We arrive at the brim of the autumn colored cluster 35 minutes later. We stop side by side, absorbing the beauty that is in front of our eyes.
Niall and I both love nature. For our first date, we took a stroll through the Edward Gardens, which is an extremely beautiful park. Stone pathways create trails along the perfect gardens. Old cobble stone bridges allow visitors to cross the streams. Ducks and their ducklings waddle by the water, begging for bread. It was a picnic kind of date. We walked, admiring the forests and plants surrounding us, talking about ourselves. Niall brought me down a small dirt path to what seemed to be a secret pond. Do you remember in The Little Mermaid, if you have watched it that is, the part where prince Eric is in a paddling boat with Ariel while the animals around sing? Well that was almost like what the secret pond was like, just no animals arousing us and no paddling boat.
Niall grabs me by the hand and twirls me around, demolishing my flash back. "Hey!" I say, surprise obvious in my voice. He doesn't reply, but I know what he is thinking, or at least I think I do. He looks confusingly at the shedding forest, not knowing whether to do anything or not.
"What time is it?" I ask as we walk to a close boulder laying solitary on top of the dark green grass. Niall sits on the rock and swings his bag off his back, and onto his lap. He unzips the small pocket of his bag and presses the circular home button to turn it on.
"It's almost five thirty." He says, sliding the thin device into his front pocket of his black skinny jeans. "Want to go down there?" He asks, pointing towards a thin dirt path, hiding in between two oaks. I smile at the idea. He wraps his fingers gently around mine and leads me towards the path.
- - - - -
The sun has been setting for a short period of time but darkness will soon engulf us both, leaving us in last nights situation.
Wow. It feels much longer than it has been since I trailed off, after well, you know... Running away. We have been walking down the path for a while now. Everything I see is tinted with a blood red color from the sunset. I look up at Niall who is humming the well known American Pie. You must know it. It is quite famous actually. I remember when I was younger, about 12 or so, my uncle showed me a parody of the song. It was based on Star wars. I think it went some thing like:
My my this here Anakin Guy Maybe Vader sometime later but he's just a small fry, he left his home and kissed his mom good bye saying soon I'm gonna be a Jedi, saying some day I'm gonna be a Jedi.
Niall was a good singer but he never sang. I have heard him a couple times when we are in the car or listening to the radio. I tell him he is good but he either ignores the compliment or denies it. It's quite irritating actually.
Niall squeezes my hand and I look up, immediately stopping dead in my tracks.
It's the lodge. The lodge I had had tea in. The lodge house I had borrowed clothes at. It was Harry's.
I realize what Niall was looking at when I finally broke my constant eye contact with the wooden building. Harry. The chocolate curled hair is being pushed back by the strong looking hands of the boy I had hardly met, his body outlined by shadows. Niall brings me closer and holds me tight. It is dark out and the only light is from the yard lights which sit side by side 2 feet apart, leading down the path towards the entrance of the logged house.
The boy across the yard from us seems to have spotted us, for he stops whatever he was doing, I'm guessing taking the garbage out, and walks towards us at a neutral pace.
"Hey! What they fuck you doing here?" He whispers, loud enough for the both of us to hear. I can't see his facial features. It's much to dark out and there are no street lamps or anything. Just the small faint lights beneath us.
"Sorry we were just taking a walk through there" Niall points towards where we came from. "We'll be going then." He continues and kisses my forehead. Harry sighs and grabs my free hand. I try to break free immediately and Niall picks up what had happened, letting my hand go and shoving Harry back with both hands.
"Chill out. I'm only trying to guide you both to the house." Harry says calmly. He doesn't seem to be affected by the physical action. He puts his hands in his front pockets of his pants and turns his head, telling us to follow.
I take Niall's hand and rubs his knuckles, trying to calm him down and assure him everything is fine. He lets out a deep breath and lets me guide him down the path, following Harry.
We climb up the wooden stairs and walk through the creaking door, behind Harry. The lights are all on and I can hear Pink Floyd's Time playing from somewhere. Harry leads us to the kitchen and kicks at two stools next to the island. Niall and I both sit on one.
The air between the three of us if awkward. I mean, you can feel the awkwardness radiating off us all, contamination the room with the What-do-I-say virus. Harry is sitting up on the counter across from the island Niall and I are sitting at. He is staring right at me, into my blue eyes. I am not looking at him, but I can see it from the corner of my eye and some how just know. Niall's hand rests on my left knee. I have no idea what to do. What do you do? I mean, what would you do if you went for a stroll in a forest with your boyfriend and ended up at someones house you had just met and that your boyfriend seemed to hate?
Finally, Harry spoke. "Care for some tea?" Niall sighed "I'm fine. We better get going. Thanks for the stay." He pulls his phone from his pocket and starts to dial.
"Actually, yes please." I say. I don't know why. Well, I mean I'm not thirsty or cold or anything.
Niall presses a button abruptly on the screen, immediately looking up harshly towards me, squeezing my thigh tight. "Ouch" I say under my breath. Niall lets go and stands from the stool and island. "Meet me outside when you're done." Niall turns to me and plants a harsh kiss on my lips, I guess to tell Harry I'm taken. Not that he cares. Then he walks past us and leaves the room. I hear a bang, informing us he had left the house.
Harry jumps off the counter and fills the white kettle with water. Finally something that isn't wood! He bends down, opening a cupboard an pulls out a wooden box, placing it on the island in front of me. He kicks the door close and opens the box like the Deal or No Deal Models.
There must be at least 50 types of tea ordered perfectly in small square compartments. "Which one would you like?" He asks politely. I pull out the only tea I really do drink, Orange Pekoe. It sits between Earl Gray and a Navy blue tea bag, which I do not know the name of.
Harry opens the door to the cupboard which holds all the mugs. I recognize the mugs both Harry and I used this morning. I point towards a light pink mug with a white rim on the top. It is much to high for me to reach. Harry nods and grabs the mugs with no problem. He is very tall. Well, taller than Niall and I. I am only 5'5". Harry must be at least 6'1".
The kettle clicks, steam gushing from the top of the device, almost like an eruption of a volcano. Harry places the white cup I used the last time and the pink one onto the counter, filling both with the boiled water 3/4 of the way.
"That was my sister's" he smiles "I gave her that for her 17th." I smiled, not knowing what to say. I want to know more about her, but I'm not one to get into others business. "So how's school?" I ask.
"It's nice I guess. Nothing like John Crowthers, but cool." Bill Crowthers is about 5 minutes away from Glenden Arts School. It's a sports school. "Oh that's cool." Is all I say. I still am curious about his sister and when and why she left. And why haven't I seen his parents? He couldn't possibly live all alone in such a house.
"I guess. Transferring from Soccer to Drama is a weird thing to do. Are you in AU? I heard some people are mainstream." Harry places the pink mug in front of me and tosses a spoon to my hand. He opens the fridge door and grabs a milk carton from the top shelf. He tips it over the white tall cup then does the same to mine.
"I'm in AU drama. Niall's in Visual." Niall. I forgot he was waiting out side. "You guys could stay the night if you want?" Harry says looking straight into my eyes. "Um I-" he cuts me off by saying "There are 3 extra rooms. You two could sleep in the same or in different. My room's just down there" He nods towards a hall way to our left " the others are second floor.
"I'll ask Ni." I slip off the stool and head towards the door. "Ni? What a lame name!" I hear coming from behind me. I don't know what got to me, but I give him the finger and continue walking. I hear a chuckle and feel pleased.
I turn the knob and push the door open. "Niall! You there?" No reply. I shout louder. "Niall! Where are you!" All I hear is crickets, literally. I close the door and let my body rest against its cold surface. I close my eyes. Where has he gone? I feel hollow again. Why did I lead him to the forest. Now, he's probably lost and alone in the dark, alone.
"Hey." I feel Harry's warm hand slightly pushing my chin up. I open my eyes. All I see are his green eyes. They are sympathetic.
He pulls me to his chest and wraps his muscular harms around me. I feel safe. "Common." He lets go and leads me back to the kitchen, this time sitting on a stool. I sit next to him and look down to my feet.
"Here." He places his phone on my lap. I take it and turn it on. "It's locked." I manage to say. "18.104.22.168" He says, surprising me. Most teenagers never tell anyone their password.
I type the numbers in and text Niall. *Where are you? Are you okay? Please text when you get this xoxo* I place the phone on the counter and grab my tea, taking a big sip.
"So about your sister." The words escape my mouth before I can stop them.