Feels Like Home

"Sometimes home isn't a place...sometimes it's a person."

17 year old Harper has to completely start over when her dad and his new girlfriend decide to move to a new, much smaller town, and take her with them. She's absolutely miserable, wanting nothing more than to stay in her home with her school and her friends and everything that's familiar. But will that all change when she meets the ever so arrogant Justin Bieber, who's determined to make her like him? Hmm...maybe this move would'nt be so bad after all.

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3. Chapter 3

 

 Seriously? I can’t even get away from him in my own home?

 

“Pattie, Jeremy, this is my beautiful daughter, Harper,” my dad said, putting his arm around my shoulders.

 

“Hi,” I said, forcing a smile and prying my eyes away from Justin’s smug smile.

 

“Hey sweetie,” Pattie said, giving me a heartwarming smile. She reminded me of my mother, or at least how my mother used to be. “This is our son, Justin, but I’ve heard that you’ve already met?” she asked.

 

“Yes ma’am,” I said, giving Justin a sarcastic smile. “We ran into each other last night downtown, and we have a class together. He actually gave me a ride home after school.”

 

“Oh, that’s nice,” Pattie said, smiling adoringly at her son.

 

“The Biebers were nice enough to cook us a welcome dinner, how sweet was that?” Stephanie gushed, smiling at me. I could see the ‘please behave’ look in her eyes.

 

“So sweet,” I said, smiling at Pattie and Jeremy.

 

“Well let’s get to eating,” my dad said, guiding me to a chair across from Justin. “Let’s not let this amazing dinner get cold!”

 

I tried to talk as little as possible during dinner. Although that wasn’t very hard. I was already too tired to contribute to the conversation. Even if I wasn’t, it would have been difficult to fit a word in between all the adults talking.

 

First they all gushed over how delicious dinner was. Which was true. It was homemade lasagna with homemade garlic bread knots. Pattie was definitely a fantastic cook. Then Pattie and Jeremy talked about how amazing our little town was, and how much we would love it here. They loved that it was so far from the city, so far away from all the crime, blah blah blah. I scoffed internally. Whatever.

 

Eventually after our bellies were full, and the adults were slightly intoxicated on wine, the party moved to the living room. Where, again, the furniture was sparse. Our sectional sofa, the love seat, and the coffee table were in the middle of the room, and that was pretty much it. The TV was mounted to the wall with cable ready to go, but they were entertained enough with their own company.

 

“This was really nice,” I interjected politely, waiting for a lull in conversation, “but I’ve really got a lot of unpacking to do. It was nice---”

 

My dad cut me off. “Oh! Harper, why don’t you take Justin with you? Show him your room, maybe he can help you unpack,” he suggested with a wide, drunken smile.

 

“Oh, that’s okay,” I protested. “He’s a guest, I would hate to put him to work.” I laughed nervously.

 

“No, it’s fine. I don’t mind,” Justin said, jumping off the couch with a smirk directed at me.

 

I suppressed my groan. “Are you sure?” I asked. Please say no.

 

“Oh, definitely,” he replied. “I’d love to help.”

 

“Alrighty then,” I said, my smile so fake it was hurting my cheeks. “Follow me.” I glanced at my dad once more, only to see him wink at me. Seriously, Dad? You’re playing wingman now?

 

With Justin eagerly on my heels, I led him to my new bedroom, then shut the door behind us. “So this is your room?” Justin asked, walking around slowly as he looked around.

 

“You can drop the act now,” I told him as I sat down on the bed.

 

“What act?” he asked, looking genuinely confused.

 

I plopped down on my back, enjoying my comfy ass bed. “You don’t have to be nice to me,” I told him. “I’m sure you probably hate me after today.”

 

“Nah,” he said. I felt the bed shift under his weight as he sat down. I turned my head to look at him. “I mean, I was mad for a while. But I get it. I acted like an ass. And I genuinely want to apologize.”

 

I sat back up, totally confused. “Well...thank you,” I told him, though I was cautious. “Still, I was really mean to you. Sorry about that.”

 

He waved his hand dismissively. “Don’t worry about it.”

 

Maybe he wasn’t so bad. I like this Justin a lot more. “So,” he said, interrupting my mental babble. “Any chance you can sneak some of your parents’ alcohol?” he asked.

 

I gave him a sly smile. It didn’t matter your background, whether you’re a city kid like me or a small town country kid like him; if we wanted to drink...we were gonna drink. “Give me a minute,” I told him.

 

Quietly, I made my way out of the bedroom and down the hallway. I thought I would have to come up with some bullshit excuse, but no one even noticed me come out of my room. I made my way quickly into the kitchen and snatched a bottle of Sky Vodka out from under the sink, and casually walked back to the bedroom. Still completely unnoticed. I opened the bedroom door, holding up the blue bottle successfully.

 

“Now come with me,” Justin said as he got up off the bed. He walked over to the French doors and pushed them open while I gladly followed behind. “We can either sit out here on the porch, or if you want...there’s a pool and a fire pit at my house. It’s pretty nice,” he offered.

 

I furrowed my brows at him. “Where do you live?” I asked.

 

He chuckled. “Right there,” he said, pointing to the right. I glanced over, just now noticing the house next door through the trees.

 

“Oh,” I laughed, feeling dumb. “It’s okay, we can just stay here.”

 

We sat down on the porch steps while I quickly unscrewed the bottle cap and took a large swig. Damn I needed this. I winced as it burned my throat, then handed the bottle to Justin.

 

“So,” Justin said, taking a sip, “what made you guys move down here?”

 

“Fuck if I know,” I muttered. “My dad and Steph wanted a fresh start I guess. To build their little family or whatever.”

 

“That’s not your mom?” he asked, taking another sip before passing it back to me.

 

“Hell no,” I laughed. “Not even my step mom. She’s just dating my dad.”

 

“Well, they seem happy,” he said, trying to be optimistic.

 

“Yeah, they are,” I muttered, then took another long swig. “I just miss home, ya know? I liked the city.”

 

“It’s not so bad here,” he said, nudging my arm. “There’s not much to do but...I could show you around some time,” he offered.

 

I gave him a sweet smile, passing him the vodka. “Why are you being so nice to me?” I asked. “If I’d been as mean to anyone else as I was to you, they’d never even bother fucking with me,” I laughed.

 

He shrugged. “You need a friend,” he said nicely. “You can’t really survive a town like this without one. There’s not much to do...everyone gossips....” he trailed off as he looked through the woods and took a sip.

 

“I have Brittany,” I said. “I mean she’s…” I trailed off, noticing the look Justin was giving me. Like it was a warning.

 

“Watch out for her,” he said. “She’s shady. And fake.”

 

I rolled my eyes. “I knew no one could really be that happy.” Justin laughed at my comment. “Well what about the rest of them? Her boyfriend and their little group?” I asked.

 

He shrugged. “They’re alright. Collin’s pretty cool. I don’t know the rest of them very well.”

 

I nodded. He passed me the bottle and I took a sip. I sighed, looking up at the stars. “I do have to admit. The stars are definitely prettier here than they are back home. You can barely see them in the city,” I admired.

 

“I couldn’t handle that,” he laughed, looking up with me. We star gazed in silent for a few moments. I passed him the bottle; I could already feel a slight buzz.

 

“Thank you for being so nice to me,” I said suddenly, looking over at him. I could barely make out his face, the only thing making him visible being the soft illumination of the light coming from behind us.

 

He laughed as he looked down at me. “You’re really not used to people being nice to you, are you?” he asked.

 

“Not really,” I answered honestly. “People in the city are generally kinda mean. Obviously,” I laughed, gesturing to myself. “I just appreciate it. I miss home and my mom, and you being nice makes it a little easier.”

 

“No problem,” he said, giving me a sweet smile.

 

We sat out there for a while, just talking. I told him about my life back home; my old school and friends, my unstable life with my parents. How I would flip flop between them. I would stay with my dad for a while and when he got to be too much, I'd go to Mom's for a while, then vice versa. He didn't talk much, mostly listened to me bitch and moan.

 

“Justinnnnn,” we heard Pattie call out. “You ready to go hun?”

 

“Shit,” I muttered, realizing we had drunk more than we had planned. “Can you pretend to be sober around your parents?” I asked him.

 

“Pshhh,” he scoffed. “I got this.” He stood up quickly then held his arms straight out to the sides, then alternated them, putting his pointer finger on the tip of his nose. Like he was taking a field sobriety test.I laughed and told him I needed help up. He chuckled, extending his hand out to me. I gladly took it as he helped me stand.

 

We quickly made our way back into my room and I shoved the bottle of vodka under my bed, then we made our way casually back into the living room. I wasn’t sure about Justin, but I knew I’d had plenty of experience trying to act sober in front of my dad.

 

We walked out to find Justin’s parents standing by the front door, my dad and Stephanie thanking them for dinner. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” Justin said softly after turning around to face me.

 

For some reason I felt the fluttering of butterflies in my stomach when he gave me that smirk and  a quick wink. I ignored the feeling, rolling my eyes at him. “See you.” 

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