Through His Lens (edited version)

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I’ll keep you my dirty little secret

Harrison

10 minutes

The drive it takes to get from my aunt and uncles house to mine.

That's how long it took me to figure out I'd fucked up.

I got out of my car, avoided the front door instead taking the side gate and using the french doors to get into my room. I laid down on my bed and realised I'd just made the biggest mistake of my life.

I don't want a break; I want to be with her. I let my jealousy over some guy ruin what we had. Yes I had my reasons, ones which she even justified but after she explained everything to me, I felt like a douche bag. I'd told her I'd always be there for her, that I'd mend her broken heart but what I'd done was basically say I'm giving up. I may have tried to say the right things, that us working out in the end meant more to me, but I went about it all in the wrong way. I mean a break? What the hell was I thinking! We've all seen what happened with Ross and Rachel!

After barricading myself in my room on Friday night Tom had to resort to breaking in through my bathroom window to get me to talk to him.

'I'm guessing the chat didn't go well?' He asked sympathetically.

One pathetic look at him and he knew.

I told him everything and then asked if he thought I should go over there.

He thought about it for a while before shaking his head.
'No, give her some space dude.'

When I noticed that she wasn't at school on Monday I almost skipped then and there to go to her house and see her but I told myself Tom was right, I needed to give her some space. It was the least I could do.

On Tuesday I didn't even need my friends to tell me she was at school, it was like I could sense her. I felt on edge all day, wanting to see her but also worrying how she'd look at me.
During lunch her glorious laugh called to me. I watched as she sat down at her usual table and smiled at something Paige had said.
The smile she used to give me. All of a sudden, her ocean blue eyes made contact with mine. For a second it looked as if she was smiling at me but then it vanished. I felt almost scolded by that and on instinct I turned away.

She hated me. One look at me was enough to suck the joy out of her.

I couldn't help but steal another glance at her and this time she looked as if she were deep in thought, staring into thin air. Even sad she looked so beautiful. I almost couldn't admit to myself that I was the one that had dampened her mood.

The longer I left speaking to her the more it felt too late. She hadn't been coming to football practise and although Tom said it was just for a short while I had a feeling he had something to do with it.

She got an A+ on her art project which was no surprise to me as I knew how amazing her work was. I got an A+ too but it just didn't feel right celebrating it without her. We did this together. I wanted to congratulate her, I even typed out a text message but I chickened before I could send it. I just couldn't let our first conversation after our argument to be over text.

I was thinking about the best way to strike up a conversation with her when Katie Simpson pulled me out of my daze.

'Hey Harrison.' She said with a smile. I don't know how long she'd been stood there for but it looked as if it been a while.

'Hey, I didn't see you there. How're you?' I threw the remaining books I needed from my locker into my bag and slammed it shut.

'Oh that's ok and I'm good thanks. Congratulations on your photography project. It really was amazing.'

'Thanks Katie.' I said giving her a smile. I threw my backpack on and moved to the side thinking that she was waiting because she needed to get to a locker but instead, she stayed rooted to the spot.

I fort the urge to check the time on my phone as I was conscious I didn't have long left until biology. I didn't want to be rude when it now seems she had come over to talk to me but if I didn't leave soon I'd be late.

'Ok well see you around.'

'Actually, Harrison there was something I wanted to ask you.'
Katie shifted on the balls of her feet as if she was nervous.
'I was just wondering if you were going to Jasper's party on Friday?'

It seemed like Jasper Peters hosted a party at his parents' mansion every week. I don't know what his parents do but they had this huge house that they hardly ever spent time in. I've been to some of Jasper's parties before and they had a tendency to get a little wild, but that didn't seem to bother his parents as long as the cops didn't get involved.
I wasn't in the party mood but knowing my friends they'd probably drag me to it anyway.

'Oh I haven't decided yet, why?'

'Well I thought if you were up for it then maybe we could go together?'

I don't think I masked my surprise very well. I've only ever really spoken to Katie in photography and even then, it was only polite conversation. I've never even thought about Katie in that way.

'Oh erm thanks Katie but actually things with Evie and I are still..' I didn't know how to finish that sentence but thankfully I didn't need to.

'Oh....it's ok I just thought you two were moving on. My mistake, I'll see you around ok.' She touched my arm and then walked away leaving me standing there confused.

What the hell had she meant about moving on and why did she smirk as she said it. Sure, Evie and I weren't exactly on talking terms right now but we hadn't broken up.

Before I had the chance to go past the point of no return of overthinking the bell rang. After a mad dash I ended up making it to biology on time but I don't know why I even bothered because I couldn't concentrate properly. It was only during my free period later on in the day that I managed to get distracted by something else. I spent the free messing around on the basketball court with some of the guys, but as per usual we got so into the game that it was only when the bell for our next classes rang that we realised we were late. Luckily the lesson I was supposed to be in was English and I knew Mrs Jones couldn't stay angry with me for too long.

I was taking my time rounding the corner of the main building when I saw Evie bursting through the main doors and down the school steps. It didn't take a genius to figure out that she was upset which instantly made my stomach sink.
That was it, I needed to talk to her, to be there for her. I was just about to call out to her when someone stopped me in my tracks.
Jake exited the building, jogging after Evie and calling her name. At first, I thought that maybe he was the one that had upset her but then when she stopped to let him catch up to her I realised that wasn't the case. After a short conversation they headed off the school grounds together.

I knew there was a chance it wasn't what it looked like but in my jealous rage I did something I shouldn't have done. I texted Katie to tell her I'd go to the party with her. Within seconds I received an excited response making me instantly regret what I had done.

Katie's comment earlier had bothered me and seeing Evie and Jake now felt like a stab in the heart. I couldn't help but put two and two together, but what if I was wrong? I felt like I was betraying Evie, but then what if that was what she was already doing now to me?

Eve

'Are you ready to talk about what happened yet?'

I tore my eyes away from the gentle waves that were slowly creeping up the sand to look at Jake. He'd sat with me in silence since we got here, patiently waiting for me to spill. From the worried look on his face the wait must've got too long for him.

'Look it's not a big deal really. It just...took me off guard. Thank you for being there for me Jake but you didn't have to skip school with me.'

'Yes I did. That's what friends do..right?'

Friends. If there's one thing that I'm happy has come out of this whole mess the last couple of weeks, it's a blossoming friendship with Jake. Since going to his parent's art gallery that Friday evening he kept his promise of letting me come back to see the rest of the paintings in the basement on his next shift.

It ended up happening on a Sunday afternoon. I had only planned on being there for a short while as I didn't want to take up too much of his time but by the time I left I'd been there for 3 hours. Luckily it had been fairly quiet that afternoon so his parents told him to close up early. Rather than kicking me out so he could hang out with his friends he let me stay and we ended up having loads of fun, which was surprising seeing as we were hanging out in a creepy old basement. By the end of the weekend I had everything I needed for a huge chunk of my art project and I also got some inspiration for the Goodwin scholarship.

However even after getting our friendship back on track I was still hesitant to tell him about what was going on with Harrison. Jake was persistent though.

'Look you can talk to me about him you know.' Jake stopped making shapes in the sand with his fingers to focus on me.
'I'm not an idiot Evie, I can clearly see you're heartbroken. And just so you know I think he's an idiot.'

I didn't know what to say but my expression obviously showed discomfort because Jake shrugged and went back to playing with the sand.
'You don't let a girl like you get away.'

He said it so quietly that I thought for a second I'd misheard him.

'Jake..'

'Don't.' He said before I could carry on.
'I know we're just friends but I'm not going to lie and say when we first met I wasn't attracted to you. Now however I value your friendship more. That still doesn't change the fact that I think he's an idiot to let you go, if what I've heard is true.'

'It's complicated.'

'Then un-complicate it. You need to talk to him.'

'I don't think there's much point after what I found out earlier.'

'Ok Evie, spill.'

I took a deep breath and I told him everything.

7 hours earlier

I had originally been in a good mood when I woke up this morning. I'd had a dream about becoming an international superstar and going on a date with Harry Styles so it would be criminal to not wake up with a smile. It was quickly erased though when I checked my phone.

1 Facebook notification

I rarely use Facebook anymore so when the notification came up, I was intrigued. Curiosity killed the cat as the saying goes.

This time last year you were tagged in-
Fabulous night at the theatre as an early birthday present. How lucky am I to have these two gorgeous girls spoiling me.

Before I could stop myself, I clicked on the picture of Mum, Nora and I.
It's funny how the pain feels worse when it's unexpected. The night that picture was taken Nora and I had surprised mum with her birthday present. She'd been banging on for months about a show that she so desperately wanted to see. Now I look back on it that was probably her way of hinting, you two better get this for me for my birthday. Yet still she acted so surprised when she opened the tickets and had a smile from ear to ear the whole night.

What hurt the most wasn't the picture, it was that I had forgotten it's mum's birthday on Friday. I'd been so wrapped up in my own drama that it had taken Facebook to remind me.
This guy Jasper from school was having a party on Friday night. All of my friends were going and I'd even considered it too but now there was no way in hell I'd go. As I was getting dressed for school, I thought about what I could do to keep myself occupied that night and that was when I realised that I wasn't the only one who would struggle to get through the day.

'Morning Lindsay.' I said as I took as seat at the breakfast bar in the kitchen. I was still struggling to get an appetite but to stop Lindsay from unnecessarily worrying I always forced down some toast at least.

'Morning doll. How did you sleep?' She made the question sound innocent but among everything else she was worrying about, my sleep pattern was also on the list. I'd been careful to only go running a few mornings a week now since she'd asked if I was still taking my medication. My nightmares were still as bad as ever and I was lucky if I got about 5 hours of sleep a night, but as far as Lindsay was concerned it was getting better.

'Not too bad thank you. Lindsay I was wondering, do you have anything planned for Friday?'

One look and I knew she knew what Friday was.

'I don't sweetheart no.'

'Well I wondered if maybe you wanted to hang out together?'

Lindsay beamed at me making me wonder if she'd had the same thought.
'I would love that sweetheart.'

Later on at school I told the girls I was now busy on Friday night. Once I'd explained it was Mum's birthday they completely understood and even offered to bail out on the party as well. I loved them for being willing to drop any plans they had to be there for me but I wanted them to have fun and plus I think it will be nice just Lindsay and I hanging out together.

'Someone's feeling hungry.' Zara joked when I joined the lunch table.

I looked down at my hamburger and chips.

Lindsay wasn't the only one I'd been lying too. I knew my friends were worried about me as well, especially the lack of food I'd been eating. Xavier hadn't stollen anything from my plate in two weeks so I had a sneaky suspicion they'd all been talking about it behind my back. I wasn't annoyed about it but I did want to stop worrying them. When I really couldn't force anything down, I'd go to the library or one of the art classrooms to do some work. Today though I wanted to please them so I made the effort of making myself eat in front of them which I could see instantly made them all relax.

'Well it's burger day, who can resist that?' I took an unladylike bite of my burger for added effect making Zara chuckle.

For the rest of lunch I made the effort to join in on the group's conversations. I asked questions about the guy Jennifer had just started talking to, I slyly helped Lucas plan a date with Taliah by texting him under the table and poked fun at Xavier with the others. At the end of lunch after we'd cleared our trays away and were about to head off in our different directions when Zara and Aaron linked their arms through mine.

'I've missed this.' Zara said cuddling my arm.

I giggled at the two of them but held onto their arms just as tightly.
'Missed what?'

'You.' She whispered back.

I glanced over at Aaron who gave me a soft smile.
'We've finally got our girl back.' He said ruffling my hair with his free hand.

I felt like my heart was going to burst. It's funny how I thought Harrison was the only one healing my heart but really, I was lucky enough to find a whole group of people that loved me.

'Ok if you two don't cut it out you're going to make me cry.' I joked but I pulled them both into a hug.
'I love you guys.'

'We love you too.' Aaron said.

After we were forced to go our separate ways, I quickly headed into the girls bathroom close to Maths. I had just finished using the toilet and was about to unlock the door when I heard people entering the bathroom, their voices filling the room with giggles.

'So tell us. Did you finally pluck up the balls to talk to Harrison?' A voice teased.

My ears suddenly pricked up and I froze on the spot.

'I did yes.' Another voice answered.

I managed to peak through a small gap in the door to see two girls looking at themselves in the mirror. Even from the back I recognised them as Florence Russell and Katie Simpson. I'd never spoken to them before but I knew they were on the cheerleading team with Jennifer.

'And has he fallen head over heels in love yet?'

'Well when he's taken me to Jasper's party and I work my magic on him he will do.' Katie said with a smirk that I wanted to slap off her face.

Suddenly another girl came into view, Maisie Smith. She wasn't on the cheerleading team but I'd seen her hanging around with Florence and Katie before. She always came across as far more reserved and I wasn't the only one to wonder why she was friends with the other two girls.

'What about Eve?' She asked quietly as if she was scared to even bring me up.

'What about her?' Katie spat.
'He was mine to begin with when she threw herself at him. I'm just taking back what's mine.'

Even through the small gap in the door I could see Maisie hesitate as if she thought she shouldn't ask her next question.
'But I thought they were still together?'

At first, I thought Katie's silence was her anger towards Maisie's question but then after a few seconds she turned and gave her a Cheshire Cat grin.
'That's not what he said.'

I stood there trying to stay silent for another 5 minutes before they left. As soon as I heard the door slam shut I fell onto my knees and vomited into the toilet. With tears streaming down my face I threw up everything I'd eaten at lunch.
Who was I kidding? I was not in a good place, so much so that I was being sick at the idea of him with someone else.
I felt so betrayed. How could he?! Why would he?!

It was after I managed to control my stomach that I decided I couldn't be here anymore. I felt embarrassed, like everyone was laughing at me behind my back. I also felt claustrophobic, like the toilet stall was closing in on me and I couldn't breathe.
I rinsed my mouth out in the sink and splashed some water on my sheet white face. Without a second thought I headed out the bathroom and down the hallway to the school doors. I was half feeling like I was going to pass out and half oblivious to my surroundings that I didn't realise I was being followed until I was outside and a voice was calling my name.

'Eve wait up!' The voice seemed familiar but it took a couple of seconds before I realised who it was and slowed down for them.

When Jake reached me, he held onto my arms and bent down a little so he could look me properly in the eye.
'Hey what's wrong? You don't look so good.'

'I'm fine really.' I tried to pull myself out of his grasp but he was not budging.
'Look I'm skipping my last class so please don't tell anyone you saw me.'

'Evie you're not a skip class kind of person.'

'Says who?!'

'Ok tell me where you're planning on going then?'

Ah he had me there. I couldn't go home because Simon was working there today and I didn't have a car so I couldn't just drive somewhere.

'Come on I've got the perfect place.'

And that's how I ended up spending my afternoon on the beach with Jake. He told me this is where he comes when he's got something on his mind and I have to say so far it was working well for me too.

'Hmmm.' Jake mumbled when I finished my retelling.

'That's all you've got to say?'

'I'm thinking.' Jake said. 'Katie's known for being a bit of a bitch. I just don't know if I believe it. It wouldn't surprise me if she only said that to shut Flo up.'

'Well she sounded pretty convincing.'

'Yeah well all I know is that I've seen the look Harrison's had on his face every time he's seen you at school. That's not a look a guy gives a girl that he's not in love with.'

I tore my eyes away from Jake to look out at the ocean. I could see some boats in the distance and I wished more than anything that I was on one of them.
'Yeah well I'm learning that he might just be a very good actor.'


.............................................................................

Hi everyone,

Did you like the surprise at the beginning?!
I felt like we hadn't heard from Harrison in forever and after the last few chapters I wanted to show his side of the story.

Let me know what you guys thought of this chapter!

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