Cruel, poetic or blind? - Chapter 1 - yonimii (2023)

chapter text

Weekend shifts so late were the bane of his existence. In the restaurant's kitchen, his colleague dumped another dirty plate in the sink and sighed heavily under the constant hum of the small speakers. Your own shift was over in ten minutes: after handing a plate of cake to a customer, you came back and stood beside her.

The clock on the wall above the door said seven o'clock. M. Three hours until you can go home. Night shifts in Gotham were never great, but the restaurant you worked at was in a relatively quiet part of town, or at least as quiet as possible. Mikaela put aside the dish she had just washed to drain and took off the yellow rubber gloves she had been wearing for an hour.

"Are you out there then?" You smiled at her as she untied her apron and hung it on the hook behind the kitchen door. A bell rang outside the restaurant, signaling another customer. Mikaela looked out the round window and slowly turned to look into her eyes.

She nodded, "Good luck with that", she gave a tired laugh and waved at the man who had just entered. You raised your eyebrows in confusion.

"He's just…you know. Weird."

"Oh, come on," you replied, "he can't be that bad." you didn't lie It seemed that everyone in this part of Gotham was very quiet and very reserved. They doubted this gentle-looking man could be any different.

"I just feel uncomfortable leaving a young man like you here with someone like him, that's all."

“You shouldn't talk about clients like that, Kaela. Come on, go home, you look tired.

Mikaela nodded, her gentle eyes meeting his again. He turned and waved, then walked out the door. They went to the sink, turned it off to drain the dirty water, then went to the front of the store to take orders.

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The man who had just entered was sitting at the counter, running his finger along the gray table. He didn't look up when you approached.

"Good night sir"

No answer. Not even an acknowledgment of his presence.

"Can I take your order?"

A soft voice left her lips and she lifted her head slightly.

"Just plain coffee. And a piece pie." Her glasses slid down the bridge of her nose as she spoke, and she lifted a pale hand to push them up.

"Of course. Wait a minute!"

You watched her coffee run into a cup after she cut the piece of cake: you couldn't stand the coffee. Or cake. She finished and you placed the cup on a saucer and carried it the short distance to your seat. You forced a smile onto her face again and this time he really looked at you. His striking green eyes seemed to be focused on you, but he refused to make eye contact.

"Here. Can I get anything else?"

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He shook his head, gently leaned into her palm and sighed softly. By this time, the restaurant was empty except for him and you, and the radio signal on the corner was starting to drop. You wanted to turn it off and felt a pair of eyes watching you. She caught your eye when you looked back, but she quickly went back to her cake and coffee and pretended nothing happened.

The blue lights outside flickered and reflected in the constant puddles of rain on the ground. It hadn't stopped raining for days. In the distance, the bat signal glowed in the sky, a warm contrast to the cold sky. You smiled, walked back behind the counter and started cleaning. From time to time you could hear the chair creaking as it moved. Looking around, he was writing feverishly in a small notebook in a firm, childlike hand.

He saw you watch, instinctively covering the words and your pale cheeks flushing.

"What, are you writing your diary or something?" you chuckled, looking into his eyes over his form. He was bent over the table, one hand playing with the handle of his mug, the other gripping his pen so hard he thought it would break right there. He shook his head, almost looking indignant at her comment.


You almost didn't hear him because he spoke so quietly.

"Puzzle? Really?" A smile spread across her lips and he looked at her and nodded softly, "I guess I never really considered these people, you know. Write them for fun." This earned the man a smile, although he continued to look down at the table. Of course you didn't mind. You assumed he would be rude or worse based on Mikaela's comment. He was just shy.

"Can I read them?"

He looked immediately taken aback. His words tumbled out of his mouth in a rushed stutter, his tongue frantically fumbling with the letters.

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“I… I mean sure, if you want.” He looked uncomfortable, but you chose to ignore him.

It can be cruel, poetic or blind. But if you refuse
It's violence you can find.

"What's the answer? Don't you write it along with the riddle?", you asked, looking at him curiously.

"I don't have to write the answer. It came to me first." He spoke so openly that you almost felt embarrassed, but you managed to keep your composure. You nodded and made an understanding sound.

"What's your name? I mean obviously you know mine," you chuckled, "it's written on my apron."

He hesitated for what seemed like an hour, but finally made up his mind.
tell you


"So, I'm happy to meet you. I heard from my colleague that you are a regular customer, right?

Edward nodded, "It's in a convenient location. Dinner."

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"Oh! So you live around here," you told him, smiling so it didn't sound weird, "I'm a college student, so I live a little further away. Close to campus."

He nodded and looked up from his now empty cup and saucer: it was the first good look on his face that night. He looked to be in his late thirties, but you suspected he was probably a little younger. At least 10 years older than you. She had light green eyes in a pale face, brown hair pulled back by her glasses. Her thin lips curved into a smile as you picked up the plate and cup to rinse and put away.

"What are you studying?" The question came out of nowhere: You're the one asking the questions for the last half hour. The sudden change in dynamics slowed it down a bit.

"Literature and Creative Writing".

Edward nodded, his hair falling into his eyes under the clear frames of his glasses. He pushed it away, blinked hard a few times, and reached into his raincoat pocket. After a while, he found the money to pay for his order and placed it on the counter next to the cashier.

"I'm a forensic accountant."

"Oh! It's laundering detective work, right?" They responded by taking the money and setting it aside at the cash register.

He nodded, but even you knew you were oversimplifying the job. Still, Edward didn't seem to mind. He walked to the door and turned to give her an awkward smile before leaving.

"Good evening," you said as he opened the door to the restaurant and you walked out into the night. Outside, the bat signal was still high in the sky. You were wondering what they needed for tonight.

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