Check, please.

“I knew it was your month to pay the bills, so I made sure to use a lot of hot water.” I watched as he used the towel to dry between his legs and his torso, admiring his cleanly shaven male parts when the towel flicked up just high enough. “And your hair looks fine, Miss Over-Dramatic.”
I bit my lip as I looked up and down at the bare and glistening body in front of me. “Been working out?”


8. chapter 8

“NOOOOOOOOO ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?!” I heard Harry shout from the living room. I listened as he punched the couch cushions over and over again. “WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO THAT!?”

I had hidden the lamps, vases, glass bottles, and anything else breakable exactly for this reason. It was Sunday. I hid the glass things every Sunday. Some weeks it was unnecessary, but others it was essential.

“OH COME ON!” Harry yelled, and I looked out of my room just in time to see a couch cushion fly across the living room.

I rolled my eyes. “Harry, was that really necessary?” I called, but I got no response.

“HE JUST-“ Harry groaned loudly. “I WANT TO KICK HIS ASS RIGHT NOW.”

I sighed as I looked around at my room, finally almost clean for the first time in weeks. Months. Probably years. I had spent all day sweeping under my bed and dresser, digging out clothes from the very depths of my closet, and scrubbing random stains off of my furniture. I was disgusted with myself for becoming this dirty.

I hoisted up a laundry basket onto my hip and carried the clothes down the hallway to the laundry room across from the bathroom. I groaned when I noticed that the bathroom was disgusting too. Mine and Harry’s clothes littered the floor and I had makeup and nail polish bottles all over the place. If everything is dirty, you don’t notice. Now that my room was squeaky clean, I felt compelled to clean the rest of the nasty apartment.

After starting a load of laundry, I walked into the kitchen just in time to hear a mix of swears coming from Harry’s mouth. He threw his plastic bottle against the wall as hard as he could, but the plastic just bounced off of the wall and onto the floor where it rolled a few inches and then stopped. Harry stood still and looked down at the bottle for a moment, breathing heavily. He finally looked up at me and put his hands on his hips.

“You know, I get no satisfaction out of throwing a plastic coke bottle against the wall.”

I raised my eyebrows at him. “Well any time you threw a glass bottle, we were stepping on tiny little shards of sharp, painful glass for weeks after that.”

Harry glared in my direction but didn’t try to fight me on my reasoning. I grabbed some yellow, rubber gloves from underneath the counter and stretched them onto my hands. “You shouldn’t get so damn angry anyways…” I said, leaving the room. “It’s just football.”

I walked into the bathroom and reached under the sink for some sort of cleaner. I was disappointed when I didn’t find any, and I screeched when I stood up and turned straight into Harry.

I stumbled backward and frowned at him. “What is your deal?”

He shook his head at me. “It isn’t just football! It’s the PACKERS.”

I sighed. “Harry, I don’t think you could even find Green Bay on a map. You aren’t from there. You aren’t even from America.”

Harry chuckled for a second but then became serious again. “I can like whatever team I want.”

I widened my eyes and pushed past him to the laundry room. “But that’s the problem. You don’t just “like” them. You have like, an abusive relationship with the team.”

Harry pouted. “I do not.”

“Yes, you do. You couldn’t end the relationship even if you tried.”

Harry scowled. “I could.”

I searched the shelves above the washer and dryer for a bathroom cleaner but found none. “Well you can try to end the relationship now then by going with me to the grocery store.”

“Why? What do we need?”

I pulled the gloves off of my hands. “We need a sink and shower cleaner of some sort and some food. The fridge is basically empty.”

Harry was standing in the hallway staring at the TV. His face twitched and he started to jump as he watched another unsuccessful play, but he stopped himself and looked back at me. He whined. “Come on, the game is almost oveOH MY GOD HOW DID YOU MISS THAT AGAIN??” Harry slapped the wall in the hallway. “DAMMIT IT’S LIKE THE QUARTERBACK HAS BUTTER ALL OVER HIS HANDS OR SOMETHING. CATCH THE BALL!”

I put my hands on my hips and stared at him. “Your addiction is affecting our relationship, Harold.”

Harry laughed but continued to stare at the TV. I shook my head and picked my phone out of the pocket of my jean shorts. I dialed a number and held the phone up to my ear.

“Wait, who are you calling?” Harry asked.


“James? Why?”

“I need someone to drive me to the grocery store!”

Harry leapt at me and snatched my phone from my hands. He quickly hung up and slapped my phone down onto the washing machine. He leaned close to me. “I. Will. Drive. You.”


His lip twitched. His eyes flickered to the hallway and his ears perked up with the sound of cheering coming from the TV. “Now.”

I grinned. “Well thank you.”

Harry rolled his eyes and handed my phone back to me. “You know, you could always just start driving again.”

I shrugged and pushed past him into the hallway. “Well I don’t want to. I don’t have the courage or the mental stability to do that yet.”

“Scotlan, it’s been 5 years.”

I turned to him, thinking of something to say to defend myself, but I couldn’t think of anything. I knew he was just pissed that I was forcing him away from the game – apparently not a good one anyway – and I was being a bitch because I was about to start my period. I knew he only brought up my past because he was trying to get under my skin, so I ignored him and tossed him the keys to the Celica instead.

As we drove, I turned on the radio. Katy Perry’s “Birthday” blared through the speakers and I immediately started to sing to it. Harry watched me out of the corner of his eye for a moment and then sat forward quickly to change the station. I cut off my singing and glared at him before switching back the station. I bounced my shoulders up and down to the beat as my favorite part came closer and closer. I took a deep breath, prepared to scream the lyrics, but Harry shot forward and changed the station. I slapped his hand.

“Dammit Harry, you know that was my favorite part!” I changed the channel back quickly but the part was nearly over. I crossed my arms over my chest and sat back in my seat.

We stayed quiet as we approached the grocery store. I was happy to see only a few cars in the parking lot because I looked nasty from not having showered all day. I didn’t wait for my grumpy best friend before I walked into the sliding doors of the store, but it wasn’t long at all before I heard his footsteps behind me. Damn his long legs.

I walked down the cleaning isle and grabbed a few plain sponges. Behind me, Harry growled. I turned and frowned at him.

“Get the colorful ones.”

I turned back to look at my choices and saw the patterned sponges he was talking about. “Why does it matter?”

Harry looked at his phone, checking the score of the game, no doubt. “I just like the colorful ones.”

“Well it’s not like you’ll be the one cleaning anyway.”

Harry looked up at me, confused. “It’s our apartment, not yours. Why wouldn’t I help?”

I wanted to smile and kiss his face but I remembered that we were angry at each other. I returned the white sponges to the shelf. “Which ones do you want?”

Harry took a minute to look at his options. I shifted impatiently after about ten seconds and exhaled hard. Harry cocked an eyebrow at me and then looked back at his phone. “The polka-dot ones.”

I snatched the polka-dotted sponges off of the shelf and threw them in the small plastic basket that Harry was holding. As we passed the cleaners, I grabbed a few different sprays for the bathroom and mirrors, as well as wipes for the sink and kitchen. I threw each bottle or pack of wipes into the basket and continued along the other isles, searching for anything else we needed. Harry contorted his face as I threw some tampons into the basket.

I made a face back at him and began to walk backwards out of the isle. I was startled and whipped around as I felt myself bump into a short body.

“Oh geez, I’m sorry-“

“No, no, it was my fault!”

“I should have been watching where I was going,” I said, forcing a laugh and shooting a menacing look in Harry’s direction. He didn’t even try to warn me that there was someone behind me.

“Oh really, don’t worry… Harry? Harry Styles, is that you?”

Harry and I both looked up slowly to see who I had really bumped into. She was only about 5 feet tall and her short brown hair was pulled back into a tiny ponytail behind her head. Her small little eyes looked past me to Harry, twinkling as she admired him. Once I realized who it was, I couldn’t help but giggle.

“Janice Laurens,” I grinned. “How the hell are you?!” I yanked her into a hug, but I could feel that she didn’t take her eyes off Harry.

“I’m great,” she breathed, speaking to Harry. “How are you?” She asked him. She rocked on her feet, unsure of whether or not to go for a hug. When Harry didn’t reply or move toward her, she remained where she was.

“We’re fabulous. Harry is fabulous. Doing well. Very well.” I nodded and looked at Harry who gritted his teeth at me.

“That’s good,” Janice breathed, her eyes still locked on Harry. I remember catching her staring at him like that in high school. She was completely in love with Harry, even before the Halloween party. I used to laugh when I spotted her in the hallway drooling over the tall, dark-haired boy walking next to me. She asked him to every dance that we had at school, begged for him to help her with homework (even though he was a straight-A student and he was a C-average), and she photoshopped pictures of the two of them together for the yearbook. She would try and sit next to him in the lunchroom and even went as far as trying to change the seating arrangement for graduation so that she would be right behind Harry. Thankfully, Administration caught on to her and changed it back the day before the ceremony.

The longer that Janice stared at Harry, the more he began to inch behind me.

“So are you here for the reunion?” I asked. Janice looked at me for the first time and smiled a little bit.

“Yeah,” She said quietly. “Are you going?” She asked Harry.

“We don’t know yet,” Harry said shortly, nodding in my direction.

“Oh,” Janice exhaled. “Well I really hope you come.”

Harry smiled shortly and nudged me. I stayed put. I loved making him squirm, especially when we were already agitated with each other.

“So did you come alone or did you bring your boyfriend?” I asked loudly.

Janice cocked her head at me. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

I gasped sarcastically and looked back at Harry. “Harry! She doesn’t have a boyfriend. I would have thought a pretty face like yours would have all of the boys falling over you.”

Janice giggled in a way that gave me the shivers and looked back at Harry, her eyes glimmering. “What about you, Harry? Are you single?”

“AH, no.”

“Yes,” I grinned. “He’s a single pringle.”

“No,” he repeated. “I am a pringle with a lot of other pringle friends. I MEAN, not a lot. I’m just… I’m not a pringle.”

I laughed as Harry’s face turned red. I had never seen him so flustered in my life.

When Harry saw I was laughing, he straightened up and took a deep breath. “I am single. But Scotlan and I are fucking so that kinda takes me off the market.”

I choked. “Ohhhhkay it’s time to go.”

Janice looked back to me and her face fell. “Oh my goodness. Well have fun with… well, having sexual intercourse… Maybe we can talk soon, Harry.”

Harry pushed me lightly forward and away from Janice. “Mhmm,” he hummed. “Real soon.”

As soon as we had turned the corner to another isle I turned and punched Harry in the chest. I glared at him and punched him and again a third time. He began to laugh, but I was not amused. The louder he became, however, the more inclined I felt to laugh myself. Before I could help it, I was laughing too. I punched Harry one last time in the chest and he grabbed my wrist, yanking me into his chest for a hug.

“Do you know how much I love you?”

I chuckled into his Packers jersey and nodded. “Yeah, yeah… just because I’m a slut doesn’t mean you can just throw it on out there and tell everyone that we’re having sex. You make it sound like it’s a nightly thing.” I pushed him away from me and grabbed a box of cereal off of the shelf next to me.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said, taking the box from me and putting it in the small basket. “That girl is just so creepy…”

“Who is creepy?” A small voice came from behind Harry. I squealed and Harry whipped around to see Janice behind him. I snorted and turned to run down the isle. Harry followed quickly behind me, slapping my butt as I laughed harder and harder.

“I’ll just tell you at the reunion, Janice. We really have to go!” Harry yelled down the isle to her. Before she could catch up to us again, we paid for our things, loaded up the car, and sped away from the store.

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