2018, chapter 26: ‘Work From Home’ by Fifth Harmony feat. Ty Dolla $ign (nr. 138)

A movement promoting detachment from society has become destructive. The beginning of the expansion was more humble; one of the two founders wanting to include her new “boyfriend” (which was actually against their ideals). That founder, who went by the nickname Chainsmoker, wasn’t too concerned with that, but since the other founder, Little Mix, was, she kept the relationship with the Ty (her lover) purely sexual.

So far she has kept her word. They are however clearly exclusive (she is his ‘bae’ and he is her ‘boo’). And moreover, Ty is still working as a bartender, which is firmly against the ideal Chainsmoker cares the most about. She tries to convince him to stop working there by jokingly using work as a metaphor for sex to remind how else he could spend his nights. She sends him pictures of her waiting for him naked at home and writes that they can work from home. She’s hoping that the pictures will get him fired, even if it doesn’t convince him. And he is certainly tempted and also uses the work metaphor when he does come home – but is neither convinced to stop working nor fired.

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2018, chapter 25: ‘True Love’ by P!nk (feat. Lily Allen) (nr. 137)

Taylor is trying to convince the man she loves and has been with for years to treat her better. She believes herself too good for his neglect of her.

What Will hears is that she believes herself too good for him, and what was an honest attempt at communication, he sees as the beginning of another fight. Taylor almost gets pulled in, and gets angry, but pulls herself back enough to continue her attempt for honest communication – just in an angry tone of voice. Through gritted teeth and insults, she tells him that despite how mean he can be, she truly loves him. She’s the only man she has ever truly loved. She hates him so much, it must be real love because no one else can break her heart like he can. She wants to hug him and wrap her hands around his neck at the same time.

All she’s asking is that he thinks about her feelings and is a bit more romantic.

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2018, chapter 24: ‘Heathens’ by Twenty One Pilots (nr. 136)

It took a little convincing, but a movement began. A movement that wanted nothing to do with society and its priorities. No attachment, financial or romantic, allowed. That’s how you get swallowed and happily follow whatever rules society sets up.

That sort of movement attracts weird types. People who don’t just want to be left alone by society, but to hurt it like it abused them. And over time these people would gain enough foothold to change the movement to an actual destructive force. They call themselves heathens.

A new recruit has shown interest. The person introducing them to the movement isn’t convinced that they fit in. The recruit is too timid and has trouble trusting these strange types. So the introducer warns them to take it slow, don’t make any sudden moves and wait for people to ask them, who told them about this place.

And people here are scary. Murderers and psychopaths work side by side. And sometimes love happens, but it gets docked away in a room in the mind. Whatever needs you have, you have people around to take care of.

Newcomers are less welcome now. It’s said that they have a different smell. Some even claim that they can smell if their intentions are good or bad.

The introducer has some doubts that the new recruit can handle it. But when the new recruit joins on a mission, against their recommendation, and is able to stay calm even when it goes sideways, and the authorities are outside, ready to bust them, the introducer has to admit, that it looks like the recruit is one of them.

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2018, chapter 23: ‘Wild Things’ by Alessia Cara (nr. 135)

Two girls have stopped following the rules of society They call themselves by the nicknames Chainsmoker and Little Mix.

Their ideals are these:

1: They don’t want to answer to anyone. Concretely, they will not work, because then their lives would revolve around promotions and making money. Making money should never be a goal in and of itself. They’re not opposed to having money, just obtaining it in any way that supports the system.

2: No romantic attachments. The whole system hinges on people becoming families, trapping them, so now they have to grow up, get a job and make money, so their children can also grow up and do the same thing, essentially making the point of existence to create more existence. And in service of this, people seek out attachment and get hurt when that attachment ends, lick their wounds and try again, simply because they’re supposed to. Loose sex, again, is fine, just don’t let them become important to you.

The two girls put varying importance on the different ideals. Thus Chainsmoker finds less issue with her budding relationship. Instead, she sees a possibility to spread their ideals. She has found that her lover listens with interest when Chainsmoker talks about how she lives. She and Little Mix has a potential movement here. They could convince more people and be pioneers.

But first, she has to sit down with Little Mix and convince her.

This turns out to be a tough sell. Little Mix is worried. This is risky. Chainsmoker tries to calm her down by saying that it’s not like they’ll attempt to convince everyone, just the ones that seem interested. They’ll be alright. They can be wild rather than walk on eggshells.

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2018, chapter 22: ‘Told You So’ by Paramore (nr. 134)

Two girls have gone to a bar. One of them, who calls herself Chainsmoker, is meeting one of the bartenders. She is completely smitten with the bartender. She tells to the other girl, who calls herself Little Mix, that this might become an actual relationship.

Little Mix is not impressed. This is exactly what they decided to leave behind some years ago, and now Chainsmoker has given up, and just like everyone in this world is following the norms.

Chainsmoker argues that one relationship doesn’t make for a betrayal of all of their ideals. She reminds Little Mix that she has slipped up many times before, and Chainsmoker helped her out of it.

Little Mix reminds her that she at least took the criticism into consideration and tried to be cool about it, even when Chainsmoker seemed to enjoy being right when Little Mix was wrong. Even now, when the roles have been reversed, she is trying to be calm and Chainsmoker is too passionate to listen to reason.

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2018, chapter 21: ‘ Ain’t Your Mama’ by Jennifer Lopez (nr. 133)

Will and Taylor have a rocky relationship history. They’re currently together and not particularly happy.

Will is always at the computer. He has become too comfortable. Taylor does all the housework. This is getting on her nerves. One day, he accidentally calls her “mama” – and that is the tipping point. And if he won’t help out on his own, she can force him to with magic

… But she doesn’t want to. She has seen how wrong that can go. All she can really do is tell him. So she tells him that things have to change. That he has to get to work on time, stop playing video games, and help out with the cooking and the laundry. She is not his mama and does not want to be treated like she is. She’s too good for that, and he is damn lucky to have her. She tells him that she misses when they were crazy in love with each other and wishes they could go back to that.

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2018, chapter 20: ‘Delicate’ by Taylor Swift (nr. 132)

This happens while Little Mix is fighting of a pushy guy and is the reason they went to that bar in the first place.

See, Chainsmoker is dating one of the bartenders. It’s very new and delicate, but Chainsmoker is smitten. She thinks about the bartender sometimes when she should be sleeping. When she looks into the bartender’s eyes, she sometimes pretends they could be a couple all the time.

And it really isn’t for the best. Her reputation has never been worse. But that just means that the bartender must like her for her.

This particular night, the bartender has invited her to this dive bar on the east side. And so she and Little Mix go there.

It’s an informal place, so the bartender is dressed in dark jeans and blue Nikes – a very attractive look. The bartender makes her a drink at the bar at the very back of the room.

The couple goes across town to the west side.

Here they talk about their relationship. Chainsmoker lets her lover know, how much she likes and wants them. They’re is in her head. She knows the couple can’t make any promises yet. She asks if it’s okay, that she admits all of that this early (the couple isn’t even monogamous yet).

It is.

They spend the evening entangled. She asks her lover to stay here. The couple stays for the night. Chainsmoker watches her lover sleep and wonders if they’re dreaming of her.

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