Chapter 13 - Carnival

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“What do you think?” he lifted up the mirror and I smiled brightly. It was such a beautiful snowflake, with all this incredible detail. I was amazed, he did a painting, a real one that to me could be hung up proudly on a wall, right on my cheek. 

“T-Thank you, I love it.”

“Good, everyone should have their face painted once.”

We cleaned up the paints; I helped him pack it all up. I lifted up a big box from the floor, onto the table.

He shook his hand out, it was clear it had been all cramped up. “Thanks for keeping the kids distracted while they waited.”

“N-No problem,”

“I’ll start bringing this all out to my truck. You can take off Finley.”

“I-I can help.” I lifted up a box, feeling bad for making him do it all himself. He seemed surprised and nodded; we started with all the stuff through the gym and school.

“D-Did you go to this school?” he nodded. “It looks cute,”

He shrugged. “It’s a primary school, all about that kind of stuff, the kiddie stuff.’

“Then you grow up,” I breathed out.

“Shit gets harder.” I nodded in agreement and he stepped a bit in front of me as we walked to the door. He turned and faced me, his back pushing against the door to open it. I dropped my stare, nervous to look at him if I’m truthful.

“Hey look at that,” he spoke as we stepped out. I dropped the box.

“S-Snow,” I lit up, and stepped outside, seeing the big white puffy flakes.

“First snowfall, it won’t stick Finley.”

“Don’t s-say that.” I reached up and touched the flakes. My lip just trembled.

“Are you okay?” he stared at me. I rubbed my eyes. “Finley?”

“I-I just miss home.” I frowned. “I miss snow really bad.”

“Oh,” he nodded. “I understand that.”

“My mom says we’re n-never going back.” I shut my eyes and felt the flakes bounce off my face gently.

“That has to be hard to hear.”

“I-It is because this isn’t h-home.” He didn’t reply, he stood next to me in the quiet. I shook my head, and wiped my eyes, so embarrassed to cry in front of him. I walked back and picked up the box and followed alongside him in silence to his truck. He threw each box into the back  and then looked at me.

‘Um, you all right?” I nodded. “I’m not good at that stuff,” he laughed nervously.

“W-What, dealing with crying?” he nodded and I shrugged, flicking another tear away. ‘It’s o-okay.” I trembled again. 'I get sad about it."

"Do... do you want to talk? I never ask about where you come from but do you want to?"

"No, no, you're tired from all the p-painting, I-I'll leave you alone."

"Finley... it's fine," he moved and pulled down the back of the truck, it made a loud thudding sound. He sat on it, and waved me over. I moved and hopped up, lacing my hands together. "Uh, I guess you can vent?"

He really wasn't good at this, he clearly looked uncomfortable by my tears but it was such a sweet gesture. I just broke down.

"It's hard to be here, t-that's all. It's so hard to be around all these p-people, with all these t-ties to each other. I feel like my w-world got ripped away from me so abruptly. I l-love my parents and am so proud of them but God, I feel like they didn't even t-think of me. I-I feel like they didn't r-remotely take me, me personally into c-consideration. They just thought it would be better for me, they only went on the surface l-level and not who I really am. I need snow, and s-solitude, I'm not good with people. It's s-so h-hard to b-be away from all I k-knew."

Between the horrible stutters and tears were gasps and hiccups. I was overwhelmed so suddenly and I couldn't help it. Harry sat, and he listened, and he did not make me feel judged or embarrassed of my stutter. He just awkwardly gave my back a weird pat, really high up, between my shoulder blades.

"I can kind of grasp what it's like to have parents not take your life into consideration when they make life altering choices."

"Y-You can?" I stared up and rubbed my eyes. He had a very sad expression, his mouth held tight. He  only nodded. "How did you get over it?"

"I'm not over it." he had a faint smirk and looked out at the snow. "But you stop thinking about it and try to make your life work for you."

"I-I hope I can d-do that. I'm not mad, no, just so sad."

"It's understandable, it is, you went from one world and got dumped into another that is totally different."

"S-So different,"

"You're handling it better than most."

I sniffled and balled my hands up, rubbing my eyes like I was a child. "T-Thanks," I reached out and caught some flakes, feeling them melt into my palm. "I miss my home." I drew a shaky breath. "It really doesn't stick?"

"It never does. Just, enjoy it while it lasts?” he gestured to the snow.

“Good i-idea.” I inhaled sharply. "First holiday without the right kind of s-snow fall. A-Are you doing anything o-over break?" he shook his head. "T-Too bad."

"Are you?"

"I think I'm just staying with my mom and dad. T-That's what I-I think I n-need."

"I bet, just... you'll be okay Finley." 

'Thanks, I-I hope so." I climbed off the truck bed. "S-Sorry for crying."

'It's fine,' he slid down and was incredibly close to me, enough to make me swallow very hard. I think he noticed, because he quickly turned and slammed the back of the truck up. "I didn't mind."

"I a-appreciate it." I started away, taking a breath after giving him a nervous smile. 

“Have a good break Finley.”

“Have a good one H-Harry,’

I walked away from him and started down to my own car, hearing his truck roar a few moments later. I drove home and sat on my porch steps, watching the snow. I drew a deep breath and glided my fingers over my painted and cheek and smiled a bit.

I didn’t know if after break Harry and I would still talk, I didn’t know if he’d make some New Year resolution to leave the girl from snow alone. I hoped he wouldn’t

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