|—||just a small thing i wrote :)|
In Leo’s defence he did call. She just didn’t pick up, ever. After a week Sophie was almost normal, she had fallen back into watching Jane and her ever-changing dalliances with Nick, or the new Nick, Paul. Paul was a nerdy kind of guy, too tall and with square glasses, he never really smiled and Claire seemed to think he was everything she could ever need. She had even taken to wearing pastel shades that made her appear to be a mousey house wife, the current outfit was a denim mini-skirt and light green golf-shirt. Sophie was decidedly upset that Nick was gone, it was more interesting watching Jane watch him play wii then watching her watch Paul do spread sheets. Sophie was flipping though her phone when she received the message “I can’t explain this unless you see me. I want to be your friend. I miss you staring at me. I miss guessing what you’re seeing. Call me.”, Sophie wasn’t sure whether it was the boredom she was feeling or whether she wanted to see him, but she replied. “Coffee shop on 7th avenue, 5pm?” and at 4:55pm she found herself stepping into the quaintest coffee shop she had ever found, all the cups were different and all their baked goods were fresh, she felt at home in the space and everyone was just her amount of friendly but distant. He was already sitting in the corner, her ideal choice of table; he had a glass of water in front of him. “I didn’t know if you’d show up” he said, she smiled at him, “so we’re going to be friends are we?” Sophie was curious. He sighed and then said “best friends”. Somehow they were good together, they teased each other and renounced each turn at arrogance, they uplifted remarks that came from a true insecurity and laughed at almost everything. At 8pm they asked for the cheque. They paid separately and even though he complained about this all the way to her car in some way he understood that it was less about him paying and more about her wanting to be independent, he wouldn’t tell her but he was still incredibly curious about her, possibly even more then he desired her friendship.
Sophie was sitting in her car, he had taken up residence in her passenger seat, and they were still talking. She was smiling in a natural way that made her feel slightly unhinged and yet completely secure in present company. Suddenly he was so much more then her initial thoughts, her inclination now suggested that he didn’t really care about his appearance although he endeavoured to look his best, his smirk thing was a smile he tried to hide when what he was smiling about didn’t seem appropriate and most of all the vacant attitude towards life was now revealed as coping mechanism for an intellectual mind who needed creativity and strove to be the best man while still maintaining his humanity. She had never befriended a more attractive, unassuming soul, and yet she could still say that he was arrogant and in many ways thought he was above his company, she was inclined to agree with many of his traits. Sophie was never one for goodness; it was the darkness to everything that she believed made it good. As far as she was concerned without binary there would be nothingness. Leo appeased all of this in her. Eventually she made up an excuse to be going, he was coming terribly close to revealing her innermost thoughts, and she couldn’t have that, not yet anyway.
At dinner Sophie had to finally accept that Jake memories were clouding her mind, but more then that, she had to reply to Luke, and as much as she hated to admit it, she may need to accept that it was time to move on. For so long she had thought kissing another boy would remind her that she wasn’t kissing him, but last night it had felt good, strange of course, but good. It was like taking a new side-road off the main- way you had become accustomed to. Sophie type out a message: ‘hey, sorry about last night. I don’t kiss guys in clubs and I guess I surprised myself, it was nice meeting you. See you around, Sophie’. She was glad to get back to work on her essay after dinner, something about Othello made male/female relations seem more dramatic and yet blatantly realistic. After all she thought, hadn’t everyone lost a love through others retelling of incorrect stories? Leo was sitting in bed, he had been wondering about Sophie all day, she was crazy and yet he desperately wanted to speak to her, he was so curious to try understanding the inner workings of a mind that seemed so closed off. She had been a different person every time his eyes came to rest on her silhouette, he enjoyed how she went from a controlled intensity to a wild freedom in a moment, in so many ways she was primal. Appearing to know exactly what she needed in each moment, fully capable of achieving it and yet in another way, too caged (or was it disturbed) to follow through. Sophie typed out the last sentence of her conclusion “and so one can see that love is the truest form of blindness”, ‘and Jake certainly showed me that’ she thought, turning off all her lights and cuddling into her pillow, she almost fell asleep with nothing but Desdemona’s last breath on her mind.
Leo had been busy, apparently writing essays was his fate for a period of two weeks and priding himself on being the student who did little in the way of effort but still being capable of achieving the necessary marks, he was working at his own version of a timeous pace, meaning thinking about the essays for 13 days and hammering them out in a 16hour period of the 14th. He had almost forgotten about Sophie, the girl he encountered on day four of the essay ‘thought’ process, but occasionally he thought he caught a glimpse of her, or heard her controlled voice, on a few occasions he even found himself wondering about her opinion with regards to certain essay related, or alternative, thoughts he was having. He slipped his doomed Othello essay into the lecturer’s pigeon-hole and turned to see Sophie leaning comfortably against the wall. She looked different today, in a light blue flowery dress that was slightly puffed around her thighs and tight around her bust, she wore black shoes and in the fold of her arm rested a black jacket of some sort. Her hair was caressing one of her shoulders and she seemed to be having an animated conversation with a guy about five years her senior. Leo walked towards them and Sophie smiled at him and said “Thomas, this is Leo.” That was all in her was of introductions and yet something about her smile made him stay behind as she went towards the hole and inserted her essay, Thomas did the same and afterwards they exchanged a warm hug and he went off in another direction while Sophie walked towards Leo. “Long time no see” she said, something about her today was lovely, he felt like a man who was having a nightmare but had convinced himself it was a dream.
Strangely they had maintained civil conversation for 20 minutes, she had just walked ahead of him to enter the coffee shop, picking up a bottle of cranberry juice (carefully selected from the back of the fridge) and then a small bar of Lindt dark chocolate. Leo chose a bottle of coke and two packets of potato chips and was hastily about to pay for both orders when Sophie informed the cashier in the lowest voice “I will pay for my own stuff. Thank. You.” no-one argued and soon Leo and Sophie were seated on the grass in the sun, she appeared very at ease, he was on edge, Sophie brushed her hair so that it lay against her other shoulder now, anyone who hadn’t heard her speak would imagine the perfect lady. Leo was just thinking about how curious they must look, her in a summer dress and him in dirty (looking) jeans and a faded Rolling stones t-shirt when she whispered, quite out of the blue “they don’t even see us, so you need not worry about your reputation”, he couldn’t let it slide “how did you know I was thinking that? And anyway, you’re the one who has to worry about your reputation, you look like an innocent”. Sophie laughed, it was high and slightly dangerous and in her way, ugly. He was caught off guard yet again, and she coyly explained that innocent wasn’t an adjective that fit with her definition, he was very interested in the way she phrased things, every sentence appeared to have hidden layers, every choice of word denoting more then what was provided. Sophie felt awkward with him; although on her initial judgements he hadn’t appeared particularly attractive, she was now seeing a mixture of features that provided a cute child-like face but more obviously an undercurrent of sexuality not common in young men. He was far too beautiful to have chosen to sit with her, moreover he knew it, and she could see how his eyes jumped from group to group, desiring noting more then for them to not recognize him. A small part of her screamed, she was pretty, maybe not in the same way as other girls, but she was. If he couldn’t see it then she need not stay.
“I think I should go” she was up in one fluid motion, ‘why, are you afraid someone will see you?” “No, but I suspect you are”. And this time he understood her with time to spare, he grabbed her wrist, applying almost too much force and Sophie flinched back in pain and anger. She had tears in her eyes, she had been trying her hardest to be open and calm but the back of her mind kept screaming small insecurities, most of which were created by Jake. Leo puller her into him, embracing her, she wasn’t very much smaller then him, her head resting on his breast bone. He held her there although she tried to pull away, and only when he felt her calm and melt into him did he loosen his group, it was only when he heard a small “please” that he pulled away. He hadn’t seen a girl look at him that way, yes he had ended relationships and girls had appeared to break in front of him, but she appeared to be a tightly wound instrument, almost an inch from collapsing in its entirety. He wasn’t breaking up with her, he hadn’t even considered kissing her, and honestly they were barely acquaintances. Yet, with that expression on her face, he had instantly made a choice, he wanted her friendship, he wanted to understand her… Sophie was staring at him, part of her brain was screaming that if she kissed him and turned away he would get what he wanted and she would be free, safe, while the other part wanted to tell him everything, all the small almost insignificant things that make a person who they are. He was the first no that was a lie, he was the second person she had ever felt that for, and she just didn’t know whether it was worth it.
Leo could see her brain working behind eyes that were screaming millions of thoughts, millions of secrets, so he just said “let me walk you to your car”, she didn’t move until he picked up her bag and jacket and began walking… “Um, wait a minute…”, “no. before you go I want your number though”. Sophie just conceded, they walked to where her car was parked and he opened her door, took her number down and said he’d call he later, she nodded and drove off without considering turning back, by the time she had reached the first stop street she was crying. Jake had ruined her, she had accepted it the moment he ended things but it appeared that for the rest of her life she would be immersed in moments that he had stolen from her, she would never be that girl again, she would never know how it felt to giggle without planning that reaction, never be capable of having a man wrap his arms around her and feeling safe, Jake had signalled the end of her endeavour to trust. By the time Sophie was home and had thought about all the ways she would never be normal, it had gotten dark, she did her best to fix her makeup and when she walked into the lounge her mother quickly busied herself with a fashion magazine. Her father watched her and stood up from his seat at the far corner of the room, she just walked out, knowing he would follow her; he always gave her a head start. Sophie climbed into her bed and moments later her dad entered with a cup of hot chocolate, “Sophie… you know you’re my favourite daughter”, “I’m you only daughter”, “well over the past few years I’ve come to realise that you’re a bit… odd”, “thanks dad”, “but this past year, well to be honest, I can only assume that your seeing that Jake again, or that you have a.. Well… Are you on drugs?” Sophie couldn’t believe him: “I am not on drugs and that Jake boy doesn’t want me” and then the tears started again, it was too much for her father; he quietly stood up and kissed her hair before making a retreat.