In three days, she was going to be seventeen.
Birthdays had never really meant much to her. When she was younger, it had seemed sad. Her mother and father were masquerade as perfect parents with these happy faces painted on as they took her out to dinner to celebrate what she knew now for sure was one of their biggest mistakes.
It wasn’t a depressing thought she used to keep herself down, she was fine with it. Her parents had been full of lust and too young to know that was all it was. He was oblivious to just how sick she was and how mentally unfit she was to belong to anyone. Her mother just wanted to belong to someone, regardless of the consequence.
Since she had moved in with Vincent and Harrison, she had learned they made a huge deal out of birthdays. There were surprises, and a ridiculous amount of gifts and money being spent and they would block whole weeks out of their calendar to celebrate one another.
It was sweet, in a way. She would enjoy it more if she got to participate in their celebrations without them doing the same for her.
Harrison hopped onto the couch, putting his head in her lap as they watched TV. “So, have you been thinking about what you want for your birthday?” He asked her, trying his best to seem nonchalant.
Vincent had been away on a business trip. Whenever he had to go away, he usually hired someone to watch over them, but since Vincent had turned sixteen, he had trusted them to be alone in the apartment and had the doorman and security check in periodically.
He was expected to return the evening of the day before her birthday.
“Nothing.” She said absent-mindedly, watching the romance movie that was on TV.
Groaning, he rolled over on his side to watch. “Why do you watch this nonsense?”
“They are pretty predictable.” She nodded. “But who doesn’t want to believe you can find love no matter the situation?”
Harrison looked up at her. “You don’t even go on dates. How are you supposed to find love?”
Sparrow lifted her shoulders. “What’s the point of dating? According to your mother we are already betrothed.” She joked.
“If our lives were a romance movie, we would already be in love with on another. We just haven’t realized it yet.” He smiled up at her. “Do you love me, Sparrow?”
Running her hand slowly down his cheek, she looked into his eyes. “I do. Forever and always I do, but I didn’t realize it until this very moment. Kiss me!” She pursed her lips and made smoothing noises at him.
He pushed her face away. “Stop!” He laughed, rolling off the couch.
Sparrow laughed hysterically when he rolled into the coffee table, shaking all the contents on top of it and spilling her soda.
“Ouch!” He moaned, pushing himself up to his knees. Looking up at her, he frowned, rubbing at the side of his head. “Do you see what you did?”
“Hey, I didn’t do anything but confess my love and affection for you. I didn’t think you were going to be such a baby about it.” She playfully rustled his hair.
Moving his head out of reach, he got to his feet and sat beside her. “I am not a baby.”
She snorted at him. “Whatever you say, Harry.”
“So there is no one you are crushing on right now?” He asked her once he settled back on the couch.
Sparrow shook her head. “No one that interests me. You know, you are one to make fun, but you don’t really date anyone either.”
Thinking about it, Harrison frowned. “Yeah, no one really interests me either.” He was quiet for a while, sitting with her as they watched the movie.
Reaching out, he took her hand and held onto it in his lap as they watched.
It was comfortable, and Sparrow slid down to enjoy the movie and the company.
“You should only have relationships with people you don’t really care about.” Harrison said finally. “People you aren’t afraid to lose.”
Her brow creased.
“When you fall in love with someone you are actually afraid to lose, when it all doesn’t work out, you end up losing the most important person in your life. That is why we would never work, I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything, and if anything ever happened between us and we broke up, I would want to shut you out so completely. I’d end up losing the only person I had ever truly let into my heart.”
He didn’t look at her then, and she was glad for it because her eyes started to fog over. Harrison was the most important person in her life besides Vincent. He was the person who showed her she could be loved.
There was so much truth to his words. She was the same way. She shut down when she was hurt, closing herself off from the rest of the world.
Falling in love with Harrison would be losing him.
Squeezing his hand, she cleared her throat. “So I guess it’s a good thing we don’t plan to fall in love.”