“Complexity is one of the great problems in environmental design.” - Christopher Alexander
“I feel sorry for Nick,” Lucy sighs, pushing her blonde hair from her face. “Clara was harsh on him.”
“She had the right, Luce,” I reply.
“Clara shouldn’t have found out that way.”
“So it was an instant reaction?”
“That’s how I see it.”
“Layne and I agree,” Harriet says.
“I’m going to check on Nick,” Lucy tells us, leaving.
“Have you told her?”
“What?” I ask.
“That you love her,” Layne sing-songs.
“I’m going to.”
“Luce won’t wait forever, Zeke.”
“How do you really feel about Lucy?” Harriet asks, deadly serious.
“I love her,” I declare.
“Come on, Luce. Nobody likes a lurker.” Layne says, looking up.
I turn around and Lucy comes in, blushing. I laugh and pull her into a hug. Instead of hugging me, she crashes her lips to mine and wraps her arms around my neck. I pull her closer and kiss her back. The kiss is bliss, as close to heaven you can get on Earth.
Harriet and I leave Zeke and Luce to themselves after they start snogging. We walk to Harriet’s room, me pausing outside of Clara’s room for a second before continuing to Harriet’s room. We sit on her bed and sigh, glad that they are finally happy.
“They finally admit their feelings to each other,” Harriet sighs almost longingly.
“Thank goodness,” I chuckle. “No more tortured looks.”
“What are we, Boo?”
“What do you mean?”
“Are we friends or are we more?”
I grin. “Do you want more?”
“Layne William Thompson, will you be my boyfriend?”
“Harriet Eliza Smithe, I will.”
I can hear every word that Layne and Harriet, and Zeke and Luce are saying. It makes me happy that they are happy and have admitted that they have feelings for each other. It also makes me sad because they have something I never will.
Why? I deserve it.
Why would you think that?
Tell you 2morrow.
I’ll tell you why I deserve what you did 2 me.
Nobody deserved that. Sorry.
I started the whole thing.
Tired. Talk 2morrow. Night.
Night. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.
I turn my phone off and put it on the charger. Harriet and everyone else say goodnight and then silence descends upon the whole house. I roll over and curse into my pillow. I hate that the people in this house have something that I never will, and that Nick is still gone.
I hear my door open and open my eyes slightly to see Layne walking in. He sniffles and falls onto the mattress. I sit up and get out of my bed. I walk over to the mattress and kneel next to it. I put my hand on Layne’s arm and he looks at me.
“Did I wake you?” Layne whispers.
I shake my head. “What’s wrong?”
“It’s nothing important.”
“I just got a phone call.”
“Does she have cancer or something, Layne?”
He nods. “Lung cancer.”
“I don’t know how. Neither her or Mark smoke.”
“It isn’t always caused by smoking.”
He nods slowly and I pull him into a hug. He buries his face in my shirt and I stroke his hair. Why did this have to happen to sweet, carefree Layne? He didn’t do anything to deserve it, and he won’t. I guess it’s just life.
“Try get some sleep,” I murmur.
“I can’t, Clara,” Layne mutters.
“Try. For Har? For me?”
He nods slowly and lays beck on the mattress, closing his eyes. I smile and start to get up. He grabs my wrist and pulls me onto the mattress. I hear him chuckle when I squeak, and I hit his chest. He just wraps his arm around my waist and I roll my eyes.
“What else is bothering you?” I ask.
“I don’t know why she did it.”
My eyes widen. “What did that shit head do now?”
“She cheated on me.”
He nods. “With some blonde-brown haired person.”
“That sounds familiar.”
“Don’t confront her yet.”
“I want to see if she does it again.”
“So she will eventually get reckless?”
“I want to catch her in the act.”
“Fine. I am reluctantly agreeing to this.”
“That’s all I need, Layne.”
He kisses my forehead. “Night, love.”
I smile. “Night, Layne.”