forty-four

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I was sitting at the table in Harry's kitchen, trying to study for an upcoming exam when I was suddenly interrupted by Harry himself.

"What's wrong?" He asked, entering the room and sitting at the table next to me.

I looked up at him. "Nothing" I replied, not really understanding what he was getting at.

"You've been staring at that page for the past twenty minutes" he stated, looking down at it, and I felt a little bit of embarrassment wash over me when I realised that he'd noticed I'd been lost in my thoughts.

I shook my head. "It's just... stupid, I don't know" I told him, not really knowing if I wanted to tell him.

"What is it?"

I shrugged. "It's my dad, I miss him. I feel like I'm going insane." I let out a little chuckle, that died out quickly when a sudden thought came to me. "What if something happens and I don't get to say goodbye?"

"Nothing will happen, Raine" Harry told me, a serious look in his eyes, the fact that he was using my name telling me that he truly meant it.

"I really want to see him again" I admitted, "but I also really don't want to leave you alone, because that isn't safe."

"I mean, you could ask Indigo to keep an eye on me if it makes you feel better" Harry offered, but I shook my head.

"It doesn't, really" I said honestly. "I'm about to say something really stupid" I added after some seconds, when a sudden thought crossed my mind.

"Shoot."

"Do you want to come with me?" I asked him quickly. "I mean, I'd get to see my dad, you'd be safe, we'd both get away for a couple of days, maybe we could also ask him for help with your tuition issue" I explained, not missing the slightly worried glance he gave me. "I promise, he doesn't judge. It'd be good to have a parent's opinion, and you don't want to tell your mom, so."

He took a deep breath, not seeming to be completely comfortable with that idea, but going with it anyway. "I guess it'd make sense. Are you sure, though?"

"If you'd be okay with it..." I specified, and he gave me a little nod.

"I think so?"

"Then it could work" I replied, immediately feeling as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. "I'll call my dad, then?"

"Alright."



•   •   •




The next Saturday we took the bus to go to my dad's house, taking a change of clothes with us and all the necessary things to spend a night out.

The ride wasn't that long, and it surely seemed even shorter with Harry by my side. My dad met us at the bus station, and while he seemed to be a bit cold with Harry at first, I didn't worry about it particularly, knowing that he was always like that and it took him a little while to warm up to the people I brought home.

Thankfully during dinner he loosened up a bit, and from that moment on the conversation flowed more naturally, making me feel a little more confident about the decision to take Harry to his house.

After dinner I stood up to wash the dishes and Harry did the same to help me, but my father sat him back down quickly, telling him that he would take care of it instead, so Harry ended up leaning against the dining table on my right.

I looked up from the dish I was washing, sending him a quick glance before speaking. "Dad? I was wondering... you went to uni, right?"

My dad gave me a confused look, frowning, as if he couldn't understand why I'd asked him that question right in that moment, but gave me a nod anyway. "I did."

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