I’m backtracking a bit. Deal.
* * *
Marie hurried through the double doors and nearly walked straight into Dakota, who quickly grabbed her shoulders to prevent a straight-on collision. They stared at each other briefly in surprise before Dakota broke into a wide smile.
“Couldn’t get enough of me?” he asked jokingly. “I’ve never had a stalker, but it’s pretty flattering of you.”
Marie was thrown off guard, and blinked.
“No, this is my office building,” she explained, jerking her thumb back towards the Everline skyscraper. He looked up at it instinctively, following her motion.
“And of course I’d be stalking you, who else would I stalk?” she added coyly, a beat too late.
He shot her a sideways glance.
“Out for lunch?” he asked innocently.
“Care to join me?” he added.
“That was the plan,” she shot back. He chuckled and started walking again, Marie tagging along.
“Where do you work?” she asked, to fill the silence.
“You know the old library down on King street?” he asked. Marie didn’t, but nodded anyway. “I work the special editions section, you know, all the really old or rare stuff. Cataloguing mostly, but some research stuff. It’s pretty fun.”
“So what are you doing in this part of town? King street’s nowhere close to here.”
“Oh, running some errands,” Dakota said vaguely.
He stopped in front out of a small restaurant with Vera Jon’s painted above the door in a pink that stood out from the garrish green door frame.
“How’s this?” he asked, looking down at her for a reaction.
“Here?” she blurted out incredulously.
She shrugged. Because I’ve never heard of this place? Because no one important probably ever comes here? Because hippies smell weird?
Dakota led her into the small restaurant, which had a bunch of small wooden tables packed between its crumbly brick walls. The chairs and tableware were mismatched and brightly colored, and several surrealist charcoal drawings hung on the otherwise unadorned brick walls. It had the air of a coffee shop, complete with several college students poring over piles of books and a shy couple out on their first or second date.
The perky hostess, who wore a brightly colored scarf wrapped around her weave and had different colored fingernails, led them to a back table between a student reading Shakespeare and a group of middle aged women clearly on lunch break. She handed them each an organic looking menu with Vera Jon written brazenly across the front, told them her name was Shay, and left them to her own devices.
They flicked open the menus and read in silence for a while. The restaurant was advertised as a ‘sandWhich’ shop, and the menu featured 3 or 4 pages of creative options. All could be eaten on gluten-free bread or as a wrap, and all could be halved and eaten with either a soup or a salad. The most expensive was 10 dollars and had lamb, avocado, basil, balsamic vinegar, walnuts, and pear slices between its two slices of challah.
“Ham and turkey on multigrain with cranberries, sliced apples, mayo, and cheddar cheese,” Dakota mused.
“Bacon and marmalade on pumpernickel?”
“Grilled cheese on country white with pesto, pine nuts, sundried tomatos, bacon, and garlic paste.”
“That sounds simultaneously terrible and amazing,” she said, looking at Dakota over the top of her menu.
“Most of these sound simultaneously terrible and amazing,” he replied. Marie nodded.
“But in a good way.”
“In a good way.”
I’m a little pressed for time today, internet. Mamma Mia and I took the dogs on a glorious walk around town this morning in the sunshine and now I’m off to work in about half an hour. Whoops.
It’s okay though, as its been a bit of a slow news day here on hnw cassandra. I started an awesome new job this past week at the local Visitor’s Bureau, and while I’m not going to go into detail for obvious reasons including and not limited to losing said awesome job, I will go so far as to tell you that I’m cautiously optimistic about my future there. The staff has so far been overwhelmingly welcoming and supportive, and while I’m still working on the actually-helping-visitors part, I am rapidly learning skills such as reading a map and putting brochures into the correct slot. Perhaps next week I’ll even give the phone a go.
Now I’m off to catering. If you’ve been following along at all, you’ll know I’m actually working four part time jobs at the moment, so my schedule is a little crazy. If this blog seems a bit distracted and hectic and random for the next few weeks, that’s why, but stay tuned, because I’ll hoping be unveiling a project I’ve been thinking about for a few weeks now (!!!). I know, I’m really living on the edge.
Side note- I used to think living on the edge meant going on crazy spur-of-the-moment trips and getting a little too crazy on weekends. My new definition of living on the edge is apparently can-I-get-to-the-bank-and-still-make-it-to-work-on-time.
(Answer – yes, yes I can. YOLO.)
Anyways, stay tuned for exciting things. Tomorrow’s post will be on how I chose the name for this blog so I can FINALLY get people to stop calling it morbid. Monday’s is the big, exciting new manuscript. I’m aiming for Wednesday as Exciting New Project Day. Get ready.