Ever since Mandy had officially left, Eugene was none the happier. Turns out having two practical strangers living in his house at this point was way better than being alone, but there was nothing he could do about that now.
Casper was still around, of course. There was nothing Eugene could do ever get the man to leave, and he kinda appreciated that. Of course, he hadn’t improved as a friend (okay, maybe a little), but Eugene found comfort in that. His life seemed to be going nowhere, and to have something he knows, like an idiot artist for a friend, around was better than nothing.
Managing some amount of strength, Eugene rolled out of bed and made his way to his closet to get ready for the day. He never thought things would get worse from finally being honest about how he felt, but he supposed not everything gets fixed with honesty.
Pulling on his favorite sweater vest; a black one with thin white stripes going across it, and his beanie, he was finally okay to face the world. Though the bags under his eyes spoke otherwise, nonetheless, he carried on. He didn’t have to work today, so there wasn’t much to do or planned for the matter.
Making his way out, he got into his car and thought of the one place that brought him some solace at the moment, Frank’s Diner. The drive was short but seemed to be longer than usual, the A/C being the only noise that filled the car, though muffled.
Once he arrived, he noticed it was fairly empty, which wasn’t uncommon but he had expected more for some reason. Getting out of the car, he made sure to adjust his beanie, and walked to the entrance door and went inside. He was immediately greeted by the waitress from before, the one who mistook his blueberry shake for a chocolate one. He wasn’t mad at her for it, never was, but minor problems became bigger that day. He gave a simple wave back and scoured the booths for a spot.
Sitting down, he noticed a familiar face. Though the one and only memory of them wasn’t that pleasant, he still tried to say hello. The man, dressed in the same green hat and pink button up that Eugene remembers slightly seeing, seemed to dart away from looking at him once Eugene turned to greet him, seemingly as if he had already been staring.
“Hello! I don’t know if you remember me, but you punched my friend and I kinda want to say, uh, thanks?” He tried, even offering a smile. The man looked back up at him, a confused look on his face, but to Eugene, it came off as rather pissed, so he meekly turned away.
The waitress, Claire, from what he learned by reading her name tag, came up to his booth. She greeted him with a smile and a ‘hello!’, as well as a ‘what can I get for you?’.
Eugene gave a small smile back, looking at the menu in front of him for a second before telling her what he wanted; blueberry pancakes with scrambled eggs. She smiled brightly and wrote it down, taking his menu away before leaving.
As he waited, Eugene felt eyes bore into the back of his head. Metaphorically of course, but damn, did it make him nervous.
“Aye! Beanie baby, what’s your name?” The man behind him called, and for a second Eugene fell flustered at the nickname. He gathered himself and turned around.
“E-Eugene?” He replied, though it sounded more like a question than an answer. The man gave him a strong stare before smiling slightly, turning his attention to the paper before him. Eugene didn’t even notice he was writing until that moment, and it sparked curiosity in him. Why did he want his name?
He turned back around and pulled out his phone, the thing was severely outdated, but he hadn’t much care to get a new one. Dialing Caspers number, the diner’s doorbell rang and he found himself moving his phone from his ear.
“Eugene! Of course this would be the first place I find you at, why didn’t you call?” Casper questioned him as he walked to the booth to sit across from him. Eugene just sighed and looked at out the window, it was kinda dark out and seemed as if it might rain later.
“I literally was just about to, I didn’t know you were looking for me,” Eugene states, tapping the table lightly with his fingers. Casper just gave him a look before looking out the window with him.
“How are you, man? I know I haven’t been a good best friend lately, but I’m working on that.” Casper tried, and Eugene couldn’t help but think that sad wasn’t a good look on him.
“Good, I guess. Finally can sleep in my bed peacefully.” He laughed, but it was chopped up and forced. Casper gave him a sad look before his attention was caught by the man sitting in the booth behind them.
“Wait a minute- dude, look, it’s the guy that punched me!” Casper stated with less anger and more surprise than Eugene expected. “I still haven’t had a tooth grow back there.” He momentarily feels his cheek before returning his attention back to Eugene, who was outlining imaginary figures into the table with his finger.
“Eugene-” “Here you go! Enjoy.” Claire smiled at the two, placing down Eugene’s plate before leaving.
“Sorry, you were saying?” Eugene inquired, picking up his fork and poked at his eggs.
“This isn’t healthy. None of this is good for you, Eugene. I know this is weird coming from me but, you should be trying to search for happiness instead of wallowing in your guilt.” Casper explained, huffing out a breath when Eugene did nothing but place his fork down. “Why are you still thinking about her? Don’t deny it either, because me and you both know you are.”
“It’s hard to explain, it’s, just,” He doesn’t look up from his plate, doesn’t have to. “She was the only person who loved me enough to be with me, and she just, broke me I guess.”
That sparked the man in the booth behind them’s attention, his expression was kept strong as if he was constantly mad, but the words burrowed themselves into his heart. It stung. He didn’t have any rhyme or reason to even look at Eugene, but he did and something about that irked him.
Shaking his head, he returned back to his writing.
Each day following ended relatively the same. Eugene would come to the diner at approximately 7:32 am, sit down two booths away from the door and order the same thing; blueberry pancakes with scrambled eggs.
It wasn’t like Travis was paying attention, no, anyone with eyes could see the guy came here every day. Well, maybe he was, but not to the obvious things. The more subtle things; which consisted of how he spoke to each person, his friend, the waitress. He was timid, it seemed, only speaking once spoken to. There were also times his friend didn’t come to the diner, and he spent the time here alone. He talked to himself, very quietly and usually, it was just responses.
Today wasn’t like that, not really. Eugene still came to the diner, but sat up at the stools by the register. He looked tired, from what Travis could tell. He wasn’t really looking, nor was he going to acknowledge the relief he felt when he saw Eugene walk in. He cared, just as much as the next person did. That’s what he told himself at least.
Turning back to the notebook in front of him, he frowned at the scribbles and illegible writings. They weren’t bad, but he held no pride in them. Glancing back up at Eugene, who was looking down in a cup of water he had ordered, and got an idea. He let himself smile slightly, though it looked rather rigid from an outside view, and began to write. Words and expressions spilling out of him in the form of red ink on lined paper.
He hoped this would do something.