Eggshells and Diamonds
Christian clipped her dark red necklace, then let go to let it caress her neck. "Are you sure about this?" he counseled, placing a fidgety hand on her shoulder. Harper had the image of insanity through his eyes, but he wasn't about to stop her.
She gave her thin, stubborn smile, well beyond reconcile. "Yes."
He could tell that she feigned confidence. A part of him wanted to stop her, but he knew that it would be a futile attempt. Her mind was made up. "Have fun," he offered. Christian's voice was weak as he walked past her to open the door.
With a small, playful bow she gave him a peck on the cheek then strolled out into the darkness.
"Drive safe," he called after her.
There was a faint response as she opened her car door and slipped in.
Christian sighed. He knew Harper would regret this night. He did not envy her.
Meanwhile, in her car she started it and pulled out. Harper usually felt quite confident behind the wheel, but not now. Her heart pounded in her chest. She might have bitten off more than she could chew, but it was too late to step back now.
She had a decent drive ahead of her to think about potential conversations and how she would respond to them, but no matter how much she thought she still didn't feel prepared. Twenty minutes of driving passed, and she found that the drive had not been long enough.
Through her control, the car gave a gentle, slow roll as she let it settle into the grass outside her destination.
In a few moments, a familiar form stepped out the front door. It moved towards her car.
She took one deep, uneasy breath then unlocked the door, and a woman that was a little younger than her sat down in the passenger seat.
She regretted everything.
Her voice caught in her throat for a split second, and she had to remind herself that she had put herself in this situation and could not back down now.
"Hey, welcome to the girl's night out," Harper greeted in a fake voice of excitement.
Amy propped her knees against the dashboard. She was quick to hunch into her normal position, flip her phone out and scroll through it. "Yeah, whatever."
With clenched teeth, Harper's mind began to spin. Teenagers. 'At least she spoke to you. That has to count for something,' she thought to herself. In the pursuing silence, she began to maneuver back onto the road and they were off.
It was a pretty silent ride. The entire time, the light of Amy's cellphone was persistent in what seemed to be an attempt to blind Harper. She kept her focus on the road. The silence was preferred for now, but she knew that she would eventually have to talk to Amy.
By the time they reached their destination, Harper only felt dread in her heart. It was a small but fancy restaurant of which she decided would be the perfect place to talk to Amy. Except now it felt like the most dangerous spot for her to be in with a threat that loomed in the seat beside her.
The phone-addict was quick to exit the car before Harper had a chance to cut the engine. Amy's eyes were still buried within her social media. She strolled away as if Harper was never there.
Harper had to jog to catch up. When she was finally side-by-side with Amy, all she received in response was a glare.
They stopped together at the front door. Amy stared her down until Harper gave in and opened the door. Originally, Harper had planned to open the door and treat Amy well anyways but it felt like the woman was more content with each whack at every one of Harper's nerves until she began to give in to her own anxieties.
She would not give in, for she was better than this.
"After you," Harper said with a polite, gentleman-like smile as Amy entered the building. She followed only to find that Amy was not there to wait for her.
Instead, the teenager made a beeline for a table that was already occupied.
Her heart dropped as she realized who this pre-seated person was. Amy's fresh new boyfriend. Harper straightened her back and gave confident strides towards the table. "Amy, I thought this was supposed to be a night just for the two of us," she muttered, focused on keeping her voice controlled and clear.
Amy rolled her eyes and gave a frustrated huff. "You aren't that special," she said. There was no attempt to even make an excuse!
At that moment, she would have given the world to have Christian there beside her. This would not be easy for her. "Then why am I here? What is the purpose of this?"
"Ask yourself. You can leave if you want," the teenager spat. It was easy to tell that Amy would have been perfectly content if Harper stomped out and left them.
Amy had struck out at fire. Her words had fueled Harper with determination. A better word might be spite, but that would depend on one's view. Harper slid in the chair that was right beside the boyfriend.
He flinched. Another loyal coward to bow to Amy's every word.
She gave a pleasant smile and folded her hands in her lap. "No thanks, I think I will stay right here."
She could see Amy's teeth visibly clench, and for the moment it quenched her anger. Without another word, Amy took her seat across from him. She grabbed his hands, yanked them into the middle of the table to hold them, and leaned in close. "How are you, my sweet little lamb," Amy cooed.
It seemed like she had taken him by surprise. He gave a small jump and exchanged a glance with Harper. "I-I'm good. How was your day?" The poor boy. Anyone could tell that he was terrified.
"Oh, it was great. I got a day to sleep in and relax before this witch dragged me out. It was worth it if I get to see you." Amy pushed herself forward in the motion of a sudden kiss.
The terror in his face grew as her motion pushed his chair back. Harper made an attempt to catch it, but the chair slipped right between her fingers and clattered to the ground. It took the boy with it.
Harper could not resist a snort of laughter.
This only seemed to make things worse for the boy. He struggled to his feet with a beet red face. "I did not sign up for this!" The boy had grown some guts during that fall. He stomped straight out of the restaurant.
Amy stood up. If looks could kill, then Amy would have murdered many people but she would have saved the worst possible death for Harper at that moment. "You think this is funny?! First you take my brother from me, and then my own family, and now this!" She picked up her chair and threw it directly at Harper.
To avoid it, Harper had to jump out of her chair. Both of their chairs tumbled to the ground in a wooden clump until they clashed into the next table. The only damage was a woman's chair being pushed in much further than she clearly liked, but she was not about to get involved with someone as angry as Amy. The woman tried to seem as if she did not notice.
"I didn't do anything," Harper rebuked, her voice barely within her control as anger started to rear its ugly head.
It was too late. Amy had already stomped out of the restaurant, leaving Harper alone with many eyes on her.
"Ma'am? Are you alright?" a waiter asked.
Harper took in a sharp breath, and let it out nice and slow as she forced her body to relax. She had obviously messed up somewhere with this temperamental girl. All that she could think was that she had to do something, or else this night would be marked off as a failure.
Her choices were simple. She could sneak out, crawl into her car and drive home or she could confront Amy. As much as she wanted to just go home, she knew that Christian would never forgive her if something happened to his sister.
With a gentle smile towards the concerned waiter, she tossed him a small tip and left the resteraunt without another word.
In the darkness, it was difficult to see. Yet, with a couple glances around she noticed that Amy had found a spot to sit on the curb.
Without hesitation, she made her way towards the teenager and sat down on the curb next to Amy.
The girl turned her back to Harper.
"It's a lovely night," she said as her eyes wandered the stars. It wasn't the most beautiful night she had ever seen, but it would have to do.
"Don't talk to me."
Harper wrapped her arms around her legs, and let the moment dwindle in the silence.
After a large amount of patience, Amy cleared her throat. "Why are you so mean to me?"
"What about me is mean? From my view, I am a very kind person."
Amy scoffed. "You're such a fake. All you do is act like a little goody two shoes, and once all attention is on you then you hog it all. The only thing I ever hear is 'Oh look how sweet Harper is. She is so amazing. Why can't you be more like Harper. Harper, Harper, Harper.' I'm sick of it."
She felt flustered. Everyone had been so nice to her here, aside from Amy. She didn't even realize how that had affected the young teenage girl. "I didn't even know. I'm sorry. Although, perhaps this is a sign. Maybe if you were a bit more kind, everyone would give you more attention."
Another scoff. "Can you just... take me home? I, uh, don't have a ride," Amy muttered. She seemed to despise that she had to ask.
"Of course," Harper said. She got up to go towards her car.
This time, Amy walked right beside her.
The rest of the ride to Amy's house was silent. Once they arrived, Amy got out but hesitated. "Hey, Harper?"
The door slammed quick, as if Amy was embarrassed to lower herself into such a common courtesy of words.
Harper could not help but smile. It was a very tiny step forward with Amy, but with how much resentment the teenager held towards her any step forward was a good one.
Maybe Amy would eventually change her personality, or maybe not. For now, Harper felt quite satisfied with herself as she drove home.