Part Four: Cindy

“Do you want something to drink?”
“I’m fine.”
“Come inside and have something.” She put her hands over the keys to the bike. “Even a glass of water.”

When she realized the strange look she was getting, she pursed her lips. Crossing her arms, she stiffly said, “It’s not anything like that. I just don’t like owing people.”

“You don’t owe me anything. I wanted to do it, so I did it.”

But her face must have told him that if he didn’t come in and have something, she’d get upset, and quite frankly, Lelouch was far too interested in her to let that happen. Besides; he didn’t really feel like going home yet, and he was starting to feel a little hungry.

“Alright, fine. But only because you wanted me to so badly.”
“Think whatever you want,” she muttered. “I don’t care.”

Turning on her heel, she headed into the restaurant. Pocketing his keys, he followed after her.

“C.C., you here! How you get here?”
“I hitched a ride.”
“Who that? You boyfriend? Wow, he tall!”
“No, he’s just the ride I hitched. Cindy, I’m going to give him some tea if you don’t mind.”
“Of course, of course. My, my, very tall, very tall,” she mumbled before retreating back into the kitchen. Tying her hair up, she said, “Do you like sweet things?”
“Yes.”
“Then you’ll like this. Sit there and I’ll bring it out.”

Obediently he took a seat at the counter. Taking out his phone, he frowned at the 4 messages and 5 calls Kallen had left him. Annoyed, he briefly considered calling or messaging her back, when C.C. reappeared with a tall glass.

“Here.”
“What is this?”
“Thai iced tea.”

He took a cautious sip before nodding his approval.

“I might come back here just for this.” Taking a healthy swig, he asked her if she would mind if he did. She only shrugged her shoulders as she reached for a handful of straws to stick into the pocket of her black apron.

“I don’t care. Do what you want.”

He smiled at her, but she pretended not to see. Draining the rest of the glass, he passed it to her before standing up.

“Thanks for the drink. I really needed it.”
“Mmhmm.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, C.C.”
“Okay.”

He studied her for some time, as if trying to decide something, before walking away. The bell jingling in his wake, she watched through the windows as he put on his helmet. With the dark visor, it was impossible to see what exactly he was looking at, but it must have been her because he raised a hand in greeting. Hurriedly she looked away until she heard the roar of the bike fade away.

Some minutes later as she was bringing in an order from the front, Cindy popped her head out from the kitchen. The wizened Asian lady squinted up at her.

“Where you boyfriend?”
“He left. And he’s not my boyfriend.”
“He going to come back?”
“I don’t know. He said he might.”
“To see you,” she chuckled. “Not for food.”
“Yes, for the food.”
“He no have food. All he know is you. He come back for you.”

C.C. shook her head. But no matter how many times she tried to push it out of her mind, as the hours wore on, she couldn’t help but wonder: would he come back? And more importantly, if he did, would it be for her?

But there was no way, right? How could you trust Cindy? She still thought he was her boyfriend for God’s sake, and everyone knew he neither was nor ever would be.

“For now,” echoed Milly’s words. “For now.”

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