Through His Lens (edited version)

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Riverdale vibes just without all the murder

Taliah and I were walking out of school chatting and laughing as usual when a tall figure stepped out in front of me making me almost trip down the stairs.

'Where do you think you're going London?'

I squealed slightly before quickly covering it up with a growl.

'God Harrison! You scared the crap out of me.'

Taliah shook her head and tutted in annoyance but also seemed amused by the two of us.

'Well you see Harrison this thing happens every day where a bell rings and that means it's time to go home.'

He rolled his eyes at me before crossing his arms. I think that was meant to make him look menacing. It wasn't working.

'Not for you it doesn't. You seem to forget begging to join the soccer team yesterday and now you can't even be bothered to turn up to practice.' His green eyes sparkled at me and I knew he was trying to wind me up but I couldn't focus because a lock of his hair had fallen over his eye and I wanted to push it away.

'Begging! More liked forced! You seem to forget that I never said yes.'

Yesterday after P.E Tom the soccer captain found me and handed me the practice schedule. Again, I told him I wasn't going to go and he just laughed in my face and walked away. It was nice to know he and Harrison shared so many characteristics.

I looked down to see what he was wearing and mentally smacked myself for stupidly not realising it was a football kit.

'That's not how I remember it. Checking me out are we?' I could almost hear the smirk in his voice.

'How do I get myself into this shit?' I said to no one in particular but in Harrison's eyes that meant he'd won.

'Great come on.' Before I could refuse again, he was already walking away. What was it with the people here doing that? 'Don't worry Tali I'll drop her home.'

I looked over at Tali (who I'm not going to lie I kind of forgot was standing there) with panic in my eyes.

She gave me a reassuring smile and a hug. 'Don't worry if you don't feel comfortable in his car I'll come and pick you up.'

She was such an angel that girl. You'd think she'd known me longer than 5 days because of how well she could read me.

I walked over to my locker and grabbed my gym bag then headed over to the girls changing room all while I had a friend hovering.

We got to the changing room door and just before I reached to open it, I turned around to look at him.

'Going to follow me in here as well?'

A wide grin erupted on his stupidly pretty face.

'Just making sure you don't back out but I can if you'd like?' He suggestively wiggled his eyebrows as I frowned at him. He gave a deep chuckle when he saw my face.

'We're out on the field. Meet us there.'

I pushed through the door and started getting changed. God he was a pain in the ass.

'You gotta admit he's stupidly hot though.' Nora sat on a bench across from where I was stood picking at her nails.

I hmphed in annoyance causing a frustrated reaction from her.

'Do you not realise how lucky you are?'

I turned to look at her pissed off face and realised how negative I've been. I'm lucky that I'm at a school where I have great friends already and the family that I'm staying with are amazing.

'Yeah you're right, I've got my life so I should be living it.'

'Oh no not that.' She rolled her eyes like I'd just said the most idiotic thing ever.

'I meant that you get to spend like an hour with like 15 super-hot American guys that are going to get all sweaty and flexing and stuff.'

You may ask how I put up with her for 16 years. To be honest I don't really know.

'Take your time.' Harrison's voice dripped with sarcasm as I walked over to the group of guys warming up.

'You made it!' Tom exclaimed with a happy but surprised expression. I was almost comforted, but that was until he said..

'Ok boys you owe me and Harrison $20.'

Excuse me?

The whole group groaned and sent me death stares. I gave them evils back not quite sure why they were already annoyed at me.

'What's going on?'

Joseph looked up at me as he pulled a $20 bill out of his bag.

'We bet that you wouldn't turn up whereas Harrison and Tom bet that you would.'

I turned on my heel and glared at the two boys who high fived each other.

'You bet on me?!' They've both shrugged and looked away. 'So that's why you were following me around like a lost puppy.'

Harrison glared at me as the rest of the guys sniggered.

'That's not the only reason.' Joseph coughed but I ignored him and continued to stare down the boys.

'Ok then I think I deserve a cut of this.' I didn't want to do this thing in the first place, the least I could do is make a little money out of it.

He held the money close to his chest as if to keep it away from my grubby hands.

'No, we won this fair and square!'

I looked him dead in the eye challenging him. We stood like that for a couple of seconds before I gave him a forced smile.

'Fine, then I'm leaving.'

'If she leaves, we get our money back!' Someone out of the group called.

We kept staring each other down. I imagined it to look like an old Western movie where all of a sudden you draw.

I was about to give up when all of a sudden he rolled his eyes and sighed.

'Fine. I'll let you have some of it if you're lucky.'

'Wow you really know how to make a girl feel special.'

'Ok ok enough messing around we've got to get back to training before coach gets here and kicks our asses for standing around.' Tom ordered. He put his arm around mine and Harrison's shoulder and looked us both. Well looked down at me as I am 5'7 and both boys are over 6ft.

'This is going to be fun.' Tom gave me a mischievous look before dropping his arm and barking some orders to the group.

Great, just great.

.........

'Come on I'm parked over here.'

I trudged down the school steps and towards the pathway leading to the car park. I was exhausted. A small part of me hoped practise would be relatively easy as I've been playing for so long but the month I've spent out of action has definitely kicked me in the ass.

I was pleased to know I held my own against the guys though. Not once did I let myself falter behind even though I was dying inside. I just hoped this meant I'd get a good night's sleep tonight.

'Don't worry I'll just call Taliah and she'll pick me up.' I pulled out my phone about to call her only to have it snatched out of my hands.

Harrison gave me an impatient look.

'London just get in the car, it's really not a problem.'

'It's not that it's just..'

My fear for cars was still just as strong as ever. I felt stupid for even second guessing it but it was like a little demon in my head that would suddenly take over my body.

'Don't you trust me?' His expression quickly turned from impatient to worried. I could tell he wanted to ask me why I was acting this way but he didn't.

'You're right, I'm being stupid.'

I moved to walk over to the passenger side of the car when I feel his hand clasp over the top of my arm.

'Hey look at me.' I did as I was told and met his fierce gaze.

'I promise I'm a safe driver. I won't drive over the speed limit.'

His expression was soft and he looked a little confused but didn't push me on it.

'Ok I believe you.' I climbed into the car and instantly sat on my hands.

It's become a bit of a habit recently. I now feel comfortable whilst Lindsay and Taliah are driving but I still have to have a pep talk to myself if I get in the car with anyone else. My telltale sign that I'm nervous is I play with my hands. I'll crack my knuckles and pick the skin around my nails. I know, gross right. The best way to control it is by sitting on them.

He looked over at me as he turned the ignition on obviously aware that I looked like I want to bolt out of the car at any minute.

'Dude you couldn't look any more uncomfortable if you tried.' Nora called from the backseat. 'You also kinda look like you need to pee.'

At that I tried to relaxed my body. I mentally pushed my shoulders down and crossed my arms in front of my chest.

Eventually we pulled out of the car park and started the short drive to his aunt's house.

After a few minutes into the drive I became very aware that I didn't know what to talk to him about. I knew if I asked about his family then he'd ask about mine. Just when I'd come up with some random question to ask I realised we were pulling into a diner.

'What are you doing?'

'Come on, I'm hungry.' Harrison jumped out of the car before I could reply, slamming his door shut behind him. I got out and followed him into what look like the replica of pops from Riverdale.

There were cool red leather booths dotted around the diner and a juke box stood in the corner. I felt like I should be dressed like Sandy from Grease.

He took my hand and pulled me over to a booth in the corner. His hand felt nice in mine. I never thought I had small hands before but in comparison to his mine felt tiny.

'Sooo do you come here a lot?' I asked as we sat down opposite each other.

'Did you just ask me if I come here often?' He started laughing at me which I quickly joined when I realised I'd used a pickup line on him.

'Just answer the damn question Harrison.'

He chuckled but did as he was told.

'Yeah the guys and I come here a lot after school or practise. It's usually overrun by kids from school but the food is great.'

A waitress came over and asked what we wanted and before I could even open my mouth Harrison had ordered a milkshake and burger for the both of us.

I raised an eyebrow at him but he just shrugged his shoulders.

'I know what's best to order from here.'

I pulled out my phone to text Lindsay and tell her that I didn't need dinner only to have it taken from my hand.

'You like doing that don't you.'

'Were you never told no phones at the dinner table. I thought the Brits were hot about this stuff.'

I rolled my eyes ignoring his insinuation that I was posh. 'I was actually texting Lindsay to say I won't be having dinner because I've been kidnapped.'

He looked down at my phone and finished off the text I was writing before giving me my phone back.

He gave me a smug look and ran his fingers through his messy hair.

'I told her I'm here with you. I'm her favourite nephew.'

'Is she your mum or your dad's sister?'

'Asking lots of questions today London. She's my mom's.'

He leant on the table, resting his head in his hands as he looked me dead in the eye.

'As you're so talkative, let's play 20 questions.'

I mimicked his position plastering a smirk on my face.

'Shoot.'

'Favourite artist?'

I didn't even have to think of this one the answer just blurted out of my mouth.

'Banksy. Favourite photo you've ever taken?'

As he thought about it for a second, I couldn't help raking my eyes over his face. I noticed he had a splattering of freckles on his nose and cheeks.

'Once when I was staying my grandpa's lodge in the middle of the woods. He was a nature photographer and I was keen so he used to take me for walks in the forest near his lodge to take pictures. One morning we got up really early just as the sun was coming up and went for a walk. The forest was beautiful, there was mildew on the ground and rays of sunlight was dispersed through the trees. My grandpa quickly stopped me and told me to be quiet. For ages I couldn't see what he was looking at until he pointed to a certain point in the distance. There was a deer and baby fawn. He looked down at me and pointed to my camera. I took a picture that perfectly captured that exact moment. Every time I look at it, it reminds me of him and makes me smile.'

I couldn't help smiling at the happy faraway look on his face. It was at this point when I looked into his eyes that I noticed some yellow in them.

'Dude I know it's hard but stop checking me out.'

And then he ruined it. I rolled my eyes and nodded to him to ask another question.

'Favourite country you've ever been to?'

I leant back in my chair, thinking about the different countries we'd been to. I was very fortunate to have traveled around the world as my dad was always on business trips that he'd take us to if he could.

'Kenya. It's a beautiful country but it was also such an eye-opening experience. Plus, I got to go on safari and see baby lions.'

'I've never left the country before.'

'What never?!'

'Yeah it's not as common here as I think it is in the UK. I've travelled between states but never actually left the country.'

'Yeah I guess now that I think about it me travelling from the UK to somewhere in Europe is probably the same distance as certain places in America. There must be so many places you want to go to though, especially to take photographs.'

He nodded in agreement now leaning on just one hand.

'Oh, I can't wait until I can go off and explore the world. I think Italy and the UK are currently at the top.'

'Well come to me if you want some recommendations for the UK.' Instantly amazing locations filled my head and I wondered what would come out as top rated. London has some great architecture but there's also so many other beautiful places I think he'd love to shoot.

'Do you miss it?' He asked snapping me out of my trance.

'I do but at the same time I don't. I really do like it here but I know there will be stupid things that I miss like seasons for example. I'm going to miss the slight chill in the air when the leaves start going orange in the autumn. A crisp winters morning when the snow starts to fall.'

'You're going back to visit your family though right?'

I thought about his question, one that seemed simple enough to answer for him but I could only answer with a whisper.

'I'll go back eventually I guess.'

I could tell he desperately wanted to ask me about it but I think he was afraid he'd upset me and I don't think I'd be honest even if he did. A silence fell over us luckily to be cut short by our food arriving.

We ate our food talking on and off but not as openly as we had previously. When it came to the bill Harrison quickly paid before I could even offer. He saw the annoyed expression on my face and chuckled.

'Don't be pissed, this is what I owed you for the bet earlier.'

I gave him a small smile but I had to admit I was a little confused and disappointed. It hadn't even occurred to me that this was his way of paying me back I just thought we were hanging out as friends. I tried to mask my fallen mood by giving him a mischievous look.

'Well thanks but I'm still going to get you back for that though.'

He held the restaurant door open for me as we slipped out into the early evening sunshine.

'Oh, London I had no doubt in my mind about that.'

We both got into the car and he turned on the ignition to drive us home. After 10 or so minutes we pulled into Lindsay and Simon's driveway. I could see the lights on in the house and I wondered if they were all still having dinner together.

'Well I hope practise with the guys didn't traumatise you too much.'

I chuckled and had to admit even though I was out of shape the practise with the boys wasn't too bad.

'Nah it was fine. Thanks again for dinner.' I hopped out of the car pulling my bag on my shoulder.

'See you tomorrow London.'

I watched as he pulled out of the driveway as I walked up to the porch. I played over in my head him saying he'd see me tomorrow and I couldn't help but feel a tiny spark of excitement. I frowned at myself, unsure of why I was feeling this way.

'You're falling for him, aren't you?' Nora smirked leaning against the porch frame.

I practically choked on my own saliva. 'There's no way in hell I'm getting feelings for him. I've only just met him for Christ sake. I think it's because he's the first kind of guy friend I've ever had.'

She burst out laughing pretending to wipe tears away from her eyes.

'Yeah! Ok then, that's what it is.'

She pushed herself off from where she was leaning not bothering to open the door before walking straight through it and disappearing from sight.

'Well that's one way to make an exit.'

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