Chapter 4: The Apology

Ooh, weekend’s come and gone, and I didn’t write at all on Saturday! Falling back a little on the averages, but if I’m not wrong, the last week should be the one filled with the most activity, so I’m not too worried as yet. Present word count at 4,286.

“Hey,” said Dresden, “I’m just joking. You know that, right?”

“Hey, hey,” Rowena replied, smiling “me too, you weird puss. I can’t believe you fell for that. Haha!”

When Dresden heard this, his blood boiled. But, as one of his favourite saying goes: “sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me!”

Yet, within himself, he knew he was hurt. Hurt by her words, her actions, by her deception. Hurt, that he was deceived. Hurt, that such a beautiful girl could be so mean. He wondered if it was all a dream, a nightmare. He decided to check. He pinched her.

“Ow! you f**king son-of-a-female-dog-bitch! Damnit! what do you think you’re doing?”

“So,” thought Dresden, “it isn’t a dream…”

He was devastated. He wished it all to just go away. He didn’t want to think how ugly beauty could be, how emotions influenced more than logic when it really mattered. Dresden was growing up.

“I’m sorry,” said Dresden. “I didn’t mean to pinch you. I was just seeing if this was all a dream. No, a nightmare. How could a girl as beautiful as you be as mean as you are?”

He watched her expression change from anger to bewilderment. She looked lost, almost as lost as Dresden herself.

“Shoo!” said someone behind Dresden. It was the librarian. “If you guys want to fight, take it outside. Don’t fight here. This is a library. Go, go, go now.”

“Sorry M’am,” replied Dresden to the librarian, an oldish woman, probably in her late fifties, maybe early sixties, “we’ll stop. Won’t we, erm…”

“Rowena. Yes, we’ll stop.”

“I’m sorry, erm…”

“Dresden.”

“I’m sorry Dresden. Can I call you Dres? I didn’t realise I was so mean and all that. It was just, I thought you were following me or something. I wanted to chase you away. You know how emotions just take over logic sometimes right? I’m really a nice girl. And this is the truth. I don’t know what came over me.” She looked down on the floor as she said this.

“No worries Rowena. Yes, you can call me Dres,” said Dres. He stuck out his hand, for a handshake. Rowena extended hers, but just as he was about to shake it, she quickly took it back, and said, “Haha! Too slow!”

But Rowena caught herself in this childish act, and her face changed to one of seriousness. “Sorry,” she said, and stuck out her hand for Dres to shake. They shook hands.

“Want to go for a cup of coffee, Ro? Can I call you Ro?”

“Sure,” Ro smiled, “Café Cartel downstairs?”

“Yes, that sounds like a great idea. After our books?”

“After our books.”

Ro bent down to help Dres pick up the book he dropped, that anthology of love poems.

“Love is a smoke,” said Ro.

“Made from the fumes of sighs/Being purged a fire burning in lover’s eyes/Being vexed a sea made of lover’s tears…” replied Dres. This sonnet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was familiar with him, something he had loved for a long, long time.

Ro stared at him as he recited it, her eyes wide with amazement. She too had liked this sonnet for a long time, and was in fact her favourite definition of love. Far too many times she had drowned in her tears, hurt by love. The tears had, in fact, extinguished the fire in her, so much so that she no longer believed in love anymore.

Yet, here, in front of her, was a “weird puss” whom she was starting to get really curious about. His eccentric ways – who in his right mind stalks people? – though in the beginning annoying, and even threatening, seemed adorable now. She wanted to know him better, perhaps discovering even more goodness in such a strange package.

Dres too, was enamoured by her. Not in the previous way in which he was interested in her solely for her looks, solely for the sake of liking, solely for the sake of fun, no. He was now, like her, curious, curious like a man who, on picking up a revolver, has to look into its barrel to see if it’s loaded.

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