|All in Love
Author: thelightningboltscar PM
Nineteen-year-old Robin Perry feels a bit hurt when her boyfriend of a year and a half packs his bags and leaves for Spain for two months without even a proper kiss goodbye. As he is off having the time of his life, Robin off-handedly says just one sentence that puts both her relationship and her heart on the line.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 10 - Words: 28,148 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 8 - Updated: 01-31-13 - Published: 07-15-12 - id: 3042127
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Sunlight hit me squarely in the face and I turned away from it, burrowing back under the covers. It was another Saturday morning, and I was free to do whatever I wished, which meant sleep in until noon. At least, today it did.
I felt a faint pressure near my ankles and reluctantly resurfaced to see Zeke curled up in a small, fuzzy ball. I rotated my leg to move him and an eye opened slowly to gaze at me in distaste. He hopped off and, instead of leaving my room, padded to my chest, where he shuffled around for a few moments and settled down.
It was then I remembered the previous evening. With a groan, I recalled how my parents had talked about my schooling the entire evening, and even offered to loan me money to get a better place. My parents were rich, had worked hard to get there, and obviously wanted me to follow a similar path.
As always, I explained that though I was flattered they cared so much about my well-being, I would figure things out eventually and just needed some time. I still needed to decide what exactly I wanted to do with my life, and I felt that if I went to university now, I could very well be closing the door I would later discover I had wanted to take. That was the last thing I wanted.
And then they went on to offer me money, saying they'd at least help me make my decision. I know; that was kind of them. But I had to remind them that this was my choice, and I wanted to get there by my own means.
I think my parents actually felt insulted when I turned down the money they offered me. I mean, sure, they probably wanted me to just accept the gesture and move on, but they got to keep the money, didn't they?
And then my father had just looked at me all disappointed-like, and my mother was all icy and asked if I was just trying to distance myself from the family, and as I furiously tried to backpedal my way out of the situation, my eyes met the boy's across the restaurant.
It was just for a moment, a second. He looked away as soon as our eyes met. But in that brief blip of time, I felt more of a connection with him than I ever felt with Roger.
As soon as it came, the feeling went, and I was back to arguing with my mother and father. But at the back of my mind, I couldn't stop thinking about the mystery boy. Had he been watching me? Had he been studying me as I had previously studied him? And why did I wish that was the case? Wasn't that sort of stalkerish?
I lay in bed, not wanting to get up but knowing I wouldn't be sleeping again with all these thoughts swirling around my head. I nudged Zeke off my chest, and immediately felt guilty – he looked so comfortable. I shook my head, amazed at how sympathetic I'd become towards the tiny creature.
I then dressed to do something I hadn't done since high school gym class. I unearthed my old work out shorts, found an old sports bra, and pulled archaic running shoes from the recesses of my closet. I was going to go for a run. I remembered vaguely someone once saying that running cleared the mind, and I was in desperate need of that. And plus, physical activity wouldn't hurt.
About a block into my run, I realized I was wrong on both counts. I'd forgotten my music, so I was either thinking about how much I wished I was home or what a mess my life was, and I chose the latter. And judging by my lungs and legs, physical activity definitely hurt.
I was somewhere in the vicinity of the coffee shop I worked at when I simply couldn't run for any longer. With my hands on my knees, I coughed violently and practically burst into tears when I saw I was only a couple blocks from my apartment. I was so unfit. It was pathetic. People looked at me with vague concern as I coughed loudly, feeling very much like I was dying.
Suddenly, a warm, large hand fell on my shoulder. "Hey, are you okay?"
I jerked upwards, startled by this masculine voice. I nodded, still gasping pitifully.
"Are you sure?" The voice was skeptic. I glanced over to see a youthful, pleasantly handsome face staring back at me. He looked awfully familiar, and I decided I needed to get myself free of him before things got awkward.
"Completely," I managed to choke out, waving in what I hoped was a flippant manner, but I was still fighting the incessant tickle in my throat. "I was aiming for that coffee shop but fell a few buildings short."
He laughed, and I considered him again. He had very nice greyish-blue eyes that weren't quite looking at me. They slid over to meet mine and I realized with sudden horror at who this was.
Restaurant boy. In the flesh. Staring at me as I try to reassemble my dignity.
"Hey, you look a little familiar," he said slowly, squinting at my face.
"Is she okay?"
"I think she's waking up."
"Get the Super Booster ready."
The ground was cold beneath my back and I squirmed to get more comfortable, though unsuccessfully. Something that felt a little like a dish cloth was wedged under my head, and I wondered if I was dreaming.
I opened my eyes to see three other pairs staring back at me - Polly, with her dark hair in a neat knot, Sara, who I often worked with, and the boy, dimples and all. I was lying on the floor behind the counter of the coffee shop, my head indeed resting on an old dish cloth. I looked down to see I was still my sweaty, post-run self.
"What happened?" I groaned, sitting up slowly. Three sets of hands fluttered around me, succeeding not being helpful at all. I propped my back against the counter.
"You fainted," Sara said while eyeing me carefully from behind pink-framed glasses, as if afraid I would drop into unconsciousness at any moment.
"Here, drink some of this," Polly said gently, pressing a cool glass of greenish liquid into my hands. I recognized it as the shop's signature Super Booster, a drink filled with fruit, sugar, and caffeine. I took a long sip, shuddering slightly at the gritty texture. But it did taste good, and helped me cope with the fact I had fainted in front of him.
"I'm sorry," I said, glancing at him. He was in a crouch, his hair flopped over his forehead, and I wanted to push it back and see his glorious eyes. I refrained.
"Why?" he chuckled, running a long hand through his hair before I could. "It was the highlight of my day!"
I rolled my eyes, trying to hide my humiliation by drinking from my Super Booster. I wasn't sure if there was any way this could get more embarrassing. Here I was, hair sticking to my face, having a conversation with three very attractive people, one being a boy I most probably had some sort of crush on. He also remembered me from the night before, when I had been having a frightful argument with my two parents. Nice.
There was a pause. "Customer," Sara said abruptly, smiling at someone over top of my head. She glanced back at me. "Don't die while I'm gone, 'kay?" She went to help the customer and Polly took the now-empty Super Booster from my hands.
"Do you think you're alright to stand?" she asked, laying a hand on my arm. I wondered briefly why I never tried befriending her and Sara.
"I think so," I said. To my mortification, the restaurant boy slid his arm behind me, probably feeling just how gross and sweaty I really was. He braced me and helped me to my feet, where I wished I was sitting again. My legs felt impossibly noodley.
"Do you run often?" he asked with amusement as I steadied myself against the counter. I glared at him and brushed myself off.
"I'm not even going to grace that with an answer," I said, and I saw Polly smile out of the corner of my eye. "I'm going to head home," I said, more to Polly than the infuriatingly cute boy beside me. "Thank you so much for helping me, and I'm sorry for crashing your shift."
"No worries," Polly said, tucking a strand of dark hair behind her ear. "Maybe stick to walking for now, yeah?"
Man, her accent made everything sound adorable. "Good idea," I said with a smile. With a sigh, I turned to restaurant boy. "And thank you, for helping me too," I said grudgingly.
"Oh, you're welcome," he said with a grin, and I almost fainted again. Dimples. He grabbed a napkin off the counter and scribbled something down on it, then pressed it into my clammy hand. "In case you need rescuing on your next run," he said with a wink. He slid over the counter, waved a goodbye to Sara and Polly, and loped out the door, whistling the intro to a jaunty tune.
"He is one hot stack," I heard Sara say, and turned to see her holding her blonde hair from her neck and fanning herself dramatically.
Polly laughed. "Find your own boy, Sara, I think he fancies Robin."
"Me?" I laughed incredulously. "He just saw me fail completely at doing the simplest thing, and look shockingly unattractive while doing it."
"You're probably right, Polly," Sara said, disregarding me completely. "And they'd be an adorable couple."
The two girls studied me intensely, and I shuffled uncomfortably. "I think I'm going to go home and shower," I say hesitatingly, wanting to be free of this day of awkwardness once and for all. It wasn't even noon and I'd had enough excitement to last for months.
"Wait," Polly said, holding a hand out, "here's your cell, it fell out of your pocket when you were on the floor." I grabbed my cell phone with a grateful smile.
"Thanks, Polly," I said, backing out the hinged door that led to the rest of the coffee shop, "and Sara! Thank you both for your help."
The two girls waved and said goodbye, and I began my walk back to my apartment. The air felt cool on my skin and I smiled into the wind, not minding it for once. The walk back felt much quicker than my run there, and I laughed when I remembered what a fool I'd made of myself. I couldn't even run for a full five minutes.
Once inside, I opened my hand and smoothed out the piece of napkin that had been pressed into it. It was a bit soft from the sweatiness of my palm, but the writing wasn't damaged. As I read what it said, my heart fluttered in my chest.
Sam - ********** call me!
For some reason, I hadn't been expecting his number. He had basically told me that was what it was, but I didn't really pay attention to that, I suppose. But I had his number. I had restaurant boy's number.
Correction – his name was Sam. That name was perfect for him. Sam. It fit. I wondered if it was short for something. I wondered if he would mind if I asked.
But I couldn't call that number, because I had a boyfriend, and considering how my heart thumped erratically when I simply thought of Sam, I should distance myself from him. Roger was my boyfriend and Sam was a fleeting thought, one I could push to the back of my mind. So I did, or tried to, anyway.
Regardless, I programmed his number into my phone, wondering what to call this boy and deciding, simply, on Sam. As soon as I saved it, I scrolled down to find him among my contacts and lingered on his name. As I looked at the three letters, I noticed another four directly underneath them.
Sara. Sara had programmed her number into my phone. I scrolled up and sure enough, I found "Polly," with a little smiley face beside it.
I couldn't help but smile at this new knowledge. The idea that they cared enough to give me their numbers, that they wanted me to know how to reach them… it made me feel happy, cared about in a way I'd long forgotten. I knew they weren't my friends yet, but I could make it happen. And suddenly, I wanted to. I scorned myself for not doing it ages ago, when I'd first gotten the job. Was I really so lazy that I didn't even talk to my own coworkers?
Yes. Yes I was.
I decided then, standing in my entry way in my sweaty running clothes, that I would change that, and befriend Polly and Sara. Or at least, I don't know, cover a shift for them if they needed it; anything to make up for fainting outside the coffee shop today.
Maybe I would befriend Sam too, along the way.
No, no. Not Sam. You have Roger. Roger. Roger.
I continued to force Roger's name upon myself as I cleaned myself and made some lunch. I was a bit surprised it was only noon – the time I usually woke up on Saturdays. I had the entire day to myself, and it felt fantastic.
Dressed in my soft-with-use shirt and loose-fitting jeans combination, I headed over to the hotel my parents were staying in, feeling more energetic than I had in a long time. I had grown somewhat used to the effects of coffee, or at least grown accustomed to them, and this was a newer, fresher type of energy. I had done something different. I had exercised and socialized - two things I usually avoided like the plague. Maybe those were the things I had been lacking.
Man, did it feel good to know I had three new contacts in my phone. Three new people I could call on a whim, along with my parents and occasionally my sister or brother.
And one of them was Sam.
Author's Note: Chapter 3 for you! I hope you are enjoying my story so far. I am certainly enjoying writing it!
Thank you for reading!