See Me Now
“What about him?” Mari asked, pointing at a guy with dark brown hair who was looking at his phone as he passed by the bench we were seated.
I shook my head. “Definitely not, too short for my liking.”
“If he lifted his head it might add up a bit.” She sipped her cappuccino, her eyes pierced for her next prey. At some point we started doing this. I hardly remembered why, but it was enjoyable none the less. “Oh, and that ginger, he looks like an interesting fellow.”
I giggled, brushing my lower lip against the lid of my hot chocolate container. “Let’s just assume his hair and freckles are the only things interesting about him. Too ordinary if you ask me.”
Mari nudged my shoulder. “Exactly! The perfect match for you.”
I nudged her back, shaking my head. “I’m anything but ordinary, mind you.”
“And him?” She nodded her head at a man with long, black hair, tied back with a bow. He wore an expensive looking suit which fitted him particularly well. “He’s hot.”
“Can’t disagree, though he could get rid of that bow.” I crinkled my nose. “Who even wears that in this century.”
Mari suddenly stood. “I’m going over to him, anything you’d like me to say?”
“What? No, you got a boyfriend,” I said, grabbing her sleeve.
She took my hand, pulling me off the bench. “I was planning to introduce him to you, but since you’re so eager to go yourself who am I to stop you?”
“Mari,” I sighed, pulling my hand back and wrapping it around my cup. “You know it won’t work.”
“Maybe this guy is different,” she urged, her eyes pleading me to give it a go. “You never know till you tried.”
Knowing there was no changing her mind, I followed behind her. I kept my eyes on the ground, ready for the disappointment. Mari had good intentions, but she easily forgot just how painful it was for me to get my hopes up only to have them crushed again. I tried to harden myself in the few steps it took to get to the man with the ponytail. Though, it was something I simply could never get used to.
“Excuse me, sir?” Mari said, taking a hold of my arm. The man looked down at Mari from where he was leaning against a wall, seemingly waiting for someone. “My sister is a bit shy but she wondered if you’d perhaps be interested in a drink?”
“Your sister?” he asked, drawing his brow together. “Where is she? I’d like to see what I agree to.”
My heart sank, though I wasn’t surprised. Mari squeezed my arm, encouraging me to speak, even if I didn’t want to. “I’m right here, my name is Darcey.”
I dared to meet his eyes, but they looked right through me. “Ah, I didn’t see you there.”
“It happens more often then not,” I said, smiling weakly. As usual, his attention went back to my sister.
“I’m sorry, who was it you said requested a drink with me?” The worst part was that the question was genuine. That was the part that hurt the most, being forgotten that easily, even the mention of me. Getting used to that was impossible.
“Let’s just go, Mari,” I whispered, already pulling at her arm. “I want to go home.”
“Sorry I’m late,” a male voice interrupted. I looked up, seeing a man approach up. He smiled at the guy with the ponytail, slapping his hand on his shoulder. However, mister ponytail could only glare at the blond. “I said I’m sorry, calm down.”
“We’re already twenty minutes late,” he almost growled, his arms crossed.
“Okay, okay, let’s go then.” They both turned to leave, but before they did the blond glanced over his shoulder. “Please excuse us, ladies.”
I blinked at the man, believing I might have misheard him. I must have. Looking over at Mari, it only confirmed it. She seemed too annoyed by their behavior for that sentence to have been real. Still, blood rushed to my cheeks, heating them despite the cold.
“Can you believe it?” Mari’s ranting broke through my thoughts, snapping me back to reality. “So rude, he didn’t even say goodbye. That other guy had to do it for him, doesn’t he have any manners?”
“Mari, let’s go home,” I said, taking the final sip of my hot chocolate before throwing the container in the bin. “I’m getting cold.”
“Fine.” She huffed, throwing away her container as well before swinging her arm around my shoulder. “Let’s just forget about those idiots, they’re not worth your time.”
“Yeah.” Unconsciously, a smile crawled across my lips. For some reason, I doubted I would ever forget the encounter. Something about that blond man seemed familiar, and as stupid as it might be to get my hopes up, I wanted to believe I heard his words right.
Showered and changed into some comfy clothes, I emerged from the bathroom. I did my best to dry my dark, wet hair with a towel as I went to sit on the couch. Dillan should be here any minute for dinner. Not that it meant anything. What I looked like or did would go unnoticed by him anyways.
I took the remote from the coffee table, turning on the tv. Zapping through the channels, I stopped when the face of that blond man appeared. I set down the remote, leaning forward in my seat.
“Shawn Clifton, the fast-rising star, has reached the top chard in the music industry within one week of his debut. Many are baffled but if you look at his growing fanbase his success is no surprise.” They showed multiple photos of this Shawn guy. Most of the pictures were of him looking straight into the camera, his prominent green eyes the center of attention. Though, the last picture they showed was him with a blindfold on. He wasn’t smiling, nor was his posture one of excitement. His shoulders were hunched and his head held low, his arms tightly holding him. “His first album, See Me Now, was hyped over so much, critics thought it could only disappoint, which was far from the case. So far his song Rest has been the most popular with over ten thousand views on the music video within the first twenty minutes. Close behind are Attentiveness and Lost Eyes…”
“Wasn’t that the guy from earlier today?” Mari said, leaning against the back of the couch.
“I think so,” I mumbled. “It sure looks like him.”
“Cool, we met a celebrity, not everyone can say that.” She turned away again to check on the dinner she was preparing. I stood from the couch, following behind her to sit on one of the bar stools to watch her.
“Do you remember what he said before they left?” I asked, biting my lip.
Mari grabbed a spoon and started to stir the content inside the pan. Whatever it was it smelled amazing. “Excuse me or something? I don’t really remember, I was kind of distracted by my anger for the ponytail guy. Why, was it something mean?”
I shook my head. “No, it was just… never mind.”
“Now you have to tell me.” She put a lid on one of the pods and turned to face me, her arms crossed. “What did he say?”
“He said ladies.” I kept my eyes on my fiddling hands. It was a long shot, I knew that. Perhaps there had been someone behind us or something. “It’s stupid, forget about it.”
“Darcey,” Mari said, slamming her hands on the bar, “do you know what this means?”
“Yes, but I might have just misheard it.” Maybe telling her had been a bad idea. Her slight obsession with the curse was starting to get worse by the day, and this wasn’t helping. Though, if I could convince her I found someone and moved in with them startling like this wouldn’t be that bad an idea. Yes, perhaps this wasn’t such a bad thing. It might have been a sign to finally set my plan in action. “You know what, I’m pretty sure I heard it right.”
“Then we have to go find him,” Mari said determent, already halfway to the door before I grabbed her arm.
“Easy there, even celebs need to eat, I bet he isn’t even close by right now.” I pulled her back to the kitchen, setting her in front of the stove. “We’ll go look for him tomorrow, okay?”
“But I have work tomorrow.” I smiled to myself, aware of her work schedule. “I can call in sick-“
“Sorry, I forgot, but there is no need for that, I can look for him myself,” I suggested, opening the cupboard to grab some plates.
“You really have to go look for him, you hear me?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, mom.”
“I mean it.” She waved her wooden spoon at me. “I’m not letting you back into the apartment until I’m back from work.”
Setting down the last plate, I groaned. It was her way of assuring I still went outside when she was at work. Knowing me, she didn’t trust I would go outside on my own, especially not with this weather. Even if I stayed at a coffee shop all day she was fine with it, as long as I was surrounded by people. Just in case she always said.
“I’m not a kid, you know. You can trust me.”
Mari laughed. “Who are you trying to convince?”
“But what if I freeze to death?” I asked, not giving her the satisfaction of admitting she was right. Going back to the cupboard I took out three glasses.
“Please, you could go into someone’s home unnoticed if you want to, so don’t give me that crap.”
I huffed in annoyance. “I hate you.”
“I know, love you too,” she said, pinching my cheek when I went to grab the cutlery. I stuck out my tongue, which she, in turn, slapped with a spoon.
Before I could voice my pain the doorbell rang. Mari’s eyes lit up as a bright grin spread across her face. Mine faded as she made her way to the door. Dillan was here, and I wanted to be anywhere but here. Dinner always went the same whenever he was over. Mari would try to talk with me and involve Dillan or the other way around, but only when I talked to him personally did he listen. The moment he looked away he would think it was just a dinner date with both of them. It hardly surprised me when he actually tried to make a move on her right in front of me. The number of apologies I got thrown my way I already stopped to acknowledge.
“Are we expecting someone else?” Dillan asked as soon as he noticed the third plate. He even had the decency to look slightly disappointed. That was my cue to leave, if only Mari would let me.
“I told you, my sister is eating with us, like always,” she tried to explain, but it was all in vain.
“I didn’t know you had a sister.”
There it was, like with every dinner he came over. Sighing, I decided I wasn’t that hungry after all. I could eat later when Dillan had left. Having to introduce yourself seven times in one evening wasn’t fun for him either. Mari had to get used to it anyways, it would do all of us a favor.
“I’ll be in my room,” I said to Mari, already taking my leave. “Not feeling so well.”
“Darcey, wait-“ she called but I had already shut my door behind me. I let out a long breath as I walked over to my bed. It shouldn’t take them that long to eat. They’d watch tv right after, which was when I would sneak some food to my room. I actually wasn’t feeling that hungry.
Grabbing my laptop, I opened Youtube and typed in Shawn Clifton. While I had some time to kill I might as well look up this Shawn person. I put in my earbuds and clicked on the first song that was suggested; Rest.