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"Judging from my response and his expression, he could easily judge I was uptight. He didn't say it out loud but his face said in so many words "hey, relax" What he did say, though, was, "hey, have a drink." Then, calling on the bar hostess, he aske me what U drink I wanted. The hostess waited expectently with pad and pen in hand. I responded, "Korona." Bill said, "nice, I like that as well."
Despite that I had problems expressing myself, I was still hungry to learn about the extent and the history of Bill and Marie's relationship and how far it stretched. I said to him that she was my next-door neighbour in our apartment complex, but not much aside that. I could hardly think of much. On Bill's side, he said that before Marie had worked in Benten-tei, she had operated at bars exactly like this one, serving patrons as the bar hostess had just did with Jeff. Bill spoke of the occasions he would frequent such places and talk and generally have fun with Marie. Generally it wasn't a job she enjoyed but Bill sort of gave her a time-out from the grind of it all.
Mostly Marie would see Bill within working hours, though occasionally they would see eachother elsewhere - maybe have a chat in a cafe, after work, the long day passed. Marie hah had various boyfriends and moved beyond them yet Bill remained a constant in her life. She was very fond of him, but she wasn't sure exactly how far she wanted to take the relationship. Over those years she settled for a platonic bond, in her mind.
Some days after Jeff made his first order at Benten-tei, he paid the cozy little establisment another visit. Despite his inhibitions, he tried to be a tad more expressive to Marie, this time.
The chime jingled and Marie gave her customary "Welcome, may I take your order?" Seeing that it was Jeff again, she paused with recognition, then smiled. Jeff hesitated then said, "the special was very good. I'll take that again, thank you." Marie nodded "Coming right up." Jeff then waited for his order and when it was handed to him he paid Marie and left.
Jeff liked falling into patterns and routines. He felt comfortable being safely ensconsed inside his apartment, listening to voices of his neighbours through the thin walls, he liked returning again and again to Benten-tei on his prescribed days, he liked heading out on certain nights to Chateau Roche; and he liked returning to that bar where he had chanced upon Marie's acquaintance, Bill. This was his World.
If she takes care of her husband's diet she will have less time to speak about me.
Last edited by Ronaldwho?; February 20th, 2012 at 19:47.