Summary: Joy and Fabian have a talk…
Evie's Notes: Oh my gods Y'all, I can't believe that it is already the one year anniversary of this story. Thank you to everyone who has been here since the beginning and all who have joined us since then 🌺. This amazing work certainly would not be here today with out all of your support! Thank to everyone for taking a chance on an unfinished work, that continues to grow at a rapid rate 😂. I do still plan to write two sequels to this story, but we have to wrap this tale up before conquering the summer (Peddie in America anyone?) and a very different take on their Senior Year! I am bursting with ideas for those stories and have pages and pages out outlines, maps, Pinterest boards and more. So coming soon(ish)…
In the meantime I hope that you enjoy this new chapter of Tears of Gold! I apologize in advance if I make anyone cry, I cried myself writing it. Anyone who follows my Tumblr saw me post about this, but poor Joy goes through so much! Luckily or Unluckily, once you hit rock bottom there is no where to go but up! Though it seems that Joy has brought her shovel and is prepared to dig… after all it is almost valentines day (stay tuned for a certain Nina article).
Let me know your favorite part down in the comments. Lots of Love - Evie 🌺
Joy was utterly exhausted, Wednesdays were one of her hardest days academically. While she was definitely thankful to finally be out of her captivity; the amount of catch-up work she had to do, to hopefully graduate on time, was endless. Between the crushing homework, fluctuating relationships and the general stress of being trapped socially by her old kidnappers… well it was safe to say that this wasn't Joy's year. The one bright spot in the shitstorm that was the last year and a half, was Eddie Miller. Joy would never have imagined a boy like Eddie being her bestie (which to be fair she had basically adopted Pep on sight in sixth year), but now she couldn't imagine her life without him!
Her phone dinged announcing a new text message, pulling her out of her melancholy thoughts. Checking the screen, she found that the new message was from the best friend in question.
Hoagie Boy: Stop procrastinating Joy. I know you don't want to write the paper, but staring at the ceiling and bemoaning your life won't make your problems go away.
As much as she hated to admit it… he was right. Maybe if she had actually been the fucking chosen one, she would have had some magic powers that would write her paper for her. Nina was still in school, despite rarely attending classes and turning in assignments even less. But bitching about Nina wasn't going to get her paper done.
Hoagie Boy: This is the last paper you have to write to finish the credits for your tenth year. After you submit everything you will be caught up with the rest of us. So keep your chin up and submit the paper, then we can eat a ton of ice cream.
Eddie made a good point, so putting her phone aside, Joy turned her focus towards her work.
Unfortunately, it wasn't long before her efforts were once again interrupted, this time by a knock on her door.
"Come in" shouted Joy.
"Hey Joy, do you have a second to talk?" asked Fabian as he poked his head around the door.
"Of course Fabes, I've always got time for you" laughed Joy, patting the open space on her bed as a silent invitation.
"Thanks" breathed Fabian, clearly relieved as he shut the door behind him and joined her on the mattress.
"So what did you want to talk about?"
"Well, it's kinda complicated you see… and it has to do with you"
"Oh?" asked Joy. Was this the moment that she had been waiting for? She wasn't ready! What did her hair look like?!
"I think the world of you, Joyful. You are always this amazing, shining light of happiness in my day"
"I like the sound of this, '' flirted Joy, laying her head in her hand and fluttering her lashes coyly.
"I wish that everyone knew what I do, that you are such a spectacular, promising young woman with such integrity".
"Aww Fabes, you really know how to make a girl feel special".
"Thank you J. You mean the world to me, and I don't think I could live with myself if you got hurt…"
"Why would I get hurt?" had she missed something? This was about Fabian coming to his senses right?
"Like it or not, the internet is forever Joy, and what you sign off on during your time as editor of The Jackal will have your name associated with it".
"I know that, and I am proud of my work" defended Joy.
"All of it?"
"Well maybe not Alex's recent poll on which housemother makes the best food… it was extremely biased and they cited zero sources. But don't worry! They will grow into their journalistic capabilities, I'm working with them specifically to go over any future articles ahead of time!"
"While that is all well and good, beautiful. I was actually talking about something else" disagreed Fabian as he took her hand.
OH MY GODS! FABIAN JUST CALLED HER, JOY MERCER, BEAUTIFUL! TAKE THAT EDDISON, HE DOES LOVE ME!
"And what exactly would we be discussing then?" drawled Joy as she turned so that they were pressed side to side.
With the new proximity Fabian was forced to turn his head to look at her, their noses were just inches apart. Joy squealed internally! She was finally getting a boyfriend!
"I'm talking about the ghost article"
Joy swore it was so silent that she would have been able to hear Victor's pin drop in the room.
"I must have heard you wrong" laughed Joy, a touch hysterically. "You want to try that again?".
"JJ, you need to stop working on this article," explained Fabian.
"And why would I want to pull this story? This is going to put The Jackal on the map!".
"I just have a feeling that this is a hoax," protested Fabian, as he paced in front of her.
"Oh! You have a 'feeling'" taunted Joy, rolling her eyes.
"Come on Joy! You can't be serious, ghosts, haunted Egptian relics?"
"I've seen stuff, remember? Stuff that we don't talk about because you and the scooby gang shut me out" snapped Joy angrily, joining him by the window. "And after everything that I went through last term, being locked away with my father, a chess board, and no phone. And the bloody cherry on top is that of course that was when you decided to finally get a freaking girlfriend".
"Joy, I'm so…"
"No! That's obviously not what you wanted to talk about right now. In regard to the ghost article, it's not a hoax, we've got proof".
"It's just a blurry image Joy" tried Fabian desperately.
"No, there is a clear image on the bid photage which I shot myself".
"It's got to be a hoax. Alfie and Jerome probably messed with your footage with effect software".
"Do you know this for a fact or are you just guessing?" snapped Joy defensively.
"Well no, I don't know this for a fact" granted Fabian. "But what if the photos aren't real?"
"People don't care about the details, Fabes!"
"Do you really want your name associated with this foolishness? What if you are being taken for a ride? Don't you care?" shouted Fabian.
"Why do you care so much?" screamed back Joy, she was so confused!
"Because I do care!" snapped Fabian
"Yeah, of course I do. You are my Joy, I care what others say about you. I don't want to see you hurt".
"Fine… I'll drop the article". Joy though was nothing if not bold. Fabian's last statement was basically a confession of love right? So let's see if she can get them back on track here, "But on one condition...".
"Anything Joyful, anything for you".
Here was her chance! "I will drop this article, if you kiss me".
"What…" stuttered Fabian. "You want me to kiss you".
"Well if it means that much to you…" drawled Joy coyly, batting her lashes as she flipped her hair.
"You have to do it properly this time though" she teased. "Knowing clearly that it's me and not pretending that it's under false pretenses".
"Ok," breathed Fabian. He grabbed her hand, pulling her close to him. Joy was over the moon, he was going to kiss her!
She closed her eyes, preparing to relish the memory of their first real kiss… but it never came. She felt the boy she loved freeze up mere centimeters from her lips, before pulling away quickly.
"I can't," whispered Fabian brokenly.
"I'm sorry, I just can't," explained the boy who continued to shatter her heart.
"Still not over Nina, huh?"
"No, no I'm not over Nina. And she may never want to get back together again, but I can't move on".
Joy could feel her eyes filling up with tears, but knew she had to play it cool till she got Fabian out of the room. "I'll drop the article. You really need me to do this, and we were friends before all of this… so I'll do it".
"Thank you" acknowledged Fabian, his own eyes looking watery as well.
As there was nothing else that could be said, Joy took a large step backwards and settled back on her bed.
She kept her eyes firmly fixed on her notebooks as she heard Fabian shuffling out of the room.
"Are you going to be ok?" called Fabian from his place at the door.
"Of course". She forced a smile onto her face as she replied "I'm Joy after all. I always have to be ok".
"Alright, I'm going to be next door with Nina if you need anything" allowed Fabian as he shut the door, having driven a final spike through her heart.
Joy, having now lost any possible motivation to finish her bloody paper, pushed all of her books off her bed and curled up in a ball. She finally allowed herself to let go and cry out her rage and pain, this really hadn't been her year.
Next Week: Amber and Alfie catch a thief ✨
I love hearing from y'all! Let me know what you think of the chapter and the story so far in the comments or my Tumblr House-of-Secrets! Have a great week and stay safe! - Xo Evie💕