He rested a palm against a nearby wall, frowning.
“Wondered why she was avoiding this place … “ he murmured to the house. He couldn't help thinking about his birth father. He knew it was silly, his mother had always refused to answer questions about him. All he knew was that he was dead. How he died or how she met him were the mysteries. Michael had a feeling this town could answer them. He considered going to bed then pulled his jacket on. He knew he wouldn't be able to sleep, his thoughts too crazy. He headed towards the main street and spotted the dirt path again. He ignored it and walked into the town centre. Most of the shops were closing down apart from the bigger brand ones. The large coffee shop he'd seen was still open and clearly doing well.
He hesitated before entering. As he walked in he felt eyes glance his way briefly. The feeling that everyone in this town knew everyone made him feel like a walking freakshow. Even as they resumed their conversation he had a feeling eyes were watching him walk to a small free table near the back of the place. A waitress came over and took his order, which was a plain coffee with no sugar. As he was waiting the doors opened again and a big group walked in. He recognised them as being the group from the lake instantly. Although he could make them out individually now. They were talking and laughing, completely relaxed. As Michael looked around though, he got the distinct feeling everyone else had become on edge. Even the waitress jaw had grown taunt as they approached the register to order drinks. He counted four guys and girls. Some of them looked like they could've been related. He saw the blond guy from before who'd been rude. Another guy, much taller than the others with black shoulder-length hair, streaked with blue and purple, was making the orders. His voice deep and his smile as he looked at the waitress genuine. Michael couldn't help thinking it was as if he was trying to put her at ease.
Michael watched as the blond guy sent the other guy a side-glance. Michael had thought he'd been rude to him before, but the glare then. The hate was obvious. The waitress finished taking their orders and went to start making drinks. Michael realised that behind him the people on the sofas were standing up, taking their half finished drinks to other, smaller tables. He looked straight ahead as the group passed, an instinct telling him it was the smart thing to do. He should've realised the blond guy would've recognised him.
“Michael,” he said, dropping into the chair opposite him without warning. Michael jolted at the sudden action and saw the guy smirk in response. He held out a hand between them. “I think we might've got off to a bad start before,” he began. “My name's Lewis.” he said. Michael starred at him uncertainly as he shook the offered hand.
“Nice to meet you,” Michael lied. He could tell Lewis knew, as his smirk remained in place. He heard one of the girls chuckle quietly with another darker skinned girl, before leaning onto the table between them. Her low cut top flashing a lot more flesh than he felt comfortable seeing.
“So, you're the guy who went near the lake?” she asked. Her hair was a waterfall of pitch black curls, every strand shimmering as it moved. She was the type of girl every guy must've stopped to look at. Right now, her baby blue eyes were focussed on him. Michael nodded silently. He couldn't help noticing how conversation around them had died. It was like everyone else in the room was waiting for something to happen.
“Maybe you should come by at midnight tonight. It'll be fun,” she said, raising an eyebrow. He saw that Lewis was fighting the urge to laugh and wondered why. Michael opened his mouth to say a very clear no, but someone else beat him to it.
“Lewis. Amber. Back off.” Michaels eyes flew to the tall guy, along with the others. Lewis huffed a sigh and stood up. Amber pushed away from the table with a bored look. He noticed a second guy with dirty blond hair looked annoyed by his interference as well. One of the other girls who had light brown hair pulled into a plait sent Lewis a glare. If it bothered him, he didn't show it.
“Such a killjoy cousin,” Amber muttered as they went to the sofas. Michael watched them move away, his eyes on the guy who'd stepped in. He seemed to be the leader somehow - though how that worked when one of them seriously disliked him, he didn't know. Michael didn't even wait around, he just stood up and left. When he pushed opened the door and walked past the window he caught Lewis and Amber watching him along with their friends, dark skin girl and dirty blond hair guy. The looks they sent weren't unfriendly, but they weren't reassuring either. Michael could feel the hairs on the back of his neck stand up from them. He broke the contact and kept walking.