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The Lost Girl

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The one good thing about being back at Lawndale; Jane is back too. Her room had been turned into a new studio for her Mom (the kiln set on fire in the basement), but luckily Trent had vacated his room a couple of years prior so she could have his. Weirdly enough, of all the people you'd expect to leave Lawndale, it was Trent. Mystik Spiral (they're still getting around to changing the name) made it pretty big, and they now spend a lot of time touring around. What can I say, all that practising of Come as You Are must have paid off. I'm sure his bed must miss him.

That's where I find myself now; laying on Jane's (Trent's?) bed, staring at the ceiling, whilst Jane stands at her easel. Seriously, nothing has changed in my life.

'So, is it just like the Devil Wears Prada?' Jane asks, whilst cocking her head to look at her painting sideways. She’s trying to grow her hair out again, and it gets in her eyes. She tries to shake it out, gets annoyed and flicks it away, getting a smear of blue paint on her face. I give it another week before she gets it cut back it into her razor sharp bob. If we had another friend we could maybe bet on it together.

I shake my head to get back on track.

'No. Quinn can't afford Prada,' I snort.

Jane chuckles, still concentrating on her work. 'Seriously, though, how are you coping? You seem less perky than usual.'

'Oh no, will I have to rethink my audition to the Bachelorette?' Jane looks at me, and as much as I don't want to talk about this, I'm going to have to. She knows me too well, and I just can't lie.

I sigh deeply. 'I don’t know. As much as I pretend I don't have big plans and wants and needs, I have some. And they weren't this'.

'What Daria, you didn't want to be still hanging at my parent's house at twenty-five? Hey, I wasn't exactly planning for this either. At least we're in this together'.

She quirks a smile at me, and I feel a twinge of guilt. 'You know that's not what I meant. I just wasn't expecting this. You know me, I'm not exactly the most hopeful person ever, but I did want more than to be back in Lawndale and writing idiotic articles in my mid-twenties. But if I have to be here, then I’m glad I have you with me. I barely managed it with you the first time round. I’d definitely not manage without you the second.'

'Daria Morgendorffer, restrain yourself, so many feelings!'

'Well, refrain from telling anyone. I'll never admit it and they’ll never believe you,' I smirk.

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I'm sat at my desk. It’s an open plan office that I’m told increases inspiration and creativity. The only thing I can see that it increases is gossiping about who Jennifer Lawrence is dating, and about how hot the new boss is. Apparently. I’ve not seen him. Anyway, the only thing the openness of this office is inspiring for me is to invest in noise-cancelling headphones.

It's someone’s birthdays and they've brought in cupcakes. Everyone's too afraid to eat them and they're blaming lactose intolerance, the evilness of glucose, rickets, I don't know, just anything to not have to admit weakness and eat goddamn sugar frosting. I've had four. They may be pink and sparkly, but I don’t turn down free cake.

My phone pings. It's Jane. Seriously, who else would it be?

Hey. Trent's back for a reunion gig. It'll be just like the old times, incredibly so as we'll both be returning to our respective parent’s houses at the end of the evening. I'm expecting you to be my plus one. See you tonight for a slice?

I take a deep breath, suddenly feeling shaky. That'll be the frosting, it's a sugar high for sure. I don't want to go, these things were awkward at seventeen, at twenty-five they're awkward and retrogressive. No, I am not going. I'll make up something. A date. Ha. No, maybe overtime. Dan Brown has a new book out that needs reviewing. I don't bother messaging back, reminding myself to do so after my lunch break. I'm not hungry after the cupcakes, but I've found a quiet spot in the building where I read on my breaks, and I head out.

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It's after lunch that the news leaks.

'Oh. My. God!' Stacy on the next desk squeals. 'Mystik Spiral are coming back to Lawndale!'

The office dissolves into squeals and giggles. Lawndale doesn't really have many famous people from around here, apart from Tommy Sherman, though the less said about him the better. Why would I want to speak ill of the dead, when I have enough ill to speak of the living? Regardless of the fact that none of these girls would have been seen dead at a Spiral gig eight years ago, they're certainly excited now.

Stacy and Tiffany are enthusing next to me. 'Jessie is just so cute!' Stacy squeals.

'I know, his hair is sooooooo silky...' Tiffany passes a hand over her poker straight hair and frowns. 'I wonder what product he uses?'

I feel that if they were privy to the facetless nature of Jesse’s personality, they may not be so interested. Saying that, know your audience. Maybe it wouldn't matter.

Sandi turns to Quinn. 'Quinn, didn't you say that you knew the lead singer really well?’

Quinn spluttered out some half words while Sandi continues. ‘Yes ladies, Quinn told me that the lead singer actually stayed at her house? Isn’t that right, Quinn?’

‘Yes, Sandi. He did.’ She glares at me, daring me to tell the truth about her and Trent’s non-existent friendship. Eh, I’m going to let her get herself out of this one.

‘Surely you'll be able to get VIP tickets, with your close past relationship to the lead singer. Unless you don't want the rest of us there, hindering your chances with a rock-star course?'

I glance back at Quinn, and she pales very slightly under her make-up, but then steels herself, and launches into her spiel. 'Well, of course, he's an old friend Sandi, and, um....well actually, he's Daria's best friend's Jane's brother, but we still totally hung out.' She's mellowing in her old age. Maybe I am too.

I take a deep sigh. I suppose she did get me this job. Plus when grunge came back in for a season she did grab me a pair of Doc Martens out of the fashion cupboard.

'I'd hardly call Trent a rock-star. But he did stay in our house. And he is Jane's brother. I'll speak to Jane and see if she can get tickets.' I type as I speak, wanting to engage as little as possible.

'Why thank you, Daria. Who knew that it would be you and not Quinn who would organise our evening?' She smirks at Quinn as she says it, and I see Quinn bite her lip.

I can't understand why she still puts up with it. She seemed to evolve so much in college, but returning home and living with these idiots she just seems to have reverted back to the stupid girl she was in high school. Mind you, I’m living at my parents’ house and back in Lawndale too. I’d say I’d reverted back to my high school self but I’m unsure if I ever changed that much. Maybe that’s the problem.

Huh, maybe we’re in this together. Huzzah for sisterly solidarity.

'But I really wouldn't be expecting VIP tickets. Unless you're into guacamole dip and warm Budweiser'.

'Eeeeeew!', the fashion club screeches in unison.