I woke up early this morning due to Anna's insistent text alerts. She's been eager about Global Love Day and claims that it's far different from Valentines day. While the nationally acknowledged holiday is greatly defined by romantic love as its historical origin, Global Love Day is more of a kinship, familial love-agape and philia, if you will. She wants me to attempt writing a romantic story, and I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't considering one right now.
Like my previous entry, I know fantasy alone can only meet me halfway, but by applying emotions as well, this fictional tale can become something relatable. And (I know this is grammatically incorrect-curse you English language), that's what I want: realism. But my luck in this department has been far less fortunate. There had been an occasion when Anna, Ariel, and Belle encouraged me to try freelancing on experiences with an open relationship and a symbiotic, unrealistic relationship.
"Are you nuts?" Anna exclaimed vehemently, "That's no different than cheating!"
"But he's benefiting after all. And besides, no strings attached," Ariel clarified. "He'll be more willing knowing that he has the freedom to do what he wants. What's not to entice him?"
"But if my sister ever fell in love with him…"
"That is a possibility," the brunette mused thoughtfully, "plus knowing that he does the same thing to another girl would probably take the opposite effect."
"Hey guys, stop talking like I'm not here. I can hear everything you're saying, you know?" the platinum blond announced vexingly. "Besides, can't I just write about other's experience on it instead?"
"You know better than that," Belle chastised, "I know your work has included countless bits and pieces of your life experiences, Elsa. We know that your story wouldn't be the same without your earnest take in that situation."
"Definitely," Ariel chimed in.
"You're one to talk," Anna disagreed with the auburn woman, "for once, couldn't you consider Elsa's situation as serious as Erik's and your relationship?"
"Excuse me," the gasped, "I do take her problems seriously! But I'm also thinking about the guy's perspective. You can't keep shoving your ex's situation on to her."
Anna stared at her, baffled, as if she had been struck across the face.
"What she means," Belle interjected quickly, breaking the tense atmosphere, "Boys will be different. You can't expect them to be cheaters. You have Kristoff now, isn't that proof enough?"
Dejected and embarrassed, Anna's sapphire eyes fluttered to the ground while Ariel chewed on her lower lip as she mirrored the strawberry blonde's action.
"You're right. I'm sorry," Anna apologized.
"No, I'm sorry," Ariel insisted, "I knew what Hans had done to you couldn't be forgivable, and I had to bring it up."
"We both crossed our boundaries, huh?"
"Forgive me?" Ariel pleaded.
"No need. We're friends after all," Ariel answered, pulling Anna into a tight embrace.
"Now if you meet a guy who deals with you like that," Belle hooked a thumb in their direction, "I say drop the act. He's a keeper."
"Don't I get a say in this?" Elsa exasperated.
"Sure," Belle nodded, "you're only say is to pick the guy you interact the most with."
"And by most, I say, Mr. Timid-Albino-Recluse. Wednesday evenings at 5 p.m."
His pale face and blue eyes flashed through her mind almost instantly, causing her eyes to widen and respond bluntly, "No way."
"Ah!" Ariel clucked her tongue, pulling away from the curious strawberry blonde. "But you still thought of him, didn't you?"
"Elsa?!" Anna's voice crescendoed, her dainty, pink lips curved into a mischievous grin. "Who is this fellow they're talking about? And why haven't you told me about this?!"
"Because he's just a regular," the platinum blonde answered indifferently.
"A regular who always checks you out when you're not looking," Ariel teased.
"A regular, that even Oaken's hinting you to go out with," Belle added airily.
"Elsa, you owe me details," her sister miffed.
"Don't bother, you won't get much from her. After all, she's locked up in her own world when she's working," the auburn woman waved off.
"I'm more terrified with your fictional tales, Ariel," Elsa voiced out concernedly.
"I got her," Belle comforted, "Don't worry, you're in good hands."
"I was afraid you'd say that."
The brunette exchanged a playful smile just before Elsa excused herself to retrieve their popcorn for their sleep over.
The timing was uncanny! Just as I had thought about what Anna, Belle, and Ariel discussed several nights ago, something had just happened.
First, it started by his usual order: vanilla bean frappucino. Then he told his name. His real name. At first, I thought I misheard his name with Mack, or something along the assonant sound but he corrected me.
"Jack. My name is Jack," the albino repeated shakily. "Um, listen, do you think you have time to step outside after this?"
"Uh," turning her head to read the clock, and coincidentally meeting Oaken's suggestive and encouraging smile, he nodded and waved his hand. Elsa replied with wonder and disbelief, before facing him with a composed expression. "Sure. I have some time."
"Awesome, thanks," he smiled gauchely before taking his seat by the usual booth seated closest to the door. Just then, a pair of giggling women exchanged shared grins in her direction.
Speak of the devil, Ariel and Belle had walked in after our exchange. I'm pretty sure Oaken's expression had given it away, since he had walked over to the pick-up station and exchanged a brief conversation with the pair. I ignored them as best as I could, however when I had finished making Jack's frap, I decided to personally hand it to him since he required an audience from me.
He was lucky, to say the least, the flow hadn't been as overwhelming today as it usually had been.
"Jack?" she read his name, and he responded by snapping his head in her direction immediately.
"Hey," he smiled shyly, pocketing his ivory earphones in his signature indigo frosted sweater. "Sorry to take your time."
Elsa waved it away indifferently. "Good timing, actually. The workflow today is one of those rare light days." She placed the cup in front of him. "Anyways, is there something I can help you with?"
"Uh, would you like to take a seat? Must be tiring to be on your feet all day."
"Oh, thank you," the platinum blond accepted gratefully, sliding across the mocha cushioned booth.
"Actually, I heard that today is Global Love Day from a friend of mine, and…" he paused to dig in his bag, pulled out a red rose, and presented it to her with his eyes lowered and a discernible tint gracing his pale neck up to his ears.
Elsa was caught off guard by the red rose, and she hesitantly reached out to accept it, with his motive throbbing in the back of her mind.
"I found it in a garden," he muttered sheepishly
"A garden?" she stared at the rose then back to his fading, flustered face, "Is it yours?"
"Uh… a friend's actually."
"So your friend gave it to you?"
He chuckled, displaying an innocent, mischievous boy in doing so, and brought a finger to his lips and winked in her direction. "That's between you and me."
Elsa giggled, "Ah, I see." Her eye fell back to the full bloomed, prickless rose in her hand. "Are you sure you won't get caught in the act? After all, there would be an empty stem sticking out."
"Not if it's short-stemmed and camouflaged in a bush with other flowers," Jack replied wittingly.
Elsa had a praise waiting on the tip of her tongue when she noticed his lips clamping and unclasping with a thoughtful expression on his face. He looks like a cute, little boy, she perceived thoughtfully before he voiced out his statement with crescending, notable anxiety.
"Actually, you might be right," he began slowly. He paused to clear his hollowed tone and adjust his composure. "I mean, I don't mind getting an earful if it's for a good cause."
"Cause?" the young barista inquired.
"Say… if you'd be willing to consider going out on a date with me?"
Jack asked me on a date. He gave me a red rose and asked me on a date (I scoffed just now). I can't believe this happened because this seems like scene straight out of a drama or movie of some sort. To be frank, this is the first time it's happened to me-so perhaps this is the reason why my brain is still registering this event. But skipping to your main curiosity: Did I say yes or no?
The answer was… Actually at that moment, I recalled the conversation with Ariel, Belle, and Anna.
His eyes bore into hers with piercing, pleading intensity and baited breath. It was difficult for the platinum blond to ignore his sincere effort. Her eyes fell on the rose at hand. "Alright."
"Really?" his blue eyes widened, followed by smiling relievedly, followed by a mixture of clumsy composure, "I-I mean, it would be great if you'd be willing to hang out tonight then? I promise, I won't do anything that'll make you feel awkward."
Elsa chuckled softly, "Perhaps we can discuss more on my break."
"That sounds good to me." Just as Elsa stood up, he quickly added, "Elsa?"
"Yes?" she inquired, pausing her actions.
"Thank you, really," he squirmed sheepishly, beet red coating the tips of his ears.
He was sincere, I couldn't reject him by the way he acted shyly around me. I knew he was trying really hard to say those words to me.
Oaken had a basic understanding of the situation and exchanged a secret, teasing smile with me when I came back with the rose at hand. He was more excited about our date than myself. It's because of this he promised me to get out of work a couple hours early.
I'm currently discussing Jack's and my plan for our spontaneous get together. He's in the bathroom right now, and I only have this time to squeeze this segment before he comes back. So far, we've decided to eat at Tiana's Bistro this evening, and get better acquainted with one another. Huh... (I'm actually surprised by this, actually). I had expected a movie date, but I'm surprised we both agreed that they are so overrated.
I can hear the toilet flushing from here (geeze, has it always been this loud?). I'm sure he'll be coming out of the bathroom any second now. I'll write more to you later.
As promised, Elsa left work at 8 p.m., with Oaken's insistent wave off to close the shop as his send off and blessing.
Jack pulled up with his royal blue sports car, promising that he was a lazy driver and preferred working on assignments until his friends picked him up.
"So is your goal to impress me?" the platinum blonde inquired, a smug smile forming on her cupid bow lips while her arms folded across her chest.
"Maybe?" he responded airily, from the rolled down window.
"You're not going to pull a Fast and Furious on me while you're behind the wheels?" Elsa bantered.
"I swear on my grave, I think about my passenger's safety first."
"That doesn't sound promising," she answered, "you're not even dead yet."
"Fine," he gestured an index finger over his heart and crossed it, "Cross my heart and hope to die-first."
"It better not be on our hang out," she chuckled lightheartedly.
"I'll try to meet your expectations," the albino chimed in, "Now, hop in!"
The drive to Tiana's Bistro as less than twenty minutes, however it hadn't felt so with their ongoing conversations spent on the ride there. Because it was a Friday night, the restaurant was packed, and they expected an hour's wait, but they received their seats almost immediately the moment Elsa addressed her name.
I've just got back, and let me tell you something I discovered: this whole laidback flow-ambience (or what ever, you get the idea)-during our evening dinner was all Belle's idea! She saved us reservations by contacting Tiana herself!
I knew Tiana from high school, but she was much closer to Belle, and also happened to be Mrs. Pot's pupils. I figured out she would have her hook us up under the VIP section (I knew I couldn't ignore that suggestive twinkle in her almond eyes!).
When Jack had excused himself to answer the phone, Tiana came by to greet me, and told me about the reservation.
"Tiana, this isn't a big deal. You shouldn't have-"
"Nonsense!" the prodigal chef waved off, "Any friend of Belle and Mrs. Pot's are always welcomed. Besides, this could also make up for the time we missed from high school."
"I'm grateful," Elsa answered humbly, "I would love to take you up on that offer."
"So… is this guy your sugar?"
Wearing a thin-lipped, gauchely smile, Elsa shook her head. "Acquaintances, actually."
"But he asked you out, right? I heard from Oaken."
"Honey, enjoy yourself. You've always been studious in school. I remember that," the ebony woman recalled.
"You're one to talk," the platinum blonde replied playfully.
"Culinary was the only room in my heart and mind," Tiana answered. "To be honest I've tried before."
"You've tried before?"
Just then, the albino made his way back to their table.
"I'll tell you more next time. Are you free tomorrow morning?"
"Does eight sound good?"
"I'll serve you one my house special beignet."
"I haven't had those since culinary class with you. They were delicious."
"Mhmm," Tiana nodded humbly, "can't forget the basics that brought me here."
"Ladies, I hope I'm not interrupting," Jack slipped in.
"Not at all," the ebony shook her head, "we've just finished up." Offering her hand towards him she introduced herself, "Tiana Rose."
"Jack Frost," he shook her hand before taking his seat. "Are you guys acquaintances?"
"Formerly high school classmates and friends."
"She's every culinary teacher's prodigy," Elsa praised.
"Oh stop," Tiana laughed off, "and you're a walking embodiment of everyone's goals."
Elsa chuckled humbly whilst shaking her head.
"Anyways, I came here to greet you guys personally and ask for your order."
"Oh, so will you be cooking for us?" Jack inquired, interestedly.
"That's a shame for your attire though, won't it be ruined," Elsa added regrettably, gesturing to her sweetheart, slimming black dress.
"Nah," Tiana smiled, "Don't worry, I've learned under the best of the best." Then cupping a hand on the edge of her lip she whispered audibly, "And a couple of kitchen hacks to avoid wardrobe malfunctions." They exchanged with muffled giggles before reaching a pen from her ear and whipping out a notebook from her inconspicuous pocket. "So what'cha guys want?"
"What do you recommend?" Jack inquired.
"Hmm… let's see… I'm currently selling out on Alfredo chicken pasta."
"I'll have that."
"Make it two, please," the platinum blonde nodded.
"Alright, I'll have them sent over to you. Any drinks?"
"Water," the duo replied in unison.
"Mhmm," Tiana scribbled, a secret, suggestive smile directed to her companion, before taking their untouched menus. "I'll have your order ready in a few. Enjoy your evening, you two."
I think Tiana knew the story from Belle, I wouldn't be surprised actually. Ariel and Belle aren't one to gossip about people, but they tend to openly share their concern about people they care about with others in forms of venting. Although they're not the gossip type, however I can't ignore deny that these two love listening to gossip and laugh it off. Despite that, I knew Tiana was worried about me during high school-well, that's what Belle told me. We are similar when it comes to taking our work seriously. I have to admit, I was jealous of her talent in culinary, I could never top her then, and I know damn well I can't ever surpass her now. I've accepted it back then when the moment I had taken a bite of her beignet.
I always wanted to reach out to her, but I'm not sure if I can be myself yet. Opening up to Belle and Ariel was difficult, but had it not been for Anna's spontaneously, candid scenario taken place at home, we wouldn't have our friendship like it is today.
There's also someone else I have to be grateful to. She was part of our group of friends in high school, but she wasn't present as much do to her situation, which is strikingly similar to mine. We reached out to me when she heard news about our parents' passing, and became close. She's the catalyst who urged me to be myself in times of trouble. But that's another story I will share another time.
Jack wanted to get to know me better that evening, but if I couldn't open myself to a former classmate, then how can I possibly open myself to a stranger?
I only answered the surface questions. Where I lived, how long I lived here, my education, and the sort. He did touch up on a personal question regarding my parents, but after I told them of their passing, he probably sensed that I didn't want to talk further about the subject, and changed the topic to Tiana's full course meal.
"It's just as you said! I could eat her meals for days!" the albino sighed contently as he relaxed his back against the red velvet cushion. "Her cooking is delicious!"
"Definitely," Elsa answered, before shoveling the back last twirl of linguine in her mouth. She picked off the white fabric from her lap and gently dabbed any sauce residue from her lips.
"Uh, may I?" the albino gestured to the napkin, while his female companion stared at him in confusion.
"No, I got it," she answered quickly. "Where is it?"
Retreating his open palm into an index, finger, he brought it over to his left cheek, and smiled gauchely, "You missed a spot here."
"Oh, thank you." Her hand worked on her left cheek, when he shook his head. She brought her napkin to her other cheek and dabbed it. "Did I get it?"
His aquamarine eyes peered her eyes with small squints and a pensive expression etched across his lips. "Are you sure you got it? Cause I still see one here," he gestured to his lips.
Elsa brought them napkin on her lips and wiped furiously.
"I'm just kidding," he laughed.
"Wait, so there really isn't a blotch on my face?"
"You got it the first time. I wasn't lying," he chuckled.
Sensing a wave of heat wash over her, Elsa hid her frown behind sipping a glass of water.
"I'm sorry," he chuckled again, "You just looked really tensed. I thought it'd be a change of pace."
"But through embarrassing me?" the flustered platinum blonde answered meekly.
"You just seem so guarded and self conscious, and I didn't think you'd look so cute." Too late to take back what he said, he clapped a fist over his lips and avoided her gaze. After a moment, he coughed and coolly stated, "I mean, it wasn't embarrassing at all… it was…"
He planted an elbow on the table and plopped his flustered face on the gap, while his hand played with his hair. He coughed gauchely over the same balled hand crushing his lip before meeting her eyes and nodding several times swiftly.
"Oh," she flushed red, "thank you."
He sighed, his rigid shoulders collapsing, "I'm sorry… I didn't mean to make you feel awkward. I just ruined your expectation."
Feeling sympathy for his poignant state, Elsa giggled in attempt to lighten the atmosphere, "No, you did it for good intentions, right?" The platinum blond inhaled slowly and relaxed her shoulders when she exhaled. Her tense shoulders were his evidence. "Thank you for looking out for me."
Do you ever have those moments where you understand something different and clearer when you say them aloud? I suppose I did have that moment happen when I tried to cheer him up. I didn't even spare a split second to think about what I was going to say at that moment. Sure, I was peeved for what he did to make me look like a fool in public (and my first impression of him did turn out sour), but he genuinely looked ashamed for what he did. Also his ki-slip up, had caught me off guard (perhaps if he hadn't said that, I would have ended our night right there). By k-slip up, he called me "cute" (I feel like I have to say what it was, or else it wouldn't make sense the next time I read this entry). And this small comment, had enough effect to make me give him another chance.
"It's nothing," he smiled, assured. His cerulean eyes hovered to the watch on his hand, and he composedly sat up to rest his back against the cushioned seat. "Let's call this a night. I'll take you home."
Impulsively, Elsa checked at her watch and read it to be ten p.m. Her face must have looked puzzled since Jack chuckled.
"Don't worry, it's not about what happened moments ago," he assured, much to his chagrin, "I think you deserve a well rested night, now that the weekends are here." He gestured to a waiter dressed in a black tuxedo, waving a card between his index and middle finger in view, before turning back to Elsa. "You know, you work a little too hard these days. I admire you a lot for that."
Our little get together ended with him dropping me straight home. A part of me was-still am-dreading this, and I was hesitant on letting him drop me straight to my apartment-and by that I mean walking me straight to my door. From a neutral (I'd like to say normal, but that is too vague and subjective) standpoint, he is a gentleman for making sure his accompany is safely delivered home. But, from my personal experience regarding boyfriends, there was a certain fellow who couldn't take a hint that his frequent surprise visits have crossed into obsessive stalker territory.
I ignored this nagging paranoia and gave him a chance. Anna, Belle, and Ariel should be proud of me.