Chapter 3:

A Question Of Aura


After the shift, comes the time to close Pawn's Café. If customers aren't here, there is still plenty for me to do. Seeing off the employees, cleaning the whole place, washing the dishes, keeping an inventory of ingredients and supplies... What should have been a first to me feels oddly mechanical to do. My twin staff members are still there, Cheese focusing on a round table of dark wood. The cloth she uses is checkered in white and blue, by far her favorite.

Cheese tends to be a perfectionist, being able to lose track of her surroundings in her attempt to complete the task at hand. As I look at the table, its surface is slick. "Perfect work," I tell her so she comes back to us. If my feeling of what is right for Pawn's Café to be like mostly comes from Pawn's soul herself, I do feel that it lacks something essential. Puzzled, I must have a face that conveys doubt, as Cheese notices it.

"Are you alright, Pawn? Today, you've seemed out of it, for a reason or another..."

Explaining it all would be a pain. Do the words even exist for such an otherworldly experience? In the end, I decide to play dumb.

"No, nothing is wrong... I think? But... there does happen to be something on my mind."

"What might it be, Pawn?"

The one to reply in a worried voice this time around is Nuts, the green-eyed sister. Both of them are so complementary, they can alternate between each other to lead a conversation with someone else. I wonder if I'll someday find a soul this close to mine... In this life or the other, if I'm to ever return back. The more time I spend as a rabbit girl, and the more I find the thought totally acceptable. Still, this change of subject brings about the opportunity to question the way Pawn's Café lives throughout the day.

"Do you feel like the café lacks life?"


This time, Cheese replies, with crystal-clear hesitation. I guess the swich from a concrete place to an abstract feel is rather hard to understand in one go.

"There are a lot of pleasant smells, alright... And the food and drinks are charming, hopefully? The place shines! It alternates between colors in a graceful way."

I accompany my words with gestures, to depict what I mean by the aura Pawn's Café is able to make people feel. Cheese seems to nod in agreement each time I point out the café's qualities.

"The space is nice to feel both at home, and to seek one's own refuge. The voices of the other customers and us, the staff, as well as the sounds of silverware; all of it creates an engulfing but calm soundscape."

"I see where you're coming from, too!"

This time, it is Nuts that grants me her sympathy. I know, with a logical certainty, due to a past life filled with countless reading hours, that it is time to strike!

"Now, what this café lacks is music. But not like, singing. A loud voice would distract the mind of anyone. No, music as a language that is universal, with meaningless, pure notes. With calm rhythms, and tones that inspire melancholy, or more simple feelings like peace and joy."

"Uh, a lot of complicated words... Music? The instruments would be?"

"... Nuts, Cheese, do you happen to know any good musician with a lot of free time?"