The Girl In The Candy Dress

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Chapter 24: Happy Hamburgers

Amelia parked the car, and we walked together on the side of the street and through the entrance.

“I’m feeling a fat hamburger, large chips and a solid lemonade, you?” she asks as we approach the counter.

“Umm…” I looked at the menu above the cash registers to figure out what I wanted.

Then Amelia asked, “How about a delicious birthday cake, a Luke and some great friends on the side of that?”

I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion and asked, “Wait…wha-“

I was cut off by the voices singing ‘Happy Birthday’. I whirled around to see Harrison, Jack, Vanessa and Nathan around a very adorable Luke holding a chocolate cake with lit up candles.

They sung and slowly walked through the doors and towards me. I don’t think it was the candles that lit up the restaurant, it was my smile.

I laughed as they approached me, and Luke held the cake just centimetres from me and his expression mirrored my own.

I placed my hands over my cheeks as my smile widened when they finished singing.

Amelia hugs me around the shoulders and whispers, “Well? What are you waiting for? Make a wish”.

And I did. I wished for more moments like these.

Warm moments, where we can just gather and enjoy each other’s company in the simplest ways.

After I blowed the candles out and opened my eyes, they locked with Luke’s as he held a small, warm smile which was full of love.

Everyone clapped after the candles were blown out, “Aww guys, thank you so much, you really didn’t have to go to all this trouble for me”

Harrison pipes up saying, “Uhh yes we did, you’re Zoe!”

We group hugged and sat at a round table.

The cake surrounded itself with burgers, kebabs, chips and jugs of lemonade.

Everyone was having their own conversations with each other. Amelia rested her head on Nathan’s as they laughed at what Harrison was saying.

Vanessa and Jack were talking whilst stuffing their faces with kebabs. I giggled at the sight and Luke looks towards me and smiles. He signals for him and I to get some air.

I stood from my seat and followed him outside. We walked side by side and came to a stop.

Luke breathed softly and took hold of my hands. “Listen Zoe, I know the events that just passed have left you in an uncomfortable position. But I want you to know, that whatever happens, we are going to be just fine. You and me. The dream team. No one, and I mean no one is going to break that away from us. You hear me?”

I softly smiled and nodded my head in agreement.

He was right, recent events did leave me a little dazed and uncomfortable. But the feelings I had for the guy standing right in front of me with his hands covering the cold from my hands, was the guy I had fallen for.

We shared a kiss and as we parted he said, “Shit Zoe, your lips are like ice”.

What a way to ruin the moment.

I laughed and said, “Yeah well it’s almost midnight and like five degrees, what did you expect? A warm summer’s breeze?”

He contemplated it for a moment and gave a cheeky grin, “C’mon let’s get back, I believe there is someone inside waiting for you”.

“What do you mean? Who?”

“Let’s go in and find out shall we?”

As we walked in my eyes zoned in on a very familiar person speaking with Nathan and Amelia.

“Alberto?” the name just blurted out of my mouth.

He turns around when hearing his name and as soon as he saw me, his smile widened and he engulfed me in the most suffocating, yet lovely, hug I’ve ever received.

“Zoe, happy birthday, my my they grow up so fast” he says with admiration on his face. “Also, as a present, I got your car all fixed up. No more squashed bug, eh?”

This time it was my turn to hug him, “Alberto, thank you so much! What a dream”

“Ha ha all good kiddo, now he’s the real question. Should I get a beef burger or chicken burger?”

Everyone shouted out different answers, but Alberto shushed everyone as said, “I didn’t ask you shitheads, I asked the birthday girl”


He raised an eyebrow, “I’ve never met someone so smart”.

All the way to next morning, we all chatted, laughed and ate.

And no matter what happens in the future, I know I’ll always have this bunch to fall back on.

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