He was late.
Well, only a little late. 10 minutes late to be exact. Besides, being 10 minutes late wasn’t the end of the world - right? Like, this morning, Martin had told him 4:30 pm, and then, just an hour ago, texted him to say that he got off at 4:00pm instead. To make matters worse, he didn’t even see the text until 20 minutes ago. He had been so swamped with work that he hadn’t checked his phone since lunch.
When he finally had a spare moment to check his phone, he was greeted with two rather alarming text messages.
Martin ☀︎: i just found out some bad news about my treatments. please don’t tell Robin. he doesn’t need to know yet
Martin ☀︎: just meet me at work at 4 if you can
When he tried to call him back it went straight to voicemail, meaning he was probably on the phone with Robin or something.
So yeah, he was rushing a little bit more than usual. Those texts worried him. Martin had been under a lot of stress recently. Simon knew that Robin had taken the job in California to help ease some of their financial issues, but in his absence, everything else had slowly begun to crumble. Their situation just seemed to keep spiraling.
Yet, Martin seemed so solid. His rent, treatments, and mental health were all on the line right now. All of this seemed like such a huge burden for just one person to handle. Still, he never complained. He wished Martin and Robin would let him take some of the financial strain away. After all, he had come into a lot of money recently.
He was the CEO of this new software start-up that, by some miracle, had actually started to pick up. It had started off as a side gig during his internship with Google, and before he knew it, his client list had grown exponentially. In just short 8 months, he had been able to hire a small staff, and then shortly after that, pay for an office space. It was a dream come true. Before he had even turned 21, he had already been on Forbes Top 100 Successful Entrepreneurs Under 25 list.
“Excuse me, pardon me, please.” Simon said, moving clumsily around the group of teenage girls standing at the door of his local Starbucks. He pushed the door open heavily with his hip, tripping over the door frame and almost dropping his coffee in the process.
Now before you say anything, yes of course the coffee was absolutely necessary. Yes, he was already late. No, he could not live without it. It was part of his routine and he needed his life to have some routine. It helped ground his anxieties.
He held his coffee close in the crook of his arm and unlocked his phone again, hoping to send a quick text to Martin. He’d tell him he’d be there soon and to just please wait inside. He didn’t want to create any more stress for him. If he could just beat traffic, he’d be there for 4:20pm.
He quickly rounded the corner and before he could press send, he felt someone crash into him.
Simon yelped as his cold ice coffee drenched his midsection. For the love of God - he just got this shirt! He was about to berate the stranger for being so careless. For not paying attention! For spilling his vanilla iced coffee everywhere. He was going to have this guy pay for-
“Yo, you okay? My bad bro,” the stranger said, his tone apologetic. His voice was low and gravelly. Simon looked back up at him. The stranger was about his age, gorgeous, and completely covered in tattoos from the neck down.
Simon felt himself freeze up. Instead of speaking, he stood there, mouth agape, hands hovering midair uselessly. Naturally, he had run into the hottest guy in all of New York and of course, he had to spill his coffee all over himself.
“Oh don’t even worry about it! I should have been paying attention! You know what they say! Addicted to technology, right?” Simon replied anxiously, at a volume far too loudly, as he waved his phone around.