Br. Clifford 'Cliff' Laranja
Location: Goodhomes Apartment, Light Lane
Like a warrior enduring the blistering winds and scorching deserts, he had finally been able to ascend with all of his belongings to the rickety third floor. Though his back ached and his joints crackled with each bend and push he made as Cliff arranged his belongings in his brand new home, the brother stood up as he wiped his forehead. Beaten, bruised, and fatigued, Cliff was still proud of himself at having been able to tidy up his apartment. It wasn't the throne of kings nor was it the temples of bishops, but it was home, broken planks and leaking roofs and all.
Or, so he liked to think.
The reality was that carrying all his belongings up those three flights of stairs had drained the majority of his strength. With his black habit flung somewhere forgotten at a dark corner in the room, Cliff had resigned himself to the cold floor as his chest rose with a desperate need to breathe. Even as a young child, Cliff had always been sickly and fragile. It was all the more reason that his parents didn't want him traveling too far, and why the religious life was something they frowned upon. If Cliff forced himself too much, untold things could happen to his already fragile state of health.
Needless to say, his parents tried to keep him on a healthy diet. Although, Cliff had a sweet tooth, seeking sugary confections and tantalizing frosting wherever he went. Whenever he thought of sweets, he could almost always hear his mother's voice...Ay, dios mio! If you don't stop eating sweets, mamamatay ka talaga, for sure!
... Although, he did deserve sweets now... right? After all, he had just nearly busted his lung out with the recent manual labor. As such, he deserved a break!
But, he did need a shower, though.
Or, whatever a single dangling hose would be called.
The icy water felt like knives as it splashed down Cliff's back, shivers running through his spine as the brother gripped his arms 'til crescent-shaped curves branded themselves upon his skin.
This was the vow of poverty, a reminder of the life he had chosen. To take the world's beatings in a stride and to contemplate suffering in silence and obedience-- how much he did appreciate being able to become strong, even in the most mundane of routines. It gave him a sense of control, a sense of being alive.
It did feel good.
The water was still cold, though.
Br. Clifford 'Cliff' Laranja
Time: Early Afternoon
Location: The Coffee Pot
Clad in a cleaner black habit with his knapsack hanging from his back, Cliff knew it was time to explore the city-- especially, Central Point. After all, the University was there and he needed to familiarize himself with the setting since he would start working there in a few weeks' time.
Speaking of which: he had yet to finalize his syllabus and give out the assigned readings.
Already, he was failing his job!
"You know what, just the right amount of well-earned sweets, and I can finish those in a heartbeat." Cliff declared to the high heavens before he marched off to Central Point which was thankfully just walking distance from his apartment.
And, what a sight did greet him when he finally stepped foot in Central Point. Towering skyscrapers stood high against an azure sky as wispy cirruses danced in spirals above them. It was a sight for sore eyes, and it was something that Cliff carved into his mind to remember through the years that was left in him. Opening his black Samsung flip phone, Cliff tried to take pictures of the behemoths as he grinned wildly before spotting a nearby cafe.
"Just what I was looking for," Cliff excitedly sauntered over as he glanced at the name. "The Coffee Pot. Could be more creative, though. But, that discount on baked goods, though... now that's a bargain." Cliff smiled as he looked into his tattered coin purse, half-expecting a butterfly to suddenly fly out as he opened it. Instead, the sight of a few old and folded dollar bills, as well as some coins, greeted him. He was going to get those damned sweets, no matter what.
Stepping inside, the cozy sight of ceiling fans softly humming above small wooden tables and chairs soothed the lad. The pleasant aroma of ground coffee beans and baked goods wafted temptingly, drawing Cliff to approach the counter as he looked at the menu.
"Uhm, hey, I'll take the cinnamon bun, please," Cliff ordered as the cashier hesitantly shook his head.
"Sorry, all out for the week. A popular seller that one. That girl there took the last one, I'm afraid." The cashier shrugged his shoulders with an apologetic look in his eyes.
Cliff took a moment to look at the woman who stole his prize before he sighed dejectedly. "'Tis fine. Uhm, anything for two dollars?"
The cashier hesitated before decided to be honest. "Uh, no, sorry, I'm afraid."
"None, got it. Three?"
"We got some chocolate rolls at three dollars."
"No, thanks. Four?"
"The Cinnamon Bun, but sold out. There is a mocha roll if you like."
"I'll pass, thanks. Five?"
"Oh, we have--"
"No, wait, five's all I got. Nevermind." Cliff lowered his head in disappointment and embarrassment at being unable to pay, knowing that his stipend and allowance would still arrive tomorrow. "Actually, you know what, I'll take the mocha roll."
As such, Cliff obtained his plate of roll swirled with mocha and a cup of the free service water before he walked towards the woman who was just about to bite into the cinnamon bun.
"W-Wait, I'm Cliff, and, uh," Cliff spoke slowly, knowing full well that what he was about to do was weird beyond measure. But, damn, cinnamon buns were his favorite. "Uhm, I really do like cinnamon buns, and I was hoping we could trade. My mocha roll for your cinnamon bun. Fresh from the counter." Then, suddenly, Cliff recoiled as he stammered. "O-Oh, of course, if you only like, though. I'm not forcing you or anything. I-I just really like cinnamon buns. Reminds me of home."