Chapter Two: Everyone Has A Little Kink In Them, They Just Don't Know It Yet
"Hey Emile," Natbakka said, coming into the café. I smiled to myself. His French was far from perfect. It was in fact tainted with his southern accent. The effect was that he butchered the language, but I found it to be slightly endearing. I was tired of people talking through their noses, anyway.
"Hey Nat," I replied. He looked at me, surprised.
"Nat? When did I become Nat?"
"When Natbakka became too long," I said simply. "Now stop butchering my native language," I teased. He smiled weakly.
"Yeah, okay," he conceded. "Anyway, you know my name is really Deimin, right? Natbakka was kind of my name in Madame's class."
"You will always be Natbakka," I said. I didn't like the idea of him taking a new name. The person I knew was Natbakka. It seemed like if he changed he became Deimin, he would stop being Natbakka. And I didn't want him to be anyone other than that.
"Unless I'm Nat," he said with a smile.
"Better than Deimin."
"What's wrong with Deimin?"
"It's a stupid name."
"It's my birth name."
"Yeah, but why do you think we started calling you Natbakka?"
"So, what brings you in here again?" I asked.
"Good coffee," he said with a shrug. "Better company."
I blushed scarlet. I tried not to think of that as a suggestive comment. It was just an innocent… compliment. Right. Besides, why would anyone want it to be any more than that? And he was with Tanya. I was single by choice. I hadn't yet found a girl who appealed to me.
"I can't believe we met here again, of all places. What are the odds?" he said with a smile.
"It's almost like it's predestined," I said quietly. He looked at me in a strange way and I blushed again. "I didn't mean… you know…"
"Yeah, I know," he said quietly. "Um… I'd better get back to campus. I have a night session on Tuesdays. But um… I'll see you later."
He left the café hurriedly. I was left standing there, feeling very awkward indeed. What had just happened? Since when did I get all jumbled around Natbakka?
I hadn't had feelings for a guy since Scielar, and in my defense I didn't even know he was a guy, so it didn't really count.
I reasoned that I was just happy to see someone that I knew and got along with. I hadn't exactly made a ton of friends in France, being as it turned out that most of the French aren't particularly fond of Americans. So it was a pleasant surprise to run into Emile. And I hadn't seen Tanya in almost a month now, so it would be perfectly acceptable for me to have some pent-up sexual frustration, right? So it would be perfectly acceptable for me to project those feelings onto a person who's familiar to me, right? Right.
But no matter how I tried to rationalize it, I always came back to the fact that I did have feelings for Emile. I'm not going to bullshit you with any 'love at first sight' bologna, but I was definitely infatuated. I found myself thinking more and more of him, and less of Tanya, even after only three days. And as I had spent the previous three weeks thinking of Tanya, and wondering what she was up to in London, it didn't seem natural for her to be driven from my mind as easily as this, and by a man, no less.
I got the feeling that I wasn't the only one who was feeling something. But that could have just been wishful thinking on my part.
But there were times, especially in the night, when I tried to sleep, that I wanted him so badly it hurt.
"So who's the girl?" a voice asked. I looked around to see a girl seated in one of the theatre chairs behind me. She was very pretty, with startlingly rich red ringlet curls and a porcelain complexion. Her almond-shaped eyes were a lovely shade of moss. She was dressed in a black stretch shirt in which she had cut holes for her thumbs, black pants with chains dangling between two belt loops, and black cons. I think her name was Marie, but I could be wrong. I was paired with her for an exercise once, and she was very convincing in her role. I got the distinct feeling I had met her elsewhere before, but I couldn't remember where.
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"You're really distant. You've met a girl, haven't you? Is she in this class?" she said. I stared at her. Was I that obviously preoccupied with thoughts of someone else?
"I… no, there's no one," I said. She frowned.
"Then why do you seem so preoccupied?"
"Some of us have things we have to worry about."
I was worried about the whole thing about Emile. But let her think it was about tuition or something. It really wasn't any of her concern anyway.
"You don't remember me, do you?" she suddenly asked. I shook my head. "I was visiting family in the states, and they took me to see your school's production of Les Miserables. You were excellent, and I told you so at the end. You have a wonderful singing voice, as well."
I laughed right out loud at that. I was notorious back home for my horrible singing voice.
"Are you deaf?" I asked her, still chuckling.
"Because I am possibly the worst singer on the history of the planet," I said. "Madame herself told me so."
"Well, I liked it," she said.
"Thanks," I said, trying to contain my laughter.
"So um, if there's no other girl, would you like to go out sometime?" she asked.
"I'm sorry, Marie, but I don't think that would be a good idea," I said. She frowned.
"But why? I thought there was no other girl," she said, sounding genuinely disappointed. I thought of Emile. Of his white-blonde hair and soft gray eyes, his friendly smile, his soft skin…
AN: So… I know it's sudden, I'm trying to make it not quite so much… but it's just not working out that way. I apologize.
Anywho, yeah, please review!