16. Confususion Part 2
My heart started beating fast. I was excited to see her? I couldn't quite understand how and why I felt how I did. Me and Liam were standing by the car.
"Relax." Liam reminded me and put a hand on my shoulder and finally I saw her. She had an oversized tank top on and a floral high skirt on. Her hair in a bun with sun glasses on top of her head and she looked breath taking. Liam opened the passenger seat for Isabelle and I opened the back door for Clara. She didn't look at me and I felt something tug at my heart. I'm over thinking it. Obviously. Well, I hope. Liam started the car and we finally started to move. Clara sat on the far side of the car and had her leg on top of the other and looked out the window. She was intimidating me in a way. A part of me wanted to just watch her look outside and part of me wanted her sitting on my lap. It was all confusing. I could hear Isabelle giggling to things Liam was saying. They were getting along and yet I was too scared to say a word to Clara. Not scared of her, scared of rejection.
"The weather's nice." I commented and she said nothing and made no noise. "How are you?" I asked. She turned and looked at me.
"I'm fine, thank you. And yourself?" She asked. Her voice and face expression was very nonchalant.
"I'm good!" I replied with a smile. She gave me a small smile and turned her head back around and her phone buzzed. Maybe she just woke up and she was still sleepy. She might open up later.
We were at the beach now. She was still ignoring and avoiding me. I wonder if I said something to offend her when I saw her last. I sat on the sand by myself watching her splash around with Niall. She looked happy. Genuinely happy. Not like the night I met her. She looked stressed and not happy. She looked so carefree and happy right now. She had a small dimple on her left cheek. I realised this the night I met her. I smiled a little when she laughed. I was so invested into looking at her that I hadn't realised I had company.
"Infatuated are you?" Isabelle asked as she sat beside me.
"It doesn't matter. She's not interested." I replied not looking at her and keeping my eyes on Clara.
"That's not true. She's just very guarded. And so she should be." She said, which caught my attention. I turned and looked at her.
"Did something happen to her?" I asked.
"We had a very very rough up bringing and Clara was always the one making sure I was okay and although she was always fun she was very responsible. She's looked after me for my whole life and she still does. Anyways. This is a story we probably shouldn't dive into." She said looking out to the ocean.
"So, she has trust issues?" I asked as I looked back at Clara who was now conversing with someone I didn't know. I frowned as they hugged.
"No. Well, yes. But everyone does at some extent. She's a tough shell to crack, but when you finally do, it's completely worth it." She said.
"Who is that?" I asked.
"The guy Clara is talking to?" She asked. I nodded. "He was one of her very close friends during high school. You have nothing to worry about. Really. He's harmless." She laughed. The guy bent down a little and picked Clara up off of her feet and spun her around. She was laughing with her head thrown back. "Look. I have no idea what happened between you two, but she was pretty upset this morning. She's not known for making first moves. Thought you should know." She stood up and I watched as she went to Liam. Not known for first moves huh? I stood up and walked after Clara as she went back into hip length water and splashed around with Niall. When I finally got in and she saw me coming toward her she said a few words to Niall and he nodded, and she moved toward Eleanor and Louis. I sighed. I tried thinking hard. When we were together last time I was sure I was on my best behaviour. I didn't do anything wrong. I think. I sighed and followed her. She didn't see I was coming and I gently grabbed her elbow. She turned around and her smile vanished when she saw me. Was I causing her unpleasant feelings? I felt those same pulling feelings on my heart.
"Come. Let's talk." I said trying to make it sound as light and gentle as possible. I felt kind of angry. No not angry, more like... Jealous and upset.
"I don't really have anything to say." She replied in a quiet voice. Not that anyone was listening to us.
"Good, cause I have plenty." I said. "Come on." I let my hand slip from her elbow to her wrist underwater. I held it gently. She didn't pull away. "Do I have to take you out to the sea where you can't stand?" I said playfully. It looked like she was trying to suppress a smile. But she still wouldn't move. "As you wish, Clara." I said and turned her around and pulled her to my chest holding her around her waist and walked out further into the sea. She was giggling and trying to protest. I held her with one arm and kept walking until I knew she couldn't stand anymore. "Do you want me to let go?" I asked.
"No!" She said quickly.
"Can you swim?"
"Yes." She replied. "But I'm tired."
"Good." I turned her around and looked over to a close by rock that I could lean against. I took one step and stopped when she began to speak again.
"Are you going further out?" She asked surprised.
"No." I laughed. "Hold onto me."
"What do you mean?"
"Like this." I guided her arms around my neck and I wrapped an arm around her tightly and walked toward the rock. When I reached the rock I leaned against it and made sort of a sitting position so the my knees were bent. "Sit on my legs." And she did. She really did seem worn out by the water.
"Thank you. You seem to have become my chair. Sorry." She said with a small smile. And I chuckled.
"My pleasure. Now. How are you?" I wanted to start slow.
"Good. How are you?" She asked me.
"I'm happy right now. But something's bugging me." She went to move off me. "No, not you." I laughed and kept her from moving.
"Oh. What's wrong? Anything I can help with?" She asked. Isabelle's words came to mind. She's looked after me since forever. She's used to looking after people.
"Yes, actually." I replied. She nodded slightly as if saying keep going. "Okay, so I have this friend, and this friend seems to be avoiding me right now. And ignoring me." I stopped and watched her squint her eyes like she was in thought. "I mean, I've been thinking and thinking if I've done something to hurt her and I can't think of anything. What should I do?" I asked.
"Well. Why don't you go and ask her?" Oh this was precious. She seriously doesn't know I meant her.
"I'm scared she'll reject me."
"I'm sure she won't." She replied.
"I think she will. I really like her. Like I've never liked anyone before, but I don't think she buys all that stuff. You know, that a guy can be interested in her."
"Ahh." She said. "Okay, I suggest," She didn't know I was talking about her. I couldn't help but laugh. "What happened? Why are you laughing at me?" She asked amused.
"Clara." I said softly looking at her. "I meant you. It's you. The girl I'm talking about is you." She looked shocked, horrified even.
"No." She said in a whisper and she got off my legs but I caught her arms.
"Don't go. Talk to me." I pleaded. "I just want to take you out on one date." When you do finally crack her shell, it's worth it. Isabelle's words played over and over again.
"Harry, let me go." She said in a kind voice. How did she do that? "I need to go."
"Why?" I asked, not wanting her to go. "I don't want you to go."
"Stop please." She escaped my hold and she quickly swum off to shore. She got out of the ocean picked up her towel and bag and walked away and I watched. Shocked until she vanished. I've never felt so confused in my life. I wanted her, and she didn't want me. It felt like confusion was pulsing through my whole body and it ached.