It felt slightly cool on my skin, the warmth of a second body absent from the bed. I sleepily patted the covers around me, expecting to find Bo. When I discovered emptiness, the events of the previous evening came flooding back. The alcohol, the shouting, the fear and bruising on my girl’s face. But my resilience towards her seemed to melt away as Bo clung to me in sleep, my fingers curling around hers to stop the nightmares.
I shot up, squinting with the light infiltrating the room from between my curtains. My heart was pounding, eyes darting around the space in an effort to seek her out. The duvet was shoved back, stumbling from the bed and over to the bathroom door.
I regretted shouting at her, regretted frightening her.
My knuckles made contact with the wood, allowing only a couple of desperate seconds to pass before abruptly swinging the door open. Where the hell was she? She wouldn’t have just left.
I was angry and intoxicated, Bo’s decision not to inform me of her visitor at work was something I couldn’t understand. How was I supposed to keep her safe if she didn’t tell me anything? When I saw her face the previous evening I knew what Dan had told me was true. The cocky bastard almost took pleasure in informing me that he was the one that had come to Bo’s rescue. I had no desire to dwell on the thought of what might have happened.
I swept my hair from my forehead, continuing my determined stride down the hall to the kitchen, hoping to find Bo. Empty. My feet carried me to the open door of the living room. Fingers grasped the frame, peering in. I was about to turn when a flash of dark waves caught my eye. She was sat on the window sill, knees curled up to her chest as she observed the world go by through the glass. Her small hands clasped around a mug as she brought it up to her lips, sipping on the liquid.
Bo must have caught me in her peripheral vision, her head snapping around in shock. The fullness of his blue eyes decreased slightly upon locking on mine. Her face still looked sore, lip split, bruising on her jaw. My beautiful broken girl.
“I made you one…a tea.” She stuttered, shaking her head.
My eyes absorbed her appearance, recognising the plaid shirt adorning her torso, it was mine.
“It’s probably cold now though.” Bo continued. “I-I didn’t want to wake you.”
When I remained silent her focus fell to the cuff of the shirt, fiddling with it anxiously. All I wanted to do was cuddle her, but for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to move forward. I’d heard her cry for an unbearable amount of time the previous evening, tears wetting my chest as she sobbed. But I could do nothing. Bo continually threw me curve balls, but the last one was quite unexpected. Why hadn’t she told me?
“Thanks.” I spoke quietly.
This was getting ridiculous. It had been two days since our confrontation. I thought Harry would have wanted to take a break for a little while, as his communication with me was bare minimum. So to say I was surprised when his car was waiting for me outside of work the next day was an understatement. We drove back to his flat in silence; I knew he wanted to keep watch over me.
Dan had been absent from the shop, confirming my suspicions that he was too cowardly to face me. He’d gone behind my back and told Harry exactly what had happened against my will. But I refused to deal with him, I had enough on my plate with the curly haired boy who found it difficult to meet my eye contact.
I’d grown tired of Harry’s immature behaviour. Yes, I’d withheld information from him, but this was silly. He’d keep me safely locked away in his flat and yet couldn’t find it within himself to talk to me properly. So I decided to handle the situation myself, I wasn’t going to be ignored. And if it meant having the inevitable argument, I would take it, anything not to have to endure another day of tiptoeing around the subject.
I had lingered around the kitchen doorway, my back leaning against the hall wall. When Harry appeared my body quickly removed itself from my supported position, standing boldly in front of the looming figure. I mirrored his movements as he stepped to the side, blocking his path once again. Harry’s jaw tensed, eyebrows descending along with his darkening state. He was angry. His towering frame shadowed over me, eyes deeply penetrating my own. I knew from his harsh exterior that Harry was trying to intimidate me, but I shoved the fearful thoughts to the back of my mind.
“Talk to me.” I spoke.
I witnessed his focus falter for a second, clearly not predicting my pleading instruction. Harry composed himself quickly, shielding himself once again with his unapproachable posture.
“Move..or I’ll move you.” Harry’s voice threatened.
Why was he being so cold?
“Not like that.” I frowned.
I knew what he was attempting as the expanse of his plams caught hold of my waist. But Harry was unsuccessful, almost instantly placing me back on my feet as I struggled in his hold. I stumbled back slightly before closing the distance between us, gripping his shoulders and mustering my strength to shove Harry away in annoyance.
“Stop!” I cried. “Stop doing that, I’m not a little child that you can just pick up, and brush off to the side when you don’t want to talk to me.”
My chest was rising and falling at an uneven rate. But Harry took no notice, my eyes squeezing closed as he coldly brushed passed me, lightly knocking into my shoulder. I could sense his growing irritation as I pursued him into the living room, Harry taking a seat on the sofa.
I watched on in disbelief as he snatched the remote from the coffee table and flicked the TV on. The channel was changed multiple times before settling on a football match. He had to be kidding me.
His frown deepened, staring impassively at the screen. I strode over to the device that held his unconvincing gaze, standing directly in front.
“You don’t make a very good window.” Harry glared.
“I don’t care.” I replied in a hard voice.
The sound of the audience on the TV ground away at my patience as I waited for Harry to act. His frosty green vision chilled my body until I turned, pressing the button to cease the annoying distraction.
“Talk to me.”
“Why didn’t you tell me!?” Harry harshly spat.
The abrupt raise in volume caused my heart to pound, ill-prepared for his sudden question.
“Because I wanted to protect you! I wanted to keep you safe for once. He said he’d kill you if I told anyone.”
My body betrayed me, unwanted tears leaking from my eyes which I hastily wiped away. When Harry rose from his seat I took a step back in fear, only to bump into the TV stand. I couldn’t comprehend how frightening he could become when he wanted to.
“I can take care of myself, which is little to be said for you!” He cuttingly shouted.
I cried out in aggravation. How dare he. I’d been perfectly fine with looking after myself before he came along. Harry could be such a stubborn arse at times.
“I didn’t tell you because I couldn’t bear to have anything happen to you!” I yelled. “For goodness sake, Harry, it’s because I’m in love with you!”
The words tumbled out before I had a chance to contemplate the consequences. Harry’s eyes were wide, mouth parted as he stared at me from across the living room. The silence was deafening, my bottom lip trembling. I swallowed the lump in my throat, head darting to the door in a panic. I hastily retreated, fleeing to the hallway. My bag was scooped up, items escaping before I desperately collected them.
Harry had come to stand in the doorway, struggling to form any sort of sentence. I beat him to it.
“I-I’m going home.” I stuttered quietly.
My feet rushed clumsily down the hallway, it was only then that Harry managed communication.
I cursed with the sound of his raspy whispered voice behind me. I yanked at the door, the wood only complying to open a small amount. My eyes desperately darted to the obstruction of the silver safety chain. Cheeks running with tears, I slammed the door, hurriedly fumbling with the chain and drawing it across to allow me to escape outside.
I brusquely shut the door behind me, the dark wood providing me with a barrier between Harry and myself. I barely made it to the bottom step before breaking down in uncontrollable sobs, collapsing to sit. What the hell had just happened? I’d confessed my love for Harry and then fled. I was unable to collect my thoughts, my head too much of a mess to think clearly. The only question my mind tortured me with was asking why he didn’t say it back.
The clicking of a latch brought my attention hurtling back to the present, fingers quickly brushing away the evidence of my distraught emotions. I glanced back to see Harry at the top of the steps, desperate gaze focused upon me. My body scrambled up as he descended a pace towards me. I forced my legs to cooperate, my feet quickly carrying me along the path away from the flat I had just exited.
“Bo!” Harry yelled.” Bo, wait!”
And for the second time in a matter of days, I ran from him.