Hey Jude I & II
Graduation Day 2
The caps are soaring above us, like a cloud of black confetti until they start to rain down. There's a celebratory uproar coming from the applause and satisfied shouts as everyone links together in hugs. Grabbing the first cap closest to me, I make my way towards the back to find my parents. After a few minutes of more embraces and pictures we are politely interrupted by a photographer asking if he could get one of Harry and I.
"I have reservations to treat you and your family tonight, so we should get goin'."
"That's wonderful, Harry. Which reminds me, would you be up for a grad party after?"
The four of us scurry out from the seating area but I already see the handfuls of girls about to approach Harry. I've grown used to the script as I stand aside for them to take their quick pics and autographs. Dad announces he's going to pull the car upfront and just then mom nudges for my attention.
"Hello Mrs. Pierce. Congratulations Jude."
"Hello Roger, how've you been? Last I heard you were working in New York?" Mom takes over.
"Yes. Well, I was informed of a student's misdemeanor and asked to come immediately."
"Would this student happen to be Carly?"
Roger cocks his head and scowls yet remains silent. His eyes say different. I know Roger, at least I used to, he wants to speak but this is where he second guesses himself. Harry clears his throat to interrupt and reaches out for my hand.
"It was nice seeing you again, Roger," my mom kindly excuses us while I only have time to smile goodbye.
He had to be in on this whole thing with Carly. The guy sitting beside me said she wrote something about Harry coming to the graduation on the University's website. I assumed she was writing for the column I once had, and that granted her access to a lot of personal files. Roger must think I'm pretty stupid to buy his lie. I only wish I could've confronted her had she come.
We grab hands forming a line to swiftly exit and make a run for the car. The crowd outside has doubled while the security guards and police are trying their best to clear our pathway. It takes a few minutes for the white circles to disappear but now I'm worried that the paps will recognize and hound my parents.
I thought I would bump into Ethan at some point during the night but everything happened so fast. Besides that would be quite disturbing, introducing my current boyfriend to the ex. Need I mention the supposed documentary Carly was making for the graduation. . . another lie.
Dad takes a few back roads just to ensure we aren't being followed. The car ride is shockingly quiet; I think my parents are trying to digest this overwhelming event while Harry's reason is unknown to me. I keep looking over at him but he's fixed on the window with his fingers tugging at his bottom lip. That can only mean . . . his thoughts are weighing on him.
Dinner goes smoothly as we settle back to the family dynamic. Doesn't mean I didn't count the numerous hidden snap shots taken of us from our surrounding tables. I'm glad to be included in one of the many photographs upon us exiting the restaurant. Though Harry never ceases to amaze me, still so calm and patient everywhere we go, even wishing the waiter and the hostess a good night.
Meanwhile I'm still paying close attention to my parents. I see the way they talk and hear the tones in their voices. I'm watching their body language and how many times they touch each other or smile. Nothing seems different. They are very much in love. So what is it then? Who's to say they will even tell me what's wrong tomorrow?
I'm freshening up in the bathroom and texting Selene for the address. Once I make my way downstairs, I find everyone chatting around the kitchen island. Mom and dad have wine glasses and Harry's taken off his suit jacket, fiddling with my car keys.
"What are you guys talking about?"
"I'll tell ya on the drive over," Harry replies.
"Okay. Bye guys, don't wait up. You've had enough excitement for one night," I joke, kissing both my parents on the cheek.
"No kidding! Why do you think we have these wine glasses? I plan on passing out after the second serving," dad winks as he takes another sip.
"Bye sweetheart," mom pulls me in to kiss my forehead, "be safe."
There's something about the way she said that, I sensed a bit of sadness behind her kiss as well. There's no doubt she's troubled by who knows what. If she doesn't say anything by noon tomorrow, I'm going to initiate the questions. As for Harry, since we'll be alone for the rest of the night, it's time that we mend all loose ends now.
He opens my door and I slide into the passenger seat. I quickly set up the maps app on my phone to give to Harry and we're pulling out of my driveway in the next minute.
"I thought you looked beautiful walkin' on stage for your diploma tonight," Harry swallows. "And I could tell someone else did too."
"I kept thinkin' bout what ya said, how I drove your friend away . . . and how I took you away from your parents as well."
"I wanted to go with you, remember?"
"I was consumed with my own selfish gain of havin' you with me, I still am . . . and I want ya to know, if you should ever feel like stayin' here with your folks, I'll completely understand."
"Why are you saying this?"
"Because sometimes I think you don't have enough space. I mean, I know I don't have enough and I've been doin' this for 4 years, so I could only imagine how you must be feelin' . . . I also don't mean to come off as a jealous person, I didn't think it was in my nature. I didn't think a lot of things were . . . till I met you."
"Harry, I have no regrets whatsoever. If anything, everyday I realize more and more how much I love you. I'm so happy to be with you, and during this tour, I'll never need space from you."
We come to a red light and Harry turns to stare me straight in the eyes. His features are softening and I know in this moment we've forgiven each other. I take a deep breath and can only hope there will be plenty of alcohol at this party. There is no way I'm leaving sober.
Harry parks behind a Jeep aligned by a gate. There's many cars on both sides of the road and even more as we walk up to the entrance. The gate is open and we begin walking up a dim hill, the party isn't too far up ahead as the music is insanely loud, making the house seem like one giant speaker.
In the middle of texting Selene, a couple comes storming out of the house wearing nothing but their underwear and grad caps. Harry's eyes widen and I know we're thinking the same thing. What kind of party is this?
Walking in didn't prove to be a smart idea either. Eyes are glued to us and I can see their mouths talking about us. Some girls are blushing and biting their lips and some guys are cussing up a storm in their heads as to why Harry's here. A friendly face draws near, who is the host of the party.
"Hey Jude. And you're Harry of course. Hah! I have a One Direction guy in my house! Mi casa su casa bro!" Linc says as he gives Harry a side hug. "Upstairs are the bedrooms. Pool's in the back and alcohol is straight ahead into the kitchen. Pay no mind to the hussies, cuz this place is infested with'em. But you have a type A on your hands . . . so you two have fun and let me know if you need anything."
Harry has a wide smile on his face and who could blame him after that greeting. I'm scanning the surrounding, trying to decide which way to go first. The fact that girls keep passing by in their bras and skirts, rubbing their clammy skin pass my arm, isn't my idea of fun. I can tell Harry is stumbling as his manly instincts tell him to look but then he subtly shakes his head to make eye contact with me instead.
"I need alcohol!" I drag Harry by the arm and into the kitchen.
"We don't have to stay very long if you're uncomfortable," Harry suggests.
"I don't want to go home. Things are weird there. I just want to get drunk to not have to think about anything."
"You WANT to get drunk? Well, that's different. . . we don't have to go to your house, I'm sure we can find somethin' else to do."
"We're not leaving, Harry. Tonight I want to be careless. Won't you join me?"
"I'll pass. I want you to enjoy this, I'll be the responsible one and ensure that we get home safely."
"I appreciate that," I send a flirty smile his way as I take another sip from my red cup. "So are you going to tell me what you and my parents were discussing earlier?"
"It was nuthin'."
"Please tell me. It's bad enough that they're keeping things from me. Not you too."
"Nuthin', I just got a call from management sayin' that I need to go to L.A. for a day or two. We've already started recordin' for the next album, remember?"
"When do you leave?"
"That's the thing. I'm not sure I want to go. I want to be here, for whatever it is that your parents have to tell you. I will not have you go through it alone."
"Harry, they're my parents, I won't be alone. However terrifying the news, you should still go, it's your job."
"Alright, I'll go right after. That way, if you need to escape for a day or so you can . . . with me."
"I like this plan. Thank you. . . pour me another round please!"
It's past one in the morning and the party is still going. I've forgotten where I threw my shoes but they must be somewhere around one of the couches. Harry is playing on his phone, constantly interrupted by random girls while I strike up small talk with those sitting next to me. At first my eyes can't believe it but Ethan walks in the living room. Now that I have the proper buzz I can approach him with my relentless questions.
"Ethan! Ethan wait!" I stride over to the doorway. "How come I didn't see you at the graduation?"
"Oh but I saw you. Congratulations!"
"Thanks. Hey, I have a question for you," I can feel the numbness in my cheeks and the twirling in my steps intensify. "Did you ever get to meet Carly?"
"I don't think so, but . . . did you get a chance to read the article she wrote in the Phoenix Woman magazine?"
"No. Is it about me?"
"Uh-yeah. I wouldn't read it now though. The link is on the university's newsletter page; I'll text you the link later . . . So how are things with you and the Pop Star?"
"Do you know if she'll be showing up here to-wait! She landed the internship too?"
"I have no idea, Jude. Roger mentioned something about getting her an interview before leaving."
"I can't believe him! He's such a liar, and lousy friend let me tell you!"
"I-I'm staying out of this! If I were you, I'd just ignore the whole thing. It's not worth your time," Ethan concludes with a flat smile as he squeezes my arms and walks off.
Drinking isn't helping, either that or I haven't drank enough. My mind is still rambling all the facts, but Ethan should know, if you tell me not to read something I'm going to read it. I watch Harry as I sneak back into the kitchen for another refill. I've never determined myself to feel this careless before but I know I'll never get the chance again . . . because this just isn't me.
Camouflaging myself within the slow hallway traffic, I find the nearest bathroom but it appears to be locked. Damn it! I just want to find a quiet place to read this article on my phone. I head upstairs and begin tapping on the doors to come in, but they are occupied as well. In that perfect instance a group comes up the stairs ruining any chances I had of solace.
I'm halfway through my drink, minus the portions that have spilled along the way. The floor feels like its on an incline and the stairs simulate an escalator. I must have reached my peak of intoxication, I know if I drink any more the nausea will set in and the night will come to an end. Back in the living room, Harry is no longer on the couch still I keep searching for a quiet nook.
Knocking on another door down a less crowded hallway, I hear no response and decide to enter slowly. It's the garage. Before I can step back out, I think this could be a brilliant idea. Using my cell's flashlight to guide the way, I try identifying the parked car. It doesn't take much knowledge in cars to realize its expensive and a convertible. Perfect!
Toppling in, not very dainty-like at all, I sit sideways and finish my drink as I scroll on the mini screen. Upon reaching the university's website, the door opens and a stream of light pierces my dark cave.
"Jude?" Harry calls.
"Yes, I'm in here," I wave my lit hand.
I hear his fumbling big feet draw near and the swift motion as he jumps in the open backseat with me. I don't need light to see that he's glaring at me, ready to inquire on what the hell I'm doing. There's a long pause before I hear him clear his throat.
"I'd ask what you are doin' but it's clear that you want to be alone. So I'm only goin' to ask you, why?"
"I'm not going to hide things from you anymore . . . I wanted to read an article that Carly wrote about me," I gulp and prepare for the rebuke.
"Why is it necessary to put yourself through that? The outcome is always the same, Jude."
"True, but my curiosity won't leave it alone. She wrote about me, Harry. Not just in the column I used to write for but in the magazine I was supposed to work for! It's like she's taken my old life or something. . . she spoke with my ex and asked personal questions about me, I want to know what she's telling the world!"
"Calm down, Jude. This is no different than what I go through, everyday. So this is a direct hit, who cares, it certainly won't be the last. I know you're a private person and you had to sacrifice that to be with me, but you have to thicken your skin, love."
Harry is right, again. I hand over my phone to no longer face the temptation and drink the last sip to toss the empty cup behind me. Maybe it's time I realize I can't know everything all the time. That little voice inside my head is imparting some valuable wisdom but I can't tell if it's me or my drunken self that's listening.
"Are you gonna pass out?"
"I don't think so. I do have a light headache though."
"I know just the right thing for that."
Suddenly remembering I'm wearing a skirt, I feel five cool fingers ride up past my knee. Well if drinking won't distract me from my thoughts, I know someone who will.
NotesA/N: Chapter Playlist
"Come Together" -Echosmith
"Time After Time" -Quietdrive (cover)
"Fallen" Death In The Park feat. Hayley Williams
You ladies sure have been quiet lately. Feel free to say hello or share your opinions, even if they aren't pleasant. I hope you have a great weekend.