Cut To The Feeling
can't make it stop (give me all you got)
Penny was leaving for her hometown in a week, so the others decided to have a little lunch in her honour.
She wasn’t going away for good; she would be back after Christmas. But Newt and Lacey were always looking for excuses to party, and Penny leaving them to spend some quality time with her family gave them enough of an excuse.
With the exception of Moby who was getting close to her expected date of delivery (around Christmas), the shelter was running smoothly. So Beth gave all of them the remaining Wednesday after noon off since no field trip was expected.
All day, she spent walking alongside Moby, who was getting lethargic by the day. She’d sit in a corner, and if feeling, would let Rory carry her outside whenever there was enough sunshine.
But with the progressing pregnancy, Moby preferred sitting inside all day. So there wasn’t much to do in the shelter and with Harry deciding to get off her back, Rory had a lot of time in her hands to worry about the wedding.
With winter increasing in intensity, the temperature of Rory’s home was cranked up and she had taken out her warm clothes. But none of them felt suitable to wear for the lunch which was scheduled for Wednesday at two at Lacey’s house. It was across two blocks from Harry’s, so Harry decided they would first go to Rory’s, have a snack and Rory would change then they’d be going to Lacey’s.
This provided Rory with an excellent opportunity to ask him to accompany her to the wedding. She even prepared a little speech about what she was going to say to Harry, with added notes on what do to when he showed certain facial expression and what not. It was basically garbage, but it helped her in sorting out her thoughts.
Harry drove both of them home, throwing in jokes here and there. He hadn’t fully stopped bothering Rory, but he was on the way and now with Rory realizing she actually liked him doing that, she didn’t want him to stop.
They reached her home in no time, and quickly shuffled inside as cold wind hit their bodies. Rory clearly remembered what had happened the last (and the only time) Harry had come to her home. He was filled with curiosity, so preparing ahead, Rory stashed away all pictures of her teen years and before that so Harry wouldn’t find anything even if he snooped around.
Besides, she had more serious matters to tend to.
“I really like your home, Roro.”
It wasn’t much, a living area in centre with kitchen and two rooms on the opposite side. The other room used to belong to Francine, but she ended up moving out so now it remained empty. Rory’s mother now paid half of the rent, so Rory didn’t put up any ad for roommate.
Rory smiled, walking over to the kitchen counter. “Thank you, Harry.” She shuffled around, but came up short of everything she could present before Harry without burning.
“Can you cook?”
Harry was busy flipping through the magazine Rory left on the table. He looked up, eyeing Rory with a peculiar look in his eyes, “You can’t?”
Rory nodded, turning towards him and leaning over the kitchen counter, “I’m living off of frozen pizzas and instant noodles which is the only thing I can cook without burning so if you’re into that, I can heat up some pizza for you.”
Harry chuckled, abandoning the magazine and walking over to Rory. He was wearing his signature black jeans paired with a white shirt having black patterns all over it. He had taken off his brown boots which were now lying by the door. Rory decided she was going to get him similar boots for Christmas.
“Don’t worry, I can’t cook either. I mean, I can boil water but that’s about it.”
Rory was taken by surprise, feeling a smile curving on her lips, “So how do you get by?”
He shrugged, “My mum comes by once every week and cooks enough food to get me through the whole week. She’s pretty keen on having me eat healthy when she knows I hate vegetables.”
Rory was amused, “And here you were telling me just some days ago to 'eat nutritious’.”
Harry laughed. His eyes were sparkling and Rory found her hands getting clammy. She knew she was about to over-think and probably blew up whatever was going on between them. That was her tendency; to over complicate by over thinking simple things.
“Hey Harry. I was th-”
But his phone rang, cutting her off.
“Yeah, we’re at Ror- Oh, okay, cool. Yeah, we’ll be there.”
Rory was busy wiping her clammy hands off; her heart was beating really fast for someone who was merely standing. Harry ended the call after a few more affirmatives, looking at Rory as he proceeded to put away his phone.
“That was Lacey. Apparently, she left Newt to look over the food while it cooked and he ended up burning it. So Lacey placed the order at some restaurant and we have to pick it up.”
Rory sighed, agreeing to leave. One thing she found, it was much easier dealing with Harry by simply agreeing to what he had to say. And that meant agreeing when he called he made fun of her and dropped various jokes surrounding the things she did. It was much easier dealing with him now because Rory kept silent most of the times and let him do his thing.
She didn’t know how that could be beneficial even for her but by doing so she discovered a lot of things about Harry that would have otherwise remained under the cover. For example now when she found out that Harry also didn’t know how to cook or how his mother came periodically to check up on him.
He was peculiar, and so was she, that’s why she was of the view that having Harry by her side would save her from the dread of going to the wedding.
Lacey was frantic when Rory and Harry reached her home.
She had Newt had gotten into some sort of disagreement after he burnt the lunch and now Newt was sulking in the backyard. Lacey said he was acting like a toddler so she was dealing with him in the same way by giving him timeout. He was actually mad at Lacey for calling him a nincompoop.
Harry laughed loudly when Newt finished explaining why he was angry. Harry explained nincompoop wasn’t the worst thing to be called when he’d been called pretty bad things - particularly orangutan - several times. Rory blushed when he looked at her from the corner of his eyes while talking to Newt.
Penny arrived thirty minutes after that. Till then the argument between Lacey and Newt had subsided a bit and Newt was talking to Lacey again.
Lunch was filled with laughter and the voices of people talking over each other. Rory forced her mind to think about anything but the wedding and tried to have a good time. It was fun seeing everyone else around her talking and just mingling about. Occasionally, a loud laugh from Harry’s lips would ring out when Newt would crack a joke or something.
Her mind filled with images of Josh and Lara together. They were as apart as day and night yet were getting married. Josh was four years older than her and Lara, despite being her best friend, was almost the same age as him. Rory had met Lara at the animal shelter when she first starting volunteering and quickly hit it off, becoming best friends almost instantly. She met Josh a year and a half after that and was with him for the better part almost of two years. Till she found him and Lara, naked, together, in bed and a year and a half later got
invited to their wedding.
They both just had a fight three hours before that. They would fight often, but would make up minutes later. However when three hours had passed and no call from Josh came, Rory realized the magnitude of the problem was bigger than what could be solved over the phone.
She was the bigger person who went to apologize but got slapped in the face with betrayal.
Lara sure was her best friend, but it was after she ended relations with either of them that she realized they were never that close. Sure, they talked and gossiped and shares secrets but Lara never gave Rory the sisterly vibe every best friend gave the other (brotherly, if it was a male).
And Rory thought to not go to the wedding at all, to back out. It would save her from feeling distressed now but the consequences might bite her in the arse later. She wasn’t the person to run away from her problems. Even after the huge setback, she ended calling them both to settle matters on an even foot. Josh agreed, Lara and her ended up fighting when the former accused Rory of knowing she always liked Josh.
It didn’t end well, but at least it made Josh (and perhaps, maybe, Lara) to invite her at their wedding.
Almost everyone at the animal shelter knew what went down between the three of them. Harry, despite of his curiosity and his power to make everyone confide in him, was unaware probably because everyone knew it was a sensitive matter. The rest excluding Rory weren’t invited, and Rory guessed it had something to do with Newt, Lara’s house on a Christmas night (Lara was away), and a lot of toilet paper.
Rory looked around her. Everyone had gotten cozy after eating and now we’re watching The Lion King, much to Newt’s demands. Rory was sat next to Harry, not paying attention to whatever was going on the TV. Harry felt warm and comfortable, his arm rubbed against Rory with every breath he took, and it was being impossible for Rory to not rest her head on his arm and close her eyes.
Newt’s snores filled the room. He was lying with his head in Rory’s lap as his feet dangled over the edge of the couch. His snores were drowned by Simba’s 'Hakuna Matata’.
He slept soundly, almost like a baby, and Rory envied him for the ability.
It was getting close to eight when Rory decided it was time for her to leave.
Newt had already gone to bed, and by bed it meant hoarding the couch as drool dripped from the side of his mouth. Penny had left; she had some things left to pack and while Lacey stayed up, Rory could see her drooping. It wasn’t late, but Lacey had a lot to do today. She was ready to hit the bed and collapse.
As for Harry, Rory could see him rubbing his eyes and yawning. He seemed tired too, but he promised to drop Rory at her home.
“There’s no need, Harry. It’s not that late, I mean, I can get a bus.”
“It might not be late, but it’s getting cold. You wouldn’t wanna get sick, would you?”
He was leading her to the place he parked his car in the garage. Rory was rubbing her arms; with November ending it indeed was getting cold.
Harry asked once he was safely sat inside the car with his seat belt fastened. Rory looked over at him. His eyes were wide as he was trying to keep them open. The engine revved and Rory nodded her head, to indicate that she was listening.
“I was thinking that maybe you could stay over at mine? I mean, uh-” he rubbed his neck and looked away, and Rory could feel a nervous rant coming up, “-it’s getting uh, late and I’m tired. And frankly, I don’t feel like driving all the way to your home even though I promise I would but I’m tired and-”
Rory chuckled, watching him ramble nervously. Sometimes, she observed, he would rub his neck and run a hand through his hair while looking absolutely anywhere but at her. He’d bite his lips too, and often stutter.
Rory pondered over Harry’s invite to stay the night at his house. If asked two months ago, Rory would have laughed in his face, or probably wouldn’t believe him or waved it off as a prank. But things were different now, between them and with them. Rory knew he was being genuine, and staying over at his house wouldn’t probably be worse than befriending him. He was already very tired, and she knew countering him would only tire him more. Besides, what did she have to lose?
She agreed, cutting his weird formation of sentences that made little to no sense. The look of relief that passed over his face was worth taking a picture, his hair were a mess and looked very inviting for Rory to just run a hand through them.
She wondered what it would feel like to do so, and for the first time, she wondered who actually got the chance to run their fingers through the mess on his head. She realized in the six months she had known Harry, he never brought a girl with him to any of their group meet-ups, and it wasn’t as if she kept tabs on him, she never saw him leave with anyone when they’d hit a bar or something.
Take the night when they went out to the bar Newt’s uncle owned, for example. He stayed looking after Rory, instead of enjoying himself.
It opened various different probabilities and uncertainties for Rory, the kinds of which made her stomach ache and heart beat much faster for someone at rest.
Harry’s house, despite what his personality (mostly his attire) would suggest, was completely monochromatic.
Rory was surprised seeing only black and white wherever she looked. The house was much spacious than hers and smelled of lavender and a bit of oranges. It was warm and cozy and Rory instantly fell in love with it.
She followed Harry around by dragging her feet over the carpeted floor, feeling too tired to even lift her feet. Harry led her through a flight of stairs and down a small hallway which had three doors, over to a room on the left.
He turned towards her, “This room is mine, the only available one since the rest are a bit….messy.”
Rory didn’t want to question how much messy the other two rooms really were. She simply nodded and eyed him when he kept standing.
“You don’t expect me to sleep on the couch, do you? I mean, I know that’s what a gentleman would do but being tired and sleepy has extracted the gentleman out of me so the best and the only option for us is to share the bed. I hope it’s alright with you.”
Rory could only stare at him in surprise, “When were you a gentleman anyway?”
Harry eyed her, making a show of flipping his hair over his shoulder in a dramatic fashion. “I am a gentleman, thank you very much. I just never showed it around you.”
Rory rolled her eyes, shaking her head and fighting a smile when Harry opened the door and bowed down, “Milady.”
His room, contrary to his house, was an exact replica of the shirts he wore. While his house gave a sophisticated vibe, his room was more on the boyish side. It didn’t look like it belonged to a medical student. His walls were painted a mulberry colour, while the floor was yellow. His bed sheet was blue and the dresser and various drawers he had were all brown. It was just a mesh of colours and photographs and various posters on the wall, and Rory got her answer when Harry opened his mouth.
“My mum decorated the rest of the house while giving me only this room to decorate so I did it to the best of my ability.”
Truth be told, it looked exactly like the place Rory would have expected Harry to live in. Posters of Queen and Coldplay amongst various other bands were pasted over his walls, and Rory could see a picture of Harry in his adolescent years peeking from the bookshelf.
“I like it,” she finally spoke, “It’s so you.”
“Yeah. It goes along with those shirts you wear.”
Harry was rummaging through the drawers, and Rory invited herself to sit on the bed which was perfectly made. “It took a lot of begging to have mum let me colour the floor yellow. I think it brings out the colour of the walls.”
Rory hummed as Harry turned around. He was holding folded clothes in his hands, looking really relaxed and sleepy, and cuddly too.
“Here, you can wear these to bed.” He stifled a yawn and motioned towards a door to the right, “That’s the bathroom and if you’d look on the first cabinet to the right, you’ll find a spare toothbrush. I’ll just use the bathroom downstairs.”
Rory nodded, thanking Harry when he handed her clothes and entered the bathroom. It was dimly lit. Rory went over to the sink to wash her face and remove the makeup she was wearing. Searching for the toothbrush in the cabinet Harry mentioned, she found one and proceeded to brush her teeth. She changed into the clothes that Harry lent her; she saw the shirt was actually a flamingo one she had seen him wearing countless times before. It reached her mid-thigh, and the shorts were well below her knees. She had to make do with them.
Harry was already settled under the blanket when Rory got out. He looked comfortable, and showed Rory the boundary he had made using pillows in the middle of the bed.
“I’m actually a blanket hog, so you better be aware.”
Rory wanted to retort back that during the sleepovers she’d have as a kid, none of her friends slept in the same space as her because she’d hog all the space and the blanket and irritated everyone else. She slid under the blanket silently, facing away from Harry and closing her eyes after hearing the click of the lamp.
It was completely silent for a while, crickets chirped outside and owls hooted. Rory could hear Harry’s steady breath and her own heartbeat. She could hear Harry shuffling and a minute later, she heard his voice.
“Roro, are you asleep?”
She sighed, turning towards him, “I’m definitely asleep.”
There was a pillow boundary between them. Half of her was thankful for that, but half of her wasn’t because her feet were really cold and she couldn’t sleep with them being that cold nor she could warm them by herself.
“Isn’t it surreal how two months ago, you could barely look at me without wanting to sever my head and now you’re in the same bed as me?”
Rory shook her head, “I never wanted to sever your head. You just kept bothering me to no end and I didn’t think you had any boundary.”
From the little light that poured in through the window, Rory could see the silhouette of Harry’s arm removing the pillows between them. She was greeted by his figure which she could just make out.
“I liked knowing I could get to you so quickly. I still do.”
Rory took a pillow Harry just put next to his head and hit him with it. It reached his arm, and Harry snatched it from her grasp.
Harry chuckled, making Rory groan. She turned her back towards him, taking the covers all the way over her head. Her mouth had gone dry, and her head was having jumbled thoughts.
“Hey Harry, what are you doing for Christmas?”
Her back was still towards Harry, and she could feel him shuffling closer. Hear radiated off of his body under the shares blanket.
“I’ll probably be staying here. My mum will be visiting my sister in New York so I’m gonna be alone.”
Rory swallowed, turning her back and facing Harry. She could see that his eyes were open and he was staring at her.
“Then there’s a wedding on the twenty-third. Do you want to go with me?”
There. She had said it, now it was out in the open. Rory could feel her heart stopping for a moment as she anticipated his answer.
“Sure, I’ll go with you.”
That was easy, almost too easy. Rory could feel her breath coming back to her as she sighed with relief. She shuffled closer to Harry, him leaning forwards as she rested her head against his pillow.
“Thank you Harry.”
He shook his head. Rory couldn’t make out his eyes in the dark but guessed them to be twinkling. “Whose wedding is it, anyway?”
Rory was silent. He was going to find out one way or another. Or worse, he’d find out at the wedding himself. It wouldn’t hurt telling him, it was simply two words. She asked him to go to the wedding, telling him the name of the person wouldn’t hurt her more.
Rory couldn’t see his reaction, but she saw his silhouette moving in the dark as he got up and looked down at her by resting his arm on the bed to support himself. “What? Wh- Really?”
Rory nodded sheepishly, “Yeah.”
Harry was silent, so was Rory. She could feel a thousand questions running through his mind, given his curious attitude. But what came out of his mouth made Rory face palm.
“Then maybe you could introduce me as your boyfriend, yeah? I’m sure any ex of yours would totally be jealous of my body and my face and my b-”
“Go back to sleep Harry.”
He obliged quickly, dropping his head on the pillow and closing his eyes. Maybe now, Rory could say she was actually looking forward to the wedding.
Noteshello people!! we're nearing the end of the story! there's only two or three chapters left.
what do you think will happen next? there's the wedding, and there're he newfound feelings our rory has developed for our boy harry! leave your thoughts as i love reading them.
until next time