Carmine’s Thoughts

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These people all thought they knew him. They believed he was a whore, and sometimes, he let himself think he was one too. But he really wasn’t. Every partner he’d ever had ended up breaking it off with him when they couldn’t handle him at his worst points. A lot of partners won’t stick around when they hear the phrase “I have bipolar disorder” come out of someone’s mouth, so he didn’t tell them. He just explained that he was sometimes moody. Of course, they all liked him when he was happy. It was when he wasn’t that things went bad.
Carmine Deangelo
Stolen Innocence Chapter Three
Beverly L. Anderson and Kenyon Y. Hunt

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Advice

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“Don’t look at me like that, I see those pink cheeks when you talk about him,” [Ms. Dankin] observed.“In my day, if I learned anything, it was to tell the ones you love how much love them. When I was your age, I fell in love with a beautiful woman. You know, fifties and all, I never told her, and she married a man that abused her terribly.” She paused, and Artemis could tell her eyes were dampening. “I went to her funeral two years after she moved away. In her things, there was a letter for me, telling me how much love she’d held in her heart and couldn’t speak. I was happy, my husband and my kids, but I always wonder, what woulda happened if I’d told her how much I loved her.” She smiled again. “Just don’t waste time, that’s what I’ll say. Call it old advice from an interfering old woman.”
Mrs. Dankin to Artemis Seath
Stolen Innocence (Chapter One)
Beverly L. Anderson
Kenyon Y. Hunt

Normal

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“Fuck normal.” He took his crumpled wrapper and slowly straightened it out on the table. He began to fold it in half, then half again, and finally one last time in half, making a neat square. “Normal is a societal construct that is created by people. There is no consistency across civilizations or cultures. What is normal to one person is not normal to another. It once was normal to own slaves and be prejudiced against people of color like yourself. It was once normal to make women wear dresses and cover themselves. And long ago it was normal to cut off someone’s hand for stealing instead of putting them in jail. Eventually, all societal constructs fall to new ideas. Normal is one of them.” Kieran stared at him with his mouth slightly open. “Now, just fold up your silly wrapper like you want to.”