chapter four: twin souls.
persephone; by rhetoric
Beyond the glass, rain hammered at the streets and windows. It had been raining for hours, but it was the first thunderstorm of the season. It seemed the first was always the longest. Or it felt that way, at least.
The quiet sounds of a coffee shop hummed behind her. The small bell on the door, the whirring of coffee machines, the turning of pages, and scratching of pens on paper. There were other people in the building, three workers, three customers, and two musicians discussing a gig with the owner in the back.
Persephone sat across the table from Gabriel, twirling her stirrer in her coffee. Four sugars, one cream. The conversation had come to a lull and she wondered what to say next. What was it about him that had her so interested? That made her not want to politely excuse herself and return to her homework?
Was it that eerie burgundy shade to his eyes? The lilt to his words? The taughtness in his features that made her wonder what his diet was?
Not wonder, really, she thought to herself. She swore his cheekbones and jawline had the same harshness hers did.
"So where did you grow up?" His question brought her eyes back up, leaving her coffee, and she hesitated.
To lie or not to lie?
Had she ever hesitated before? She wasn't sure, now. She bit her lip and waved off the question with a small gesture of her hand. "Here and there. My dad traveled a lot, and he dragged me from city to city." To lie, she thought, a twinge of sadness creeping in. She took a sip and returned her cup to the table. "Where did you grow up?"
"A small town in Greece, actually," he said. His eyes watched her from across the table. His coffee sat in front of him, untouched.
"That's interesting. I was in Greece once," she smiled lightly, "it was beautiful there."
"I'm sure it was," he shrugged. "I haven't been home in many years." His words seemed heavy. Burdened.
"May I ask why?"
He shrugged agian, but the gesture was less easy and casual. He said, "If you'd like," but his eyes said, drop it.
She dropped it and gestured to his cup. "You haven't had any of your coffee. Don't you like it?"
Across the table, his eyes softened and something close to appreciation crossed his face. He lifted the cup and leaned forward, the hint of a smile on his lips. "Let's toast," he said, waiting for her to raise her cup as well.
She asked, "To what?"
"To twin souls," he started, "seeing each other for the first time."