Things Money Can't Buy @shinygrowlithe12
Chapter 10

"Why are you here?" May asks her old friend once Drew leaves.

He gives her a warm smile while sitting down next to her. "I'm sorry it took me so long to visit, May. But I'm finally out here in LaRousse City now."

Feeling the anger in her after years of not hearing from him, she exclaims, "Why didn't you call?"

He sighs as he runs a hand through his hair. "I joined my dad on a research expedition shortly after leaving here. We were in another country and I couldn't get international calling. I doubt the orphanage can afford that too."

May sadly looks down at her hands. Why is Brenden back now? Why now while she's finally moved on? Why not that Drew is here?

When she doesn't say anything back, Brenden continues, "I really wanted to see you again, May, so I worked hard and I now have a job in LaRousse City. I also managed to transfer to LaRousse University. You'll be seeing me a lot more often now, I promise!"

Her hurt eyes look into his ruby red orbs. "Are you sure I can trust you, Brenden? It's been almost 4 years."

"I know, May. And I'm sorry. But I'm here now, and I'll show you that I'll make good on my promise."

His reassuring smile makes her want to forgive him. Brenden has always been kind to her while growing up at the orphanage. They would look out for each other and protect each other at school too. Every time they'd argue, they could make up. She knows Brenden wouldn't intentionally hurt her. Sighing, May smiles at her old friend. "Okay, Brenden. Welcome back."

1 Week Later

Drew finally returns to the orphanage to replace the rose he promised May he would. He waited until the last possible day to do this because he couldn't find it in himself to show up after the whole Brenden thing.

Also, his parents were annoyed that he missed one of the meetings, but since he showed up to the other ones, he was let off the hook. Drew doesn't even know what he's doing anymore. What does he want? He wants to be happy with May, but he'd lose the company. He doesn't mind losing the company; however, he won't be able to help all the orphans if that happens.

Groaning, Drew finally gets out of his car to walk inside the orphanage. Since it is a weekday evening, Betty tackles him in a hug. She hasn't seen him in almost 2 weeks when he usually visits a few times a week. "Been busy, Drew?" She asks while walking him to the cafeteria.

"Yeah." He smiles. It's not really a lie. He's always busy, but he makes time for the orphanage.

"Oh! Brenden is back!" Betty tells him. "Tyler told me that Brenden and May grew up together here! But then Brenden left, and now he's back! He visits sometimes too. May really likes him."

Drew feels an ache in his chest from that last sentence. Figures, though, since May was so quick to get rid of Drew once Brenden showed up. It's fine, however, because Drew doesn't plan to stay too long today. Hopefully, May tells him to stop bringing roses, so then he doesn't need to break his promise.

After Drew greets all the children and catches up with them, he notices May helping some of the high schoolers with homework. Choosing to stay clear of her, Drew decides to wash the dishes. Drew Hayden normally doesn't do any chores, but out of the kindness of his heart, he'll wash the dishes. If he doesn't, then either May or the children will do it, and they should be focusing on other things than dirty dishes.

Drew also just needs something to do to avoid talking to May. He hasn't greeted her, and he isn't even sure if she knows he's here. However, a pat on his back gets his attention, and he turns to see the very woman who's been making his heart ache.

"I was worried. The rose isn't looking too good now." She giggles.

Of course, Drew Hayden puts on his usual smirk. "I know you look forward to my gifts, June."

Fuming, she splashes soap duds at him. "It's May, grasshead!"

"What was that, April?" Drew chuckles while May's face turns a darker shade of red. Drying his hands on the apron, he pulls out the thornless rose to hand to her, which makes her calm down. "Here you go." He then resumes rinsing the rest of the dishes when she runs off with the rose.

After the dishes, Drew heads out to leave. Normally, he'd stick around until all the children are put to bed, but he only came to deliver the rose. As he walks through the lobby, Betty looks up at him. "Leaving already?"

He turns to smile at her. "Yeah."

"Why?"

"Work." he lies, and she nods.

"When will you be back?"

Shrugging, Drew nonchalantly says, "A week." Just in time to replace the rose.

Betty sadly sighs while returning her attention to her homework. "I miss you, Drew." She had to go from seeing Drew all day every day to seeing him a few times a week to now seeing him once a week. Soon, she suspects he will stop showing up all together, like the many other volunteers in the past who've made broken promises to them.

Drew leans over the tall counter to look down at the girl. He's been so selfish thinking about his needs and his happiness that he's forgotten about the children. So what if hanging out with May is too painful now? These children love him and look forward to his visits. And he loves them too.

Ruffling Betty's hair, Drew walks back around the counter and grins at her. "Maybe I'll stay for a bedtime story."

Betty smiles brightly at him while tackling him in a hug. "I'm not a kid, Drew!"

"Unless you want advice on Tyler?" teases the man, which makes Betty shove him with a bright blush on her face.

"May's right. You're annoying." Hearing the name of that woman makes him frown, and unfortunately, Betty notices this. "What's wrong?"

He quickly smirks as he flicks his hair. "Just thinking about how you'll soon be too busy over Tyler to care about me."

The blushing teen rolls her eyes. "You're still important to me, Drew!"

"I'm glad to hear that." Betty always makes him feel more at ease. At first, he found the girl too talkative and annoying, but she reminds him of a younger sister. Drew spends the rest of the time hanging out with Betty while helping her with her homework. Once bedtime hits, he gives her a hug and waits until she closes the bedroom door before making the walk down the hall.

Drew really hopes May's door is closed or that she doesn't call out to him, but as soon as he walks past the open door, she calls out, "Drew?" Maybe if he keeps walking, she'll think he didn't hear her. However, she rushes out of the room to grab his arm. "You're leaving already?"

He gives her his usual smirk. "Yup. Got work early in the morning."

May looks down disappointedly because she had wanted to talk to Drew. It's been 2 weeks since she got to have a late night conversation with him. Plus, she really misses him, despite almost kissing him last week. "Do you have 5 minutes?"

Her weak voice seems to melt the ice around Drew's heart as he nods. "Sure."

She doesn't let go of his arm as she drags him down the short distance to her room where he sits on the chair and she sits on the bed. Her gaze is still away from him, so he looks around the room. It still looks the same, and he notices that she replaced the rose with the one he gave her earlier.

"Are you mad at me?"

Her voice turns his attention onto the shy woman. Why would she think that? He could never be mad at her. If anything, he's mad at himself for falling for her. It just complicates his life and gives him heartache. "No."

Those glossy sapphire blue eyes gaze into him as she asks, "Then why are you avoiding me?"

Sighing, Drew runs a hand through his green hair. "You really shouldn't be inviting men to your room late at night when you have a boyfriend." Just the thought of that black haired man from last week irks Drew. How had he never heard of Brenden before?

May blinks at him in confusion. "I don't have a boyfriend?"

Shaking his head with a sad chuckle, Drew says, "Betty told me you like Brenden, so you and I really shouldn't be doing this anymore."

She furiously stands up as she glares at him. "I don't like Brenden anymore!"

"Anymore? Sounds like you still have feelings for him then!"

"How would you know? You can't read minds!"

"Why else would you kick me out once he showed up?"

"We had to catch up! Brenden's just a friend!"
"Yeah, a friend you have feelings for!" Drew hates how this woman keeps denying her feelings. He doesn't need her to protect him! She should just be honest and then they go their separate ways.

"Why does it matter to you who I like?" she shouts angrily, and she's right.

Why does it matter to him? Yes, he possibly likes her, but it's not like they're dating. They're just friends. Her love life is of no concern to him. Standing up from his chair, Drew heads to the door. "You're right. It doesn't."

And she lets him leave because she's too angry and hurt to stop him. How dare he tell her who she likes and doesn't like? Brenden is just a childhood crush while Drew… She blushes while thinking about the man who was just in her room. Drew has never broken a promise to her. Yes, they argue, especially more often lately, but he still comes back to replace the rose.

May looks over at the fresh rose he had given her today. Does she like Drew? He seems like he wants her to admit she likes Brenden though, so maybe that's him hinting to her that he doesn't like her. Maybe he started noticing her blushes every time they talk or how she always wants to be with him? And being the nice friend that he is, he's trying to avoid any confession from her, even if that means telling her to like Brenden.

Groaning, the woman gets up to turn off the light and close her door. Fine, Drew. She won't like him anymore. She shouldn't anyway. They both live in entirely different worlds, so they should just keep their relationship professional. It wouldn't work out anyway.

A Few Days Later

Brenden comes to visit after his classes have let out for the day. He recognizes some of the children, but there are a few that weren't here when he was here. Betty at the front counter is really nice to him. All of the children are pretty nice except for Tyler who just ignores him. However, May says that's just how Tyler is, especially to volunteers.

As Brenden sits with May for dinner, the two catch up some more. He shares that he's studying to be a lawyer so he can help stand up for voiceless children, like the orphans. Being at the orphanage taught him a lot, and he wants to help however he can. Soon, the two are talking like they used to when they were younger.

"So who's Drew?" Brenden finally asks about the man he met a few weeks ago.

"You know he just volunteered here as community service for that drunk driving incident last year." May knowingly tells him. Her heart aches a bit thinking about the green haired man.

"Yeah, but that's been over for a few months now right? Betty says he still comes around often."

"He likes the kids, so he helps out when she can." the woman shrugs. She really doesn't want to be talking about Drew since he stormed off a few days ago.

"Do you like him?" Brenden asks with a blush on his cheeks, which causes May to look back at her food awkwardly.

"No!" She lies. "He's just a volunteer, Brenden!"

Breathing a sigh of relief, the man says, "Good. Because I like you, May." He grins shyly at her as his face heats up more. "I've liked you since we were kids, so I feel like you should know I still do."

Of course, this makes May blush profusely while she puts a spoonful of food in her mouth. If Brenden had told her this a year ago, she would've been ecstatic because she's been crushing on him since they were 12. But why does she feel disappointed?

Noticing her silence, Brenden quickly stammers, "I know we've changed a lot in 4 years, so we can take it slow. But I just wanted you to know, May. I'm able to support us both now."

"I'm staying at the orphanage. The children have no one else." Although it was once hers and Brenden's dream to live together once they left the orphanage, May has since taken it upon herself to be the new caregiver here. She can't just leave all of the orphans for her own selfish needs. She now sees why Ms. Lovely, the previous caretaker, was always alone.

Brenden throws his hands up in defense. "I know, May! And I'll help you because I also care about the orphans." He gives her his genuine smile. "So uh, don't worry too much about my confession, but I promised myself that I'd tell you the next time I saw you. We can still be friends if you don't feel the same way."

Her gaze now meets his as she gives him a smile back. "Thanks, Brenden. I'm not really looking to date right now."

"I respect that." May's his closest friend, so of course Brenden will always love to keep her as such. If she could be more, he'd like that too, but he'll need to earn her affection back.

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