"Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to keep things simple." - Richard Bransor
“Nick,” Zeke slurs, a strange smile on his face. “Why are you so cute?”
“You’re drunk, Zeke,” I tell him, giving him a wry smile.
“I only had one drink, Nicky.”
“He’s had one too many,” Lucy mumbles from beside me.
“Luce,” Harriet says, walking over to us. “What time is it?”
Layne comes up behind Harriet and puts his arms around Harriet’s waist. He presses his lips to her throat and leaves a trail of kisses down to the collar of Harriet’s shirt, causing her to hold back a moan. Layne smirks and nuzzles Harriet’s neck.
“It’s eight thirty, Har,” Lucy says.
“Shit,” Harriet mutters. “I’ve gotta get home.”
“Why?” Zeke asks, suddenly more sober than he was a minute ago.
“Robert and Lissa want me to watch Clara while they go out.”
“Protective people aren’t they?”
“Don’t start, Zeke,” Layne mumbles against Harriet’s collarbone.
“See you later, peeps,” Harriet says, untangling herself from Layne and walking out the door.
“Clara’s fifteen,” Zeke grumbles, a scowl on his face. “She should be fine.”
“Are you drunk, Layne?” I ask, tilting my head to the side.
“Sober,” Layne shakes his head, a small smile on his face. “Had one drink, that’s it.”
“Harriet had how many?”
“Zeke, I’m taking you home,” Lucy says, standing up and holding onto Zeke’s arm as he swayed.
“Why can’t Nicky?” Zeke whines, trying to pull away from Lucy’s iron hold.
“I live next to you.”
“I gotta take Layne and Harriet home anyway,” I say. “See ya, mates.”
Layne and I walk out of the club and see Harriet on a bench, staring up at the stars with a content smile on her face. She notices us and gets up, walking to my car. I climb in the front and Layne gets in the back with Harriet. I occasionally hear a moan or whimper as I drive. I pull up at Layne’s house and he reluctantly gets out.
“Why is Layne being so clingy tonight?” I ask Harriet.
“Who knows?” Harriet replies, straightening her shirt and fixing her hair. “He wasn’t drunk. Hell, I had more than him!”
“Here’s your stop, Harriet.”
“Wish me luck.”
“Clara’s headstrong. Just like her mother.”
She gets out and I drive back to my place. I park out the front and go inside. Nobody’s home tonight because Oliver lives with Denise now and Mum and Dad are out doing God knows what on a Friday night. Probably getting drunk after a nice dinner and then going even further than most of us would like to know about. The thought alone makes me shudder and wish I could wipe my brain.
I head upstairs to my room and open the curtain. I can see Clara sitting at her window, staring down at my house. She looks to have this content look on her face, but I can’t be sure from so far away. I turn the light on and sit at my desk, staring up at her. She turns to the side and I guess that Harriet just walked in.
Clara turns back after a minute and touches the window before covering her mouth. A curly head appears behind her and turns her around. Harriet. From what I can tell, the conversation is going to be long and important. It’s just like Harriet to have those kinds of conversations when she has had a drink or two.
Nobody knows that I like Clara. Nobody can know that I like Clara. Especially not Clara herself, or Robert, or Lissa, or Ha- No. Harriet has to know that I like her little sister. I like her wavy, blonde hair, soft brown eyes. I even like her six-fingered hands. I like everything about her. She seems almost too perfect to even exist here.