Even Angels Aren’t Perfect
To my disbelief and his, Aaron was standing in the doorway of The Friendly Bean, at the exact same time as me.
He was frozen in the doorway, glancing about the room. He didn’t seem quite able to comprehend the situation.
Why was he so far away from his house? There were plenty of coffee places other than Abby’s, which could only mean he wanted something here or was very close by. Interesting.
I studied him too, my mouth slightly agape. Of course, I would have to face the guy the very next morning, only hours in between our confrontations. Oh well. At least he only looked confused. He could’ve looked a lot more pissed. Still, that didn’t mean he couldn’t change once he regained his thoughts.
Abby looked up at the man, surprised at his words and my rigid expression.
“Lucy,” she said, “What’s wrong? Do you know this guy?”
I tried to form the correct words, but I couldn’t. Aaron had snapped out of his confusion before I had and was currently walking towards me warily. But the closer he got, I realized it wasn’t to me, but to Abby. He had needed something here.
A look of revelation crossed Abby’s face, and she leaned over quickly.
“Lucy!” she whispered anxiously, “Did you take something from the man?”
I whipped around to object, but was stopped by Aaron’s voice, now finally close enough.
“Oh, so you’re not only annoying and nosy, but you’re a thief too. That’s just great.”
Did he lack every social skill possible? He had a right to be mad, but not a right to degrade me in front of people.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, “I’m not a thief! I just do what I need to do to survive.”
He scoffed, rolling his eyes. He took a seat as far away from me on the bar, but unfortunately for him that wasn’t very far.
His snarky comment had made me angry. Who did he think he was? Sure, I felt bad about last night, but that didn’t mean I had to let him walk all over me. It wasn’t night anymore, it was broad daylight.
“Oh, But who am I kidding?” I asked, “It’s not like you’d understand anyway. How would a guy like you be able to empathize with a girl like me?”
“And you don’t know what you’re talking about, as usual,” he retorted, “I don’t have any particular interest in understanding you, but I am perfectly capable of doing so if I want to.”
I huffed, turning away angrily. That was when I came face to face with a startled and confused Abby. She was so lost in the situation she was speechless. Poor Abby. It must have just looked like a stranger and her friend starting to argue in the middle of her coffee shop.
“He’s the friend,” I explained, somewhat reluctant to call him that now.
“You don’t sound like friends,” Abby commented, looking strangely at Aaron.
“So I’m your friend now,” Aaron said, “That’s funny, because the last time I checked, I barely knew you. And I wouldn’t really think of you as a friend either.”
God, he was so infuriating. I just wanted to reach over and smack him across the head. It was too bad he’d chosen a seat just out of arms reach.
“Do you have to listen to everyone’s conversation?” I asked irritably, “Because the last time I checked, eavesdropping wasn’t polite.”
“Well excuse me for having functioning ears,” he said back sarcastically, “I’ll try to work on that.”
Abby finally pulled herself together, finding it in herself to be irritated. She slammed her hand down on the bar, taking in a deep breath for the voice she used when getting people’s attention.
“All right!” she said loudly, “Calm down! I don’t really know what’s going on here, and I’m not so sure that I want to. But what I do know is that I will not tolerate any fighting in my shop, from friends or otherwise.”
She looked pointedly at both of us, especially me, and then waited until we sank into our seats. Her commanding voice seemed to calm down even the most riled up of people. She used it on all the drunken people that came in for coffee and started fighting.
She returned her look to Aaron, walking over to where he was sitting.
“Now,” she said sweetly, “What is it I can help you with young man?”
Aaron paused for a moment, almost as if trying to remember what is was he originally came in here for.
“I need a new part for my car,” he explained, “and I couldn’t find it anywhere. One of my friends who used to live here told me to find the owner of The Friendly Bean, which I assume is you. He said you’re the best when it comes to cars and getting things. You think you could help me out?”
“Was it Jaime? I bet it was. He keeps sending me people,” she said, “But sure! What is it that you’d need?”
Abby talked to Aaron for a few moments about his special part. I hadn’t even realized Aaron had a car in the first place. I must have missed it last night in the dark. Or maybe it was just in a parking garage.
Abby went into the back to look up one of her contacts she knew from her younger days when she worked as a mechanic. She would hook up Aaron with what he needed. Abby was just cool like that. But this also meant it left me and Aaron alone again.
He seemed to be ignoring me, pretending I was invisible. Maybe I should just do the same. I can’t believe he didn’t say anything. But if one of us was going to be childish, it wasn’t going to be me.
Maybe because he was forced to be here I could actually speak to him. I could at the very least clear some of this tension. I’d already sucked up my pride once today; it shouldn’t be too hard to do again.
“Look,” I started, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have looked through your stuff last night. It was an invasion upon your privacy.”
“Oh, really?” he asked sarcastically, “What makes you think that? Was it the fact that box was marked ‘private’? Or was it maybe because I was mad?”
He wasn’t going to make this easy. A person didn’t have to be a jackass to be angry.
“I said I was sorry,” I murmured, “That’s pretty good from me. I don’t give out apologies.”
“Lucky me,” he said, “Should I be flattered?”
He was completely and totally insufferable. I started to wonder why I was even apologizing in the first place.
“You know what?” I asked, “If you just dislike me so much, then how come you let me stay last night, huh? People who don’t like others don’t do things like that.”
“Well sorry,” he replied, “I guess it was just a mistake to fall for the only real emotion that had crossed your face all day. But you know what? That’s fine. It won’t happen again.”
Ouch. That was definitely an emotional blow. Had he felt bad for me last night after I’d been so scared? And how did he know that none of my emotions that day were real except my fear? I guess it was just a day to get hurt. He was being an ass again, a fact that meant I obviously couldn’t appease his anger.
Fine, if he wanted to be like that he could. See if I cared.
I ignored him, turning away to avoid direct eye contact. What was taking Abby so long? I could hear her chattering inside, going on and on about something her friend and her had done in high school. Great.
I accidentally shifted my eyes over to Aaron’s general vicinity, trying to read some of the papers of Abby’s bulletin board. He was looking at me strangely.
I turned quickly again, purposefully staring at the blue striped wallpaper covering The Friendly bean’s walls. If he was going to be a jerk, I was going to ignore his very presence.
“Hey,” he said quietly from his seat.
I didn’t respond, giving him the cold shoulder, making sure he knew it by putting my head down on my folded arms. He could talk, but it was unlikely I was going to answer him.
“Hey,” he said, more insistently this time, “Why… Why did you leave that note by my phone?”
That was what he wanted to talk about? He was going to cut down my apology and refuse to talk about it and then expect me to talk about my other one?
“What is this, 20 questions?” I asked coldly, repeating his words from yesterday.
He seemed taken aback, not expecting such an aggressive response to such a mild question. He didn’t respond, only looked ahead.
Why was he even asking at all? I thought he wasn’t really supposed to care. Maybe it had actually meant something to him, like I had hoped. Maybe he was just an ass.
“Why do you think I left it?” I asked, softer this time, “I felt bad, you told me to leave, I left you a note to let you know I was sorry. That’s kind of how that works.”
He looked up at me, studying my eyes for something. Maybe he thought I was lying, but then why would he ask? His expression changed, like something in his eyes got softer.
He looked as if he were about to say something, he even opened his mouth, but that was when Abby returned from the back. She gave Aaron the address of a man who could help him out and told him that they were expecting him.
He looked awkwardly at me, deciding whether to continue with what he was going to say. This had been too much drama for one day. I had things to do and places to go.
“Listen,” I said to Abby, “I’ve got to go run some errands, okay? I’ll see you later.”
She glared at me with mildly murderous eyes, disliking the wait I placed on getting the story of yesterday to her. She would give me a piece of her mind later.
I got up, strolling towards the door. As I opened the doors of The Friendly Bean and took in the sights of the city before me, I smiled. The fact that Aaron was here with me, right now, was hilarious. The world really was too small.