A Reason To Live

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Chapter Three

Miya and I walk inside the small cafe down the street, the smell of pastries, bread, and coffee hit my nose the second we enter. Food is a weakness of mine in more ways than one. I love food and will try almost anything at least once, but I have a not so great history with food too. Back in high school, I used to starve myself in an attempt to be skinny but then I would end up binge eating some weekends. I still struggle with this battle today sometimes.

“It smells amazing in here,” Miya says as we walk up to the counter.

“Definitely have to agree with you there,” I say to her while eyeing the menu board behind the counter.

Honestly, it’s hard not to like Miya, and trust me when I say I have tried. I’m not supposed to be making friends; friends leave, leave you when you need them the most but with Miya she wasn’t going away, it was like she didn’t even realize I was trying to avoid her.

“HI, welcome to Cafe Maria, what can I get you today?” The blonde hair girl says when we make it up to the counter.

“I’ll have a turkey sandwich with no tomatoes and water,” I tell the cashier. I look towards Miya waiting for her to place an order.

“A grilled chicken wrap and a coke,” She says quickly.

Before Miya can pull out money for the order I am already swiping my card through the machine.

I grab the number stand off the counter and walk over to an empty table, “you didn’t have to do that.” Miya says as we sit down.

I shrug, working for Zander means I make really good money, the overtime really adds up at the end of the week.

“So, did you do anything this weekend?”

“Nope,” I say, giving Miya the same answer every time she asks the question. I watch as Miya just rolls her eyes at me. She used to push for more, claiming that there is no way a person can do nothing all weekend but I don’t go out. Unless Zander needs me for a work thing I don’t leave my apartment unless I have to.

A waiter brings our food to the table and I give him a quick smile of thanks before he walks away, leaving us alone to our lunch.

Before Miya and I leave the cafe we both got a few pastries to try and I even grabbed a slice of coffee cake for Zander, “do what do you think?” Miya asks as we walk outside.

“It was good, we definitely have to go back,” I say before I take a bite out of the loaf cake in my hand. A groan leaves my lips as the flavors burst in my mouth. “This lemon-orange loaf is amazing Miya.” I hold the pastry out for her to take a bite of out.

She carefully rips a piece off the non-bitten end of the loaf before popping it in her mouth. I watch her eyes close and a smile appear on her face as she chews, “so good.”

We share a few of the pastries on our walk back to the office.

I put my bag and coat down before walking into Zander’s office to find him sitting at his desk, making notes of the files he is looking at. “I got you something,” I say with a smile on my face as I walk over to him.

“Me?” He questions as his eyes meet mine, I push down the flutters in my stomach as he looks at me.

“Yeah, a slice of coffee cake from that new cafe down the street.” I carefully place the coffee cake down next to his folders.

“I love coffee cake,” Zander says excitedly as he grabs the slice off his desk before taking a huge bite out of it. He basically moans as he chews with his eyes closed, the sound causes my heart to race and my face to feel hot. I quickly turn and walk away before he can open his eyes or moan again.

********

“Freya!” The sound of Zander calling out to me as I walk out of the building Friday night causes me to pause in my steps.

I turn around to find Zander standing at the door waving me back in. I sigh and walk back inside the building, “everything okay? Did I forget to do something?” I question, nerves run through my body at the thought that I messed up as my heart starts to beat faster.

Its been a rough four months but I always triple check my work to make sure I’m not fucking up.

“No, nothing like that. It’s me, I forgot something.” There’s a guilty look spread across his face as my nerves vanish and my heart rate calms down, “there’s a charity ball tomorrow and I need a plus one.”

I’m not too sure what this had to do with me but I’ll play along, “okay, do you need me to find you a date? I’m sure there is someone I can find for you. Do you have anyone in mind?” I ask as I pull out my work phone. Surely Zander already has a date in mind.

“Yeah, you.”

I pause in my movements, what did he just say? “I’m sorry, what?” I look up at him, shock clearly written all over my face.

His blue eyes meet mine and the nerves that vanished just moments ago reappear. “I want you to come with me.”

“As your assistant? But why? Surely there is someone else you would rather bring? Maybe Alyssa, she was nice when she came to the office.” Zander’s face cringes slightly when I mention Alyssa but she seems nice the few times I met her.

“I’m not with Alyssa,” he says quickly. “Just say yes, please.” He silently pleads to me using his blue eyes and I feel myself melting just slightly.

I sigh, “I can’t, I don’t have a dress.”

“I’ll pick you up tomorrow and take you shopping.” The words sound simple enough but they aren’t. Before I can protest he speaks again, “great, thank you. See you tomorrow.” He quickly walks off leaving me standing at the entrance of the building, with my jaw on the floor.

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