Author's Note: 3 months... it's been nearly three months since I have last updated this fiction. Honestly, I have only myself to blame and I have to apologize once more for the agonizing wait, especially since I've been getting so much loving support from all of you! During this time I've had to complete finals for college (passed all of them!), and have been doing numerous request works over on my account at DeviantArt (under HTFan95), that I got sidetracked. But now that I've been in the middle of summer break now (been amazing so far), I've had plenty of time to finally jump back in and right up the next chapter! I seriously hope the long wait didn't ruin my cool, though; this story is so exciting to write and I want to make sure you guys continue to enjoy every word!
Now, without any further hesitation, here is, finally, Chapter 5!
"Order up! Table five's order ready!"
"Alright, I'm coming Petunia!"
"Flaky, we got customers waiting at the counter who need seating!"
"Can't you take care of that, Giggles?"
"Flaky, we got a mess at table three!
"Y-Yes, sir, I'm on it!"
There was never a moment Flaky could recall having her feet lay and rest for even a brief second. Today's business activity was booming, a full house of customers taking practically every table. And despite next to no seating available, customers would still line up at the door eagerly awaiting a seat. It was rare for days like this to occur on a workday for just a small café in the center of town, but today was a major exception.
Flaky just could not find a single second to relax, even around break time. Perhaps becoming a waitress for Pop's Café was not the brightest of ideas, though already being a week into living in her new home, there had to be some income flowing in if she intended to stay in town. Plus, it was easier for her friend Giggles to suck up to the boss and land Flaky and job with barely any hassle of searching for one.
It wasn't an extravagant career choice, but for now, it paid the bills and kept her safe in her home, which was enough for her.
As Flaky repeatedly moved from table to table, going to the counter and back to give customers seats and work alongside Giggles to deliver meals, she looked over her shoulder shyly over to her boss. Pop, a middle-aged man spending his golden years as a simple store manager, kept his eyes on his new employee, making sure she was up to the task. If there was one thing on Flaky's mind, it was that she had to make every right move today; she needed this job.
Hurrying around frantically to accomplish every given command, her fear of failing any second was getting to her mind. Sure the customers gave nice remarks for her service, but what if they were just saying that? What if she was serving bad food that customers disliked? What if she wasn't friendly enough? What if her uniform was dirty and her long red hair not brushed in a clean appearance?
Flaky was suddenly stopped when a hand reached out and grabbed onto her shoulder, making her jump and shriek silently in surprise. She turned her head back slowly, fearing her boss was standing behind her. A soft sigh of relief came out as she noticed it was simply her friend Giggles, giving her a reassuring smile.
Giggles patted and brushed down the top of Flaky's simple waitress uniform, giggling lightly as she looked at Flaky with a smile. "Flaky, relax, you're doing great! We're serving a lot of customers today and you're doing an excellent work under such pressure, especially for a new employee!"
Flaky blushed lightly as she brushed back her hair. "R-Really?"
Giggles nodded her head. "Of course! I'd say you're better than I was on my first week! Really, when the work week is done, I'm sure Pop's going to give you an excellent score on the job! Besides, I'll still put in a few good words to help you a bit; your close friend Giggles is here every step!"
Flaky smiled as she nodded her head to Giggles. "Thank you so much, Giggles! I really appreciate what you're doing for me here."
"Hey, no problem!" Giggles turned to look behind her and pointed her right index finger to the counter near the kitchen. Lying on top of the counter was a table's order ready to be sent out, freshly cooked and ready to eat. "Petunia just got finished with another order. You want to take this one? You… might actually want to do this one."
A little confused at why Flaky should be the one to do this particular order, and actually WANT to do it to start with, Flaky nodded her head in agreement and went over to the counter. Picking up the plate, which contained a usual assortment of breakfast items such as eggs, sausage and other basics, Petunia gave a strict direction to table six where the order was to be sent.
Without wasting time, Flaky carefully marched through the busy restaurant carrying the meal. Though a few instances would occur that would have made her lose her balance and drop the perfectly cooked food, Flaky successfully made it to the specific table. Before placing the food down, she noticed it was simply a lone man, whom she could not see due to the large newspaper blocking his face.
Making sure to keep a happy smile for the customer, Flaky took the man's plate and rested it carefully on the table in front of him. "Sorry for the wait, sir. We're rather busier than usual today. Is there anything else I can get you, sir?"
"Actually you can. Why don't you have the lovely redhead take a much needed break and sit right next to me. It would make this meal so much better to have a lovely view to see."
Flaky froze for a second, her eyes widening as she looked down at the man. While the man's odd request made her somewhat curious, it was not the reason why she stood her ground. It was the man's deep tone of his voice, a familiar tone that she swore she heard from one man before.
Before she could respond, the man lowered his newspaper and folded it carefully, laying it aside on top of the table. The man then cleared his throat, and slowly looked upward to Flaky with a warm and gentle smile.
"Good morning, Flaky. It's great to see you again!"
Flaky stood in awe of what she was seeing in front of her. The green strands of hair, those beautiful dark green eyes, that familiar military attire, and the deep and mature voice coming through his lips. There was only one man that could fit those features.
"Flippy? Is that you?!"
Flippy let out a silent chuckle as he leaned back on his seat. "Wow, almost thought you wouldn't recognize me a minute there. I know I made a few changes, but I didn't expect it would fool you that easily."
And it almost certainly did. Flaky could barely make out the old Flippy from the one sitting in front of her. His hair was trimmed and combed, his face looked lively and well, and his clothes appeared brand new. It was like a complete transformation was made on him; an entirely new Flippy.
At least from what she saw on the outside.
Flaky smiled widely as she gestured to the new look of Flippy. "Did you seriously do all of this over the weekend?"
Flippy nodded his head swiftly. "Hey, you did say that in order for me to present myself better to people I should clean myself up first. So I freed up some time on my schedule and got myself an entire makeover here. I think it looks good on me, don't you think?"
Flaky held her wide smile as she blushed lightly, feeling surprised and joyful that he actually took her advice so easily. Her face became redder as Flippy gestured her to sit down beside him. Looking around quickly to see if she wasn't being watched, Flaky carefully sat down beside him, looking away shyly for a brief second.
Brushing down her uniform, Flaky turned her head to face Flippy. "I'm really happy to see you go through so much work so fast, Flippy! You really look like an entirely new person. Has anyone else noticed?"
Flippy looked down at his lap with a blank stare, sitting in deep thought on how to answer her question. He shrugged his shoulders as he continued to look down. "Um… at least better than before. It's not like they can't tell who I am since I'm practically the only guy in town wearing a military BDU and pants like everyday clothing. They don't have a disgusted look on their faces… but I know they still have thoughts of what kind of person I can be…"
A feeling of sadness rested over Flaky. A lot of progress was made on his looks, though it seems it would take further work in order to make him a likeable person in the town again. Thinking of a way to cheer him up, Flaky brought back her smile as she rested her left hand onto his.
"Hey, it's a start, right? Now all we have to do is work on how you act around others. If you can show yourself being a proper gentleman, people will change their mind. Trust me, we just have to work a little bit more, but it will turn out fine in the end. Just keep listening to me and I'll help you."
Flippy smiled at Flaky, wrapping his right arm around her and bringing her in for a hug. As a surprised and shy look appeared on her face, Flippy nodded his head happily. "Thanks a lot for this, Flaky. It means a lot." After holding a brief hug, Flippy brought his arm away from Flaky and rested it on the table. "So Flaky, I see you got yourself a job here?"
Flaky brushed her hair back while giving a quick nod to Flippy. "Yeah, Giggles was nice enough to talk to Pop and help get me a job here. I couldn't stay here forever not working, and this was one of the few jobs only available. It's not… glamorous… and there's a lot of work, but it puts bread on the table."
Flippy let out a quiet chuckle as Flaky rested her head on her right hand. "So what were you doing over the weekend, besides cleaning yourself up?'
There was a sudden silence between them, Flippy closing his mouth and staring blankly at Flaky. Flaky sat up straight while looking at Flippy worriedly, feeling as if she asked an offensive question. Flippy didn't respond for a short time, only giving an emotionless stare.
He suddenly let out a smile and looked down at his meal, bringing his arms over to prepare to enjoy his fresh food. "Oh, nothing much. I… met up with… an old friend of mine and settled a few things after a long time apart. I also did a little house cleaning as well. Other than that, nothing of importance happened besides getting myself a new set of clothing here. The Army had a large surplus of them and a deal for veterans, so I ordered them instantly."
Flaky nodded her head slowly, looking at Flippy with a curious look. "I see… well Flippy, I- "
Her attention was suddenly brought away from Flippy and over to the table across from them, where an old man accidentally spilled over his drink and onto the floor. Flaky quickly got up from her seat and walked over towards the man, who looked up with an embarrassed look on his face.
"Oh, I'm so sorry ma'am! I'll- "
Flaky shook her head with a smile, pulling out a thick cleaning cloth from her uniform pocket. "It's alright sir, mistakes happen."
Looking down at the wet mess on the floor, Flaky bent over and began to wipe it up with the cleaning cloth, completely oblivious to Flippy sitting behind her. Though he initially kept his eyes on his meal, an emerald glow began to emit from his irises. He looked over to Flaky lying next to him, a perverted smile forming along his lips as he caught a good glimpse of her posterior.
Without her hearing, Flippy began to mutter to himself silently. "Oh yeah, that's right, you bend over so I can see that fine ass of yours. I bet you would look real nice in one of those sexy looking maid uniforms. Have you dress up and call me Master, cleaning up the mess I'll make for you. And you would enjoy it too…"
Flaky's ears perked up as she heard a faint sound. She slowly turned her head around and noticed just briefly Flippy turning his head away swiftly, acting as if he was enjoying his meal. Her face instantly turned red as she noticed her position beside him, and quickly got up to her feet with an embarrassed look on her face.
Without saying another word, she bowed her head towards the old man and Flippy and walked as fast as she could away from Flippy, trying her best not to blush. Hoping to hide from the other customers, Flaky ran straight for the kitchen in the back, where Petunia was taking a short break with no orders coming up, sighing while looking at her phone.
As Flaky burst through the kitchen, Petunia looked up sharply in surprise. "Flaky! What's wrong, did someone do something to you out there?! Was it one of those perverted pigs? Because I'll go out there now and deal with them!"
Flaky shook her head instantly, brushing her uniform down as she calmed down. "N-Nothing! N-Nothing is wrong. J-Just a… oh, it's nothing…"
Petunia shrugged her shoulders as she looked back at her phone. "If you say so, girl. If you say so…"
The depressed tone of Petunia's voice caught Flaky's attention. Looking up at her, she noticed an upset expression on her face as she sighed while looking at her phone. Petunia proceeded to turn her phone off, shaking her head sadly.
Flaky took a step forward to stand besides Petunia, and rested her arm on her shoulder. "Hey, Petunia, what's wrong?"
Petunia didn't look up towards Flaky, and instead let out another depressing sigh. "I… haven't heard from him from a while. He normally talks at least once a day, or respond to my texts, but this weekend he was completely silent. He didn't even tell me before if he was busy or not."
Flaky tilted her head in confusion. "Well… perhaps something came up and he was just too busy that he forgot to respond back to you."
Petunia instantly shook her head, still keeping her head down while leaning against the counter. "No, he's not like that. He has never done that before. Besides, one of his construction buddies came here one morning just to order something small, and I asked him if they knew where he was. He said they had no clue and they were going to fall behind schedule on their project if he didn't show up soon. If there is one thing I knew about him, is that he'd never abandon a project; it was just his thing."
Construction? A man involved in construction work leading projects? The description of Petunia's lover and his line of work was awfully familiar. Curious about the man, Flaky placed her right hand on her chin and spoke calmly. "What… what was his name, Petunia?"
Petunia kept her head down for a moment, remaining perfectly silent. After closing her eyes briefly and letting out another sigh, she looked up to Flaky and gave her a blank look.
"Handy. His name was Handy."
Flaky's heart suddenly skipped a beat. Everything around her went silent as the name echoed in her head. Handy. The handless construction worker she met just a few days ago at the park. A happy and joyful man that enjoyed his career.
And now… he was gone… just like that? Even after being given a recent project… he just vanished? The thought of it made Flaky both curious and terrified, a cold feeling crawling down her spine. Certainly he was just gone or left the town for a while…
Flaky remained in a blank emotionless stance, her eyes staring at nothing as her mind wrapped around the name Handy. Blinking slowly and returning back to reality, she shook her head and looked back up to Petunia, who was placing her phone back into her pocket and walking back to the kitchen counter.
Not knowing what to say, Flaky decided to stand by Petunia and tried to find a way to calm her down. "Hey, Petunia… I'm… sure he has a reason and perhaps is just out of town for a while. Maybe there was a project he forgot that he had to perform away from town?"
Petunia remained silent, almost beginning to shed a tear. Flaky knew she was not going to believe her story. If Handy really was a man in love with his job, then he would never pass up the recent offer to work on the park.
After brushing her long and clean blue hair back, Petunia perked herself up and turned her head to face Flaky. "You know, I'm sure he is alright. Maybe he is just busy with other things right now. He'll call back one day and go straight to work on that project!"
Flaky could hear the sound of forced joy in Petunia's voice, but continued to act normally and give Petunia a friendly smile. Petunia breathed in slowly and happily, letting a small grin show on her face while speaking with a joyful tone.
"So, Flaky, how has your time being in Happy Tree Town going? Giggles hasn't told me much about you aside from just coming here recently. Has everything been going smoothly?"
Flaky looked away from Petunia for a moment, letting out a shy chuckle while looking down at her feet. "It was… different from home, certainly. I did get used to the many friendly people and the town itself, and my home is really nice and I enjoy it very much. It was a little rough at first, but I feel as time goes on things will get better as I stay here. I mean, Giggles already got me a job here, so it's been going easier than I thought it would."
Petunia made a wide grin and nodded her head to her. She then noticed a curious look showing on Flaky's face and leaned in closer to her. "What's wrong?"
Flaky let out a soft chuckle before turning to face Petunia. "It's just… why is it only… us girls working at the café? Out of all the people in this town, Pop hires only girls to work here. Doesn't that… I don't know…"
Petunia looked down with a shy smile before pointing out to the crowd occupying the many seats inside the café. "Well, one thing is for sure… it brings in a lot of customers."
Taking a close look outside to the interior of the café, Flaky blushed in embarrassment as she noticed the majority of customers appeared to be male. Even if the food was high quality or not, perhaps the patrons were not here just for the food.
Noticing her embarrassed blush, Petunia patted Flaky on the back with an amused laugh. "Hey, at least it brings in decent tips, right?" Flaky couldn't make the same joyful smile as Petunia could. "Anyway, it's great that you're getting along just fine in town, Flaky. Anything in particular that really stood out in your first few days here?"
Flaky's blushed redden, looking away from Petunia shyly as she fiddled with her fingers. "W-Well… Giggles did show me someone… one of my neighbors, actually…"
Petunia rolled her eyes as she placed her left hand on her hip. "Of course she would go off and do that. She does that to every new woman that shows up to this town. Who did she introduce to you this time?"
Flaky's blushed lighten up as she looked over at Petunia. "His name is Flippy. You know, that retired vet- "
Petunia instantly went into a worried and frantic state, covering up Flaky's mouth as he eyes widened instantly. "She introduced you to HIM?! That man?!"
Her voice being muffled, Flaky instantly brushed away Petunia's hand from her mouth and gave a confused look to her. "What's wrong?! Are you really scared of him too, Petunia?"
Petunia looked down for a moment, a rather depressed and guilty expression showing on her face. "Well… only a little… not as much as most people at least. But he just has this… aura around him that just makes feel uneasy."
Flaky was curious of Petunia's disposition of Flippy, though not surprised either. The questionable fear of him seemed to be a common trait, if a bit saddening one. Though even she knew that her thoughts were the same once… maybe even still.
Still having a guilty shy look on her face, Petunia looked up to Flaky slowly. "It's nothing personal or anything… in fact… sometimes I feel sad for him then I am scared."
Petunia's response was a surprise to Flaky. Petunia was the first person besides Giggles she heard actually say feeling sad for Flippy rather than fearing him. Baffled, Flaky tilted her head with a confused expression. "What do you mean by that?"
Remaining silent for a brief second, Petunia looked out the kitchen window to look out to the large cluster of customers at their tables. With a keen eye, she spotted out Flippy sitting out his table enjoying his meal. "That's Flippy there, right?"
Flaky looked outside the window to notice Flippy, and nodded her head in acknowledgement. "Did he change like that, just for you?"
Blushing lightly, Flaky looked down while shrugging her shoulders. "Well… I told him if he wanted people to like him more, the first thing he should do is try to look nice for once. I'm surprised he actually went through it so fast."
Petunia nodded her head, continuing to look out and keep her eyes on Flippy. "That was honestly sweet of him… it's been some time since I've ever seen him look so clean… and even a little happy like that… it makes me feel bad why I feel so afraid of him."
Still confused by the constant fear of him, Flaky took a step closer to Petunia and placed her right hand on her shoulder. "Was everyone so afraid of him when he came back?"
Turning her head to face Flaky, Petunia shook her head. "You mean when he came back from the war unannounced? Not really… people had their suspicions of why, and he did look… different… but honestly, more people felt sad for him then they feared him, even me. I mean, he looked so hurt… and he got mad so easily sometimes when people tried to talk to him… so we felt it was best to give him some space. We still had people that would make up stories as him being a monster over there which brought him back, Handy would tell me all the time, but others just wished him to feel better."
Hearing Petunia's story of Flippy only made her feel worse about her first reaction to him. If Flippy really was just a hurt and wounded soul, then being afraid of him was only making his pain worse. What he needed was people to be there for him to help heal his pain, but was instead being left alone. It had to be tragic for him.
Before Flaky could respond, Petunia gave a small smile to her. "But, while I am a little concerned for you Flaky… and I don't necessarily see it as the safest thing to do... I think you're doing a nice thing for him. Maybe if you hang around with him long enough, perhaps you could be the one to finally fix him up straight. What he needs is a good friend to help him up. Just… stay safe, Flaky. I don't want to lose you too this early."
While Flaky was feeling joyful with Petunia's initial words, her last sentence was somewhat frightening in a way to her. "Lose me too? What do you mean by that?"
Petunia looked away for a moment, knowing well she said something wrong. She closed her eyes and let out a soft sigh, turning her head to face Flaky again. "Well… to be honest, Flaky… you're not the first one to be in this kind of situation before."
Flaky took a step back from Petunia, her eyes opening widely in shock. She cleared her throat before speaking with a light stutter. "N-Not the first? You mean there was someone else being with Flippy?"
There was a brief pause between the two before Petunia spoke up clearly. "Looking at everything right now… with Flippy dressing up nicely again… being a little happier… and enjoying life with another woman… it just brings back my thoughts when Lammy used to live here."
"Lammy? Who's Lammy?"
"Lammy was…" Petunia's eyes suddenly opened widely, her mouth dropping and letting out a shocked silent gasped. Her body shook a little as her eyes were looking out the kitchen window, tensing up in sheer terror.
Noticing the odd tension Petunia was building up, Flaky spoke up while tapping on Petunia's shoulder. "Petunia, hey, tell me who Lammy was. Was she a past friend of Flippy? Did she live near him? What did she do with him?"
Petunia blinked slowly, her head unable to turn and look at Flaky. "Lammy… was just an old friend, and that's it. No need to know more about her, okay? Now, Flaky, I think you've taken a long enough break. You should go out and keep dealing with customers now."
"But Petunia, I- "
Petunia turned her head sharply back to Flaky, making her startle and jump back slightly. "Flaky, get back to work now. We'll talk some other time!"
Something felt completely off about Petunia's sudden change in attitude, and was slightly offended on her not answering her small question. Despite it, Flaky brushed down her uniform and nodded her head to Petunia before proceeding to walk back out to continue her work.
And, as Flaky walked off back into the crowd of customers, Petunia could only hide behind the kitchen counter for safety as she looked out the window.
Seeing two ominous glowing emerald eyes staring back at her.
The rest of the work day went by as usual. After Flippy left shortly after eating his meal, it seemed the rest of the day was smooth sailing. The rush died down a notch, and Flaky, Giggles and Petunia were able to perform all of their duties in the small café efficiently. Flaky was the gladdest with the reduced traffic, her legs nearing a breaking point after a long day's work.
As the three were beginning to close up shop for the late evening, Flaky helping clean up some of the messy tables, she could hear the sturdy voice of an old man calling her name.
"Flaky, can I see you for just a second."
Flaky swallowed her throat as she turned around to see a middle-aged man, wearing a thick red bathroom robe and a pipe being held in his left hand. His face was showing his age, and the top of his head was balding, but nonetheless still looked healthy and able to work.
While her heart was beating with fear, she turned her head to her friends, noticing their reassuring smiles that she would be okay. Nodding her head towards them, Flaky got up and marched quickly over to the old man, standing tall at attention in front of him. "Yes, Pop, sir?"
Pop chuckled lightly as he gestured his right hand to calm down. "Oh don't be so formal like, Flaky. You're not in trouble or anything. Actually, quite the opposite."
Before Flaky could ask a question, Pop reached out his right hand for a soft handshake. "I was a tad skeptical listening to your friend to just take in someone with little knowledge of, but you were able to handle yourself just fine these first couple of days. I think you're going to be a great addition here, Flaky."
Flaky was smiling happily as she looked behind her to see once again the reassuring cheerful smiles of Petunia and Giggles, walking up to stand beside her. Turning back to face Pop, she reached her hand out to feel the old rough hand, grasping it lightly to give a firm handshake.
"Thank you so much, Pop! I promise to keep working hard while I'm here!"
Pop closed his eyes as he nodded his head with a smile. "Glad to hear it, Flaky. Now, let's- "
The sound of bell ringing and the front door opening silenced Pop's response, and grabbed the attention of the four workers in the café. They turned their heads to the door, noticing a tall male figure standing and looking down at them. His body was shrouded with a dark layer as the sun was casting its rays behind him.
Pop dropped his smile and spoke with a serious tone in his voice. "I'm sorry sir, we've just closed up shop for the day."
"Oh don't worry, I'm just here to pick someone up from work."
The strong voice from the man already told Flaky it was none other than Flippy, coming back to the café once again. As Flippy walked into the café further, his body and clothing was more visible, his hair clean and a bright smile on his face. Flaky and Giggles gave him a welcoming smile, with Pop standing tall with a serious expression.
Petunia, instead of smiling, moved her body to stand behind Giggles a little back, trying to avoid as much attention as possible.
As Flippy stood in front of Pop, Pop took a close observation of Flippy, examining up and down his clean military clothing. "You seem familiar, sir. Have I seen you before?"
While Pop waited for an answer, Flippy could not pull his eyes away from Pop's hand grasping onto Flaky's hand. The old man's hand was resting on the soft touch of Flaky's, taking hold of her. The longer he stared at it, the more it seemed to make him tense up, his eyes transitioning colors from a peaceful green to an eerie emerald yellow.
With a deeper voice than usual, Flippy looked straight at Pop. "Flippy. I'm Flippy."
Pop dropped his jaw in amazement, letting go of Flaky's hand and examined Flippy one last time. "Well I'll be damned! I almost didn't recognize you for a bit with that new getup of yours here. It's been a long time since I've seen you out with such a clean look! But it's great to see you up and about, sir!"
Flippy stared back with an expressionless face, looking back down to see Pop reaching his right hand out for a gentlemen's handshake. Flippy slowly brought his right hand out as well, meeting it with Pop's older hand. They grasped each other firmly, performing a tight handshake.
Pop, though, began to cringe a little as the handshake seemed to be tightening up on his feeble hand. Flippy, continuing to stare straight into Pop's eyes, proceeded to squeeze tighter on Pop's old hand, his strength beginning to crush the weak bones in Pop's hands.
Almost reaching to a point of breaking Pop's hands, Flippy decided to let his grip come off from him, letting Pop shake his painful hand with a forced grin. "Wow! Even after your time off the service, you sure never lost any bit of your strength!"
Flippy shrugged his shoulders as his eyes remained locked on Pop. "Well… you never know when you'll face another challenge in your life. And the one who is stronger stands a better chance of surviving."
"Yeah, you've got a point there. Sadly, for me, this old man just doesn't have the strength like he used to." After shaking his right hand one last time, he placed it inside one of his pockets and gave a friendly smile to him. "So, which of the lovely ladies here are you taking back?"
The emerald glow suddenly was erased, and the cheerful dark green returned. His voice lightened up and his body loosened as he turned to face Flaky. "I'll just be walking back with the lovely woman here."
Flaky blushed lightly, looking away shyly as Giggles patted her on the back as a sort of congratulations. Pop chuckled as he looked back and forth between Flaky and Flippy. "Well do make sure she returns safely back at home. Don't want to lose a great worker so early!"
While Flaky continued to smile with a blush on her face, Flippy came over to wrap his right arm around her, pulling her close beside him. The feeling of his strong arm resting on her and being near him was turning her face as red as her own hair, looking down at her feet shyly.
Flippy chuckled at the sight of her blush. "Don't worry, I'll make sure she returns safely." He looked up to Pop and the others, looking at them with a joyful smile on his face. He gave a short wave as he began to escort Flaky out the café. Pop and Giggles waved and said their farewells as Flaky looked and waved back. Petunia only continued to watch her leave carefully.
The two friendly neighbors walked side to side each other taking a slow stroll on the sidewalk. While they remained silent, they were able to enjoy the late evening glow of the warm sun, and the silence of the town with the wind blowing calmly in the air.
To break silence, Flippy turned his head to face Flaky. He stared at her shortly, a light blush visible on his cheeks as he rubbed the back of his neck. "So, Flaky, I was thinking this weekend we could try going out somewhere different this time. I felt like out first time walking out… was not exactly the best. So maybe… if you're not busy, we could go out again."
Flaky looked up to Flippy and gave a warm smile to him. "Sure, I'd love that. It would also be the perfect moment to help you work on being good in public, show others you are a proper gentleman and a good person."
Flippy let out a silent chuckle as he looked back down the sidewalk. "Yeah, I'm sure it will be fun…"
The rest of the walk to their homes remained silent, though it did not bother the two the last time they had walked together. It was tranquil and peaceful, Flippy looking sharp and new while Flaky felt more at ease by his side than the first day.
But despite the silence, Flaky's mind was incredibly active. Every other second or so, her mind would bring up that mysterious name. Lammy. It was the first time she had heard the name, and she had no clue who the person was or what reason made them leave.
And exactly how she had some kind of relation to Flippy.
She wanted to know more of this Lammy, though from Petunia's attitude and shift in tone this morning, asking her would bring nothing new up. So what about Flippy? If this Lammy was with him, perhaps he should know plenty about her. It wouldn't hurt to ask about another friend, right?
Flaky then took a minute to rethink of asking him. Should she really just jump in and ask about a person she has no relation with? Would it be rude to just ask about a past friend that no longer lives in town? Is it something he's even willing to go over with, if she was indeed a friend of his?"
No matter how hard she tried to fight herself with reasonable excuses, her curiosity finally bested her. Flaky looked up to Flippy, and spoke in a calm tone. "Hey, Flippy, there's something I want to ask you."
Flippy looked down at Flaky and gave her a gentle smile. "What is it, Flaky?"
"Do you know about a person that went by the name Lammy here?"
As Flaky's mouth uttered out her question, the world around her and Flippy fell dead silent and motionless. Their movements seized and now stood perfectly still on the sidewalk alone. Flaky looked directly at Flippy, who only returned a blank expressionless stare back at her.
The eerie silence was beginning to worry and scare Flaky. Flippy refused to answer her question and remained silent, giving her this ominous dark yet blank look. His eyes remained their usual dark green, but his silence made Flaky shiver with anxiety.
Flaky then noticed Flippy lean in closer to her face, making her take a small step back. Her eyes widened as she continued to look at the blank stare from Flippy. The sound of her heart beating faster was noticeable to her, feeling each beat against her chest.
After a long stare down, Flippy finally opened his mouth and spoke with an oddly calm tone. "What was that name you just said?"
Without hesitating, Flaky nodded her head as she tried to remain calm. "L-Lammy. I said her name was Lammy. Do you know her?"
Unlike the previous moment of standing in silence, Flippy stood up tall with his back straight. He took in a deep breath, and turned his head to face away from Flaky. "Yes, I knew her. She was a friend, a good friend, a long time ago. She was here one day, and now she's not. She is of no importance anymore and I wish not to speak of her again."
Flaky nodded her head swiftly as her body relaxed from the fearful anxiety. "Yes, I understand Flippy. I won't bring her up again."
"Good…" Flippy pointed his right index finger down the sidewalk they stood on, pointing to a couple of houses nearing the end. "Your house is just right there. You should make it there just fine without me."
Flaky gave a confused look at Flippy, tilting her head while looking at a rather serious Flippy. She wanted to say something in response, but could not find the words to say. Instead, she nodded her head towards Flippy and placed a smile on her face, even if it was forced a little.
Walking ahead of Flippy for a moment, she came to a sudden halt as she felt his hand grab onto her left shoulder. The unexpected grasp made her jump and turn around instantly, looking at the serious expression of Flippy's face. "Y-Yes, Flippy?"
"Where did you hear that name, Flaky? Just curious how you came to hear it."
Flaky was afraid of being asked where she heard about Lammy. She didn't want to rat out Petunia as being the culprit of telling her about Lammy, though it would be hard to make up a decent lie if she was at work all day. Thus, Flaky thought up a generalized answer to keep Petunia safe, if only a little.
With a shrug of her shoulders, Flaky brushed back her hair as she made a fake laugh. "Oh, just overheard it from someone at work today. Probably just some random customers talking about her or something. Can't really tell who it was."
Flippy nodded his head slowly as he looked down at his feet. "At work today? I see… you sure you have no clue at all who would mention her?"
"Yep, I have zero idea who said it. I just recall hearing the name and I was only wondering if you knew her."
"I see…" Clearing his throat, Flippy stood up straight and took a step closer to Flaky. He gave her a warm smile and opened his arms out for a friendly hug. "Well, it was good meeting you again, Flaky! I enjoyed this nice walk with you and I really look forward to our time together this weekend."
A little skeptical at first, Flaky decided to return the gesture by giving a happy smile to Flippy and hugging him tightly. "It was good meeting you too, Flippy. And I too look forward to this weekend as well!"
Holding their hug for a few seconds, the two broke apart and began to walk their separate paths. After a few steps, though, Flaky turned around to see Flippy going the direction leading back into town where they came from. "Hey, Flippy, where are you going?"
Flippy let out a hearty chuckle as he waved goodbye to Flaky, not turning his head back. "Oh I'm just going to take care of something I forgot to do back in town. Won't take long. I'll see you later, Flaky. Have a good night!"
Flaky kept her eyes on Flippy as he continued to walk back into town. After watching him walk far off into the distance, she turned around and marched back to the comfort and safety of her home.
Whatever Flippy had planned back in town, it couldn't be anything worth worrying about.
Author's Note: Oh boy, more mysterious history being revealed about Flippy, and more questions being raised! Who's this Lammy person and what did she have to do with Flippy? And what does Flippy plan to do on his way back to town (as if you guys need to think hard on that one... or maybe you do, who knows, Flippy can do whatever the hell he wants for his beloved Flaky)? Whatever it is, I'm sure it'll be a lovely surprise for everyone (if they can survive it, of course)!
Anyways, again I must apologize for a near three month wait for an update. But I really hope this chapter has made it up, and I already got big plans of what I want to do down the line! For now, I thank every single one of my readers! Your follows, favs, and well-thought reviews all inspire me to keep pushing forward and I am glad to see you all enjoying it!
As always, please leave a review and tell me your thoughts, fav or follow if you're enjoying the story thus far, and thank you all for reading!