Strawberries [AU]

She spent her days lazing in the summer sunlight, eating strawberries whilst being enveloped in a world of prose. He spent his own locked away in his flat, reading Bukowski whilst the world passed him by. When he first saw her, first talked to her, first heard her, he wondered how such a girl could be real. How a girl, who tasted like strawberries and recited lines of poetry that wrapped around his heart and sung for days could ever look at a boy like him. And he couldn't help but wonder, "could the strawberry tasting girl ever love the brooding hazel eyed boy?"

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15. F O U R T E E N

F O U R T E E N 

 

Sometimes it's as if you meet someone and you realize that they were meant to be in your life. Whether it may be as family, as a friend, as a lover, or as a partner, they were meant to meet you. They were meant for you. Mia liked the concept of fate, it made her feel safe. Honestly though, she didn't know if it were through fate or destiny or sheer luck that she had met Harry, but what she did know is that things happen for a reason. That everything has a purpose. Her purpose, perhaps, she did not know yet. She was too choosy, too flighty to have chosen a serious path for herself. She has so many things going for her, but at the same time none. She's was so utterly intelligent and well spoken, but too fickle and too capricious. Noting had stirred her yet. Nothing had spurred her into action. She just wasn't inspired to become what she had always imagined herself to be. As it was, that image to her is distorted. She didn't know what she wanted to be, she didn't know what she wanted to do. Fate, here, she saw as an excuse. This break, this walking into the unknown with no plan whatsoever, was happening for a reason. In years to come, she believed, she would look back at this time in her life with a wise smile, knowing that it made her all the better.

One thing she was sure of though, was that Harry was meant to be a part of her life. While she may still have been on the path to finding out who she was, she was sure he was part of the answer. Aphrodite had Adonis, and while that love story may have ended in tragedy, if it hadn't have occurred then the world wouldn't have ever had strawberries. This fruit would not exist if it were not for the goddess of love's tears, if it weren't for the love she had felt. 'Fate' Mia thought as she recalled the tale. Everything has a bloody purpose, even if it ends in heartbreak. Even heartbreak can cultivate the sweetest and most colorful of things. 

Mia jumps as she feels her phone rings, the silence in the field broken by a rendition of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

"Hello?" She says with a smirk as she answers. She lazily hangs her feet off the side of the hamock and places the bowl she had upon her stomach by her side. 

"Oh, hi." Harry says nervously.

It had merely been a few hours since their first kiss. Perhaps ten hours? Perhaps twelve? Mia was not quite sure, but she knew that it had been less than twenty four. It had been less than a day and already Harry was ringing. It made her stomach flutter. 

"How are you?" He mutters.

"Well."

"How'd you sleep?"

"Fine."

He chuckles anxiously, "Mia?"

"Yeah?"

"Can you try to give me an answer with more than one word in it?"

She laughs, "Oops. Sorry."

"See, that's two. Progress."

They both laugh, feeling the nervousness wear off a bit. It wasn't until the line went silent that they both felt it grow a bit awkward once more. Mia had a feeling this nervousness and these butterflies were going to be a constant thing. 

"Mia?"

"Harry?"

"What are you doing today?"

"Reading."

"Will you be free tonight?"

"I'm free all the time, you know that."

"I still want to ask."

"Well, I am free."

"Can we do something then? After I get out of work?"

"Of course."

"Where do you want to go?"

She looks around, not really wanting to leave. She figured she could go back into town, get some necessities, and bring them all back here so they could spend their evening in peace. 

"I'll meet you at the bakery at six?"

"Sounds good."

"Goodbye, Harry."

"Bye, Mia."

She smiles as she presses end and places the phone back beside her. Such a funny feeling it was, falling in love for the first time. It was nervousness and happiness and butterflies all rolled into one. So exhilarating and so incredibly scary. She felt every single one of those emotions as she thought of his lips upon hers, as she thought of the exact spot in the woods where they had made their promise. And she couldn't help but wonder what the purpose of her journey with Harry would be. 

—✴—

For the first time Harry found himself rushing though his work. Loaves were sloppily being placed in their brown paper bags, and the sounds of metal hitting hard surfaces were much more audible than usual. Cakes were decorated hastily, and the most delicate of pastries were crumbling in his unsteady hands. In the four years that he had been working there, Barbra was sure she had never seen him as worked up as he was that particular day. Harry himself though, was far too excited to see Mia, that he found himself not quite noticing the scene he was making.

It took the kitchen almost being engulfed in flames for him to finally snap out of the daydream state he was in.

"Harry!" Barbra says running in to the smokey kitchen.

Harry quickly tries to put out the flames he caused with the fire extinguisher, and is incredibly grateful to find that they weren't that bad and could be put out in almost an instant. "I'm sorry." he mutters, placing the fire extinguisher back in its place.

Barbra looks around and finds that the fire had been caused because Harry had left one of the paper bags in which they put the bread much too close to the flames. She sighs as she lifts the charred bag and shows it to him, "This has never happened before. What's going on, pet?"

"Nothing. Just a bit distracted is all."

"What's happened, then? Come on, tell me what's going on." 

He sighs before letting himself tell her, "I've met a girl."

Now, typically he wouldn't allow himself to tell people these types of things. Never had anyone known he was seeing someone, not even Gemma, or Niall, or his mother. He trusted them, all of them. But he never found it imperative to let people know he'd 'met a girl'. Barbra was like a grandmother to him, he had no issues telling her. In fact, he knew she would relish the fact that he did. But, he wasn't quite sure why it slipped. He wasn't quite sure why he wanted the world to know that he had met Mia, that he fell in love with Mia, that Mia could possibly love him back. He wanted to scream into the oblivion, letting it carry out into the world before him. 

"Oh! Is it the pretty girl who likes my strawberry cake!?" Barbra asks excitedly.

Harry nods, "Mia."

"Yes, yes. Mia! Why, no wonder you're so distracted! With a pretty lass like her who wouldn't be?"

Harry blushes and tries to play it cool, "Yes, well. I'm sorry. I'll be more careful, I promise."

"It's okay." She says combing back a strand of hair from his flushed face and patting him on the shoulder, "Finish up, and when you go I'll pack up some of the cake you like so you can take it to her."

"You don't have to do that."

"No, but I do. A girl that changes you this much, that makes you this incredibly happy, she deserves the entire world." She turns to walk out, but stops and turns back to look at Harry, "You know, you're an incredibly boy Harry. Perhaps you don't see it, but I pray she helps you see what we all see in you."

"And what's that." He says with an unsure smirk. 

"Ah, well, what fun will it be if I tell you?" 

—✴—

Harry watched with an incredible calmness about him as Barbra and Mia had a chat in the front of the store. He had heard the chime of the door at precisely six, which was when his shift was over. But because his lack of focus had caused such a mess, he had to stay a few minutes longer to fix all he had undone. 

Mia came in with bags of groceries, which Harry knew were for the empty fridge back in the cabin. He knew that tonight, they would make their way through the woods and back into their newly forming world. He looked around to check if there was anything else he needed to do, before hanging up his apron and walking out to the two chatting women. 

"Hello, Harry." Mia says smiling sweetly. "I've gotten desert for us!" She says excitedly holding up a white cake box.

"You really shouldn't have, Barbra." Harry says looking at the white haired woman.

"It's my pleasure. Really. Please enjoy it...together." She says with a growing smile.

Mia looks at Harry and can't help but think he's told her about them. But then...what could he have told her? Technically, at the moment, they were not technically anything. Of course they had kissed. Of course they had both felt it. Whatever it was. But there was no way to define their relationship as of yet, and Mia knew better than to jump the gun on these types of things. Yet, the fact that Harry had told Barbra had to have meant something. 

"Well, we'll be off then." Harry says, grabbing Mia's arm and leading her towards the door. He isn't quite sure what made him reach out and touch her so nonchalantly, but as soon as she looked at his hand and then at him, he lost his resolve and unhanded her at once.

"Goodbye, darlings!" Barbra yells, as Harry shuts the door.

Before the pair even walks ten steps in front of the shop, Mia stops Harry and faces him.

"Harry?"

"Yes?"

She puts down her groceries upon the pavement and looks up at him, "I quite fancy you."

"Do you?" He says, his own heart racing a thousand miles per hour.

She nods, "Yes."

Overcoming the nerves that have frozen him upon hearing her beautiful voice mutter those unbelievable words, he wraps his arms around her waist and pulls him towards her. Standing a good head taller than her, he finds himself struggling to reach her lips. 

She smiles, getting on the tips of her toes and balancing herself by wrapping her own arms around his neck. But before she allows the inch between their lips to close she asks, "Well?"

"Well what?" He whispers.

"I told you I fancied you. Couldn't you do me the same courtesy?"

"I could do you one better."

"And what's that."

"I fancy you, Mia. Would you be my girlfriend?"

"Be your girlfriend?"

"I sound ridiculous don't I?" He says slightly wincing at the way it sounded. He believed he sounded like a twat.

"Just a tad. But..."

"But?"

"I'll still say yes."

He smiles, closing the gap between them and finally feeling her lips press against his once more. Her body presses to his and she feels weak at the knees from sensory overload. 

"Promise me one thing." Mia says as she pulls back from Harry's lips.

"What's that?"

"Don't burn down the bakery."

"She told you that!?"

"Well, I don't want to be the reason you burn down poor Barbra's bakery."

"It's not my fault that I..."

"Can't stop thinking about me?" She says teasingly.

"Let's go." Harry says, turning back to get the groceries Mia had placed on the concrete, hiding his own smile. 

"Am I that irresistible? Do you think I'm going to be your demise?" She says, mocking him a tad.

Harry ignores her, grabs her hand with his own free one, and interweaves their fingers together, "I wouldn't mind you being my demise." He says looking straight ahead. 

"I'd much rather be your beginning than your end." She says firmly.

Harry smiled, she would be his beginning, his middle, and his end. But he didn't want to tell her that quite yet. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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