Across Oceans

~It all began with elementary school pen pals~ Dear Harry, Here are my conditions; 1. No last names. 2. No pictures.

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17. I Didn't Call

Bethany:
I was killing myself at work the next day. I stayed home later than usual to make sure Matthew was up and ready for school so that pushed me back a good hour or two and it was killing me. Two full hours behind and I thought I was dying. Jo was running coffee errands constantly, keeping her from her work. 
“Okay so I might've found the truck…” Jo said, walking in. 
“Where?”
“I can't pinpoint a location but it's definitely down south.” 
“Well that's better than the whole entire country. Keep working on it.” Jo nodded, walking back out. 
I was tracking purchases from my computer, seeing how things were selling at this point and making sure I got the numbers down so I could bring them to Anastasia and have her confirm and put them in the daily report; everything needed to be documented. It was slow work, slow and frustrating but it needed to be done- and this isn't in Jo’s wheelhouse of new work she could do. Although I wish it was because there was nothing I could do to speed this process up. 
“Jo…I have something for you.” I said through the phone. She walked back in a minute later. 
“What's up?” 
“I need these copies made, I need these faxed over to the London location, I need Macy's, Express, and Bloomingdales buyer reports filed, and I need the article from the boys interview brought up to me immediately so I can give the go ahead on printing the article.” 
“Okay…will do.” I nodded as Jo walked out with another stack of papers. I turned back to my computer and slowly watched as purchases were made online, tracking the numbers. 
By lunch, I was shot. I needed a break; a real break and not a silly 10 minute break I usually take. So I went down to the café around the block and ordered a coffee and sandwich so I could breathe real air and have decent coffee. I sat down on my own, feeling weird not working. I'm normally always on top of everything and after coming in late, you'd think I'd be sitting in my office hammering away at work, but today I just couldn't. I needed this break. 
“Bethany?” I looked up and saw an old friend, Maxie staring at me. She was a friend of mine in high school but moved away our junior year and we lost touch. 
“Maxie?” 
“Oh my god, it's been forever! How are you?!” She walked over, giving me a hug before sitting down with me. 
“Busy…how are you?” 
“I heard the news so I assume busy fits. And I'm not too bad. I'm finished with community college, I'm working with a local theatre group here doing stage work. It doesn't pay boat loads but it pays me enough to hold down my apartment. Are you still with Jake?” 
“Uh no…we broke up when I moved here.” 
“Oh I'm sorry girl.” 
“Don't be. Are you still with Andrew?” 
“We're still on and off, like usual. That's the one thing that hasn't changed. How's Jacob?” 
“He's fighting but I think he's going to make it.” 
“Yeah your mom told me. I showed up trying to surprise you but I got that news instead.” 
“Yeah it's brutal. Matthew moved in with me, so did Carrie. That's really all I have out here, is those two.” 
“Too busy for friends?” 
“Yeah pretty much. My assistant is my best friend and then there's Carrie.” 
“Well I live in Brooklyn if you're ever in the area! You can add another friend to that small list of yours.” 
“Same number?” 
“Actually no; it got changed. Which is why I haven't been able to call you. Here, I'll put it in your phone.” Maxie took my phone and put her new number in. 
“Just give me a call or text whenever you got free time!” 
“Will do.” 
“It was nice seeing you.” 
“You too, Maxie. Take care.” Maxie left after that and I finished up my lunch before heading back to work. 
Maxie, Carrie, and I were like that right knit group of friends in high school until Maxie moved. At that point we grew apart. It wasn't anyone's fault but moving states, new phone numbers, you can grow apart quickly. It felt good seeing her but I knew the odds of me actually being able to find time to see her was slim, which really sucked. I missed Maxie a lot. She was always bringing the humor into my life. 
“Where did You go?!” Jo demanded to know when I walked back in. 
“I went on lunch, why?” 
“Jesus Christ; the one day you leave for lunch. Okay well I found the truck, in Alabama. Apparently there was an accident and we never got informed. The driver needed to get hospitalized. The London location wants to set up a meeting with you, so does the Paris location and the Monte Carlo location, and also your mom called about Jacob. She didn't give me any details though.” 
“Okay, thank you.” Jo nodded as I walked back into my office, calling my mom back right away. 
“Hi sweetie.” My mom said when she answered. 
“Hey mom; Jo said you called. Is everything okay?” 
“Yes of course. I just wanted to update you on what the doctor said. He said that the surgery went great, the results Jacob is showing are great, and they think this surgery is exactly what he needed to start making real progress. He needs to continue chemotherapy and radiation but they are 97% more optimistic at this point…so all good news.” 
“God mom…when Jo said you called I thought it was bad news.” 
“Nope…all good. How's work?” 
“Hectic. I should get back to it though. If I get out early enough I'll call you back.” 
“Okay, love you.” 
“Love you too.” I said, hanging up. I started working on the release for the article on the boys at this point and going through all the photographs taken by one of our photographers during the fashion show to see which ones would be featured in our magazine…already back to dying. 

Harry:
After the tour was over, I was back on a few day vacation at home with my mom and sister. It was the first time we have been together in awhile. January was half over and the new year was crazy. I never got a chance to see Bethany before I left for London but…I think it was for the best. 
“Why are you so mopey?” Gemma asked me at lunch. 
“I'm not.” 
“Yes you are. Ever since you got back you've been nothing but grumpy and quiet. This isn't like you at all.” 
“But I'm fine.” 
“Fine; whatever. Mom said you met Bethany and that you like her. How's that going?” 
“Seriously, Gem? Do you know when to stop?” 
“Shit I'm trying to talk to you. You've been fucking gone on tour and haven't called or anything. Maybe I just wanted to catch up. You know, like how we used to all the time when I got back from a trip? Or from university? Or just in general when we were both still home and just hung out after dinner? Like damn Harry. You need to relax.” With that, Gemma got up and walked up to her room. I sighed, sinking into the couch. 
“Why didn't you just call Bethany?” My mom asked, walking into the room. “I'm sure she would've wanted to hear from you before you came back here.” 
“Well it is what it is at this point. It's too late. And I'm sure she's found someone at this point.” 
“Why do you say that?” 
“She's too amazing to be single for long.” I pointed out. 
“Based off what you told me, yeah she's amazing, but she also has standards and won't be throwing herself at people. Just remember that too.” I sighed as my mom picked up the plates and walked back into the kitchen. 
I slunk up to my room after that, tired of everything and everyone. I fell onto my bed and turned the TV on and started flipping through channels, not even paying attention. 
“Hey stranger!” I looked up as Jess fell onto bed next to me. Jess was my childhood friend; one of my only friends growing up. 
“Hey.” 
“So how was touring? I didn't hear from you like at all. I had to get all the dirt from your mom. And this pen pal from grade school?! Harry I can't believe you met her!” 
“Is Bethany all anyone can talk about?!” I demanded. 
“Shit your sister wasn't kidding when you said Bethany was a touchy topic with you. What's the issue anyway?” 
“I didn't call her.” I grumbled. 
“You didn't call her? I don't get it.” 
“She wanted me to call her, and I wanted to call her…but I didn't.” 
“Why not?” 
“Because…she's a partner with Anastasia Blu and I'm touring…what's the point?” 
“Where's the hopeless romantic that left England and came back a cynic?” 
“He grew up. This job is my life now; I worked really hard for this…” 
“Yeah, and what's the point if you can't enjoy it with someone? Who cares if it's hectic, who cares if it's insane…what if it ends up being worth it?” 
“When did you become a romantic? You used to be the one against anything cute.” I pointed out. 
“I guess someone changed my mind. But that's besides the point. Call Bethany…” 
“Only if you tell me about who changed your mind.” 
“It's kind of silly…but he just moved here and he's a really good guy. He's smart, he's nice…I don't know. It's still new but it's changed my outlook a bit. My parents divorce kind of fucked me up a bit but...you know, maybe it doesn't all suck. I mean, your parents divorce didn't kill you.” 
“No but it hurt. But I'll survive. I have so far. They get along enough for family events and big things so…how can I be too angry?”
“Call Bethany.” Jess finally said. I laughed and rolled my eyes. 
“I will. Just not yet. I haven't seen my best friend in awhile.” Jess rolled her eyes and smirked. 
“I hate you.” Jess said as we continued to catch up. 

Bethany:
“I'm sending you to our London location.” Anastasia said. 
“Wait, what?!” I gasped. 
“Yeah, I need you there to look over our day to day for a couple weeks.” 
“Me?” I repeated. 
“Oh stop. I know you've always wanted to travel. I heard you talking with Jo about it, and Harry. You're super star boyfriend.” I blushed a little and looked down. 
“He isn't my boyfriend.” 
“Well you could've fooled me. Anyway, you leave tomorrow, so get packing. You'll be taking the company jet so…it'll be taken care of. Hotel has already been booked. And you'll use the company card. It's all that simple.”
“That's it? Just like that…” 
“Yes ma'am. All necessities go to the company card, everything else is on you. Understood?” 
“Yes, of course.” I nodded. 
“Okay, go home, get packing. Don't forget the work computer, USBs, and a work phone. It has international calling plus all your original contacts are transferred on it. I had Mikayla get it all set up.” I laughed and shook my head. 
“Already breaking in the new assistant?” I joked. 
“Hey, she has big shoes to fill.” I laughed and started walking out. 
“I'll see you in a couple weeks.” I said. Anastasia waved me out and I took a cab back to my new home- the pent house that was finally finished being renovated, fixed up, and moved into. 
“You're home really early…” Matthew said when I walked in. He was on the couch playing Xbox and eating pizza rolls. 
“Did you do your homework?” 
“Part of it. I wanted a break. You walked in at a bad time.” I laughed a little and put my purse down. 
“I need you to do me a favor…” 
“What is it?” Matthew asked. 
“I'm headed to London for two weeks…and I need you to be on top of everything since it'll just be you and Carrie…” 
“London, really? Let me guess, to see Harry?” 
“Actually no…for work.” 
“Seriously?” 
“Yeah, seriously. I need to oversee the day to day in our London location so…that's where I'll be. Obviously call me if anything goes wrong but please, for fucks sake…be on top of things.” 
“Yeah, I will.” 
“So…how was school?” I asked, stealing some of his pizza rolls. 
“It still sucks. And I still hate the city. Do you know how ridiculous people act when they realize who your sister is?” 
“No…I guess I didn't think of that.” 
“Yeah…well, either way…I sort of have a friend. The only person who I sort of knew before people figured it out.” 
“Oh, who?” 
“Her name is Taylor, her brothers name is Jason. I don't know. They're just school friends.” 
“Which one came first?”
“Both, sort of. They're twins…we had lunch together and they saw me sitting alone and joined me.” 
“Well that's nice of them.” 
“Yeah I guess. But it still sucks here and I'd rather be home.” 
“I know you would…but you know it's temporary and you can go home once things get back on track.” 
“Yeah you keep saying that but it's been a couple months now…” 
“Cancer doesn't just disappear.” I whispered. 
“I know…I keep forgetting that sometimes things don't go as planned or how we want. But I'm living in a pent house, with my rich and famous sister and her friend, in a city I despise.” 
“I know. But at least I'm here.” 
“Yeah…I know.” 
“Okay…I'm going to get packing. I leave tomorrow morning.” 
“Alright.” Matthews attention went back to Xbox and I went to get packing. 
“I'm home!” Carrie called through the place a few hours later. 
“Hey you…” I said. 
“You left mad early today. And suitcases? What's going on?” 
“I have a work trip…so I'll be gone for a couple weeks.” 
“Great, leave me with Matthew.” Carrie joked. 
“Hey, I'm trusting you with him.” 
“Don't worry. I'll make sure the fridge is stocked and he's fed, up for school, homework done…all that shit.”
“Nothing we would've done in high school.” 
“Yeah, got it. So did you make dinner?” Carrie asked. 
“Yeah, chicken enchiladas and rice are in the kitchen.” 
“Sweet, you're the best.” I headed to bed soon after Carrie finished eating, since I had to be up at 5:30 to get to the airport for my flight. I looked up at the ceiling, just thinking. I didn't know what on earth was happening but I was sure as hell excited for it. 

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