It takes no less than three minutes for the school nurse to conclude that I have a concussion, but since she is not sure how big or small it is, she is quick to order that I leave school and first return in two days time - depending on how I feel.
Staying home for two days has never seemed like punishment, but when Harry enters the door, after being seated in the waiting room, I suddenly feel a sting of loss.
“Hey Barbie, you okay?”
It is now the second time he asks me that, and I am starting to feel like he has no clue what else to say.
“I feel fine.”
“You are not fine, ms. Stewart,” the nurse - that I had forgotten about for a second - interrupts. Her slim grey eyes, hid behind thick glasses, turn to Harry. “She has a concussion and is to stay home for at least two days.”
“Unless I get better,” I argue with too much optimism.
The nurse glares at me, “No sleeping when you get home now. No TV watching. No computer. No reading. Only relaxing - understood?”
I nod and even though she does not seem pleased, she looks to Harry again. He looks so naturally nonchalant as he stands there in the small nursery and deals with the most grim school nurse in Connecticut.
“I will give you two a minute and then I suggest you find someone who can drive you home,” she pulls a little at her coat, straightens a pencil or two in her breast pocket, before turning around and leaving the nursery to go and hide away in her office. I have been there once. It is a small place, and the lack of windows has given her a weird urge to place a lot of plants and lamps in there. The office is a mess, but a mess with structure.
Once the white door closes behind her, I let out a loud sigh and Harry, who was watching the nurse leave, now turns his gaze to me, “She is quite handful.”
“She is,” I agree tiredly.
He moves across the floor and turns to sit down on the exam table beside me. I stiffen a little as his arm brushes mine lightly. I bite my teeth together and try not to think about the fact that he did not call. It comes crashing over me again. He is acting strange, or maybe it is me that is acting strange. He might be acting friendly and I might be taking it wrong.
In the exact moment that I part my lips to fill the silence around us, the door into the small room swings open with a little too much aggression - and Harry’s eyes fast shoot from me and to the person in the door.
“Thank god you’re okay,” Jennifer breathes and takes a step inside of the room. She does not seem to have noticed who is sitting beside me, but as her eyes wander and she catches his eyes, her forehead wrinkles.
“Jennifer,” Harry greets her with a nod.
“Harry?” She drags it out a little, trying to cover her obvious confusion. It takes her a second to recover from the unlikely scenery, and once she does, her attention is back at me. “I heard what happened, so I came here right away,” she explains and throws a glance towards the school nurse’s office.
“Is gym over?” I ask.
She shakes her head, “No, but Mrs. Williams let me go.”
“That’s nice of her,” I mumble and shift slightly, feeling Harry’s shoulder brush against mine lightly. I am almost positive that he sends me a momentary glance.
“Oh well, I was quite determined, so she did not have much of a choice,” Jennifer laughs.
“Of course you were,” I smile.
She steps further into the room and leaves the door open behind her, “So I thought I’d drive you home?” I get a feeling that it sounds like a suggestion, because of the fact that Harry is sitting closely by my side.
“Yes, of course - I’ll just skip the rest of the day and then we can stop by and buy some ice-cream on the way home,” her smile widens and mine automatically follows. “It sounds perfect,” I grin and for a moment I forget about Harry, right up until he clears his throat and pulls up from the exam table. Both Jennifer and I turn to look at him.
“Well then I should get going,” He says casually.
“You can still play the rest of the match if you want,” Jennifer replies.
Harry shakes his head with a smile, “I am not going back to gym.”
“Where are you going?” I flies out of me before I get a chance to stop my word vomit. Harry turns his head to me, “Not sure yet - maybe just home.”
“You’re going home?” Jennifer sounds sceptical.
“But we still have math and history,” her eyebrows hit the roof.
“Oh,” she breathes, “Okay. Sure.”
Harry is quick to not let the room turn silent, so he turns to me, widening his eyes a little, “You are okay?”
“Yes, I am okay.”
“Good,” a little smile grows on his lips, “Then I am comfortable with Jennifer driving you.”
“Hey, I’m a good driver!” She comes to her own defence.
Harry looks over his shoulder with a smug grin, “Never said you weren’t. Just a assumed it.”
Jennifer snorts and places her hands on her hips, deciding to ignore him. I am glad she does, because soon his eyes lock with mine again.
“I will see you in a couple days then?”
I nod. He takes a step backwards, turns his back to me, nods at Jennifer and then heads for the door.
“Hey, thank you by the way!” I raise my voice, as he takes one step out in the hall. He freezes in his position and throws a look over his shoulder, “Always.”
Then he disappears down the hall.