“Today wasn’t so bad.” I sank into a chair, putting aside a handful of leaflets at the table after watching them for a while. The bright colors made me feel nauseous.
“Well, I must agree. Kind of.” Leah answered my statement. “At least, they took the leaflets.”
“To be honest, that’s all I ask from them.”
King kept his eyes closed while nodding to us. His arm was on his stomach.
“Tough day?” I raised an eyebrow, sharing an empathic look to my best friend, since he still hasn't looked back. He mumbled to me in response at first, but then, raising his voice, he added. “More like a tough night.”
Leah sipped mango juice with pleasure before turning to King. “Sarah hasn’t slept well?”
“She hasn’t slept at all. But there are more important things we should focus on right now.”
Knowing he meant to give me the word, I nervously added. “No, it’s okay. We have some time. What I have to say isn’t long.”
After a few seconds, my face turned serious. “Why haven’t you called us?”
“I was able to tackle that by myself.” He shrugged, managing to open his eyes a little bit.
“At the expense of your own sleep. I don’t know how you have even endured at work.” Leah was worried. He put her hand on King’s, without any shame. I was watching King’s reaction, but he was too tired to show even the slightest blush.
“Don’t worry Leah, I’m fine. Really. I told you two I would call if I needed anything and I haven’t yet.”
Leah and I sighed knowing that this is the end of the conversation about King’s daughter and him. At least for now. She called the waiter and ordered double coffee for the brown-haired guy next to her.
“So, what was this year’s birthday gift from your parents?” Leah asked between two sips. “I believe it’s something amazing.”
I continued drawing invisible infinite signs. “Well, they made a dating app… for me.”
Both of them stood in shock.
“What do you mean?”
“Basically, my confession made them inspired to upgrade the pilot dating app, so they changed the whole interface and made it more friendly for all the diverse topics known yet, besides the regular options.”
“That’s amazing.” King managed to say, yawning.
“How many cups of coffee have you drank?”
“I stopped counting, but let's say this one might finally wake me up.”
I rolled my eyes and got back at the topic to prevent myself from arguing. "However, they released it and gave me the name yesterday. Wait, I'll show you."
I got into the App store and turned the screen to them so they can see the pictures of the app's interface and some of the reviews.
"Wait, you haven't downloaded it yet?"
I shook my head to Leah's question. "I'm not sure I will, at least for now. But go ahead. You can try it instead of me."
"I know a better tester. Maybe not for dating, but for some breaks." She glanced at King, but he was zoned out, typing. He frowned for a while, then took another sip of coffee.
I widened my eyes, but turned to the King instead. "Is everything okay with Sarah?"
He nodded at me. "She's fine. Definitely less grumpy after some sleep. I just got declined again."
"You're planning to ditch us for a new job." Leah teased King, putting her arms at his shoulders. She lowered her voice, so I couldn't hear her.
"I know I'll get it." His tone was frustrated. "I just need to be of legal age for it. So, next year."
"Precisely, less than a year." I stated carefully.
"I still think you can find some nanny at that dating app of his." She pointed a finger at me. I sighed with relief.
King's cold eyes met Leah's. He was trying his best to keep a calm face, since he was already in a bad mood. "And with what money could I possibly pay that nanny?"
Leah smiled at him. "Maybe I can help you then."
King looked at me to prevent himself from rolling his eyes. "Leah, I already told you…"
She put her hand over his mouth to make him listen. "Just hear me out. Will you?"
The question was rhetorical, of course, so she continued revealing her plan. "Rented apartment you live with your daughter is closer to my University anyways. If you refuse my help related to Sarah, at least accept the offer to pay half of our bills, in the near future."
"I haven't said I agree with your plan, Leah." King frowned.
"But, keep it in mind, will you?"
He nodded his head to brush her off when Leah's phone rang. She excused herself and distanced from the two of us.
"King, for God's sake, what are you doing?" I lowered my voice.
"I am not ready to date anyone, especially when I need to focus on Sarah."
"She hasn't offered you dating." I stated. "She offered you to pay half of the bills. That also benefits her."
"I already got through this, believe me." He sighed. "Leah has been our friend for a long time, but living together would be too much for me."
"Because you like her."
"Yes, Argus, I like her a lot, but I have responsibilities related to my loving daughter. I won't torture my mom after dad passed away to care of my own child."
"I actually think that helps her, King." I explained. "And I won't try to pressure you, but all of us just want to help."
"I know that Arg, but I made my choices and I won't break them." He said stiffly. "I'd continue selling these leaflets until I bring enough to our little family."
I nodded to him, surrendering.
"Besides, she put her hand over my mouth to shut me down." I was watching his tired, wet eyes. "I don't like that, Argus and I won't tolerate that type of behavior."
Leah got back to our table a minute later. Her eyes were watery too.
I asked her softly. "Hey Lee, can we help you somehow?"
"I wish you could by helping me get away with this." She stated impulsively and angrily finished her drink. She put the money at the table. "Anyways, I need to go. We'll catch up these days at work."
She glanced one more time at King, begging him for help, but he didn't look at her.
"Don't even try Argus." He stopped me, my mouth half opened. "Let's pay for this and go, either to my place or each to his own house. Of course, in case you don't try to change my mind."