Sarah wasn’t your average 18-year-old going off to college or hanging with friends; she continued to work in her father’s cafe, determined on helping her sick father. Bills needed paying, including the house, the cafe, and his medical bills. She was trying as hard as she can, although she didn’t know whether it was working or not anymore.
She stood at 5′5, weighed slightly under average, and had pale skin. Freckles lined her cheeks heavily, beneath her baby blue eyes. She had purple dyed hair, her brown roots still visible. She had two space buns on her head, and her hair was messy, but cute messy. She had a small nose piercing, and two little studs pierced in her ears. She wore ripped, blue, skinny jeans and a loose white tank top. She had a fair amount of muscle, probably from single-handedly carrying supply boxes and furniture around.
She had scars on her elbows and the insides of her elbows, as well as one small one on her forehead, and another on her left side, currently not visible.
She was stood in her father’s small cafe, business slow like usual around this time. The walls were a caramel brown, the wooden floor barely letting out a single creak. The ceiling was a paled white, the tables a stainless gray with matching wooden chairs. She looked half asleep against the counter, waiting for the bell above the door to ping, so she could serve someone. She used to dread lunch rush hour; but now she just couldn’t wait for it.
A small child, accompanied by a very attractive looking man, strolled into the cafe, the man holding his arm out to the door to hold it open for the younger person. The child seemed very different than most seven year olds you would see down the street- Dark, purple bags shadowed her eyes, haunting her baby blues and taking control of the sparkle in her eyes that most children have at her age. Her ginger hair cascaded down her to halfway down her back, and flew behind her like a cape as she walked in. She wore a long sleeve as always, a red and white striped one tucked into a black skirt that went to above her knees, which were bruised and scratched.
The man looked somewhat the same as the tired ginger, but at least tried to look a bit happier. He had the same eyes and a little darker shade of ginger, but didn’t seem to have any bruises on him. He seemed about 17-18, and simply wearing a black windbreaker and jeans, along with some beat up Converse.
His face kept glancing at the little girl every few seconds protectively, as if at any moment someone could come snatch her. A look of concern, at times it seemed like sympathy in his eyes was visible as he glanced at her. The girl eventually glanced behind her and gave him a reassuring smile before turning her head back in front of her. His face relaxed and he continued on to the counter, looking at the cafe around him.(edited)
“Sarah,” The girl sang to the woman at the counter, her feet going up on their tiptoes to reach the counter and her voice echoing throughout the cafe. “Guess who!~” The girl’s tone was so unlike her expression, like always, and ended up throwing people off at times. But she never noticed. The man quietly stood beside her, his hands in his pockets and glancing at the woman, getting a look at her. She seemed. . . interesting. Pretty attractive, he could say, with her two buns resting on her head and her face, especially those eyes. . . .
“. . .Leo, my brother, who is too shy to speak, apparently,” He heard his sister say, and put his head down.
As the voice called out she immediately shot up, blinking a few times before finally regaining full composure. A soft smile seemed to land on her face at the small girl, her shoulders dropping as her entire posture relaxed. She put her hand over her mouth as she yawned, listening to the girl speak. She glanced at the man beside her and offered a small wave. She wasn’t the best with new people in general, but she tried not to let it show. She leaned back onto the counter to look at the girl, her eyes full of love, despite her paled face and tired expression.
“Remember, this place is pretty echoey, and my father’s in the back. Keep it down, alright?” Her voice was soft and sweet.
The girl bit her lip in shame and nodded, brushing her hair away from her face with her fingers. “Sorry,” She managed to whisper, a small smile replacing her frown.
The man now known as Leo looked up to see the smile and bond between the two and managed a slight smirk himself, happy to see that his sister had some happiness outside of home. For some reason Sarah’s wave kept repeating in his head, and he was unsure why; maybe it was just his social anxiety trying to trigger him into being more awkward than he was with new people.
“Luna, is this the woman you keep telling me about?” He managed to speak up, glancing down at his sister with a smile, then he shyly looked at the woman behind the counter.
“She talks about you a lot at home, Miss. Apparently you’re her best friend.” He admitted with a slight chuckle, and Luna smiled wider up at Sarah, a small sparkle in her eyes that Leo barely ever sees.
She gently ruffled the girl’s hair, not seeming to mind in the slightest. “It’s alright, I just need him to sleep as much as possible. It keeps him from climbing out of bed and trying to help in here,” she smiled a little.
When Leo spoke, she quietly cleared her throat. She didn’t know what she was expecting, but what she heard put a slightly confused or surprised expression on her face, before it seemed to melt away into what seemed like total love and adoration. She glanced down at the small girl and nodded.
“I’m honoured to have such status,” she chuckled a little, “She’s always a joy to have here, too.
Luna giggled at the gesture Sarah gave, then covering her mouth to muffle her laughs, remembering the conversation Sarah and her had just seconds before.
Leo gave his sister a gentle smile and took one hand out of his pockets to lovingly touch her shoulder, a sibling gesture. Luna looked up at him and smiled slightly, then focused her vision back onto Sarah.
“Can I have a hot chocolate like always, Sarah? It’s cold outside.” She whispered, hugging herself and fakely shivering as an exaggeration.
Leo gave her a look, with one eyebrow raised, and Luna instantly know what the look was for and rolled her eyes, an expression usually meant for those older than her but was used anyway.
“Please and thank you,” She added with a smile, licking her lips at the thought of the creamy chocolate and tasty little marshmellows, drowned in whipped cream. . . Luna placed her hands on the counter.
“Please, please, Sarah?” She whined quietly. Leo shook his head in embarrassment of his sister’s behaviour, and mouthed an “I’m sorry” to the woman with a smile.
She giggled softly, blowing a strand of her purple hair from her face. “Of course you can, just give me a second.” She began looking through the cupboards, where she usually held her normal glasses.
She glanced up at the counter, unable to see the girl due to her small height, before she headed over to a different cupboard and pulled out one of the larger glasses. She began to pour some milk into the glass, when an older man emerged from the back of the cafe. He was pale, and stood at 5′11. He looked sick, and underweight, his hair slightly gray with his natural brown mixed in.
He rubbed one of his eyes, his movements slow. “Mmm, who do we have today?”
“Father...” Sarah sighed, shaking her head. “You’re supposed to be in bed.” She continued to pour the warm milk, before adding some warm water and then adding the hot chocolate powder and stirring it gently.
“Mmmmn, but what fun is that?” The man chuckled before coughing, and then stumbling over to the counter. He smiled when he saw Luna. “Well, if it isn’t you again.” Sarah shook her head as she finished stirring, putting a few marshmallows into the warm drink to allow them to melt. She slid over to the counter and put the drink in front of Luna, the cup twice as large as usual.
Luna’s eyes widened and she began to jump up and down in joy at seeing Sarah start to make the hot chocolate for her. It always marveled her how it was made, due to not being able to have the fun of making sweets and warm, sweet beverages at home. Instead, she usually got just. . . water and occasionally milk, with some bread as a treat.
Although. . . as a kid, unlike Luna, Leo had gotten hot chocolate and sweets. Luna was the mistake; the one that her parents didn’t mean to have. As a result of that incident, Luna had become the burden. The maid, the Cinderella of the family. . . but ten times worse.
Thinking about it a little, she became aware of her outfit and how much it exposed her. She pulled down her skirt a little bit to hide her bruises and made sure her sleeves were over her hands to hide the cuts and bruises from glass and the other horrible things done to her within the past few days.
Her eyes clouded up a little and Leo looked down at her, watching her fuss with her clothes and knowing what she was thinking about. His smile turned into a frown and he put a hand to her back, rubbing it gently. She quickly tensed up and moved a step away from him. He just sighed and didn’t do more about it, knowing she needed her space.
When the man, looking frail and very sickly came out from the back very slowly, her depressed expression soon came to an end at the sight of him.
“Papa!” She exclaimed, a smile spreading across her face. The man wasn’t really her grandfather, but her visits have formed that bond with him, a special bond she hadn’t had with anyone else before. Except of course Leo and Sarah. Luna took a step to go to him, to hug him tightly and lovingly, but stopped herself and glanced at Sarah.
“Can I-?” She started to ask, biting her lip. Luna saw a glance at the huge glass of hot chocolate- she would worry about that later. All she cared about was Papa.
Sarah couldn’t help but smile a little as she rolled her eyes playfully.