“Text”= Japanese talking
“/Text/”= English talking
“+Text+”= American talking
“#Text#”= Australian talking
Nick slept in the bed that he shared with Cassie on this fine Saturday morning. This was a much needed sleep too. Perfect morning to do so.
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth you tryin' to do
It's up to you, yeah you
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
You better get yourself together darling
“/Well we all shine on. Like the moon and the stars and the sun. Well we all shine on…/” Nick mumbled in his sleep. He ripped his eyes open in annoyance. What the hell?, he thought. The young man climbed out of bed and stormed down the stairs. He found Cassie sitting in the living room playing John Lennon at max volume from her laptop. Nick felt his annoyance rising with each note. He hit the wall with his open hand. Cassie looked up at him with a big smile on her face.
“/Morning, Nicky!/” she cheered. Nick frowned at her.
“/First, don’t call me that!/” he said. “/Two, what the hell?/” Cassie gave him a sweet little smile.
“/What do you mean?/” she asked. Nick gritted his teeth and marched over to her pink and white Hello Kitty laptop. He yanked out the sound chord of the machine and walked back upstairs. Cassie just sat there, blinking.
Okay…, she thought.
Cassie sat around the quiet living room. There goes that one, she thought. The young woman sat back on the couch. She had been used to his brash coldness for years now. That’s just how he was. She had become so convinced that he still had a sweet side to him. I just need to find it, she thought.
Cassie pulled out a blunt and put it in her mouth. She lit up and took a puff. Nick’s been crankier than ever lately, she thought. He’s still not been happy ever still they moved in together. Nick just slept in bed all morning until school. He only got up to eat or go to the bathroom. They barely spoke. Cassie had been feeling lonely lately. She shook her head to herself.
Maybe I should do something for her, the young woman thought. Suddenly, she heard footsteps enter the kitchen. Cassie looked up to Nick standing the doorway.
“/Morning!/” she cheered. As usual, he didn’t speak and walked into the kitchen for a late breakfast. Right then, Cassie came up with a great idea. She snubbed out her blunt and followed him into the kitchen. Nick sat down with his leftover squid pizza and dried apple sticks at the table. Cassie watched him with a smile on her face. Her boyfriend rolled his eyes.
“/What?/” he asked. Cassie gave him a little giggle.
“/I miss you,/” she said.
“/Why?/” he asked. “/We live together./”
“/But I miss you. We barely talk./”
“/Aren’t we talking now?/”
“/I mean since you moved in with me./”
Nick bit into his pizza. “/I don’t feel like talking./”
“/Oh./” Cassie looked down at her hands. “/That looks good what you’re eating there./”
“/So, what are you doing today?/”
“/Well… can I do nothing with you?/”
He looked up at her. “/Why?/”
“/I just miss you./”
Nick lowered his pizza. “/Look, weren’t joined at the hip!/”
“/I just want to be alone, okay?/” He got up and walked away. Cassie sat there with a slightly blank disappointed look on her face. That didn’t work, she thought. Good thing she didn’t know how to quit.
I just need a different angle, she thought.
“Power to the People” filled the house by noon. Cassie cleaned up the bookcase for the sixth time today. She didn’t know why she did this. Her COD always shot up when Nick rejected her.
John and Yoko are coming today, she thought. I must tidy up. First shelf down, next one to go. She wiped the “dust” off the spines.
“/You’re cleaning again?/” a voice asked. Cassie looked up from her work. Nick stood in the doorway frowning. His bird turned back to the books again.
“/John and Yoko are coming today,/” she said.
“/Uh… John’s dead,/” he pointed out.
“/Really?/” Cassie asked. “/Since when?/”
“/Oh./” Cassie moved to the third shelf. Nick put on a fake smile.
“/You don’t have to do this./”
Nick tried to keep down his temper. “/Stop cleaning now./”
Her boyfriend gritted his teeth. “/Why?/”
“/I don’t know./” Cassie moved to the fourth shelf.
Nick felt his face burn. Why I ought to… He turned to the bookcase with that thought. He smirked as the plan unfolded in his brain. His hand reached out and grabbed a TV Guide. Plop to the floor.
Oops, Nick thought. Next book. Some textbook to the ground. Next book. Plop to the floor. Next book. By this time, Cassie looked up.
“/What are you doing?!?/” she cried.
“/What do you think?/” Nick asked. He threw another book to the floor.
“/Stop it!/” she cried.
“/Or what?/” her boyfriend asked. He threw down three more books. Cassie threw down her rug and squeeze bottle.
“/You!/” she shouted. Nick threw up his hands in a shrug.
“/What are you going to do about it?/” he challenged. Cassie raced forward and tackled him.
“/Whoa!/” her boyfriend cried.
“/Jerk!/” she cried. She picked up the rag and started hitting him with it. Nick laughed at her.
“/You realize that won’t work, right?/” he asked.
“/Shut up!/” Cassie cried. The hits came faster and faster. Nick’s laughter filled the whole house.
Eventually, Cassie tired out and they both laid there on the living room carpet. Cassie looked at Nick. He did notice her after all.
“/You’re mean,/” she said.
“/I know,/” he replied. Cassie settled her head on his chest. “/This is nice./”
“/Yeah, now shut up. You’ll spoil it./”
They just dozed off from there.
At three o’clock, Cassie awoke. I’ve got to go shopping for dinner!, she thought. The young woman took one more look at Nick. Still sound asleep. Good enough for now. Cassie quietly got up, put on her shoes, and walked out the door.
To her, it always felt so good to get out in the sunlight. Plus it rained while they slept? Cassie closed her eyes and took it all in. I feel like going to Beijing, she thought. Too bad summer was ending soon though. She smiled a bit.
Maybe I’ll see a sun shower!, she thought. Cassie dashed down the sidewalk to catch the bus.
The Little Dragon’s Grocery only took a ten minute trip to get there. Despite Tokyo having nicer places to shop, Cassie always came here. Like everything else in her life, she had odd reasons to do so. The glass doors slid open as she as her foot got close enough. She took in a moment to inhale the overpowering scent of curry. With any normal person, they would’ve run off with teary, burning eyes. But Cassie always walked in smiling.
Reminds me of India, she thought. Cassie got out her cloth bag and began her evening shopping. One packet of tofu, curry, ginger roots, beef, pork, carrots, soba, pepper, onions, sweet and tangy sauces, and mushrooms. She planned her secret weapon: a stew of love. The say the way to a man’s heart is to his stomach. Cassie decided to give it a shot. Maybe then, he would smirk and give her a kiss. Then, back to the bedroom for…
The young woman squealed aloud to herself. Oh my!, she thought. I got to get a hold of myself to get this to work! The British woman took in a long, heavy breath.
Cassie counted up everything to had selected. After the fifth count, she went the counter. Ma waited for her, ready to ring up the purchases.
“Good evening, Cass,” she said.
“/Hey,/” the younger woman said back. She set her bag onto the counter. Ma began to ring up the purchases. Cassie still smiled at her.
“/So, how are you tonight?/” she asked. The clerk managed a sad little smile.
“Fine,” she said. “Just fine.” However, Cassie noticed her face.
“/Ma, what’s the matter?/” she asked. The middle-aged woman lowered her head.
“They’re closing down my store.”
Ma sighed. “It’s getting too old. Barely anybody comes here anymore. And the smell. People keep complaining about the smell. The company that is doing the demolition is planning to build a better market here. Such a waste if you ask me.”
Cassie’s glow wilted from her face. “/Isn’t there anything we can do?/”
Ma shook her head. “Just get everything here while you still can.” When she was done, Cassie paid for all of the groceries.
“/Thank you,/” she said.
“You’re welcome,” Ma replied. They bowed and Cassie headed out. A heavy cloud followed her head outside.
This had turned out to be much. Nick hated living with her and now Little Dragon’s closing down. Even her fantasy world couldn’t fix this. She paused in the middle of the sidewalk and looked at the dimming evening sky.
I’m over my head, she thought. But then, Cassie happened to look up and saw the answer. A bulldozer sat parked near place that would tear down Little Dragon’s in a few weeks. Curious, Cassie slowly walked over to it.
Unattended with the key in the ignition. That just screamed a bad idea that was forming in her head at her. I think I have a way to fix both problems…, she thought. In a few slow steps, Cassie set her plan into motion.
By ten o’clock at night, Cassie came home.
“/I’m home!/” she called. The British woman walked into the kitchen and put away the groceries.
“/Shhh!/” Nick whispered at her from the living room. Curious about the results, Cassie wondered into the room with her bag. She sat down next to Nick on the sofa. The TV was turned to the news channel. She turned to her boyfriend.
“/What’s going on?/” she whispered. Nick pointed to the TV.
“/Some crazy bastard stole a bulldozer and crashed into the construction company’s main building in the neighborhood of the Lytle's Dragon’s,/” he said. Cassie’s face lit up.
“/Oh really?/” she asked.
“/Yeah, bloody hell,/” he said. “/Delayed the project for eight more months due to damages./” Cassie paused for a moment before giggling. Nick raised an eyebrow at her.
“/What is it?/” he asked. She gave him a sweet little look.
“/What?/” she asked. Nick leaned in close to her face.
“/What did you do?/”
He pointed to the TV. “/Did you do this?/”
She gave him a little shrug. “/That would depend./”
“/What you think about it./”
“/Answer my question first. Did you do this?/”
“/Maybe…/” Cassie giggled again. Nick stared at her as he tried to piece together what just occurred in his brain.
“/F**k yeah!/” he said. The young man rushed forward and kissed her on the lips. Cassie smiled to herself as she threw her arms around his neck. Who needs food?, she thought. Crime is just as powerful as an aphrodisiac! Nick pulled her off the couch and dragged her back to their bedroom.
The next morning, the young man awoke to another realization in their bed. He shut his eyes as he cured himself in his head.
Bollocks!, he thought. She got me again! Meanwhile, Cassie laid next to him smiling in her sleep.
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