The Things That You Do

05: It Wasn’t You

Blinking sleepily, Alexa turned onto her side, her blue eyes watching the second hand as it ticked around the face of the clock. It had been another long night, after she had climbed into bed, she had spent a couple of hours tossing and turning before she had fallen into a fitful sleep, and she wasn’t surprised to be awake, even if she didn’t have anywhere to be. She doubted that she was going to get more sleep. Closing her eyes for a few seconds, she tried to wake herself up slightly before she jumped, startled by the sound of a sharp knock at the door, something which caused her to let out a soft groan before she pushed herself up to her feet, collecting a sweater before she padded through her apartment, making her way towards the front door.

Sparing a quick glance at her reflection in the hallway mirror, she attempted to smooth out her messy blonde hair before she pulled the door open, her eyes quickly settling on Lionel who stood in the hallway. “You do know what time it is, don’t you?” she muttered through a yawn. Things had been a little strange between them, after he had taken her to dinner, they’d barely spoken, let alone seen one another, and Alexa was slightly surprised by his appearance at her door. She thought that things had settled back into their previously awkward pattern.

Lionel quirked a small smile. “I do” he noted “But I figured you’d be up and so I bought you some breakfast. Can I come in?” he asked, looking up at her hopefully.

Alexa glanced at him, briefly contemplating turning him down, before she stepped out of the doorway. “Come on” she mumbled.

Lionel flashed her another smile before he stepped over the threshold, quickly making his way through the familiar apartment towards the kitchen. Alexa hesitated slightly in the hall before she followed after him, settling herself down at the kitchen counter. “You’re here early” she mused, breaking the silence.

Lionel, who’d moved to serve up the food he had bought with him, shrugged. “I was on my way through” he quipped “And I thought I’d drop by and see how you’re doing. If it’s too early, I can go” he offered, peeking up at her slightly.

“It’s fine” Alexa noted “I am just surprised to see you. It’s been a few days” she added, fiddling with the zip of her sweater.

Lionel sighed. “I know it has” he agreed “I’m sorry for that. It’s been a busy few days” he added.

Alexa shook her head, flashing him a small smile. “You don’t have to make excuses, Leo” she noted “You’re under no obligation to keep checking up on me. It’s Ok if we don’t see each other for a few days at a time” she added reassuringly. She was touched, after the way that she had treated him in the previous few months, she was surprised that he was so keen to be around, but she didn’t want him to feel obligated to be around all of the time, especially when things were still odd between the two of them.

Lionel offered her a slightly unsure look, causing her to giggle slightly before she shook her head. “Honestly, it’s fine, Leo” she insisted.

Lionel nodded reluctantly before he stepped towards the counter, settling a plate of food down ahead of her. “How are you?” he asked, sitting down beside her.

Alexa, who’d picked up her fork, shrugged gently. “I’m OK” she mumbled, placing a piece of good into her mouth.

“Really?” Lionel asked, his voice slightly incredulous.

Alexa offered him a sideward glance before she let out a soft sigh, something which caused him to lift his arm, draping it around her shoulders before he offered her a light squeeze. Alexa stiffened slightly for a moment before she relaxed, leaning into his embrace. “I miss him” she mumbled quietly.

“I know you do” Lionel mumbled, hugging her tightly. He didn’t know what to say to her, chances were that, whatever he did say wasn’t going to make her feel any better, and he had opted against saying too much, not wanting to say the wrong thing.

Alexa held onto him tightly for a few more seconds before she leant back, moving back towards the plate of food.

Lionel watched her for a couple of moments before he turned back to his food, pushing it around the plate briefly before he let out a gentle sigh. “You know” he mumbled “We still need to have a conversation” he added.

Alexa, who was focused on her plate, shook her head, not lifting her eyes to look at him. “Leo” she warned.

“I just want to know what happened” Lionel quipped defensively “One minute, everything was fine between us, and the next you kept making up excuses and not showing up to things that you usually jumped at. If I did something, Alexa, I want to know what it was. I want to try and put it right” he insisted gently.

He didn’t understand what had gone wrong, as far as he was concerned, things between him and Alexa were was good as they had ever been, but there was clearly something he was missing, something that only Alexa could explain to him. It had been a quick change, all of a sudden, Alexa had become a less constant presence around him, and it bothered him that he didn’t know what had happened.

Alexa stared down at her plate, quietly mulling over his words, before she shook her head, looking at him out of the corner of her eye. “It wasn’t you” she muttered.

“It wasn’t?” Lionel asked confusedly.

Alexa shook her head. “It was me” she mumbled “But I really don’t want to say more than that. So, please, can we just drop it?” she added, looking up at him pleadingly. She knew that she owed him an explanation, after the way that things had deteriorated between them, she knew that it was only fair, but she wanted to avoid it for a little longer, even if she knew that she had to get it out eventually. It wasn’t a conversation that she was quiet ready to have.

Lionel studied her expression before he sighed, wordlessly agreeing to let the subject drop.

Alexa spared him a small thankful smile before the sound of a phone vibrating reached her ears, causing her to look towards Lionel who shrugged. “It’s not mine” he quipped.

“It’s not?” Alexa posed.

Lionel shook his head. “It could be yours” he teased half-heartedly.

Alexa smiled lightly at his joke before she padded out into the hall, collecting her phone from inside her bag which stood on the hall table. Lifting it into her hand, she frowned at the sight of the unknown number before she opened the text, her frown fading quickly into a smile at the sight of Andres’ name.

“Someone exciting?”

Alexa’s cheeks blushed, something which made Lionel tilt his head. “Alexa?” he pressed.

“It’s Andres” Alexa revealed “The waiter from the other night” she added.

Lionel frowned. “He’s texting you?” he posed.

“We got talking when you ducked out to take your phone call” Alexa mused “I gave him my number” she added.

“Why?” Lionel spluttered out before he had a chance to stop himself.

Alexa frowned. “Why not?” she countered “He was nice and I liked talking to him. I asked if he wanted to get coffee some time” she added before her phone buzzed again, causing her to excuse herself.

Lionel watched her duck into the living room briefly before he shook his head, not liking the slightly unsettled feeling which lingered in the pit of his stomach at the thought of Alexa going out with Andres.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)