Time To Write: Title

Here’s this week’s prompt:

Time To Write: Title | Creative Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Prompt | RachelPoli.com

Write a creative piece such as a short story, flash fiction, poem, or something else based on the word, “title.”

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, May 20th and I’ll share it next week. Also, please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt! Thanks.

Happy writing! I look forward to reading your work. Please feel free to share this post.

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Short Story Sunday 304: Month

Short Story Sunday: "Month" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing | RachelPoli.com

It wasn’t the right time to ask questions. Ava knew something was going on but for some reason she couldn’t remember exactly what it was. Everyone kept mentioning the following month and even though she nodded and agreed with everyone she really had no idea what was going on.

She sat on the couch in the corner of her friend’s living room, people surrounding her. The music playing in the background was a little too loud to be background music and there were so many people crammed into the small apartment that Ava couldn’t hear herself think let alone figure out what she had agreed to do for the following month.

It was her friend’s birthday party. Rose had turned 21-years-old over the week. Ava was the youngest in her group of friends and she didn’t turn 21 for another two months. Obviously she was there to celebrate her friend’s glorious day of birth, but Rose had invited a lot of her college buddies. Ava didn’t know anyone there. There were a handful of people who had tried to talk to her, but she couldn’t hear anything that was going on. She felt rude. Most people trying to talk to her probably thought she was being snobby, but she was just practically deaf that’s all. Despite being the youngest in her group, she acted the oldest. Her friends often called her an “old fart.”

So, there she sat in the corner of Rose’s living room in her tiny apartment. Ava wished she could whisk herself away to Rose’s bedroom just to try to get a moment’s peace. However, there were so many people standing in the hallway – because there weren’t enough seats for them all – that Ava felt awkward trying to shove her way through the crowd.

“I’m looking forward to next month. Rose said everyone is going to be there.”

Ava tuned in to a stranger’s words. She looked over her shoulder and there were two guys standing directly behind her. She was surprised she heard them at all, but she was certainly intrigued trying to figure out what they were talking about.

“Everyone? I thought there were a handful of people who couldn’t come. Or, I mean, they weren’t allowed to know about it.”

Ava narrowed her eyes. What was that supposed to mean? She didn’t remember Rose talking about any big event for next month and if everyone was supposedly invited, she should have heard about it. Right? Ava and Rose had been best friends since elementary school. Of course Rose would have told Ava about it.

“There are some people who can’t know about it because they won’t be old enough to attend,” One of the guy’s said.
Ava sunk in her chair. Maybe Rose didn’t talk to her about whatever was going on. She wasn’t going to turn 21 for another two months. What else could she not be old enough for? Whatever Rose had planned for the following month, it must have been some sort of party where only people 21 and older could attend.

That obviously didn’t include Rose’s best friend.

Ava stood from her chair not wanting to tune into the guys’ conversation anyway. Out of all the conversations to overhear, why did it have to be that one? She could have sworn she and Rose had talked about something for the following month and she couldn’t remember what it was. Now Ava figured she heard rumors of something happening in the next month and she must have been thinking about that.

Of course, now she didn’t know where to go from here. Ava wanted to get away from people and their conversations but there was no where for her to go. Ava spun in a circle as though she tried to look for a way out, but there were so many people. She didn’t even know where Rose had gone. She couldn’t sit back down in her chair because then she’d look silly.

Well, maybe it wouldn’t matter. There were so many people around and she wasn’t engaging in conversation with any of them, so who would notice Ava standing and then immediately sitting again?

She turned back around to take her seat again but one of the guys was sitting in it now with the other guy squatting on the floor. They were still engaged in a deep conversation though it appeared to be a different topic. Ava could have sworn she heard one of them mention a video game.

Now she was stuck. She stood in the middle of the floor of the living in a tiny apartment surrounded by a crowd of people, most of whom she didn’t know. What was she supposed to do?

Ava looked at the time on her cell phone. Another one of her and Rose’s friends were supposed to come, but they hadn’t arrived yet. (Unless they had and Ava just hadn’t noticed among all the people.)


Ava jumped at the sudden voice coming behind her. It was so loud as though it was directly in her ear. When she turned around, sure enough, there was a woman standing right behind her, close enough that Ava could smell the beer on her breath.

Please don’t be drunk, Ava thought to herself. “Hi,” she said, forcing a small smile.

“My name is Kate. I’m was Rose’s roommate during our first semester of college. How do you know Ava?”

“Oh, hi Kate. I’m Ava. Rose and I have been best friends since elementary school,” Ava replied.

She sort of recognized Kate now that Ava knew her name. Rose used to talk about her a lot. Ava was actually quite jealous for a while because it seemed as though Rose suddenly liked Kate more than she did Ava. It was a tough first semester of college but they never really fell out of touch with each other. Rose had always wanted Ava to meet Kate and, well… here they were except Rose wasn’t there to witness it.

“Wait, are you the Ava?” Kate gasped.

“Sure?” How was Ava supposed to reply to that? As far as she knew Rose didn’t know any other people named Ava, but who was she to truly say?

“Rose has told me so many great things about you!” Kate shouted.

Ava took a step back attempting to get away from the horrid stench of Kate’s breath. She wasn’t sure if she had shouted because the music was too loud, she had too much alcohol, or if she was truly excited to meet her. Ava guessed it wasn’t the latter.

“I think it’s so cool you and Rose have been best friends for so long. No one can compete with that that kind of commitment,” Kate continued.

Ava grinned and nodded. While she didn’t like how Kate seemed to compare them to a couple in a relationship, she did agree. Rose and her had a special friendship bond like no other. She was lucky to have Rose, despite the fact that Ava wanted to kill Rose for ditching her in the middle of this party where she didn’t know anyone and couldn’t even join in enough to have just one sip.

“You must be so excited for next month!” Kate exclaimed.

Ava’s eyes grew. Was this her chance to figure out what was going on next month?

No, Ava didn’t want to know. It didn’t seem as though Rose wanted to invite her anyway.

Or, on the other hand, maybe Rose couldn’t invite her because Ava wasn’t old enough.

Still, Rose could have told Ava about it.

Then again, Rose might have told Ava about it and she just didn’t remember.

“The fact that Rose would do that for you is so cool!” Kate went on, a dreamy look in her eye.

Ava froze. “For me?”

Kate nodded, a goofy grin on her face.

“What are you talking about?” Ava asked. She didn’t want to know but her interest was piqued too much. It seemed as though everyone at the party knew what was going on next month except for Ava – and she wasn’t sure if she was supposed to know or not.

Kate giggled and took another sip of… whatever was in her red cup. Ava forced herself not to roll her eyes. Kate was Rose’s best friend from college. Ava didn’t want to make a bad first impression. If Rose was friends with her, then Ava wanted to be friends with her. (Though not while she was drunk. In fact, maybe Ava could be rude to Kate and she wouldn’t remember it in the morning.)

“So, how exactly did you and Rose meet?” Kate asked after gulping down an amount of liquid that filled up both her cheeks.

Ava sighed. “Rose tripped and fell at recess in first grade. I helped her up.”

It was a stupid story, really. Ava was chasing after a ball and while she ran past Rose, Rose had tripped over her untied shoe. Ava forgot about the ball and walked over to help Rose up. The two of them started playing with each other and they ended up becoming the best of friends. They spoke with each other every day after that. It got to the point where, in the coming years following that moment, teachers would attempt to separate them and pair them with different peers. The teachers and their parents were afraid they weren’t socializing enough with other classmates. It didn’t help though. Rose and Ava continued to remain best friends. They stopped ignoring everyone else around them as they got older. Still, the two were peas in a pod.

“Wow, that’s such a beautiful story,” Kate said, a look of awe plastered on her face.

“Sure,” Ava agreed.

“Hey, you two found each other.” Rose appeared out of seemingly no where and put an arm around Ava’s shoulders and Kate’s shoulders.

Ava smiled. “Yeah, Kate seemed to have stumbled upon me.”

“I’m so happy you guys are finally getting a chance to meet. I’ve wanted you to be able to put a face to the name for such a long a long time.” Rose explained.

“Yeah, me too,” Ava lied. Well, it wasn’t too much of a lie. She had been wanting to meet Kate for quite some time as well but she didn’t expect it to happen in the middle of this party where she could barely hear. She also didn’t fancy talking to people much when they were drunk.

Kate tried to take another sip from her cup, but Rose took it out of her hand. “Hey, why don’t you go ahead and lay down in my bed for a minute?” she suggested.

“Okay.” Kate shrugged and walked away.

Rose sheepishly grinned at Ava. “She just turned 21 the week before I did. She’s a little excited about it.”

“Oh, you guys almost have the same birthday? What a shame, I didn’t get a chance to wish her a happy one,” Ava said trying not to sound as sarcastic as she felt.

Rose then frowned a bit. “I’m sorry this party is a bit much. We haven’t had a chance to see each other all night and it’s way more crowded than I thought it would be. People keeping asking me if they could bring their boyfriends or girlfriends and I didn’t think it’d be an issue.”

Ava genuinely shook her head. “No worries at all. It’s not a problem. Your apartment just isn’t… well, it’s small.”

Rose chuckled. “Right, I know.”

There was a moment of silence before Ava cleared her throat and broke the ice. “Hey, what’s going on next month?”

Rose’s eyes grew twice the size of what they normally were. “What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry, but so many people have mentioned something grand that’s happening next month that you’re apparently throwing. Is it some sort of party that I’m not invited to because I’m not 21 yet?” Ava asked. She felt like a jerk for bringing it up at all, let alone in the middle of her birthday party.

Rose furrowed her brows. Ava couldn’t tell if she was becoming annoyed or not, so she continued.

“But then Kate mentioned that there was something going on for me? I don’t think she was thinking straight anyway, but I’ve just gotten curious. Maybe it’s none of my business anyway. Or maybe you told me about it and I forgot and if so, I’m sorry.”

At that moment, Ava realized that she and Rose had never fought in all their years of being friends. Yes, they’ve bickered and argued as though they were sisters, but they never had a huge blowout with each other or stopped talking to each other for a long period of time.

They were always close. They did everything together and told each other everything. Ava knew everything they needed to know about Rose and vice versa. Ava didn’t want to get into an argument over something that may or may not be going on next month. She also didn’t want the two of them to drift apart simply because Rose was going to experience being 21 for an entire month before Ava would get the chance.

After a brief moment, Rose let out a sigh though her lips were curled into a smile. When she looked Ava in the eye, she shook her head. “I didn’t tell you anything about next month. I was going to tell you about it next week. It never occurred to me that you would hear about it through the grapevine so I definitely should have told you sooner. Especially since it seems as though people are playing telephone and wires keep getting crossed.”

Ava nodded not knowing what else to say. She wanted Rose to continue talking.

“I’m not throwing some elaborate party next month that’s only for people who are 21. I have no idea who started that one. Kate, despite her being a bit tipsy, is the one who’s on the right track,” Rose clarified.

Ava tilted her head to the side. She still didn’t know what to say.

Rose jerked her head to the side taking Ava by the hand. She squeezed past the crowd, Ava trying to stick as close to her as possible. It was though they were at some sort of club and not a tiny apartment. The bathroom was only a few feet away, but it seemed to take a bit for them to get there. When they did, Rose pushed her into the small room and shut the door behind them.
The music was still loud, but Ava could at least hear herself think. She didn’t need to speak loud either in order to make sure Rose could hear her. She wondered why she hadn’t thought to head into the bathroom and stay there for most of the night a while ago.

“I had something special planned for the two of us next month. I didn’t want to tell you right away because I wanted it to be a surprise. As I said before, I was going to tell you next week,” Rose explained. “Your parents already know about it and have known about it for a while. That’s why they’re so adamant on you staying for your family reunion the third weekend of next month.”

Ava rolled her eyes. “Oh, right… I forgot about the stupid family reunion. Maybe that’s what I was thinking of when I thought you told me something I forgot it.”

Rose chuckled. “They didn’t want you to make any plans for that weekend which is why they told you a lie.”

Ava’s face flat-lined.

“There is no family reunion, lucky you.” Rose laughed.

“No, lucky you. I was going to drag you with me,” Ava said chuckling herself. “But what do you mean there’s no family reunion?”

“It was lie your parents and I cooked up together because we wanted you keep that weekend free. In reality, you and I are going on our very first vacation just the two of us!” Rose grabbed both of Ava’s hands in hers and jumped up excitedly.

Ava stared at her open mouthed. “You mean…?”

“Happy early birthday to the two of us!” Rose exclaimed. “I wanted to do something special since we’re both 21 this year. I know you won’t be quite 21 yet so no drinking – your parents made me pinky-swear – but pretty much all the other weekends were booked at the hotel. So I had to grab it while I could.”

Ava didn’t know what to say. She felt like she wanted to cry. All She had gotten Rose for her birthday was a cool wine glass, she didn’t think of surprising Rose with some elaborate gift such as a weekend getaway!

“Are you happy?” Rose asked shyly.

Ava nodded. “I just don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything. Just jump with me and be excited!”

The two laughed and cheered in the small bathroom, holding hands and jumping. When they finally stopped to catch their breaths, Ava held up a finger.

“Okay, since this is for both of our birthdays, I call doing something special for you while we’re away. Let me pay for breakfast and dinner one day… or something.” Ava realized how lame that sounded compared to planning a secret weekend getaway trip. She’d think of something special to do for Rose. A good idea was going to come to her soon enough.

Rose shook her head. “We’ll work out all the details later, but this isn’t a competition. Besides, I’m doing it just as much for your birthday as I am mine.”

Ava snickered. “Okay, that’s fair. Where are we going, anyway?”

Rose grinned as though she was cooking up some mastermind plan. She opened the bathroom door and began to head back out to the party.

“Wait,” Ava said taking her by the arm. “Where are we going?”

“I’m not spoiling all the surprises. I said I’d tell you next week.” Rose winked.

I hope you enjoyed the story. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Please feel free to share this post.

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Time To Write: Set The Scene 18

Here’s this week’s prompt:

Time To Write: Set the Scene | Creative Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Writing | Writing Prompt | RachelPoli.com

Write a creative piece such as a short story, flash fiction, poem, or something else based on the setting, “in a castle.”

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below by 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, May 13th and I’ll share it next week. Also, please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt! Thanks.

Happy writing! I look forward to reading your work. Please feel free to share this post.

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The Merry Writer Podcast: Episode 007 Out Now!

The Merry Writer Podcast: Episode 007 | Do you prefer paperbacks, hardcovers, ebooks, or audiobooks? | Podcast | Creative Writing | Writing Podcast | RachelPoli.com

The Merry Writer Podcast

The Merry Writer started as a hashtag game on Twitter and Instagram. Hosted by Ari Meghlen and myself, The Merry Writer Podcast is a fun, friendly show about all things writing and bookish. Join us as we ask all the “write” questions.

Episode 007: Do you prefer hardbacks, paperbacks, ebooks, or audiobooks?

In this week’s episode, Ari and I are discussing the differences between hardcovers, paperbacks, ebooks, and audiobooks. Be sure to give it a listen through the YouTube video below or any of the links below.

New episodes are published every Wednesday at 10:00 am EST (2:00 pm BST). Please subscribe to the podcast so you can be notified when a new episode goes live. Also, give each episode a “like” wherever you enjoy tuning in. It’ll help the podcast grow and we’d really appreciate it!

Thanks for listening!

Podbean | Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | YouTube | PodLink

How do you prefer to read your books? Let me know in the comments below so we can chat! Please feel free to share this post.

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Short Story Sunday 303: Charismatic

Short Story Sunday: "Charismatic" | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | Writing | RachelPoli.com

Lily always had a way with words. She easily out out of anything she didn’t want to do or something she forgot to do and didn’t want to get in trouble. For example, if she didn’t do her homework, she always had some elaborate speech cooked up. It wasn’t an excuse as to why she didn’t get her homework done. It was a reason why she didn’t get her homework done. It often inspired the teacher in some weird way and the class she performed in front of cheered in excitement.

She was also able to get herself into something she wanted to do. If she was too young, it suddenly wasn’t an issue anymore. If there was no more room in the group or the tickets were sold out, an exception could easily be made.

One day, though, her charm was bound to run out. Asher was sure of it.

He couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that someone could be so manipulative. That someone could have everyone wrapped around their finger. Asher hoped – no, he knew – she would cross paths with someone soon enough who would see right through it.

Her charisma skills worked all throughout high school with teachers and peers. They also worked at her retail job. Surely a college professor would see through it all, right?

Asher pulled into the parking lot on their first day of college. He had separate classes from her and was disappointed he wouldn’t get the chance to see her crash and burn in front of her new peers. Then again, it was only the first day so Asher didn’t think there’d be anything for Lily to crash and burn about.

He already had homework though. Last week when he checked his school email, he noticed a message from one of his professors who assigned something due for the first day of class. He wasn’t sure if it was legal to begin the class before the semester officially started, but he did it anyway. Asher couldn’t come up with a well-told story like his sister could. He couldn’t lie and he didn’t want to lie. Lily was always the mastermind behind their twin shenanigans when they were young. They almost never got caught and, on the few occasions they did, Lily managed to get them out of trouble with her fancy words.

Lily hopped out of the car and drew in a deep breath. “Just smell that brand new air!”

Asher turned the car off. He got out of the driver side and opened the backseat to grab his backpack. “You mean the college smell of smokers and drinkers?” he closed the door and made his way around the front of the car.

Lily gently whacked him on the arm with a flick of her wrist. “Come on, be excited, will you?”

“I’m nervous.”

“Don’t be, you’ll do great. You’re the smartest guy I know,” Lily said. She started walking across the parking lot, Asher remaining by the car, watching her.

He didn’t think he was the smartest guy. She had always been smarter than him. Aside from the charm and her way with words, she always had straights A’s in school somehow. He didn’t understand it when she didn’t do her homework most of the time, but she somehow managed to get through life the easy way. He wasn’t so sure this would be the case for her now that they were in college.

“Hey,” he called after her, jogging to catch up. She didn’t reply, didn’t even look back over her shoulder at him, but he managed to get beside her anyway. “Where’s your bag?”

Lily held up her arm where her beige purse was hanging from.

“No, I mean your backpack,” Asher said exasperated. “Where are your books? Notebooks? Pens?”

“I have a pen in my purse if I need it,” Lily replied.

Asher couldn’t help but roll his eyes. It was their big day. They had both been waiting for college their whole lives and she couldn’t even come prepared. Sure, a pen was great to have but it didn’t do much when you didn’t have paper to go along with it. Though he supposed she figured she could worm her way into getting the supplies she needed for free.

In fact, now that Asher thought about it, he wasn’t sure she had even gotten her textbooks. He let out a sigh.

“Are you okay?” Lily asked as they reached the door to the main building. “Do you need a minute?”

“What? No, I’m fine.” Asher shook his head.

She stared at him softly. “You will be okay, you know. College is just another school. You’re smart and know what you’re doing. You’re going to kick ass in all your classes.”

Asher chuckled, looking at the ground sheepishly. He didn’t expect such a compliment to come from his sister. They were close when they were younger, but they sort of drifted apart as they got older. Despite being twins, Asher had a hard time relating to her on many different levels.

Lily leaned in class and gave him a tight hug. “Today is going to be a great day!”

She didn’t wait for him to reply. She opened the door and disappeared into the building not even holding the door open for him. Asher remained outside for another moments. He didn’t think his sister had it in her to give such a compliment. Then again, he wondered if she was using her charm on him? He couldn’t tell anymore.

He wanted to heed her words though. Today was going to be great day and he needed to focus on the three classes he had. He wasn’t Lily to have a great day as well. He wanted her to succeeded.

On the other hand, he wanted her to have a rude wake-up call. Though, maybe she had somehow matured overnight. He couldn’t be too sure.

“Yo, are you going in there or what?”

Asher was startled by the unfamiliar voice behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see two girls and three guys standing behind him. He laughed nervously and entered the building, holding the door and allowing them to go in first. They all ambled in as though they were a train. The caboose stopped beside Asher and smiled at him.

“First day?” he asked.

Asher shrugged. “Nah, I’ve been here for years.” He let out an unwanted snort and fake-coughed to cover it up.

The guy replied with a sympathetic smile and a quick nod. “Well, good luck today.” He walked inside the building.

Asher sighed. If Lily were here, that conversation would have gone smoother. In fact, he might have even made a new friend. Now he probably seemed like a freak to that guy and the rest of the group. There was no point in standing there calling himself an idiot. He walked inside the building and headed to his first class.

When Asher made it back to his car, Lily was already standing there waiting for him. It had been a long morning – at least for him – and he wasn’t sure if he was ready to hear about Lily’s day. He only had three out of his five classes and he already had so much homework and hated one of his professors. (The professor being the one who gave homework due the first day, of course.)

Asher unlocked the car and made his way to the driver’s side without bothering to even look at his sister, who was leaning against the passenger side door. She was suspiciously quiet and Asher had a feeling that, if she had a good day, then she’d be talking nonstop.

Once they were both sitting in the car, Asher stared absentmindedly at the dashboard. He dared to cast a side glance at his sister who seemed to have the same expression on her face. He drew in a deep breath.

“So… how was your day?”

Lily turned her head in slow motion to gaze at him sadly. “College is hard. They yell at you if you don’t have paper. It didn’t matter what I said or didn’t say. My professor has officially put me on his shit list.”

Asher was shocked. “He didn’t actually say that, did he?”

“No, but his face said it all.” Lily leaned her head back against the headrest.

Asher thought he’d be happy that she got a rude awakening. However, he felt bad for her. College was supposed to be a fun experience and both of them had nasty first impressions.

“My other professor was fine. He didn’t care about anything. In fact, he barely looked at me. I don’t know if he knew I was even in the class. Still, he told us point blank that he doesn’t care if we bring our materials. He doesn’t even care if we bring ourselves. He said he gets paid regardless of whether we pass or fail,” Lily explained.

Asher nodded as he listened. That all made sense. He had heard mixed messages about college. His high school teachers all told him college was going to be crazy hard and the professors were strict. They wouldn’t let certain things fly like the high school teachers did. On the other hand, he talked to many people who had already gone to college or were still in college – such as cousins and friends of the family – and they all said that more professors don’t care. They said every once in a while he’d get that professor that everyone hates but college, for the most part, is pretty laid back. High school teachers use college as a way to scare their students into doing better.

“I don’t get it. I’ve never had to follow the rules,” Lily said.

Asher didn’t know what to say. He put the key in the ignition and turned the car on. He always wondered whether Lily knew what she was doing or not. He didn’t know if she was constantly trying to get out of doing things or trying to get people to bend at her will. Or maybe it was just her personality and for some reason those things always seemed to work in her favor. Now it was clear to Asher that she knew what she was doing. She knew most people gave her whatever she wanted and she was using her powers for evil.

“Put your seatbelt on,” he said as he pulled out of their parking spot. He saw Lily obey out of the corner of his eye.

“Did you have a good day at least?” Lily asked quietly.

Asher shook his head, keeping his eyes on the road.

“I’m sorry.”

Asher glanced at her. She genuinely sounded sorry which was unusual for her. She normally talked about everything that was going on in her own life, mostly about the good stuff. She never really asked how he day went or what as going on in his life – not as they got older anyway.

“College is going to be rough, huh?” Lily asked.

Asher nodded. “Most likely.”

There was a brief silence before Lily drew in a sharp breath. “Can we drive to the store so I can get some stuff for school?”

Asher felt as though he were about to have a heart attack. “You want to buy school supplies?”

“Apparently I need notebooks and stuff.”

“That’s not breaking news,” Asher chuckled.

Lily shrugged. “I know our old teachers used to say college was hard but so many other people told us that it would be laid back.

Well, mostly. So, I figured it’d be the same as high school. But I guess maybe I’ll actually give it a try.”

“You mean you haven’t been trying all these years?”

Lily snickered. “I didn’t have to. People like to listen to me talk.”

Asher rolled his eyes.

“Don’t give me that,” she warned. “It worked out in both our favor when we were kids.”

“Unfortunately,” Asher began, “we’re not kids anymore.”

I hope you enjoyed the story. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Please feel free to share this post.

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