• Published 21st Oct 2016
  • 2,321 Views, 36 Comments

Make a Mistake with Me - CoffeeAndCigarettes



Behind you: juvie. Before you: Canterlot High School.

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Track #5: Orange Crush

Track #5: Orange Crush

“Huh. This is unexpectedly good.”

Adagio's face lights up ever so slightly as she finally tastes her curry-cooked koftas. You snicker and rip apart some naan bread for yourself, dipping it into the sauce and the rice before taking a bit. The exquisite flavor spreads through your mouth, even bringing few drops of sweat to your forehead. The chef hadn't been kidding when she said the food here was spicy.

“I've been to Canterlot for only a few months, but this is definitely my favorite restaurant around,” you explain. “Compared to the Chinese or Texmex places it's a breath of fresh air.”

Your eyes are momentarily distracted as said chef, one Saffron Masala, saunters across the restaurant floor back to her kitchen, her hips swaying quite a bit. You are returned to the present by Sonata's disapproving harrumph. Adagio, on the other hand, just cocks an eyebrow at you.

“Well okay, there are some other advantages to this place,” you admit and rub your neck awkwardly. “But food's what I'm really after here. Honest.”

“I'm willing to believe you, if only for the taste,” Adagio comments with a wicked look. “Then again, the base instincts of teenagers are nothing to scoff at.”

“Hey, North wouldn’t do something like that!” Sonata protests, before glancing at you suspiciously. “Would you, North?”

“Never.” You raise your hands in your defense. “I mean, look at me. I’m not exactly your typical hormone-guided missile of a teenager. I think I can keep my lust in place to visit one goddamn restaurant.”

“Fine, fine, if you’re so insistent, we’ll believe you,” Adagio answers and cackles.

You just roll your eyes and dig into your tandoori chicken and rice. There was another thing you liked about Tasty Treat - the restaurant you were in. It might have been small, but they had a proper tandoori oven which meant you could get one of your favorite foods any time you wanted. None of that U.K. style tikka masala crap, but proper Indian food.

That being said, maybe others weren’t as interested in culinary adventures as you were. Other than you, Sonata and Adagio, there was just one old man and some blue-haired kid sweeping the floors. Every now and then you also saw Saffron, but her father seemed to be missing. A shame, that. He wasn’t half bad of a guy and you exchanged an odd word every time you came to visit.

Just goes to show that more often than not, you were more at ease around adults than teenagers. Perhaps because of the hormones you were just talking about.

“And don’t forget the atmosphere,” you add in between your bites. “I hate it when restaurants blare some music nonstop. When I eat I wanna relax, not be assaulted by whatever crap is popular today.”

You nod towards the single radio that’s currently on the shelf above the counter. Instead of pop music or traditional Indian songs, it’s tuned in on a local news channel. Currently there’s an article about some Everton program student and her latest scientific discovery. Looks like one of the hometown kids has made it big.

“Ironically enough, that’s music to my ears,” Adagio says with a smirk. “I’ve been to few Texmex places thanks to the ravenous beast next to me-”

This elicits a sharp “Hey!” from Sonata.

“- And those places are all about being ‘faux cultural’. Boring and often annoying,” she finishes. “And let’s not even start talking about that abominable Sweet Shoppe. Ugh, just the thought of it makes my skin crawl.”

“Sweet Shoppe?” You think you have heard of the place in the passing.

“Oh! I know!” Sonata jumps into the conversation. “It’s the favorite hangout place for all CHS students, and where we first saw that gigantic rainbow tornado made out of ma-”

Before she can get any farther, Adagio slams a whole naan bread into the blue-haired goof’s gullet. Sonata seems not that fazed, as she begins chewing on it happily. It is only after she’s digested the delicious thing that she turns to Adagio with a confused look and a shrug.

“What?”

“Let’s not feed North here any more of your flights of fancy,” Adagio says rather harshly. “Remember, he only arrived after the Battle of the Bands. He doesn’t need to about things that might or might not have happened.”

“Oh. Oh!” Realization dawns on Sonata’s face, and she hits her palm with her tiny fist. “Like our deal or how Sunset Shimmer became a total she-demon!”

Adagio buries her face into her hands and lets out an elongated groan of frustration. You try to assure her by patting her on the shoulder. It must be tiring to deal with Sonata’s personality all the time. Even you’re spun in circles, and you see her few hours a day.

“Yes. Exactly that. Now shut up, Sonata,” Adagio growls. “Sorry about that, North. This girl has no brains whatsoever.

Another ‘Hey!’ is heard, but quickly silenced by rice and chicken.

“Yeah, I know,” you say and chuckle. “But I have to admit, all this secrecy is nothing new to me. I heard about some pretty rough spots the school had this year, but whenever I ask about it, everyone goes super tight-lipped for some reason. I wonder why…?”

“Y-yes, whatever could be the reason…ahaha…” Adagio’s laugh and expression are beyond forced, and her eyes are darting from you to the front door.

What is left behind is a stunning silence. You take that moment to get back to your food, only to find Sonata blankly staring at you. She then leans over the table and whispers at you with the loudest possible voice.

“I know what the reason is,” she says, before sneaking a glance at Adagio. “But I don’t think I’m supposed to tell you.”

“Yeah, it might be better if you just forgot all of this,” you answer her. “I don’t want Adagio to murder us both.”

You both giggle and hear the poofy wonder exhale a rather magnificent, and frustrated, sigh in the background.

Once again you turn your attention to your food. You’ve only been here for measly twenty minutes, but in that time, you’ve almost emptied your plate and you’re on your second beer. You did get a raised eyebrow from Adagio when you ordered that as a drink, but since the chef said nothing against it, she let it slide. You were thankful for that. It was hard enough to play a good little student at CHS (and even that you are failing miserably), so you didn’t want to keep acting when you were free.

The air outside has some remnants of the gone summer in it, desperately holding onto whatever measly amount of warmth that was left. The blue sky above is gilded by the light of a midday sun. The people outside are dressed a little heavier thanks to the Autumn, and scarves are already back in fashion. But inside Tasty Treat, the air is so heavy with smell of spices and cozy atmosphere, it’s like what you see through the window is just an illusion.

“Is everything to your liking?” a voice calls you out of your daydreams with a slight accent. “Refills on rice cost no extra, so order as much as you want.”

While you were busy admiring the scenery, Saffron Masala appeared from somewhere and stopped next to your table. She’s wearing a confident smile and has one hand on her hip. The other has, for some reason, snaked its way on top of your chair’s back.

“Y-yeah, we’re good here, Saffron,” you say, unable to help a slight grin. “Food’s great as usual. Compliments to the chef.”

“Yeah, yeah!” Sonata chimes in. “This is, like, super delish! I gotta visit the next time we’ve got money… or North’s willing to pay.”

The last words are accompanied by a sheepish smile, but you only chuckle. It’s true that you forked out the cash for this little outing. Still, it was a small price to pay. It was the first time you saw Sonata outside the school, and Adagio had said she wanted to get to know you a little better. Seeing that you wanted to talk to the copperhead as well, it seemed like a small price to pay.

Aria, unsurprisingly, had vehemently refused to come. Looks like she still sees you as a vermin of some sort.

“Indeed, compliments to the chef,” Adagio repeats, causing Saffron to blush a bit. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had anything this good.”

“Oh, that’s great to hear! We try our best to bring North Indian cuisine here, let people taste just what sort of dishes I grew up with,” Saffron answers. “Looks like we made the right decision not to quit after all.”

“You were about to quit?” Adagio asks while wiping her mouth with a napkin.

“Yes, but we were helped by some friends to realize just why we started this restaurant in the first place,” the chef says and giggles. “And what do you know, just the next day North here walks in to eat enough for five people. That really boosted our spirits.”

Saffron grins and peers down at your face. For some reason, you suddenly find the bowl of raita on the table damn interesting. The wonders of Indian cuisine, to be sure.

“Afterwards North became our loyal customer. And now he brought friends to eat!” Saffron beams at you. “I think we’ll have to up the size of our servings for you so you’ll keep coming here.”

“Nah, don’t worry about it,” you say and nudge her with your elbow. “From decor to food to chef, everything in this place is just how I like it. I’m already considering Tasty Treat my home base, so to speak.”

Saffron chuckles at your words and pats you on the shoulder. To your surprise, her hand stays there as she turns her attention towards the girls. A whiff of an exotic perfume enters your nose.

“If you need anything else, just let me know,” she says with confidence. “Friends of North are always welcome here.”

Having said that, Saffron takes her leave towards the kitchen once more. Her fingers draw a line on your shoulder before separating from it. Flashing one last smile to your direction, she walks away. With a swing of the wooden door, she disappears from sight again. You scratch your head, bit befuddled, before turning towards your companions.

You immediately grimace. This wasn’t good.

Sonata is wearing, for some unholy reason, a pout so magnificent you have hard time believing it. Arms folded, she looks like she’s absolutely cross with you. Adagio is not much better. Her grin is approaching criminal levels in its intent, like she had found something amusing and was going to cruelly milk it for all the fun that could be gotten.

“Oh, I think I know exactly why you keep coming here,” the copperhead laughs. “Not many would get a welcome that warm from the owner’s daughter. Looks like Saffron Masala’s taken quite a liking to you.”

“It’s n-not that, God. Get your mind out of the gutter,” you sputter, frowning at the two. “We’re just being nice to each other.”

“Yes, very nice. I can see that.”

You bury your frustrated groan into some more naan bread. The quicker you’d get out of this conversation, the better. Adagio was having far too much fun at your expense, while Sonata was turning sour enough to resemble Aria.

“So tell me, North Wind…” Adagio suddenly says, pushing aside her plate. “Just when did you arrive here, exactly? The first time I saw you was in the band room, but from what I’ve gathered, you’ve been here a little longer than that.”

Her eyes narrow a bit as she studies your face. You’re feeling a bit like a field mouse on that fateful day in Hiroshima.

“Not to mention it’s not often that someone moves into a sleepy little city like Canterlot out of the blue,” she adds. “I’m interested in hearing more about you.”

You hum and take a swig of your beer, trying to come up with some clever answer. It’s not that your story was particularly interesting. Still, you didn’t exactly want all the students of CHS to know about it. Baconswirl had done enough damage with her blabbering. You weren’t exactly sure how trustworthy, in the end, these girls were.

“Well, let’s see…” you say and stretch a bit. “I came at the end of September, so I had been in CHS for about two weeks before I ran into Sonata. Used to live to east, in the Great Plains region. As for the reason why I came, well… I guess you heard that I was in juvie?”

Both of the girls nod in unison. Figures. Probably everybody in the damn city knew about it already.

“I spent a little over a year there, and when I got out, I figured a change of scenery was in order,” you explain. “So I took an offer from my uncle and moved here. Got my own apartment, transferred to CHS, and, well… rest is as you know.”

“Ooh, you have an uncle here?” Sonata asks with a grin.

“Yeah, from my old man’s side. Bobby Pin. He lives on the outskirts of the town, working on those machines of his,” you answer. “Decent enough old coot, if you can get past the thick layer of hick and booze. Used to visit him during summers of the past, so it’s not like Canterlot City’s too alien to me. Not that I remember much of those times.”

This seems to pique Adagio’s interest, as she folds her arms and leans back on her seat, gaze running across your body. Why was she sizing you up now?

“Hick, you say… I guess that explains why you dress the way you do,” she says with a smirk. “I did wonder what was wrong with your fashion sense.”

“Hey! I think North looks cool, for realsies!” Sonata protests and grins at you. “He’s just like his name.”

You grimace and look down at your clothes. The girls weren’t exactly wrong. Leather jacket with a fur-trim, hoodie, jeans and big boots, you looked like you belonged to an episode of Dog - The Bounty Hunter. Things weren’t helped by the fact that your hat of choice to cover your ever-growing mullet was a black beanie, if even that.

But… it was your style, nonetheless. One you weren’t about to change.

“Hey, don’t sell me short, Poof,” you say and grin wickedly at Adagio. “I don’t think you get all there is to it to how I roll.”

Amused Adagio rolls her eyes.

“Well, enlighten us then. I’m so terribly interested,” she sneers.

You hop off your seat and slide over to the counter where the old man is snoring against the mahogany table. You wake him up by slamming a couple of bucks next to him, and then proceed to whisper something in his ear. His eyes light up and he nods, picking up the banjo next to him.

You then walk over to the blue-haired guy, roughly your age, who has been sweeping the floors all this time. He looks a bit shocked you’re approaching him, but a couple of words and some money exchanged, and he’s in your plan.

With all of it set, you spin around and shoot a challenging look at Adagio.

“Alright, Miss Doubtfire. Give me a couple of blues licks with vibrato, pronto,” you say to her. “You brought the harmonica I gave you, right?”

For a moment, Adagio’s face seems to waver somewhere between flabbergasted and ready to walk out of this joint. But by your urging, she finally lets out a frustrated groan and digs up the instrument from her pocket. Under Sonata’s curious stare, she takes some deep breaths, glances at you, and then shoots a wailing, melodic sound that lights up the restaurant.

That’s the cue. Next to the counter, a banjo comes alive. You stomp your feet to kick off the rhythm, clap your hands to keep it up and fill the room with sudden music.

And then you start singing.

“Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!” You holler, and behind you, you see the blue-haired guy rev up the guitar he got from his locker. “Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!”

You lean on the table where the girls sit, and take a great big swig of your beer.

“I'm wasted, yeah!” You sing and let out a massive belch. “Don't mind the gas. A leather-clad jackass, actin' like an ass. Riding up and down on my dad's old chopper, filling up my fingers with rings of copper.”

With a spin you’re back on the floor of the restaurant, your stomp and clapping keeping you to the rhythm. You grin as you see Sonata start parroting you, mouthing the words to the best of her abilities.

“No matter where I am I ain't acting proper. Soul channeling the spirit of an OG Rocker,” you continue to the redneck tune. “My night on the town is the American Bash! So watch me now, I'm the Great White Trash!”

And with that, you bring everything to the chorus. Even Adagio senses it, as she joins the melody with a riff from her harmonica.

“Ah! I am! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!” you holler and chuckle. “I'm the Great White Trash! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!”

Having heard the music, Saffron Masala peeks out of the kitchen to see its source. You wink at her and slide to the counter, slamming your hands against the wooden surface for deeper beat.

“I'm a rambler, a gambler with ugly tats. I'm daydreaming 'bout cheerleader brats,” you begin the second verse. “I'm redneck Bueller with all days off. Whose dream is girl in a biker cut-off.”

Nodding her head to the music, Saffron joins everyone in the main room, adding the sound of her own feet to the rhythm.

“Loving and fighting with a mudhole stomp. Tailgate party at the swamp,” you sing and slide back to the table where Adagio and Sonata are. “What's in my veins, yes it's true! Red and white and Oh – Pabts Blue!”

Sonata jumps up from her spot and together you take to the floor, feet keeping up the pace as the old man picks his banjo with a toothy smile.

“I came here just raise to some hell. Shut up and hear the rebel yell!” You sing and nudge Sonata with your elbow. “Be my girl, your stocks will crash! It's a day in the life of the Great White Trash!”

With a laugh you move yet again to the chorus, with the whole restaurant now in on your song. This time the blue-haired goof is even able to back you up in the vocals.

“Ah! I am! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!” You twirl around and lift your jacket. “I'm the Great White Trash! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho!”

As the blue-haired dude begins the guitar solo, his fingers flying on the strings, you turn towards Adagio. Behind you is the rocking cry of a stratocaster as the part-timer unleashes his best. But you? Your attention is on the copperhead grinning at you.

“So?” Adagio asks. “That’s who you are? A regular redneck?”

“Not just a regular one, a true blue trailer park hick,” you answer her with a sneer. “We can’t all be city born and bred.”

“I don’t mind,” she says and chuckles. “In this town, it’s a breath of fresh air, frankly.”

Joining in her laugh, you get back to the stomping and start your lyrics once more.

“It ain't a great secret how to live this life! Dance on the edge of a broken knife!” You sing and point at Sonata. “Grow your hair and just mimic me! And walk around the school like an S.O.B!”

Side to side with Sonata and Saffron, your feet perform something of a dance as they pound the floor, your hands striking against each other like best of drums.

“Gather to the quarry, fly the Old Glory. Open up a can, that's my whole life story,” you bellow out. “Hold it steady! Keep it ready! Be a loose cannon like you're Ol' R. Teddy!”

Together with the guitar, the banjo and the harmonica, you’re able to bring the third verse to the exhilarating last stretch.

“It's a great loss Betsy Ross ain't waving. So cross any boss and that denies your drinking,” you continue. “You won't grow moss if you're a shameless ass! So come join the pack of the Great White Trash!”

And this time, it’s everyone in the restaurant that shouts out the chorus.

“Ah! I am! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! I'm the Great White Trash!” You lead them like a redneck conductor. “Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! Ah! Hi-ho! I'm the Great White Trash!”

With that, the situation quickly devolve into laughing and applause as the old man and the part-timer wind down the song the best they can. Sonata’s giggling and leaning on you, while Adagio is grinning wickedly from ear to ear. Though something in her eyes tells you that she saw right through your diversion tactic.

Yes, even you admit it to yourself. You only started singing because you wanted to move from topics you’d rather not be talking about.

You give quiet thumbs up to the guys who helped you with the backing track and high-five Saffron as she shuffles back to the kitchen. You then take a seat at the table with Sonata, wiping sweat from your forehead. You are met with approving expression from Adagio.

“Not bad, not bad,” she hums quietly. “You certainly showed me there was more to your… style than just what met the eye.”

You nod and gulp down the last of the beer that was waiting for you. For a moment, nothing but the surface of the foamy, gold liquid fills your vision.

But as you slam the pint down, you’re met with narrowed eyes from the copperhead. Immediately, you tense up.

“That being said…” she starts. “I have to say, that song sounded vaguely familiar. Especially when sung by you.”

Internally you curse your thoughtlessness. Of course this place would have indie music scene. Perhaps even a radio station.

“Eh, there are probably hundreds like it,” you come up with a quick excuse. “That was just a spur of a moment thing, really.”

Adagio says nothing, but you can see that she’s not believing you. Sonata’s goofy grin tells she bought it hook, line and rod, but her far more devious friend?

You were afraid that you might have just made Adagio even more suspicious.