3 An Unexpected Encounter

"It's a little tight." Noelle sighed as she observed her look in a full length mirror.

The black pencil skirt was obviously too small but it was the only thing Noelle had that was close to professional. Even with her interviews in the past she stuck with jeans and button ups. Maybe that was why she hadn't received any call backs. She pulled the skirt down as far as she could but it still only sat just below her butt. There was no way she could get away with wearing this. She wasn't going to the club!

She struggled to pull off the skirt. Since she was a curvy woman, it often took her time to get any piece of clothing over her hips and butt. Her late mother was a petite woman so Noelle always figured she got her curves from the women on her father's side of the family. She didn't hate her figure but she was envious of the women she'd see with hourglass figures. She'd have one too if it weren't for her hip dips. Despite that, her hips were still full as was her chest.

She forced her thighs into her blue jeans from earlier and decided on a lavender button up blouse. The top two buttons were left undone so that her breasts didn't feel constricted. Even if she wanted to, she couldn't stretch the solid fabric enough to button it all the way up anyway. It was time for some new clothes.

"I guess this is fine."

Noelle checked her phone that read 1:27 p.m. Perfect, she had some time for makeup.

She applied her base and made sure to set it well. Her face had a habit of sweating profusely whenever she was nervous and nothing would be more embarrassing than her makeup melting off. After finishing her brows and applying lashes it was time for some finishing touches. With a gentle hand, Noelle applied bronzer to her cheek bones followed with some mauve blush. She swept the blush across her nose to give her a flushed look.

That's all she had time for so she finished with a cherry scented chapstick. After putting on a pair of black flats, Noelle grabbed her purse and counted the bills she gathered from the inside. She usually calculated how much money she'd spend in a week and set that amount aside. The money she'd be using today would be coming out of her savings and she wasn't too happy about that. Wait! She suddenly remembered the money Yu had given her a few hours earlier. She dug her hand in her jean pocket and discovered way too many bills. She would definitely pay him back when she could.

It was crazy how they met four years ago. Noelle was working the night shift in a local convenience store when a stranger came in drunk asking for some cigarettes. Because of his youthful appearance, Noelle had no choice but to ask for his ID. He continued to refuse and when Noelle repeatedly turned him down, he tried climbing over the counter. She wanted to call her manager but she didn't want to get the seemingly harmless stranger in trouble. Plus it was late, he probably wouldn't have picked up the phone anyway.

She shoved his leg off of the counter and reached over to grip his shoulders tightly.

With slow and careful words she asked "Did you come here alone? Do you have anyone to take you home?"

The man shook his head and pouted "Can...you...take me home miss?"

Was this okay? She was just a stranger to him as he was to her. What if this was just a ploy to get her to follow him? He could be a rapist or even worse...a murderer. But the kindness in her heart selfishly shoved the worry and paranoia out of the way. She glanced at a clock on the wall and then it was decided. Her shift was over anyway so why not?

She looked back at the stranger only to see his head face flat on the counter. He must of really been wasted. Who would let him walk out like this?

Noelle went around the counter and gently tapped the man's back.

"Hm?"

"I'm gonna go in the back and grab a few things. Can you wait a little bit?"

No answer.

Noelle went to the back to clock out as she told the next employee she was leaving. She gathered her things and went back to the front.

"What the...I was gone for two minutes where did he go?"

She rushed out the front doors and saw the man lying on the sidewalk. With tired feet, she hurried to his side and carefully grabbed his arm. He wasn't as light as he looked so she had to lean back, using her own weight, in order to successfully lift him up. She hooked his arm around her neck as she guided him to the rental car she was using at the time.

"You better not vomit in this car or else I'm making you pay for it." she spoke under her breath.

After placing him in the passenger seat she sat in her own seat and sighed a heavy sigh. This was more work than she anticipated and now her body was tired too. She thought it'd be futile trying to get an address out of the man so she sat and thought about her next course of action.

After a while of silence, Yu dropped something on Noelle's lap that surprised her. It was his wallet. She questioned his actions and then realized he was probably trying to show her his ID.

She opened the wallet and to her surprise found an "If this wallet is found" card with his address at the bottom. She pulled out what looked like his license and read the name Ohara, Yu. Age 26. 175 cm *(5'9)*.

It didn't take long to get to his apartment. Conveniently, he only lived a few minutes away from her in the opposite direction. She almost prayed to give her thanks when she discovered his place was on the first floor. The apartment buildings looked very lavish so she wondered whether or not the stranger came from a wealthy family. The place looked too expensive for her to even enter.

Noelle hauled Yu to his front door and eyed him as he bent down to retrieve a silver key from his shoe.

She wasn't going to ask. Her body wasn't built for the workout he was giving her so she wanted to shake him off as soon as possible. She was close to dropping him on the ground and calling it a day. He was so slim yet so heavy.

At this hour she was so exhausted, especially after her long shift at work. She was just trying to drop this man off and go home. Could she even drive home? Her eyes were way too heavy.

"Okay well you have a safe night. I'm going to head home now." Noelle yawned as she leaned the man's weight against the door.

"Wait." She felt a gentle pull on her sleeve.

She looked at the man who was turning to open the door.

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"You helped me when you didn't have to so please stay here for tonight. I have two extra bedrooms, take whichever one you please." He offered.

Was he sober now? 30 minutes ago he was just barely forming sentences.

Noelle was honestly too tired to object so she followed the man in, hoping she could trust him.

"My name is Ohara Yu by the way." he said while switching on the lights.

He turned to face the woman that helped him "What's your na-"

She was already in a coma on his couch. Those crazy moments spent together were the foundation of their friendship. Turns out, Yu was just trying to get over a breakup so like every man that felt like he had nowhere to turn, he got drunk.

Noelle was comfortable enough to open up to Yu about her financial situation. Being the kind and good friend he is, Yu offered her a room at his place. No rent, no fees, just her and her things.

Noelle would always be indebted to Yu and she was so grateful to have met him.

An alarm on her phone interrupted her reminiscing. 2:30 p.m already? She had to go. She grabbed her purse and opened the address details Yamato sent to her email, speed walking out the door.

"Hopefully I can catch a train and make it in time."

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