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Apr. 1st, 2006 @ 02:25 am Mitch & Max - The Prelude - part 2
Mitch Indie believed strongly in the power of fate. He knew full well that he was only able to attend the prestigious Academie thanks to a bursary that paid his fees and a small stipend. Unlike most of his peers, Mitch was poor, dirt poor. While the other students had rich families for support, Mitch didn't even have parents, let alone a family.

He wasn't exactly an orphan. Probably. His parents were most likely still around somewhere. But it wasn't like he was in contact with them. Actually, he was pretty sure he'd never even met one of them.

His mother had been an escort girl. Higher class than a prostitute, she was generally paid to accompany unloved men to company functions and on business trips. She'd had a string of well-off clients, who sometimes became lovers. These included an actor, who, following a series of flops, had found himself trapped in a marriage to a woman he now couldn't afford to divorce. It was apparently cheaper to sustain a mistress than to try to split up mortgaged property. This man had become Mitch's father.

Mitch had only the vaguest recollections of his father. According to Mitch's mom, their affair had lasted a few years and his father had cared deeply for him, for both of them. He'd only left as his career picked up again, and the fear of adverse publicity had scared him back to his wife. Mitch knew almost nothing about him, not even his name. He had no idea whether this supposed father really was a famous actor, or if it just was a story his mother had made up out of sympathy for the lonely boy. For Mitch had never really had friends, either.

When he was young, Mitch and his mom lived together in a nice house with a garden. His mom had been beautiful, with an exotic, delicate facial structure. She made plenty of money, and he hadn't lacked for anything. She'd explained what she did for a living in a way that made sense to a 5 year old, and Mitch had accepted it in the innocent way that kids accept the world. It had been quite a shock to him when he'd first gone to school, and older kids shouted rude words at his mom when she came to pick him up. By the time Mitch was 8, he'd already realised that his world had a strange sense of priorities: where love, sex and human bodies were seen as sinful; yet violence, weapons and death were somehow okay.

All Mitch ever wanted was a real family. Mitch's mom had always made lots of time for him, but he knew from an early age that it was strange not to have a dad as well. His mom had cooked amazing meals and told him stories, and somehow got all the mom-stuff and the house-stuff done, in addition to work. Now that he was older, he wondered how she'd ever managed it. He remembered sitting on her lap helping her put on make up, and choosing earrings for her to wear with her dresses.

But time passed, Mitch grew up - and his mom's occupation was unkind to aging women. Many businessmen preferred to be seen with younger women to boost their egos, so there was less work available. As the money began to dry up, they'd moved first into a flat without a garden, and then into a trailer. Mitch was happy wherever he was, caring more about the stories in his head than material things, but his mother became depressed. She couldn't stand being unemployed, let alone the cruel way in which some of her clients had let her go. ("Just fire that old hag", she'd heard an executive bark at his secretary.) Although she loved Mitch dearly, that wasn't enough to keep her content. She'd started drinking heavily, and Mitch found himself swapping roles, becoming the mother to her. With limited cooking skills, he'd heated up soup and begged her to eat it, and covered her with a blanket when she'd fallen asleep on the sofa. One day, Mitch woke up to find her gone.

Abandoned by both parents, Mitch had become an angry and resentful teenager. He'd started skipping school and hanging out on street corners, pickpocketing to make ends meet. He was saved from a life of crime by his high school drama teacher, who recognised raw talent when she saw it. The surly, miserable youth was transformed on the stage into an articulate, eloquent young man. The way he'd spat out lines of Shakespeare had amazed his teacher, who wanted to cast him in a play that would require hours of practice outside school hours. He'd said he couldn't; dissembled, tried to make excuses - he needed the time to do... stuff. She'd questioned him further and eventually his whole sorry circumstances had spilled out, along with a few tears. She'd immediately got on the phone to social services, and sorted out some money so he could afford to keep attending school. Spurred on by her belief in him and the self-esteem boost he got from acting, Mitch was able to focus on his other subjects. In the end, it had been trivial for him to pass the exams to obtain a scholarship, intended to fund the education of a deserving, underprivileged student.

All Mitch had ever wanted was a family. He knew that coming to the Academie was the first stage in that quest. Romantic, though he'd never admit to it, Mitch knew that by attending college he would make friends, start a career and meet a lover. If he was lucky, he might even find someone who could co-parent his kids and grow old with him.

Despite his believing in fate, he didn't expect to fall in love with the first guy he met.

Part Three.
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