The Boy from New York City

Strangers and Coffee

I walk around the rich part of town wearing my skinny jeans, boots, and winter coat. The snow had yet to come but that didn’t mean it wasn’t cold outside. Freezing more like it. This is what I did when I wasn’t stealing. Looking for my brother. Or really, any familiar face. I figure that if I recognize someone I can sneak my way back into the world of riches and bitches. And then, maybe then, I could find out the truth about what happened in my childhood.

“You know, you made me fail at a dare.” A voice says from behind me. I stop, not recognizing the voice, and turn around. Standing there in winter clothes was the guy from last night. The one I told to just leave.

“And how drunk were you to be playing dare?” I ask. That really is a childish game. I don’t know anyone my age that would play it.

“Don’t you think that drinking when the media follows you is just a tad bit stupid?”

“Don’t you think that buying drugs, dare or no dare, when the media follows you is just a tad bit stupid?” I ask back. Really, there was no difference between the two.

“Which is why, if you must know, it’s called a dare. Our reputations are at risk when we do things like that.”

“So you’re saying I should have just snapped a picture?”

“Sam, right?” I nod my head once, “yeah, never ‘just snap a picture’ of me. Got it?”

My eyes widen at his remark, “dude, do you really think I can afford anything that would take a picture of you?”

He smirks, “you would’ve if you just let me pay your boyfriend.”

I glare at him, “Doug is not my boyfriend, barely even a friend for that matter. Not that it’s any ore your business

He scratches the back of his neck, “uh, right.” The guy looks around and then nods his head toward the coffee shop down the street, “want a cup of coffee?” he asks.

“What’s the catch?” I ask hesitantly. Guys usually wanted one thing from me, and would do almost anything to get it. Though surprisingly, I’ve been able to hold onto it for all these years.

“You have to talk to me,” he answers with a smirk. I must admit, that was a good reply. Nothing I could really argue with.

Plus, what nineteen year old girl would say no to a cup of coffee with an attractive rich guy? I just hope in the end it’s nothing more than a cup of joe. I show him one of my smiles. A short sweet one that shows I’m not going to freak out any minute now, “only if I can get a hot chocolate.”

And that’s how I ended up having the most awkward (silent) conversation with a nameless guy at a coffee shop.

“So, you know my name, but I have yet to hear yours.” I try to start a conversation. I didn’t really talk to people outside of street-kids I randomly meet. This meant my social skills weren’t the best.

“Alex.” The guy answers, “Alexzander Leighton.”

The name sounded familiar. Not from newspapers or TVs, but from my childhood. This small fact made me sit up just a little bit straighter. He could be the key to answering my questions, to making my worries go away. “Alexzander Leighton? As in your dad is-”

I get cut off, “Henry Leighton. Yes. You a fan or something?” His voice has an annoyed tone to it, almost as if he hated being related to his father.

“Far from it,” I mutter, but Alexzander still catches on.

“You hate my dad?”

I shake my head, smiling at how excited he sounded when asking the question. It’s like he was waiting for someone to come along that hated Henry Leighton just as much as he did. “I wouldn’t exactly say hate. But there are definitely aspects of him that I’m not particularly fond of.”

“Like what?” I hesitate to answer. I didn’t want to offend him but saying bad things about his family. “I’m just curious and I honestly don’t care how bad it gets. Trust me, I guarantee I see him as a worse person than you do.”

“Okay. Well, his politics for one. I don’t like how big corporations, or rich individuals who are definitely known, make their thoughts on politics known. It’s just like an ad for cover-girl. We’re expected to vote for that candidate just because some rich guy says he’s going to vote for him. I respect individuals who keep their politics more to themselves. I’m not saying don’t talk about it, but don’t announce it to 5,000 people and have it posted in the newspaper the next day.”

“So you’re into politics?”

I shrug, “I used to want to be a senator. But that was ages ago.”

“Why did you give up that dream?” I give him one those ‘are you that stupid’ looks instead of answering, “Right…so uh, back to my dad. You hate his politics.”

“Yes. And then there’s the whole deal with the Charleston family.” I notice Alexzander tense up a little at the name but decide to ignore it. “I understand that the company needed to be bought and who else but a great family friend and business, Leighton corporations. But, Henry didn’t seem one bit surprised and depressed about the disappearance of the Charleston’s. If they were such great friends, wouldn’t he have cared? Instead he just seemed happy to take over the company.” I don’t remember much from my childhood. Basically anything that happened before the kidnapping is forgotten. Part of that was to help me adjust to my new life and not cause a slip up. Another part though was because that night took over my memory. I spent a lot of time over the years studying the history of my family. I have copies of all the news articles about their disappearance along with many videos from shows. If I was going to find out the truth about what happened, I had to keep myself informed. “So anyways, those are the two main reasons why I’m not too fond of you father.” I take a sip of my drink and glance back to Alexzander who still hadn’t said anything. “Alexzander, you okay there?”

He snaps back from his fantasy world, “huh? Yeah, sorry. Just thinking I guess.”

“What about you? Why do you hate you’re dad?”

“Well the most recent reason…” he trails off with a quiet laugh, “I can’t take over the business until I’m married. Even when he’s dead. It’s in the will and all that shit.”

“And you don’t want to get married?”

“No, well, yeah. I guess. It’s complicated. It’s not that I’m some jerk who sleeps with tons of women but never has a relationship, far from it. But I don’t want a serious relationship or marriage because of the pain I’d cause my partner. My dad is always at work and never home. Never. He missed all of my important and not so important events and never would be home for dinner or movie night or anything. I could see the toll it took on my mother as I grew up and I just couldn’t do that to someone. I love the business and have always wanted to take over, but I thought I would be able to just take over, ya know? Not make someone else suffer because I literally don’t have the time to be with them.”

I blink a few times, taking in what he was saying. “So you toss away one dream for another? Don’t you ever want someone to care about you? I mean, doesn’t have to be romantic, but what it sounds like is that you’ll be so engrossed in your work that you won’t have time for any type of relationship. And what if your wife didn’t suffer? How would you know anyways?”

“What exactly are you saying?”

I set down my drink and fully face him, “at some point your parents were in love. You exist, so there was obviously time for more…intimate things before. Now I don’t like your dad, but maybe cut him some slack. You don’t know that he doesn’t love your mom. Things may have changed in the business to make things at home more stressful. I don’t know. But I think it would easily be possible for you to love and care for your wife and family along with doing your job at the office. It’s not like you have a choice in the matter if you want the business. Either find someone that you love and marry her and vow to not be like your father or marry someone who is just as busy as you and make it strictly a business transaction and nothing more.”

“Business transaction.” He mutters, slightly dazed, “you’re really smart.” I roll my eyes and go back to my drink, “no, really. For someone who doesn’t go to school you sure do know your stuff.”

“When I’m not working I’m usually at the library.”

“Where do you work?”

I laugh, “That’s definitely something you don’t need to know.”

“That bad, huh?”

“It pays the bills. But seriously, tell your dad to tip better next time.” Alexzander’s face drops at my words and I crack up, “I’m joking Alexzander! Oh my goodness you look like you just saw a ghost.”

He clears his throat, “that was not funny.”

I smile, “it was definitely funny. And a fun distraction, you seemed down.”

“Marriage gets you that way.”

“Lighten up, you’re not married now. And you don’t have to be married for a while.”

“That’s just it though; I kind of need to take over the business.”

“Why?” the question slips out. I didn’t mean to ask, I definitely didn’t. It was too personal, too deep.

Alexzander stares into my eyes for a few moments, I tried to avert my gaze but couldn’t. “I might tell you, someday.”

That means we’ll be meeting again. And for some reason, the idea of seeing Alexzander Leighton again made me smile.
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Hello my lovely readers! How are you? And how are you liking this story? I haven't gotten much feedback on it so I don't know if I should continue or not. Personally I'm really excited about this story, but I understand that it's not like my other stories so some of my readers might be put off. I promise that it is a ROMANCE mystery. There will definitely be my lovely sappy love story mixed in with it :)
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