You know I love you very much honey, right?" my father said softly into my ear as he tucked me into bed. I nodded but didn't say anything as we walked down the slender corridor of our house. Jason and Marcus were already asleep and mommy was in the kitchen.
Dad had been acting weird around mommy lately and the only time I saw him anymore was late at night when he'd stumble into the house and start screaming at my mom. I don't know why dad was out so late now a days and every time he came through the door mommy and him would start shouting mean things at each other. They thought I couldn't hear them or understand what they were saying to each other but I did. And it made me sad to think that both of them didn't want to be with each other anymore.
I yawned and shuffled back into my cozy bed, the duvet engulfing me entirely as daddy bent down to hiss me on my forehead. He stood up and turned to leave but I tugged on the sleeve of his shirt. Daddy stopped and turned back to look at me.
"Daddy?" I asked in a tiny voice.
"What is it sweetheart, your mommy is waiting for me in the kitchen" he replied sitting back down next to me on the bed. The mattress slumped down underneath his weight, slightly pulling me into a crooked position.
"Do you and mommy still love each other?"
he sighed and ran an aged hand through his thin dark hair, his eyes closing momentarily before a small half smile.
"I love you mother very very much Laurel. She and I just have been having a hard time recently. But always remember that no matter what either of us do or say that deep down we love and care for each other" he explained reaching out and brushing a loose strand of my hair from my face.
I nodded in understanding as dad got up for the second time walking over to the door but I didn't want him to leave. I was afraid that I would hear mom and dad argue again if he left her and she hated hearing them so furious at each other.
"Don't go" she weakly pleaded fighting back a yawn. He chuckled and turned once again gazing at her.
"I have to princess. How's about this, when you wake up tomorrow, I'll take you out and it will just be the two of us. Like a daughter father bonding day. Sound good?" he bargained. My heart fluttered when he proposed and I nodded eagerly mumbling multiple "yeses" as he laughed.
"Good night my little princess, I love you"
"I love you too daddy" and with that I fell asleep instantly...
My eyes fluttered open as I immediately sat up in my bed. My mind was still buzzing over the vivid dream that was floating through my mind moments ago. I knew it was only in my head and that that happened years ago but still I couldn't help the growing yearning in my stomach to go back to the way it was before he left.
Glancing at the clock I noticed I woke up later than usual. Cursing under my breath as I raced out of bed and into the shower I got ready as soon as I could. I didn't have time to style my hair or apply my makeup properly so I just tugged my hair into a messy bun and left my face bare. Knowing how tired and dead looking I probably looked I filled up a cup of coffee and grabbed my things before rushing out the door of my apartment and into the chilly air of England.
When I finally made it to work with two minutes to spare, saying a quick hello to Lana as I entered I set my stuff into the lounge but keeping my phone securely in my back pocket. I headed past Vince's office and checked my schedule that was set in my own locker in the next room. Today I had to assist up on the second floor and work the cash registers. Sighing and putting the papers back I made my way up the stairs and to my station for the day.
When the doors opened, just like the day before swarms of people flowed in and began to pick up their last minute gifts. There was only four more days until Christmas and every day grew busier. I had off for a week after today so I kept reminding myself to get through it as best I could.
It wasn't that I hated work, just that it was so ordinary and boring. I always dreamed of writing songs for famous celebrities and being invited to fancy award shows, partying with important CEO's of well know companies and living life to the fullest. Sadly I could only land a job at Liberty at the time and it was the best I could get.
Tens of twenties of people cross in and out of each isle, some bumping into others and so on. But what caught my attention was a boy; well not a young boy, maybe around the age of eighteen or nineteen.
He was clad in all black; a tight black v-neck, some dark skinny jeans and to top it off with some dark grey converse. His tall figure towered over ninety percent of the other customers bustling around him and his eyes shined a bright ember colour that stood out from all the others. From my spot the view of him was perfect. I could detect his soft looking light pink lips that were very plump. His head was covered with thick luxurious dark chocolate curls; they spilled over the top and rested against the frame of his sharp face. The boy's indifferent frown and his sparkling eyes that were squinting slightly told me that he was here for something important.
I wanted so badly to walk over and ask him if he needed anything, just to be able to hear what his voice sounded like. I imagined it deep and a bit forceful. Before really thinking clearly about it I charged forward so I was standing about a foot away from his towering self.
The boy immediately noticed my presence and stopped walking, standing still and looking me in the eyes as if to say what-do-you-want?
"Er, excuse me sir" I began, swallowing an uneasy lump that was forming in my throat, " Is there anything I could help you with?"
"Well it just looked like you we-"
"I don't need any help" he snapped and stalked away in a furry. I took a shocked step back and allowed him to scurry away from me.
Still a bit shook up from the mysterious boy's action towards me I headed back to the cosmetics section where Lana was talking to a middle aged woman holding two different brands of mascara. Soon after I arrived the woman smiled to Lana and walked off to another area. Lana turned to me and greeted me with a "hey"
"So the weirdest thing just happened to me" I said. Lana perked up, eager to hear whatever story I had to tell.
"Ooh tell me all about it, and don't spare any details" she said excitedly.
"Well I was over by the woman's clothing and a boy was there. He was....different and something drew me to him. So I went over and asked if he needed help and she snapped at me and furiously walked away" I explained.
Lana stood there shifting her weight from one foot to the other, a thoughtful look plastered on he face. I waited for her to tell me some irrelevant advice so I could roll my eyes at her like always but it never came surprisingly.
"Well, maybe he isn't the social type. Or something happened to him and it put him in a bad mood" she suggested. I nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, still it was quite rude of him. All I was trying to do was help"
"Was he cute?" Lana asked. And then I rolled my eyes, knowing the question was coming sooner or later.
"He was actually, but aren't you all tied up with your new project Tristan?" I asked grinning at her.
"Well we went out together last night and turns out he's a total creepy prick, so now I'm on the lookout" she replied sticking her tongue out at me.
"Well if you wanna go track this guy down be my guest, maybe he'll be nicer to you. I gotta go back to the second floor before Vince finds out that I sneaked away."
"Alright, see you after shift" she waved as I walked back towards the escalator.
As I walked back I felt the weight of another person slam into me. Stumbling back I fell to the floor right on my bum in the middle of the store.
"Ow, shit" I cursed, looking up to be met with the same boy that snapped at me earlier. He was running a hand through his hair trying to get it back to its regular place, not even paying attention to me sprawled out on the cold, hard floor.
I hauled myself up and glared at him. His dazzling eyes met mine and we stood there for a couple seconds longer than necessary before a huge smirk made its way onto his face.
"Wow, long time no see huh?" he asked. I could practically hear the smirk in his arrogant voice.
"Very funny" I said shoving past him. He reached out and grabbed a hold of my hand firmly. I could feel his fingernails digging into my wrist. Letting out a strained huff of pain I spun back around to face him again.
"Why are you leaving so soon love?" he asked, his thick, rich accent ringing in my ears.
"You're hurting me" I said, ignoring his previous question completely. He was scaring me and all I wanted to do was run away as fast as I could. His hold didn't cease, if anything it grew tighter. I squirmed in his grasp but it was no use.
"You didn't answer me, why do you want to leave?" he asked, his voice seeming to grow deeper with every syllable tumbling out of his mouth. I didn't answer him, studying the floor carefully was my top priority at the moment.
Without warning he let go of me. I snapped my hand back and rubbed my wrist tenderly. I knew it would most likely bruise. I thought he'd just leave but he kept his ground, smirking back at me as I tended to my hand.
"Nice name, Laurel" he said pointing to my name tag that was pinned onto my navy blue blazer.
"And what's yours?" I asked cautiously, trying to keep my tone calm so I wouldn't anger or push him.
"Harry. But that doesn't really matter. I think I might need some help after all love"
"With what exactly?"
"Show me to your bosses office if you would kindly do so" he said ready to follow me wherever I took him. Reluctantly I led him to Vince's office in no time, trying to ignore Lana's smirking face when she saw me and Harry walking together. I was tempted to flip her the finger but restrained myself and continued to travel to the office.
Once we got there Vince wasn't in his office. I wasn't in the mood to babysit a cocky and frankly quite intimidating grown guy who was already getting to close for comfort just as we stood there together.
"Why do you want to meet my boss?" I asked curiously as we waited. He chuckled and shook his head.
"Well love, why would anyone want to talk to a boss at a workplace? Oh, and here he is" Harry said, his eyes following the man walking down the hallway. When Vince arrived he acknowledged me and beckoned Harry to come inside. The last thing I saw was Harry, sending me a wink as he turned and entered the office.