Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 251 - A Birthday Wish

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:16:16]
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All day long Keeley was a gigantic bundle of nerves. She barely managed to say happy birthday to Aaron in front of the coffee machine in the morning because she was too afraid of blurting something and ruining the surprise.


He had continued offering her coffee all week even though she had been turning it down ever since she found out she was pregnant because caffeine wouldn\'t be good for the baby. By this point he didn\'t seem surprised that she settled for a glass of milk with her bagel instead.


Since she looked so haggard from nerves, he tried insisting she have some to wake her up but she refused. \'You won\'t be offering me coffee tomorrow, that\'s for sure,\' she thought.


Keeley was so anxious she couldn\'t stop fidgeting throughout her classes, scribbling down notes at top speed. Every second she wasn\'t taking notes she was doodling in the margins just to have something to do.


She glanced at the clock. It was only 1:48 PM. Why couldn\'t this day be over with already? She had been stressing about it for over a week!


===


Aaron typed away furiously at his keyboard as he worked on writing up his next proposal regarding the expansion. He had enough contacts in Canada now that he wanted to set up some branches in different provinces.


Aside from a very hurried and anxious \'happy birthday\' from the light of his life this morning as she ran out the door, it was like any other work day. Birthdays weren\'t even special to him anymore. They hadn\'t been for most of his lives.


His parents threw the big parties that were excuses to network with their associates but none of it ever felt genuine. A lot of the time the parties weren\'t even on his actual birthday so when the day came, nobody celebrated it.


The first person to truly celebrate his birthday had been Keeley.


His birthday fell on a Saturday after the first week of school during their freshman year of college. She had been texting him all week to be sure and make time for her on Saturday. He didn\'t know she even knew his birthday so he was confused why she was so insistent they hang out Saturday instead of Sunday.


The freshman dorms at Boston University didn\'t have kitchens but she still bought him a cupcake at a popular bakery downtown and stuck a candle in it. Keeley smiled brightly as she held it out to him after hiding it behind her back when they met up in the Boston Common.


"Happy birthday, Aaron!"


Aaron had been so overwhelmed by this simple gesture that he stared at her unblinkingly like a fish for several moments. Eventually he was able to recover his wits, thank her, and accept the treat. She lit the candle and sang the birthday song to him all by herself before he blew it out.


"What did you wish for?" she asked curiously.


"I\'m not telling."


It would be too embarrassing to say that he wished she would be there for every birthday for the rest of his life. Unfortunately that wish hadn\'t come true. He spent decades of birthdays alone.


With how warm she had been toward him lately…how was he supposed to not get his hopes up that she would celebrate with him today? But alas, she had to work. He was considering bringing her food personally today just so he wouldn\'t have to eat dinner alone.


Aiden poked his head in the door. "Boss man! I have a request."


"What is it?"


He sprawled across the couch, perfectly at home. Well, he did bother Aaron in his office at least once a day. It made sense he would feel comfortable in here.


"There\'s this Korean restaurant I\'ve been wanting to try out forever but nobody will go with me. As your favorite employee, pretty please come with me tonight?"


If it were any other day he would have shot Aiden down immediately. As it was…he was lonely and wanted to be around other people on his birthday, even if that person was as annoying as this guy.


Was this a coincidence or did Aiden know? He was an all-knowing hacker. He had to have seen his boss\' birth date at some point in time even if he didn\'t remember it.


"Does it have to be tonight?"


"Why, are you busy?" he asked doubtfully.


"No…"


The kid smiled brightly. "Come on, it\'ll be fun! I won\'t even give you a hard time if you can\'t eat the spiciest kimchi."


"Alright," Aaron agreed. Spending his birthday with this clown would be slightly better than spending it by himself.


"Excellent! I\'ll text you the address; meet me there at six!"


He scampered out of the office as quickly as he had come. Did he really come all the way to the top floor just to ask about dinner plans? Usually he had at least some valuable information mixed in with the idle chatter.


Aaron shrugged it off and returned to his proposal draft. It needed to be done before the next board meeting or he would have to wait an entire month to try again. He certainly couldn\'t have that.


Since proposing a headquarters in Monaco, he had been sure to have a new part of his overall expansion plan ready before each board meeting. The shareholders would see that Aaron was a bright young mind leading the company into the future as opposed to Alistair, who never came up with new ideas anymore.


He needed to plant seeds of doubt about his father in the minds of the neutral shareholders while painting himself in a positive light. When the time came, they would be more likely to side with him that way.


The plan hadn\'t been moving as swiftly as he would like it to but progress remained steady. There weren\'t any major setbacks so far. Either Alistair was becoming duller not to have noticed what his son was up to or he was confident that he would prevail.


Aaron wasn\'t sure which would be better news for him. Overconfidence could breed disaster but what if he was confident because he had a plan to fire back?


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