Eggshells and Diamonds
Christian clipped her dark red necklace, then loosened his grip to let it caress around her neck. "Are you sure about this?" he asked, a nervous edge to his voice. To him, Harper was insane but he wasn't about to stop her.
Of course, she gave her thin smile. Few knew that it meant she was so far into her stubborn front that she would refuse any offer to step back. "Yes," she said.
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, and he walked past her to open the door.
With a small, playful bow she gave him a small 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. It was a decent drive 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.
At last, the car gave a gentle, slow roll as she let it settle into the grass outside her destination.
In a few moments, a form that was familiar to her stepped out the front door. It moved towards her car. She unlocked the door, and a woman 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 turn back now. The good news was that, unlike Christian, his sister would not be able to tell that Harper had her facade up.
"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," Amy said.
With clenched teeth, Harper's mind began to spin. Teenagers. Except, just a few years ago she was a teenager herself. Was she this bad? She couldn't be, or how else could she stand herself? Then again, her mother used to treat her like she was unmanageable. Her mind was about to spin the situation out of her control from only a couple of words on Amy's part. She barely managed to catch herself. 'At least she spoke to you. That has to count for something,' she thought to herself with a deep breath. She began to maneuver back onto the road, and they were off.
It was a pretty silent ride. The entire time, the light of the 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 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 turn it off. Amy's eyes were still buried within her social media. She strolled ahead, as if she had not been with Harper but instead came by herself.
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 nerve until Harper 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 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 already had someone at it.
Her heart dropped as she realized who this 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 for just us," she said.
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?" she asked.
"Ask yourself. You can leave if you want," the teenager said. It was easy to tell that Amy would have been perfectly content if she 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. 'No. You are here to be her friend weather she likes it or not. Do not think ill of her, no matter how much temptation she brings,' she thought. Instead, she gave a pleasant smile. "No thanks, I think I will stay right here," she said.
She could see Amy's teeth visibly clench, and for the moment it quenched her anger. Without another word, Amy sat 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," she cooed in a flirtatious tone.
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?" he asked. The poor boy. Anyone could tell that he was terrified of the situation he was in.
"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 said. She 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," he snapped. The boy grew some guts in that short time period, but likely because it was his best shot at an escape. 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 said in a calm tone.
It was too late. Amy had already stomped out of the restaurant as well 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. 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.
That was when she realized that there was a different feeling within her. Confidence, pure and true. She could sneak out, crawl into her car and drive home or she could confront Amy. Her decision was quite clear to her. She would not abandon Amy.
With a smile towards the concerned waitresses, waiters and customers, her stride beamed how confident she was as she left the restaurant.
In the darkness of night, 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," Amy spat.
She let them dwindle in the silence.
After a large amount of patience, Amy cleared her throat. "Why are you so mean to me?" she asked.
"What about me is mean? From my view, I am a very kind person," she said.
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. Why don't we have a little friendly competition to be the nicest we can to everyone," she offered.
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?" she said.
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 though, Harper felt quite satisfied with herself as she drove home.