She Can't Be That Perfect!!
“Come on, out with it. You know you want to say it.”
“What? I genuinely like it.”
Of course Amy likes it. Ray’s made her the best maid dress ever. It’s breezy, but frilly enough to hide her panties. He knows they’re white though, both by intuition and because he’s seen them.
But happy as she looks, she still has that face. And soon, she twirls that strand of hair and gives him those eyes.
“Buuuut,” she starts.
“There it is,” Ray says, collapsing on a chair like a prima donna.
“I’m not that flat.”
“Maids don’t go higher than an A-cup.”
“Then your binder is, regrettably, not working.”
“Have you ever worn one?”
“I have and –”
“Do you… have something to tell me?”
“– Hamlet, hush up. Point is, yours is loose. That’s an undershirt.”
“Anything else, Coco?”
“I’m starting to believe you have a humiliation kink.”
“About the costume!”
“Well,” she drawls, her smirk drawing ever wider, “if you must know…”
When Amy’s signature critiques start, you’ll never know when they’ll stop. What she wants to say is that it’s overcomplicated. Maids are cute, quiet and their dresses are nice and simple. However, what comes out is a twenty minute rant about etiquette, design and possible mental damage.
Obviously, Ray doesn’t mind any of that. Sure, taking all of that with a smile on his face only feeds into Amy’s BDSM theory. But he just can’t be mad when she’s so wound up and passionate.
“Right, I trim fabric like a butcher and have the colour sense of a blind monk. Strip it off,” Ray says, immediately regretting his word choice when Amy crosses her arms over her chest.
“I didn’t realise… you were so forward… I see how it is… do with me whatever you must…”
“Not the sex fiend thing again… Our door literally blocks no sounds.”
“Sucks to suck. Wait, I got a better one.”
“Stop crinkling it! It’s harder to iron out and fix it!”
“I never said it needs to be fixed?”
“You spent five minutes just on the buttons.”
“Yeah, they look like pustules, but I like them. I like the weird scratchy spots and the sloppy stitches. They make it, well, they make it yours.”
“I’m feeling more offended than complimented,” Ray pouts, but Amy’s curtsy wipes that off. She giggles, brushes past him and heads for the cupboards. It’s time for their first of many club activities.
The Advisors Hall is the first door on Astella Academy’s last floor and people visit it every day.
The first thing everyone does is take off their shoes. It all feels just like home, the scraggly carpet, the old leather sofa, the sneezing AC and the cheap soda with no bubbles. It’s a safe spot for students to have a pleasant chat with the nicest people in school.
They come with problems and leave with solutions. No matter how embarrassing or depressing, no one gets judged, even if all they want is a bit of venting or a power nap. Amy might watch you when you sleep, though. Safety measures and she also likes it.
Ray plops on the sofa and looks out the window, “What time is it?”
Amy stretches for the topmost shelf, “Almost three. Why?”
“The skirt is too short.”
“Nothing you haven’t seen before, stiffen up.”
“All fun and games until the clumsy maid drops a scalding cup of tea on your stiffened lap.”
“Hostile work environment, much?”
“Sugar, lemon juice?”
“Just a squirt, please. Shut up.”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“You were thinking it!”
The kettle sputters to life, sounding like a clogged drain. They have the money to replace it, but Amy says it gives the tea a certain taste she likes. To Ray, that taste is Earl Grey’s bathwater, but it’s slowly growing on him.
Humming, Amy leaves her glasses on the counter and returns with a steamy cup in each hand. Ray bites his lip when she gives him his tea. The handle is sticky, but he can’t quip about it when she sighs, nuzzles against his shoulder and takes a long, calculated sip.
“Slow day,” she says.
“We’ll call it Woozy Wednesdays. You know, like Taco Thursdays –”
“Tuesdays. Taco Tuesdays.”
“Wha – you bitch!”
“Not my fault you can’t google?”
“Sorry for believing you, I guess.”
“You should be? An A-cup, psht.”
“Yes, thinking you know your boobs, what a joke.”
“Point is that you shouldn’t even be asking in the first place. How many times have we shopped for clothes?”
“Really? Really! Amy, when you draw the curtain and the only thing on you is a bathing suit, I’m not looking at the bloody label!”
It takes Ray a long second to realise what he’s just said and another to realise Amy’s cheeks are tinted red. He can’t say anything, his tongue is a bloated knot that tightens more when Amy slowly straightens up and turns around.
“Would you like… to look at it?”
She’s different. Her voice is small, uncomposed and carries a tentative tremble. She puts her cup down and straightens her back.
“It’s fine. I think it’s hanging by the strap.”
It’s obviously a test, Ray thinks, but it doesn’t help one bit. Sure, it’s Amy, but she’s still a girl in possibly the most vulnerable pose known to man. And right now, the man has balls the size of roasted peanuts.
With clammy hands, he reaches for the zipper, then curses under his breath. She winces. It’s already uncomfortable and he hasn’t even touched the undershirt.
“C-careful,” she says meekly.
He is careful, but it’s pointless. When his fingers brush against her porcelain skin, she flinches and so does he. Still, she doesn’t scold him and doesn’t complain. She sits and waits, shivering ever so slightly as he peels the fabric up, revealing inch after inch of her until, at last, the door swings open.
Thankfully, it’s not a teacher, nor a girl. However, Ray has never seen a guy so sickened, yet curious.
“What the f-f-fuck,” the boy says simply.
Ray’s jaw drops. He’s thrown in a black void of shame, his hands still glued to the promised strap, until a light chuckle breaks him out. The calm, flustered Amy in his head is replaced by the mischievous devil she’s been all this time. Without any qualms, he grabs the buckle, pulls it back and, before Amy realises the danger, he releases.
“Sorry about that, Henry, come in. Shoes?” Ray says, dusting off his hands. Still dazed, Henry fiddles with his laces.
“You suck,” Ray whispers. “You can blush on command now?”
“Hot drinks make you flushed, you brute! Fffff – it hurts worse than a wet towel.”
“You get – what you deserve! Friendship test looking ass.”
“My ass does not look like that.”
“Now’s not the time!”
“Come ooooon, it was fun!”
“For who? The bra?”
“Am I… interrupting something? I’m sorry, I’ll –” Henry says dejected. The two got up and pulled up their chairs, but missed him blurring onto the sofa. Not that he makes it easy; he looks like he is his own shadow.
“No, no, it’s fine!” Amy says. “Please, sit down. Want anything to drink, maybe a snack…”
“No, I’d rather make this quick,” Henry says. His sudden determination surprises the two advisors.
“I’m sorry if my request might be a bit odd, but… I don’t know what else to do or where else to go. It’s… stupid, but it’s about a girl. We’re in the same class and, well, I feel like lately she’s been… different. She’s treating me pretty strangely, but I can’t even begin to tell you without…” Henry’s head drops, “Do you think you can do something about it?”
Amy gives Ray a concerned look, but he doesn’t return it. He’s still mad, but all the pettiness drains from his system when he hears Henry whimpering.
“What class are you in, again?” Ray asks.
“And what exactly do you want us –”
“Did you do something to her?”
Amy’s question falls like a guillotine over Henry. He looks up, only to start stammering. A maid is supposed to be warm and nurturing, but now she looks like a rigid judge in a pretty bonnet.
“N-no… I’m – I would never.”
“Then you have nothing to worry about, right?” Amy continues. Her voice is calm and mechanical. “Our anxieties often make us think that people around us have it out for us. But if –”
“No! I’m not imagining this… I know it sounds odd, but can you –” he sighs “– can you look into it? I need to know by six.”
“Look into it? By six?” Ray asks. “Henry, I’m not sure what you’ve been told, but we just talk things –”
“What’s her name?”
Henry grips his kneecaps as if he’s about to rip them out. There’s no more cosy left in the clubroom, only a heavy air brought on by Amy’s cutting glare. Still, he finds something agreeable in her eyes. A fire he knows very well himself.
“I – guess you need that, right?” Henry chuckles. “No judgement, right?”
“None at all,” Amy says.
“Okay then,” Henry says as he moves towards the exit and slides his shoes back on. Ray wants to protest and revolt, but anything he says will go against Amy and he can’t win that fight right now. She watches their visitor in quiet expectation, until he opens the door.
Henry takes one last look around, sighs one last time and gives his last breath.
“It’s… It’s Mia.”
Of course. It couldn’t have been anyone else, but even if she’s been preparing for it, it wasn’t enough. At least, she’s not trembling and she didn’t gasp. But, with no hot drink anywhere near, she blushes like a ripe strawberry.