Another David and Phoebe short

I almost forgot to write today, whoops! I can’t think of anything to write on today, so I’m going to write a sketch with Phoebe and David, the two characters I posted some earlier work about.

David was really feeling like a hipster when he woke up that morning. Or rather, he felt like a hipster as he went about preparing himself that morning. The previous night had been really, bitterly cold—or at least it felt that way in his not-too-well-insulated apartment. His first thought when he work up was to get warm and relax, as he had the day off from work.

He got out of bed, slipped on a housecoat, then went to his little kitchen to make himself some coffee. He opened the blinds in the living room, and he saw that, hallelujah, the sun was shining. He decided to add a little ambiance to his morning. He looked through his record collection and picked out something calm- he decided on the recently-released new album by Leif Vollebekk called Southern Americana. Vollebekk’s poignant lyrics and soft instrumentals soon wafted through his apartment.

He was only about halfway through his coffee when his cellphone began vibrating on the kitchen table. He didn’t have call display on his phone, so he assumed that work was calling him in. He bet Matt called in sick or something. The bastard.

“Hello?” he said, deciding to be responsible for once.

“Let me in,” said the voice on the other end. David nearly jumped, and then remembered that he had had a spare key card made for Phoebe. He turned off the phone, then went over and unlocked the door. Phoebe was, of course, standing on the other side of it. She kissed him and then slid by him.

“Which one’s this again? Was it Kalle Mattson? I can never tell those folk singers apart.”

“It’s Leif Vollebekk,” David said, putting special emphasis on the name. “Kalle Mattson is a little more rootsy.”

“Whatever,” Phoebe plopped down on his crappy couch, nearly sinking into its unnatural softness.

“Why are you here  so early? I just woke up!” David said, perhaps a tad more irritably than he should have said it.

“Well sorry if I want to take advantage of a nice day,” Phoebe said with a bit of a pout on her face.

“Just because it’s sunny out, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a nice day,” David said. “I nearly goddamn froze to death last night.” He decided to test his girlfriend’s potential craziness by checking the weather on his phone. His eyes widened. Last night had been -6 C. It was going to go all the way up to 12 C today. If this were five years ago, he might have been surprised, but he wasn’t anymore. The Toronto weather flipped back and forth between warm and cold seemingly daily, so David accepted that it was somehow going to be magically warm today. “Okay, you win,” David said. “I clearly know nothing about Toronto weather.”

“We’re going to go celebrate the warm weather,” Phoebe said. He loved and was irritated by the way Phoebe made statements like that. It was never “Want to do something with me?” It was always “We’re doing something.” On the one hand, David did enjoy being whisked away to places outside his comfort zone, but on the other hand he never had any choice in the matter. But on the other, other hand, if he was always given a choice he’d probably be the most boring human being on the face of the Earth.

“Where are we going, then?”

“We’re going to go to Toronto Island, of course,” Phoebe said. David smiled. As if that was going to be his first guess.

“Alright,” David said. “But breakfast first.” Phoebe relented, and so David made his usual favourite breakfast food, French Toast. She once again begged him for the recipe, but he kept mum. He moved so quickly through his prep and measurements that Phoebe couldn’t even mentally figure out what he was doing. They ate quickly, and David went to his room to change into a pair of pants and t-shirt. He grabbed his wallet.

“Let’s head out,” he said. Phoebe nodded and grabbed her purse she had thrown on the table. It was amazing living on Queen’s Quay- it was a very short walk to the Toronto Harbour. The line was very small, but not non-existent. There always seemed to be people using the ferry. Sometimes it was folks who lived on the island, and other times it was people who didn’t have the sense to wait until the island was a little warmer. David supposed he and Phoebe were in the latter camp that day.

They waited about ten minutes, and then they saw the Ward’s Island ferry pull in. The ferry wasn’t on its summer schedule yet, so the Centre Island and Hanlan’s Point ferries weren’t chartered yet.

As they boarded the boat, there was a brief silence between Phoebe and David before Phoebe broke it. “Do you remember that guy I mentioned in December?”

“Which guy?” David asked.

“You know, the mysterious disappearing guy?”

“Oh, yeah. What about him?”

“Well I saw him again,” Phoebe said. “I don’t know if I should tell you the rest…”

“Oh come on, there’s no way you can stop your story there,” David said. “As long as you didn’t sleep with him, I’m alright.” Phoebe punched him in the shoulder, but not quite as playfully as she usually did. “I’m sorry, Phoebe, that was uncalled for,” he said. “Forgive my idiocy.”

“You’d better be sorry,” Phoebe said. David knew she still had some issues she hadn’t worked out, and David knew he shouldn’t have provoked her like that. “Fine, I’ll tell you the rest. So last night I was drinking a latte at work after my shift, and I saw the guy enter. I knew he caught my eyes, but he tried to pretend like he hadn’t just given me a really intense look.”

“Okay…”

“And so I continued to sip my latte, and a few minutes later the guy came over to my table. He asked ‘Is this seat taken?’ and I motioned for him to sit down if he wanted to. I would have been creeped out if the store wasn’t totally filled with people. He told me he was from out of town and was visiting Toronto briefly. He asked me where certain tourist traps in Toronto were, like the CN Tower and stuff, so I showed him. He thanked me and said that we’d see each other again and then left.”

“Did you get his name?” David asked.

“No, he didn’t ask me mine, and I didn’t really feel comfortable telling him anyway, so I let it slide.”

“Have you considered reporting this dude?” David asked. “For all we know he could be stalking you.”

“I don’t want to report him yet,” Phoebe said. “He hasn’t really done me any harm. But if he starts following me at night, then I won’t hesitate to call the police.”

“Good call,” David said. He couldn’t help but entertain an ugly thought at the back of his mind; what if she found him attractive? Phoebe wouldn’t outright tell him something like that. He tried to stop being a jealous prick, though, and enjoy the island stroll.

They docked at Ward’s Island a few minutes later and disembarked. They started heading toward the other end of the island. Most of the snow had finally melted, and they had to clear the way many times for the islanders who rode their bikes everywhere. When they reached Centre Island, Phoebe stopped dead.

“What?” David asked.

“Him,” Phoebe said, pointing at two guys standing near a water fountain. Both were tall and slim, one with the long brown hair Phoebe had previous described, the other with wild-looking long-ish blonde hair. “That’s the mysterious disappearing guy.”

David didn’t immediately respond. He couldn’t believe he was actually feeling a pang of jealousy—the guy was decent-looking. “Let’s just keep moving. Maybe they won’t notice us,” David finally said. Phoebe rolled her eyes.

“Fine,” she said. They started to walk, but sure enough, the two guys looked up. The brown-haired guy waved. To David’s chagrin, Phoebe waved back. The two guys walked over.

“What are you doing here?” Phoebe asked. She didn’t demand it; she said it in the tone of somebody who hasn’t seen somebody in a long time.

“Oh, I was just exploring the island,” the guy said.

“How did you get here?” David asked. He wanted to be friendly, but… “We just got here on the first ferry, and I know you don’t live on the island.”

“Oh, you’re her boyfriend?” the blonde-haired guy asked.

“Yes, in fact, I am,” David said.

“Ah, that’s too bad,” the brown-haired guy said. “I figured you could do better.” The remark was aimed at Phoebe.

Now David wasn’t usually one to lose his temper, but that sneaking suspicion had bubbled up into rage. Without even thinking, he threw a punch at the guy, knocking him clean over. David shook his fist after the punch. He didn’t really know how to make a proper first.

“What the fuck is your problem?” the blonde-haired guy said. Rather than punch David, he stood his ground and clasped his hands together. David stared, bewildered. What was going on? He could feel the temperature rise and get warmer, slowly but steadily. Phoebe looked afraid at the clear rage in the man’s eyes.

Then the brown-haired guy got up and put a hand on the other guy’s shoulder. “Aurum, don’t do that, not here,” he said.

“But…”

“I said no. You know the rules.”

“Fine.” Aurum shrugged. The temperature suddenly fell back to normal. What the hell was that? Was David going crazy?

“That was uncalled for,” the guy who wasn’t Aurum said. “I apologize. We’ll be leaving now.” The two walked off toward the beach.

“What the hell was that about?” Phoebe said, almost yelling. “I don’t need you to be my fucking bodyguard, David. They weren’t going to hurt me or you.”

“I’m sorry,” David said. “That was really stupid of me. I was just… well… He’s pretty handsome and…”

“Oh shut up,” Phoebe said, wrapping her arms around him and kissing him on the cheek. “If I wanted to leave you I would have done it already.” That made David feel a lot better. But that nagging suspicion didn’t dissipate completely. Much as Phoebe said she wouldn’t be leaving, she didn’t agree or disagree with David’s assessment of how the guy looked.

Strange days in Toronto, David thought.

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