Do You Believe in Fate, Chapter 1
AU- college/university Bughead fanfic
Chapter 1 (Excerpt, the rest is on AO3- link below)
“Important encounters are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other”
- Paulo Coelho
There she is, Jughead thought to himself, his pulse quickening, as she walked towards him. Her hair, brighter than the sun, was tied back into a high ponytail and her lithe body moving gracefully in a light blue sundress. As she moved through the crowd, both tourists and the locals, gave her an admiring glance. And why wouldn’t they? She was stunning. In her right hand, she was holding what looked like a journal, or was it a diary? And a novel.
His observations this past week proved he was right. She preferred to wear her hair up and wearing shades of blue.
Today, she chose an outdoor table at Il Piccolo, three tables down from him. Jughead noticed that almost immediately after sitting, Antonio, a stout middle-aged server in this bustling Roman cafe approached her and asked, “Signora, your usual order? A cappuccino?”
She looked up and smiled, “You remember my order? Yes please, and thank you.”
Antonio smiled back, “Uno momento, signora.”
This cafe was one of his usual haunts, having discovered it shortly after arriving in Rome for his study abroad semester in January. The coffee was amazing, the staff friendly and welcoming. It was also a great place to people watch since it was only a few blocks away from the Trevi Fountain. Six months in, he was enjoying the Roman summer and the slower pace of a summer course load.
With fewer classes to take, he had more time to work on his novel and it was during a particularly bad bout of writers’ block that he had noticed her.
He was hoping to write the next great mystery novel when he got stuck on a new character he was developing- a romantic interest, for his protagonist. He must have read the same paragraph over and over again for a half hour when he was startled by a very loud and obnoxious ringtone. It sounded like a snippet of a Lady Gaga song.
Irritated he thought, Am I the only one that has consideration for other people?
The perpetrator was adding insult to injury by actually having a conversation on her phone. Of course, it’s an American, he thought hearing her accent. And as he turned around ready to glare at the offender, he felt the breath get knocked out of him.
Sensing his annoyance, she had lowered her voice and looked away- but not before he had gotten a good look at her: Lightly tanned skin, big hazel eyes, an expressive mouth and long, shapely legs. Always ready with a witty or sarcastic remark, he was knocked speechless.
Jughead was not a believer in love at first sight, but there was something about her that intrigued him- something about her reminded him of the sunshine and all the good things he missed at home.
Before he could collect his thoughts, she had ended her conversation, plunked some money down on the table and walked off.
He was about to run after her but then he lost sight of her in the crowd. Unsure of why he was so disappointed, he was immediately cheered by Antonio standing next to him and smirking, “Don’t worry, she’ll be back. That’s the third time she’s been in this week. She usually comes between 3-4 in the afternoon.”
So while this cafe was a regular haunt for Jughead, he usually varied his routine- sometimes stopping by before a morning class or for an after dinner coffee. But for the past week he made an effort to come at the same time every day and sure enough, this was the third day he had seen her since that fateful first sighting a week ago and he still hadn’t worked up the nerve to talk to her.
It was silly since he didn’t know anything beyond the superficial about her- but he felt an attraction toward her that he couldn’t ignore. It’s not like he hadn’t dated other girls before but something about her felt different.
On the first day, she sat drinking her cappuccino while writing postcards.
The second day she was sketching with pastels and wrote in her journal for awhile. It was during that visit that he noticed she was traveling with friends. A raven haired girl, named Ronnie and a brunette boy, Kevin- who by the conversation he had overheard, was definitely not either girl’s boyfriend.
On the third day, she was reading an autobiography about Grace Kelly. Jughead found this ironic given her looks reminded him of a cross between the former Princess of Monaco and a Hitchcock blonde.
While what she read was interesting, that was the day he learned what her name was. Ronnie had stopped by to walk with her to dinner and he had overheard her calling her Betty.
Betty, he murmured the name softly. That seemed to fit the beautiful blonde.
Funny how his new character, named Bella, had been gifted with long golden waves and large eyes with the power to intoxicate and distract his private eye protagonist.
After Antonio dropped off her cappuccino with an extra biscotti, Jughead noted, he moved towards him.
“Well, foolish boy,” Antonio said to Jughead in Italian, “what are you waiting for? Are you going to go and talk to her? This is crazy. Love is wasted on the young.”
Jughead rolled his eyes, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Antonio chuckled, “Please, your admiration for her is obvious. You are lucky that I’m not 15-20 years younger or I would give you a run for your money. I used to be what do you kids call it ‘a fox’ back when I was young. Do you need a sign?”
“Fine,” Jughead sighed. Who would have thought that he would be so nervous to talk to a girl? He had dated a lot of girls but he had never experienced emotions this intense and raw with someone he had never even spoken to. When he looked up to glance at her again, he finally saw the sign he was looking for.
A slow smile spread across his face as he watched her sipping her cappuccino. She had picked up her book and started reading. It was Alice and Wonderland, his sister, Jellybean’s favorite book. He wasn’t big on fairy tales or fantasy, but out of love for his sister he had read the book to her aloud countless times.
Slowly, Jughead stood up and walked towards the blonde.
It was now or never.