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Breed: Thirty-five


  06:15:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 930 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Thirty-five

Mikaela's hand accidentally brushed Tucker's as they walked through the cold night air. It wasn't snowing, but there was enough wind that it was kicking up the snow that was still unpacked on the ground. It made her remember the plans they made, visiting the campus together. She remembered nuzzling into Tucker's neck.
?You shouldn't,? Tucker said.
?Neither should you,? Mikaela said coldly.
?Sorry. It's... not a conscious thing. It's not like flicking a flashlight on and shining it into somebody's eyes. It's... it's like looking at them. Not even staring, but it's a reflex; the moment someone gets near me, their thoughts become a part of my thoughts. I miss you, I do, and what we had. But it's also not healthy to dwell on it, either. Because we aren't who we were, then. Me moreso, but you, too. We couldn't go back to that even if we wanted to, and as much as what we lost hurts, we don't.?
?You shouldn't speak for me, either.?
?Am I wrong??
?To do it? Yes. About the sentiment... no.? Mikaela sighed. ?I know I haven't been the best ex. And I'm sorry for that.?
?And I was?? Tucker asked. ?I practically begged for us to stay friends, and the more skeptical you were about it, the more adamant I got. And I knew even then I shouldn't have said that. I didn't want to hurt you... but I see now that lying to you just meant that you got left in this limbo where neither of us could get what we wanted from each other. And the moment you even got friendly with me I pulled away, fast and hard. I can't blame you for taking it like a punch to the guts; hell, I felt it just as acutely as you did, only all I had to do to get away from that feeling was walk away. But I'm sorry, too.?
?But what I'd wanted to say, before, getting distracted, I know our relationship can be...?
?I was going to say contentious. But I really appreciate you helping tonight.?
?Tonight wasn't about me, or you. One of us needed help. It needed to be done. I'm just glad I got a chance to be a part of it.?
?Yeah. I didn't just lose you when we split up. I broke up the band. I know our friends try not to take sides- especially since you weren't even up here, yet, but things have been different. Pete, Drake, even my brother, it just hasn't been the same.?
?I'm sorry,? Mikaela said. ?You shouldn't be punished for us not working out. You want me to say something??
?What could you say? I don't even think any of them are consciously aware that they're treating me different. And truth be told, I think I've been treating them differently, too. And some of it's this,? he smoothed down his clothes. ?They don't have a problem with it, exactly, but I don't think I was terribly gentle with them about it. It's an adjustment for them, too. I think maybe all of us are transitioning in some way, figuring out the kinds of adults we want to be, I guess.?
?I've kind of been dying to know,? Mikaela said. ?Acknowledging that I have no right to know, even given our history, but where did this come from? I mean, you were always on the Tomboy spectrum, but...?
?I'm not sure, you know? I think I've always had... issues. Growing up, the way I looked, the way I dressed, people always thought I was a boy. And I don't think I ever really got past that. It made me feel bad, not because being a boy was bad, but because I knew I wasn't supposed to be, so I was failing at being a girl. And wasn't pretty- which is about the worst thing we can say about a little girl- fucked up as adult me recognizes that is. So I think most of my adolescence was a response to that, trying to be as much of a girl as I could, despite growing up with my parents in Alaska. It feels like my whole life I've just been trying not to be a boy. And coming up here... I guess I just realized I didn't know why I was fighting what I was- what I always felt I'd been. And I realized I wanted to at least see what it would be like not to be fighting that particular battle anymore.?
?How are you liking it??
?I mostly like not getting hit on as much. Except every once in a while, you know, especially in a dry spell, where I start to worry it's because I've lost my, whatever, appeal, I guess. It's made me a little more confident, but not so much that I'm suddenly an island. But what about you? Still bagging dudes??
?Still bisexual, if that was the question. Not currently or even recently bagging anybody. Not since...?
?We've really got to get you laid,? Tucker said, as Mikaela slid her key into her front door.
?You know, under the circumstances, that sounded very misleading.? Mikaela took out her phone and dialed Drake. The phone rang once, before hanging up. Suddenly, Drake was behind them, kneeled on the ground where Mayumi was laying in a pile of towels.
?Demi said she knows of a coffee place that's open all night. They even have stale donuts, too.?
?Good,? Mikaela said. ?We've still got a long night ahead of us.?

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