• Every other Wednesday was spent attending a literature reading that Café HoneyDew hosted. On my first night, I only listened in on others recite. There was this girl that caught my attention almost immediately even though she was sitting all the way in the corner of the semi-crowded room. It was her clothing that hooked me. She was literally drenched in black everything. She wore black pointed boots, black skin tight jeans, and a black top under yet another black cardigan. Even her long, wavy hair was black, as were her beret and her shades. Though, the shades did not make any sense, for the sun had set about two hours ago. She was reading from the newspaper while sipping her latte nonchalantly and occasionally she glanced at her black, yes black, laptop which was on the table next to her. She had this mysterious and unapproachable aura to her, like if you just look at her, she’ll give you a look back that will make you feel smaller and weaker than an ant, yet she seemed laid back at the same time.
    Different people have different opinions on what black means to them; “Black makes you look thinner!”, “Black is the color of loneliness.”, and “Black is the plainest color ever!” All around the café you could see where the people’s attentions were focused on, or better, who the people’s attentions were focused on. It was the girl in night’s clothing. I walked over to the table diagonally of her and sat down with my hot chocolate with marshmallows and waited for the reading to begin. All around, people were in bright colors that popped out right away. I thought, “How come I noticed her first?” The lady to my left was wearing a summer yellow sweater and matching pants. She was accompanied by a young man that looked similarly like her; he wore and orange shirt with the words “PEACE OVER WAR” across the top and pictures of a man and a woman hugging and another of the woman hitting the man with a baseball bat. I also noticed this couple near the entrance. The girl wore purple jeans and a teal tank top, and her boyfriend was in khaki shorts and a white plain t-shirt. Everyone literally popped out with their colors, and yet the girl in the back corner all drenched in black caught my attention first.
    Moments later, the owner of the café stood up on stage and welcomed everyone, “Welcome all to our first literature reading.” People all around me clapped gently, all but the girl in black across from me. She was straight to the point and announced the very first participant of her reading extravaganza. It was the girl drenched in black, and her name was Gem Carlton. She went up on stage with such ease that it seemed like she was floating on air instead of walking ten feet forward. All eyes were on her as she sat down and took of her shades. Gem had gorgeous eyes and you can tell. They were a bursting gray, and even from a far you would see her face blush, and she reminded me of a Barbie doll. I admit, before I saw her face, I thought she was one of those “emo” girls who would recite how much their life stunk like dirty gym socks left in your locker for a month and a half, but she wasn’t.
    “The sun rose to protect my dreams. The moon shone to light me the way. The ocean opened a path that was long closed. My world is secure, and I am safe in it.” Gem stared straight at the back wall with the giant painting of a dolphin the whole time she recited. Her voice was gentle and had this melodic, soothing tune to it. It was as if she was singing to us, and we soaked it all up. Five seconds of silence followed after she finished, then applause filled the café. It was a clear indication that everyone liked her poem. The man with his mother yelled out, “More! More! More!” Soon, a lot of people wanted to hear more. It was amazing that her four line freelance poem attracted so much praise. I was stunned when I realized I was standing up, my hands clasp together just like after you clap your hands. She fulfilled the man’s request and recited another one. That one was about going after your dreams, only she said “Chase your dreams until you’ve caught it and caged it and locked it tight.” It was quite a Wednesday night for that whole group of people that were there, including me.
    A week passed by and it was Wednesday again; another day for Gem’s poetry. I was excited after I got off work. I couldn’t wait to hear more of her poems. I got to the Café HoneyDew a quarter to eight and sat at the same table I was in last week. Tem minutes after I saw Gem walk through the door, only she wasn’t alone. Two girls tagged behind her and both them were drenched in black like Gem. I thought, “Wow! She has a posse!” I figured the other two were similar to Gem, heir clothing already were anyways. I took the courage to walk over to them at the corner of the room and introduce myself. To my utter surprise, the two girls glared at me as I inched towards them. Gem was reading the newspaper she has brought with her, but she glanced up when she one of her friends nudged her with her elbow. She looked up at me with pearly whites that shone brighter that the sun, I bet you. She smiled, “Hello there. Can I help you?” Before I can pull up my hand to introduce myself, the other girl guffawed sarcastically and cut me off. “She definitely needs help with that outfit of hers! Did you step out of you great grandmother’s closet or something?” The other girl joined in her laughter while Gem glared as she stood up, which I thought was impossible for her to do; glare, mind you, not stand up. She walked towards me and apologized and introduced herself as if I didn’t already know who she was. “I’m awfully sorry for my rude friends. They don’t go out often, so they don’t really know how to properly talk to a person. My name’s Gem Carlton.” I took her hand and shook it. “I’m Casi Dean. And it’s alright; I’m not offended, not much anyways.”
    We laughed a gentle laugh and she offered to buy me a scone and a cup of coffee. We sat back at her table and she introduced me to her friends, who apologized after yet another glare from Gem. I was glad that I had introduced, or tried to introduce myself, to Gem. She and I have grown closer over the months, and she even helped me compose many of my own freelance poems, and none of them sound like Dr. Suess’ books, mind you. It’s amazing what a simple latte run after work can do for you.