4.50: No Hope

I keep telling myself over and over again that things are gonna get better.

But they’re only getting worse.

I almost don’t even know where to begin.


I mean, things already started going downhill a couple weeks ago, when Mark went to Luc and Hazel’s for dinner. I still don’t know what the hell they said to him, but it’s like I’ve said before – He’s just been acting so weird ever since. Kinda distant, I guess. Not smiling as much either…

I won’t get into it again. What would be the point? I’ve already wasted enough pages worrying about it. And he’s still telling me everything’s fine, no matter how many times I ask him. What more can I do? The point is… I know he’s not okay. But I have no idea what I can do about it.


And after what happened this week… I’m starting to think there’s no hope.

We were so stupid. Last Monday, I stopped by the library just before closing time, as soon as I got out of rehearsal. The entire place was deserted, and we were back in his office together when we decided to sneak a few kisses too many, I guess.


I didn’t even realize I’d forgotten my script at rehearsal.


Or that Laura had tracked me down to give it back to me.


First, she told the University Director about us. And Mark got called to her office a couple days later.

Thank God it wasn’t much more than just a warning. If Mark had been a professor, or if I’d still been working at the library, he would have lost his job, just like that.


Instead, he got a lecture about “integrity” and “keeping up appearances” and the “values of the institution”. And the bottom line of the whole thing is that we can’t be seen together on campus anymore. Not until after I graduate… Which is less than three months away, thank God.

It could have been so much worse. But it was absolutely humiliating for Mark to have to deal with that. I feel horrible.


And I felt even worse when I found out who else Laura told.

The moment I saw Elliot’s name come up on my screen, I knew.

He was so angry. I did manage to calm him down eventually, thank God. But it still wasn’t easy to hear him like that — So hurt. So disgusted. Just like everyone else


And I literally mean everyone.

Word spread like wildfire. We can’t escape it anymore. The stares, the whispers… They follow us everywhere now. Hell, even my professors look at me differently. None of them have said anything, of course. But I can feel it.


Between all the judgmental assholes here at school, and all the bitching and complaining from my family, I feel like some kind of goddamn freak. And normally, Mark would be the one to make me feel better… But lately, the only thing he makes me feel is scared.

It’s in the way he looks at me. Or the tone of his voice. Or his forced smiles… It’s not all the time, but there are moments where I just… Worry.


There used to be a time when I’d panic or cry or tell him how scared I was… And do you know what he’d say to me, every time?

“We’ll get through this. Everything’s going to be okay.”


But last night, while we were lying in bed, his answer changed.

I told him I was worried about what would happen to us. I told him I was scared about the future. I asked him what would happen.

Would we really be okay? Would we make it through?

I stayed up for hours, replaying his answer over and over in my mind.

“I don’t know.”



68 thoughts on “4.50: No Hope

  1. No Mark! Don’t waver now! You guys will get through this. People in this school are so surprisingly conservative. I get the University Director’s stance and even the professors but the other students judging is a little hypocritical on their part because I’m sure the kinds of things most of those college students do is way worse than an older man – younger woman relationship. I’m especially surprised by Elliot. I mean, you guys were broken up for months so I don’t get why he was so upset unless he really loved her more than we thought and Joce broke his heart by breaking up with him. Hmm. I’m really nervous for the SS Marklyne. I see an iceberg in the distance. I hope they can avoid crashing into it! 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re so right about the kids at school! I think their “issue”/what makes it extra weird is that they all know Mark. He’s the school librarian. So I think that adds an “Ew, she’s banging the librarian?” Factor to it. I think there’d be much less judgement if they didn’t all know him.

      And as for Elliot, he was shocked but I think calmed down pretty quickly. I will confirm that Elliot really, REALLY liked Joce/maybe even loved her. It was the real deal on his end haha so this hurt a lot.

      Hopefully no ice bergs ahead, but this chapter definitely doesn’t bode well, I know! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well don’t forget that the university is on the other side of the country 🙂 not Windenburg. People might have a different outlook there! Haha


  2. I love your ship metaphors hahaha

    It’s definitely starting to look like what you’re saying here is going on — Mark’s feeling uncertain and the pressure is building for sure. I think he’s in a really tough situation right now, and it’s hard to say for sure what’s gonna happen. Your prediction that he’ll have to make a difficult decision is definitely possible at this point. But we’ll have to wait and see whether it actually gets to that point.

    Thanks for leaving such a great and insightful comment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m predicting that either Luc and Hazel (or at least Luc) will turn into smug bastards about all this,

    or (for some reason), either Jossy or Mark may end up committing “the unthinkable”. (the term I use for suicide)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, that second prediction would be so horrible. But you never know at this point where this could lead. Hopefully happier times are ahead…? (But then again, this is my story, so….)

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, well, looks who should gave up and live in the woods…I still hope it happen it, and I can’t believe everyone is so close-minded…but I think if they say it’s okay, they would be bully too for agreeing with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, everyone is being quite unfair! 😦 (well, not LITERALLY everyone. In sure there are many students who really don’t care. But Joce is focusing on the negative right now!)


  5. You. Are. Evil. Don’t sink our ship. I know Mark is now really between a rock and a hard place with an iceberg. Now is not the time to give up the ship. And I am not so sure I like your comment about Elliot thinking he loved her – is that some sort of twisted hint of things to come? If he breaks up – gah – can’t even believe I typed that – she will not be able to mourn his loss for a few years and move on because of Luc and Hazel. She will always blame them and they will be a reminder of what she lost because they wouldn’t accept it. Poor Jocelyn.

    But I am not giving up yet. Mark better not either but he is clearly struggling with what the right decision is. No matter what he decides – and at this point I think he isn’t letting Jocelyn have a say in that decision which really makes me mad – it will hurt.

    My prediction is he will tell her it’s over. You certainly set up that scenario nicely. Jocelyn will be further estranged from Luc and Hazel. The family sees how miserable they are apart and nothing they do helps, so they scheme to help Mark and Jocelyn get back together.

    Or he says its over and later Jocelyn finds out she is pregnant which forces them back together.

    Or he says its over and Jocelyn goes crazy like Mari because she feels broken and starts sleeping around. It is in the genes after all. Mark finds out and realizes what a jerk he was to let her go and they get back together. By now the age thing is not as big of a deal.

    Or he decides to tell Luc and Hazel to have a nice life and proposes to Jocelyn. This is my wish.

    See – I haven’t given up the ship, in all of my scenarios, they wind up together. <3. Never a dull moment in Ashes to Ashes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like all of your predictions (well, “like”. Some of them are upsetting scenarios! But I like them because they’re good haha) There are many ways things could play out from this point. We will have to wait and see!

      I’m glad you still have some hope and optimism 🙂


    2. I could imagine that she gets pregnant and then people will just have to deal with them being together. Though i can imagine Luc and Hazel asking them to get rid of it. Oh the horror!


  6. People need to mind their own business. As mentioned in the update, Mark’s not even a professor there.

    Reading this actually reminded me that there were people at my uni dating some of the academics. And generally speaking, though there may have been a few snide remarks or jokes about it, it wasn’t a big deal. I’m pretty sure the only rule was that the student couldn’t be in that specific person’s class, for obvious reasons.

    Sounds like the narcissistic duo did end up getting to Mark, hope they’re proud of themselves. I suppose what Luc doesn’t realise is that these things go both ways, perhaps Joce being with Mark affected their relationship, but tearing her relationship apart is sure as hell gonna affect their sibling relationship too.

    (Not that I’m blaming all the issues Mark and Joce are having on Luc, of course. I do realise there’s a bigger picture, and that it’s several elements affecting it, not to mention we don’t really know if Mark is the one for Joce anyway… But Luc and Hazel have played their part in the withering strength of Marklyne, that’s for sure)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you bring up a great point about Lucas not realizing how this could (if things play out that way) affect his relationship with his sister. This whole thing is almost a lose/lose right now haha

      And as for how other students are reacting, I think a BIT of it is in Joce’s head. There are plenty of people on campus who couldn’t care less. But Joce is so hyper-focused on the negative that she sees it everywhere! 😦


  7. Dammit, poor Marklyne. I predict splitsville, with no possibility of reconciliation until after Joce leaves uni.

    I s2g, if Luc etc. get super smug about it, I’m gonna…

    I’d actually want Jocelyne to finally flip her shit and scream that it was nothing to do with them, and really happened because of everyone else. Because that’s how I’m seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Things definitely don’t look great for Marklyne right now… :-/ but hopefully the Marklyne doesn’t dock in splitsville! Haha we’ll see!

      As for the second part of your comment, I feel like I’d the worst happens, Joce will definitely be mad at her family. But we will see…


      1. I actually think they will find their way back to each other, but how long that will take…?

        I imagine guilt from the dissenters as they realise how their actions affected their loved ones’ happiness…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. The Uni Dir. reminds me of Artie Ziff from the Simpsons LOL – I truly feel like shit is about to hit the fan and no one’s gonna duck out of the way and they will smell like refuse for many chapters to come 😦 – why people gotta be so mean 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is turning put to be harder than anticipated. Why can’t people just accept them for being together? For doing what makes them happy? Though it seems like Mark isn’t really happy right now, i know that’s not joce’s fault but his daughter’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, they’re in a super rough patch right now 😦 And Mark definitely seems to have been influenced by Hazel and Luc, it’s true. But we’ll see where it goes from here!


  10. Oh. And? Laura is EVIL! You know how it is when someone talks about someone else, but you don’t really believe them? I never doubted that Laura had a problem with Joce, but to find out the magnitude of her bone with her? SHEESH!!! What’s her deal? What’s Joce ever did to her? Besides be awesome…and probably better than her.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. This is just so sad for Jocelyne. Maybe their families need to see them broken up and depressed for a few months, then they’ll get on board. Maybe it would take that for them to stop thinking only of how this is making the families feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This made me so heartbroken for the two of them. 😥

    My thoughts:
    -That’s worrying that he seems distant after the dinner. Seems to me that he’s starting to think about the relationship and doubt that it will work. Don’t give up now!
    -Why did Laura even do that?! And why did the University Director even get involved?! “And the bottom line of the whole thing is that we can’t be seen together on campus anymore.” <– this is just bullshit right here
    -"I feel like some kind of goddamn freak. And normally, Mark would be the one to make me feel better… But lately, the only thing he makes me feel is scared." This is so hard to hear… I want to jump into this world and support her. She's so depressed.
    -Can't anyone show support for them?! Why do they have to be so judgmental?

    I want to hug both of them. Damn…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Poor Jocelyn.

    I’m so mad at her family right now. Well I’ve been mad at them for awhile now, but this honestly takes the cake for me. They’re so blinded by the fact that Mark is so much older than her that they can’t see that he makes her happy. That they make each other happy.

    The really messed up part is this is honestly the first time that Jocelyn has stood up for herself when it comes to her family. Who remembers her having to leave her own room cuz Luc was practicing? Or her parents going to his show show instead of supporting her on opening night? Once again everyone is thinking about themselves or other people than about what Jocelyn wants for herself.

    I truly feel bad for Mark too. What Hazel and Luc did was low. True it makes it more than complicated now that they are engaged but trying to dismiss what he has with Jocelyn as nothing more than a fling or mid life crisis was wrong. I mean considering that Luc was the poster boy for meaningless flings doesnt mean that he’s going to leave Jocelyn or grow tired of her.

    I hope that they can find a way to stay together because I really love Marklyne! Hopefully someone inherit family will see that maybe just maybe love comes in all forms and age really is nothing but a number.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for this comment! I totally get why you’re mad at the Rosebrooks — like you said, this is a pattern that’s been going on for a while now — poor Joce gets pushed aside in favor of her brother (and other family members)

      This is a really awful situation 😦 I feel so bad for both of them!

      Thanks so much for reading!


  14. I think that these two need to go somewhere else. As in, “Bye family! We’ll call when you aren’t judgemental assholes!” And then they should get an apartment.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, apartments will be a thing soon. It would be a great way to work them into your story. Besides, cheap apartment blocks are some of the most non-judgemental places ever.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Well she is a graduate student at the university and he is a university employee so it’s not considered appropriate by the school’s standards, unfortunately!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s