The curse of your absence

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"Oh my god, Naruto.." I picked up the phone call from my best friend and this was how she greeted me. I had my shoulder raised and pressed against my phone to support it against my ear so that I could have both my hands to wash up the cups in the sink.

It was now nearing 4pm and the crowd in my cafe has started to now die down.
I only started my shift at 12 because the coffee beans stock only would arrive at 11 in the morning. And it was overwhelmingly busy as half our staff had to arrange and check the stocks to make sure everything was accounted for and the remaining half would be serving up the lunch crowd.

We usually do this every end of the month. 
But Sasuke had to go and purchase a month's worth of coffee beans..
I was reluctant to even sell it at first but hearing that the profit increased by thrice the amount, and my boss immediately agreed to it over the phone.

"What's wrong?" I asked, continuing to scrub the cups clean from the inside out.
"Answer me truthfully first, did you and Sasuke have a big fight over the situation yesterday?"

"No, why?" I raised my eyebrow, confused by that question.
Did Sasuke say something to her during their meeting?
I was aware that ARX Bank would be employing Sakura for some project as Sasuke filled me in on the way home yesterday.
Sakura also announced the good news of the huge project last night after I got home, but was puzzled at my lack of reaction.

"Oh, that's weird.. Well.. Sasuke joined us for lunch and he was being sarcastic to a female colleague of mine who kept bugging him throughout lunch. It was odd, because she.. has a boyfriend." I listened to Sakura carefully, but I was unsure with where this was going.

With Sasuke's name being mentioned, everything becomes so unexpected.
Because this man is unpredictable.
What makes it worse is that, I can't ever read him and what he's thinking about.

"... he managed to silence her by telling her not to speak while eating if not she'll choke. I almost burst out laughing!" I realised I had drifted off into my head half way through her explanation.

"So.. after lunch, I was looking for In- ..m-my colleague as she doesn't own a car and need a ride back to office after lunch. And you'll never guess what happened!"

"What?" I was still uncertain of what to expect and where this was leading. I dried my hands on my apron, walking over to the racks to place the clean cups down as I anticipated her response.

"It's most likely a joke, but.. I witnessed Sasuke asking that same female colleague if she was single in private after the lunch-" The rest of her voice dissolved, blending into the background chatter. My feet halted in place, my eyes blinking a couple of times as my mind processed what she said. I felt confused, my heart subtly dropping into my stomach.

"Tha-that's good to hear. He's finally moving on!" I faked a laugh, and continued to move towards the rack again but the cups slipped from my fingers before I could place them back onto the rack.

"Naruto?! Are you alrig-" She panicked, hearing the shattering of the cups.
"Crap! Sakura, I-I'll have to ring you back." I quickly ended the call before she could finish her words. I sighed out loud, shoving my phone into the back pocket of my skinny jeans, picking up the broken ceramic pieces on the ground.

"I'll do it, don't come near. It's dangerous." I instructed my team not to help me as they rush over upon hearing the noise. I flashed them a reassuring wide smile, but that heavy smile took an unusual amount of effort to form across my face.

Turning back to the ceramic fragments on the ground, I once again couldn't focus properly.

My best friend's words replayed in my head again. It didn't make sense to me.
Sasuke.. asking someone if she's single?
That doesn't sound very like him.
There must be some sort of a misunderstanding, right?
But I couldn't come up with any excuses realistic enough to assure the heaviness in my heart.

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