Wildflowers Grow in the Sun

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chapter five.

We pulled up to house booming with music, teenagers already spilling out the front door and onto the lawn. I suddenly felt overdressed with my cream colored long sleeved shirt and dark red dress swinging at my knees. Harvey looked as easily perfect as usual in a vintage band t shirt and ripped black jeans.

I recognized some faces from different classes and even said hello to a few people. Maybe Harvey was right, I wouldn’t get this chance again in my high school career. My company was enough but maybe for a night I could meet people and have some fun, while making sure Harvey was safe of course. He lingered closely behind me, his fingers clamped onto my arm so he wouldn’t lose me in the crowd. The front porch was scattered with red plastic cups and cigarette buds. It seemed chill, not like the crazy parties you see in movies. There were a lot of people outside, but they were sitting around, trying to carry a conversation over the loud music, but failing miserably and screaming at each other. A group of guys played beer pong on a wet table in the lawn, loudly smack talking each other and chugging cans of beer. I glanced over at Harvey as he pulled a cigarette out of a box in his pocket and held it to between lips before we entered the house. It was hot and sticky inside as people drunkenly clung way to close to one another. A few people were dancing in the living room and Harvey joked we should go join them.

“I’m gonna go get a drink. Do you want one?” He asked. I shook my head.

“Be careful,” I mouthed.

“I will, I promise,” he squeezed my shoulder reassuringly with a smile before heading off to the drink table.

As the night went on, the party got a little louder and the people got a little drunker. I ended up striking up a conversation with a girl from my Physics class named Sam. We sat on the couch as people around us danced, laughed and spilled their drinks on the carpet. Harvey was a social butterfly that night, jumping from playing beer pong with the guys to talking to the band kids to smoking with the notorious bad boys. No matter where he was, he kept a preservative eye over me from across the room, giving me a thumbs up every so often to make sure I was okay. I was counting how many drinks he’d had. We’d been at the party for about an hour and he’d had two. He seemed okay. I turned my attention back to my new friend next to me.

“Where are you wanting to go to college?” Sam asked me, playing with a strand of bright red box dyed hair between her fingers.

“Um, I’m not 100% sure yet. I’ve always wanted to go to Brown, but I don’t know if I can get in or not,” I explained before Harvey began to wave at me from across the room for the fifth time. I laughed to myself and gave him another thumbs up. He gave a stupid grin and continued pouring a drink in the kitchen.

“So, how long have you guys been a thing?” Sam questioned.

“Oh, um we’re not anything,” I nervously explained. “Just friends.”

“Really? Everyone totally thinks you are. My friend over there, Amelia, has the biggest crush on Harvey,” she took a sip of her drink before motioning at a very pretty blonde girl with pink streaks in her hair. “You think I could tell her it’s okay to talk to him tonight? You think he’d be interested?”

“Oh, yeah totally. I don’t know if he’d be interested. We don’t really talk about that kind of stuff, but totally cool if she talks to him. Like I said, just friends,” I accidentally blurted out. Fuck.

I looked at Harvey in the kitchen speaking to someone like he’d known them his whole life. He threw his head back laughing, his dimples on full display. He had no idea how beautiful he was. His hands carelessly found their way to his cup on the counter and he took a sip. How could someone not find him beautiful? He took a sip out of his cup before he noticed me looking at him and his demeanor changed. His face fell a little.

"You okay?” he mouthed. I shook off this jealous feeling I’d never felt before. It was a tightness in the middle of my chest that begged me to either cry or get up and kiss him. I took a deep breath and forced a smile that would win an Oscar.

"I’m good,” I mouthed back. He raise an eyebrow like he didn’t believe it. He held up his pinky for a mock pinky promise and I did the same. ”Promise.”

“I’ll be back. I’m gonna talk to Amelia. She’s gonna be so excited,” Sam remarked with a huge grin before heading over to her friend.

Maybe I should get a drink. I was way too stressed. I made my way over to the drink table, my white tennis shoes sticking to the hardwood floor. I looked into the punch bowl filled with red liquid and floating apple slices. What even is this?

“That’s Hawaiian punch, pineapple vodka, and a shit ton of Everclear,” a voice said next to me, reading my thoughts. I turned to see a blonde guy with an ear piecing wearing a colorfully patterned shirt and a smile.

“Thanks,” I chuckled, scooping some of the red liquid into a cup that matched.

“First party?”

“Yeah,” I nodded, carefully taking a sip of my drink. Ew. It was what I imagined fruity hand sanitizer would taste like. I scrunched my face up, but took another sip anyway.

“First drink?” he asked.

“How’d you know?” I laughed, the strong taste still lingering on my tongue.

“My name’s Milo. I saw you talking to my girlfriend, Sammie,” he motioned over to Sam, who was enthusiastically talking to Amelia.

“Yeah, she’s super nice,” I commented.

Milo and I made pleasant conversation and I finished my drink, a warm fuzzy feeling finding it’s way to my head. I was way better at this socializing thing than I thought I’d be. The alcohol definitely helped. I remembered I was supposed to be watching Harvey and looked around the room to see him still in the kitchen, a little more drunk than he was last time I saw him. I poured another drink and after a little while, Sam made her way over to Milo and I shaking her head.

“Amelia is fucked up,” she chuckled.

“Oh no,” Milo laughed. “How drunk is she?”

“Well, let’s just say this: Riley said he’d give her $20 to kiss Harvey Davis and she looks like she’s gonna do it.”

My heart leaped into my chest as I tried not to spit out my drink. I tried to calmly find Harvey with my eyes again, just to see Amelia heading straight toward him in the kitchen. It’s fine. She can kiss him. He can kiss her. It doesn’t mean anything. We’re not even together. He can do whatever he wants. I tried to tear my eyes away from them, but Sam and Milo were watching too. Amelia went right up to him, flipped her hair and grabbed him by the shirt. Harvey looked at her surprised as she pulled his lips to hers. I couldn’t watch. My blood began to boil no matter how much I told myself that I was okay in my head. The two drinks in my blood stream were telling me I was not okay. My face began to feel hot as tears began to gather in my eyes. It took him less than a second to react. He didn’t kiss her back, but pulled back and frantically looked around the room. Amelia gazed at him, confused. He finally found my eyes in the crowd.

“I’m sorry,” he spoke to the bewildered girl in front of him, clumsily pushing past her, not breaking contact with me.

I turned toward the door immediately, yearning to just go home and be by myself. I didn’t want to think about what I’d just seen. I knew I wasn’t the first girl he’d kissed, but goddammit I wanted to be the last. The worst part was I couldn’t be mad at him and I knew I wouldn’t be tomorrow. I just didn’t want to face him right now. The scene around me spun slowly as I pushed past people dancing. I didn’t care about anything but getting home. The fresh outside air hit me as I burst through the door. I didn’t notice I was crying until the cool air made the tears sting my cheeks. I wiped them away quickly as a few guys playing beer pong asked if I was alright.

“Maeve! Maeve, wait!” Harvey’s voice was entangled with the booming music from inside.

I walked faster. I saw my car parked down the street, knowing I wasn’t in any capacity to drive it. Harvey’s voice still hammered in my ear drums, getting closer.

“Maeve, please!” he called, his speech a little slow.

I didn’t turn around, my shoes crunching the leaves on the ground. The crisp autumn air was getting to me and I crossed my arms trying to keep some warmth. My body was heaving with sobs and I definitely wasn’t walking completely straight. I was angry at everything right now, but I was especially angry at myself. Something inside me was burning. I wanted to explode. I was holding so much in and it wanted out. Now.

“Do you even know where you’re going?”

“No,” I snapped, turning around to finally face him. He flinched, surprised at my reaction. He’d never seen me angry. His eyes were heavy with tiredness and alcohol.

“This isn’t what you think-”

“I know it isn’t. It’s not that it’s just... please just leave me alone.”

“I’m not going to leave you alone. You’re mad at me,” Harvey begged.

“Harvey, I’m not fucking mad at you. It’s not you,” my emotions began to burn in my throat and I turned away from him.

“What is it then? I don’t know what just happened with that girl. What else could it be?”

“I can’t be mad at that! You’re not fucking mine to be mad at,” I began to walk away again. “I just want to go home.”

“Maeve, please. My house is just a few blocks away. Can we go there and talk?”

“I need to be alone.”

“I’ll sleep on the couch. Grandma isn’t home,” he pleaded. “I’ll leave you alone. I just want to make sure you’re safe.”

“Fine,” I turned back around, dropping my arms to my side. I still wouldn’t look him in the eyes. I was ashamed that I’d reacted this way and at this point I was mad at myself for being mad.

We walked the next few minutes in silence, my body and eyes heavy along with the quietness between us. I could hear Harvey’s feet dragging the ground and could almost feel his eyes staring a hole in the back of my head. His breathing was heavy from running after me. I heard his lighter flick and the smell of cigarette smoke followed me until we rounded a corner to a little white house sitting on the end of the street, welcoming us to come in. The drive way was empty besides Harvey’s white Capri. I stepped up on the porch as Harvey put out his cigarette on the metal railing. There was a certain tension in the fact that we were going into a house alone together and it was hard to ignore. Harvey began to unlock the front door.

“Harvey, I don’t know if this is a good idea. I can just walk home. It’s only a little further.”

“Okay, then I’ll walk you home,” He paused before turning to me, “Why is it a bad idea?” he asked. The way he looked at me told me he knew he answer.

“I don’t know,” I responded, my eyes averting themselves from his.

“Maeve, what’s going on?”

“Can you just respect that I don’t want to be here right now?” I asked, getting heated again.

“Fuck, I’ll leave you alone,” he threw his hands in the air.

“I don’t want-” I started.

“Then what the fuck do you want? What do you want me to do? Just let you walk home at 2 AM by yourself in the dark? I’m supposed to be the one that makes stupid decisions. You’re the smart one. The perfect one. Goddamnit, you’re perfect. Do you not think I care about you at-”

His words fell into my mouth as my lips plunged into his without warning. It was that moment where I stopped thinking. I didn’t consciously make this decision, but the alcohol running through my veins sure helped make it happen. I didn’t even see his face as I gently, but urgently pushed him against the front door. My mind wasn’t involved with what I was doing anymore and I don’t think his was either. He pulled me closer, one hand around my waist and one hot at the back of my neck making an easy entrance for his tongue into my mouth. The warm feeling in my stomach grew hot and my heart was beating so hard I swore Harvey could feel it in his chest. Our lips made up for the lack of talking we were doing, desperately searching for answers within each other. Harvey’s hips pressed against mine and my breath hitched in my chest. His rough fingertips ran up under my shirt as his lips found the nape of my neck, moving up slowly. I could feel his hot breath on my ear, making my skin tingle.

“Now what do you want?” his voice was low and gravely in my ear, wracking my whole entire body with a feeling I’d never felt before.

“I want you,” I had never been so sure of anything in my entire life.

I simply could not get enough of him. I wanted to get so close to him that it wasn’t possible to be closer. I wanted him to touch me in ways that I’d never been touched. I wanted to feel him. All of him.

He pushed back against the door and we sloppily fell in, still not separating from each other. He held me to him, kissing me as we felt our way in the dark to his bedroom. He pulled his shirt off, the dim moonlight illuminating his torso donned with a butterfly tattoo I’d never had the pleasure of seeing before. I ran my fingers along the edges of it as the moon cast his shadows on my face. I looked up at him, the green in his eyes a different color in the moon light. He glanced down at me with concern.

“Are you sure you want this?”

“Are you?”

“I’ve wanted it since I first saw you. I want you in every way you could possibly want a person, but I want to make sure you’re comfortable,” his breath fanned on my face, the smell of the cigarette still lingering as he pressed his forehead against mine. “You smell like wildflowers.”

“You smell like you,” I smiled to myself before looking up at him again. His eyes were still heavy from drinking, but they looked down at me with a beautiful intensity. I loved this man. In a moment of sobriety, my stomach dropped. I looked down at the floor. “I hope this isn’t a mistake for us.”

“It’s whatever you want it to be,” Harvey’s finger lifted my chin, holding my face there.

"Be my mistake,” I whispered.

Everything happened quickly. The dizziness of the vodka and the ache in my body found me lying on his bed, my dress on the floor. Harvey’s hands carefully lifted my shirt off my body, tousling my light brown hair on his pillow. He sat back with a dreamy look on his face. He bit his lip to stop a awestruck smile, his dimples peaking out from his cheeks.

“You know you’re beautiful, right?”

I felt my cheeks flush as I reached for the silver necklace hanging around his neck. I gently pulled him closer, wanting to his smell to intoxicate me again. He left soft kisses on my neck, trailing down my chest and finally my stomach. He stopped at the waistband of my underwear.

“Is this okay?” he asked, his warm breath sweeping across my bare stomach. I nodded as he slowly removed the piece of clothing, maintaining eye contact. He dragged his lips against the inside of my thighs before burying his head between my legs. I let him have a few minutes to drive me crazy before I pushed him back and added the rest of his clothes to the pile on the floor. I wanted all of him now. I pushed my hands through his curls, pulling him closer and allowing him take control of me. I couldn’t believe we were about to do this. I watched his face as he pushed into me, his eyes closed and his eyebrows knitted together. He kissed me deeply, both of us learning every part of each other. I never wanted to stop feeling like this. Sweat beads formed on his forehead and dripped down his chest, finding his butterfly tattoo and falling onto my stomach. The way he looked at me was something I never wanted to change. I wanted to make him look at me like that every day. I wanted him to drive me crazy. The way he moved with me made me forget how to breathe and I was okay with not remembering if I could feel like this for the rest of my life.

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