Cafe Fam: Argument in the Family

A group of four friends live in the same house together and are so close it's like a dysfunctional, not-blood-related, family.
Three of the friends run a cafe, hence the name Cafe Fam.
This story as a pretty heavy LGBTQ+ theme, so if you don't like that kind of stuff, don't read this story.

This is going to be a series.

For each chapter that is from the POV of a new character, there will be lyrics to a song in between each paragraph, which is that character's theme song. It allows you a look into the character a bit more: their past life, a bit more of their personality, or their views on certain things. Or all three!

In just general chapters, there will be song lyrics in between paragraphs, showing a bit more of like what is going on in that chapter.

Hope that makes sense!
Also, that's why the chapters tend to take so long. I want the perfect song.


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4. Arif

A/N: Song is Superman by Rachel Platten.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: None that I know of.

 

If I could break away half of all your pain

Arif finds Penny in the car, her knees drawn up to her chest in the backseat and her chin resting on said knees. Arif goes around to the other side of the car and opens the backseat, sliding in beside her and closing the door.

I'd take the worst of it and carry you like you carry me

“You know, it is not healthy to sit in a car without any windows down or any air on, especially in this heat.” He says softly, facing the front seat. He sees Penny shift a little out of the corner of his eye, and waits for her to speak before saying anything else.

    She sniffles and pulls her hands from around her legs to wipe at her eyes as she says quietly, “It’s fine. You’re fine, I’m fine, it was all just a misunderstanding.” Arif frowns.

You say that you're alright when tears are in your eyes

    “No, don’t say that.” He turns towards her, leaning forward a little. “I know that I said some things that hurt you and I apologize. I also know for a fact that it is not fine that I did not see any need to go to you and apologize at all yesterday, even when it was so clear that you were hurt.”

We're strong enough for this and I need you

    Penny sniffles again and looks up at Arif, her mouth twitching as if trying to decide whether to smile or frown.

    “Well, since we are stating facts now, I know that I am also in the wrong.” She replies as her mouth decides on a frown. “I shouldn’t have come into the office, while you were working, and started yelling at you, especially when I know how important your school and work is to you.” She wipes the remaining tears from her eyes, although they are still a little puffy and red.

It's okay that you need me

    Arif and Penny stare at each other for a few seconds. Then:

    “Well, olive when arguments are resolved,” Arif says, completely straight-faced.

So put your armor on the ground tonight

    Penny stares at him for a few seconds before suddenly breaking into a huge smile. “Did you just… make a pun?” She asks, beginning to laugh. Arif smirks slightly, raising an eyebrow a little.

Cause everyone's got to come down sometimes

    Everything quickly sobers back down as Penny stops laughing and regains a serious expression.

    “But seriously though, I am really sorry. I should have taken in the thought that maybe you would have gotten off once we were ready for the movie night, or if I asked nicely. But instead, I jumped to conclusions and immediately began to yell at you before you could say anything. So, of course, you ended up having to defend yourself by yelling back, since I wasn’t listening. So… I am truly sorry.” She apologizes again, staring Arif in the eyes.

You don't have to be Superman

    Arif nods slowly, looking back at her from behind thick-framed black glasses.

    “I accept your apology.” He states, subconsciously adjusting his light blue tie. “And I, too, apologize for the things that I had said, both last night and tonight. I should not have yelled at you, no matter how… irritated you were making me. So, I offer my sincerest apologies as I accept yours.”

You don't have to be Superman

    Penny smiles and, instead of replying, leans forward and wraps her arms around his shoulders, hugging him tightly. He stiffens in surprise before hesitantly wrapping his arms around her. She whispers a quiet, “Thank you.” in his ear as she pulls away. Louder, she adds, “And I also accept your apology.” She flashes a quick smile and, before he can say anything, pushes open the car door, hopping out.

You don't have to hold the world in your hands

    The two head back into the restaurant after Arif gets out after her and Penny locks the car with the keys that she had somehow swiped from Sophie.

You've already shown me that you can

    They make their way back to their seats, Peggy looking up in surprise as they approach. Sophie is slumped back into the cushions of the bench, head drooping and mouth open slightly, her eyes closed and face relaxed. Peggy jumps up, careful not to be too loud, and crosses their arms.

Don't have to be Superman

    “Took you guys long enough. I was beginning to think that you two had left or died or something.” They snap quietly, but the softness in their eyes betray their concern and relief that everything seems to be okay.

I know I've been gone too much

    Penny smiles widely again, patting Arif on the shoulder as she walks past and closer to Peggy.

“Everything’s fine now.” She states before moving on. “We should get Sophie home.” She grabs the take-out boxes from the table, having noticed them when she walked over, and after a second of hesitation, Peggy walks over to Sophie and gently wraps an arm under her neck, hooking the other under her legs and hefting her up. The bill was already paid about an hour ago, so they just walk out of the building, Arif quickly leaving a tip since they ended up having the table for so long and grabbing Sophie’s purse.  

We talk about me too much

    They all pile into the car, this time Penny driving and Arif in the passenger seat while Peggy slides into the back seat, carefully arranging Sophie so that they can buckle her in. She somehow doesn’t wake up the whole time.

I'm selfish and distracted

    Penny drives home, trying to avoid as many bumps in the road as possible. Arif puts on some classical music on his phone so that they aren’t in complete silence.

But I'm here, I'm here and I'm listening


    They make it home safely, and Peggy carries Sophie upstairs after Penny unlocks the front door, Arif carrying the leftover food this time. Both him and Penny head into the kitchen as Peggy heads upstairs, taking Sophie into her room and tucking her in. They flip off the light, glancing back at Sophie’s sleeping form before walking out and shutting the door softly.

And It's just you and me and these four walls

    Arif and Penny are sitting at the table, having reheated the food. Peggy plops down next to Arif who is sitting across from Penny.

And we are only human after all

    “Well, that was eventful.” They state, a little louder than necessary. Penny shushes them.

You don't have to be Superman

    “Yes, I agree. But it is over now, so there is no use in talking about it. Everything is resolved, we have both apologized, and I feel better now.” Arif says, taking another bite of food.

You don't have to be Superman

    Penny and Peggy exchange glances before laughing. Arif stares at them both, frowning.

You don't have to hold the world in your hands

    “I am afraid that I do not realize the reason for this sudden bout of laughter.” He tilts his head slightly, rubbing the back of his neck.

You've already shown me that you can

    The other two calm down, Peggy giggling every now and then.

Don't have to be Superman

    “It’s nothing… just… the way you said it. No need to be concerned.” Penny replies to Arif’s question, and he nods slowly.

And oh

    “Alright…” He stands, pushing back his chair as he takes the last bite of food. “Well, I am heading to bed. See you both in the morning.” He nods at them both before walking out of the room, throwing away the box before heading upstairs.

Rest your eyes now, take my hand

    He gets ready for bed and slides under the covers, flicking off the lamp and staring up at the dark ceiling.

Even heroes fall down now and then

    He feels a strange sense of satisfaction, compared to last night when all he felt was a weird heaviness in his chest. He knows that feeling as being called guilt, and he hated it. He shudders a little, pulling the covers a little further up.

You can let it go

Arif turns onto his side, now staring at the door. He sees the hall light flip on and a shadow goes by his door, most likely Penny heading to her room. The light flicks back off as another shadow walks past, this one probably Peggy going to her room, probably to scroll through Tumblr for a few hours more before going to bed.     

You don't have to be Superman

    He hears quiet voices bidding goodnight and then two doors close, confirming his suspicions. He smiles a little, slowly shutting his eyes. He feels warm, comfortable, and one other feeling that he can’t identify.

You don't have to be Superman

    He thinks on it for a few seconds, his eyes still closed as he begins to drift off to sleep.

You don't have to hold the world in your hands

    Just before he falls asleep, he identifies the fluffy, glowy feeling in his chest as something that he hasn’t felt in a long time. Not even when he finally finished that product and got it back with a full one hundred, not even when he finally moved out of his parents' house.  

You've already shown me that you can

    He holds tight to the feeling, trying to cherish it for as long as possible. Trying to trap the memory of what it feels like in his mind for if he ever needs to think back to it. As his mind finally falls into darkness, he gives the feeling a name.

Don't have to be Superman

Contentedness.    

You don't have to be Superman

 
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