Mystery is the basic element of all works of art.Luis Bunuel
Downtown San Myshuno Skyline Bar
Everett sat hunched over his third beer at the bar, trying to drown the pain of the rough break-up with Cordelia some weeks ago, when someone slid onto the barstool next to him. Without turning his head, Rett could tell it was a female, making him frown. Last thing he needed now. Hopefully she kept to herself and didn’t try talking to – or worse – hitting on him.
“Hi Rett, thought it was you. Long time no see.” she now said.
Everett grimaced turning his head to her briefly. A fan. Crap! Not in the mood for that.
“Yeah, time sure flies …” he growled into his next sip of beer without looking at her, hoping she’d get the message and leave him be.
“Sorry about Cordelia. I just heard …”
Her last sentence made him almost spit out his drink, then turn his head towards her. She was staring at nothing in front of her, looking like she wasn’t having the time of her life either, but he didn’t recognize the young woman with the blonde curls.
“Sorry, what was that?!” he asked, thinking the crash landing of his relationship may have him hear things.
Before she could answer the bartender interrupted.
“Sorry, but did you not hear them call you out? You’re up next!”
“Oh crap! Thanks!” she said and hurried away.
Without another look at Rett she left.
“Who was that?” Rett asked the barkeeper, but only got a shrug and a headshake from him.
“Yeah kid, as if. Do I look like Match.com to ya? Some singer, or trying to be. Like all the others. Nobody can remember all the names.” was the short response.
Singer? Whom did he know that also performed? Not a damn soul, except his grandpa.
Shaking his head to himself he resumed his position hunched over his beer at the bar, but when she started singing it caught his attention, so he turned around to watch her. It was obvious she was an amateur, but her voice was solid. Interesting … he went through his mental list of girls, but came up with nothing.
His interest now piqued, he had to get to the bottom of it all. Once she’d get off stage and return to the bar he’d buy her a drink and feel her out, but instead after she finished her last song to the sound of a handful of people clapping, he noticed her head towards the exit. Downing the rest of his beer he jumped up and followed her.
“Hey … wait!” he called after her.
“No thanks, not interested. Bye!” She turned her head briefly, then back away and continued walking.
“That wasn’t half bad in there.” Rett said as he caught up to her.
“Thanks. I could tell by the standing ovations you gave.”
“Well, as you already seem to know, I am not exactly in the mood for overly positive reactions at the moment. Say, how did you know about Cordelia?”
The girl’s eyebrows went up, then amusement flashed across her face.
“Aww, you have no idea who I am! That’s insanely funny. Love it!” she giggled and continued walking.
Everett hesitated, then followed her, he just couldn’t help it.
“Did we meet at U-Brite?”
“Nope. Never went to Britchester.”
“Ah, Foxbury campus then when I went to visit my brother?”
“I do know Declan, but not from college.”
“You’re Cordelia’s friend.”
“Her roommate Ashleigh’s friend?”
“Uh – also no! Getting colder. Man, you are really senile.”
“Come on, just tell me already.”
“No, I don’t think I will. This is WAY too much fun.”
“Speaking of fun … did you and I … did we ever like … uh … hook up?”
“Can I walk you home?”
“Depends on how fast a walker you are, you’d have to keep up with the express bus.”
“Bus? Who still takes the bus? Where is home?”
“Man, what’s with the twenty questions? Evergreen Harbor, and people who cannot afford a car, obviously.”
“Well, I got a car. Can I drive you home?”
“No. You can leave me alone now though. I am not interested in whatever you are probably thinking now. In other words, I have pepper spray.”
“Jeeze! Just trying to be nice here.”
“Yeah, you’ve been plenty nice. Go be nice somewhere else now.”
“Obnoxious much?! Take a hint.”
“Fine, then get murdered and raped and mugged for all I care.”
“Yeah, as if! I managed to get through life so far without protection from the great Everett Cameron, pretty sure I can handle getting home yet again today. I do it a LOT.”
“Bitch!” Everett growled as he turned and walked away.
“Arrogant asshole!” he heard her voice echo in his wake.
Whoever she was, however they had known each other, it had probably not ended too well.
Evergreen Harbor Town Square
It took two days until he found himself wandering through Evergreen Harbor. He had never been here and wasn’t familiar with the area at all, it seemed pretty boring and like an unloved step-child to Newcrest. Definitely a lot bigger than he thought it would be.
When he was trying to pull up a map on his phone, trying to decipher it, he heard a familiar voice behind him, just before a familiar face appeared.
“So it IS you! I thought I had a waking nightmare, or maybe you are just another pile of trash, but then again, how many trash piles reflect bright red like that hair of yours?! Are you stalking me now?!”
Everett snorted a dismissive laugh.
“Don’t flatter yourself. Just was looking for something and got lost. How was I to know you live here?”
“I literally told you two days ago.”
“That was some beers in. I was glad I remembered my own name that day.”
“So you offered to drive me home while lit? You’re a real winner.”
“Ok, I wasn’t that drunk! Just didn’t pay attention to what you said about where you lived. Why would I care anyway? Why are you stalking me? Or do you hit on every man you meet on the streets hoping one will finally see past the bitchiness and bite?”
“You are so full of yourself! Whatever.” she walked off, naturally Everett followed her.
“Ok, fine, maybe I did pay attention and maybe it’s not so accidental that I am here. Just tell me already how we know each other.”
“Why? Evidently I wasn’t so memorable the first time around, why bother? And quit following me! I am not your mommy. Go away.”
“Give me a hint.”
“Will you stop following me and leave me alone then?”
“Fine. Your hint is ‘music’. Bye now.” she walked off again.
“Wait … that doesn’t help. So are you like a fan or something?” Everett continued after her.
“Nope. And this is where we part ways. Bye Rett!”
“Do you live here?”
“What gave it away, the fact that I am standing in front of a flight of stairs with a key in my hand, you genius?”
“Can I use your bathroom?”
“Please! It’s urgent, my bladder is about to explode. Come on, have a heart.”
“You don’t really think I let random strangers into my apartment?”
“Except I am neither random nor a stranger to you, right? You seem to know me quite well. Please, it’s kinda getting urgent.”
“Give me a million breaks! Fine, I don’t want to be responsible for you soiling your pants in public. All right Cameron, come on up. But as soon as you peed, you’ll leave!”
He followed her up the stairs and into her apartment.
“Bathroom’s through there.” she pointed at a door, when another girl joined them from the kitchen.
“Ooh la la, yummy! Who’s that?” she smiled.
“Nobody.” the mystery girl told her, accompanied by a certain look.
“Hellooo nobody …” she purred, then giggled flirtatiously.
Rett smiled, but stopped when he realized the mystery girl wasn’t amused.
“Oh my Gawd. Mariko, please stop and you Rett go PEE AND LEAVE as we agreed!” the mystery girl told him angrily.
“How do I know you?!” he mumbled to himself after shutting the bathroom door behind himself.
He didn’t have to go to the bathroom at all, was just trying to buy himself some time. Admittedly, he was intrigued, and just HAD TO figure out who that girl was. Could well be a fan. While he never publicly spoke about his relationships, it wasn’t too hard for fans to figure it out, as he never exactly had tried to hide anything either. Especially not after he got back with Cordelia the second time around two years ago. But somehow she just didn’t seem like a fan. For the life of himself he could not recall ever dating a girl like her. He flushed the toilet, then left and found mystery girl in the kitchen.
“Where is your friend?” he asked, leaning in the doorway, looking her over. Nope, it didn’t ring a single bell with him. And he would remember a girl like her for sure.
“Don’t worry about her, but the front door is right behind you. Bye.”
“Listen, just give me another hint. I just have to know.”
“Oh, come on …”
“We had an agreement. You pee, then leave. So leave!”
“Please, all I want is to know how you know me … not a state secret. Just say it. At the very least your name. Come on.”
“Pepper spray!” she snarled.
“Okay, okay, chill – I am leaving. But, can I leave you my number in case you change your mind about music? I could really help you. You got a good basis, but need some work and …”
“I am calling the cops!” she pulled out her cell phone.
Everett shook his head and left.