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She stood up slowly after him, very confused. She watched him place the money down and sighed softly. She felt the tug on her hand and nodded her head. [b Okay. We will go.] She said in a soft tone.
She didn't really like being rushed, but she knew he had a reason for it. [b Come on, love.] She said softly as she pulled him past the waitress. She wasn't always like that but felt that it should sink into that woman that giving her number to a man clearly on a 'date' to not flirt with him. She lead him out to the car and unlocked it, getting into the driver's side.
[b Where to?] She asked as she put her seat belt on.
[center Her sudden touch rattles his depraved soul.]
[center The wretched man finally ganders at the young woman across from him in a pristine light. It's clear her intentions are noble. Unselfish. Beyond what he actually deserved. Yet, somehow, he's influenced by Mina's compassion.]
[center His 'captured' hand gradually inverts--until he's cradling all ten of her dainty fingers within his solitary grasp. A genuine smile creeps onto his face. Reality is forgotten just for a moment.]
[center [b [i "I would have exhausted myself to accomplish her dreams. Whether deleterious or foolish.."]] His gaze noticeably averts away before he continued. [b [i "My worthless life was waiting with bated brea-,"]] he stops.]
[center Something isn't right.]
[center Herleifr promptly stood up, his chair screeching in protest from the unexpected action. Money is dumped upon their table. There's a heavy frown gracing his features.]
[center [b [i "We must leave, Mina."]] He calmly announces. A subtle incline of his head provides the reasons behind this request. Several employees and guests have begun gawking at them. Or rather him. They possibly might've figured out his identity, and he's certainly not interested in gaining more attention. That bubble-headed waitress was enough.]
[center He gently tugs one of her hands, [b [i "let's go, Mina."]]]
She watched his actions and knows he is hurting even if he wont admit it she knows the pain is there. She placed her mug and plate out of the way and reached over with both hands. She placed them on one of his, the one that was not in his fair.
[b I am sorry. I know the pain of loosing a loved one. I relive it almost every day.] She said softly. She didn't want to go into the tragic story of her family getting murdered. [b What would you have done?] She asked. Her eyes held sympathy as well as understanding.
[center [b [i "I still AM the singer of 003. Lead guitarist too,"]] he asserts. It wasn't a boast. Just a detail. And while she's polishing off the remainder of her meal, he pockets his phone without so much of a second thought.]
[center Why bother.]
[center Traces of her existence saturated such a device. Forgotten voicemails. Childish squabbles over messages. Pictures from when they were... Happy.]
[center He doesn't breakdown. No tears. No lamenting. There's nothing inside. Only the elegant swirls of virulent clouds and carnal encounters. A faint huff spills from him. As a hand is bought carefully through his unkempt, black hair.]
[center [b [i "She fathom her own freedom..."]] This proclamation sounds completely wrong coming from him. Especially when his voice begins wavering. [b [i "She fucking knew. I would have.."]] Herleifr groans churlishly.]
She watched him tying away on his phone and then took a sip of her hot chocolate which began to get cold now. She then took the phone that he was holding and listened to the music.
When the song was over she handed him the phone back. [b You were the singer for the band.] She said softly. She wasn't really sure where she was going with that statement other than the fact that she now knew she had no chance. She took another drink of her chocolate and finished her grilled cheese.
[b So. What happened?]
[center The paramount evidence she has just provided doesn't assemble much an innovative revelation.]
[center He had already expected as much.]
[center During their first meetup earlier that day, she had never reacted to his voice. To his appearance. For once, in the last three months since 003 became [i famous], someone didn't recognize him.]
[center Then she proceeds into her next duo of questions. Hasty and straight to the point. He chuckles quietly.]
[center At last, she found a way to trap him.]
[center So why not respond with the upmost of extravagances?]
[center He whips out his cellphone and spends several minutes tapping away, until suddenly, he stations it directly in front of Mina. Steadily, a downtempo melody of melodious guitars and beating drums began ascending from the device.]
[center A rather familiar voice soon follows.]
[right [i Catch me if you can]]
[right [i Catch me if you can]]
[right [i I just got my head down]]
[right [i And I'm a little bit scared tonight]]
[right [i I need to run just far enough]]
[right [i So I can smile again, smile again]]
She looked up at him and paused her eating. [b No I never heard of the band nor any other information.] She said softly. She continued to watch his reactions. Perhaps that was what the video the waitress was referring to.
[b Herleifr. Is that why the waitress knows you? Are you a member of that band?] She asked and looked down at the half of the grilled cheese in her hand. It wasn't that she really cared if he was in a band or not, other than the fact that Jessica's wishes will never happen.
She took another bite of the grilled cheese and glanced up at him awaiting a response.
[center A fictitious tranquility absorbs the latitude between them.]
[center They are both idle yet active.]
[center He's pretending to disregard her low-key, sour mood. While she's munching on a palatable meal with insistent motion. They are both dipsticks.]
[center Not even the aromatic flavor of his beverage could fashion a convenient scapegoat. Somehow, if anything, he felt abysmal for spinning naive hay into deceitful gold. He exhales bitterly.]
[center The unconsumed mug of chocolate mocha is gently placed upon their table. His hands were soon bought together as well, folded, resting neatly upon his lap. His naturally listless orbs are finally burning with something.]
[center [i Determination?]][center [i Exuberance?]]
[center [i Something.]]
[center [b [i "Hey, Mina,"]] he begins, his rugged baritone being rather polished. [b [i "Have you heard of this underground band called 003? They went viral recently."]] A chuckle momentary escapes his mouth. It's flat, dull. He resumes anyway. [b [i "Their brand of music is bleak and known for attracting freaks. That category of people whom crave distractions from reality, or their sad, sad lives."]]]
[center [b [i "Did you know.. 003's concert organizer committed suicide last month. And, if online rumors are to be trusted, one of the band members had given her an endearing nickname.. Bubblegum Bitch."]]]
Nina sighed softly as he stated that his line of work was boring. She began to feel that this was just a sympathy "date" if one could even call I that. she was about to open her mouth to ask him more but the cherry waitress showef up.
She thanked her for the food and noticed her whisper something in his ear after placing a piece of paper down. [i It is probably her number or something. Not that I would have a chance with him anyways.] She thought to herself as she began to eat her grilled cheese. It tasted like it always had and that was good.
It bothered her that this woman was hitting on him with her there, not because of the actions, but because she knew something more. Also because he was hiding something. She continued to eat doing her best not to show anything.
She smiled softly at the multi colored marshmallows as she used her spoon to pick them out and eat them. In a way she hoped they would be done there soon so they could leave. That way she could just go drop him off at his house. Then she could go home, paint, and forget that the day even happened.
[center His tempestuous thoughts achieve a temporary standstill when another question arises. It doesn't surprise him that she's curious about his employment status. What does become a revelation is Mina's last tidbit.]
[center For once, could Jessica have actually used some forethought, or was it his bribing that finally silenced the gossipy whore. Either option is feasible. So he's quick to shove both aside. There are more important things to face. Such as her requirement to know details about his life.]
[center [b [i "My profession is boring,"]] he carefully responds. It's not a lie. Work was very tedious. The amount money however, kept him focus for future possibilities.]
[center Slowly, he falls back into studying both her slight movements and animated expressions.]
[center A cheerful voice entices their attention. That waitress has return with a silver, round tray full of goodies. [i "Hello, hello! I have delicious presents for you."] She elegantly began depositing four individual products upon the table. A steamy mug of hot chocolate overloaded with multicolored marshmallows. A flower-shaped plate holding this wonderfully melted grill cheese sandwich. A mug of swirling chocolate mocha.]
[center Lastly is a piece of folded paper. Which only earns the woman a questioning stare from Herleifr. She flushes a fair shade of pink before leaning over, and quickly whispers something into his ear. [i "It's my number. Call me sometime."] Afterwards, with her confidence clearly drained, the waitress excuses herself.]
[center He doesn't grab the paper, instead his hands clasped around the piping hot beverage. [b [i "What a strange woman,"]] he comments, bemused.]
Mona took a deep breath and sat back in her seat some. The back of the booth was cold against her back but she didn't really mind it too much. She watched his expression and felt like he was having a conversation with himself.
[b So. What do you do for a living? Your sister would never tell me.] She said with a soft laugh trying to break up the ice and tension that she suddenly felt cold from. She shuddered slightly.
[center It obviously took longer than intended, but soon both their orders had been written neatly upon a notepad, and that airhead of a waitress is bouncing away. He could inhale crisp air. Not the pernicious miasma from attractive creeps.]
[center Every mention of a certain video abandoned his senses. Crippling thoughts and smoke.. And speaking of smoke, he could also really go for a cigarette right about now. The full embrace of nicotine is just within his grasp. Reach down, between the folds of denim and post grunge, lays a pack straight outta heaven. Where angels wore heavy makeup and god is a nympho.]
[center [i What the fuck is wrong with you.]]
[center [i The Grand Momentary Exodus of a Chainsmoker.]]
[center Strangely, during this lapse of self reflection, Herleifr's expression remains bland. Eyes downcast and body language that screams utmost mellowness.]
Mina had stayed quiet but offered the waitress a polite smile. Though that smile seemed to fade as the woman started talking about a video. [i What video is she talking about?] She wondered to herself.
She smiled up to the woman after she was ready to take their order. In a voice that was a little softer than usual she gave the woman her order. For some reason she just wanted the woman to go away so she could talk to Herleifr about what video it was.
If it happened a lot, she wanted to see the resemblance between the two men.
[center His reassurance meant nothing apparently. Could it be that continuing to scrutinize people is the new trend around town. Or is just a woman's intuition. Bubblegum Bitch would be proud of Mina. Her secret ability for high levels of discomfort is rather impressive.]
[center [b [i "Nothing at all,"]] he replies, yet his fingernails were noticeably pressing into the worn leather of the menu. Perhaps too evident, since he's quick to terminate such an action and shortly reserves an entire moment for breathing. The mere mention of why they came here in the first place grounds him, once again. [b [i "Maybe a large mug of chocolate mocha will do wonders."]]]
[center He dreaded the conversation they might've had if a waitress hadn't interrupted them. [i "Hello Guests! And welcome to Rain Without Clouds. What would you both lik-"] Her peppy and rehearsed speech unexpectedly stops. The silence is so prolonged that Herleifr eventually ganders at the waitress, only to realize she's mimicking him.]
[center No fucking way. She couldn't possibly know- [i "Hey. Don't mind me saying.. But you almost look like this guy from this video I saw on YouTube"] [i Shitshitshitshit]. He attempts to laugh off her assumption. It sounded awkward.]
[center [b [i "Ahaha.. You won't believe how many people achieve that same mistake. I'm sorry to disappoint. We are not related."]] Somehow his voice remains stead throughout the delivery. Perfect. The waitress blushes and quickly apologizes. [i "Ah, I am so sorry!"] A sympathetic smile graces his features. [b [i "It's whatever. Now, about our orders.."]]]
[center [i "Oh! That's right! What are you having?"]]
Mina looked back over to where he was looking. All she could see was other people all engaged either in food or other people. She offered him a soft smile. She sat down in the chair and sighed softly. She handed him other the other menu that she had gotten.
[b Are you sure there is nothing wrong?] She asked softly before glancing at the menu. She looked back up at him. [b I think I am going to be getting a hot chocolate and a grilled cheese. What about you?] She asked and put the menu down.
She was still worried about what he could have seen that seemed to have set him off edge.
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