Valerian, Chapter Two by S. Muse

(Page 2 of 9)

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Granted, there are a few named streets here and there, such as Lexington and Park, but even they're named Avenues."
"It still sounds awfully confusing though. I bet if I was a Taxi driver I wouldn't get lost... they seem to know where everything is." By this time his cheeks were starting to get some of their color back.
"True," I chuckled, reaching out to pat his hand. ‘If you can find one that speaks your language!' "Then again, they get paid to know where they're going."
"Yeah... I forgot about that." He said. With this he turned around to stare towards the kitchen. Somewhere in there, amid all the clatter of pots, pans and dishes, was our food.
"Do you think it's about done," he asked. "Maybe I should ask our waitress again... just in case." As hungry as he looked, I'm surprised he wasn't drooling yet!
"Nah, we'll give her a couple more minutes. Besides, she looks busy right now. The more we let her be, the quicker she'll be able to get us our food."
Seemingly satisfied with my explanation, he turned back around, and began fiddling with his mug of hot chocolate again.
Earlier he'd removed his jacket, then the two pairs of gloves he'd been wearing, and finally, an oversized and ratty looking sweatshirt, all of which looked as if he'd just dug them out of a dumpster... which he probably had!
Underneath these he wore a faded gray tee shirt and a pair of patched up blue jeans, so worn in front that they appeared almost threadbare.
"So, tell me a little about yourself." I began.
"You tell me a little about ‘your' self!" He replied, eyes twinkling.
"Fair enough." I replied. ‘After all, turn about was fair play.' Clearing my throat I began. "I'm forty-one years old, a Design Engineer for Dow... which means I use a computer and draw a lot of fancy pictures for a living, and I live alone... sort of, if you don't count my Scottish Terrier Thumper and-."
"Thumper?" He exclaimed, not letting me finish. "That's a rabbits name, not a dogs!" The way he said it, you'd have sworn I'd violated some sacred law.
"I know. Sad isn't it. Rabbit or not though, that's his name, and if you've ever seen him, you'd understand. When he gets excited he doesn't wag his tail from side to side like a normal dog, he ‘thumps' it up and down, like a club... get it, Thumper?"
"You're dog sure sounds weird." He laughed, rocking back in his booth. He had just brought his knees up to hug them, when Nancy appeared at the end of our table with our food in hand. At her appearance, he set up straight.
Watching him watch her, his eyes fixated on each plate, each condiment, each sure motion of her hands, was almost comical... in the saddest sort of way. Here wasn't some long lost nephew, or cousin of mine—-not that I had any to begin with—-but a thirteen-year-old child, that had, up until a few minutes ago, been starving and freezing to death out on the streets of New York City. Looking at him in this light, and seeing the life and laughter reflected in his eyes right now, made me want to forget that.

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