Amore And Pizza

Hey, I'm Avery. I thought I had it figured out, ya know? I thought I had distinguished the difference between love and imagination. I was SO sure that no one could ever love me. Especially someone so extraordinary like Niall. But for once in my sob story of a life, I WANTED to be proven wrong. But I was right. Again.

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15. Forks On The Right

     "Avery! You have to stop favoring your left foot! It's dead give-away!" I flexed my jaw as I took another hit from Coach Hughes. He was getting on my case for the thousandth time about showing too much that I was a lefty. I had never thought it was such a big deal, but apparently coach was a little overboard when it came to playing against East Denver. I worked on the passing exercise that we had to do. Focusing on using both feet equally, I made it through that round without a complaint.

     I felt someone get behind me and laugh. I turned to see Niall behind me. "What?" I demanded.

     "Coach is just so serious about this, it's a little funny." I rolled my eyes.

     "Funny for you. I think he hates me."

     "Avery, everyone hates you." With a sarcastic smile, Niall budged in line and took off, leaving me with an expression I probably shouldn't describe. 

     Practice went by quickly afterwards. Mondays, they went by slowly. I couldn't wait to get home and take a hot shower. I had a ton of homework, especially because my Writing project was due in just over a month, and I hadn't even started. What period of my life could I write about?

     "Sup, lefty?" Harry came up walking next to me, swagger to match his grin.

     "Hey."

     "So, what are you doing afterwards?"

     "Uh, going home, I guess. What about you?"

     "Walking with you hopefully?" I rolled my eyes. Smooth moves, Harry had.

     "I suppose. Mondays are my charity work days, anyway." I laughed as Harry's smile dropped off his face.

     "Oh, so now I'm your charity case?"

     "Something like that. See you in a bit." We walked our seperate ways to the different locker rooms. I put on some black sweatpants and a dark blue sweater. My favorite color. I splashed my face with some water and dried it off before walking out into the hallway, waving to Olivia as I passed her. we hadn't really sparked a friendship, but we did talk a little during practice. I found Harry already there leaning against the wall.

     "Ready to go?" I nodded as we headed out the door. I glanced at the tiger, almost ready to leap off its pedestal and devour its prey. Pretty intimidatind stuff.

     "Are you excited to play East Denver?" I asked. Harry shrugged.

     "Eh, kinda. I won't get a whole lot of the action. Our forwards and their defense will be at it probably the whole game. I'm not to worried about it, though. We have you now." My cheeks became hot while he examined my face. He laughed at my blushing. "I like the color of your sweater." he said, grabbing my hoodie. Although it wasn't quite cold out yet, I shivered at his touch.

     "Thanks. It's my favorite color. Makes me think of violets, their my favorite flower." Picturing holding a violet and smelling it made me feel more at ease. Even though I was under Harry's unwavering gaze. "What?" I finally asked. Instead of answering, he lifted up his gaze and looked in the sky. The slight breeze ruffled his hair. 

     "Nothing. So are you excited for homecoming? Can you believe it's already the week of?" I choked on nothing but my own tongue as I took in his words. This week? This week?! It couldn't be. I made a mental calendar to find Harry's words true. Oh no. That meant our game was also on Friday. One I was scared to death about. Not to mention I still had to get Niall to ask me out. Asking my dad first, of course. He was sure taking his sweet time to get around to doing it, though. Our friendship was coming along great, now that we had an understanding. But I still figured we liked each other enough for him to ask me out. What was his deal? Still choking on my own air, I started to cough uncontrollably. I stopped in the street to hunch over and regain my breath. Harry was next to me immediately, patting my back like a child he was burping. Really. The neighbors were probably calling the ambulance.

     "You okay? Need some water?" He handed me his water bottle from practice. Gratefully I took it from his hand.

     I took a few greedy swallows, very un-gracefully sloshing it down my chin. I mumbled a "thanks" and gave his water bottle back. "I'm okay. You, uh, caught me a little off guard, that's all."

     "About the dance?" Harry laughed. I straightened my back and resumed our walk.

     "Well, yeah. I just didn't remember it was this Friday." I was not ready for it. I was physically ready for it, maybe. I had the dress. But emotionally? Forget it. Niall was obviously interested in me, but nothing has really changed since Thursday. We were friends. Great friends, even. I changed the subject to something a little less scary. "So, what's your favorite color?"

     "What?"

     "You heard me. What's your favorite color?" Harry gave me a look like I had gone mad. Trust me, that was a cliff I wasn't too far from.

     "Uh, blue. Why?"

     "Well, we've been friends for almost a month, and I figured I don't know that much about you." Harry laughed as he thought about something for a moment.

     "Okay, so, what do you want to know?"

     "Um, what do you like to do besides soccer? Besides being extremely annoying," I added. He faked a wounded look.

     "I play video games, pretty much soccer ones, though." I laughed. "I play piano, kinda. More like just for fun. What about you?" And that was that. We spent the rest of the walk talking, more than once laughing, about our different lives and the things we did. It was only skin deep stuff, but it was nice to have a normal conversation. Harry was really funny. He had all kinds of stories about him and his older sister Gemma. I could tell he had a close relationship with his mother, Anne, like the relationship I had with my dad. Before I knew it, I was walking up to my front door.

     "Well, thanks for walking with me..." I smiled at Harry before hearing the front door opening behind me.

     "Harry! Good to see you here." My dad brushed behind me to shake Harry's hand. 

     Harry returned the gesture. "Hi, Caleb. How's it goin'?" I scrambled to pick my jaw up from the ground as my dad and Harry exchanged pleasantries. 

     "Good. I was just making dinner, would you like to join us?" I gave my dad I wide-eyed look.

     "Daddy, I'm sure Harry has to get home. Don't you Harry?"

     "Dinner would be great." Harry gave me a cheeky grin as he walked past me and followed my dad into the kitchen. Did that really just happen, I thought to myself. Seriously?

     Sighing, I made my way into the kitchen, to find my dad showing Harry how to properly dice tomatoes. 

     "What are we having, daddy?"

     "Tacos." What was the occasion? We never had anything except for take out unless it was my birthday, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, which none occured tonight. 

     "Why exactly?" I asked. My dad gave me look.

     "Harry's our guest. We're not going to order pizza for a guest." Harry smiled at me sheepishly while I returned it with a flared-nostrils look. I sighed at the two boys enjoying each other's company, and decided to head to my room.

     "Call me when supper's done." I tossed over my shoulder as I walked down the hall and into my room. This was by far, the weirdest afternoon ever. Never once had a guy come over to eat with my dad and I. Mostly because we never really had a casual sit-down dinner like this, and partly because no guy has ever been invited in by my dad. I listened to my Ipod for awhile. I looked at the time to see they had been in the kitchen for a good half hour. I heard a knock on my door.

     "It's Harry."

     "Come in." Harry opened the door and made his over to sit on the edge of my bed. He gestured to my Ipod.

     "What are you listening to?" I gave him an earbud. The song "More Than This" by One Direction was playing.

     "You probably don't like One Direction do you?" He smiled.

     "I like this song." He started to sing along. "If I'm louder, would you see me? Would you lay down in my arms and rescue me? Cause we are the same. You save me, but when you leave it's gone again." His voice. It was amazing. He sang the lyrics as if he had written them, as if they were about him. He looked at me with his green eyes. "When he opens his arms and holds you close tonight, it just won't feel right. Cause I can love you more than this, yeah. When he lays you down I might just die inside, it just don't feel right. Cause I can love you more than this." His green eyes gazed into mine, getting bigger. Closer. I didn't realize how close we were until then. Abruptly I got up.

     "Let's go set the table." Without waiting for him I bolted to the kitchen. My heart was beating like a race horse. I tried to calm my breathing. Harry entered the kitchen looking disgruntled. I tried not to meet his eyes. Did we almost do what I think we were going to do? I felt like throwing up. I swallowed down my anxiety and made my way to the drawer with our silverware. I grabbed three forks and three spoons. Don't ask why I was grabbing them when we were eating tacos. I just needed something to distract me.

     "Aves, why are you grabbing silverware?" 

     "You never know. Harry, wanna grab the plates?" I pointed to the cupboard where we put them, without looking at him. My mind was turning to oatmeal, my stomach fell through the floor. So maybe I was a touch overly dramatic. Bite me.

     I watched Harry casually put three plates down in front of the stools set up by the island. I waited for him to move before walking over to set the silverware down. I placed the fork on the left, since I was a lefty, it just felt natural.

     "I always put forks on the right," Harry said, reaching over me to pick up the fork and move it to the other side of the plate. Rolling my eyes at him was the first reaction, getting farther away from him was the second.

     "Well, I'm left-handed." I said, moving the fork back to the left. To satisfy him I put his fork and my dad's on the right. "Happy?" He nodded.

     "You two are like cats and dogs." My dad commented. 

     "Couldn't have said it better myself," I mumbled too quietly for anyone to hear. "Is supper done yet?" My dad nodded.

     "Yep." Harry and I helped my dad put everything on the countertop. I took a spot on the very edge and patted the spot for my dad. I gave him a small look, hoping he would get my signal. Instead, he shook his head. "Oh, no Harry's your guest, Aves. You can sit by him." My dad gestured for Harry to sit by me. Awkwardly he did, not making eye contact. Good. The moment was uncomfortable for us both. We all fixed our own individual dinners in silence. I heaped as much on my plate as I could. Half because I could eat it all, half because I wanted to be too busy to chat. I went for the sour cream at the exact same moment as Harry. Our hands brushed momentarily. I pulled back my hand quickly, making Harry acquire a sour expression.

     "So, how was practice?" 

     "Fine," I answered my dad. "Coach said I have to work on some stuff." After that, we all ate in silence for a few more minutes.

     "Harry, where do you live?" My dad asked. Leaning back, my dad gave me a wink. Great! Just great. He thought that he was helping me out. Next, to prompt Harry to ask me out, my dad was going to ask him about homecoming. And that's exactly what he did.

     "Do you have a date for homecoming?" Harry and I choked on our tacos simultaneously. I needed to learn how to plan when I eat so I don't kill myself. Harry looked at me quickly with an expression I couldn't identify. Worry? No. Surprise? Warmer. Satisfaction? Almost. A smirk. He had a smirk on his face. Oh, how I wanted to slap it right off. He knew what my dad was doing, and he thought it was because I was instructing my dad to do so. What an ego!

     "No I don't actually." Harry said, grinning at my dad.

     "Oh? Avery, you don't either do you?" Perfect timing, right then I decided to take a huge bite out of my taco. Not being able to manage a word, I decided to shake my head. "Oh." Thankfully, my dad didn't press any farther. I can't believe this was happening. These things happen in books, not real life!

      After that bit, Harry and his new best friend Caleb spent the rest of our meal talking about my dad's job-which my dad informed Harry I was going to pursue-Harry's likes/dislikes, and a bunch of other small talk I tried to tune out. Too many things were going on in my mind. My worry about 1.Homecoming, 2.Homecoming, and 3, you guessed it, Homecoming. Not to mention what almost happened in my room, and Harry's unnatural relationship with my dad. My whole plan with slowing down has apparently back fired. And why did Harry sing with such passion? As if that song was written around his feelings. I put the thoughts out of my head and just tried to get through this night. I decided I wouldn't ever talk about that little event. Ever.

     "Well, thanks for the dinner, Caleb, but I should probably get going." Harry stood up to shake my dad's hand. As he walked to the door, my dad gave me a look.

     "What? Oh, right." I got up and opened the door for Harry. "Uh, I'll see ya tomorrow." I stared at my feet, not looking at him.

     "Avery, about earlier..." Harry sighed. "Sorry, just forget it happened." Without letting me say anything, Harry shoved his hands in his pockets and left. I watched him walk away until he was out of sight. What would tomorrow be like? Would we carry on as usual, would he tell Niall and wreck everything? No, I didn't think he would do that. But, our friendship. That was out the window. And I let it happen, too. Suddenly, I realized I was an idiot. Now, I know what you're thinking, You're realizing this NOW? Well, like I said, bite me.

     

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