Archie was still a wee bit timid around Hayley. They were such opposites. He'd figured it out soon enough. Still they're friendship was highly unlikely. Of course, he got the idea she was just trying to make that odd boyfriend of hers jealous.
Soon enough, it was a mission of hers to find his father. Really, it gave his stomach fits, thinking he might meet him. Although, it was a lot of Hayley's doing. She'd find a lead and they'd end up a weekend out of the month, together, searching for this man he didn't even have a picture of.
It was hopeless. He knew. But she'd get excited, and he'd find himself excited too. And then nothing.
He wasn't really into boring her brother, either. Who so happened to be his brother, too. Really, Jules was their only connection. But she'd talk about him. The more he heard, he guessed Jules was the one more like his father than he was.
After all, Archie knew he was rather bland. Definitely, not an attention getter. But he made do, with his studies. He was on his way to start pharmacy school. Quite possibly not the scientist he'd intended to be, but it looked quite feasible when it came to job opportunities. This was what he intended on looking forward, too. Not finding this deadbeat father of his. So it was quite nice to have Hayley's mother, all to himself. Although, he hoped that didn't sound creepy.
She'd made all his favorites, Friday night. Shepherd's pie and cream cake. They'd dined alone and she'd asked about school and if he'd met anyone. He told her not really. After all, he wasn't there to really meet anyone. She kept telling him how good it was that he was looking out for his future. Then she talked a bit... how it took her so long to know what she really wanted in life. That was the first time she talked about Rufus, his father.
He listened because there was really nothing to say. His own mother wasn't there for him, either. His Gram left her just as much a mystery. She was into drugs too.
As he sat listening, he wondered if being a pharmacist might be a mistake. Suddenly, he wasn't quite sure he wanted to be here. Archie really intended to get back to his studies, but he'd missed the last train. After all, she'd made up the guest room for him. Still, he didn't know why she talked about this man. Rufus. Even the name disgusted him.
That morning he was met with a huge breakfast. Just the sight made him queasy of sausage and eggs.
"What do you mean? You're a growing boy." Hayley's mother said. Insisting that he call her Liz. They were friends, weren't they? Just as good as family.
"I don't do breakfast." He finally confessed. Tea and jam were the closest thing to such a meal, he supposed.
"So that's how you keep this girlish figure of yours, is that it?" She teased.
Archie looked at her funny. She'd set an extra place setting.
"Who's coming?" Archie winced as if he really wasn't ready for company, anymore than breakfast.
"He'll probably be a no show. He was always late. Always had to make an entrance. As if he were really important." She set out the meat and eggs and got out the juice.
"Who?" Archie frowned.
"Why, your father, of course." She grinned. "You, do want to meet him, don't you?" Her eyes were so serious as she touched his shoulder with care.
"Yeah. I guess." He was slow to say as he looked at her puzzled.
"I knew where he was, all along." She shrugged.
"But Hayley-" Archie couldn't help but scowl, thinking of all the searches on the internet that his sort of sister researched, who was at home with her own father at the moment. She'd be furious.
"I know. Lets not tell her about this, yet. Shall we?" Liz told him just as the door bell rang. "Jules never needed him, but maybe you do."
Archie gritted hard while Liz went to get the door.