Scene setting – The Peach Cafe : BC.
co-written with Gene.
Armed robbery leads to murder of cop . The title of the article had been stamped onto the page, its black font taking up at least ¼ of the page. To someone like Ava, it was certainly eye catching. Who didn’t love reading articles regarding murder and theft? Upon viewing the front page, which had too much exposure regarding a woman’s body, she instantly turned the paper – with some difficulty due to the size – and settled her eyes upon the crime-related article. There was plenty of gossip in the papers which were delivered to the Vestro District and not enough reality. Her attention fixated on the first paragraph, reading it then proceeding to re-read it, to let the contents sink in. Thankfully, the article was written in a neutral tone; the amount of bias in some newspapers was truly horrifying. Ava was entirely oblivious to her surroundings, though she occasionally took a sip of her drink.
“You’d find much more interesting reading material at the library, Miss.”
Her head raised upon hearing the man speak. She hadn’t anticipated that anyone would talk to her. Ava turned, looking for the one who spoke; however, he was already walking away to his booth. She opened her mouth to say something, but froze. As the man sat down, Ava peered at his features. It popped into her mind, that she knew him. From where? Ava was still figuring that part out. The man was attractive, but it was clear he was too old for Ava – not that she’d attempt anything anyway. Upon realizing she was being way too obvious as she observed the man, Ava quickly turned and looked back to her newspaper.
As if her mind were a cemetery, and the man a ghost, the fact that he was recognizable continued to haunt her mind. It was rare times like these, when Ava couldn’t place her finger on something, which she hated. Though, the state of mind only ever occurred to Ava when she was trying to remember a spell.
He was a teacher at her school. Her eyelids came together, and the sudden blackness obscuring her view was enough for her to recall the past. Martin, his name was, however Ava would have to refer to him as Mr Martin. Even though Ava wasn’t in any of his classes, nonetheless she remembered seeing him around school and hearing some chatter about him; all teachers were talked about at her school, something Ava never really liked to divulge in. Whenever hearing gossip or inadvertently being present whilst one was going on, she never liked to participate; it was clear if people could gossip about anyone, they’d certainly gossip about you.
Should she go say hi? Ava was unsure whether the teacher recognized her, or not. It was always peculiar to see teachers out of school; what was one meant to say? Address them as Sir/Miss or call them by their first names? What would you talk about? All these questions shrouded her mind. After around 5 minutes of debating what to do, Ava finally gained the courage and left her seat. As she headed over to the booth, nerves prickled her skin, yet her expression remained calm. Whilst it would have been a few seconds until Ava reached the booth, it felt as if minutes had gone by.
“I just wanted to say hi,” Ava smiled, her voice not betraying her jitters. “May I sit?” If the man said yes, Ava would proceed to slide into the booth, opposite him. However, if he said no, Ava would turn away and walk back to her seat, her cheeks reddening with embarrassment. If she had been granted permission, Ava would say, “I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,”
The background sounds merged into a light gaggle of chatting voices, with the hiss of the coffee machine and the steady beat of popular music that filtered through the wall mounted sound system. It was enough to make it easy to mull over the days events. Joel had been searching for the book in his possession for some time, and now that he had the opportunity in the privacy of the cafe booth, he planned to start his studies, over a quiet coffee and muffin. The script on the opened pages was one that he had learnt back in his youth. A kindly old man who lived above his parent’s apartment often gave him private lessons to help bolster his studies. Joel’s mind was cast back to the dimly lit room that smelt strongly of tobacco and mould.
“Persistence in your studies will lead you on a path to great wisdom.” The voice was now a ghost that often spoke to Joel in his dreams. Amazing how this man’s teachings had a profound affect upon Joel and now the day had come where he would use this knowledge to help him unlock what had been up until now a mystery. Joel wet his lips in anticipation, as he took out a small black leather book that was bound with a red ribbon. He picked at the fray edges and started to untie it – only to be interrupted by the clink of a coffee cup in a saucer, that was being set down on his table.
“Your coffee and muffin, Sir.” The young fresh face barista set down his cup and the small plate which had a warm muffin on top. This mild interruption had Joel pause, whilst the girl waited to see if there was anything else that Joel wanted.“Thank you.” His reply was curt, eyes narrowing as he waited for the girl to leave the table. He hated people that hovered over him. Unbeknownst to Joel, the girl found him attractive. She teetered on the spot and then smoothed out her frilly skirt with her hands. “Heh.” A little giggle escaping her lips. Perhaps she was used to being told how pretty she was. There was no mistaking that she was, but Joel wasn’t in the least bit attracted – or in the mood. Rolling his eyes, he reached for the UNO card and then handed it to the girl with a gruff rumble in his voice.
“Thank you.” Maybe now she got the message. The young waitress blinked back to reality. He really wasn’t interested in her. A small pout appeared and she turned on her toes and sped back to the counter – her cheeks aflame.
Now that he was alone once more, the young teacher picked up his coffee cup and proceeded to blow on the top of the froth. The heart shaped pattern started to blur, and Joel then took a small sip – only to hear another voice. What the hell was with women today? Joel’s eyebrows both piqued, his head turning slightly to see who it was.
“I just wanted to say hi,”
It was the young woman who had been reading the sad excuse for a newspaper. Joel set his coffee cup down in it’s saucer, and stared at the girl wordlessly. The pause was interrupted by the fair haired girl asking if she could sit. Joel would be the first to admit, that the girl was way too young for him. Horrid thoughts started to filter through his mind until her face jolted a memory from the Acalo school. SHE WAS A STUDENT. Joel’s eyes closed as he raised two fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. He realized that this was of course his fault. He HAD to go and make that remark about the newspaper. Letting out a sigh of resignation, Joel gestured with his hand towards the empty seat in the booth. Again, his tendencies towards being a gentleman rose to the fore. Staring at the girl through pale blue lenses, he listened to the girl introduce herself – though not by name.
“I go to the Acalo school; I’m not sure if you know me,” The girl’s cheeks were now a deep shade of red. Joel took this as embarrassment at being so bold to approach a teacher in a public place. Slowly, Joel closed the weathered old book in front of him and then pushed it aside with the brush of his hand. He then reached for his small black book and dropped it back in his bag. The girl was known to him. From one of the more influential families. It was easy to tell by the way that she dressed, so unlike the girls where he lived. Amazing the differences in style to those that could afford it and those who couldn’t. Finally, Joel decided to speak.
“Of course, Miss Blackbane.” Yes, he did know her name. Joel’s glasses slid gently down the bridge of his nose allowing the haunting grey of his eyes to be seen. Dark pupils dilated momentarily as he observed the girl. She wasn’t just a pretty young thing, but she was exquisite. Unique in fact. “We have crossed paths on occasion at the school, but as yet you are in none of my classes.” The young teacher idly tore off a piece of his blueberry muffin and then popped it into his mouth. This whole scenario was unusual. A teacher having coffee with a student and one that he did not have in his class, would make gossip mongers salivate. Joel eased himself back into the leather of the booth seat and remained calm and in control. Now it was his turn to be inquisitive.
“I imagined a girl like you would travel in a pack.” Insinuating that she was the type of girl that had a close knit circle of friends. Odd how girls liked to do that. Joel had always been a loner often enjoying his own company. Joel’s lips carried the ghost of a smile as he waited to see how she would react. He absently drummed his long fingers on the wood of the table as he waited for her to speak.