[A/N FROM 10/14]: I will seriously try to post more often. I have just been trying to focus on my personal writing and a piece for a contest. I also have schoolwork, applications for college, letters of recommendations, clubs, etc. Oh, I don't think I mentioned this. I meant to post a chapter a while ago to mention that we had elections for Russian club and I'm the president now(: For this semester at least, so it can be fair to those who did not get a chance to be in office. My friends and I are also starting up UNICEF at our school again. I started a vegetarian club. I'm waiting for the newspaper to be up and running again. National Honor Society meetings. Stuff like that just distracts me and makes me forget that I have to write something for you guys. I really hope I can get out some chapters quicker in the near future. Or publish a book that you guys can read through without having to wait a while for new chapters.

Oh, btw. Does anyone watch Switched At Birth? I am fangirling over Daphne/her boss. Haha. Also: WALKING DEAD MARATHON! =D

I thought the song "After Afterall" by William Fitzsimmons would be good for this chapter, but I wanted to keep the SSLYBY theme/tradition and I went on my Spotify (no, they are not paying me to mention their name, haha) and looked for a song that I could use. I usually don't listen to it, but I searched for the hard-to-find lyrics, and then I decided that "Bended" would be good. Please look up both Bended and After Afterall(:

[A/N FROM 10/24]: I know, I know. I haven't posted yet. I wanted to surprise you guys and post a long chapter, but I didn't want to make it cheesy and rushed. Also, the SAT, National Novel Writing Month, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards contest, and stuff for college are just some of the things coming up very soon and/or are currently occurring, so just keep that in mind!

Disclaimer: Don't own Degrassi, the song this chapter gets its name from, Switched At Birth, etc.

Onward, march! (With the story, silly! :P)

It was no big secret that Clare missed Eli. Who wouldn't miss their boyfriend after a breakup? Or in this case, a hiatus. To be honest, she found that she actually liked the alone time it gave her. She didn't have to deal with Eli's crazy schedule, Gillen, or lying to her parents.

A knock on the door interrupted Clare's thoughts. She got up to answer the door, surprised when she saw her friends staring back. She'd forgotten that they were coming over for a sleepover.

"You didn't forget, did you?" Jenna asked.

"No," Clare said, shaking her head. "Uh, come inside." She ushered her friends into the house and up to her room.

The girls set their bags down and Hannah immediately retrieved a DVD case.

"Let me see!" Alli exclaimed, taking the pouch of movies from her friend. "Definitely not," she said, pointing to one of the DVDs. "It's so old. And it wasn't even that good." She looked through the collection some more. "I've got it!" she cheered. She took the disc out of its place and put it into the DVD player.

The girls started to relax on and around Clare's bed, the opening of the movie automatically locking them in a trance.

On the other side of the spectrum, Eli was not feeling very positive either. His last class of the day had finished up nearly two hours ago and he still hadn't started on his assignment for next week. He would blame it on the fact that it was Friday or that he was just lazy, but he simply couldn't concentrate. He might have been drunk when Clare said that he needed some time to figure things out, but he still took in every word of it. And he knew that she was right. They haven't known each other for the longest time, but he could trust that she knew what she was talking about.

But her being mad at him wasn't what bothered him the most. He'd mostly been angered by the way he was acting toward her. He wasn't doing it on purpose, and he definitely didn't mean to hurt her, but nonetheless, he didn't feel right about it.

What was he supposed to do, though? Just go to her house and apologize and express his innermost feelings? That may have worked in the movies, but Clare was a real girl who had real feelings. Her character was not written out in the span of a few days, edited three times over, and then brought to life on-screen by someone just looking to make a name for themself. Clare was the one living that life. It wasn't like she could step away from it all like the people on tv who only lived in its essence for a few hours a day.

That was something Eli wished he could do. If he could somehow ignore this all—at least for a little while—it would be a little easier to deal with. By then, he'd have actually had some rational thoughts. Though, with all of this trouble, he couldn't help but wonder if the relationship is even worth it. It wasn't what he wanted to think, but it was exactly how he felt. He had nothing against Clare; it was more that their situation was off. Her age was the first thing on the list of cons. And another thing was that he was hardly paying attention to his studies. He'd asked his parents if he could go to college in Iowa, and they very kindly agreed, so it would show them that he was not very serious about his reason for going to school there in the first place.

He could be cliché and say that the pros of their relationship greatly out-weighed the cons—though in his mind, they did—but he didn't want to be immature about this. Relationships require a lot of care, thought, and cooperation to survive. Maybe that was exactly what they needed: cooperation.

Clare had finally gotten into the movie and stared to understand what was going on when her doorbell rang.

"Want me to get the door?" Jenna offered.

"Uh, sure," Clare mumbled.

Jenna disappeared from the girls' view, the sound of her light footsteps following her departure.

The door could be heard opening and a mixture of voices carried up the stairs. Though, less than a minute later, the voices were replaced by the sound of a new arrival.

"Hey," Eli said.

"Hi," Clare responded softly.

"So…" Eli tucked his hands into the pockets of his black jacket in hopes to focus on something else other than the awkward silence in the room. He cleared his throat. "I've done a lot of thinking."

"Me too," Clare said. "And I—"

"—No, I really want to say something...I've been at home…pondering over this, for a lack of better words, and I've been trying to find a solution. First, I just wanted to apologize for being such an asshole. You know that's not me. I-I don't know what I was thinking. I fell for this amazing person and I want to do this right. I don't want to give up on us."

Before Eli could finish speaking, Clare tried to lean in to kiss him, but he backed away slightly.

"I'm sorry. I just don't want to rush into this. I think that's where we went wrong the first time. I really care about you and I don't want to make the same mistakes. This may sound crazy, and you might not understand it, but I've gathered my thoughts and I think this could work. I propose that we just go back to being friends for…a while."

"What do you mean by a while exactly?"

"The end of the school year would be a good start. The first semester is almost over and we've already lasted through that, and that's with the rocky beginning. It just makes sense to me that if we can stay friends for that long, then we can last even longer if we dated again."

"And you're sure you want to do this? I mean, why stick to something for that long if it won't work out?"

Eli chuckled lightly.


"I kind of just professed my love to you and you're asking if I'm serious. If I wasn't dead serious, I definitely wouldn't be here right now."

"Okay," she said after allowing herself a few seconds to process the information she'd just received.

"Okay, what?"

"Okay, friend, would you like to stay and watch the movie with us?" She couldn't help but laugh at some of her friends' reactions to her inviting Eli to stay.

"Hmm, I don't know. I wouldn't want to impose on you and your lovely friends," he joked, winking at the girls and flashing a smile. He sat cross-legged on the floor next to Clare and stared at the television, though he didn't pay much attention to the movie.

A day that started out badly for the both of them had now made a sharp turn. Although it would be followed by many forks in the road, it was a road trip they were willing to take a gander on.

I reached my 1,000 word goal! Whoo! It was part of the reason this wasn't written at an earlier time—besides the fact that Writer's Block seems to spread like the common cold and like such has no cure. But I wrote over 1,200 words, not including the uber-long author's note.
Please review + fave + subscribe.

Also, I was thinking of changing my name—at least temporarily—just to see how it feels. I know it would be extremely annoying to remember a new name. But my sister and I were about to do something and I randomly said "Can we have code names?" I said that I wanted to be fluffy tranquil and I have no idea why… Haha. So, please ignore that fact. Um, yeah… Bye!

-Fluffy Tranquil.