In Which she Thanks her Sister
“Where are you taking me?” I asked Harry as he opened the passenger door to his Mercedes Benz and gestured for me to get in.
“It’s a surprise,” he replied with a smile that showed off his adorable dimples as he climbed into the driver’s seat next to me.
“Can you at least tell me if I’m dressed appropriately?”
Ignoring Harry’s suggestion of what to wear, I paired my sparkly new shoes with a sexy red dress with strategically placed cutouts. My makeup was bold. Dramatic black winged eyeliner made my brown eyes look bigger and the vampy dark red lipstick I had chosen added to the “sex kitten” vibe I was going for.
Harry’s eyes swept over my body and he licked his lips, making me swallow nervously.
“Yeah. You look amazing.”
I murmured a quick thank you and turned to look out the window so he couldn’t see me blushing.
Despite my apathy for all things love, especially in regard to the cliche that is Valentine’s Day, I was kind of excited to be out on a date. Damn Sara for knowing me so well.
I had written off the possibility of ever finding true love on February 13th six years prior when I was sixteen years old. I had been dating a guy named James, who was in his first year of university, for 6 months and I was head over heels in love with him. Hoping to surprise him for Valentine’s Day, I showed up at his dorm room with tickets to the theatre. Imagine my surprise to find him hooking up with some bimbo from his intro to economics class.
Sara found me that night, in my closet clutching a pair of heels I had purchased while indulging in a bit of retail therapy earlier that evening. I had snuck into my father’s liquor cabinet and was pissy drunk and sobbing on the floor. She stayed with me all night and didn’t rat me out to our parents.
The next day, I realized that the heels I had bought were by Valentino and treated them like the key to the fresh start I so desperately needed. I had exclusively worn black Valentino heels since then. Sure, as a self-proclaimed fashion lover, I bought other shoes but they were all collecting dust in my closet as I reached for my signature heels every day.
Harry calling my name shook me from my reverie. “I’m so sorry. I was lost in thought. What did you say?”
“I can see,” he said, good-naturedly. “We’re here.”
Harry escorted me into the hottest new Italian restaurant, Casa Dell’amore. “How did you get a reservation?” I asked in disbelief as we were escorted to our table. “They’ve been booked for months!”
He winked at me and pulled out my chair. “I know a guy.”
After the food was ordered, Harry turned to me. “Tell me about yourself.”
“What do you want to know?”
That grin of his was tackling all of my defenses. Thank goodness my sarcasm remained intact. “I was born in Madrid--” I began dramatically, only to be cut off by Harry.
“Half. My father’s from Spain but my mother is the most English person on the face of the earth,” I said, rolling my eyes. Even thinking about that nightmare of a woman was enough to make my skin crawl.
He chuckled. “I bet my mother’s got her beat.”
“How do you figure?”
“My parents are originally from Nigeria. My mum’s family moved here when she was fifteen and she made sure she assimilated really well. I was born on the same day as Prince Harry, five years later of course, and she named me after him to ‘honor the Royal Family’.”
I laughed so hard that the people at the table next to us glared at me. “You’re kidding! Are you also a prince?”
“I wish I was,” he replied, joining me in laughter. “So what do you do for a living?”
“I’m a junior designer for a couture fashion house,” I said proudly.
“What does that entail?”
“Right now, lots of coffee fetching,” I answered with a small smile. “But if I pay my dues now, I’ll get to have my own fashion line someday. What about you? What do you do?”
“I’m a cook,” he said, simply. “Question. Do you like Harry Potter?”
“What kind of question is that? Of course, I like Harry Potter! What kind of person doesn’t like Harry Potter? Why?”
Mischief danced in his dark brown eyes. “No reason.”
“Sorry I’m late, Sara!” I kissed my sister on the cheek before sitting down across from her at our usual table.
Sara and I had brunch together every Saturday morning unless one of us was out of town and Valentine’s Day was no exception.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. How was your date with Harry?”
“It was nice,” I admitted begrudgingly.
Sara squealed loudly and grabbed my hands. “Tell me everything! Where did he take you for dinner?”
“Casa Dell’amore,” I answered smugly. “I have no idea how he managed that--”
“Destiny, Harry owns Casa Dell’amore.”
“What? He didn’t say anything about that! He told me that he’s a cook!”
“Yeah, he’s very shy about it,” she said with a giggle. “He’s a Michelin star chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu.”
“Wow,” was all I could say. “Well, I can see why. The food was delicious.”
“How was the rest of the evening?”
“Wonderful!” I gushed, remembering how we took a walk after dinner and ended up at a cinema that was still showing the latest Fantastic Beasts movie.
Sara clapped her hands together happily. “I knew you’d have a great time! You should listen to me more often.”
I couldn’t keep the smile off of my face as I stared back at my little sister, my mirror image apart from her vibrant red hair. She had been protecting me since we were young and I had never properly shown her my gratitude.
“Thank you for everything, Sara. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone. You’re the best sister anyone could ask for.” I reached down and grabbed the gift bag I had brought with me and handed it to her. “Happy Valentine’s Day little sis.”
She beamed at me as she opened the bag and pulled out a pair of brand new silver studded Louboutin pumps. I slid back my chair and crossed my legs.
“Thank you so much--Holy shit are you wearing the same shoes you got me!? The Valentino slump is over?!”
“It is indeed,” I replied, laughing at her incredulity. “I don’t know where things will go with Harry but I thought it was high time I put on a new pair of shoes. Now let’s go shopping. I’m seeing Harry again tonight.”
“And then you’ll call mum?” she asked eagerly.
I groaned. “One thing at a time, Sara. One thing at a time.”
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