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CASSIDY BEGINS A CAREER IN PHOTOGRAPHY: Part 16

 

"So..." Joel so'd. "Now what?"

"No idea," Kenneth said. He had some ideas, but he wasn't sure that Joel would be open to them.

"Um... breakfast?" Joel suggested.

"Sure," Kenneth agreed. "Where?"

"The Breakfast... Um... Group?"

Kenneth looked a bit confused. "Okay. Yeah. There."

“Then what?" Joel asked.

"Er..." Kenneth shrugged. "'Sup to you."

"Oh... Cool."

 

So they went to their chosen breakfast destination. They went inside and a waitress sat them down at a table, where they were presented with menus. Then they read them and waited.

 

Joel noted that the waitress looked pretty good. Kenneth noted that the Special of the Day looked pretty good.

"So... What are you ordering?" the waitress asked.

"Uh, I'll have the daily special," Kenneth decided. "What are you getting, Joel?"

"The four-cheese omelette looks good."

"And to drink?" the waitress continued.

Joel got a coffee; Kenneth got a cappucino with double whipped cream and cinnamon.

 

Sipping his coffee, Joel remarked, "Why didn't you get a regular cup of coffee? What's with all that cream and crap?"

"Becaaaaause..." Kenneth shrugged. "It tastes better this way. Like DESSERT IN A CUP."

"Sure. Right." Joel gave Kenneth a suspicious look.

Kenneth looked sad. "What? It's DELICIOUS."

"I guess." Joel drank more coffee. "So... um... ACTION MOVIES??"

"Uh, not that into 'em," Kenneth remarked.

"Why not?" Joel actually managed to keep an accusatory tone out of his voice somehow.

Kenneth threw up his hands. "They're so BORING. There's no emotion at all, it's just KICK! PUNCH! STAB! Who wants to watch that? Really."

"Males. You know, with testosterone." Joel was still fighting not to yell for some reason.

"Oh, so males have to be boring people who don't have any feelings at all?" Kenneth sipped his frilly coffee drink.

Joel pondered this for a moment. "I'm pretty sure that's written in the rulebook somewhere... Wait, is there a rulebook? I forget... Maybe it was just a pamphlet..."

This prompted Kenneth to laugh. "So you mean to say you feel absolutely nothing when you watch a dramatic movie and see a character get their heart broken."

"Well, yeah," Joel admitted, "But that's just me. I know plenty of guys who do. I also know where they live so I can egg their houses. Because they deserve it. THEY DESERVE IT DAMMIT!"

 

Several people stared.

 

"Uh, I mean... um... the... the weather. It's... pretty nice..." Joel added lamely

"No, that's awesome," Kenneth assured him. The waitress returned with plates full of breakfasty substances.

"Food!" Joel immediately dug in while Kenneth thanked the waitress. Then he cut his special whatever-it-was into little pieces and chewed on them.

"What are you doing?" Joel asked.

 

Kenneth stared at him in disbelief.

 

"No," Joel said, "I mean, I cut my food too, but... those are really small pieces..."

"I don't like to look like a glutton," Kenneth explained.

"...What? You mean... You think about that kind of stuff?"

 

"...Yes. I do," Kenneth explained.

"Oh. Well. Um... the... the... sports? What about those?" Joel practically pleaded.

"Uh..." Kenneth grappled for an honest answer. "Well, I like beach volleyball."

"Well, who doesn't like beach volleyball?" Joel admitted.

"Nobody!" Kenneth seemed satisfied.

“Yeah, right. So, um... what else... Um... SCIENCE?!" Joel made a dramatic gesture with his fork as if it were a sword or a lightsaber, the part of the omelet on said fork falling to the floor in the process.

Kenneth shrugged. "It's cool. I like the arts."

Joel put his fork down. "What does that mean? Science isn't an art! It's a science! It's THE SCIENCE!" People didn't stare this time, since Joel was trying to be quieter.

"I wasn't saying science was an art," Kenneth clarified. "I was indicating that I preferred the arts to science, but science is still cool."

"Oh. Okay." Joel resumed eating. Kenneth resumed eating as well, and the situation stopped being interesting.

 

At this exact moment in time, Elly was sitting in one of those restaurants on the boardwalk, inhaling a burger. Ordering a plain ol' burger made her feel embarrassingly boring, but this was one of those times where nothing else would suffice. Not even cheese or anything. Just a burger.

However, her feeling of ordinariness was somewhat relieved when she read the name of the restaurant backwards on the glass that faced the boardwalk: "The Breakfast Group."

As she inhaled her burger, she reflected.

 

Oh man, I just realized now what a terrible pun that is.

 

That was an accident.

 

But anyway, she reflected. Upon, like... stuff.

She reflected: Who was this weird new girl Cassidy was dragging around? And why did said girl have spare glasses that were the perfect prescription for Elly? And why did this breakfast joint serve burgers? And how could Cassidy possibly be so oblivious to how this Violet chick was acting? And why was Joel eating breakfast in a secluded corner booth with a man in a skirt? Oh. Wait up just a fucking second.

She stood up and, being a woman of great sensitivity, she waved her arms like she was hailing aircraft and yelled, "Hey Joel! What the hell you doing sitting with some gay guy?"

 Joel looked equally shocked, guilty, offended, thirsty, and shocked.

"Hey, Joel," said Kenneth mellowly, "What the hell's that chick doing waving her arms around like she's having a seizure and insulting someone she doesn't even know?

Elly knew when to admit when she had been burned. However, she didn't always admit it, anyway. She instead chose the less mature option of sticking out her tongue.

Joel looked up from his meal, apparently only noticing just then that anyone had said anything or was indeed even there, said, "Oh hey bitch. Hey whiny bitch. Come sit over here." He motioned for her to come sit over there.

She went over there and didn't sit. "By the way, gay guy, I don't know how I insulted you."

"I could just tell by your tone," said Kenneth coolly.

Elly pouted. "I like my tone."

"Yeah, I like Elly's whiny bitch tone," said Joel idly. Elly shot him a look.

Joel thought for a while, then added, "...That didn't come out right."

"Whatever, asshole. So what's your FRIEND'S name?"

"Oh he's Kel- Kenneth."

"Why not Kel? I liked that show."

"You're not very bright, are you?" Kenneth said as though nothing could faze him - as always.

"Well, excuse me! You have no right to criticize my taste in... in Electrical... Television Programming... Shows."

Kenneth chuckled. "Electrical Television Programming Shows, eh? Maybe I should start calling 'em that... Ooh, or maybe there could be a show CALLED the Electrical Television Programming Show... I'd totally watch that."

"I know, right?" Elly instantly perked up.

"I would probably watch that," said Joel, "If it had, like, nude mud-wrestling or something."

"Me too," agreed Kenneth.

"THAT IS TOTALLY NOT WHAT I MEANT."

Kenneth shrugged. "Who cares? Don't you like nude mud-wrestling? Need I remind you about last night?"

"But there wasn't any mud," Joel pointed out.

"Mud would be a suitable euphemism, I think."

"Wait," Elly began, "Are you saying that you two-"

"Had wild, hot sex?" Kenneth interrupted.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Joel said.

At first, Elly grimaced, but then a huge, mischievious grin stretched across her face.

"No," Joel insisted. "I swear nothing- I didn't- It was never my intention to-... Don't give me that look, man, I didn't know! I mean- I- STOP that!!"

"...You didn't KNOW?" Elly gaped. "How drunk WERE you? I mean, I've seen you get drunk, but..."

"You have never truly seen me get drunk," Joel said haughtily. "Nor will you ever."

"If this is what ends up happening, I don't w... well... actually, I totally do," she admitted. "I mean, how fucking entertaining would THAT be?"

"However entertaining it would be for you," Kenneth said, "It would not be as entertaining as it was for me. Therefore, shut up."

"Yeesh, man, what do you have against me?" Elly pouted. "I'm cool. Although you might wanna watch out for Joel. He's a REAL dick."

"...You know," Kenneth remarked, "That's such a perfect setup that I'm not even gonna go there."

"Oh, go there? Please?" Joel pleaded.

"...Why would you want me to go there?" Kenneth wondered.

"I... I dunno. I thought it'd be funny..." Joel shrugged.

"Oh. I can't really see why you'd find it funny now, considering I just ruined it."

Joel looked away. "Whatever. Elly, can you go away?"

"No," said Elly bluntly.

"Puh-leeeeze?"

"No. In fact, I'm going to sit down now." Elly did so. Kenneth was somewhat dismayed to see that she chose to sit on his side. She was entertaining, but not that entertaining.

"What," said Elly, noticing Kenneth's look. "You got a problem with me sitting here? Do you?"

"Yeah, kinda."

"Well, it's too bad for you then, isn't it?" Elly sat a little closer.

Kenneth sighed and rested his head on his hand. "So, Joel, uh, how do you know her?"

"I dunno," said Joel. "I think she started stalking me or something."

Elly scowled. "That was not STALKING."

"Oh, it SO was. You used to stand outside my window... my BATHROOM window."

"That was just a phase!!" Elly fumed.

"Yeah, and after you grew out of it you started HIDING UNDER MY BED."

"You mean you didn't believe what I said about me being a monster who lived under there? Man, I thought that was airtight!"

"You didn't actually LIVE under there. Uh, right?"

"...Er... no... But it doesn't matter, because I still don't like you anymore. In fact, I kinda hate you. Like, a lot."

Joel, despite already pretty much knowing this, beamed.

 

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Joel's Lolly

March 2011

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