Hey Everyone! So this is just a little note from me. I won’t be able to post an update on this series for the coming few weeks due to a busy schedule, so I’m kinda posting a long chapter for now. Enjoy! 🙂
It wasn’t until a waitress asked me whether I would like to order something else when I realised that I had been sulking over my misery for the past one hour. Julia was long gone, leaving the scent of her eccentric citric body spray still looming in the air.
I payed for my pastry, that I had only half consumed, and left ‘Caroline’s Treat’. It was only after I had walked about a mile or two when I realised I was still hungry.
Why in the world did I leave my pastry behind?
Feeling utterly stupid and dejected, I slowly walked into an unknown café.
Unable to decide on the surprisingly expensive menu, I started plotting ways to exit without looking stupid and broke. I started jabbing on my phone, pretending to call someone.
“Excuse me? Would you like a table?”, I heard somebody say as I turned back to leave.
The voice made my hair stand straight at the back of my neck.
It was his voice.
It had to be. There was nothing in the world I knew any better.
I slowly turned around, like a possessed doll and gazed right into him. Thank God I didn’t smile.
He looked perplexed for a moment and then as realisation slowly dawned upon him, his eyes widened. I didn’t expect any reaction from him in the first place, but he seemed to be utterly horrified.
“What are you doing here?”, he blurted out in disbelief. He stared at me with an expression that was difficult to decipher, but his eyes weren’t that hard to read.
“Um. I was hungry”, I replied, almost as if I had just been caught red handed in a heinous crime.
He looked at me a little longer with brooding eyes, something that I had always wished for and imagined a thousand times in my mind. But this time, it scared the daylights out of me. I wanted to run away.
Is this the anger they all talk about?
My eyes welled up with tears when he grabbed my hand and pulled me behind the counter.
“Were you following me? “, he asked. His stare was cold and his voice eerily raspy.
“No”, my voice wavered.
“Then why are you here of all places? “, he frowned as numerous creases rippled on his forehead.
Wait a second.
I know I like him. But why am I taking his shit for nothing? I wasn’t even following him this time!
“Why can’t I be here? Who are you to ask me?”, I heard myself say.
It wasn’t me speaking, I swear. It was somebody else through my voice, really. I mean, why and how would I ever dare to speak such words to the great Lee Maxwell?
The creases on his panic stricken face seemed to smoothen slowly, as he let go of my hand. The anger was gone, like poof!
“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that. Actually, I still have not informed anybody in school about my new job here. I was a little startled to see you. I don’t remember your name, but I do know you are from my school. What’s your name again?”, he said, looking as apologetic as possible.
“June Parker! What are you doing here?”, another voice greeted from behind Lee.
Oh my my! Looks like the whole world is here.
Travis examined Lee’s face for a moment before getting back to focus on me.
“Why are you here?”, he asked, narrowing his eyes. He didn’t look angry or horrified. Just genuinely curious.
“Why can’t I be here?”, I replied, tears blurring my vision.
Don’t you dare fall off, you tears! Don’t!
“Sorry for how I reacted June. I hope you won’t hold anything against me”, Lee cut in. He looked tired and withered. The overhead bulb was throwing a shade on his face, right across his nose upto his chin, making him look even older. That made me feel bad for him for some reason.
“Come out with me”, Travis grabbed my hand and pulled me outside. I kept looking back at Lee, wondering why did he have to hide the fact that he was working a part time job. Was it such a big deal?
“Don’t poke your nose into places you don’t belong.” Travis shot me deadly glare once we were standing by the curb right outside the cafeteria.
“What is your problem? Who are you to tell me where I’m supposed to go and where I’m not?”
Those tears turned out to be betrayers.
“You followed him, didn’t you? Like always”, he huffed.
“Follow..followed him? “, my voice broke.
“Yes. I know what a little stalker you are.” I could tell he was having a gala time undressing my shield.
“What nonsense are you talking about? “, I didn’t sound that convincing.
“Oh please! You can drop the act now. You’re not doing that great a job hiding the truth.”
I averted my eyes in embarrassment.
“Look, I don’t care what you do or how you feel. But if it hurts Lee in any way, I’m sorry to say, you will have to deal with me. And guess what? You won’t like that.”
His eyes glimmered with honesty and strange determination.
Why is he giving me the cold shoulder?
I stared at him with a poker face and pouted my lips.
“Look. First of all, I wasn’t following him. And second, I have no intention of harming him. And who are you? His secretary? ”
“Best friend. Then how did you get here?”, he looked at me with scrutiny.
“I walked. Duh!”
“Eh, you know what I mean. So you want me to believe that this was a complete coincidence? ”
“Huh! Whatever. ”
“So now I can’t even go places without your permission? ”
“You don’t understand. This is really very important for Lee. Now that you already know, keep your mouth shut. Nobody can learn about this.”
“What if somebody stumbles upon this place just like I did?”
“I’m sure nobody will. Nobody really knows of this place.”
“Neither did I. But I am here now, ain’t I?”
“Will you please stop? As long as you keep shut, it’s okay. ”
“Then I think I owe the right to know the reason behind your request.”
“Just as I said earlier, stay where you are. Don’t meddle with other people’s business. Especially if you don’t want me to let out a hint of your little secret to Lee. ”
Act cool. Act cool.
“You are a creepy stalker in love with Lee Maxwell.”
How does he know all this? Shit!
“How did you know?”
“Well, you just confirmed.”
I hate him. I seriously do.
“That’s not fair! ” I felt like hitting him but my better wits warned me against it.
Don’t be dumb. Look at those abs! And that chest! He’s towering all over you. A short, puny, little girl like you must never have such dreams.
“I’ll tell you what’s not fair. You leaking this even after being warned by me. Now go. It’s already too late.”
He turned back to go inside.
“Wait. But I can come back here, right? I mean, I won’t tell anyone. The secret will be safe with me. ”
“Of course it will. ‘Cause if our secret gets out, yours will too!”, he winked.
I rolled my eyes in disgust. How dare he blackmail me?
“So does that mean a yes? I can come back right? Hey! Don’t leave! Listen to me! How rude! Heeeyy!”
“Go away.” The door banged shut on my face.
》》To be Continued
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