Two days have passed, and for the first time in the past few days, I have hardly talked to Alec. Our conversations were extremely short, because, even if I want to talk to him, at the same time I don’t feel like talking to him.
I know he can feel the shift in my behavior as his messages are getting less frequent. Honestly, I would not even care if he stops messaging me altogether, because that click which I felt earlier is missing.
“You are looking lost,” Pops says, snapping me out of my thoughts while doing some garage paperwork.
“No, I am just thinking.” I sigh and start editing some pictures on my laptop which I have randomly taken.
“Want to share something?”
“No, nothing important.” I shake my head.
“Anything which is related to you is important to me, Avy.” He puts away the papers and intently looks at me.
“Am I that bad, that no one should be my friend?” I look up and quietly ask him.
“Has somebody told you something?” He asks in a stern voice, as his facial expression changes.
“No, nobody has told me anything.” I rub my hand over my face, “Just a thought which came to my mind.” I sigh.
“Sometimes, I feel so unwanted.” I bite my lip and look down.
“Maybe I am an awful person and I never realized it.” I swallow, “That’s why God has punished me by first taking away mom, then later he took away dad from me. Perhaps, this is the reason why no one wants to associate themselves with me.” I bite inside of my cheeks preventing myself from tearing up, as my talk with Alec runs through my mind.
“Don’t say that! You are the best thing that has happened to me, honestly, I don’t know what I would have been doing with my life if you weren’t a part of it. Before you, I was so alone, but since the day you came into my life you made me so happy.” He places his hand on my shoulder, “Don’t listen to what others say. People talk rubbish all the time. You should know your worth and never let anyone walk over you. Don’t let negative thoughts invade your mind, and also never welcome people in your life who cause negativity.”
His words instantly make me feel better.
He is right I should never let anyone’s words affect me, the only person I should try to make happy is myself. If I am satisfied with myself, then the rest of the things will work out eventually.
“Pops, you know what? When I have you I don’t need anyone else in my life.” I look at him with love and admiration, “I don’t care what others say, I just never want you to let down. So please, no matter what happens, never leave my side.” I hold his hand tightly between mine.
“I will be always there for you, Avy.” He squeezes my hand back, “And always remember that I am proud of you.” He smiles.
“Even though you have done nothing special to make me proud, but still, I am proud of my genes which has been passed on to you.” He shrugs and sighs, “So, yeah... I am proud of myself.”
“I love you, Pops.” I lightly laugh.
“Yeah, you should,” he says nonchalantly, but his lips tugging upward in a smile.
“Don’t you think you should say that you love me too?” I playfully narrow my eyes at him.
“I love you, too, Avery.” He sighs and rolls his eyes.
“Yeah, you should,” I say mimicking his voice and hug him.
Next morning I decided to go for a run because it has been a long time since I have gone for one and the weather is nice, too.
Taking out a water bottle from the refrigerator, I step outside the house. The cool morning breeze instantly makes me feel refreshed as I lightly jog down the street.
My muscles are already warmed up from my jog. So, I begin my run at a slow pace. Gradually, picking up speed, I start to run in a steady rhythm.
My skin starts to cover with the light perspiration, even with the light cool air, I am feeling hot. The day starts to get warmer as now the sun is completely up.
Nearly after twenty minutes, my legs muscles start to ache, but instead of returning back to home, I decided to push myself a little more.
“This is what happens when you become a couch potato.” I groan and scold myself.
I am not a fitness freak, but I had the habit of doing exercise daily to keep myself fit. But since I have come back, I have hardly indulged myself in any physical activity.
“If Pops find out I am this much out of shape, then he will kill me by making me run two hours daily.” I bend down to catch my breath as I come to halt.
Pops might be the most chilled out person, but when it comes to physical fitness he can put Hitler to shame. But what else you can expect from ex-army personnel? Yes, Pops was an ex-army. That’s why he is still fit and can easily pass off as my father instead of my grandfather.
My eyes land to a cafe at the end of the street and I make my way towards the cafe. Each step making me regret, quitting exercise even for a few days.
Bell rings over my head when I open the door and step inside the cafe. Instantly, the whiff of waffles and fresh brewing coffee reaches my nose making my stomach grumble in response.
I walk towards the counter and look through the menu placed on the wall behind the counter. Since I was welcomed by the smell of waffles, so I end up ordering some waffles for myself. I don’t experiment with food, so I always try something which I have eaten before, whenever I go to some new place.
Taking a seat near the glass wall, I wait for my order to get prepared. The cozy-looking cafe is not crowded with people, but the bells above the door constantly ring as customers come and go.
After ten minutes a waiter brings my order. Without wasting any time, I dig into the waffles. My phone chimes a few times but ignoring it, I focus on the delicious food in front of me. I don’t like any kind of distraction when I am eating.
I believe when you are eating, your entire focus should be on food only. You should enjoy every bit of it, not just its taste but also its smell, its look, and its texture.
Let food invade all your senses, then only you will truly relish it.
A waiter comes and places a cappuccino on my table making me frown, but before I can say something he goes back to the counter. My frown deepened when I see something written on the coffee.
My phone again rings and this time I check it to find Alec’s message.
Enjoy your coffee!
Raising my head from my phone I look around, to find him casually sitting on one of the tables as he drinks his coffee. I know he has noticed my gaze as there is a hint of a smile on his lips, even though he hasn’t looked in my direction.
I don’t drink coffee. I reply to him and taking money from my pocket I put it under the coffee cup.
Picking up my phone from the table, I walk towards the door.
“Excuse, me, Ma’am. Here is your money.” Waiter calls me from behind just before I can step outside, “It is already paid for.”
“I don’t take anything from others,” I say loud enough for Alec to hear, “You can return this money to whoever has paid for the coffee.” I give him a tight smile and walk outside the cafe.
Surprising, I find Pops in the living room, when I enter the home. Usually, he already leaves for the garage at this time.
“What are you doing at home?” I ask him as I toe off my running shoes and place it near the shoe rack beside the door.
“I didn’t feel like going today.” He simply shrugs, “I felt I should spend my day with you. I feel I don’t give you much time, now.”
I know he might be sick worrying about me, since yesterday.
“Perfect.” I smile at him, which makes him also smile in return, “So what should we do?” I ask him while stretching my arms above my head.
But when the expression on his face changes, suddenly I don’t want to hear what he had in his mind.
“It has been a long time, we haven’t practiced together.” He stands up and cracks his knuckles, then only I notice he is in his training clothes, “So why not practice together, I want to see how much you still remember.” He pats on my shoulder and makes his towards the backyard.
I guess I was not the only one who thought to do some exercise today.
“I am going to be so dead.” I gulp nervously and silently follow him outside.