XI. The Fine Line Era, Part Two

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December 2019

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December 2019

The clock on Franki's night stand glared back at her, reading a quarter past midnight in the most taunting shade of fluorescent white. Her bleary eyes felt as though they were pinned open as she watched the minute shift to the next. Then the next. And then the next. With a huff, she squeezed her dry eyes shut and flopped over to her opposite side as if turning her back to the time would somehow make the late hour go away.

Even though she was exhausted, sleep felt next to impossible as her mind was wide awake, racing through a dozen different things, one heavy thought after another. She inhaled a slow, deep breath and let it out, tucking her covers under her chin in hopes the weight of her blankets would mask the one resting on her shoulders. Once she resituated herself on her left side, she opened her eyes to focus on the only light coming from the corner of her room - a Christmas tree decorated with soft white lights.

Harry had insisted Franki had one for her room, saying 'everyone has more than one tree these days' and that 'this corner is absolutely begging for it' before hopping out of bed, throwing on his clothes and rushing to the store with merely fifteen minutes until it closed. He returned with an eight foot pre-lit artificial tree, a box of funky shaped ornaments and a pine scented candle - 'so you get the best of both worlds', he beamed with an overly excited boyish grin, 'the smell of a fresh tree without having to water it!'.

That was four days ago, the night before he left for Los Angeles. The night before he kissed Franki goodbye and flew off to celebrate the release of Fine Line. The night before they were forced to part ways in the midst of two massive moments in their respective careers.

With a heavy heart, Franki spent that entire day in bed wearing Harry's newest black, pink and blue Treat People With Kindness hoodie, eating rubbish and sulking like a proper teenager. In the midst of her pity party, she googled last minute flights to LA more times than she'd like to admit. But at the end of the day, Harry made her promise to stay put and to call him any time she needed him, day or night.

And that was all it took to have her sitting up in bed and reaching for her phone. Her muscle memory went to work, swiping blindly with her thumb until her facetime request with Harry was ringing. It only took seconds before 'connecting' scrolled across the screen.

When the video call connected, Harry appeared with a straight face, void of any emotion as his eyelids blinked slowly.

"Supposed to be sleeping," he spoke dryly, continuing his slow blink a few more times before dropping the act and letting his lips curve into a grin. The pearls around his neck shifted against the fabric of his grey t-shirt that displayed a bright yellow smiley face as he readjusted his weight in his seat, holding his phone out so he stayed centered in the camera's view.

Franki flopped back dramatically onto her pillow and shimmied further under her blanket. "You know I won't be able to sleep," she sighed, pushing her lower lip out in the slightest pout.

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