Ruben Lundqvist
Nothing like a winter ice-cream
Mon Feb 13, 2017 02:39

Hands balled into fists in the pockets of his secondhand leather jacket, Ruben kicked up a cloud of snow with his boot. He turned to look down the street, thick brows furrowed with no small amount of bewilderment. It was late afternoon, and it was sunny. Sunny. Back home at this time of year, it was always black enough by fourteen-hundred to be mistaken for midnight. And earlier in the day, it was always cloudy, because that was just what life was like in the winter. The Swede had legitimately never seen sunlight on a January afternoon before. It was absolutely baffling.

He wasn’t entirely sure how he felt about it, but added it to his mental tally of New Things.

It was his first week at RMI, and rather than start writing the Ancient Runes paper that had already been assigned, Ruben had instead escaped aboveground to explore. He still didn’t really want to be here - he would’ve far preferred to stay at Durmstrang with Dagny - but here he was, and it was his first time ever in America, and he might as well try to make the most of it... or so a more optimistic person would have argued. The real reason he was up here on Pearl Street was because he was already completely bored with RMI’s grounds and felt there was nothing interesting left to do indoors. It wasn’t even a castle. Lame.

The upside of now standing ankle-deep in snow under confusing, brilliant sunlight was that he had the satisfaction of knowing he was the first one in his family to experience this. He had Portkeyed into RMI directly with his dreamcatcher; his dad, Not-Mom, and Kinda-Bro wouldn’t be flying out until next month, since that was when the rental contract started on their new place. And even then, said new place was located in Texas, so they would have a sunny January but probably it wouldn’t be anything like the sun-and-snow he was currently surrounded by, because wasn’t Texas supposed to be basically a desert?

The newly-sorted Aquila made his way slowly down the street, blue eyes sizing up the eclectic variety of shops and passersby with a mix of criticism and amusement. Passing some sort of column on one street corner, he paused to glance over the thick layer of brightly-coloured fliers plastered along its sides. He didn’t bother reading any of them fully, attention just catching on the odd English word, but he got enough to understand that people were advertising everything from classes to sales to blind dates (he laughed aloud at that last one). Fan, Americans were weird. Who advertised with paper these days and honestly thought they’d get a response?

He (at least briefly) withdrew his judgement of ‘weird’ upon spotting an ice-cream parlour. Thank goodness! Not even the harshest winter could stop a true Scandinavian from eating ice-cream. He’d expected to have difficulty finding ice-cream, having assumed that people here wouldn’t be as willing to eat it in cold weather and that parlours might all be closed as a result.

In less than five minutes, Ruben was back outside, sitting on a sidewalk bench with an oversized cone in hand. This particular flavour was modelled after a ‘tuna melt’, which the smiling clerk had explained to be a popular American sandwich. He could only taste tuna when licking it; when he tried biting into it instead, he pulled away with a mouthful of cheesey-like strings that somehow tasted warm despite being, well, ice-cream. It was a bizarre sensation that complemented the overall bizarre of winter sun.

Taking a big bite out of it, he resumed his prior sizing up of passersby, simultaneously using his free hand to comb long hair more neatly over one shoulder. Oh, wait. Ruben straightened up with interest as he spotted a particularly good-looking person walking nearby. Okay, this was a nice thing about RMI, he supposed. It hadn’t been as easy to just hang out in public while he was at Durmstrang.

Oh, wait, again. It seemed the person had caught him looking. Eye contact happened. And eye contact of any sort, no matter how accidental, was a huge faux pas in Swedish society. Ruben hastily looked away, but then recalled how the media always made Americans seem more outgoing, and quickly worked up the courage to lock eyes with them again. He was a confident sort of guy, even if this current situation was unfamiliar, and so despite it being something he would never do back home, Ruben managed to even flash them a grin before looking back down at his ice-cream.

Huh. That felt good. Strange. He added it to his mental tally of New Things.

    • Is what you're eating really ice cream? - Kaye Packman, Mon Feb 13 13:49
      It was her first week at Rocky Mountain International, and it was the first afternoon she legitimately had free. Kaye was used to skipping classes at her old school, but when she transferred, she had ... more
      • If it's not, then I sure got scammed - Ruben, Mon Feb 13 20:58
        What did you know? Eye contact did something. The girl actually approached him. Huh, that was a heck of a lot easier than he had thought it might be. Not that he had really had a specific goal in... more
        • You may have gotten scammed - Kaye, Sat Feb 18 17:21
          Ooo, privyet. She pushed away the Russian that was trying to slip out, only because she wasn’t entirely fluent yet. Papa didn’t speak it well, but Grandmama did, and so did a lot of her cousins. Kaye ... more
          • I'll have to get another one, then - Ruben, Sun Feb 19 01:24
            Although she looked skeptical, the girl still took him up on his challenge. The fact that she pretty much instantly spit the ice-cream back out was pretty funny - Ruben couldn’t hold back a sudden... more
            • I guess I'll tag along for that - Kaye, Sun Feb 19 19:34
              He was laughing at her, which was fine. She expected it, and she didn’t mind. Kaye was pretty used to being laughed at by assholes who didn’t know any better. At least in this moment, she was... more
              • The more the merrier! - Ruben, Mon Feb 20 03:36
                Yesss. She was in. Or was it more accurate in English to say that he was in? As if by her agreement she had somehow pulled him into this interaction, instead of him having invited her? Ruben wasn’t... more
                • Kaye really didn’t understand the interest in fish. It was smelly and usually had weird textures. Plus, it was super smelly. Kaye couldn’t fully explain how smelly fish was. Sometimes, Kaye thought... more
                  • Don't worry, this party is private - Ruben, Fri Mar 3 23:41
                    “Besides you?” Ruben raised his eyebrows at that - both of them, because despite his best efforts he hadn’t yet mastered the art of raising only one. “Cookie dough is not at all as interesting as... more
                    • Good, those are the best kind - Kaye, Sun Mar 5 17:33
                      Clearly, this guy had never eaten really good cookie dough. The right kind of cookie dough could be more interesting than anything in the world. Kaye didn’t mean the cheap store bought kind, even... more
                      • She hadn’t come here before, either? Huh. Ruben had assumed that she must be from the area, since her voice was obviously American English. (Of course he recognized the accent. Aside from the flight... more
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