2007-06-03: Deja Vu and You

Starring:

Benjamin_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif Stefanie_icon.gif

Summary: Desiree and Benjamin run into each other in the snack aisle at a market. …wait, didn't this already happen?

Date It Happened: June 3rd, 2007

Deja Vu and You


Au Naturale Market, Greenwich Village, NYC

As is with his usual habit, Benjamin has popped into the little all natural market on his way home from work. A few odds and ends are picked up, things he likes, and things Rose is liable to wrinkle her nose up at. Despite the 'it's good for you' argument. Aah, teens. No pleasin' 'em most of the time huh? Currently, a small basket in hand, he's in the snack aisle. Eyeing some puffed rice snack, touted as 'Pirate's Booty'. Huh. Sounds interesting. To live a little and purchase, or go with the safe snacks.. as in what he's familiar with.

Crumpled grocery list in hand, full of items that should be suitable for someone who recently had a heart attack - that is, Ramon - and having picked up a small basket inside the door, Desiree is prepared. But once she steps foot in the Au Naturale food market, she gets a little sidetracked by wandering down aisles and looking at all the interesting things you don't really see anywhere else in such quantities. With the basket slung over her arm, the woman's gold high heels click a slow pace down the snack aisle. "S'cuse me," she says politely as she passes Benjamin - then, barely getting a step away, she turns around. "…/heeeey/…" I know you!

Benjamin plucks up a bag, then *gasp* drops the snack into his basket. Hey, he's learning to live a little. One baby step at a time okay? It's rice, he likes rice, it's puffed, and flavored with white cheddar. HOW could he go wrong? Turning around to finish exploring the aisle, he starts a little, realizing he is not alone. "…" Wait for it, processing, processing, hourglass.. "Hey! It's been uh… well awhile.." Given he's only met the woman twice, and the last time was during a bus crash. Nice.

"Hey, yeeeeah!" Crackers. Chips. Desiree, Benjamin, a food market. Is anyone else getting a feeling of deja vu? Dezi certainly is - she reels back on her heels a little bit, stepping back to take in the sight of Mr. Winters with surprise. No worries, though - it's pleasant surprise! A big ol' smile spreads across her face. "Well, ain't this a little familiar," she says in that distinct accent that touches every one of her words. She plucks a box of wheat thins off of the shelf and gives it a little rattle in the other shopper's direction. "How you been? …is' Benjamin, right?"

Stefanie makes her way down the staircase as she ties on an apron. She smiles to the clerk behind the counter as she relives her. Homework done, and now it's time for home work. She takes up the perch on the stool behind the counter and glances around the shop.

Benjamin grins a little at Desiree. "Yeah, no kidding. What's that phrase.. deja vu? At least it's here and not on a bus again." Humor leaves his voice when he mentions the bus incident. Gah. Don't think about it. Shaking off that thought, another smile forms. "Yeah.." And the man racks his brain for the woman's name.. what was it! OH right! "Desiree, wasn't it?" He holds out his hand to shake in greeting. "I've been alright actually, all things considered. Yourself?"

Desiree drops the box of crackers into her basket. Now it's not so mournfully empty! She's making progress. However, her shopping isn't even on her mind right now. She's in full-on friendly mode, switching her crumpled list to her other hand in order to reaching out to take Benjamin's hand and shake it, warm and vigorous. (Not too vigorous, though - she has an overabundance of rings on her fingers.) "Uh huh!" Desiree, that's her name. "I been alright too," she answers, and then thinks to add, with a lopsided grin and bob of her head to the side, "… all things considered."

Seeing as there's no one at the counter at the moment, Stefanie grabs a list that her father had left her. It's a typical To-Do list. Items that need to be stocked, price changes that need to be made, things like that. She gets up from behind the counter and walks along the aisles, making mental note of the items that need to be stocked and their location.

Benjamin's grin is a little rueful. "Bad time of things too?" Not that he's going to launch into his personal woes, as all of them are in the past. Even being threatened by a pissed off Scotsman! "I'm glad to hear you're doing alright… uh.. you weren't hurt too badly in that crash.. were you?" Cause she looks okay, and he would feel worse if she had a bad injury.

Desiree waves a hand casually. "Oh, you know! Cheatin' death! Savin' people from homicidal crazy people!" She's joking! … Right? Because not once does her smile falter - it remains bright and sunny, but of course, given her /words/, it turns a tiny bit manic. "Oh, that. Naw, I was jus' fine," she assures Benjamin with another wave of her hand. The gold bracelets on her wrist clang against one another. She trails a hand over some bagged snacks distractedly. "Were /you/ okay? God, you know, that feels like for-ever ago. Hey, where did you get that pirate stuff?"

Stefanie makes it a habit to not listen in to customers' conversations… Unless they're talking about murdering children or something equally gruesome. She continues down the aisles, checking off items that she's taken care of. She heads towards the back and speaks to the stockboy, asking him to bring out some of the items that need to be restocked, since she doesn't wish to leave the front unattended.

Benjamin doesn't seem to think Desiree's joking. His world's been turned upside down since meeting her a few months back. So.. yeah, he's believing her. "Banged up.. messed up my shoulder," the words are a little mumbled. Just a little. "Yeah, kinda feels like a lifetime ago. Almost." Then, oh good, topic change! "Oh, right here," he turns a little and points at the bagged snacks. He smiles a little and gives a small wave at Stephanie as she passes through. (Not wanting to be perceived as rude or anything!)

A look of concern flashes over Desiree's features for Benjamin and his 'messed up shoulder'. "You should get that looked at. You're probably entitled to like… somethin'… to do with insurance, right?" As the red-haired employee passes by, she gives her a polite smile. "Oh," she reaches for the bag of rice snacks, "Is it any good? I jus' like the name. I got this lil' list of healthy things for my friend Ramon whose got some heart issues," she says light-heartedly as she casually glances over the bag.

Stefanie waves in return to benjamin and then her eyes go wide as she's being addressed. She smiles and slips into customer service mode. "Heart issues? So, basically, you're looking for low sodium, low fat and low cholesterol." She grabs a bag off the shelf, so as not to rip the one out of Desiree's hand, and reads the label. "They should be. You just need to check the individual varieties. Some flavors have a little more sodium then others, depending on how bad your friend's issue is." She says with a smile, prepared to answer any further questions.

"I… it was all taken care of. Saw some good doctors." Benjamin says a little evasively as he tries to move away from the topic. Uncomfy! "I don't know. I haven't tried them before. Thought I'd try something a little different this week." He nods about the healthy things to try then he blinks. "Ramon?" Well he's sure that's probably a common name in the Hispanic community. Right? The Ramon he knows, well, Ben has been a bad friend and has not talked to him in awhile, so he doesn't know if the man has heart issues.

Desiree just smiles at Benjamin - she doesn't appear to notice his reaction to an uncomfortable topic if she has. "Yep!" The woman chirps in response to Stefanie. "He had a heart attack awhile ago. So, he's gotta be real careful what he eats. Or, well, we gotta be careful what we put in front of 'im. He'll eat about anythin' looks remotely like food." She knows this from a certain experience with fondant. Looking at her list, she squints. "Where d'you keep your ground flax seeds?"

Stefanie nods in sympathy. "I understand. Many of our customers have the same problem." She looks and points over to a wall with a 20 unit dispenser system. "Those are over with the loose grains. Take as much as you want, we charge by the pound."

Benjamin blinks again at the news, "Wow.. I'm sorry to hear that.. I hope he's getting better. I mean obviously he must be, you're taking care of him." He doesn't know the woman well at all, but she just gives off the nurture vibe. "I've got a friend named Ramon too, I gotta check on him. I feel like a horrible person cause I've kind of fallen out of touch with him recently."

"Oh!" Desiree looks over to the indicated wall and smiles a touch sheepishly. "I will do. Thank you! An' he's doin' fine," she says to Benjamin, though she nods at Stefanie as well. "He's a tough guy. An' you should call your friend, I bet he'd like to hear from you. It's always nice to hear from someone you ain't heard from in awhile."

Stefanie smiles and nods, and continues down the aisle, quickly stocking shelves.

"Yeah, I think I'll do that when I get home. I really like his family. That is.. I've only met his daughter. She's very nice, smart too. I gotta invite them to my place for dinner, return the favor and all. Although I'm not as good a cook as his daughter, Elena." There's also the fact that Benjamin's not sure what will come out of Rose's mouth. He loves his daughter okay, but face it, she's.. unpredictable.

Desiree wanders a ways down the aisle until crackers turn into cereal. One long-fingered hand is reaching out for a box when Benjamin mentions the name 'Elena', and she freezes, throwing the man a curious look. Her head tips to the side, dark brows raising, suddenly inquisitive. "Wait, did you say 'Elena'? Noooo, it couldn't— Ramon and Elena /Gomez?/ Live in Queens?"

Stefanie continues with her work and eventually makes it back to her perch behind the counter.

Benjamin sort of just follows after Desiree, browsing the goods as he goes along. Goods as in foodstuffs, not /those/ kind of goods. "Yeah, Elen.. heeeeey.." He smiles widely at the little coincidence here. "Yeah, Ramon and Elena Gomez.. unless there's another family in Queens with those names all together.

"Probably is, but that sounds like 'Lena. Well!" Dezi exclaims in revelation, tossing a box of cereal in her basket and whirling around to face Benjamin again, her face lighting up. "Never mind deja /vu,/ talk about coincidence. I'm livin' with the Gomezes." She closes the gap between them and throws a friendly arm around the fellow she has met a grand total of three times. "You know what, you should come over for dinner! Ramon could use somethin' like that I think, way he's been workin' and worryin'. Yeah, we could make somethin' real special. What're you doin' tonight?"

Benjamin looks really surprised by this turn of events. "You live.. how did /that/ happen??" There's a mildly panicked look on his face at the impromptu hug he was not expecting, and awkwardly returns it. "Tonight? Uh.. nothing.." American Idol is over with for a year, and face it, he leads a very boring homelife still. "I have to bring something. I'm not sure what kind of restrictions Ramon has on his diet now… I was gonna have them over.." But since Desiree insists, and women tend to get the final word in his book..

"It just sorta… worked out that way, I guess." Desiree doesn't mean to be pushy - she just gets friendly and excitable sometimes. She /squeeeeeezes/ around Benjamin's shoulders in attempt to lend him some comfort or boot his enthusiasm or both. "Well, I wouldn't wanna barge in on you all sudden-like." …because randomly bringing Benjamin home isn't sudden-like? "You can bring, uh—" She reaches into his basket to tap the bag of snacks. "This here Pirate Booty."

Benjamin doesn't seem to mind that Desiree might be coming off as pushy. He's the sort of personality to defer to women. "Well! That's great! Lucky for Ramon, and you too. He's very nice." He can't help but laugh at the suggestion of bringing over Pirate's Booty. "I was thinking more along the lines of a pie or something.. I'm still surprised to hear he had a heart attack. I hope no more of folks I can call friends wind up sick or hurt. I just had to visit an acquaintance at the hospital. She got shot pretty bad."

"Shot? That's awful. I hope she's gonna be okay. Too many people gettin' shot, I don't see the point," Desiree says, whole-heartedly agreeing with Benjamin's sentiment. "An' yeah, Ramon's a good guy, you know— I like all the Gomezes I met." Even Manny. Sort of. "I haven't met the littler ones yet. Hey! Maybe they sell pie here? I'ma jus' - go get the rest of this stuff…" She holds up the list and makes a beeline for the bulk against one wall.

"I don't see the point either. Her boyfriend says she should be getting better, she had a rough time initially." But she has a scary ass boyfriend helping to fight for her so… Benjamin still kinda trails after Desiree and nods. "I Haven't met the rest of the family.. oh sure! I'm gonna go over that way and see if there's like a bakery section."

"I dunno who's gonna be home. 'Lena's always so busy, but she's usually home for dinner. Ramon's usually home at the same time every day," Desiree says as she has a small and not particularly epic battle with the lid on the flax seed container. Her voice raises incase Benjamin is venturing toward the bakery section, if it indeed exists. "So how d'you know Ramon?"

Benjamin stops to think about this, and how he's gonna answer it.. "Well.. he fixed my computer at work, and I did his taxes.. and.. I kindasortagotkidnappedinfrontofhim." SMILE. See, joking on the last bit, no really! "The usual really, accidental meetings and stuff."

"Oh, that's nice," Desiree says casually as she turns away from the bins with a bag full of oh-so-heart-healthy flax. No one will ever know that it's in her cupcakes. Wait for it, wait for it… "Whoa, hoooooold on, slow down your horses!" Hazel eyes wide, she marches on over to Benjamin. "Did you say /kidnapped/? I swear I ain't hearin' things now too, you said kidnapped."

Benjamin turns around to busy himself with picking out something appropriate for dessert later.. and again tries to laugh off what he said. Albeit nervous laughter. "Joking, kidding, it was a misunderstanding and all.. So uh, you weren't hearing things."

Desiree tips her head back and regards Benjamin with worry, but as he covers his tracks, she seems to buy into his shaky reassurances. "Oh." She bobs her head and quirks a half-smile. "Alright. Find any pie?"

Benjamin breathes a little sigh of relief. Cause.. yeah.. maybe Ramon has said something about it but not mentioning Ben by name, but uh.. he's regretting letting that slip. "Yeah! Uh, apple is good, or what about cherry?" Cause really, you can't go wrong with either flavor.

Desiree is on the verge of answering this age old question - apple or cherry - but, conflicted, waves back and forth until she eventually raises a finger in a traditional gesture of 'aha!'. "Choice like that ain't fair," she decides. "You get one, and I'll get the other, and we'll have both," Dezi says wisely.

Benjamin laughs a little. "Done." The apple is picked up and set carefully in his basket. "What time do you think I should arrive at Ramon's place?" He doesn't want to get there too early, cause Desiree needs to warn the family about company invasion! Wait.. bad choice of words.

"Six-thirty?" Desiree suggests as she takes the burden of the cherry pie. "I'll make sure they know you're comin'. This is so funny, you know? I was just visitin' when I met you in the last grocery store, now I'm all settled and you have pie."

"Alright!" That sounds like a good deal to Benjamin, who can't help but grin at Desiree. The woman is just.. well.. funny that way. She has just one of those personalities. "Yeah. I'm glad you're all settled and that I ran into you again."

Desiree laughs somewhat musically even though it's partly under her breath. "Well, I ain't actually all that settled, it just seems that way. But never mind that! It's complicated! I need to find some vegetables." And off she goes to do just that.

Benjamin grins and nods, "Better than what you were before. I'll see you at 6:30." A wave is given to the woman as he too goes off to finish his own shopping.

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