Hey everyone...I am still under the weather, okay, sick as a dog...but I wanted to get this done. I hope I fixed all of the errors that my true blue pointed out, but if not, well this is a work in progress.
Like always tell us what you think.
“Owens Mom called?” Grace could tell by Harper’s tone she was trying to make conversation as they made their way to the car.
“No. Lucky said that so Owen would have an excuse to take you home. He was trying to give O some alone time with you.” Grace didn’t see any point in lying about it.
“Oh.” Harper cast her eyes to Graces over the hood of the car and asked, “ So? What did you think of Lucky?”
Grace shrugged. “He’s cute.” She wanted to say so much more. Launch into how it had felt as he held her hand in the mall and tell Harper about these rampant feelings she was having. She wanted Harper’s opinion in the worst way. But their relationship’s been subtly shifting for the past two days. God, had it only been two days? Instead, she did something she had never done before. She shut Harper out and changed the subject. “I have a few things I need to do before I meet Truman tonight. You want me to drop you off, or do you want to come with?”
Her heart was beating double time, and it physically hurt that they couldn’t talk like they used to. But Harper hadn’t been straight with her since the night of the band party, and right at that moment she wasn’t feeling all warm and fuzzy either.
Getting a little miffed, Harper asked, “Are you pissed off because I didn’t go with Owen?”
Again, deciding honesty was the best policy Grace said, “You bet I’m pissed, but it’s got nothing to do with Owen and everything to do with what happened at lunch.”
Harper froze. The old Harp would have demanded to know what Grace was talking about. She would have gone toe to toe with Grace even if she thought she was wrong. But this new and damaged version of Harper went stone still. Like, if she didn’t move, Grace would forget about whatever it was that had pissed her off to begin with.
Whipping the car into the parking lot on the back side of the mall, Grace decided it was time to have it out. Turning to her best friend of more years than she could count, she wanted to let loose with both barrels but was stopped short by the anguish in Harper's eyes. Just that fast, her anger evaporated. This was her best friend. Maybe it wasn’t Harper who needed a reminder of what that meant, and wasn’t that a sobering thought. Leaning down, she laid her head against the steering wheel while keeping Harper firmly in sight.
In a voice better suited to a skittish animal, Grace said, “I get that you don’t need me to slay your dragons, or even want me to. I do. But Harps, I know something is wrong, and I know something happened. And while I can’t promise not to go all ape shit when you finally tell me, it’s killing me that you won’t. I have never lied to you. Ever. But suddenly you’re evading my questions and turning everything around. Plus, you’re clearly uncomfortable around me all of a sudden. I get that I fucked up today at lunch, but that was an accident. I swear to God, I would never intentionally hurt you like that. And on top of all that, I finally figured out Owen is the guy you’ve been all moony over for the past couple of weeks. He’s a drummer, and that curly hair, I don’t know why I didn’t put it together right away yesterday. Hell, I don’t even feel right telling you about my plans with Truman tonight because every time someone mentions the word ‘party’ or ‘go out’ you go all statue.”
And just like that Harper demonstrated by bowing up. Her eyes started to tear and she anxiously looked around as if trying to find a way out. In true Harper fashion, her face got redder and she gasped for air. Frantically, pulling the door handle release, she burst from the car running toward the rear where she proceeded to lose her lunch.
Moving like a shot, Grace jumped from the car as the panic climbed and clutched at her throat.
Once done, Harper swiped her hand across her mouth and leaned against the car, before sliding to the ground in a soundless melt. Walking to her side and bending down, Grace didn't know what to do. With the same dogged determination that had seen her through everything else she slid to the ground next to her friend.
“Harper.” She said softly, patiently.
Clearing her throat and then having to clear it a second time, Harper whispers, “Grace if I tell you…then it…that makes it…real.”
Touching Harper's hair, because in that moment she needed the connection, she whispered back, “Harp, it’s real whether you tell me or not. But telling someone, anyone, makes it less scary because you don’t have to do this by yourself.”
A keening wail rose from her friend and she turned her head to look at Grace with eyes begging, for what Grace had no idea. Suddenly Harper is in Graces arms crying big racking sobs, her body shaking with the force of her despair and heartache. In that moment Grace is consumed with pure hatred for the person who could reduce her beautiful, gifted friend to this.
Once the purging is complete, Harper sat up and leaned against the car. Turning and meeting Graces stare she said, “I don’t think your right, about me feeling any better. But you are right about me keeping a secret. I just have one question. If I tell you, will you keep my secret too?”
Feeling only a little dishonest Grace crossed her legs, in lieu of her fingers, and said “Harper, it’s you and me. Cradle to grave, remember. I got your back no matter what. Do you want to go back to my house and have this talk?”
Harper looked around at the asphalt parking lot, taking in the buzz of the passing traffic and sighs. “This is as good a place as any, I guess.” Taking a deep breathe she turns and in halting, static filled words, began her story.
Okay so you know the drill. Give me your honest opinion.
Okay so you know the drill. Give me your honest opinion.