It was only as Rosie left, that Faye became acutely aware that she was being watched. It was an odd feeling. Faye was used to being inconspicuous, save for the occasional jibe made at her in the corridor at school. She certainly had not been invisible earlier. Feeling the hairs on the back of her arms standing on end, she tentatively raised her eyes to meet another pair. They were russet,with an odd metallic glint as if glitter lingered in the irises. She quickly looked away, feeling as though she was far too exposed. The sound of a cup being placed on the table, and the smile in Rosie’s voice as Rosie told her that she hoped that she enjoyed it, signalled to her that it was safe to look up. Leaning forward, she inhaled the rich scent of cocoa and closed her eyes.For the first time that day, she felt calm and level headed.
‘Mind if I join you?’ a sleek rich voice questioned. Faye’s eyes snapped open at the sound of a stranger’s voice. Faye raised her eyes, peering up over the lenses of her glasses and was momentarily caught off guard. Those eyes, back again,were staring into hers awaiting a response. On any other day, these smoky quartz irises might have stunned her into silence, but not today. She was too far past the point of caring to notice their unique glamour.
‘Whatever,’she gestured to the seat with bitter sarcasm. Before he could take a seat, she forced herself to move her struck eyes from his striking face down over the rest of his body. He was well-dressed, so clearly someone with money. The cut of his black tight jeans seemed like they had been painted onto him, hugging his legs perfectly. His shirt was equally well-tailored .Under the glare of the café’s fluorescent lights, it was hard to decipher the exact colour. In some places, where the light avoided, it seemed to be black, yet in the aspects where the bright light illuminated it, she was sure she could detect a roya lpurple glimmer. Nevertheless, it suited him, contrasting with his pale skin. He had opened the top two buttons, allowing the base of his throat to be exposed and for Faye to peek at the silver chain wrapped around it on which hung a small round pendant. Before she could look closer, he purposefully coughed and her eyes darted down to the table in embarrassment.
Nonchalantly,he slid into the opposite booth, placing his own cup of steaming black coffee on the dirty table. Great, she might actually have to make conversation now that she had completely humiliated herself. He must have thought she was a hormonal teenager, she fretted.
‘Sorry for disturbing your revelry,’ he began with equal amounts of sarcasm. ’but you seemed like you could do with someone to talk to.’ His voice softened at the end of his sentence and she saw genuine concern frame his burnished eyes.
‘Yeah,I guess…’ Faye automatically softened her brusque attitude in response to him.It was strange; never had she been talked out of a mood so quickly. ‘The world and I are not really friends today.’ Her shoulders shrugged, attempting to heave the burden of the day off her shoulders, and onto somebody else.
He laughed without humour ‘Tell me about it. It seems like I’m in a daily battle with it. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.’ He looked her dead in the eye as he spoke. It unnerved her.
‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down? The problem is they keep trying every single day.Do you ever feel like putting your sword down and surrendering to them all?’Faye visibly relaxed, and before she could rein herself in, she had slouched her body language and allowed the corners of her lips to curve into an ironic smile. He didn’t reply at first, sipping his coffee. Cautiously, Faye began to allow her eyes to survey his face properly. Apparently, this man had more to him than just a set of eyes. He seemed older than her- about 19, yet despite his youth there was something old about him. He had perfectly defined cheekbones, as any self respecting stranger would, and a smatter of stubble around his thin lips. A halo of tawny curls adorned his porcelain skin, hanging slightly longer than normal because of the rain, she surmised.
The silence lingered, and Faye began to feel an awkward sense of discomfort creeping through her.