Note to self, Ace thought as he wandered the streets of Oceanside. Never leave an emotionally frantic woman with the keys.
He started looking through the bars. She's probably gonna get drunk and hit it off with some guy.
He started running. That can end in so many ways and none of them good. Gotta find her quick Ace!
Ace remembered his cell phone. Even though Alia wasn't responding…
I can still locate her via phone….
Tracking the phone, Ace walked up a few blocks,
To find a familiar car with a familiar passenger.
Ace knocked in the window. "Yoo-hoo, you gonna let me in.
Alia opened the door as Ace climbed inside. He looked at what Alia had. "Scotch and a box of donuts. How to console yourself on a tight budget."
Alia took a swig. "I know your trying to be helpful Ace, but you should leave this alone. Go find a girl of your own. Trust me, there are plenty of girls out there looking for a guy like you."
Ace's head sunk.
Alia felt kind of ashamed that she said that. "Ace, I'm not trying to push you away…"
"Alia, listen for a moment." He took a deep breath.
Alia knew where this was going. "Oh no, if this is some story Drew had you come down here and say to me…"
"I had to walk several miles on foot, just to make sure nothing had happened to you. You can at least listen."
OH, so you think YOUR day was bad… Alia wanted to start yelling. But that was the scotch talking.
"Fine, go ahead, Share your moral story…"
"Okay, remember our conversation on the plane?"
"About me and Drew and everything that happened… yeah."
Ace facepalmed. "Not that, the important topic… ME."
Alia laughed, biting into a donut. "How could I forget? Forgive me, Mr. Eos, I am but a poor and dumb drunkard that forgets her place. "
"Damn straight you are. " Ace responded. "Anyway, back to me…
After I blew my ACL, I knew I wasn't going to the pros, so I studied a bit harder in school, and just got my four-year degree.
So school is out, I was the first person in my family with a college degree,
And I had nothing.
I didn't have a job, so the only thing I could afford to do, the most logical thing to do, was to just go home, and maybe find some work there.
So I'm sitting on the school steps, waiting for my folks to show up,
And I just walk away.
Whatever money I had I blew on a plane ride to St. Louis, get a job as a janitor at McDonalds, and buy a crappy little apartment for myself."
"Ooooooo, rebellious teenager phase." Alia said.
"Anyway, my entire family was shocked and pissed. They demanded to know why I spent their money and left.
I-I-I just didn't walk to go back to the farms.
I got a taste of living in an urban environment, and well,
I wanted more. I wanted to see the world."
"So your started singing, and animals came out and there was merriment and laughter throughout the land. " Alia giggled.
"Actually my parents cut me off from any more money. If I wanted to live in the world, I would live in, and die by it. They were just waiting for me to come crawling back. I didn't hate them for it but.."
He sighed. "I guess that means I had to be a man and depend all by myself.
So I got a job as a gym coach at an elementary school."
"So you had a big kid in charge of all the little kids. Must've been a match made in heaven." Alia grinned.
Ace smiled with her. "It was fun, but," he sighed again. "They really don't pay teachers in America enough money. I was living as low and cheap as possible, and I was still struggling."
"So what did you do?"
"I saw that there were tryouts for policemen, and next thing I knew, I was out of the gym, and a member of St .Louis' Finest."
"Oooh, you must've been cute in a uniform, and enjoyed all the perks of being a cop."
"After all that I had been through for the past few months, you bet I enjoyed every advantage being a cop in America could possible offer. Rams' games, parties, free food, and DISCOUNTS! Oh my God, the discounts."
Alia chuckled. "So you were a cop and still pinching pennies?"
" Oh yes, it was a habit by then."
"So what next?"
"So I was in the police force for a couple of years, and then, everything changed one winter.
They had me go undercover as a part of several corporate sting operations.
The target was King's Toyland Corporation."
"Yeah I've heard. I bought quite a bit of merchandise for them for Axl in his first few years with me."
"So I walk into one of their store, undercover as another Christmas-rush hand.
And that's when I met her."
Ace sat back smiling, remembering her.
"She had these long, curly waves of purple hair, her eyes were this citrine brown." He giggled. "And she was in this cute elf costume."
Alia grinned. "So it was love at first sight?"
"Well at least for me it was. She hated me. Hell, she hated everyone except her brother. But when you save said brother from busting his head open after falling off a ladder, you get close to someone. And well, it was Christmas, add that magic holiday spirit to the ole Ace charm, no woman can resist.
We got really close, but..."
His face fell. He paused for a moment.
"I had a job to do. I-I-I started to pull away from her. I tried but, the whole thing started to fall apart. This guy at work got a DUI around New Year's, so they fired him, and Tia called make me a permanent worker...
My boss's wouldn't let me. I had to move on to another assignment.
So I had to... break up with her.
It was, one of the worst nights of my life.
I-I-I hurt her, so much doing that." Ace was tearing up.
Well what did you expect bozo? Were you really expecting to find evidence under her sheets?
No. Bad drunk Alia. Alia comforted him. "You were younger. We all make mistakes."
do you know how much pain it is to look as someone you love after you hurt them?"
Alia gave him a hard look.
For all she knew, this was just a ploy set up be Ace and Drew.
There was something genuine in that boy's eyes.
Like he really had a past loss and pain of love.
And that he was trying to help her...
because they were friends.
After a while, she sighed, and started up her
"Damnit Ace, just when I'm over my ex..."