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Pen Your Pride

I looked down at the bouquet of lilies that Pablo had handed over to me - white star shaped flowers with pink streaks running from the stamens like spilled ink. I felt my cheeks heat up and I hoped it didn't show. I looked at them as if I'd never seen flowers before, and it seemed to bother Darren. He didn't leave yet. Instead he watched me with his eyebrows slightly furrowed, arms folded over his chest. Once I realised how suspicious all of this must seem to him, I collected myself.

"So nice to have a friend like that. Bring her to the cafe, I'll make a special birthday treat for you. Chocolate fondue? Yes, yes?" The chef offered cheerfully.

"I'm sure Sarah would love that. You really should bring her over while she's in town, Thalia." Darren added, rather sarcastically.

"Maybe I will." I replied confidently. Darren was obviously picking up some things but I still couldn't falter.

He blew out a small sigh. "Just make sure Sarah isn't using you. Don't be too nice to people. They might see it as an opportunity to take advantage of you."

"I'm eighteen years old. I think I know what I'm doing." I sounded more defensive than I intended.

"I'm just saying." He lifted his shoulders a little. "You've changed since-" He paused abruptly.


"I think you should work on yourself before you point the finger at someone else." I retorted.

"As someone you've known for practically your whole life, I think I have the right to give you some genuine advice when I'm seeing all sorts of wrong right infront of me."


"What is that supposed to mean? There is nothing wrong. I'm perfectly fine, everyone else is fine and I don't need your advice." He was being so hypocritical and it was really getting on my nerves.

"Alright kids, break it up!" Pablo interfered, finally coming in between us as he waved his hands in the air. "Let the girl have other friends! Not nice to be too possessive. Sarah seems like a nice girl." He said to Darren.


"Fine, whatever." Darren muttered as he strode to the kitchen door. "But don't think I won't intervene when I get the chance." He warned before stomping out, the doors left swinging violently from the impact of his push. Who was he to say these things to me? I wasn't a child and I knew what I was doing. What Harry and I had was none of his business, it had nothing to do with him and he should leave us be if he knew what was good for him.


The way I had reacted to all of this was a complete give away of my relationship with Harry. If anything, I'd confirmed it. My heart thudded fiercely at the realisation. I hadn't been this furious in a while, it was strange. I usually wasn't like this. Maybe Darren was right about one thing - I had changed.


Brushing off the stressful thoughts, I read a little note in the small card that was attached to the bouquet. Harry had written as Sarah, rather humorously if I might add, and he had told me to meet him at the far end of Wilderose street at midnight. I appreciated his effort to get in touch with me, and my nerves were alight with excitement.

I forced Darren out of my mind and continued work just until it was time to meet up with Harry. I wouldn't stay with Harry for the night, it'd be a stupid thing to do at a time like this. I'd just have a chat with him somewhere private. I'd tell him of things that happened today, like how it turned out to be my birthday, how my mother had acted rather strangely with me, and of course my little argument with Darren. He would make me feel better about it all.

I was wiping the filth off the front counter when all of a sudden, I felt the energy being drained from my body. I found myself tired, exhausted actually. Mentally, emotionally and physically. I pulled a stool and perched on it. A girl of my age shouldn't be this way, getting tired all the time, always feeling sick. But then a girl of my age shouldn't go through what I was going through.


"Go home." The manager said as she lazily fumbled with the buttons on the cash register. This was the first time Gretchen was being sort of nice, but I couldn't go home. I was going to meet Harry and it would be difficult to find an excuse to leave again if I went home.

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