Her parents dropped her off at her aunt’s house. They didn’t go inside anymore since they had a flight to catch.
Alex kissed them both on their cheeks and said her goodbyes.
As she walked through the gate, she noticed the living room light was on. Her aunt must be home—and this time, for real.
Sure enough, she found her aunt on the sofa with her feet up and with the TV turned on to her favorite show.
Alex placed her purse on the coffee table and sat next to her aunt, sinking into the sofa.
“So, how did it go?” Her aunt asked, her eyes still on the TV.
Alex sighed, “It went... well. We didn’t have an argument which is always a good thing.”
There had been arguments but they barely counted compared to the ones they had in the past. The only argument left existed in her mind.
“Oh, yeah?” a half-smile formed on Lilly’s lips. She turned her head towards Alex, “You didn’t put up a fight when your mom told you to make friends?”
“She told you, didn’t she?” Alex groaned.
Her aunt chuckled, “She asked me to keep an eye out on your progress.”
Lilly ignored the TV, giving Alex her full attention, “Do you want to do it?”
Alex stayed quiet. It’s been a while since she had friends. She wasn’t even sure if she remembered how to make them. For all she knew, it could be in a lab with some sugar, some spice and everything nice. Then, add some chemical X and—BAM! A friend!
When Alex spoke, her voice was soft, “You know that I prefer to be alone.”
“It’s not that bad” Lilly answered in a soothing tone, placing a hand on Alex’s shoulder, “I think you just got used to being on your own. That’s why you avoid people.”
“I’m not even denying that” Alex slid forward, her hips hanging over the sofa. The top of her head rested against the backrest, pressing it as if to massage a growing headache.
“See? If you give it a chance, maybe you’d like it.”
“I already have you guys” Alex slid lower until her bottom hit the carpet, “That’s more than enough.”
Lilly sighed. Her niece really was stubborn. She was sure it came from her father. When they were small, Ethan wouldn’t even have friends if she didn’t drag him everywhere she wanted to go.
She sat down on the carpet, shoulder to shoulder with Alex, and bumped her side, “Hey, we’re not always around. It would be better if there’s someone in school who you could depend on—especially if something were to happen to you.”
“I guess” Alex mumbled. Lilly could tell she wasn’t listening. Sure, Alex can hear her but her mind was set. She became too comfortable being alone. It’ll be hard to convince her and see where they were coming from.
A friend? Alex’s thoughts swirled, but why? Can’t she do it after she graduates? It’s not like this is the only time she can make friends. Is there even anyone qualified?
Logan woke up very excited. He hummed as he got ready for school. The servants noticed the change right away. Their young master usually went through the day quietly, paying them no attention except to thank them when they directly serve him.
Logan didn’t notice their stares. He skipped down to the first floor. Once in the kitchen, he dropped his bag on the island counter and went to the fridge. His usual pancakes were already set on a plate for him. Since he preferred his orange juice to be really cold, he told the maids that he’ll be the one to get it.
As Logan opened a fresh bottle, a voice spoke from behind him.
Startled, he spun on his heels and noticed his father for the first time since he came. The man was reading the newspaper with a cup of black coffee. The plate in front of him had crumbs left from his usual bagels.
Logan normally spent breakfast alone. He rarely saw the head of the house in the morning. He sat on his father’s right where his pancakes were.
“Running late today, old man?” Logan greeted him then, took a bite of his pancakes.
Logan’s father ignored his question and sipped the last drops of his coffee, “How’s school, Logan?
“Oh, wonderful. I heard the principal has been making rounds but I haven’t seen him.”
Mr. Parker looked at his son’s face. Logan was sporting a cheeky grin and a mouthful of pancakes. His son knew that wasn’t what he meant but there he was with a smug expression on his face.
He wanted to wipe it off.
He shook the paper in his hands as if to straighten the creases. When Logan was about to take another bite, he spoke, “I didn’t think you’d want to see more of your father’s face.”
A clatter came from his right. Logan had dropped his fork on the plate. He didn’t need to see his son’s face to know that it was filled with utter horror.
“I’ll come by your class sometime.”
A groan and a sigh later, Logan gave in, “Fine, you win.”
Steve Parker chuckled. Both of his sons surely inherited his competitive nature but… they still had a long way to go if they want to go against their father. Steve folded the newspaper and placed it on the counter.
Standing up, he ruffled Logan’s hair, “See you around, kiddo.”
Logan glared at his father’s back as he fixed his hair. The old man had a smile on his face as he came out of the kitchen. There was something new about his son but he couldn’t quite place a finger on it. Of course, Logan wouldn’t admit to anything. This was a case he needed to investigate. Logan practically gave him an opportunity.
A class visit may just put some light on the situation.