He didn’t say anything, simply stared at her.
“You packed your bags.” His gaze returned to hers.
“Yeah, there’s no need for me to stay here anymore. I packed my bags. I was wondering if you could give me a lift back home. I really appreciate everything you did, taking care of me and all.” She stopped talking as he’d not done anything but stare at her. “What’s the matter?”
“You don’t have to leave.”
“Henry, I can’t stay here. I’ve got a life.”
“The job at the supermarket has gone.”
“I’ll get another job.” She’d already had three job interviews lined up. One of them was working as a receptionist. “It’s time for me to move on, and I think it’s best you did as well.”
She loved staying with him, but how could she continue to stay with him when Julia’s death was still raw?
“I’ll, erm, I’ll pull the car around.” He grabbed her case from the floor and turned away before she said anything else.
Taking one last look around the apartment she’d called home for the past three months, April was filled with regret. For a split second she’d actually thought Henry cared about her a little bit.
She took her purse and made her way down to his car. He sat behind the wheel, and she climbed in beside him.
“I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
“I don’t want to hear it, April.” He navigated traffic, cutting her off every chance she tried to speak to him.
“It doesn’t have to be like this,” she said, reaching out.
Henry shrugged her off him. “You went to the doctors without asking for me to come with you. I’m pretty sure I know where I’m not wanted.”
“Don’t be like this. Our friendship isn’t like that.” She was hurting inside. His attitude upset her with every second that passed.
He parked outside of her apartment building. Henry surprised her when he got out and actually helped her with the bags. Her landlord greeted her as she arrived.
Once inside her apartment, she stared around at the small space. Compared to Henry’s luxury living, her place was in fact a dive.
“You don’t have to stay here,” he said, standing by the door.
“I’ve got to get on with my life, Henry. You should do the same. Everything is still raw.” She was talking about Julia. Her best friend hadn’t been dead six months, and she was growing closer to her boyfriend.
“I understand.” He turned on his heel and walked out of the room. The sound of the door slamming echoed throughout the small room.
She stayed looking at that door for several minutes before she started to put her clothing away. Henry had been through her place before to collect her stuff. He’d picked out her underwear, clothing, personal items, and not once did she miss anything he’d left behind.
It had to be luck that made him pick everything she held of value.
There were moments when they were together when she was sure he saw a lot more than he let on.
By seven o’clock April sat on the edge of her sofa wringing her hands together. The sounds of the city going by were easily heard through her thin windows. In Henry’s apartment, there were no sounds other than stillness.
She closed her eyes, wishing with all of her might that something could have been different. The love she felt for him had to be put elsewhere. He’d helped her overcome her problem with her leg, and that was all. She couldn’t expect him to take over the rest of her life.
Rubbing at her temples, she tried her hardest to clear her thoughts. Nothing helped. In the last three months Henry had proven he was more than a cold, unfeeling ogre who hated her. She didn’t really believe he hated her anymore. There’s no way someone who hated another person would put up with them for three months.
“Ugh, get over it, April. It’s all over, and you’re never going to see him again.”
The following week April interviewed for three different jobs. The first was as a receptionist at a law firm. She didn’t like the look or sound of the woman hiring, so she turned that job down. The next job was for a library position in the city library. She hated the quiet and strict order of the work. Once again, she refused the job, settling instead for the third.
Waitressing at a restaurant five nights a week paid more than her supermarket job which she’d worked all day. She was surprised by the amount of tips she got as well. The clientele were more upscale than she was used to. All of the men reminded her of Henry, only not as handsome.
One week rolled into another week. She didn’t make any friends and kept to herself. The owner, Marcel, was a chef with strict rules who forbid any of his employees to become overly friendly with each other or the clients. There were several strict rules in play while working. None of the employees could date each other. There could be no fighting. If Marcel saw any of them fighting inside his business they were instantly fired. He didn’t like it and wouldn’t care who he was hurting. The rules worked fine for her. She noticed early on that a lot of the employees stayed to themselves instead of getting to know one another.