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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31. Thirty one

I can't sleep at all. Harry has texted me a couple of times but he's been really casual about it, just 'hey' or 'you asleep?'. It makes me so mad that he's still acting casual. Does he not realise how big this is and how upsetting this actually is? I feel like he must know but he doesn't want to face the consequences and I realise that I am angry with him. He's acting so casual it's making me doubt myself a little bit, like maybe I shouldn't be angry with him, but this is definitely something to be upset about. It gets to two am and I'm tired of the same thoughts going around my head and the only person who I know will be awake right now is Nicole seeing as it's seven in the morning over in England so I call her. 

"Hey." she says when she picks up. "You're up late."

"Did I wake you?" 

"No, what's going on?" 

"Harry." I start and then there's a lump in my throat. Now I'm saying it out loud to someone, it seems so much more real and that makes it a hundred times worse. "Harry has a kid."

She's silent. "What?"

"He has a son." I say, my voice shaking. "A little boy, a toddler. He just came running in when I was with Harry and I just left and Harry hasn't really tried to speak to me about it and I don't know what to do."

"Oh my god, Alice." Nicole says, her voice filled with sympathy. "Are you okay?" 

"I don't know." I say, crying out of nowhere. "He's had a child the whole time I've known him, he let me get so involved with him and he never thought to tell me? How could he not tell me something like that? Did he think I already knew, was I just being stupid?" 

"No!" she says. "No, don't blame yourself Alice, he should have made that clear to you. But to me it doesn't sound like you had any indication into knowing at all."

"Yeah." I say miserably and sigh. "Everything was so perfect."

"I'm sorry." she says sadly and then pauses. "Who else knew?" 

That's something I hadn't considered. Surely all of the guys knew, they've been friends with him forever, there's no way they didn't know. And they didn't tell me. I've never felt more embarrassed in my life. This whole time they all knew this huge secret and I was completely ignorant to it. I just feel like a complete idiot. 

I feel sick when I'm leaving the house the next morning. I don't want to see Harry or any of them and not in the way where I want to avoid them and hope they notice I'm avoiding them to make a point, I just really don't want to see them. I do want an explanation but also, I don't want to sit through that and I don't want to face it all and I'd just rather act like it's not happening. 

I think I'm going to at least get to school before I have to deal with any of it but I walk past Harry's house just as he's getting into his car.

"Hey!" he says all cheery but there's a nervousness to his voice too. Only slightly but I pick up on it. "Want a ride?"

I just don't reply, I don't look at him, I just keep walking. He calls after me again but I don't look back. It's then when I realise just how angry I am with him. I don't think I've ever been more furious in my life. I'm generally a nice girl until somebody makes me this angry and then I'm not quite so forgiving to them and that's the point I'm at now. I am not forgiving them unless they have the most incredible explanation which I'm sure they don't. I'm pretty sure it just comes down to Harry being too scared to tell me and the others just going with that even though surely they knew it was wrong of them. 

I literally hide out in the girls' bathroom that morning before class. Dan texts me but I ignore him. In English I don't look at them and I go and sit on the other side of the room to them. They try and get my attention a couple of times but I ignore them. I only look over once, at Harry, and he finally looks guilty about the whole thing. 

I don't leave class until I'm sure they're gone and Mr Jackson is just sort of looking at me, concerned. I look back at him. 

"What?" I ask. 

"Did you find out about Harry?" he asks and I raise my eyebrows, shocked. 

"You knew?" 

"Everyone knew." he says looking sympathetic. My heart drops. 

"How did nobody tell me?!" I demand. 

"Because it's a big secret and it's his to tell." he says. "I think everybody respected that."

"It shouldn't have been a secret!" I say. "I should have known from the start."

He sighs, leaning against the desk. "Alice, I know why you're upset but can't you understand why it was hard for him to tell you?" 

"Sure." I admit. "But I can't understand why he let us get so far in a relationship before telling me. That's completely unfair, and I don't understand why nobody else spoke up when they could see it was going too far."

I don't want to hear Sir defend him any more so I just leave. I get what they're all trying to say but at the same time I can also see that Harry was wrong for not telling me. Nothing's going to make me not be angry right now. 

I manage to avoid them for the rest of the day but that afternoon after school, there's a knock at the front door and I hear Harry's voice talking to my mum. I haven't really talked to my parents about it yet but they are being extra nice to me so I guess Brie and Daniel have explained. Still, it sounds like my mum is being friendly enough to him. 

"Yeah, go on up!" I hear her say and I'm so annoyed. I swear, nobody is giving me any respect recently. I still really don't want to talk to him so I just do the first thing that comes to mind which is to turn over and pretend to be asleep. There's a little knock at my door and then it opens. I keep my eyes shut, slowing my breathing. 

"Alice?" he says gently and my heart melts a little. What I would give to go back to three days ago when things were absolutely perfect and when I didn't feel torn about loving him like I do now. It makes me mad that I feel all that just from hearing him talk to me. "Are you asleep?" I stay quiet. Eventually he sighs and leaves and I actually don't feel relieved. I want to talk to him, just not about what we need to talk about. I just don't want what's happening to be happening.

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