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A day in the life of...

By Tomos JacksonPublished 2 years ago 6 min read

"Oh what am I going to do Decimus? I can't think of the best way to handle the situation. Either it sounds cold and uncaring or I come across as... as... well, as straight up weird to be honest. Oh I don't know! You need to help me Decimus!"

Decimus Petroneus just grunted as he tossed a small piece of broken cobble from the street and flicked it into the fountain he was perched on the rim of. Pacing off to his side, uncaring for the multitude of passerby's' that had to skirt around him or the venders at their stores that formed the circumference of the wide round courtyard that was one of many areas that served as intersections between streets, necessary junctions the citizens of Atlas needed to go through in order to get wherever they needed to go. Prime positioning for venders, beggars and street performers to lay an ambush for the unwary traveler.

As for Cassius and his cry for help, Decimus gave no response. Not because he did not care but because he knew that Cassius wasn't finished yet. He hadn't stopped pacing back and forth, his sandals slapping against the street cobbles and his dark red tunic, similar to those worn by legionaries beneath their armour, flapped back and forth, tearing this way and that trying to keep up with Cassius as he would spin from one direction to another, back and forth.

"I can't stop thinking about her Decimus. I keep coming up with scenarios in my mind of events that just happen that draws her attention to me and how I might take advantage of them. Perhaps I arrive just in time to help her with something, carry her shopping or something. Maybe she comes to me sometime and we get talking, I would talk about the things I like to do and it would just so happen that she likes those things too. Hell! Sometimes it goes so far as I am saving her from criminals, witty and confident even as I defend her."

At this last Decimus couldn't help snorting in amusement at the idea.

"I know." Cassius said, finally stopping and sitting on the side of the fountain besides his friend, even as Decimus flicked a tiny piece of the cracked wall into the water, watching as it vanished behind the curtain of water around the spout. "Its ridiculous to expect things to go that well all by itself and I realize that perhaps my imagination is getting somewhat carried away. Even so, I can't stop myself from wishing that something would set things up for me." Cassius sighed.

After a moment, leaving Cassius a brief pause to start up again if he wanted, Decimus gave him a sidelong look and replied in an even tone, "You only just saw her for the first time three weeks ago." He said in a flat tone.

"I know, I know!" Cassius said exasperated, standing up abruptly and facing Decimus, but Decimus wasn't finished yet, "you don't even know her OR her family and now your driving yourself and ME crazy laying out your fantasies for your romantic future, I seriously hope this is not going to be what happens every time you see a girl you like, cause I don't think I got the patience for it."

"I realize that I'm going out of my mind here when I haven't even spoken to her yet, but its not like I know NOTHING about her." Cassius started to mark each finger as he made a point, Decimus mentally braced himself.

"She's clearly smart," Cassius started, "the way she answers Fr Matteius's questions and how impressed he seems with her work. She's modest in dress and yet remains the most beautiful girl in the class, she's well spoken in words and her tone is soft as a song" Decimus had to keep from retching at this," She's very kind and everyone who talks with her likes her from what I can see."

"As well as people who don't talk with her apparently." Decimus muttered wryly.

Cassius threw him a ugly glare, and Decimus raised his hand in apology "Alright alright I'm sorry. But given that I am not in love with this apparent gem of heaven's angels can we move from her wonderful persona onto matters of more significance? Perhaps on what should be done to draw on the attention of this young lady?"

"Yes yes," Cassius said his eyes lighting with excitement, "what did you have in mind?"

Decimus waved his hand placatingly "Wow wow wow Cassius, I don't have any ideas yet. Let me think a second."

Cassius sniffed and spun on his heels again resuming his pacing, "fat lot of good thinking does, I've been doing nothing but that for weeks now."

"Well we've found the problem then, now for the solution." Cassius spun to throw Decimus another glare, only to be confronted with his friends mischievous smile again.

"Perhaps if you spent the effort you put into making clever remarks into figuring this out we could have a plan already?"

"I doubt it, my wit is effortless. Now shut up and let me think."

They sat there in silence for a while, while Decimus made an effort to appear to be making an effort which was more effort than he thought it should be, and Cassius continued to pace impatiently up and down, oblivious to the crowds of people around him. Finally when Decimus felt he had been trying not to try for a sufficient amount of time, he sat up suddenly with a dramatic snap of his fingers, as if inspiration had just struck him.

"What? What have you got Decimus", Cassius was at his side like he was Decimus's puppy who had just been called over.

"As far as I can tell," Decimus began slowly, letting Cassius squirm a little, "the best thing you can do.... is talk to her."

Cassius stood there waiting for more, he honestly did behave remarkably like a puppy in this moment, before pushing away with an exasperated "Uuuugh!" before fixing his full gaze of annoyance on his friend.

"This is serious Decimus. You think I wouldn't have tried that if it was that simple?"

"I am being deadly serious Cassius." Decimus replied, trying hard to keep a straight face. He did feel kind of bad putting his friend through this, but really the guy was just too infatuated to deserve anything less, and he was being half serious too.

"Quite simply," Decimus continued, "if you don't go and talk to her then you will stay as you are and nothing will happen. Reality doesn't often give us that perfect moment that we all dream of. In fact it never does, or it wouldn't be a dream!"

Cassius looked a little doubtful, but was listening as Decimus carried on. It was clear to Decimus that Cassius knew he was right, but wasn't willing to accept that the next move was his. Nonetheless he spoke on.

"If you don't talk to her soon you will just hang around, day dreaming and building a fantasy version of this girl. If your weird behavior doesn't drive her away from you first, then it is inevitable that this girl will not be able to reach the levels you raised her too in your own head when you do finally end up talking to her. You will end up being disappointed and possibly rejecting a wonderful young woman for not being an angel.

"But I would never reject her!" Cassius exclaimed, "she is the most wonderful and ta..." Decimus raised a finger and Cassius stopped.



"Shut up," Decimus lowered his finger to point down the street, "and talk to her first."

Cassius stood there for a moment hesitantly. Finally he looked anxiously to Decimus, "Will you come with me?"

Decimus sighed heavily. "Fine. But you have to do most of the talking ok?"

"Sure" Cassius nodded his anxiety appearing relax a little.

"Ok. Lets go then."

Decimus rose from his perch on the edge of the fountain and the two boys started down the street.

"You do know where she lives right?" Decimus asked.

"Uh..." Cassius looked up and down the street.

Decimus gave another, long, and lingering sigh. "No matter. We'll find it. Eventually."

Short Story

About the Creator

Tomos Jackson

Stories have always been a source of inspiration. I aim to reproduce that in my own writing. Developing ideas of one's potential by reading it in the lives of others can be a powerful force to encourage bettering ourselves in the real world

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