That afternoon, after the lunch rush, the customers at Crux have thinned out. While I’m on my lunch break, Uncle Chris comes to see me.
“Thanks for your help, ever… Oh, so you are here today, Elisabeth! Congratulations!” He takes my hand and shakes it forcefully.
“Congratulations for what?”
“Your love for Harry is officially mutual, right? So, that calls for congratulations!” it seems that uncle Chris has already heard about Harry’s confession of love, because he’s grinning from ear to ear. “You two had me worried there for a while, but I’m so happy for you both! I can finally relax enough to taste my beer again!”
“I didn’t know you were that worried about me.”
“Well of course. You’re my little Elisabeth.”
“It sounds like a pack of lies, coming from you.”
“I told you the truth. After all, I was more worried about you than anyone else here. Isn’t that right, Mr. Manager?” The Manager stays quiet. “See, even he agrees.”
“He didn’t say anything!” I guess… Harry and I are an item now. We have mutual feelings for one another, after all. And of course, we both know how we feel, but…
“Why the long face?”
“Well…” I try talking to Uncle Chris about what’s been bothering me since this morning. “We’re living together again, and making a new start… but Harry’s just the same as he always was.”
“What do you mean?”
“I just thought that… having mutual feelings for one another officially, would mean that we’d be more, you know, lovey-dovey. But, he’s as full of himself as ever, conceited, selfish,…”
“That could just be Harry trying to hide his shyness.”
“Ahh!” I scream as Justin claps my shoulder and takes a seat next to me. “How long have you been there?”
Then, more people flood into the bar after him.
“God, if Harry got all warm and fuzzy all of the sudden? How freaky would that be, huh?” Liam takes the seat next to me and smiles.
“I think all she wants is honesty... So, why don’t we all use today to discuss this? Figure everything out.” Zac tousles my hair and orders a beer.
“Dammit! What is with you guys always showing up at the same damn time, anyway!” In the end, everyone ends up at the bar, except for Harry himself. The topic of conversation, of course, is our ‘relationship’.
“I’d love to have my hands on someone for a whole day… I could keep thinks going for 25 hours straight.” Zac grins.
“25 hours? What’s with the extra hour?”
“All my love can’t fit into one day, you know. But, you just started dating, right? If you’re not all over each other now, when’s it going to happen?”
“God, that’s just like you, Zac…” Justin covers his eyes with his hands.
“Harry can be pretty stubborn.” Robert grabs his beer and takes a sip. “He probably doesn’t know how to act towards you yet. When you’ve been friends for so long, it’s hard to step out of the friend zone and go to being lovers.”
“So, just be in lover mode all the time! Problem solved!” Zac pulls up his hands in a weird gesture.
“Can you be quiet for just one second?” Harry and I can talk to each other, and we have fun when we’re together. But Roberts right. We can’t seem to switch gears and get into lover mode.
“What’s Harry like, as a boyfriend?” Liam has his hand under his chin and looks at me expectedly.
“What do you mean?”
“We know how he is as a friend, you know? We just want to know what he’s like around his girl. We have no idea about that…”
“Oh, really? Even though you’ve known him for so long?”
“Guys don’t show that side of themselves to other guys. It’s kind of embarrassing.”
“I don’t mind showing it.” Zac tries putting his arm around my waist, but uncle Chris gives him a slap.
“You’re the exception. To be honest, I don’t see Harry as the type to be head over heels for anyone.”
“Oh… You really think so?” I look at uncle Chris and he nods.
“It’s got nothing to do with you, Elisabeth. He’s just… you know… distant.”
“He holds way too much back…” Zac rubs the spot where uncle Chris had hit him. “Even though he should be putting way more out there.”
“This coming from the guy who puts out way too much. I want to see Harry smitten! I’m going to laugh so hard if he’s all sweet and needy!” Liam laughs out loud.
“Who’s sweet and needy?”
“I didn’t even see you there… Those ninja skills.” Liam’s trying to change the conversation.
“Shouldn’t you guys be the first to notice when someone comes in?”
“They’re just really involved in their conversation. Though they should keep their noses out of other people’s relationships anyway.” Harry crosses his arms over his chest and pulls up an eyebrow.
“We’re not, though! Inquiring minds just want to know.” Justin puts his arm around Harry’s shoulders, smiling like an idiot.
“It’s an important part of my job to know things like that. We’re worried about the two of you.”
“That is what it is, but Harry, aren’t you on house arrest? Can you even be here?”
“What if someone sees you?”
“They won’t. You worry too much.” I realize that everyone is watching us, grins plastered on their faces. “All of you make me sick.”
“But… you’re just so cute!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Or rather, something’s different about you two. If I had to say, there’s that sweet tension between a man… and a woman… in the air… Which means that, you two…”
“You guys need to stop using us as your entertainment!” Harry’s blushing from all the attention. “God, these jerks are the only ones here, so there’s no reason for you to work anymore, is there? I’ll be taking her home with me now anyway.” Harry takes my hand. I glance over at uncle Chris and he’s smiling and waving me away.
“Yeah, she’s good. Thanks for your help.”
“And so the dish runs away with the spoon, huh.”
“They’re not really running, though…”
“Lucky Harry. I wish I had a girlfriend.”
“See you later, Elisabeth!”
“Come on, let’s go home.” Harry pulls me away, hard. Everyone sees us off as we leave Crux together.
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