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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:43 am 

On a break, sorry.

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Mandy's Apartment

A few days before everyone gets to travel home for their holiday break - around 7:30 p.m.

As it had become tradition since that small group of friends had gotten together, Amanda Parker, more commonly called Mandy by her friends and family, was hosting everyone for dinner. Mandy had come from a comfortable home, and her parents had wanted to make sure she had a good life while away from home, so they had helped her find and rent an apartment to live in while she was going through college, so she would have her own space.

Amanda knew she had it good, and was extremely grateful for everything she had. She had great parents, a brother she adored, great friends and a boyfriend she planned on marrying some day. She was also going to college for a career she really wanted, and doing some side jobs for experience. Life really couldn't get much better right now.

That was why Mandy always felt the need to gather her friends at her place. Sometimes it was to celebrate a birthday or something, and sometimes, like today, it was simply for them all to have dinner, watch a movie and chill before parting ways to go home for the holidays. She also knew Joel was facing a rough time with his grandfather being sick, and wanted to help him spend time around friends and just relax, or talk to someone if he felt like it.

As of now, Mandy was still alone in her apartment. The girl was in the kitchen, preparing everything for a lasagna, as she had been wanting to make one for everyone for a while, after testing the recipe a few times. Wine was cooling in the fridge, and Mandy hoped they would have a pleasant evening to help everyone relax.

As soon as the lasagna was in the oven, Amanda set her kitchen timer and went into the living room, picking up her phone and setting it to text everyone she had invited over for dinner.

'Hey, ****ing. Dinner will be ready soon. Hope you're all hungry'.

After reading over her text, Amanda sent it and went to the kitchen for a glass of wine. She filled one up and went back to the living room, drinking and checking Facebook on her phone to pass the time up until someone showed up.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:59 pm 

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Nicole Hossler was excited. It was almost Christmas! She loved Christmas, it was her favorite holiday. She already had all her Christmas shopping done and all the presents wrapped. She couldn't wait to see her family. She missed her parents and her younger siblings. Even though she was only a few hours away from Galveston. Christmas was always a big deal in the Hossler house. Even once all the kids stopped believing Santa Claus. On top of presents and good food, they would bake cookies and watch Christmas movies. They would horribly attempt to make a gingerbread house that would end up falling apart two hours later. It would be lots of fun.

Although, she realized it wouldn't all be joy back home. Her boyfriend, Joel, was from her hometown. They had went to school together, started dating in high school. His grandfather was very ill and they would be visiting him too. Nicole wondered if this would be Joel's grandpa's last Christmas. She hoped not. He was such a nice man, treating her like a granddaughter. But...Things weren't looking better for him.

Nicole held Joel's hand as they headed up to Mandy's apartment. She had bag of presents for her friends. Nicole loved to give gifts and planned to give everyone gathered Mandy's place a present. She wouldn't be seeing any of them, other then Joel, over the break. She didn't even care if they didn't have any to give her in return. Christmas wasn't just about presents, although that was a fun part of it.

"Let's have fun tonight."

Nicole said to Joel. She knew he was having a hard time. He wasn't his usual happy self. Not that she blamed him, she knew how important his grandfather was to him.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Eve sat on her bed, scrolling down Facebook on her laptop as a film score played quietly in the background. Eyes darted to the time at the bottom of her screen, sighing deeply. She'd have to leave soon to go to Mandy's, not that she was particularly enthusiastic about it. She knew all her friends would be going, it was the last chance they were going to have to see each other before they all traveled home. For Eve, she wasn't even sure she wanted to go home. Of course, the girl wanted to see her older brother, Kris, but apart from that, she never got on with her parents and her younger sister, Sydney, was in that age where it wasn't cool to spend time with family.

She'd much rather stay in her College dorm. Most of her other flatmates had already gone home and she was happy by herself.

Her phone buzzed beside her and she looked down, sliding her finger across the lock screen and reading the text. It was from Amanda - dinner would be ready soon. That was her queue. Luckily her apartment wasn't too far from Eve, a 15 minute walk or so. The girl stood up, grabbing a jumper and slipping it over her vest top so she wouldn't be cold when she left. Her was up in a messy ponytail and she wore little snowflake earrings - she knew she'd be accused of not being festive enough otherwise. At least if anyone commented she could point them out.

She picked up her phone, texting back to their group chat.

'Leaving now.'

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:47 pm 

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We'll be there soon.

Joel Huffman had texted Mandy back when he and Nicole got her message. He wished he could share his girlfriend's excitement this year about Christmas, but it was hard. Normally, he loved Christmas as much as she did. But that was before his grandpa's health had taken a turn for the worse the weekend after Thanksgiving. Grandpa had been fighting cancer on and off for the last year and a half. The doctors thought they got it all the last time but then it came back. The damn thing always came back. This time, though, they weren't as optimistic.

Joel knew it was bad when his grandma called him yesterday and told him that the doctors suggested Hospice. Hospice was where they sent you when you were going to die. When there was nothing they could do but make you feel comfortable. No, Joel wasn't ready for that. He wasn't ready to lose his grandpa. Homer Huffman wasn't just his grandfather. He was basically his father. For a boy who grew up without his father, Homer Huffman had stepped into that role, never complaining. Being the father figure that Joel had needed. Joel wasn't ready to tell him goodbye.

He looked over at Nicole. She was so excited, she loved this time of year. He really hoped if the doctors were right and if Grandpa wasn't going to make it, he lasted until the New Year. 'Please, Grandpa, if you got to go....don't die around Christmas. Don't ruin Christmas for her....or me,' Joel thought. He squeezed Nicole's hand and gave her a small smile.

"We will."

Perhaps being around friends would distract him from what he was going to face him when he and Nicole headed home for the holiday break. He had told Grandma they'd talk about the Hospice stuff when he got home. He wondered if his mom would come around. Or was she too busy with her latest boyfriend. It was hard to know with her. The one good thing Sharon Huffman had done was realize she wasn't going to be a good mother and left him in the care of her parents. At least his grandparents had given him a good childhood.

Pushing thoughts of his family out of his mind, Joel knocked on the door to Mandy's apartment.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:25 pm 

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Sweat beaded on his brow and Ángel could feel it roll down his back from between his shoulder blades. The refrigeration unit had broken, again, at his store and being the only one on had who knew anything about the machine Ángel found himself covered in grease behind it. The nice freshly pressed shirt that had been picked out for the gathering that evening was ruined now and all he could think about was how this could ruin the dinner that Mandy would have waiting for them tonight. A groan left his lips and the wrench slipped from the nut, which caused the frustrated manager to scrape his knuckles on some metal. An ugly gash accompanied by a slew of Spanish punctuated by American curses and Ángel was just about done with this whole damn day.

Up from the ground he stood, the tie that was still over his shoulder used to hastily catch at the blood from his knuckles, the usually graceful man practically stalked over to the utility sink in the closest. The single bare bulb that dangled above his head was turned on so violently it nearly lost its cord while the bloody bit of flesh was held beneath the water. Black and red the water ran down the drain, and the young man felt like this was a representation of his life. A swirling mass of pain and frustration that only had the blissful end of the drain to look forward to.

A buzz from his pocket and Ángel fished for the phone with one hand, another grumble of annoyance before the silver device was retrieved and flipped open so that he could read the text. “Oh well ****…” he swore, a glance at his watch noting just how late it was. Out of the closet and back to the broken unit, a dark glare given to the metallic beast like it was the dragon that guarded the princess in a tower and he the knight that was tasked with her rescue.

“**** it.” Two simple words and he was heading out back to get his jacket before he jogged to the bus stop. With some luck, he would not be too late. Maybe even have a moment to clean up in the bathroom before the food got cold and ever ribbed him for always being late. Not his fault there was a dragon to slay that day. Though, if he had thought to double check before he left, the guitar that had been brought to provide some music for the evening was still in the office at work. In the corner. Forgotten.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:38 pm 

On a break, sorry.

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Mandy's Apartment

Mandy was pretty happy that she would get to see her friends before Christmas. Since they lived in different cities, and, naturally, Christmas was for the family. They might find a way to meet up later, but with Joel's grandfather so ill, that might not happen, so Mandy decided she would gather everyone and give them a gift and a card before they could all go on their separate ways. And hopefully, everyone would like their gifts.

Sitting idly while she waited, Mandy looked at her phone when it buzzed. It was a reply from Eve. Good thing she was coming. Sometimes Mandy had this feeling that Eve wasn't really fond of them all, or maybe there was something going on? She couldn't really tell and, as curious as she was, didn't feel it was her place to ask. 'Cool, waiting for you here', she sent back, taking another sip of her wine.

Receiving Joel's reply made Mandy smile. She was happy he would come around. With all that was happening in his family, Mandy felt her friend could use some holiday cheer. And she was sure her gifts - a set of absolutely horrible sweaters with their initials - would at least get a good laugh out of her friends. Of course those were not their real gifts, but she loved the opportunity to toss in a prank gift every year. And well, they were warm and soft, so they could be used to sleep during the winter months. Which was what she planned on doing with her own.

Hearing someone knock on her door made Mandy jump up. After taking a moment to balance herself - it felt as though she had drank more than she thought -, the girl went to the door, still feeling a little light-headed, and opened it to see both Nicole and Joel. "Merry early Christmas!", she greeted them cheerfuly. "Come on in", the girl invited her friends, stepping back to give them space to get in.

As she closed the door, Mandy took a look outside. She had hoped Ángel would have come earlier. Maybe something had happened at work, she thought to herself, deciding she would give him another ten or fifteen minutes before calling. Dinner wasn't even ready yet, after all.

"How are you guys? Is it too cold out there?", Mandy asked, trying to make neutral small talk for now.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:14 pm 

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Nicole thought meeting up at Mandy's place was a great idea. It would be fun to have an early Christmas with friends. Especially since the only person she'd be seeing during the break was Joel. That was because she and Joel came from the same town. Hopefully it would be a good Christmas when they got home. Especially given how sick Joel's grandfather had become. It made Nicole sad just thinking about it. The doctors kept saying that Homer Huffman didn't have much longer.

Hanging out with friends would help distract Joel for the night. Let him have some fun, not just worry about something he sadly had no control over.

"Merry Christmas!"

Nicole replied with a grin. She followed Joel inside and set the bags down.

"We're okay. It's not too bad, the wind just makes it a little chilly."

Nicole replied as she took off her coat. She asked.

"So what are we having for supper? It smells delicious."

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