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December 8, 2018 2:51 am  #1

Truth or Dare

[Okay--I know I said that I would have this story done by the weekend, but this week has been crazy. At this point, I just need to sleep, lol. But I didn't want to disappoint you guys, so I have written the prologue to the story. There's no crying, but the characters talk about crying.

I'll write the rest of the story tomorrow. For now, I hope you enjoy reading this prologue. ]
“Truth or Dare?” The question floats in the air like a feather, swinging back and forth in its descent.

Connor hesitates.“Truth."

“Isn’t it slightly ridiculous that we’re both twenty years old, but we’re playing Truth or Dare?” Kylie turns her head to look at Connor. They’re lying on Connor’s full-sized bed, so close that Kylie can feel the heat radiating off of Connor. She can’t help but think what might happen if Truth or Dare turned less platonic and more romantic.

“No. I mean, kinda. But neither of us have played a lot of Truth or Dare, so this is like we’re making up for those lost opportunities.” Connor shrugs.

“I guess you’re right.”

“You know I’m right,” Connor turns his head, grins, and nudges Kylie with his elbow.

She nudges him back. “Your turn to ask."

“Okay. Truth or dare?”


Connor thinks for a few seconds, running through the possibilities. “When was the last time you cried?”

Kylie laughs sheepishly. She can feel a blush rising in her cheeks. “Honestly? Last night.”

“Really?” Connor turns on his side so he can face Kylie. “Over what?”

Kylie meets Connor’s curious gaze. Even though it’s her turn and she doesn’t entirely want to bare her soul to Connor, she decides to trust him. “I failed a huge assignment in English 110. It took my grade down to a C.”

“Aw. That sucks.” Connor frowns. The thought of Kylie crying makes him want to beat up whoever made her feel that way. Or, at the very least, it makes him want to fix whatever is wrong.

“Yeah. I’m okay now, though.” Kylie smiles reassuringly.

Connor searches her dark eyes. “It’d be okay if you aren’t, you know. You can talk to me."

“Thanks,” Kylie says, considering for a second what it would be like to cry in front of Connor. She can barely allow herself to cry in front of her therapist, let alone someone who isn’t paid to listen.

“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” Connor asks, trying to sound casual. The long silence makes him slightly uncomfortable.

Kylie shakes her head. “Nothing. Now--truth or dare?”

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.

December 9, 2018 4:25 am  #2

Re: Truth or Dare

[Let's see if the formatting works this time, argh. In case it doesn't work, I put two slashes (//) in between each paragraph and two slashes and a dash (/-/) where the POV switches.]
Kylie’s driving over to Connor’s apartment when she hears her phone ding inside her purse. She waits until she stops at a red light before checking the message. It’s from Connor.

I don’t think now is the best time for you to come over.//
She looks up to make sure the light is still red. It is. She types out a quick text.//
Why? What’s going on?//
As she hits send, the light turns green. She drives through the intersection and down a few blocks, waiting to hear another ding. It comes about five minutes later. By now, Kylie’s pulling into the parking lot of Connor’s apartment complex, so she parks quickly and checks the message.//
Kylie frowns. First of all, why would Connor not want Kylie to come over if nothing was going on? Secondly, why did it take him five minutes to send a one-word text message? Thirdly--and this is the biggest reason why she’s confused--why didn’t he call her? Connor is the type of person who would much rather call someone than text them, especially since he has an old Nokia flip phone. Texting on that thing is like communicating in Morse code--it works, but it’s a pain in the butt.//
Kylie turns off her car, puts the keys in her purse, and opens the door a crack. She hesitates. Does she really want to intrude, or should she just go home? She shrugs and pushes the door open all the way. If he really doesn’t want her to be there, he’ll lock the front door and not let her in./-/

Aw, shoot. I close the blinds of my bedroom window quickly and lean against the wall, rubbing my swollen eyes. She’s on her way up. Knowing how she likes to take stairs two steps at a time, she’ll arrive in about thirty seconds. Knowing even more about her, she won’t leave until I answer the front door. I run out of my bedroom and into the bathroom, pausing for a second to check the damage in the mirror. Yup--it looks like I’ve been crying. I turn on the faucet and splash cold water on my face, getting water all over the counter. Crap, crap. I choose to wipe my face dry instead of wipe the counter--priorities, right? Right. I check my reflection again, dismayed at my flushed cheeks, tousled hair, and red-rimmed eyes.
“It’ll have to do,” I mutter to myself, leaving the bathroom. I’m about to plop onto the living room couch and act casual when I remember my pillow. As in, the tear-stained one. I sprint to my room, flip it over to the other side, and sprint back out. I reach the living room when the front door opens. I halt, confused. Did I forget to lock the front door?
Kylie walks in.

Last edited by azutid (December 9, 2018 4:26 am)

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 9, 2018 5:17 am  #3

Re: Truth or Dare

She's wearing black leggings, an oversized, navy blue sweater, Christmas socks, and black Vans. Her long, auburn hair is pulled up in a ponytail. Some might say that she looks like she rolled out of bed and threw on random clothes from her closet, but she looks breathtaking to me. It's almost enough to make me forget the fact that I was crying. Almost.

She gives me the once-over, eyebrows raised. I must look like absolute crap--as soon as I got home from my Politics class, I changed into sweatpants and a hoodie. Plus, there's my face and that whole situation.

"Have you been crying?" She finally asks, trying to mask her shock and failing.

The direct question catches me off guard. "Uhh, no," I say. I cringe at how unconvincing I sound. Also--did I just lie to Kylie? "I mean, yes. Maybe. I hadn't cried in, like, ten years, but... life, you know? It just catches up with--"

I would say more, but Kylie walks up to me. Before I can ask what she's doing, she wraps me up in a bear hug. I try to pull away, but she won't let me.

Kylie doesn't say anything-- just rubs my back in slow circles. I keep my arms dangling by my sides, afraid of what would happen if I accepted her hug. As it is, it feels like something is loose in my chest, and is knocking around inside my ribcage. I get the feeling that if I move an inch in the wrong direction, I'll dissolve into tears again.

That cannot happen.

"Come on, Connor. Hug me back, please," Kylie pleads.

Despite the pinball in my chest, I slowly raise my arms and hug Kylie.

"Good," she whispers. "That's good. Now, can you tell me what's wrong?"

I carefully release the breath I didn't know I was holding. "I got let go." My voice shakes on the last word, and I clear my throat to get rid of the tight knot in my throat. The knot only grows larger. I clear my throat again, but a sort of squeak/gasp excapes me. Hot tears form in my eyes. I try to blink them back. The pinball knocks around even faster, and I feel myself reaching an sort of precipice.

I dangle on the edge...

"You can cry," Kylie says quietly.

And fall.

The tears burn as they slip out of my shut eyes and soak Kylie's sweater. I clench my hands into fists and try to control my breathing, but I can't stop the shaky exhales and ragged inhales. It takes every bit of strength in me to not break down sobbing.

After who-knows-how-long, the tears stop flowing. I loosen my hug on Kylie, but she keeps holding on until my breath finally evens out. As I'm calming down, I gradually become more aware of how Kylie's body feels against mine. She feels so warm--ridiculously warm--and I wish I could somehow bottle her scent and keep it for myself. She smells like lavender and soap and something else that I can't name. Contentment, I guess.

Probably sensing that the hug is turning into something more romantic, Kylie lets go. We separate. A leftover tear slips out of my left eye, and I reach up to wipe it away. Kylie beats me to it. She places her hand on the side of my face and wipes the tear gently with her thumb, giving me goosebumps. Before I can even process what's going on, Kylie's face is approaching mine, and she's closing her eyes. Completely out of instinct, I close my own eyes.

We kiss.

Last edited by azutid (December 11, 2018 4:24 am)

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 9, 2018 5:20 am  #4

Re: Truth or Dare

Eventually, we part. I open my eyes to see Kylie smiling and blushing.

All I can say is, "Woah."

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 10, 2018 3:25 am  #5

Re: Truth or Dare

[This is the last chapter from Kylie's POV.]

The apartment door swings open with ease, and before I can even think about how odd it is that Connor hasn't locked me out, I'm standing in his apartment. Connor's standing in the middle of the living room, a shocked expression plastered on his face. Unsure of what else to do, I close the door behind me and look at him. He's wearing baggy, dark gray sweatpants and a BYU wrestling hoodie. His eyes are glistening, and his wavy brown hair is sticking up--as if he's been running his hands through it. He looks like...

"Have you been crying?" The words slip out of my mouth before I can stop them. I try to cover up my shock--Connor crying is like the end of the world.

Connor blushes bright red. "Uhh, no." He shakes his head. "I mean, yes. Maybe. I hadn't cried in, like, ten years, but... life, you know? It just catches up with--"

While he's stumbling over his words, my impatience wins out. I rush over to him and give him a bear hug, nearly lifting him off the ground with my momentum. He tries to pull away, but I tighten my grip. I rub his back in circles, trying to speak comfort through them.

Connor doesn't hug me back.

"Come on, Connor. Hug me back," I plead with him, wishing he could feel comfortable enough with me to allow his emotions to take over.

Woodenly, he lifts his arms and hugs me.

"Good. That's good," I whisper, not knowing what else to say. "Now, can you tell me what's wrong?" I wince at how patronizing I sound.

Connor exhales. "I got let go." His voice breaks on the last word, and he clears his throat. He clears his throat again, and a small gasp escapes him.

I don't know what to say to that. I wish there were some magical words I could speak to make everything okay, but they don't exist. "You can cry," I say softly, hoping those words will be enough.

Within a few seconds, Connor's torso begins shaking, and I feel a wetness on my shoulder. Tears. Based on the intensity of the shaking, I can tell that Connor feels like sobbing, but he won't let himself. I keep rubbing his back.

We stand there for a while, locked in the embrace. I listen to his breathing, noticing the way he pauses for a second before inhaling. It's all too familiar to me--when sobbing silently, it's more difficult to stifle the inhales than the exhales. It takes a couple of minutes before Connor's breath becomes more even. He loosens his grip, but I keep holding on, waiting until his breathing completely evens out. While I wait, I can't help thinking about how cozy he feels--like home. I allow myself to briefly imagine what would happen if I kissed him right now.

I let him go. We part ways, and I look up to see a tear run down Connor's left cheek. He raises his hand to wipe it, but I rest my hand on the side of his face and wipe it away with my thumb. Before I can think straight, I lean forward, tilt my head, and close my eyes. Our lips meet.

I don't know how long the kiss lasts. Almost like what happened with my first kiss, my brain can't process what's happening, and I lose track of time.

We don't separate until my body signals that I need air. I open my eyes first. The look on Connor's face makes me grin. He opens his eyes and looks at me in wonder.

"Woah," he breathes.

Last edited by azutid (December 11, 2018 4:48 am)

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 10, 2018 3:26 am  #6

Re: Truth or Dare

[By "last chapter," I meant previous chapter. That won't be the last chapter told from Kylie's POV. ;) ]

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 12, 2018 1:38 am  #7

Re: Truth or Dare

[I'm not sure if I'm going to write this chapter from Kylie's POV, just because I don't think it would bring anything new to the table. I'll leave this one up to you guys--if you want this chapter from her perspective, let me know.]

Kylie lowers her gaze, suddenly bashful. "Is that--are you--was that... Okay? Was that okay?" She peeks at my face, watching my reaction.

"Um," I say. Was that okay? I mean, it was okay for me, but was it okay for her? "Yeah." I give Kylie a tiny smile, silently praying that she'll reciprocate. She sighs in relief and returns the smile.

We stand there for a few seconds, smiling and nodding like idiots. Gosh, this is awkward.

Kylie holds out her arms. "Want a hug?" She asks.

"Sure." I hold out my own arms and hug her.

Once we part ways, Kylie walks over to the couch, sinks down into it, and leans her head back. I give her a questioning look, but I sit down beside her.

"I need to sit down after that. The kiss, I mean." Kylie blushes deeply.

I resist the urge to brush her flaming cheek with my hand, opting to nod instead. "Me, too." I keep my gaze locked on Kylie. She glances at me, but looks away quickly. I bite my tongue to keep myself from asking her if something's wrong. Obviously, something's wrong... with me. I just cried in front of a girl--like, crying so hard that it could almost be considered sobbing. And right after that happened, I kissed her. What kind of guy does that?

"Do you want to talk more about the job?" Kylie asks quietly, interrupting my thoughts. She finally looks me in the eyes.

I shake my head. "Not really." Talking about it may cause me to cry some more, and I think I've already exceeded my humiliation tolerance for the day. And, like almost every other guy I know, talking about feelings isn't my specialty.

Again--awkward silence.

"So," Kylie says, drawing out the word. "Are we going to watch the Peanuts Christmas Special?" She raises her eyebrows.

"Right," I say, remembering the original purpose of Kylie's visit. I turn to Kylie and pause. "Do you still want to do that?" I gauge her reaction.

She shrugs, keeping her face neutral. "I don't know... Maybe we can play Truth or Dare again?"

I bite my lip, thinking. I would much rather watch the Christmas Special and pretend that the breakdown never happened, but Kylie might want to talk. "Whatever you want to do is fine with me."

"Okay." Kylie pulls a leg up onto the couch and faces me. "Truth or dare?"

For once, dare is the safer option. "Dare."

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 13, 2018 4:45 am  #8

Re: Truth or Dare

[I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with this chapter, so we'll see what comes out. It should be fun, lol.]

I bite my lip. What would be a good dare for Connor right now? Probably not anything embarrassing--he seems embarrassed enough about crying in front of me. I wish he'd chosen truth, since I really want to ask him something...

I glance over at him. We make eye contact, and I almost lose my train of thought--his eyes are still bright from crying. It makes his sky-blue eyes seem even bluer.

"Would you be willing to reconsider your decision? Or do you not want to..." My voice trails off. I watch his face carefully.

He purses his lips and sighs. "Sure. Something tells me you have a specific question in mind."

"I do."

"Ask away," Connor says, lifting one of his hands in a sort of, why not? gesture.

I hesitate, wondering if there's a softer way to ask the question. There isn't. "Has it really been ten years since you last cried?"

"Well," Connor takes a deep breath and releases it. "No, but it has definitely been a few years. The floodgates closed when I was sixteen or seventeen. I don't know why." He scratches his head.

"Hm. That's interesting," I say. "I read somewhere that boys tend to stop crying as often around the age of twelve."

"Yeah. That sounds about right." 

There's another silence, but this one feels more comfortable--just the two of us, thinking about how funny life can be.

"Truth or dare?" Connor asks, breaking the silence.

"Truth." I'm in the mood to talk.

Connor turns his body so he's facing me. "Since we're on the topic--is there someone you usually go to if you feel like crying?"

"Nope," I let out a single laugh, as if the idea is absurd. "Me? I cry alone. No way I'm going to let myself cry in front of anyone." I realize that it sounds sad saying that out loud. It's mostly okay for women to cry and be comforted, but I just can't.

Connor's eyebrows knit together in concern, and it would be cute--if the concern wasn't for me. "Any specific reason why that's the case?"

"I don't know. Actually," I correct myself. "That was a lie. I do know why. Whenever I would cry when I was little, my mom would kneel down and ask me what strong girls don't do. She would keep asking me the question until I told her that strong girls don't cry. I don't entirely know why she did that--maybe because she was a businesswoman, and it was seen as weak when female employees cried at work." I stare at the red Kool-aid stain on the carpet, sadness suddenly washing over me. I hold my breath and will the sadness to return where it came from. It only grows stronger.

"Did you ever see her cry?" Connor asks.

"No," I say softly. Tears fill up my eyes. I keep staring at the Kool-aid stain, wishing that we could talk about something else. And hoping that Connor can't see the tears.

Connor shifts closer to me and carefully places a hand across my shoulders. "It's okay to cry. I know it doesn't feel that way, but it's true."

The touch makes my eyes well up even more. I look up at the ceiling, afraid that looking down will cause the tears to fall. I open my mouth to tell Connor to look away and stop talking, but I know that if I speak, I'll start losing it. Instead, I lean away from him. Maybe he'll take the hint and remove his stupid arm.

He doesn't. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," I say, and a tear unexpectedly escapes from my left eye. I gasp and raise my hand quickly to shield my face from him. The motion causes a tear to fall from my other eye. I turn my head away from Connor. "It's not your fault." My voice shakes and mangles the words.

He rubs my shoulder. "It's okay. Here." He reaches over and gently turns my face towards him. I close my eyes, sending more tears cascading down my cheeks. Connor wipes the tears away with his thumb. After wiping most of the tears, he moves even closer to me and wraps me in a warm hug. I bury my face in his neck.

"I'm sorry," I say in between sniffles. Gosh, I sound pathetic.

Connor rubs my back. "It's okay. You're safe with me."

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 14, 2018 1:37 am  #9

Re: Truth or Dare

I continue rubbing her back as she cries, speaking soft assurances. I wish that there were some magical words I could say that would give her hope and heal her trauma, but words fail in moments like these. Simply being here with her and comforting her will speak more than a thousand words--at least, I hope so.

When she begins to calm down, I pull back from the hug and wipe more of her tears. She keeps her eyes lowered.

"Kylie?" I ask, still wiping away her tears.

"Yeah?" She sniffles and shoots a quick glance upward, meeting my eyes.

"Can I..." I pause, not sure she'll let me. "Can I, um--"

"Kiss me again?" Kylie asks.

I try to read her expression, but for some reason, I can't. The ambiguity--which I take to mean as neither a yes or a no--is what spurs me to kiss one of the glistening tear tracks on her cheek. I allow my lips to linger, enjoying the warmth of her cheek. I pull back slowly. "Can I do that?"

Kylie sits back a little and wipes her dainty nose on her sweater's sleeve. Then, she leans back in and kisses me. Again, I lose myself in the moment--any concept I had of time and space before is completely and utterly destroyed. All that remains is the softness of her lips.

She tastes like cotton candy and nostalgia.

After what felt like a millisecond, but was probably at least thirty seconds, we separate. I catch my breath and notice how my heart is hammering in my chest. I put my hand over my heart, willing it to stop beating so fast.

Aaand Kylie and I are avoiding eye contact. Great.

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

December 15, 2018 5:36 pm  #10

Re: Truth or Dare

[Sorry I didn't post yesterday. I'm planning on writing two chapters today, since I have the free time.

Also, I know this chapter may seem a little slow, but I'm trying to build up to the last crying scene. Hope you guys enjoy it, nonetheless.]

Finally, I bring myself to make eye contact with Connor. He's still avoiding looking at me.

"Um," he says, picking at his cuticles. "I think we should define what... this is. You know. You and me." He gestures between him and me. I'm tempted to catch his hand and hold it, but I stop myself.

"Yeah," I nod.

Connor looks me in the eyes. My heart plummets at the expression on his face--he looks like he's sorry the kisses ever happened. He gives one of those pity smiles where you raise the corners of your mouth, but it isn't really a smile.

I wait for him to let me down gently, but he remains silent as he stares deep into my eyes. I gather my courage. "So, do you have any feelings for me? It's okay if you don't, it's just..."

He sighs and lowers his head, putting his hands together to cover his nose and mouth. His fingers are shaking. I wonder briefly if that's a good or bad sign. He lowers his hands and looks up at me. "Yes. I have feelings for you."

I allow myself to smile. "I have feelings for you, too."

Connor smiles, and we simply stare at each other for a few seconds. He's the first to break the silence.

"We should probably talk about what we're going to tell our friends and roommates." He bites his lip, thinking. "I think we should tell them soon. I don't like keeping secrets from the people I'm close to."

"Yeah," I agree. "Should we tell them together or separately?"

"What do you mean?"

"Should we tell them together--as in, the two of us in the same room along with them--or should we be apart when we tell them, just so they have time to get used to the idea?" I motion with my hands, hoping that he gets what I'm saying.

"Oh, yeah." He shrugs. "I like the idea of gathering all of them in sort of a 'family meeting' and telling them together. But whatever you want to do is okay with me."

"I like that idea." I grin, imagining what the moment will be like. I bet that they'll be a little surprised, but they'll agree that it was going to happen sooner or later.

Connor grabs my hand and grins as well. "As for right now--since this has turned into a date, would you like to go somewhere? Maybe to the movies? Or I still have some lasagna in the fridge from Tyrell's cooking assignment?"

"Mm," I say, considering the options. "I'm a little tired from all that kissing and crying. Dinner here sounds good."

"Okay," Connor stands up, walks over to the fridge, and opens it with a grand gesture. "Lasagna it is."

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.
     Thread Starter

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