. Stop tapping. Your mind is never the calm ocean, just a collage of videos. It’s overpowering.

And annoying.

And when you’re stuck in a single room for years, your sanity’s downfall.




Day 6274 + 64


Sometimes you can only express yourself through abstract nonsense, in a way visual arts just can’t measure up to.

So you turn to poetry.

You love haiku especially, how the 17-or-under syllables can carry oceans of meaning. The best part is they don’t even have to make sense.

They’re like little snapshots of time.





Day 6274 + 65


piece by piece, broken

rainbows crumbling to the ground

the songbird’s last cry





Day 6274 + 83


There’s nothing to do in this room. 

You don’t want to touch your blue walls with your paintbrush, so instead you watercolor in your sketchbook. Always concentric circles. Rings inside of rings inside of rings, dipping the paintbrush in and out of the water. The colors melt into each other, a beautiful embrace.

It’s like you harnessed a rainbow. A ribbon of vibrancy, tied to the page. But the sun can’t stay out without a cloud passing by, and you never finish a book without being sad it’s over, and your colors come at a cost. The water gets murky. Dried up sunshine. So you empty it out the window and refill.

It’s a long way down from your window. Up in a crooked tower, the view would be stunning if not for the endless trees. Sunshine blooms in the aquamarine skies, but the grass below you can’t flourish while being dumped with gray water daily.

They shrivel.

You shrug.

Nothing comes without a cost, and you’ve paid too much already.




Day 6274 + 90


The highlight of your life is your mother. While you’re in your room, she’s collecting tales to tell you when she returns.

Your mother is your rose, your rainbow, your dancing sun. She tells you everyone you need to know about the world, while keeping you safe in your tower.

Mother knows best.




Day 6274 + 121


beauty abandoned

soft petals against cement

a discarded rose


She brought you a rose today.

It’s so pretty, vivid petals hugging each other.

She said she found it tossed on the side of the road.





Day 6274 + 138


Your hair is like your anchor. It’s always there, five pounds of gold locks twisted into a braid. It has the same comfort as a weighted blanket.

Other times, you wish you could throw your hair away. Thrust a fist through the window, slash a piece of glass around your scalp. Toss your prize out the window for the squirrels to nestle in.

But you never touch your hair, for it’s the pride of your your mother.

Twice a month, she’ll help you with your golden monstrosity. You’ll sit by the window as the sky grows dark, pale clouds dotting the iris dusk. She’ll take out your braid and brush it until it’s smooth. You sing while you watch the birds swoop, sweet lyrics embedded in your head.

You barely register the words any more, having sung it so many times.




Day 6274 + 159


The walls are closing in.

You feel trapped, you feel lost, you feel forgotten.

There’s nowhere to go.

Nowhere to run.

Nowhere other than this flowered carpet, the blue walls, the piles of sketchbooks and novels. 

You’re practically wasting away.




Day 6274 + 167


You want so much. 

You want to feel the green grass tickling your feet. 

You want to run a finger down the cold cobblestone of the tower’s exterior.

You want to laugh and run, fighting against the warm wind as the sun waves goodbye.

You want to see, you want to hear, you want to smile so much your face hurts.

When you tell this to your mother, she just shushes you. “Don’t be greedy,” she tuts. 


She’s right.

You have everything you need.

Food, a bed, activities for creating. A loving mother.

You don’t need the world when you have this room and it’s contents.

You don’t deserve the world.




Day 6274 + 200


But what if you want the world?




Day 6274 + 201


You’re tired of wishing on the stars.

Every night, you walk to the windowsill, dressed in a white nightgown, your hair coiled around your neck like a scarf. You pull open the windows and lean against the windowsill, closing your eyes. Letting the cool night air brush against your face.

Deep breath.

Deep breath.

It’s the only thing you like about this tower—how it feels at night. The ink-covered world is laid out beneath you, the stars glimmering in the coal sky.




Day 6274 + 202


Some people blow kisses.

You blow wishes.

Whispering all of your crinkled dreams, hoping they’ll spiral on the wind.

You don’t believe in magic.

But maybe, just maybe, the stars will hear.




Day 6274 + 232


ink-drenched canvas 

dotted with twinkling amber 

wish upon a star




Day 6274 + 249


You feel suffocated.




Day 6274 + 250


You feel forgotten.




Day 6274 + 251


You feel trapped.




Day 6274 + 252


Like a bird with tied wings, you want to leave, to fly, to dream, but instead you’re helplessly rooted to the ground.




Day 6274 + 260


You’re sick.

Of this room.

Of these books.

Of the filled sketchbooks.

Of watching time tick by, but nothing new changes.

You realize that if you timelapsed your nearly-17-years-of-life, it would look like it was looped.

Same routine.

Same activities.

Day after day after day.




Day 6274 + 323


The days blur.

And they blend.

And weeks pass - 


Gone.




Day 6274 + 330


You don’t like long poetry as much (but you know there’s value in it too), but today you wrote something called “lost”.




Day 6274 + 331


You wanted to show your mother, but you held back.




Day 6274 + 332


What if she doesn’t like it? 

It’s kind of weird.




Day 6274 + 335


lost in a haze

        black and white

blurred in a d a z e

        blinding light

world crumbling to

f i n e onyx dust,

lost in another world 

        of lilac thoughts

              and opalescent dreams 

other-worldly 

      memo r i e s

tossing and turning

piecing together 

broken r 

            e

          a l i

              t

            y

lost in a world of cotton

        counting sheep

              collecting lost marbles 

confused 

afraid 

              mystical shades

swirling and

        spinning and

              twirling and

                      vanishing and

                          whirling and

        g o n e

wondering 

waiting

eyes flutter shut

other realms broadcasted 

behind your e y e l i d s

the cracked boundaries 

        of what was real

smudged on the 

        edges of  

              slumber




Day 6274 + 349


You’ve decided to leave.

No more hair ropes.

No more pretty pink smiles.

You want to claim back your life.




Day 6274 + 360


But it’s hard to find the strength you need to do some things.

After all, this room is your haven.

Do you really, truly want to go?

What about your mother?

She’d never let you leave.


But she can’t control you.

But.

You’ve used that word countless times without doing it justice.

“But” is a word that says it isn’t the end of the story.

“But” is voicing your opinions.

Voicing isn’t enough.

The next step is action.

You can’t use “but” if you’re not going to do something about a problem.


And you’ve decided that this feeling of hopelessness hanging over your head qualifies.




Day 6274 + 365


Another year has passed already for the tied down bird.

Yet you think should completely discard that analogy because luckily, you’re not a bird, and you have opposable thumbs that work just fine when it comes to escapes.


It’s your birthday, actually.

17.

Which means you’re 17 years overdue for...a lot.




Day 6274 + 365


Once upon a time

You wished on dandelions 

Laughing in the strawberry sunlight 

As you danced on faerie tiptoes 

You twirled 

Vision blurred 

Memories swirled 

Until your worried melted away


Now, you’re trying to get up

But you’re lying in the dust

You want to take a stand 

Yet no one lends a hand 

You’re falling 

And drowning 

And hoping 

And dreaming 

And broken, so, so broken 

There’s no happily ever after for every story


~ Serenity Azzlyn




Day 6274 + 365


You’ve been repeating that quote to myself since the beginning of your memories. It’s a clip of a larger spoken word poem, and for years, you agreed with the poetess. Her words became your anthem in the tower, the reasoning you turned to every time you got too ahead of myself. You melted into the acceptance that your didn’t need to leave, your were perfectly fine here, and that happily ever after was just a mirage on the horizon.


But now, as you get ready to leave, you think that that reasoning should pack its bags too.

Because if you keep chasing after that happy ending, then maybe, just maybe, you’ll reach it.

March 06, 2021 20:58

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1190 comments

Philip Clayberg
20:50 Mar 14, 2021

Please don't delete this story! I really really really liked it! Thank you for writing it! It feels more like poetry (not just the haiku and poem parts of it). It's wonderful. It flows so beautifully. It makes me wish that I could write stories like this.

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21:31 Mar 14, 2021

Aww, thank you so much!!! Your comments are always so nice <3

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Philip Clayberg
23:45 Mar 14, 2021

If you've written a great story, I won't flatter you. I'll tell you that it's a great story. Btw, if you *are* still planning to delete the story, I'm going to copy/paste it into an offline document so that at least *I* have a copy of it. I'd like to share it with my mother (I've done this before with another story (the one about the tryouts for "Hamlet" -- I don't remember who the author is)). I think she'd like to read it. I hope it's okay because I just sent her a copy of your story (I fixed where single letters were in bold-face and...

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01:01 Mar 15, 2021

<3 Oh, haha, I decided not to do that, but thank you ☺️ Aww, it means a lot you wanted to share my story with other people, thank you 🥺💖 And yea, originally the message was going to be bolded, but that didn’t show up on Reedsy so I underlined instead...which means jt would have been a very *enthusiastic* message when pasted elsewhere 😂

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Philip Clayberg
02:02 Mar 15, 2021

Oh good! Because you sounded at times in your comments to other readers of your story that you didn't like the story anymore. I've had that happen sometimes, and what I do is give away what I don't like. I've given an audio cassette recording of music I improvised on a grand piano because I didn't like it. One of the listeners liked it, asked for the audio cassette, and I gave it to them. As far as I know, they still have it and they still like listening to it. Oh. Because only single letters (every so often) were in bold and underlin...

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Kate Brown
01:43 Mar 12, 2021

Hey Aerin it’s me! I cant belive you didn’t know i was on the website lol I’ve been on sense 2018 -it’s Kate btw-

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02:48 Mar 12, 2021

Kate, lol, I can’t tell if you’re Sarah pretending to be Kate, Kate who found Reedsy and is trying to prank me, or a Reedsy friend who stalked me even further and found you (so far, people have seen my mom’s Instagram, found videos of baby me on YouTube, and more) and is now pranking me. Either way, first of all, I can literally see you’ve been on since Jan 2021, lol. Secondly, REEDSY PROMPTS HASNT BEEN AROUND IN 2018 LOL

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02:49 Mar 12, 2021

Ya ur definitely Sarah

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21:42 Mar 12, 2021

Wait but I keep coming back to this comment cuz wdm 2018? Like I knew you weren’t on here, I can see you got an account a few days ago, and this place started mid-2019 so what the heck were you talking about lol

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Maraika!!! 😎
21:01 Mar 20, 2021

Hey if you guys want to read a story (besides Aerins awesome ones) there this new author who you guys should totally check out! their name is ash sparks and they only have one story, but it's pretty good. here's the link: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing prompts/contests/84/submissions/58195/ Please check it out and give feedback! (Also sorry Aerin for posting another authors work on your page. You get so many veiws so i thought this would be the best place to put it. Your a great author!)

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14:54 Mar 21, 2021

(Aw thank you) Cool! I just checked out their page :) (Oh, haha, it’s totally fine, than, you!)

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Maraika!!! 😎
18:47 Mar 21, 2021

Thanks Aerin for being so cool about it <3 :)

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Ash S
08:58 Mar 21, 2021

Awww, that's so nice. Thanks for promoting my story, my friend.

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Maraika!!! 😎
18:47 Mar 21, 2021

Of course! I couldn't suggest it to my friends, so i thought I'd do the next best thing lol. :)

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**alt account**

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02:35 Mar 20, 2021

Aww ty!

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Veda Vivek💎
16:36 Mar 19, 2021

I didn't know it was your birthday a few days ago until right now as I read the comments, so... HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! 😁

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22:49 Mar 19, 2021

THANK YOU!!!

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Veda Vivek💎
15:12 Mar 19, 2021

hey, Aerin? Could you read my latest story and tell me what you think? I really want some feedback because I think I can improve it. Thanks!

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16:03 Mar 19, 2021

Of course! I’ll read it later, but if I forget (which I often do 😑), DON’T HOLD BACK ON REMINDING MEEEEEEE XD

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Did you get my happy birthday?

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21:01 Mar 17, 2021

I think so, thanksssss :DDD

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Yepppp no problemmooooo :)

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16:59 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AERINNNNNNNN!!!!!

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21:04 Mar 17, 2021

THANK YOUUUU!!!!!!

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Kat Sencen
15:24 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! AND HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY!!!

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21:05 Mar 17, 2021

THANK YOU!!!!!!! YOU TOOOOO

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Laiba M
13:22 Mar 17, 2021

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~~~~~~~~

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21:06 Mar 17, 2021

THANK YOU LAIBA!!!!!!!

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Laiba M
22:04 Mar 17, 2021

HOW WAS IT?????????

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Kat Sencen
06:00 Mar 14, 2021

Hi! I really loved this story, it had a good meaning to it and I loved the quotes and poetry (and I saw what you did there, clever). Congrats on 1st!!!

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15:53 Mar 14, 2021

Thank you so much!!!!!!

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Maya -
20:21 Mar 12, 2021

❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME AUTHOR ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜❤️🧡💛💚💙💜YOU ARE AN AWESOME A...

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20:52 Mar 12, 2021

THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUU Yaas, I’ve gotten this message a couple times so I’ve already spammed it to friends lol :)

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B. W.
01:53 Mar 11, 2021

Heyyy

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02:53 Mar 13, 2021

Hiii

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B. W.
03:13 Mar 13, 2021

Guess what :D

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Lily Kingston
18:07 Mar 07, 2021

I love how you included a hidden message related to the theme of the story. Clever work! I know how you said that you don't like your story, but it's still good you wrote it because just the act of writing (good or bad) helps you progress as a writer. I think every writer has a few old pieces that they look back on and are just like "ew". I know I do haha. Anyway, keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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02:52 Mar 13, 2021

(Sorry for the late reply) Thank you so much, Lily! Yup, totally agree <3

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21:58 Mar 06, 2021

:O wowEEEEEEE Aerin, you outdid yourself yet aGaIn :D HAPPY 30 STORIES!!!!!!!!!!!! I love how it says Day 6274 + ___, it adds some uniqueness to the story (if it already wasn't super unique :) ), and the second person on the third 'Day' you put 'Dat' might wanna fix dat *bu dum, TSHHHHH* *crickets* LOL my puns are bad XD I like the sad + kinda hopeful vibe to it, because everyone loves a (kinda) happy story :) SPEAKING OF WHICH, ill be writing one and we might've telepathically communicated because we are using the same prompts and...

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22:15 Mar 06, 2021

Heiwndiwjwud thank you so much! I mean I disagree completely but still thank you XD YAAYYYY SHANK YOU!!! (Why do I low-key find it funny that I always dislike the mini-anniversary stories...like I didn’t like my 20th story and this one is beyond weird 😂) Thanks for catching that, just did! Ahaha, awesome 😂 *silently counts how many times I’ve used the crying-laughing emoji in this comment* *slowly retreats* *really tho...like Oop-* Aww shank you! Woah, that’s cool, haha! Tell me when it’s out :3 THANK YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!! ~ Aer...

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22:20 Mar 06, 2021

np! maybe its just a weird writing bias XD :D *YES* *jumps into hole* *LOL* yay okay!!!! NP! :DDDD

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Niveeidha Palani
07:59 Mar 25, 2021

Aerin. You are literally. Kicked off the leaderboard? I freaked out for a second, trying to find your name and when I couldn't, I headed straight to Zilla and I noticed her comments. Dang. I don't know who hates you here, but you've got all the support from us. Keep striving, and remember. The downvoter's plan is to make you feel frustrated. Don't show it. Act cool, calm, happy, and joyful as always. Your points will return. I promise.

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12:53 Mar 25, 2021

Hi! Yeah...I don’t know if you mean top 10 or no but now I’m literally off the entire leaderboard. (I feel like dropping 100 places in two days has gotta be a record :P) Hasjddjandjsndd. Aww thank you...but it’s pretty hard to feel frustrated when literally the number I’ve worked towards die almost a year is about to reach 0?? Still, ty and thanks to everyone for their support <3

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Niveeidha Palani
13:15 Mar 25, 2021

Mhm, I meant the top 10. Yep. Gotta be a record.

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14:13 Mar 25, 2021

XD

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Kat Sencen
04:57 Mar 25, 2021

I'm sooooo sorry you got downvoted. I will upvote you all I can so that the downvoters can learn that they can't truly take away points, can't truly take away J.K. Rowling-level writing and most importantly, can't truly take away spirit.

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12:54 Mar 25, 2021

Awww tyyy 🥺🥺💖 P. S. YAAASSSS KEEFE SENCEN IS LIKE MY FAV FICTIONAL CHARACTER EVERRR

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Meera Lakshmi
13:21 Mar 24, 2021

Aerin?

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22:14 Mar 24, 2021

hi

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Meera Lakshmi
22:15 Mar 24, 2021

Please join with the among us code...do you have the game

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Meera Lakshmi
22:16 Mar 24, 2021

VXYDXG

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Maddi G
11:30 Mar 20, 2021

You are beating Zilla Babbit. Keep it up.

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Elle Orthan
15:53 Mar 18, 2021

happy belated bday aerin i hope you had a great day a lot of ppl on here rlly appreciate u

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15:58 Mar 18, 2021

Aw thank you!!

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Elle Orthan
16:00 Mar 18, 2021

of course remember to keep smiling ur a great writer and friend :))))))))))))))))

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