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Her Hobby - The Orphan - Chapter Two

2023.03.30 04:23 Fine_Raise_8951 Her Hobby - The Orphan - Chapter Two

Mistress Jenn and Master Frank called it my weekly review and neither was happy with me.
A few of the meals I prepared were subpar according to Master who said the chicken was particularly dry despite him eating his portion and my much smaller portion, leaving me with nothing.
Mistress Jenn had been upset too by the poor job I did vacuuming the living room carpet following the party they had with friends to celebrate her birthday.
One of her presents had some sparkly materiel that got all over everything. I worked on cleaning the mess up for hours but still, it wasn’t good enough.
Master was also bothered that I accidentally left a dirty rag on the hood of his car after changing his oil.
“It’s the little things that get you in trouble, Slave.” Mistress reminded me.
For those transgressions, I would be forced to fast for 48 hours but not before receiving 25 strokes from the horrible bullwhip.
“You’re in luck slave.” Mistress said, “I’m in the mood to whip so you won’t have to worry about Master slicing you open for a change.”
I was relieved. Mistress was vicious too with the whip but Master could kill me if he wanted and a few times he nearly did.
Still, I felt like I was in hell.
One years earlier:
After I had my first ever orgasm with a woman, Jenn told me to go down on her.
“Taste us, Greg.”
I hesitated. It seemed unclean to do something like that but still lying on top of me, Jenn forced my head down.
“Lick me until I cum.” She moaned. “Deeper, deeper, get in there!”
I tried everything I could to provide for her. Licking and sucking while straining to go deeper. The more I tried, the more she cried out.
It took some 20 minutes to get Jenn off but when I finally did, she drenched my face with her juices. She was so happy.
“Let’s eat!” She shouted climbing off of me.
I started to dress but she told me to hold up for a second. She went to her closet and returned with a men’s bathrobe.
“Here, try this on.”
As I did, she put a robe on herself, covering her beautifully tanned and athletic body.
“Look at that, it fits you like a glove!” She said smiling.
I shouldn’t have asked because it wasn’t my business but I did anyway.
“Whose bathrobe am I wearing?”
Jenn’s smile suddenly disappeared.
“It was Justin’s, my ex.”
“I’m sorry.”
“It’s ok, I’ll tell you about him while we’re eating.”
Jenn had some chicken and rice ready to go. I was famished and started chewing it down quickly before making a mental note to slow down. Meanwhile, Jenn filled me in on Justin.
“We only dated for three months but I was in love with him. I thought things were going great until he just left and never returned. Totally ghosted me.”
Jenn wiped her eyes before continuing.
“He was so handsome, movie star looks. I guess he was too good for me.”
I could not believe such a beautiful woman might think she wasn’t good enough and I told her.
“This Justin must have rocks in his head. You’re amazing and so pretty and such a nice person.” I said.
“You’re sweet.” She said, taking my hand and kissing it.
She studied my face for a moment.
“I’m tired, let’s fuck one more time and go to bed.”
I could not believe what was happening. I was no longer a virgin, no longer starving and about to have sex again with the woman of my dreams.
I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
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2023.03.30 04:23 fastloris_ My boyfriend's (M31) best friend (F30) is trying to drive me (F30) away. Advice?

I hooked up with a man named Jon two years ago while I was in a committed open relationship. We hit it off and continued to see each other casually about once a month over the following two years. My primary relationship ended 6 months ago, during which time Jon and I began to spend a lot more time together and deepen our connection. We love each other, and we have intention of seeing if we can become life partners. I have recently had the opportunity to meet his family, all of whom are lovely, welcoming people.
I have also recently met his circle of friends, three couples plus Jon. They are very tight-knit. They have attended burning man together, and regularly get away to cabins where they do molly and bond with each other. Needless to say, it is an intimidating group to try to break into. The first time I met them, one of the women, Ella, who is recently married, was hostile towards me, particularly when Jon was not within earshot. Her behavior included interrogating me about why I chose to move closer to where Jon lives, casting judgmental looks towards my waistline, showing Jon photos of a sex worker and trying to coax him to say how hot she was, all the while glancing up at me with a smirk. She also constantly wanted to discuss the groups’ plans to travel to a cabin the following weekend, which I was not invited to. When others would try to politely change the subject, she would find a way to bring it back up.
I left the evening feeling confused and insecure, which Jon and I talked about at length. He told me that they do have a close and intimate friendship, but that it had not ever been romantic or sexual. He believed my account of the evening, but felt confused, so he decided to ask Ella about it. She denied all of it. I have since learned that Ella's marriage is in trouble, which increases my unease over her territorial behavior with Jon.
Fast-forward three months. I am invited to attend a joint birthday celebration for Jon and Ella, again at a cabin with a plan to do molly together.
In preparation for this, Jon asked if I would be willing to try to re-connect with Ella, on the chance that my first bad impression was a misunderstanding. Out of a desire to please Jon, I agreed to host a dinner in my home just for him, Molly and her husband.
The dinner went as badly as the first visit. Ella again spent a good deal of time discussing their friend groups’ upcoming travel plans, which I am not invited to. At one point she fed Jon food out of her hand while smirking at me. The most uncomfortable moment was when she announced to the table her memory of their friend group almost having an orgy before someone put an end to it. I was shocked by this. We sat in silence until I excused myself to clean dishes. Ella’s husband, on the other hand, went out of his way to be kind and get to know me throughout the evening, at one point seemingly apologizing for her behavior.
This time, at least, Jon witnessed her hostility towards me. After they left, he denied any incident of a near-orgy with their friend group, and again expressed confusion about her behavior. He told me that this has not happened between Ella and any of his previous girlfriends. I think he is being naive about her attachment to him.
I’m perplexed about the situation I find myself in. I love Jon, and neither of us want to me be driven away by Ella. I have no desire to do drugs with this woman, but I also don’t want to miss out on important events in Jon’s life, such as this upcoming birthday trip. This experience recalls for me the petty drama of middle school, and I don’t want to stoop to her level. How do I draw boundaries without cutting myself out of Jon’s life? Any advice would be helpful!
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2023.03.30 04:22 Dead-Bowl-4572 I went on a road trip during a blizzard. Somewhere in the depths, we found something that shouldn't exist.

It was way back in the day when it all went down.
Going to my friend’s secluded cottage up north seemed like a good idea until the car wrapped around a tree in the middle of a raging fucking blizzard, twenty miles away from any civilization. I kept trying to convince my friends to stop at a hotel, but the driver and the owner of the car, my old college roommate Pat, kept brushing my concerns off as if the approaching snowstorm wasn’t even coming.
I bet he wished he had listened after the car crashed.
“Shit,” Homie said, pulling me out. “Anything broken?”
“No,” I answered.
The only other friend who was crazy enough to come with us, nicknamed Homie, a big ol' country boy, stood in front of the hood, inspecting the damage as best he could. Based on how smoke and sparks was coming out of the engine, we wouldn’t be able to turn it back on without assistance.
“Are the phones okay? We might be able to call for help.”
Pat showed us his phone, which had broken during the crash, and said, “Like hell, we can. We can’t stay in the car, and if we don’t want to freeze to death, we need to go somewhere to stay.”
He was right. The bumper in the front of the car was compressed from the impact, and after we had all gotten out, a very heavy tree branch had fallen on the roof of the car, crushing the metal into crumpled tinfoil. No way we were going to fit in that car. We were on a dirt road with woods surrounding us on both sides, and the closest town was two miles away.
The snow was heavily blowing down, and as unusual as it sounded, there was a heavy fog obscuring our vision.
“Well let’s at least get moving,” I said. “A crackhead or someone might live along the road.”
They didn’t argue. We put on our jackets, packed all the food and water we could carry, and we prepared to set off down the road, into a snowy abyss.
When Pat pulled out two guns from the trunk, I got confused.
“Why are you bringing the guns?”
I shouldn’t have even asked. When Pat went anywhere near the countryside, he carried at least two high-powered guns, because of an incident that happened a year ago. Pat closed the trunk and walked away, his shotgun in his arms with his revolver strapped to his side.
“There’s… creatures in these woods. I’ve seen them before. You can never be too safe.”
I knew better to question Pat. He was always a cautious, but extremely care-free and reckless dude who always paid attention to all the details around him.
“Alright. Looks like the fucking storm is blowing in hard.” I said.
And with that last comment, we began to walk down the road, searching for anything, anything that would indicate that a single person was out here. As luck would have it, the immense snowstorm was keeping everyone inside, if there were even people living all the way out here. To say that the cold was terrible was a vast understatement. We were only wearing light jackets and two layers of pants, and even that wasn’t enough to keep us warm, given that there was a very plausible chance of catching hypothermia.
“Shit, man. How far did we walk?” Homie asked, once our car was well out of sight.
“We’re not even close,” I said. “Just shut up and wait till we get there.”
“Guys.” It was Pat. His face looked pale as if he was retelling the horrible incident he had gone through a year ago.
So about a year ago, Pat had gone on a camping trip, alone in the woods behind his cottage. It was at the peak of the night when he heard something moving around outside his tent. Something big. When he looked outside, he saw something just beyond the treeline, and he could just make out that something’s silhouette. According to Pat, who almost never told lies or made-up stories, a thing was watching him. He remembered it very vividly. '
It was humanoid, but it wasn’t human. It was eight feet tall, extremely skinny, hairless, and it had antlers with an open head with several glowing orbs in the center. And after all this time, after everything, after all the nightmares, we were seeing the exact thing Pat had seen that night. Expect it was dead.
But it wasn’t just dead, it was mutilated.
The dead creature lay on its back on the side of the road, unmoving. The creature’s entire body was skinny and pale, and its head… was identical to a deer skull, complete with an impressive array of antlers, that were snapped and completely shattered.
One of the creature’s legs was ripped off, and it looked like something enormous had taken a bite out of its shoulder and stomach. The creature was eaten. Killed, by a horror we couldn’t even begin to fathom. And worst of all, the creature looked to be killed recently, with a blood trail heading into the woods. And based on how heavy the snow was falling, the creature would have had to be killed at least ten minutes ago, for the blood trail to not be covered by snow already.
“Holy shit, man,” Homie exclaimed. “Isn’t that the thing Pat saw last year?”
Pat sighed and gritted his teeth. “Yeah. It fucking is.”
I stared at the dead creature, and despite not wanting to know the truth of what really happened, I already knew. Something bigger had killed this thing.
“But something killed it. This thing is already huge, so what killed it must be… enormous...”
Pat looked away from the creature.
“It’s dead, we know. But something killed it, and it’s probably nearby. So I'm going to fuck it up.
I looked at the blood trail heading deep into the woods. Then as Pat walked alongside us, loading shells into his shotgun, we turned, and continued down the dark road.
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2023.03.30 04:21 docdetroitusn Tomorrow is divorce day

My love,
It’s been such a long time. The one thing I never wanted to ever happen to us will happen tomorrow. We will be divorced and part our ways for good. I have many unsent letters and notes that you will never see. I’d like this to be one of them but you never know.
I know you left me because you needed to know who you are and find your independence. You have always had that though, my love. The person on that blue chair snuggled in your blanket and our puppy, telling me in her cute voice about her day and how her workout went. The same girl who ran around the house in a blanket working off calories from a big night of drinking and laughing together. You are the same girl who I wouldn’t let sleep alone drunk in the bathroom. We spent two nights cuddling next to porcelain throne. You are the same girl who names all the critters in the house. Gecko’s were Steve’s, Bats were Philips, the orange stray cat 🐈 was Reginald and your blue car 🚙 was Spike. Those are just small examples of who you really were. Did you strive for your independence then? We’re you slowly withering away when we built all those memories in Okinawa together? Am I over romanticizing you and us? I will never really know. You shared so little with me since you left.
You left me in January of 2020. I saw you for a week in October of 2020, when I forced myself to try and save us one last time. The last thing you said to me in person, holding my hand was “I love you!” I thought maybe we were finally getting closer to being the couple we really were. Then I was sick with COVID and all alone, meanwhile you were partying and doing blow with your girlfriends. Who knows what else happened that night. All I know is that was the last time we talked. I couldn’t do it anymore. You were so cruel to me. Backed out of our wedding (while we we’re already married) 3 months before the big day. It’s like you left me at the alter. Then when Chris died…. I needed you and you were not there. I shivered nearly in tears, on the floor of my kitchen with his picture and the bear he gave me when I was born. Then the war ended, not a single call or text from anyone. I sat in my granddads rocking chair with a broken heart wanting to die. In your absence I have done so many terrible things to cover my pain. My Vice is sex and alcohol and I abused both. Sex from strange women or big groups just to have a taste of intimacy that wouldn’t endanger me by developing a relationship with someone else because I knew it was you who I wanted. More whiskey scotch and gin to fill my glasses and the void in my life created by your absence. I never shared any of this with you. Tried so hard not to text you. I know I hurt my chances of winning you back by opening up to you whenever I did.
Then when I got tired of this neglect I pursued this divorce to be free and you dragged your feet. Ignoring it for almost two years. Recently you needed something from me and I was elated to help and come through for you. I dropped everything, cause I’m typical you fashion it was last minute. I never heard that much from you and that consistent. Only when you needed something from me. When we did try and talk, it would take you three to five days to respond to me with a short closed answer.
I took so much abuse from you. I loved you all the way through too. I thought it was because I knew who you REALLY were. I thought I knew you better than you knew yourself. I knew what your soul needed to thrive, I know why you wouldn’t take advice from anyone else. I know how and why your anxiety cripples you and I know you are stronger than you realize. I know you can beat your anxiety by facing it head on. Unfortunately I also know it cripples you and you would rather your problems dissolve than face them. I know you never knew what a good husband looked like because your dad was never the man your family needed. I know why you were always so quiet and non confrontational, because your sister fought your dad and you didn’t want him to get angry and leave you so you were the quiet one in hopes he would favor you and not leave. I know why you liked school so much, because it kept you structured and safe from everything else you couldn’t control. I know why your strength is so limitless, it’s because when you really were dying of an eating disorder you found a part of yourself you didn’t know you had. I know it’s never over for you because every day you are surviving it, forcing it to not show it’s face by dominating it with control. Your control is running or working out and you would do that till you felt actually physical pain. That pain gave you a calm that you worked hard enough to keep your eating disorder demons at bay. So they would never claim your soul. It made you feel safe.
Unfortunately we died. Something crept in between us and destroyed us. I’m still heartbroken by it all. It’s so sad because I thought we were really soulmates and truly in love. I thought “as long as I have you, my boods.”
Unfortunately you will never come home and I will never see you on my steps. I will never hold you in my arms and I will never feel your warmth and love ever again. I’m sad and crippling my pillow’s because I know it’s the end and not once did you return to my arms. You filed my heart and soul with so much love and it’s all gone. You ran though my mind body and soul like a life I always wanted. I thought you knew the man I really was and the man I wanted to be. I loved you so damn much. It’s over and will never find its way to return. I’m heartbroken and saddened at your absence and life without your light is absolutely dull and bleak.
You have the power to undo ALL of it and I know you won’t. I know I can’t tell you to either because you are stubborn and the idea and action had to be yours and yours alone. So from afar I will love you. Quietly and from a far distance till the sands of time claim my soul. I love you so so much. That if I had to choose between taking my very last breath or use it to say one last thing to you, I would say quietly into your ear, I will always love you.
This is my unsent letter the night before we divorce.
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2023.03.30 04:17 Square-Problem572 Can't get over mistakes of my youth...feeling like this isn't exactly where I should be

I don't feel like my life is where it is supposed to be. I feel like I have made bad decision after bad decision since I turned 17. And while they have seemed like they were good decisions at the moment they were made, I feel like the years have demonstrated that they were only good decisions in the short term, and that in the long term they were actually mistakes. This is contrary to how I felt in the moment, where I felt like I was making good long term decisions.
Now here I am at 50. I lost one grandfather at the age of 56, another at the age of 67. While both my parents lived into their 80s, neither one of them had exactly the best health, especially my mother, who had extremely limited mobility for more than 10 years. I live in fear that my days or weeks are really short and that I will die in misery...or worse, that being so miserable for so long will hasten my demise. What's worse, my wife recently had a near death experience and I am afraid that one of us will pass and the only thing we could say is that our marriage was "adequate".
I have been unhappy in my marriage for 10+ years (been married 20). Sure, there have been bright spots here and there over the past 10 years, but overall the level of intimacy and affection have been disappointing. My wife denied there was a problem until we finally had a discussion about the issues after my second therapy session. I explained the issues and she resolved to do better. I feel like so much time has been wasted, and it didn't help that she consistently shut me down for years when I tried to discuss this with her before. Despite her efforts though, I feel like we're trying to breathe life into the dead, and just putting on a brave face. My "emotional tank" feels like it has been on empty for too long, and not enough is being done to revive it. I feel like I have a roommate, a business partner, and a friend who likes to spend time with me on occasion. Her attempts at trying to fix things feel scripted, preplanned, and mechanical. It does not feel like there’s any real emotion behind her attempts at change, and she would be content to just going back the way things were between us before I told her how unhappy I was. Intimacy feels cold and forced, not warm, playful and loving like I remembered it was early on.
My thoughts are terrible and I am not sure what to do. Therapy (about three months worth at this point, once a week), feels like it is getting me nowhere. Instead of a raging dumpster fire, I feel like I am "in control" dumpster fire, but a dumpster fire none the less. The practical advice I receive of "be happy with what you have!" and "appreciate what you got!" seems vacant and placative, mantras people try to tell themselves so they don't feel like they are drifting deeper into the void. Sadness? Despair? Ennui? Unsure of the cause, I just know I want it to stop.
We have built so much...we have two wonderful children. One of them, is quite young. They keep me going and bring my joy, but it won't last forever...sooner or later the sadness with just overtake me, or the kids will move on and I will be 65 and thinking that now I have been unhappy and unfulfilled for 25+ years. We've talked about it, but my wife hardly seems dedicated to working on the marriage and making meaningful change. Instead, her focus seems to be doing "just enough" so that I am not unhappy and content. And yet, I know walking away isn't an option either, as the pain and sorrow it is likely to cause my children, and yes, my wife, isn't fair to them.
To my wife's credit, she understands the big stuff, like most people do. If I am in the hospital, she will come to me. If I am really, sick, she'll keep the house going until I recover. My car breaks down, she'll come pick me up. But that's where it ends. My mental health isn't good? She avoids me, and refuses to discuss it why I might be sad, or upset, or angry. Stressed at work? Find someone else to talk to. Lonely? Spend time with the kids, or the cat, is her solution. Date nights often us driving to a restaurant while she plays on her phone. Then she plays on her phone during dinner, then as we drive back home. I get maybe a couple dozen words out of her. I've tried to instill little rituals that supposedly help with building intimacy and affection, she bristles at them. Eventually she started doing them, saying "Well, you wore me down with your nagging, so I will do it." Which has made we swing back the other way and now I don't want to do any of them. Now she wonders why I don't want to do the things I was so insistent upon, like kissing her goodbye, or saying good night, when it used to be important to me.
Long ago I was involved in a serious, long term, long distance relationship. That relationship was good at first, but turned toxic, then emotionally and psychologically abusive, both ways. Despite how bad things got with that woman if she had asked me to marry her, or said yes to me when I asked her (we were always talking about marriage) I would have, but she hedged and played games, and eventually I walked away. Now I find myself constantly doubting that decision, reanalyzing that relationship, and trying to figure out where we would be, or even if we could have been, if I had stuck it out just a few months longer. My ex-girlfriend, having been out of my life more than 25 years, is constantly on my mind. In going down the rabbit hole, I have discovered that she is separated from her husband for more than 15 years, and he husband trots the globe with another woman. In my most absurd thoughts, I consider contacting her and seeing if there is any chance in rekindling a our old relationship that felt so right and true back then. I can't even look at photos of that woman now without bursting into tears and thinking I made a colossal mistake, despite knowing that my wife, early on, made me feel more secure (but not necessarily more loved) in our relationship than my ex ever did.
I feel like I am the only one putting in serious effort at a marriage repair. I feel like the clock is ticking and something needs to be done NOW to salvage the time left, and my wife does not understand the sense of urgency. She thinks that things will improve has the kids move out, but we're talking 12+ years before the youngest goes to college...I don't want to wait. I want to live NOW. I want to love NOW. I want to be happy NOW, not at some undetermined point in the future. This isn't working, I can't do it alone, and I am not sure what to do next.
I want to convince the wife to embrace ALL aspects of our life together now. This means embracing our marriage whole heartedly like we did when we first met. I want the ex out of my head for good. I don't want long for a reconnection, or spend any more time trying to figure out why the relationship didn't workout.
Is this something I just need to invest in the therapy on and give time for improvement, or is there some other way to make the necessary "shift" to get to where I feel like I should be? Or maybe I am continuing down the wrong road? Maybe I should reach out to the ex, who maybe having the same thoughts I am? Or maybe I should strike out in an all new direction? I'm not sure, I only know I don't want to wait, and I feel like I have no good decisions.
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2023.03.30 04:09 Chronigan2 My Thoughts on volume 14

I apologize that this is so long! Though in fairness I did quote a couple of passages. If you don't want to read all of this I understand. I would however like to ask you to at least read the last few paragraphs about Elle, Kou, and the girls relationships. I want to know if anyone else feels the way that I do and if things change in the future. Not spoilers, but if things evolve or does the chaste relationship continue.
Also I have a feeling the tea they mention is based on the real life tea Rooibos if you haven't tried I would recommend it. It is very good. Now on with the way tooooo long show.
I wish we had gotten to spend more time with Maki. She feels insecure, like something could easily take away her new life and her precious friends. She is desperate to have some kind of irreplaceable bond tying her to Kou. I guess she is happy about being in the Band of Knights but it doesn't really hit for me. It would be nice if there was some ceremony or maybe the all the knights could wear something. Like a ring. I am a little disappointed they didn't go with the collar idea just because I think girls in collars are attractive.
Sanae was Sanae. She didn't get much time in this one. I am curious how the two Sanae thing actually works, but I'm not going to get hung up on it, From the dialogue it seems like their thoughts and feelings are the same, they just express it differently.
Harumi was Harumi as well. Though I did like it when she realized Clan was in love with Kou.
I got further down writing this and realized Kiriha didn't have much to do in this one either then I remembered the strip scene. I don't know how that was worded in Japanese but that was obviously a setup. The same effect could of been had if he had asked her to take off her shirt and would of been much more logical for someone to say in that situation. Still Kiriha knows what he meant and happily complies. She even calls him onii-chan, though not loud enough for anyone else to hear.
I liked that she asked him to cook the meal they had when they first met. It was also interesting that both she and Clan were a little sad that the parts of Kou they could keep to themselves were slowly being shared with everyone.
I'm glad Shizuka got some time to shine in this one. Learning how her parents died, Seeing her at the family grave and her interaction's with Kou there were great. I liked watching her fall in love. She so quickly went from being friends with Kou to feeling like her place in the universe was by his side and that she would be safe and protected. She didn't fight it at all, she embraced it.
The description of the fire was intense. I could hear the house collapsing around her and feel the heat. I think it was very well researched.I would have like to see Kou tell her about Alunaya rather than learning about him the way she did. I was a little worried about her accepting his power, that there would be some consequence or she would distance herself from Kou and the rest of the girls. Should've known better, this series seems to stay on the bright side of everything.
On the way home Kou telling her that he only had borrowed power as well was an important moment. For him I think it was the first time he had every said that to someone he cares for, and for her it made her realize strength is more than what you can accomplish on your own. I loved it when they told each other they had saved the other. I was surprised when she told Kou she loves him, and more surprised when he said it back. I think she is the first girl he has said that too. It also led me to a question that I'll ask at the end.
Kou realizing Yurika's marriage points were OVER 300!!!! was quite amusing, more so when it was announced all the other girls were up there as well. I found it interesting that he thought the Band of Knights would solve that problem. It feels like he is going to try and hide from his feelings for the girls and use the band as a substitute for having a real romantic relationship.
I was thinking Yurika's dreams were a premonition or remembering past lives. I didn't think it had anything to do with the game. It was nice to see Yurika strive for something. Once again she only got as far as she did because of her friends helping her. It was also interesting to see how much Theia had changed in the year.
I think the time on Forthorth answered some questions but made me ask even more. I felt really sorry for Elle. It was nice to see the monument Alaia left in the cave. Which begs the question of how Alia knew where they were. Seeing Kou and Clan talk about how hard it was to leave their friends in the past and kou cry about it was nice to see. I loved it when the fight was about to begin Clan is so un-worried, "Yeah, he'll win" she is his partner after all. I would love to see Clan and Kou have a real heart to heart talk.
Elle falling for Kou so fast was understandable. I wonder if he was the first person she had ever met that felt the same tug between duty and desire. She said a fiance was picked out for her, I wonder if she loved him or not. Sounds like she didn't. Which is convenient as it avoids dealing with messy feelings. I was kind of hoping Kou would tell her about Theia in some way rather than accidentally overhearing it but I guess not. I'm still wondering how she knew to build everything the way she needed too and choose Ruth to be Theia's guardian.
Seeing Clan have a really close friend was nice too. Elle was also very insistent on being Kou's wife. Considering how she kept bringing it up I wonder if she hasn't given up yet. Clan and Elle have this conversation on the bridge
Elfaria and Clan both turned to look at Koutarou. He was currently in the middle of a serious discussion with Theia and Kiriha.He didn’t look like the high school boy Satomi Koutarou, but the legendary hero, the Blue Knight. It was the version of him that Clan had monopolized until today.
“In fact, I’m more worried now.” “That’s true. We’re currently in a very serious situation, and―” “No, no, I’m not worried about that.”
Clan had assumed that Elfaria was worried about the coup d’etat. However, she smiled and shook her head. That wasn’t whatwas on her mind.
“Whatever happens with the coup d’etat happens. And if I am defeated walking alongside the Blue Knight, then so be it. As long as I do my best for the citizens, then I will have no regrets.”
“Then what are you worried about?”
“That girl. The one who called herself Harumi...”
“You’re worried about Harumi?”
It turns out what Elfaria was worried about was the girl behind Koutarou listening in on the strategy meeting, Sakuraba Harumi. But Harumi didn’t look like a threat to Clan. She couldn’t understand why Elfaria was concerned.
“She looks just like the Silver Princess. It’s like she’s her very reincarnation.” “Surely that can’t be... She might be able to control Signaltin and it’s true she has Alaia’s memories... But Harumi is her own person; she’s not Alaia-san.”
“If I had met you first... If... I had asked you to help me first... what would >you have done, Koutarou-sama?”
“That’s what the Silver Princess said before Layous-sama left. I found it recorded in the history of the translation device that came with the data you gave me from the armor.”
Twenty years ago, Elfaria had asked Clan for the data from Koutarou’s armor. Since the data had direct recordings of important history to Forthorthe, it was something she was eager to get her hands on.
“Harumi met him before anyone else, and now she is serving as the Silver Princess’s replacement. There’s nothing I’m more worried about than that.”
Elfaria flashed a pained smile. If that wasn’t by pure chance, then what did it mean? There was nothing that worried Elfaria, who wished for her daughter’s happiness, more than that.
“...Fate might not be on Theia’s side.” “There’s no need to worry, Your Majesty.”
However, Clan wasn’t worried like Elfaria was. Now it was Clan’s turn to smile.
“Even if your worries come to fruition, Veltlion isn’t so simple a man that he’d accept just Harumi.”
“You sound confident, Clan-san.”
“I guess you could call it a woman’s intuition.”
“Well, that’s a problem. It seems I’ve found yet another reason to worry.”
“I won’t back down easily, you know?”
“My, my, heehee... But still, it feels very strange to hear Schweigers’ daughter speaking of a woman’s intuition.”
She is Theia's mother after all do you think Theia, would ever let anything happen to keep her from being with Kou? While I do think Elle wishes for Theia's happiness above all else. I think there is a not so small part of her that hopes she can join Ruth and Theia. As she has said multiple times, she is really good at preparing the ground work
One of my favorite scenes is at the end (by the way I would love more scenes like this between Kou and the girls) when Elle and Kou are drinking tea. and Kou is about to ask her if she still loves him and he chickens out
“Hey, Elle.” “Yes? Do you not like the taste?” “That’s not it... Do you still—”
Koutarou was about to ask something, but he changed his mind midsentence.
“Do you know that you’re still beautiful?”
In the end, he said something else. What he was about to say at first was >something that required a great deal of courage to say to someone far older than >him, even if she looked young.
Elfaria blushed a little and smiled happily. As she did, she really did look like her younger self. She looked just like she had twenty years ago.
“That’s right, Layous-sama. I have snacks as well.”
“I know your game. I bet they’re spicy.”
“Would you like to eat them together?”
“Only one at a time.”
“Teehee, okay.”
It was a clear Sunday afternoon. The sunlight was shining in through the window on Koutarou and Elfaria. Only their calm voices could be heard inside of the normally noisy apartment. The only other sounds were the ticking clock, the cars driving by in the distance, and the singing birds just outside. It was a gentle, calm, and quiet Sunday.
“These are pretty good when you only eat one at a time.”
“That’s how they are. I still... love them.”
And so Koutarou and Elfaria spent their first weekend together in twenty years like no time had passed at all.
So I think Elle still loves him and wonder what Kou's feelings are and what he would say if she told him. Also how would that work between mother and daughter? Would they think nothing of it and welcome her or not? Honestly if she still has feelings for him it would be too sad if they didn't welcome her in. Every girl that has fallen for Kou has fallen hard, in that eventually they get to the point that if he died they would stop functioning. With the way Theia's birth was described it makes it easy to say Elle has never loved another man. Her living her whole life like that is heartbreaking. Alaia did as well but at least she could stay by his side as Signaltin. Luckily Charl was too young or the Mastir line would be cancelled.
This brings me to kind of my biggest complaint maybe or realization about this series. While all these girls are head over heels in love with Kou, they all seem content to stay by his side and bask in the warmth of his presence, but nothing more.
Except Yurika. But that doesn't look like it will happen again, as she got embarrassed just holding his hands this time.
It just seems so chaste, so sanitized. I don't want graphic depictions of sex acts but something beyond hand holding something not so perfect and clean would be nice. Something a little more real.
submitted by Chronigan2 to Rokujouma [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 04:07 Michael19754 Did I commit sexual assault?

So, yesterday my best friend decided to cut off all contact between us. The reason for this is that after a conversation with his boyfriend, he realized that he wasn't ok with something I did eight months ago.
Last August, we met irl for the first time after getting to know each other on Reddit in November 2021. After spending three days at my flat, we stayed in a hotel in Madrid. We shared bed in which we slept together. It was our first night there, and we started cuddling in our underwear.
I interpreted this as him being willing to be sexually intimate with me, even though a few weeks before he had said to me that he no longer felt like he could be romantically or sexually involved with me anymore (we were quite smitten by each other, were both sharing nudes and were in agreement of doing so when we first planned the trip some months back) because he wanted to be just friends. He mentioned this again once we met.
However, like I said, I interpreted us cuddling consensually like that as him having changed his mind. I told him that I felt like I wanted to kiss him and I tried to do so, but he avoided it without saying anything. That should have made it clear that I was wrong in my assumption, but instead I touched his butt afterwards. He said "That's my butt!" half-laughingly and took my hand off of it.
That is when I finally realized that he did not want to make out or have sex with me. I did not try to do anything else, and we kept cuddling for the rest of the night. The next day we talked about it and I apologized for what I had done, but at the same time I expressed how I was a bit upset because I thought that by allowing us to cuddle in our underwear he had sent a signal that was prone to be misinterpreted. We, in fact, had started cuddling with him putting me on top of himself.
He told me that he thought of the cuddling as just cuddling between friends and that he condoned it because he wanted to let me know "how it felt to be in my underwear with another boy". At the same time, he said it felt uncomfortable and that we should keep our distance the next night, which we did.
Our ten-day trip continued without any trouble. We had tons of fun and bonded as if nothing had ever happened. We had deep conversations about coming out and being introverted, about how much our friendship meant to each other and he even read his diary to me. We also cuddled several times. In other words, our friendship was stronger than it had ever been. And it remained that way when I flew back home; until he started university we called for 2 or 3 hours practically every single day.
Not once did what happened in that hotel room pop up over the next eight months. I went visit him in December again at his place for eleven days, and our next meeting was set when he invited me to go to Eurovision with him and a group of friends. I had my plane, my train and my bus booked, and one week ago my friend reserved a room for us two in Liverpool.
And then, two days ago he said that we needed to talk. He told me that he had had a conversation with his boyfriend about what happened and that he now felt like he wasn't ok with it. That it had changed his opinion of me and that he now was strongly against me sleeping in the same room as him or sleeping at his house.
I acknowledged that what I did was wrong, told him that I understood why he felt like that and that I would accept any decision he made even if it meant ending our friendship. I only asked him to address it face to face over a call, which he agreed to with the caveat that he needed to talk with his parents first.
The next day (yesterday), after doing so, he used the following words to tell me the decision he had reached: "I can't pretend anymore that what happened didn't make me feel really uncomfortable. I spoke to my parents and they have told me to let you know that you will not be welcome to stay here or anywhere near us. I agree with what they have said".
And that is how a year and a half of friendship ended. I tried to talk to him to at least get the explanation of how after eight months he had suddenly realized this and decided to shut me out completely and treat me like a sexual predator, but he ignored my messages and eventually blocked me on all our common social media.
My first reaction, apart from a broken heart, was that this was an overreaction and that maybe there was something more to it. But I know he meant every word he said and that he is now convinced that what I did was egregious. That is what makes me doubt about whether it really is as bad as he now thinks it was.
Having explained what happened, do you think I did commit sexual assault and that my friend's reaction was warranted?
submitted by Michael19754 to sex [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 04:06 BaliwNaKuya 23M LF kajakulan sa car nila

About me:
About you: -discreet -has car -manly, preferably deep voice - may laman, pass sa sobrang payat/sobrang laki. Doesnt have to be muscular
submitted by BaliwNaKuya to pinoytrippers [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 04:03 icantfindananime Bf [M20] won't post me on social media, but gets upset with me when I [F18] removed our photos.

Alright so, my boyfriend and I are pretty good, he's never shown me any sign of disloyalty, and I'm very certain i'm the same. We aren't toxic or anything and we communicate well, he doesn't talk to girls and shows them very little attention and I am the exact same too. He's a great guy and treats me well for the most part so I feel bad talking so down on him but there's one thing I hate, and just don't understand .
Now hear me out, I had a few stories in highlights of him, mainly because I like to show what I have off, and I like to show appreciation, this is my boyfriend and I love him, I want him to be seen and feel loved. I don't care what others think, i find instagram is a way to express myself. I usually post my car, and sometimes myself, but never really personal things. Now i had him posted, but eventually removed it because I wasn't too fond of the fact he refused to post me even when I asked. Posting me as a post or even a story, he just won't do it. Even when I comment on his posts, he responds to me as if in a friend or some .. fan. I didn't remove them for any other reason other than if he ABSOLUTELY refuses then .. what. (Please do not assume i removed it to make myself look single or whatever. I have made it very clear to the very few messages i even answer that i'm with somebody.) Anyways, he refused to. He posts him dirt biking, snow boarding and his car aswell, and his reasoning to why he won't post me is "he doesn't post himself." I don't care for social media all that much, but girls constantly message him and get the idea they have a chance. It just gives me the wrong vibe, yanno
Basically, I removed my posts of him because to me, showing your partner off is important. Show you're with that person, be proud of them. You don't need to show every detail of your relationship, just make it known you’re with this person. I'm proud of him, so i like to show him off. I just want to be seen, it makes me feel hidden and/or embarrassed to be with. He got mad at me for removing the posts we had, so I just don't get it. If you expect to be posted but won't post me, then you're not getting it. I know i stated he doesn't show much attention to girls, but it's the fact I feel so hidden. He's also not affectionate at all, so i feel it kinda has a small play in it. I don't think he's trying to hide me but it feels that way. Along with when I comment, his response is always something that makes it seem like i'm just his friend. This again, is all socials. I had my facebook profile picture us and I changed it to a different image because I just wanted something new and he seemed bummed out by it. We've talked about it so many times and he knows how important it is to me, but he just simply refuses to do it. I know this is a little different, but i had his photo in my clear phone case and he got upset when i took it out (to clean my phone, forgot to put it back) but when i mentioned mine in his, didn't happen.
He wants me to post him, but won't post me due to him "not posting himself" even though he does. Am i being dramatic or?
submitted by icantfindananime to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:58 Dramatic-Explorer-17 AITA for telling my nephew not to marry someone who will rack up a lot of debt?

My nephew "Joshua" and I have always been really close. We share the same interest in blue-collar jobs, sports, and cars. I'm a mechanic, and Joshua has tried to follow in my footsteps while also exploring welding and landscaping.
When Joshua started dating in high school, he came to me for advice about girls as I dated quite a bit back when I was younger and still know my way around the ladies pretty well. I was married to a great woman for 15 years before our divorce, and am currently with my girlfriend of nearly 20 years.
Most of Josh's girlfriends, such as "Cassie" and "Jessica," in high school, were popular, wore heavy makeup, and were social and outgoing. They seemed like great fits for my nephew, who was also popular and social.
However, his most recent girlfriend, "Noelle," seems to be really different. She's 24, earns 80k in a corporate job, supports herself, and somehow also plans to go to medical school when she's in her early 30's, so takes science classes in the evening/weekends. My nephew is literally her FIRST boyfriend. She seems awkward, introverted, and inexperienced. She's cute but much more plain than his previous SO's.
My nephew has also changed a lot after dating her. He's become more serious, enrolled in community college classes for nursing, and is earning straight A's in hard science and math classes after years of being a C student in school. He's quit partying and drinking as well. Today, he even told me that he wanted to be an NP after becoming an RN!
I asked Josh what he sees in her and he got angry at me. I mean, I was just curious, and I don't believe they're a good fit for each other because they are so different.
Also, if his GF really does go to medical school, they'll both be on the hook for all the debt. I asked Josh if he really wants to be the sole income earner for 4+ years of her being in medical school and residency and he got upset.
submitted by Dramatic-Explorer-17 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:52 Dead-Bowl-4572 The Cold Hunt Of 1954

It was way back in the day when it all went down.
Going to my friend’s secluded cottage up north seemed like a good idea until the car wrapped around a tree in the middle of a raging fucking blizzard, twenty miles away from any civilization. I kept trying to convince my friends to stop at a hotel, but the driver and the owner of the car, my old college roommate Pat, kept brushing my concerns off as if the approaching snowstorm wasn’t even coming.
I bet he wished he had listened after the car crashed.
“Shit,” Homie said, pulling me out. “Anything broken?”
“No,” I answered.
The only other friend who was crazy enough to come with us, nicknamed Homie, a big ol' country boy, stood in front of the hood, inspecting the damage as best he could. Based on how smoke and sparks was coming out of the engine, we wouldn’t be able to turn it back on without assistance.
“Are the phones okay? We might be able to call for help.”
Pat showed us his phone, which had broken during the crash, and said, “Like hell, we can. We can’t stay in the car, and if we don’t want to freeze to death, we need to go somewhere to stay.”
He was right. The bumper in the front of the car was compressed from the impact, and after we had all gotten out, a very heavy tree branch had fallen on the roof of the car, crushing the metal into crumpled tinfoil. No way we were going to fit in that car. We were on a dirt road with woods surrounding us on both sides, and the closest town was two miles away.
The snow was heavily blowing down, and as unusual as it sounded, there was a heavy fog obscuring our vision.
“Well let’s at least get moving,” I said. “A crackhead or someone might live along the road.”
They didn’t argue. We put on our jackets, packed all the food and water we could carry, and we prepared to set off down the road, into a snowy abyss.
When Pat pulled out two guns from the trunk, I got confused.
“Why are you bringing the guns?”
I shouldn’t have even asked. When Pat went anywhere near the countryside, he carried at least two high-powered guns, because of an incident that happened a year ago. Pat closed the trunk and walked away, his shotgun in his arms with his revolver strapped to his side.
“There’s… creatures in these woods. I’ve seen them before. You can never be too safe.”
I knew better to question Pat. He was always a cautious, but extremely care-free and reckless dude who always paid attention to all the details around him.
“Alright. Looks like the fucking storm is blowing in hard.” I said.
And with that last comment, we began to walk down the road, searching for anything, anything that would indicate that a single person was out here. As luck would have it, the immense snowstorm was keeping everyone inside, if there were even people living all the way out here. To say that the cold was terrible was a vast understatement. We were only wearing light jackets and two layers of pants, and even that wasn’t enough to keep us warm, given that there was a very plausible chance of catching hypothermia.
“Shit, man. How far did we walk?” Homie asked, once our car was well out of sight.
“We’re not even close,” I said. “Just shut up and wait till we get there.”
“Guys.” It was Pat. His face looked pale as if he was retelling the horrible incident he had gone through a year ago.
So about a year ago, Pat had gone on a camping trip, alone in the woods behind his cottage. It was at the peak of the night when he heard something moving around outside his tent. Something big. When he looked outside, he saw something just beyond the treeline, and he could just make out that something’s silhouette. According to Pat, who almost never told lies or made-up stories, a thing was watching him. He remembered it very vividly. '
It was humanoid, but it wasn’t human. It was eight feet tall, extremely skinny, hairless, and it had antlers with an open head with several glowing orbs in the center. And after all this time, after everything, after all the nightmares, we were seeing the exact thing Pat had seen that night. Expect it was dead.
But it wasn’t just dead, it was mutilated.
The dead creature lay on its back on the side of the road, unmoving. The creature’s entire body was skinny and pale, and its head… was identical to a deer skull, complete with an impressive array of antlers, that were snapped and completely shattered.
One of the creature’s legs was ripped off, and it looked like something enormous had taken a bite out of its shoulder and stomach. The creature was eaten. Killed, by a horror we couldn’t even begin to fathom. And worst of all, the creature looked to be killed recently, with a blood trail heading into the woods. And based on how heavy the snow was falling, the creature would have had to be killed at least ten minutes ago, for the blood trail to not be covered by snow already.
“Holy shit, man,” Homie exclaimed. “Isn’t that the thing Pat saw last year?”
Pat sighed and gritted his teeth. “Yeah. It fucking is.”
I stared at the dead creature, and despite not wanting to know the truth of what really happened, I already knew. Something bigger had killed this thing.
“But something killed it. This thing is already huge, so what killed it must be… enormous...”
Pat looked away from the creature.
“It’s dead, we know. But something killed it, and it’s probably nearby. So I'm going to fuck it up.
I looked at the blood trail heading deep into the woods. Then as Pat walked alongside us, loading shells into his shotgun, we turned, and continued down the dark road.
submitted by Dead-Bowl-4572 to SeasideUniverse [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:51 Libromancer MIL managed to pull off one of her long term goals, and now we are stuck fighting it

My MIL is a dangerous person.
I am going to try an keep this as concise as possible. Sorry for the disorder, I hope it makes sense at the end. It is a condensed time line up till now, when it is actively unfolding further.
For as long as I have known her she has been trying to get her parents into an assisted living facility. She has started a narrative that they were losing their minds, they were not mobile, and needed to be nursed 24/7. At Christmas and holidays she would gift them brochures for facilities along with help/alerts for falling.
This was farthest from the case, and for the most part we just ignored her. Right before the COVID pandemic GFIL passed away. BIL (the golden child) got involved with SIL, and had a child. SIL was desperate to bond to MIL, and listened to MIL. She even joined in on encouraging MILs narrative.
Most recently my GMIL went in for knee surgery around December. My MIL used this as her opportunity to have her placed in a home, and to keep her from being able to contact any other family members. MIL called the cops on me when I was getting pictures of GMIL cats to show her when we visited. She changed her story multiple times, it was first she called the cops, then it was her brother(UIL) who lives 1000 miles away, then it was GMIL lawyer. MIL spun stories to GMIL lawyer, saying we were going to kidnap GMIL, we were after her money and had stolen her vehicle. The whole time MIL was try to control everyone's perception, and manipulate us.
After 2 months GMIL was moved to a more permanent facility, and this is when we fully caught on to what MIL had done. We were barred from seeing GMIL, from calling GMIL for 30 days. During that time MIL took control of all medical power, and pushed her doctors to write a dementia diagnosis. We received the medical paperwork in an email, in the notation it states that her family pushed for a diagnosis, and it has multiple crossing throughs with initial's. One prominent cross through was retains cognitive facilities. She took away GMILs' cell phone, that we pay for. The phone has not been returned to either us or GMIL.
My DH went off on MIL, and spoke to the lawyer but it was too late she had already formed an opinion.
After DH went off, BIL got in contact with us and acted concerned. We later found out from their FOO that BIL was manipulating us with MIL.
During this time GMIL has managed to sneak phone calls out of the facility to us. Recently they took away her phone book, and it ended all communication for the past week.
Restrictions were recently lifted after DH reached out to the lawyer requesting an update now that the 30 days has expired. The lawyer responded with two other people in the email. We have used this opportunity to respond all, and we continue to only respond all with all individuals in the email. It seems to have curbed the lawyer into being nicer.
The facility and lawyer has restricted her from seeing friends and family.
We are not allowed to call except at a scheduled time once per week, when prior to her being admitted we spoke with her daily and visited multiple times during the week. We would take her once a month to her husbands grave. We have been almost completely restricted from seeing her. We are not allowed to ask how she likes it at the facility among other topics, and if she is upset following a visitation we will barred from further visitation.
UIL(UNCLE) has been placed on monitored communication/visitation. His restrictions are even more severe than ours. I suspect this is because MIL throws a fit in any area where he is concerned. She has previously acted like her parents were dead because they would speak to him, she would begin to communicate with them again when she wanted something. That something was almost always financial help, they paid for her house, her car, and any maintenance/repairs.
We are also not allowed to bring any third parties with us. This is so we cannot confirm her diagnosis with an unbiased party, or switch her lawyer.
I have been looking up laws local to us, and we have tried reaching out to advocacy groups for help.
We are working with FOO and UIL. GMIL cannot go back to living on her own, she is not mobile due to improper care and healing following her surgery. Previous conversations she has stated the desire to live with either us or UIL.
I have been offering genuine friendship to SIL. It has the benefit of receiving information we would not have. They (BIL, SIL, and MIL) have been disingenuous and have been using this relationship as a way to continue manipulating us. Most recently it has been in an attempt to get us to attend easter at BILs house, because it is possible GMIL will be there and we can see her.
My greatest fear is my MIL carrying through with her other narrative. That I do not want my children, and that I do not like children. She has threatened CPS before, she has also openly stated that I am unfit and she would raise my children. She has stated the same thing about SIL and niece.
I would appreciate any and all advice on how to proceed. We would like to get GMIL evaluated by an unbiased party, and then move forward from there. I currently have several social workers thanks to my babys' stay in the NICU. The social workers have had multiple in home visits every week since she came home from the hospital, I am not concerned about MIL being able to execute her CPS narrative and taking the my children in the near future. She might have the ability to go after SIL. I would appreciate a list of advice to follow regarding how to prepare for that potential eventuality. Thankfully my state does not have grandparent rights.
submitted by Libromancer to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:48 JLGoodwin1990 I don't shower with my door ajar anymore

I used to shower with my bathroom door open just a crack. For whatever dumb reason, the tiny, cramped apartment bathroom I’ve had to deal with for the last nine years or so loves to steam and fog up, even with the water on warm instead of hot. And, since my crappy as hell landlord refused to fix the ceiling mounted fan which would have ventilated the room, along with the fact it caused the ancient off white paint to sweat and start developing mold patches in any other case, something which he would’ve charged me to clean, I made the decision to leave the door open a bit to allow to steam to escape. For almost a decade, nothing out of the ordinary happened, and I went about my daily life, the habit becoming a routine in my mind.
That was, up until two months or so ago.
You see, I was alone that day. My roommate had gone out for the day to take part in some bowling tournament, and I had the run of the place for the next four to six hours. As it was my day off from work, I decided to start it off with a long, hot, relaxing shower. So, I grabbed a fresh set of towels from the small closet next to my bedroom door, stepped inside, and, after turning on the water to let it warm up, I hopped in. I’d just lathered the shampoo up in my hair when I heard a noise come from just outside the bathroom. It was almost masked by the sound of the water splashing down on me and the floor of the tub, but it was out of place enough that I caught it. Scrape. It was almost the sound you’d hear if you dragged long fingernails down the wall. I froze, the shampoo dripping down over my face making it difficult to see anything at all. The sound came again. Scrape. For a moment, the thought of someone breaking in flashed through my mind; after all, the neighborhood I live in has the nickname of “Methpire” for a reason. But, if someone had broken a window or forced the lock, I would’ve heard it. The place isn’t exactly big enough to miss those sounds.
Finally, I opened my mouth. “Tyler?” Instantly, the sound, which had begun to repeat itself for a third time, ceased, the entire place going silent, save for the water. I felt a small wave of annoyance zap through me. Tyler, this better not be another one of your games, I thought as I hurriedly washed the shampoo out of my hair. My roommate had a habit, being a horror junkie, in delighting in attempting to play pranks on me, knowing I had a tendency to be a little jumpy. Without shutting off the water, I reached out, grabbed a towel off the rack, and stepped out, wrapping it around my waist. “Tyler, I swear to God, if this is another attempt to scare me, I’m going to kick your ass!” I called, striding across the tiled floor and yanking the door all the way open. I looked around. There was nobody in the living room, or the kitchen which opened off of it. I glanced around, then, just to ease my own mind, I walked, first to my bedroom, then Tyler’s, looking in. Both were empty, and there wasn’t exactly any place for someone to quickly hide in either of them.
Huh. I must’ve just been hearing things. Shrugging my shoulders, I turned and jumped back into the shower to finish up. That evening, when Tyler came back home from celebrating with his team, apparently having blitzed the competition, I decide to question him as we sat at the kitchen table, eating Chinese takeout. “Hey, Ty?” I asked casually, glancing up from my chopsticks. “Yeah?” he mumbled out through a mouthful of his food, causing me to roll my eyes at his lack of manners. “You didn’t happen to come home earlier today for a moment, did you?” He looked up at me, a slightly perplexed expression on his face. “Nah, man. I was at the alley until three, and out drinking with the boys until five. Why?” I searched his face. The guy had a tendency to chew a little too much when he was bullshitting me; it was a tell I’d learned to spot of his, thanks to endless nights of playing poker against one another. “No reason. Just, thought I’d heard something while I was in the shower this morning” I looked at him, smirking slightly. “Thought you might’ve come back to grab something you needed, and decided to try and pull one over on me again”
He let out a huge burp in response, then reached forward and grabbed his bottle of Coke, tilting it back and taking a swig. “No, man” he said simply, using the back of his sleeve to wipe his lips, “Besides, if I’d come back and tried to scare you, you’d have known it” He let out a low laugh, one which, after a moment of studying him, I shared. He was clearly telling the truth. “Yeah, I guess you’re right, bro” I said, dropping my chopsticks into the empty container and hocking it over my shoulder into the trash can. He leaned back, and, using his own empty container, feigned being a basketball player and acted like he was making a free throw; the container bounced off the edge, making us both laugh. I pushed what had to be a trick of my mind out of my head, and the two of us spent the rest of the night playing video games and downing beer.
The next week went by without any other strange noises, and I almost completely forgot the strange incident. Ty had gone out for the evening on a date, and after binge watching all three Creature from the Black Lagoon movies, I flicked the television off and headed for the shower. Hopping in, I softly hummed some 50s tune stuck in my mind and lathered myself up with soap. I’d just put the shampoo in my hair, when I heard the scraping sound again. This time, it was a bit louder, and I knew it hadn’t been my imagination. I became still as a statue again, my head under the water and blurred between it and the shampoo slowly being rinsed out of it of its own accord. I almost held my breath, listening. The sound came again; this time, instead of on the wall, the scrape clearly came from the wooden doorway to the bathroom. I felt my heart thudding hard in my chest. Then, my eyes widened as I saw a shadow filter through the opaque shower curtain. It was the shadow of the bathroom door slowly opening.
I found my voice. “Who’s out there?!” I called, attempting to sound as tough and authoritative as I could. Just like last time, the moment I spoke up, all movement and sound ceased, the apartment going silent. This time, however, the air almost felt charged, as if the tension in it were palpable enough to be cut with by a knife. I reached out, wrapping my fingers around the edge of the curtain as I grabbed the closest thing I could find as a weapon: a full bottle of shampoo. It was a pathetic weapon which likely wouldn’t faze any intruder, but, it was still better than nothing. Taking a deep breath, I wrenched the curtain back, the sound of the hooks scraping on the metal pole almost sounding like a scream in the quiet. Just like last time, there was no sign of a soul. The only thing that gave away that anything had changed, was that the bathroom door was, indeed, standing wide open; the darkened outline of the living room beyond made me feel uneasy. I couldn’t place why, but it almost felt as if the gloom held a threatening atmosphere. Shutting off the water, I stepped out and wrapped the towel around my waist.
Stepping to the doorway, I reached out into the dark and felt around the edge of the door until my fingers found the light switch. Instantly, the dark was banished away by the bright white light overhead. I could see that nobody was in sight in the living room. This time, however, I wasn’t taking any chances. Water still dripping off me, I strode across the living room to where I’d dropped my belt I wore when out on the job as a plumber. I reached down and pulled a rather large pipe wrench from its place, gripping it with wet, and, admittedly, slightly shaky hands. The kitchen was clearly devoid of life, and I focused my vision on the two bedrooms, which lay dark. My door was wide open, but Ty’s was slightly closed. I glanced at the hook on the wall, noting that his car keys weren’t hanging from them next to mine. He’s not home, which means….shit. I felt my muscles tense up. I seriously didn’t want to deal with some homeless junkie who had someone gotten himself inside and was trying to find something to steal, or worse, attack me in some drug fueled rage.
I forced myself to speak loudly and tough as I could. “I’m warning you; if anyone is in here, I am armed!” I didn’t add the fact it was a wrench and not a gun. “If you come out and just leave, this’ll go a lot easier!” Silence. The only sound I could hear was a car passing by outside. I called again. “Look, I’m in no mood for this, so come out, and get the hell out of my place!” Still nothing. But, I felt an odd sensation, one which caused the hairs on my arms to stand up straight, even damp. It was the feeling of being watched. My eyes caught the flicker of movement. A shadow seemed to draw back away from my roommate’s half closed door. I knew right there and then I should’ve called the cops, but, some dumb sense of bravado had come over me, and I wanted to be like those tough guys in the older movies, taking care of things themselves. “This is your final warning!” I called to the bedroom. After about twenty seconds of more silence, I drew in a deep breath, raised the wrench as high over my head as I could, and, letting out a bellowing yell, dashed for the bedroom door as if I were simultaneously a football linebacker, and an Olympic torch carrier.
I burst through the door like a charging bull, the door smashing into the wall behind it with the sickening crunch of plaster breaking. I shot my free arm out and wrenched the light switch up. The room was empty. Ty’s scattered clothes, records and game cases lay strewn about the floor like always. I looked around. The closet. Each of us had a small, walk in style closet on the far wall of our respective rooms. Taking another deep breath, and still holding the wrench above my head like a caveman’s club, I strode to the sliding doors and grabbed the handle, yanking it open with a scream of protest from its track. I forced aside the clothes hanging on the rack. Nothing. As I stared at the back wall, the feeling of being stared at came again, this time from almost directly behind me. I swear I could actually feel someone – or something, breathing down my neck.
Moving on pure instinct, I pivoted around and swung the wrench with all the strength I had – at nothing. There was nothing and nobody behind me. What the actual hell is going on here? I wondered. As I stood there, feeling as though something had been behind me and had simply dematerialized out of existence when I turned and swung, I heard the sound of a key in the front door, then the laughs of Ty and what had to be his date as they stepped inside. “I’m telling you, you did great at darts, babe!” Ty exclaimed. Both of them stopped and stared at me when they reached his bedroom door. I know I must’ve looked weird, standing in his room wearing only a towel and holding a wrench. After a moment of silence, he spoke. “..Uh, Jimmy, boy, what the hell are you doing?” I blinked a few times, trying to find my voice. Finally, I spoke.
“I swear I heard someone in here, man” I said, my voice trailing off slightly. I saw the two of them exchange nervous looks. “What you mean, dude?” he asked, his eyes looking around. “I mean, I heard the exact same sound as last time, only the bathroom door swung open. I came out, thought I heard someone moving around in your room, and came in here” I replied, feeling only confusion and embarrassment sweep over me. I could tell he believed I had heard something, and to ease my worries, he had his date sit in the room, and together, we swept the place, looking in every closet and under both beds. But we found no trace of anyone. I shook my head as he prepared to go into his bedroom. “I don’t get it” I muttered softy. He patted me on the shoulder. “I think the bathroom door may just be a bit loose on its hinges, my dude” he said, trying to reassure me. “I’ll check it out in the morning. Go dry yourself off and get some sleep” He punched me lightly on the arm. “And hey, no scary movies late at night for you, okay? You’re starting to hear things go bump in the night for real!”
He let out a laugh, one which I mirrored, but didn’t feel. The feeling of eyes on me had vanished, but the apartment still held an uneasy feeling. It stayed as I dried off, dressed into a pair of pajama bottoms, and climbed into bed. I could hear Ty in the next room, doing exactly what I figured he’d be doing with his date, and rolled my eyes. Hearing that shit gets old after a while. Still, I reached out, grabbed the remote and flicked on the small TV on my bureau for background noise. It took a very long time to drift off to sleep that night, and when I did, my dreams – nightmares, actually, were of a dark, shadowy figure creeping slowly towards my ajar bathroom door, the sounds of the shower on spilling out from it. As it reached out to push open the door, I snapped awake, sitting straight up in bed with a sheen of sweat covering my face and body.
For the next two weeks, I tried as hard as possible not to stay alone in that place. I only showered when I could hear my friend moving around in his room, or out in the living room. Whenever I knew Ty was going out for any reason, I’d either find an excuse to join him, or just go out and do something in town. The sense of being watched hadn’t returned after that night, but I wasn’t taking any chances. Something about the place just, felt like it had changed. Something almost imperceptible, which I couldn’t place. But, it seemed to do the trick, as nothing weird or creepy happened.
Then, one day, as I was sitting in a café sipping on a coffee, my phone rang. I pulled it out of my pocket, and saw it was my boss calling me. Great, on my day off I thought exasperatedly, then hit the button to answer it. “Yeah?” Instantly, I heard the gruff voice of Rick, my boss on the other end, yelling to someone else. “No, no, no! Steven, how many times do I have to tell you, counter-clock ways!” His voice got louder as he must’ve put it back to his head. “James, you there?” he asked. “Yep” I replied simply. He let out a sigh. “Look, I know today’s your day off, but we’re over here at the Bannerman property, and two of the pipes burst” He let out a long groan of frustration. “One of them is real bad. I’m able to get one of them fixed, but, our new employee” his voice took on an undisguised tone of disgust, “decided to make it worse by fucking the pipe up worse” He finished, letting a moment of silence spread out before speaking again. “So, I apologize, but I need you to come in. You’ll get paid overtime, of course” I nodded, more to myself than anything, then let out a sigh of my own. “Yeah, I’ll be in. Just let me swing by my place and pick up my tools” I said.
“Don’t forget to quickly hit the shower before getting over here, James” he quickly added, “You know old man Bannerman gets pissy about anyone not being freshly clean coming in here, due to being a germophobe. So, I’ll expect you to be here in thirty minutes” And with that, he clicked off before I could say anything. Not that I could, anyways. At the mention of a shower, I felt a shiver run up my spine. I knew Ty was out; his bowling team was off in the next town on another tournament. Which would mean I’d have to shower in the empty apartment. And that’s something I really do not want to do. But, I had no choice. If I just grabbed my tools and slipped into my jumpsuit, I’d get chewed out, first by Old Man Bannerman, and then Rick for not following orders set down both by him, and the man we’d contracted to repair and replace the pipes of his huge sprawling mansion.
Sighing, I paid for my coffee and drove back to the apartment. When I opened the door, I had a flash of panic seize through me. I thought the feeling I’d had before would come back as soon as I stepped inside. But, the apartment felt normal, the cloudy light filtering in through the half open kitchen and living room window blinds. I looked around, then shook my head. Stop being such a baby, Jimmy. There’s nothing in here except you. You’ll be fine, just take the shower, and book it. Feeling more resolved, I strode across to my room, gathering my undershirt and jumpsuit. For peace of mind, I also grabbed the same pipe wrench I’d held that night from the belt hanging over the edge of the couch, and carried it into the bathroom with me, placing it on top of the pile of clothes sitting on the toilet lid. For a moment, I debated on just closing the bathroom door, but, like the previous feeling, shook it away and left it ajar. Ty should’ve fixed the hinges by now, anyways.
I reached into the shower and turned the water on, waiting for it to warm up. After I saw the steam begin to rise out from over the curtain, I stepped inside, grabbing the bar of soap and quickly beginning to scrub myself. I rinsed myself off with no problems, then grabbed the shampoo and lathered up my hair. As I scrubbed into my scalp, the soap began to drip down into my eyes, obscuring my vision. That’s when I heard the scraping sound come again. Only this time, it was much louder and more pronounced than any time I’d heard it before. I felt a chill run up my spine, despite the hot water flowing down over it. It came again, just outside the bathroom door. I took a deep breath. “Tyler?” I called out, thinking the sound would stop as it had both times before. But this time, it didn’t. Instead, I heard it scrape louder, almost on the bathroom door itself. I felt my breath catch in my throat as I saw the dark shape of the bathroom door swing open.
And then, the bathroom lights flicked off, plunging me into darkness. There was still a little light filtering in from the living room, but everything was now in gloom. What. The. Fuck. My heart was thundering in my chest as I slowly stepped back. I knew the distance from the edge of the tub to the toilet seat where my wrench lay was less than two feet. I could reach out and snatch it in a heartbeat. The scraping sound came again, loud as I’d ever heard it; it came from inside the bathroom somewhere, near the door. And then it stopped entirely. Aside from the sound of the water running, the apartment fell silent. Not a deadly silence, not a tension filled silence, just, silent. I stared for the longest time, what had to be only about fifteen seconds, but what felt like two hours, at the dim outline of the open door. I saw nothing. I turned to pull the curtain next to me back. And I screamed.
The dark outline of a figure, darker than any of the rest of the gloom, stood almost directly on the other side of the curtain, less than a foot from me. If it’d been any closer, it would’ve been pressing into the curtain itself. It stood completely motionless, though I could tell it was looking in my direction from the feeling washing over me in waves, sending a tsunami of chills through me. I couldn’t tell whether it was a man or woman, or hell, if it was even human. It was a human like figure; that was all I could tell. My breath came out in a ragged gasp, and I involuntarily let out a whisper. “Oh, fuck me…”
That was when it lunged at me. I let out a loud scream as the curtain pressed in against its weight, wrapping around it, and subsequently me as I saw arms reaching out to grab me. The momentum of it smashing into me caused me to slip on the wet shower floor, and I went flying backwards. My head smashed into the tub’s faucet, causing me to let out a cry of pain and stars to flash in my vision as I fell to the floor of the tub. It was still there, as I could feel it on top of me, but it never let out a single sound. Something sharp jabbed into my leg, and I let out another scream at the sudden explosion of pain come from my thigh. Another jammed into my shoulder, and I kicked out at the dark figure inches from my face through the curtain. I felt it impact something, but it seemed to have no effect. Another stab of pain came from my shoulder as whatever it was using, a weapon or…claws, jammed into the wound it had already made. I kept screaming as I thrashed around, trying to jam myself into a position where I could reach out.
I heard furious knocking coming from my front door, but it sounded like it was a mile away. “Help me!” I screamed as loudly as I could, still lashing out. Just as I began to feel woozy, I felt my hand brush the edge of the toilet seat, and with it, the cold metal handle of my wrench. Grabbing it as hard as I could, I swung out with all my remaining strength into what had to be the head of the thing. It seemed to stumble a bit at the blow, and I used that precious second to wrench myself out from underneath it, tumbling over the edge of the tub and onto the bathroom floor. I heard it thrashing about with the fallen shower curtain, furiously tearing at it in an attempt to get to me. But I was stumbling to my feet, noting as I did the amount of blood falling to the floor. I struggled to the front door as I heard it finally break free, crashing back onto the bathroom floor, but still remaining silent. I unlocked the door and wrenched it open, revealing the concerned face of my next door neighbor.
When he saw my condition, his face paled. Before I had a chance to say anything, I yelled. “I’m being attacked, it’s in there!” pointing back towards the bathroom. Grabbing me, he pulled me into his open apartment door, slamming it closed and locking it. He quickly brought me a bathrobe and called the police. As he did, I could hear the sounds of it tearing through the apartment, doing God only knows what. It stayed that way until I heard the wail of sirens coming down the road, at which point, I heard everything fall silent in my apartment. A few moments later, I heard the thundering of steps pound up the stairs to the second floor, followed by the yell of the officers. After a few minutes, my neighbor and I heard the hard knock at his door. “Police!”
I was helped to an ambulance, where I was taken to the hospital. In addition to splitting open my scalp on the faucet, I’d been cut up pretty badly, though by what, the doctors couldn’t tell me. They couldn’t even tell themselves. “It’s the damndest thing” one told me as they sewed the wounds closed, “If it hadn’t been for the fact you’d seen a person, I would’ve said you’d been attacked by an animal. These look like puncture wounds from claws!”
The police never found a trace of what had attacked me. I already knew they wouldn’t. It wasn’t a man who’d attacked me. It hadn’t even been human. The case is still open to this day, though I’ve long since stopped getting update calls from the detectives in charge of the case. Tyler and I moved out of the apartment as soon as I left the hospital; he chose to stay at his new girlfriend’s house while I recovered. He’s under the belief I was attacked by an intruder, as is everyone else I know. I just say that whenever anyone asks. It’s easier that way, then trying to explain what I know won’t be believed. That’s why I’m posting this here. I just, feel the need to have to tell someone what actually happened to me that day. This is a place I know I’ll be believed, or at least, won’t be called nuts for it. That figure simply appeared on the other side of the curtain. I never saw it cross the room, and I know, even in the dark, I would have. And even then. Nothing human could possibly be been that silent.
I also know someone else moved into that apartment since then, though I don’t know who they are. I pray they won’t ever end up receiving a visit from…whatever that thing was. The two of us are now renting a nice, relatively cheap two bedroom house miles away from that place. I’ve never felt the sensation of being watched again, and I’ve thankfully never heard the scraping sound. At least, in my waking hours. I still hear it in my dreams, though. I still see that shape standing just on the other side of the curtain in the dark. It will likely stay there until the day I’m on my deathbed. I always feel tense now when I step into the bathroom to wash myself, but, I’ve always felt safe in my new place.
I don’t shower with my door ajar anymore. I make sure it’s closed and firmly locked before I undress and hop in. I’ve always felt safe in my new place, but, I’m not taking any chances.
Because I don’t know if it’s trapped in that apartment. Or if it can leave whenever it wants.
submitted by JLGoodwin1990 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:44 Confident_Today_4141 I (19F) want and need to drop out of university for my own mental and financial benefit, but my parents are absolutely not going to be happy about it.

TL;DR I am not financially dependent on my parents, I want to drop out of university and move out, but I do not want my parents to write me off as a failure and never talk to me again because of it.
So essentially I have been an "academic powerhouse" my entire life. I never took anything below an honors class all throughout middle and high school, and in high school I was in several extracurriculars including National English Honors Society, NHS, Beta Club President, student class vice president, etc. I also enrolled in and completed 9 AP classes for credits throughout high school. I never made anything below a 95 in any class, ever.
All that being said, I AM BURNED TF OUT! I thought college would be enough of an environmental change to reengage me in school and give me the motivation to push through, but after only 1 1/2 semesters I am completely ready to take a gap year-- or maybe a few years -- to settle, save some money, and just enjoy being young without the added stress of school.
As it is, I already have 3 jobs, however I cannot just quit working and just focus on school as my parents do not give me money for food, clothing, books, or just other mundane necessities like laundry detergent and body wash. I live in a 4 bedroom apartment that my academic scholarships have paid for, but that of course does not cover all of my living expenses.
I need a break, desperately.
What I have not yet mentioned is that my living situation at home is less than stellar. My father is a narcissist and a drunk, who has more than once hurt me physically and almost daily verbally assaults me and my family. He will drink and drive at 9am, speeding at felony level speeds all while he is also high af. Both me and my brother (20M) are adults now, however he still has us on tracking apps, we have to ask permission to do almost anything (even though we pay for our own activities, transportation, etc.) My mother pretty much does not care about what we do, however she will be the most reluctant to the idea of me dropping out because she has always been the one pushing me and my brother to be academically successful. My brother lives at home and goes to a university very close to our house, but they do not bother or care nearly as much about what he does because he never tried to cultivate a relationship with them like I did.
I am not financially dependent on my parents whatsoever. They bought my brother a car, they have not bought me one. They pay for part of my brother's education, they do not pay for mine (except some application fees in the beginning totaling less than $100). As it is now, none of my clothes, food, bedding, apartment decorations, kitchen appliances, personal care items, ANYTHING has been bought by them excluding maybe some socks I got as Christmas presents.
My parent's background goes a long way to explain why they are so distrustful / think that dropping out of school will ruin my life. My mom moved out when she was 16 years old (mind you, for absolutely no reason because her mother, my mamaw, is an absolutely wonderful lady who was fully willing to financially support her through high school, college, or just being a young person not in school because she did this for my uncle as well) and went straight into work. She never went back to college until she was 29, and she then got pregnant with my brother and dropped out of college and did not go back for 12 years. She then completed her degree and now has a masters and makes pretty decent money. My dad dropped out of high school his junior year (for better reasons than my mother, as my grandfather died when my dad was seven and he had to live through abusive step fathers and had a generally rough upbringing). He then just partied with his friends and my mom, got high, drank, played video games, and worked about 100 different minimum wages jobs that he would work at for 2 weeks and then quit, until he was 27 and my mom got pregnant and he got a job as a delivery driver which he would be for the next 10 years. He then applied for a job in a factory and now makes decent money, but not near as much as my mother.
So essentially, they think my decision to take a break from school will send me down the same hard path they had.
My plan is to move out of my house, take a gap year or a couple from college, and just enjoy being young. I have an extremely close friend group consisting of 10 people between 19 and 23 years old. They all live on their own and I have several different options for who I would move in with, as they have all offered since they are familiar with my living situation.
A few of my friends are attending university. A few online and one still attends a standard brick and mortar university. ALL of them have significantly cheaper tuitions because they are considered an independent, but due to my parents still claiming me as a dependent my scholarships have had to do all of the heavy lifting to get me through.
I say all of this to ask, how the hell do I go about this? I want to just walk up to them and say "this is what I am doing and there is nothing you can do to stop me" but I do not want them to completely cut off all contact with me and write me off as a failure. How do I get my parents to understand that my friends have not convinced me to do this and that this is really the option that is best for me? I know I can afford to live on my own, as I will most likely be living in a 3 bedroom apartment with 4 people that will cost me less that 250 a month to live in. I just want independence and the freedom to finally breath and make my own decisions. What should I do?
submitted by Confident_Today_4141 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:39 salt_rock4 General Financial Advice for 18 y.o/ How Should I Spend My Money?

Should I make any changes to the way I handle my money?
I'm 18 and am a full-time student in my first year of college, and I have a consistent part-time job—in addition to two side hustles. I currently make about $370/week ($1480/month). I will be a part-time student come September, and plan to become full-time at my job starting early this May, which will increase my earnings to about $600/week ($2400/month). Here's some basic information about my finances:
Monthly expenses (gas, food, transportation, misc.): $300-$400
Debt: N/A
Savings: Capital One High-Yield Savings (3.40% APY): $3000, Capital One Checking: $933
-> This savings account serves as my emergency fund (though I do keep most of the money in my checking account in it when not in use). I've kept it liquid, as many people recommend, but my situation right now is quite stable and I'm not opposed to reducing the fund in order to make some investments.
Credit: Experian 701 (6 Inquiries), Equifax 730 (3 Inquiries), TransUnion 727 (4 Inquiries)
Credit Cards & Limits: Discover It ($1800), Synchrony Bank Venmo ($2000), Capital One Quicksilver Secured ($200), American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($1000) — Total Limit: $5000
-> I am expecting to be approved for a limit of at least $1500 on my Quicksilver card after I receive my $200 security deposit back in late June/early July. For the AMEX card, I will be requesting a credit increase after two months of ownership. I also plan to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex sometime during the summer, as I'm at 4/24 currently, and I've opened a Chase Total checking account in preparation. I will also be able to receive a $200 bonus from that account when I enroll in direct deposit.
-> I know I've applied for a lot of credit, but I really don't need any of it. I just want to have some no-annual-fee cards that will provide me with a high base average credit age so that my score takes less of a hit when I apply for cards farther down the line. I will be downgrading the Amex BCP to the Amex BCE after the first annual fee in 2 years. Next year, I will do enough grocery shopping to justify the one annual fee so that the $95 doesn't sting.
-> I've also signed up for direct deposit with Wells Fargo and qualified for their $300 bonus, which should be credited to me in about a month, when the 90-day evaluation period elapses.
Investments: Fidelity Roth IRA: $100 (VOO)
I am very lucky to not have student debt/installment loans of any kind, and I live at home and have essentially no expenses—beyond those mentioned above. I don't pay for health or car insurance, and I feel like I should be capitalizing on my privileged situation. My job is actually a paid apprenticeship in a pretty niche field, and I think doing both an apprenticeship and working towards a debt-free degree simultaneously is a good use of my time. I think I have a pretty good handle on responsible credit usage, and I save over half of what I make, but investing my money is where I come up short. There is such a wealth of opinions and advice on the internet about investing, and it feels like everybody has a different view. However, I know I would kick myself later in life if I didn't take advantage of compounding interest now, so I opened a Roth IRA last week. I've been thinking of trying to max it out and then dollar-cost averaging any remaining money that I make (keeping enough to maintain my current monthly spend) into a non-tax-advantaged investment account, probably also into an ETF tracking the S&P500, but I feel like I'm just regurgitating YouTube financial advice, and I wonder if I'm going about this the right way. Any and all replies are greatly appreciated! I'm happy to expand on anything, please just ask. :)
submitted by salt_rock4 to personalfinance [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:37 johnnypancakes49 Apostasia ~ 2400

To start our community I would like to share my recent short story Apostasia.
Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated!
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my writing.

My father’s shadowy figure filled the arched doorway as candles flickered in the hall behind him.
“Son” he calls out. His voice bouncing off the vaulted ceilings.
“Yes father” I call back
“Today is your day, you will go out alone. I need you to take the truck to the Harvesters cabin, where I showed you last time.” He stepped forward and his face was cast in a golden glow. He reached his hand out toward me and I began to rise to my feet and approach him.
“What will I do there?” I ask. He shakes his head as if nodding off a nagging fly and lowers his hand.
“You will be receiving something that you must protect with your life my son. You will leave tonight at sundown.” he tells me. “I know you are scared to be alone but remember I am always with you son, up here” He taps his finger to his temple.
At sundown I put on my black coat and my father hands me the key to the truck. He says “Be safe now son. We need you back for Nyx ceremonies so make haste.” With that I start the car and rumble down the gravel drive towards the stone gate.
The Harvesters cabin is just past the treeline, a small dilapidated wooden shack entangled with vines and shrubs. A single cardboard package sits in front of it. This must be what I'm here for. I grabbed the box and ran back to the car. I left quickly, Ansty with excitement about the success of my first solo mission.
Red and blue lights flick on behind me and light up the dark county road. I’ve been trained for this. I squeak the truck to a halt and pull to the side of the road. I feel my heart pound as the man approaches. I stick one hand out the window and keep the other planted firmly on the steering wheel.
“How ya doing tonight son?” he asked me in a deep, arrogant voice.
“I'm not your son and I don’t talk to your kind” I said calmly. I shouldn’t be here. I need to get back with the supplies soon before father starts to worry. After all, this is my first time away from the Ikos unaccompanied. He might think I've gone rogue and tried to betray him.
“Where's your windshield.... and windows? Can I see your license and registration" he said. I don’t know what he means so I don’t say anything. Father told me the Kleptos can't hurt me if I don’t say anything. I turn and glance at him for the first time and his eyes drill into me. Cold, dull and lifeless he glares at me. I can feel his evil intentions trying to pull words from my mouth. Besides everyone knows windows provide evil easy access to your mind. He opens the door and grabs my arm and pulls me behind the truck.
“This truck ain’t yours, is it?... Plate’s registered to a blue minivan, we’ve spotted you a few times, but you always seem to disappear into thin air.” He clicks cold metal cuffs around my wrists. I try to rip away from him but he’s too big. They've got me. I close my eyes tight and interlace my fingers how father showed me. I ask why he is letting this happen, why he would let the Kleptos take me. I feel his hand on my shoulder; Don’t worry son, this is all part of my plan. He has warned me about the challenges that may present themselves outside. But father told me nobody should touch me outside of the Ikos. Even still his voice echoes through my head and calms my panic. I bow my head; ever thankful he is here for me.
“If ya’ won't talk I'm gonna have to take you in” he yanks me backwards towards his car. Don’t let them take me. After trapping me in the back seat, behind darkened glass he began to drive, further than I had been before. Father traveled the land before me and found nothing but despair beyond our valley. He built the compound to keep us safe from the Exousia. They dominated the outside world and preyed on people to power their system, and now they have me. The Kleptos are tasked with collecting freelancers like us, father calls us Diaspora, and bringing us to work into their system. We’ve lost many this way over the years. The scripture of Lazarus describes this type of abduction, he was able to make it back to the commune after spending nearly a year in the hands of the Exousia. But all that time spent outside corrupted him. He came back to the commune in a crazed frenzy, screaming and fighting. The overseers were forced to lock him up in the Ikos. For 44 days and 44 nights Lazarus screamed and shouted as the overseer tried to rid him of his contaminates. At the end of the trial, he emerged from the Ikos as a tiny newborn, awarded a second chance to honor our father.
I tried my best to resist the temptation to look out the window, but I desperately need to make out my surroundings. Nothing looks familiar, everything is covered in marks of their systems. Father said they use cables to string together different parts of the outside and keep them under control. A dim yellow glow grows in the distance. Before I knew it tall buildings towered on either side of the road. I had never seen such buildings before. All those windows, one per soul. The control cables swooped up and down along the sides of the road, like a clothesline bouncing in the wind. They stretched as far in each direction as I could see. I could almost hear the static pulse inside the Klepto’s head as he bobbed it up and down with the bumps in the road.
When we arrived at the terminal it was worse than I ever could have imagined. Large glass windows span the front wall of the building, and inside the windows continue. Two, three, sometimes up to 4 layers of windows eating away at these misguided Kleptos. I try to keep my eyes locked to the floor, but even there I can catch reflections of those windows. I'm dragged into a dim room with a metal table in the middle and the man forces me down into the chair. The wall In Front of me holds a giant mirror, I stare into my own eyes, bright with life, then back at the Klepto, dull and dreary. Another one enters and the pair begin babbling questions at me. I tune them out so as to not let their words dig too deep. My eyes and ears perk up when the lesser of the two says the word Diaspora.
“Something of a religious group, but they’ve been suspected of some misbehavior in the past, specifically one member, Phillip Franco. I hear he’s like their Jesus or something”. He chuckled to his partner. What are they talking about? I've been around long enough to know there's no Phillip in the Ikos. I blanked for a second before recalling the story of Jesus. He was one of Father’s Father’s earliest followers who betrayed him for a chance to sit among the Exousia, but he was in fact deceived about the nature of his offer and the Klepto that struck up the deal took Jesus instead.
“So, who is this Phillip Franco to you?” Klepto asked me. “Come on now don’t play dumb, we saw where you was comin from.” I interlace my fingers, wrists shackled to the table in front of me and close my eyes tight. My father came to me attentively and placed his hands in mine. This is your time son, Speak he tells me. All my life I've been told speaking to a Klepto can only worsen things but here I sit, in the room with two and father tells me to speak. I begin to form a story in my head, anything that will get them off my back. As soon as my lip's part to spill the lie he rumbles from deep within me again. Tell them the truth. You are part of me, You hold my power.
“There’s no Phillip Franco where I come from.” I say.
“Where might that be?” the Klepto asks smugly. His beady eyes were bulging with artificial endorphins. He knows what's coming.
“I come from the holy place. My father watches over all of the Diaspora and I am his only child, born of light” I open my eyes and lock them with their reflections in the mirror. I can't let them get to me. “We live and work in harmony with each other while your Exousia varnishes and defiles the outside.” One of the Kleptos steps back and wipes a bead of sweat off his forehead.
“How long have you lived on that complex son?”
“Since the beginning. And I already told you once who my father is. Stop calling me son.” I snapped at him. With that, the sweaty Klepto scurried out of the room and the lesser one stepped forward.
“We’re gonna need to collect a sample of your blood buddy. We need to figure out who you are.”
“I am son of the Father” I say once again. He looks down at his folder then back up at me.
“This Father character you speak of is rumored to be our Phillip Franco, and he doesn't have any children.” The other Klepto bursts through the door and slams his hands down on the table in front of me. He grabs my arm and pushes his body hard against mine, so I'm pinned in place. He jabs me in the arm with a needle before I realize what’s going on. He swiftly caps the bloody syringe and scampers back out of the room just as hastily as he arrived, door slamming and latching behind him.
“Do you know anything about the package we found in the truck?” He asked.
“Those are spirit stones; we must eat two each morning to protect us from the evils your Exousia expels into the world. I can account to this firsthand, I can feel the evils leave my body as the spirit of light fills me each day. “
“I don’t think you understand, those are illegal narcotics” he said. I'm not sure what he means by this but I know the spirit stones are important. Father must eat them constantly as he bears most of the evil of this world so others may live in relative peace. As his son I have been taking more and more, taking on more evil, erasing it with light. The sweaty Klepto bursts through the door once again, paper in hand. “you're gonna want to see this” he says to his partner.
“Oh my god its him!” exclaims the other as he reads the file and sheds a tear. Both Kleptos look straight at me for what feels like an hour until the sweaty one eventually speaks. “We're not sure how to tell you this but, Uh, Phillip Franco and his girlfriend at the time, Julia Robin kidnapped you from your parents as a very young baby. Your real name is Orion Peterson.”
In that moment something shifted. My brain became loud and cluttered. I closed my eyes and clenched my hands, calling out desperately for Father’s Guidance, but I couldn’t find him anywhere. As if he had just vanished. What’s happening Father? I opened my eyes to see the sweaty Klepto sitting right across from me, his blue eyes sparkling even under the dim light. He stretched his hands across the table and unlocked the handcuffs. I took his hand and looked into his eyes as his cheeks and hair filled with color. His hands felt like worn leather, rough and cracked.
“Do you want to meet your real father?” He asks. I know who my real father is. Who could he possibly be talking about? I nod reluctantly and he turns smoothly and walks towards the door. As we walk back through the labyrinth of windows, I keep my head down.
We walked for a couple minutes through this concrete jungle. The smooth paved ground beneath us was cracked, imperfect. We stepped to a looming tower and the doors split open in front of us as if they knew we were coming. A grand red lobby with shiny marble floors spilled out Infront of me. They lead me to a small, golden door along the back wall. Again, it opened as if it could hear us coming. We stepped into a small room with numbered buttons on the wall. The door closed and I felt my stomach drop. A second later the wall behind me opened, revealing a long, marble hallway with a pair of large wooden doors at the end. I took a deep breath as the Klepto’s sweaty hand pulled against the ornate iron handle.
A crimson arc cuts through the air and fills the hallway as the doors swing apart. I keep my eyes down, afraid of what might be producing this light. There's a man sitting at a desk in the middle of the room, he stands up and walks over. He puts his hand on my shoulder and I flinch slightly. He quickly pulls his hand back.
“Sorry. I can't imagine how confused you must be right now.” he says. “I want to show you something.” He leads me over to the window and points. I look up and can't believe what I'm seeing. I must be 500 feet in the air, at the top of the building. These towers extend into the distance, then stop suddenly where a swirling vortex begins. “It's called the ocean” he says. I look up at him and smile as the crimson sun tucks itself into the hazy horizon.
submitted by johnnypancakes49 to writercritique [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:34 Globofchaos Another girl chapter 2

Philosopher Stone College 1660
18-year-old Gondul stood in front of the giant building. She was a mere 20 feet from it, but the sight of it took her breath away. Philosopher Stone College is the place everyone and their mother was talking about. Everyone except Newton's mother The green grass was lightly touching the crystal clear water on the pond just below the small bridge. "This place is beautiful, Ikey," Gondul said as he turned around, facing Newton. Isaac had hit a growth spurt; the once shy 10 year old was now a 6 ft 5 young adult. "Ikey ? You still call me that. "Isaac chuckled slightly, cupping his hands to get a small amount of water from the steam. "Yeah, I've been calling you that for the longest time. Why stop now?" Gondul shrugged. The older man didn't reply, instead splashing cold spring water onto his face. He shook his head, allowing the brown curls to bounce off. "Come on now, I wanna explore the area before we start class," Gondul gave him a book.
Isaac moved the book away instead of staring at the sky, the light blue pastel color mixed with the flash of a rainbow. His once deep brown eyes turned the same color as the sky reflecting the multicolored light. Suddenly, flowers of different colors popped up from the ground, both of them. "Uh..Ikey," Gondul shook him, "You are in a trance-like state again." Isaac shook his head, his eyes turning brown again. "I'm sorry. Did you say something?" "Your magic," Gondul said, picking up the beautiful flowers he had created and putting them in her purse. "Right ..." Isaac awkwardly rubbed his hair. "You should probably control yourself a little better next time," Gondul pointed out. "Yeah, sorry," Isaac felt back. "It's not your fault, but I really don't want them to find out." Gondul rubbed her chin. "Maybe there is a way for you to repress it?" "Just long enough until school ends and we are alone?" "Magic isn't something you can just repress, darling. It's complicated," Isaac stated, turning a green apple into a red one. "Hhhmmmm," Gondul took the apple, taking a bite out of it, "I think I have an idea..."
"Hmm," Isaac stood up. "You can always dress up as a jester and pretend you are working on a play in case anybody asks any questions," Gondul pointed out. "A Jester?" Pretending ? Play ? " Isaac turned his head sideways. "Yes, people do it all the time, kind of like acting; maybe you can set up a stage play and write a play," she tried explaining it to him, showing as much enthusiasm as possible. "Uh, no," Isaac rejected the idea.
Gondul noticed the disappointment on his face. "You see, there's a few reasons: #1, I really don't wanna make a fool of myself by being dressed up as a complete idiot," Isaac raised a finger. "Yeah, that's a good point." Gondul realized that. "Magic #2 isn't something to joke about or pretend to do, especially since it's a very complex skill that has a grey area if my magic looks too convincing, well, we are busted," Isaac told her. "Okay, but how strong is your magic?" I'm sure you are good enough to fake it, or I could do the jester role, as Gondul debated. Isaac gave a heavy sigh. "There is no talking it out with you, is there?" Gondul patted him on the shoulder, giving him a smile. "If we play our cards right, we could earn money too!" I mean, instead of doing chores all day, we could study magic while pretending to be humans." "True ..." Isaac collected a few branches he snapped from the tree, making them into a pile.
"What are you doing?" Gondul helped him with the branches. "I plan on collecting a few things for my studies, such as branches, tree bark, and whatever I can find." Isaac dipped a tree branch inside the stream until a bright color emerged. Once he pulled the stream out, it turned into a wooden bowl. Newton filled it with water, staring at his own reflection. "Do you need any help on this?" Gondul asked. "No, this is something I need to do on my own. I can't see you getting hurt," Isaac muttered. "Can you repeat that last part, please?" Gondul gave him her book back. "I said go on; I'll catch up later," he lied. "Okay, Ikey," Gondul waved at him before taking a few steps. "Wait, Gondul," Isaac reached out to her, "Need something?" Gondul answered.
"I... do you think I'd make a good magician... like Galileo or my father?" he swallowed. "No," Gondul disagreed harshly, much to Newton's dismay. "I'm sorry for asking," Isaac groaned in defeat. "I know you would make a better one than any other one combined," her face grinned. "Gondul..." Isaac whispered, his back resting on the tree. "Good luck," Gondul ran across the bridge, jumping across the gate past a few other students. The University of Philosopher's Stone is a rather large place near the gated entrance. It's the type of place where it's easy to get lost. "Sorry, I'm so sorry," she said as she bumped into a few students wandering around the university like a lost child. "Hey, watch it!" a rude man yelled at her. "I'm sorry, it's just so crowded here," Gondul apologized. The brick walls have carvings layered around the walls of the university. Each carving has a specific symbol of stars or some form of astrology. There are hundreds of them, all lined up in two opposite columns. Gondul opened one of the doors, letting herself inside. "Holy moly..." sapphire blue eyes opened.
Inside Philosopher Stone University is what you would expect from such a prestigious, luxurious school. The floors were made out of marble-like rock with different decorations. Dozens of statues of various Greek gods stood by. Gondul felt intense pressure coming from the bone. Cold sweat dropped on the floor along with the excessive shivering. Was it nervousness? Fear? Excitement?the constant thoughts rattled Gondul's brain. "No ..." Gondul shook her head, sitting on the rails of the long stairs to slide off.
flash back
"Why are we going to Philosopher's Stone University?" Gondul asked, watching Isaac pack up his bags. "Grandma told me that Philosopher Stone was the first magic school to open up before it converted to a normal university after it became illegal." The school still opened, but they basically swept their past under the rug, Isaac explained. "Right... that's probably a myth though, right?" Gondul asked him. "Probably, but if there is just 1 person who can teach me what my father couldn't, then I'm willing to risk it even if it means death," Isaac mentioned. Gondul paused upon hearing that. Just kidding! Isaac gave a fake chuckle. "You have the worst sense of humor ever," Gondul pouted. The horse galloped across the open terrain. Gondul laid his head on Isaac's shoulder. "I'm going to miss Grandma Margary's blueberry pie." "Yeah, blueberries are my favorite, especially the way the crust sets on top of the bread," Isaac agreed.
Flash back ends
"There must be proof of some sort of magic." Gondul debated looking through the many doors with bizarre symbols. Being near Isaac for years had made her accustomed to feeling different types of energy. Being in a crowd of students, it was hard to tell which magical fields belonged to whom. It didn't help with the random birds flying around due to the number of open windows. "Hey shoo shoo!" Gondul moved away from the huge raven bouncing off random students. "Someone should really get rid of the bird infestation," someone complained. The raven flew away out of the window, leaving only its black feathers.
In another room was a huge area where the roof was made out of glass. A young man around the same age as Isaac and Gondul climbed on the fragile wood structure like monkey bars. His blond hair had a huge curl on top of it, along with expensive, elegant clothing compared to everyone else's. Once he got bored, he quickly fell off 12 feet, landing on his shoes.
"Thomas Alva Edison! "Didn't I tell you to stop playing around and get to class!?" A man yelled at him. The lamp in front of him completely obscured his face, leaving nothing but a lock of red hair. "Lighten up, pop!" Edison grabbed a Cream Filbert, taking a bite. "Pops?" The man's arm twitched. "I'M ONLY 13 YEARS OLDER THAN YOU." "Relax Isaac, I'm just playing with you," Edison said as he opened the door. "See you later, tutor."
Once the door closed, a raven teleported inside with a burst of red energy. The gem on top of its forehead is glowing. He flew towards the man named "Isaac," once again obscuring his face. "Oh, really?... no way," Isaac understood him. "I'll check it out," he snapped, turning the lights off.
submitted by Globofchaos to ShuumatsuNoValkyrie [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:23 KissCutMe Persistent dizziness amongst other symptoms no one can figure out

Hello, I’m 28F, 130lbs. I take propranolol, Wellbutrin, and Omeprazole daily. I take Dramamine original and Claritin as needed, and Benadryl most nights to help me sleep. I was diagnosed with an arrhythmia in 2020 but wasn’t told what kind. I was told I had a “triple beat”. And was given the propranolol.
Around October last year I suddenly started getting a dizzy/floaty feeling. Not room spinning really so much as just off balance earth shifting floating feeling. It’s hard to describe. Around the same time I started getting severely car sick. I also noticed a significant increase in tonsil stones.
In February of 2022 I got COVID for three days. It wasn’t too bad. But afterwards I lost the ability to effectively swallow small things, pills mostly. I noticed too that my heart became worse. I started to have the most uncomfortable feeling in my feet when standing, especially in the shower. My legs have always been purple when standing, even as a kid, but it became a very deep shade of purple and HURT. Being out of breath just standing. Started feeling like I was going to pass out when standing which was made worse by being in the shower. My heart rate would spike upon standing from a resting position. I went to a cardiologist and they gave me a heart monitor (which I was only able to wear for a day because I’m apparently allergic to adhesive). I didn’t take my propranolo that day.
Here’s what they said about that: “The quality of the recording is good with a small amount of artifact. The computer counted 134982 QRS complexes, 52 Ventricular (mainly artifact) ectopics, 53 ( really more )supraventricular ectopics and 0 paced beats. The underlying rhythm is normal sinus rhythm with an average heart rate of 87 beats per minute with the minimum heart rate of 58 beats per minute to a maximum heart rate of 256 beats per minute. rare premature atrial contractions and rare premature ventricular contractions noted during monitoring period. There were no episodes of sustained dysrhythmias. There were not any pauses. There were not any dynamic ST segment changes noted. The event marker was not activated during the 24 hour monitoring period. During the recording period, there were occasional episodes of unsustained supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).”
They did an echo that came back normal.
My cardiologist ordered a 24 hr urine sample:
Sodium, 24H UR mmol/(24.h) 120 Sodium, UR mmol/L Value 126
Metanephrines, UR mcg/24 h Value 139
Normetanephrine, 24H UR mcg/24 h Value 272
Metanephrines Total, UR mcg/24 h Value 411
After that the doctor diagnosed me with POTS.
Not being able to swallow has been very irritating and having pills dissolve in my throat is uncomfortable. I was referred to an ENT. He looked at my throat and tonsils with a scope through my nose. All he saw was cobblestone so I went and did a swallow study. They said I do have a catch in the back of my throat but I’m able to clear it so it’s fine. I’ve since learned to live with it.
But the dizziness persisted.
When I went to the doctor for being dizzy she sent me for a head and neck MRI. It came back clean. She gave me prednisone and sent me to physical therapy thinking I needed to align my ear crystals. This didn’t help. The physical therapist decided that ear crystals wasn’t my problem and sent me home. I went back to my PCP after seeing a tiny amount of blood on a qtip twice (I try not to go deep in my ear and just dry water out of my ears when I wash my hair) and she looked in my ears and said they were clear and healthy looking. She sent me home and told me to take Claritin and naproxen every day for a week to help my ears. This didn’t help the dizziness. I discovered that it would come and go depending on how I held my head. If I tilted my head back too far, the feeling would start and then I’d feel floaty and nauseous for the rest of the day and several days after before subsiding. There are other triggers I haven’t been able to discover and some days I can’t get in the car without being so sick it’s impossible to go anywhere.
Then I began waking up randomly with a full feeling in my left ear. I tried naproxen, Benadryl, Claritin, and combinations of the three. Nothing helped but time each occurrence. I was able to stave off the panicked feeling of having something in my ear by simply putting in a Bluetooth earbud. No increased dizziness with the fullness. No pain. No discharge. Just the full feeling and being able to hear my own voice. The last time I woke up like that it lasted for two days before subsiding. No one can tell me what this is, but it’s driving me crazy.
My other random issues are: brain fog (I lose my train of thought mid sentence, can’t recall the past readily, forget words for things, I can’t read sometimes which I think is an inability to focus enough to make the letters make words), I can’t regulate my own body temperature, random sweating I can’t control, occasional coat hanger pain, irritability, constipation (never been a problem before), dry eyes (I sometimes wake up feeling like my eyelids are stuck to my eyes), the increased tonsil stones (a few a week), and being able to taste my tonsils, I’ve become clumsy and unstable (I can’t do the walk in a line drunk test and I used to spend hours in 8 inch heels so I know balance wasn’t always an issue), my vision has changed (I can’t see as far as I could and getting my prescription updated didn’t help) and probably more I can’t think of right now.
I have good days and bad days. Some days I even almost feel normal. I try to drink 5 bottles of water a day and use tailwind electrolytes powder in at least two of those daily.
The floaty/dizzy feeling is awful and my doctors aren’t taking me seriously. So I was wondering if all this information suggests anything to anyone. I’ve never had all these issues before and it feels like they’re all just getting worse.
There’s probably information I forgot so feel free to ask questions.
submitted by KissCutMe to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:20 Jay314stl Bank Deposits CBDC's ?

Bank Deposits are CBDCs
It surprisingly failed to make headlines, but last week Chair Powell announced the introduction of a US dollar central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Here’s the formal announcement: "We took powerful actions with Treasury and the FDIC, which demonstrate that all depositors' savings are safe."
Got that?
Ok, fine. He didn’t actually say “CBDC.” But that’s what he meant (even if he didn’t mean to).
Because CBDCs are best defined as digital money that is a liability of a central bank.
Your bank deposits are digital, right?
And Powell just told us they are now liabilities of the US central bank.
Ipso facto, presto chango: Bank deposits are CBDCs!
Risky money business
Of course, Powell’s personal guarantee of bank deposits is not yet law, so the US CBDC is an informal one.
But formal ones appear to be coming: You can see here just how popular the idea has become, with central banks around the world actively working on it.
It’s a funny time to be pursuing such a thing. We’ve just witnessed how dependent our banking system is on the deposits it holds for us — and how quickly we can take those deposits elsewhere: SVB lost $40 billion of deposits on the Thursday before it was seized and the $100 billion of outgoing wires queued up for Friday is what prompted regulators to shut the doors.
But at least those deposits were mostly leaving for other commercial banks.
If leaving for the central bank was an option (via a CBDC), those deposits would have left the commercial banking sector entirely.
That would be expensive: A recent McKinsey report estimated that global banks would lose $2.1 trillion in annual revenue if retail CBDCs gained broad adoption.
That’s nearly one-third of the $6.5 trillion of revenue banks recorded in 2022.
Seeing as we have a banking crisis once every decade or so, it’s hard to imagine the system would survive losing a third of its revenue.
And yet, central banks around the world are contemplating just that.
What could they be thinking?
Ask ten central bankers and you might get ten different answers:
Hong Kong: financial innovation. China: eliminate cash so they know what everyone’s doing. Russia: replace SWIFT. Brazil: financial inclusion. Japan: promote international use of the yen. UK & EU: maintain monetary sovereignty. Indonesia: combat crypto. US: all of the above?
For most central banks, the allure of CBDCs is likely some mix of these.
But if they had to pick just one, it would be monetary sovereignty: Central banks fear losing control of the currencies we choose to use.
Slippery money slopes
People don’t use cash much anymore: A Bank of England study on CBDCs noted that the use of cash for payments has fallen from 55% of transactions to 15% over the past decade.
Central bankers take that personally because cash is central bank money.
Bank deposits are a close substitute, but even that is starting to give way to fintech money (PayPal, Venmo, stablecoins) that’s one further step removed from central banks.
To a central banker, that looks like a slippery slope: If people start paying for everything with their phones, who’s to say the phones have to use the local currency?
Christine Lagarde, president of the ECB, expressed this sense of unease last week: “If we are not involved with experimenting, with innovating, in terms of digital, central bank money, we risk losing the role of [monetary] anchor that we have played for many, many decades.”
CBDCs are a way to keep us anchored to central banks — by getting us to use central bank money again.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Maintaining monetary sovereignty is more of a concern for countries that don’t happen to issue the world’s reserve currency, which is why CBDCs are proving more popular with central bankers outside the US.
For the Fed, it seems like the biggest risk is just generally falling behind.
In China, you can exchange CBDCs between phones, without internet access. (And even without any battery charge, somehow.)
Hong Kong is exploring the possibility of using a CBDC in DeFi.
And CBDCs may already be eroding the dollar’s dominant role in cross-border transactions.
Still, it’s hard to imagine the US going full CBDC: The risk of draining deposits from commercial banks seems too great — not to mention the privacy concerns that have already raised political hackles.
Some sort of public-private partnership seems more likely and more consistent with US history.
Maybe tokenized bank deposits would be a happy medium?
Or maybe give fintechs like Circle a Fed master account and see what they do with it?
The Fed certainly doesn’t want to give you a master account, which is what a full-fledged retail CBDC would amount to — they have no interest in managing your car loan.
But they don’t want to fall hopelessly behind, either, so I expect they’ll increasingly be brainstorming some hybrid options.
In the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with the clunky, de facto CBDC that Powell gifted us last week. — Byron Gilliam
submitted by Jay314stl to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:19 junkstuff Thank goodness for a dash camera.

Anyone had a situation like this? Was getting some fast food today. Pulled into the restaurant parking lot and a lady was crossing the crosswalk. I can nowhere near her but stopped suddenly. She started shaking her head saying no...no.. And then pulled out her phone to take pics of my plates. I pointed to my dashcam and she said thats nice. She wouldnt move so i steered around her ...with her saying fine she had my plates. I pulled into a parking spot and waited. She approaced my car and said she was calling the police. So i said I would wait since I had video. She started saying I had no right to record her and then said I better get out of her before i was killed. I bought my food at drive through and left.
Just to play it safe i called the local PD and reported the situation and was informed no calls were made in the area.
So i'm thinking it was a scam or just a drama queen. ... Holding onto the video just in case per police and have made copies. Just thankful for having the dash cam to back me up.
submitted by junkstuff to Denver [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:09 Flimsy_Classroom_469 I have the “ick” with my husband should I get a divorce?

I have the “ick” Should I get a divorce or am I being selfish/dramatic?
My husband (27M) and I (26F) have been married for 4 years and have 2 kids together under 3 years old. I know this is a tough time and our l couples councilor said that it’s the hardest time to be married when the kids are little. However, I just don’t love him anymore. Here are my issues with him: 1. He doesn’t help around the house. We go through cycles where he will help when I tell him that I’m upset with him, but he doesn’t ever act like an equal partner. 2. Addictions. He’s on his phone constantly, so much so that my friends and family comment on it. He also hides what’s on his phone from me. He puts it on do not disturb when he shows me anything and freaks out if I get near it. When I confronted this he said it’s because I will make negative comments on the notifications from his game that he’s addicted to. Something like clash of the clans. He is also addicted to and spends probably $200 a month on caffeine. Plus his jul thing that makes his breath stink and I don’t know how much that even costs. 3. Finances. He used to make a lot of money, something like $160k last year. We have separate bank accounts so I don’t know what he does with his money. He now has absolutely no money and is in credit card debt because having really nice sports cars was more important to him. (He has since gotten rid of them but is still in debt.) Right now I’m paying for the mortgage, and everything except insurance and his brand new truck. I cannot talk to him about finances because I’ll tell him that he’s bad with money but actually, according to him, I’m the one that’s bad with money. I have $100k+ in savings. 4. He has adhd and I’m not respectful enough towards that, according to him. He expects me to make reminders and lists for him of things I need to have done. Such as dishes, laundry etc. In my opinion, that is both of our jobs and I’m not his mother, I don’t need to make chore lists for him. 5. Communication. Every time we have a conversation about the issues it’s turned back on me. I’m “mean.” Yes I can be insensitive, but only because he is so dramatic. Usually our conversations consist of work drama or the kids. Nothing intellectual. 6. My friends and family don’t like him because of all of the reasons above but mostly because he is so selfish. He has no idea that he even is selfish. 7. I’m feel like his mom. He treats me like his mom. He asks permission to do anything. “Can I go to bed now?” “Can I go to the gym?” “Can I get a haircut?” 8. He’s not fun. I’m a very adventurous person and I feel like he’s taken that from me. He hates going to events where there’s a lot of people, and I just want to have fun. I’m the life of the party and I wish that he could be the life of the party with me. But instead I feel held back. 9. Positives. We are good at co parenting, and he is very good at gentle parenting. He is also very good with words of affirmation which unfortunately is the farthest from my love language. “I love you” is used every hour of every day (annoying because after a while it means nothing), and he constantly compliments me which is fine but it’s just not my love language.
Over all I feel like I have to do everything. I have had to act like his mom for so long that I’m not physically attracted to him anymore. It would be easier if he weren’t around. I have the “ick” is there any coming back from that?! Even if he were to change all that, I have so much resentment with what I’ve been dealing with for so long that idk if I could fall in love with him or if I even want to. What I really want to do is just to take a break. I’m overwhelmed and love the idea of him having kids half the time so I could get a break. Any advice is welcome, but please be kind.
submitted by Flimsy_Classroom_469 to Divorce [link] [comments]

2023.03.30 03:05 Responsible-Pack-490 AITA for leaving the room when my BF enters?

My (35F) boyfriend (38M) and I have been together for a long time, about 7 years. I moved into his house after a year dating. He works a M-F, 9-5 job, I take contract work and my days/hours vary week to week. I'm an introvert, but I work with lots of people and basically always have to be "on" at work, so I absolutely require time to myself to recharge.
Early on living together, I liked to plan one of my days off on a weekday so I could have the house to myself. But frequently, he’d choose to work from home or take a sick day on that day, and I would get frustrated when he didn't leave for work that day. When I expressed this frustration, he'd get annoyed/angry. I told him that I just need time to myself occasionally, it honestly has nothing to do with him, and he responded "How could it not have anything to do with me, you just told me you don't want to be around me. Plus this is my house, I will be here when I want to be." I adapted and got used to living with less alone time for myself.
Things changed during the pandemic, He now works from home every day. He gave up some of his hobbies as well, and it feels like he never leaves the house anymore. I still work contract work out of the house, but I know that I will have virtually no time that is truly to myself when I'm home. I do all the grocery shopping and lots of other errands as a means to be alone with myself, between the drive and the shopping time. Sometimes I just sit in my car in the parking lot, or in the garage, for like an hour in total silence when I drive somewhere. Sometimes he wonders what has taken me so long, and I tell him that I just took my time with the errand.
But I still need space because I feel drained all the time now, and when I mention that it would be nice to have time alone, he dismisses me and says, "Where would I even go right now?"
Now I frequently wear earbuds around the house (sometimes not even playing anything) to cancel out some noise. If I'm in a room alone, and he enters without an obvious plan to interact with me, I’ll get up and move to a different room where I can continue to be by myself. Ex: if I'm sitting on the couch in the living room, and he enters the kitchen right next to me and plays a podcast on the echo and starts making food, I don't ask him to turn off the podcast or leave, I just silently get up and move to the office. Or if he comes into the office, maybe I’ll go down to the basement and sit on the laundry table. I don’t ask him to leave the space or to stop making noise, I simply remove myself to continue my alone time.
Sometimes, he thinks I'm being passive aggressive or mad at him and gets frustrated with me. As far as I'm concerned, I have expressed my need to have space, and if he can’t understand, that's on him. I see it as a compromise to have my alone time and meet his needs as well.
So AITA for creating my alone time by whatever means necessary?
submitted by Responsible-Pack-490 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]