the whole story, pt. 3

When Nicole was fifteen she was withdrawn and frightened, prone to volatile relationships and anxiety attacks, struggling in class and often too unmotivated to leave. Her parents often asked her why she was so useless, tried to force her to be more driven to succeed--and chastising her when she failed. She spent as much time as possible away, and the rift was profound.

At seventeen Eric was utterly stoic. His father had moved to Seattle to work at a startup in Redmond--Eric had decided to stop letting the world in at all. He was developing a sense of self, but it was a laborious process. He felt that he understood everything perfectly, except for himself. His sister, two years his elder, had moved to New York for college, and this left him a profound sense of isolation.

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