Chapter Three

Chapter Three

A Chapter by Ocularfracture
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Remy meets Sunny at a coffee shop called Cappuchina's.

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It was windy and overcast the day that I first stepped into Cappuchina’s, which was a relief after weeks of hot, raw sunlight. As usually happens when I enter a new place for the first time, I had to stop for a moment and take in everything- every tiny, little detail.

The first thing I noticed was the décor. Despite the fact that the name of the café is pronounced “Cappu-cheena’s,” the entire place was dressed up to look like a sort of Chinese restaurant, with beautiful paper lanterns hanging at different levels across the ceiling, and ornate Chinese characters and dragons painted in black and gold along the red walls.

The air was sweet and inviting, and filled with the pleasant sound of people chatting and laughing together.

Everything about the place seemed so much more desirable than New Grounds, where I worked, and I wondered how our business managed to survive with a place like Cappuchina’s so near.

Glancing out across the café, my eyes rested almost immediately on a beautiful girl in a brown, lace-up dress, her long, red hair resting on her chest as she smiled up at me.

Before I could stop myself, I was smiling back as my feet carried me toward her.

She stood as I approached, handing me something small and fragile.

“What’s this?” I asked, peering down at a delicately folded piece of paper in the shape of a bird.

“It’s a paper crane,” said Sunny, brushing her hair out of her face. “If you fold a thousand of them, you can make a wish.”

I nodded.

“Very cool,” I said. “Is that a Chinese thing?”

“Well, origami is actually Japanese, but I somehow thought it was fitting, nonetheless.”

I smiled down at the paper bird and then back up at Sunny.

“Are they hard to make?” I asked.

“Not really, once you get the hang of it.”

“But I bet making a thousand is pretty difficult.”

Sunny shrugged.

“Probably. But I’ve never tried. I guess I never had much to wish for.”

“I can think of a few things I’d wish for,” I murmured. “So… shall we order some drinks?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” she giggled, starting off toward the counter.

Together, we placed our order, Sunny requesting her usual soy latte and a pumpkin scone.

“For you sir?” asked the barista.

“I’ll just have a small, caramel cappuccino and…” I peered into the glass display case with all the cakes, searching for the cheapest thing I could find. “And one of those oatmeal cookies, please.”

The barista nodded, punching the order into her computer screen.

“That’ll be $6.47,” she said.

I dug around in my pocket for my wallet, but before I had the time to pull it out, Sunny was already setting money down on the counter.

“Hey,” I said. “That’s bad form! You’re supposed to let the guy pick up the bill.”

She smiled slyly, her shoulders quaking a bit in quiet laughter.

“I’m not that kind of girl,” she said. “If you wanted to go Dutch, that would’ve been fine, but I figure rules are made to be broken. What’s the point of doing everything a certain way, just because people say that’s how it should be done? It’s silly.”

The barista returned, setting down two cardboard cups on the counter.

“I’ll be right back with your treats,” she said, hurrying off again.

“You better pick your jaw up off the floor before someone steps on it,” said Sunny with a smile.

I slammed my mouth shut, face burning. I really needed to pay more attention to the status of my mouth, especially when women were involved, but I never seemed to notice enough to catch myself doing it. I must have looked so stupid.

“I’m sorry if I gape too much,” I said softly, so that only Sunny could hear. “You’re just so…”

“Strange? Weird?”

“No, no! Nothing like that… You’re just so different from most women in a way that I can’t explain… You’re, like… unique…”

I looked away immediately, feeling stupider than ever. Like, unique? I wanted to slam my head into a wall and knock some sense into myself.

But Sunny just giggled.

“Thank you,” she said. “That’s probably the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

My jaw was about to drop again, but for the first time in my life, I caught myself.

“I find that very hard to believe,” I told her. “I mean… I don’t really know you very well yet, but you seem like someone who should be showered in compliments all the time.”

A strange smile cracked across her face, as she opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the barista setting down two Chinese plates next to the coffee, along with a couple of fortune cookies.

“Enjoy!” she said, to which I nodded, grabbing my half of the goodies and trudging back to the table where Sunny had been sitting before.

We sat down across from one another, sharing an awkward silence.

Sunny smiled.

“Do I intimidate you?” she asked, suddenly.

I noticed that my stomach seemed to be feeling a little too queasy to eat anything.

“Um… No, of course not,” I said. “Why do you ask?”

“You just seem a little guarded, is all. Is this your first date?”

“My first with you,” I said. “But not in general.”

I reached for a sip of my cappuccino as Sunny studied me intensely.

“Oh, my,” she said. “You’re still a virgin, aren’t you?”

Hot, viscous liquid was inhaled forcefully into my windpipe as I coughed ferociously, holding a napkin to my mouth hoping not to splatter her.

To my dismay, she laughed, and my face grew ever brighter.

“Good grief, calm down!” she said. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I think it’s honorable, especially in a guy. You’re what, 25?”

“24,” I choked.

“Well, that’s awesome. Most people give themselves up much younger. I know I did, and I’m ashamed of that, but it’s no big deal. So, are you waiting until you get married, or something?”

I avoided her gaze, wiping my mouth with the napkin.

“Um… Not really,” I told her. “I just never made it that far. I’ve only really been in one serious relationship, and…” I trailed off, wondering if I should really get so personal so soon.

“She wouldn’t put out?”

I coughed into my napkin again.

“It’s not really… I mean… You don’t have to put it like that… It’s just…” my voice disappeared into a place I couldn’t find it again, so I just took a sip of cappuccino instead.

“You don’t have to talk about it,” said Sunny. “In fact, it’s totally rude of me to pry like this.”

I shook my head.

“You’re not prying,” I told her. “At least, I don’t feel like you are. I just have trouble explaining how Abby was, you know? My mind… It’s really quite stupid. I have the best memory of things while they’re constant. But you take them away, and it’s all I can do to remember details. I remember what Abby looks like, but I have trouble remembering things we did together.”

“I get what you mean,” Sunny said, softly. “I have the same problem, too. I mean, normally the sex is the only thing one remembers, but you didn’t even have that, so…”

I nodded, forcing myself to take a bite of the cookie in hopes that it would make me feel better.

“You know what’s stupid,” I said through a full mouth, “is that she dumped me, saying I just didn’t know how to please her. She never even asked. I guess she just expected me to, like… read her freaking mind, or something.”

“Well, why didn’t you?” asked Sunny with a polite smile.

My jaw lost control again and slipped down onto the table.

“Oh, for goodness sake,” Sunny laughed. “I’m only joking! Stop taking everything so seriously!”

I nodded, annoyed at myself, and looked away out the closest window I saw.

“How long were the two of you together?” she asked.

“Two years, roughly.”

“And the whole time, you two never…”

“No,” I said. “We didn’t. I’d never done anything like it before, and I didn’t really know what I was doing, so I thought I would wait until she was ready, instead of pressuring her. But she just never really gave any indication that she was ready.”

Sunny frowned, resting her pretty face in one hand.

“Honestly,” she said, “That’s very good of you. It sets you apart from the whole male community. I mean, most of those guys… it’s the first thing on their mind. You go on one date, and then they’re all over you.”

I looked up, suddenly.

“Not to be rude, or anything, but… why are we talking about sex, anyway? I know nothing else about you.”

I expected that this question would make her uncomfortable, and immediately regretted not wording it better. But Sunny just smiled and nibbled the end of her scone.

“Well, how well can you know someone if you don’t know about their sex life?” she asked. “It’s one of the most personal topics about a person, and something so hard to break the ice about. So why not just get it out of the way first thing?”

I nodded slowly.

“That makes sense, I suppose.”

“Doesn’t it? So… don’t you want to know about my sex life?”

I could feel the blood soaking into my face and up through my ears as she asked this.

“You don’t have to talk about that,” I said. “It’s none of my business.”

“Oh, but I think it is,” said Sunny, smoothly. “This is a date, isn’t it?”

“I certainly hope so,” I admitted.

“Well, don’t dates usually lead to more intimate relationships?”

“Again,” I said, “I like to hope so.”

“So let’s skip the drama of having to find out later and just get it all out on the table right now. That way, there are no secrets about our sexual history keeping us from fully enjoying it when we finally do it. Now ask me a question.”

At that moment, everything around me seemed to disappear as my brain struggled to comprehend what she had just said.

“When we finally do it.” So simple, so casual. As though she had everything all planned out. My stomach twisted around in knots as I blinked stupidly.

“Good Lord,” said Sunny. “You’re a deeper shade of red than the wall behind you! Why are you so embarrassed? If we’re going to be in a relationship, there’s probably going to be sex, don’t you think? Or do you not like me in that way?”

I took a deep breath and cast it out across the table.

“Of course I like you,” I told her, my voice trembling. “To be honest, I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you since I saw you yesterday. I don’t know what it is… It’s so strange. You just stood out to me in a way that I can’t really describe.”

“That,” said Sunny with the world’s most intense smile, “sounds an awful lot like true love at first sight.”

“Did you, um… Did you feel the same about me?”

She smiled, taking a sip of her soy latte.

“Do you think I just give my number to any nerd who gapes at me?” she asked. “Of course I did. It was just like this spark… I could feel it and it was strong. If you hadn’t been working, I would’ve pulled you straight out of there and had my way with you in the back seat of my car. And stop blushing. I know you have those desires, too, despite how adorably innocent you seem. So now that that’s out in the open, ask me a damn question.”

I bit my lip, taking a good, hard look at the beautiful woman in front of me. Her hair was behind her for once, and I could see a bronze chain around her slender neck, disappearing down into the top of her dress.

“Alright,” I said. “What’s that?” I indicated the necklace, which she grabbed, almost defensively.

“That’s not the kind of question I meant, and you know it. This isn’t important right now. Ask me about my previous sexual encounters.”

“Fine,” I sighed. “Are you a virgin, too?”

“I already answered that question,” she said. “I’m not, and I regret that. However, I don’t like to dwell on the past, so instead, I try to learn from it. I gave my virginity away to a boy named Johnny Cavalier when I was sixteen, because I was young, dumb, and thought I was in love. Also, he lied to me. He told me that he was a virgin, too, and somehow, that coaxed me into doing it. I later found out from his friends that he was a huge liar who only wanted to get into my pants, and apparently girls are more willing to give it up when they think their partner is giving it up, too. It wasn’t fair, but I dealt with it.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, frowning.

“Don’t be. It happens. Most girls lose their virginity to someone they end up hating. It’s sad, but true. Luckily, I haven’t been with anyone since. I decided to just wait until I found the one person who gave me that sort of appetite.”

“And… I give you that appetite?” I asked shyly.

Rather than answer, Sunny just smiled at me.

“Well,” I said. “This is the most interesting first date I’ve ever been on. Would you like to tell me a little more about yourself? Something less personal, perhaps?”

Sunny giggled.

“That might be good,” she said. “What would you like to know?”

“Everything,” I spat before I could stop myself. “I mean… anything. I’d like to know as much about you as I can. How old are you? Where were you born? What are your hobbies?”

Again, she laughed, as she so often did.

“Well,” she started slowly. “I’m twenty-three. I was born right here in this very city, and I’ve lived here all my life. I was held back in seventh grade because of absences, but I graduated high school with flying colors. I went to Business College, but I only ended up getting a job as a secretary. As for hobbies, I like to sculpt. I know, it’s weird. You ask people what they like to do, and they tell you they like singing, or reading, or swimming… No one ever says ‘hey, I like to sculpt!’ But I do. It’s probably the thing I spend the most of my free time on. What about you, Remy? What do you like to do?”

I thought for a moment, taking the opportunity to shove the rest of the cookie into my mouth and get it out of the way once and for all.

Everything about me seemed lame in comparison with Sunny, who was more interesting than anyone I’d ever met. How could I compete with something as incredible as sculpting?

“I sketch,” I said flatly.

“Like, what kind of sketching?” she asked. “Realism?”

“Uh… Not really. I just draw boring little comics and stuff like that. Nothing really very exciting.”

“I think comics are very exciting,” she said. “Do you read any comic books, or do you just make them?”

“Oh, I read them. If you ever came back to my s****y apartment, you’d think I was the biggest geek on earth. I’m one of those comic book/anime dweebs.”

“You like anime?!” Sunny asked in surprise.

“Yeah… does that make me, like, a huge dork?”

“No!” she cried. “I love anime! It is so hard to find other people who even know what it is! What’s your favourite?”

“Ooh… That’s a toughie…It’s kind of a toss up between Evangelion and Hellsing, I think.”

“Hellsing’s great,” said Sunny. “But I never really could get into Evangelion.”

“Not?” I asked. “Why’s that?”

“Oh, I don’t know… I think a lot of times I’m put off by the art style. That’s probably way snooty of me, isn’t it?”

For once, I laughed.

“I don’t know that it’s snooty,” I said. “But it is pretty unusual. I really think you should try to stomach it just for the sake of the story line, though. It’s pretty good.”

“But isn’t it, like… a mecha? I totally hate mecha.”

I shrugged.

“Not exactly…” I said. “You should just watch it sometime. I think you’d like it.”

“Maybe sometime,” she said. “But only if you watch it with me.”

“Of course,” I smiled.

Sunny set down her empty cup and stretched.

“Well,” she said. “I’m about done here. Wanna go somewhere else?”

“Sure,” I agreed. “But we haven’t opened our fortune cookies yet.”

“Ah, right you are.” She brushed her rusty hair out of her eyes. “Okay, but don’t forget: you have to end your fortune with the phrase ‘in bed.”

I grinned, unwrapping my cookie and breaking it in half, setting the fortune face-down on the table.

“You can’t look at it until you’ve eaten the whole cookie,” I told her, to which she nodded.

Together, we stuffed the cookies in our mouths, crunching and munching until they were finished.

Sunny cleared her throat, raising her fortune and reading aloud.

“An attractive stranger will bring you much joy,” she said. “In bed. Your turn.”

She winked, and I bit my lip to keep from grinning.

Picking up the tiny piece of paper in front of me, I sucked in a huge breath.

“You are in for an exciting new experience… in bed.”

Sunny cackled loudly, attracting strange looks from nearby customers.

“Let’s get out of here,” she said, grabbing her trash from the table. “It’s far too crowded in here.”

“Where will we go?” I asked, standing. “Can we go to your place?”

Sunny shook her head, unloading her trash into a nearby garbage can.

“Not yet,” she said. “I want to see your house first. We can visit mine after the second date.”

Winking, she took me by the hand and led me out the door into the warm, September afternoon.

 

 

 



© 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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