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Thread: [M] A Tale of Two Strangers [Ashen & Marimo]

  1. #31
    Member Marimo's Avatar
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    Jade looked at her phone for the 5th time within the same minute. It was 12 past the hour, and her heart rate was starting to quicken. She had anxiously joked that she may be stood up like she had been before, but part of her had really doubted that Hunter would leave her hanging like that. Perhaps he had forgotten? Perhaps he had gotten into a car accident? What if he slipped in the shower and broke his leg and has no way of seeking help? What if he was kidnapped? The many ridiculous possibilities began to run through the girl’s mind, causing her to place a palm on her temple and breathe deeply. No, no… Jade interrupted, frantically shaking the internal anxiety that was running its mouth, there’s a reasonable explanation for this, there has to be… there has to be…

    Looking at her phone once more, she took a deep breath as she remarked the passing of two minutes. Almost fifteen minutes late. No texts, no missed calls. Oh god oh god oh god she started again. Pushing herself away from the table, Jade got up, then sat back down, then got back up and looked around. The cafe was significantly less busy than it usually was, and thankfully none of the current patrons were noticing her small mental breakdown. A man in the corner was typing away on his laptop, and two elderly women were in deep conversation at a large table in the middle of the shop, and various young people and middle-aged businessmen were strewed in between. For everyone else, this moment was calm; unimportant. For Jade, it felt like the boiling point of something unknown.

    The bell atop the cafe’s door jingled, and Jade’s attention was brought to the person who had just rushed in. Like the air being released from a balloon, all the breaths she had been unconsciously holding in wooshed out of her at once. Hair somewhat askew, a slight glimmer of sweat on his brow, and a searching gaze in his eyes, Hunter stood in the doorway seeming a little bit out of breath. A huge smile spread across Jade’s face and she waved awkwardly as soon as their eyes met. Sitting back down, she watched the young man walk over and take the seat opposite of hers.

    “Hey!” she started immediately, before he could even get a word in. “Are you okay? I mean you look okay, I don’t mean to say that as an indication of how you look, which is great, although you look kind of stressed? I mean unless you’re not! Maybe I’m projecting, haha. Oh, wait, no — I’m not stressed, I’m okay, maybe I just assume people are stressed when I’m not sure what’s going on with them. You were a little late so I was worried maybe something happened — but, I’m not mad! I mean you’re not even really late at all! Like it’s what, fifteen minutes? It’s totally fine. Not that I need to validate it being fine, you can come when you want, two was just something to work around, definitely not set in stone or anything.”

    Not entirely sure if she had taken a single breath during that monologue, Jade paused and breathed in. Feeling a little insane, she bit her lip and attempted to erase the past minute of history by asking,

    “Want something to drink?”

  2. #32
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    Ashen's Avatar
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    A large sigh escaped Hunter's lips as he noticed Jade. She was already starting towards him, a million words already prepped on her lips. As soon as she started talking Hunter was again reminded that his hearing aids were in the car. He kept his eyes trained to her lips as they flew over her syllables. She was definitely difficult to keep up with, but from what Hunter already knew about this girl's quirky personality and tendency to run on, he figured he got most of the meaning of her words without too much effort.

    At her question, Hunter paused and looked up at the counter of the coffee shop. Pastries lined the shelves behind the barista, and each one looked divine to Hunter's empty stomach. He didn't realize how hungry he was until he noticed a curious-looking pastry. "Is that a Bakewell tart?" He cocked his head a bit, studying the dessert. Suddenly his stomach growled, bringing him out of his pastry-inspired daze. "I suppose it wouldn't be, as we're awfully far from Bakewell, but it look similar." Hunter turned to Jade. "They were my favorite as a kid, Bakewell tarts. Occasionally Mum would take us to the cafe, especially when we had some online assignment to do. It's been a long time since I've seen one. I think today's a good day for a bite of nostalgia."

    Hunter got into the short line and looked over the drinks while he waited. "Do you have any recommendations?" he asked. "White chocolate mocha sounds delicious, but so does the salted caramel." After considering their options, Hunter ordered for both of them, and he insisted on paying for it all. He grabbed his tart from the barista and was told to wait for their drinks. Taking a seat, Hunter looked around the place. It was a quaint little shop, one he could get used to visiting.

    He then turned his attention back to Jade. "I am sorry," he said, knowing his apology should have been much sooner than when he was delivering it. "I completely lost track of time this morning. I missed an important event because I overslept, and by the time I was finished with that it was two, and I got here as fast as I could. I'm not this all over the place usually, I promise, it's just been a rough patch. I hope you weren't waiting too long?" But knowing Jade, she had been, and she was probably thinking he had stood her up. Hunter wanted to make it up to her. He looked down at his pastry, then slightly pushed the plate towards her. "Here, try some." He handed her his fork. "The ones back home are sweeter, but I quite like this one, too."

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