Chapter 45:

Elyssa Aegis: Introduction

New Leaf!

Elyssa Aegis… She is my co-worker and the girl who might have a crush on me based on our interactions the day I got hired. I overheard and learned that she is two years older than Alan and me. She also started working here as soon as she was of age, so this is her fourth year of working here.Bookmark here

The general vibe I get from her is a more laid-back one. But I think her laid-backness is different from the overall vibe of the employees and restaurant. For example, the other day when she got mad at Alan and me, or more so Alan, for slacking off when putting out the tables. I don’t think she was mad because we weren’t working, I think she was mad because she was working. What I mean is that she flared up because of the fact that she was working and we weren’t. So she’s a believer in equality, right? I think that’s part of it, but I think she only believes it when she’s getting the short end…Bookmark here

There’s a fine line between being lazy and being mellow… But oh well. At the end of the day, she gets her work done. She’ll do the bare minimum amount of work and argue for an outcome where she doesn’t need to work when there is one, but whatever. And if Valerie hasn’t fired her over her years of working, I guess she’s fine…Bookmark here

One afternoon, Elyssa and I were standing behind the front desk. It was a day where we usually get fewer customers visiting. Bookmark here

“So… Um, Ms Ae- I-I mean E-Elyssa.”Bookmark here

“Ah, it sounds so pleasant when my name is said by you, and you only… What’s up?”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

Elyssa would say these things to me sometimes. “Oh Camryn, you’re so nice!” “Oh Camryn, you look cute today, but when don’t you look cute?” Oh Camryn, um, insert some other overly sappy compliment here… She would usually compliment me, but I’m not disturbed by them — in fact, assuming they’re true, I’m flattered by them. Yeah… No, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disturbed. And the reason wasn’t a sexuality thing. It was just…Bookmark here

“Um, Elyssa… Do you mind if I ask about your boyfriend?”Bookmark here

I feel a little weird because she has a boyfriend. Isn’t it, like, considered cheating? I’ve never been in a true romantic relationship, so I don’t know — keyword, true — but to spew meaningful compliments at someone other than your lover… Unless those compliments are meaningless, then I think it’s okay…Bookmark here

“My boyfriend? Yeah, we can talk about him?Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

I was shocked. That’s sort of a personal topic, so I didn’t expect Elyssa to agree — and it was so readily…Bookmark here

“What? Yeah, I’ll gladly talk about him.”Bookmark here

“A-Are you sure. Isn’t it kinda… you know… personal?”Bookmark here

“Personal, eh? Yeah it is, but you won’t do something bad with the info, will you?”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

Elyssa shrugged.Bookmark here

“Look, you and Alan talked about some junk about friendships and relationships and such, right?”Bookmark here

“Yeah… But what does have-”Bookmark here

“I don’t have a whole spiel about friendships prepared, so pretend I told you what Alan told you, okay? We’re friends, and therefore I trust you.”Bookmark here

I see…Bookmark here

“So, what do you need? Let’s commence the girl’s gossip!”Bookmark here

“R-Right… So… um… how… um…”Bookmark here

I wanted to ask about the status of their relationship, but it was obviously easier said than done. But I guess there’s no harm in just ripping off the bandage. I mean, ruining a friendship that barely exists does little damage, right?Bookmark here

“Elyssa, how serious are you with your boyfriend.”Bookmark here

“Oof, now that’s a question! What, do you want to take him from me?”Bookmark here

“Oh, wait, no, no, no. That’s not what I’m asking… A-And sorry if it was implicit that I was asking that, but I was not. I, um…”Bookmark here

Elyssa laughed and patted me on the shoulder.Bookmark here

“Of course you ain’t, you never even met him!”Bookmark here

Elyssa continued slapping me on the shoulder as I let out a noticeably fake laugh of realization.Bookmark here

“Yeah… Heh, heh, heh…Bookmark here

Wow, she also gives off Connie-ish vibes…Bookmark here

“Hah… So anyway, how serious our relationship is, huh? Well, I met him last year, and I’ve never seen him in person.”Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

Never seen him in person? Oh, she means they met over the internet, right? But isn’t that kinda bad? Like, I think real human-to-human contact is needed for a relationship to work — and I don’t entirely mean that in a sexual way. Hm… Maybe communicating with others over the internet is a good alternative. Well, I wouldn’t know because I’ve only had access to the internet for about a week or so and have only texted Ren or Alan.Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’ve never met him in person. But even if that’s the case, I’m crazy about him…”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Well, we’ve only really bonded through texting, video chatting, watching movies online together, and playing games online together, but I’ve learned a lot about him over that time. Ah, and he is just a joy to be with… He’s so respectful… And so smart… And so helpful… And so handsome…”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

They seem really happy together. I’m still rather unsure about the meeting online part, but other than that, Elyssa seems to really like her boyfriend. But since that’s the case…Bookmark here

I interrupted her daydreaming session, stopping her from looking mindless.Bookmark here

“That kinda bothers me… Um, the compliments you give to me… Don’t they make you… um…”Bookmark here

“Unfaithful?”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“A cuckold?”Bookmark here

“Um…”Bookmark here

“A slut?”Bookmark here

“Wha- No, no, no! No, I’m not calling you that! I mean, I can see how you can assume that, but I’m not… huh?”Bookmark here

I stopped when Elyssa started laughing again. She started slapping my shoulder again.Bookmark here

“Hah! Oh, Camryn… Sorry, I just love it when I tease you — your reaction when you’re flustered is just so precious!”Bookmark here

Oh another joke, huh? Eh… I’ll just give the same laugh…Bookmark here

“Ah…”Bookmark here

When Elyssa’s laughing fit stopped, she lowered her voice and was slightly more serious.Bookmark here

“You know Camryn, a joke is ruined when it’s explained… But since it torments you, I guess I’ll tell you.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

Elyssa casually leaned her body on the counter. I just noticed this now, but Elyssa is actually taller than me. The difference is very small, only being a centimetre or two, but it was there.Bookmark here

“Ah, I’m sorry if this hurts you, but I’m not really 100% serious when I show my affection towards you.”Bookmark here

Oh, so she isn’t really serious with them. Then I think it’s okay — I think… Learning that the compliments weren’t true hurt a little, but I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve received plenty of foundationless compliments, but this time, why did it sting just a little bit more?Bookmark here

“Look Camryn, I’m completely loyal to my boyfriend, but I just can’t help but want to kiss and do extreme things to you whenever I see you looking cute.”Bookmark here

Extreme things ‘to’? Not ‘with’? Oh… Well, she’s entering adulthood, so I think it’s fine… Fine for her to think about what she means, not do what she means, geez! And besides, I’m not comfortable with doing that type of stuff — note, I didn’t say “yet”...Bookmark here

Elyssa shrugged.Bookmark here

“So, that’s my answer. If my affection still makes you a bit anxious, go and tell me and I’ll try to stop.”Bookmark here

“No…”Bookmark here

“Camryn?”Bookmark here

Elyssa slowly turned her head to me, looking shocked.Bookmark here

“Um, you know, I don’t really mind it. I won't stop you when you do, and rather, I’ll probably just laugh nervously…”Bookmark here

“Oh, Camryn!”Bookmark here

Elyssa was ecstatic. She was joyfully laughing and lovingly wrapped her arms around me — I knew that she wasn’t totally serious about it, so I just submitted. It’s just a playful and meaningless hug after all.Bookmark here

I pushed Elyssa off.Bookmark here

“H-Hey, not in public…”Bookmark here

“Ah, of course…”Bookmark here

We went back to work…Bookmark here

I wonder why I don’t refuse Elyssa’s bursts of affection towards me. Yeah, it does no harm, but it also does nothing beneficial. I’m not currently looking to get into a romantic relationship, so I’m not particularly happy… Am I being submissive just to make Elyssa happy? Eh, maybe that’s it, but I can’t help but feel like there's a deeper reason. Hm…Bookmark here

I don’t dislike the attention… But considering that I’ve hated attention over my journey, it’s strange… Is it because Elyssa is my friend?Bookmark here

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“By the way Elyssa, what’s your relationship to Alan?”Bookmark here

“What? Um… co-workers, I guess. Oh Camryn, you’re so possessive…”Bookmark here

I waved my hand in denial.Bookmark here

“Wait, no, that’s not what I mean… Um…”Bookmark here

I stopped when I realized.Bookmark here

“O-Oh, you’re just teasing me, right?”Bookmark here

“Bingo! If you’re learning this much, I’ll have to switch up my tactics to juice out more fun!”Bookmark here

O-Okay… I’m scared.Bookmark here

“But yeah, professionally Alan and I are co-workers — I’m not his upperclassman because I don’t attend the same school as him… Oh, outside of work, I guess we’re friends. We don’t hang out often, but we’re cool with each other.”Bookmark here

“I see… Well, I wanted to ask about what he calls you — is ‘Lily’ a pet name?”Bookmark here

Elyssa swung her hand to cover my mouth. I could tell that she was annoyed.Bookmark here

“Shush! Sorry dear, but you can’t call me that.”Bookmark here

I pulled it off.Bookmark here

“Hm? Um… It might now be any of my business, but can I ask about it?”Bookmark here

She was still annoyed.Bookmark here

“I was called that when I was young — I don’t like it because it makes me feel like a defenseless child. And Alan calls me that just to toy with me… So annoying!”Bookmark here

I see… I guess the teaser gets a taste of her own medicine, huh? But I don’t sense any ridiculously ill intent between them, so it’s fine. But to be able to joke around with each other… They must be great friends!Bookmark here

Taylor Victoria
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