He felt abandon. His best friend would disappear without a letter or a whisper of goodbye, he would just be all alone.
Stuart felt as if everyone around him saw him as a disposable character, a stepping stone to the best friend of all times, a supporting character to everyone’s extraordinary lives, but his.
Carter was at it again, he was supposed to meet him at the small diner they go to all the time. Stuart sat by the bar, drinking a milkshake, while he waited. And when seconds became minutes, and minutes into half an hour, he ordered food.
Carter stood him up. And just as he threw his fries down, she walked in.
Amelia walked in faking a cheeky demeanor walked into the diner and sat down at their booth.
She smiled too much, only to make herself be happy. The truth was, everything wasn’t feeling right. It was like everything had to be perfect and perfection was slowly killing her. So when James asked to meet her here, she had to come.
She was the perfect girl. That calm, elegant black girl.
So she waited, and waited, and waited. The waitress would come to her booth and ask if she was ready to order. And every time she said no, her body couldn’t move. It was as if leaving right now would be an act of defiance, an act against the image she had created in the last 4 years.
Stuart sitting at the bar, couldn’t help but stare at her in her loneliness. His ears sprung up as Amelia told the waitress once again that he would show up soon.
When a few minutes more past, he couldn’t take it anymore. James clearly wasn’t coming in. He was doing the exact same thing Carter had just done to him, so he decided to join her. To make this terrible moment into something better, something sweeter.
Yes she couldn’t see him, so the entire time she hadn’t witness him through the back of her head. So when he slide right in front of her, she sighed with relief.
Amelia looked up. It wasn’t James, but the surprised left her speechless.
“Sorry I’m late,” he said just as the waitress walked over to ask Amelia yet again if she was ready to order. She sat there looking between the two of them unsure of what to say next.
“We’ll have some burgers with fries, and milkshake.” The lady wrote it down, walking off.
“I don’t know what to say,” she scoffed shaking her head, while playing with the napkin dispenser.
“Wow…” Stuart sneered. “I never thought I’ll have the chance to make Amelia K. speechless on this fine Sunday afternoon.” He said sarcastically, yet sincere. “Actually I didn’t expect to be sitting here, right now with you.”
She leaned in. Her left hand pressed against the table, while her other in midair clutched into a fist. She whispered to him, to thank him.
Stuart nodded, smiling at her and she returned it with a bigger one.
“You don’t have to say you know?”
He dismissed her, “nonsense. No one stands up a pretty girl like you and expect I won’t do something about it. Besides, he’s without.”
“What do you mean? And also why are you here too?”
He raised his hand up as the waitress pulled a smiled and brought their plates to their table. He doesn’t hesitate to grab the ketchup bottle and squirted it all over his fries. “I mean James a dick, and I’m surprised someone as smart and beautiful would consider someone like that. And besides, you’re not the only one who’s being stood up.”
“Carter stood you up?” she questioned.
“You know I could also be on a date too…you know.” She titled her head to the side, and he nodded ending with a laugh. “Yeah as soon as I heard that I didn’t believe it, but it could happen.”
“Sooo…” she began, “you think I’m beautiful.”
He scoffed dropping a fry as he rolling his eyes. Stuart licked his lips, putting the ketchup farther from him. “You caught that.” He sighed. “I mean just because we fight all the time doesn’t mean I’m some guy who doesn’t have eyes or something.”
“You know if we didn’t meet the way we did, I think we might have been something.”
Now Stuart titled his head, squinting hard at her, trying to figure out what she met. He had already pushed aside the idea that they could be something more than friends, but right then the feeling, the idea, that simple thought creeped back inside.
And as he slowly came up to his heart, it sank right back down.
“Sorry I’m late, and…thank you?” he stood there shocked at the two of them, as if he drove her into his arms. Stuart and Amelia of all people, his Amelia. He wanted to punch Stuart, but all he saw and hopefully happened was a friend coming to another’s rescuer.
“Hey next time you make plans, stick to them.”
“Stuart, thanks you and all, but I think I can handle things with my girlfriend.”
He felt it. They all felt it. The cold wind pressing itself against their skin, leaving goose bumps and traces of doubt through each and everyone’s of their minds.
Carter franticly looking throughout the diner, caught a glimpse of Stuart’s spiky brown hair. He rushed over, not paying any attention to the boy standing by the booth.
“Hey I’m so sorry, I just got in and…” he stopped looking at all three of them. “And you replaced me with Amelia and James. Nice.” Carter stood their puzzled just as James still was.