After a well spend first day in New York City, Camille and I has fled to our new apartment, in hopes of getting a couple of hours rest. At least I hope to. I am exhausted from a long flight and an entire day spent in an overheated and overpopulated city. The summers in New York sometimes take the weather to the extreme, and even though today has been tolerable, the 34 celsius has still left us rather light-headed and tired.
Once we have locked ourselves into or new apartment, I am the first to collapse on the not-so-cheap-for-two-students IKEA couch, that Camille’s mother (thank her very much) has supported us with. From the beige piece of furniture, I have a marvellous view over our cardboard box packed sitting-room. The couch is a smaller version of the one we have back in my childhood home. A corner sofa that luckily fits perfectly against the back- and left wall. To our great joy, it happens to be big enough to house us both whenever we want to lay around and do nothing.
But lying there on the couch is not nearly as relaxing as I hoped it would be, because every time I shut my eyes a little voice tells me that perhaps I should start unpacking. And I know I should, but my feet are sore and I feel like a piece of cooked spaghetti - unable to stand straight.
Camille, who always seems to be doing the right thing, has decided to move some of the kitchenware into the kitchen, and make everything nice and organised. Fixing the kitchen can not take long, but the task seems overwhelmingly demanding to me in the moment, so instead I decide to stay on the couch and beat myself up over the fact that the luggage in my bedroom (the first one to the left) is left unpacked, and that Camille is unpacking our things by herself.
She never asks me to help, and I know she often likes to do these things in her own pace. She has a plan, and me trying to help is rarely any help at all. So I am - without it being spoken - excused for the moment.
I watch Camille for a while, until she disappears into her new bedroom (the second one to the left) and spend two hours unpacking. She has hung and folded all of her clothes within an hour, leaving her new wide closet looking very organised. Her shoes are placed in the bottom of the closet, lined up side by side - in about four rows, since Camille owns at least three pairs of every basic shoe.
As she is busy moving in, I manage to be half asleep on the couch, with my phone clutching in my hand. I hold it here incase Harry texts, or incase anyone does. It is a bad habit of mine - and I somehow believe, that it has something to do with the pleasure of holding onto something; even while I am asleep. The only time I do not sleep with it in my hand is at night. My legs are thrown over one of the cardboard boxes, as I shut my eyes, hoping to get a twenty minutes power-nap. One of those that never really leave you feeling empowered, but just twice as tired as you were before you decided to take the nap. It takes a while before I can feel my heavy eyelids slowly shutting. Despite being fatigued, the sound of Camille organising and messing around has been nice listening to.
However, I manage to fall asleep, but only for a short minute before my phone starts ringing and abruptly wakes me up again. It is an uncomfortable alarm-clock, since the phone has managed to slip out of my hand without my notice and now happens to be lying very close to my right ear. I quickly pull myself up in a sitting position, and tumultuously search for my phone with my right hand. There is not lying anything else on the couch (our pillows and blankets remain unpacked). Therefore it takes me half a second to find it without looking, and another half to slide answer and raise it to my ear.
“Hello?” I ask tiredly, a heavy blanket of sleepiness covering my voice.
“Oh sorry, did I wake you?” I can hear Harry’s voice from the other side. I straighten up a little and push back in the couch, leaning against the backrest. “No-no, or well, yes, but it’s fine. It was time to get up anyway.” I lie and let out yawn, as I brush some slings of hair away from my face with my free hand. Harry’s soft chuckle rolls over the line and drag my lips up in a faded smile. “I just wanted to talk about tonight,” he then says.
“Thought you’d text me?” I mumble and throw my head back, shutting my eyes.
“Yes, but we just got to the hotel and I had time to call, so I thought it’d be faster.”
“Sure, so what’s up?” I ask.
“I was wondering if you would be alright with just going out for a less formal meal or something? I mean, the hotel we’re staying at has a very nice restaurant, but it requires suit and tie, and I don’t really feel that tonight.” Harry’s words roll of his tongue fast, almost as if he is nervous about hearing my answer. I repeat his words in my mind one or two times.
“No, I understand - I am exhausted myself, so it sounds great to just find a small place downtown - or uptown, whatever.” I assure him.
“Yes! It sounds really nice - and it’s probably easy for me to get there anyway, so let’s just find some place.”
“Perfect.” He says. “I don’t know any places really, but I’ve looked some up and there’s this place called Whitehall down in West Village. They’re supposed to have really great burgers.” He lets out a low chuckle.
“I’m in,” I quickly say. “I am pretty sure number one goes directly from here to West Village.”
“Sure you don’t want to get a cab?” Harry suggests.
“Can’t afford it, and anyway, it’s probably faster if I take the subway.”
The line is silent for a short moment. I can almost hear the wheels turn in Harry’s head, but finally he simply says; “Okay.”
I smile a little to myself. I am fine with living the student life, but he is not used to it and I am positive that he wants to pay for the cab, but stopped himself before asking.
“Text me the address and time, and I’ll promise to be there.” I say.
“Will do. And is Camille coming?”
“Oh sorry, forgot to tell you - she’s so tired, so she’s just staying in for a couple hours, but she suggested meeting us for drinks later, if you of course aren’t too busy?”
I can Harry breathe in deeply, “It sounds nice, but let’s talk about it after dinner. Okay?”
Our conversation ends shortly after that. We have agreed to meet in and hour and a half. By then the clock will about eight. I stretch my arms above my head and let out a loud yawn, before getting of the couch and sneaking my way past cardboard boxes. I nearly trip over one as I make my way to the open door into Camille’s bedroom. When I appear in the doorway, she lifts her head and sends me a smile, “Was that Harry?”
I nod, “I’m leaving in about an hour.”
“And I am too tired?” She laughs a little.
“Had to make an excuse. Yours is bad anyway.”
“No it isn’t! I just don’t want to disturb you two.”
“There won’t be anything to disturb.” I defend myself.
“Sure, whatever you say,” she chuckles ironically.
I sigh, “I’m just taking a shower. Are the towels unpacked?”
About an hour later I am on my way to the subway.