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 In which there's slut-shaming, double standards, and an obsession with prom! And I get help from a womanising hairdresser who is far more courteous and sweet than Xavier the Douche.

missabnormal: ... This chapter... I don't even know what is wrong with it because there's so much that is wrong! And this is why I had to get in another guest sporker to help me out here. So, here he is!

(The theatre doors open, and a Japanese man in a red kimono enters. He carries his sword on his back, and his hair is tied in a low ponytail. This is Koujaku from DRAMAtical Murder)

Koujaku: *gives a flirty smile* Hello there, missy. It's nice to meet you. (He takes her hand and kisses it before sitting down)

missabnormal: *blushes slightly* N-Nice to meet you too... let's get started!

We open up with someone calling Bethany's name. She tries to ignore it, but she's eventually forced to wake up. Turns out that Ivy's come to wake up Bethany, who upon waking up, describes the sunlight as like "warm liquid gold". Ivy has brought something for Bethany to drink, claiming that it'll help wake her up. What did she bring? Coffee!

And according to Ivy, "a lot of humans think they can't function properly without it". Not everyone drinks coffee, by the way. Plenty of people are able to function well without having to drink coffee.

Koujaku: Like me. I function better when I have some tea in the mornings.

Anyways, this Bethany takes a sip and naturally finds it disgusting, but suddenly feels more alert. Bethany asks her sister Ivy about the time, which she responds with telling her that it's time for her to get out of bed. Bethany also asks about where Gabriel is, and Ivy says that he's gone out for a run.

missabnormal: Bethany whines a little bit more and gets out of bed, brushing her hair and washing her face before heading down for breakfast. Turns out that Gabriel is in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. And then we get something rather creepy here.

Gabriel, back from his run, was cooking breakfast. He had just showered and combed his wet hair back from his forehead, which gave him a leonine look. He wore only a towel wrapped around his hips, and his taut body gleamed in the morning sun. His wings were contracted and looked like nothing more than a rippling line between his shoulder blades. He was standing by the stove, holding a stainless steel spatula.

Bethany, he's your brother. Can you not talk about him like that? It's seriously creepy and weird. God, what is with these authors creating heroines who might have some weird attraction to their siblings or parents? Twilight, House of Night, there are so many series that did this, and it's getting too much! Please, stop with the incestuous vibes. Especially since incest is supposed to be a sin in the Bible!

Koujaku: *confused* Is... Is this common in the book? Whatever... this is?

missabnormal: Unfortunately, yes. Not to mention, the heroine is an angel, and should be stronger than the male love interest when she's just no different from a teenage girl! Not to mention, the love interest is a douchebag, as evidenced in this chapter.

Koujaku: *purses his lips* I see.

Well, Gabriel asks Bethany if she wants pancakes or waffles, and Bethany states that she's not too hungry. Gabriel gets insistent that Bethany eat breakfast, but Bethany insists that she'll be sick and that it's too early, and Gabriel takes offense because he thinks Bethany's implying that his cooking makes people sick. Well, there are some people who can't eat that early in the morning.

missabnormal: Damn straight! Gabriel tries to tell Bethany that the human body needs to be fueled properly and reminds her that she may faint. And what makes Bethany stop protesting? The thought that Xavier would lose interest in her if she faints at school!

*grumbling* If you're so worried about her nutrition, send her to school with a granola bar or something, Gabriel! Or even an apple! Just give her a light snack that'll give her the nutrition she needs! And of course, it all comes back down to Xavier Woods, doesn't it? Why must all of your decisions revolve around him, Bethany? You're an angel, you should be smart enough to make your own decisions!

*sighs* Bethany says that she'll have pancakes, and breakfast is interrupted by the sound of the doorbell ringing. Bethany wonders who could be at the door, then stating that they had been careful to avoid contact with the neighbours, but that they must have appeared aloof to the locals. Yeah, no duh.

Koujaku: There's then a rather random bit about their 'gifts'. Apparently, Gabriel can sense the thoughts of others around him, Ivy has hands that can heal, but Bethany's is unknown. And this feels very out of place.

So the visitor is a woman from next door, and Gabriel tells them to ignore her. However, she doesn't take the hint and just shows up at the window, waving at them. Pretty rude, honestly.

missabnormal: Yes, it is. Them ignoring her should be enough of a hint that they're not in the mood to talk. Also, I know there's the whole Southern Hospitality thing and all, but I highly doubt that this sort of behaviour is even a part of that whole etiquette. This is just invading their privacy.

So Gabriel goes to answer the door, and while he could easily tell her that they're kind of busy, he invites her in. This woman is "somewhere in her late fifties with platinum blond hair and a bronzed face". There should be an 'e' at the end of 'blond', since you're talking about a woman, Adornetto. Well, she's also wearing gold jewelry, lipstick, and a track suit.

The woman greets them and then tells them that they should check their doorbell. Wow, that's rather passive-aggressive, isn't it? Well, the woman's name is Dolores Henderson. Gabriel introduces them to her and Ivy goes to offer her some tea or coffee. And then we get this. "I saw Mrs. Henderson eyeing Gabriel in much the same way as the girls in school had".

*visibly disgusted* You know, if this were some middle-aged man ogling either Bethany or Ivy, it would be seen as totally gross and disgusting. Please stop this, Adornetto. It's creepy when men do it, and it's just as creepy when women do it.

Koujaku: I agree. Mrs. Henderson just stopped by to give them some homemade jam. Meanwhile, Gabriel is getting impatient because they have to leave, but rather than telling her that they need to go to school, they just let her continue talking. She asks Gabriel whether he's the new music teacher at school, to which he replies yes, and she tells him about her niece.

She also asks if they've been around the area, and Ivy states that they've had no time for socialising. To that, Mrs. Henderson tells them that there are some "very hip clubs in townand that she'd like to introduce them to the trio. Ivy then finally decides to tell her that they have to get to school. But because of her little visit, Bethany missed the first part of her morning class and Gabriel's students have started misbehaving.

missabnormal: During Bethany's free period, she goes to greet Molly, who greets her in a way that has a lot of lesbian undertones, honestly. *grins* Man, this would be more interesting to read about. Too bad the love interest is a complete douchebag!

Gah. Moving on, Molly's talking about things that happened on Facebook, but Bethany doesn't know what she's talking about because according to her, "The Agents of Light had cleared our home of any 'distracting' technologies".

I hate to break it to you, Adornetto, but technology can be very useful! Especially considering that Bethany's in school and she may need to use a computer for certain assignments!

Koujaku: Molly then asks Bethany about what the date is, which turns out to be March sixth. Molly is then excited about this and claims that there's only seventy-two days to go. Bethany is confused by this, so Molly tells her that there's only seventy-two days until an occasion called prom. *looks confused* I've never heard of this sort of thing happening in Japan or in Midorijima. Can you tell me what this is, missy?

missabnormal: Of course! Prom is a sort of dance that happens in high school towards the end of the year in North America. It's semi-formal, and there's often a contest for Prom King/Prom Queen, though that title is typically reserved for students in their senior year, which is their last year of high school. Juniors often earn the title of Prom Prince/Prom Princess. It used to be strictly heteronormative in the United States, especially in the 1920s and 30s, but it's started allowing more students to attend without a date. And unfortunately, it's still pretty heteronormative, since LGBTQ+ couples are never allowed into prom. Also, just watch any high school movie and you'll see that almost every high school student is obsessing over prom.

Just like Adornetto does here! When Bethany says that it's a little too early to plan for prom, Molly tells her that people plan for it early. Bethany asks why, and Molly becomes stunned. And this is what she says!

"Are you for real?" Molly's eyes widened. "It's a rite of passage, the one event you'll remember your whole life, apart from maybe your wedding. It's the whole shebang-- limos, outfits, hot partners, dancing. It's our one night to act like princesses." It occurred to me that some of them already behaved like that on a daily basis, but I refrained from commenting.

Koujaku: *surprised* Is this for real? Is prom really that important to be considered as a rite of passage?

missabnormal: *sighs* No, actually. While some teens may view it that way, it's really not as big of a deal as Adornetto is making it out to be. Not everyone goes to prom, and it's not because they don't have dates! My high school didn't even have a prom! The closest thing we had like that was a semi-formal banquet with no dates! Just dressing up nicely, fancy dinner provided by the cafeteria, and student entertainment. And that was plenty of fun for me! And the only other equivalent to dressing up like princesses that we had was high school graduation, which is a lot more meaningful and important than prom!

Look, Adornetto. Prom isn't as exciting as you think it is. To be honest, I really don't understand the whole hype about prom, especially after reading Stephen King's Carrie. I really like the Bloody Prom in that book, honestly. Also, proms are really not the warmest of environments for LGBTQ+ students, just look at the anti-prom, for example. Not to mention, some of the controversies in recent times. Sure, it may be a fun and memorable end-of-the-school-year event for some people, but it's really not worth equating it as a rite of passage or as memorable as a wedding.

Koujaku: *nods* I see. Bethany does seem to think that it's ridiculous and decides to avoid it, also saying that Gabriel would not approve of "such an event, with its emphasis on vanity and all things shallow".

missabnormal: *snorts* Let's see about that, especially considering that it's literally part of the damn plot in this book!

Koujaku: Molly then tells Bethany about some gossip about who's going to ask her out, and after this, marks the date in her planner. Aren't people using phones or Coils for that in this time? Well, anyways, after an unneeded description of her locker, Bethany spends some time with Molly until she has to go to her French class. Bethany stops by at her locker to pick up her books for the class when she hears someone behind her.

"Hey, stranger," said a voice behind me. I was startled and jumped up so fast that I hit my head on the roof of my locker. "Careful!" the voice said.

I spun around to find Xavier Woods standing there with the same half-smile on his face that I remembered from our first meeting. Today he was dressed in a sports uniform-- dark blue track pants, white polo top, and a track jacket in the school colors slung over his shoulder. I rubbed the top of my head and stared at him, wondering why he was talking to me.

*raises an eyebrow* Already I don't like this guy. He seems like the cocky and arrogant kind of man who disrespects women while charming them at the same time. And having a half-smile isn't that charming, to be honest. You need to have a sweet smile in order to charm women. After all, women are the treasures of this world, and they deserve to be treated as such!

missabnormal: *blushes lightly* You're right about that... *clears throat* Anyways, you're right, Koujaku. Xavier is a douchebag and a real ass towards Bethany. And the fact that this sort of guy is what makes Bethany all flustered is really annoying.

Moving on, Xavier apologises for scaring Bethany, who is then dazzled by his looks again. *rolls eyes* Xavier wants to talk to Bethany, who is still unable to meet him in the eye, even though she's a friggin' angel of the Lord and should show a little bit more confidence! Xavier tells her that he's heard that she's lived overseas and asks, "what's a well-traveled girl like you doing in a backwater town like Venus Cove?".

A backwater town has a completely different meaning that what you think, Adornetto. It's used to describe a town that is completely isolated. There is no way that Venus Cove is a backwater town, especially because it has such fine establishments and is near a private school!

Koujaku: Bethany says that she's with her brother and sister and then immediately leaves for French because she's too flustered. She manages to find the classroom and remarks that her French teacher, Mr. Collins, doesn't sound too French to her.

missabnormal: And why's that a problem? You don't have to be French to teach French, you just have to have gotten a degree in teaching it, and be fluent in the language.

Koujaku: When Bethany looks around for an empty seat, she discovers that the only one available is next to Xavier, which gets her all flustered again. Look, I've seen some of my fans getting flustered before, but never to this sort of extent! But what really gets to me is that Xavier apparently "looked mildly amused" as Bethany sat down next to him.

*annoyed* What the hell does this girl even see in him?! He's arrogant, self-absorbed, and extremely cocky around her! Why is he the love interest in this novel?

missabnormal: Because all girls want bad boys, apparently. *rolls her eyes* You're right, Koujaku. He's a cocky little ass, and he doesn't get any better throughout this chapter or this book. He is the complete opposite of you, Koujaku. Sure, you may be a womaniser, but you treat women and girls with respect and care, and you are naturally sweet to them. That's what makes you attractive to so many women. Not to mention, around the one you love, you're naturally nervous and shy, and that's what makes it more real.

Xavier here, he's a douchebag. He's disrespectful to Bethany and likes to think that he's God's gift to women. He's cocky, arrogant, and he expects all women to lust over him if he shows interest in them. And why any girl would like him is beyond me, honestly.

Koujaku: Xavier then tells Bethany that she's going to have a hard time learning, and that's how Bethany realises that she took her textbook on the French Revolution, not her French book. Bethany panics but Xavier gives her his own book to read from after the teacher called on her to read a passage.

missabnormal: Bethany reads out the part that she's supposed to read, and Mr. Collins is apparently impressed. He even tells her that she's "as fluent as a native speaker" and asks her if she's lived in France. How? From reading a few words? Look, I can understand if she had studied various languages before coming to Earth, but this seems kind of shoehorned.

Anyways, this is clearly just to show off how amazing Bethany is in class, to the point where she's considered to be placed in the advanced class! God, I hate Mary Sues.

Mr. Collins tells Xavier to continue where Bethany left off, but then asks where his textbook is. Xavier lies and says that he left his book at home before thanking Bethany for sharing. I'd probably be fine with this if it weren't for this line.

I wanted to protest but Xavier's warning look silenced me.

You ass! *angered* And Bethany, if you're really an angel, stand up to him, for God's sake! You should not be intimidated by him!

Koujaku: *shakes his head* I hate him already and I don't even know much about him. So Mr. Collins tells Xavier to meet him after class. Bethany decides to wait for him outside, believing that she owes him some gratitude. And when he's done, I hate him even more because of this!

When the door opened Xavier strolled out casually as someone taking a walk on the beach. He looked at me and smiled, pleased that I had waited for him. I was supposed to be meeting Molly at morning break, but the thought floated into my head and straight out again. When he looked at me it was easy to forget to breathe.

This guy really seems to have entitlement issues. Not to mention, it really sounds like he's taking advantage of her or even using her, you know? Bethany is definitely a shy girl, and is someone who gets embarrassed easily, which makes Xavier look like an even bigger ass because it's like he's bragging about his looks.

And I genuinely do not understand why Bethany is getting so flustered over him. He's rude and conceited, which makes it even more irritating.

missabnormal: Damn straight! He then pisses me off even more when he tells Bethany that she's welcome, even before she can open her mouth. Bethany gets irritated and says that she might have wanted to scold him. And what does Xavier do? He asks her if she's angry but that's not it!

There was that half-smirk again, playing around his lips, as if he was deciding whether the situation was amusing enough to warrant a full smile.

*appalled* Dear God, he's like one of those jerks in high school who think they're the best and that they deserve to be treated like royalty! *snickers* Well then, it'll be even more amusing once he grows up and reaches the real world, where he'll get that arrogance smacked right out of him!

Koujaku: This guy is truly infuriating.

missabnormal: Well, it's gonna get a whole lot worse very soon! Like right now! Here comes the slut-shaming!

Two girls walked past and looked daggers at me. 

Koujaku: *raises an eyebrow* Why would they glare at a random girl who's just talking to him?

missabnormal: They're supposed to be the mean girls, of course!

The taller one waggled her fingers at Xavier.

"Hey, Xavier," she said in a syrupy voice.

"Hi, Lana," he replied in a friendly but dispassionate voice.

It seemed obvious to me that he had no interest in talking to her, but Lana didn't seem to notice.

missabnormal: You know, it really upsets me when I see girls being absolutely catty to each other in these sorts of books. And it's only going to get a lot worse!

"How'd you do on the math test?" she persisted. "I thought it was sooooooo hard. I think I might need a tutor."

I couldn't help but notice the way Xavier was looking at her-- blankly, like someone might look at the screen of a computer. Lana was chatting away and arching her back so that Xavier could get the full effect of her curvaceous figure. Any other boy would have been unable to resist giving her body an appreciative appraisal, but Xavier's eyes didn't move from her face.

Koujaku: *stunned* So he sees her as no more than an object? And what, is looking at a woman suddenly an insult?

missabnormal: *angry* This whole passage is an insult to men! What, men aren't allowed to just appreciate a woman from afar? There's a difference between catcalling and finding someone attractive, you know! But Adornetto seems to believe that even looking at a woman's body is horrible, and then applies this insult to every other guy out there except the love interest! And I can't even get over the double standards in this book!

Because Bethany goes on and on about how hot Xavier and Gabriel (her friggin' brother!) are, even detailing their chests! I hate the double standards! Guys aren't allowed to even appreciate a woman's body in a non-creepy way, yet women are allowed to objectify and catcall at men all they want! It's disgusting, and as a feminist, it pisses me off! And this isn't even the only one. There are so many stories and fanfics out there that have girls ogling men all they want, and demonising men for just glancing at a woman's figure!

But wait! There's more!

"I think I did okay," he said. "Marcus Mitchell does tutoring; you should ask him if you really think you need it." Lana's eyes narrowed in annoyance at having given so much and received so little.

"Thanks," she snapped before flouncing away.

Koujaku: I agree with missy about the double standards. It's really annoying how even a guy looking at a woman to admire her is considered disgusting, whereas girls who straight up objectify and fetishise a guy is considered okay. Not to mention, I do not understand this sort of attitude between girls. Any girl who has a good body and likes to emphasize it or look attractive is considered a whore, because a good girl does not allow guys to look at her, yet guys are free to walk around in towels or shirtless, and girls will stare all they want.

When I see a woman with a nice figure, I do not catcall or be lecherous towards her. I just look at her to appreciate her figure, and that's it. I'll admit, I've had some women repeatedly objectify me in the past, and even I've felt uncomfortable with that. This is definitely a double standard, as well as hypocrisy, and it's absolutely infuriating.

missabnormal: Thank you for that, Koujaku. I'm glad to hear your side of things. And we continue, with Xavier apparently not noticing that he offended her, or not caring. I hate this guy so much! And Bethany tries not to be glad at this before remembering his dead girlfriend Emily.

Yeah, the competitiveness between girls pisses me off as well. So much cattiness is annoying, and I hate how every novel does this!

*sigh* Right then, Molly shows up. Xavier greets Molly, and then Molly tells Bethany to come to the cafeteria with her. She then tells Bethany that she wants to bring her to her house after school on Friday because Taylah's sister, a beautician, is going to give them facials. Then Xavier, being the ass that he is, asks when he should come.

Koujaku: She wasn't asking you, stupid. Molly takes the higher ground and ignores him while asking Bethany again, to which she says that she'll have to ask her siblings. And then we get this.

I saw a look of surprise cross Xavier's face. Was it the idea of a night spent having facials or my need to ask my sibling for permission that puzzled him?

Why the hell should it concern Xavier?

missabnormal: Molly then tells Bethany that Gabriel and Ivy are invited as well, but Bethany tells her that they may not be interested. Yeah, because one of them is your teacher, dammit! We're now going to get a really uncomfortable part of this book quite soon.

Molly wants to ask Bethany something in private, so Xavier leaves. She asks Bethany whether Gabriel has said anything about her. And how does Bethany respond?

"Actually, yes," I said, hoping I sounded convincing. There was only one circumstance when lying was permitted: in order to avoid causing someone unnecessary pain. But even then it didn't come easily.

"Really?" Molly's face lit up.

"Of course," I said, thinking that, technically, I hadn't really lied. Gabriel had mentioned Molly, just not in the context she hoped for. "He said it was good to see I'd found such a nice friend."

"He said that? I can't believe he even noticed me. He's so gorgeous! Beth, sorry, I know he's your brother and all, but he is seriously hot."

Koujaku: *stunned* Why the hell are you so concerned about him noticing you? He's your damn teacher, for crying out loud! A teacher-student relationship is extremely inappropriate, you could get into serious trouble for that!

missabnormal: Not to mention, why are you lying, Bethany? You're an angel.

But on a more serious note, this is something that I seriously hate. Molly is seriously in love with her teacher, and thinks that there's nothing wrong with wanting to get into a relationship with Gabriel. Do you know how serious this is? It's illegal! Gabriel is in a position of power, and he could be seen as taking advantage of Molly if she were to pursue him. As someone who is studying to become a teacher, this is really making me uncomfortable, especially because Molly is serious about this.

Look, Adornetto. Student-teacher relationships, especially those of a sexual nature, are illegal in the United States, and it's even considered sexual harassment, regardless of mutual consent. It is seen as an abuse of trust, because teachers are expected to help their students grow. I found this all right here, so check it out. *sighs* I... I can't do this anymore.

Koujaku: *rubs her shoulder soothingly* We're almost done, don't worry. The chapter closes off with Molly taking Bethany to the cafeteria and Bethany thinking about Xavier again. And with that, we're done chapter 6!

missabnormal: Thank you so much for helping me out, Koujaku. I truly appreciate it.

Koujaku: *smiles kindly* You're most welcome. I'm more than happy to help you out with this again sometime, especially when there's such a repulsive hero. *gets up* I'll see you around. *he leaves*

missabnormal: Well, this chapter was exhausting. I am so glad that we're done with this! Now then, I'll see you all in Chapter 7!

Continue to: Chapter 7- Partay

Go back to: Chapter 5- Small Miracles


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May 2017

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