Somewhere in between

Blake Winter has had a sheltered life - ballet classes, gymnastic lessons, home school. Being best friends with Harry Styles made her childhood interesting. However, upon her 21st birthday, her life takes a very dark turn.

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5. Crash

The next day, a throbbing headache woke me up. 

The first word of my day wasn't exactly the best way to wake up. 

Skye shifted from her place beside me. "You okay?" She rubbed her eyes, struggling to keep them open as she flipped over to face me. "Hangover?"

I nodded, regretting it immediately. 

She sat up, wrapping one of the sheets around her before getting out of bed. "I'll get you some aspirin."  

I heard the medicine cabinet in the bathroom swing open and creak close. Water filling up an empty glass. 

I'd already propped myself up on my elbows by the time she came back.

"Thanks." I gulped the tablet down with some water. 

"I'll make you some breakfast." She slipped on a sweater and shorts, throwing the sheet on the bed.

After a few minutes, I felt the aspirin take effect. I got dressed, brushed my teeth and splashed some cold water on my face. I stared at myself in the mirror. This hangover was more annoying than painful, although the pain did come in waves. 

I tortoise-d my way to the kitchen. If only I could teleport. I rested my forehead on the cool kitchen counter.

"Geez, you look terrible." 

I flicked the finger in Harry's direction as I made my way to the table. As if he couldn't be any louder. I hope he left scratch marks on the floor so that Skye would get mad at him. All hell broke loose when she got mad. 

The seat creaked as he took a seat. The sound of glass on the counter made me sit straight up. 

"Sorry," Skye mumbled apologetically. I swallowed mouthfuls of orange juice, the discomfort of having brushed teeth not bothering me. She served me a plate of eggs then I scarfed down, just realising the hunger. 

Harry ate his more gracefully, delicately chewing my girlfriend's neatly cooked breakfast. Soon, she sat down with her own plate which had some bacon and set down the whole carton of orange juice. 

Harry seemed to eye Skye's bacon enviously. I reached over to 'borrow' his sunglasses that he'd left beside him and put them on. Sensitive sight, sensitive hearing.

The pain seemed to have subsided.

I pulled the carton towards me and started pouring myself another glass. 

The pain returned with a vengeance and I felt myself losing control over my hand. I expected orange juice to have spilled all over the table, followed by Skye's grumbles. 

Instead, I felt cool fingers wrap over mine, holding the carton in place. 

"Steady there," Harry murmured, putting the carton down on the table and taking his hand back. He looked at his plate, shifting the food around. He abruptly stood up, placed his plate and glass in the sink and walked out of the kitchen. Skye and I glanced at each other as we heard the murmur of voices - Harry was probably watching some television. 

"The hell was that?" Skye whispered.

I shrugged, drinking more orange juice. I finished my breakfast up and put my things in the sink, kissing Skye on the cheek as she volunteered to do the dishwashing and instructed me to lay down. 

"Yes, ma'am." 

She smirked. "I like this. You calling me ma'am."

"I bet you do."

She slapped my behind as I walked away slowly. 

"Anything good on?"

Harry barely looked at me. "Not really."

I held the wall for support. I focused on my target. 

As soon as I plopped down on the couch, I felt much better. I must've fallen asleep within a few minutes because the next thing I know, the end credits of the movie that was playing earlier were rolling. 

"Damn, I missed the movie." 

I realised someone had thrown a blanket over me and made a mental note to make it up to Skye for being the best girlfriend. 

Harry hadn't seem to have moved from the couch either. "Actually, you missed two. But they weren't that good anyway. How are you feeling?"

"Much better." I offered a small smile. 

If I had to be completely honest, I did feel a bit guilty over how I treated Harry, especially since he came into town just to celebrate my 21st birthday. I've been angry at him for leaving me behind. I should've told him how I felt, maybe that would've changed his mind and made him stay. Then, things would be different. But there was no use in dwelling in the past. On the bright side, if things hadn't gone the way they had, I wouldn't have met Skye. 

Harry stretched and yawned. I wondered if he really had stayed seated there the whole time. He ran his fingers through his tousled hair.

"Where's Skye?" She wasn't in the kitchen. 

"She said something about her boss calling her in. Something important came up at work. She left some money on the counter if you wanted to get some food delivered."

"Oh." I wish she would've woken me up before leaving. "Hey, wanna grab some lunch...slash early dinner?"

Harry scratched the back of his head. 

"I feel fine, really."

"Only if I drive."

"Not a chance. I let you have my car last night. Who knows what damage you've done to it."

"Oi, I'm an excellent driver." His accent elicited an unplanned smile. 

"Keep telling yourself that." I pulled the blanket off and stretched, feeling the soreness of my muscles slowly dissipate. I grabbed the keys off the hanging key-thing and we were on our merry way. 

"You sure you're fit enough to drive? I don't think you should."

I raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me? Are you criticising me over my driving skills? Don't you be getting wise on me, Slick." 

Harry snorted. "Americans and their expressions." A hint of that boyish grin played on his lips and I realised I'd used the nickname I used to call him way back then. 

We had some small talk in the car, cracked a few jokes, exchanged a few awkward glances. This car ride was much better than the night before. And the fresh air really was helping to clear my mind. No hint of the headache that woke me up this morning was there either.

After some reluctance, Harry agreed to have Chipotle - one of the few fast food joints around - although he wasn't quiet about his distaste for fast food. We had a discussion on how huge fast food was in America, and the globalisation of companies like McDonalds' - usual dinner talk. I made a big fuss on how he didn't like fast food and in return, he made a big deal on how I should start eating healthier because 'who knows what they put in their meat?'. We were there for about an hour before we decided to get some coffee - he got his black while I got an iced latte. We talked more, this time about different coffee drinks. The conversation headed to Kopi Luwak and we shared how silly we thought harvesting coffee beans from an animals' poop was and the cost of a cup. It was just like old times although the topics we talked about in those conversations weren't as interesting. 

On the drive back, the local radio station was playing songs from his band and I couldn't stop teasing him about it. Even though we lived in a relatively small town, the music scene was relatively modern. 

"Go on then, sing for me, Slick." 

And sing he did. 

After a while, I sang along, him watching me as he realised I knew most of the words.

We'd just started on History went the pain returned.

It was excruciating, paralyzing and I took my hands off the wheel, my screams of pain drowning out the screech of the tires and the glass breaking. I passed out just as I felt the car flip. 

 

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