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[Episode] Weekday at Toulouse's Empty [Episode] Weekday at Toulouse's

This post has in-line assessment comments.Tue Feb 15, 2022 10:56 am
The Request:

Toulouse's. A name many in Slow Marble Island would recognize with its unique offerings. A restaurant downtown that didn't actually have a very large footprint when it comes to size, but still strove to offer a luxurious experience. Yes, experience was the whole idea behind the establishment, a place where the customers could act out a day of being members of high society – or actually be members of high society who wanted to eat out at a very nice place. From the outside alone, it was clear that no expenses were spared when it came to the d├ęcor. High ceilings with fancy chandeliers, everything decked out in white and gold, small intricate details and decorations just about anywhere the eye could settle – it was all very extravagant and fancy. The customers were expected to fit the style, though it was clear that there were many different kinds of outfits at play, from the extremely froufrou ballgowns with how many poofy layers and fancy hats with ornaments, to something much more modest but still very nice to those who didn't have that much money to spare. The dress code seemed to be relaxed, in that sense.

And right now? Toulouse's after lunch-lunch was bustling with activity without a single free table.

Will still couldn't believe how he had gotten himself into a place like this. It was not the kind of an establishment he would ever set his foot in when given the freedom of choice, yet here he was, sitting at one of the tables on a cushioned chair at what very much seemed to be a very busy time of the day for the restaurant. It all had started with good intentions – the previous day he had managed to stumble in on a group of ruffians heckling some small old man taking a shortcut through an alleyway, but luckily his mere presence and raising his voice had been enough to scare them off. Luckily indeed, as Will didn't think there was any way he could have protected himself, much less someone else, if a fight had broken out… But he couldn't just let it happen while he was there to witness it, he couldn't just do nothing. The old man had turned out to be the owner of a restaurant in town, and had invited Will over for tea the next day as thanks.

He had accepted the invitation, of course – why wouldn't he? A free drink and some potentially good company on a new island sounded good. He even made sure to seek out the restaurant after the lunch rush to make sure he wouldn't get in the way and they would have plenty of time to just relax and chat.

But once he actually had made it to the entrance he had been given directions for, Will was in disbelief. What he had assumed was a small, cozy and humble family business in the corner somewhere with a handful of seats was in fact what seemed to be a very high end restaurant. Had he taken the wrong turn? Was this the wrong place? Was the real restaurant he was supposed to go to somewhere to the side? He was so certain he hadn't made a mistake in getting here, but there was no way Will would go in there. He didn't belong in a fancy place like that!

However, once he turned to leave, the very same old man, now dressed up in much fancier clothes, had seen him from the inside and had promptly come to fetch him over…

Will did not belong there. Even though he had been stuffed in a black suit belonging to one of the old man's sons, he felt ridiculous sitting there alone with a fancy cup and teapot in front of him, along with an assortment of various sweet and savory goods on trays to enjoy along with the tea. Right, alone, at a small table that could fit two, yet the old man was not there to share the moment with him. No, apparently the busy lunch time started after most other places already had had theirs, and thus the whole staff was currently busy flitting all over the place to cater to the customers. The whole place was packed.

And all he could do was wait. He felt bad staying when they clearly could have used another free table, but the old man wasn't having it until he could finally sit down and have a chat with him. Will just poured himself another cup of tea and did his best to loosen the stupid bowtie around his neck. He had no idea what the formal dress code really was, but he was pretty sure people here were just dressing up fancy for fun. He wasn't having any fun, though. The moment he saw himself in the mirror, all gussied up like this, he didn't even know who he was looking at. A gruff face molded by a tough life, in a fancy suit that did not suit him. Well, the juxtaposition of it didn't work. The actual fit was… Alright.

Truly ridiculous. At least the tea was good.
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