disclaimer: i don't any of dan's beautiful characters. nor do i own the lyrics to bon iver's gorgeous song that inspired this piece.
author's notes: i don't even really know what to say. this is such a random piece. if you hate it, i'll say 'i told you so'. i guess i hope that you enjoy it, and let me know what you think. it's au—i think. the ending's a bit weak, if you ask me, so i'd love to know your thoughts on it. thanks and happy reading—i hope.
-come on, skinny love, just last the year-
Back when Jade was still Jadelyn she wore frilly white dresses with pink lace and glittery bows in her light brown hair. She would flash stunning smiles that lit up her whole face, and giggles would slip from between her lips. She was light and precious and everything that every little girl could ever dream to be. Back when her parents were "in love" they would take walks in the nearby park, until Daddy had to go. She was too young to see the look of hurt cross Mommy's eyes, but it was there. They'd finish their walk, though Mommy wouldn't speak and Jadelyn was forced to keep quiet so as not to disrupt her mother's thoughts.
Thinking back on all of those experiences, Jade see's the way it really was. Something about a young girl's innocence disguised the monsters that constantly lurked her childhood mansion home. And though Jade had tried to forget her childish weaknesses, she remembers rainy Sunday afternoon escapes, when she'd run as far from home as her six-year-old legs would carry her. She'd stain the pristine dresses that Mommy made her wear with sloshy mud and dark green grass stains. She'd lose the bows in lonely gutters and scuff up the toes of her shoes. Mommy never cared—until she and Daddy broke up. (because then they were poor) It didn't take a genius to finish the puzzle.
Jadelyn was twelve when she refused to go by such an awful name. She shrieked and demanded that she be called Jade. It's also the last time she throws a temper tantrum. Jade, she decides, will have a serene, impatient, irritated manner about her. (it's also the last time daddy pays child support. he says he's paid for far long enough—he's filthy rich.) And though she doesn't really like to talk about it, it's also the day she gave up on life.
Jade's not all that surprised when Mommy starts blaming her for everything. She yells at her for making Daddy leave her. She yells at her for not being the type of daughter she'd always dreamed of. She screams at her for all the dreams she had, and how none of them could ever happen now. Jade thinks that her mother might be losing it, when she yells and yells, until her face is blue and she's passed out on the couch, her voice hoarse and destroyed. It's a falling out, Jade realizes, and she just can't find it in herself to care. She thinks that maybe she should call a therapist, or a doctor, or anybody really, but she doesn't. She'll let her mother dearest handle this one, and so she does—sort of.
Jade's only thirteen but she knows she isn't the same girl anymore. She's not sure when she started to change, but this seems like such a pivotal moment. It's different now, because she wants to be someone else. She wants to be anybody but that girl. And so packages of purple, green, blue and white hair pieces liter her tiny bathroom, the receipt shredded—to hide the evidence of her mother's credit card number. It takes her a few tries to get them in the proper way, but once they're in, she swears she'll never take them out. She then applies the dark hues of black and grey onto her face and she smirks menacingly. This is the new Jade West. And she knows that she won't ever go back.
Jade's only thirteen but she knows what she wants and she'll do anything to achieve it. She goes to an ordinary Los Angeles school, where students excel in crimes and drug abuse. She finds herself getting accustomed to the way things run. She's familiar with the pregnant twelve-year-olds, the tobacco addicted thugs and the vandalized school walls. She keeps to herself, which she finds odd. She wants to be the girl everybody fears, the girl you'd never want to cross roads with. It's hard to find yourself, but even harder to reinvent yourself. And she's alone in all of this, until one day, someone who might be even more fucked up then she was crosses her path, and for some strange reason, they click.
When Jade's only thirteen, she finds herself befriending this girl she never thought she'd be seen with. Caterina—only her grandmother calls her that—Valentine, Cat, is full of passion and enthusiasm for life with her bright red hair. Cat has no problem sharing her entire life story with Jade, and Jade finds herself wondering what it would be like to be a part of a family such as the Valentine's. Cat's bright, enthusiastic persona is almost sickening, though Jade finds herself taking comfort in Cat's constant company. Cat tells Jade that they're best friends now—"we're practically sisters, Jadey!"—but Jade just shrugs it off. Though she doesn't mean to, she's pushing Cat away, but the bright red head won't ever notice.
And maybe they are best friends, but Jade won't count on anything.
Cat goes on and on about a school for talented people. She goes on and on about how she'll be attending in the fall, and how she'll learn to sing and act and she'll just have so much fun—the word sounds bitter as Jade tosses it around her mouth. And because Jade made the mistake to share her dreams with Cat, she's being convinced that Hollywood Arts is for the both of them—"you can be an actress!"—and her smile is so brilliantly happy, that Jade wants to believe it's true. She wants to believe that she won't end up like her mother—dreams blown away and life wasted away. Her words are dripped in glitter and Jade wants to just know what Hollywood Arts is like. She wants to know what it would be like to study acting, to actually have a purpose in life, to have a reason to live. She sounds like a young girl that started her angst-y teen years early, but it's not like it. It's more like, she doesn't have something to look forward to, she doesn't have anything to put her life into. She lives with her mother who gave up, her father broke every promise, and her only friend is a girl who doesn't have a grip on life.
But, she—despite what her mind tells her—wishes on a shooting star that night as it falls across the sky, and she thinks that it's just as lost as she is. Though, her wish might change that. She wishes for a chance.
No one really pays attention as February fades to March and then it's June and July. The blazing sun lights up Los Angeles, Hollywood, Venice and every other southern California beach city. It's normal—happens every year—but Jade lets the months lead her away from yesterday. She doesn't really like cliché's—they make her sick—so she tries to not hope. She pats Cat's bright red head when she receives her acceptance letter to Hollywood Arts. She babbles to Jade about how well her audition had gone, and how this was her dream come true.
Its July 27th when Jade receives a letter in the mail, addressed to 'Miss Jadelyn West'. She skims it over, but the only words that seem to matter are the three words she had no idea were most important: you've been accepted. She lies in bed that night, imagining the type of girl she's going to become. She plans it all out in her head, and she's so excited. She texts Cat, because really, she's going to acting school with her best friend. And she honestly cannot believe her luck—she cries that night.
It's barely December, and she already loves the school. She's talented—everybody tells her this—and she's the lead in the school musical, and she's dating Beckett—what is it with her acquaintance with long names?—Oliver, though he goes by Beck. He's calm and down to earth. He's so different from her. She's hateful, vengeful, rude, aphotic and everything she knows he's not. His smile is bright and friendly and he's so damn easy to talk to. She's unapproachable, scary and hates most types of people. She hates to admit it, but she doesn't see them making it. And, like with everything else, she doesn't like to spend her time dwelling on such ridiculous matters. She already has him and so it's almost as if she's already won. No one else really believes this anymore than she does, but whether it's true or not, she still has something that no one else does. Sure, she attends a high school for talented and gifted teenagers, but that sort of thing is often forgotten by some. Her victories aren't counted in knowledge and achievement, but rubies and diamonds. And it's almost sad because nobody likes her, but everybody loves him.
Jade's piercing her face—mother told her not to—when she should be learning her lines for the huge play in two days. She has them memorized, but the director told her to go over her song again, and maybe run her lines with Beck a few more times. Jade doesn't really want to do what she's told. And it had been forty-five minutes since her most recent mother/daughter fight. Her mother forbid her from piercing her face, and truth be told, Jade didn't really want to all that badly. But, there was something about rebelling. Something about being exactly what her mother hated that brought so much satisfaction. So, here she stood.
She picks out the buds and watches as the heavily tattooed worker loads the gun, and cleans the needle.
"Ready?" The lady's voice is gruff, most likely from smoking.
"Do I look like I'm ready?" Jade's voice is cruel and cold and the lady smacks down on her gum.
"Yeah, yeah. Hold still."
Though Jade would never admit it to anyone, her eyebrow stings brutally as she pays and leaves the small corner shop in North Hollywood. She hopes her face isn't red and swelling, as it just wouldn't fit with her dark glare, and she had a musical to star in. She walks all the way home—four miles—and then examines her eyebrow and nose in her bathroom mirror. Her mom would flip, and her father wouldn't know—he lost track of Jade's life a long time ago. She's only fifteen, yet her parents have been divorced for five years.
Everything changes; again. Jade's no longer number one. It's all about Victoria Vega—Tori—and she never thought she could hate somebody so much. She's not the top of the school, something she had gained after the past two years. She was the lead, she was the most talented. But now her beautiful spotlight had been robbed. Her jaded eyes aren't sparkling on the stage, she's not the star, she's not everything she's worked so hard to be. Her spot has been stolen. And not only has her spot been stolen, but her boyfriend's eyes are lingering, and it's about this time that her father decides he needs to join her life again. She's barely sixteen, and she feels like the life she's built up for herself these last two years, is slipping away. (and it really is)
Beck notices her withdrawn, ever sardonic persona flickering and he begs her to believe him. He promises her silly love commitments, yet something about it makes her pull farther away. The pathetic, pleading look in his eyes makes her ice blue iris' darken in such a menacing way.
"Jade," His voice is thick and she shakes her head.
"You're the calm, sensible one, remember?" Jade's voice is so cold and he can't help but think she's no longer so human.
"But, Jade-" Her glare cuts him off and he sighs.
The year slips away and Beck doesn't notice, not really, that his mantra is so desperate. He wants her forever; though a part of him has accepted that it won't ever happen that way. He wants to complete every romantic cliché with her dark figure by his side. It's pathetic almost. Pathetic of him to create farfetched goals that he'll never reach, so he just wraps an arm around her and leads her away.
just last the year.
come on skinny love, just last the year. pour a little salt, we were never here
Jade's almost forgotten who Jadelyn was. She's just Jade, just Jade with the ice cold blue eyes and thoroughly black wardrobe, just Jade with the divorced parents who couldn't hate her anymore and the boyfriend she loved with all her heart&soul. Memories of Jadelyn were all she had left, and she wished to keep it that way. She wished to move forward and forever forget the girl she once was. The only real evidence she keeps is the tiny tattoo hidden away from the world's view, the tiny little one that had every childhood memory rolled up into one thing.
And in the end, she lets Beck promise her everything she could have dreamt of. She lets herself become his and she thinks to herself that they might just make it.