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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54. Fifty four

I'm walking to the bus stop one morning and I see Harry step out of his house. I just try and walk past him with my head held high even though my stomach is in knots like it is ever time I see him.

"Hey." he says when I walk past him. I don't respond. "Alice." He runs after me and grabs my arm. I sigh, turning around. 

"What?" 

He just looks at me for a moment, catching his breath. "Hey. It's good to see you."

"Is it?"

He looks a little taken aback by my attitude. "Yeah. Uh, so how come you were hanging out with Leigha?" 

"How come you were sleeping with her when you and I were still together?"

He sighs. "When are you going to let me talk to you about it?" 

"I'm not." I shrug. "I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear from you. You fucked up, it's your fault, deal with it."

I walk away and he lets me and I played it cool then but as soon as I get around the corner, I'm shaking. I don't know why, I wasn't scared to see him or even that upset in that moment, it was just a lot for him to actually be right there and for me to talk to him that way. It just took a lot. 

Admittedly, the initial anger and need for payback everybody was feeling does start to wear off over the next couple of weeks. Even I'm tired of being actually angry. I don't want to forgive him or have anything to do with him, but I'm done being angry. I just want to move past the whole thing. I can tell the guys start to miss him and I tell them it's okay if they want to be friends with him again because of course it is, but at the same time I don't want to stop being friends with them. So Harry starts hanging out with us again but at all times I stay as far away as possible, I don't lok at him or talk to him and however awkward it is, it's also kind of okay.

I also spend a lot of time with Leigha. I know I'm still friends with the girls back home but I didn't realise how much I missed having a girl to actually spend time with here. It's nice to have somebody to talk to all the time about things I didn't really want to talk to any of the guys about and it's nice that she talks to me about things as well. I always go along whenever she takes Robin out somewhere and it's weird because it's like Harry was just this phase in my life that lead me to this friend and little Robin and it's all very nice. 

But however perfect things sound to me when I think about them, they're not really. I mean, it sounds fine, me and Harry are kind of at peace even if we're not talking or generally recognising each other's existence, I've made this amazing friend, I love spending time with Robin, everything's fine, I'm content. But it's kind of just like I'm content enough, I don't feel actually happy because however much I'm convincing myself Harry was some phase, I still love him a lot and still want to be with him. I just can't forgive him for what he did.

We're all at Dan's one night and we're all heading home when Harry says "Alice, you want a ride?"

Everyone goes silent. I'm kind of shocked. He's just talking to me like nothing's wrong when I'm pretty sure we had a silent agreement to never talk to each other again. Also, why would I want a ride with him? 

"No thanks." I say, still shocked. "A friend's picking me up."

He looks confused. "All of your friends are here."

"It's Leigha."

He pauses for a long moment before talking again. "Can I have a word with you?"

"Not really." I say, feeling angry all over again. I can already tell how this conversation's going to go, he's going to be mad at me for being friends with her and we're going to argue and I don't even want to speak to him, let alone get into this whole fight with him.

"Harry." Dan says, shaking his head. The whole room is so tense. 

"What?" Harry says, defensive. "I just think it's ridiculous that we're in the same group of friends and we haven't said a word to each other for the past two weeks. And we haven't even spoken about everything that happened, it's just kind of stupid, I want to talk."

"I don't!" I say. "What is there to talk about? I'm not going to forgive you either way!"

There's a car horn outside and I sigh, grabbing my bag. "See you later guys."

They all chorus an awkward, unsure goodbye and I go out to Leigha, slamming the car door behind me perhaps harder than I needed to. She lets out a low whistle. 

"He spoke to you, huh?" 

I look at her. "How do you know?" 

"Because you're the colour of a tomato." she grins, pulling out of the driveway.

"I just can't believe he had the nerve to bring it all up again when everything's fine!"

"But is everything fine?" she asks. "I mean, you still want to be with him right?" 

"I guess." I say exasperated. "If he hadn't have done what he did."

"Right." she agrees. "And he still wants to be with you too. That's why he's trying to talk to you, so he can apologise and try and get things back to normal."

"They're not going to get back to normal though." I tell her. "He needs to get the message."

She just shrugs. "Wanna get pizza on the way home?" 

Somehow I don't think she believes that things won't get back to normal and that makes me doubt myself too. How long am I really going to keep this up? But I know I need to just stick with it because however much I may want to go back to him, I need to respect myself first. 

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