Post by Mattie Williams on Dec 11, 2011 21:43:52 GMT -5
(( ... For Elise and Mattie...))
"... I know, Kuma... I... you're right... I should keep more..."
The quiet conversation kept going as Mathieu Williams walked through the marketplace, headed for a particular shop - the only one he'd purchase his maple syrup from. After putting in the order, picking up a few extra bottles for himself, and arranging for delivery, he'd wander and see if he came up with anything else he might need.
Of course... getting through the crowded marketplace was a job and a half. Come on, Mattie, you can do this... no-no! I can't... I... I can't! ... We need the syrup... Well, you need the syrup... Syrup is delicious... But... but the people...
The people were getting to Mattie. He hugged Kumajiro closer to his chest, looking around with wide, violet eyes. "... maybe we should just go home..." But no sooner than he spoke, he gently collided with someone. "... Oh... Oh... I'm sorry.... miss... please, excuse me..."
Post by Elise Peeters on Dec 12, 2011 14:20:27 GMT -5
Elise knew she should have brought the cart for her shopping trip. One bag of ingredients had turned into four, and four became seven, and now she had to weave her way out of the crowd and while maintaining a balancing act.
With the bag blocking her front view, she had not seen the figure walk straight toward her until they collided, the bag tumbling down to the ground and spilling the sugar.
"Oh!" She found herself face-to-face with a young man wearing an apologetic expression. She hurried to reassure him. "Oh no, it's all right. I'll just - "
With a small grunt, she set the rest of her bags down gently, kneeling to salvage whatever was left in the fallen bag.
Post by Mattie Williams on Dec 12, 2011 14:51:14 GMT -5
Mattie watched as the girl sat her bags down, kneeling to gather her things. He ought to help her...
Without thinking about it more, Mattie dropped to his knees, Kuma still held carefully in one arm as he reached for something just out of her range. "... I... I'm really sorry... I should have been looking where I was going... I was... I was talking to my friend..."
He didn't offer more explanation than that... instead, he offered her what he'd gathered, and then looked at the ruined ingredients. "... I... I'm so sorry... I'll replace those for you..." It was the right thing to do, after all. There was nothing else he could do, since it had been his fault that she'd dropped them in the first place. ... Why was she carrying so many bags? ... it wasn't his place to ask... he didn't even know her...
Post by Elise Peeters on Dec 12, 2011 15:40:03 GMT -5
Elise hefted the bags into his arms and stood, taking the rest from the young man with sincere thanks. He seemed so flustered that Elise felt guilty. She gave him a warm smile, hoping it would ease his nerves.
"Thank you, but please don't worry about it. There's no need - I have more than enough."
She shifted the bags in her arms as one pile began to weigh down on her. With the sugar bag less full, she was able to peer over the top and take a good look at the young man.
"I've seen you somewhere before. Do you live nearby?"
Post by Mattie Williams on Dec 12, 2011 19:25:45 GMT -5
"... No... I... I insist..." Mattie couldn't help it. Maman had drilled it into his head enough... if you broke something or spilled it or anything along those lines, you replaced it. And... and besides. It was the right thing to do. It was. "... Oh... do... do you need help...? ... I... I don't mind..." He could carry some of her supplies... it might make it up to her, for causing her to drop them. And then he could go to the merchant he always visited...
"... Nearby...?" At first, the question caught the young man off guard. And then a shy smile crossed his lips as he pulled his bear closer to him in a hug. "... no... we don't... but I've got a restaurant in this district... Al's Restaurant..." The restaurant named after his brother. At that thought, he seemed to withdraw a little. "... no, Kuma... I... oh, all right..."
Once more, his attention was on her. "... I... I'm Mathieu Williams... ah... everyone calls me Mattie, though..."
Post by Elise Peeters on Dec 12, 2011 20:55:41 GMT -5
Elise was a little bemused by the young man's anxiety; she hoped she hadn't inspired it. But the sudden, tentative smile that lit up his face relieved Elise's concern. So she had indeed seen him before.
"Oh! You're the owner?" she exclaimed delightedly. "How wonderful! I treat myself to dinner there once a week. I'm fond of that restaurant."
She carefully held out a hand to shake, although that was all she could offer. Her arms were much too full to move.
"Hello, Mr. Williams. I'm Elise. I live and work not too far from your restaurant."
Post by Mattie Williams on Dec 12, 2011 21:37:19 GMT -5
As Elise spoke again, Mattie looked down at Kuma, then back up at her. She seemed happy... happy enough that his own smile grew by a fraction. "... Yes... I'm the owner..." She came in once a week? Why didn't he recognize her? He ought to recognize her. Maybe she came in when he was back in the kitchen... that would have to be it. Sometimes, the restaurant was too busy for him to take his turn out in the front.
"... I... I'm glad you enjoy it..."
Noticing her hand, he hesitantly met it with his own. "... It's... It's nice to meet you, Elise... Please... just call me Mathieu..." If she would insist upon calling him by an actual name, why not call him by his first name? "... you work nearby...? ... Where is it you work?" He wondered if he'd ever ventured in. Probably not... he tended to avoid going anywhere but home, work, and the marketplace. If he avoided it, then he couldn't be hurt. Kuma agreed.
Post by Mattie Williams on Dec 15, 2011 16:06:41 GMT -5
...She was pretty when her eyes lit up like that...
But that train of thought went nowhere. "... Oh..." He smiled. "I... I pass on my way home... but haven't had the chance to stop in..." His smile this time was just a little quicker, lasted just a little longer, and then disappeared again. She was moving... oh. He'd just noticed her beckoning him. Without really thinking, he turned and fell into step beside her.
He should take some of her bags... he... he should? ... of course he should. It was obvious she needed help with them... she kept shifting them around... and they looked heavy. ... they did look heavy... he... he could carry one or two for her...
Gently, hesitantly, he reached out and placed his hand on the handle of two of the heavier bags. "... Let me carry those for you, Elise..." He didn't have anything to carry except Kuma who didn't weigh anything anyway...
Post by Elise Peeters on Dec 15, 2011 17:01:31 GMT -5
Elise was surprised when she saw Mathieu reach for her bags. "Please, you don't have to - oh, all right then..."
She resigned herself to carrying only half of the bags she originally had, shooting Mathieu a grateful smile. Elise always did appreciate gentlemanly gestures and found herself liking this young man.
"Well, you're welcome anytime," Elise assured him. "In fact, you should stop by soon! This week I'm launching several new breakfast sweet bread varieties. I'm hoping they'll take off."
She led him out of the market and turned down the street corner, unaware that they were nearing her shop. "I can go on all day about what I bake, so I'll stop myself here. What about you? Your restaurant must be running smoothly, yes?"