"Growth creates complexity, which requires simplicity." - Andy Stanley
“Harriet!” Mum yells. “Where have you been?!”
“With my friends, Lissa,” Harriet says, her speech slightly slurring.
“Next time call if you’re going to be late.”
“I promise I will, Lissa.”
I hear the front door close and footsteps coming up the stairs. I turn my head to see Harriet when she comes into the rumpus room and take in her appearance. Her emerald green eyes are glimmering a brighter green than usual, her chocolate curls are limp and her clothes are rumpled. She looks like she had the time of her life.
“Whose party was it this time, Harriet?” I ask, slightly annoyed that she left me again.
“Zeke’s,” Harriet answers, grinning like an idiot.
“You’re seventeen and drunk?”
“I only had two.”
“If Mum or Robert find out-”
“I’m dead,” Harriet sighs. “I know.”
“Who did you make out with this time?”
“Umm...” Harriet’s face goes red.
“Do I know him?”
“Yes, you know him.”
“Was it Layne?”
“I’m not blind, Harriet.”
Harriet sighs and pushes her unruly curls back from her face.
“How drunk was he?”
I blink in surprise. “Who kissed who?”
“He kissed me.”
“Is he completely straight?”
“Bi, I think.”
I nod and look back at the window. I can see Nick’s house from here and, if the lights were on, like right now, I could see him in his room. Nobody knows that I have a crush on Nick, and I plan to keep it that way. I touch the glass and smile fondly at my thoughts. I just wish that I had the guts to say something to him..
“Are you spying on Nick?” Harriet asks, a cheeky smirk on her face.
“What?” I gasp. She couldn’t know. “Why would I?”
“I’m not blind either, Clara.”
“You can’t tell anyone.”
“That you like spying?”
“That I might like him.”
Harriet drops her cup and it smashes, shards of glass going every which way. I slap my hands over my mouth and my eyes widen. I did not just say that to Nick’s best friend, or my step-sister. Harriet turns me to face her and I see the shock clear on her face. She hadn’t expected me to say something like that, I could easily.
“You’re crushing on my best friend?” Harriet manages to say, her voice unusually high and full of shock.
“I think so,” I squeak.
“Only about a year...”
“I’m surprised that he hasn’t figured it out yet.”
“He could have.”
“It could get messy if he has.”
“Zeke’s bisexual, and he likes Nick.”
“Nick isn’t bisexual or gay. Is he?”
“No,” Harriet sighs, letting my arms go. “That’s good though.”
I sigh. “Why is it good?”
“He’s the only normal one of us.”
“What about Lucy?”
“She’s bisexual. Not to mention, she kind of likes Zeke at the moment.”
“I’m surprised, Harriet.”
“I never pegged Lucy as someone who liked boys and girls.”
“But you pegged Layne, Zeke and me?”
“You are a brilliant judge of character, Clara.”
“Don’t start, Harriet. I’ve had a bad enough day as it is.”
“Fine. See you in the morning.”
Harriet leaves the room and I turn back to the window. Nick’s light is off and I can no longer see into his room. I sigh and head to my bedroom, silently cursing Harriet for bringing up the subject of Nick earlier. She is so annoying sometimes, and I know that she has the best intentions of the lot of us, but, the last time I checked, the way to heaven wasn’t paved with good intentions.
Harriet has always been one to force you to talk about uncomfortable topics and get you to tell the truth just by staring at you with her bright green eyes that seem to pierce your soul or something. It gives you shivers and makes you uncomfortable until you tell her what she wants to know. There is no way around it. Believe me. I’ve tried many times to get around it.