More Than Love

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Chapter Three

| Chapter Three |

Life doesn’t have any love stories or at least fairy tales, it’s the same process: romantic, wonderful, and then suddenly broken, crushed, and crying while eating those chocolates your friend brought.

Renda asks, “When are you going to think about yourself?” Renda has been a mother figure to Alexis ever since she remembers, and the thought that she had someone to care about her other than her deceased parents’ was heartwarming. Alexis smiles. “What do you mean?” Alexis knows exactly what Renda meant, just that she is trying to ignore the topic can be clearly seen.

“Alexis, honey, you can’t keep on ignoring this topic. You have a life out there not here inside an old diner washing dishes and serving people. Go explore. Have fun. You ain’t getting any younger.”

“I know, I’m not getting any younger, but you know well Renda, I can’t leave.”

Alexis waves off the thought of exploring, she can’t, she needs money, and that only comes from this old diner. And Alexis had always thought “Everything needs money.” At least that’s what Alexis has seen so far.

“Okay, fine then. But one day won’t kill anybody. Would it?” Alexis looks up from the table she had been cleaning. She scrunches her nose. Ignoring eye contact. “I guess so?”

“Now, now, young lady, don’t you think I know that look well enough? Get your butt out of here, right now.” Renda points toward the diner’s door while her other hand rests on her hip.

“Okay, chill, old lady. Who’s going to handle Carl? And what am I even going to do?” Alexis makes a gesture of surrendering with a silly smile on her face.

“This old lady will handle him. And I want an actual exploration.” This old lady really is the one and only. Almost like a fairy godmother. “But what should I do?” Alexis didn’t even know a thing about being a youngster, or even how to explore, this she had not done in years. Renda frowns at Alexis.

“I don’t know, do something the youngsters do . . .” Renda snaps her finger, like an idea had popped in her mind.

“Go find a date, make friends, or a hot session of make out could also count as exploring.” Alexis gags making a look of being disgusted while Renda just laughs at Alexis. “Go on, now.”

Alexis had nowhere to go except . . . the park, where hundreds of memories were stored in the slides, the grass, and the people that she always saw there. It’s a park near the diner not far nor near. She always went there to give peace to her mind.

“I wonder if this could count as exploring.” She whispers to herself while trailing off the sideways of the street. She walks while thinking about what Carl’s reaction would be and how will Renda handle the diner without her help though there are others there but not Alexis to give explanation to every single customer about Renda’s wrong phrasing. She had gotten a hang of the wrong phrasing now and Alexis couldn’t be more happy than that. Suddenly Alexis is being crushed into someone’s body and tumbling on the ground. She chokes out for breath, as she realizes that she was on the road when a car was about to hit her. The honking sound of the car still going on in the background as beeps are heard as they wait for the car to move on. Everything clears out on the road, cars going back to their normal pace, and then Alexis looks up to the man that saved her. . . once again. “Arthur?”

“Small world, isn’t it?” She smiles at him as he stands up and rubs his hands on his pants. Arthur smiles back while showing his perfect white teeth and holds out a hand. She takes his hand, being pulled up. “A penny for a thought over there?”

Arthur says while his eyes twinkle.

Alexis just becomes more and more frustrated while gathering herself and looking up. “It’s just that I was forced to explore,” Alexis says while running her hands on her dress. She makes her eyes wide realizing she had just said that to a total stranger. Arthur looks at her and laughs at her wide eyes. “Explore you say?”

“Yes . . .”

“Well, if you’re up for it then I can make that forcefully exploring into a total fun exploring.” She quickly rushes saying, “No, I don’t want to keep you from your work. Please, don’t mind me and go on.” Lying absolutely, she knows that she can’t trust a stranger at all. It would be absurd to explore with a stranger that you barely even know for a day. “Actually, I don’t have anything to do so . . .” Arthur lies with a smirk on his face knowing quite well that he does have work. But she really can’t trust a stranger, though the way he is insisting she can’t even reject the offer besides she doesn’t even know a place to go to that would define the word ‘Explore.’

“Are you sure? Like I don’t want to be a trouble if you want you can-” Alexis gets interrupted while rambling. “Yes, Alexis, I am quite sure.” Arthur smiles at not even knowing that he gave chills to Alexis when he said her name. Almost like butter melting.

“Okay, then where to first?”

“You did not just do that.” Alexis laughs holding out her stomach. They were in a diner enjoying their meal of burgers and french fries dipped in smoothies. After Alexis had asked where they were going Arthur told her the first place was the festival. “Yes, I did and the couples were quite shocked. I mean who would even do PDA in front of the public.” Arthur says while trying to control his laugh since everyone in the diner were watching them as if some stupid monkeys had popped out of nowhere.

“But I still can’t believe that you dumped a whole bucket of smoothie on some random couple. How did you even escape?” Alexis had never had so much fun listening to someone, she was so . . . carefree around Arthur. “Hey, you can’t just throw a bucket of smoothie without having a proper plan of escaping. I had my car parked right outside so I just ran and boom left the place.” She is still giggling like an idiot as her cheeks get bright red while laughing. while dipping the french fries in her smoothie. “Who even likes to dip french fries in smoothies? That’s like such a weird combination.” Arthur says frowning at the dipped french fry. “Do not judge a book by it’s cover, you evil man. Now that you have said it’s a weird combination, you have to try it.”

Arthur shakes his head as he moves it away from Alexis’s hand that has a dipped french fry. “Arthur. Come on. Please.” She again holds out the dipped french fry so Arthur can have a bite of it. “Fine.” He sighs at her. Slowly moving close and biting the french fry. He frowns while chewing. “You have some of the smoothie here.” She points at it so he can wipe it off. But he can’t find where it is. She quickly comes forward and wipes it off of his side lips, feeling his soft lips in the process. Arthur covers up his tingly feeling on his lips by coughing. “Thank you,” he says to Alexis. They quietly stare at each other. Alexis felt different for once, she felt like she had a value, that she had someone to make her laugh. Alexis quickly breaks the staring. “Come on, let’s go to the photo booth.” She hurriedly takes a hold of his hand and pulls him out of the diner to the photo booth. The tons of pictures while Alexis isn’t satisfied. “Arthur, you look way too serious. Loosen up.” They take silly pictures of them taking out their tongue or making cross-eyed fish-lips faces. It’s weird how much fun they are having without even knowing each other for barely a day. “Someone loves to hold my hand,”

Arthur teases Alexis, as whistles at her. Alexis blushes as she laughs at him and leaves his hand. “You wish.” Alexis stickers out her tongue showing him. He smiles at her cheekily.

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