Living next door to each other seemed to be a, “too good to be true” kind of thing for Alex, but it was certainly true. Ever since Stella moved in next door a year ago in August of ‘96, Alex had been very well fed. He, of course, would return the privilege and make her hundreds of breakfasts. They’ve gone on many outings together and have traveled to quite a few exciting places so much, that their relationship was similar to a marriage, only it was strictly platonic. Was there any kind of passion between them? Maybe not, but then, sometimes things never really stay the same in a relationship, sometimes. Alex and Stella’s relationship was special.
The two were close to each other, having their own key to each others apartments after a week of meeting each other. They had a type of bond that made them the best of friends. However, for some strange reason, visions started popping up in Alex’s head. After a whole year of being “buddy’s”, he started visualizing the two of them together, as a couple. Walking on the sand on a beach somewhere at night, they would hold hands. Walking on the docs at the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk at night, with the full moon shining down they would stop and kiss, in between walks. The images were so vivid that, it seemed almost, real.
He’d catch himself smiling after his so-called trance and quickly force out a couple chuckles just to shake it off, excusing the ridiculous images from his mind. Was he kidding himself? Were they from his head? Or, were they from his heart?
Alex drove his ‘64 Impala into the Empress apartments parking lot. His classic Chevy was modified with hydraulics and painted a nice dark-red color with a black convertible top. Rolling along on four spoke rims, the car would gently bounce as he maneuvered it in his lettered spot, B26. He gave a small rev on the accelerator, ejecting more of the rumbling glass-pack sounds from the muffler before shutting it off. The black ‘69 Camaro was in its own spot, B25, right next to Alex. He smiled. The jet black paint looked so shiny as if it just had a wash and wax job. The metal was smooth to his touch as he ran his fingers from the door to the rear chromed bumper, just before heading up to his apartment. “The angel is home”, he said in his head.
Aside from turning wrenches at Oscar’s Automotive, Stella took a job offer at Luci’s Coffee House just to make extra money. Besides her baby sitting job back in 1989, she used to wait on tables at her mother’s work. Selena was the chef at Ramona’s Kitchen. Gloria, the owner, was like a sister to Selena and treated Stella like a niece. She was taught all that she could learn and gave her heart and soul to this job for an entire year, until the family’s first trip, to the snow…