I originally planned for this to be the prologue to a much broader story (one with a plot and everything). But then I left it for too long and I lost all my steam, as I am wont to do. So, instead accept it as a little bit of insight into the mind of Nick McAllister... just because I felt like we never really got to know him.

f a l l i n g





As a general rule, Nick McAllister was not a person accustomed to accepting defeat. Not that persistence and sheer good old-fashioned doggedness should be held accountable for his continually elevated level of expectation. Rather, it was merely a case of precedence.

Indeed, the concept of not getting exactly what he wanted, within mere moments of making his demands known, was to him as foreign as the label of his designer shirt.

For the first sixteen years of his existence, no one had ever truly dared to deny him his any request. The upside to being born into a rich, influential family he supposed, with a mother who wanted only the best for her 'darling little boy', and a father who couldn't tear himself away from his cell phone and 'urgent business calls' long enough to contradict her.

And for those first sixteen years, the trend had suited him just fine. Until, of course, the good ol' meddlesome universe decided to toss in some variety to spice things up.

It began with his relocation to Mansbridge, when he finally discovered a situation in which he couldn't simply demand his way into ducking punishment. Though he'd tried… he'd definitely tried. His mother, having begun to doubt her previous parenting technique after a series of 'incidents' as she so euphemistically termed them, had turned to his father for help; his father, for once, had actually put down his Wall Street Journal to take a moment to examine his only child's life.

That was when the world, as Nick knew it, came to an abrupt end.

His faith in all things he'd previously held 'true-without-a-doubt' had died alongside it. It was like finding out that Mercedes-Benz used North American leather for its cars' interiors, or that Gucci was selling wholesale at Walmart.

The bitter taste of bile seemed permanently entrenched in his mouth.

But then he met Sherry, and the balance of the universe was once again restored. Beautiful Sherry Woods, daughter of the Preston Woods, renowned criminal defense lawyer. The sort of girl he had used to date, back before, when life still seemed to make some sense. And since he figured he was the sort of guy she used to date back in her 'before', for a while at least, things were looking pretty good for the pair.

Then she left him.

Well, the school year ended and she went back home for the summer… but not before dumping him and trampling his heart in the process. (Sherry said it was his ego, not his heart, but in either case it was very painful.)

And he tried everything to win her back. He, who'd never really had to pursue a girl his entire life, had put his reputation on the line for her. He could've just walked away, and it wouldn't have been a big deal. Teenage breakups were more abundant than reality television shows, and what would have been one week's juiciest piece of gossip, would inevitably ripen into next week's soured goods.

But he had uncharacteristically decided to give it a go… to give them a go.

And what did he get for all his efforts? She shot him down at every turn.

Well, who needed her, with her 'I just don't feel that spark between us' and 'you treat me like a piece of property, not a person' attitude. And don't forget, she wasn't perfect either, or why else would she be here at Mansbridge? But he had overlooked all that; though it turned out she wasn't quite willing to reciprocate.

Anyway, there were plenty of other girls still, even at a place like this, who would just jump at the opportunity to be seen at his side. So, no, he didn't need her.

Except… that he kind of did.

He needed her to prove to himself that the world he'd grown up in, the one he'd inhabited for the first sixteen years of his life was real, that it hadn't existed just in his mind.

He needed her to prove to everyone else that what Nick McAllister wanted, Nick McAllister got, with or without his parents' sway.

And sometimes, on occasion, he just needed her. Because the sad truth was, at the end of the day… he didn't really have anyone else.

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Feedback would be greatly appreciated.