Troubled Waters, Idle Minds

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Callie

The long, heavy sigh that came from my mother pierced through the dining room and my heart clenched. She and dad are barely home and when they are I always find a way to upset them. Like with my head injury and now humiliating them in front of the whole family. My mother’s voice resonates in my ringing ears as memories of her beautiful, stoic face materialized in my vision.

“Don’t lean your head back in the seat while it’s wet,” she’d told me as she combed my hair with a wide-toothed brush the hundredth time as we wait for the school bus to arrive. “Your clothes are going to get soaked. You’ll catch a cold.”

“Stop trying to soak it up with issue, Callie. It’s already ruined. Go ahead and finish your food before it gets cold.”

I dropped what I was doing and slumped back down on my chair. Harry pursed his lips, gathering the mess in one pile on the table before taking a seat beside me. The churning in my stomach was turning into a full blown borborygmus and I had to focus in keeping the food down. The last thing I need is to throw up on the dinner table.

“Sit up straight on your chair, sweetie,” my mother continued, “and where are your contacts? Have you even been using them or are they just going to expire like the other ones your other and I bought you?”

I kept quiet, my head bowed down. I feel shame creeping up on me, which must have shown on my face because daddy squeezed my thigh in an assuring manner before patting my knee.

Another scene, this one much clearer since it happened more recently than the former memory that invaded my mind. This one, I won’t be able to forget since it was the moment that I almost lost my life in the middle of the beautiful, lush, fairy tale forest that surrounds the house of my grandparents.

“Sit up straight, Callie. And push your glasses up. Why won’t you wear those contact lenses that we bought? If you still want to continue wearing glasses, you could just do so at home. When you’re out, be kind to yourself and wear the contacts.”

“But I look weird without my glasses on,” came my meek reply.

I was awkward, always have been, and shy. It’s hard enough for me to leave the house looking as I do and I don’t need the extra attention of people who they see that I don’t wear glasses anymore. I’m afraid I’d be like princess Mia, ridiculed for the changes she made on herself. She’s as much as the joke of the century after her make over, no matter how good she looked, as she was before it.

Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

I’m not confident like Harry, nor charismatic as Ane. I’m not like Abe who couldn’t care less about anyone would’ve said about him. I’m not like my mom who was a cheerleader in high school, a popular girl who was also the president the student body and the leader of the debate team. There’s no use in pretending or even trying to be someone that I’m not. I never felt comfortable out of my shell and the small circle of friends that I have I still need to get away from from time to time. Well, except Harry. But he lives with me and he’s family so it’s not like I really have a choice. Not that I’d ever want to be parted from him or anything.

“Are you gonna throw up?” mom asked in a high pitch, more annoyed than worried.

Actually, I was doing a fine job keeping it down with the distractions inside my head but now that she brought it up, in front of everybody, for that matter, I feel it coming right back up.

“Dear lord,” mom said in a slight panic. “Go to the bathroom, for Pete’s sake.”

“You okay?” Harry murmured, his hand going to my back, stroking me gently.

I could’t even nod my head as I slowly stood up and try to smooth the skirt of my dress. When I’d put it on, I thought I’d look cute. Harry said he loved it and told me that I should wear dresses more often, if I feel okay with that, because I really looked good in it.

Hardly making any effort, I’d put on this white Peter Pan collared light blue dress Fely pressured me into buying. It was on sale and it was the only piece of item that had caught my eye when she went shopping for a new wardrobe. I still debated whether to take it or not, because I’d already used up most of my allowance on books and was planning on buying tree more paperbacks to complete the series that I’d been collecting so I could finally binge read it. But when I’d tried it on, it just felt sop right. Like I was meant to have it. The a-line skirt reaches up to my upper thigh and the material is smooth and soft and it felt comfortable. Fely also commented on how it makes my eyes pop, as cliche as is had sounded, I had still blushed.

Right now, the material had clung to my skin because of how profusely I had sweat since being the center of attention. I swiped the back of my hand on my forehead, feeling the perspiration slide from my scalp onto my hairline, on the sides of my face down my temples. I pulled at my skirt again, clutching a second more than I need to so I could lessen the dampness of my palms. I don’t feel as good as I had before in this pretty dress that I wore.

Harry caught my elbow and stood beside me.

“I’m coming with.”

We got to the toilet but as he turn the knob, we realized it was locked.

“We’ve got to go to the second floor,” Harry told me and I nod.

We just reached the stairs when his phone rang. One look on his phone and I knew that it was important. His eyes widen and his eyebrows shot up. The soft gasp on his lips didn’t go unnoticed.

“Who was it?”

Harry looked back at me, his eyes sparkling with excitement. He gripped his phone harder as his chest heaves faster. “Not who. What.”

I gave him a confused look.

“It’s Duke,” he said, his voice a little shaky.

Oh. Oh.

My body buzzed as if some of his energy has been transferred to me. “Go take it then,” I urged him. What is he still waiting for?

He stared at me, glanced down at his phone, then looked back at me.

“Well?” I prompted, slightly annoyed. My stomach grumbled but I’m not sure whether it was because of the ordeal a while ago or because of thrill that Harry’s getting this call.

Harry eyed my midsection, his thigh brows drawing in with worry. That’s why he wouldn’t take it.

“I can find the bathroom myself,” I told him. His concerned gaze met my eyes. Before he could argue, I gave him a small smile and told him, “I’m a big girl. Besides, I don’t even feel that nauseous anymore.”

There’s a strength in my voice that I hope is enough to make him let go of me. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened in his life as of yet, and I’m not about to take the chance away from him even before it’s been offered. Not because of me being overdramatic.

“You’re not sick, Callie. You just don’t want to eat your vegetables. Go eat the potatoes.”

I mentally shook the memory away and focused on Harry’s expectant beautiful blue eyes.

“Go on,” I continue to prod, pulling myself away from him. He must know it’s now or never. He couldn’t keep the phone ringing or let the call disconnect. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

My foot found the first step of the stairs while the other foot took another.

With a heavy sigh, Harry finally gave me a nod. “It won’t be long, sweetheart,” he promised.

This time, I didn’t wait for him to act first. I turned to him, placed both of my hands on his broad shoulders and leaned in. I felt quite thrilled to be finally standing taller than him for once, making me feel even braver. My lips touched his softly, which was what I’d intended. When I pulled back, however, Harry grabbed the back of my neck and pressed my mouth back to his. My fists curl against his shirt as he didn’t waste any time parting my mouth with his lips, sweeping his tongue wildly inside and drinking me in. His tongue swirling around mine made me moan. I shivered when I felt the deep rumble of his chest vibrating through mine, every inch of me electrified.

My cheeks were flaming and my breath was catching when we pulled apart. The fog that had settled on my glasses slowly cleared and I saw Harry looking smug with his lopsided grin. What I did finally registered in my mind and I swear I could have just died of embarrassment. Who am I? Why did I do that? Harry bites the bottom of his lip and my eyes followed the movement. His low growl had my gaze returning to his. He’s glaring at me like he… like he wanted to eat me.

I had to swallow once, twice, before I could speak. “I - “ my voice was raspy and I internally cringed. “I just wanted to wish you good luck.”

Harry smirked at me as he untangled his fingers from my hair. He swiped his thumb on my bottom lip, making me gasp. “I think you’ve given me more than plenty of that.”

He unlocked his phone to finally answer the call. I wanted to tell him not to worry, that he’d do great. He’s waited for this call for what seemed like forever and I want him to know that I’m proud of him, always have been.

“To be continued,” he declared, hot eyes honing in on my lips and heaving chest before finding my face again. He put his phone against his ear and began to talk, his dark gaze remaining glued to mine, keeping me in place for a few more seconds that seemed like an eternity until at last, I managed to turn away and head up the stairs to the bathroom.

***

Author’s Note:

Hi everyone! 🤗

Just wanted to dedicate this chapter to @Engie11 🥰 Thank you for your review 😍 I’d also like to thank you all for reading this story, writing comments, and supporting me 🌹 I hope you enjoy this one 😆

Keep safe, everybody and have a great day 🥰

Yours,

Ama ❤️

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