Morning Mystery


amadeus_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif

Scene Title Morning Mystery
Synopsis Amadeus ducks into the bookstore and finally meets the boss lady.
Date September 6, 2010

Ichihara Bookstore

Nestled in the heart of the main street marketplace, the Ichihara Bookstore is an old and crooked structure pressed between two newer high-rise tenement buildings. The old glass windows and creaking wooden door on the shop's front give it a rustic and old-world feel. Catering to both antique books and newer prints, the narrow aisles and tall shelves are packed full of literature. A single shelf for periodicals lies near the front counter, while signage both out front by the register and in the back of the store indicates that tarot card reading is done on-site at request for ten dollars per reading.

Behind the old and weathered wooden counter that contains the register and a small stack of reserved books, a narrow wooden staircase leads upwards to a black wooden door with peeling paint, revealing red paint in narrow strips beneath, a rope crossing in front of that door hangs with a small sign that reads, "Private".

Run run run!

That's the current thought on Amadeus' mind. Once again getting stuck out past curfew, he had the great idea to break into a house while no one was there and sleep. But people returned in the morning, and he had to run like hell before anyone could see his face. Before long he finds himself near the Ichihara Bookstore, and quickly dashes into it, wearing his black AC/DC shirt, blue jeans, and black Yankees bat bag. "Fuckin'… fuck." is all he manages to say after all that, and starts heading for the counter to lean on it.

The morning light of the bookstore reflects against the windows in an almost prismatic way. The light refracts into a rainbow along the back wall just behind the counter. At the interrupted entrance and the leaning man on his favourite perch, Gabriel complains, “Mrrrrrow!” The bellow is loud and unfriendly a per Gabriel’s usual style. HIs tail twitches warningly as his complains yet again, “MRRROW!” louder this time, alerting his mistress and keeper that they have a patron.

Complaint appears to be the word of the day as the stairs creak underneath Lydia’s narrow steps. Her eyebrows furrow and her arms fold tightly across her chest. Her head tilts and she forces a polite, yet incredibly strained, smile. Her eyes carefully examine Amadeus’ clothes and general demeanor. Her general greeting is dismissed for a different one today as she turns around to plug in the kettle, “Tea?”

Amadeus narrows his eyes suspiciously at the cat, not quite noticing Lydia yet. The cat spoke first! "Don't think I don't know what you're doin'. I don't want your territory, so you can save it, dude." But then she's speaking, and he looks over at her, raising an eyebrow. "Fuck, this place a bookstore or a hot chick buffet? Yeah, I'll take some tea. You look like someone who likes pot, want some? Tea and pot, good combo, y'know."

An eyebrow is arched at at the comment about hot chicks before she shakes her head with that same polite yet strained smile. At the question about pot, Lydia stares at Amadeus’ forehead blankly, as if trying ascertain something before being interrupted by the loud whistle of the kettle. She twists around and fills the teapot with that piping hot water before even semi-acknowledging the question. Choosing to draw her oil lamp closer on the counter, she lights the candle which emits the thin smell of lavender into the air.

”No pot in the store,” she finally soothes with the faint edging of her lips. “Tea. Lavender. Tea tree oil. Refreshing smells to induce the mood. Perhaps not as… relaxing, but less likely to get either of us arrested. Or find permanence in the pages of the books we house.” Yet even as she speaks, her eyes reflect an unusual sadness, heavier than normal.

"You're the fuckin' boss, ain't you? I can just fuckin' tell." Amadeus looks over at the whistling, then leans in and just stares for a while. "You've got that look. The look mob wives and prostitutes get, 'cause they've seen a lot of shit. Chicks like that either roll over and take it, or do somethin' about it." He looks and sounds serious for once, brushing a hand over his lips. No joint, right, stupid reflex. "You did somethin' about it, didn't you?"

The word ‘boss’ wears little heavier than she’d like, and is clarified with a soft smile, “I own this shop.” Boss or not it’s Lydia’s shop, that much is true. “I’m not sure anyone would call me the boss though. I’m not… used to directing others.” Satisfied with the steeping of the tea, she places two china teacups — mismatched, cracked, and chipped on saucers amid the counter, imperfect in form and function — and pours the tea into the cracked vessels.

”Fate changes lives and we can choose to embrace it or not,” her cheeks flush that same pale colour that matches the hue of the skirt she wears. “In a world where everything is in turmoil everyone has seen a lot. And perhaps when we lose everything… there’s nothing left to do but embrace it.” She shrugs.

"You talk really mysterious, it's kinda hot." Amadeus says as he reaches for his cup, raising it to his face to inhale. "The world ain't so bleak. Sure it fuckin' sucks, but it's always sucked. We just gotta find the shit we like and then keep pursuin' that. I like pot, food, everything under a chick's clothes, TV or more recently, books, and a nice bed." He takes a small sip of the tea, nodding slightly in approval. "Ain't nothin' else I really need, but I sometimes look for deeper shit." Like knowledge of his deadbeat dad.

”Some pleasures only feign a life of inevitable hardship and distaste,” Lydia quips as she lets the scent of the tea waft into her senses. “The pleasures of life are useless without care and unyielding connection to others.” Contemplatively she glances down at the counter as she tightens a single arm around her chest. “And that is what makes the world bleak. In a world without trust the connection and care are few and far between.” She sips at the tea as she inspects him further with a slight tilt of her head, “And what brought you here today?”

"I don't do the whole connection thing. I don't even get attached to chicks that often, and when I do it usually blows up in my face. I'll stick to my flings, fuck all that emotion stuff and heart stabbing." Amadeus seems to be relaxing a little more, elbows on the table as he practically keeps his face buried into the cup for the steam. "Some people caught me sleepin' in their house. I was out past curfew, but what's a guy gonna do, y'know? I didn't bring my van here, so what's a guy gonna do? My van's where I live."

Lydia takes a slow sip of her tea, considering Amadeus’ words. ”Sometimes love isn’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean attachment should be scorned in general. Love is a risk and if life is to have any meaning beyond simple debauchery…” there’s no judgment in the tone even with the nature of the words. She sips at her tea again before she hmmms quietly. Something indiscernible crosses her features before she shakes her head, “But maybe it’s not worth it.” Her eyes close gently as her head shakes again, “Maybe the pain isn’t worth it. But attachment to people? Necessary.” In a way she’s figuring out her own thoughts in speaking — her recent failure at the surface.

"I don't know, debauchery is pretty fuckin' fun to me. You're really serious and shit, but even you like a little debauchery, every chick does when it's done right." Amadeus takes a small sip of his tea, eyes looking up at her from the steam rising past his face. "Love's just what a chick uses to try an' change you, ain't never met a chick who could prove me wrong yet."

”It may be fun for a time, but with no connection… eventually it all falls apart.” Lydia pauses before her voice finds true weight, “Believe me.” Her eyebrow arches at the notion of love. “Not all women are out to change men… and that’s not even the most … there’s more to life than simple relationships — they need depth. Whether with our families by birth or adoption, relationships need depth.”

"I don't need anyone. My mom and stepdad's mostly disowned me, and my deadbeat dad's a prick. I've got some friends, but I'd probably sell 'em out for the right price. I'm a loner like a fuckin' cat, I just survive any way I can, except my dick's not made of hooks." Amadeus sighs over his tea, the steam blowing forward a bit. "You can say debauchery and drinkin' and pot and all that is just temporary shit, but even if it is, I can just move to the next thing and do it all over again. You keep repeatin' temporary shit and it's basically permanent." He grins a bit, casually adding, "If you think you're any different, I'd be up to findin' out."

”Everyone needs someone,” Lydia states smoothly before finishing her cup of tea. “Even wolves are part of packs. And Gabriel,” a glance is given to the white cat, “is dependent on me, even if I’m certain he’d kill me in my sleep if he could.” The cup is swirled in her left hand before she flips it upside down. An eyebrow is quirked at the addition before she flips the cup upright again, “My thoughts are singularly set on another… for many many years…”

"Don't worry, I wasn't askin' you to marry me, it's just morning and, well, y'know." Amadeus shrugs, sliding his empty cup over to her as he yawns. "Take it from a dude who used to have fuckin' cat telepathy, it owns you, not the other way around." he graciously points out while giving the cat a bit of a frown.

"I'm sure Gabriel owns me. There's no question. This was his roost well before it fell into my hands," her lips tighten into a smile as she tilts her teacup to examine the remnants in it. "And I believe caring for another human being invariable changes us when we least expect it. Or perhaps the more we change the more we stay the same? A combination maybe."

"I don't know, but I don't think I'm gonna be caring for anyone else. Yeah, I have my moments, but that's like, just who I am. That chick who works here, Delia, I kinda got a thing for her before, then she ripped my heart to pieces for some fuckin' frat boy. And it ain't even that she did it, it's the way she did it." Amadeus shakes his head and just thumps his forehead on to the table, grunting. "Seriously, fuck chicks, especially the straight-laced ones. Gimmie some fuckin' tattoo'd chick with a hookah pipe any day."

Lydia hmmms, examining the images contained within her cup before returning it to the saucer. “And what makes a woman with tattoos un-straight-laced?” her head tilts inquisitively as she lets her palms rest on top of the counter. A vague glance is given to one of the faces imprinted along her arms thanks to her not so gracious exit from the carnival so many years ago. “Do you expect an inked girl to be… a freak? Or do you think there’s some history behind it?

"Depends, really. Usually chicks with a lot of tattoos have been around the block a few times. Yeah, freakiness is one reason, but it ain't always the case just 'cause she has tattoos, I've been with a few. But a chick with tattoos, she usually ain't the type to judge, she's usually got an open mind and shit like that." Amadeus explains as he reaches out to touch her palm with one finger. "A chick with tattoos, she just usually knows what to expect from a guy like me, and I ain't been disappointed by one yet."

”Does that work?” Lydia asks with a narrowing of her eyes as her palm recoils to her side at the touch. There are few tells to this woman. Her lips don’t move, her cheeks don’t flush, and her tone remains even throughout. “I have no judgment towards you, nor have I an inkling towards unfaithfulness.” In fact, she’s painfully loyal, perhaps to a fault. The question on any given day is just who she ought to be loyal to and why. “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Her lips tighten into an odd smile, polite, but firm. “And he would be less than pleased at the implication that I’ve been around the block.” She, however, seems undeterred by the implication or the words, even as her arms cross over her chest.

"You already turned me down, I ain't the type to try too hard unless I really want a woman. I'd ask you just as soon as I'd ask one of the chicks at a diner I passed while I was runnin'. Ain't sayin' you're not special, you just ain't 'get my face smashed in by a boyfriend' special. All I've gotta do is look at a chick like you, and know your boyfriend can kick my ass."

”That’s where you’re wrong; I’m not special,” the words are all sincerity even in their smooth tone accompanied with her tight-lipped smile. Lydia drums her fingers against the counter. “But then, I guess, he’s just as wrong.” She offers a small shrug. “Yet you’re bright. He’s strong — “ or he was last she saw him and with his short-lived career in baseball it seems plausible he still is “ — and… protective.”

"I'm bright?" Amadeus laughs down into the table, then smacks his forehead against it, quickly sitting up to rub it with a pained wince. "Anyway, it ain't the tattoos I was lookin' at, with you. You don't have the whole biker chick vibe. You look more like the type who has what I call 'gypsy sex'." He almost ends there, but then decides to elaborate before he's even asked. "Gypsy sex is like, mindblowing shit. It's all craziness you can't really describe, but they do stuff. So, I wasn't sayin' 'chicks with tattoos are freaky' in your case, I was thinkin 'new age chicks are freaky as hell'."

He starts to stand up straight now, then stretches, yawning again. "I should get goin', I don't wanna hold up your business or anything, or get a broken nose from your protective boyfriend."

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