[The Story] “Please Stay Safe”

The Story” will mainly tell the story of two characters: John (left) and Trishna (center). During a summer they spend together on Trishna’s family farm before heading off to college, after years of chatting exclusively online with the occasional phone call, they learn about each other and the world. They’ll talk with her parents Divit (center) and Brigit (right) about these topics, in passing, cemented with one serious conversation that should help them stay safe.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (backstory and worldbuilding)

“Please stay safe out there.”

Trishna’s parents both grew up in rough parts of the world, immigrated to the area, and met. They share a bold worldview causing them to choose living on their farm, called Lanchester after Brigit’s maiden name, rather than in the city of Eville or suburbs. They retain a wide circle of acquaintances in various occupations and socioeconomic statuses and invite them over frequently for dinner. (Highlight possible spoilers: This almost parallels John and Trishna’s backstory.)

With this context, they set ground rules:

First, they talk about safe inebriation. Divit and Brigit talk with the context of engaging with a once wildly drunk and stoned culture rampant across Eville when they met, full of wild times, which still could be dangerous for the innocent. They might still moderately indulge. John grew up in so many households full of wasted people that he sees no benefit to anything other than straight thinking. Trishna might have a beer at events.

Second, they politely discuss sex.

Trishna was born with mobility impairments. Her parents worked hard to ensure she could live a normal life, so when Trishna reached puberty, Brigit encouraged her daughter’s education. Referred from her main doctor, they went to sexologists specializing in mobility, and reproductive health clinics. John had none of this education outside of abstinence and brief compulsory education in health class. Since the assumption is Trishna and John will have sex, her parents encourage thorough education.

Third, they talk about respect and disrespect.

Divit and Brigit went through their origin country’s militaries before emigrating to Eville. Between what they learned, they mutually developed a value system and methods for handling disrespect. John’s value system is rooted in the Art of War (or in-world equivalent) and refined during talks with Trishna. Though John is nearly incapable of disrespecting Trishna, they still stress a zero tolerance for rude behavior, which might be broken early on into that summer… (by Trishna!).

Fourth, they talk about talking.

Communication is the most important variable in determining the success or failure of any relationship. John and Trishna immediately built a strong sense of rapport, empathy, and respect that only strengthen since they first became friends. Still, Trishna’s parents encourage frequent communication with each other, them, and with friends or acquaintances they meet.

Brigit may conclude by saying: “This will help broaden your worldview and help iron out any issues that may happen along the way.”

Divit may add: “Your mother is right. We love you both. Stay safe.”

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.