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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28. Twenty eight

It's the end of another school day and Harry and I are just at his locker, sulky as always. He has his arms around my waist and everybody who walks past looks either bewildered or disgusted but I'm starting to be able to block them all out. At the end of the day, it's not them who matter, it's Harry. Being with him isn't what I always presumed having a boyfriend would be like. To be honest, I did think the whole image of it would matter, like looking cute with holding hands in public or post pictures together or whatever, and those things are fun, but this relationship truly is just about him and I. 

"How many weeks left?" he asks. 

"Two." I sigh and he groans. 

"This is the worst." 

"I bet once we're done with being grounded, they're still pissy about it and they say we can't see each other." I say. 

"They'd better not." he raises his eyebrows. He looks at the clock over my shoulder and sighs, looking back at me. "I think it's time to go."

"Okay." I say reluctantly as he pulls me in and kisses my forehead. "See you tomorrow."

"See you." he says. 

Obviously it's not fun to miss him, but it's also good to know I have somebody who I miss that much. I mean, of course I miss my friends back home, but it's not the same as with Harry. With Harry when I miss him he's all that seems to be on my mind and I hate how stereotypical that is but it's also kind of a novelty. 

Much to my surprise that night, he's at my window again. To be honest, it scares the hell out of me but once I'm past the shock, I'm happy to see him. He lands more gracefully tonight and then grins at me, kissing me. I pull away, looking at him confused. 

"How come you're here?" I ask. 

He smirks. "You want me to go?" 

"No." I laugh. "I just thought there was a game tonight."

"Oh no." he shakes his head. "It got cancelled because of the weather so I thought I'd pay you a visit."

"Good idea." I say, pulling him down as I lay down. He chuckles, kissing me again. 

"Two more weeks and we can actually see each other properly again. Not that I don't love spending time right here." he says, kissing me again. "I wish I could just stay the whole night."

"You can." I tell him. 

"No I can't." he smiles like I'm being silly. "It's school tomorrow."

"Please?" I say again and he laughs, shaking his head, and that's when I know he's going to give in. 

"No." he says. "It's not going to be worth it when we're exhausted."

"Yes it is." I grin. "Of course it is."

He does agree in the end and it turns out he was kind of right because he's not there English first period the next day so he must have overslept.

"No Harry?" Mr Jackson looks up when he's doing the register. 

"He's sick." I make up, feeling a pang of guilt but also finding it kind of funny. 

When I look over at the boys, for some unknown reason they all look really annoyed. Harry texts me during class saying he's not going to bother coming in and this is the one day I really don't want that because throughout the rest of the morning, all the boys are kind of off with me and I can't figure out why. Maybe they've figured out that he's not coming in today because he was with me but is that really a reason to be angry? 

I have enough of it by lunch and decide to just ask them about it. 

"Is everything okay?" I ask Dan and he sighs, looking at Eliot like they both know something I don't. I frown, nudging him. "Seriously, what have I done wrong?" 

"I don't know Alice, maybe letting Harry stay at your house last night when you knew he should have been at a game didn't make us particularly pleased with you." he says bitterly and I frown. 

"What?" I say, shaking my head. "No, he said the game was cancelled because of the weather."

"You understand we didn't have a quarterback last night because of you right?" Eliot says in a patronising tone I hate. "We had to sub in one of the freshmen who barely knows anything."

"I didn't know you had a game!" I protest. "I didn't invite him, he just came over and he told me the game was cancelled."

"Well maybe if you let him have a little more freedom, he wouldn't be so caught up in you! The last thing he needs is some clingy girlfriend!" Ben says and I raise my eyebrows at him and then at all of them.

"See how you're all blaming this on me, the girl, because I'm some crazy girlfriend?" I say to them all and all of a sudden none of them are making eye contact with me. "Of course it's not his fault, he's a guy, obviously it's me being clingy and crazy and possessive because of course that's the girl's role in a relationship." I sigh, getting up and grabbing my bag before looking back at them all. "Honestly, you all need to get these stupid, sexist double standards out of your heads and your heads out of your asses. This was not my fault so do not fucking blame me because I'm the girl."

I storm off after that. I was mad that they blamed me when it wasn't my fault anyway but as soon as they brought gender into it, that was enough for me to completely turn the tables back on them and I know now by the looks on their faces they know they made a mistake but I'm not forgiving them that easily. I'm mad with Harry too now. He lied to me and however nice his intentions were, that was wrong of him. However mad I am with all the guys right now, he shouldn't have screwed them over like that. I'm just mad with all of them but at the same time, after having a go at all of them like that, I do feel a little empowered. Maybe that's all I need to do on a bad day, teach them a little lesson on feminism. 

Harry comes into my room again that night, smiley as always but I don't look as impressed. 

"How's your leg?" I ask, not looking up from my book. 

He pauses. "What?" 

"Your leg. Or your ankle or your foot or your arm." 

He hesitates again. "I'm confused."

I finally look up at him. "I just figured you must be injured and that's why you came here instead of going to the game last night."

"Oh, you found out." 

"Yeah, I did." I say bluntly. 

"And you're mad." he frowns, confused. 

"Yes I'm mad!" I say. "Not only did the guys completely blame me for it, but you screwed them over! Why would you do that?"

"Why are you mad?" he asks. "I did it to spend time with you."

"That doesn't make it right." I tell him, looking back down at my book. I don't really want to get into an argument with him, I just wanted him to know what he did wrong and I'm fully willing to accept his apology but I just might make him suffer a little longer.

He sighs, scooting up the bed and trying to make eye contact with me. "Alice."

"What?" 

"I'm sorry." he says. "And I'll apologise to the guys too. I really am sorry."

I let a smile cross my face and laugh as he laughs at me too. "It's okay. I just wanted you to know I was mad."

"You're a little terrifying when you're mad." he admits. 

So I do let him stay and what I love about that night is we end up actually talking a lot. The past couple of times he's been here, and the past couple of weeks since we were in Taylor, have been all about the lovey dovey, touchy feely, relationship side of things and however much I love that, we kind of forgot all about the friendship we had before. I feel like we forgot all about how we were in our friendship, the way we clicked and the way we had the longest conversations and I didn't know I missed that until tonight when we revisit that. We feel a lot more like our old selves again.

I love the other side of things too, but when we keep that but also have the conversations I adore so much and when we connect on an intellectual level as much we do on an emotional and physical level, that's when it feels like a real relationship, like something I truly truly cherish. 

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