"I have to get up earlier than usual tomorrow so I can be at the bus station by 8:45, the stop three streets over will take me two blocks away from Vance." I inform him.
"What? You're going there tomorrow? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I did.. you were too busy sulking to pay attention." I fire back.
"I will drive you there, you don't need to take an hour long bus ride." I want to decline his offer just to annoy him but I decide against it. Harry's car is a much better way to get there than a crowded bus.
"I am going to get a car soon, I can't last any longer without one. If I get the internship, I would have to take the bus there three days a week."
"I would drive you" He says, his voice is almost a whisper.
"I'll just get my own car." I tell him. "The last thing I need is for you to be mad at me and not pick me up."
"I would never do that." His tone is serious.
"Yea, you would. Then I would be stuck trying to find a bus route. No thanks." I half joke. I honestly feel like I could depend on him but I don't want to take any chances, he is just too moody.
Harry turns on the television and stands up to change his clothes. No matter how annoyed with him I am, I would never turn down a chance to watch him undress. His shirt is pulled over his head first, then I watch his muscles contract under his skin as he unbuttons and pulls down his tight black jeans. Just as I think he is going to only wear boxers, he pulls a pair of thin cotton pants out of his dresser and puts them on. He stays shirtless, lucky for me.
"Here" He mumbles and hands me the shirt he just removed. I can't help the smile on my face as I take it in my hands. This must be our thing now, he must like me wearing his shirt to bed as much as I love the smell of him on the fabric. Harry focuses on the television as I follow his lead and change into his shirt and a pair of yoga pants. The pants are more like spandex leggings, but they are comfortable. After I fold up my bra and clothes Harry finally looks at me again. He clears his throat and his eyes rake my body.
"Those uhm.. pants are really sexy." he compliments and I flush.
"Much better than your fuzzy cloud pants." he teases and I laugh while taking a seat on the floor. I feel oddly comfortable in this impersonal room. Maybe its the books, or Harry, I am not sure. Harry
"Did you mean it in the car when you said you barely know me?" He asks quietly. His question is very unexpected.
"Sort of. You aren't the easiest person to get to know." I admit.
"I feel like I know you." he says, his eyes locked into mine.
"Yea because I let you, I tell you things about myself."
"I tell you things too. It may not seem that way, but you know me better than anyone else does." he looks down at the floor then back into my eyes. He looks sad and vulnerable, such a difference from usual but equally as captivating.
I am not sure what to say to his confession, I feel like I do know Harry on a very personal level, like somehow we connect much deeper than just knowing minuscule information about each other but I would like to know more about him.
"You know me better than anyone too." I tell him. He knows me, the real Tessa. Not the Tessa that I have to pretend to be around my mother, or even Noah. I have told Harry things about my father leaving, my mother's criticism, and my fears that I ever never told anyone else. Harry seems very pleased with this information, a smile covers his beautiful face as he stands from the chair and moves to the floor. He sits next to me and takes my hands into his.
"What do you want to know Tessa?" He asks and my eyes almost pop out of my head. Harry is finally willing to tell me more about himself. I am this much closer to figuring out this complicated, angry, yet sometimes lovely man.
Harry and I both lay back on the bed, eyes on the ceiling as I ask him at least a hundred questions. He talks about the place he grew up, Hampstead and how nice it was living there. He talks about the scar on his knee from the first time he learned to ride a bike with no training wheels, and how his mother passed out from the blood. His father was at the bar that day, all day long so his mother was the one who taught him. He tells me about grade school and how he spent most of his time reading. He was never very social, and as he got older, his dad drank more and more and his parents fought more and more. He tells me about how he got kicked out of secondary school for fighting but his mother begged them to let him back. He began getting tattoos at sixteen, his friend would do them in his basement. His first tattoo was a star, and once he got one he wanted more and more. He tells me he doesn't have a specific reason why he hasn't tattooed his back, he just hasn't gotten around to it yet. He hates birds and loves classic cars. The best day of his life was when he learned to drive and the worst was when his parents divorced. His father stopped drinking when he was fourteen and has been trying to make up for all the terrible years but Harry isn't having it. My head is swimming with all of this new information and I feel like I finally understand him. There are still many more things I would love to know about him but he falls asleep while telling me about the playhouse made from cardboard boxes that him and his mother made when he was eight. As I watch him sleep he appears so much younger now that I know about his childhood. It was mostly happy until his father's alcoholism poisoned it, creating the angry Harry that he is today. I lean over and give Harry a kiss on his cheek before crawling to the bed to sleep, I don't want to wake him so I pull the comforter sideways to cover myself up. My dreams are clouded by a curly haired little boy falling off a bicycle.
"Stop!" I jolt awake at the pained sound of Harry's voice. His body is jerking on the floor. I hurry out of the bed to get down to him and shake his shoulders gently to try to wake him. I remember how difficult it was to wake him last time, so I lean down on him and wrap my small arms around his shoulders as he tries to thrash away from me. A whimper escapes his perfect lips and he wakes up.
"Tess." He breathes and wraps his arms around me. He is panting, out of breath, and sweating. I should have asked him about the nightmares, but I didn't want to be greedy, he told me much, much more than I had ever expected him to.
"I'm here, I'm here." I comfort him. I pull his arm, gesturing him to get up and come to bed. When his eyes meet mine, the confusion and fear slowly fades out of them.
"I thought you left." He whispers. We lay down and he pulls me as close to him as possible. I run my fingers through his damp and unruly hair, his eyes flutter closed.
I don't say anything, I just continue to rub his scalp to calm him.
"Don't ever leave me, Tess." he whispers and falls back into sleep. My heart nearly explodes at his plea, and I know that as long as he wants me here, I'm here.
YOU ARE READING
Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend. She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her...