Run, Girl (If You Can) - Chapter 365 - What Does Love Feel Like?

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 19:17:00]
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The next morning Alice didn\'t feel any better. She overslept; not waking up until Keeley was knocking on her door.

"I\'m so sorry, I don\'t know what\'s gotten into me," she apologized as she opened the front door.

"You\'re going through something difficult; I don\'t blame you for being tired," Keeley replied with a sympathetic smile. "What do you want for breakfast?"

As always, her kindness impressed Alice. Maybe talking things out with her friend would improve her mood.

"Crepes. I could really go for some crepes."

Keeley loaded the babies back into the car and drove them all to a popular crepe place not far from Battery Park. Thankfully they had high chairs available or she wasn\'t sure what she would do. It wasn\'t safe for them to sit on regular chairs in case they fell off.

Alice ordered vanilla bean, peaches, and cream crepes while Keeley chose fruit salsa crepes with whipped cream and caramel sauce and got a plain one with whipped cream for the twins. As they waited for their food, she suggested Alice tell her everything that happened.

She explained why Brock changed his mind as emotionlessly as she could. She didn\'t want to cry in front of her friend even though she felt even more broken and unwanted than she had since the divorce began.

Originally she thought the divorce would be liberating. She resented that jerk and all he had put her through. So why was she still sad? She was free sooner than she thought was possible and had gotten the terms she wanted! She should be thrilled!

"Just because you got what you wanted doesn\'t mean you can\'t be sad," Keeley said wisely. "Human emotions are complex things. He said something terrible; it\'s perfectly normal to be sad about it."

Her words were validating, which made Alice feel both better and worse. She didn\'t want to be emotional. All her life she had been taught to suppress her emotions. She wasn\'t allowed to show weakness in front of others.

But she needed to stop thinking this way. Hadn\'t she been inspired to leave Brock by seeing how much Aaron had changed? He had been the Ice King! If anyone had learned how to express their emotions properly after a lifetime of suppression, he had.

He was much happier for it. She shouldn\'t let her upbringing hold her back anymore. Alice wanted to be as happy as Aaron.

"I am sad," she admitted with much difficulty. "I\'m sad and confused and even worse, I think I somehow offended Roger. He didn\'t send me a good morning text today and he always does that."

She hadn\'t noticed at first because she was in such a scramble to get ready but once they were in the car she had time to check. Nothing. He had been acting weird last night so it was impossible not to jump to conclusions.

Keeley raised an eyebrow. "How could you have possibly offended him? That guy adores you."

Alice\'s brain froze at the second sentence but her friend didn\'t notice because the food had arrived and she was busy cutting up the plain crepe into little bites for her children. Adores her? Roger? That couldn\'t be possible.

She wasn\'t like Keeley. She wasn\'t warm or cute or fun. Men didn\'t adore women like her. Alice was distinctly unlovable and had known that for a long time despite hoping she could marry again someday for love.

Eventually Keeley looked up from her crepe and saw the stunned expression on her friend\'s face. She frowned.

"Don\'t tell me you didn\'t know. I don\'t see the two of you together often but every time I do he\'s very attentive. A man wouldn\'t do that if he wasn\'t interested."

Roger had always been kind to her so Alice had thought he was simply a nice person. Had he really liked her this entire time? It didn\'t seem possible.

"Say you\'re right and he is interested. What could I have said that set him off then?" she asked skeptically.

Keeley shrugged. "I don\'t know. What exactly did you say to him?"

Alice thought about it. She told him what Brock did…he got indignant on her behalf…she thanked him and told him he was a good friend… Once she told all of that to Keeley she looked at her in disbelief.

"Alice, think about it. If he cares about you of course he doesn\'t want to hear that he\'s a good friend. That\'s the classic \'I\'m not interested in you\' line."

Keeley paused, a troubled look on her face. "I had a good male friend once who liked me when I didn\'t feel the same. He didn\'t react well and ended up saying terrible things to me because he was hurt. I don\'t think Roger is that kind of person. He\'s probably not saying anything because he wants to sort out his feelings and still be good to you."

Her head was reeling. Could Roger really like her? But why? She wasn\'t anybody special. She had been discarded over and over again by people who were supposed to love her. Her friends. Her parents. Her husband.

How could she possibly believe someone would truly care about her? It didn\'t make sense!

Even if he did like her…Alice wasn\'t sure if she felt the same way. Her only love had been twisted. She didn\'t know what genuine love felt like.

"What does it feel like when you\'re in love with someone?" she blurted.

Keeley\'s eyes widened with surprise before a soft smile appeared on her face. She leaned her head on her hand as she answered.

"I can only speak for my own experience…but you\'re happiest around that person. They make you smile and laugh more than anybody else. And you feel completely comfortable around them."

For a moment Alice was appalled that she could feel those things toward such a cold fish as Aaron. Happiest around him? He makes her smile and laugh? She feels completely comfortable around him? Was she really talking about Aaron Hale?!

She had long wondered how someone like Keeley ended up with her normally reticent friend but this was too unbelievable. That being said…her description of love struck a chord.

"You sound like you\'re describing a best friend rather than a lover."

"Aaron is my best friend. My mom was my dad\'s best friend. Jennica and Cameron are best friends. I don\'t think the two things are mutually exclusive," she said with a shrug before taking a big bite of her crepe.