t h i r t y

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Depression causes people to lie to themselves. It places them further into denial, hence they are less likely to face their issues.

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Randall was not pleased.

"What? You're going out with him again?"

Vera, on the other hand, was ecstatic. Immediately upon hearing the news, she hopped from her seated position around the table in the lunchroom. "That's amazing! You really like this guy, don't you, cinnamon?" closing the distance, she threw her arms around Sage's shoulders in a fond, motherly embrace. As she pulled away, she poked his nose, and announced, "I'll do your hair, makeup, and clothes for the evening, 'kay?"

Sage sulked, moving away from Vera's motherly clutches. "I'm not a g-girl, Vera."

"'Nyx sat there, remaining impassive on the matter. In fact, he felt mildly awkward, but he failed to mention that.'"

Vera looked over Sage's shoulder to see Nyx just outside the doorway, lips tilted in a smirk as he stared at them all. Usually, both Randall and Vera would groan, but that time, only the latter did. "Go away, Nyx. You two should be happy. Sagey-bear is finally getting a hubby-boo-boo. Oh, wait. Is he the hot guy from the other day?"

Lips pressed in a thin line, he tersely nodded. "H-his name is X-Xander."


All blithering in the room instantly seized, all eyes then switching to Randall, who'd slammed his hands to the table along with his aggressive outburst. Lifting a vibrating finger, he jabbed it to each of them, one at a time.

"How can you guys be happy about this? I told you that Xander just wants to fuck Sage. Then, after that, you know what'll happen? Oh, yes! He'll propose to Sage and then they'll get married. No! He'll act like it never happened, Sage. Thump and dump complete."

Sage blushed furiously. "I ... I'll never do anything w-with anyone..." he whispered, evading eye contact with everyone. Why was Randall being like that?

A hand patting Sage's shoulder made him tense up, then look up to see Nyx right next to him. "'Nyx intercepted the tense situation like Adonis himself'. Sage, listen to the words of the wise, and not the jealous-"

"I'm serious!" Randall protested. He wanted to punch Nyx so bad. "I've seen how that bitch operates. He'll fuck you over, then KABOOM! Crack, dope, batshit, all crazy bi-polar mode activated on you," his temper appeared to have receded a little as he turned to Nyx. "You know how it feels to want to protect the person you love, right?"

Nyx's eyes widened, and he took a backward step, scratching his nape. "Uh ... y-yea."

Vera crossed her arms over her chest. "What exactly are you saying? Is this a confession to Sage?"

"Well, I don't even know. Of course, I love Sage. I love all of you. Even Nyx."

Nyx's mocha eyes narrowed. "No homo, though."

"Whatever, bro," Randall responded with an eye roll. "I just want what's best for you, Sage. I have a really bad feeling about all this. And it's not because I hate that thing you like so much. I mean ... how can you?"

"I understand your concern, Randie, but you have to chill, bro." turning to Sage, she then said, "Best if you don't run anything past that guy ever again. He'll just flip. My advice to you is to go ask this Xander guy out and have fun, but be careful. You only live once, right? But," a brief moment of silence drifted by before she completed her last sentence. "You shouldn't offer yourself to anyone without all our approval; even though you obviously won't have Randall's. We're not only your friends, but ... homies for life. Yes. That sounds nice."

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