Chapter Twenty-One

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Meredith counted the days down in her head. Thirty days until she saw Harry next. As for now, she was just a regular girl, doing regular things. Of course that was a lie. She was yet overly followed by people on Instagram and Twitter, but Meredith tried to make herself more usual.

The paparazzi didn't return to northern Wisconsin, which was good and bad. It was good because at least she wasn't followed. But it was bad because she was still being watched. Professional paparazzi had been replaced by amateur paparazzi, which was just about anyone she came into contact with, especially her residents, who would post pictures of just about anything Meredith did. On the better side, the lock on her door had been changed and there had been no more death threats. Meredith told herself it had been a paparazzo just paying off a resident to slip those under her door, but with the paparazzo and cash gone, the resident had stopped.

Perhaps Harry's letter worked or perhaps it was the cold weather, it didn't matter because the paparazzi was gone. Meredith was happy.

At five in the morning, Meredith drove to work. She had only been able to sleep for a few hours before the long shift in front of her. While at college, she job was to be a Resident Assistant. While home, she had another job, and it was putting her fingers to good use.

Thanksgiving was yesterday, and Meredith had the chance to see all her extended family. Usually it was a wonderful thing, but this time, everyone looked at her like she an alien. No one really spoke to her. Her mother seemed most proud of her daughter, which Meredith was not used to. Any chance Meredith's mother had, she took it to explain that Meredith had finally leashed the crazy prince.

From across the Thanksgiving table, her father signed to her, trying to keep her hopes up. Her father usually had the ability, but Meredith didn't want it now. She averted her eyes away, and soon her father stopped.

If Harry and her didn't work out, Meredith needed a back up plan and she needed money. She could write and she could play the piano. Money was necessary, and she would make enough of it today. It was perhaps incredibly stupid with how many shoppers there always were on Black Friday, but she had no choice. She would be paid from the store and she would get tipped by anyone that liked her playing. She was supposed to keep the music going all day and make it calm in the storm.

From past years doing this, she knew it wasn't going to work.

Sitting in the parking lot in the pitch black night, Meredith sighed and waited. She had another ten minutes before she had to go in, before she would have to work for a full day, and she wasn't really sure if she wanted to do that.

Harry texted her, Good morning. You'll do great today.

Meredith texted back, But I don't want to.

It was like from the other side of the world, she heard him chuckle. You could always not do today, he responded.

Some of us don't have a choice. Meredith got out of her car and slammed the door. It snowed again at night but after living in Minnesota-- or Minnesnowda-- all her life, it was easy. This kind of snow was the easiest to drive on.

The actual workers at the large department store, they were staffed heavily, ready to welcome all costumers with a smile, or at least clean up after the costumers without swearing loudly. Black Friday wasn't a good thing for anyone, but there was little choice on the day after Thanksgiving.

Meredith sat down at the piano of the massive department store of three levels. From all three levels, with the acoustics in the store, you would be able to hear her play. Dressed in all black, she tried to keep herself professional. Her hair was pulled back and she had many sheets of paper stacked in front of her. Little breaks would happen throughout the day, but for most of it, Meredith stared at notes and played them well.

Five minutes before six in the morning, Meredith started to play. Music filled the glossy department store that Meredith couldn't afford to shop at. Most shoppers of the mall just walked through the store because they had the best parking. The clothes Meredith wore were from the department store and cost Meredith all of her first check and more.

Exactly at six in the morning, people started to stream in through the doors of the department store. Meredith kept the music for the shoppers at a calm pace. The shoppers managed to ignore it. While some shoppers ran into the open mall, going to their favorite store, others stopped in the store to see deals that made even Meredith confused. All the fancy clothes and fancy things were incredibly marked down, making it look like the clothes could be from Primark.

Meredith continued to play until people had measured out considerably. At least the fighting hadn't started, expect for a few women that pushed each other for a certain dress. If they waited a few minutes, a worker could get more dresses, but neither of them cared. Meredith continued to play.

Already she was agitated but eventually people stopped and noticed Meredith. It wasn't for her remarkable piano skills, but someone had finally taken a look at the player of the piano. People pulled out their phones and quickly snapped a photo of her. Meredith had to believe that half of the people didn't actually know who she was, but other people were doing it, so Meredith had to be famous, right? Meredith kept playing away.

When Meredith came to the next song in her long book, she internally groaned and started to play. Whether or not, for both Britons and Americans, this song was known. It was the same tune but with different lyrics. Meredith started to play on the piano My Country Tis of Thee that was the same as God Save the Queen. Within the few opening notes, cameras were already pulled out.

For the rest of the day, Meredith played the piano. Her fingers cracked. Her body began to groan. Yet she played. When she ran out of songs in the book, she went back to the beginning and started again, just waiting for the day to end so she could speak to Harry again.


Things will start to get faster now, now that I made my point. Harry and Meredith will be back together very soon, give it two chapters. We'll speed up. You guys get the good stuff. I can write happiness again. I just really wanted to use the letter.

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