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CHAPTER 3 (IATB)

CHAPTER 3 (IATB)

Jan 17, 2023

CHAPTER 3 — I NEED COFFEE

[DANESH]

Coffee. I need coffee.

That is the only clear thing in my mind as I open my eyes. I am still at the old mansion (or The Lost House, as I always refer to it as) I fell asleep there. I hear a groan not far away, right, the idiot is here as well. He didn't shut up for a second the previous night and it took everything in me to remain calm and ignore him. I had to remind myself occasionally about his 'situation' to not snap at him as well. Somehow, we must have both fallen asleep.

"Good morning," he yawns.

I merely grunt in reply as I stand up and go to the kitchen where I'd stored away some supplies in the kitchen. The supplies include toothbrushes and toothpaste. I take one out for myself and one for the dumbo.

"Are you like preparing for an alien invasion or something?" he stands by the wall, arms crossed as he peeks into the cabinet.

I slam shut the cabinet in reply and slide the toothbrush towards him. This house is still supplied with water, so one less problem. I start brushing my teeth.

"I mean this house is in the middle of nowhere. And it looks haunted, so it's very unlikely someone would approach it. And then you have like stuff stored in here. Do you know something no one else does? Are we going to get terrorised by aliens?"

His incessant yapping only makes me want to rip out my hair. I am still half asleep and very much groggy, and so I easily find everything to be irritating; not that Zacharrine needed any help in annoying the fuck out of me. I spit out the foam into the kitchen sink, and rinse my mouth with water.

I. Need. Coffee.

Unfortunately, I don't have any coffee stored in the house. Even if I do, then I would need a coffee maker, or a kettle at least. And I'd need electricity, which is the only negative thing about this place.

"It's cool though, how prepared you are. You could escape so easily," he is talking while brushing, fucking hell. "Would you bring anyone with you? You would, right? You can't just possibly escape by yourself. Maybe yo–,"

I just walk away. My brain can't take any more of his blabbermouth. "Wait, where are you going?"

He is like a goddamn fly, buzzing endlessly around your ears, no matter how many times you chase it away, it just comes back.

I silently mount my bicycle and start riding. I get maybe two minutes of peace and quiet before he catches up.

"Whoa, where are you going?"

It's too early for me to be this grumpy. It's too early for me to want to smash his head in. Coffee. I just need coffee.

"Are we going to another haunted house?"

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"Coffee shop!" he exclaims.

How can a person be so annoyingly cheery and prating non-stop so early in the morning is beyond me. I can never understand that in a million years.

"You know, you could've just told me that,"

I continue to ignore him although it has been proven to be useless and walk in the shop. Thankfully there is no line, so I walk up straight to the counter and ring the bell, since there is no attendant present.

"Cool place," he comments, as he comes to stand to beside me. "How come I have never come here before? I didn't even know this place existed,"

I close my eyes, and start to concentrate on my breathing. Just a few minutes more and I can get my coffee. I picture a cup of coffee in front of me, the smell wafting into my nose, the tas–

"Only the coolest people know of its existence," another cheery voice pipes in.

Just great.

"Well then I guess I'm cool now,"

"The coolest. Hi, Dan,"

I open my eyes slowly and to my very dismay, there she stands — Rita.

"The usual, I suppose?" she asks me.

I just grunt in reply.

"Aww isn't he just charming?" she mocks me as she turns to the idiot beside me, "And you Mr Handsome, what would you be having?"

Not wanting to and being physically unable to hear their cheery high-pitched voices any longer, I retreat from the counter to the table furthest away in the corner. It isn't long before I am joined again by my gruesome companion.

"Got your coffee," at last, something that matters.

I bring the cup close, smell the beverage and let out a long, relieved sigh. Only then I take a sip, and just like that my day gets a whole lot better. Or maybe I spoke too soon.

I realise that he is looking at me amusedly as I drink from my cup.

"What?"

"Good to know that you haven't gone mute in a night," he remarks.

I just roll my eyes in response.

"So, Rita?" he raises an eyebrow suggestively, smirking.

I sigh, "Yes, Rita," I say, finally acknowledging the fact that ignoring isn't a tactic that works with this idiot.

"She's hot," he whispers, although we are sitting quite out of hearing range from where she is.

I simply shrug. I guess she can be considered hot; long hair that reaches her waist, sharp cheekbones, plump pink lips, curvy body... I regard her slowly, remaining very much uninterested, before turning back to the drooling mess before me, shrugging again.

He gives me an incredulous look, shaking his head, "Are you blind, man?" and then, a little pause, "Is she your girlfriend? Are you trying to show her off?"

Without warning, I kick his leg under the table.

He yelps, "What is that for?"

I continue to glare at him.

"She is your girlfriend, isn't she?"

I am about to kick his leg again, but this time he is beware and catches my foot between his legs. I try to escape his grasp but it proves to be futile. I glare at him, but he only smirks back. He gestures towards Rita again, raising his eyebrow, beckoning me to answer his previous question.

I remain stubborn for a few more moments, trying to remove my foot away from his legs, but he just holds tightly, while calmly sipping on his drink. I faintly notice that my heart has picked up its pace once again; it seems to happen a lot whenever I am in close proximity with this particular idiot, it only vexes me further. Few more minutes pass before I give up.

"No, she's not my girlfriend," I mutter.

He relaxes his hold on my foot, but still doesn't quite let me go.

"Why not?"

"What do you mean, 'why not'?"

"It's so obvious that she's into you," as to further prove his point, as we turn to see her, she has been looking directly at our table but quickly averts her gaze when we turn around. "Told ya," he smirks.

I refrain from rolling my eyes. That is not why she has been looking our way — I know that for a fact. But that doesn't mean I am going to tell him that. Instead, I play along, wanting to see what he is really trying to get at. 

"She could've been looking at you,"

"Trust me dude, she's into you,"

I just shrug, "Well, I'm not interested,"

"Yeah, right," he scoffs, but upon noticing the solemn look in my face, he sits up straighter, "You're really not?"

I shake my head.

He quirks his head, then a few seconds later, smiles brightly, "You're seeing someone else, aren't ya?"

"Yeah, an idiot currently, and I wish I can push him into a ditch somewhere so I never have to deal with him ever again,"

"Yeah, relationships can get hard sometimes," he nods as if in understanding.

I stare at him in confusion for a moment, before asking "What?"

"What?" he parrots me.

I facepalm myself, "I meant seeing as in...." I sigh, shaking my head, "Never mind, forget about it,"

And just like that, he does forget about it, moving on the next topic unable to remain quiet for more than even a few seconds, "The coffee's really good in this place,"

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