My Coin-Operated Boy Toy
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- Posted: Wed, 09 Jun 2010 11:23:13 +0000
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ℓσcαтιση ▪ in transit∴ мσσ∂ ▪ nervous ∴ нεα∂αcнε ▪ mild
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══════════Standing within the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport a thin brunette was obviously lost. Accompanying him were two other darker skinned individuals, the woman a good four inches shorter than the younger male, and the older man only a fraction of an inch shorter. From an outsider's viewpoint, this would be a son and his two parents, and the outsider would have been correct. "Hijo¹, which direction is the terminal?" The woman's voice was cheery, though it held the slightest note of concern, as she peered about the sea of bodies. Silently giving a shrug of his shoulders the youth mimicked his mother's feeble attempts to determine where he was supposed to be going, the pair turning to the father figure with wide, almost pleading eyes. "Dad.. any clu--" The elderly man lifted a hand, as if hushing his son as he began to point off to his left, muttering something unintelligible due to his diminutive voice. Used to the mannerisms of the male, the brunette give a quiet nod, stepping forward and pivoting to look at his parents. Really, he didn't know how long it would be till he saw them again; he barely knew where he was going. "Casimiro.. Cas.." Once more the elderly woman spoke to him, this time her voice was devoid of cheer, ringing with the concern she felt for her child. "Promise to come home to us? To stay safe?" Honestly, Casimiro had been a 'mama's boy', had been ever since he was twelve, and to hear the unsaid fear in her voice pulled at his heartstrings. "Mom, seré fino².. just fine. I promise." Extending his arms, the young adult stepped forward, enveloping his mother in a tight embrace. The pressure of his father's hand upon his shoulder was enough to express his worries for his son, and was acknowledged with a simple nod. Pulling away from his parents, shouldering his backpack, and gripping the handle of the rolling suitcase he had borrowed from a neighbor, one last glance was shared by the family. Turning, and taking a deep breath, the male began off into the crowd of people warily. "Hijo!" Damn, that's right.. it was this way.. Turning to rush in the opposite direction Casimiro didn't wait to hear his mother's rant of how unobservant her boy was. As the crowd thickened around him, and his breaths began to even out, the male knew he'd need something to settle his stomach before the flight. One lengthy line, twenty minutes, and an over priced seven dollar cup of coffee later, and a pleasant bell chimed over the airports intercom. "Flight A-324 now boarding, I repeat, flight A-324 is now boarding." A.. A-324.. dammit! The last thing he needed was to miss the plane.. he doubted the 'black tie affair' would be postponed due to his tardiness.
══════════Making his way through he narrow isle, Casimiro seemed to be constantly muttering, "Sorry.. oops! Excuse me.. Eeh.. sorry again.." as he stepped past, over, and on the arms and legs of the other passengers. Really, shouldn't they be keeping those appendages out of the isle? Or was his bag really swinging into their personal space..? He really didn't have time to check, as soon enough he was facing two seats marked '45-46'. Already a woman was settled in at the window seat, what was rumored to be the place to sit when flying. It gave the best view, didn't have the isle to worry about.. the only drawback would be having to climb over the other passenger to scurry back down the isle and find the bathroom. Beginning to chew on his lip, and pulling the small suitcase into the air, he began to, noisily, cram the boxy shape into the overhead compartment. Once it was secured, and the latch clicked into the locked position, his hazel eyes returned to the female who was now watching his awkwardness with a smile upon her lips. "I-I'm sorry.. I didn't mean to.. make so much noise." The smile stayed on her lips, drawing one onto Casimiro's as well. The notion to use the woman's apparent amusement with his antics to barter for the window seat entered, and then quickly left his mind. Really, did he need to draw more attention to himself? Did he really need that seat? No. He didn't. In fact, if he was smart the boy would try and sleep through the flight. He'd need his wits about him to navigate the bustling streets of Brooklyn, right? Right. Right.. Settling into the seat, and pulling his bag tight to his chest, Cassie gave one last grin to the woman, who had lost interest in him and was once more glancing out the window, before another bell seemed to chime. Still cradling the bag against his chest as if it were a security blanket, or perhaps knowing all too well not to let a pretty face near your belongings while you slept, the last words that echoed through his consciousness were, "Good afternoon, this is your.. captain.. speaking.."
══════════It would be hours later, as well as one layover, before the Colombian found himself disembarking from the jetliner into the infamous JFK Airport, and if Casimiro thought that Gateway was crowded he had another thing coming. The entire building seemed to radiate stress and hostility, the crowds rushing to and fro at twice the speed and half the courtesy as his 'home' airport.. but he had expected that. After all, any way you slice it, this was New York. It took the lightly tanned male a few moments, and a shove from a woman at least twice his mother's age, to realize he was standing in the middle of the terminal gaping at those that surrounded him. Feeling the warmth of a blush tearing across his cheeks Cassie darted to the side, leaning his back against a pillar as his eyes closed. Focus.. it's okay, just people.. lots of people. Lots of strangers.. but you can do this. One hand was still clasped about the plastic handle of the suitcase as the other shot into, and began to dig around inside of, the backpack that hung from his shoulder by a single strap. Pulling free of the entanglement of well-worn clothing a white letter, not nearly as pristine as it had originally been, the male yanked the letter out and opened it. As had become a habit over the past few weeks since the letter arrived two hazel eyes began race across the page. ...more to the world in which you live in?... a personal item... Do you have anything to lose? He had nothing to lose, he had already lost it. Cramming the letter, and envelope, into his pocket, and pushing away from the wall Casimiro forced himself back into the swarming crowd, more letting the flow of traffic bring him to one of the exits to the airport than trying to find it himself.
══════════The inside of the airport was hostile, outside it was pure pandemonium! Cars were blaring their horns and screeching past each other, narrowly missing the New Yorkers that seemed to j-walk all over the street like ants that lost their trail. Physically swallowing his self-doubt and extending a hand into the air, calling clearly, "Taxi!" No one stopped, he got a few stares and a chuckle here and there.. but not one of the vehicles stopped to pay attention to him. Deciding that it may be better to inch towards the edge of the sidewalk, rather than standing as close to the doors as he could while remaining outside the building, the male crept forward. Leaning out slightly, and extending the arm once more, the male hollered, "Tax-" before being tugged back onto the curb roughly, a yellow death machine narrowly missing his torso. Pale of face, Casimiro turned wide eyes to a tall man with blond hair, appearing to be in his late twenties. "You need help." "Y-yeah.. I do.." The man's lips curled into a smirk, revealing the right side of his teeth, dual rows of pearly whites. "It wasn't a question." Wincing at the man's harsh words, the smaller male watched as he stood on the verge of falling from the sidewalk. Taking off the felt fedora that had perched atop his head, and waving it in the air, two cabs seemed to sway on the street, the nearer one pulling up to the curb as the other continued its fast pace in search of a customer. "Welcome to New York," were the man's parting words as he left the cab for Casimiro, moving further down the street to hail his own transportation. The red hue had returned to his cheeks, quickly hopping into the vehicle as it began to pull away. "Hi.. I'm not from arou.." The surly cab driver cut him off, not in the mood for small talk, "Where to?" Deciding already that he missed home, and taking the crumpled letter from his pocket, Cassie almost whispered, "The closest hotel to this address.." Tucking his knees up to his chest, his bags laying next to him in the cab, Cassie's gaze was directed to the street, finally taking in the environment. He had been too flustered by the people to pay attention to the frigid landscape around him. Looking down to his short sleeved tee shirt, flakes of snow clinging to the cotton fabric, and the wet patches on his jeans, the boy whispered, "Toto.. we're not in Phoenix anymore.."
══════════The driver came to a screeching halt some time later, looking over his shoulder at the male who was now shaking with cold in his backseat. "We're here, pay up or I can finish this little drive by taking the scenic tour to the Station." Working his wallet out from the jeans that, with the wetness and cold seemed to have shrunk one size too small making them tighter than they usually were, Casimiro glanced at the fee illuminated in red letters on the dashboard and paid appropriately. Pulling himself and his belongings back into the chill, and rushing up to the hotel, he was intercepted by what he could only call the Doorman. "Can I help you?" Disapproving eyes fell upon the thin figure of the Arizonan, but as the Doorman's gaze met Cassie's there was no kindness left in the hazel orbs. "Look, you can get out of my way, let me get into the warmth, and get back to your post before I have to call for the manager, or innkeeper, or whatever it's called." Cassie was not a mean spirited person, but be it by the magic of New York, the cold seeping into his bones, or his lack of patience the petite male wasn't going to put up with any more nonsense. But the assertive tone seemed to have righted the Doorman, who extended his arm as if to greet the male as though he were a native of the harsh city. Rushing inside, and almost tearing up at the sudden rush of warmth, Casimiro moved towards the counter. Another man came up to him once he had reached the counter, his golden badge gleaming the words: Hotel Concierge. "I need to rent a room, do I talk to you or do I get to arm wrestle the Doorman for one?" A light chuckle whispered from the man's lips, as if he found the joke crude, but wouldn't turn away anyone's dollar. "How many nights?" The question was simple, and yet Cassie found himself stumbling over a way to answer. One? Two? Twenty? He didn't know, the letter said that the rooms would be handled, right? "I.. don't know. Does this help?" The next series of events happened almost too fast for Casimiro to keep up with. He had flashed the letter to the man, who at the sight of the letter head had set plans into motion. "Oh, Mr. Torrado. We've been expecting you, Lorenzo, take him up to his room?" Being almost pushed into an elevator, both Casimiro and 'Lorenzo' were being whisked off to some unknown room, and at some point Lorenzo had weaseled both of his bags from the Colombian. Slightly baffled, Cassie opened his lips to speak, but was cut off by the sound of automatic doors swinging open and Lorenzo murmuring, "This eez your floor, sir." His accent was strong, but sheer excitement and curiosity clasped his lips shut once more as he was escorted down the hall and to his door.
══════════Room 324. Just like his plane ticket, whether it had been planned or not wasn't important. Lorenzo swiped a card key, then extended it to Casimiro, as his free hand swung the door open. The room wasn't extravagant by any means. It had a plush emerald carpet, emerald and creme pinstripe wallpaper, and only a few pieces of furniture. There was a bed, which captured Cassie's eye immediately simply because it was twice the size of his at home and had well over seven pillows upon it, and by the window was a desk and chair with some magazines on a rack, and lastly there was a large wardrobe. Truly there may have been more in the room, but between the bed and the wardrobe that seemed to enrapture his attention, Cassie wouldn't have noticed. Glancing sideways at the man named Lorenzo, he thanked, "Thanks for your help Lorenzo.. uhm.. I can take my bags back now." Taking the bags, and staring at the awaiting attendant, it took Cassie a moment to realize he wanted a tip. Pulling five dollars from his wallet, and handing it to the tanned man, Cassie quickly fled into the room and let the door shut behind him. The room even smelled fabulous compared to his own room. It had the faintest hint of vanilla, as if a candle was burning in some unknown location. Walking towards the bed, and tossing both bags on the ground, Cassie fell forward, landing face first on the lush comforter. A giggle escaped his lips, the sound of a child, as he took a deep inhalation of the fabric, rolling over to face the ceiling. Despite his awe at the room, the ice slowly leaving his bones, and the thrill of no longer being on the street with all of those pushy New Yorkers, Cassie couldn't help but feel that he was forgetting something. The Wardrobe! That overly large piece of furniture that seemed to hold some unknown importance. Rising to his feet with a bit of a spring, he made his way to the oak item, one hand running along its surface. Pulling a handle open the wooden object already held someone's clothing. A frown smeared across his features, knowing that life couldn't be this good. He was in another man's room. Or was he? Pulling one of the hangers from the rack and examining the casual suit, he couldn't help but notice that it all seemed to end at the right lengths. Holding it up against his chest only confirmed his guess: it looked like they would fit. Beginning to chew upon his lower lip, the piece of flesh slightly chapped and reddened, the outfit was tossed on the bed and before he knew it he was removing his own clothing. Tossing his dirty clothes in a pile, and pulling apart the ornately hung suit, Casimiro started with the slacks. Tugging them on, noting how loose they seemed to flow from his legs, a wry smile met Cassie's lips. They weren't his usual fit, but they weren't too bad..
══════════He had forgotten about more than just the wardrobe, though the thought hadn't occurred to him until after he already was wearing the entire suit: The Black Tie Affair. True enough, this didn't have a tie at all.. it didn't even have a proper dress shirt. The outfit was made of cotton, as far as he could tell, and was a dark navy blue. The undershirt was cotton, that much he was sure of, but was a deep plumb color and zipped down the front. Chic, and modern, Casimiro only hoped that he wouldn't be turned away from such an affair in this outfit. But really, to find him, send him the letter, and steal that.. photo.. they had to have known he wasn't wealthy by any standard. Perhaps that was why the suit was prepared for him? Perhaps that was why it wasn't as formal as it could have been..? Trying to make the boy feel more at ease, or so he hoped. Slipping the same plain black shoes that he had worn on the plane, and praying that the hem of the slacks would hide his white socks, Cassie made his way to the door. Pulling the door open, listening to the items in his pockets shift noisily, the slightly tanned male hurried down the hall to the elevator that he had arrived in. Pressing the button, to which the doors opened suddenly, startling him, Casimiro slid within the confines of the elevator. On his way down to the first floor Cassie's mind began to settle, no longer reeling from all of the new information assaulting his senses, and that was when he began to pay attention to the gentle pulsing in the back of his head. Headaches weren't unusual for the man. In fact, he couldn't remember a time that he didn't have a headache, because as soon as he stopped to check it seemed to make itself known. Reaching into his pockets Cassie removed a small plastic bag and within the bag were six little white pills. The pills weren't anything.. illegal.. though he wasn't so sure that he was supposed to have brought them on the plane.. just aspirin. He always carried a handful of the little pills and was usually taking them one after the other to help dull the constant headaches and migraines; and as was ritual he removed two of the little white ovals. Dry swallowing the bitter tablets, feeling them slowly creep down his throat, Cassie pocketed the clear bag as the elevator doors swung open. Stepping into the lobby, spotting Lorenzo who stood with his jaw slack at seeing the change in appearance, Cassie gave a simple wave. Turning his gaze to the doors Casimiro found himself standing in the cold in a matter of seconds. This time the Doorman called for the cab, an almost effortless motion, and directed Cassie to take his seat. "That's.. okay. I should be close to where I need to be. Can you.. point me to this address..?" Holding out the letter, and listening to the Doorman's directions, Cassie truly wanted to buy himself some time before being thrust into a crowd of strangers for a reason unknown to himself.
══════════The walk only took five or ten minutes, and the chill was once more taking it's toll on the warm-blooded individual. Body shaking as he wandered up to the residence, his hazel eyes lit up as a.. butler for lack of a better word, came out to greet him. "Are you mad? Er.. well most of them don't speak English.. but you shouldn't be out in the cold like this!" Chuckling, as the outburst and comment indicating he probably couldn't understand the man anyhow, Casimiro was happy to be ushered inside. The warmth met him like the caress of a lover, warming his bones just as the warmth of the hotel had. "I know, I know. But.." Never seeming to be able to finish his sentences, Casimiro stood in silence with the embarrassed butler as he gazed about the foyer. Everything simply.. felt rich. The wood, the walls, the furniture.. it was like seeing a mansion in a movie vividly come to life. The young man honestly wanted to step forward and run his hands over the woodwork, curious as to what stories the building held, as structures such as this tended to have been around for centuries. Barely recognizing that the attending man was brushing snow and droplets of moisture from his coat, Cassie stepped forward and through an archway which led into a much larger room. It felt like a hundred people filled the room, though that was most likely due to his being overwhelmed, but there was a good mass of individuals. Talk flooded his ears, "..are name-signs at the tables.. feel free to try the appetizers.. Cuando la parte formal del comienzo de la reunión³.." Surprised to see some form of Spanish being spoken, and understanding it clearly, as well as the rest of the chatter, Cassie felt as if he had a slight grasp on the situation. He was to find his seat, relax, and wait for the 'meeting' to begin. Working to not touch any other individuals as he drifted towards the tables, his eyes began to read each name tag that rested at each seat. Most of the names were foreign, from various nationalities, and there didn't seem to be any alphabetical pattern. As he searched his eyes caught onto another man who appeared to be doing the same as he: trying to find the proper seat. Once more the lower lip found itself caught between his teeth, beginning to leave white indentations on his raw lip, feeling one of his rare moments of socializing beginning to rear its head. Between where they stood held a small white card with the words 'Mr. C. Torrado' elegantly printed upon it, which gave him motive to stroll forward, but it didn't give him courage to try and converse. Sliding across the floor, and reaching out to claim his name tag, the Colombian American mused almost to himself, "This.. whole situation is bizarre.. eh?"
══════════Moving around the table to settle himself in his seat, and casting his gaze to the man once more, he began once more, "I mean.. do you know what's going on? Why.. we were.. all.." Even in his own ears he sounded like he was rambling. What was he to say? 'Hi there, did you get a morbid photograph in the mail as well?' Or pester him about his life before he strolled into this little.. meeting as it had been called. In fact, what if he was the only one here that got such a letter? Did someone know about what had happened, and they were finally going to call him on it? 'No. That's just paranoia, Cassie.. he's probably just as lost as you are.' Looking down onto the table itself, his hands beginning to toy with the table cloth. Taking the fabric into his hands, and beginning to wring it under the table, Cassie knew that the nerves would continue to grow. He was a sore thumb in this community, and the second that he had read the words 'black tie' he should have burnt the paper, address, and envelope and forgotten about the whole incident.
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² I'll be just fine
³ When the formal part of the meeting begins
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