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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Beginnings: A Riarkle Fanfiction

Happy New Year! 
This fanfiction was inspired by "All This Time" by One Republic

She never told him. 
All those years of being Farkle's friend, and Riley never told him her feelings. 
Why? There were several reasons. 
First, there was his decision to go out with Smackle. Those two were steady for at least two years. Riley could never get in the way of that. 
As her own relationship with Lucas fell apart, and she learned just how selfish she had been, Riley Matthews had vowed to give herself a year. One year to really discover who she was. 
It wasn't easy. As the group all started their college semesters, Riley found that her roommate, Chai was trying to set her up with a friend of a friend. 
That was a test of her patience. While Chai pushed her, Riley decided to avoid the situation as much as possible. But she wouldn't be able to tonight. 
New Years Eve. 
Chai had convinced Riley that she had been out of the game long enough, and even though Riley protested, Chai refused to back down. 
"It's time you meet someone new," she said, "You need to get that guy you told me about off your mind. He's not here now, is he? Live in the moment!" 
But it wasn't that simple. Riley knew Farkle, more than anyone. But, as his relationship with Smackle grew, and he was accepted to NASA for astronaut training, she drifted away, in favor of his happiness. 
Farkle had always wanted to go to Mars. She knew that, but she felt guilty. She didn't want him to go, which was selfish. And she had been very selfish. 
Of all the lessons Riley learned in High School, the most important was being a true friend. Finally recognizing Maya's unhappiness helped her realize that if she told Farkle to stay, it wouldn't make him happy. 
He had seemed excited on the last day of High School, as Smackle stood with him, both wearing NASA shirts. 
And Riley was busy anyway, with college, and deciding what to major in. 
She texted Maya that morning. Maya was busy with her art college, and she and Lucas were going steady. Riley didn't want to intrude. 
She shook her head, as she stepped out of the closet in her best sparkly purple dress. 
The year was up, and it was time for new beginnings. 
As she brushed her hair, Riley looked in the mirror, and for the first time, in a long time, she was proud of the person staring back at her. 
The year had been a great lesson, and her father and mother had always reminded her that you were never too old for a lesson. Life was learning. 
She finally knew how to say no. And, she had learned that she actually loved fashion.
 As her first semester at NYU wrapped up, Riley was looking for study abroad trips in Paris and choosing special classes in fashion design. 
She still needed one more science class for credit. And she knew it would be Astronomy. Even though it reminded her of Farkle, Riley knew that no matter what class she chose, science itself would bring back the memory of a sweet boy with orange turtlenecks who grew into a handsome genius. But with Astronomy, they would talk about Pluto. And Riley had always believed in Pluto. 
As she put the finishing touches on her makeup, Chai knocked on the door. 
"Are you ready, roomy?" Chai asked. Riley noted that her roommate had also chosen a sparkly dress in silver.  
Riley nodded. 
"Ready as I'll ever be," she replied. 
"Oh come on!" Chai told her, "Your bizarre vow of single-hood is up. Tonight you snag a hunk! Let's see some enthusiasm!"
Riley tried to smile, but thoughts of Farkle intruded her mind. Hadn't Smackle called Farkle a hunk? Why hadn't she kept in contact with him since graduation? It wasn't like he had tried himself, but still. 
"Okay," she said, "So, where are we going? Do I need to grab some cash?"
"Only if you want to buy a drink. The punch should be free. The guy throwing this thing is filthy rich. He rented a whole ballroom! It's going to be fancy!" 
"I'll bring some cash just in case," Riley said, grabbing a formal purse. It was a purple cat. She smiled at the memory of her art projects, and her art teachers' frustration. 
"Well, we're ready to go," Chai said. 
They locked the apartment door and walked down to Chai's car.  
"How'd you hear about this party?" Riley asked her. 
"My classmate," Chai told her. "Her father works for the company." 
"What company?" Riley asked, sliding in the front seat. 
"I don't remember," Chai said, "but it's one of the most successful brands in the city. They just bought a new technology, and they might sell it to NASA!" 
"That's interesting," Riley said, but her chest tightened at the mention of NASA. Maybe it was time to move on. Farkle had, as far as she knew.
"So anyway, it's going to be crowded, plenty of guys you can flirt with," Chai said. 
"Okay," Riley replied. 
"What did I say about sulking?" Chai asked. 
"I know, I know," Riley said. "Let's just get there in one piece." 
She liked to tease her roommate about her driving habits. Chai was a speed demon with a lead foot. 
"Alright girl," Chai said, "Lets turn up the tunes and get moving." 
Riley listened to the music, trying to focus on every word, and push all thoughts of Farkle out of her mind. She remembered a time, not so long ago, when New Years had been very important to both of them. When Farkle was determined to let everyone know how she felt at exactly midnight.
It probably wasn't healthy to pine after him anyway. The last she had heard, he and Smackle were the dynamic duo of the science department. It would be hard to compete with that. 
"We're here," Chai said, parking the car. 
"There must be some mistake," Riley said horrified. 
Chai pulled a flyer from her purse. 
"No mistake, it's the right address. See?" She handed Riley the flyer. 
"Oh no," Riley said. 
"What?" Chai asked. 
"I can't go in there," Riley said. 
"Why not?" Chai asked. 
"You know that guy you told me not to think about?" Riley asked. 
"Yeah," Chai answered, "His name was kind of strange. Wasn't it ..." 
"Farkle Minkus," Riley said, pointing to the flyer. 
The name was right there, staring at her in bright orange letters. 
"No way!" Chai said, "I mean, this is probably a coincidence."
"I don't believe in coincidences," Riley told her, "I can't go in there!" 
"Why not?" Chai asked, "He won't be the only guy. There will be so many people, you may not even see him." 
"It's more important that he doesn't see me," Riley said. 
"Why?" Chai asked. 
Riley sighed. Her mind went back to the day after graduation. The day she had spoken to Farkle for the last time. 
"Congratulations on your acceptance at NASA," Riley told him. 
Farkle smiled. 
"Thanks Riley," he said. 
"I know Smackle's proud," Riley told him. 
"What about you?" Farkle asked her. 
"I'm always proud of you," Riley told him, "I knew you'd rule the world someday." 
"I don't know," Farkle said, "I'm nervous." 
"You'll do great!" Riley told him. 
"You think so?" Farkle asked. 
"I know you will," Riley said. 
"I am excited," Farkle said. 
"And you've wanted to go to Mars for a long time," Riley said. 
"Yeah," Farkle told her, "And Smackle will be there too!" 
Riley tried to smile. Smackle was an amazing person, and if Farkle loved her, then who was Riley to get in their way?
"Then you'll have all you need," Riley said. 
For a moment, Farkle met her eyes. 
"Do you mean that?" He asked her. 
"Every word," Riley said. 
"Well what about you, Riley?" Farkle asked. 
"I'll be fine," she said. 
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"Don't worry about me," Riley said. 
'But Riley..." Farkle said. 
Riley shook her head. 
"Not another word. I learned my lesson. I won't be looking for a relationship for at least a year." 
Farkle's eyes didn't leave hers. 
"Promise me that you'll find happiness," Farkle said. 
Riley's heart skipped a beat. 
"I promise," Riley said. "And in one year, I'll be back in the game." 
"A year," Farkle said. 
"That's right," Riley told him. "It'll be good for me. There's still so much I need to learn." 
"And in one year you'll be ready?" Farkle asked. 
"I think so," Riley told him, "A year away from guys would be a good thing." 
"All guys?" Farkle asked. 
"All guys," Riley answered. 
"If you're sure," Farkle replied. 
"I'm positive," Riley said. 
"Because if this is another act," Farkle said. 
"It's not," Riley said, "Farkle! Can't you just be happy and move on?"
 Her words rang through the air as the music died down. 
"I'll move on, Riley," Farkle said, "If you really want me to." 
Riley nodded. 
"Go, Farkle. Be the first man on Mars. Be the scientist you've always wanted to be," Riley said. 
Farkle took one step closer to Riley, and she moved one step back. The closer Farkle was to her, the more nervous she felt. 
"Alright Riley, one year." Farkle said, "I hope you find happiness." 
He stepped forward, and when she stepped back, he pulled her into a hug. 
Riley slowly returned it. 
"Be happy Farkle," Riley said. 
"You too," Farkle replied, "take care of yourself." 
Then he let go, and walked away. 
Riley tried to find him later during the graduation ceremony, but he was nowhere to be seen. She even went by the Minkus residence, but Farkle was long gone by the time Stuart answered the door. 
She sent texts. He never replied. She tried to email him. No answer. 
Eventually, halfway through the year, Riley stopped trying. Farkle had clearly made his decision. 
And now, here she was, with her new roommate on the night she was ready to move on. Unbelievable. 
"You can't turn back now!" Chai told her. "Maybe this is fate! You won't know if you still care unless you see this guy again." 
"I don't want to," Riley said, "Especially if he's happy." 
"Well you won't know until you see him," Chai said, "Didn't you tell me that you knew this guy more than anyone?" 
"I used to," Riley said, "And, it's been a year." 
"Well then," Chai said, "You're older and wiser." 
"Supposedly," Riley said. 
"Riley Matthews," Chai said, "If you don't walk in that building then you have no choice but to go out with the next blind date I find. Do you understand?" 
Riley looked at her roommate. She was serious. And deep down, she knew why Chai had threatened such a thing. This was an opportunity. Riley could finally learn the truth. She would finally learn what she meant to Farkle.
"Alright," she said, opening the car door and stepping out slowly. "Let's do this." 
"That's my girl!" Chai said. 
Riley clutched the purple cat purse for dear life. 
Questions flooded her mind. Would Farkle even recognize her? How would he look now? Can one year really change someone that much? 
As she walked into the ballroom, she noticed a specific color. Purple. 
It was everywhere, from the balloons on the ceiling to the ribbons tied on the wall. The room appeared to have a purple glow with the stars projected on the walls and the lights shining on the stage, dance floor and the tables where guests clinked champagne glasses and munched on snacks. 
The detail surprised her. Hadn't Farkle always liked orange? She thought back to his favorite orange turtleneck, buried in the time capsule they wouldn't open for another ten years. Had he forgotten? 
Chai gave their names and the host checked them off the list. 
"Please write on the board," the host said, gesturing to the right. 
Riley walked past the bright banners that read, "Happy New Year" to a giant chalk board, where people scribbled and chatted excitedly. At the top in bright purple letters, it read: New Years Resolutions. 
Chai tapped her on the shoulder. 
"We're supposed to write one resolution we have for the year." Chai said, handing Riley a piece of chalk. 
Riley thought for a moment, then she started writing on the board. 
"To understand true love," Chai read. "That sounds like a good goal." 
Riley smiled. "What are you going to write?" 
Chai scribbled on the board quickly. 
"To choose a major," Riley said, "That's a good goal too." 
"I like yours better," Chai said, "because you've been single long enough." 
Riley laughed. 
"I learned a lot this year," she said, "And I don't think that's a bad thing. Relationships aren't everything after all. As my Dad says, it's important to know who you are." 
"Well, now that you know who you are," Chai said, "Let's go learn who those hunks are," 
She pointed to some good looking guys that stood by the punch bowl. 
Riley saw the guys, but she also saw the purple curtain that hung behind them. Purple everywhere! It was starting to annoy her. If Farkle had arranged this party, why hadn't he used his favorite color? Had Smackle chosen the theme? Why purple? 
She walked up to the guys standing in front of the punch bowl. Chai giggled. 
As Chai introduced herself and Riley, all Riley could do was stare. 
The punch bowl had apples in it. 
"Oh," one of the guys, she thought his name was Fred, told her. "I know the apples are a little weird, but you just go around them for the punch." 
He demonstrated by taking a glass, and pouring the clear sparkly liquid in the cup. 
Riley noticed that her hand was shaking. 
"Thank you," she told Fred, trying to collect herself. There was only one thought in her head as she stared at the punch bowl. The moment Farkle Minkus saved her life. 
She was watching for him around every corner, expecting him to show up the moment she let her guard down. What even was the theme of this party? 
"Riley?" Chai said, "Fred just asked you something." 
"Huh?" Riley said, "Oh, sorry Fred, I guess I was a little distracted. Maybe it's the punch." 
"Did you want to sit down?" Fred asked. 
"Uh, yes," Riley said, "I think that would be a good idea." 
Fred offered Riley his arm as he walked over to a table. At the center of the table, Riley finally found something orange. A clock. Around the clock were party favors that said "Happy new year" and "Make a wish."
"I'm going to get some food," Fred said, "will you be okay?" 
Riley nodded, but she knew it was a lie. She hadn't been okay since she learned whose party this was. Still, Fred appeared to be a nice guy. Maybe Chai was right. She deserved some closure. Didn't she?
As Riley moved forward to pick up the clock, the music stopped. 
Everyone looked up at the stage, and there he was. Farkle Minkus. 
Riley was surprised at how fast she recognized him. He was dressed in a fine suit, and he was as handsome as she remembered him. If not more so. 
He stood, addressing the crowd that cheered. 
"Thank you," Farkle said, "Thank you all for coming to my New Years Celebration. In a half an hour, we will go to the roof to see the fireworks above Times Square." 
The crowd cheered. 
"I hope you all have written your resolutions and you keep your heart open to the possibility that they can come true. Someone very special in my life taught me that, and I hope she's here tonight." 
Riley waited for Smackle to walk on the stage, but she never came. 
Fred returned with the food. 
"So that's the guy," He said. 
"What do you know about him?" Riley asked. 
"Well, I know he's the most sought after bachelor in New York City."  
"Bachelor?" Riley asked. 
Fred nodded. 
But before he could explain, Farkle spoke again. 
"Tonight is the end and the beginning. I hope you all enjoyed what the year has brought you, and that you look forward to the future." 
The crowd applauded. 
"So, let's get this party started!" Farkle said. 
The crowd cheered again, and Farkle handed the microphone back to the DJ. 
Riley turned to Fred. 
"What did you mean by bachelor?" Riley said. 
Fred laughed. 
"You know exactly what I mean. And I'm afraid if I tell you anymore, you'll lose interest in me all together." 
Riley's heart skipped a beat. She watched Farkle walk off the stage. None of this made sense. 
She stood up to go find him but he disappeared in the crowd. As Riley walked toward the dance floor, Fred took her hand. 
"I'm sorry, Fred," Riley said, "I'm not really in the mood to dance right now. I have to talk to someone." 
"Come on," Fred said, "Just one dance? You won't regret it." 
Riley tried to free herself from his grip. 
"I'm not interested right now, please," she said. 
"You sure like to play hard to get, don't you?" Fred said. 
"Is there a problem?" 
Riley went numb. She knew that voice. 
"There shouldn't be," Fred said, "Right, Riley?"
Riley glared at him. 
"I said I don't want to dance right now!" 
She stomped on his foot, and he let go of her hand. 
Riley smirked, watching Fred slowly walk away. 
"Well," Farkle's voice came from behind her, "I was going to save you again, but it seems like you can save yourself." 
Riley slowly turned around. His soft, blue eyes met hers, and it was almost as though the year had never happened. That same gleam in his eye. The same proud smile. 
"Farkle," she said, unable to think of anything else. 
"Hello, Riley," Farkle told her, "how was your year?" 
"My year?" Riley asked him, "Oh, it was good. How was yours?" 
"Enlightening," Farkle said, "I learned more this year than all our High School years put together." 
"Oh," Riley said, "Well I guess my father wouldn't be happy to hear you say that." 
"This was a lesson your father couldn't teach," Farkle said. 
"Interesting," Riley told him. 
"But you still didn't answer my question," Farkle said, "How was your year away from guys?" 
Riley blushed. 
"You remembered that?" she asked. 
"I couldn't forget it," Farkle told her. 
"Why?" Riley asked him. 
"I'm saving that answer for midnight," Farkle said. 
Riley watched him. He wasn't smiling, and his eyes focused on her so intently that she couldn't help blushing. 
"What happens at midnight?" she asked, "I'm afraid you won't be able to blow Gabriel's horn again." 
Farkle smiled, and her heart pounded in her chest. 
"Are you sure about that?" he asked. 
Riley watched him. 
"Farkle," she asked, "What is all this? Why all the purple? And what's with the theme of this party?" 
"You don't approve?" he asked her. 
Riley laughed. 
"Why would it matter if I approved?" she asked him. 
"You haven't figured it out yet?" Farkle asked. 
"You're being cryptic," Riley told him. 
"Maybe," he said. 
"Then maybe I should go find another Charlie Gardner!" Riley said, anger boiling in her. Did he not care? Was he messing with her?
"Wait," Farkle said, taking her hand. 
Unlike Fred's harsh grip, Farkle's was gentle, almost hesitant. 
She searched his gaze. 
"What?" she asked him. 
"It will be midnight soon," Farkle told her, "and I want you standing next to me." 
"Me?" Riley asked. 
"Yes, you," Farkle told her. 
"Why?" Riley asked him, flustered. "We haven't spoken since graduation. I texted you, emailed you, and you never replied." 
Farkle nodded. 
"Well, at least you're not denying it," Riley said. "Okay then, here's my question. If you want me standing next to you at midnight, you have to answer it." 
Farkle nodded. 
"Why? Why didn't you write back?" 
Farkle looked away for a moment. 
"I had my own year of self discovery," he said, " and I needed to learn what I wanted." 
"That's fine and all," Riley told him, "but that doesn't explain why you just dropped all communication." 
"Yes it does," Farkle told her, "Remember what you said to me? You wanted a entire year, away from guys. All guys. Riley, I am a guy! You knew that when you told me. You shouldn't be surprised." 
"But we're friends, Farkle. And friends talk to eachother, and they listen, and they're there for each other, like we used to be." 
"Riley," Farkle said, his eyes locked on to hers, "This is what I learned, just this year. We have always been more than just friends." 
Riley gulped. Farkle was serious, and she couldn't escape his gaze. 
"And now!" the DJ announced, "It's nearly midnight. Time to head up to the roof. Five minutes until the fireworks." 
Everyone walked out of the ballroom. Everyone except Riley and Farkle. 
Riley stood there, trying to calm her pounding heart while Farkle watched her every move. 
"What do you mean, Farkle?" she asked. 
"You know what I mean," Farkle said, "You never treated me the same way you did Zay, or even Lucas. Riley, I know you! I've always known who you are. And, you've always known who I am." 
"But NASA," Riley said. 
"It all means nothing to me, if you're not there to share it with." 
"This is a joke, right?" Riley asked, waiting for some guy to pop out and say they were on candid camera. 
Farkle stared at her for a moment, then he pulled her hand gently. 
"Please, come with me," 
Riley allowed Farkle to lead them up the stairs. But there was no crowd eagerly waiting for the fireworks. 
"Where are we going?" Riley asked. 
"I've had a lot of time to plan this," Farkle said.
She didn't know what to say as Farkle opened a door that lead out to a single platform balcony. A single table with two chairs awaited them, and two glasses of champagne stood on the table, confetti stars sprinkled between them. 
Farkle let go of her hand and offered her a glass. 
"Farkle," Riley said, "Is this?" 
"For you?" he asked, "Yes Riley. It's all for you. The theme, the purple.  I even put apples in the punch! I wanted to remind you that we have a history. And it's important to me." 
"But what about Smackle?" 
"We broke up, not long after my first week at NASA," Farkle said. 
"Farkle, I'm sorry," Riley said. 
"I'm not, Riley. I learned a very important lesson." 
"What lesson?" Riley asked, stunned. 
"I need you." 
Riley blushed. 
"But I've been selfish, and blind," Riley said. 
"So have I," Farkle told her, "You remember that night in eighth grade, when we worked on that Thomas Jefferson project?" 
Riley nodded.
"You asked me a question, and it never left my mind. Did you ever think when you look through a microscope..." 
"You miss the bigger picture?" Riley finished. 
Farkle nodded. 
"I did," he said, "I missed the bigger picture, Riley. I missed you." 
Riley took a sip from her glass, unsure what to think. Was this really happening? How strong was that punch earlier? But, as she placed the glass back down on the table, and walked toward the balcony, Times Square in the distance, the pieces slowly came together. 
She heard Farkle walking behind her, and then when she looked to her left, there he was, by her side. He always had been, hadn't he?
"I missed you too, Farkle," Riley said. She could hear the countdown from the balcony below them, people cheering. 
She stepped closer to Farkle. 
She took his hand. 
She looked in his eyes, and he looked back. 
He smiled and leaned in. 
Their lips met. 
She heard the fireworks bursting in the air, and the people cheering, shouting Happy New Year. But none of that compared to the warmth and the gentle touch of Farkle's lips against her own. As they deepened the kiss, Farkle pulled her close and she wrapped her arms around his neck. Like two puzzle pieces, they fit perfectly. 
When they pulled apart, both breathless, Riley smiled. 
"I guess my resolution came true," she said. 
"What was it?" Farkle asked. 
"To understand true love," Riley told him. 
Farkle smiled. 
"Huh," he told her, "That was mine, too." 
"I love you, Farkle," Riley said. 
"I love you, Riley," Farkle said, "Happy New Year." 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Riarkle Christmas

Winter came to New York in a soft flurry outside the window. 
Riley stood inside the warmth of the new apartment that she and Farkle had recently purchased. As the snow fell softly outside, she watched the snowflakes land on the glass, slowly melting from the warmth of the window. 
The sound of soft footsteps echoed in the room.
"Ready, honey?" Farkle said. 
She turned from the window and smiled. 
Her husband, her Farkle stood at the bottom of the stairs, wearing a red turtleneck and brown coat. 
"Just a minute," Riley told him, grabbing her own purple coat. 
"Well, I'm in no rush," Farkle said with a laugh, "but if know you, we're going to be late." 
"I just want to look my best," Riley said, zipping up her coat. 
"You already do," Farkle said. 
She smiled as Farkle stepped toward her, brushing a lock of hair away from her forehead. 
"That's easy for you to say," Riley said, straightening the neck of her own matching red turtleneck. 
Farkle raised a brow. 
"You always look good," Riley told him. 
Farkle lifted her chin. 
"Always?" He said 
"Always," she said with a smile, her eyes shining.
He kissed her softly, then grabbed the key to the apartment from the hook on the wall. 
They pulled away and held hands. 
"Now," Farkle said "You'll tell me if you're too cold?" He asked. 
Riley smiled. 
"We can always grab a hot chocolate on the way," she said as they headed out the door. The air was a little chilly, but not as cold as she expected. 
New York itself was a winter wonderland, and as the evening came, the Christmas lights lit up one by one. Snow softly fell around them, tickling Riley's cheeks. 
"Wow!" Riley said, watching a moving light display. A bright reindeer stomped its foot and bobbed its head. 
"How do they make it move?" She asked. 
"It's simple Riley," Farkle said, pointing at the display. 
"Do you see the faint outline there?" 
He drew the outline in the air. 
"It's more than one frame, see?" 
Riley watched Farkle's eyes light up as the light display created the illusion. 
"You're not paying attention," Farkle said with a pout. 
Riley laughed and linked her arm in his. 
"I am. I promise," She replied. 
"Oh yeah?" Farkle said, "Then what did I just show you?" 
Riley took his hand in hers and drew the outline of the reindeer. 
"Did I get it right?" She asked him, turning. He was watching her, his eyes shining. 
She sighed as Farkle kissed her forehead. 
"What was that?" She asked him. 
"A reward," Farkle said. His goofy grin made Riley's heart race. 
She kissed his cheek. 
They started walking again, the lights surrounding them in a canopy. 
As the people walked past them, Riley barely noticed. She could tell that Farkle was excited. It had been nearly a year since they had seen Lucas, Maya, Zay and Smackle. Even after college, their group of friends remained strong. Something that Riley learned from her father. It was a lesson they all had to learn. Even after life changed their paths, they were still there for each other. A cause worth fighting for. 
"So, do you remember what route we take on the subway?" Riley asked Farkle. 
"Of course," Farkle said. "It just might be more crowded in Central Park this year." 
"I think we'll be okay," Riley told him. 
They walked down the stairs to the subway, and as they waited for the train, Riley looked around. The stay in school poster still hung on the wall, Mr Feeny smiling at the passerby. 
Farkle looked at his watch. 
"Don't worry," Riley told him. 
"I'm not," Farkle replied, but her look silenced him. 
It was just something that Riley knew about Farkle. He liked when things were just so, and he loved being on schedule. 
She was always happy to remind him that sometimes life didn't go according to plan, but it all worked out anyway. 
She took his hand and hid his watch under the sleeve of his coat. 
"Hey," Farkle said, but she silenced him with a quick kiss on the lips. 
"We have all the time in the world," Riley whispered as she kissed him again. 
She felt Farkle give in, just as the train arrived. 
"Well, that was a nice way to spend it," Farkle replied. 
Riley led him on the platform of the train, and she found a pair of seats together. 
As she put her head on his shoulder, she traced his knuckles with her finger tips. 
"Don't fall asleep," Farkle teased. 
She giggled. 
"I'll try not to," she replied, but no promises. 
She smiled as Farkle put his other hand over hers. 
"What?" She asked as he stopped her tracing. 
"That tickles," Farkle told her. 
"I know," she replied. 
Farkle lifted her hand to his lips. He kissed it softly. 
"Now will you stop?" He asked, breathing on her hand. 
She looked at him. 
Butterflies formed in her stomach. His eyes locked on hers with a steady, hungry gaze. 
Riley blushed despite herself. 
"That's cheating," she replied. 
Farkle laughed. 
She bit her lip as Farkle took her hand in both of his. 
She looked away, pretending to pout. 
"Riley?" Farkle asked softly. 
She ignored him. 
"Come on," Farkle said, "It's all in good fun." 
Riley stayed still as she felt Farkle lean closer. 
"Are you upset?" He asked. 
She turned her head to face him, and her heart melted at the genuine concern she found in his eyes. 
They stayed that way for a moment. Riley saw Farkle's gaze drop to her lips. 
She leaned forward, just as signal for the door went off. 
Both pulled away in surprise as they stood and left the train. 
"Woah," Farkle said. 
"We nearly missed our stop," Riley said with a laugh. 
Farkle blushed. 
"This is your fault," he told her, "You're too distracting." 
"It's not my fault you went Boylalaloo," Riley said. 
Farkle smiled. 
"You did too," he replied, "And you know it," 
Riley shook her head, but she couldn't hide her smile. 
Farkle was smooth, and he definitely knew that. 
They walked closer together, shoulders brushing as they entered the crowd of people chattering excitedly and shuffling up the subway stairway. 
"Almost there," Farkle said. 
Riley pulled out her phone. 
"Maya's on her way with Lucas," Riley said. 
Farkle nodded.  
"Still no word from Smackle and Zay," she said. 
"They'll be here," Farkle said, "Zay emailed me this morning." 
Riley put the phone in her pocket as Farkle guided them around a group of children in a snowball fight. 
"We're meeting at the skating rink," Riley said. 
"Sounds good," Farkle replied, pulling her closer as more people walked around them. 
Riley felt safe as her shoulders pressed against his. the crowd grew as the people gathered near the entrance to the park. Riley grinned as Farkle put his arm around her and she looped her arm around his again. 
"It's about to get crazy," Farkle said. 
"Okay," Riley said. 
Farkle was right. People stepped on her feet and bumped into her, but Farkle's presence made the chaos better. 
"Oh," Farkle said. 
He moved his arm and took Riley's hand again. 
"Hot chocolate," he said with a grin. 
Riley noticed the chill in the air as Farkle ordered two cups of hot chocolate.
"Careful," he said, handing one to her. 
"Thank you," Riley said. 
As they sipped the hot chocolate, Riley's phone rang. 
"Hey Maya," she answered. 
"We're here," Maya's voice came from the line, "Huckleberry's here too. He almost took a wrong turn." 
"Hey, that's not true!" Lucas's voice echoed in the background. 
Riley laughed. 
"Farkle and I are about three minutes away," Riley said, "Any word from Smackle or Zay?" 
"Smackle texted me ten minutes ago," Maya said, "They're probably caught in the subway traffic." 
"Okay, we'll be there soon," Riley said. 
"See ya soon," Maya said. 
Riley hung up and looked at Farkle. 
"Ready?" She asked. 
Farkle nodded. 
She linked her arm in his again as they maneuvered through the crowd. 
Riley saw Maya first, her bright blonde hair a trademark. Lucas stood next to her, They were laughing about something as Riley and Farkle walked up. 
"Riles!" Maya said when she recognized her. 
"Peaches!" Riley grinned as they hugged. 
"I'm so glad you made it!" Maya said, "Huckleberry has been my only company for two hours." 
"It was longer than that," Lucas said, "And from what I saw, you were having fun." 
"Huckleberry, Huckleberry," Maya said as she pulled away from Riley, "You should know by now that it's all an act." 
Lucas laughed, while Farkle walked up to him. 
Lucas shook Farkle's hand. 
"How ya doin' Freak Face?" Farkle asked. 
"I haven't been called that in a while," Lucas said. 
"Well, it's never too late to make up for lost time." Farkle said with a laugh. 
Zay and Smackle walked up to them. 
"Well, well," Smackle said, "If it isn't my former arch nemesis," 
"Smackle," Farkle said with a grin, "How have you been?" 
"She's been winning nobels and impressing my parents," Zay said with a grin. 
"It's nice to know they approve," Smackle said. 
Zay shook his head. 
"Isadora Babineux," he said, "you know very well how incredible you are." 
"But boasting is not acceptable behavior," Smackle said with a gleam in her eyes. 
"It is around me," Zay said, pulling her close. 
"Now that we're all here," Riley said, "Guess what it's time for!" 
"If you say it," Maya told her, "I will pinch you." 
"Secret Santa!" Riley said. 
Maya pinched her arm. 
"Ow," she replied. They laughed. 

After the gift exchange, the snow fell harder. 
"We should probably get home," Farkle told Riley, "It's getting colder." 
"Merry Christmas, guys!" Riley said, giving each of her friends a hug.
As Farkle and Riley walked back to the subway, Farkle stopped. 
"What?" Riley asked him. 
Farkle looked around. 
"Just one last thing," he said. 
Riley gasped as Farkle drew her to him. Their noses touching. 
He kissed her gently as the soft snow fell around him. 
When they pulled away, Riley smiled. 
"Smooth," she said, a little breathless. 
"There's more where that came from," Farkle said with a wink. 
"Okay, genius," Riley said with a giggle, "but let's go inside where it's warm." 

The moment Farkle and Riley arrived back at the apartment, Riley raced up the stairs. 
"Riley?" Farkle asked. 
He wondered what had persuaded her to take off so suddenly. 
As he walked slowly up the stairs, Riley's voice came from the bedroom. 
"Don't come up just yet," Riley said. 
Now Farkle was curious.
"Everything Ok?" He asked. 
"Yes," Riley replied from the hallway, "But not one step more Farkle Minkus!" 
Farkle laughed. 
"Does this have to do with presents?" He asked. 
"Yes," Riley said. "Stay put for five more minutes!"
Farkle looked at his watch, timing the minutes down to the second. 
He heard paper shuffling and the rip of scotch tape. 
"Okay, Riley," he said, "You've got one more minute." 
The rustling grew louder, and he suspected more frantic.
As the minute passed, Farkle slowly stepped toward the room and knocked on the door. 
"I'm coming in," Farkle said. 
He opened the door. 
He saw a box wrapped in red and green paper with a bright red bow. Riley was no where to be seen. 
"Riley?" He asked. 
She walked out of the closet, and Farkle laughed. There was scotch tape in her hair. 
He walked toward her, and she blushed as he gently pulled the tape from her brown curls. 
"Well done," he said. 
She grimaced. 
"So, are we opening gifts tonight?" Farkle asked softly. 
"Well, I was hoping we could do just one," Riley said. "I mean Mom, Dad and Auggie come over tomorrow, but I got you something for Hanukkah." 
Farkle smiled as his heart swelled. His wife was the most thoughtful and considerate person he knew. 
"Okay," Farkle said, "Then you have to open a gift too." 
"Deal!" Riley said. 
She picked up the gift and walked downstairs as Farkle followed. 
The tree was lit up by the time Farkle made it to the living room. He smiled at the menorah on the mantelpiece. 
"Happy Hanukkah Farkle," Riley said, handing him the gift that she had previously made such a fuss about. 
"Thank you Riley," Farkle said softly. 
He walked to the tree and found a small red box. 
"Open this first," he told her. 
"Not fair," Riley said. "Let's open them at the same time." 
"Okay," Farkle said.
He tore the paper and opened the box. 
  "Riley," he said, "this is..." 
"Mars," Riley said, "You can put it on the tree." 
Farkle lifted the glass ornament out of the box and grinned. 
"Open yours," he told her. 
Riley pulled the red box open, and gasped. 
"Farkle!" She said, "Did you know?" 
Farkle shook his head.
"I didn't know at all," Farkle said, "but I'm starting to think the universe is telling us something." 
Riley lifted the glass ornament out of her box. It was Pluto. The perfect match to Farkle's Mars. 
"Merry Christmas, Riley," Farkle said, "Happy Hanukkah, Happy everything." 
Riley rushed over to him, pulling him in a hug. 
Farkle sighed as Riley pressed against him. 
"I guess Pluto and Mars belong together after all." Riley said. 
"The universe seems to say so." Farkle replied with a happy sigh of his own. 
Riley moved away from him to hang her ornament on the tree. 
He leaned toward her as she picked a tree branch and placed Pluto delicately on the pine tree. 
Farkle placed Mars gently beside Pluto. 
"And," Farkle said, "I think it happened because you never gave up on them." 
Riley smiled at him and he noted the reflection of the lights in her soft brown eyes. 
They held the gaze, drawn together. 
Farkle closed his eyes as Riley leaned forward, and their lips met. 
Best Christmas ever.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Open letter to Disney Channel

Dear Disney Channel, 

You know, as well as I that times are tough. And, when times got tough, Walt Disney himself always found the bright side and learned from his mistakes. 
Girl Meets World is an amazing story that teaches the world good lessons on very difficult topics. 
This show is more than a sitcom. It's a powerful story with characters that touch the hearts of all generations. 
The story of Riley Matthews, Maya Hart, Farkle Minkus, Lucas Friar, Zay Babineaux, Isadora Smackle and many other characters has influenced the current generation to be the best person they can be. The message of this tale is so important for people of all ages and from all walks of life to consider, especially during the hard times we now face. 
The Disney company has always been a beacon of light in a dismal world. It's your mantra.

Walt Disney himself lived this philosophy, and this show does that better than any show I have ever seen on your television network. 
As much as I love the shows that I grew up with on Disney Channel, none have touched my heart in the way that this story has. 
It's based on reality, but it's also based on possibility. 
The power to believe in yourself, and to trust that life knows what it's doing. Even when you feel lost or scared, there are ways to face the world and take it head on. That message, and that lesson means more than any slapstick comical cartoon that airs on television. It means more than any soap opera with a love triangle. 
The world needs this story, now more than ever to keep the hope alive. 
Renewing Girl Meets World is staying true to Walt Disney's work ethic. 
"The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather the things we do for the people we love and esteem." - Walt Disney
I'm asking you now, Disney. Do you love your audience? You claim to. You pride yourself on how your audience reacts to your creations. 
You've got people that love these characters and they are learning from them. You've got multiple ages watching this show. It's your largest audience base. 
You have a following that cares about this story, and an entire generation growing with Riley Matthews. 
Are you really going to let something that incredible go? 
What's your plan after airing such a complex and interesting story? 
Do you have a better one? 
I'll tell you right now, I have never seen its like in any other media format. 
This is a new Renaissance. 
Girl Meets World isn't about sitcom jokes and comedy. It's about learning who you are, and discovering that you influence people everyday. 
People change people. 
You've got people telling you how much this story means to them. 
Stories have always been the best way you kept Walt Disney's legacy alive. 
Don't take this show away from them! 
Please Renew this show, because this story needs to be told. A story that reaches so many people in so little time always deserves to be shared. 
Walt Disney was a storyteller. 
This story is something I believe he would want to share. 
Don't lose the very heart of your company. 
Give Riley a chance to meet the world, so we can see the possibilities. 

Thank you for listening, 

Sarah Golden

Dear readers,

Thank you for reading my open letter to the Disney Channel. It means the world to me. 
Disney has cancelled, but this show still has a shot! Join us during World Meets Girl as we campaign for Netflix and Hulu to save the show! 
And please request Girl Meets World Season 4 at this link: 
Please help us save this beautiful story that Walt Disney would be proud to share! 
Retweet this link to spread the word.

Sign these petitions to keep Riley's tale alive: 

For more info on What you can do for GMW, read this tumblr post: 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Farkle Nutcracker Prince: A Girl Meets World Theory

In Girl Meets A Christmas Maya, while Riley and Maya talk about Secret Santa, one of her pillows is a Nutcracker, placed convienently in the center of the frame.  

The Nutcracker is a wonderful Christmas story, and one of my favorites. 

 I think the narrative has been tied to Riley, Farkle and the BMW assumptions. 

In the story, Clara is a sweet girl with dreams to be a ballet performer. Clara is also known as Marie in the ballet. 
She is very excited on Christmas Eve when her Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings his Christmas gifts. 
After telling the children a story about a young man cursed by the Mouse king, Grandfather Drosselmeyer gives Clara a nutcracker. 

As Clara cradles her new gift in her arms, her little brother grabs it from her and causes the nutcracker to lose his jaw. 

(This sounds very similar to a certain Barry the Bear Bear losing a face, doesn't it?)  

The rest of the children don't appreciate the Nutcracker the way that Clara does. 
As Grandfather Drosselmeyer ties a bandage around the Nutcracker, he promises to fix it, Clara finds one of the doll beds to place the Nutcracker on with care, and she promises to nurse him back to health. 

As the Christmas festivities die down, Grandfather Drosselmeyer finishes his tale and explains to Clara that the Nutcracker is known as the prince of the dolls. He is waiting for a girl to lift the curse, and when she does, he will make her his princess. 
("Who will treat me, like a princess," "Like me!") 
Clara is intrigued by the story, and after she has to go to bed, she returns to the living room, only to see Grandfather Drosselmeyer fix the nutcracker. 

As she goes to see him, something magical happens. The toys come to life, and the Nutcracker is once again forced to battle the dreaded mouse king. 

Clara helps the Nutcracker defeat the evil Mouse King, and he invites her to go with him to the land of the dolls. As she arrives, the dolls greet them and they are treated like royalty. 

In the end, Clara goes back home, and the Nutcracker disappears. 

Devastated, Clara rushes to tell Grandfather Drosselmeyer, only to find that a boy around her age is helping him build more toys. 

In the story, Drosselmier's nephew does not appear until after Clara helps the Nutcracker. 
In the ballet, he is there the whole time. 

This story has many parallels to the "story" of Riley and Farkle. 

Farkle would be the nutcracker, stuck in the Minkus role and taken for granted. Yet, waiting for his princess to save him.
Riley would be Clara, a dreamer with a big heart who promises to care for the Nutcracker Prince and helps him defeat the mouse king. 

It's a very symbolic parallel to the idea introduced in Girl Meets Smackle to never assume, look more deeply and not trust a pretty wrapper. 

Nothing is as it seems in The Nutcracker Prince, and had Clara not believed in Drosselmeyer's story, the Nutcracker would be doomed. 

Farkle's constant confusion of where he stands in Riley's story is related to the curse on the Nutcracker Prince. 
Riley sees Farkle's true value, like Clara saw the hero in the Nutcracker. 

While everyone else takes him for granted, Riley believes in Farkle and she is always there for him. 

We already know in Girl Meets Bay Window that Farkle wants to be the prince in Riley's story who will treat her like a princess. Just as the Nutcracker Prince gave Clara the title of Princess of the Dolls. 

Both Riley and Farkle need to lift their heads and challenge the BMW assumptions. (Like Clara and the Nutcracker Prince defeated the mouse king. 
Once they learn from each other, their story will become clear. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Moana: A Movie Review

Moana is a beautiful tribute to the Polynesian culture and an epic coming of age tale. 

Since she was born, Moana of Motunui has been drawn to the ocean, but as the chief's daughter she has a role to play. When the island begins to decay, Moana is given a new role, the savior of her people. She must find the demigod Maui and convince him to right a terrible wrong. But Maui is not just any demigod. He is a cunning trickster, who wants nothing more than human praise. 
This task turns into an important journey, with many lessons along the way. 

As Moana tests her limits, learns things that she can do, and listens to her own intuition, she discovers one of the most important things in life, and one of the most difficult. There is power in knowing who you truly are. 

This entire movie was beautiful, from the animation to the music. The eloquent sounds of Te Vaka, and the clever lyrics of Lin-Manuel Miranda add an extra dimension to the tale.  With interesting characters, and a clean-cut storyline, this film is one of the best Disney movies in a long time. The mythology is amazing, and the history compelling. 

I recommend this film to people of all walks of life. It is a voyage of self discovery. 
Five out of five conch shells.