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Guess Who's Back, Back Again?; Maxwell's back, tell a friend.
Topic Started: Feb 5 2017, 05:54 AM (661 Views)
The Yugetnam War
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Maxwell stared incredulously at Alexander for a few seconds.

"...Excuse me?"
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$erpent453
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He couldn't help but crack a smile at Maxwell's reaction. A part of him wanted to say it again, only louder and with his face very close to Maxwell's to really make the guy uncomfortable and make the situation all the more hilarious. He was better than that, however. As fun as it was, being needlessly vulgar wasn't something he was nor should he be. Granted, there were probably many things about him that he was yet should not have been, but he was in high school. The last thing on the list of things to care about was what people saw him as. Wasn't like being the hottest jock in school would make a difference in college or literally anywhere else.

"Oh, trust me, I'm not obsessed with this guy," he said, moving a hand to drag out a chair though still did not sit down, "I don't think he NEEDS me to like him. Everyone already does, for reasons I don't understand. But, you know... it is what it is."

Of course, to give credit where credit was due, he could stand to smile more often. Not much to smile about, though. It was just the same old school day, with the same old school work, with the same old etcetara. Can't really smile when you're too busy studying and, you know, actually getting good grades. How people could screw a process like that up was completely beyond his comprehension.

He looked around for a few moments. The lunch room was completely jam packed and the filthy, icky stench of too many sweaty kids and food of questionable origins flooded the room like a green, gaseous wave of smog. No wonder Maxwell never showed up; anyone with the choice to would never have gotten anywhere close to the commons with a fifty foot pole.

Understandable, but just plain pitiable.

"Anyways... mind if I sit here? Everywhere else has a seat taken, and since I have a chair..."

He didn't wait for an answer. He slid onto the seat, scooting it forward. He braced himself for the inevitable argument.
Alexander Bonham - Alive. Complaining about something.
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There was something to be said here, but Lyndi wasn't going to be the one to say it. Despite the fact that Alex was clearly not welcome, in no small part due to the awful vulgar way he was talking to one of her friends, he seemed like he was free to just hang around and do what he pleased. There were plenty of other options than sitting at this table, but Alex obviously didn't see them.

Lyndi could have argued the point, but she was tired of it, even from her brief interaction with him. Lunch was only a finite amount of time, and after that she was free to go back to class. She would just have to grin and bear it, even if she didn't particularly feel like grinning right now.

Looking down at her lunch, she kept her smile on for a while. But as she unwrapped her roll from the plastic wrap, it slowly started to fade, and by the time her teeth entered the bread, she was no longer smiling, no longer looking up at the other residents of the table. Just eating her salad roll.

This sucked.
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As you could probably tell from what was currently happening at the cafeteria table, Maxwell Lombardi was not exactly having a good day at the moment.

And really, there was only one particular reason as to why Maxwell wasn’t particularly enjoying this day. It was not due to having to be in the cafeteria; as much of a misfortune the events that made him require to be here were, he had learned to grin and bear it, at this point. It was not due to the food; Maxwell had barely even been thinking about it ever since more people started arriving. It was not due to Lyndi; quite the opposite, in fact. Maxwell had begun to think that coming here was a good thing due to her presence. The environment and the food certainly existed, but if it meant that he could enjoy time with someone he didn’t tend to have time with, then they were miniscule issues in comparison.

No. None of those were issues. It would have seemed that if it weren’t for Alexander Bonham deciding to make himself welcome in a place that he wasn’t, Maxwell may have actually enjoyed his visit to the cafeteria.

Because really, how much more obnoxious could Alexander be? Allegedly, according to what he had been told over and over again, Alexander was supposed to be fairly smart. It wasn’t very evident, though, given the way that he chose to present himself. Who walked up to a table, insulted and spoke vulgarities to the people on it, and then put themselves on it as if they hadn’t done anything before that point? Who constantly berated Maxwell for simply doing whatever he was doing, and then acted like Maxwell was some sort of villain however he reacted? Admittedly, Maxwell could be a villain. He had done actions that he himself had regretted before. At the very least, though, he was aware of this. Alexander wasn’t. That laid the root of the problem, and that was the main reason why Maxwell was finding Alexander to be a very, very bothersome presence right now.

He knew that he could just leave at any time, but the issue was that Lyndi was here. He liked her. He respected her. Ideally, he did not want to have to leave her alone with him.

“If I can offer my comment back, I believe I am well liked across the school for a multitude of reasons. Mostly in the line that I do things that other students consider ‘respectable’ or even ‘likable.’”

He sat up on the bench. Lowered his cutlery.

“I do not, for instance, come up to a random cafeteria table and insult the people who happen to be on it. I do not, after that, make comments that people on the table may consider ‘uncomfortable.’ After this, I do not sit myself down at the table, expecting that the people there just have to accept my presence, as much as annoyance as it is to the other people who wish to eat their lunch.”

Of course, there was a solution to this problem. Quite an easy one, in fact. It seemed as if Lyndi wanted out of this place as well. He would be her gateway.

“Of course, if I do happen to do these things, by accident or on purpose, there is a way for the other people on the table to deal with me. Lyndi, would you like to move to one of the picnic tables outside? The weather seems fairly nice today.”
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Alexander made the, in hindsight, rather dumb decision of taking a bite of the lunch meat. From its appearance alone, an amorphous blob of brown, stringy beef mixed in in an unprofessional manner with what he can only hope to be mashed potatoes and too much gravy to be healthy. It had taken him all of his willpower not to vomit on the spot. It was like tasting gunpowder. Despite that, what was worse was that, in theory, one could make a healthy meal with more food that was, you know, cooked correctly and served properly by people who gave enough of a shit. It was one of those "close, but no cigar" situations that always made him cringe when he saw it, which was pretty often, as almost every person in the school operated under that.

ESPECIALLY Maxwell. What was the point in his actions? So what if he was popular? So what if people respected him, or liked him, or bowed down to him, or shined his shoes and just generally treated him like royalty? This is high school. And, more importantly, he wasn't a king. He wasn't a prince. He wasn't anything, really. He WAS smart, though. He had smart things to say. If Max could get his priorities straight, then maybe Alex could look past everything else and talk to him without making a comment about him.

But that was never going to happen.

He stuffed some more food down his gullet, occasionally taking a deep breath to cover the taste and force his food down his throat faster. He glanced back to Lyndi. Lyndi, that was her name! He didn't go to sports events at all. She definitely wasn't following her "smile" rule anymore, and he more or less could infer from her actions the reason why. He sighed. You gotta do what you gotta do.

He nodded towards Maxwell as he responded, letting out a series of "mmhm's" and "uh-huh's" as he ate. He made sure his eyes were on him. His hairstyle was really damn strange, now that he looked at it a bit more. Who dresses their hair like that? It was like a target for a bulls-eye.

After a few moments, he replied with a chuckle. "I just pull a you and don't care about people, you know? Rips my attention away from the truly important things in life."

He did not, however, offer a response to his request for him and Lyndi to leave. Seems like he really couldn't sit in a lunchroom with the peasants for very long. Whatever, free seat for him.
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There were many things Lyndi didn't know. One of them was why Maxwell's existence perpetrated such anger from people she'd never met before. The way people treated him, talked about him, spoke of how he treated others, it was as if there was actually a twin running around who looked just like him who everyone else spoke to yet sounded nothing like the Maxwell Lyndi knew. The twin had to have been some sort of James Bond villain, or mass murderer, yet everyone lay the blame for this double of his at Maxwell's feet. But Lyndi couldn't make hide nor hair of it - Maxwell was always pleasant and likable to her, and whenever she was in his company he was always pleasant and likable to others. Even that Andrews guy who always slunk around trying to be with the popular crowd, Maxwell treated him well, even if Lyndi would never extend the same hand.

So why did Alexander act like this?

As Maxwell spoke back to him, Lyndi couldn't help but feel a mixture of gratefulness and awe. Lyndi never wanted to be mean to people, and she tried not to think of situations where people might deserve meanness sent their way, but all that meant was that she never really had the skill involved to deal with people in a tough but fair way. She always tried to please them, and she was aware of this. But others, who didn't have that same end goal, had better opportunities to practice what Maxwell was preaching right now. And while she never wanted to be mean to people, she wished she could have just stood up and did what was done right now.

Including the invitation to move outside. Like she mentioned to Maxwell at the very start of their lunch, she was never much of an outside eater, mainly due to the planning of it all. But at the moment, from where she sat, from whom she sat with, the option stood there and Lyndi jumped, almost literally, at the opportunity.

"Like of course! You know how much I love eating outside, it's the best," she lied, picking herself and her lunch up from the table. Well, it was only a half lie. But all the same, it was time to leave this uncomfortable encounter.
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“Excellent.”

Maxwell stood up. Picked up his tray. Not to try and take the tray out of the cafeteria, of course - he highly doubted that he was allowed to, and even if it happened to be that it could it would be an extremely messy thing for him to try doing - but to put it wherever he was supposed to put a still mostly full tray. To be honest, he wasn’t quite sure how the systems worked - the cafeteria was far from a place where he chose to regularly associate himself - but he imagined to himself that it would be fairly easy to get rid of this, wherever he had to go. It’d be but a simple diversion, just a quick stop before going outside so that he wouldn’t have to need to think about the food on the tray. Nothing more.

It annoyed him that he would not get the chance to eat before he came home from school, but it didn’t really matter. It was just another part of the sacrifices he made just so that he could be in good company, he supposed. He scooched himself out of the bench that he was in front of, and walked over to Lyndi.

“Do you wish for me to help you walk out of here, given your ankle? It could probably make things easier on you.”

Regardless of whatever she said, though, they would leave, Maxwell putting his tray in an almost empty pile near the walls of the cafeteria before him and Lyndi began their search for a more appropriate spot.

No glance back was spared at Alex.

((Maxwell Lombardi, continued elsewhere))
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"Oh no it's fine! Believe me I've done worse, and walked on worse, and all sorts of stuff."

As Lyndi pulled herself from the table, lunch rebagged minus the almonds scattered upon the flat surface, she felt like she should have spared a parting word to Alex. Her instinct said to. Her common courtesy said to, the manners she had been solidly raised with leading that charge of thought. It would have been the least she could do, especially considering she was leaving and he was being left on his own.

But after the way he'd treated Maxwell, and treated her by proxy with his words, she couldn't really muster up the effort. Lyndi didn't think Alex was a bad person, hell she didn't even think anyone was truly a bad person unless they were just misguided or misunderstood (yes, that even included Adonis), but if he didn't know what he was and wasn't supposed to say to people in public like this, even if it was just high school, then what was she supposed to do? Or worse, what if he did know exactly what he was saying and this was the desired effect? If that was the case, then he wasn't worth a word at all.

But as she and Maxwell walked from the cafeteria, she couldn't help but look back at him. She felt sorry for him, having to spend his last few months at school so jealous and obsessed with Maxwell, or at least that's exactly how he came off to Lyndi in the sparse minutes they spent together in that fateful lunch. She hoped he could find something worth doing before his teenage years ended that didn't involve being mean and rude to people. Life was way too short to not enjoy other people's company, y'know?

Just like how Lyndi and Maxwell would find very soon that they enjoyed each other's company quite a bit.

((Lyndi Thibodeaux continued elsewhere))
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He barely made the effort to give them any parting words himself before they removed themselves from the table. While it certainly would have been the correct thing to do, a part of him felt like it would be defeatist. After all, something like that would force him to be respectful to a man who deserved none whatsoever.

So, instead, he lifted his hand, waved it from side to side in a lazy manner, and spoke "Til' we meet again, Machiavelli. Til' we meet again." Not exactly a goodbye, and just vague enough to fit the situation.

As expected, Maxwell hardly even gave him a passing glance, instead focusing on trying to be courteous and help up Lyndi. Alex didn't even notice she had been crippled, which led to him flinching upon her standing up. That must not have been a good time, whatever caused it to happen.

He watched them as they leaved. He noticed the pitiful look in Lyndi's eyes. That was a look he gave people regularly himself whenever they annoyed him. What was to be pitied? He had near perfect grades, and was well on his way to getting into a good college. The only thing he could come up with was his attitude. He sighed. It wasn't necessarily fun being the way he was, especially when the result of which ended up giving people the wrong impression when they don't even know his name. It was lonely being smart.

Still, though, he did not regret it. If he had to choose between friends and a secure future, the latter would be optimal.

Plus, he got a free seat all to himself. Sweet.

He continued to eat his meal until the end of lunch. Afterwards, he stomached what was left of the slob and rushed off to his next class period.

((Alexander Bonham: continued elsewhere))
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