Hey, Little Songbird

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when poverty

Ophelia put her makeup on. She sighed, and put on some heels.

She got a cab to a club. She needed a little relaxing time. Plus she'd just gotten paid.

She headed to the club, paying the cab driver. She looked around the club. Definitely not as classy as the Mines but...

She sat down at the bar. The man beside her smiled.

"Hello."

"Hi," she smiled back. He was attractive in a conventional way. Not outerwordly like him.

Not Godlike like him.

She looked down.

"I'm Thomas."
"Ophelia."

He extended his hand. She shook it. "Nice to meet you."

She sipped her drink quietly. She felt the eyes on her. A few of the men. They looked at her like she was food.

They wanted her.

"If he wanted me, like they did," she snorted. "They look at me. But all I see is him. It's kinda pathetic."

"Love troubles?" Thomas asked.

She smiled ruefully. "Lack Of it more like."

"Same. I have a person I want to be with. She's cute and eats too much, and sleeps wherever, and...I really like her,"

"She sounds fun," Ophelia smiled.

Thomas nodded. "She is. And I'm a little older than her."

"How much?"

"She's 19. I'm 25."

Ophelia shrugged her shoulders. "That's not ba—"

"I'm her teacher," he frowned.

Ophelia looked away sucking in a breath through her teeth. "Oh shit."

"Yeah. I can't...have a relationship with her. It's not equal. It's not right. But I...want to hug her. And kiss her. And I can't help it. So what do I do?"

Thomas snorted. "She can't even come here. She's not even old enough to drink this."

Ophelia felt better. At least someone was having it slightly worse than she was.

"It does suck. Why not just...I dunno wait till she's out of your class?"

"I have her another year. And she wants me to tutor her after class because she needs to keep up an average for her scholarship," he sighed. "I agreed because she begged me to."

"And?" Ophelia asked.

"And?" Thomas remarked. "And I have to be alone with her. She smells like flowers, and she's always touching me."

"Tell her don't touch you," Ophelia suggested.

"I do. I tell her that all that time. And she just says, but you're my favorite teacher, Professor. You're my favorite person!" He knocked back another drink.

"She's too cute for her own good honestly. But enough about my woes, tell me about yours."

Ophelia sipped her own drink. "He's...a god."

"Sorry?" Thomas snorted.

"At least he looks and acts like one. Graceful. Stern. Very by the rules," she snorted. "His favorite phrase? Very inappropriate."

Thomas looked away. "Sounds like a fun guy."

"Oh he's not. No he's very business oriented. And he doesn't like doing things against the book. But...sometimes he can be fun."

"So why aren't you with him?"

"Oh, I chased him down. Tried to seduce him. Stayed at his house. I tried everything. And he wouldn't look at me twice. I decided I needed to keep some of my dignity, yknow?"

"I know what you mean. Did he say he was uninterested?"

"He said he didn't want what I want. I'm a greedy woman. Shameless. I wanted him. I want all or nothing." She raised her cup to her mouth.

Thomas looked at his phone. "She's texting me."

Ophelia took his phone.

Professor, I forgot about the lesson already. Please, can you tutor me after class one more extra day?

Ophelia shook her head. "She's either very naive or she's flirting."

"I don't know which either," Thomas grumbled.

Ophelia's phone dinged. "Oh it's my god."

Thomas frowned, taking her phone.

Are you coming into work, Songbird?

"Does he always text like that?" Thomas asked. "Full, grammatically correct sentences?"

"Yes," she said simply.

"Pfft. Even I don't talk like that and I'm a history professor," he chuckled.

"Songbird. Is that what he calls you?" Thomas asked.

"Yes. But sometimes he calls me a greedy cat. And I like that too."

Thomas shook his head. "So weird."

"And what do you call your student?" Ophelia elbowed him.

Thomas blushed. "W-What do you mean? Her name, of course."

"Oh come on. Maybe you've never said it outloud, but you have one in your head." She egged him on.

His cheeks heated.

"B-bunny." He said into his drink. "She's very expressive, and her nose scrunches a lot. Plus she has big dark eyes. So I started calling her bunny in my mind. Sometimes Bun."

"Oh that's so freakin cute!" She squealed.

Thomas flinched. "I guess. But until I'm not her teacher it's not appropriate that I be with her."

Ophelia sighed. "To love sucking," she raised her glass.

He clinked it. "To love sucking."

• • •

Adrian sighed another paper.

"Sir,"

He looked up. "Yes?"

"The building you requested I check out. The pipes are leaky."

"Leaky pipes?" He remarked. "Oh. Well, that's very unhealthy. It seems we'll have to shut the complex down, for the safety of the tenants," he said quietly.

"Not necessarily sir. If we could just—"

"Evacuate the tenants," Adrian told him. "And apartment 203, direct her to a particular hotel."

"Yes sir."

Adrian looked at his phone. He'd texted her. She didn't text back.

She always texted back.

Tch. How troublesome.

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