This chapter is dedicated to Erica because she's so lovely and supportive. Thank you for all your kind words x
Christmas was a blast. We ate way too much, kissed too much, sung too many crappy Christmas songs and spent too much time cuddling on the sofa doing absolutely nothing, but I loved every single second of it. Christmas is supposed to be a happy time and I've never had that during the last few years. While everyone was at home with their families and friends giving gifts and playing board games I was out there by myself, feeling all miserable and lonely. Of course I still had my Mum back then but she didn't remember the significance of the holidays, so usually all we'd do for Christmas was bake together for a day and that was it. Our house was never decorated and even though I pretended not to care it did hurt a lot to walk down the streets and see all the warm inviting lights or smell the Christmas dinners that were being prepared. It hurt not to go to the packed mall a few days before Christmas Eve to get the last presents, even though I always used to hate that. But when it's suddenly all taken away from you you kind of realise how much you loved those simple, little and maybe annoying things.
But this year, Christmas was almost like it used to be before the accident. Of course it still hurt to look around the table and see none of my family, it hurt to know that I'll never ever spend Christmas with them again, but at the same time it was the best Christmas I ever had because of Blue. I could tell that she was hurting, too, but we both decided not to talk about it and instead enjoy our time together. And we did.
Her Mum's getting worse, the doctors are more and more concerned with her liver but despite her husband's pleading she refuses to stay in hospital for a proper treatment, and as a still consenting adult nobody can force her. Blue tries not to show how much her mother's disease pains her but I can see right through her, I see the signs of her pain because I know what to look for oh too well. The way I sometimes catch her staring into the flames of the fireplace for a while too long, the way she sometimes just picks at her food before pulling herself together and eating properly, her deep heavy sighs every now and then, they tell me everything I need to know, so I try my best to be there for her without actually addressing the topic because she doesn't want that. We've had a conversation about that a few days ago when I asked her if she wanted to go and see her Mum to see how she's doing, but Blue refused, saying that her Mum made her choose between her and me and she without any doubt chose me, so now her mother would have to live without her. I could tell that my sweet girl was still shocked by her Mums behaviour towards me but in all honestly, I wasn't. I know too well how you feel when you're drunk, how your brain is all cloudy and messed up and you suddenly do and say things you don't mean. But I didn't bring it up, and when Blue made me promise not to talk about her Mum again, I reluctantly agreed.
"Lost in thought?" A quiet voice comes from behind me and seconds later two arms sneak around my neck and a soft kiss is pressed to my cheek, instantly making me smile.
"Kind of." I agree, hugging Blues arms in return.
"What are you thinking about?" I unwrap her arms from my neck and pull her onto my lap, gently kissing her forehead before answering.
"You. And Christmas."
"Me? Why me?" She seems surprised by this, why? Doesn't she know that she's always on my mind? That she's always there, no matter where I am or what I do?
"I think about you all the time baby, you should know that." I'm rewarded with a shy yet happy grin and smile to myself, hugging her a bit closer.
"Christmas was a good one, wasn't it?"
"Very good indeed, I loved it."
"I love you." I can't help but grin, these three words coming from her still make my heart jump like the first time. I'll never get enough of her saying that she loves me, because it's still so surreal for me. After some long years of not getting any affection at all, after years of refraining from any closer contact with other people it feels so incredible to be loved.
"And I love you." My reply comes swiftly and no matter how many times I say it I still mean it with all my heart. Because she is all I have, she's my world and my sun and I know that if I lost her I'd go insane, literally.
We snuggle for a bit, simply enjoying being close to the other, until she sits up straight and watches me critically.
"I have an offer to make." she announces, a wary look in her eyes. Oh no, what is she on about? Hopefully it has nothing to do with Drew. If it does, I know that I'm going to lose it because there's no way that I'm letting her get anywhere near that fucker. I managed to avoid that topic over Christmas but I know that she won't give up that easily. So when she opens her mouth to speak I hold my breath and prepare for the worst.
"Charly just called me. They invited us to their New Years Eve party tomorrow." Oh. What? That's better than her wanting to talk about Drew but still weird as fuck.
"Yes, Harry, you and me. When are you going to get it through your thick skull that they like you? That they're your friends now, too?" Never, I guess. I'm not used to having friends. Even before the accident I didn't really have anyone, people just saw me as the super smart nerd that no one wanted to be close to so they avoided me like a contagious disease. Except, of course, for the times they'd bully me. And then after the accident I hung out with the 'cool kids' from school but I never really talked to them, I was always just around like a shadow without really participating, so you can't really call that a friendship either. Blues friends are quite nice I suppose, they seem genuine and I love how especially Eddie and Charly took care of her when I didn't. They all make quite the effort to make me feel included which I appreciate a lot, I really do, but it's still awkward as fuck and most of the time I don't know what to do. Eddie even called me up last week to see if I wanted to hang out with him and I nearly dropped my phone just then, panicking at the thought of being around someone else. Blue knows me in all my fucked up-ness so I don't have to pretend to be a respectable, whole member of society in front of her, but none of the others know. So I quickly came up with some lame excuse and hung up. Later that day I overheard a conversation between Eddie and Blue on the phone, she told him to give me some time and go easy on me which I found incredibly sweet but also kind of annoying at once. I'm not a lab animal for fucks sake.
"Harry? Are you up for it?" I quickly snap out of my thoughts, giving her an apologetic grin. Good question, am I? Do I want to spend New Years Eve with her friends that I'm still uncomfortable around? I'd much rather stay at home with just Blue but I know that I can't do that to her, I can't keep her inside like a caveman all the time. It's not fair.
"Okay, sure." I reluctantly agree, waiting for that happy smile to take over her face that I always get when I do something please her, the smile that actually is the only reason why I do nice things. But it doesn't come. Instead, she still looks wary and kind of nervous, what the hell?
"It's at Charly's and Abbie's house though, half of our school will be there." What the fuck? Of course I know about these NYE parties, Abbie throws them every year, and of course Charly and her friends were always around though I never actually paid attention to them. But I'm so over all these people now, over Abbie and her fucking friends, over the person I was when I was with them. I really have no wish to see them again, not to talk about going to their party.
"What the hell Blue? Why would you want to go there? You hate Abbie and her friends, and so do I. Can't we just stay in for NYE?"
"Don't 'what the hell' me Harry, I'm 18 and it's NYE, what's wrong with having some fun? You used to go to these parties all the time. And besides, we'll just be around Charly and Eddie, we can completely ignore the others. Please?"
Fuck, how can I say no when she's looking up at me with these incredibly blue eyes? They melt me, all resistance futile.
"Blue. I hate the person I used to be when I was around them, I really have no wish to see them again." Her face falls and I feel a pang of guilt in my chest, so before my mind can fully process what I'm doing I speak up again. "But if you really want to go I who am I to keep you locked up here?"
"Really?" The broad smile on her face immediately makes up for anything I'll have to go through tomorrow so I just nod and smile back, thrilled that I made her happy. But I swear to god I won't leave her side tomorrow and if anyone tries to get too close to her I'm going to crack their skull, no compromises.