Welcome to SOULMATE, we are a real-life city role play set in the fictional town of Mariet, Louisiana. Its real life with a twist, can you find your soulmate? Cupid can help you. Over 7 years and still going strong!
Mariet is far from immune to the allure of the Christmas spirit. Some feel that Christmas isn’t complete without a grand live Christmas tree, and this year in Mariet people can find their fill of them. The community has organized a Celebration of Lights. A designated path through the forest is lined with personally decorated displays, with the help of cleverly hidden mobile generators. The organizers and volunteers put their heart into this display, and it is open to the public for nightly walks. Can you feel the Christmas spirit yet?
BOARD AVAILABLE UNTIL: January 8th
The idea behind SOULMATE is credited to exhoxxash. Forum areas and descriptions credited to magnet dragon, piers, echoxxash and some members of the site. Skin base code credit to Cassie @ Caution, with edits and images from Ana. 'Porthole' code created by Alygator @ Caution. Ana made the awesome graphics seen around the site- the header, the sidebar, the advert, the pips and the member group images. Kaka and Ana coded the various templates around the site, unless otherwise credited. Some additional coding help from Caution!, ATF!, Shine, and Dynamic Drive. Site affiliate buttons were made by Ana, and Piers. All other graphics and code should be credited where credit is due.
ALL CHARACTERS, PLOTS AND OTHER WRITING ARE OWNED BY THE MEMBERS OF THIS SITE AND SHOULD NOT BE COPIED, PARTIALLY OR FULLY, ON ANY OTHER SITE.
Autumn was unsurprisingly in a perfectly cheery mood. And better yet, for once in her life, Autumn was on time. No, better than that! Ms. Lei was early. Not terribly early since student and teacher alike wanted nothing to do with the school when it was not withing operational school hours. But early enough that the campus wasn't thrumming with the usual student activity, which was a bit of a shame. Autumn rather enjoyed watching her students in their natural environments. They were like wildlife or something and she was on a safari hunt! Emo groups, or goths, scene? What was even the difference or the right title, for that matter. Band kids, thespians, jocks.
But for the moment, there was just the early birds. It didn't take long for Autumn to reach her destination; the teacher's lounge. Oh, she needed coffee and she needed it now. Fingers were crossed as she pushed her way into the strictly student-less portal. Oh, yes, there it was. The aroma of the nectar of life. Part of her had been worried that no one had made a pot yet and for some reason, when it came to making a pot o' joe, Autumn could never get it just right. She settled into one of the tables, legs crossing at the ankle instinctively as they tucked beneath her just a bit. Dark eyes fluttered shut with ecstasy at the first sip, letting out a soft contented sigh.
And that was when she noticed him. "Oh!" She squeaked softly, flushing a bit, had she realized she wasn't alone, the theatrics would have been toned down a bit. "Hola, Senor Novak." She chirped cheerfully, setting down the floral mug she had brought along with her. The usual smile spreading across her lips. Sure, she had definitely seen Freddie around and they had exchanged words as coworkers usually did but it was a rare occasion to have a real chance to chat. Teachers were surprisingly busy people, what with papers to grade and tests to give and what not. Though, honestly, Autumn had been planning on making ice cream with her students today. oh yes, she was going home with a tummy ache and there was nothing to regret.
"I'm afraid that was as far as my Spanish vocabulary goes." The Chinese woman admitted with a laugh, "Er, cómo se dice 'How was your weekend'?" She added with a smirk. Mondays were never fun days but it was the first step in getting closer to the relaxing weekend.
Freddie always arrived early at work. Not because he loved the place and couldn't be away, quite the contrary. He had to get there early in order to get used to it slowly and prepare himself for the day. If he didn't go in early he would drag it out and end up being late and if he was late he'd get even less credibility with the students than he already had and he really didn't want that. Why would he want that? He had enough troubles as it was. He tried really hard to hide how much he wasn't comfortable with his job but he was pretty sure even the students could tell. And it wasn't fair to them either, that he felt so uninspired.However, he did make an effort to as best as he could and so he arrived early and prepared properly and just worked hard. Freddie arrived to an empty teacher's lounge, only the sound of the coffee machine could be heard and as usual when he came to work there were no tea. So he fixed himself some and then sat down to go through the plans he'd made for his lessons that day. Lots of grammar which would make for lots of headaches but he once again told himself that if he worked hard maybe he could help some more students to pass. He'd managed to get the grades up a little bit from last year.This all went very well until the door opened and Autumn came in. He immediately straightened up and glanced down to make sure he didn't have any crumbs from his morning toast on his shirt or anything. If he had to admit something to himself he would have to go with the fact that he had a bit of a crush on Ms. Lei. It didn't seem like she noticed him though, quite literally. He watched her go straight for the coffee and then sit down to enjoy it. Her actions made him smile softly as he raised his own cup of tea to his lips.When she did notice him he let out a soft chuckle. "Buenos dias." He might not love teaching Spanish but he had no problems speaking it. There was a reason he'd started with that subject after all. "It's 'Cómo fue tu fin de semana?'" He shifted a bit, trying not to slouch or anything. God, he was so pathetic. "And uhm, it was good. I had a competition." He was open with his love for figure skating. Why should he hide it anyway? "How about you? Relaxing weekend?" It wasn't often he was alone with her, he realised. Not that he'd make a move because of that but... it did feel special somehow. Like he was nervous maybe. He mentally smacked himself, if she could have heard his thoughts she'd think he was such a loser. He was sure of that.
Alright, So Autumn felt a bit bad. Okay, maybe a lot bad. She'd never really considered herself to be unobservant but evidently that was the case this morning. Freddie was kind of easy to overlook and the fact that she'd just done that made her want to find some way to make it up to him. But in all honesty, she hadn't been expecting anyone to even be here. Though she definitely didn't mind the fact that he was here, someone had to hold witness to the miracle of Autumn's early arrival! Plus, drinking coffee by herself in the teacher's lounge wasn't exactly high on her list of things she enjoyed. Company was always better, in Autumn's opinion. Especially if company was as pleasant as Freddie was.
One cream, three sugars. Autumn carefully mixed these things into her drink. Truth be told, she wasn't exactly a fan of the coffee flavor but the sugar helped a bit with that. Bitter was no way as good as sweet and maybe that was why Autumn was a fan of that 'honey of vinegar' saying? Or perhaps she was just over thinking the fact that she liked her tea and coffee ridiculously sweet. Which may or may not also be how she preferred her men. However, that was a different matter all together.
Autumn did her best to repeat the Spanish that Freddie had spoken, wishing that she would be able to pick more vocabulary up or something but learning English had been hard enough for her and the idea of learning another language in her nonnative language was a bit boggling, really. It would probably be best to stick to what she knew to avoid slaughtering a language that her fellow faculty obviously loved. "A competition!" Autumn enthused, her smile widening a hair. "How did you do? Win any titles?" Er, what was it that he did again? A moment of wracking her brain came up with skating. Ice skating, if she remembered correctly. "I've never actually been, I'm afraid of falling and breaking something." Grace was not always on Autumn's side, unfortunately. "Just the look of all you skaters gliding across the ice, it looks so fun!" And who didn't love fun?
Boring people, she supposed, now that she thought about it. Having a hobby and a talent was always a great thing, of course! "Me? I built some model rockets." Autumn admitted with a sheepish smile since it wasn't like most young women spent their weekends doing that kind of thing. "They're finished now, I just need to find a good place to launch them." She even had a few of the older models that survived their maiden voyages and a mess of the gun power packed 'engines', if you will. "Have you ever shot any of them off? They get surprisingly high!" And then you'd have to hunt them down afterwards, if they didn't get too far or explode or something. Actually, Autumn almost preferred for them to explode. It was like her own personal firework or something. And she had an excuse to make another!
Freddie did not like coffee. At all. He couldn't the taste. He sometimes wondered if he was secretly British because of the tea thing and his fondness for going to pubs to have a pint instead of going clubbing on Friday nights. Maybe in an earlier life.He was distracted from his tea as focus fell on his skating though. He smiled widely and looked down, giving a shrug. "Well... I came in second. So I didn't win but I think it went well." It hadn't been a big thing. Just a few Louisiana clubs having a small competition because it's fun and to stay focused even at the end of the skating season. "My friend Joel won. He was amazing. Did some really spectacular figures." Joel and Freddie had always competed on being the best male skater in the club, in a friendly way of course. In the amateur competitions of course. Although both of them had considered going pro. "Besides, it's the show at the end that's the most fun anyway. When you can do whatever you want. Me and Joel both like couples skating but don't have partners at the moment..." A fleeting thought went to Damali but for now his skating with her was very unofficial. "And we like skating together so we often do couples stuff for the non-competition parts." He really loved his hobby and it was easy to tell with the way he seemed less awkward and smiled more. Then he nodded. "Oh, those are really fun." He'd launched one or two in his life. Wasn't a major hobby or anything but once in a while it just seemed like a fun idea. "There's this field just outside the Woodlands. That should be a good place. Unless the owner sees you. He's a really old man, at least a hundred, and he hates having kids running around on his property. To him everyone under fifty are kids." He chuckled. "He's harmless though as long as you don't burn his place down."
Autumn rather had to adore the smile that Freddie was sporting, it exuded his true feelings about his hobby which read loud and clear. He was passionate about it and Autumn could appreciate that. Anyone who had such a fondness over an activity, especially one as cool as figure skating was alright in Autumn's book! She sipped at her coffee, sort of wishing she'd brought some of her flavored creamers from home. Chocolate raspberry coffee? Sign her up for that but she supposed this would had to do. And terrible coffee was made better by good company, or at least she felt like there was a saying like that somewhere. And if there wasn't, there really should have been.
The young woman found herself smiling, head bobbing along with what he was saying. "I wish I could have seen that!" She murmured with another sip of coffee. Second place in a skating competition! How cool was that? The only thing Autumn placed in was a science fair and she'd gotten third for that. But that was quite a while ago in the past! Now days, she was just happy to get wherever she needed to be on time! "You have to be kind of strong for couples skating, don't you?" Maybe that sounded like she was questioning his ability to do that but it wasn't at all how she meant it! Just conversation of course. "With all the lifting and spinning with your partner?" Or maybe they just found exceptionally small skaters or something. "If I knew how to skate, I'd offer." She laughed. Her on ice? More like her face meeting the ice!
Science and skating, alright, Autumn was rather enjoying herself now! Maybe first period would be less of a drag now! "I love them! I've made quite a few in my day. I'll have to keep that area in mind though...and wear my running shoes." She added with a smile. "Did you want to come, maybe? I mean, if you're not busy skating or something." She suggested. Shooting things into the air with a bit of packed gunpowder was always more fun with company. "I can always bride you with food or something." She added, as if watching things potentially explode wasn't reason enough to come!
Freddy had no idea what he had done to possibly deserve this. But whatever deity he had pleased he was going to thank it very thoroughly later. He'd never really gotten to spend this much time Autumn before without any other teachers around. And he'd had no idea she would find his hobby, his passion really, even the least bit interesting. It should make him feel more nervous than he did. There was something about her that made him feel like he was okay. Maybe not the most amazing man in history but good enough. It was nice, this early morning meeting in the teacher's lounge."You don't have to be all that strong. A bit, sure. But most of it is balance and coordination. I mean, for example. I could probably lift you from the ground with whatever strength I have but not to trip I'll have to have balance and to be able to lift you over my head you need to be balanced as well and we have to work together." He hoped it made sense. He thought for a moment about lifting Autumn over his head and smiled. Wasn't that just a very Dirty Dancing kind of thought?She really asked him to come along? "That'd be fun, I'd love to." He smiled widely and nodded. "You don't even really have to bribe me but I'm not gonna say no to food. I could bring some too and we'll make a picnic out of it." Or you know, something like that. Everyone liked picnics, right? "Not on his field though, that would probably piss him off." He chuckled softly at the thought.
Hey, this was kind of fun. Maybe Autumn needed to make an effort to pop into work early more often. Besides free coffee, there was good and very interesting company. Not that interesting people weren't everywhere but not every interesting person was also an ice skater, so there was a good reason right there! Free coffee, new friend, weekend plans....man, this was already paying off, wasn't it?
She bobbed her head enthusiastically with what he was saying and she supposed that made perfect sense. Autumn would have to admit that she had to prevent her brain from running off with all the physics and such like that but that was the like of a physics teacher, wasn't it? "Makes enough sense!" She agreed thoughtfully, alright, so she was also thinking about him lifting her. Clearly, they were both on a similar train of thought when she finally piped up. "So can you do that dirty dancing style? You know, the move at the end?" The movie must have been on cable sometime recently or something!
But dirty dancing aside, Autumn was delighted to hear that Freddie wanted to come along! "I don't need to feed you? Oh, in that case, you're on your own with food." She teased, bringing her mug to her smirking lips, maybe to hide the fact that she was bluffing...she didn't have a very good poker face. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing...except when she was trying to deny the existence of a surprise party or something like that. Christmas gifts were especially hard to lie about! "I don't really like buck shot in my sandwiches so maybe we should dine at the park instead?" Outdoors-y but no imminent threats and no one threatening to charge them with trespassing. That seemed a little more relaxing.
Doing the dirty dancing move. That did not exactly make Freddie think of lifting Autumn over his head in a stylish end move. He was fairly sure that thinking about dirty dancing with another teacher while sitting on school property was not okay. On the other hand he was sure that most students thought of worse things on school property most days of the weeks. At least he only thought about dancing. And he was going to stop with that right now."The uhm... lift?" He said and cleared his throat and attempted to clear his mind as well. "It's tricky on ice. A little different from how it looks in the movie but the end result is pretty much the same." He tried to explain. "I've done it a few times but I haven't skated with a partner fora few years. Unless you count Joel but it's harder to go pro with a same sex couple." Especially if your goal was the olympics. He just couldn't give up on that dream.He perked up at the idea of a picnic in the park. "That sounds like a wonderful idea!" He said with a grin. "To celebrate that we managed to set off the rocket without getting shot, perhaps? Or if we get shot it'll be a pick-me-up-picnic." He nodded with a wide smile. He was ridiculously excited about this, about having weekend plans with Autumn. He was really just glad she knew he existed at all. He wasn't the most talkative teacher while in school. He sometimes wondered how obvious it was he didn't like being a teacher.
Autumn hadn't even realized that what she said could have come off in any manner less than chaste. But that was just because she was excited. How cool was it that she knew someone who could lift a chick off the ground all romantic like? Okay, maybe the romantic bit was for the audience's cinematic viewing pleasure only, but one could home. None the less, she happily took a sip of her coffee, the after bite of the caffeine surging through her veins in a way that she desperately needed. It was getting closer to first bell and Autumn didn't exactly appreciate students falling asleep in her class...she also figured that the teacher shouldn't be doing anything of the sort either!
Luckily, between the caffeine and the good company, Autumn was feeling much, much more perked up than she had upon first arrival. And she was equipped with weekend companionship! Definitely a good day. her head bobbed quickly along with Freddie's explanation. Ah yes, lift that was definitely the better term than 'end of the move dance move thingy'. "That is really cool! Here I was being proud of building a mini-rocket." She laughed, giving a sheepish grin.
Though she was pleased that he was gung-ho with their launch and lunch plan. Ha, she was so clever. "Hopefully this will just be an extra precaution," Autumn laughed brightly, "But I'll make sure that lunch safe for picnicking at hospital in case we need to relocate there." Oh gosh, she certainly didn't want either of them to be shot, that would require surgery and Lord know that a skater couldn't be held back because of rehabilitation after being shot trying to launch a model rocket. Oh yes, that would be worth it. That and Autumn didn't want a bullet wound either!
Before the conversation could continue, the familiar and dreaded sound of the bell echoed through the building and Autumn exhaled deeply. "I guess I should go...work and stuff." She gave Freddie a very dramatic and pitiful look before refilling her coffee mug. "See you at lunch?" Or at least after work!
OOC: Sorry for taking so long and for the short. But better small post than no post?Freddie wasn't sure a lift was cooler than a mini-rocket to be honest. Very few people considered ice skating to be cool. He did think it was but he knew how hard it was as well. How much work and how many hours that it took to get anywhere. He still had a long way to go before he was anywhere Olympic level. And mini-rockets flew which was a major point in their favour. So... Autumn definitely was cooler than Freddie. Or so Freddie thought anyway."No no, a mini rocket is way cool." Freddie said quickly. "I'll be fun to see how it flies." He smiled widely at that and nodded a few times. "It'll be a nice change in my normal weekend routine. Usually I just finish up work and then practise and practise and practise some more." And sometimes he went to the bar with his friends and played pool and had a good time. But not too often, couldn't keep an athletic physique and drink a bunch of beer. And for Freddie that wasn't a hard choice to make."I'll think about bringing hospital friendly food." Freddie emptied his mug and stood up. "And I'll email my number to you and we can make better plans?" Why was it as exciting to get a girl's number at 26 as it had been at 16?