Always Together

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Chapter 24

Fifteen freaking days and no sign of Alec.

Numerous messages, but no reply. Countless calls, but all remain unanswered.

I am worried sick about him, and how can’t I be? When I know nothing about him. Various scenarios are going through my mind, each worst than the other. What if something has happened to him? God, I don’t even want to think about that.

Damn you, Alec!

I wipe my eyes with the heel of my palms, as my eyes well up in frustration.

To others, I might seem like closed off and uncaring. But, I do care about others, especially who are part of my life. And thinking about something bad has happened to them, scares me.

And now, I am scared that something might have happened with Alec and I would not even know about it.

The night when I met Alec for the second time flashes through my mind. I am sure Alec can take care of himself, but he is not a superhuman. What if somebody attacked him and he was not able to defend himself? Or what if he needed help and there was no one to help him?

I don’t know where to look for him and I can’t even ask anyone about him.

“Alec...” I groan and pull my hair in annoyance, “Where, the hell, are you!”

I am sure, there is some other business which he is part of and honestly, I don’t care what he does. Until and unless it doesn’t involve anything to do with innocent lives. I trust him to do the right thing. He can’t be someone who will hurt someone innocent. He seems kind and helpful.

Checking the time, I decided to go and meet Pops at the garage. This will take off my mind from Alec, and maybe later I will hang out with Kris.

“Hey.” I enter the garage from the front door and see Mason behind the counter arranging the shelf containing spare parts.

“Hey, Avery.” He smiles and continues to do his work.

Mason is a nice guy, who works for Pops. Last year he got married and now they are expecting a baby. He has been working for Pops, for a long time. Earlier he used to work part-time when he was completing his studies, but now he is a full-time employee. I got acquainted with him during the time Pops was in the hospital.

“Frank is in the main garage helping someone with the car.” He points towards the door, which leads to the car repair area.

“Do you need any help?” I ask him, noticing there is a lot of new stuff placed on the counter which needs sorting.

“You don’t have to.” He shakes his head.

“I can help, no big deal.” I move around the counter to help him.

“Have you heard that guy, Jeff, got bailed?” He speaks as we continue to work in sync, me giving him spare parts after checking off from the list and he puts them accordingly on the shelf. This definitely stirs my anger, but I try to stay calm.

Jeff is the name of the guy who had hit Pops’ car. And I, may or may have not, threaten to kill him in front of the police.

“No.” I peek at him from the list.

“He always gets away with anything he does.” He shakes his head and his tone displeasing, “Money speaks.”

“How did you know?” I ask, suddenly feeling curious how does he know so much about him.

“We were batchmates in high school.” He takes off his cap and scratches his head, “He comes from a rich background, however, his parents are nice people. They always pull him out of trouble whenever he lands in, although they don’t support his ways.”

“Maybe, you were right, we should have punched him when we saw him at the police station.” He huffs, “At least I would have felt much better.”

“Relax.” I pat his arm and laugh, “Nobody can get away with their doing. He will also get what he deserves.”

“What are you doing here, kiddo?” Pops walks through the door and asks, leaning against the counter.

“I was getting bored at home, so I thought to come to meet you at your den.” I shrug, putting the list down on the counter.

After spending a few hours with Pops, I head towards the nearby cafe. Since Pops has mentioned they have some delicious milkshakes, I thought to try one of them.

On the way to the cafe, I check my phone twice. In the hope of getting a response from Alec. My heart sinks thinking about him, but I push negative thoughts away, praying he should be alright.

Parking my car on the opposite side of the cafe, I step outside the car. Crossing the road I reach the cafe.

A friendly looking lady welcomed me with a smile when I reach the counter.

“Can I have a banana milkshake?” I place money on the counter and smile.

“Sure.” She smiles then calls someone over her shoulder.

The quaint-looking cafe is crowded as it is around lunchtime, but still, there are few empty tables. Not wanting to go home, I decided that maybe I can spend some time here.

I have taken a step towards an empty table when my eyes land on one of the tables. Instantly, the anger spikes inside me when I watch Alec sitting there, with some other guys, looking absolutely fine. Don’t get me wrong I am relieved that he is fine, but I am angry with myself that I was being worried for someone, who doesn’t even care to respond. For the past fifteen days, he doesn’t even bother to answer any single of my message. And here I was going crazy with worry.

Would it hurt someone to type a reply of three words ‘I am busy’?

I know he is not answerable to me, but my anger is also not unjustified. How would you feel if a person whom you consider your friend disappears without a warning?

Shifting my eyes to the checkered floor, I take a deep breath to control my anger.

First I found Jeff got bail and now I feel my newfound friendship is more or less just for convenience. How much more my day can get better?

“Excuse me?” I turn back to the lady, who is busy taking someone’s order, “Can you please change my order to take away?”

“Yes, just a minute.” She nods, then turning to back to the fellow worker she asks him to change my order. Within a minute, she passes me my milkshake with some tissue papers.

“Thank you.” I politely nod, then make my way outside the cafe.

Lots of questions rising in my mind and I can’t find the answer to anyone of them.

Annoyance filling my senses because it is my mistake to trust someone to be my friend when I have just met them. I feel hurt, and I can’t blame anyone because it is all my fault. It took me one year to completely open up to Kristan, and here I was unknowingly letting my guards down around Alec who I have hardly known for two months.

Was I too quick to jump into this friendship, when I hardly know anything about him?

This is another reason why I don’t want to be close to others because I get attached too easily. Then something happens and I am the one who gets hurt.

The lesser people in my life, the lesser chances of being hurt and feeling unwanted. That’s how it should be and that’s how it is going to be from now.

A loud honk snaps my attention back and just in time I step back before the car can hit me.

A string of curses leaves my mouth, as I realize my stupidity of not paying attention to my surroundings because I was so lost in my own thoughts. My heart is hammering against my ribcage in fright.

“Sorry,” I loudly say because suddenly I got everyone’s attention.

Quickly, but carefully, I cross the road and get inside my car. Keeping the milkshake away in the cup holder, I close my eyes to compose myself. When my heart rate gets back to normal, I start the car and drive to the only place where I want to be.

Minutes later, my phone starts to ring in my bag, but I ignore it without even bothering to silence it. At this moment I don’t want to talk to anyone, all I want is to be with myself. If there is anything important, the two people who matter to me know where to find me. While I don’t give a damn about rest, though there is hardly anyone else.

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