Mending and Annoying Axel
Leah's POV :
He is the most annoying boy I have ever met!
Seriously. I was so proud at my discovery of this quaint little cafe but had I known that they hired counter boys slash waiter like annoying Axel, I would still have chosen this place because the coffee is great but would have ignored that asswipe completely.
Now to explain why I’m so annoyed at Mr. Scowls here. For the first time in last four days, the cafe was crowded with customers seeing as it was Christmas eve. everyone was enjoying themselves with either their romantic partners or their families, after all, it was a good day for a fun date.
Now, when I got to the cafe that has been more of a home to me for past four days at ten a.m in the morning, imagine my embarrassment and surprise when I found a huge sign painted on a white sheet and hanging on the wall beside the door. And guess what the sign said?
“Closed for Snob Princess because Axel had more important customers to attend to. Will reopen for the her : NEVER.”
As soon as I leaned my bike on the wall and my eyes fell on the sign, I let out a loud gasp earning strange looks from people walking along the sidewalk or the customers going in or out as they snickered at the ridiculous sign. My face was red with embarrassment as well as anger. Hell, I was furious. What the hell was that asshat thinking when he came up with this brilliant idea?
After several moments where I murdered Axel at least ten times in my head in ten different and creative ways that would put Hollywood horror movies to shame, I calmed and took deep breaths as I reminded myself that no one here knew that I was the said Snob Princess. With gritted teeth and my anger about to burst out of my system, I marched inside the cafe and walked straight to the counter where Axel was preparing coffee for someone.
Emilia was manning the cash counter and she smiled and waved enthusiastically at me but that smiled vanished when she saw the look on my face as I ignored her and went straight for the annoying jerk.
“You!” I said, slamming my hand on the counter separating me and him.
He turned to look at me, his expressions impassive. “Oh, it’s you. Didn’t know you couldn’t read or I would have left a voice message too.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “What is your problem with me, jerk.” I gritted out.
He scoffed. “I don’t even have time to have a problem with you.”
Emilia walked to us with a confused look on her face while another, older woman took her place on the counter. “Leah, what’s going on?”
I looked at her and realized she didn’t know. Of course she didn’t for I’m sure that if she did, she would have thrown that sign away. “Why don’t you ask your brother? Or better yet, go out and see for yourself?”
Axel rolled his eyes. “It’s nothing Emmy. She’s making a big deal like the snob princess she is.”
Emilia gasped and hit his arm. “Axel. You know what? I’ll just go and see for myself if it is a big deal or not.”
Axel shrugged as Emilia walked from behind the counter and went outside to see what I was complaining about. The jerk himself got back to work as I kept glaring daggers at his back. When he was done arranging three cups on a tray, he walked from behind the counter and went in to serve three girls the coffee who were sitting in my booth. They flirted with him and he forced a smile. I never broke my glare he worked and got back behind the counter.
When I heard the door to the cafe open, I could feel Emilia walking towards us, fuming just as bad as I was. “What the fish, Axel? Why would you do that?”
Axel pointed his finger at me accusingly and got defensive. “She just wastes our time! She’s doing that right now. We would get some work done if she isn’t here.”
I gasped and Emilia glared at him. “I never saw her disturb your work. You’re just being an ass and you’re annoyed that she doesn’t give you attention like other girls.”
I nodded in agreement. “I never even said a word to you! I just talk to Emmy here.”
“That’s what I’m talking about! You involve Emmy with you and she leaves everything up to me! Oh, and not to forget that coffee you demand every hour.”
“I pay for it, asshole. And there’s not even enough customers when I’m around.”
“Yeah, because nobody wants to come in when the cafe is cursed with your presence.”
Feeling angry and annoyed, I lean on the counter and slap the back of his head which makes him scowl. Before he could retaliate, the same woman who took Emilia’s place on the counter walks up to us with a soft smile on her face. “Is anything wrong here.”
“No.” Axel mutters at the same time Emilia and I, “Yes.”
“Mom, look what he did.” Emilia says handing the sign to her mother. I make a mental note to thank her when this argument is over.
Emilia’s mom reads the words on the sign and gasps just as Axel snatches it from her. “It’s nothing, Julie.”
Julie puts her hands on her hips and looks at Axel disapprovingly. “Oh, is it now?” Axel just turns his attention away and mutters something under his breath making Julie narrow her eyes at him. Instead of saying anything to him though, she turns towards me with a soft smile.
“I’m assuming that you’re the sn- uh - the person he wrote about on that sign.” Julie says, catching herself at the “Snob Princess” adjective and points to the sign still in Axel’s tight grasp.
I nod, feeling uncomfortable. “I’m Leah....” I trail off.
She catches on and smiles, “Oh, you can call me Julie. I’m Emilia’s mom and Axel’s aunt from his mother’s side. Nice to meet you Leah. Are you Axel’s friend?”
I shake my head and am about to correct her when Emilia butts in, “No, mine.”
I smile at her and Julie shakes her head. “Everyone is your friend, isn’t it? Go back to the counter Emmy.”
Emilia pouts but obeys. Julie turns to me. “So Leah, would you like to order anything?”
I smile and nod. “Yeah, just the usual. Emilia knows.” My eyes meet Axel’s for a moment as he turns around to glance at me and I smirk. “And I’m sure Axel does too. After all, he serves me everyday.”
Julie smiles and nods. “Great. Then have a seat and I’ll have Axel get you whatever you usually have. It’s on the house so don’t worry about the bill. And I’m sorry for the inconvenience my nephew caused today.”
My eyes widen and I begin shaking my head. “No, don’t apologize, Julie. And I have no problem in paying, it’s fine, really.”
Julie waves her hand to dismiss me. “Hush, it’s fine. It will be cut from Axel’s paycheck so don’t worry about it at all.”
Axel looks back at her with shocked eyes and I smirk. “Oh, then I don’t mind at all.”
Julie chuckles and ushers me back to get a seat. I turn around and smile when I find my regular booth empty. I take a seat and instead of taking out my assignments as I usually do, I take out Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell and begin rereading. The secrets of the universe and Mr. Hawking’s intellectual mind never fails to surprise me and I awe at the weirdest and strangest facts mentioned in the book, even though I have read and memorized almost the whole book one too many times.
Fifteen minutes later, I have a club sandwich and my usual cup of coffee on my table dropped my another waitress, a few years older than me who smiles at me. “I don’t know if he’s shy or you guys fought but he insisted I come and serve you. But make it up, whatever it is, okay?” She says.
I frown, confused. “I don’t know what you’re saying.”
She chuckles and looks at me as if she knows something. “Yeah, okay but seriously. He’s a good person, though a little strange.”
“Strange is an understatement when it comes to him.” I mutter.
She laughs. “All I’m saying is that arguments happen in relationships but that doesn’t meant it can’t be solved.”
My eyes widen at what she was suggesting. “OH MY GOD!” I gasp. “No, absolutely not! You’re on the wrong track. I’m not in relationship with Axel. Or anyone. I’m so done with boyfriends for a long time.” I say and shake my head at the thought stranger than the universe.
The woman’s eyes widen and she looks embarrassed. “Oh. I’m so sorry! I assumed you guys might be....”
I shake my head. “Nope, we’re not involved. At all.”
She nods. “Oh, well. Then enjoy your breakfast with a free single mind.” She grins.
I look at her name tag and meet her eyes again. “Thanks Hana.”
When she gets back to work, I turn my attention towards my coffee, curious to see what art it is today. In beautiful calligraphy, there was Axel’s favorite quote floating on the large cup of delicious coffee. “Karma is a bitch and so are -” With a finger pointed towards me.
I scoff and look up to meet his eyes only to find him glaring at me. Without breaking the eye contact, I mess up his art and suck my finger before taking a good sip of the coffee, smirking at him. He scowls and returns back to work.
I get back to my reading but soon realized that Christmas Eve’s hustle bustle won’t let me concentrate and enjoy. Still, I spent four hours at the cafe and had four cups of coffee with different latte arts obviously drawn to annoy me. I won’t give him the satisfaction though.
Every time I saw the arm, I would just smirk and mess up his hard work and sip on the coffee carefreely. However, I can’t promise that his actions didn’t hurt me on the inside. Everything he wrote or drew was eerily similar to what I had seen or been called at school and even though I pretended to be a cold hearted bitch, or in Axel’s words, a Snob Princess, I was still a human with emotions and it hurt that people were so quick to judge without knowing me. It hurt to see them pointing fingers at me because of baseless rumors and facts.
But I didn’t let him know. I didn’t let them know. I didn’t let anyone know what power they had on me. I didn’t let anyone know that they were strong enough to break me just by their words and actions. I stood my ground, pretending to be strong and facing the hurricane alone that I wasn’t sure I would survive.
My thoughts were interrupted when I found two boys standing at my table looking at me expectedly. “Huh? Yeah? Sorry, my mind was somewhere else and I didn’t hear you?”
One of the guys smiled warmly at me while the other one replied. “We just wanted to ask you if you mind sitting us here seeing as all tables are full. I’m sorry if we assumed you were alone but you’re not with anyone, are you?”
I smiled at them and shook my head. “No, I’m not with anyone. And yeah you guys can sit, I was leaving anyway.”
The other guy stopped me as I was about to get up. “Oh, no, don’t mind us. You can sit, we’ll just order take out.”
I chuckled. “No, really. It’s late and I have to be back at home. You guys can have a seat.”
Both of them looked hesitant. “Eh, are you sure?”
I nodded and smiled. “Positive.” I then collected my things and let them both have their seat.
“Um, can we at least get your name. If you don’t mind, that is.” The first guy asked.
“I’m Leah.” I smiled and stretched my hand for a shake.
“Dave. And this is my friend Pete.” The same guy answered as he shook my hand.
I shook Pete’s hand too. “Nice to meet you guys.”
Pete smiled. “You too. Okay then, see you around, Leah.”
I nodded and turned on my heels, ready to bid Emilia goodbye and head home. I reached the counter to find Julie smiling at me. “Hey Leah, have fun?”
I laughed. “As much I could, yeah.”
“Are you leaving?” She asked.
I nodded. “Yeah. I just wanted to say goodbye to Emmy before I go. And also, thank you for today.”
Julie smiled. “It was Axel’s fault anyway. Don’t thank me. And I’ll call Emmy so you can tell her you’re leaving.”
After I told Emilia I was leaving and thanked Julie again for being generous, I left the cafe and got on my bike on the ride back home, basking in the mixture of cold air along with sun’s warm rays that barely reached the earth. But for me, it was just enough.
I smiled. I was learning to feel content in just enough.