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Teens & Young Adult Gay Romance

If you think I don't see you, you must be crazy. You're mingling in with the cherry blossoms like light through a window, refracting. You're the first sign of spring. It's like I know you.

Every day, I glance out the window at 1:30 and see you there, running into the horizon. Is it part of a class? Or something else?

"Pay attention, Kalmin," Mr. Gentry slaps a ruler across my desk with a despicable screech. I stare as it bounces back and forth. Right, left... right-

"You don't come to my class to sleep!" He turns back to his desk, where an ancient computer occupies most of its polished wood table. When I finally look up, I see that everyone's still typing away at whatever random essay he's assigned. Glasses reflect small fonts and large words. My screen holds nothing but empty notes and long-forgotten files.

Had I imagined him?

"And one more thin-" Gentry bolts up, his toupee almost sliding off from the force. I doubt he does that much movement daily. Meanwhile, I can barely sit still for the hour his class steals from my life.

"Sir?" I cringe at myself, but I don't stop for a moment. I know I'm not supposed to interrupt people, and I know I do it too much. But is it too much to ask to get a word in? "I wasn't sleeping. I was just looking out the window"

"This is an ap English class!" he erupts with anger, keeling toward me. I can sense the ruthless stares from my classmates, as well as Boomer's foot on the back of my chair. I know he's only trying to comfort me; too bad it's not exactly his forte. "We do not just sit and stare out the window! You follow my instructions and write!"

"Yes," I mumble, already able to tell where this conversation's heading. Why did I ever sign up for this? I'm not the smartest; everyone knows that. Middle school was probably where it began; I decided to follow Boomer in his ideals to become the best. We'd been friends ever since I first met him. I still remember the glare he gave me, steely and cold. He'd been bullying a kid I recently did a group project in. We weren't friends, but I hate seeing people not able to stick up for themselves. It means the world to me to see people help one another. But that wasn't what Boomer wanted; The first time we ever came in contact was when my fist flew into his face, knocking him back onto the ground. One second later, he returned the favor. Our fight was broken up by a teacher, and we were slammed into detention. It wasn't the first time for either of us. I have a hard time paying attention, and he has a hard time keeping his anger in. That's where his nickname came from, I think.

It was hard to separate us after that. I kept him from hurting other kids, and he taught me how to stay motivated when nothing felt like it mattered. When it came time to choose high schools, I was all for following him. We were the first two kids to end up at this private school from our class. My mother still doesn't believe the acceptance letter. If I have to be totally, brutally honest, neither can I. Boomer thought it was a dream come true. I didn't even know where to begin.

Our ecstasy soon turned into grave annoyance. The classes were tough, but Boomer was tougher. People assume he doesn't know anything whenever they meet him, but he's smarter than anyone else here, I think. If he didn't argue so much with the teachers, he'd be their favorite.

Of course, whenever there's an abundance of talent, there's always the lack of it. I've never thought of myself as completely useless; I'm the star quarterback of the team; it's the only place where I don't have to set up everyone else's wins; I bring the team home more victories than anyone else. Then again, before Boomer and I came along, it wasn't like there were many other contenders; most kids here don't have to worry about paying for college, or anything else like that. The only kids in sports and clubs are the ones who actually want to be there.

I fell behind in school. I'm taking what's supposed to be the lowest level courses, and they're still a lot. My mom... she warned me not to do this. But I wanted to help Boomer, and I didn't want to leave the friends I've made here. There are tons of kids who just turn their noses up at me, but some are genuine and true. I've even been helping her pay the cost of admission too; I love working with kids, but sometimes, it's a bit much.

There are some nights when I don't want to be strong. Why do I have to? It feels like I carry the world. I just want to help others. Sometimes, this point-toothed smile isn't for me; it's for everyone else who doesn't have the strength.

"Hey red," Boomer flicks a pencil at me as the screeching bell picks up. "I was thinking of goin' off-campus for lunch. Whaddya think?"

"Sure," I blush, my face growing as bright red as my hair. When I catch a peek at his computer, I see an almost completed essay staring back at me, perfectly formatted and clean. Mine's covered in wavy red lines, slashing across like scars. "I'd be okay with that"

"'Kay, dork. Let's get outta here then"

We mill around the other kids in the class, and it's almost hard not to feel like I'm being watched. Boomer needlessly shoves kids out of the way, giving me the chance to apologize for him. It's hard to keep up with him sometimes. At least he's not kicking the desks out 0f the way.

Due to my almost failure last year, the school decided to place me under Boomer's care. He's near the top of the class, where I lie at the bottom. I guess they thought that he could help me rise up the ladder a little. Maybe they're just trying to get their two biggest mistakes out of the way. Either way, it's almost a miracle that I get to spend the day with him. For every bad thing he does, I try to make up for it with something good.

I want to change this city for the better. Every time we step out onto the grounds, that's the overbearing thought that comes to mind. Cherry blossoms are still clinging onto the trees, even though it's already the middle of April. I reach out to catch one, leaving Boomer disgruntled.

"You don't have to do that every time"

"I do?"

He nods. "Literally every damn time. What is it with you and grabbing random things?"

"I saw it falling, and I wanted to catch it," I defend, but Boomer's already bored of the conversation.

Just then, I see you coming across the path, holding an armful of books. "Hey!" I cry out, only a second too late. I watch as you stumble, books cascading down onto the ground.

"I'm sorry," it takes me a moment (and Boomer's cynical snickers) before I realize that the boy is lying in my arms, his nose an inch away from the pavement. "I'll pick up your books for you"

Now it's his turn to grow a brighter red than me. "It's my fault I-"

"OSCAR DUNOWITZ"

He flinches again, staring up at the looming teacher before him. She adjusts the glasses lying haphazardly on her nose. "I see you've decided to return to class"

"I already did all the work and passe-"

"Nonsense!" she waves her hand in the air, and for a moment, I almost think she's about to slap him. My body reacts before I can control it, standing in front of him

"Don't hurt him!" I cry out.

"Hurt him?" she lets out a low, dry chuckle. "I'm a teacher; who are you to say what I can and cannot do?"

"Major villain vibes," Boomer grunts. "C'mon, Kalmin; we won't be able to get out if you keep this up!"

But I ignore him. "What's so wrong that you have to punish him like this?

"He's been skipping my class," she hisses. "Isn't art important to you?"

"Me?" I ask. "Well... um no. But I still-"

"Not you, you dimwit! Oscar!"

"Your name is Oscar?" I lean around to look at him. He nods, his small face bobbing back and forth. His hands cover his face gently, so I flash him a smile.

"Hey..." I hold his chin in my hand. "It's going to be okay, you know"

"If you don't get into class right now," The teacher above us warns. "You boys will both get detention"

"Kalmin," Boomer grunts. "Get the fuck over here. I'm not dealing with this again"

I shake my head. "He needs my help"

"Fine," Boomer shrugs. "I'll buy you something. What do you want?"

I shrug. "Anything you think I'd like"

"Don't say I didn't warn you"

When I move to turn around, I see that the wicked teacher's already walking away, her sharp heels clicking with almost murderous intent.

"I've never seen someone stand up to her"

It takes me a moment before I realize that he's talking to me. "Really? What does she teach?"

"Art"

I have to hear him repeat it before I understand. "Her? She really teaches art?"

A few stray papers cascade out of his bag, all covered in abstract colors and lines. "This is what she makes us do"

"Hmm..." I hold the paper up against my face, trying to examine it. "Well... it's certainly full of emotion..."

"Don't lie. It's terrible"

"No!" what's wrong with people and confidence today? "I think it's really cool"

"Yeah," he snorts, suddenly cold. "Well, it's not what I want to do"

"Well, I think you're really good at this"

Oscar draws a single piece of paper out of his bag, handing it shyly to me. "You wanted to show me your math homework?" his eyes widen with fear.

"Oh... turn it over"

I comply, filling myself with shock. "Woah... this is..."

His face goes bright red again, a mirror image of the drawing before me. It's hard to decide what I want to focus on first; the central picture is a house. That much is obvious. But when you look at it more, it gets almost chaotic. Rooms fly in from the side, connected to infinite hallways and the main room in the middle, holding a backyard with a double swing, occupied by two boys.

"It's just something I do when I'm bored," Oscar admits. A flash of lightning arcs above, accompanied by a smattering of rain.

"Look..." I try a smile again. "I don't want to leave you alone for lunch. And I doubt you really want to go back to her class"

"Really?"

And even though I usually hate cynics, there's something almost alluring about the way he says it like he doesn't even have to pretend he's done with the world; it's over with him.

Which is the moment I realize I've already fallen.

"Boomer might seem like a scary guy," I promise, holding my hand around my neck. "But he's cool. Do you want to pick where we go? There's a nice venue down the road where we can see the cherry blossoms. It'll be fun!"

"Are you sure he'd-"

"Boomer's fine with everything," I lie, already cringing. I interrupt everyone. Why do I have to be so loud? I mean, in this school, it's like my entire existence is one big interruption.

He seems to think that's enough, following me dutifully. I'm almost amazed that he can keep up with my pace as I run after Boomer.

"Why do you run every day?"

Oscar doesn't miss a beat in answering the question. "I have art this period. I signed up for a lot of those classes, but her class is painful. I guess... I should have read a little bit more about the class. Her class is about "Abstraction" and I don't get it. So I just submit what I know how to do, and that's all.

"The track team bores me. They're all... I mean..."

I hold his head up again. Smiles have to work, right? "It's hard for you to talk to sporty people?"

He nods, flustered. I catch a whiff of vanilla from his dark brown, tousled hair.

"Well," a laugh escapes my throat. "You're doing it right now!"

I can't help but smirk. Kalmin; 1.

"Yeah, well... it's not like I couldn't tell"

My expression falls. "What do you mean?"

"You're like 80% muscles," he points out, staring at the tight-fitting fabric stretched over my skin. "Probably getting straight cs and bs, if you go to this school, right? Maybe you're trying to protect Boomer from hurting someone because you know he's going to hurt people"

Well, Oscar; 1. Kalmin; 1.

"I didn't mean to..."

But he doesn't have to say anything. We stay silent for a moment, our running turning into a brisk walk. Eventually, it's like we're not even moving.

"I see the people like you, and it feels like I owe myself"

"What do you mean?"

Oscar holds his neck on both sides, looking down toward the puddle. He jumps lightly into it, splashing his scribble-covered converses and the bottom of ink-stained jeans. I follow, accidentally stomping into the puddle. Water flies up around us, catching on his thin white hoodie.

"Hey!" he protests, returning the favor. "Well... I think everyone around me is doing great. They're confident, they love their bodies... and then I'm me"

"Yeah. You're you"

"That isn't exactly a compliment," he raises a hesitant eyebrow.

"Are you kidding me?" we're already soaked, but I barely care. It's almost pouring buckets now. I pluck a wild-flower from the field around us. We've only just left school grounds, but it's not like we were planning to go far anyway.

The grass is almost up to his waist, swaying in the wind from the storm above us. "You've already caught me"

"I barely even know you. You don't even know me!"

"And that's just what makes you so special"

In a moment, our lips are upon each other, soaked from the storm, yet still sunkissed and light. Every moment is like a dream come true, like something I forgot.

How can you feel nostalgic for something that hasn't even happened yet?

"Ha," a little laugh breaks out when we part. His shirt is still sticking to his body, flush and wet. "I kissed you"

"Don't remind me," Oscar blushes. "Believe me... that's not what-"

"I told you you're such a great person"

"Why do you keep insisting on that? I'm a mess! I run because I'm afraid. Everything scares me, from acceptance to the future to-"

"And I want to stop that. How about we make a deal; whenever I'm with you, I don't want to see you sad. I'll even make it a challenge. I have to make every day better than the last!"

"Are you always this..."

He tries to search for a word but comes up with nothing. "Look," I huff. "I like you. I mean... I feel like I've known you for so much more time"

"It literally hasn't even been an hour yet. You barely know me"

"According to you!" I defend. "Every day, I look out the window of my English class and I find you. I saw you running toward your dreams, and I saw myself. You think we're so different, but is anyone? I mean, I know I don't fit in here, okay? And I saw that you didn't seem to either... and I loved it. When that teacher was about to go off on you, I knew I had to do something. So I did. So please... trust me when I say that I love you"

"Okay"

"What's that?" I cock my ear, teasing a little laugh out of him. "I can't hea-"

"Okay!" he smiles back. "I love you too, and that's all there is!"

"Good. But if you won't open up, I'll have to tease you"

Oscar buries his face into his hands. "Oh no..."

"Yeah... I think I'll have to. I've already seen that it works! You walked straight into that one!"

We stay silent for a moment, longing filling our eyes. Pink petals flow through the wind, balancing across Oscar's nose. He sneezes, shaking it off. "We should probably go get some lunch," Oscar admits. "I mean, I had my lunch period already. But I don't want to make you wait"

"I'd wait for you, my pebble..."

The rain lets up a little as we duck under a canopy. "I think this is going to be the beginning of something amazing," I admit.

"I think it already was"

And maybe we are.

March 19, 2021 14:37

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76 comments

Nora Ouardi
14:33 Mar 28, 2021

This was amazing! It made me so happy to see Oscar and Kalmin end up together. We don't get enought LBGTQ+ content on here, but when we do it makes me thrilled even though im not part of the lbgtq community. This was so cuteee, ah i'm fangirling again ;-; anyways continue writing because your work is amazing! You should definitely continue this story btw

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Iโ€™d literally love to continue this story but TRAGICALLY I cannot due to um... reasons. I mean, all three of these people are based on characters from something... so I guess itโ€™s a fanfic? Kinda like an Alt universe. One day, I will put in characters like these (mostly Kalmin and Oscar) but they might be under a different name. Basically, itโ€™s kinda like comedia del arte; I have all the roles and character archetypes, and I swap them around. Also, I shall be checking out ur stories too bc I thought your profile was Yumeko, and even though ...

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Nora Ouardi
14:48 Mar 28, 2021

Alt universe huh? Well that makes everything cooler! I totally get you, I thought it was Yumeko at first too!!! But then I took a closer look and then I was disappointed, but I still stuck to it,

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Ahhhh Iโ€™ve only just started reading the manga of kakeguri, but I love Yumeko (and itsuki!!) So now that I know youโ€™re a fellow weeb, who do you think these characters are supposed to be, and from what anime?

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Nora Ouardi
15:01 Mar 28, 2021

Hmmmmm, this is difficult because I haven't watched too many gay animes even though like 60% of anime has some type of gay character in it. This doesn't EXACTLY fit, because I think it would be hard to find an anime that is exactly the same as this, but what about Shuichi Shindo and Eiri Yuki from Gravitation? If you haven't watched it you should. Like I said, its kinda hard to find exactly the same sitaution, but basically Shuichi falls in love with Eiri and then over time manages to melt Eiri's (cold and heartless) heart and they become ...

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Ahhhh nope, lol. I mean... I should probably just admit that Oscar is a self insert bc Iโ€™m a very basic bi mess, and welll.... no I havenโ€™t watched gravitation so uh... idk. That sounds really cool though! So, itโ€™s from My hero academia!! (Hehe Iโ€™m really really cursed) and Kalmin is Kirishima, and Boomer is Bakugo (which is pretty funny... lol)

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18:38 Mar 29, 2021

Sweet lovely story

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Stormi Gales
21:59 Mar 27, 2021

Awww that was sweet. I felt like I was reading a light novel from an anime. I couldn't help but notice the MHA inspiration in the Kalmin/Boomer dynamic which was really cool. I liked this alot and hope you progress the story.

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Ah! Yes... what do you think about the inspiration? Just asking to see if it was too obvious, lol. Thanks! This is one of my favorites :)

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Stormi Gales
17:40 Mar 28, 2021

I don't think it's too obvious to most people I'm just a weeb lol. I know way too much about way too many anime/manga.

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Whatโ€™s your favorite? I think mine is pretty obvious, lol.

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Stormi Gales
22:39 Mar 28, 2021

My favorite Anime/Manga has become Shingeki No Kyojin. It used to be Dragon Ball franchise and Naruto was a close second but Attack on Titan came in like a wrecking ball (excuse my Miley reference lol) and stole the show. Its not for kids so its not one of the ones I can share with my kids so its a lonely watch but the storytelling is definitely top notch. Now MHA manga is completely off the charts and when the Anime catches up its going to jump to number 1 definitely.

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Stormi Gales
22:39 Mar 28, 2021

My favorite Anime/Manga has become Shingeki No Kyojin. It used to be Dragon Ball franchise and Naruto was a close second but Attack on Titan came in like a wrecking ball (excuse my Miley reference lol) and stole the show. Its not for kids so its not one of the ones I can share with my kids so its a lonely watch but the storytelling is definitely top notch. Now MHA manga is completely off the charts and when the Anime catches up its going to jump to number 1 definitely.

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Lol the Miley ref doesnโ€™t deter me. I make edits; Iโ€™d have to use her at some point. I read attack on titan! Oh wow, itโ€™s so good that it scares me. And that animation? So amazing. And... oh yeah itโ€™s not for kids. I mean... I was in 8th grade when I first read it? And yeah, it definitely was a bit like... dark. Not as bad as my sister reading kakeguri at the same age though.

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Lynn Dewees
19:43 Mar 27, 2021

Sweet story. Well done

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22:35 Mar 24, 2021

Sir, I would like to send in a formal letter asking if we can be friends. Like bro I read your bio- we like so many of the same thingssssss Feedback on the story: gay. That's all I'm saying. Great work, Ethan!

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Sir, I will formally accept that friend request and order you to do the Reedsy cast form in my bio. Thank you, my liege. Lol

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00:13 Mar 25, 2021

Technically you should address me as Ma'am but no matter. Thank you for accepting my request, and you will find I have already completed the form. XD

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Lol yeah. Oop your quirk is kinda overpowered so Iโ€™m gonna nerf u by making it so that u get a headache or something Also: I canโ€™t ship for shoto bc I cosplayed him. Jirou... I see ur a simp of culture as well. Eh... neijere bores me. And tamaki is the same as shoto lol

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00:18 Mar 25, 2021

Welp ig I can't say I'm surprised- U COSPLAYED SHOTO AND TAMAKI???????

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Oop not tamaki yet (waves fist at COVID) Hehe wonder who my biggerr at t crush is from it

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wow Ethan! This was spectAcuLar! I am deeply sorry for not being able to read any of your stories before, because I have been busy, but I am happy I have been able to read this :) This is one of the first romances I've read since I decided I didn't hate it (mostly because I haven't read many lol), and it did not disappoint!! I noticed that in a few places, you missed out a period at the end, or at one place, an exclamation mark. Here are some of the places: ""You don't have to do that every time"" -> "You don't have to do that every time...

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Idk, Iโ€™ll definitely try to fix that in my actual writing, lol (silently curses grammarly once more for ruining me) You know you can go to the comment section and find whenever people post stuff, right? Lol.

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:) okay! Yeah, just I checked Annabelle's and I thought she could edit it but she couldn't since it was the old contest, soooo just being cautious lol

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Kelly Kaloo
19:36 Mar 22, 2021

What a lovely story. Your dialogue here is superb. I feel like I can really read it as they're talking! Nice use of the prompt too :)

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Amna Rehman
04:00 Mar 21, 2021

Great synonyms and details used!

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Kelly Ellen
00:50 Mar 21, 2021

Really wonderful story. Your descriptions paint such a clear image which makes it really easy and entertaining to read. Fantastic job!!

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Tru Sorcerer
13:01 Mar 20, 2021

The way you switched between second and third person (while describing Oscar) without it sticking out and making people trip was praise worthy indeed. And the cherry blossom thing was awesome (tho it did remind me of how I try to catch anything falling but isnโ€™t able catch anything) and a serious doubt, does anyone actually understand abstracts? (ah, alliteration) like I havenโ€™t went near an abstract after saying that one looked like a camel (and got an โ€˜are you serious lookโ€™ from my friend)

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Abstracts? Lol I love how it's like.. currently inactive... while active... I really hope to see your writing again!!! AND BTW THANK YOU

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Tru Sorcerer
13:44 Mar 20, 2021

Em, abstract art! Lol

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Malini S.
06:10 Mar 20, 2021

This is adorableee. I really like Kalmin's character and the way they both see each other as good people even though they've barely met, and it feels like the beginning of a great relationship. Loved it :)

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I mean. Yeah, I love kalminโ€™s character too (for obvi reasons) Lol thanksssss

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Malini S.
11:39 Mar 20, 2021

Did you get my form submission btw? welcomeee

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Your form submission? Yeah lol, I have so many ideas. I think ur gonna have more wind powers... youโ€™ll have kinda wing attachments.... almost like a sugar glider, and you can glide. How does that sound?

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23:05 Mar 19, 2021

I filled out the Reedsycast form! It was super fun! The closeted weeb in me was satisfied

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Yep lol. I actually have an idea for your character that youโ€™ll like...

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23:10 Mar 19, 2021

*gasp* I'm intrigued...

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16:08 Mar 19, 2021

Love your stories, so romantic and sweet. Speaking of stories would you like to be in one? if so please fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1xJryETZYRVfCvcCXhdQxQOU6EIqTTa77hf8KXABo_0w

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OOh thanks. I will absolutely get to that when class ends!

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16:19 Mar 19, 2021

Yayayay, Thank you so much :)

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15:40 Mar 19, 2021

Wow. You write pretty great romances! It was so interesting to read. The romance between Oscar and Kalmin might have been a little sudden, but it's hard when you have a limited word count. I also really like Kalmin's character. MINOR ERRORS POLICE, OPEN UP! *smashes door* There's some dialogue that doesn't end in punctuation, even though it should have. I'll point them out to you if you'd like. I loved this story! Great job :)

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Oh yeah, that romance was gonna have like 8000 words to buildup. I was gonna make them fall in love during detention and everything, and like help each other with the things they're bad at... I would make a part two but like... idk. I guess I like how it ended. Lol yeah, if you want you can tell me, but I know where they are *SILENTLY CURSES GRAMMARLY FOR ONLY SHOWING THEM NOW* What do you think of the prompts btw?

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15:53 Mar 19, 2021

Yeah. Buildups for romance always takes a while. XDDDD I think they're pretty good! They're pretty wide in interpretation, which is nice. I have some ideas for my Reedsycast already, which is also good. The problem is that I have to wait two whole days for people to submit their characters before I can write XD

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Lol yeah. I want to start a reedsy cast but I need to get the form out first... ๐Ÿ˜… I have a big thing planned though. it's kinda a fanfic, and it works PERFECTLY with like four of the things, lol.

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Tru Sorcerer
16:33 Mar 24, 2021

(Don't ask me how I got here, like my keyboard fell down and..... I hit my head and scratched my arm and made books rain on me, so, em, hurtful backstory, and then suddenly this page was open. And I kinda like eavesdropping, bad manners, I know, Thank you.) So, you are writing a reedsy cast?

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YESSSSS You can(and should... NAY MUST) fill it out. Lol I love listening to other people Gossip.

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16:14 Mar 19, 2021

XD Ooh, that sounds interesting. What type of fanfic is it?

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Uhh, genshin. Idk if u know it lol

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14:41 Mar 19, 2021

Already????

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Lol, yeah. I was the first submission, actually

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15:14 Mar 19, 2021

XD

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14:41 Mar 19, 2021

(Feedback coming soon)

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Rebecca Moses
04:08 Jun 03, 2021

Hi My name is Rebecca.i just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriageโ€ฆ I was married for 7 years with 4 kids and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every timeโ€ฆ it got worse at a point that he filed for divorceโ€ฆ I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didnโ€™t want to loose him but everything just didnโ€™t work outโ€ฆ he moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorceโ€ฆ ...

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18:07 May 12, 2021

I really like how sweet and heartfelt this story is!! Like OMG you're in love with the school bully?! Your descriptions and imagery was near perfect, although I would've liked to have seen more attention to the cherry blossoms themselves. Like I don't know if this makes sense but like more detail to the figurative tree and petals. Idk... anyways this was such a great read!!

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Lol, thanks! Iโ€™ll try to put more description in future things, because that seems to be one of the things Iโ€™m most like... criticized for?

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