Chapter 3

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I sat on a park bench in the middle of the day as I heard footsteps were approaching me from behind. Without looking, I already knew who it would be.

"Hey, babe." I felt him place a hand on my shoulder and I instantly fell in comfort.

I looked up and smiled at Hugh who was more than my best friend. He was family. Hugh sat down beside me and held my hand. He knew that it calmed me whenever I felt sad or had a crappy day.

I met Hugh Lawson when we were in high school. I didn't have many friends back then but he had stood out from everybody that I knew. He sat beside me in English class during my first year in high school. I didn't know him since he was new in our school but he turned in my direction and commented on how my eye color looked pretty. My eye color was a bit different from the others since it turned grey when it was bright and you could see a tinge of blue specs in my irises. The blue color usually appeared whenever there was low lighting. It was random and the comment was totally not needed during that time. I felt my cheeks reddened in embarrassment. No guy had ever made a bold move on me like that.

At that time, I thought he was flirting with me so I managed to blurt out a laugh thinking how crazy he was for complimenting a girl like me.

He arched an eyebrow at me, "Girl, what are you even laughing at?"

What he said made me stop my laughter. I guess he wasn't that into me since I found out that he was...gay.

He was pretty good looking with jet black hair and bright green eyes. If you didn't know him, as for me, like five seconds ago you would actually be attracted to him until he opened his mouth and revealed that he preferred guys over girls. Such a bummer!

I stifled a giggle as I introduced myself, "Hi, I'm Olivia."

He beamed at me enthusiastically, "I'm Hugh. You're a weird one. I like you."

"Uh, thanks?"

He laughed at my reaction and after that little incident we started talking like we had known each other. I guess I was his first friend and we just got stuck after that. He was really easy to get along with. Especially after my parents had gone, Hugh was there for me and at that moment I knew he would stay by my side for a really long time. I was really thankful for that.

I didn't know that I still stared blankly ahead, smiling to myself as I reminisced how I came across meeting Hugh. He waved a hand in front of my face and I snapped my attention to him.

I smiled a little sheepishly, "Sorry, I was just..."

"It's okay. I knew you'd need this." He handed me a cup of hot coffee. I didn't even notice he brought back some beverage. I took it into my hands and felt its warmth. I then carefully took a sip of the hot steaming beverage. We sat together drawing in the silence. It was comfortable until Hugh spoke, "How are you holding up?"

"I'm fine." I whispered quietly as I looked down and stared at the cup that I was holding.

Today was Wilson Alexander's funeral. The ceremony happened just this morning and I came home not feeling the need to be cramped up in my apartment so I decided to take a walk around the area. I needed some air to think that I ended up sitting on this park bench which was just around the corner of our apartment.

That raw feeling of sadness I felt was still there, eating me up alive.

He was gone.

Forever.

Wilson's family didn't show up like I expected since he never wanted them to know about him but a few relatives that knew had shown their respect and attended his funeral. He was a respected person in the business world so it was expected that his funeral was really packed with people who were his friends, business partners and people who had admired this man.

His lawyer, George Brent, also attended the service. He came and introduced himself to me after the ceremony. Mr. Brent was a bit plump and I was guessing that he was around in his late forties. He had a mustache and his dark brown hair was already balding from the center.

He wanted a scheduled meeting with me tomorrow to discuss Wilson Alexander's will. I agreed to meet him in the office tomorrow morning at eight o'clock.

It bummed me that I had to get back to work immediately seeing as Wilson left his empire without an heir. Let's just hope that he had left a plan or the company would be in total chaos.

I suddenly felt warm and when I looked beside me, Hugh had his arm around me in a tight embrace. I leaned onto his chest to find comfort and we just stayed like that for a while.

After the long deafening silence, Hugh suddenly spoke, "It's getting dark, Vee. Should we go home? I know you're exhausted from today."

I still wasn't ready to go home but my stomach rumbled signifying that I was hungry. I also had enough crying myself dry. It was time to face reality that Wilson was finally at peace with himself.

"Yeah, okay." I stood up and hugged my black sweater tighter as I felt the cold crept up my spine.

"I'm craving some pasta."

"Pasta it is."

I managed to smile at Hugh when he immediately agreed to cook me pasta.

We got home and Hugh started cooking while I just sat on a stool and stared at him as he ran around the kitchen wearing a cute pink apron.

After a while, he finally served a hot plate of carbonara with bacon bits in front of me. My mood had improved when the sweet smell of pasta wafted my nostrils. I picked up a fork and twisted the noodle onto my utensil.

"Hugh, you're amazing. If you weren't gay I would have married you in a heartbeat." I then fed myself another forkful of pasta into my mouth. It was that good.

"Right. You only tell me that when you're stuffing your face with what I prepared you." He deadpanned.

"But it's sooo good." I moaned.

"Jesus, stop moaning like you're having sex."

I choked with what I was chewing and found it really hard to breathe. Hugh laughed uproariously because he knew that I wasn't comfortable talking about intercourse. I couldn't even say the word 'sex' without stifling a laugh let alone experience kissing a guy.

"Here, have some water." He said as he offered me a glass. He was chuckling as I gulped down the cold liquid. I glared at Hugh who kept smiling like an innocent idiot.

"I swear I'll rip that smile off your face if you keep killing me like this."

He rolled his green eyes at me, "Stop exaggerating things, Vee."

"I'm not." My voice was stern as I tried to keep a straight face on.

"You love me and you wouldn't do such thing." He said in a confident tone.

"You're right but wait 'til you fall asleep at night." I smirked as I read fear in his expression. I then started to laugh at his reaction. "You should have seen your face."

He stuck his tongue out to me, "Whatever, I don't have time for this little banter." He sauntered off to his room. I knew he wasn't mad. He just wanted to have a dramatic exit.

After a minute, he yelled, "Goodnight!"

I shook my head and smiled to myself. I started picking up the dishes when I finished eating. I put it in the sink then started to wash them. I then realized as I was scrubbing the grease off a plate, I was now left alone to drown in my own thoughts. I couldn't help but drift back to Wilson and how tomorrow would be so different without him.

***

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