Many thanks to my friends Emma1, Emma2, James, Bogdan, Tam, Alex, and Thomson, without whose help the names of the characters would have sounded much more ordinary and boring.
The summer of 2015 brought nothing new to the people of the world. Life was reasonably good, bordering on the thin line between bearable and slightly miserable but most citizens were happy. So was Sean Cooper, a young adult turned twenty, of somewhat masculine build, whose purpose in life was of yet still vague, mysterious, a true chimera of chivalry, nobility and affluence. He had decided that there existed only one path for him to fulfil his great destiny and so Mr. Cooper prepared to attend university. A wishful thinker and unstoppable dreamer, he envisioned himself as the king of a financial/bureaucratic empire and a generous entrepreneur who gave the world the much-needed push and “set things right”. Love played a vital part in his grand scheme with a supportive wife and children backing up his every decision.
Sexy, hot, voluptuous, daring, provocative, promiscuous, hard/easy-to-get, desired, desirable, a prize – Ayisha’s peers rarely used these words to describe her and she was perfectly content with that. Undisputedly attractive, she did not attract excessive attention to her humble persona. Miss Butterfill had come of age long ago, now totalling twenty-one years, but had experienced less in terms of socializing than some of her underage counterparts. She was by no means a wallflower or a quiet person at that – her opinions if and when she had them were publicized in seconds much to the discord of her parents. Then again, she exactly didn’t see eye to eye on everything with them. To silence the nagging feeling of daughterly ingratitude she forced herself to attend university.
Due to the lack of any sort of notification, university lecture length was left to the lecturer’s judgement and this one was particularly short. Left with many unanswered questions, Sean Cooper went to bombard the Professor with questions but to his surprise a girl had beaten him there. Waiting patiently as any young gentleman would, he listened to their conversation – she posed some interesting problems but the old wizard seemed reluctant to disclose anything but the course syllabus. “Nothing to do here”, was his response. On the way out, he caught a glimpse of the girl and decided to strike up a conversation:
“Hello, I was listening to you right now and I think you posed some really interesting problems. It’s a shame the professor didn’t reply properly”, said Sean.
“Oh, but he did. I just think you didn’t understand him”, replied the girl with no hint of sarcasm, mustering all the honesty in her huge brown eyes.
“If he had, I would have understood him”, retorted Cooper and without losing the initial confidence continued, “Is this your secret, intellectual handshake to confirm I am your mental equal?”
“Sort of. You were so smug of yourself one had to bring your ballooning ego down from the heavens. I am a Butterfill. Ayisha Butterfill. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“I am Sean Cooper, preferred to be known for my own success than that of my ancestors.”
“ ‘Tiss a difficult world, Mr. Cooper so why not use every head start you can get?!”
“A man earns his own glory-“
“And a woman steals from others? That is a very sexist view, Mr Cooper.”
“Yes, it sounds like it is. But let’s sit somewhere and I will show you.”
A few moments later, at the closest cafe Ayisha and Sean were drinking hot chocolate and warming their cold limbs.
“You see, Ayisha, or Miss Butterfill need I follow your antics, I see the world as my playground, my oyster if you wish, and it is my duty to know about and take care of things within this property of mine. Let’s take the guy unlocking his bike across the street for example. He shall die in a traffic accident today-“
“For a second I was fooled into thinking you were actually making a point but you are nothing more than a sweet-talker”, Ayisha laughed out.
“To be objective, which is one of the pillars in my thinking, I take half of the blame for this misunderstanding – he shall die today because of his ignorance and detrimental habits. This same guy crosses the road near my house at exactly the same crossroad in the hope that cars would not hit him there. And this has worked so far. However, today is the big conference of local businesses and to avoid traffic congestions the council has posted a big message saying – cars will not give way to pedestrians on this day. Cross at a different place! He will not see this from the road while biking and inevitably end up under a car.”
Miss Butterfill began hesitantly, “Ingenious reasoning and coldheated deduction – I can’t decide which best fits you. With your apathy are you implying that his life is not worth the effort to warn him or that he is as stupid as to fall victim to this? If so, this conversation is over. You can pay the bill, Mr Cooper. Goodbye.”
“We have already paid it, Miss. Say hello to Michel”, his voice fading as she exited the premises.
Few cars passed through the road and she was able to catch the misfortunate cyclist.
“Excuse me, …”
“Yes, excuse me, Michel, I see you are riding a bicycle home and I just wanted to warn of the increased traffic today because of the big conference. I am on the committee for Road Safety and …”
“Don’t worry Miss, an acquaintance of mine has already warned me”
“Oh, you must have caring friends!’
“Not really. It was a guy I never talk to, I think it was something like Copper or Cooper …”
Ayisha flew into the cafe, flustered and angry but the table was empty apart from a brochure and some writing on it. It read:
Sexuality – a necessity or an accessory – A talk. See you there…