I thought it would be fun to post a little piece of short fiction I wrote. It's just something kind of fun, so read it with that in mind. I hope you enjoy.
I wished I could have worn my hoodie, but with the decimating heat of August, there was no way I could submit myself to that kind of torture, even if it meant seclusion and anonymity. Even in my jeans and short sleeved shirt I could feel the dry heat waves washing through my skin forcing the little droplets of sweat from my pores. As fast as I could I made my way inside the Mexican restaurant, leaving the heat behind me and behind the doors.
Without looking around, I headed towards the front and put my order in and then I was off to the farthest corner, finding a small table away from the bathrooms and ordering area, anywhere to avoid being seen. Normally I wouldn’t have left my house, but I had been stuck inside all day and I needed some kind of reprieve from being shut indoors and…I needed food. Being here solved both problems, but it also created another. I may have needed a break from my house, but I had been avoiding people in general trying to keep myself secluded - safe.
Eating at this particular place was almost like asking for trouble. Everyone came here to eat and hang out and I don’t know if I’d ever been here a time I hadn’t seen someone I knew. But, I had a hankering for some of their chimichangas – they were the best around – and my stomach had been begging for them for over a month. My stomach made a noise at the thought of the food and as if the front ordering service was connected directly to it, the food was brought to me and deposited on my table.
I started in on the delicious fried tortilla filled with chicken, trying not to look up and let anyone notice my face. My eyes moved around the best they could without the movement of my head to give them a better view. There weren’t too many people around, I’d come at this time knowing they were less busy which meant less people I could possibly bump into. Other than a family sitting in the main section and the people who worked here, there was really only one other person, a girl.
I couldn’t see much of her from where I was sitting behind her, but from the set of her shoulders and the length of her body, I would guess she was around twenty. Her charcoal black hair was pulled up showing the soft unblemished skin on her shoulders and neck just above her shirt. Having two sisters always asking me what I thought of their clothes brought the exact name of the shirt to mind – halter top. Shaking my head at the thought that I even would remember such an irrelevant term I continued to watch the girl through the corner of my eye while I ate my meal.
She had a pencil through her hair, and it looked like that was what held it on top of her head. I wondered how she could get it to stay up with such a device, but girls and the things they could do were beyond me.
I don’t know why, but there was something about her, something that made me want to keep watching even if it meant only getting to see the beautiful contours of her long slender neck. I was even hoping that at some point she would turn around so I could get a look at her face, to see if the front matched the back.
I might have been trying to avoid people in general, but nobody could blame me for being male and just wanting to look, even if it was just to appease my own curiosity. Maybe it wasn’t just curiosity, maybe it was something else. Whatever it was though, I couldn’t help myself. As if she could read my thoughts she suddenly pulled the pencil out of her hair and shook her head back and forth. She took both of her hands to the long black hair; it looked like she was trying to put it back up. When she had it almost there, she turned her head giving me a view of her profile with pink full lips and giant green eyes, like emeralds. She wedged the pencil back into its position and flipped her face forward again and back down to the table.
I wanted a better look at her. Well, maybe I wanted a better look at what she was doing too. I felt a little out of sorts though; this isn’t normally how I am. I don’t usually feel the need to watch other people while I eat let alone coyly try to interact with strangers. Normally, I just pay attention to my food and leave, but my curiosity was killing me, or maybe it was just the milky skin on her shoulders beckoning me.
I stood up to take my tray to the garbage can on the other side of the tables, on the way back I would be able to look at her. On my way to the garbage area I pretended like I didn’t see her. I threw the paper stuff on my tray into the garbage and placed my tray on the stack already there. I turned around surveying the room and then I set my gaze on her. She had a small plate of rolled tacos with a dollop of sour cream poised on the edge of her table; it looked like she’d taken one bite and then put them aside. In front of her, where her face was pointed and her eyes were concentrating, there was a book – a thick book. She had another pencil in her hand and little sticky tabs sitting to the right of the book. Her long eyelashes seemed to enunciate her eyes in their downward cast.
I didn’t even know I had completely stopped walking back to my table until she cleared her throat and looked up at me. Her direct gaze was even more glorious. “Excuse me, can I help you?” The look on her face showed amusement and annoyance.
“Umm, no, sorry. “ I’m an idiot. What was I supposed to say to not look like a fool? “Actually, sorry, I was just wondering what book you were reading?” That sounded better, made me look intellectual. Right?
“How to Eat in Peace: A Manual.” She looked back down at her book; guess not, I needed something different.
“Oh, well that’s some manual. My name is Noah, what’s yours?”
“Xena.” She didn’t even move her head this time.
“Xena? Really? Whats your last name?”
“Princess. And just in case you ask, my middle name is Warrior.” That made me laugh and a small sound escaped my mouth.
“Wow, Xena Warrior Princess? Your parents must have had really good sense of humors.” Even with her eyes still in her book, I could see some of the annoyance wash away. I took this as my chance. “Well, Xena. I’m sorry for bothering you; I’ll leave you alone now. I hope you enjoy reading Little Women: A Manuel, I think it’s pretty good.” I’d seen the cover when she’d picked the book up a second ago. I turned my head and walked back to my table pulling out the small notebook I had in my back pocket.
I was writing in it when I noticed she was standing in front of me. I looked up giving her my biggest and best smile which even if I’d wanted to I couldn’t keep off my face.
“Uh, look. I’m sorry for that, it’s just that I get…bothered a lot and sometimes I just want to be left alone, so I’m sorry. My name’s Serenity by the way.”
“Serenity.” I said, liking the way it sounded. “It’s nice to meet you.”
---written by Jen the Bibliophile