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Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Kallile » 09/02/2015 3:32 PM

Everything was going wrong.

With Alana at school and Milo at preschool, Kasari sat alone in an empty diner that was in dire need of some upkeep.

The floors were scuffed and tarnished, the tables wobbled, the chairs squeaked, and the kitchen pipes hissed and blew steam every now and then...when Kasari actually had anyone to cook for. The diner had been empty or with only a handful of customers for months and the bills were starting to pile up. Soon Kasari would have to risk losing it all to the bank...then what? What would happen to her kids without their father's in the picture? Where would she go from here if she lost her home and income?

Image

She sat on the floor with her knees drawn up under her chin and tears dragging lines of mascara down her cheeks. This was really going to be the end. If she couldn't think of some way to turn things around, she would risk losing it all. Her home. Her livelihood. Possibly her kids. Another sob shuttered through the usually tough woman as she buried her face back into her knees.

She was all tapped out of ideas, what she really needed now was a miracle to walk through the door.

[16]
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/02/2015 4:59 PM

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Perhaps he wasn't the miracle that Kasari was looking for, but after spending some time with Hiyrmes and going out to dinner with her he could get the woman out of his mind. Playing with Milo had made for an interesting night, even if Cadence would still scoff about it to this day. He had tried to keep in touch with her, but after a gig took him half-way across the continent the letters had been sparse.

Having been back in town long enough to rest and get his bearings he had decided to come to the diner once more. It was early in the afternoon, but hopefully after the breakfast and before the lunch crowd. When he walked through the door though... It certainly wasn't what he expected. He paused for a moment as the door closed behind him, frowning a little at the sound behind the counter.

"Kasari?" He called out, unsure as he approached and knelt next to her. The place was in some obvious disrepair... What had happened?
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[17]

Postby Kallile » 09/02/2015 8:20 PM

At the sound of the door opening and footsteps, Kasari went into a mild panic and began wiping at her eyes in vain to try and chase away the mascara trails. Sadly, all she managed to do was make herself look like a washed out raccoon by the time Itzal came to kneel beside her. She nudged him away before she registered the voice or looked to see who it was, still trying to tame the rouge makeup on her face. "Oh, sorry, can I get you..."

She looked at his face then, her own contorting into surprise. Itzal was here? It had been months since she'd heard from him on his tour...something she was starting to come to expect from most men. When the letters stopped she had taken to writing to the kids herself to lessen the pain of knowing one of their only father figures was once again gone. But here he stood. She reached out and touched his shoulder just to be sure she wasn't dreaming. "Itzal?"

She seemed to jump back to life, pushing her legs down to straighten her apron and give her cheeks a few more wipes with the backs of her hands. "Itzal. I wasn't expecting...anyone really. Can I get you coffee? How about a donut? There's not as much fresh here as the last time you stopped." She moved to stand up, purposefully avoiding eye contact with him as her mind rushed to try and seem like everything was alright.
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/02/2015 9:35 PM

Shaking his head a little Itzal moved to gently stop Kasari. He took her hand in his, careful to leave his grip loose enough to let her move away if she liked. He hated the thought of making her feel restricted. She hadn't told him the specifics of her past, but from the way she acted around him sometimes he could certainly guess. He never wanted her to feel like that around him.

"I'm sorry. I tried to send word about coming back, but a lot of the mail routes have been compromised with the War and all." He wasn't even sure if she had gotten most of the other letters he had sent for her and the kids, reassuring that he was well, and that he planned on coming home.

Hesitating for a moment he bit his lip before deciding to speak his mind. "...Is... Is everything okay? Kas, I told you to send word if you needed some help." He didn't really need the money he was getting from the gig, it was more to get Reed and Cadence out there and on their own. If he was needed here, he would have rather stayed.
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[18]

Postby Kallile » 09/02/2015 9:54 PM

Kasari stopped instantly at his touch as if he had frozen her solid. Tears began to well up in her eyes again as she listened to him talking. The war had taken away so much--people weren't seeking out a nice quiet dinner at a quaint family place. They were seeking escape from the death and fear around them--loud concerts, thrill-seeking adventures, mile-high meals that would simply put them in a food coma to make them forget their troubles. All were things Kasari couldn't compete with. Especially with Itzal gone.

"Everything is crumbling, Itzal." Her voice was barely above a whisper as she choked back tears she didn't want to fall. "Customers just haven't been coming in. I've been trying everything to get business back but...the market here is gone."

As her fears began to surface she leaned into Itzal's touch just slightly, seeking out some comfort from the mildest contact. "I don't know what else to do. We have no where to go if we lose this place and with both the kids..." She stopped herself, not wanting to think about all the lost time if she had to start picking up two or more part-time jobs just to keep bill collectors at bay and food on the table.

"We're not your responsibility," she reminded him gently, recoiling her lean just a little as he mentioned helping. "I'm glad you want to help but I don't know if this place can be turned around."
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/02/2015 10:04 PM

Relieved at even the slight inclination that she wanted him there, Itzal just nodded and let her talk. This War was taking its toll on everyone, moreso than just missed letter deliveries. He'd seen plenty of places shut down, repurposed for the soldiers or the war efforts in general. It was a sad sight to be found.

"No. You're not my responsibility. I want to take care of you and the kids. It's not a responsibility to me, Kasari." As she moved away he softly tugged her closer, at least into a soft embrace. He couldn't make everything right again, he knew that. But he could at least try to help. Fix up the diner, try to bring in some business. Watch the kids, or cook in the back. He wasn't great at any of those things but he would do them.

"It doesn't hurt to try. That's all you can do, right? I'll help you clean this place up, shine up the floors and the tables. Maybe offer a discount to the soldiers or something, they'll make up for it in tips." He was just throwing things out there now, trying to get both their minds moving. Maybe cheer her up.
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[19]

Postby Kallile » 09/03/2015 9:19 AM

Kasari didn't fight against the embrace, though she did stiffen slightly at the full touch. She did care for Itzal, maybe because of how he treated her family or maybe just because he wasn't afraid to be himself...but she knew that slippery slope. She wasn't ready to add a third to the ghosts of men she had once loved; even if Itzal didn't leave like the rest right away he was a musician and he was bound to leave eventually. It was the price of fame and recognition...eventually someone else would steal his affections away.

"There's no more money left for fixing things up. After getting the kids ready to go back to school...I don't have enough left," she murmured softly, leaning her head against one of his arms that held her comfortably captive. She considered his other options, giving a shaky sigh. "I've offered discounts, family nights. People around here aren't buying it anymore...this place isn't enough distraction from the war that everyone is seeking out."

She got an idea then, looking over her shoulder to Itzal with tear and mascara stained cheeks rising gently in a soft smile. "But maybe you can help us...a benefit concert. A concert would help people forget and bring in enough to get us back on our feet again."
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/03/2015 10:04 AM

Right now Itzal was just trying to be comforting. As a friend, because that was what she needed. He could see himself caring for her far more than that, but he didn't really want to get too involved. There had already been too much heartache, too many leaving. Far too much time invested. He was already falling for the little family, he knew that... At the very least they could stay friends, and he could ensure that the kids grew up with some sort of figure in their lives.

With her idea though he nodded, unable to help but to smile back. "That might work." He pulled a clean cloth from across the table to softly wipe her cheeks. "I could get the kids back here, make Reed and Cadence play. It'll take a few days at least, but that gives us time to fix this place up. I'm serious about that. I'll help with whatever you need." Which was, right now, a good floor scrub and wax, and a bit of elbow grease to help with the tables and the pipes.

"After the concert we could do a meet and greet here. People will come in and eat, and want to see the band."
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[20]

Postby Kallile » 09/03/2015 10:43 AM

She nearly flinched as he wiped off her cheeks, the rag looking like it had gotten in a fight with a marker and lost when he finally pulled it away. She shifted in his arms to they were almost facing one another sitting and kneeling on the floor. "Given the amount of customers I've had lately...days won't matter. We probably won't have anyone bothering us while we clean it up."

At the mention of Reed and Cadence she smiled a little more--the two trouble-makers had been the ones to bring Itzal here in the first place. She supposed she should thank them for that someday, maybe. "I'm sure having a local band gaining fame play would do well." It wouldn't be the first time the duo had played near here, but they were still just practicing then. With their band getting opening gigs more and more often Kasari was sure that they'd help draw a crowd.

She looked to the clock on the wall, noticing the time. "It never pays to work on an empty stomach. I don't have much...but I can whip something up for lunch. If you like." She gently pulled herself out of his arms and moved to get up off the floor. Nothing was going to get accomplished down there.
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/03/2015 10:55 AM

At least that would be alright. Fewer customers would mean more time to work, more of a chance to get everything in order before the sort-of reopening came about. Itzal nodded a bit with a soft chuckle. "Well, it gives us more time to work." Helping her up off of the floor and leaning on the counter himself for a moment he looked around the room, just taking a mental list of what needed to be done. It was a lot, but nothing that wasn't too far gone to salvage.

"Sure. You know I'm not picky. Whatever you have." He gave her another soft smile, watching her go back to the kitchen. Well. No better place to start. He started to sweep, pulling a pad of paper out to write down some repairs. He was no master craftsman, but a few wobbly chairs and a good floor wax weren't out of his realm of knowledge.
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[21]

Postby Kallile » 09/03/2015 11:22 AM

The kitchen was, at least, the one place Kasari had tried to keep up with. A few leaky pipes, yet, but the appliances had all been kept up with and the oven and stove tops were scrubbed spotlessly. She simply couldn't work in a dirty kitchen, that was both disgusting and bad business. The fridge yielded few options, but there was enough that she could throw something creative together. Tying back her ruddy-blonde hair into a ponytail she set to work.

Water was set on the stove to boil, the oven turned to preheat, and the mixing bowls aplenty were set out to begin making their lunch. Some ground beef began to sizzle in it's pan, corn and yellow rice put out to simmer. Veggies were quickly diced into small morsels and cheeses were placed out to begin warming. Soon the smell of an old, empty diner was replaced by the smells of the Mexican feast Kasari was preparing behind the counter.

"What do you think about things out there? Can they be fixed in a few days time?" Nothing had gotten so bad the place would need condemned, she and the kids did still live in the apartment above and it was important to Kasari to try and keep up with things...but the kids always came first. The other little things, however, never stopped piling up.
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/03/2015 11:44 AM

As the smells from the kitchen began to drift over Itzal smiled, wandering over that way to look into the window, watching Kasari work. She was so beautiful, moving around the place with such grace. He'd never been able to make cooking look that good. At least Reed had never complained, aside from the occasional burnt grilled cheese here and there.

"I'm confident in that. A little sandpaper and a small saw to fix the wobbly tables, and I'll rent one of those big floor waxers to get the floor shined up again." Hopefully she wouldn't argue. It was the least he could do for her, to get this place in shape. She could always pay him back with a hot meal, he was more than happy with that trade.

"I know a guy who does plumbing and electrical, and I'll have him come out and take a look at things. He owes me a favor for playing for his kid's birthday last year." Itzal was never one to turn down a job, even if the payment wasn't in cash. Favors came in handy. "Just make sure it's all up to handling the influx of business that'll be coming in." He was fairly confident anyway. He had to be, if this failed... Well, he'd have to convince Kasari to take help, and that would be a monumental task.
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[22]

Postby Kallile » 09/03/2015 12:01 PM

Everything was coming together so nicely, and with a few final touches the homemade Taco bowls were ready for their bake time in the oven. The beef was drained, spices and veggies added to all blend together perfectly. This is where Kasari had always known she was meant to be--cooking. Be it for just her kids or for the masses, it was her passion in life as much as singing and playing was Itzal's. With a few free moments she turned to see him looking in at her and blushed instantly, wiping her hands clean on her apron.

"Oh, that's good. Hopefully it's not too much...the kids and I will have to find someplace else to stay if it's going to take too much time to work on." Milo was still so young--he certainly wouldn't be able to sleep with people banging around and fixing plumbing in the middle of the night after a long day at preschool.

Timers began sounding, and Kasari returned to her work--twirling to grab pot holders and turn off knobs with graceful ease. The kitchen was her canvas and she was a master at work. "Alright, lunch is almost ready. Hope you're in the mood for something warm and spicy."
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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Re: Everything Falls Apart [P-Cita and I] [M?]

Postby Citanul » 09/03/2015 7:21 PM

"He should be able to work on it while the kids are at school. If it's fairly dead in here you don't need water for a couple of hours. We can fill up a few gallon jugs, leave them in the fridge." He offered. It was a good solution, and the man surely wouldn't need to leave the water off for too long. If it really was just leaky pipes, which he couldn't see it being too long to fix. "If it does take a while you can always stay at my place. The couch folds out into a bed, and Reed's still got a bunk bed in his room." It was a small two-bedroom place, but it was cozy enough and well kept.

He was already feeling his stomach rumble. "I'm always in the mood for your cooking, Kas." He smiled brightly to her, moving to take a seat nearest to the kitchen. It had become his regular spot around here, and he couldn't see himself sitting anywhere else. "It smells amazing."
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[23]

Postby Kallile » 09/08/2015 9:25 PM

Kasari nodded as she pulled the tortilla bowls from the oven and placed the cookie sheet on a cooling rack. She hoped that things would be patched quickly, but reality was something she always had to hold at the front of her mind. She didn't have the luxury of living in a world of wishful thinking as a single mother. "Hopefully it's not too bad of a job that we'd have to take you up on that offer..." She fell quiet just shy of saying 'but we appreciate it. Worse yet, possibly uttering the accidental word 'I' instead of 'we'. That was getting too close...and she knew he already knew she appreciated the offer.

With things cooled and married just right, Kasari began assembling the bowls. Meats, rice, veggies, beans, cheeses--all came together into still-warm tortilla homes before being placed on large plates. She brought them out to him in true waitress fashion; placing it in front of him with a little bit of flourish and a smile.

"Well, I hope it lives up to the expectations I know you've already put into your head," she said, sitting down beside him to look at her own lunch. There was a quiet, tense moment as she stared down her food, trying to find just the right words. Somehow she felt more calm with Itzal back...somehow everything was going to turn out alright in the end. She could just feel it. "For what it's worth...I'm glad you came back, Itzal."
"I have been hidden, scorned, adored, worshiped, forsaken, coveted and banished more times than I care to count. But the one thing all those experiences cannot steal from me is the gentle soul I was born with, the kind heart I have molded, and the bright ideals for the future that have lit my way through the darkness of the past."




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