"Yes Aunt Willa, i'll be careful. Yeah- No no i'm a grown man i can take care of myself, not to worry." I repeat the same conversation i have weekly with my doting Aunt. The youngest in our family tree all adored her, her tenderness and maternal nature just drew us all to her like magnets. Any parents needed a babysitter you could bet your bottom dollar Willa would be first to offer, and would refuse to be paid for that duty either. It wasn't any wonder that all six of her children had clung to her like limpets and still did, with their own children in tow.
My Mom on the other hand was a great parent, no question. But if i wanted to cling to her like a limpet for my entire life? She'd tell me where i could go, put me in my place.
Talking to Willa was a substitute for the worry of my own earlier decision. Leaving him a note? Was i really that desperate? I don't do desperate, let alone give up my time for someone. If i lose sleep over someone, i know i've got it bad and judging by the tossing and turning that's been going on lately, that's just what i have.
Fucking algebra. X equals nothing to my mashed up brain. "Hey." A voice steals my focus and to my horrified delight it's just who i wanted and didn't want to see.
"For Fuck Sake, Gerard! You're meant to adore me! Care about me! Do you not want to vet him for me? Seriously?" Okay girl has lost it, officially. I'm not her overprotective older brother, infact i'm younger than her, and nor am i her father because that would just be plain weird. So protect her? I care about her sure but protect her from another guy? The guy could probably take me down with one arm behind his back and his legs shackled together. I sigh in defeat all the same though.
"Hey." I shakily rehearse as i slowly walk towards him trying but failing to look completely at ease, or even vaguely confident. I'm mid rehearsal when i realise i've reached him and he has heard my greeting rehearsal. "Hey." He looks up flicking his hair out of his face. He gestures towards a chair and i perch down slowly. "Hows life?" He asks after a few awkward yet optimistic moments of pure nothing. "Um good thanks, what about you?" I ask out of courtesy, inside im tempted to shake him and scream WHY HER! in his face but in the real world that could be seen as unacceptable. He replies with a simple "Great Thanks." And i lose all self control. "So you've asked my friend out?..." I start. " Have fun."
"My friend, youre going out at some point? The note you left on her windscreen?"
"Oh that. Wait, that was actually for someone else."
"On her car?" I raise my eyebrow, heart racing.
And surprisingly, only my mouth hits the floor, when it could well have been my entire body.
I plough through my night shift, serving coffee to inner city career women and drunks who have no place else to go. Minimum wage and the stench of cheap perfume surrounding the little coffee house. Today was something out of a story, but no lighthearted life altering story. A nightmare story. His friend kicked me in one of my more delicate areas and he was plain confused. My sleepless nights would only continue from now on.
I turn around to the wide cracked up windows and see something i barely believe is even there. Him. Face pressed up against the glass, and a smile that makes my knees go weak. I slowly approach the window, the only thing separating our faces being the thin layer of glass between. And we are in our own world, lifting our palms to the glass and every little thing falling to the ground.