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Forums > General Roleplay Forum > The Initiation (1x1, closed)

((FYI: This is a 1x1 roleplay. It's not open to join...it's just a 1x1 between two players. Thanks!))



Jess sat in her metallic blue Hyundai Accent in front of Starbucks, idling the engine so she could run the AC.

Not good for global warming, her conscience annoying chimed in.

It's 95 degrees, so shut it! We're in Texas, she internally responded and then Jess shook her head, laughing slightly at her own inner conversation. She wondered if there was something about inner voices on the pages of the pages of the textbook she was reading, and thumbed through the index briefly before sighing and flipping back to the chapter on BF Skinner and Operant Conditioning.

She jotted down definitions in the spiral notebook which was balanced on her other leg, then shoved the notebook and textbook into the driver seat and checked her make-up on the mirror.

Her long, brown hair was wrapped up in a bun and her youthful face was brightened with red lipstick and light blush. Her brown eyes were enhanced with dark brown eyeliner and eyeshadow of greens and browns will a touch of gold in the corners. She produced her best fake smile and flashed it to herself in the rearview mirror.

"Would you like an extra shot of espresso with that?" she said, trying to get herself into the right state of mind. "Tall, venti, grande, or trenta?" Flashing a bright grin that was sure to get tips she nodded then the fake smile broke and she smirked at her reflection and rolled her eyes. Why, in God's name don't they just say small, medium, and large? she wondered for the thousandth time.

"Anything to get that psychogy degree..." she told her reflection. "Then you can actually do what you want."

She turned off the car, and headed into the coffee shop, flipping the bird to the old janitor, as she did every day, when he whistled at her, as he did every day.

Jess looked at the long line of cars forming in the drive through and wondered if anything would happen that would make her day more interesting.

((ooc; You should put "Private 1x1, Move Along" or something in the title so people don't waste a click? Just a suggestion :3

Here's my Annarose! She prefers Annie. I'll reply sometime today but I wanted to give you a chance to see the character~ Btw, if you want a visual, imagine a young Anne Hathaway, but not a beautiful celebrity and instead a normal unattractive person.

<3))

((ooc: I have them working evenings bc I'm assuming that Jess has school during the day. Let me know if you need that changed~))

Annie happened to be watching a daydream play out on the storefront windows when an unfamiliar brunette entered the shop, dolled up and in uniform. Annie knew that she'd be seeing new faces today: Last week she'd been trained by the day manager, but she'd been hired to work evenings. This was her first real shift, or as the the bald and tooth-gapped manager had told her the previous afternoon, "the training wheels are off!" (She responded with the kind of curt smile that such a comment required.) Her heart sank a little at the sight of this barista-fashionista, as she was prone to invidious comparisons and was easily intimidated by any attractive or charismatic person in the room. She herself wore nothing to garnish her dark Starbucks uniform with its Christmas-green apron; her abundant hair was trapped up in a policy-approved pony tail. If she were to set up a stool in the corner and stare blankly at the wall for the rest of the shift, would anyone even notice her?

Her nametag read "Annarose." She preferred Annie and distastefully associated her rare name with things that didn't mesh with what she considered to be her personality: It felt at once antebellum and hippy. Yet her older sister Beth, with whom she'd just recently started living in order to get her damn life together, insisted that "Annarose" would get her more tips and, eventually, more interviews for jobs in which she'd never have to ask whether the person across the table from her wanted whipped cream. Annie took the advice, but frowned a little whenever someone called her by that silly name.

Instead of precociously introducing herself to her young coworker, Annie averted her eyes shyly, automatically assuming that the girl would address her first if she wanted to meet her at all. The shift had just started and it was still only late afternoon, meaning that things weren't busy, and so Annie immediately resumed her daydreams, this time staring up at the industrial ceiling: A beautiful young woman, a friend, takes her out of this loathsome city, takes her anywhere, so long as it's away from this hot, exhaust-choked urban sprawl, and chatters to her with a tinkling-crystal voice about her fascinating life while braiding her dark hair...

((That makes sense. Perfect. 👌))



Every once in a while, when you ask a question, the Universe surprises you and answers it. And as Jess entered the shop, already dreading the monotony ahead, her question of what interesting thing might come along was answered in the form of a tall, slender girl with a neat pony tail of chocolate-brown hair staring dreamily out the front windows.

The new girl, she realized. That's right, Tim had told her he had hired someone. Geez, she looks really green. Her walking slowed as she took her in briefly. She had no makeup on, no jewelry that she could see, and she was -- sort of serious looking. Not strikingly beautiful but not unnattractive either, just...sort of ordinary. But her body had a gracefulness about it, and her hair...

She felt the girl's eyes on her for a moment, and felt a vibe that wasn't quite friendly. Jess smiled politely -- it was her instinct, almost a reflex. Eye contact, smile. But it was reflex for a reason. It was part of her default setting towards people and the world in general, and that default setting was: "OPEN."

She noticed the girl avert her eyes and so she didn't say anything, she just glanced at her name tag then made her way through the waist-high swinging door and went to the time clock.

She's shy. That's friggin' adorable, Jess thought, clocking in. Either that, or she's a loner.

Jess returned to the area behind the counter and followed the new girl's eyes up to the spot on the ceiling she was staring at. Seeing nothing there, she cocked an eyebrow and looked back down at her.

"What are you thinking about?" Jess asked her curiously.

Realizing suddenly that that was not a proper introduction, Jess stepped a bit closer, smiled slightly, and stuck her hand out.

"I mean...erm...I'm Jess. Jessica Campbell. Psychology student and barrista extordinaire," she said, laughing at her own joke. She leaned in slightly, as if about to let Annarose in on a secret, adding in a hushed voice, "People think I'm just selling them coffee, but really I'm psychoanalysing them."

She brought the index finger her non-outstretched hand up to her lips, making the universal sign for that's a secret.

She was hoping for a laugh, or at least a smile. After all, the first and most important order of business was to find out if this girl had a sense of humor.

If she did, it would make the conversations about rotating the creamer in the lobby out every two hours and upselling the pastries much less boring. And if she did, in Jess' experience, it meant they could probably be friends.

"And...Annarose?" Jess added, glancing at her name tag. "What a flipping gorgeous name! I'm kind of jealous."

Annie was so caught up in her own head that she barely registered the inviting smile Jess flashed when their eyes briefly met. Luckily, Jess was persistent. At her plucky introduction, Annie's demeanor softened and relaxed just slightly. She smiled politely and appreciatively at her efforts, though she assumed Jess wasn't really interested in what she'd been thinking about and let the question drop. Just as her lips parted to respond to Jess's comment on psychoanalysis, the girl commented on her name, and Annie's eyes brightened for a moment.

"Oh. Thanks." I think?... Who gets jealous over a name...? She thought, but then quickly added, "I mean, thanks for saying it right. ANN-a-rose. Everyone's always calling me 'Anna-ROSE.'" She blushed and added in a mumble, "Just Annie's fine..."

At that moment a sporty woman approached the counter and made a simple order. "I'll get that," Annie said quickly and went about pouring and packing the appropriate things. Jess had already given the woman her change. The thirty seconds taken up by the transaction was enough of a buffer that the painfully shy Annie was able to collect the strength to nudge the conversation forward. After all, Jess seemed... nice, or something. Probably worth having a nice work relationship with.

"So you psychoanalyze? Tell me something about that guy over there reading the paper." She motioned to the far side of the room. She intended to ask this in a friendly manner, but as soon as the words came out she felt that she hadn't been smiling and concluded that it must have sounded like a challenge. She convinced her face to relax a little and gave a little apologetic smile to Jess.

((What an intensely uncomfortable human being o.o))

((LOL. Yep. But I can relate to her tho!))

Jess noticed her blush, watching Annie with attentive, steady brown eyes. When she blushes, it's flattering on her, Jess reflected, inwardly smiling but outwardly showing nothing.

"Oh, did I? Well, you're welcome then," she said, with a bit of laughter because she had just taken a wild guess. "I figured it was like 'Annabelle.' But with a 'rose.' Instead of a 'belle.''

She nodded. "Alright, Annie. That has a nice ring. You can call me Jessica, or Jess. Either one is fine by me."

Jess noted there was a difference between their voices -- Annie's was soft and low, pleasant, refined-sounding, Jess thought. Jess' was a little louder, a little more boisterous, and sort of extra-clear.

When the sporty woman approached the counter, Jess expected to have both ring up the order and make it, at least this first time, so when Annie stepped up and started making it immediately, she was pleasantly surprised.

So, not a slacker, Jess noted with raised brows as she counted back the customer's change and watched Annie hand out the order.

They watched the woman walk away. There was a beat of silence.

"So you psychoanalyze? Tell me something about that guy over there reading the paper." Annie motioned to the far side of the room.

Jess' eyebrows elevated again. She looked at her new coworker, trying to read her expression.

Is she challenging me to prove it, or just making friendly conversation? Jess couldn't tell. But she quickly decided it was okay with her either way. She wasn't going to back away from a challenge, anyhow.

She smirked and crossed her arms, taking a step forward, and gazed across the lobby.

"I'm glad you chose him," Jess said in a hushed voice. "He's easy. First of all, he's probably single because he's here every Friday and Saturday, he makes decent money...that's his blue beamer out there--" Jess gestured to the parking lot. "He outgoing with the female baristas but always shy with the guys. And he's definitely--"

Suddenly Jess stopped mid-sentence and turned to look at Annie.

Her bemused smirk melted into a serious expression as she regarded her coworker again, as if for the first time, trying to decide how much was safe to say to her.

She looks innocent enough, but what if she gets offended? What if she says I make her uncomfortable, goes to corporate? What if she's got strong religious convictions about it and it puts this huge, awkward wall between us, and I still have to work with her every day? Jess thought, all the possible contingencies racing through her mind. What if it leads to an argument?

Jess looked for clues -- there were precious few.

No make-up and long hair, Jess thought. She could be a Pentecostal. But no skirt. Then again these are our work uniforms...no Texas accent...maybe from the north, or the Midwest? Can't tell.

She scanned Annie's neckline looking for a cross and scanned her left hand looking for a wedding ring--all in seconds, trying to figure out what sort of background Annie may have and whether she should risk talking openly with her or find out more about her first.

There simply wasn't enough information to predict anything, so Jess went with her default setting: Open and casual.

As soon as it was decided, the mischevious smile of someone who has just accepted a challenge returned to Jess' face and she looked again towards the man.

"....and he's definitely gay. But that's not psychoanalysis speaking--that's my gaydar," Jess said with certainty, as if she hadn't just been second-guessing herself. She looked at Annie and winked, laughing a little despite herself, and then she carefully watched Annie's reaction.

Will she recoil? Will she blush? Will she shoot me a judgemental glare? Or a pitying one? Will she even know what gaydar means?

Jess knew that Annie's reaction would instantly give her some much needed information about her comfort level with the topic.

Whatever Annie's reaction in that moment, Jess quickly continued, her speech a bit pressured from nervousness, wanting to shift attention away from herself and back onto the man in question.

He had dark, black hair, styled with gel in a short, stylish cut. He was casually but tastefully dressed and had light brown skin with a rather impressively toned physique.


"Not just that--I mean, he's checked out the guy in the other corner three times," Jess murmered softly, leaning in and gesturing subtly with her head in the direction of a young man on a laptop. "It's also the nice hair -- and his trendy clothes, but the give-away that leaves no doubt is...that newspaper he's reading is the Dallas Voice. I don't know if you're from around here but that's the paper with all the gay culture stuff in it. You know, q-cinema, drag shows, night life. Fun stuff."

Jess drifted off as another few customers entered the cafe and merged into a line. The topic was briefly tabled as the customers were served. Then, when the coast was clear again, Jess asked the question she'd been wondering for a few minutes.

"So what do you do for fun around here, Annie?" Jessica asked as she moved the lines of pastries forward to fill the holes left by the recent rush.

((Aww. I can feel the slight generation gap between us. Or maybe it's a culture gap. I remember gayness being a big deal, discussed in hushed undertones, when I was in elementary school -- but no one's talked about it like that since then, not to me anyway! Sometimes my small-town family members will show their prejudices by saying things like "He's gay -- and there's nothing wrong with that!" and talking about queer women and nonbinary people as though they're just confused or going through a phase. But I guess I just don't run into, or perhaps bother making conversation with, any young people who would talk like Jess feels she needs to talk in order to accomodate Annie. That is, confidentially, and with some gravity: that's a gay :o

I hope that made sense. I wanted to say all that because Jess's thoughts and how she's presenting them strike me as odd, and Annie is going to find it oddly conservative too.))


Jess's confidence and openness was helping Annie to relax. She wore a cautious smile as she watched her coworker strike a pose and set to work. She resisted the urge to comment that what Jess was doing was more deductive reasoning than psychoanalyzing. No need to be a pedant. Then Jess mentioned her gaydar, and yet again Annie held her tongue. What she wanted to say was: How is gaydar different from deduction? She was not a believer in intuition. But then, she'd rather be taciturn than ruin Jess's fun -- although, she thought, a lack of response might kill the conversation just as quick. Oh dear...

I'm going to break some roleplay rules here and do something Dostoevsky taught me: I will insert my authorial voice into the narration to explain something about Annie. (I contend that it's not out-of-character, but rather style!)

It should be stated that Annie shied away from sexuality and always had. She and her heterosexual male peers shared an indifferent attitude toward one another. She had made a few male friends here and there, not all of whom would eventually come out as gay, but never felt inclined to get romantic with them and was similarly never propositioned. In her mind, she valued her friendships with girls much more highly. Boys just couldn't understand her. Even now in her mid-twenties she longed only for feminine companionship: gentle, wholesome, and even girlish. But she wasn't a girl anymore, she was a woman, and it felt like the world was moving on without her. The kind of friendships she cherished in school were incomparably harder to come by in the adult world, and this weighed heavily on her lonely, lonely heart.

So, what did she do for fun?

"Certainly not drag," she said, her eyes lowered, in response to Jess's questions. She realized immediately how judgmental that sounded. "I mean -- I guess I shouldn't say that. It's not that I don't like drag." She blushed and felt a twinge of frustration. "Although, I guess I wouldn't even know whether or not I liked drag. I've never been to any shows like that." Suddenly remember that she wasn't answered the question, she hastened to add, "Um, I guess for fun I like to write. Just for myself. Stories. But, god" -- here she laughed a little at her own boring life -- "I should probably try to, um, get out more. What about you? What do you do?"

((

Quote:
I just don't run into...any young people who would talk like Jess feels she needs to talk in order to accomodate Annie. That is, confidentially, and with some gravity: that's a gay :o

I see where you're coming from, but it didn't occur to me that it might come off as if Jess is speaking in hushed tones because she's saying he's gay. In my head, she's only speaking confidentially that way because she's gossiping about a customer's personal life with another employee. She doesn't want the customer to hear that they're talking about him. She's talking about his car and singleness in the same hushed tone, just because she's gossiping. The gravity -- maybe so, maybe a 20 year old wouldn't think it even noteworthy enough to mention that's he's gay -- maybe that's my (the author's) age skewing her behavior, but I would argue that it might be the setting! It's a legitimate concern wondering how much to reveal to someone you don't know in an area where a large number of people lean socially consevative. But Jess won't be as cautious once she knows Annie's disposition towards it. Also...the voice of a narrator isn't against any roleplay rules I know! I see it in PMs a lot! I like the response. I'll answer soon.))

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Forums > General Roleplay Forum > The Initiation (1x1, closed)