Hurdles

Our relationship. It wasn't sonnet inspiring, the story of it won't make thousands want to listen. But it was complicated and it was special to us. It was certainly more than I bargained for from just seeing a boy with a football helmet across the room.

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8. Eight

We're all sat at lunch one day and I'm in my usual seat between Dan and Harry and as usual the table's split up into lots of different conversations. Harry's talking to the boys more on his end of the table, I'm talking with Dan and Jesse and there's a conversation with Luke, Tom and Alex at the bottom of the table but Harry turns to me at one point. 

"Hey, you haven't asked me to show you around yet." he says. "Are you still wanting to go?" 

"Oh, yeah!" I say because I can't exactly say oh I have a bit of a thing for you so I really over reacted when you were just being perfectly friendly because I was being a brat that you don't have a bit of a thing for me back. Instead I say "It slipped my mind but we should definitely still do that."

He smiles. "Cool. Okay how about tonight? I've got practice and then I need to go home and shower and change and stuff but how about I pick you up about five?"

"Pick me up." I grin. "How about I just meet you at your house, save you the U turn?" 

He looks at me, both offended and amused that I made fun of him. "Alright, fine. Don't be late or I'm leaving without you."

"So you can show yourself around the city you've lived in your whole life?" 

He raises his eyebrows but he still looks amused. "I don't like this side to you."

I just laugh before Dan brings me back into the conversation I was in before but as I talk to them all I'm thinking is that Harry just talked to me in a way that wasn't patronising, it was on the level that the rest of them talk to me and that does make me happy however much I wish it didn't affect me at all.

When I get to his house at 5 that evening he's leaning against the side of the car which I'm used to being the driver's side but is the passenger side here. He looks up and smiles when he sees me.

"Hey." he says opening my door and going around to his side of the car. "How are you?" 

"I'm good thanks, how are you?" I reply.

"I'm good thanks." he answers as we get into the car and start driving away. He smiles, turning the music up a little bit. "I'm excited to show you all the good places to go around here."

"I'm excited to see." I say and I really am. I was so focused on the fact that it was Harry showing me around that I forgot I'm actually excited to be seeing this place I'm going to be living in for at least the next two years. I've always had a little love for America and now I'm excited to see what this city is like. 

It's actually so much fun, more than I thought it would be. I thought I'd be worried what he thought of me the whole time but I'm more relaxed with him than I thought. First we drive over a bridge that goes across Lady Bird lake which is beautiful and he shows me where Zilker Park is. He tells me there are so many parks here but Zilker park is the main one and we'll all have to go swimming there in the summer. He shows me where things like museums and theaters are, tells me where the best place to shop is and where to find the best restaurants.

The sun's starting to set as we're driving along to find his favourite restaurant and I look out at the sky. I didn't expect it to be any different from the sunset in England but it is. It seems deeper, more vibrant and more colours. 

"That's so pretty." I say, looking back at Harry. 

He frowns, the corners of his mouth turned up a little though. "What is?" 

"The sunset!" I say, thinking it's obvious. "It's the prettiest sunset I've ever seen."

He smiles properly. "Want to go see it properly?"

I smile, curious. "Okay."

He turns down a little lane about five minutes from there which eventually opens up to a viewing point that looks over Lake Austin. I laugh as we both get out of the car. 

"Isn't this where people come to make out?" I ask. 

He laughs, sitting up on the bonnet of his car. "That's not why we're here, don't worry. Come sit up here, look at the pretty sunset."

I narrow my eyes at him as I sit beside him. I feel kind of awkward sitting on his car but I figure I'd be more awkward just standing there. "I kind of feel like you're making fun of me."

"I'm not making fun of you. I just think it's funny. It's just a sunset."

"It's the prettiest sunset I've ever seen." I say again, now aware of how stupidly whimsical I sound so I laugh at myself but it really is beautiful sitting here. The sky looks like it's just wide open right in front of us, not above us, and it's just swirls of pink and purple and orange. 

"They're nice I guess." he says but I'm still not buying it. We're quiet for a moment before he says "You know you're kind of different tonight. Like you're not so quiet."

"Really?" I say. I guess he's right. I'm slowly feeling less shy with them all, I just don't realise it because it's hard to tell when there's a change of personality with yourself. 

"Yeah. So are you settling in more now?" 

"I am." I say, feeling so relaxed. Just like always it's just friendly between us and I'm not expecting any more. I actually really like that in this moment, just us sat here and it feels like I don't have one care in the world. 

"How are you finding being thrown into the huge group of guys?"

I laugh. "Odd, I must admit. I have the smallest group of friends at home, just three girls. And plus, you're the football team. Do you understand how many girls give me dirty looks in the corridor?" 

He laughs, shaking his head. "That happens to any girl who goes near us. You should see when one of us gets a girlfriend. It's so crazy."

"It's insane that you guys are like celebrities." I tell him. "We have a football team at my school in England and I could not tell you one of the boys on it."

"I don't think it's so much who we are. I think it's just the fact that we're popular and you got in so easily."

"I didn't mean to! I blame this all on you guys." I joke and he chuckles, looking at me. The sunset has faded now and it's not dark but the light is going. 

"I guess we should head back. I'm pretty sure if Mr Jackson knew we weren't reading right now he'd flip."

"I think you're right." I agree. 

We drive back to his house, say goodbye, and I walk slowly back down the street to my house. That was the kind of night I just want to relive over and over in my head, it was the kind of night that was just so fun it leaves a warm kind of feeling with you. That night made me look past him saying "We're in the same group of friends".

 

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