Chapter 33 : The One Where Plans Are Made
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“Pass the salt, please.” I say awkwardly to Nick who’s sitting across the table.
“Here you go.” Nick says equally embarrassed.
Both of us look at our plates avoiding each other’s glances. Dad sits between us staring at us, eating his dinner in silence.
“So…” Dad starts trying to defuse the awkwardness. “How is the studying going? For exams?”
“Good.” Both Nick and I say and immediately lower our heads.
“Okay.” Dad says and sighs heavily. “I just remembered I need to finish some paper work.” He adds and I raise my eyebrows at him. He coughs as he gets up from the table. “I’ll leave you two alone.”
Very smooth Dad.
“So, enjoy the dinner.” Dad continues as he puts on his jacket. “Clean the dishes.” He puts on his shoes. “And go to sleep early. Separately!” he adds and I feel my face getting warm. “I meant separately. Good.” He walks out of the door leaving the awkwardness behind.
“He is so good at handling awkward situations.” Nick observes and I laugh.
“Yes, sorry about that.” I say as I fold my napkin neatly on the side of my plate. He smiles at me from across the table and bites his lip. God, he looks so sexy when he does that. I smile back at him.
“I appreciate what your Dad’s doing for me.” He says. “Well, for my Mom and me.”
“And why should that shock you?” I ask. “You’re like a son to him.”
“Yes, but I thought, since the two of us have… hmmm…” He starts and I blush.
“He doesn’t know.” I say and this time he blushes.
“I was talking about us being together.” He quickly says. “Not about us, well, being together. “
“Oh.” Is all I say.
We stay quiet for a while until he breaks the silence. “Do you want to talk about it?”
“About us.” He explains. “About my Dad, your Dad, about Jenna and the baby. About what happened between us.”
“That wasn’t supposed to happen.” I say and he looks a bit offended.
“You regret that?”
“Yes.” I say then sigh. “No. Yes.”
“Maybe it was a mistake that I came here.” Nick says as he gets up and takes his plate to the sink.
“No, it wasn’t, Nick.” I beg and get up as well joining him in the kitchen. “It’s just… All of this is so complicated.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” he asks and turns around to face me. “Just yesterday I was supposed to be a father. And I got used to the idea. And now, I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a relief but…”
“But you’re disappointed as well.” I finish.
“I would have been a better father to that child than my father was to me.” He explains. “I know I would. I would have offered that child everything I have.”
“I know you would.” I say and hesitantly grab his hand. “You will be a great father one day, Nick.”
He looks at me and leans in as if he was going to kiss me but I back away. “Nick, it’s still too complicated.”
“So, let’s uncomplicate it.” He offers and squeezes my hand. “I love you, Ash.”
“Nick, I really-“
“Let’s start with basics.” He interrupts me. “I love you. How do you feel about me?”
“I love you too, you know that.” I say and he smiles at me.
“Well, that’s good.” He says but I shake my head.
“No, that only complicates things.” I say. “You said it yourself. Just yesterday you thought you were going to be a father.”
“But I am not.” He insists. “Even if I was that would never affect my feelings for you. I have loved you since we were little, Ashley and I will love you until I stop breathing.”
“I feel the same way.” I say and he smiles again.
“I feel like we’re getting somewhere now.”
“It’s not going to be like it was before.” I remind him.
“We’ll take it slow.” He promises and I smile.
Five minutes later, we’re rolling around in my bed.
“Happy birthday to you!” Hilary hugs me as soon as I join them in our compartment.
“And also, our condolences.” Lydia reminds her.
“That too.” Hilary adds.
“Thanks girls.” I say hugging them both. “I have missed you.”
“We missed you as well.” Lydia says.
“Where’s Savannah?” I ask looking around searching for my third roommate.
“She said she wanted something sweet, so she ran out looking for the trolley lady.” Lydia explains as she sits back reading Advanced Potions.
“Well, I don’t know about the trolley lady, but judging her looks she was definitely in the mood for something sweet.” Hilary winks and sits next to Lydia.
“What do you mean?” I ask and Lydia rolls her eyes.
“Hilary’s under the impression Savannah is secretly dating someone.” She explains and I laugh.
“Savannah couldn’t wait to tell us if she was seeing anyone.” I point out.
“That may be so, but listen to me girls. Lydia, you may know your Potions, Ashley, you may know your Quidditch, but I know my relationships. And if a girl gets dressed like Savannah did today, that is definitely for a guy.”
Savannah showed up an hour later, which by itself was very suspicious. Secondly, Hilary was right, Savannah put in more effort in her looks today than she usually does. When we asked where she had bin, she claimed she couldn’t find the trolley lady. Even Lydia found that weird, but we didn’t want to push it.
“Now that we’re done interrogating me,” Savannah says flicking her hair behind her back. “What about you, Ash?”
“Well, my holidays were definitely dynamic.” I sigh.
“I read about your engagement.” Hilary says. “I’m sorry.”
“I’m not.” I say. “He was an idiot.”
“Plus, your heart is promised to someone else, ha?” Savannah nudges me with a wink.
“If you’re referring to James-“ I start.
“No, we’re referring to Dumbledore.” Hilary says sarcastically and I roll my eyes.
“If you have read the papers, you may have noticed a picture of the entire Potter/Weasley clan, with a rather beautiful blonde around James’ arms.” I point out.
“A blonde?” Savannah asks pulling out latest paper from her bag. “You mean Terry Delacour? Victoire Weasley’s cousin and maid of honour?”
“That still doesn’t mean a thing.” I insist. “Why does she have her hands around James?”
“She is just standing behind him.” Hilary points out. “Her hands are nowhere close to him.”
“That kind of overreacting is typical when a girl has a crush on a guy.” Lydia points out from behind her book and I just stare at her gloomily.
“Enough about James, Savannah’s secret boyfriend and any other guy in this world.” Hilary interrupts. “How did you celebrate your birthday?”
“With a lame dinner for all of my grandmother’s friends.” I say.
“That’s terrible.” Savannah states.
“Damn right.” Hilary confirms. “I bet there wasn’t even alcohol.”
“Only if you count grandmother’s scotch which she secretly mixes with her tea.” I observe.
“That means we have to throw a real party for your birthday.” Hilary states.
“A party?” Savannah laughs. “That’s a great idea.”
“Yeah, with lots of alcohol, with good music, with handsome guys.” Hilary says.
“That’s against all rules.” Lydia mentions.
“That’s amazing.” I say at the same time and Lydia looks at me sharply.
“You’re a prefect!” she accuses me.
“Shit!” I remember and everyone stares at me in surprise. I cough awkwardly.
“Well, no one has to know it’s us who’s hosting the party.” Hilary says with an evil smile on her face.
“What do you mean?” I ask wondering what’s going on in that head of hers.
“We could all wear masks.”
“A masquerade.” Savannah smiles. “I love that.”
“I hate that.” Lydia protests but I smile ignoring her.
“Girls, we’re throwing a party.”
I wake up the next morning feeling happier than I’ve been in a long time. Remembering the last night with Nick is enough to bring a smile on my face. The only problem is that right now he’s sleeping on the couch in the living room while I’m here in my bedroom. Also, the sound of my father snoring in the room next door is enough to break the ideal romantic atmosphere.
How am I supposed to tell him Nick and I are back together?
Also, how are we supposed to get pass Jenna and the baby. And Nick’s Dad?
Oh, my, the ideal romantic atmosphere blew up in a second.
I get up with a sigh and immediately get dressed for school. Today was the first day after the break but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to think about school and the upcoming exams. I guess I’ve reached a point in my life when you realise so many things can go wrong. You no longer care about primitive problems such as school or exams.
I look at myself in the mirror and realise I’ve got a huge hickey on my neck. I try to cover it up with make-up and suddenly start laughing thinking about how my grandmother would react if she saw this. She would probably shun me from the family.
“Is everything okay?” Dad asks as he comes into my room.
I immediately slap my neck covering up the hickey. “Yes.” I say and he raises his eyebrows.
“Then what are you laughing about?” he asks suspiciously.
“I remembered something funny.” I say and he looks at me as if I lost my mind.
“Okay, lunatic.” He gives up. “Get ready, breakfast in five.”
He closes the door behind him and I burst out laughing again. I have no idea what’s happening to me. I stand in front of my closet fully aware that my boyfriend is waiting outside.
Oh, Merlin, what will I wear?
It’s not like he hasn’t seen me at my worst, in sweats, with greasy hair and bad breath, but still, a girl needs to try a bit.
Half an hour later I walk out of the room wearing a black mini skirt, a white shirt fulfilled with leather jacket and black boots. I flattened my hair thinking how it makes me look taller and carefully applied make up.
“Wow.” Nick says looking at me and I smile at him.
“What is this?” Dad asks getting waffles on the table.
“What is what?” I ask casually sitting down at the table. Nick, who’s still watching me with a smile sits across of me.
“Oh, God.” Dad says suddenly putting the plate down and putting his hands on his hips. “You two are back together!” he says accusingly pointing a finger at us.
“What?” I ask faking shock.
“No.” Nick says dragging that ‘o’ in a manner that doesn’t sound convincing at all.
“You two are the worst liars.” Dad shakes his head as he joins us at the table. “You do realise that just yesterday he thought he was going to be a father? No offense, Nick.”
“None taken.” Nick waves his hand.
“Dad, I know all of that.” I explain. “Nick and I talked yesterday. We discussed everything. And, we think we’re losing a lot more if we don’t try this.”
“David, I know I’ve cost you a lot of nerves and tears. Not just Blair but you as well, but she has been my biggest support through all of that and-“
“I don’t want that kind of life for my daughter.” Dad cuts him off.
“I know that, David.” Nick says. “I would never want that for her either. With how much I’ve lost, with all the problems I’ve been through, I know what matters and I’m not putting Blair through that-“
He gets cut off by an owl tapping at the kitchen window. Dad gets up and lets her in. Nick and I stay silent as he reads the letter. I feel sad all of a sudden. I didn’t realise Dad would be so against us.
Dad shakes his head and hands it to Nick. “You’re not going to put Blair through it, ha?”
“What is it?” I ask getting up from the table.
“Do you care to tell her?” Dad asks and Nick looks at me paler than ever.
“My Dad has been let out of the custody because my Mom doesn’t want to sue him.”
Dad says you broke off the engagement with Daniel. Finally some good news. Hope you celebrated your birthday better than I did.
Did you know that Nick’s Dad is an alcoholic? He’s been abusing Nick and his Mum for a very long time. Look at me. These are not the things to be discussed like this.
On the brighter side, Nick and I are back together. And let me tell you, I have never felt like this before. It sounds like a cliché, I know. But I guess that’s what happiness is.
On the sadder side, I feel like Dad is against it. I understand it, of course. Nick and I have been through a lot and it hasn’t been easy on me, but if I’ve learned something through all of this, is that I have to fight for what I want.
Hopefully you’re doing the same.
Well, well, Nick and Ashley are back together. Too bad Nick's life is heading in a bad direction. What do you think of David? Is he right to be mad about Nick and his daughter getting back together?
Also, there's a lot of party planning happening. What do you think of that?
Hope you like it guys. Thank you all for great reviews. Please, continue like that. I love you all.
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