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The Trouble with Cecilia

***

“It’s me, isn’t it? Don’t sugarcoat it, lay it on me. It’s me.” She plopped down on the chair in front of him, catching him off guard as he was taking a bite off a pastry. So much for a quiet breakfast, he thought.

ceceHe glared at her but she was too preoccupied to notice. So, he swallowed the pastry and gave an exasperated sigh. “Okay, I’ll bite. What’s you?”

She grabbed the pastry off his plate. Ladies and gentlemen, the queen of invasion. Her powers know no bounds! She invades everything – personal spaces, your thoughts and breakfast pastries. He smacked her hand but she held fast and strong to the baked dough. She took a huge bite and put it back on the plate.

“Eeeff me. Drrff no offur ees’n, ai?”

“In English, Cecilia.” He threw a napkin at her. “And didn’t you ever learn any manners in that Catholic school of yours?”

She shook her head and swallowed. “Nope. But I learned how to pray the rosary in Latin and how to smuggle cigarettes inside my bra.”

He rolled his eyes and gave an amused smile. “Alright, now tell me what you’re upset about.” He took this opportunity to lay claim (or lay back his authority) on the pastry.

“I’m funny, full of personality, spunky and relatively attractive.” She rattled on as she checked her reflection in the window.

“Don’t forget modest…” He said under his breath.

“I heard that, jackass.” She scowled.

“Sorry.” He wasn’t. Not really. “Go on, Princess” He said with a roll of his hand.

“Why the hell can’t I get a date then, huh, Jason? Why?”

“Maybe they can smell the desperation off you and it’s like an anti-pheromone. Like how those anti mosquito lotions work.” He said calmly as he sipped his coffee.

“Why am I friends with you?” She said as she put up her feet on the low coffee table. He quickly batted her knees to make her put her feet down.

“Because nobody in their right mind would be friends with such a crude woman like you thereby validating my insanity. Besides, you provide for my daily entertainment if you’re not trying to kill me with frustration.”

“I can so feel the love, bitch.” She pouted as she slouched into the chair.

He rolled his eyes. “Do you want me to tell you the usual Cosmo feel good response or do you want the truth?”

She cocked an eyebrow. “Dude, you read Cosmo?”

He blushed but fought to regain some semblance of dignity. “A lot of men read Cosmo, Cece. The articles are a lexicon of information on the female psyche. But I digress. Do you want my opinion or are you just going to regale me with your fits of woe and continue to mooch off my breakfast?”

She mock genuflected. “A thousand apologies, O esteemed one. Please continue in blessing me with your pearls of wisdom.”

He leaned back into the couch in a dismissive and fake insulted manner. “If you’re going to be such a sarcastic bitch about it, maybe I should just let you wallow in your misery.”

She quickly jumped off her chair and planted herself right next to him, snuggling by his side. She pulled his arm and draped it ’round her shoulders. “C’mon Jay…you know you can’t stop being opinionated and you can’t stand seeing me in misery.”

She could literally feel his eyes rolling. This was her victory. Their relationship is based on the little victories from either side but both were quite unsure what the war was all about or if there ever was a war to start with.

He pulled her closer to him and rested his cheek on top of her head. “You try too hard, Cecilia. You keep on diminishing yourself by measuring your worth in your date-ability. Any man would kill to have you. Who wouldn’t want someone funny, witty, articulate, compassionate and beautiful to be theirs? If they can’t see that then I pity them because they’re missing out on the most precious of all treasures.”

There was silence in the cafe – at least between them. There was that lingering feeling of epiphany and a heavy steady beating of hearts. She looked up to him with eyes wide. “Jay…?” She whispered. “You totally had that memorized, didn’t you?”

He looked just as intense and whispered back. “Totally.”

***

Short story dedicated to Cez. First published in my personal blog.

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