Seven [The Pill]

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Day 3,638

Tiny beads of sweat litter the tops of Harry's shoulders and chest, his tattoos intensified by the condensation sitting atop his skin. He studies his shirtless reflection in the locker room bathroom mirror, his curls having grown so long that they are burgeoning in loops around the lobes of his ears, damp tendrils clinging to the hinge in his jaw and cheekbones. He's made a habit in past years of keeping it pretty short but he hasn't mustered the strength to make it to a barber shop as of late, instead deciding to just let it grow until he absolutely can't stand the sight of it anymore.

A trickle of perspiration slips down his pec and disappears into a ripple on his stomach, his throat bobbing with a soft swallow when his mind claps twice and pauses. His eyes drop shut and he wills you near with a gentle prayer to the universe, promising himself and the stars that if you appeared again that he is ready follow wherever you may lead him.

His head whips to the side when he hears the front door to the gym slam shut, the clock on the wall illuminating the time and exhibiting a fairly early hour. It's just after one in the morning and quite unusual for Harry to have any company while boxing, especially on a weekday. He shrugs it off and soaks in a perfectly timed shower, pulling his clean clothes onto his still-dewy skin in a rush and grimacing at the sensation of his jeans sticking to his legs. His mind flip flops between his options of what to do next, deciding between painting and firing his pieces from last week in the kiln or returning his book that he blasted through to the twenty-four hour rare book library.

The library. The last time he ran into you. The amount of times he spiraled that interaction between every nook and cranny of his brain may be considered unhealthy, but he can't help obsessing over all of the sentiments he wished that he had the backbone to say to your face. All of the sentiments that he's declared to you in his fantasies, each and every torpid compliment and expression of adoration. You were so much sweeter than he could ever imagine, as if you were the most enriched berry on an endlessly climbing vine, cultivated brilliantly with the sun on your face and rolling from the plant directly into his palm to dissolve on his tongue.

His mind spins with the memory of you coolly kicking your leg over the seat of your scooter, your hair whisked from your face as you hugged your helmet into place and disappeared from his life once again, except this time when he pinched himself, he did not wake up. He stood cemented in place for close to a half hour, defibrillating his heart and melting the blood in his veins. He was so awfully happy he felt as though he could cry; the first tears that he would allow to fall in years but it wasn't the time or place.

He had slept for two evenings in a row following your pleasant encounter, black-and-white dreams flickering like old movie reels in his mind that recalled distasteful memories but he supposes they were better than colored nightmares. He begged the cosmos for another gift from you while he slept but his silent imploring came up short, instead he has spent waking hours asking for you to return so that he could prove that he's prepared for your guidance.

His breath leaves his mouth in visible private clouds the moment that he steps outside, the weighted gym door banging shut behind him as he approaches the newsstand on the corner for a cup of coffee. His reddened fingers shake when he drops change into the cashier's palm, his hands achey and swollen from hitting the heavy bag with just simple wrapping today. He glances down at his knuckles for signs of bruising or bleeding, feeling neutral about the sight of relatively healthy skin.

Harry decides to keep his headphones tucked into his bag today as he boards the train towards his pottery studio, his chin resting in his palm as he keeps his gaze glued to the range outside and the view of the busiest area of the city approaching. He's attempted to hide in his own world inside of his headphones but something within him is drawing hesitance, his eyes locked on the toes of his shoes as he disembarks the train at his stop. He wishes that he had worn his shearling coat atop his gray hoodie, the temperature having dropped to an almost unbearable cold with the imminent onset of winter and forcing his bare hands into the pocket at his stomach for warmth.

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