Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by Ocularfracture
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Remy wakes up and decides to try calling Sunny again.

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Home is and always has been a shabby, one-bedroom apartment on the highest, most inconvenient floor of an incredibly old and dilapidated building. Working as a barista in a coffee shop, it’s the best you can do, even when the sounds carried over though the pathetically thin walls can cause you all sorts of problems.

The neighbors on the right having constant sex and reminding you that you’re still a sad little virgin who never even made it with the one girl you thought you loved, and how desperate you are inside to find that one love that will actually last…

Or how about the neighbors on the left, always fighting and throwing things, scaring the s**t out of you with the constant reminder of where relationships usually end up over time?

People below you bang on the ceiling with brooms, yelling for you to keep it down any time you accidentally drop something, or listen to your music at a comfortable volume.

You learn to just use headphones for everything, even television when you watch it, and God forbid you invite your brother over for a visit with his wife and baby.

It’s bad enough having to put up with this mess every night when you come home from work, but on the rare occasions when you’re scheduled off two days in a row, it’s your own personal hell.

This is what happened to me after the day I came home early, pretending to be sick. I hadn’t thought. I hadn’t used my brain. If I had, I’d have realized that two full days without work were coming right up, and leaving early was just pointless, especially when Sunny didn’t even pick up the phone.

I woke up the next morning, lying flat on my back, still dressed from head to toe in my normal, every day clothes.

For several moments, I remained where I was, just letting my eyes flutter open and shut at their own comfort level. My mind was foggy, as usually happens when I fall asleep on my back, and for the longest time, I just allowed my head to spin around, sifting through remnants of whatever it was I dreamt.

Images floated around- pieces of the previous day, mixed in with things that nag permanently at my subconscious. My ex-girlfriend, Abby, ordering a chai latte while smiling at me. Acting as though we’d never met, and flirting so hard I thought I’d die.

I hate that.

While it’s nice to have good dreams which fulfill those innermost desires, they are the hardest to wake up from. Waking from nightmares is simple. It’s comforting. You awake back in your warm, comfortable bed, everything just how you left it, and you’re relieved. Everything is fine. Nothing bad has happened.

But when you wake up from a good dream, the effect is reversed. That one great thing that you wanted with all your heart finally happened to you, and as luck would have it, it was just your unconscious mind playing mean tricks on you.

You wake up, and everything’s the same as it ever was. Nothing good has happened. Everything is still in ruins.

You’re still just a lonely loser all alone in your pathetic apartment, and Abby’s not there with you, nor will she ever again be.

With all my might, I struggled to drive those visions of her from my mind, searching for traces of other, less mentally stressful dreams.

But the coffee shop would not disappear. Every time my eyes drifted shut again, I was standing behind the counter, just like every other day of my boring life.

Just waiting.

Abby was gone, at the least, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get rid of that damn visual. If I wanted to see the inside of a coffee shop, all I’d have to do is go into work.

Still, I waited, my mind wandering near and far, bringing me something I couldn’t yet see.

Someone was approaching the door, pulling it open as she stepped inside, the change in air pressure causing her long, red locks to billow out around her head, like flames.

Closer she stepped, a pair of gently moistened lips curved up at the ends in a vague smile as she reached over, sliding something onto the counter.

Reluctant as I was to take my eyes off her, I broke my gaze long enough to peer down at what she had given me: a small, yellow sheet of paper with neat, curvy handwriting.

“If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again.”

At long last, my eyes snapped open, my brain fully alert. Fully conscious.

I stole a glance at my watch, annoyed by how much time had already managed to slip by as I slept.

Right. I had to get up and start my day, and decide if I was man enough to try calling back.

The first item on the agenda, however, was getting out of bed and finding something to eat. An empty stomach for me is the same as an empty brain, and without eating, I knew I would risk sounding like an idiot on the phone.

Hoisting myself up off the saggy, piece of junk bed, I stumbled out into the kitchen, rubbing the solidified mess of goo out of the corners of my eyes. Opening up the fridge, I found, to my dismay, that it was mostly empty. The same thing happened when I shuffled through my cupboards, coming up with only dry cereal. No milk.

The pathetic thing was that I couldn’t even do any grocery shopping until payday, which was unfortunate for me, as payday was the day that I would return to work after my so-called weekend.

I’d get through, I told myself. Getting through is a skill that you acquire when you live this way. You learn how to get by on the smallest amounts of food. You learn how to tune out your appetite by keeping yourself busy so that you don’t realize how hungry you are, and therefore eat less.

I checked what was left of my expired bread for any traces of mold, and finding none, I popped a couple of pieces into the toaster before pulling the butter from the fridge.

The clock on my kitchen wall nagged me with its loud ticking, as though telling me to hurry up.

“Move your a*s,” the clock seemed to say. “There are only twenty-four hours in a day, you know.”

“I know,” I groaned aloud to the imaginary clock voice in my head. “I’m moving as fast as I can.”

The toast sprung up in the toaster with that familiar sound, making my stomach roar with hunger. Pulling a butter knife from the drawer nearest the sink and a plate from the cupboard next to it, I took the warm, crispy bread from the toaster and began spreading a thick layer of butter on top of each piece.

Now let me just tell you something right now: I have never had sex in my life, but I am willing to bet that buttered toast is way, way better.

 

Looking for an easy snack that doesn’t require cooking? Buttered toast.

Having a bad day? Buttered toast!

Buttered toast is the ultimate. Regular bread with butter does not cut it. It’s gotta be that nice, warm, slightly crispy bread with the butter melting into it. That nice, smooth perfection between floppy and burnt to a crisp, where you can sink your teeth in and not destroy your gums.

The taste is simple, yet unbelievable and no matter what the circumstances are, a couple slices of that toasty, buttered goodness will shoot rainbows out of your a*s.

Yep.

And this was how it was that morning, as I raised a slice to my lips before devouring it, ravenously. The second piece didn’t last much longer than the first, for as I ate, I realized the full extent of my hunger and shoved the entire piece into my mouth at one fell swoop.

As much as I wanted another helping of toast, the only pieces of bread which remained were the heels, which I never did like, and so I simply threw the bag out and washed down what I’d eaten with a small glass of water.

I stood for a moment, letting it all settle in good, and when I was sure that my brain was up and running like normal, I made my way out into the living room and sat down by the table with the phone, where Sunny’s yellow note still sat, tucked beneath it.

I tugged the slip of paper out from under the phone and unfolded it, examining the neat, elegant handwriting of a woman I’d seen only once, yet for some reason, could not stop thinking about.

Sighing heavily, I reached out a hand to pick up the phone. No sooner had my fingers grazed the smooth plastic of the receiver, than the phone rang, startling me as I retracted my hand.

For several seconds, I just stared at the phone, heart throbbing, until at last, I got my bearings and picked it up with a shaky hand, bringing it to my ear.

“…Hello?” I said softly.

“Who is this, please?”

The voice on the other end of the line was soft and sweet. Familiar, even.

“I’m sorry?”

“I got a call from this number last night, but no one left a message,” she said politely. “I was just wondering who it was.”

“Um…”

Despite how confident I’d felt moments ago after scarfing that toast, my brain suddenly seemed to be running on fumes again.

“Hello?”

“Yes,” I said, shutting my eyes tightly and forcing myself to think. “Um, this is Remy. We met yesterday? You slipped me your number with your coffee money… remember?”

“Remy,” she said, my heart melting at the sound of my name in her voice. “Somehow you didn’t strike me as a Remy. It’s a cute name, though.”

“Thanks,” I choked. “Your name’s cute, too… Like a Sunny day.”

“Sunny Skye, actually,” she said with a giggle. “My last name is Skye. Isn’t that funny?”

“Is that seriously your real name?” I asked.

“Yep. My parents were very creative.”

I smiled to myself, twisting the phone cord between my fingers like a highschool girl.

“So, what’s your last name, Remy?”

My heart leapt once more.

“Uh… It’s Clover,” I said, trying to keep my breathing under control.

“Clover, huh? That’s cute. I like it.”

There was silence for a moment, which I decided was awkward, so I choked out a bashful “Thanks.”

Sunny laughed, warming me to the bone with her beautiful voice.

“So,” she said. “What are you doing today?”

“I’m…” My brain locked up again, as I cursed it in my head. “I’m… talking to you,” I said stupidly.

“Ah, so you are. Silly me! But what I meant to say was… Are you very busy for the rest of the day?”

“Not at all… I’m actually off work today.”

“Well that’s a pleasant coincidence,” said Sunny. “I’ve got the day off, too. Would you like to maybe get together and have some coffee, or something?”

“Coffee, sure,” I said, rubbing my eyes. “But can I request that we not go to my shop? I’m kinda tired of looking at the place.”

Again, Sunny laughed, making me feel like someone who was genuinely funny rather than just desperate and stupid as I really was.

“That’s completely acceptable,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to go on a date in my office.”

My lungs and veins collapsed when she said the word “date.”

“Date…” I said, like an idiot.

“Oh, well… I mean… If you’d rather just…”

“No, no!” I retorted. “No, it’s definitely a date. Of course. I mean, what else would it be?”

“You are just too funny!” she laughed. “Okay, well then where should we meet for this ‘date,’ if not your place of work?”

“I don’t know,” I said, grasping at the collar of my shirt for air. “Where, uh… Where do you like to go?”

“Is Cappuchina’s okay? Have you been there?”

“I know where it is, yeah. But I haven’t actually been inside.”

“Well,” said Sunny. “You should come. It’s very cute. I think you’ll like it.”

“I’m sure I will,” I told her. “When should we meet?”

“I’m ready now if you are.”

“I’m always ready,” I said, rocking from side to side in my chair.

“Well great, then. I guess I’ll see you soon!”

“See you soon,” I repeated, before hanging up the phone, awkwardly and rushing to my bathroom where I brushed my mousy brown hair out of my face and quickly mowed over my chin with an electric razor.

Grabbing my wallet and keys, I practically flew out the door and down the million flights of stairs to my car, ready, so ready to see Sunny Skye once again.

 

 

 



© 2012 Ocularfracture


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Added on June 14, 2012
Last Updated on June 19, 2012
Tags: Remy, Clover, Sunny, Skye, Coffee shop, barista, soy latte, phone number, virgin


Author

Ocularfracture
Ocularfracture

Bennington, NE



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I've been writing since I learned how. I'm not saying that 5-year-old work was any good. All's I'm sayin' is that the passion has been there as far back as I can remember. My mother always read me sto.. more..

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