T H R E E
Somehow after years of reading an abundance of poetry, Harry could not think of one single line, verse, or word that would do justice to this moment. All the countless pages, distinguished scholars, and literary prized pieces, could not possibly ever describe what he felt. It was astounding to him that he couldn't quite find the words to describe it. Him. He who has read every anthology, every important piece of prose this century and the last few had to offer. He couldn't put it into words. And it fucking scared him.
"Hi." He muttered, looking at her, but avoiding her gaze. At least he had managed to say something.
Strawberry girl smiles, "Hi, I'm Mia Murray." She extends her hand, forgetting about the bags, and letting them drop upon the floor as well. She flushes, cursing herself for being an idiot and embarrassing herself twice in front of the bakery boy.
Harry dutifully bends down, grabbing the spilled contents of her bags and placing them back into her arms with a smile."I'm Harry...Styles." He hopes he doesn't sound as shaky as he feels.
But Mia didn't hear any shakiness, she only saw his lips moving was able to make out "Harry." She was quite astonished to see that the bakery boy could talk, much less look at her head on. Harry. She never pictured him as a 'Harry'. Then again, she had taken to calling him bakery boy since this afternoon.
"So you're Mia." He says with a chuckle. "Funny how things work out."
Harry was convinced it was fate. Although he had always been inclined to believe that fate was a hoax, the romantic that the strawberry girl brought out in him made him believe otherwise. Ultimately though, it was up to him to play it right. Fate could only do so much.
He looks at her nervously as she studies him. Unabashedly she looks at Harry's face, never once breaking eye contact with him. He felt as if he were naked. As if she had stripped him of everything he had. She steps closer to him, and he has to resist the urge to step away from her. He watches as her thin delicate hand comes up to his face. She lifts Harry's chin excitedly with her delicate looking hand and covers half of his face with the bag in her hand. She smiles widely as she realizes her hunch was right, "You were the pretentious douche at the pub."
"What!?" He says wide eyed, obviously taken aback.
"You know, the one with Niall that night? Reading Poe or something?" She looks at him playfully, obviously using the derogatory 'pretentious douche' in jest.
"Was that you?" He says. Noting to himself how he should really pay attention to his surroundings more often and lay off the books when he was in a public setting once in a while.
"Yeah. That was me."
"Well...life is funny isn't it."
"That it is." She replies with a toothy smile.
He stares at her head on now, gaining the courage to look at her in waves. First her small hands, next her freckled arms, then her collarbone decorated with a lovely necklace, and finally, he looked into her eyes. Oh how they locked onto his, and how he felt his heart race. He felt alive. Alive and scared.
Yes. He was scared because he felt it. He felt that this would be the moment, the exact moment when something changed.It seemed as if everything before he met the strawberry girl was irrelevant. As if this were the exact moment when he woke up from his monotonous life.
But then again, maybe that's simply the poet within him getting all riled up over an ordinary crush. The fact that he fancied this girl, this girl whom he knew nothing about other than the fact that she had eyes like the ocean and hair like silk, the fact that he felt this strongly about her without even as much as having a conversation with her had to mean something. Something changed. And Harry hoped it was only for the better.
"So..." She says, looking at him...pondering why his eyes twinkled so brightly. "Harry?"
"Can we...go in then?"
He looks at her sheepishly, wondering how he could be such an idiot. Of course she wanted to go in already. They've been standing out there for how long?
"Yeah, of course." He starts marching up the stairs to their second floor flat, and is unsure whether it is his heart beating out of time or the sound of her sandals upon the wooden steps that are making so much noise.
Before Harry even touches the door to their flat, Niall opens it with a flourish. Smiling the smile that made everyone feel as if they had known him for years, and he was waiting just for you to get there to make his night complete.
"Mia! Late as always."
"I got lost on the way."
"This flat is five minutes away from the pub, how could you possibly get lost?"
Harry walks in, past Niall, and places Mia's bags upon the kitchen counter. He begins to discretely clean the counters, making sure that she has a nice space to cook in.
Mia walks over to Harry, placing a hand over his, indicating for him to stop. It's only for a brief second though, because the moment her index finger touches the top of Harry's large callused hand they both jump. It was bloody electric. It was as if a thousand watts had gone through Harry's body in that single touch.
He looked at his strawberry girl in wonder, pondering whether he was delusional. Whether he was really going bloody mad.
"What are you making Mia?" Niall says looking through the bag of groceries.
Mia brushes away the electricity she had just felt course through her body, and tries her best to appear as normal as possible as she answers in an even tone,"I was thinking oven roasted chicken and potatoes?"
"Simple enough." He says, pulling out the cartons of strawberries. "But what's the fruit for."
"I thought you said you got a cake."
"I did." She says with a blush. "But, I thought a few more strawberries wouldn't hurt."
"You and your bloody strawberries." Niall says looking at her feigning annoyance but the look he was giving off was filled with endearment instead.
"Those look beautiful." Harry says looking at the perfectly colored fruit.
Mia simply smiles, "Went down the road to the place the sweet old lady said she got the strawberries for the cake."
"You met Barbra! Ace!" Niall says coming towards Harry and looking at the carton in his hand. "Wait, but then, you saw Harry at the bakery too? That's where you went for the cake?"
Mia nods, she had been so excited when she had found the cake that the first thing she had done was dial Niall. She did not have many friends, having just moved to Holmes Chapel, and was eager to tell someone about the experience she had at the bakery which had felt more like a home than any flat England had to offer.
"It's a beautiful cake. Simply delicious." Mia says grabbing the box she had places inside a bag and placing it on the wooden table. She cuts the string the box was held together with, and stands back to admire the cake.
Niall grins, "That does look fucking good."
"Well, it's desert. So," She slaps Niall's hand always as he attempts to grab a strawberry, "We eat it after dinner. Go take your pint and drink it somewhere else."
Niall looks up at Harry with an amused look, he chuckles loudly as he grabs another bottle, pops the cap off and walks into the living room. No further discussion needed.
Harry smirked. He had never seen a girl not fall for his flatmate's charm. Had it been anyone else, he'd have been eating cake and beer and skipping dinner altogether. She was certainly something else.
"Are you going to help me?" Mia says looking at Harry with a furrowed brow and pout. She places her hands on her hips and looks at him head on, as if asking if he was going to stay and if he was not to promptly leave her to her work.
He can't take it. This girl. This amazingly charismatic and beautiful girl, he knew that she would be it.
She would be his ruin.