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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2018, chapter 19: ‘ U + Ur Hand’ by P!nk (nr. 131)

It has been a few years since Chainsmoker and Little Mix turned their backs on following society’s rules.

One late night, they’re dressed up and going to a bar. They know the barman, so he knows not to keep them waiting outside. They start the evening off with six shots.

That’s when a dickhead puts his hand on Little Mix and starts hitting on her. She tells him to go away because he doesn’t really want to mess with her tonight. She’s not here for his entertainment and was perfectly fine until he walked into her life. He can keep his drink, and just give her the money instead.  He does.

Later, around midnight, Little Mix is very drunk and dancing by herself. The guy comes back. She tells him that he’s out of luck and orders him to back off.

He tries to convince her by telling her, that his friends bet him five bucks to get her as soon as she entered. He’d like to win. She tells him that he can tell them whatever he wants, as long as he quits spilling his drink on her.

Judging by the way he’s high-fiving his friends, he let them think it was a success, even though he’s probably going home alone.

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2018, chapter 18: ‘Sick Boy’ by The Chainsmokers (nr. 130)

Alan is a young man now. His family life is complicated and rather dysfunctional. His parents, both proud people who don’t give up, are always fighting, but never leave each other. Alan gives himself credit for that. He has kept them together by being overly compassionate towards them.

This is not normal nor healthy. This is realised by everyone around him. They tell him to get away from all that.  They lie and tell him, that he’s not actually helping them. A fairytale to get him to give up. But he knows what he’s in the middle of. He chooses to live in this prison, and just because they don’t have the guts to do that, doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t. And they overreact to even the smallest fight. They should see how bad it gets at home…

It’s not like they care anyway. They just like to watch how his family interacts and call him “the sick boy” behind his back. Suit themselves.

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2018, chapter 17: ‘Stressed Out’ by Twenty One Pilots (nr. 129)

Two girls have left society behind. Little Mix misses her childhood innocence.

Little Mix is a singer. She wishes she could do something more creative with her music. She wishes she was a better singer in general. Sing better with better words and new chord orders and sounds. Not rhyme every time. She was told that her fears would shrink when she got older, but they just turned into insecurities and caring what people think…

Sometimes a smell will take her back to her childhood with her brother at their home a stone’s throw from a creek. She can never identify where it’s coming from. If she could, she would make a candle out of it, not that it would sell. But it would remind both her and her brother of a time when nothing really mattered. She wishes she could hide in a tree house and not worry about her student loans. A lot of people probably feel that way.

Both she and her brother both wished they could turn back time to the good old days when their mother sang them to sleep. When they played pretend, built rocket ships and gave each other different names. Now the world was telling them that they needed to make money. It stressed them out. Her brother even started copying their words and repeating them to Little Mix. She doesn’t want that to happen to her too…

Rain falls on the windows as they drive on. Her face is reflected back at her in a blur. Little Mix, real name bunny, looks at herself and thinks: “I’m free now. I only have to care about what I think”.

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Chapter 16: ‘Tired’ by Alan Walker feat. Gavin James (nr. 128)

Taylor and Will have a rocky relationship. Problem is, they’re not the only people in this fight. They have a son named Alan, standing on the sidelines.

Alan is so young, that his parents think they can hide their tears from him and pretend to be fine, but old enough for that not to be true at all. Alan sees it and feels helpless. He has noticed the packed bags, that has been standing there for weeks now. It was packed at midnight, so he didn’t see who packed them.

They don’t realise what leaving would mean. So he does what he can do to love them both to remind them. They both tell him that they’re alright. He sees straight through their white lies.  But he lets them lie because then they dare to be vulnerable around him. They don’t hide.

They’re being pulled apart and losing themselves. But he can put them back together. He just has to love them and wait.

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Chapter 15: ‘Thumbs’ by Sabrina Carpenter (nr. 127)

Two girls, both going by nicknames, are driving together. Chainsmoker is driving to get away from her parents. Little Mix is getting a lift home and is thinking about her ex. The radio is playing, so they can both sit there in silence. But at some point, the radio stops. Eventually,  Little Mix’ mind is no longer comfortable a place to dwell in thoughts. Chainsmoker can no longer hide from her thoughts. They need to talk. As soon as they do, the bitterness at the core of their thoughts seeps out.

Little Mix reflects on love and how people get attached and eventually create families. Sometimes those attachments end, but then you just start all over again. That’s just the way of the world.

Chainsmoker reflects on how people go to work every day, thinking that’s all life is about and that promotions are what it’s all about. But no matter what level you work at, it’s still just working to get paid, so it doesn’t matter. That’s just the way of the world.

And so, they both conclude, the world is just sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, living controlled and pointless lives. The banks rob them and the police don’t care enough to catch the criminal who then rob the bank.

So they decide to stop to stop following the way of the world. They will not be listening anymore. They will not be heading home.

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2018, chapter 14: ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ by Little Mix (nr. 126)

Chainsmoker is giving a girl a lift. She is listening to the radio, so she won’t have to talk with her. She didn’t need to worry, though. The girl, calling her Little Mix, doesn’t want to talk either.

She is thinking about her ex. They dated for four years, before he broke up with her and broke her heart. They fought, exchanged “hate you”s and got revenge tattoos.

Now he’s apparently in love with some other chick. And that admittedly hurts a little. but She’s over it and better for it because their messy break-up. Guess she should thank him for that. Now she’s just hoping the new girl gets better sex and doesn’t have to fake it, like Little Mix had to.

Now she’ll live her life. She’s done with him. She has deleted all his pics and blocked his number from her phone. She’s not sure she loved him anyway.

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