Chapter 7: Taking Care of Harris
Since it was Saturday, Tristan has no work because it was his and Mia’s day. Weekends were their time together then the rest was for his class and work. Usually, they watched cartoon networks since it was Mia’s favorite, tutoring her with her subjects, playing random games on Saturday. Then on Sunday, he would let his little bun play in the park near their dorm or it would be his rest day and Mia would just stay inside with her coloring books and barbies.
But since Harris happened to live in their dorm now—he was thinking that they could tag him along. So he waited for him to come outside and asked him but no Harris came out in the past days.
One week has passed since Harris became his roommate. For one week, he hardly saw him outside his room. He just saw him when cooking, eating, or sometimes when Mia requested for him to play. He didn’t know why Harris always locked himself inside the room instead of joining him and Mia when they played monopoly or watched T.V. He didn’t bother asking him why after all because he noticed that Harris loved his personal space most of the time. He just talked when being asked. He never saw again his cockiness like the first time they met. The Harris he knew in their first meeting and the Harris he knew in his first day living with them has gone.
“Phi, do you think P’Harris is sick or mad at us?” Mia suddenly asked. They were sitting on the couch, watching Spice Girls. “I barely saw him. Unlike his first day here, I think he’s avoiding us for a week.” Mia had a sad smile.
He looked at her. It was already 7 p.m and he had not seen Harris since morning. The pale man just Line him telling him that he already cooked food for them and just reheat it. They barely saw him but this day, he felt something odd about the man.
“Why do you think he’s mad?” He tapped his fingers on his thigh, thinking how off today.
“I knocked on his door earlier, he just said he’s tired and wants to sleep. Or maybe he just wants to be alone. Phi, you should check him. I’m worried for P’Harris.” Mia might not know Harris for a long time but she was already attached to him since the first day they met.
He nodded. He knocked on Harris’ room but he didn’t answer. He knocked again three times, still got no answer. He tried to call his phone, no answer too but he could hear the ring inside. Without a second thought, he looked for the duplicate key and got inside the pale man’s room.
“Sorry for entering but why—”
He stopped in the middle, the room was only covered with dim light. But he could catch a glimpse of bulk under a thick blanket, fully covered. He heard a low panting sound coming under the blanket.
‘Shia! He’s sick and I didn’t bother to look out for him.’
He just thought that Harris was avoiding them. He hurriedly went to him and removed the cover only to saw the pale man sweating non-stop. His usually pale skin looked paler. Harris moaned hard when he touched his forehead. ′For Pete’s sake! He’s burning.′ He immediately asked Mia to give him a cup of water while searching for medicine in his own room.
“W-What happened to P’Harris, Phi?” Mia looked worried.
“He has a fever. Stay outside okay? You might catch a fever too, little bun.”
“But Phi. I want to be with him. He’s sick!” Mia was about to go near Harris but he stopped her.
“Little bun, your P’Harris is sick like what you said. I can take care of him, na? He’ll be fine, I promise. So go outside for now and play or watch. I’ll be there after making sure your Phi is okay.” Mia bit her finger but nodded after.
He picked a light shirt and boxer in Harris’ closet. He then put a basin of water and a towel on the table. “Hey, wake up for now. You need to take medicine.” He slowly patted his shoulder, waking him up.
But Harris just groaned and covered himself again but he removed it after. “You need to take your meds first,” he said.
Harris hardly opened his eyes and was about to smack him but failed. He snorted like he was hurting too much, placing his weak hands on his forehead and massaged it lightly.
“Shia!” he growled. Harris hardly moved his body. He winced when he tried to get up. So he helped him and put more pillows behind his head. He could see how fluffy and red his face was.
“Why did you not tell us that you’re sick?” He hissed. He arranged the medicine and water to give them to the pale man.
Harris didn’t answer him only to find out that he already closed his eyes again and turned to his side slowly.
“Wake up! Wake up!” He tugged the duvet hugging Harris’ lower body.
“Fuck you!” Harris’ voice barely heard.
“Oh we can do that later but please take your meds first.” He didn’t mind Harris’ stubbornness. He was worried sick. His heart filled with guilt because the man was suffering alone though he was just right outside his room.
“Don’t you think sick people need food first before taking a med?” Harris might have a fever but he was still sassy.
He opened and closed his mouth, trying to find a word. “W–Well, yeah. I need to cook some soup. Can you wait for another minute, yeah?”
“You couldn’t even cook a hotdog, remember? How are you supposed to make soup?” Harris asked innocently. Too innocent that made him want to smack him but preferred to calm down just because he was sick.
“Only for now. Only for now. Be patient, Tristan.” He whispered to himself.
“A–Are you saying something?” Harris asked, then started to cough.
He panicked again. “Nothing. Wait here, yeah? Don’t sleep.”
He ran outside. He was terrified while thinking about what to do. Mia walked beside him. “Phi, why are you trembling?”
“Your P’Harris is sick. And he needs to eat. But I don’t know how to cook soup,” he answered.
“Just search how to make one.”
“What if I messed it up? What if he got food poisoning? What—”
“Phi, I got sick and you take very well of me. You called for Gia or went outside to buy me food. You can do that again.”
That’s when he realized how stupid he was. He was too worried that he couldn’t think properly. He shyly smiled and scratched his head. “Yeah right. Okay, I’ll buy outside. Don’t go anywhere.”
His smile almost reached his ears. He had a proud smile when Harris saw the soup he served. “You cooked?” Harris was curious, he had this small smile.
“Well. . .” He scratched his head. “Nope. I bought it.”
Harris’ smile quickly faded away. He pouted that he found it out cute. “What to expect,” he murmured.
“Just eat okay? Then take your meds.”
He tried to help the pale man to eat but he always received a light smack on his arms. “I can eat by myself.”
After finishing the soup, he gave the meds to him. Harris turned around with his eyes glaring at him then sighed after. He took the meds in his hand. He handed him the water then.
“You can simply tell us if you’re not feeling well. We’re just outside, you know?” But he was still feeling guilty. Thinking if he decided to talk to Harris first, the situation might not be worse like now.
Harris just moaned. Then slowly closed his eyes again. He clicked his tongue. Thinking wisely whether to undress the pale man or just leave him like that. But when he saw how he whimpered, he decided to choose the first option. He blew some air before starting to undress him, praying that he wouldn’t get a black eye from Harris after.
He managed to remove the pale man’s shirt. And gulped when he was about to remove his pants. Fuck! It was his first time doing this. He could easily undress girls but not boys. He cursed silently after seeing the big bulge behind Harris’ trunks.
He gulped when he saw his smooth skin. It was pale and felt good to touch. He licked his lower lips and was about to touch the pale man’s skin.
“I just have a fever but I can still kick you. Don’t ever think to touch me, dickhead!”
He got startled when he heard Harris’ hoarse voice. He met his cold eyes. He bit his lips seeing how flushed the man was. “I—I need to wipe your body to lessen the heat.”
He slowly wiped his neck down to his chest then to his torso and also his thighs. After a few minutes of lessening his burning, he was done. He then put on the new shirt but not his trunks.
“How’s P’Harris, Phi?”
“He will be okay soon, little bun.” He saw Mia writing something on her notepad.
“Will I go to P’Gia or not?”
“You’ll be fine here. Your P’Harris is still sick.”
“Okay Phi. Just take care of him, na?”
He smiled and ruffled her hair. “Yes, little bun. I will.”
It was Sunday morning and he felt exhausted. He stayed awake overnight due to Harris’ uncomfortable sleeping. The pale man would be awake from time to time unless he did his newly discovered way to make him sleep. Harris liked it when he held his hand. He caressed it until Harris fell asleep again.
He walked like a zombie in the kitchen. He only heated the leftover food. Meds, water, and soup on the tray, he entered Harris’ room. He placed it on the table before sitting on the edge of his bed. He touched his forehead, a good thing that his fever lessened.
He opened the windows and pulled off the thick curtains blocking the light outside. After fixing Harris’ room, he went beside the pale man who was still sleeping.
He bit his lips when his eyes landed on Harris’ face. That was his first time seeing his close-up look. He had thick eyebrows like him, pouty lips, a pointed nose, long eyelashes, in general, he has a perfect face. He unconsciously stroked the pale man’s bangs. Moving it sideways to get a clearer view. He then focused on his pouty lips, it was inviting him. He unconsciously stroked his lips gently. It was so smooth.