Harry made sure all the next day that nothing happened to interrupt our date. He reminded me every hour that he made dinner reservations at 6 o’clock and after three in the afternoon he wouldn’t let me out of the house for anything. I took a long shower, cleaned up the little bit of mess that was beginning to show in my room, and even took care of Harry’s room which looked like it had been through three natural disasters in a row. I did all of our laundry and helped Niall get his suitcase and other necessities moved into Harry’s room where we decided he could stay until Bailey took him back. Harry made Niall promise that he would only drink a little bit in the apartment… or at least not every night that he stayed with us. While Niall hated the idea of not drinking, he figured it might be best, especially when it came to getting Bailey back. I did laugh when Niall showed up with his stuff, as well as a 6-pack tucked up under his arm.
“You want to sober up for Bailey, right?” Harry asked, his eyes studying Niall until Niall said the only acceptable answer.
“Yes… But you know me, mate. I cant turn down a good pint…”
Harry shook his head. “You want to sober up for Bailey, right?”
I placed my hand on Niall’s comfortingly. “We’ve been through this to a worse extent, Niall. We’re just trying to help you. It’s not hard.”
He smiled up at me. “Thanks Scotty.”
When it came time for me to get ready for mine and Harry’s date, I curled my hair with my straightener and pulled on the gray dress that I was planning on wearing the night before. As I was slipping on my heels and putting the finishing touches on my makeup, Harry walked into the room.
“Oh shit, Scotty. I’m so sorry. We’re not going on that date anymore. I meant to tell you.”
“What?” I gasped, looking up at him quickly. He was wearing a pair of loose jeans (for him, at least) and his gray shirt with the “lover” heart on the chest. His hair was secured back in his green beanie.
“I mean, we’re still having our date. We just aren’t going on THAT date,” he clarified, pointing to my dress. I heaved a sigh and reached up the back of my dress to get unzipped.
"But you made dinner reservations."
Harry shook his head. “I… might have lied.”
I huffed. “Well what should I wear, then?”
Harry shrugged. “Whatever is comfortable.”
I frowned. “Underwear and a baggy tee is comfortable.”
Harry laughed and pulled me into a hug, making me lose my balance in my heels and crushing my perfectly-curled hair under his arms. “I’m just wearing this. Match me like you always do.”
After he left, I stood in my closet and stared at my clothes until my eyes hurt. I had no idea what to wear. I put on five different shirts and three pairs of jeans until finally I decided on just a baggy tye-dye tee and some dark blue skinny jeans. Like Harry, I put on a black beanie to cover my messed up curls. As I was slipping my knock-off keds on, Harry popped his head in the room and stopped me.
“You won’t be needing shoes.”
I looked at him hesitantly. “Aren’t we going out?”
"We’re going out, but not like you’re expecting."
I furrowed my brow as I processed his words. It was like some complex puzzle. “Can you just tell me where we’re going already?”
Harry grinned and shook his head. “It’s a surprise! Something I’ve been working on for a while, actually.” He took my hand and lead me past Niall on the couch to the window by the TV. Niall and I watched as Harry struggled to get the window open.
“Harry,” I popped my hip and crossed my arms. “Those windows don’t open. They never have.”
“Nah, he had it open just a moment ago-“ Niall gurgled, but Harry cut him off with a nasty glare. Niall shut himself up with a swig of beer.
“What? How? Why?” I asked. ”I’ve never seen them open!”
Harry grunted as he continued to pull up on the frame as hard as he could. I jumped back as the frame lifted up, popping loudly. I was worried it might shatter as the top of the frame slammed upward and hit the top of the window where it met the wall. Harry stepped through the window, one long leg at a time, and finally turned around to offer me a hand through as well. I took his hand and peered over the ledge of the window at the old metal balcony that we – or that I – had never been on. I thought it was for decoration, just like I thought the windows didn’t open.
“How long have you known about this?” I asked, stretching my legs as far as I could to step down to the metal balcony. Harry basically ended up lifting my through the window and holding me close to him once I was through. I looked back through the window at Niall, still on the couch watching TV. He grinned at me and raised his beer bottle at me.
Harry laughed and turned to face the building. On the other side of his body was a ladder that I had never noticed. “I’ve known about it for a while. I think you were out once when we first moved in and I was trying to get the windows open and I found this.” He pulled me between his body and the building protectively. We slid across the thin balcony to the ladder.
"You’ve known about it that long and never told me?" I asked, looking up at him. Harry grinned before helped me upward and shielded my view from the street behind us and down twenty feet. I wasn’t afraid of heights, but I was worried that the rickety ladder and balcony would collapse at any time and Harry’s slow and protective movements let me know he was probably thinking about the same thing. I gripped each cold bar of the ladder with my toes as I climbed upward.
“When you get to the top, reach over the ledge and grab the bar. Pull yourself up,” Harry instructed. “It’s easy. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. Oh and try not to look!! Turn around and watch me or something.”
It took me a moment of searching around blindly when I got to the top but I finally found the bar. I pushed myself up with my legs and pulled with the little bit of upper body strength that I had to get over the ledge of the roof. As soon as I got over, I turned around and looked down to see Harry beginning up the ladder. Staring down at the ground below us made me shudder and I hoped that we didn’t have to come down the same way we came up.
Harry was up to the roof a lot more quickly than I was and he definitely wasn’t breathing as hard as I was. “You’ve done this quite a few times, haven’t you Mr. Sneaky??”
Harry laughed and put his hands over my eyes. “I’ve been working on something for you for a while, so yeah, a few times.”
I pouted into Harry’s hands but he didn’t notice. He pressed his body against my back, forcing me forward.
“Please don’t push me off the roof.”
“God, Scotlan, what a date that would be.”
“Harry, seriously, are we close? You’re scaring me.”
“I’m so glad you trust me.”
“I don’t,” I joked, though he was scaring me. There was no way our roof could be this big.
“I can tell. Okay, count of three.”
“Onetwothree-“ I said quickly.
Harry chuckled but didn’t remove his hands. “Hey, I want to count. One…”
“Two…” I urged him on.
“Two…” he repeated slowly.
He pulled his hands away from my face and rested his chin on the top of my head. In front of me was a relatively large sandpit, but instead of sand it had dirt and grass.
“I pulled the dirt up here and grew the grass myself,” Harry said, pushing me gently forward onto the green. Between my toes, it was some of the softest grass I had ever felt in my life. On the grass was a red and white checkered picnic blanket with a wicker basket sitting on it. Two wine glasses were next to the basket filled with a dark red liquid. “It’s sparkling grape juice,” Harry whispered in my ear as if he read my thoughts.
“What’s that?” I asked, looking at the corner of the roof where two poles had been cemented into the brick building. The poles supported a thick, white board.
“Oh!” Harry gasped and removed a small remote from his pocket. He pointed the remote behind us at a small wooden box secured on another pole across the roof from the board. Immediately, a light shined from the box and displayed the movie “She’s The Man” on the board. “I installed a projector and a screen so we can watch movies up here. I don’t know how long it will last… the box is supposed to keep any water or wind or whatever to getting to the projector or DVD player or anything and…” Harry rambled on but I was completely zoned out. I gazed at the large white Christmas lights that hung around the edges of the roof and wiggled my toes in the grass again.
“Harry… this is so freakin’ cool,” I whispered. I turned around and punched him in the arm. “I can’t believe you never told me about this!”
Harry grinned proudly and pulled me into his chest. “I’m glad you like it. I finished it a few days ago. You fell asleep so I thought I would come up here work on it…”
“Harry! This is so cool!” I repeated, running a finger over the smooth wooden edges of the box that held the projector and the DVD player.
“It would be cooler with chocolate covered strawberries and a sunset,” Harry said behind me. I spun around and watched him as he pulled a container of strawberries out of the basket and patted the blanket across from him. I giggled and stepped back onto the grass, dropped to my knees, and laid on my side in front of Harry. He mirrored me with his body and held out a strawberry for me to bite into. The chocolate shell fell off of the strawberry onto the blanket before I got my mouth around it.
Harry picked up the chocolate and stuck it in his mouth. “I woke up in the middle of the night last night to make these,” He said, using his finger to pick through the strawberries.
"Geez Harry, have you slept at all recently?" I asked playfully.
Harry shrugged and looked at me. “I’m sorry this isn’t like an actual date…” He said, picking up another strawberry for me.
I took a bite and grinned. “This is so much better than some restaurant, Haz. This is incredible.”
Harry’s face turned red and he looked across the roof. “Did you check out the view?”
I twisted around to see the what he was talking about – a view of the city like the pictures you see in brochures that outsiders might use as a guide when they come visit. The orange sun was setting just behind the tallest building creating a warm glow around each of the tall buildings.
“I am speechless,” I said, turning back to Harry. “I didn’t realize how awesome of an apartment we had. Mainly because of you and your hard work, too!”
Harry laughed and ate the rest of my strawberry. “Well I’m glad you like it.”
“Like it? I love it.”
Harry’s eyes seemed to glow more and more green with every bit of praise I gave him. He sat up on his knees and leaned over to me, using a single bent finger to tilt my head up toward his face. He placed a short and soft kiss on my lips before laying back down and flipping onto his back. I scooted closer to him and laid flat on my back as well, looking up into the darkening sky above us. We stared up into the sky until the stars started to barely show in the black of the night. This was a perfect night to be up on the roof. I was torn between laying there and staring up at the sky or flipping onto Harry and taking all of his clothes off. Harry and I used to share a mind, but ever since we started dating I couldn’t help but feel like I was struggling to read his thoughts.
“What are you thinking about?” I nearly blurted. I covered my face with my hands embarrassedly.
Next to me I felt Harry’s shoulders shake as he chuckled and shrugged. “Nothing really.”
“Nothing at all?”
Harry turned his head and looked at me. “Well I was wondering if maybe you wanted another strawberry or wanted to watch the movie or something. I don’t know.”
“I don’t know either,” I laughed.
Harry bit his lip and looked back up at the sky. It was awkward. Why was it awkward?
“Do you think we’re trying too hard?”
Harry sat up and looked at me. “What do you mean?”
“I don’t know.”
“I think you do.”
“Well what do you mean then?”
I laughed. “I just… I think we’re trying too hard to be a couple. We were perfect together when we were just us… you know, Harry and Scotlan: The High School BFFs… all of this-“ I motioned around us at the roof. “-Isn’t us.”
Harry sat up again and looked away from me. My stomach fell. Did I offend him? I shot up quickly from the blanket and put my hand on his back. “Harry, I really love all of this, I do but it’s just not something I think neither of us are really used to-“
“I was thinking about bending you over the kitchen counter and fucking you.”
I nearly choked. That wasn’t what I was expecting… but at the same time it felt normal.
Harry turned and looked at me. “A kitchen fuck sounds amazing right now. That’s what I was really thinking about.”
“Same,” I agreed. ”Please, let’s just do it.”
Harry jumped up, pulling me up with him. I started to pick up the basket and strawberries but Harry stopped me. “Leave it. We’ll clean up later.”
Harry nearly threw me down the ladder and slid down it quickly himself. My heart leapt with excitement each time he pushed me forcefully in one direction or squeezed a part of my body tightly. This was the real Harry. He jumped through the window and pulled me into the living room basically by my face, lifting me up to his lips and kissing me all down my neck. He bit my skin lightly, making me moan. I wrapped my legs around his waist and allowed him to carry me to the island in the middle of the kitchen. I pulled at his belt buckle and rubbed my hand over the crotch of his pants while he squeezed my neck and ran his other hand up my shirt to my chest.
“GUYS I BUILT A FORT!”
I screamed into Harry’s mouth as Niall walked around the corner into the kitchen.
“I used the towels you had in the closet and our bed covers. I thought we could all have a sleepover in Scotlan’s room,” he slurred.
“NO!” Harry shouted, kicking the island. “We can’t have a fucking sleepover dammit son of a b…” Harry swore loudly and punched the cabinet beside him. I sighed and looked back over to Niall who looked as if he was about to cry. If it was anyone else, I would have told them to fuck off. When it came to Niall though, he was like a little baby you just can’t ignore. When he was drunk and brokenhearted, it was even worse. Of course it was annoying to have him interrupting Harry and myself but I just couldn’t look at him and tell him to go away, especially when he was as vulnerable as he was.
“Of course we can have a sleepover,” I sighed, sliding off of the counter and buttoning up my jeans. “Show me your fort, Niall.” I grabbed one of his beers off of the counter and passed it to him. I know we were trying to help him sober up but I really just wanted him to pass out and leave us alone at this point.
His “fort” wasn’t a fort. It was more of towels and blankets in a heap on my bed. So much for cleaning my room that afternoon. Niall laid on the bed and placed a towel over his face. I laid next to him and placed a towel over mine. I hated smelling the beer from Niall’s breath, but thankfully before long Harry joined us and all I could smell was his cologne. The cologne he hated. The cologne that I loved. The cologne he wore for me because he was the best boyfriend ever.
“I love you,” I said as he laid under the towel with me.
“I love you too, Scotlan,” Niall said. Harry chuckled and grabbed my hand, giving me a light squeeze before pulling a blanket up around the three of us.