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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73. Seventy three

I'm relieved to not be upset about the fact that I'm back in England. I worried the whole plane journey that I'd get there and feel upset again, and maybe I'm a little sad because I don't love it as much as I love Austin but at the same time I'm glad to be near my friends and I'm looking forward to this date Freddie's organised for tomorrow night. 

"So it's just going to be you two at his house?" my dad asks over dinner the night before. 

"Uh, yeah." I say, getting up and putting my plate in the kitchen. "It's fine."

"I'm not sure." he says. "We haven't even met him yet."

"And his parents haven't met me yet." I shrug. "It's not a big deal, we're both eighteen, it's not a serious thing, it's fine."

"Relax a little." Mum nudges him. "It's just a little date."

I know it's just a little date and it's with Freddie and it's virtually impossible to feel uncomfortable around Freddie but I am kind of nervous that it's at his house. I don't know, I just feel like I'll spill something or break something or do something wrong. 

He picks me up the next night and I try and play it cool on the ride over to his house. It's going to be fine, what could possibly go wrong? But then he pulls into the drive of the fanciest looking house I have ever seen. It's not like a mansion but it might as well be. 

"Jesus Christ." I say as we walk up the drive hand in hand. "You do not want to let me in there."

He smiles at me. "What?" 

"I'm going to ruin it." I say, nodding. "I'm going to spill something or break something and your parents are going to kill me."

He laughs, opening the front door. "Shut up, you're fine."

It's even more beautiful inside. Everything is white or some kind of light neutral colour and everything is perfectly decorated and there are family pictures everywhere and it's so lovely.

"This is so beautiful." I tell him. 

"Thank you." he smiles at me, tugging on my hand. "Follow me."

I follow him into the living room and my heart melts. He's made the room look so sweet, the fire's on and there's a bottle of wine and two glasses on the coffee table and a few snacks and there's music on and it's just so nice. 

"Are you willing to spend a few hours of your valuable time here?" he asks and I laugh, putting my arms around him. 

"Very willing." I say and he smiles, kissing me. 

Even with red wine in this white room, I'm not nervous anymore. It's just impossible to be nervous or uncomfortable around him, he just makes all these little problems that you blow out of proportion in your head little again. Plus, it's like all these rules that are silently put into dating just don't exist with him. He doesn't play any games, he doesn't wait a certain amount of time to call, and he's not even weird about talking about Harry. 

"Do you find it weird dating someone else after you were with Harry for so long?" he asks me later on in the evening. 

I smile at him, confused. "Why do you ask about Harry so much?" 

He shrugs. "I'm just curious."

"Usually guys will have a bitch fit if an ex comes into conversation."

He laughs. "It doesn't bother me. It's just like I'm asking about your friends or family or whatever, I'm just curious. So is it weird dating someone else after being with him for so long?"

I shrug. "I don't know, I haven't thought about it much. I guess so. It got so serious with him that I feel like I shouldn't be back at the very beginning of dating, you know?"

He nods. "Are you sad you're not together still?" 

"I mean I guess so, kind of." I say and it's the first time I've really thought about it. "I don't want to be with him after what he did and the way he acted but I guess I'm sad that all of that happened and I'm sad it didn't end up working out. I don't know, I think it was for the best. It got so serious and heavy that there was a lot of unhappiness, more than there should be in a relationship."

He nods. "Are you happy now?" 

"Actually, it's a hundred times worse now but what are you going to do I guess."

He shoves me but pulls me back, laughing. "I know you're joking so I'm glad you're kind of, sort of a little bit happy."

I laugh at him and I didn't know there were still things I needed to address but now that I have thought about what I'm sad about and things still feel okay, I feel pretty happy. There's nothing else I need to go right or change. Everything's just perfect.

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