Asterope sits in one of the vinyl booths at Beef Baron, sipping daintily at her chocolate milkshake. She dabs her mouth with a paper napkin and eyes her lunch companion frankly. "You know why I called you here, right?"
Yed looks down at his untouched plate.
Yed "'Cause I quit orchestra and you, um, want me back in the ensemble?" Yed clears his throat.
Asterope "Not exactly!" She laughs a little. "Look, you've totally been spending time with Heka, and with other friends of mine. And um, you're a pretty nice guy, right? Of course you are. That's why you're worth a little extra time and attention right?"
Yed "Look, you guys are better off without me. I was holding you back."
Yed "Please, get a new bass," says Yed. Then, quietly, "I want to be someone else now."
Asterope "How about this, Yed." Asterope smiles brightly. "Why don't you come back, and play the bass like the rock star you are.. And I'll help you become a new person!"
Asterope "I did it for Furry, right? I can SO do it for you. Don't you want to be popular?"
Yed "I do, and since I quit orchestra, I've met TONS of new people! I went on my first date. I won't go back."
Asterope "Yed, look, you know I think you're cool. But.. this is high school, not the communist party, right? Not all kids are created equal. Let me help you.. equalize."
Yed "The communists don't think all people- what? Equalize?"
Asterope twitches her face into a frown momentarily. "Look, are we going shopping or what? You need new clothes. And a haircut. Just-- little things, outward things to show an inward change, which of course wasn't a change at all-- but the school won't know that! They never gave your awesomeness a chance, but when I'm done with you, they will."
Asterope "Besides, your cousin is getting naked with my best friend, so your family kind of has a standard to uphold now."
Yed "That sounds fun."
Yed "Um, the new look thing, not the naked thing."
Yed "I, uh, wouldn't know."
Asterope "Getting naked with my best friend? I guess it is, I mean-- OHH."
Yed "Wait, Ras?"
Asterope "Yes, that's fun too."
Yed "What are we talking about?"
Yed drops his forehead to the table in desperation.
Asterope "I have no idea." Asterope looks cutely befuddled; she's not used to talking to people who talk as quickly as she does.
Yed "Can we, um, start over with less naked? That would be so much easier for me."
Asterope "Yed.." Asterope looks uncomfortable. "You know, um, I didn't call you here to get naked with me, right? I think you might have the wrong idea. I'm not that kind of-- well, maybe a little-- but no."
Yed "That's not what I thought."
Yed lifts his head from the table.
Asterope brightens considerably. "Yay! So let's go shopping."
Yed "Hey, Asty. Fancy meeting you here even though we agreed to both arrive at a pre-ordained time! Let us talk about shopping and not naked stuff. Salutations and hello!"
Asterope "Naked stuff? Well, isn't buying clothes for you to wear, like, the opposite of nudity or something? Also, you need highlights. I'm not sure what, if anything, that has to do with nakedne-- I'm not very good at not talking about nudity am I?"
Asterope "Let's just go and make you pretty."
Yed "Highlights? No way."
Asterope "Seriously. Yed." Asterope reaches into her purse and pulls out a little lighted vanity mirror. "Look at yourself! Who has hair ALL ONE COLOR any more?"
Asterope "Starving babies on those 'Adopt an Ethiopian' commercials and you. That's it. Are you an Ethiopian baby, Yed?"
Yed looks around the room for a moment, then realizes it was a rhetorical question.
Yed clears his throat. "No, I am not an Ethiopian baby."
Asterope looks deadly serious. "Then get your head foiled like a man."
Yed "I don't know if my parents will let me."
Asterope "What are they going to do to you? They'll let you." She smiles a little. "Just tell them you're going back into orchestra. It's what your mother wants more than anything; hell, they might buy you a better car."
Yed "My car is nice!"
Yed clears his throat. "Kinda nice."
Asterope "Better is better."
Yed "Um, slight problem."
Yed "Major favor time."
Yed "With cherries on top."
Asterope "Mmmm?" She sounds a bit wary this time.
Yed "My parents think I have a girlfriend."
Yed "And they are adamant about me changing the way I look at the whim of some girl."
Asterope blinks a few times.
Asterope "Have they.. 'met'.. this 'girlfriend?'"
Yed "No, she could be anyone."
Yed looks at Asterope meaningfully.
Yed "We need to break up."
Asterope "So you need me to break up with you? I could do that. I'm good at breaking up with boys. Just ask, uh, well.. half the sad looking boys in our class, I guess!"
Yed "Call me at, say, eight?"
Asterope "So what kind of break up are you going for? Do you want tears or anger?"
Asterope barks out a little laugh. "CALL you at eight? Yed, sweetie, that's so not how I roll. I'll be over at eight."
Yed "Well, over the phone is ideal. If you can do tears loudly, go for it."
Yed "Um, really?"
Asterope looks honestly confused. "But.. how am I supposed to drop off the pile of ashes that were the things you bought me during our relationship? Or break your taillights with my high heel? I mean, honestly, hasn't a girl ever broken up with you before? Do you not know how this works? It's a complex ballet of emotion."
Yed "Um, no."
Yed "Is, um, naked involved?"
Asterope "Not.. um.. quite. But don't worry, once I show you how breakups happen, I'll help you find your future ex-girlfriend." She squeezes his shoulder and winks conspiratorally. "Let's go!"