25 - Pizza and sleepovers

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"Even when the night changes it will never change me and you."

Harry's Dallas show was - of course - effortlessly superb. From my seat he was mainly just an energetic blur of pink but even then, the feeling of pride flowing through my body was overwhelming. And when Sweet Creature began I caught myself welling up - surprise, surprise.

"One down!" Harry had said when we'd reconvened backstage after the show, before following it up with - "nineteen to go."

I'd almost scolded him for the countdown, not wanting to wish away our time together - not wanting to know how much of it remained when it'd barely even begun. Instead I'd smiled and watched him waltz past me and into his dressing room - desperately wondering if he was as reluctant for these next thirty-eight days to be over as I was.    

"Still awake then?" A voice to my left asks and I turn my head to find Adam, dangling an enormous slice of Hawaiian pizza in front of his mouth. "Jet lag hasn't kicked your butt yet?"

We'd all bundled into various cars not long after Harry had changed, and journeyed back to our hotel for the night. Mine and Harry's room was more of a suite - with two huge bedrooms, a lounge area and its own fully furnished kitchen. I'd almost laughed when we'd stepped inside - realising it was larger than my apartment in Melbourne - and he'd looked at me as if I'd had a momentary lapse of sanity. Pizza had been ordered and the rest of the band and crew members had filtered in; resulting in a chorus of rumbling stomachs and a fog of the mouthwatering smell of gooey, melted mozzarella.

"Not yet." I tell him, and watch with amusement as he catches a rogue chunk of pineapple with his tongue. I still feel a little out of my comfort zone with the band. Sure, I've met them a handful of times and they're all perfectly nice people - but our meetings have always been amidst some sort of drama. First there was the infamous teaspoon throwing at the Gelato Store, then the awkwardness of the departure lounge at Essendon Airport followed up by a dramatic and emotional flight to Sydney. And then to top it off, they had the misfortune of having to play Sweet Creature to me for the first time while I sat and blubbed like a baby in my seat. I guess I just feel like a plus one to a party that's being hosted by a friend's other social circle.

Mitch and Sarah have a sofa to themselves. She's snuggled up against him with a tall, violet can of Arizona Grapeade in one hand and a battered paperback in the other. The front cover is folded backwards and bent around the spine - her lips parted and eyes wide as she reads. Meanwhile from beside her, Mitch flicks through the channels of the flat screen television before eventually settling on the highlights of an earlier NFL game. Clare is elsewhere in the room, just not in my line of vision. I saw her briefly scold Adam for eating all the pepperoni and then she was on the phone - talking rapidly in Japanese that was oddly quite intriguing to listen to.  

Out the corner of my right eye, I catch sight of Harry strolling into the room - he's tapping the screen of his iPhone; his hair still damp and curling against his neck from the post-show shower he took an hour ago. He looks up and grins when he spots me - whatever was on his phone apparently forgotten - and pads barefoot across the wood-effect laminate before throwing himself over the back of the sofa and into the seat beside me. It's the sort of manoeuvre that would result in a stern telling off from a parent.   

"G'day." He says in that slow, English drawl - except it sounds more like good-day.

"If that was an attempt at imitating the slang of my people, then I am offended." I tell him.   

One hand flies up to his chest in mock astonishment. "Hey!" He exclaims. "I'm just trying to make you feel included and comfortable and not homesick. Don't go criticising my poor grasp of speaking Aussie."

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