The Great Perhaps

How two stoned teenagers, a shitty diner, a dead almost-lover, an underground concert at a dive on the outskirts of the suburbs and an extraordinary amount of bad luck managed to create the biggest stir in the alternative music scene since the 2000s. Otherwise known as the story in which a heartbroken waitress and a couple of teenagers who love to make music meet, form a borderline awful punk-rock band and take the world by storm.


1. minor heartbreak and vegan concession discourse


“Dude, I swear to you that Gummy Bears aren’t vegan!”

Asshole Number One looked up from beneath a veritable feast of shitty breakfast foods, an expression of actual, genuine shock and dismay crossing her unwashed face. Kinga snorted from her spot behind the counter and busied herself with a tea-towel and a bottle of cleaning spray, four years of waitressing experience lending her an arsenal of various activities that gave only the illusion of actual work. Asshole Number Two nodded emphatically, grunting an affirmation around a heaving mouthful of egg toast.

“Nah, dude, they have to be. They’re like, sweets, or something. Anyway, I paid for these, so I gotta eat them now.”

“Man, you’re such an idiot, I swear. Gummy Bears have gelatine in them, which is made from pig fat or something. I read about it in an article once!”

“You’re kidding me! Gummy Bears were supposed to be pure!”

“You know I wouldn’t lie to you, my darling Patty.”

“Don’t call me that, wanker.”

Conveniently finishing her impromptu wipe down of the counter and resting a hand against the worn marble of the surface, Kinga swallowed back an undignified huff of laughter and rubbed at her eyes with the heel of her hand, blinking hard against the flashing lights dancing before her vision. At least now she didn’t have to refer to them as Asshole One and Two. Kinga sighed and, after a brief moment of internal conflict, let her entire body weight sag wearily against the counter, head aching from unrest and month-old prescription pills as she stared unblinkingly out at the sunrise colouring the horizon a most curious shade of indigo. She looked down at the tea-towel twisted between her fingers, faintly surprised to see it still sitting there, a shock of something quietly sinister running down her spine as she saw the way her hands were trembling.

Sonia appeared from the depths of the diner’s squalid kitchen in a flurry of vanilla perfume and baby pink lipstick, laughing at something distant and scandalous as she shimmied her way out of the door, all swinging hips and legs that stretched on forever. She caught sight of Kinga almost instantly, a smile licking its way up her mouth as she slinked her way across the cramped aisle towards her co-worker.

“They’re high off their asses, you know,” Sonia murmured, casting a raised eyebrow in the direction of Patty and Wanker, who seemed to be in the middle of a heated discussion concerning the finer points of Burger King versus McDonalds, despite one of them being apparently vegan. Kinga smiled for the first time that day, ducking her head almost bashfully and, in the process, inadvertently catching sight of her hands once more. She stuffed them quickly into her jean pockets, not wanting Sonia to see her like this. Knowing her, she would only worry.

“They’re working the chefs something stupid, I’m sure. They’ve only gone and ordered just about everything from our breakfast menu, and I’d be surprised if they’re not purposely trying to stick around until we’re forced to give them the daytime as well,” Kinga replied, grinning ruefully up at Sonia’s impish face and absentmindedly counting the freckles scattered like stars across her coffee-coloured nose. It was a habit of hers, a side effect of the exposure to people, and to people who honestly appreciated her company. From all her anxious, stunted conversation and wistful people-watching, Kinga had come to the conclusion that Sonia was quite probably extraordinary.

“Excuse me? Hey, yeah, super sorry to bother you, but my friend over there was just wondering if you guys sold chocolate sundaes.”

Kinga’s head jerked up to meet Patty’s heavy-lidded gaze, her eyes blinking away the last strains of a most likely weed-induced euphoria. And just like that, in that single moment of crushing awareness, Sonia was gone, and the noose around her heart returned, as suffocatingly tight as ever. Kinga panicked quietly for a second and then did what she would always do in situations like this: take a deep breath, blink and smile. Leave the falling apart for later on.

“It’s for, uh, science,” Patty added, flashing what her comfortably high brain probably considered a winning smile. From their table a few feet away, Wanker caught sight of his friend and winced.

“I, uh, can’t say we do, sorry. And if we did, they wouldn’t be on our breakfast menu,” Kinga replied, as frostily polite as she could muster when it felt as if her heart was slowly and methodically being torn apart. Luckily, it seemed as if Patty was too blazed to take much notice, instead electing to giggle stupidly for a moment that seemed to drag on forever, then return to her table with a loose, easy grin that only widened when she realised she still had more food to eat. It took all the strength Kinga possessed not to break down and cry right there on the crappy diner counter in front of two stoned teenagers slowly eating their way through their entire breakfast menu because Sonia was gone, God dammit, and it seemed as if it would never stop hurting in these sharp, unsuspecting moments of realisation.

Loneliness came in varying shades of hurt, but in that moment Kinga was convinced she was experiencing the most painful kind of solitude imaginable. All Sonia was now was a coffin buried behind the local Church and a floral tribute out by the main road that ran in front of the diner, and all Kinga seemed to be was a ticking bomb stuffed full of prescription pills and minimum wage pay checks, practically itching to explode. She wanted to scream, to cry, to stride over and shake those stupid teenagers by the shoulders until the world realised how much it hurt inside, how violently her heart was breaking, how incredibly not fine she’d been doing since her best friend’s death. Instead, Kinga ran a hand through her unwashed hair and wondered if it would be like this forever. 

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