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I watch as Harry struggles to open our suitcase's lock. I suppress my giggles, biting my lip.
"Need help?" I ask for the fifth time.
"Fuck this shit!" Harry exclaims, exasperated. "No, I'll figure it out."
"I think I'll go and tell your mum that we can't go for dinner because you are not capable enough to open our suitcase."
"Keep. Sitting." Harry turns around to make sure I'm obliging. I raise an eyebrow.
"Don't order me around," I say indignantly. Letting out an exasperated sigh, Harry gets up, picks up the suitcase and places it on the bed beside me.
"I give up!" Harry sits down on the floor in front of me. Smiling, I align the numbers and the lock opens with a click. Harry glares at me, then at the lock.
"Don't feel bad, Haz. The world loves me - even items as small as locks." I say, shrugging my shoulders.
"I hate you and I hate this stupid lock." Harry takes out the lock from the zips and throws it on the bed, behind me. A knock on the door interrupts us. "Come in!" Harry yells. The door is opened by Gemma, her eyes covered by her hand.
"Is everyone decent?" Gemma asks.
"Yeah, Gem." Harry says, rolling his eyes. She removes her hand from her eyes and smiles at me.
"Mum sent me to give something to Mus." Gemma explains, bringing her other hand forward. She's holding a silver colored, ring-sized box, with a white ribbon adorning the cover.
"What is it?" Harry asks eagerly. Gemma scowls, and flips him off.
"The present is for Mus, not you." Gemma says, striding over to me and sitting down between the suitcase and I. She hands me the box. "Go ahead, open it."
"Okay," I murmur. I untie the ribbon first and then loosen the lid off the box. I can feel Harry and Gemma's eyes boring into me. Inside, on a blue velvet cushion, lies a delicate ring. It's in the shape of an infinity symbol, and the infinity symbol is made of blue stones.
"Wow, it's beautiful." I gasp, taking the ring out of the box and admiring its beauty.
"Wait! I want to make you wear it," Harry says. Hastily, he takes the ring from my fingers and gently pulls my left hand. He slips the ring onto my ring finger. My heart sinks and I can feel my stomach perform a hundred somersaults. "It means nothing," Harry whispers, reading my mind. I nod my head, even though I feel nauseous.
"Like it?" Gemma asks, completely ignoring Harry and my exchange. I nod my head enthusiastically.
"It's lovely! Can I go and thank your mum right now?" I ask.
"No, get ready first and then you can thank her in the car and while we're dining." Harry says firmly. I roll my eyes. When'll he learn that Mr. Control Freak doesn't work with me. I kick my legs off the bed and stand up.
"Well, I'm going now." I march toward the door and I can feel Harry's scowl.
"I'm coming with!" Gemma yells, joining me at the door. She wraps her arm around mine, as if we're best friends. "You know, when we first met you today, in Mum's room, I didn't think you were much of a talker. But now I know that's not true." She winks at me.
"I'm a talker, a big one." I say, laughing.
"Then we'll get along just fine," Gemma says with conviction. Without knocking, she opens her Mum's door. Anne is sitting on the bed, trying on a pair of earrings. Her eyes light up when she sees the two of us.
"Mum, she loved the ring!" Gemma announces.
"Yeah, it's beautiful and so delicate. Thank you," I say earnestly. Anne's eyes travel to my hand and a smile makes its way onto her lips.
"I'm so glad you liked it. Nice choice of finger," Anne comments.
"Harry made her wear it," Gemma says. Anne's grin becomes wider.
"Well, that's lovely!" Anne clasps her hands together. "Why don't you two get to know each other better, while I go and visit my son?" Anne gets up and makes her way toward me. She kisses me on the cheek, before exiting. Gemma walks toward the bed, and I notice that she always carries herself with a skip in her steps. I love her energy. She pats the bed, motioning for me to sit.
"So, how'd you charm my brother?" Gemma asks, wiggling her eyebrows. "Honestly, I don't even understand the appeal." I smile, shaking my head.
"And I totally understand where you're coming from. Siblings never understand their brothers, or sisters appeal. But I didn't really charm him; he charmed me." I say, my mind travelling to the concert. Oh, how that night has changed my life!
"You two are so cute!" Gemma squeals, clapping like an excited teenager. "I can already see the future; Mr. and Mrs. Styles' fourth kid. Fiftieth marriage anniversary," Gemma stares toward the ceiling. The smile that I was wearing on my face gets wiped off. Of course, she'll know Harry's future dreams and plans. Heck, I know them too, but it's easier to ignore them when they're all in my head. It's harder to ignore when someone voices them out. The ironic part, I don't have all those plans in my future. Heck, I don't want marriage, kids or anything like that. Harry, on the other hand, wants to settle down. That's why he has even proposed. But of course, I said no. The bottom line is, I'm not good enough for Harry. He deserves someone who will live up to his expectations and fulfill his dreams. The door opens and in walks Harry, with his arm wrapped around his mum's shoulders.
"Shall we go, girls?" Harry asks, looking at us both.
"I haven't changed," I say.
"Oh please, you look amazing!" Anne says, waving her hand in the air, as if to dismiss my thought.
"Yeah, Bump, you look amazing." Harry agrees, winking at me.
"Let's go," I mumble. Gemma and I get up, joining Harry and Anne, as they exit the room.
"So you've traveled around Asia a lot?" Anne says, after I tell her a little about my former years.
"Yeah, a lot," I murmur. "My next dream is to travel around Europe for a whole summer."
"Well, Harry can definitely help you out with that. After all, he only knows how travel around the world." Anne places her hand on Harry's leg lovingly.
"Mum, I can do a lot of other things, too!" Harry exclaims, pouting. Gemma begins to laugh really hard, and I shake my head, suppressing my smile. In this half hour, I've definitely learnt one thing; Gemma has a dirty mind, just like her brother. I don't mind this at all, as I myself, am...corrupted.
"I'm going to hit the ladies room." I say, getting up. "Excuse me." Harry waves at me as I make my way toward the back of the restaurant. My phone rings in my hand, and I look down at the screen to find Mamma's number flashing across the screen. Sighing, I put my phone on silent and ignore her call. She probably assumes that I'm on campus, spending my winter break catching up on next term's syllabus. If I tell her that I'm with my boyfriend and his family in Europe, she'll freak. Therefore, I choose to save myself from an argument with my mother, and ignore her call. Once I'm done with my business, I exit the stall and head on over to the sinks. I freeze in my tracks, as my eyes land on the woman who's standing near the exit of the bathroom. Soap still in my hands, I just gape at her. Fuck! She's smoking a cigarette, leaning against the bathroom door. Her head is bowed down toward her phone, and she's reading something that's clearly disturbing her, as her eyebrows knit together. Hastily, I wash my hands and make my way over to the woman - who's blocking the exit.
"Excuse me," I mutter and she moves.
"Sorry - Mus?" Recognition fills her tone, and I groan internally. I lift my head up to meet the confused gaze of my one and only mother.
"Hi, ma." I say awkwardly, internally kicking myself for not finding another exit.
"Good to see you too." Mamma says, extinguishing the cigarette on the dustbin. "What're you doing here, in Europe? Away from college and studies?"
"I'm here with my boyfriend." I murmur, not meeting her gaze. She leans in, raising an eyebrow.
"Excuse me?" Mamma says and I can already hear the gears clicking and turning in her brain. She's going to grill me. God, this'll be such an embarrassment in front of Harry and his family.
"I'm here with my boyfriend." I say more confidently than before. There's pin drop silence for a second and then my mother's sarcastic laugh fills the empty bathroom walls.
"And which boyfriend is so kind as to fly you all the way out here and then afford the expenses of the trip?" She folds her arms across her chest.
"Harry," I whisper. I feel like a goddamn child, who's being reprimanded by her mother. This is so stupid. All I want is for the ground to open wide and swallow me whole. There's a tiny knock at the door, and it opens slightly, revealing Harry's head. His eyes land on me, and then they travel over to my mother, landing back on me.
"Is everything okay, Bump? You took long, so I decided to come and check," Harry says.
"Ah, so this is your beloved boyfriend." Mamma says, staring at Harry. She furrows her eyebrows, frowning. "Aren't you...Isn't he from that boy band that you-"
"Yes, he's Harry Styles." I say, as Harry steps into the bathroom.
"What the fuck is going on?!" Mamma yells, making me flinch.
"Why're you yelling?" Harry questions, taking hold of my hand. "We can very well have a calm conversation."
"Oh, don't even say the word, 'calm.' I'm done with being calm and tolerating your shit!" Mamma's eyes land on me and she jabs a finger in my chest. "Your excuse for every fucking thing is, 'I'm young and let me live!' For fuck's sake, you're not even twenty!" Harry tugs me behind him and he steps between my mom and me.
"I think we can all have a civilized conversation." Harry says, his voice deadly calm, but that's what scares me even more.
"No, I've had it! I've had it with you, Mus," Mamma says. "From now on, just pay for your own fucking college and the house and every other fucking thing that I've sweated to pay for."
"She doesn't need your charity," Harry lets out a dry laugh. "Bumper can do perfectly fine without you."
"Harry, shut up!" I hiss, wanting him to keep quiet before he makes the situation worse.
"No, she has no right to yell at you in a public place in this manner." Harry says, turning around to face me. He wraps his hands around my face, and rubs my cheeks with his thumb. "Are you okay?" His tone is softer and I can see the affection return to his eyes. I nod my head.
"I'm fine," I assure him. This isn't the first time I've had to endure a blowout like this.
"The couple of the fucking year." Mamma says, making Harry turn around. "Once you're done fucking her, make sure she doesn't come to me for help." With that, Mamma yanks open the bathroom door and exits, her heels clicking on the wooden floor. Silence.

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