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?"
Strawberries - Episode 115:00 min.
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Strawberries - Episode 1317:00 min.
Strawberries - Episode 1424:00 min.


17. S I X T E E N

S I X T E E N 


Glasses clinking, laughter flowing, plates relatively untouched. Harry had never seen anything of the sort at a typical Friday night dinner. It was astounding to think that Mia had walked in unannounced and made her place in this home, without even knowing his family yet. It was even more mind blowing to think that his mother and sister had accepted this phenomenon, they had embraced it fully. Laughter, so much laughter. It was a wondrous sound to Harry, something that he hadn't heard before Mia had walked into his life. Or perhaps something he never quite took notice of. It made him wonder what else he had missed out on before her. 

Harry did not particularly care for whatever conversation Mia had immersed the entirety of the table in. No. He was too focused on her. She was the focal point of every aspect of his life now, and he truly believed, now more than ever, that she was the focal point of every place she ever graced with her presence. It was just so hard not to fall in love with her, he believed. She was at her very essence a lovable human being. It didn't matter if you knew her for hours or for years, you would fall head over heels for this girl, even if you tried your hardest not to. 

"No but really! He was about to set the bakery on fire!" 

Another round of laughter, the last few words of Mia's sentence catching Harry's attention. 

"Mia! Don't tell them that!" He says, looking at her with a serious face.

Then again, there were some moments he loved her a tad less. 

"Why not? They asked me when I knew you had fallen in love with me."

And those he knew that he loved her with the entirety of his heart.

"I..." Harry's never told Mia that he loved her. Was it that obvious? 

"Well, it's true, isn't it?" Harry's mother says, turning to look at him with a knowing look upon her face. 


"It is. Look at his face. He's nearly the color of the wine." His sister Gemma says, lifting her own glass and placing it against Harry's face. 

Mia shrugs with a smile upon her face as Harry turns back to look at her. 

"Why are you embarrassing me? Are you trying to get in good with them?" He says nodding towards his mother.

Harry's stepfather chuckles heartily, "Heaven knows this girl doesn't need any tactics to 'get in good' with us Harold. She's already charmed the pants off of all of us."

Mia puts on a horrified face and checks under the table, making Robin erupt into laughter. Only Mia would be able to make Robin laugh that hard.

"Now." Robin says calming down, "If you would like to share with us more about Harry, we wouldn't be opposed to it."

Anne nods, "Since we don't really hear much about him otherwise."

Harry looks at his mother and smiles, "Mum, I tell you lots of stuff."

"Well, if you hadn't have brought Mia, I wouldn't have known about her."

"Mum." Harry says bashfully.

Anne studied him, a smile upon her own face. She had worried about him, as every mother has about their child. But her worries started when she saw him disconnecting from this world and all those who inhabited it. He had lost it, that twinkle that now sparkled so grandly in his hazel-green eyes. Mia had brought him back, she had restored in her son the humanity she thought he had lost.

"Well, we both know it's true." Anne says. She turns to look at Mia and smiles, "Now, if you have anymore stories about Harry, we would be delighted to hear them."

"Yes, yes." Robin says, picking at his plate. "You're a delightful storyteller."

"Me? Well actually, I think Harry is." Mia looks at Harry before continuing. "Or actually, more of a collector than teller."

"Collector?" Gemma asks.

"Yeah. I mean, he writes down everything that he does in the day. Observations of everyone and everything. It's quite amazing really, to think that he's written down everything that's happened, no matter how typical or monotonous."

"Why do you do that?" Gemma says, turning to look at her brother.

Harry merely shrugs.

"I'd like to know too." Mia says, a slight smile on her face.

"No way. Not after you embarrassed me in front of my family."

"Oh, come on."

"I'll tell you in time."

"That means you'll tell all of us, right?" Anne says, looking at her son.

"Yeah, yeah."

"So you've started writing again, I think that's wonderful." Robin says, finally finishing everything upon his plate. "It's been quite a while since we've last heard of you writing."

"I know."

"Will we ever get to read it?" Anne asks. This makes the entire table look at him expectantly. 

"It's not like it's a bloody story yet. Just notes, just observations like Mia said."

"But those are more than likely going to become a story?"

"I'm not sure yet." He says, wanting to end the discussion.

"Well, we can wait til you're good and ready." His mother says, tipping her glass towards him. 

He nods, knowing that perhaps they may never read his writing. It wasn't that he didn't want to show it to them, it was more that it was something personal he was doing for himself. He had stopped writing back when he had stopped attending uni, long ago when he still wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life. And although he still wasn't sure about what he wanted to do, he knew that this little project would be a part of it. He wanted to write everything he saw, everything he did, everything he felt with Mia. As obsessive and as silly as it may have seemed, it felt to him as if they would live forever within those pages. But then, that was just a fleeting thought. Eventually, he supposed, he would find something to do with the half filled leather bound journal. For now though, for now he was just fine writing down fragments of thoughts and small notes. That was enough to soothe him. To make him feel as if they were only now beginning to fill in the pages of their own story.

"How about some desert?" Gemma asks, getting up from the table and taking empty plates.

"Sounds great." Mia says with her ever charming smile.

Harry looked at her, knowing that idolizing her and putting her on a pedestal was such a dangerously cliched thing to do. He wanted her to be real, he wanted to know her flaws and her sadness and her weaknesses. He wanted her to be utterly and completely real to him. If he was going to write her as she is, he needed to include everything. After all, that's what made her the incredible enigma that she was.


"Where should I drop you off?" Harry says, holding Mia's hand as they walk down the just rained on pavement.

"I was thinking of going back to the cabin..."

"At this hour?" Harry asks, looking at his watch and shaking his head, "Mia, it's nearly midnight."

"Do you have work tomorrow?"


"Then come with me."


"Come on." She says, running in front of him, her long hair swaying behind her. 

She turned to look at him, as if questioning why he wasn't right there alongside her. 

"Okay." He says, running to catch up with her. 

They intertwine hands again and run into the damp, rain scented night. Their shoes squeaking, Mia's dress dampening from them stepping into puddles roughly, making all the water splash and decorate their nice clothing. It was one of those nights that Harry knew something magical was going to happen. 

But then again, with Mia, everything had been magic as of yet. 



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