A.N: Chapter Three! Updates won't be as quick in the future, but these have been written for a while , so I didn't see any reason why not to put them up now! Please drop me a review and tell me what you think, I'd love to hear it! Enjoy!
"Right, you need to listen." I explained, handing Aiden a drink as I joined him at my dining table. "This is April Henderson we are talking about here, everything must be good, else she will cut it off with merely a snap of her fingers and you will quickly become an ever-lasting laughing-stock for her and her friends. And we wouldn't want that, would we?"
"No Ma'am." He replied with a smirk, so I kicked him under the table.
"Do you want help or not?" I wanted any excuse to not have to help him. Because, if I was honest, I wasn't really thinking about how she would like to be treated, rather, how I would like to be treated by him.
He cleared his throat, and wiped the grin from his face.
"Now, even though April seems to be the dominant woman is any relationship we see her in, it doesn't necessarily mean she wants to be, it means the men are too much of a coward to take the lead. You, are going to be different. Every girl likes to be pampered, and treated like a princess, and that is what you are going to do, and I don't always mean huge romantic gestures, the little things that show you care count too, and sometimes are the most special." As I spoke, I could barely believe that I was actually doing this. Stop. This is what friends do. You are a friend, nothing more. As you were.
"Okay." Even saying something as innocent and meaningless as 'okay', I had trouble resisting the urge to just crawl into his loving arms and die there. He was just so beautiful. And staring right at me. Me! Ahem. I mean, not that I care. Of course not.
"Give her a rose, open the car door for her, pull out her chair, tuck it in, let her order food and drink first, take every opportunity to do things for her that you possibly can." I explained, although, as I played out the scenarios in my head, I seemed to be the one in a pretty dress and 'date hair', and not that April girl, but nobody needs to know that. Keep it to yourself.
Stop laughing! A girl can dream, can't she?
"Rose, chair and do things for her. Check."
I continued explaining what he should do in great detail, and he listened intently, never taking his eyes off me, but for different reasons than I perhaps wanted. If he followed even one of these instructions, April sure was a lucky girl.
I wanted to be the lucky girl. Why couldn't I be the lucky girl?
I examined myself in the mirror above the mantelpiece. I wasn't completely unfortunate looking, but then again, compare it to April, I belonged on a landfill site. I certainly had - ahem, desirable assets, like long, well-kept hair, shiny eyes, good skin, fairly tall. My hair was brown, but with a natural hint of red, which I thought was supposed to be attractive. Apparently not.
Maybe I was too much of a plain Jane inside. Maybe what makes April so wanted by the male species is that she is different. She has features that make you look up from your newspaper. People like me, are just looked at, but rarely seen. I wanted to be seen. By him. I wanted to be seen by him. Be noticed. Be understood. Be loved. That sort of unconditional, lifelong love, the sort of love that you hear about, but everyone has yet to see an example of. Which, I guess, begs the question of its existence. The elusive happily ever after. Which means that Aiden and April could easily fall apart. Aiden was fragile, needed to be handled carefully, especially in delicate situations, else he turned very sensitive, and easily harmed. I had no idea of April's mental and emotional strength, but she isn't really the main event of my thoughts. I'm afraid I have more Aiden-ish things on my mind.
I had found a new way of thinking, which kept me sane for the duration of the day. This time, it turned out that Aiden had been hopelessly in love with me the whole time, and his apparent infatuation with April was just a petty crush.
A bit like in Romeo and Juliet I guess. You know, when Romeo is all gooey-eyed for Rosaline, and then forgets all about her when he meets Juliet?
I'm Juliet, of course. Well, in an ideal world. I suppose April takes that place now.
When Penny was younger, around thirteen or so, her parents went through an agreeably brutal divorce. She said to me, about a month before, that she sensed something wasn't right, something didn't seem to fit into place. That, slowly, things were being torn apart, piece by piece. The family was coming undone. The bindings that held the whole harmonious affair together were being cut and torn. Listening to her speak long into the night over the phone, was the first time I actually started to think about 'forever'.
All of these people, breaking the biggest promise in life. It's worrying.
I often find myself thinking about Aiden in that way. Living wonderfully for years, bringing up beautiful children and simply enjoying life, and then suddenly, coming to an end. All of the knots tied over the years, now forgotten, and 'forever', being a thing of the past. But somehow, I can't think realistically about him. I can't imagine him being unfaithful or not loyal, or ever willing to break a marriage bond. Though, I guess you could say that about a lot of people, yet your assumptions are sometimes proven incorrect.
Friday night came around a lot quicker than I had wanted it too. It was like sending your child to school for the first time, what happened when they were beyond the school gates was out of your control. What if it all goes to plan? And they become the model couple of the school. What if April joins our little friend circle, with all of her girly gossiping and primping and nail art? Or worse, what if Aiden leaves, to join the football team, the dancers and everyone in between, and then I have lost my best friend? What if he turns into a snob, and then never wants to talk to me again, I was unsure of how I would manage to cope without his soothing words and touch, even if it wasn't romantically, and just as a friend.
Somehow, this was a risk I was willing to take. Because, no matter how much I wanted to come home to him every day, it wasn't happening, so I had better be positive with what is the current situation. And, I hated to admit, but since she agreed to go out with him, I had never seen Aiden happier. Others noticed it too, the spring in his step, his smile was more noticeable, and in return, more heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and he was more optimistic about everything. I didn't really want to snatch that away from him.
Aiden was coming over on his way to pick April up, to see if he looked okay and was ready. And my god, did he look gorgeous in a suit. So breath-taking it was almost painful. Torturous, even.
"Do I look okay?"
"It looks like someone is going to get the girl." I smiled. "Now, do you have the rose?"
"Better," He said, and he pulled out a tulip. "these bloom in April. A rose, although traditional and romantic, is very cliché, and I want to be unique, and leave a standing impression." Damn, he really wanted to impress her. I want to be impressed! I wanted to be pampered, and showered with gifts, and have flowers match my name! Maybe poppies...they're red. But then again so are a lot of flowers.
"Now," I breathed. "Take these," I told him, throwing him a tube of breath mints. "Italian food has ridiculous amounts of garlic, and should you find yourself smooching, you want it to be memorable for the right reasons."
"Aah, thanks, you think of everything! You're a life saver!" He grinned gratefully and stuffed the mints into his pocket.
"It's nice to be of use." I laughed to myself. "Ready?"
"A little nervous, but I think so." He was biting his lip again, so cute. What did I do to deserve this torture?
Okay, so maybe when I was a kid I used to feed my vegetables to the dog. And I might have once took a pen from Johnny Kilner because he kept saying I had head-lice. But surely that doesn't equal to this?
"Well, what are you waiting for? Go get her!" I encouraged him.
"Call me later, tell me how it went!" I shouted after him.
I closed the door behind him. That was it. He was now April's. Everything that happened now was out of my hands.
Part of me wished he wouldn't call later, I didn't want to know how brilliant it was, how gorgeous she looked and how good a kisser she was. I almost wanted him to be stood up.
But then, if he did call later, then it is reassurance that I am so important to him that he had to share this experience with me.
Mind you, I asked him to call. Urgh! If I had just plucked up the courage to say something so much earlier, maybe he wouldn't be going with April tonight, he would be taking me out to dinner, giving me flowers, kissing me on the doorstep.
I guess I missed my chance. Question is though, will that chance ever come back around, or is it gone for good?
She had better treat him well, he doesn't deserve to be pushed around, cheated on, taking advantage of, have the wool pulled over his eyes, have his heart broken. I know I wouldn't dream of hurting him, but I guess what I would do has no effect on what she would do. I didn't know what she was like in a relationship, I'm not sure if I wanted to know.
See, If I were his wife, and he were my husband, (I get the tingles just thinking about it!) I wouldn't hesitate to give him everything. I would be fully supportive in all of his issues, be it work, friends, anything. I would give him space when he asked for it, not be too clingy or too reserved, and, although these may seem hard to achieve, I've known him for years, so I know what he likes. I know what songs are his favourite, which ones make him cry, which movies make him laugh the most and which books he treasures. She doesn't know these details. Sure, she can learn them, but I'm trying to make myself sound better than her, and thinking that she could catch up is distracting me.
I watched the phone on the arm of the sofa, almost pleading for it to ring, or get a text. Aiden, telling me that she had changed her mind and that he could really do with a hug and somebody to talk to.
I couldn't bear the image of him being with somebody else, as I had spent so many years dreaming that he would be the dashing chap on my arm, the one I would join hands with at the end of the aisle. The one he would kiss on the cheek as he came home from work, and the one to father my children.
And damn, would he make a good father. He's been really good with my baby cousin, Tiffany when she and her parents visited a while back, always playing with her and keeping her entertained as our parents talked. He just seemed to connect with them, understand them. And all the children loved him to bits.
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