My heels click against the hardwood as I concentrate on making it to the back door of the restaurant. If we were closer to home I would leave right now, pack my bags for Seattle, and stay in a hotel until I found an apartment. I am so sick of Harry doing this time of shit to me, it's painful and embarrassing and it's breaking me down. He's breaking me down, and he knows it. That's exactly why he's doing it.
I finally reach the door and push it open, hoping not to set off an alarm. I should have made sure it wasn't an emergency exit first but I can't think straight. The chilly night air envelops me the moment I step outside. It's calming, blanketing me in something other than stale air and awkward tension.
I rest my elbows on the ledge and look out into the woods. It's dark, nearly pitch black out there. The restaurant is nuzzled right in the middle of a wooded area to create more a secluded atmosphere. It works but it's not ideal for me right now when I already feel trapped.
"Are you alright?" A voice sounds from behind me. When I turn around the server, Robert is standing in the doorway, a stack of plates in one hand.
"Uhm, yeah, I just needed to breath." I answer honestly.
"Oh, it's a little cold out here," he smiles. His smile is polite and actually very endearing.
"Yeah, a little." I respond. Compared to the suffocating air inside the restaurant it feels great out on the deck.
Both of us stand in silence, it's slightly awkward but I don't mind. Nothing is as awkward as sitting at that table.
A few seconds later he speaks up, "I haven't seen you around here before," he gently places the plates on an empty table beside the door and walks closer to me. He leans his elbows on the ledge only a few feet away.
"I'm visiting, I've never been here before."
"You should visit in the summer, February is the worst time to come, well except November and December, maybe even January," his cheeks flush as he stammers, "You get what I mean," he laughs. I can tell he's embarrassed.
"I bet it's beautiful in the summer," I try not to giggle at him and his red cheeks.
"Yeah, you are," his eyes widen, "I mean it is." he corrects himself, "I swear I'm not usually this awkward,," he runs his hand over his face and I bring my lips together in an attempt not to laugh at him but I can't help it. A small giggle escapes and he looks even more horrified than before.
"Do you live here?" I ask, trying to end his embarrassment by changing the subject. His company is refreshing, it's nice to be around someone who's not so intimidating. Harry owns every room he's in, his presence is overwhelming half the time.
"Yeah, born and raised, where are you from?"
"I go to WSU, I'll be starting at the Seattle campus next week," I feel like I have been waiting so long to say those words.
"Wow, Seattle. Impressive," he smiles and I laugh again.
"Wine makes me laugh a lot," I blurt and he chuckles, looking over at me.
"Well I'm glad it's not me that you're laughing at," his eyes roam my face and I look away, "you should get inside before your boyfriend comes looking for you," he says.
I turn around to look through the glass windows, Harry's head is turned toward Lillian. "Trust me, no one is coming to look for me," I sigh, my bottom lips quivers as my heart betrays me, sinking lower and lower.
"He looks pretty lost without you," Robert chimes in. I watch his eyes as they find Liam, looking around the room.
"Oh! That's not my boyfriend, the one across the table is, the one with the tattoos," I watch as Robert looks at Harry and Lillian, confused sweeps over his soft features. Swirls of black ink peek out from the top of Harry's collared dress shirt. I love the way white looks on him, I love and being able to see the hint of ink under the transparent fabric.