I have been hiding out in my room for the last couple of days. The stares and whispers got too much. As agreed with my lecturers I have been able to get the notes from class so I didn’t have to attend them. As long as I completed my work and emailed it in, I wouldn’t be punished for non-attendance. From what Lily has told me most people have moved on and only a few reporters are hanging around to catch me and ask questions. The statement seemed to work although I have kept myself to myself. Damien hasn’t been back at the coffee shop, I’m partly relieved and partly hurt.
As always I can attract them, he acted like he was a nice guy. Typical turns out to be a complete dickhead. Well it’s good as today I am back at the Steamy Mug and I have a shift with Lily. “Oh my god, can it be? Holy shit CHLOE SUMMERS HAS SEEN DAYLIGHT! How long has it been?” I tilt my head. “Haha very funny, it’s quiet in here.”
“Here put this on, yeah the rush hasn’t hit yet so expect it any minute are you ready?” I look down at my apron and look at my name badge, the memory from that night appears in my head and I feel my heart pick up, That’s it, fuck it I’m not moping over a guy, come on Chloe pull your big girl pants on you can do this he isn’t coming back just get over it. You don’t want to see him not really.
Well, Clive was right, a few days and the boys on the team took the heat off me with a night out. The pictures were all over Gossip Lips and they made my pictures look PG-13. Although apparently, my non-appearance has raised a few bells, honestly I’m just trying to stay out of trouble... Well until tomorrow is over then I can misbehave a little once my deal is signed Gossip Lips can write whatever the hell they like about me then.
I haven’t been to the coffee shop. I haven’t heard from Chloe or seen her about and it’s killing me. I just want to explain myself and hear her side of things with my ears. I’m pacing my apartment the coffee here sucks and apart from the shop she works in the next coffee place near me is fifteen minutes away and the fucking coffee sucks, it doesn’t have to be awkward nothing happened and she can’t be rude to me. If I’m a paying customer we don’t even have to talk or look at each other really, I did what Clive asked. I stayed away while it all calmed down, it’s calm now and it’s just coffee!
It’s not just coffee though, is it? After our conversation, I really began to like her. I had a connection with her, deep down I miss seeing her, I looked forward to seeing her. I pick up my keys and start walking to the coffee shop. I need coffee, I need her and I know this is her usual day for working! I have left it too long already and I can’t let go until I see her and hear the truth from her.
It has been so busy my shift is flying in. I have had the occasional stares and whispers but Lily let me hideout and make the coffee instead of serving. I look around and find we are running low on takeaway cups. I lean down and open the bottom cabinet to restock the shelf. I am pulled away when I hear Lily’s pissed off voice.
“You have a lot of nerve showing your face around here! I think you should leave.” I hear an all too familiar voice and I feel like I can’t breathe. “Please I’m not here to cause trouble. I just want a coffee to go.”
“£2.10 please.” I can’t help but smile. She is saying that through gritted teeth if she didn’t have the risk of losing her job she would be throwing the hot coffee at him. My heart stops when I hear his next words. “How is she?” I have major respect for my best friend right now as she gives nothing away. “Who?” My heart is beating faster, my palms are sweaty I can’t stay down on my hands and knees all day. Lily for the love of god wrap it up and send him on his merrier way. “Chloe?” I hear Damien ask. Lily scoffs at him. “She’s just peachy... What the hell do you think? Did you see what they wrote about her” I just wanted him to leave and Lily wasn’t getting the hint?
The air was so silent until he finally broke the silence. “I know and I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any of this to happen but don’t play the victim card she knew exactly who I was!” I felt like someone had slapped my face his tone was so cold.
“Excuse me, no disrespect but she still has no clue who you are, the entire time you were calling in here for your coffee we had no idea who you were or what you did that is not a lie, Chloe just thought you were some good looking guy,” she lashed back. What is she doing? I can’t listen to this anymore I crawl to the back until I can see the ladies toilet where I run in and hide out for a bit.
I’m trying to calm myself down when I hear girls giggling, I am about to walk out when I hear my name ... oh crap this can’t be good.
“Oh please like Damien would ever go for her have you seen her she’s a mess. Plus the fact he was all over me a few weeks back. I hear another voice. “Have you not heard about the bet?”
“What bet?” I hear a giggle. “The boys all had a bet on to see if he could get her into his bed and how long it would take him! They picked the most pathetic sad sack they could find and she was the top pick.”
Ouch, that is savage!” I hear them both laugh at my expense. I don’t know how much more humiliation I can take? I just break down and sob in the toilets like the apparent sad sack I am. I finally hear the door open and close. I don’t know how much longer I cry in the toilet but I quickly stop when I hear a voice.
“Chloe are you in here? I know you are in here please just open the door.”
“Please just go away, Lily.” I hear her at the door. “Now what kinda friend would I be if I left you?” I open the door, mascara running all down my face Lily gives me a sad little smile. “Hun don’t worry he is away. I gave him his coffee with a note on it saying fuck off.”
“It’s not that, I mean that’s not why I’m this upset.” Lily put her hand on her hips. “What happened?”
I tell her about the conversation I overheard and I sit and watch as she paces back and forth and looking like she’s going to murder around her, this is becoming quite the look on her. She helps me clean up my face and we get back out on the floor to finish our shift. It’s finally closing time and I have never been so happy to hear the door lock click. We start walking home when a voice calls out my name behind us. “Chloe?” I turn around to find Damien waiting I freeze as Lily stomps over to him jabbing his chest. “Oh no you don’t, what part of FUCK OFF did you not understand earlier, How fucking dare you do that to her, what gives you the right? I’m not in work anymore so I have no hesitation in doing this.”
Holy shit she just right hooked his ass. Before I can even register what the hell just happened Lily grabs my hand and we are hauling ass away from Damien, I quickly glance back to see him standing there holding his cheek.
“Hope you don’t mind but that felt good at the time but Christ does my hand hurt.”
I struggle to find my words. Everything happened too fast and I couldn’t even sort my shit out to hit him first not that I would have done that, I don’t think? I pull on Lily’s hand to make her stop. She turns around and glances at me. “What?”
“You know that was really stupid, right?” I ask.
“Stupid? yes, the right thing to do? … also yes.”
I tilt my head. “Lily what if someone saw that?”
She gives me the biggest grin. “Then word gets out that no one fucks with my best friend.”
I shake my head pulling her along. “ We need to ice that hand and keep alerts on Gossip Lips for your brawl.”
I'm still numb, I can't believe she hit him but the last thing I want is more drama. Damien just needs to stay away. Nothing good can come from this Lily is right he just needs to fuck off.