Apologies and Power Supplies
Posted on Tue Aug 8th, 2017 @ 6:04am by Unawakened Melissa Wilson
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Timeline: January 14th, 11:30am
“I still don’t understand how your computer broke.” Melissa’s father frowned, his cultured English accent making his disapproval somehow more poignant than her mother’s shrill shouts. “It seems as though I’m replacing parts of your computer every week. A monitor, your power supply, six mice, three keyboards...”
“It was a power surge!” Melissa protested, her voice quiet as they walked into the large computer store. She avoided eye-contact with the blue-shirted employees, eager to say hello.
“Well, yes, I realize that, but still.” Anthony Wilson frowned. “Perhaps I should check the wiring in the house, or talk to Julian at the hydro station.”
Melissa didn’t answer. She didn’t really know why this was happening so often, either.
“You know exactly what you need?” He asked, casting her a quick glance.
“Alright. I promised your mother I’d bring home the latest season of the Bachelorette - you know how she loves those shows.” Anthony rolled his eyes with an affectionate smile. “I’ll be in the DVD section when you’ve picked out what you need.”
“Ok.” Melissa nodded again with a small, nervous smile as she and her father went different directions.
Shady Side was too small for an electronics store of its own, so Melissa had had to beg her father for the trip to the city. It wasn’t a far trip - twenty minutes at best - but it was far enough that it wasn’t a casual trip for someone to make on a whim. Coming to Annapolis required a bit of planning and, for most Shady Side residents, involved saving up a few different stops in town to make the drive worthwhile. Thus, while it wasn’t unheard of to run into someone from Shady Side while running errands, it wasn’t all that common, either.
It was, quite literally, the last thing that Melissa expected as she entered the aisle that housed the boxed power supplies. She paused at the end of the aisle, blinked, and tried to quickly duck down another aisle before she was spotted in order to avoid a conversation she really didn’t want to have in the middle of a store.
“Hi.” Tim gave a nervous smile and an even more nervous wave. “Fancy meeting you here.”
Melissa closed her eyes and a curse floated through her mind. Apparently, she wasn’t going to get to avoid this conversation. She turned back to the aisle and looked at Tim. Her heart fluttered slightly despite herself. His soft brown hair looked perfect, and his previously pale skin seemed to have adopted a healthy tan - which was, quite frankly, unusual in the middle of January. He’d put on a bit of muscle since Christmas, just enough to give him a little bit of definition in the fitted shirt he wore underneath his open black leather jacket. His soft brown eyes were clearly worried as they looked at her, but god, they were beautiful.
She wanted to be mad at him. She WAS mad at him, damn it. He stood her up with no word, no explanation, and now he was just saying ‘hi’ as though there was nothing wrong? Melissa frowned. Neferu would never put up with being stood up. Why should she?
Neferu would probably have something much more clever to say. As much as she wished she was at times like this, Melissa was definitely not Neferu. “Hi.”
He caught the disapproval in her tone. She could see the unease flickering in his eyes. “You, um... you’re mad at me.” He said, moving closer. “You should be mad at me. I’m sorry.”
Melissa frowned. “Where were you?”
Tim opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. He closed it again. “I... uh...”
“Doesn’t matter.” Melissa shook her head, cutting him off after a long pause as she slipped past him to look at the power supplies. “I guess you didn’t want to.”
“No! I did! I swear!” Tim’s voice was a bit too loud, causing a few other nearby shoppers to look their way. Melissa’s cheeks flushed, and Tim lowered his voice. “Melissa, please believe me, I really wanted to be there. God, I wanted nothing more than to be there!”
She turned to look at him. “Then why weren’t you?”
The pain in her eyes mirrored his. He failed to speak again, his lips opening and closing with no sound coming out. “I couldn’t.”
“Please don’t ask me that.”
“Look, I... it’s... complicated. Confusing. I promise, I’ll talk to you about it, explain things, just... not here.” His cheeks darkened slightly.
Melissa glanced around. They’d drawn a few curious glances from other shoppers. Melissa’s cheeks flushed a deeper red. She nodded in reply and dropped her voice to a whisper. “Wh-why are you here?”
“I went to your house to talk to you, since you weren’t answering my PMs.”
“My computer broke.”
“Yeah, that’s what your mother told me.” Tim nodded. “I had the car, so...”
“You drove here to see me?” Despite herself, Melissa’s anger began to melt.
He flashed a shy and devastatingly sexy smile that made Melissa’s heart race. “I wanted to apologize. When the most incredible girl in town is your girlfriend, and plays a deadly assassin, it’s good to apologize quickly.”
Melissa smiled. She couldn’t help herself. “Especially when she’s a deadly assassin.”
“I’d never do anything to cross Neferu. It would be hazardous to my health.” Tim smiled, stepping closer.
“Yes.” Melissa nodded as she looked up at him with an affectionate smile as he closed the distance between them.
The two teens quickly took a step back, their cheeks flushing a dark, guilty red. Anthony Wilson looked from his daughter to Tim and back to Melissa again. One grey-black eyebrow raised as he silently questioned his daughter.
“D-dad... th-this i-is T-Tim.” Melissa stammered.
“Tim.” Anthony extended a hand toward the handsome young man. He looked him up and down, as though sizing him up. The two were nearly identical in height, several inches taller than Melissa was. Tim took his hand hesitantly. “Tim LaFontaine, isn’t it?”
“Yes sir.” Tim nodded respectfully. “I, um, you have a great daughter. Sir.”
“Thank you.” Anthony bowed his head slightly. “Do you have what you need, Melissa?”
Anthony turned back to Tim.
“I was wondering, if I could have your permission, sir, to, uh, to drive your daughter back to town and maybe take her out for lunch, sir.” Tim stammered.
Anthony’s eyebrow raised again as he looked over at his daughter. Melissa gave a quick nod. “Very well. I want you home by six for dinner, understood? You know how your mother gets when people aren’t at the dinner table on time.”
“Yes, Father.” Melissa nodded with a small smile. “Thank you.”
He gave her a small smile back, a look that made father and daughter look very similar. “Do you have the part you need?”
Melissa nodded, reaching out to the shelf beside her and choosing the power supply she needed. “It was this one.”
Anthony took the box from her with a nod. “Six o’clock.”
Melissa nodded with a wider smile.
“I’ll bring her home safely, sir.” Tim promised. “Before six.”
“See to it, son.” Anthony said quietly. “You do not want to get on Melissa’s mother’s bad side.”
With one last, lingering, suspicious look at Tim, Anthony turned and walked toward the check-out.
“Well... I missed our date before, but maybe we can make up for it now?” Tim offered.
“Now?” Melissa stammered. “Uh, I... I-I... okay. Wh-where?”
He shrugged. “I’ve got my mom’s car and we have until 6. We can drive somewhere. We’ll figure it out.” He flashed a reassuring smile. “But only if you want to.”
Melissa nodded, biting her lip with a smile.
“You are so cute when you do that...” He breathed. “C’mon... let’s go get some lunch, and then see where the rest of the afternoon takes us.”