Serendipity

Serendipity /ˌserənˈdipitē/ - The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way; a happy accident.

Hannah was a good girl. She kept her grades up, did as her parents said, and avoided any kind of trouble. Yes, Hannah was a good girl. But then she met Harry.

Harry was, in a word, trouble. He had a reputation for hanging with the wrong crowd, as well as his temper. He payed no attention to his grades, and he was a magnet for bad situations.

Two complete opposites; they weren't supposed to mix. Yet, they did, and as the two became completely infatuated with one another, things like avoiding trouble became unimportant to Hannah.

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2. Chapter Two

The rest of the week went by without interruption. My mother took my iPod away for the week because it was “an instrument to avoid speaking to her and caused disrespectful behavior.” When my father heard he wanted to take my phone as well, but eventually decided against it.

My parents have always been extremely strict, and expected nothing less than perfection from me. If I received a grade lower than a 95 in school on anything, I was in for a lecture and an extra chore, varying from washing all the windows to weeding. Disrespect was not tolerated on even the slightest of levels. Nor was staying out past 9:00, or leaving the house without stating exactly where I was going, or sleeping in past 8:30 on weekends, or eating junk food, or going to friends’ houses—not that I have friends—or wearing certain clothing. My skirts and shorts had to come down to my knees, as well as dresses, no low cut shirts, nothing see-through, no open toed shoes, etc. In a nutshell, I was a puppet for my parents to dance around and control, to do anything they pleased with.

On another note, Harry didn’t talk to me anymore after our meeting outside school than to ask what had happened in the first 15 minutes of class he always seemed to miss. I was entirely grateful for this fact; Harry scared me, even more so than my parents. So of course, because I have such excellent luck, Mr. Larson found a way to force conversation out of us.

“Alright class,” he began telling us the following Monday, “Now that everyone finally has a lab partner, you are going to work on a group project over Le Chatelier's Principle. I’m not giving you time in class to work on this as we will be spending the week reviewing, but the project is due next Tuesday. Find time outside of school to get together and work on it.”

I was stunned to say the least. This boy, this frightening, troublesome boy—I’d be spending the next week with him. How could this possibly be happening to me?

I stole a glance towards Harry to find him smirking, looking down at his desk. Oh, he would enjoy this. It was written all over his face.

“So when should we start working on the project?” Harry asked me after class. My mouth opened to speak, but nothing came out. Harry grinned at my awkwardness as he answered his question for me.

“Tomorrow at your place around 4? Sounds great.” He winked, turning away and making his way down the hall. I blinked, trying to figure out if what just happened had really happened.

“Were you just talking to Harry Styles?”

I turned to find a petite blonde with a Chanel bag on her shoulder talking to me. She looked at me expectantly, waiting for confirmation.

“Um, yes?”

The girl’s eyes widened at first, but then her lips tugged up into a knowing smile. “I’m Zoe,” she said, “one of Harry’s various exes. Look, I know it’s probably not my place, but I suggest not getting yourself involved with him. He leaves a trail of broken hearts and couldn’t care less.”

I raised my eyebrows in disbelief. “Wh-wha…We’re not…I wasn’t…”

The girl—Zoe—laughed. “It’s okay, I get it. Harry’s a looker, but just try n’ resist him.”

“We’re partners for a science project.” I finally blurted out. She just grinned widely and nodded.

“Be careful, honey. It always starts with a project.” She spun on her stilettos and began waltzing away before turning to add, “Trust me; I’m speaking from experience.”

I was left in a daze in the middle of the hallway. It always starts with a project. She had said. What on Earth was that supposed to mean? That Harry was going to try to…?

I pushed the thought out of my head. There was no way Harry would be interested in a girl like me—of that I was positive. Not that I wanted him to be anyway.

But still, Zoe’s words echoed in my head for the rest of the day. I avoided Harry at all costs, even taking the long way home in fear of walking past him and his friends again. By the time I got home I was exhausted, mumbling a hello to my mother before trudging up to my room where I changed into pajamas before falling onto my bed. Just as I began to doze off, my mother’s shrill voice was calling for me. “Hannah, don’t forget you’re walking Mrs. Hanford’s dogs today!”

I groaned loudly before getting up. My mother set me up to walk our elderly neighbor’s dogs, a havanese and a volpino, around the neighborhood for free. It was her most favorite form of punishment.

I pulled my north face hoodie on over my pajamas, slipped on my boots and went downstairs where my mother was waiting by the door.

“You’re going out in public in those?” She questioned, eyeing my penguin printed pajama bottoms.

“Yes.” I huffed, opening the front door and walking across the street to Mrs. Hanford’s.

 

* * * * *

 

“Come on, Shayla.” I beckoned to the volpino, tugging at her leash in an effort to move her forward. However, she stayed rooted to the spot, vigilantly sniffing at a dead bush.

“This is why I like you better, Mika.” She raised her ears at the sound of her name, but stayed sitting, waiting for Shayla to finish her exploring.

The temperature had dropped severely, the cold gusts of wind biting at my exposed face and hands, no doubt turning them red. It didn’t help that Shayla was taking forever. Finally, she started moving forward. We kept a leisurely pace, but then Shayla started yapping and bolted down the street and around the corner. I ran to keep up with her, Mika falling behind with her slow jog. Suddenly, Shayla stopped and began sniffing at the feet of someone leaning against a fence.

“I’m sorry, she really likes people.” I apologized. The person turned to look at me and grinned as he saw recognition flicker across my face.

“Are they yours?” Harry asked me.

At this point, I am entirely convinced that all forces of the universe are against me. First, he gets seated next to me. Then we’re paired up for a project and now this.

I managed to mumble something about walking them for the neighbor and Harry nodded knowingly. “I always knew you were a goody-goody.”

“It’s a punishment for being disrespectful.” I told him defensively, surprising myself. Harry just laughed and turned away.

“See you tomorrow, Hannah.” He said over his shoulder. “Oh and, I like your pants.”

Embarrassed, I huffed and turned away in the direction of home. By the time I arrived at Mrs. Hanford’s to return her dogs, the sky was inky and snow was falling yet again. I crossed the street back to my own house, immediately going to the kitchen for a hot cup of coffee.

“How was the walk?” My mother asked from the table, surprising me with her presence.

“It was freezing and the dogs were stubborn and—“ I cut myself off before I could mention Harry.

“And what?” My mother probed. I shrugged. “And it sucked.”

Before my mother could make a comment about my use of language, I took my coffee upstairs to my room. Another rule broken. I thought as I sat on under the covers on my bed with my mug in hand. I wasn’t allowed drinks or food outside the kitchen.

After downing my coffee, I turned off my lamp, falling into a deep slumber almost immediately, riddled with dreams of Harry the dog peeing on our science project.

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