Ruby

Girl named Ruby is being overwhelmed with final exams. The only thing which could possibly ruin her life even more is to fall in love with already taken curly boy. Poor girl.

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14. Oh God.

Harry's girlfriend is walking straight to me. Breath, Ruby. Ok, here we go. “Hiya, I am Lisa. I know we haven’t time to introduce properly before. You know when.” She speaks up to me and I notice her big blue eyes going wet. I think she realises very well that Harry's condition could have been on much worse level than it's now. “Hi Lisa. I am Ruby”, I introduce myself with honest smile. She really do seems nice. Her left hand goes nervously through ends of her black hair. “Nice to meet you, Ruby. Sorry for asking you this, but you and Harry are, I mean were...” She goes silent but I know the end of her question. I let her thinking I have no clue though. She bits her bottom lip and look to the ground. Then she takes a deep breath and asks again, “You and Harry are just friends?” Oh god. She really said it. What do I tell her? That from the first moment I saw him in that freaking bakery I knew he is the most caring and loving person in the whole universe? That I loved him but still left him and then got back with hope that he would have been waiting for me? I don't want to lie. The last thing I want is get back to that mess again. But I have no choice. She looks worried. Really worried what I am going to answer. Suddenly I realise she is just like me. In love with person but still not sure about it. She thinks she's on a thin ice with him, that he still might leave her. I don't want to ruin anything, but I can't stay silent forever. “Yes. We are and we were just friends”, I let it out. She seems relieved with my response. She actually giggles. “I am sorry for being rude. It´s just I didn’t know you and then I started thinking why you were at the hospital back then. Ok now it makes sense, I was just paranoid”, she sighs with relief and looks at her silver watch. “God I am late, hope I still get in. Again, it was nice meeting you.” I fake smile and respond quickly “Me too. Ok. Well. Eh. See ya someday.” Then I get quickly to my car and sit there for like 10 minutes. I watch her disappear behind cars so I lean my head against the wheel. Firstly, that girl didn’t know me before. It means Harry hasn´t told her about me. Not that I am someone to talk about. I technically haven’t lied about anything. Harry and I weren’t a thing. We didn’t date, we didn’t even kiss. Secondly, I tell her “see ya someday”. What is wrong with me? I don´t want to see her again. Under no circumstances I don´t want to see her and him together in one room sharing the same air. That´s just jealous Ruby talking. I have to calm down. Or I don´t. He has a fucking girlfriend meanwhile I am sitting in a fucking car with no heating on. Fuck it. I won´t meet them two again together because I won´t meet Harry again. Simple as that, right? I have to let it go from now on it´s not my concern. I bottled my feelings up too deep. I hope they stay there for the longest time. I put the engine on and drive straight back home.

“When are you going back to Nottingham, darling?” mum asks me while cooking dinner. I am sitting at the table, going through my old mail. “Don´t know mum. I called there, aunt said she doesn’t need me there yet. That I can take some time off. I think I might stay here for other week.” I reply, my eyes never leaving the envelopes. Just useless crap like advertisement and missed dentist´s appointments. But then I find something I hope I would have never found. My old application to local university. I remember sending it before leaving to Nottingham. I haven’t really wanted to get in, it was just for my parents. “Just give it a try” they said to me back then. Now I have a heart in my throat. My fingers slowly opening corners of envelope are shaking. When I withdraw the paper from it I am frozen. I am frozen and taken aback with the words I see there. “The university chancellor is pleased to announce to you that you were accepted for our university.” “Mum look...” It´s all I can say. She leaves the kitchen counter and get to me. She reads out loud and I try to comprehend her words. “RUBY, that´s amazing! It´s 2 months old though. But I think you still could call there and ask... “Mum, stop. I don´t want to go to university. I never wanted toand I am sure I don´t want to now.” Not, when Harry´s there studying. “You don´t mean it like that, do you? Ruby, I can´t let you working as a waitress when you´ve been accepted to the best university in this area.” I shout at her, “I am not going to university. End of story!” My mum´s forehead gets wrinkled and I can tell she´s pissed. “No, darling, I´ll end up this story for you. You are going to call there, and ask if they can take you again. That´s the end of the story.” She can´t be serious! It´s my decision to make, not hers. But I can´t fight her. It´s my mum we are talking about. I could still try talk to dad. But I doubt he would go against my mum either. What the hell is wrong with this word? OK. I promised to myself not to see Harry or meet him or talk to him or any other activity which includes being in the same room as him. And I haven’t broken that promise.

After 3 exhausting days of having errands with university counsellor I can not so proudly declare that I am an official university student. Shit. I really have no idea what I am going to study, why I am going to study and with who I am going to study. This ´s been freaking me out for 3 days so I finally decided to let it go and read a book just to distract myself. My eyes slowly going through the pages are being heavier and I am pretty sure I am done for today. I put Looking For Alaska back on the shelf and cover myself with the blanket. I am still wearing jeans and shirt I was wearing the whole day but I don´t care. Taking pieces of clothes off is a very strength demanding activity and I don´t feel like doing it now. “Finally”, I sigh loudly and cuddle deeper to my duvet when my phone starts to ring. My hand awkwardly reaches the phone and I recognise the caller. My heart is racing and I have no idea why he is calling. I quickly pick it up, so I couldn’t change my mind. “Hi”, I say quietly to the phone. “Hi Rubs, did I wake you up? It´s just 10 p.m. I assumed you would be still up”, Harry speaks up and I melt by hearing his voice. I should seriously cut off any contact with him. “No,well, uhm, you didn’t. What´s going on?” I reply sleepily. “It´s my getting back to life- party today. Well, at least that´s how Liz calls it. And I would be happy if you show up.” His words hit me and I don´t know how to response. That´s like an invitation? For me to have fun at his getting back to life shit party with his gf? Like watching them two laughing at their private jokes while I will be sitting alone with the cup of beer? No thank you. I think I´ll pass. “I am sorry Harry but I don´t think I can make it. Thanks for inviting me though” I say hoping I didn’t sound pretentious. “No! Don´t do this to me Ruby. You didn’t even show up at hospital after that one time you were there. So you own me.” I laugh loudly “I hope you wouldn´t bring that up” I tell him and shook my head even though he doesn’t see me. God, how I hate this. He always makes me forget why I want to forget about him. If it makes any sense. “Well I did. So you are coming. The venue is at my place and have the courtesy to bring something with you this time. And yes, I am appealing to your poor visit at the hospital.” “Hey, it wasn’t that poor, was it?” “Oh yeah, it was. So I am waiting for you, be here by 30 minutes. I´ll be the one with the stupid hat on.” I want to ask what stupid hat but I am too dizzy by heaving him on the other line. As much as I want to say no again, I finally say “Ok, but not for long” and hang up. Then it hit me what I´ve just done. I am screwed, it´s like I´ve just deliberately put the hand into boiling water.

There´s no way back, so I quickly brush my hair and make a ponytail. Right after changing the shirt to simple white one I put a lipstick on and leave the room. I am on my way to Harry´s place when I realise I have to bring something with me. I walk into first gas station and buy the Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey because firstly it was cheaper that the scotch, and secondly he told me once he hasn´t drunk it yet. Now I am standing in front the main door and actually considering to go back home. The door opens and few strangers leave the party. I quickly step in and look for familiar faces. None for now. The whole town is here, but no one I actually want to bump into. A guy with his nose pierced hits me with his shoulder and apologises like for ten times. I smile politely at him and walk deeper to the crowd. Then I see a guy with this paper hat on saying “I am back, bitch.” I laugh at him and he wave at me. I am standing in the middle of the living room, crowded with billion already drunk people and he is still the one, who I am paying all my attention to. I know I shouldn’t. I know he has a girlfriend. I know it all but I can´t help myself and I hate it so much. I hate being this fucking powerless. “I see you like the hat”, he comes to me with a smile playing on his face. “I love it” I reply and look around. I don´t see Lisa anywhere near him. Huh. “I am glad you came. Wanna-“ he doesn’t even finish it when girl´s hands wrap his waist and I recognise that small figure. Lisa. “Ruby, you´re here! Harry, bring her cup of something, like right now!” she cuts him off and I can see her eyes. She is definitely drunk. My eyes fall on Harry and his hands. He turns himself to her and pulls her in front of him. Then his mouth touches her hair and he whispers to her left ear “If you let me finish babe, I would offer her something” he says and I want to scream. Shit. This is why I didn’t want to come at first place. He is happy. She is happy. I will be happy one day too. “I´ll bring you this” I say and hand him the bottle. He grins and I grin too. It´s so contagious. “I was kidding when I said your visit was poor. That was just a way to bring you here” he replies and takes that bottle into his large hands. “That´s ok. It was poor and I wouldn´t forgive myself not brining anything to celebrate- “ then I look at his hat again and start reading out loud “-that you´re back, bitch.” Lisa laughs too loudly and it just reflects how drunk she actually is. “You´re so funny, Ruby. She is funny, isn’t she?” Lisa points at me with her thin fore finger and leaves us. I assume she went to refill her cup. “She is- “ I cut him off “ -drunk?” I smile at him. He laughs and shakes his head “I wanted to say happy, but yeah, she is wasted.” I think I´ll find something to drink, because this is going to end up badly. Harry is probably reading my mind when he opens the Tullamore bottle and pours it to two paper cups. I quickly throw it into my throat and wait till it burns me from inside. He does the same and smiles at me. “Let´s have fun, but firstly I want to introduce you to someone. Wait here, I´ll be right back.” What? To Who? I blink 3 times when Harry comes back. A blond haired boy joins him and I flush. He is cute. Like sexy cute. “Niall, this is Ruby. Ruby this is Niall.” Harry speaks up and we shake our hands. Niall and I laugh together at our greeting gesture and wait for Harry to say something. “We should drink to us three”, Harry adds and hands us refilled cups. “To us” I whisper and pour it to myself. This nigh is going to be rough and I want to remember as less as possible. It can be something past 11 pm and everyone here is already smashed. Including me, of course. I´ve already had 4 shots with Niall, one earlier with Harry and three just with him. I like Niall so far. He is this person who is easy to get along with. For example, when there was an awkward silence between two of us when he told me some story about him, Harry and Lisa. He noticed my face in the middle of the story, stopped right away and handed me another shot. That has been the fourth and the last shot so far. Now I am leaning against the wall in the living room fully crowded with unknown people and watching them with my drunky eyes. There is loads of to watch. This one girl has fallen asleep on the floor and right now her friends, I assume, are trying to wake her or at least get her out from here. I am watching this situation like for 7 minutes now. Or the whole eternity, since I am not aware of time due to alcohol in my head. I like feeling like this. Carefree and kind of happy. “Hey, where have you been the whole time?” Niall is smiling at me and squeezing my shoulder. “I looked everywhere for you” he adds and I return the smile. “I was looking for someone who could give me a cigarette. Sorry, you shouldn’t have been worried about me” I tell him and he turn his eyes at me. “You could ask me I have a full box” he replies and withdraws an already opened box of cigarettes from his jeans pocket. “I had no idea you smoke” I add and he giggles. “I had no idea you smoke. I would ask you to go smoke with me if I knew.” I smile at him. He is so nice to me that it hurts. Seriously, I have no idea what was the last time when I met someone at least a little like me. I am not a smoker but when the time comes I need one so badly. The thing is, Niall doesn’t look like the boy carrying a lighter in his pockets. Apparently, I was wrong. “We can go out and have one now if you want to” he breaks the chain of thoughts I am having and grins. “Nah, that would be above my day limit. One is enough.” I can´t smoke more than one cigarette a day, because I am afraid I can get into it too deeply. “Ok. Even if I want to persuade you I won´t. You should keep being a “goodass.” He smirks and I burst in laugh. “For your information, I am a bigger badass then you are, blond boy. I can do badass things whenever I want to. But now it´s not whenever” I laugh and he joins me. “Ruby, my friend, you are funny. I can´t believe Harry introduced us just now. I wonder where he has been hiding you.” I swallow hardly but smile anyway. “Maybe he was afraid I would steal his- the funniest person in group- reputation.” I add and exhale heavily while looking for him in the crowd. “That wouldn´t happen. He isn’t funny at all. Well at least when he is trying to be” he adds and I can see his eyes trying to make me laugh too. But I don´t. You know, there is always the time when you´re drunk, when this one person emerges in your head and then you can´t shake his face off. All I can see is her and him, hiding somewhere in his room, giggling under the duvet. Shit. “Have you seen him anyway? The last time we bumped to each other was next to booze table” Niall asks and his eyes travel through the crowd. “No, I haven´t. Niall, I think I should go now. If you see him tell him – or no. Don´t tell him any thing.” When I am ready to leave, Niall furrows his eyebrows and his hand stops me. “No way you´re leaving now! Ruby, don´t be a buzz killer. He smiles at me but it wont work. “I can´t be here any longer.” Words leave my mouth without thinking. “I though you were having fun.” Niall frowns. “Has it something to do with me?” he adds and I immediately stop him. “No! Niall, god you are the only thing keeping me here.” I say honestly. He really is the only one worth of staying. “Then what-“ he asks but doesn’t finish the question since drunk Harry wraps the hand around Niall´s shoulder. “Horan! Here you are. Hope you´re a good company to my Ruby here. Is he good to you Ruby?” He asks and I can´t believe my eyes. I have never seen Harry Styles this drunk. He is literally trying to do his best not to fall down. Niall just laughs and I assume he forgot what we´ve been discussing earlier. “Wow, you´re wasted, man. How much have you drunk?” Niall asks him while I am still being silent. I am too shocked to say something. I don´t see Lisa anywhere near by him. “Where´s Lisa?” I ask way too annoyed. “No idea, I guess sleeping in bathtub or something” Harry adds and laughs at the same time. Then his eyes meet mine and he immediately stops. “Can I talk to you for a second?” He asks all of sudden. I thought he meant Niall, but then his eyes stop at mine and I just nod. Niall looks confused at first but then he just sips a beer and tilts his head to his right shoulder to the music. I am walking right behind him, having no idea what he wants to talk about or where we are actually going. Then he suddenly stops and I realize we are in hallway with no one inside. “Are you ok?” he asks.

Harry´s POV:

“Are you ok?” I ask her fully aware that she is not. If I wasn’t this drunk I wouldn´t led her here to talk. I wouldn´t allow myself being alone with her like this. But I guess I am happy that I have been drinking. She looks at me, her eyes full of disappointment and pain. I hate just looking at her and do nothing. “Yeah. I have been actually leaving, so if you excuse me-“ she adds and turn on her wheel, ready to walk away. Do something, Styles. Don´t let her go this time. Fuck. “No, don´t go. We should do a one more shot-“ she suddenly cuts me off. “No we shouldn’t. Alcohol solves shit.” She say softly, not angry this time. Like she is just talking to herself. I can´t stop staring at her. I missed her so much for those 2 and a half month. I have to enjoy this only minute I am with her alone. “It does actually. It made this night bearable.” I say to her and suddenly a smile appears on her face. I smile also and realise I lied. She made this night bearable, not booze. The only reason I introduced her to Niall was to get rid off that stupid feeling I have when I am around her and distract myself a little. According to my plan, she and Niall should be all over themselves and that should hurt me so badly that I would shake the thought of her and me together off. But it hurt more when I notice her laughing with him and not me. That hurt the most. “Am I drunk enough to say I miss you so fucking much?” I break the silence and her eyes just got widen. But then she giggles and looks at the ground. “I guess so” she replies and then her eyes meet mine. God. I shouldn’t be doing this. Not to Ruby or Lisa. I am a shitty best friend and a boyfriend. What the hell. I almost died. I should enjoy the moment. My eyes look at her shoulders, the way her sweater is falling down on her hips, her feet awkwardly intertwined together and her yellow socks sticking out of her boots and her jeans make me feel a lot worse. In a good way though. I want her to want me like I want her. “If there was no Lisa, no Nottingham, and we were at the same place where we had been before you left, would you kiss me back if I kissed you now?” I ask her curiously, suddenly not feeling drunk at all.

 

 

“If there was no Lisa, no Nottingham, and we were at the same place where we had been before you left, would you kiss me back if I kissed you now?” he asks me and I get suddenly dizzy. What does this mean for God´s sake? “There is Lisa, there is also this Nottingham thing so we shouldn’t ignore this fact” I add diplomatically. I am actually proud of the words that left my mouth. It sounded like I don´t want him at all, didn’t it? He turns his eyes at me and exhales. “Ok. And if there was Lisa and the Nottingham thing and the fact that you left me and I would kiss you, would you kiss me back?” He asks again but I don´t like this question any less than the first one. “I would but you can´t do it Harry. I can´t get to this mess again. Neither do you. It would be too complicated. Now if you excuse me I will look for Niall” I add and his hands grab my waist. “Don´t-“ I quickly add and try to get out from his grip. He quickly lets go of me like he got remorse about what he just did. “Niall is a good lad, yeah you should go. I won´t bother you again”, Harry adds and I get sad cause he gave up so quickly. Fuck you Harold. I sigh and walk away from him. When I am about to get lost in the crowd I turn back to him. He looks broken and drunk and confused at the same time, and I dont want to mess with him even more but I have to.

Harry´s POV:

“You know, you should kiss me right away without asking. I would definitely kiss you back” she adds and disappear in the crowd.

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