Fourteen [The News]

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The large space is eggshell in color and minimally arranged, the ceilings at least twelve feet high but the echo of footsteps is absorbed by two contrasting Persian rugs, a bookshelf filled with various titles and a scattering of acrylic paintings on canvas. Two pottery wheels sit a great distance from one another, a single deep metal sink below one of the windows, a decent sized kiln and tall industrial shelves stacked with drying pottery. You're drawn first to the floor-to-ceiling windows framed by worn wood that makes them resemble old barn doors, the picture projected through them a magnificent display of manmade jungle.

Your footsteps are muffled as you tip toe across the carpet to press your palms to the glass, stretches of tall skyscrapers are presented before you but it's not as if you're witnessing the city from afar. You're in the thick of it, completely surrounded by great sequoias made of steel but you're protected inside of this bunker and it's the most comforting sight that you've consumed in awhile.

Harry watches you with his hands shoved into his pockets, his hoodie removed and cast onto the back of a soft leather armchair. He loves that you were magnetized to the window above all else - one of his absolute favorite things about the isolation of this place is being here at daybreak and watching the city come alive. Being able to see people walking in the streets and flicking lights on inside of their apartments makes him feel a part of mankind even though he's merely a witness, the observation of other's routine keeps him connected to reality and he's grateful for the perch to inspect from.

He has the urge to walk up behind you and wrap his arms around your waist, to rest his chin on your shoulder and consume the landscape by your side, to spin you in his grasp and press you against the glass for another kiss. His eyes fall closed to wash away the hopeless mirage of intimacy that only exists in his imagination. He can't imagine himself ever getting to a point where he would be so forward and loving if he's incapable of even speaking more than three sentences to you or thinking of anything but his shortcomings.

"Where did you go?" Harry's drift open at your soft inquisition but he remains silent, the corners of his mouth downturned a bit in self pity. You look gorgeous in front of the glass, the sky outside a milky mixture of gray, lavender and powder blue, the cream and silver buildings softened by the natural lighting. You're dressed in all black but he likes it because it forces him to focus on your velvety facial features and your shiny hair, the color palette of the outdoors shadowing the room around you and causing you to appear like a ray of light at dusk. Exactly how he's become familiar with you over time; like finding a perfectly intact shell in a pile of shards at the beach or the reflection of the sun on the ceiling from a piece of glass. You've somehow always managed to be this impeccable hope buried in a sea of broken dreams.

"Hmm?" You step away from the window and walk towards him, halting when you're about two steps away to analyze his solemn facial features and closed-off body language. You have a strong desire to kiss him again because of how adorably broody and glum he appears, but it's hard for you to know if that would pull him out of his funk or irritate him further. You keep your voice low and soothing to pull him back to you. You don't know where exactly he's retreated to but you've never been one to give up easily, "I can see why you like it here. Quiet, therapeutic, mellow. You deserve a space like this. It seems like it lends itself to creativity... it's so uncluttered and vast. I can't imagine there are very many places like this in the city."

It's not clear whether or not he would prefer you to give yourself a tour and discover things on your own or if he would consider that invasive, so instead you reach a hand out to him and graze your fingertips against the inside of his wrist. He allows you to guide his hand from his pocket, your fingers weaving with his as you take one step closer and tilt your chin towards him, "is this okay, dreamy? Want me to get out of here or hang out with you a bit?"

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