Luna walked in their favorite diner Sahntyna at 2030. Galla was already at a booth, her hands greasy with cheesy bread. Luna shuffled out of her jacket and slid into the opposite side of the both to Galla. Sahntyna was in a converted old building that had once been a grand cinema before fading in the void of television and home entertainment. It had then been a roller disco, Neon Lights and a techno doof beat club, Neon Lights Noir, this neon light sign still bolted to the red brick back wall. Once those days faded, bleed into reality beneath too many police raids and fines, greasy diner Sahntyna left the original pastel pallet and barely renovated with neon vinyl booths and Perspex plastic tables rimmed in high-vis silver. The waitstaff were retro styled, not by management but by nature.
“Hello Lover girl”
“Shut up” Luna rolled her eyes, then ripped a mouthful of bread off and shoved it past her teeth “I am starving. Have you ordered”
“The usual, of course” Galla laughingly responded “So. Stories to tell”
“Stop smirking like that, G. There is nothing to tell.”
“Liar, don’t even pretend” Galla was shaking her finger at Luna in mock anger “I know that there is something”
“So you want more than the penthouse and the rooftop garden or the car service?”
“That was so news 12 hours ago, I was barely awake still. It does sound special. How do you get a rooftop garden onto an apartment…but you know this is not what I meant”
“Galla, I mean it, STOP” Luna by this time laughing, had flushed so red her face was burning.
“I knew it!” Galla exclaimed in delight, “She was, is very good. Come on, tell me.” There laughter was interrupted by the food being delivered. After the waiter left, Luna though a mouthful eyed off Galla.
“It was you, wasn’t it. You told her that I was dancing that first day. You gave her my shift details. You sneaky little…”
“No, not at all…..you two obviously had something. I just….simply….facilitated it. A little” Galla said, still laughing. The friends ate, laughed, comforting each other as only old time friends can, then headed to work. The next few weeks for Luna a haze of work and Chloe. They spiralled together, infinite within each other, lost and indifferent to the world when apart as only fresh love can be. As the only two participants in the bubble can be, other variables like friendship unravel with time spent focused on the minute curve of the corner of lips, the hint of a spine stretched in pleasure. Galla and Kai drifted, unspun in lieu of Luna’s abandonment, the connections of sisters and friends untwisting from tightly spun bundles.
“Luna!” A hint of sarcastic surprise and then warmth “Are you an apparition? I never see you anymore”
Luna laughed, genuinely, at the theatrics “Kai, don’t be so dramatic”
“So. There is a new Tequila Bar…”
“Sorry, Kai, plans”
“Luna” Kai, frustrated, sharply spoke “Really, again. You could at least look….I don’t know…less….”
“Terna” she responded, with one word all at once saying calm, peace and an acknowledgement, and acquiescence. The relationship between the two complicated by their entire intertwined briar patch history, twisted within their co-dependant closeness. They spoke Tranqi, a hybrid of intermingled languages, all of their lives. “I know Kai, that I have been neglecting you. Please don’t say something that you cannot take back”
“I barely see you anymore. Or even at all.”
“I know” Luna returned to repacking her bag, then when she was able, looked up at Kai accepting her guilt.
“That’s all you’re going to say”
“What do you want me to say”
“Just think about….”
Holding up her hands, an admission “Ok, Kai, ok. Just not tonight. Later in the week?”
Kai, defeated, rolled her eyes, “Fine” but continued, “Luna, you havnt even met Myrk. Please” in an effort to gain her attention. Luna paused then turned to look at Kai.
“I am really sorry, Kai. You are, of course, right” she stepped the distance between them, reaching not only with her arms but yielded her heart and hugged Kai. The softness with the movement stretched time around them until they stepped back, then Luna quietly said “You have not met Chloe either.”
Kai looked guilty, then “I know, I am sorry”
“Really. How about something during the week. Just us. We could co-ordinate our next two days off together. Also, how about the four of us have dinner together” Luna rested her soul a little.
Kai softened, then yielded himself, not able to maintain his anger at Luna. He was never able too, as Luna was never able to do with him. They were reflections of each other, and his jealousy had temporarily defeated him.
“Ok. Just remember all of this in your halo of love” as he leaned in and kissed her simply on the cheek. Luna grabbed her backpack and skipped out of the small apartment that the two of them shared together. The apartment would have been a shack if not contained within the confines of a multi-storied structure. The city was primarily accented in tones of blue and grey, even in sunshine. It was grimy and full of ancient stories, limestone, ageing brick and mortar yet full of vibrancy and life. It was prohibitively expensive and this small, dark space was the only place that the then 18 year olds had been able to afford. However, this place was for the two of them, the only home that they had ever felt was one. Together, the two of them had created a safe place that allowed them to retreat from the overwhelming noise of life teaming every strata of the twenty-four hour city. In the two and a half years that they had lived there, they had stayed almost in spite of being able to find somewhere better. Independence and home was inexorably linked for them and they clung to, held on to, invested with each other a bound hope for the future that laid claim in this danky place.
Luna’s passion for Chloe, however was changing the landscape of how home was constructed and had loosened her singularity attachment to Kai. Luna’s dalliances in the past were insignificant to her, a rite of passage rather than reality or necessity. Kai had always had a flair for the social, found comfort in public displays, in cafés and clubs. Luna had almost been on pause until Chloe. They were having an early dinner before Luna’s nightshift at Pacer. It had been over a month since they had that first magical date and their relationship had escalated quickly. They had discussed everything but for the quite inelegance of the past, a shifting history distraction for both of them.
“Hi” Luna said as she walked up to Chloe.
“Hello” as they kissed with delicate passion before continuing along the street, “are you ok, where are you thinking”
“CLS is up here” indicating the next street through the deepening sky increasingly highlighted by globes of yellow light.
“Bad Day” Chloe squeezed Luna’s hand, picking up on the deflated intimation stroking the edges of Luna’s voice.
“Kai was…I don’t know…” a struggled shrug “our history” then looking at Chloe “our future”
“Can you tell me” concern filtered into Chloe’s voice.
“Which part? Our history” Luna smiled sadly.
“Please. Sometimes you seem pressured, disturbed, haunted. Especially after seeing Kai. Except I know he means a great deal to you.”
“It’s quite a story. A long one, maybe more complicated than long. We have a….unique history.”
“All families do. I have time”
“Ok” a whisper, then “however this is where the CLS is required.”
The CLS café bar was named, and infamous for, the particularly lethal combination shot of expresso and café liquor shot. It was a city institution. It was old, deep cigar smoke filled wood inhabiting the fire-doused atmosphere, ancient, intimate and relaxing beyond measure. The expresso – liquor shot combination had also branched into various sponge cakes, muffins, even cereal. The pair, highlighted against each other, went inside and found a booth, flush against a brick wall. They ordered and waited for the table to be stocked, and then Luna began, hesitantly, in the soft autumn turning fall timbered voice.