The absolute worst case scenario. The awfully bad situation I avoided and had nightmares about since I was little and dreamed of being on spaceships (which didn't work out because my father was opposed to my career as a space marine). However, even creatures from outer space and other dimensions sound like a great idea compared to this. I mean it. Words fail to describe the horror, the absolute dismay I'm feeling at this very moment.
This is just dreadful. I don't believe in karma or past lives, but if I did (and I'm not saying I do), I would probably have been (and I'm not saying I am) a really mean, distrusted and hated person. Probably a soccer referee.
It's just a maid cafe, stop being such a drama queen.
Just a maid cafe, you say. I swore to myself that I'd never enter that kind of place. Will you look at the waitress? She thinks she is still a teenager, but anyone can see the wrinkles on her face! That horrible makeup isn't helping at all! This is outrageous, almost an insult for those who were once in the presence of a true maid!
Meanwhile, could you please tell the "fake maid" that you're not going to order now? She keeps staring at you with that "I don't get paid to stand here and look at you" look.
Against my will I turned around and saw the eldritch, I mean, elder abomination looking at me. Oh my, she was actually trying to look cute. That was really, really lame. She was probably in her thirties, and shouldn't have to put up with this anymore. I wondered if she hated her job. I certainly did.
"May I serve you, master?"
"I mean, I intend to order, but right now I am waiting for someone."
She probably did not realize that she was making an awkward face, a feat which in her case was not a challenge at all.
"Oh, I see." The maid said, without much conviction. I cannot even blame her, since she probably deals with hardcore otaku every single day. She gave me a cheap, fake smile and tried to talk in a high pitched voice. "Just call Myu-chan when you're ready to order, myu~~"
Just at that moment I realized that the maid assigned to my table was the only one that wore cat-ears. Great, a cat-maid; I must be the unluckiest person on Earth. When I thought it couldn't get any worse, a song that I could only believe came from some anime filled the room.
I couldn't recognize the song, but I guessed it was an anime opening because of the overused structure and the shrieking child-like voice of the singer/voice actor/whatever you kids call it these days. The synthesized bass was steady but clearly uninspired, which hurt my pride as a bass player. And when I looked at my cell phone, I noticed that Ryo was already seven minutes late.
Heavens, what am I doing here?
You know, that's an interesting question that intrigued humanity since the beginning of time. There is a great deal of people who believe that the mysterious reason of their existence will only be revealed when we reach a definitive conclusion about the creation of say, everything. Some believe that gods created the universe, and others that everything began because of a random explosion of nothingness. Fascinating subject, no matter how you approach it.
...I didn't mean it like that. I was just wondering how my life had reached this point. It's always been weird (really weird, for honesty's sake), but not anything like this. I'm used to dealing with "supernatural" weird, or "murder case" weird, even "space monsters" weird; I just don't know how these people manage to deal with "normal" weird. I mean, it's my first day in town and I've already broke a promise to myself and thought about my maid.
Since the subject is breaking promises and maids, you also had sworn that you would bring her favorite ribbon back when you were kids. Instead, you mixed things up and mistook her for her sister.
Wait, I did return that ribbon; in one of the routes, at least. And they were identical twins, so no one can blame me for being confused. That doesn't matter, anyway. Discussing my past won't change the fact that I have to wait in the most hideous place on Earth for a girl I'm not sure I want to meet in real life because if I do and she is different from the girl I've met on the Net, I won't have any friends left. No one should have to face such a crisis.
Crisis, which comes from the Greek ‘krinein’, ‘to separate’. Which is funny because you do feel like you're being torn apart, right?
That's not funny at all!
...oh, c'mon, it's not that bad. She might be different, but in a good way.
Well, she could be a guy. You wouldn't feel so awkward waiting for a guy, right?
I'm not sure; it would depend on the guy and...
... just wait a second. What are you insinuating?
Oh, nothing. Nothing at all.
The mysterious voice coughed nervously, and I wasn’t even sure if it was a feat possible for someone who doesn’t have a body, since it involved stressing the throat and such.
...anyway, it's not like people lie on the internet or anything like that. I mean, there is no way someone would set up an offline meeting with you just to make you wait for a long time and make you feel like an idiot.
Nah, no one would do that.
I sighed in relief.
It's too simple, way too simple. Unless...
...what? Unless what?
...unless they were recording your reactions to post the movie on the internet later. It sounds like a fine reason to set up a date instead of just saying they couldn't come.
Why are you assuming that Ryo is a "they" or a "he" instead of a "she"? Why do you need to make me feel more paranoid about everything, when it's not like I need your help to ruin my self-esteem? Why the heck don't you just leave me alone?
Despite the awfully loud music that seemed to fill every corner of the room, my mind was completely silent. However, that was only the calm before the storm. The peace only lasted for a blink of an eye and after that, I was thrown into the deep well of agony once again.
It was like someone made an enormous hole in the submerged submarine that was my mind, the unfounded theories (but not impossible) being the black waters of the ocean surrounding it. They found their way in and were filling me, making me too heavy to keep floating.
What if the voice was right? What if every message, every single word she typed was a big fat lie? It's not like I never considered that hypothesis myself. Darn, I wished I had talked to her on the phone. Once would have been enough, at least to destroy my doubts. At that moment, they were crushing me.
The agony suddenly transformed into white anger. I was suddenly mad at everything. At myself, for being such a fool and talking to someone for so long without knowing simple details about her, which is practically a requirement in healthy human relations. At her, him or they for making me wait for so long. At the waitress, for being so old (she was probably not very happy about that either). At the clients, for repeating what seemed to be the same song over and over again. At the voice, for ruining my day. Especially at that voice.
I listened to the piercing sound of laughs. Laughs of many, I'm completely sure of that. The mysterious voice was right! Surrounded by hunters, the white beast of Rage wanted to reverse to its previous state but failed and stayed in the middle of the road between Anger and Agony, becoming a creature with features of both and decent Special Attack stats.
As I stood up, I heard the table shaking and the chair I was sitting on quickly falling on the floor; I felt my eyes twitching and my head hurt, but I ignored it and focus on the sounds around me. The laughing ones are...
...on my right! ...on your left side! ...right there! ...on the ceiling!
"I'M IN DESPAIR!"
Just a moment after screaming that, I realized that the clients were laughing at an anime scene on the widescreen television. However, after my performance, I manage to finally become what I was afraid of being from the start: the center of their attention.
I lowered my head and grabbed the chair, ignoring the infinite sounds hovering around me. I sat on it again, not only because I was finding it hard to stand, but also because I was too confused to run. I covered my face with my hands. Have I gone completely insane?
What? Are you going to mock me by saying "good job!" or something like that? Save it, I don't need your offensive remarks to feel bad about myself. I'm only glad that I hadn't ordered coffee or anything when my burst of despair occurred, or it would have fallen on the floor and I'd be even more embarrassed than I am right now, and I’m not quite sure if that is possible.
Shut up. Now, pay attention to the people around you.
For some reason, I did. They were not only laughing.
How often have you seen bullies clapping their hands in ovation to the weak kid?
When I looked at them, I saw that the voice was right. The clients were on their feet, smiling and screaming and clapping their hands like there was no tomorrow. For some reason, they weren't laughing at me, but with me. Technically, since I wasn't laughing. The point is, I was not being mocked.
It felt warm.
"That was a nice performance, and your voice does resembles Teacher's," There was a small pause, and I could hear a rasp in her breath. "...however, it would have been much more effective if you had done it while wearing a hakama and glasses. A great performance, nonetheless."
I turned around to see where that voice was coming from. A pale, geeky girl with pitch black hair watched me with interest. It took me a little while until I realized who I was talking to.