It’s incredibly exhausting. Well only for the other employees, for me it’s a day like no other. Maybe it’s because I like working.
“Do you think he’s hot?” The sudden question brought me back into reality. I look at Olivia, my fellow co-worker, confused. She then points at a guy who just sat down by the window. “So?”
Olivia looks at me shocked. “He’s alright. Is that all you have to say?”
I shrug my shoulders. “I guess.”
Walking behind me, Olivia pushes me a little in the direction where the man is. “You can take his order.” She smiles before returning to the counter.
I make my way to the guy, squeezing through some people and chairs, and reaching into the pocket of my apron, I take out a notepad and pen.
When the man noticed me, I gave him a fake smile. “What can I get you?”
Looking at my face, the man’s eyes sparkled with joy. “Is that you Indra?”
Who is this man and how does he know my name?
“Do I know you?” I ask. If he does anything weird, I yell.
“It’s me. Ash.” - Ash?- “Well I guess you used to know me as Alice.”
My eyes widened in shock. Alice? My childhood friend? I haven’t seen them in so long. I guess they came out of the closet about what gender they are.
Ash stands up and wraps his arms around me, pulling me close. Their smell is sweet and satisfying.
When they let go, I got a better view of them now; Ash’s half shaved hair is a dark brown with a few strands dyed red. They are wearing a white button shirt with grey dress pants and leather shoes. Over their shirt, they are wearing a dark blue suit vest with a blue tie.
Wait a moment, I was meant to be taking his order.
Bring my notepad and pen back up, I get ready to write his order. “Anyway, what are you ordering?”
“Cappuccino, please.” Ash smiles at me with closed eyes. “Also, an Indra Miracle.”
Before I could tell him I’m a bit busy, Olivia interrupts. “Yep! You can have an Indra. I will bring your cappuccino in a second.” I guess she was listening to our conversation.
Olivia walks away, her ponytail bouncing behind her.
“You wanna take a seat?” Asks Ash.
“Sure.” As soon as I sat down, Olivia had already brought the cappuccino over for Ash.
“If you need anything else, just call me over.”
When she left, Ash turned to face me, laughing a bit. I guess he likes her bubbly personality. “So Ash, what have you been up to?” I asked.
Lifting his drink to his lips, he replies. “Teaching English at the university. My turn, how have you been? Got a boyfriend? Or girlfriend?”
I wave my hand in front of my face. “Oh no. I’m still single.” Didn’t expect that sort of question.
“How’s your sister?” Ava is the younger sibling of Ash. We three were inseparable as kids, until I had to move to France for a few years.
Ash places his cup down. “She’s fine. Ava is actually an actor for the Starlight Theatre.”
“Good for her.”
I don’t know how long we have been talking, but it was time for Ash to get back to the university. We exchanged numbers so we could hang out some other time. It has been so long, I’m glad I got to see him again.
“What are you smiling about?” I look behind me to see Olivia leaning against the counter with that mischievous smile. “So how do you two know each other?”
I continue mopping up a mess from earlier as I explain how me and Ash were childhood friends. Olivia thought it was adorable.
“When’s the date?” I’m pretty sure my face is red after hearing the word ‘date’.
“D-date?! What date? Ha ha.?” Oh great, I panicked.
Olivia rolls her eyes. “It’s obvious that you like him. The way you act around him is proof enough.”
“It can’t be that obvious.” Olivia only stares at me. “Ok, maybe I do feel something.”
Olivia giggles. “Well when you do have your date, call me and I will help you get ready.”
The day continued on as normal until I was allowed to leave. I live in an apartment complex not too far from the cafe. It’s very modern and follows all health care codes. The people that live there are very friendly. Well except the lady that lives across from me, she always gives me the stink eye.
Before I could enter the plant covered building, someone stopped me. “Are you Indra Miracle?” A woman in a short black dress asks.
“That depends. Who’s asking?” I cautiously watched her movements as she got closer to me. Her blonde curls reflecting the sunlight.
“Natasha. Natasha Clarke.” Her voice was euphonious. She lifts a hand for me to shake.
She definitely isn’t a normal one; the power radiating from her says it all.
“Nice to meet you Natasha.” I take her hand, but let go quickly. My hand has a few small scratches on it. “I feel sorry for anyone else who takes your hand.”
She is trying to see the level of my strength.
Natasha smiles cheerfully and innocently. “Sorry. Please don’t take offence.”
I smile back. “No real harm done. So, why are you looking for me?”
Her eyes widened, remembering the reason why she was here. Natasha takes out a small card from her purse and passes it to me. “Here. My boss would really appreciate it if you came.”
I examine the card:
You are invited to the opening night of Night Owl by the owner himself.
The address and time is written on the back of this card.
Give the bouncer the passphrase - Fyodora.
Looking back back up, after reading the card twice, I see that Natasha has left. “Why is the past showing up now? Today is really a red letter day.” I sigh before going up to my apartment.
Upon opening my door, the door behind me opens. Oh great.
Her voice is high pitched and very annoying. Miss O’Brian stands behind me with a scowl. “I heard the scratching. I know I’m not imagining it, I recorded it.”
“Please Miss O’Brian, I am exhausted from today’s work. Let’s do this another time.” That was a lie.
Just as she was about to argue back, I immediately went into my apartment and slammed the door on her. She’s right though, I have made a mess of my apartment.
Looking around the room, I see large claw marks on the walls and furniture. I knew that my sudden transformation was triggered by his arrival. I need a cold shower to help me think about this situation.
I head over to the bathroom beside my bedroom. Quickly stripping out of my clothes, I hop into the shower. My eyes closed as a thousand thoughts ran through my mind.
What could he be plotting? Why contact me now? After all these years? He is also opening a club now. What to do?
My thoughts begin to drift away from the threat and to someone dear to me: Ash.
I guess one good thing happened today and that was Ash. We used to be so close, I would share everything with them. I’m glad we will soon be able to spend time together.
I turned the shower off and stepped out, while grabbing a towel from the side. I look at the large mirror above the sink and see that I have forgotten to remove my contacts.
Brushing my jet black hair back, I remove the brown contacts to reveal my golden iris’.
If it wasn’t obvious before, I am not human. I am a Nighted, a monster that can change its shape after eating the soul of a person or animal. My kind have existed for generations and we have been hiding in plain sight.
There have been no movements until now.
The First is here in Emacity and he’s opening a club.
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