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Harry's POV
We return to the table, my arm wrapped around Mus' shoulders protectively. She sniffles and I know Bump's having a tough time keeping her tears in. She doesn't want to cry in front of Mum and Gemma, either. I completely understand what's going through her mind right now and all I want to do is take her home and comfort her.
"Guys, Bump and I will be walking home. I'm not feeling too hot right now, so we're leaving." I say, as we approach the table where Mum and Gemma are seated patiently. Mum's eyes travel over to Bumper and I know Mum's mind has figured out that something is wrong with Bump, and not me. Gemma, on the other hand, is less observant and just nods, her eyes glued to the phone in her hand.
"Goodnight, you both." Mum says, smiling sweetly. Her eyes send a message to me. Tell me everything, once you get home. I curtly nod my head, showing her that I've understood. Bumper mumbles out a goodnight and I grab her coat and purse. Arm still wrapped around her shoulders, she and I make our way outside. The minute we exit, a cold breeze slams us in the face and a shudder passes through Bump. This restaurant has a seating arrangement outside as well, and there, sitting towards the left, is Bumper's mother. I frown the minute my eyes land on her. She's sitting with four other people; her friends I assume.
"Let's go this way." I say to Bump, steering her toward the right. She doesn't need to see her hateful mother right now. I don't understand why she was so riled up. I mean, it's Bump's winter break, she can do whatever she pleases. Plus, Mus is an adult and therefore, she can make her own decisions. Without objection, Bumper allows me to take her in the direction that I want. I don't want to ask her whether or not she's okay because it's a stupid question. I know she's not okay. Her mother just threatened to pull out on her college funds and the rest of her life; Bump must be a wreck inside. I know her, and I can tell that her brain is in a state of turmoil.
"Talk to me. Please," I whisper. Sniffing, Bumper lifts her eyes off the ground and gazes into mine. Hers are glistening; tears ready to spill at any moment.
"She's always done this," Bump says. Her voice is raspy and she chokes toward the end of the sentence. "Whenever I don't do things her way, she gets pissed and yells. Ma has never hit me in her life, but she yells and gets upset, making me blame myself. Harry, she always said I had a choice and she wanted me to make my own decisions, but those were only words. In reality, my whole life has been in her control." Mus closes her eyes and breathes in deeply. "It's not fair, really."
"No, it definitely isn't." I agree. "You're an adult and it's your duty to choose your own path in life." Bump laughs - a dry laugh.
"Easier said than done." God, I don't even know what to say to her. My childhood has been completely opposite to what Bump's must've been. Mum always gave me the right to choose my own battles. She never intervened in anything in my life. I glance around the street that we're currently walking in. It's a street that I remember well as a huge part of my childhood. This street is famous for the number of candy and ice-cream stores it holds. Every shop is decorated beautifully and has a variety of sweets; something that I used to spend all my allowance on. Smiling to myself, I let go of Bump and make my way towards my favorite store in this street.
"I'm coming!" I yell to Bump, over my shoulder. The music of a Christmas carol fills the shop, as I enter. I don't know how the shopkeeper does it, but everyday a different melody plays whenever a customer enters the store. Hastily, I get what I need and make my way outside. However, Bump's not standing in front of the shop. Frowning, I glance around the street, trying to find her figure in the dark. Suddenly, my eyes land on a hunched over figure, sitting on the steps that lead down toward the water fountain. I jog over to my favorite woman in the world, and take a seat beside her on the step. Bump's face is buried in her arms, as she cries silently. I hold out my hand in front of her, and clear my throat. Bumper lifts her head and her eyes land on the ice-cream cone that I'm holding out for her.
"Pure chocolate, but with three different flavors and three different toppings." I say, as she looks at me, confused. "Go ahead, take it. Otherwise, mine will melt." Mus takes the cone from me, and takes a bite of it. I take a bite of my own ice-cream and moan in delight. "God, this is good."
"Harry, this is delicious." Bumper agrees, taking another bite. Chocolate lines her upper and bottom lips, making her look like a child, who's eating candy after a long time.
"I know," I mumble. "Once you're done, I need to give you something else too." Bump pouts, raising her eyebrows questioningly. "Not so soon. First finish up your ice-cream."
"You're an unfair jerk." Mus says, rolling her eyes.
"And I'm hurt," I frown. "My heart's broken in two." I make a heart with my hands and then divide them, portraying the situation inside my chest. Mus laughs, throwing her head back. I love the way she laughs; it's so mesmerizing. And then to think that I'm the reason for some of her smiles, makes my heart want to burst with joy. "Always keep smiling, Bump. Because being sadness doesn't suit you."
"Harry I'm scared," Bumper says. "What if she actually pulls out? There's an empty threat and there's a threat that someone acts on. My mother, is one of those people who acts on their words; she doesn't just throw around words for no reason." She moistens her lips and takes another bite of the ice-cream. "I'll be left with nothing, Harry. Nothing. I mean, medical college isn't a joke and I cannot afford the fees, no matter how hard I work." I place my hand over her right one, which is lying on the step between us.
"Bump, you're not alone." I say, trying to show her how earnestly I'm saying these words, by looking her straight in the eye. "I'm here for you. We're in a relationship and that means that I need to help you out with your hardships and troubles. And I will."
"Harry I don't want your money, or financial support of any kind." Bump shakes her head. "I don't want any favors."
"But they're not favors. I'm simply helping out of my girlfriend, the way that you would if I would ever need your help." Bump smiles and nods her head.
"Of course I would. Anytime, Harry."
"Exactly! Just like that, I'm going to help you out. End of story," I say firmly.
"It's not that simple, Haz."
"It is, but you're complicating shit." We finish our cones in silence, and then I grab the brown paper from beside me, in which lies Mus' gift. I place it in her lap, and motion for her to open it. Mus eagerly opens the bag and takes out her gift. I smile as I watch Bump's lips form a huge grin.
"This is so cute!" Mus squeals, holding up the pink glove. I chuckle.
"The minute I saw it, I thought of you." I explain, looking at the pink glove in Mus' hand. She shakes it, so that the little pink Mickey Mice on each finger of the glove move as well.
"These are...God, this is adorable." Bump slips it onto her right hand, and wiggles her fingers. The glove is a baby pink color, with a Mickey Mouse's head made on each finger. "WinkyTinks!"
"What?" I ask, laughing. Bump nods her head enthusiastically.
"I'm going to call them WinkyTinks." Bumper says, her eyes shining like a child's.
"How the heck did you think of that?" I question, laughing alongside her, like a mental person. My girl is really unique. I mean, which sane person would think of the name 'WinkyTinks' - only Bumper.
"I don't know." She shrugs innocently. "They just look like WinkyTinks."
"I doubt it, but who can argue with Your Royal Highness?"
"No one."
"Therefore, I shall rest my case, and take you home." She nods her head, and gets up. Now to face the two investigators; Mum and Gemma.

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