“Hey sweetie.” she greeted him as he took a seat at the counter. “Our special someone hasn’t come in yet.”
“I know.” he said glumly. “I wanted to talk to you.”
“Well between the look on your face and the tone of your voice, I’d say something not so wonderful happened.”
“It definitely didn’t.”
“Let me have it then.” she responded and propped herself against the counter.
AJ told her every detail about the date, good and bad. He explained the situation with the fan and she cringed. Moving on, he told her about Max’s reaction as well as Denise’s when he went to see her that morning. Marjorie was getting red faced and he wasn’t sure who she was mad at. It took her a few seconds to respond to what he told her but when she did, it was a tirade.
“First off, that fan was just plain rude. She has no business sticking her nose in where it don’t belong. Who you choose to date and what you choose to tell them is your decision. These people need to start showing you, and the woman you’re with, some damn respect!”
She took a deep breath and AJ braced himself for the second round. Thankfully, there wasn’t anyone else in the diner to hear it.
“And as far as your mama and brothers are concerned, they need to mind their own business too. I’m fit to be tied about their behavior, especially since your mama seems like such a nice lady. You’re a grown man who I believe has struggled but turned out just fine. They need to stop treating you like a child and let you make your choices whether they like them or not!”
Marjorie took another breath and AJ was afraid she’d pass out if she kept going.
“And with all that said, you need to ignore them and talk to that girl if she’s who you want to spend your time with.”
AJ leaned over the counter and gave her a peck on the cheek. “This is why you’re my favorite person.”
“Behind Max I’m assuming.” she replied with a chuckle.
“Everyone’s kinda behind Max right now.” he admitted as a blush crossed his cheeks.
They glance up at the clock at the same time and it read ten thirty.
“It’s odd that she’s not here yet, she’s never late.”
Anxiety started to creep in. “You don’t think she left do you?”
“Honestly honey I don’t know. She used to talk about it all the time and she made a point of saying that she could leave in the middle of the night and no one would miss her.”
AJ bolted out of the diner and jumped into his car. With Marjorie’s words playing over and over again in his head, he prayed he wasn’t too late to fix this.
He let out a huge sigh of relief when he pulled into the parking lot of her apartment building and saw the truck still in its parking spot. There was an older couple heading out of the building and when he saw them, he called out and asked them to hold the door for him. Once inside, he raced up to her apartment and knocked on the door.
There was no answer so he knocked again. After she didn’t open the door that time, he started banging louder and didn’t stop. The door finally swung open and Max appeared in her uniform and her hair wrapped in a towel.
“Hi.” was all he could say.
“What are you doing here?” she replied quietly.
“I was at the diner and you didn’t show up for your shift.”
“Why did you go there?”
“I was looking for you.”
“To apologize and try to explain.”
“There’s nothing to explain.” Max said flatly and began to close the door. “I need to get to work, I’m already late.”
“Please let me…”
Max shook her head and shut the door. AJ leaned his head against the door frame; there had to be some way to fix this whole mess.
AJ was surprised when he received a call from Marjorie around three that afternoon.
“Max told Bob she’s leaving at the end of the week. I tried to convince her to stay but she’s dead set on going. If you want to change her mind and keep her here, you’d better find a way and soon.”
She hung up and AJ started to panic; where was he going to start?