The Things That You Do

16: I’m Not Saying Never

“What do you want me to get for you?”

Alexa, who’d moved to plop down into a chair, looked up at the sound of Poppy’s voice before she shrugged. “A tea” she replied simply, causing Poppy to skitter away towards the counter. It had been a while, after she and Lionel had talked, a few weeks had passed, and whilst a part of her was glad that Poppy was back in town, she had been trying to avoid her for a while, not wanting to have a conversation about what had happened.

They had talked about it, a couple of days after she and Lionel had spoken, she had called Poppy to explain what had happened, but she didn’t want to bring it up again. For a little while, it was something she simply wanted to push to the back of her mind. It hadn’t been the biggest surprise to her, what Lionel had told her had been what she had been expecting from, but still it hurt her, even if she wasn’t overly surprised by it. Hearing him say the words to her had hurt a little more than she thought it would.

Shrugging the light material of her cardigan off, she moved to hang it on the back of her seat before Poppy reappeared, settling a warm mug of tea down ahead of her before she took her own seat, sipping at the cup of coffee that she had bought for herself. “So” she mused after a couple of seconds of quiet.

Alexa, who’d moved to stir a little milk into her drink, arched an eyebrow. “So?” she quipped.

Poppy offered her a soft look. “How are you doing, Alexa?” she asked tentatively.

Alexa sighed softly, not missing the tone of Poppy’s voice, before she gently shook her head, her eyes fixed on her mug. “I’m doing OK” she mumbled “I mean, it’s been a few weeks and I’ve had work and stuff to distract me. It’s fine, Pop, I’m fine” she added, her voice slightly firm.

She knew that Poppy was only looking out for her, if she had been in her position, she was confident that she would have been asking the same questions, but she wanted her to let the subject drop, even if it was a big deal. It wasn’t something that Alexa wanted to spend more time talking about. It felt strange to her, the idea that she had told Lionel about how she felt was something which felt a little surreal, and whilst a part of her was relieved that she had finally gotten it over with, another part of her regretted that it had more than likely ruined any friendship that they had. She hadn’t contacted him, he hadn’t contacted her, and Alexa didn’t know what it would take for it to change.

Poppy spared her a slightly dubious look, not quite believing her, but she opted against asking another question, instead taking a sip of her drink.

Alexa offered her a slightly grateful smile before she leant forwards, settling her drink down onto the table. “So” she quipped “You’ve yet to tell me all about your new boyfriend. How’d you and Danny meet?” she posed, her voice warm and excited.

Poppy smiled. “You really want to know?” she posed.

Alexa nodded swiftly, not surprised by Poppy’s question. “Of course I do” she insisted.

Poppy spared her another uncertain look, wordlessly asking if she was sure, before she smiled to herself, quickly pulling her phone out of her pocket to show off a picture of herself with a handsome ginger man. “I hadn’t been in London for very long” she noted “And a couple of my colleagues invited me out to a pub to get to know me. Danny was working behind the bar and I spent almost all night talking to him. He asked me out to dinner and things went on from there. He’s pretty amazing, Alexa” she gushed excitedly.

Alexa, who’d moved to take the phone out of Poppy’s hand, scanned the picture briefly before she lifted her head, smiling gently at her friend. “I’m sure he is” she quipped “Have you two made plans for him to come over and visit?” she posed.

Poppy nodded enthusiastically. “He’s got a couple of weeks off in the summer” she noted “We were thinking that he could come over for a week and then we could take a vacation together” she fussed with a bright smile.

Alexa watched her, marveling at the warm smile that she wore, before a shadow fell over the table, something which caused her to lift her head, frowning a little at the waitress who stood over them, a plate held in her hand. “Did you order something else, Pop?” she posed, looking towards her friend.

Poppy shook her head. “I didn’t” she noted “I know you’ve not got long before you have to get back to the office” she added.

“It was sent over” the waitress noted “The man in the glasses by the window said to give this to the pretty blonde girl” she added before she leant forwards, settling the plate down onto the table before she stepped away.

Alexa looked down at the plate, frowning slightly at the two chocolate chip cookies which sat on it, before she lifted her head, quickly scanning the room for someone who matched the waitress’s description. Looking around the room, she glanced at a table which stood a little away from them before she shook her head, her blue eyes meeting a familiar set, something which made her smile timidly.

“Who are you looking at?” Poppy posed, craning her neck to follow Alexa’s stare.

Alexa rolled her eyes at her friend’s lack of subtly. “The guy in the glasses” she quipped, adjusting Poppy’s head slightly.

Poppy quirked a small smile. “He’s pretty handsome” she quipped “You know him?” she asked.

Alexa blushed a little before she nodded. “That’s Andres” she noted.

“As in ‘you and Andres’?” Poppy squeaked.

Alexa shook her head. “We went out a couple of times” she quipped “I’d hardly say that there was a me and Andres” she added.

Poppy offered Andres a slightly thoughtful look before she turned back to Alexa. “Are you going to talk to him?” she asked tentatively. She knew that Alexa had liked Andres, whenever she had spoken of him, the fondness has been audible in her voice, but Poppy was a little wary, not wanting Alexa to throw herself into something so quickly. She knew that Alexa was hurting, even if the blonde didn’t want to talk about it, and she wanted her to be careful, even if things between her and Lionel did seem to have reached a conclusion. She wanted Alexa to allow herself a little time to get over it.

Alexa spared Andres another glance before she shook her head, something which almost caused Poppy to let out a sigh in relief. “I like him” she admitted “I really do, but the timing is still so off. Things with Leo...they’re still very fresh and I don’t think now is the right time for me to think about moving on with anyone. I’m not saying never, but right now, it’s all a little too new” she explained. She was tempted, when she had set eyes on Andres, she had been tempted to go over to him, but she knew that it was best for her not to. Things hadn’t changed on her part, even despite the conversation that she had had with Lionel, she was still trying to figure out her feelings, and she didn’t want to drag Andres into it, even if she was tempted to. She didn’t want to end up hurting a man who she’d grown to be pretty fond of.

Poppy offered her a slight smile before she reached forwards, taking one of the cookies off of the plate. “It’s probably for the best” she noted encouragingly.

Alexa nodded her head in agreement, wordlessly reaffirming the idea that it was best to take some time to herself. She knew that she couldn’t put things on pause forever, with Lionel unlikely to change his mind, she would have to eventually start moving forwards, but she wanted to take a little while, wanting to process things before she made her next step.
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Thanks to mslou1, Twisted;;Symphony and FootieJo for the comments :)