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Beautiful With You Part Twenty-Six
Chapter 26

Maya had a fun time hanging out with Frank and a week went by as normal. Getting over Richard was easier than she had expected. And maybe him transferring to a university a mile away made her life a lot easier. Not seeing him every day made it easier to move on. And even though it was nice to reconnect with Frank and she had a feeling he wanted to get back together, she was happy just being his friend. She wasn’t really looking for a boyfriend at this point. She was just going to enjoy school and her friends and working at her favorite coffee shop. Why have a boyfriend when you have free tea? ******** yeah.

The shop was a little slow this afternoon, which wasn’t unusual. It usually picked up later on in the day. Maya took this opportunity to wash the mugs people had used this morning. Everyone was drinking their coffee and doing something on their computers or talking to someone on their phone. When it was quiet like this, it gave Maya a lot of time to think. She didn’t think about anything in particular. She just let her mind wander as she scrubbed the coffee stains out of the inside of all the mugs. As she finished and was wiping the soapy water off her hands, she heard a big splash. She came out with a mop, thinking some kid had probably spilled something on the floor. She was surprised when she found a man standing there staring at the coffee puddle on the floor. Maya stopped before she reached his table. He wasn’t taking his eyes off that puddle and it looked almost like he was strategizing. When he saw Maya with the mop, he held up his hand and shook his head, “No need to clean this up. It was an experiment ya see.”

Maya nodded and leaned her mop against the wall and approached his table as he pulled a billion napkins out of the dispenser and wiped up the coffee he’d spilled all over the black and white linoleum floor. Maya pulled a dishrag out of her pocket and held it in front of him, “You might have more luck with this.”

“Thanks!” he said, taking the white dishrag and turning it light brown with all the coffee he spilled. He handed it back to her when he was done and she sat down in the booth across from him.

“That wasn’t an experiment was it?” Maya said, speaking quietly so no one around them would hear, “You’re just really clumsy.”

His cheeks turned pink and he nodded, holding up the now empty paper cup, “Yeah. But I do work in the science field.”

“Oh yeah? What do you do?” Maya said, resting her head in her hands. This guy didn’t have that rugged, sexy look that Richard always had. He wasn’t even tall like Richard. But he was so incredibly cute and he definitely had her attention.

“Well, I’m a biology teacher,” he said, “Not as exciting as a scientist but I enjoy what I do!”

“So you’re a biology teacher. So do you teach high school?”

“No. I’m actually a college professor,” he said, “I teach over at that college that’s maybe like a mile away from here. You know which one I’m talking about?”

“Oh!” Maya nodded quickly, knowing exactly where that school is. This guy was a professor at the same school Richard had moved to. Of course, she’d meet yet another college professor. Why couldn’t she just date a guy her age who wasn’t a college professor?

“I haven’t even bothered asking you your name!” he exclaimed, “I’ve been talking about myself and I don’t even know your name!”

“My name’s Maya,” she said.

“Maya. That’s a pretty name,” he replied, “I’m Charlie!”

Audrey had been thinking a lot about Tom lately. He had slowly started talking to her again. He wasn’t going to suggest they get back together like she secretly hoped but she would take any contact she could get from him. The contest she’d entered awhile back had officially started taking new entries and so she’d only have to wait a few more weeks and then she’d get the call either saying she made it to the top five or she didn’t make it and she could try again in the fall. Tom had told her about the student he’d picked this time around. He had picked a guy this time around, since the rumors about him and Audrey had become really irritating and it would just shut everyone up if he picked a guy.

“The rumors bothered you that much?” Audrey said.

“They didn’t really bother me all that much,” he shrugged, “I just never liked the way people talked about you. You’re too good to do those things they were talking about.”

“Do you still think so highly of me?” Audrey asked softly. Tom frowned at her and rubbed his eyes.

“Audrey I already told you,” he said with a heavy sigh, “I never thought anything bad about you.”

He stopped and they stared at each other for awhile and finally he said, “I never did stop loving you.”

Audrey smiled a little, “You still love me?”

Tom realized what he’d said and he quickly shook his head, “We can’t go back to the way things were Audrey. I can’t. I have to go.”

He stood up and walked away without allowing her to respond. She would’ve gotten up and followed him but she didn’t want to make anyone suspicious. So she just sat there and watched him go. Suddenly it became perfectly clear what she was going to do. She remembered the painting Tom had given her for Christmas. She had put it in her closet so when she opened her closet doors she could see it but her parents would never see it. She pulled out a sketchpad from her bag and started drawing. They were rough sketches at first since she didn’t know where she was going to go with this. Eventually she figured out what she wanted to do. There was a silhouette, meant to be Tom standing in the middle of a crowded city street. The entire scene was completely blurry. You could barely make out anything at all except for Tom’s silhouette. It took her a few days to finish the drawing mostly because she had a lot of other assignments to do. But she finally finished drawing and coloring it and it was the best piece of art she’d ever made before. She took it with her the next day and snuck into his classroom that morning when he left for just a minute. She went to his office and left it on top of his desk and ran off before he could see her.

Audrey knew she wouldn’t see his reaction but she watched him go back into his classroom anyway before she left and headed for her first class. Just the image of his reaction was enough for her.

Jade was spending most of her shift just organizing the books on the shelves, cleaning up after people who left books on the floor or on top of the shelves instead of into the shelves and she cleaned up the magazine racks, taking the music magazines out of the travel magazine section, which she hated. Were people stupid or lazy? She carried a few of the music magazines back to where they belonged and there was Allen flipping through a Guitar World magazine. Jade put the magazines where they belonged and she opened her arms, “Allen! How are you doing?”

“I’m doing fine,” Allen smiled and hugged her tight, “David tells me he’s been seeing a lot more of you lately.”

“Yeah we started hanging out again,” Jade said, “I’ve been meaning to call him but I’ve been busy.”

“Don’t,” Allen said bluntly, “David’s obsessed with you.”

“What do you mean he’s obsessed with me?” Jade mumbled, “He seems fine to me.”

“Yeah, when you’re there with him,” he countered, “I went over there the other day and when I knocked on his door, it took him forever to actually open the door and he sounded like he had something to hide. And then I saw this picture of you under his couch and before I could look at it he like, practically ripped it out of my hands and put it in his pocket.”

“It was probably a picture of me from when we were together,” Jade said, “No big deal.”

Allen frowned and tucked his magazine under his arm, “I’m just saying. I want you to be careful around him,” Allen hugged Jade good-bye before leaving to pay for his magazine.

“Don’t worry Allen!” Jade called out. Jade knew that David’s outburst with her and this one with Allen was a little odd but it didn’t mean he was unstable and obsessed with her. Right?

I wasn't gonna post this today because my head and eyeballs were hurting and I felt super lightheaded and felt I shouldn't stare at my computer screen at all, take a little break. Know what I'm saying? Haha but I was feeling a lot better so I decided I'd be nice and finish and post this. But now my eyes and head are hurting again so I need to go haha. ENJOY THIS LOVELIES.

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