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What's Keeping You Here

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The duffel slammed into your stomach, causing you to gasp and wince. Ouch. The books at the bottom dug into your chest. You huffed and grabbed the strap, slinging it over your shoulder. You were starting to get a bit bogged down, now with a duffel as well as your guitar - something you had had the foresight to grab before your crazed ‘friend’ threw that too. “You didn’t need to toss it at me, you douchebag!”

Your roommate scowled at you from the door to the apartment, his arms crossed. He was red in the face, obviously still embarrassed from earlier, but also red from anger. “Yeah, yeah, whatever. You won’t have to deal with me anymore anyways. Get the fuck out of my house.” Ugh, motherfucker. Make that ex-roommate.

“It’s OUR place,” you said, gritting your teeth, “and it’s my money! You’re not going to be able to pay the rent on this place by yourself.” Seeing as you were the one working your ass off on the streets racking in the dough, you were pretty damn certain on that regard. What did that fucker do but leech off his friends?

“I’ll do fine on my own, you fag!” Your eyes narrowed at the term as you fought to swallow your comment. Despite your anger, you REALLY didn't want to fight right now. Wouldn't be worth it. “Go find some other homo to oogle at.” He flicked you off and turned on his heel, slamming the door behind him.

Yeah, no, fuck swallowing your comments. “Alright, fuck you too then! ‘Least now I don’t have to deal with your sleazy ass girlfriends! Good luck buying Viagra for that shriveled up dick of yours, Brian!” You stood out in the cold, your duffel bag digging into your shoulder, panting a tiny bit from shouting. This really wasn’t how you saw your day going when you woke up this morning. You glance at the bag. At least he had had enough decency to let you pack up just a bit. Just as thankfully, you didn’t have much to your name.

Still… You were fucked. That was the third apartment you’d been kicked out of. It was starting to become a sore subject with you. The worst part is, it's always for the same god damn reason. You sometimes really hated being gay.


But then you always remember how great dicks are.



Frowning, you looked around. People were peeking out their windows to see what all the commotion was. It was around 9 o’clock at night on a Saturday. You had already eaten (and now Brian had less food, so there’s a bonus) and spending money at a diner was a bad idea anyways. You needed to save for rent at a new place. Guess that meant it was time to go to the park to check out the ol’ bench.

Grumbling under your breath, you shoved your hands into your jacket pockets and started the long, cold walk. Fuck winter for coming at the end of November for some reason. Fuck your ex-roommate Brian. Just… fuck today. You were so done with people kicking you out just because you had a preference for men. Why was that so wrong? Hell, loads of girls had a preference for men, and that wasn’t wrong. The only difference is that you have a dick.

You made your way to the park, trying to fight back the shivers. The hoodie you were wearing was actually the only thing you had on. Again, at least he had let you put on some more clothing after… You just shook your head. Not the time to think about earlier.

You tried to think up some sort of plan. Trying to find actual shelter right now just sounded… annoying. It was cold, but not THAT cold out. You could scour for places to rent later. The bench would do for now. You made your way past the few couples in the park or the children playing under the watchful eyes of their parents. They watched you cautiously, as always. You just hightailed it to your old familiar bench. This is where you usually went to when your roommates kicked you out. Next to a tree, where people walked past fairly regularly.

You sat down and opened your duffel, rooting through it. Toothbrush, a few pants and shirts. Books you had packed for education and entertainment alike. You winced as your ribs ached - that duffel had hit hard. You kept shuffling around the items in your bag till you found it; you smiled and pulled out a thin and somewhat tattered blue blanket. Score.

You wrapped yourself in the blanket as tightly as you dared, being sure not to strain the already frayed and worn material. It just managed to cover most of your body. It did little to combat the cold, but at least it did something, right?

You yawned, relaxing as best you could on the cold bench. Which… didn't work at all, but whatever. You cracked open the guitar case and pulled out your instrument. Better start saving up - the wallet in your duffel might have some cash, but you’d need to work hard to get enough for renting a place. You had no hopes of doing it yourself, either, so you’d have to figure out which friends you still had from high school who might let you room with them. If there were any left.

Ugh. Fuck, this was depressing.

“Time to snap outta this.” You strummed out a chord on the guitar and started to play, feeling the strings vibrate under your fingertips. The friction warmed your fingers a tiny bit. Thank God for small miracles. You cleared your throat and started to sing, pushing your open guitar case out a tiny bit so people would take notice.

People were walking past you, every so often smiling and listening to your songs. Apparently, people really liked your voice. You really didn't care either way what you sounded like, so long as you got the added bonus of charity. Very rarely, someone would throw a buck or two into the open case you had out. You were surprised when a monster stopped to listen too. There weren’t many in this city - or, if there were, you were just never outside when they were. This one looked to be a rabbit. She smiled and tossed 5 bucks into the case after you finished a song. Nice chick.

You didn’t want to waste your phone battery by checking the time constantly, so you don’t know how long you played. A few hours, it felt like. Your hands grew numb and raw from all the playing, and your voice got hoarse from the cold. Glancing at the case, you judged your income for the night to be about 40 bucks. That’s better than usual, though you passed that off as it being a Saturday night. People were more happy to spend on weekends.

You yawned, strumming out a final chord before looking around. The lamps were all out and no one else was around. It was pretty silent out, save for the spare car or three driving past on the nearby road. You squinted; the lights were all turning bright and fractally. Was that from exhaustion, or were you also going blind now? You felt a drop of moisture on your nose and looked up. Looks like it was snowing.

You curled up tighter with your guitar. You didn’t feel cold anymore. Must’ve gotten used to it. You just watched the snow fall. You’d have to move here soon and find a place to sleep out of the snow, but for now, you were content to just watch. The snow was so beautiful.

You were reminded of a time you had been outside with your mother and it had started to snow. A tiny snowflake had landed in your hot cocoa. Being the little kid you were, you freaked out, thinking something imaginative. You dimly remember something about fairy poison. Sometime during your freak out, you'd managed to spill cocoa all over yourself. Your mom had cleaned you up with a soft reminder that nothing was quite as it seemed, and even if we make a mistake, it could be fixed - usually with a damp paper towel.

Wow. Blast from the past.

An easy smile took to your face.


You’re not sure when you fell asleep.


Next thing you knew, you were being shaken. Hard. “Guuh…” You curled up tighter, your senses coming back to you slowly. Fuck, that’s cold… You groaned, feeling kinda sick. You felt like everything was tight. Your lips felt chapped. You wanted to lick them but your tongue felt fuzzy.

You tried to open your eyes and found quickly that your eyelashes were frozen together. You managed to pry both open, staring up at a blurry white and red shape. Everything was shattered like last night and the lights...“HUMAN?” Gg… the voice was really loud. It sounded like it came from really far away. You must’ve had a headache. Fuck, why did everything feel so weird?

You felt REALLY cold. You weren’t shivering for some reason, though. You felt too… too damn cold to shiver. Did that make sense? Fuck, your head hurt… You couldn’t think straight. You tried to look around, but it hurt to move. It hurt to look. Everything was fucking white. Too bright… “HUMAN, PLEASE, ARE YOU AWAKE?? IT IS VERY COLD OUT, AND YOU LOOK VERY BAD!”

You tried to tell him to stop shouting, you could hear fine. All that came out was “S-sss…” The blurry face frowned at that. He looked really weird… You took a deep, slow breath. It didn’t help. It felt like ice. Your throat burned.


God damn, you were tired. Everything ached. You leaned into him a bit, thinking. Cold, white...


Where the fuck were you again?


Everything started going black. You heard the voice say, “SANS! OVER HERE!”