Not Just Another Name.

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    Selina

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    Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:14 pm



    Not Just
    Another Name





    Last edited by showmelove. on Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:14 pm

    Chapter One


    Stanford. Even the word sounded prestigious. And yet, they had accepted a low class girl from New York into their elite school.
    Granted, Natasha had the flawless GPA, was as sharp as a needle and had the looks to boot. However, the one thing her family lacked was money. But when Stanford sent her an acceptance letter along with a scholarship, Natasha had thought it was too good to be true.
    Finally, all her hard work was paying off. The sleepless nights, cramming, lattes, and migraines- they were all worth it. Natasha Winfield was going to an Ivy.
    But deep down inside, she knew she wouldn’t fit in with the Ivy crowd. Rumours about Ivy students went around her high school like lice.
    Students are accepted because their parents fund for a new building. Not because of their GPAs…
    They accept social elites to boost their reputations…
    So how in the world was she going to fit in? Her clothes were from cheap stores, like J.C. Penny. And all the other girls probably shopped at a different J.C., Juicy Couture.
    However despite all her friend’s warnings, Natasha had decided to follow her dreams. She wanted to make her parents proud, give them something to hope for, when it seemed like there wasn’t any hope at all. Her parents, her family, were all counting on her. She needed to get her law degree so she could start to payback her parents for all her tutoring fees and various lessons.
    Natasha cleared her mind from all negative thoughts. Taking a deep breath, she parked her old Honda in an empty parking spot. She had flown in the weekend before and had bought a second-hand car. Her parents had funded for it, even though she had been against the whole idea.
    She grabbed her bag from the passenger seat and opened her door. Stepping out into the bright sunlight, she squinted her brown eyes and closed her door.
    Surrounding her Honda, were various BMWs, Mercedes and even a few Porsches.
    Was this for real?
    Quickly, Natasha slipped on her H&M sunglasses and started walking along a nearby path.
    The scenery was gorgeous. The school itself was like a palace. It consisted of many different buildings with beautiful stained glass windows. However, she couldn’t admire the view. Because she was one hundred percent sure everyone around her was whispering about her.
    “Holy crap. Look at her.” A nearby brunette whispered to her friend.
    “Did she come from a homeless shelter?”
    Blushing, Natasha walked quickly.
    “Oof!” Natasha turned around to apologize to the person she had bumped into and found herself staring at a blond guy with the most intense blues eyes she had ever seen.
    “Sorry about that.” She said shyly. “I didn’t see you there.”
    He smiled politely, revealing a set of dimples. “No problem. I’m Tommy, by the way. And you’re new.” He stated simply.
    “Nice to meet you. I’m Natahsa. But you can call me Tash.” Then, she lowered her voice. “Is it that obvious I’m new?”
    He laughed. “Well, Stanford does have a lot of students... But it’s pretty obvious that you don’t fit in, I’ll give you that.”
    She rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses. “So I don’t wear designer clothes. Shoot me.”
    The dimples returned. “Naw. You’re not that bad. And you should know, I only shoot girls that annoy me.” Then, Tommy looked off into the distance.
    Following his gaze, Natasha saw a black haired guy. He was what girls would call “a catch” and his confidence proved that he knew it. Natasha could sense the “player vibe” from where she was standing.
    The black-haired guy was currently talking to a girl and the girl looked like she was on the verge of tears.
    Natasha grimaced. She recognized that look well. The girl was getting broken up with.
    “Ouch.” Tommy remarked. “But that’s Charles.” He shrugged. Then he turned his attention back to Natasha. “So anyways, I’ll give you my number. If you need help with anything, just give me a call.”
    Natasha reached for her Nokia. “Okay. Sounds good.”
    Taking her ratty phone, Tommy quickly punched in his phone number and returned it back to her.
    “Okay, well I gotta head to class now. I’ll see you later?” Smiling, he turned and walked off.
    Natasha gave him a small smile. “Sure. Bye.”
    Looking back at the patch of flowers, she noticed that the girl was gone now.
    And that “Charles” was staring her now.
    Looking away, Natasha quickly walked off.
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:15 pm

    Chapter Two


    “Eleven.”
    Natasha groaned inwardly. For the past fifteen minutes, the guys behind her had been saying various numbers. And she had a feeling she knew what they were talking about.
    “They’ll shut up soon.” The brunette beside her whispered.
    “You sure about that?” Natasha retorted.
    The brunette giggled softly. “Not really. I’m Stephanie by the way. I saw you talking with Tommy?”
    “Yea, he seems nice.” Natasha offered her a nice smile. “I’m Natasha, but you can call me Tash.”
    Stephanie nodded while jotting down notes. “Nice to meet you. Anyways, Tommy’s sweet. I used to date him.” She said casually.
    Natasha stopped scribbling. “Seriously? Cause you know, he’s not really my type. Actually I have-”
    “You have what, Ms. Winfield? A loud voice?” Her teacher stopped mid-sentence to glare at her.
    All ninety-nine students in the class turned to look at her.
    Natasha blushed. “Yea, that and a love for law!” She said lamely.
    Her teacher smiled briefly. “Jokes will not get you a good mark in this class. Paying attention will.” After shooting her one last stern look, she continued on with the lecture.
    “Nice save.” Stephanie whispered. “She’s known for her no-nonsense tolerance level. Charles is already on her bad side- and classes just started today.”
    “Charles?”
    “Yea, the guy two rows behind us. He’s the one that keeps uttering random numbers.” Stephanie said annoyed. “Charles has black hair and is sitting next to Tommy.”
    Turning around discreetly, Natasha sneaked a peek. Sure enough, it was the same guy from the flower patch.
    He was even cuter, up close. His green eyes were playful and serious at the same time. Although he had been fooling around for most of the lesson, he still had four full pages of notes.
    He caught her eye and smiled.
    Surprised, she quickly turned around and turned her attention back to the lesson.
    “Cute, huh?” Stephanie whispered.
    “Yeah, I guess.”
    “Ohh. So you’re one of those girls.” Stephanie said slyly.
    “Huh?”
    “You play hard to get.”
    “No, I just, I’m focused on school and everything. I’ve never really had much time for guys.” She whispered back.
    “I hear you. Tommy and I dated for two years, but we never saw much of each other. I guess that’s why he ended up making out with another girl.” She sighed.
    Natasha stopped scribbling, yet again. “He cheated on you?” She whisper-cried.
    She nodded. “He said he was drunk though.”
    “Drunk, his ass.” Natasha snorted.
    “Exactly!” Stephanie looked at her and smiled. “I can tell we’re going to be good friends.”
    “Class is dismissed. Review today’s lesson, there will be a brief quiz tomorrow. That is all.”
    “Quiz?” Natasha groaned inwardly. “We just started!”
    “Quiz.” Stephanie confirmed her question. She picked up her Louis bag and eyed Natasha’s Bluenotes sack.
    “You wanna go shopping?”
    Natasha snorted. “Sure! But instead of money, I‘ll just give all the cashier’s lap dances.”
    Stephanie threw her head back and cackled.
    “Whoa, don’t kill yourself there Stephanie.” A sexy voice said from behind them.
    Sure enough, Charles was standing behind them, with his messenger bag swung lazily across his shoulder. Beside him, were two other guys and Tommy.
    “So, I’m Charles. And I heard you know Tommy.”
    “She’s Natasha, but you can call her Tash.” Stephanie answered in a monotone voice.
    Tommy smiled at them both. “You guys pumped for the quiz?”
    Stephanie looked away.
    Sensing the awkwardness between them, Natasha quickly stepped in. “Totally. We’re gonna destroy it.”
    “Girl with confidence.” Charles smirked. “I like it. Although…”
    “What?” Natasha said self-consciously.
    “Nothing. Just hoping I could tutor you or something.” He shot her a loaded look.
    “Thanks, but no thanks.” Natasha responded, disgusted.
    “Charles!” A girly voice squealed from two rows below them. “No way!”
    “Hey.” Charles shot the girl an uninterested look. “So anyways, since you guys are going to destroy the test and you don’t need a tutor, do you two want to come to the end of summer bash tonight?”
    “We’d love to.” Stephanie said, finally looking up from her phone. “In fact, I just got a date.” She looked at Tommy triumphantly.
    An unreadable look flashed across his face.
    Natasha bit her lip.
    “Well, you’ll have to excuse us, gentlemen.” Stephanie announced. “Tash has lap dances to give.”
    Natasha laughed, embarrassed.
    “Damn.” Charles eyed her. “Can we come?”
    “No, actually, you can’t.” Natasha shot Tommy a friendly smile and brushed past the rest of the guys.
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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:16 pm

    Chapter Three


    “So look, I really wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t have money.” Natasha said uncomfortably.
    “Try this on!” Stephanie handed Natasha a red dress.
    “Did you not hear me?”
    “No, I heard you.” Her new friend examined her reflection in the slim mirror. “Is this too revealing?”
    “Kinda.” Natasha admitted.
    “I can tell. You’re like… forcing yourself to look into my eyes.” Stephanie laughed. “Fine. I’ll pick something else.” She went back into her changing room and flung the seven hundred dollar BCBG dress onto the floor.
    Natasha held up the dress Stephanie gave her against her profile and tried to imagine herself wearing it.
    “Why don’t you try it on?” Her friend stepped out of the dressing room and wrinkled her nose at her own reflection.
    “I can’t-”
    “You can.” Stephanie answered. “Because I’m getting it for you. Or if you don’t want that particular dress, something else.”
    “I can’t let you do that!” Natasha said. “I know we’re getting along and I like you but-”
    “It’s your conscience. God, you’re so down to earth. It’s so refreshing! And annoying. If I offered to pay for any other girl at our school, they would’ve accepted. Immediately.”
    Stephanie’s brown eyes met Natasha’s in the mirror. “What if I told you that….”
    Stephanie glanced around the boutique. “Jenny!”
    A timid-looking saleslady immediately appeared to Stephanie’s right.
    “Yes Miss De Vaguer?”
    “You need all the money you can get, right?”
    Jenny nodded slowly, obviously confused.
    “Well my friend here feels guilty about letting me buy the dress for her. And it would obviously look gorgeous on her.”
    Natasha rolled her eyes playfully.
    “But, Natasha, if you look at it this way, you may change your mind.” Stephanie turned away from the mirror and faced her. “I would never buy that dress. It’s too preppy for my taste. However, Jenny here needs the money. So by letting me buy that, it would help Jenny out. A lot.”
    Jenny nodded like trained puppy.
    “Fine.” Natasha said. “But I’m going to try it on. Make sure I like it.”
    “Yay!” Stephanie cheered. She winked at Jenny. “I’ll take all those dresses over there.”
    Natasha stepped into the dressing room and locked it.
    Taking off her jeans and t-shirt, she put on the strapless red gown.
    As soon as she slipped it on, she was amazed. Who was the girl in front of her?
    “Well?” Stephanie asked. “How does it look?”
    Wordlessly, Natasha stepped out of the room.
    “Wow.” Stephanie raised an eyebrow. “That looks beautiful. Charles will shit a brick.”
    Natasha narrowed her eyes. “Charles?”
    “You don’t like him?”
    “No. He seems really arrogant, spoiled-”
    “I get it.” Stephanie held up her hands. “I’m not too fond of him either. He has girls falling all over him.” She lowered her voice. “When I used to go out with Tommy, he told me that Charles has a list of girls he’s done.”
    Natasha raised an eyebrow. “Wow. My respect for that guy just decreased, if that’s even possible.”
    Stephanie nodded. “But I’m pretty sure he’s going to try to get you onto that list tonight. I’m just warning you.”
    “Thanks. But I can take care of myself.” Natasha replied.
    “Okay. Just saying. So, are we going to get that?”
    “Yes, we are. I cannot believe I am about to own a five hundred dollar dress.”
    “Tash is about to own a five hundred dress. Has a nice ring to it.” Stephanie smiled. “Come on, let’s change and then go hit this new store down the street from here.”
    “Okay. Have you ever been to one of these parties before?”
    Stephanie nodded. “I came to Stanford’s yearend party last year with Tommy and some of his friends.
    “And?”
    “It’s pretty wild.”
    “Great.”
    Stephanie laughed. “Lots of hot guys. You’ll have fun, promise.”
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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:16 pm

    Chapter Four


    “Champagne. Your favourite, as I recall.” A tall, glass cup appeared in front of Stephanie’s shoulder.
    “Thanks Charles.” Stephanie said coolly. She turned so that his arm wasn’t draped across her shoulder anymore.
    “So where’s your date? Tommy’s getting antsy.”
    Natasha looked over towards the DJ, where Tommy was grinding a random girl.
    “He doesn’t look too worried.” Natasha remarked.
    Stephanie’s lips hinted at a smile.
    “Sarcastic. I like it.” Charles signalled a waitress that just passed by them. “Another champagne, please.” He handed the drink to Natasha. “You drink, right Tash?”
    Natasha eyed the glass warily. The only time she had ever drunk alcohol was at her eighteenth birthday party. And it did not go over well. She never really understood the concept of drinking. It was fun to get out of your own head for a while, but morning hangovers were always a pain in the ass. “Thanks.” She accepted the drink, careful not to touch Charles’s fingers.
    “So I’m going to go now. See you guys later?” He stared directly into Natasha’s eyes.
    “We’ll see.” Stephanie sing-songed. The alcohol was obviously getting to her.
    Smiling, he sauntered off.
    “So where’s your date?” Natasha asked.
    “Oh, he bailed. Said he had some calc reviewing to do or something. Honestly! What is with me and my bad taste in guys?”
    Natasha laughed uncomfortably. “So, what now? Stand at the tip of dance floor for the rest of the party?”
    “Of course not!” Stephanie tipped the glass all the way back and drowned the rest of her drink. “We’re here to par-ty!”
    Biting her lip, Natasha gingerly set her drink down on an empty table. No way was she drinking all that alcohol.
    Beautiful girls all over the world… I could be chasing but my time would be wasted… They got nothing on you baby
    “I love this song!” Stephanie shrieked.
    Smiling, Natasha allowed herself to be guided onto the dance floor.
    “Now what are you two gorgeous girls doing alone?” A tall, blond hair guy asked them.
    “Who says we’re alone?” Stephanie said slyly.
    “Well, do you mind if I join you?”
    Natasha shrugged.
    “Sweet.”
    Suddenly, another guy came up from behind them and put his arm on Natasha’s shoulder.
    “You look amazing. And I haven’t seen you around before. Pretty surprising, seeing as how I make sure I get to know all the pretty girls.”
    “We should play ‘I Never’!” Stephanie suddenly declared.
    “Sounds good.” The two guys picked up four beers and led them to a nearby fountain.
    “I have never…” Stephanie paused dramatically. “Cheated on anyone. Ever.” Her eyes were intense and fiery, despite the alcohol.
    Smiling shyly, Natasha took a small sip of her beer.
    “What was that?” The blond hair guy scoffed.
    Gritting her teeth, Natasha brought the tip of the bottle to her mouth, only to have the guy she danced with tip it.
    “Opps.” He smirked.
    “What the hell?” Natasha spat. She had literally consumed the whole bottle now.
    “Chill out.” The guy retorted. “I knew freshman girls were whiny.”
    Stephanie put an arm around her. “You okay?” She slurred.
    “No. I think-” Natasha got up from her spot on the fountain and tripped. Everything was becoming blurry, out of focus.
    “Whoa, steady now.” Strong pair of hands caught her and supported her.
    Natasha closed her eyes and tried to prevent the world from spinning.
    “Why don’t you take her back to our room?” Stephanie suggested to her saviour.
    “Sounds good.” A familiar voice answered. “Come on, Tash. Let’s go.”
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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:18 pm

    Chapter Five


    “Hands up!” An officer in his uniform barged into their house. He flung the front door aside like a used tissue.
    “I mean it!” He pointed his gun around threateningly.
    Her family looked up from their dinner in shock. Grimacing, her father slowly put down his spoon and raised his arms. He glanced around the table, silently urging the others to follow suit.
    “Your family has thirty minutes to pack your things and leave.” The officer said in a harsh tone.
    “But-”
    The officer cut her mother off. “The landlord told us they have given your family several warnings already. And that your family has not paid rent for three months already!”
    Her father’s face was pained and a flash of helplessness went across his calm expression.
    Slowly, her family stood up.
    “Daddy, I’m scared.” Natasha buried her head in her dad’s shoulder. Why wouldn’t the officer leave? It was not like they didn’t want to pay the rent. Her family was in a difficult period right now. Why couldn’t the officer understand?
    “Let’s go.” Her elder brothers gently pried her away from their father and led Natasha to her small room.
    “Pack your books first.” Daniel said quietly. Wordlessly, he quickly gave her a garbage bag.
    Tears gathering in her eyes, Natasha quickly stashed her textbooks into the bag.
    “Fifteen more minutes!” The officer called threateningly.
    Natasha glanced around her room frantically. Clothes, right. Quickly, she grabbed three sweaters, a couple pairs of jeans, some underwear and socks.
    “Ten minutes!”
    Natasha shook in fear. Where was her family going to live? Although this “house” wasn’t the best, it was still her family’s home. How could this officer ask them to leave like this? Over the years, she had learned to love the crappy wallpaper in her room. She had gotten over her fear of bugs after seeing so many in her own house. And lastly, she had learned how to deal with a big family in a four room flat.
    “Everybody out!” The officer finally roared.
    Clutching her garbage bags tightly, Natasha quickly followed her family out of their semi-warm home and into the freezing night.
    As her feet touched the frozen pavement, everything went blank
    .

    “Natasha!”
    Someone was shaking her awake. Groggily, she opened her eyes.
    The room she was in was huge. The walls were covered in expensive-looking wallpaper, all the furniture matched and the two huge windows by the sturdy-looking study desk provided a generous view of the skyline.
    “Oh, good. You’re awake.”
    She could detect the relief in the deep voice.
    “Charles?” Natasha said, disoriented. She blinked.
    He was wearing a thin white t-shirt with baggy True Religion jeans. And the shirt was practically see-through, giving a generous view of his perfect abs…
    “Yea. You were screaming.” He gave her a worried look. “You okay?”
    She nodded wearily. “Where am I?”
    “My room. You know, you’re one of the few girls I’ve ever let in here.”
    Natasha snorted. “Right.”
    “Seriously!” He sat down on the edge of the bed.
    Natasha sat up in the bed. She had slept in her five hundred dollar dress. And her head felt like it was going to explode. What happened last night?
    “Wait,” Natasha narrowed her eyes. “So this is your bed?”
    Charles nodded slowly.
    She grimaced.
    “I don’t wet my bed, if that is what’s bothering you.” He joked.
    “No, it’s not. It’s just, you, we- didn’t-”
    “We didn’t have sex, if that’s what you’re trying to ask.” His green eyes were serious. “I prefer to have my partners be conscious and fully aware of what they’re about to enjoy when I-”
    “Fuck them?” Natasha interrupted.
    He wrinkled his nose.
    “You know it’s true.” She said with her eyes half closed. “So if you don’t let a lot of girls in here, then where do you do your dirty work?”
    “That’s for me to know and you to find out.”
    Natasha snorted. “Like I want to know.”
    “Why do you hate me?” He suddenly asked. His green eyes were serious.
    “I don’t hate you-” Natasha replied in an exasperated tone.
    “You do.” He looked at her. “You’re the first girl I’ve ever met that doesn’t like me.”
    She shrugged.
    “And annoyingly Tash, it heightens my interest in you.”
    “And you’re starting to freak me out.”
    He laughed awkwardly. “Well, since I saved you from those bozos last night, the least you can do is stay and keep me company for a while.”
    “And if I don’t want to?” She raised an eyebrow challengingly.
    He shrugged. “Then that’s too bad. Seriously, where would a hung over girl like you go at ten in the morning?” Charles got up from the bed and sauntered back to the huge study desk.
    “Oh, I don’t know.” Natasha replied sarcastically. “Back to my own room, maybe?”
    “Do you want to keep it down?” He lectured from his chair. “I am trying to study.”
    She rolled her eyes.
    Suddenly, the door to his room flung open and Tommy appeared under the doorway.
    “Yo, Charles! You want to come out and play some basketball?”
    The basketball Tommy was holding under his arm dropped to the floor. It bounced twice, and then came to a stop in front of the bed.
    “Hey.” Natasha said, embarrassed. She pulled the bed sheets up to cover her shoulders.
    Tommy shot her an intrigued look. “Dude, that was fast.”
    Charles’s eyes widened. Then, he smirked. “We didn’t actually, you know.”
    “Oh my god.” Natasha closed her eyes.
    “Oh, I’m sorry.” Tommy widened his eyes. “I didn’t mean to embarrass you guys.”
    “It’s not your fault. It does look like that.”
    Tommy shrugged. A dimple appeared on his cheek as he half-smiled. “I’ll let you kick my ass, if you play as well.”
    “Is that how you’re going to make it up to me?” Natasha said incredulously. “I can kick your butts without your help, thank you very much.”
    “We’ll see.” Charles replied cockily as he slipped on his Nikes.
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:19 pm

    Chapter Eight


    “So did you guys get out okay?” Stephanie’s brown eyes searched her friend’s face.
    “We’re fine.” Natasha laughed. “I didn’t die from suffocation from being in the same room as him, if that’s what you meant.”
    Stephanie smiled briefly. “You’re smiling.” She observed. She took a casual bite out of her gourmet sandwich.
    Natasha bit her lip. “Am I?”
    Stephanie laughed. “You like him. You totally fell for him. God, what is with Charles?”
    “I don’t-” She paused. She didn’t like Charles. They were friends, if you could even call it that. Their relationship, no- their connection, was complicated. She knew everything and nothing about him. Natasha knew things other people didn’t, but she also did not know, for example, his favourite colour.
    Her friend wiped her mouth on her napkin. “Can I say something before you fall head over heels for him?”
    Natasha looked up at her friend. She squinted in the afternoon sunlight and nodded slowly.
    Stephanie pulled her long hair back into a bun. “I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but I dated Charles in high school.” She uttered a shaky laugh. “After a week, he broke up with me. And I was devastated.” She paused. “But you know what each girl that falls for him wants? They want to be the one that changes him. I think we fall for him because of the whole “bad-guy” thing he has going on. He needs to be “fixed”, you know? We all know his history, his habits. But we still jump into deep end; even though we can’t swim.” Stephanie fiddled with her napkin. “Every single girl thinks that they are different. And in the end, every last one of them gets hurt.”
    Natasha played with her pasta. “I kinda figured. He is after all, a player.”
    “And players don’t change. They will eventually grow out of their habits, but it takes time.” Stephanie said gently. “Look, I’m your friend. And I’m just looking out for you. Just- be careful. And if you guys do go out, all the girls on campus will hate your guts. They’ll make your life miserable as hell.” She warned.
    Natasha raised an eyebrow. “Seriously?”
    Stephanie nodded. “Dating him comes with consequences. However, he is a nice, sweet guy under that swagger. But if you think that all that suffering will be worth it, then go for it.”
    “But I don’t want to be just another name added onto the list.” Natasha said simply.
    Stephanie nodded. “Every girl knows about it. And yet, we all still date him. I think it’s because we all want to be the last name on the list. Go down in history.”
    “But it never happens.” Natasha finished for her. She tore up her napkin into tiny shreds of paper. “I don’t know. I’m so confused.”
    “But you do like him, right?” Stephanie arched a perfect eyebrow.
    She shrugged. “I barely know the guy, but he’s told me some pretty deep stuff. And I don’t think I hate him anymore, because I understand him more.” Natasha stared at a nearby tree. “I don’t even know where we stand right now. Personally, I think he just thinks of me as his therapist.”
    “He tells you stuff?” Stephanie asked incredulously.
    Natasha returned her confused gaze back to her friend. “Yea…”
    Stephanie broke into a grin. “He never talks about his life to any of his “girlfriends”. Charles is always so mysterious about his life.”
    “Is that a good thing?”
    Stephanie nodded excitedly. “You could be the one, Tash!”
    Natasha blushed. “Come on, he barely knows me.”
    “Who are you guys talking about that’s making Tash blush so hard?” A cocky voice said from behind Natasha.
    “This really good-looking guy from this party we went to this weekend.” Stephanie answered back coolly.
    Natasha shot her friend a murderous look.
    “Yea?” Charles took off his bag and plopped down on the chair beside her.
    Natasha blushed even harder.
    “Aw, would you look at that.” Charles grinned at her. “Tash is uncomfortable.”
    Stephanie quickly shot her an apologetic glance. “I’m going to get more…” She searched around the table. “Ketchup!” She finished grandly. “Please, excuse me.”
    “You’re excused.” Natasha said bitterly.
    “Whew, I thought she’d never leave.”
    She raised an eyebrow.
    “We need to talk.”
    Natasha’s heart sped up.
    “About getting them together again.” Charles clarified. He took her fork and dropped some pasta into his mouth.
    She exhaled. “Right. So, what’s the plan?”
    “A romantic evening under the stars.”
    “That’s so cheesy.” Natasha cracked a smile. “I like it.”
    “Huh.” Charles looked at her.
    “What?”
    “I didn’t peg you for the romantic type.” He had a thoughtful, distant look on his face. “You really remind me of someone.”
    Natasha looked at him. “Who?”
    “My mom.” He laughed awkwardly. “Oh god, that didn’t come out right.”
    “You calling me old?” She teased him playfully.
    Charles opened his mouth. “No-”
    “He’s calling you a slut.” A girl wearing D&G sunglasses said in a superior tone as she walked past their table.
    “Look who’s talking.” Charles retorted.
    “I’m sorry?”
    “You know what I mean.” He said in a disgusted voice.
    The girl huffed and stormed off.
    “You know, you don’t have to defend me.”
    “I know.” He played with his bag. “I feel like I need to protect you.” He penetrated her with his serious gaze. “I don’t want you to be teased because we’re friends.”
    Natasha smiled gently. “Thanks, but I think I can handle it.”
    “Really? Because that girl is captain of the girl’s soccer team. And she has some skilled soccer kicks.”
    She laughed. “If I had a lot of padding, I would be fine.”
    “I couldn’t find the ketchup.” Stephanie said, breathless. “What? Why are you two both giving me that look?” She fidgeted uncomfortably.
    “We’re going to go on a road trip this weekend.” Charles informed her.
    Stephanie calmly sat down. “Thomas going to be there?”
    He nodded. “Why? Are you trying to avoid him?” He said in an innocent voice.
    Natasha held back a laugh.
    Stephanie raised her nose. “Why would I be?”
    “Good. We’ll see you there then.” Charles stood up and removed his bag from the chair. “I’ll text you with details later.”
    He smiled at them both and sauntered off.
    “Close your mouth. You’re gaping.” Stephanie snapped at her friend.
    Natasha blinked. “No, I’m not.”
    Stephanie just smiled in return.
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:31 pm

    Chapter Nine


    “You sure you told them to meet us here?” Natasha kicked at a random pebble on the trail.
    He nodded. “What a waste.”
    “You actually thought Stephanie and Tommy would show up?”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?”
    “They’re both hurt, Charles. You want them to go on a romantic date together in that condition? Of course they aren’t here.”
    He shot her a look. “You could’ve told me this before I got all this stuff. Now what am I going to do with it?”
    “We can still use it.” She suggested.
    Natasha looked up at him. Under the moonlight, Charles almost looked like a god.
    “What?” He asked her self-consciously.
    “Nothing.” She looked away. “What’s with the candles?”
    “It makes the atmosphere more romantic, obviously.”
    She smiled, amused. Lowering herself, she closed one eye and with the other, looked through the telescope.
    “It’s a nice night for star-gazing.” Charles remarked.
    Natasha didn’t reply.
    “Tash?”
    She slowly raised herself and stepped away from the telescope.
    “Are you crying?” Charles asked in a panicked voice. He shrugged off his jacket and draped it over her shoulders. “What’s wrong?”
    Natasha just blinked, making the tears fall quicker.
    Charles quickly wiped away the tears with his reassuring fingers. He led her to a white bench and they sat down.
    “Thanks.” Natasha finally said in a shaky voice. She couldn’t look at Charles; it was too embarrassing.
    “So what was that all about?”
    “I saw Ara.”
    “The half-horse, half-man. One of the wisest creatures to ever live on Earth.” Charles said in a distant voice.
    “You know about it?”
    He nodded. “But this time, tell me your story before I tell you mine.”
    Natasha sniffed. “Fine. When I was younger, my father would show us this constellation. Every clear evening in July was spent gazing at Ara. The night sky, he said, was the Earth. Every single star was represented by the humans on our planet. And the constellations; they exemplified people working together in order to create something beautiful.”
    Charles looked up at the dark, twinkling sky with a thoughtful look on his face.
    “Ara, my father said, was our destiny. The people in our lives were going to work with us, shape us. Basically, we would create the constellation Chiron. And Chiron, was the half-horse, half-man.”
    “So he basically slave drove you guys to be smart; but made it less forceful by turning it into a story.”
    Natasha laughed. “I guess that’s how my brothers took that. But it really spoke to me. Especially after our father told us about the second meaning of Ara.”
    “The altar Noah built after the great flood.”
    “Exactly.” She sighed. “After we got kicked out from our house, my father literally forced us to look up at the heavens. He said that if Noah could start everything again from scratch, then we could too.”
    “Did you just see it?”
    Natasha nodded. “I would recognize it anywhere. I’ve been studying it for the past eight years now.” She looked up at the sky now, the same heavens she had been studying since she was ten years old. “I don’t know what came over me. It was like a piece of my father returned to me when I saw it. I remembered his dreams for us, and how proud he was of me when I got accepted into this school. Do you know what he said to me when I got the letter?”
    “What?”
    “He said that from now on, Ara would be referred to as Tash-a.” She cracked a small smile. “So cheesy and sweet.”
    “Tash-a. My new favourite star.”
    Natasha smiled. She pulled his jacket closer to her. “I believe it’s your turn now.”
    “I was hoping you would forget.” He admitted truthfully.
    She shot him a look. “Spill.”
    He groaned.
    “Come on, it cannot be as bad as your dad naming a star after you.”
    “No, that was sweet!”
    Natasha shot him a look.
    Charles looked down at the cement below them. “For my fifteenth birthday, my parents got me a telescope. They said that if I studied all the constellations and stars, we would go on a camping trip together, as a family.”
    “That was the year before the divorce, right?”
    “You remembered.”
    Natasha nodded.
    “Anyways, I was ecstatic. When I was fifteen, my parents were literally falling apart. And once I started exploring all the stars, I realized that this could be the big patch; the patch that could make us a family again. The constellations were full of stories and dreams. And if that couldn’t bring us together, nothing would be able to.”
    “So what happened?”
    “Everything was set. We were going to leave to go camping the first week of summer vacation. My dad promised that he was going to come. He did all the paper work and made sure all the other doctors could cover his shifts.”
    “He didn’t bail on you guys, did he?” Natasha’s eyes widened at the pain on his face.
    “He did. He said that there was an ‘emergency’.” Charles balled his hands into fists. “I guess he panicked. When we were all packed and ready to go, he suddenly got this mysterious call on his cell. The office was just wishing him a safe trip. But he lied and told us there was an emergency at the office. Ultimately, he couldn’t go on the trip with us. So, he bolted.”
    “Was he just overwhelmed with the idea of spending time with you guys?”
    Charles shrugged. “I didn’t bother trying to figure out why he did that. All I knew was when he got out of the car; I stopped thinking of that man as my father.”
    “Do you still talk to him?”
    He snorted. “Every year, I speak to him twice. Once on my birthday, usually to thank him for the expensive gadgets he gives me, and another time at Christmas.”
    “It must hard on your mom.”
    He nodded. “She’s my only real family right now.”
    A gush of wind whipped around their bench and they both shivered.
    “Come on, we should go. It’s getting late.” Charles got up and blew out all the candles.
    “Charles?” Natasha said to the darkness around her.
    “Yea?”
    “Why are you telling me this?”
    “Is it boring you?”
    “No, it’s just, why me?”
    “Because I believe I can trust you.” His voice answered back. “It feels like I can tell you anything, and you won’t judge me. But if it’s ever too much, just tell me.”
    “It’ll never be too much.”
    Charles laughed quietly. “You say that now. So what do you think about a pool party? You were right, of course. They’ll never come if it’s just us. But if I invite a bunch of people and turn it into a party, they might show up.”
    “Party sounds good. But, get rid of the pool part.”
    “Why? Girls in swimming suits…”
    “I can’t…”
    “You can’t swim.” Charles stated simply. After a brief pause, he said, “I’ll teach you.”
    “Really?”
    “Sure. It’s the least I can do. Meet me at the pool after classes tomorrow?”
    Natasha sighed. “Fine. But if I drown, I’ll kill you.”
    “How are you going to kill me after you’re dead?” He taunted in the blackness.
    “Let’s just go.” She answered in an exasperated tone.
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:33 pm

    Chapter Ten


    “You look hot.” Stephanie winked at Natasha’s reflection in the mirror. “And you don’t look fat.” She quickly said.
    She shot her friend an inquiring look. “I didn’t even ask…”
    “Oh, please. Every girl asks that as soon as she steps into a bikini.”
    Natasha took one last look at her reflection and reached for her Target cover-up. “Wish me luck. If I drown, I give you full permission to have my crappy wardrobe.”
    Stephanie shot her a look. “First of all, you’re not going to drown. Second of all, if I had full custody over your clothes, I would make them get up, and walk straight to a nearby landfill. Seriously.” She shuddered.
    Natasha faced her friend and shot her a look.
    “But it is cute, for Target.” She quickly added.
    With an exasperated half-smile pasted on her face, Natasha quickly slipped out the door. The quiet click that echoed in the deserted dorm hallway reminded her that there was no turning back now. Natasha was going to go swimming; something she hadn’t done since she almost drowned at seven.
    Her parents could never afford swimming lessons, so her brothers took it upon themselves to coach her how to swim. When she was seven, her brothers were both immature pre-teens. Because of their age, they literally jumped at any opportunity to torture their innocent sister.
    She quickly shook the memory of her almost-death out of her head. Her brothers had pushed her into the deep end before she managed to learn how to tread water.
    Natasha looked up at the glass door in front of her.
    Recreation Centre and Pool.
    The sign seemed to be warning her. The font was blocky and black as the night sky, making the piece of wood sinister looking.
    She inwardly groaned at her chicken-ness and pushed the heavy door open without a second thought.
    The smell of chlorine hit her and she immediately gagged.
    They never told me that it was chlorine… I thought it was water! I can still remember throwing up all over that woman… This is all their fault! Natasha cursed her brothers inwardly and quickly walked into the woman’s change room. After securing a locker, she took a deep breath and entered the pool area.
    Those abs.
    That hair.
    And his smile.
    All of a sudden, Natasha couldn’t think straight anymore.
    “I didn’t think you were going to show.” He smiled at her. “Ready to learn how to swim?”
    She nodded, unable to speak.
    “Okay then.” He grabbed a board and together, they entered the shallow end of the pool.
    “Did you ever have lessons before?”
    Natasha shook her head. “I know how to kick and do the rocket arms, but that’s about it.” She paused. “I should really learn how to tread water though.” She whispered.
    Charles pursed his lips. “Okay. We can do that then.” He took her hand and slowly, they went towards the deep end.
    “Charles!” A girl in a barely there swimsuit called from the side of the pool. “What are you doing here?” Her gaze travelled from Charles to Natasha and a surprised look flashed across her face. “You should introduce me to your friend, Charles.”
    “This is Natasha-”
    A girly shriek interrupted him.
    “Shit!” Charles quickly grabbed Natasha by the waist and pulled her up again. “I’m so sorry for letting go of your hand.”
    “No problem.” She managed to wheeze.
    “Cute.” The girl smirked. “Well, I won’t interrupt your little ‘swimming lesson.’ Have fun!” She shot Charles a flirty glaze and then stalked off in her yellow Havaianas.
    “She seems pleasant.”
    “You know what I find weird?”
    She looked at him. “What? Are you going to tease me about my lack of swimming skills? Because I don’t really want to hear it.”
    “I find it weird that we’re always being interrupted by girls.”
    Natasha gaped at him. “You’re kidding, right? Apparently over half of the girls here want to date you. Or seduce you.”
    “Oh, it’s way over half.” He corrected cockily.
    She rolled her eyes.
    “But no, that’s not what’s surprising. It’s weird that we’re never interrupted by guys.”
    “Excuse me?” Natasha smirked. “Are you trying to say that you’re gay now?”
    Charles wrinkled his nose. “No, I’m not. But a lot of guys I know have been asking about you.” His eye travelled down her face and to the tip of her shoulder blades.
    Fortunately, the water was covering the rest of her body. Natasha could feel the tips of her ears heat up. Discreetly, she inched lower into the water.
    “Are you serious? Who?”
    “I can’t name all of them off the tip of my head, but there have been some guys. They even asked me if we were going out.” He snorted.
    She narrowed her eyes. What was so funny about them going out?
    He looked at her pissed off expression and immediately tried not to smile. “Anyways, the key about treading water is to relax . I know that it’s hard to relax when there’s a possibility of drowning, but I want you need to clear your mind.” He led her to the ledge. “Hold onto this as if your life depended on it.”
    “It kinda does.” She replied in a shaky voice.
    He smiled. “I guess you’re right. So just try to observe what I’m doing. You see what I’m doing with my feet?”
    She nodded.
    “And my hands?”
    Natasha nodded again.
    “Good. Now, you try. Remember, try to be relaxed.”
    Slowly, Natasha inched away from the ledge. “You’ll be here, right?”
    He nodded. “You can trust me.”
    She tried to imitate his movements. At first, it was okay. She swallowed some chlorine, but she was fine.
    But when the Havaiana girl came back and bumped into her, she completely lost her balance.
    All of a sudden, Natasha had no control over her body. She was madly trashing about, praying for something to pull her back up.
    Unfortunately, Charles was too busy yelling at the girl to save her.
    “Help me!” She called to him.
    “Relax!” Charles yelled from above. “I’m coming!”
    Suddenly, a pair of strong hands pulled her up and pushed her against the ledge.
    Natasha took deep heavy breaths. Wiping her face, she slowly opened her eyes.
    She was startled to find Charles’s face just inches away from her own.
    “You okay?” His eyes searched her face. “You were doing awesome. And then Crystal had to come along.” He shook his head.
    “I’m fine.” She managed to say. Natasha could feel the outlines of his abs against her stomach. His delicious arms were surrounding her, but all she could see were his emerald eyes.
    “I’m sorry about that.” Crystal said. “I didn’t even see you there. You know, some people are actually trying to do laps here.” Then, she looked at Charles’s arms and the inappropriate way they were holding her.
    “Are you guys going out?” She asked in her obnoxious tone.
    “That’s none of your business.” Charles replied in an exasperated tone. “Seriously Crys, you could’ve killed Tash.”
    “Tash, eh?” She raised an eyebrow. “Well, if you two aren’t going out, then I’ll be your date to the pool party.”
    “Who says we’re not going out?” Charles snapped at her.
    Crystal shot him a challenging stare. “Fine. I’ll tell all my girlfriends to keep an eye out for you, Tash.” She shot her a meaningful glance and got out of the pool.
    “Great. Thanks for digging my grave for me.” Natasha said. She squirmed. “Do you want to let go of me now? I may as well drown. Drowning will be quick. Those girls will kill me off slowly, which will be ten times as painful. I mean-”
    Suddenly, his arms were even more entwined around her, if that was even possible. She could smell his soapy shampoo scented hair as he moved closer to her. And then, his chlorine tasting lips were on hers. Slowly, Natasha placed her elbows on his shoulders, deepening their kiss.
    In the distance, Natasha could make out whistling and cheering, but she wasn’t sure of it. All she could hear were the fireworks that were going off inside her head.
    Finally, he turned his head. “If you’re going to die, I had to have something to remember you by.” He shot her an amused look. “And by the way, I won’t let anything happen to you.”
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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:05 pm

    Chapter Eleven


    “He kissed you. You kissed him.” Stephanie paused and tried to take it all in. “You two kissed?”
    “In broad daylight. Half-naked. With an audience.” Natasha moaned into her palms.
    Stephanie placed a manicured hand on Natasha’s right shoulder. “Did he call you?”
    Natasha shook her head. “I don’t know what to do!” She wailed. “Was it an accident? Or was it a spur in the moment kind of thing?”
    “There’s only one way to find out.” Stephanie declared. “Go to the pool party.”
    “I thought we decided I was going to avoid him until we got that kiss sorted out?”
    Stephanie shrugged. “Maybe he’ll end up asking you out. Besides, you’ll be wearing one of my bathing suits, so you won’t look like a Target model this time.” She winked.
    Half an hour later, Natasha found herself at the entrance of the same swimming pool she was at a mere twenty hours ago.
    The sign still looked as sinister as ever, but the glass door was covered in steam.
    “I can’t do this.” Natasha whispered. “I bet everyone knows.”
    “No, duh.” Stephanie said. “Kissing the hottest guy on campus half naked does tend to get around.”
    “Not making me feel any better.” Natasha replied through gritted teeth.
    “Right.” Stephanie paused, smiling at the guy who opened the door for them. “Just stick with me. I’ll get you through this.”
    Natasha nodded. The pool had been completely transformed into a summer bash theme.
    Girls in bikinis and sunglasses were mingling around the pool and guys in swimming trunks were chatting. Volleyball and water polo was also being played.
    “They weren’t kidding.” Natasha uttered.
    “Huh?”
    “Ivy students really do throw good parties.”
    “Well, technically, Charles throws good parties.” His voice came from behind them.
    Natasha practically jumped.
    “It’s okay.” Stephanie whispered. “You can do this.”
    Natasha lowered her head; her cheeks felt like they were on fire.
    “You guys hungry?” He gestured to the snack table. “Help yourselves.”
    Natasha pursed her lips and brought her head up again. “He didn’t even look at me!”
    Stephanie glared after him. “What a douche.”
    “Do you blame him?” A girl beside them snickered. “Come on, he made out with you .”
    Stephanie crossed her arms and coughed loudly.
    “Steph!” The girl widened her blues eyes. “What are you doing with this piece of trash?”
    Natasha rolled her eyes. “The only thing trashy here are the shoes you’re wearing.”
    Stephanie laughed and then started to cough at the sight of the girl glaring at her.
    “Like you would know anything about fashion.” She retorted. The girl tossed her straight, blond hair and stalked off.
    “Seriously.” Stephanie shook her head.
    “Remember me?” A familiar girl tapped Natasha on the shoulder.
    Natasha whirled around and found herself looking at the girl that had locked her in the library with Charles a week ago.
    “Of course I remember you.” She smiled sweetly. “Because of you, I got to spend a lovely two hours stuck with Charles.”
    The girl Charles called “wasabi” shot her a murderous look. “I know. You’re going to pay, Natasha.” She dragged her towards the deep end of the pool.
    “What the hell are you trying to do?” Natasha shrieked.
    Stephanie had disappeared from the crowd, and all she could see was a bunch of girls surrounding them.
    And they all looked pissed.
    She stopped her in front of the edge of the pool. “You’ll pay for kissing him. And this is just the beginning.” With all her force, she pushed Natasha into the pool.
    She was sinking. The cover-up she was wearing was drowning her. With all the strength she could muster, Natasha was able to remove her flip-flops from her feet and she tried to remember what Charles had taught her.
    Kick
    Relax

    No matter how hard Natasha tried, she couldn’t get to the surface. The weight of her clothes was wearing her down. She couldn’t do this anymore. She was completely exhausted. She hadn’t had a breath of air since she was pushed in. At this rate, she’d probably last another minute.
    The sound of laughter and celebratory cheers filled her water-clogged ears. Did they really hate her that much? There really was no point in trying now. She felt too heavy and weak to even move. Smiling peacefully, Natasha closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift lower and lower. She ignored the screaming pain of her lungs and concentrated on the sound of splashing water far above her.
    Splashing water?
    Natasha was too weak to even think about it. She was dying. And there was nothing she could do about it.
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:07 pm

    Chapter Twelve


    Air was rushing into her dry, aching lungs. Groggily, Natasha managed to open her eyes.
    “Natasha!” Stephanie breathed a sigh of relief. She quickly gave her a warm hug.
    Kneeling beside her was Charles. His hair was wet from the chorine and his lips were chapped.
    “CPR?” Natasha croaked. Her heart sped at the sight of his lips being mere inch away from her lips.
    Charles nodded. “I’m sorry they did that to you.” He whispered softly. His breath was all over her face.
    She closed her eyes and tried to calm her thumping heart.
    Then, Charles addressed the crowd surrounding them. “What the hell where you guys thinking? All of you may be pretty on the outside. But on the inside; you are all so ugly, it’s disgusting. And to think I dated any of you.” He scoffed.
    “But you did.” A girl said softly.
    “And that’s the past. I’ve changed. I don’t want to be a player anymore; I’m sick and tired of it. All the attention from the opposite sex was appealing. But now, I want to be left alone. And don’t just leave me alone; leave Natasha out of it as well. Jealousy doesn’t suit anyone, especially ex-girlfriends.”
    “Jealousy?” “Wasabi” scoffed.
    Charles shot her a look. “Just shut up, Julie.”
    “I was going to go in after her! I really didn’t know she couldn’t swim. You have to believe me!” Julie seemed to be on the verge of tears.
    “Someone’s a good actor.” Stephanie muttered. “From bitchy to innocent in a mere five seconds. Even I can’t do that.”
    Charles placed a warm hand on Natasha’s shoulder. “I don’t see any reason why I should believe anything you say, Julie. From now on, anyone who messes with Natasha is ultimately messing with me. I officially declare her as my girlfriend.”
    Natasha blinked. “Girlfriend?” She choked out.
    “I’ll explain later.” He murmured softly to her.
    Stephanie smiled. “Suck it, bitches!”
    “Come on, let’s get you dried off. Steph, can you make sure everyone cleans up?”
    Stephanie nodded.
    With chattering teeth, Natasha took Charles’s sweater from his hands and wrapped it around her wet bathing suit.
    Charles put a warm, protective arm around her shoulder and led her outside the pool. On the way, he grabbed several towels and led her in the direction of his dorm.
    “W-where are we going?”
    “My room. We need to get you dry and warm.”
    “You wanna explain now?” Natasha asked him.
    “What?”
    “The girlfriend act back there.”
    “You’ve been so kind and open to me.” Charles tightened his grip. “The least I can do is protect you from being harmed.”
    “So you’re doing this because…”
    “Because I care about you.”
    “So we’re not really dating?” Natasha asked him curiously.
    He stopped suddenly. Charles removed his arm and put his hands on her shoulders. “Do you really want to date someone like me? You’re so pure and untouched; I would hate to ruin you. I told those girls I didn’t want to be a player anymore, but at heart, I still am. As much as I want to deny it, it’ll be hard for me to stick to one girl after a long period of time.”
    “So what are you saying?”
    “I don’t want to hurt you. And by going out with you, I will ultimately cause you pain. Sooner or later, I’ll do something completely douche bag-ish, and your heart will have to suffer. I ruin every girl I date, Tash. It’s the reality.”
    “Who says my heart will get hurt? And how do you know it belongs to you?” Natasha challenged him.
    He raised an eyebrow. “Fine.”
    Charles started to walk again.
    “So did you fall in love with anyone yet?” Natasha asked casually.
    “I didn’t think I did, but apparently without realizing it, I may have.” He said mysteriously. “But apparently, her heart doesn’t belong to me.”
    “Did she say that specifically?”
    Charles stopped again. “Look, do you like me or not, Tash?” He ran a hand through his damp hair.
    She looked down. “I didn’t want to fall for a player. But I think I did.”
    Natasha looked up after a minute of silence.
    “Do you mean it?” He looked into her eyes.
    She nodded.
    “So if we go out…”
    “I’ll expect the worst, how’s that?” Natasha smiled.
    Charles smiled. “The kiss at the pool…” He shook his head. “It was my first real kiss.”
    She shot him an inquiring look.
    “I felt something emotionally for the first time while kissing a girl. Usually, it’s an everyday activity, like brushing my teeth.”
    “It was different.”
    “Have you ever been kissed?”
    Natasha snorted. “I’m not a nun, you know.”
    “But you’re not a prostitute either.” He remarked.
    “I dated this one guy in grade eleven. It didn’t turn out well.” She hid her face behind a wall of brown hair. “He cheated on me.”
    Charles stopped mid-step. “There was probably something wrong with his head. You’re one of the most unique and special girls I’ve ever met. And that’s saying a lot.”
    Natasha blushed.
    “And I can’t promise you that I won’t hurt you, as I’ve said before, but I’ll try my best. Because I owe you that much.”
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:07 pm

    Chapter Thirteen


    Natasha stepped out of the steaming bathroom, towel-drying her hair.
    Charles removed a hand from his eyes and lazily sat up on his bed. “You warm now?”
    She nodded. “So are we still up for setting our friends up?”
    He nodded. “Let’s redo the star gazing. Or do you want to do something else?”
    Natasha shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter. But it does need to be romantic.”
    “Star gazing it is, then.” He got off the bed and walked towards her. Charles took towel out of Natasha’s hands.
    “What are you doing?”
    Wordlessly, he pulled her closer to him and started to rub pieces of her hair together. “You need to get your hair as dry as possible. Don’t want to catch a cold…”
    She smiled. “Since when are you so caring?”
    He glared at her. “Do you want to be sick?”
    “No…” She bit her lip.
    “Just say it.”
    “What?”
    “You always bit your lip when you have something bad to ask or tell me.”
    Natasha snorted. “I do not!”
    “Don’t try to change the subject.”
    She blushed. “I was just wondering, how many girls have you ‘done’?”
    Charles stopped drying her hair. “What about you?”
    “None.” Natasha smirked. “I don’t do girls. Only guys.”
    He let out an exasperated sigh. “You know what I mean.”
    “Who’s changing the subject now?” She challenged.
    Sighing, he walked over to his huge desk. Pulling out a drawer, Charles hastily pulled out two pieces of paper and two pens.
    “Write down the number and then we’ll swap.”
    Natasha widened her eyes. “What?”
    “Do it. And be honest about it.” He said in a fierce tone.
    “Fine.”
    Natasha snatched the paper and pen from his hands and went to write against a wall. Pursing her lips, she drew a goose egg. Frowning, she crossed it out.
    How can I be truthful about this kind of thing? His number is probably so high…
    Shaking her head, she redrew her zero and folded the paper in half.
    “Here.” She handed it to him.
    He took it and gave her his.
    Shaking slightly, Natasha peeked at the number.
    43.
    She gasped.
    “Are you serious?” They both asked each other at the same time.
    “That might’ve been an exaggeration.” Charles said nervously.
    “By what, two?” Natasha shook her head.
    “You must think-” They both started to say.
    Charles laughed awkwardly. “You first?”
    Natasha sat down on the edge of his bed. “You must think I’m a complete nun or something.” She covered her face with her hands.
    He sat down beside her and put an arm around her shoulder. “I don’t. In fact, I’m the one who should be ashamed of my-”
    “If you say sex life, I’ll murder you.”
    “Past.” He finished. “That better?” Charles ruffled her damp hair. “So what were you going to say?”
    “I almost lost my virginity.”
    Charles was silent.
    “The guy I dated in eleventh.” Natasha sighed. “After two weeks, he started pressuring me to have sex and I wasn’t ready. He threatened to dump me if I didn’t give in. And all of a sudden, he was okay with it. I was suspicious at the time, but I simply thought that he respected my wishes and decided to wait. However, I found out later that he was cheating on me.”
    “Do you have a name? Address? Current school?”
    Natasha looked at him. “What?”
    “That douche!” Charles stood up. “He deserves a beating.”
    Natasha smirked. “It’s nice to hear that you’re so concerned.”
    “Find out for me.”
    She shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter now. I’ve gotten over him.” Then, she smirked. “I heard that you gain all your sex partner’s previous partners, if you guys perform the deed.”
    “So you’re saying that if we had sex, you’d have a total of 43 as well?” Charles smiled. “That’s so unfair! I worked hard!”
    Natasha wrinkled her nose. “That just sounds wrong on so many different levels.”
    He grinned. “That was the purpose. Now come on, we need to plan our double date.”
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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:08 pm

    Chapter Fourteen


    “They’ll have telescopes there, right?” Stephanie quickly pulled her long hair into a chignon.
    “Obviously.” Natasha replied. She quickly checked her phone for the time. “We have five more minutes.”
    “Okay.” Stephanie sighed. “I still don’t see why you want to help volunteer with the astronomy class’s studies.”
    “It’ll be fun and it will look good on our school records.” Natasha persuaded.
    “We should be studying about the rules of the courtroom… our law exam is in a week!”
    “I think you’ve studied enough.” Natasha said. “I saw those notes up in the shower.”
    She blushed. “Fine, I’ll go- but only for your sake. Some of the astronomy majors are a bit insecure in the head.”
    Natasha smiled to herself.
    Ten minutes later, they found themselves in below a romantic looking starry sky. The black canvas was stretched above them and the twinkling lights shone and shimmered.
    “Did you set me up?” Stephanie asked Natasha at the sight of Tommy strumming a guitar under a tree.
    Natasha bit her lip.
    “I told you, he cheated on me.” She whisper-shrieked.
    Tommy spotted them and put his guitar down. “Steph, can we talk?”
    She shot him an icy look.
    “We can’t ruin their date…” Tommy reasoned.
    Stephanie huffed. “Fine, but you have five minutes.”
    Charles was lying on his back, staring at the vast, dark sky. The red picnic blanket under him seemed to be calling out to Natasha.
    She quickly walked towards the blanket and laid down beside him.
    Her boyfriend was wearing a lazy smile and wore a thoughtful, peaceful look. “Steph’s still the same.”
    “What do you mean?”
    “Steph still holds grudges and is as defensive as ever.”
    Natasha wrinkled her nose. “Sounds like you know her well.”
    “Huh?” He quickly recoiled. “Oh, but that’s the past.”
    Natasha turned away. “So Tommy’s going to tell her about the divorce?”
    Charles nodded. “Hopefully she’ll give him a few minutes to explain.” He turned towards her. “How have you been? Did anyone give you trouble yet?”
    She shook her head. “Everyone’s either really nice to me, or just ignores me.”
    Her boyfriend groaned. “So much for leaving you alone.”
    “No, so long as they’re not killing me, I’m fine with it.” She joked.
    His green eyes were serious. “Don’t say that again-”
    “That you?” Natasha said to his vibrating phone.
    “Yea.” He took his phone out and checked the caller ID. The peaceful look on his face disappeared. “Why are you calling me?” His voice was so cold; it sent shivers down Natasha’s spine.
    “Are you trying to get me back into your life? Because this is low, even for you.”
    After two minutes, the cold expression was completely wiped from Charles’s face. Instead, Natasha was lying beside a vulnerable boy, who had just been told something horrible.
    “Are you okay?” Natasha whispered to him. She laced her fingers through his.
    He detangled himself from her and sat up. “I’ll be right back.” Charles managed to choke out. Taking his phone with him, he walked unsteadily to the tree.
    “We’re back.” Tommy announced. His arm was around Stephanie’s shoulders and his dimples were on full force.
    “You don’t need to announce it like we’re getting engaged or something.” Stephanie said sarcastically. But nonetheless, a genuine smile was playing on her lips.
    Natasha smiled half-heartedly.
    “What’s wrong?” Her friend said. “You set us up again, and you look like something just died in front of you.”
    The couple turned and looked in the direction Natasha was mourning at.
    “Is he okay?” Tommy asked.
    “Does he look okay?” Steph snapped.
    “I didn’t get to hear what’s wrong but-”
    “You guys back together?” Charles walked back.
    Stephanie nodded. “Sorry I didn’t believe you when you said that Tommy had his drink spiked.”
    Charles shrugged.
    “So how are you? You look stoned.” Tommy commented.
    “I’m fine.” He replied quickly. “You guys enjoy this; I have to go study for our exam.”
    “But-” Natasha looked helplessly after him.
    “He’ll get over it.” Stephanie placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. “In the meantime, have a finger sandwich.”
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:09 pm

    Chapter Fifteen


    “Today, we’ll be going into property law. This is a major concept, with many sub-parts. Therefore, we’ll spend approximately two months on it. We’ll move quickly, so make sure you don’t fall behind.”
    Natasha groaned inwardly. Property law was extremely tedious and boring. She had read about it a few months ago and had fallen asleep on her mountain pile of textbooks several times.
    “This sucks.” Stephanie whispered. “Land law’s a pain in the arse too.”
    Charles smiled half-heartedly.
    He’d been like this ever since the picnic. Natasha knew better then to prod him, so she was keeping her distance. But the more freedom she gave him, the more they grew apart. She was beginning to panic; they had only been going for two weeks. And students were already starting to bet on how long their relationship would last.
    Natasha winced at the soft sound of Charles’s cell phone vibrating. That sound was literally the call of death. For the past two days, every time his phone vibrated, Charles would take it into some corner and yell into it. When he came back, he was always in a foul mood.
    “You going to take that?” Natasha whispered lightly.
    He nodded. “I have to go to the washroom.” Charles called to Ms. Manson. Quickly, he went outside the lecture hall.
    Tommy raised an eyebrow inquiringly at Natasha.
    She blushed. “He still won’t tell me what’s going on.” Natasha admitted.
    Stephanie started to click her pen. “I would say that you should give him time, but he seems so depressed and emotional.”
    “Whatever it is, it looks serious.” Tommy added.
    “Quiet you three!” Their teacher barked into the mike.
    Natasha and her friends smiled innocently back. When Ms. Manson’s attention was averted, they continued their discussion.
    “So we wait.” Natasha confirmed.
    “It depends.” Stephanie slammed the pen down on the table. “We need to find out how serious the situation is.”
    “I already said it looked bad.” Tommy reminded his girlfriend.
    “Then we intervene.” Stephanie concluded simply.
    “But it could cost me our relationship.” Natasha whispered quietly.
    “But he needs someone right now.” Tommy reasoned.
    “Fine.” Natasha continued to jot down notes.
    After what seemed like eons of time, their teacher finally let them go.
    “I’ll take Charles’s stuff.” Natasha said. Picking up his books and pencils, she gently stashed them in his messenger bag. Following her friends, they walked to the courtyard.
    Charles was sitting on the fountain, still on his phone. His face was also paler then any of them had ever seen.
    Natasha gasped.
    “I’ll be there in two hours.” He finally choked out. After a brief silence, Charles raised his eyebrows disbelievingly. “Are you freaking serious Mom?” A look of helplessness flashed across his face. “He’s being hospitalized, and regardless of what happened, he’s still my dad. I can’t change that. His blood is in me! Do you think I like being tied to him?” He shouted at his phone. “I don’t! But I can’t help it. Because he’s my father. And he needs me.” Charles whimpered into the phone.
    Natasha covered her mouth with her hand. What was going on?
    “I’m going to hurl my phone into the fountain, if you keep this up.” Charles threatened. A look of rage flashed across his face at his mother’s response. Snapping his phone shut, Charles threw his phone into the water.
    Charles’s eyes looked delirious and scared. He walked slowly up the stairs and off campus, in the direction of a nearby bar.
    “Holy shit.” Stephanie breathed.
    “We gotta help him.” Tommy finally said.
    Stephanie wrapped a supportive arm around Natasha. “Come on, we’ll follow him.”
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:09 pm

    Chapter Sixteen


    Techno music thumped from the huge speakers above, as coloured lights danced across the room. This gave visitors a tipsy feeling.
    “Do you guys see him?” Natasha craned her neck around the room, trying to catch a glimpse of messy black hair.
    “Nope. I’ll search around back though.” Thomas offered.
    “And I’ll take a look around the bar.” Stephanie placed a reassuring hand on Natasha’s shoulder. “We’ll find him. I promise.”
    “Thanks.” Natasha said softly. She watched her friends leave, and then snapped back to attention. Charles. Right.
    All of a sudden, a man placed a possessive hand on her right shoulder.
    “What is a beautiful, innocent-looking girl like you doing alone at a bar?” He said seductively in her ear.
    Natasha shook herself free from the man. Facing him, she shot him a stern look and walked in the direction of the washroom.
    “Wait.” He grabbed her hand. “I’ll show you a good time, eh? Your boyfriend, if you have one, obviously isn’t here right now. I’ll entertain you, for now. What do you say?”
    “Let go of me.” Natasha said in a firm tone.
    He pulled her closer towards himself. “Now, don’t be like that.” He brushed a loose strand of hair away from her forehead. “It’ll be our dirty little secret, okay?”
    “I said to let go of me!” Natasha finally shrieked.
    The music and dancing around them finally stopped. In the midst of it all, Natasha finally spotted Charles. Unfortunately, he couldn’t see her. Because he was currently swallowing another girl’s tongue.
    “I found him?” Stephanie appeared by Natasha’s side in a meek voice.
    Thomas appeared beside her and pushed the guy that was harassing Natasha. “You stay away from her, you understand?”
    He put his hands up. “No need to be rough. We were just having a good time.” He shot Natasha one last knowing look and left.
    “What a douche!” Stephanie wrapped an arm around Natasha. “You okay?”
    But Natasha barely heard her. All she could see was Charles making out with another girl.
    “He’s probably drunk out of his mind right now. I bet he thinks that it’s you.” Thomas quickly said.
    Stephanie shot him a look of death. “Could you say anything more inappropriate?”
    His face paled. “I’m sorry! I meant-”
    But before he could finish his sentence, Natasha stormed out of the bar. She found a nice spot under a tree and quickly sat down. Slumping against the trunk, she buried her head in her knees.
    Warm tears fell from her eyes and splashes of salt water landed on her new jeans.
    “Hey, you okay?”
    Natasha quickly wiped away her tears. “Why? I’m fine.” She looked up at her investigator.
    “Really?” He raised an eyebrow. “Because you don’t look fine…” And without an invitation, he plopped down beside her. “You k now, some guys don’t change, no matter what. Some people are meant to be players, and they can’t change. It’s in their blood, or so to speak.”
    Natasha smiled and wiped her nose. “That’s what Charles said too. He was worried about hurting me when we first began to date. But I decided to risk it and be with him.”
    “Do you regret it now?”
    She looked up at his direct question. “Does it matter if I regret it or not? I’ve already fallen for him, so there’s no point in trying to undo the past.”
    “But you can move on.” He looked deep into her eyes. “I’ve watched you from a distance, Natasha. You’re such a wonderful, down to earth girl. Charles doesn’t know what he’s throwing away.”
    She blushed. “How do you know my name?”
    “You’re in my law class. And you’re dating Charles.” He said simply.
    “Then what’s your name?”
    “Sebastian.” He answered.
    “Well Sebastian, thank you.” Natasha finally said.
    “For what?”
    “For making me feel better.”
    “Are you going to forgive him?” He finally asked.
    She shrugged. “I’ll deal with it all tomorrow. For now, I just want a good night’s sleep.”
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:10 pm

    Chapter Seventeen


    Two loud knocks on Natasha’s door woke her from a restless night’s sleep. Natasha blinked and adjusted to the light that was streaming from her window.
    “Who is it?” She managed to croak out.
    “It’s me.” Charles’s voice came through. “Can we talk?”
    “I don’t have anything to say to you. So you can leave me alone now.”
    “What’s wrong? Did I do something?”
    Her jaw dropped in disbelief. Was he serious? “You honestly don’t know what you did?”
    “No, I don’t!” Charles started to pound on her door. “Open this damn door and tell me what’s wrong. I’ll fix it.”
    Natasha clutched her sheets. How could he possibly fix it when he was the one who caused her pain? “I’m tired, come back later.” She finally said.
    “Tash-”
    “Just leave me alone, okay?” Natasha flopped back down on her bed and flung her covers over her head.
    “Why won’t you tell me?”
    “Why didn’t you tell me what was bothering you?” Natasha countered.
    “That’s different-”
    “Just leave.”
    Along with the spring of her mattress, she could hear Charles’s retreating footsteps.
    Girly laughter echoed in her hall. Their laughter was so care-free and genuine; Natasha envied every one of them.
    “Charles! Are you single now?” A flirtatious voice asked him.
    “You owe me fifty bucks.” Another girl said to her friend. “He was just talking to his girlfriend. And judging by the look on his face…”
    “Turton, you got dumped huh? Wanna go to the bar with us? We’d be happy to accompany you.”
    “What are you guys talking about?” Charles’s angry voice finally roared.
    “Don’t you know?” A snooty girl asked.
    “Know what?” He said in an exasperated tone. “I’d appreciate it if you could all leave me alone and give me some peace.”
    “You cheated on Natasha, just like you cheated on every other girl.”
    A deathly silence fell over the hall.
    Natasha’s eyes widened from under the covers.
    “What did you say?” Charles quietly asked the girl.
    “Never mind.”
    “No, tell me.”
    “I’ll tell you!” An eager voice piped up. “Yesterday at the bar, you were making out with Vanessa. You were drunk out of your mind, but that’s still no reason to cheat on your ex-girlfriend-”
    “She is not my ex.” Charles said in a fierce tone.
    “She’s still dating you after you cheated on her?” A voice asked in disbelief. “How desperate is she?”
    “Holy crap!”
    Natasha winced as footsteps neared her door once more.
    “If you don’t open this door, I’ll kick it down. Then your dad will have to pay for damages.” Charles threatened.
    “But you’ll be the one who kicked it…”
    “Any damage to the renters’ room will be paid for and dealt with by the renter regardless of the situation…” Charles stated in a smug tone.
    Natasha groaned. She groped her bedside table for a hair elastic and pulled her hair into a ponytail. She slipped into her slippers and padded over to the door. Taking a deep breath, Natasha unlocked it and slowly opened it.
    Charles pushed it open and shut the door behind him. Then, he looked at her as if they were never going to see each other again.
    “I want to explain myself.” He finally said. “You have every right to want to dump me-”
    “Oh, so we’re still going out?” Natasha folded her arms across her chest. “Because it seemed to me like you thought we broke up.”
    “Just, hear me out, okay?”
    “Why should I? I tried to ask you several times what was going on and you brushed off my concern every time.”
    Charles looked down at the floor.
    Natasha suddenly realized this cocky boy in front of her was nervous. Charles Turton was nervous. Of her. She smiled, then quickly regained her mask.
    “I warned you.” He ran a hand through his hair. “You don’t know how much I care about you-”
    “Then why did you hurt me?”
    He looked at her- with pain in his eyes. “I didn’t mean to, something just came up. And I didn’t know how to deal with it. But if I could take it all back, I would in a heartbeat.”
    “Is making out with girls how you used to deal with your problems?”
    He looked away.
    “Look me in the eyes and tell me that you wanted to stop while devouring that bitch. Tell me that you would’ve come to me about what was bothering you if you could’ve done it all again. And tell me that I mean something to you.”
    Charles was silent.
    “Get out.” Natasha finally said with tears in her eyes. “Get out! I don’t ever want to see you again, understand? From now on, I no longer know Charles Turton and he no longer knows Natasha Winfield. We’re two different people, free to date other people now. And we no longer have anything to do with each other anymore.”
    [/center]
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:10 pm

    copied from TCO. =)

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    IZZY

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by IZZY on Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:18 pm

    I LOVE THIS STORY!

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    IZZY

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by IZZY on Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:19 pm

    aha, but I don' know what to think about Charles. . .
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Fri Jun 04, 2010 7:45 pm

    awwww.
    thank you izzy!!
    <333
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    tibby

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by tibby on Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:57 pm

    more more moree:)
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    k.dAisy

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by k.dAisy on Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:00 pm

    i wanna read this.
    but it'd take foreveerrr.
    hahah x]
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    IZZY

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by IZZY on Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:27 pm

    it's worth it!
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    Selina

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by Selina on Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:51 pm

    hahaha.
    daisy...
    read it for me??
    <33
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    tibby

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

    Post by tibby on Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:39 am

    MOREEEEE<3



    i'd like to dream my troubles away on a bed of California stars.

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    Re: Not Just Another Name.

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