What They Do Not Know
No light, but rather, darkness visible.
-Milton, Paradise Lost, 1
He does not know it yet, but in two days, she will walk out of his life forever. He will look everywhere for her- in her favourite bookstore, the cafe that she always stops by in the mornings for a cuppa, even her best friend's house... but she is gone. In two days, he will wonder if the whole thing is his fault.
Because it is.
She does not know it yet, but in two days, when she's boarding a train to take her anywhere (her ticket says Frankfurt, but she won't conform), away from her life, from her parents, from him, she will feel the dull ache that burns in her heart that tells her she misses him. In two days, she will cry, brush away the tears that stain her jacket, then look out the window and dream of something better.
Because nothing she's ever gone through ever is.
He does not know it yet, but in five days, he will quit his job. He will be caught running for the seven fifteen train that takes him to London. Out of habit, he will finger his right earlobe, touch the brim of his hat to every woman he passes by, all the while holding a styrofoam cup of mocha latte- her favourite. He buys it to remind himself of her.
As if he needed anymore reminders.
She does not know it yet, but in five days, she will arrive in London. She has twenty four dollars plus a couple of hundred in her bank account, but she knows it isn't enough to sustain her in the city. So, while she bunks in with an old accquaintence for the night, she goes out looking for a job. She passes by a cafe that reminds her of the one back home, where she worked for a while after high school to pay off some bills, and she is reminded of the times he always helped her out when she was low on cash. She passes by it, ignoring the HELP WANTED sign.
As if she needed anymore reminders.
He does not know it yet, but in a week, he will be lying on a hotel bed, staring at the ceiling with his hands entwined on his abdomen. His eyes occasionally drift shut, but he is unable to rest well. He finds the littlest things disturb him because they remind him so much of her that he cannot possibly shake it off. His eyes are dark circles, his hair is messy. He has lost two hats so far, because he's been leaving them in inordinate places like the library desk or a cafe seat next to his. He finds that it does not matter much to him.
He wonders, as his eyes shut for the final time, if she is thinking about him the way he thinks about her too.
She does not know it yet, but in a week, she will be scrubbing dirty dishes in murky water before transfering them to the brackish soap water set before her. She is greasy and full of stains, her hair is messy, and her fingers sore and wrinkled. She wishes she had taken the job as a barista in that cafe, but she cannot bring herself to. The smell of coffee, the waft of creamer, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon... they all remind her of him. She carefully balances plates atop each other, feeling the skin on her fingers tighten in protest. It does not, however, hurt the way her heart does.
She wonders, and her eyes close while leaning to rest against the stove, if he is thinking about her the way she thinks about him too.
He does not know it yet, but in a week and a half, he will run out of clothes to wear, and be forced to utelise the hotel's laundry service. He insists on doing the load himself, even though he's never touched a single washing machine in his life, and while he seperates the whites from the darks, he picks up his jeans and finds a small note from her. It is not much, simply a reminder to get the milk. She'd pinned it neatly to the clipboard in the kitchen of their shared apartment, and he'd taken it down and placed it in his pocket, forgetting about it until now. He stares at the small paper, his eyes following the way her 'l's loop and her 'i's are doted with little hearts.
His own heart breaks in turn.
She does not know it yet, but in a week and a half, she will be asked out by a co-worker, the kitchen boy, who takes out the garbage and takes in the delivery orders. She politely refuses. She tells herself that it is not because of him, that it is not because she is still in love with him even though she is. She takes her lunch break in a quiet corner at the back alley behind the kitchen, digging in her pocket for money but, instead, finding a folded napkin from Starbucks. He had written a short poem for her, and she cannot repress the smile that comes to her face. He'd rhymed love with stove, and heart with apart. It is as though he knows, somehow, that she would run away, find employment with a kitchen, and where they will be forced apart.
Her heart breaks because she knows it is all her fault.
He does not know it yet, but in two weeks, he is halfway close to giving up his search for her. But he's fallen in love with the city, the people, and he's even settled into a routine. Breakfast at the cafe below his hotel, then walking along the shophouses nearby, half heartedly wondering if, maybe, she wasn't really in London, before heading to the hotel lobby to listen as the pianist plays Bach and Motzart. Lunch will always be room service. He will lock himself in, watch tv, before taking the hour long shower with the amazing bath salts the hotel provides.
He feels guilty knowing she would've enjoyed them too.
She does not know it yet, but in two weeks, she is halfway close to quitting her job. Her fingertips are so wrinkled and worn that they feel like they are splitting at the edges. But she does not say a word, simply pulls on rubber gloves, sits down, grabbing plate after plate and just simply washing them robotically. A lock of brown hair falls into her eyes, but she brushes it away. She feels homesick, London-sick, and heartsick.
She feels guilty knowing that she made it this way.
He does not know it yet, but in two and a half weeks, he will bump into an old friend, Heath, one whom he hasn't seen in ages. The two are just in time for lunch, and they quickly settle into a restuarant just off the corner of Branksome. Heath is an old theatre enthusiast who had won a scholarship to Julliard years back, and they hadn't seen each other since. And while Heath tells him all about what's been happening, how he'd moved to London just a year ago, he lets his mind wander just a little.
This is about when he gets his food and the biggest shock of his life.
She does not know it yet, but in two and a half weeks, the kitchen she works for will be short handed. They need waitresses, they need cooks, they need all the help they can get. So she's chosen as a waitress. Instead of cleaning plates, she now clears them, serves the appetisers and soups. She is no longer caked in dirt and grime, but now, she is furnished with make up and pretty bows and all the trimmings. She feels wonderful.
This is about when she serves her first soup of the day and gets the biggest shock of her life.
"Gabriella?" His blue eyes are wide, rounded, staring blankly at her. His heart hammers in his chest. She holds the soup in mid-air while he holds his breath.
Her single nod is more than he can take right now.
She is silent. He's tried to look for me. She thinks. He cares. He must care. She is reasoning all sorts of things in her mind. She notes that his eyes are dark-circled.
He stands up, which is more than she can take right now.
He's forgotten about Heath, but it doesn't matter now. Gently, he takes the soup, places it on the table. Their fingers brush contact. He turns to say something, but she's off and running into the set of double oak doors across the dining hall.
Head spinning, he hurriedly follows suit.
She's breathing hard. Her chest is constricting with the ache of her heart. She wants to leave. She does not want to see him. She does not know what to do. She glances up. Tommaso, the chef, who is mulling over a pan of antipasto is sighing in dispair.
Head spinning, she next sigh readily follows suit.
His dramatic burst into the kitchen is greeted by the stunned faces of LeMarc's chefs. The previous hum and buzz of the typical functionary kitchen is lost as they pause in their chopping, slicing, simmering and garnishing. He spots her in an instant because of her dark curls spilling over her shoulders amid all the platinum blondes.
He advances in sheer determination.
She doesn't need to hear the silence the eminates the whole kitchen to know that he is here. She assumes she is the only one who isn't looking or staring at him. She catches a whiff of his cologne. Her heart pounds in her chest.
She can feel his long strides even before they hit the floor.
He is tired. His heart is aching. He feels like he could collapse to the floor. But she is before him, just within arms' reach. He touches her shoulder, expecting her to turn.
The only thing he can comprehend is when she turns, her face is unnaturally forlorn.
She stares at his face, at the dark circles, at the dry, chapped lips. Her eyes gleam with saline.But she does not speak.
The kitchen's mystified stares have ceased. They are back to work. Shouts of 'oui chef' are heard as each order is read out.
The head chef, Porter, has re-entered the vicinity of the kitchen. He spots the same girl with the long, dark hair in a mess of curls, who was, unorthodoxly, unconventionally, un-Europeanly pretty, to whom he had given the position of waitress just earlier this morning because they'd been shorthanded.
His eyes blaze. Nobody slacked off at LeMarc's. He stalks toward the girl, who is facing a blonde man about half his age. His lips curl.
"What are you doing?" He snarls in French. The girl visibly stiffens, her eyes wide. He tosses a dirty towel at her. "Get back to work!"
The next thing he knows, the blonde man's punched him in the face, and he is lying on the floor, numb.
He is grabbing her and pulling her out of the restuarant. She wonders.
She is silent while he pushes her into a taxi and mutters something to the driver. He fumes.
--He must care. She thinks.
--That guy had no right! He jealously debates.
Downing another glass of wine, Heath sighs and checks his watch.
She is scared because they drop off at the hotel he stays at and he still isn't saying a word.
The doors swish open. The guard eyes them suspiciously.
She follows him in. Stares at the pack of cigarettes on the table.
He watches her sit on the bed.
She looks up.
He sighs in frustrated relief, before cupping her face and crushing her lips against his in a heated display of anger and wanting.
Gabriella surrenders to Ryan's kisses. Before her back fully relaxes against the satin sheets of the hotel bed, she's been touched all over by his wonderfully skilled fingers. Passionate pleas ring out from their room as their clothes lay abandoned, kicked and tossed aside while they succumb to weeks of sexual tension.
The world around them spins dizzily with colours.
Ryan and Gabriella didn't know it yet, but in twenty nine days from Thursday, their last night alone in the executive suit of the Veniezien would be the tipping point for a passionate affair to begin.
But backtrack twenty nine days, and they are completely oblivious. They are just friends. She's moved in a couple of weeks ago because Troy bummed her out. A lot's been on her mind. She is strangely attracted to the blonde boy she'd went through high school with. But he doesn't seem to love her back. All he ever seems to want to do is work.
She contemplates leaving because Ryan doesn't ever seem to notice her. He doesn't ever seem to need her the way she needs him, and she hates feeling like a burden to him. He never lets her pay for anything, always does the cleaning, the dishes, and, occasionally, the cooking.
So she leaves. One day. Just out of the blue. She pretends that it's to sort out her mind, take a good long look at life, and escape the stress of everyday work. But really, she just wants to get away from the man who doesn't love her the way she loves him.
Ryan doesn't know it yet, but in two days, Gabriella Montez will walk out of his life forever.
So he drinks his coffee as usual, with two teaspoons of creamer and scans the daily newspaper for the comics section, while the girl who sits on the opposite side of the table with her own cup of coffee contemplates the idea of running away.
Ryan Evans doesn't know, but in two days, he will be left wondering if this is all his fault.
Because it is.
A/N: TOMORROW IS MY LAST PAPER(:
So why am I not studying?
Because studying is for chumps like muggers.
And I am certainly not a mugger.
Hoped you liked this little oneshot. I don't even know where it evaporated from. Grammatical or spelling mistakes may occur. I apologise.