2 Lone guy

In the gentle embrace of the morning sun, Emma stirred from a restless sleep, the events of the night casting a shadow over her waking moments. Anxiety gripped her as she frantically searched for Lily, her heart pounding in her chest. The sight of her daughter hand in hand with Alex, returning with covers in their hands, left her both concerned and confused.

"Come inside, Lily!" Emma's voice carried a protective urgency as she ushered her daughter into the safety of their home, leaving Alex bewildered on the doorstep. The door closed, leaving Alex alone with his thoughts, grappling with the remnants of a restless night.

The realization struck him—work awaited. With a sudden surge of energy, he rushed to meet the demands of the day. At the convenience store, he faced the consequences of his tardiness, enduring his boss's scolding for being late. Apologizing, he dove into his tasks, immersing himself in the rhythm of the workday.

In the quiet afternoon hours, the routine was disrupted when Mia walked into the store. The air seemed to thicken with unresolved tension as their eyes met at the counter. Sensing the unease, Alex swiftly scanned Mia's items and handed her the bill. With a nod, Mia left, and a sense of relief washed over Alex.

However, the calm was short-lived. Another unexpected visitor entered the shop. "Welcome," Alex greeted, only to be met with a shock that rippled across his features. The unexpected presence of Marcus disrupted the ordinary rhythm of the convenience store.

"Alex? What are you doing here?" Marcus's grin painted an air of familiarity, disrupting the ordinary rhythm of the convenience store.

"Hello, Marcus," Alex replied, his expression stoic, revealing little of the emotions bubbling beneath the surface.

Marcus, seemingly unfazed, was a picture of affluence in his business attire, adorned with costly accessories that hinted at a life divergent from Alex's.

"Why don't you reply to my message?" Marcus probed, the question hanging in the air like a dormant storm, carrying with it the weight of unresolved histories and unspoken truths.

"Sorry, didn't notice," Alex's response carried the same deadpan expression, a shield protecting him from the complexities that Marcus's presence brought.

"Why don't you attend the party?" Marcus's inquiry pierced through the ordinary sounds of the store, unraveling a history that seemed to linger in the air.

"I haven't accomplished anything to attend that party," Alex's response hinted at a sense of inadequacy, a reluctance to step into a world where achievements were celebrated.

"Don't be shy, Alex. Ask me for any help if you want. I am here for you," Marcus's words, though seemingly supportive, carried undertones that added layers of complexity to their relationship.

As Marcus's departure settled the atmosphere in the store, Alex's shift drew to a close. Seeking refuge in the staffroom, he found a momentary escape from the complexities that had unfolded.

"Who's that guy? Seems like a best friend?" A curious colleague, Sophie, inquired, her eyes reflecting the intrigue sparked by Marcus's visit.

"No, Sophie," Alex replied, offering a brief yet enigmatic response that hinted at a history too intricate to be summarized.

Sophie, with her good-looking face and beautiful eyes, observed Alex, her concern evident as she ventured into a personal inquiry.

"Seems like you didn't sleep last night. Anything happened?" Sophie probed, her genuine curiosity reaching out to the shadows that clung to Alex.

"Yeah! Crazy happened!" Alex's reply, though cryptic, carried the weight of events he wasn't ready to unravel.

"Really? What was that?" Sophie's inquisitiveness lingered, attempting to breach the walls Alex had erected around his experiences.

"It's nothing to you!" Alex's response, tinged with a touch of finality, left Sophie with unanswered questions as he left the workplace.

After grabbing some instant food from the store, Alex returned to his apartment. As he approached his room, he noticed a lady waiting outside. Swiftly, he left the area, avoiding any interaction.

"What's she doing here?" Alex pondered, a sense of unease lingering as he retreated.

His escape was interrupted by a phone call from his mom. It was she who had been waiting. Alex declined the call and sought solace in a nearby playground. Sitting on a lone bench, he watched the sunset, questioning the torment that seemed to weave through his life.

"Why the hell am I suffering?" Alex's thoughts echoed, the weight of unanswered questions pressing on him.

"What suffering?" A curious voice disrupted his contemplation. It was Lily, appearing with a ball in hand.

"What are you doing here?" Alex inquired, surprised by her sudden presence.

"It's my playtime!" Lily announced, her innocence contrasting with the complexities that clouded Alex's mind.

"Oh, seems like you're having fun!" Alex remarked, a subtle exchange of smiles connecting them.

As Lily's mom called her to signal the end of playtime, she bid farewell with a bright smile. Alex, left alone once more, observed the fading sunlight, contemplating the shadows that clung to his life and the fleeting moments of brightness that a playful encounter with Lily had brought.

As night descended, Alex cautiously checked the surroundings near his room, ensuring that the unwelcome presence had dissipated. With a sigh of relief, he entered his room and reclined on his bed, seeking the solace of the night.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang once more, shattering the tranquility. Alex, on edge, hesitated before reluctantly opening the door, half-expecting the return of an unwanted visitor.

To his surprise, Emma stood before him. Her presence, unexpected and uninvited, left Alex with a mix of confusion and curiosity. "You seem different from your brother," Emma remarked, her eyes studying Alex.

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