CHAPTER FORTY-ONE: PERFECT WORLD
City of concrete and steel, reaching upwards with its skyscrapers that tower over the thousands of people who call this place their home. Traffic flowing through its streets like blood, carrying these people as they make their way through its inner workings. What lies beyond the confines of the metropolis, no one seems to know or care. This is their world, and it is perfect in its own way.
The sun shines down brightly on this day, reflecting its radiance off the many buildings and warming the cold faces of everyone who wanders from their mental sanctuaries. They seek an unachievable glorification, blinded by the imperfections that accompany a perfect world.
An ambience of quietude sleeps beneath the asphalt, choked out by the noise and disarray, coexisting with all that lives and breathes. Only those who put aside their dissonance can truly feel its convalescing touch.
Of this population is a particular person who walks through the city, following her own path against the flow of the people around her. Her name is Krystal, a graduate from an art university who is seeking her place in the world. She moved to this city in Florida, city of concrete and steel, shortly after graduating. Her pursuit for inspiration has brought her down this path.
In the sea of thousands of people, her blonde hair stands out only when going her own way, against the flow of everyone else. Her blue eyes look in their own direction, diverted not by the chaotic waves of those thousands of people around her, but staying true to the path set by her heart.
She sticks to the sidewalks, taking in the surroundings of the metropolis. Such a large city! How will she ever find her place here? The eyes of those around her all tell their own story, surely hers will write their own someday.
Confused and overwhelmed, Krystal suddenly slips into the flow of the crowd. Her blonde hair blends in with the movement, rendering her invisible. Even as she stands at the corner, waiting for the signal to beckon her across the street safely, nobody is aware of her. Nobody knows her story.
The lights shift and the crosswalk becomes flooded with countless footfalls. Krystal treads the path lightly, her footfalls much lighter than those of others, subconsciously not wanting to be part of their lonesome, mechanical lifestyles. Everything around her is gray, but she remains her own colors.
As she walks the streets amid the masses, something catches her attention. A store building closed for renovations calls out to her. Curious as always, Krystal makes her way over to the building, breaking from the flow of the city around her. Examining the signs, she quickly realizes that this is going to be a new coffee shop owned by a wealthy proprietor who also owns a café in the small town nearby. He had been in business for a long time and was seeking to expand.
Krystal had always been fond of cozy cafés and restaurants. Perhaps she can get a temporary job here once it opens in a couple weeks. It would be a good opportunity for her to learn more about city life while she focuses on her paintings and photography.
While standing there, pondering her life’s path, she receives the company of another person seeking his own place in life. He quickly looks over the signs hanging in the windows of the future coffee shop.
“This must be where that new café is going,” says Gary.
“Yeah,” Krystal replies timidly. “I’m a little excited for it.”
Gary looks over at Krystal. Almost overtaken by all of her beauty, he smiles sincerely and decides to keep the conversation going. His last relationship with a high school sweetheart didn’t work out, so he feels that it is now time to start a new chapter.
“I know the person who owns this place,” he tells Krystal casually.
She looks at the dark-haired young man and smiles back. Who is this admirable individual, and why does Krystal suddenly long for his company?
“You do?” she asks. Maybe getting hired here will be easier than she initially anticipated.
“His name’s Bernie,” he says. “He owns the Shady Palm Café in the town closest to this city. I’ve known him for years, and I was hoping to get a job here while in college.”
“Ah.” Krystal shyly glanced in the other direction before fixing her gaze back on Gary for a second. “What are you going to college for?”
“Programming,” he replies.
“I just graduated from an art university,” Krystal tells him quietly, “and I was just thinking about working here.”
“Hey, we could be coworkers someday!” Gary smiles at Krystal, who smiles weakly back.
“Yeah,” she replies.
“Yeah.” Gary scratches his nose, unsure if this conversation was even going anywhere. As if asking for a little help in the situation, he looks back at his best friend, James.
With a smug grin, James puts one hand on his hip and the other behind his head, then does a little dance move. Hesitant at first, Gary swallows hard and turns back to Krystal.
“If you wouldn’t mind,” he says, cranking his brain as he improvised, “I can take you to the Shady Palm Café sometime. That way you can meet Bernie and see about getting a job interview.”
Krystal’s face lights up slightly. The bubbly feeling in her stomach becomes her guide during this life-changing moment. Their eyes meet, generating a feeling that both of them share. Never in their lives have their paths been clearer, as if following a predetermined route established somewhere beyond the sands of time.
“That’d be nice,” Krystal tells Gary with a blushed grin.
*** THE END ***
Whew! Well, fellow Honeyfeeders, this is it, the end of the story! I hope you all enjoyed Perfect World. It's been a long journey to get this far, writing the story, rewriting it, doing the editing, and uploading the entire thing.
I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for following along with me this whole time!!! XD Seriously, I can't even begin to express my gratitude for everyone who has read, commented, and in general supported me throughout this endeavor. YOU ALL ARE AWESOME!!! I don't plan on leaving Honeyfeed anytime soon, though ... in fact, I'm just building up momentum, and I'll be sticking around for a while. Just as I appreciate the heck out of your support, I'll continue to do the same for others on here. It's been a blast interacting with everyone! :)
I've said it before, but I'll take this chance to reiterate myself and clarify:
Perfect World is an old story I wrote as a teenager. It's not the first novel I've written, but it's the first story I had published. When I wrote it, my aim was to write a story that people wouldn't suspect was written by a teenager, so I really pushed myself to the maximum and beyond. It was really hard work, obsessing over each and every sentence!
In the end, though, I wasn't satisfied with it at all. In fact, I was actually embarrassed by it. It wasn't professionally edited, and was loaded with typos and continuity issues, along with a bevy of other problems. I had dismissed Perfect World, calling it a sloppy (but necessary) first step to being a writer. That was why I wanted to rewrite it and republish it, mostly to use as a freebie and a bundle with my future books. This version on Honeyfeed is that rewritten version, and I owe so much of its improvement to everyone who supported me. Your input and suggestions made it better than I anticipated! So THANK YOU!!!
As always, I encourage you to leave any comments/questions/criticisms. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions, and am open to suggestions and critiques.
If you were a fan of this story, then check out my author website at www.gerryhinesofficial.com to subscribe to my email list for updates. You can also find my other book, Made From Sapphire, on my website, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Finally, glory to anime, manga, light novels, JRPGs, and otaku culture in general! XD *breaks out into the Hare Hare Yukai dance*