Chapter Three - “You Saved A Cat?”
“Wait, so can I at least have five reasons why you don’t want to go to that party?” Denise asks as she takes a sip of her milkshake. I shrug and twirl the straw in the cup, listening to the sound of the bell that keeps ringing when people enter Wellah’s.
Weird name, I know. But the milkshakes here...
Oh my God, there are too good to resist.
“Okay, five reasons. One: I hate social interaction. Two: I hate large crowds. Three: I have better things to do with my life than to party and drink alcohol. Four: Dad won’t even let me go. Five: I don’t want to see Emma there.” I say, pointing at my fingers as I name my five reasons. “There you go.”
“Ugh, Harri, think less and live more. Ever heard of YOLO--”
“You. Only. Live. Once.” I say with a nod. “Yeah, to you, it means to live your life and not be afraid to take risks. But to me, it means that take life one step at a time and think about what you decide to do because you’ll never know when you die.” I explain and Denise’s eyebrows furrow in confusion as she places her milkshake on the wooden table.
“Did you just hear yourself? That made no sense.” Denise says and before she can continue, Tara decides to speak.
“I have an idea. How about just let people do what they want without pressuring them?” Tara suggests and Denise looks over at Tara, her eyes narrowing.
“What the hell is up with you? Ever since you ran out of the cafeteria, you have been holding some sort of hatred towards me.” Denise snaps and I sigh, taking a sip of my caramel milkshake. Tara glares at Denise and points a finger at her.
“And ever since you started dating that dickhead you call a boyfriend, you have been acting like you’re top shit!” Tara snaps back and I notice a few people glance over at our table.
Attention -- one thing I despise more than Emma.
“Guys, can you two just chill--”
“Alec has done nothing to you and you treat him like nothing! He is so nice and just because you don’t have a boyfriend does not mean that you can make my relationship feel like the worst thing in the world!”
“Maybe it is because I am trying to look out for you! Have you ever thought about that?”
“And why would you be looking out for me when all you have been trying to do is break Alec and I up?”
“Hey, hey, what’s the problem, girls?” Lisa - the owner of the shop - asks, a small smile on her face. Tara grabs her bag and throws it over her shoulder.
“Nothing. I’m leaving.” Tara comments before storming out of the shop. I sigh and run a hand through my brown hair.
It just always has to be a fight between these two...
I walk into my house and look around the living room, hoping to see Dad around somewhere. Just as I take a step, my phone vibrates in my pocket and I pull it out, looking at the message.
Dad: I have a long shift tonight. I’ll try and make it home around dinner time x
I sigh and run a hand through my brown hair. You see, Dad is a police officer. The idea first came into his mind just a few weeks after Mom died. He wants to help people and being a police officer is the first thing that caught his attention. The second idea was being a doctor but Dad can’t handle needles and such, so that was an easy ‘no’.
Me: Okay, see you soon. Love you x
I walk into the kitchen and place my bag onto the kitchen table. Just as I go to take a step towards the fridge, my phone vibrates twice, notifying me that two people have just messaged me.
Dad: Love you too, Harri x
Tara: Can I come over?
I sigh and begin to type my message to Tara.
I place my phone on the kitchen table and quickly walk over to the fridge. I open it and grab out a bottle of water, holding it in my hand as I close the fridge. I grab my things -- bag and phone -- and exit the kitchen, making my way up to my room. When I enter, I drop my bag, the water bottle and my phone in fright as I look at Tara who is sitting on my bed.
“Before you scream--”
I let out a loud scream and close my eyes. “What the hell, Tara!”
“I didn’t mean to scare you.” Tara says with a sigh. The tone in her voice makes me open my eyes to look at her. Her brown eyes are looking back at me with so much emotion and I furrow my eyebrows.
“Tara...” I mumble, walking over to her. “You have to talk to her.”
“And risk blurting out the biggest secret I have kept for two years? Harriet, I know you’re trying to help but--”
“No buts. You have to tell her.” I say with a small frown and Tara sighs, running a hand through her hair.
“There is no such thing as ‘I can’t’, Tara. All you have to say is--”
“Don’t.” Tara snaps with sad eyes. “Don’t say it.” Tara mutters and I place a hand on my best friend’s shoulder, looking into her brown eyes which hold so much worry, concern and fear.
“Denise can’t be in the dark forever, Tara. Either it comes from you or Alec. And I’m pretty sure Alec will make the story seem like an accident so you have to tell her first.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because if I know Denise, she would rather keep her friendship with you than her relationship with Alec.”
“Harriet! I’m home!” I hear Dad shout from downstairs and I jump up from my bed and jog out of my room to greet him. When Dad sees me at the top of the stairs, his smile widens.
“Hello, Dad. How was work?” I ask as I begin to make my way towards him. When I reach him, Dad pulls me into a hug and places a soft kiss on the top of my head.
“Exhausting but worth it. I saved a cat.”
I laugh aloud at this. “You saved a cat? Now, that must be the best thing you’ve done so far while you became a cop.” I joke and Dad ruffles my hair, a small grin on his face.
“Always the comedian, aren’t you?” Dad laughs and I nod, pulling away from him. As he begins to take off his blue jacket, I begin to think about the dream I had this morning.
“Hey Dad,” I begin, watching as he looks at me while putting his jacket on the coat rack. “I may need to see Dr Martinez again...” I trail off and the smile on Dad’s face disappears.
“The dreams again?” Dad asks and I nod sadly. He nods and walks over to me, shoving his hands in his pockets. “When do you want to see her?”
“Whenever she is available.” I say and Dad cracks a smile.
“She is always available for you, you know that. I mean, she is your grandmother.” Dad says and I smile at little.
Dad walks into the kitchen and I follow behind him, taking a seat at the table. “Well, I’ll take a day off tomorrow to drive you to her place--”
“No, no. I can catch a bus there. I just... I just wanted to let you know, that’s all.” I say and Dad nods, grabbing out some cooking utensils to prepare dinner since I literally can’t cook.
Last time I tried to cook pasta, I ended up setting the kitchen on fire. That was when I was thirteen.
I have never been near a stove since.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to take you though? We can grab icecream on the way?” Dad bribes and I let out a laugh.
“No, it’s fine, Dad. But I would like you to pick me up though... I mean, if you could.”
“Anything for my little daughter. And by that, I mean you.” Dad laughs and I can’t help but join in.
You sure know how to make me smile, Dad.
I just wish Mom could join in too.