Harry watched from across the table as Kennedy kept picking at her food and moving it around to make it seem as if she were eating. He gave a subtle look to Reagan, who understood and nodded.
"It's community college, Rae. How do you think it's going to be?"
Reagan rolled her eyes. Kennedy hadn't gotten into Berkeley, her first and only choice, and since she hadn't applied anywhere else she only had one option when application dates had already lapsed: To apply to community college and live with mom and dad until she could transfer out. Reagan had warned her of course, but Kennedy being Kennedy didn't listen.
"It's not a terrible thing..."
"Kennedy, a lot of people go to community college first and then transfer. Plus think of all the money you're saving."
"Oh yeah, that's totally my first worry."
"I'm sorry, are you rich? Is there something you're not telling me?" Reagan said snarkily.
"You know dad has no issue paying your tuition."
"That's not the problem, Kenz."
Harry looked between them, he could already feel the tension rising in the room.
"Yeah, the problem is that I'm stuck at that dump for the next two years."
"Didn't a lot of your friends go to community college?"
"I'm just saying, you're making a big deal out of nothing. As long as you keep your grades up, you'll be out of there in no time."
Kennedy sighed loudly, "Whatever."
Harry cleared his throat, "I would have loved to go to college. Any college."
"Why?" Kennedy said with a furrowed brow.
"I don't know. I think I would've been good at it."
"What did you want to major in?"
He smiled, "I was think history, maybe English like you sister." He said turning to look at Reagan with a flush growing upon his face, "But I wanted to be a teacher. Maybe a lawyer. I don't know, it's all rubbish anyway, but I would've loved to go to college."
"But you're rich."
"You don't go to college to get rich."
"I beg to differ." Kennedy said, putting her fork down to intently look at Harry, "You only say that because you're already totally loaded."
"Then why do other celebrities go back to college?" Reagan interjected.
Reagan rolled her eyes once more, and decided to just keep eating. She had enough of trying to fight Kennedy for one night.
Harry though was just getting started, "No, not publicity. I think that with fame it's like everything gets handed to you. And I know, that sounds great, but it gets tiring. Like..." He said furrowing his brow and pushing his hair back from his face, "A lot of the time I just want to be a person, you know? Like I don't want to be famous. I want to go to uni and get to learn things and earn my accomplishments. So yeah, you're lucky you're continuing school, Kenz. No matter where it is. It's what you put into it, not the name of the college that's going to matter. I didn't even finish secondary school," He lamented, "You're lucky you get to continue."
"Why don't you keep going to school?"
Harry hadn't even thought of that. Well, okay, yeah he had. But it was more wishful thinking that anything else. The rigorous schedule they had been abiding by didn't allow time for anything else. He hadn't even been able to complete his high school degree online, and much like Kennedy, his bosses kept telling him it was a waste of time.
But was it? Something he had always wanted to do was learn freely, to study whatever he wanted. It wasn't even about the piece of paper, it was about the freedom he would get in finally choosing his own destiny. Now that this break was upon them, maybe he could finally start accomplishing the dreams he had left behind.
"Harry?" Reagan said, clearly worried he had gone into one of his daydream-states.
"Oh, yeah," He said, smiling bashfully at Reagan, and finally turning back to look at Kennedy, "I just might. Maybe I'll take some classes at your college."
Kennedy laughed, "Right. You can get in anywhere you want, why would you go where I go?"
"Hey, it's a start. Besides you look like you need some motivation. "
"You could say that again."
"Hey, you've got this. In a year or two, you'll be at Berkley without a doubt."
She nodded, "Thanks."
"And when you're applying, just casually mention I'm your brother-in-law, that might help."
"Good point." She said, very seriously.
"We're not getting married." Reagan piped in.
"Well certainly not, not without me proposing first."
"You're not proposing."
'Well not now darling, you're expecting it. When you least imagine I'll pop the question."
"I'm not saying yes."
"Harry." She warned.
"Reagan." He retorted.
Kennedy laughed, "Reagan, I think you're kind of stuck with him."
"He's like the plague."
"Hey." He said, "Be nice."
"Then respect my decision."
"I respectfully agree to disagree."
'You can't force me to marry you."
"No I can't."
"I'll just have to change your mind." He shrugged.
Kennedy looked at him dreamily, "I'll marry you if she doesn't."
Reagan laughed, "If you can put up with him you can take him."
"Hey, I'm right here." He pointed out.
"I mean, yeah. I'm getting kind of sick of him. You know he doesn't sleep in? Like he's up at six AM every morning."
"Oh, hmm, I don't know I'm not a morning person." Kennedy said shaking her head, both of them obviously ignoring the fact Harry was right there.
"And it's like, he's not even polite about it. He gets up and makes the most noise humanly possible. I didn't think that you could hear the shower all the way in the bedroom, but with him, you can. It's like he's set on max annoyance every single morning."
"Oh god, no thanks."
"Really?" He said, clearly not understanding what the big deal was.
"He snores too."
"I do not!"
"How would you know?" Reagan asked, "You're asleep."
Kennedy laughed, "She's got you there."
"I'm done." He said, clearing his plate and the girls' as well. "I'll be in the living room when you're done bargaining my price."
"What's your return policy?" Kennedy asked.
"All sales are final." Reagan responded firmly.
Harry smiled nonetheless as he walked into the living room and sat on the surprisingly comfortable sofa. He turned the TV on and turned up the volume so the girls could talk privately. He sat with his own thoughts though, unaware of the cheesy drama playing on the screen.
He hadn't given much thought as to what he wanted to do with his break, other than to rest. He wanted to keep writing of course, maybe try acting, and of course be with Reagan, but other than that he didn't really know what he wanted. He realized from his conversation with Kennedy that perhaps there was still so much to be discovered. That so many of the things he had left behind could now could be revisited. He hadn't realized that, and he felt some kind of weird mix of emotions rising within him. It sounded stupid, but he was pretty sure that this revelation was going to be life changing.
"I'm heading out." Kennedy said, popping her head into the room.
"Early class." She shrugged.
"Okay." He nodded, getting up from the couch to give her a hug.
As he went in to give her a squeeze, she got on her tiptoes and whispered in his ear, "Tell Louis I'm trying to reach him."
He nodded adding in a low voice, "He's been out of sorts."
"I figured," She said knowingly, "Just let him know anyway."
"Will do." He said pulling back.
"Alright." She nodded, "Guess I'm out then."
Reagan walked into the room, drying her hands on a dish towel, "I'll see you later this week?"
"Lunch date." Kennedy smiled.
"And dinner with mom and dad." She reminded her.
"Do we have to?"
"You know we do."
"What about Harry?"
"What about him?"
"Can't he come?"
He looked smugly at Reagan, "Yeah, Rae. Can't I come?"
"I'm your boyfriend."
"I'm your boyfriend." He reiterated, "I want to have a good relationship with your parents."
"You're kind of sickeningly perfect, you know that? Like too much for your own good."
"So is that a yes?"
She sighed, "Yeah, why not."
"Really?" Kennedy asked, clearly shocked.
"Pick your jaw up from the floor, you're the one who suggested it."
Harry winked at Kennedy, "I'll do just fine, don't you worry."
"Well, I wish you the best of luck."
"I've met your mother, she's the sweetest woman alive."
"Yes, but now you get the pleasure of meeting dad."
He shrugged, "I'm good with dads, I like dads. Quite fond of them."
"You might change your mind after meeting ours." Kennedy said walking toward the door, "Hopefully you'll be fine."
"I will be."
"Okay." She nodded, "Well, I guess I'll see you both at dinner Friday."
"Indeed you will." He nodded, while a pale Reagan wearily smiled.
"Alright, have a goodnight."
He closed the door behind her and turned to look at Reagan, "Really?"
She nodded, "Really."
"We're getting serious then." He said, pulling her closer to him.
"You're just meeting my dad. If anything it's a punishment for waking me up so early this morning."
"Don't play it off, this is a big deal."
"It really is! You know this means we're taking a step forward."
"Alright." She said, pulling away from him and heading towards her room.
"Hey! I'm talking to you."
She shrugged, without looking at him, "I thought you'd rather continue what we were doing before Kennedy came, but if you want to continue talking I can sit and listen."
He smirked, "Never mind."
Something about her had certainly changed, but good god, he loved it. Absolutely loved it.