Home > Until Harry(15)

Until Harry(15)
Author: L.A. Casey

I sat up and switched my lamp on. It was dark outside. One look at the clock on my wall and I groaned. It was after 8 p.m. I’d slept for hours, which meant I was going to be awake all night and be miserable in the morning when I got up for school.

The thought of school, and Anna and Ally in my class, made me feel ill. I decided then that I wasn’t going; I would persuade my parents to let me stay off since it was a Friday. I needed the entire weekend to figure out what I was going to do about my appearance.

I needed to think.

I looked at my door when I heard footsteps come up the stairs. I tilted my head to the side and focused on my door. It was closed and looked fine, but the panel that surrounded the lock was gone.

My father had kicked it off.

“Lane?” my mother’s voice called out softly as she knocked on my door. “Honey, Kale is here. He would like to see you.”

“Why?” I shouted at the closed door. “Why would he want to look at me?”

Seconds went by until his voice spoke. “Can I come in, Lane?”


“No, I don’t ever want to talk to you or see you again, Kale Hunt! You’re a liar!” I screamed, and lay back down on my bed, turning over to face my wall.

I was hurt, embarrassed and mad.

I was mad that Kale had never told me I was fat and ugly. He was supposed to be my best friend. We told each other everything. So why hadn’t he ever told me something so important?

Why did he lie to me? I thought hopelessly.

I sat on my bed and remained quiet until I heard their footsteps walk away from my bedroom and descend the stairs. I waited a further five minutes before I stood up from my bed.

I didn’t want to leave my room, but I needed to go to the toilet.

I walked over to my door slowly and carefully pulled the damaged wood open, wincing when the damaged hinges creaked. I hesitated, but then quickly pulled it open very fast, hoping the noise would be kept to a minimum. I was right: the door didn’t make much noise, but it didn’t matter if it did or not; he still would have heard. Sitting next to my room with his back against the hallway wall didn’t leave much room for him to miss anything.

“Go away, Kale,” I said, and stepped over his legs and walked down the hallway and into the bathroom.

He didn’t reply to me, didn’t make a single noise, and that irked me.

I relieved myself in the bathroom, and when I was cleaning myself up at the sink, I made a point not to look up into the mirror. I didn’t want to see what everyone else was forced to look at.

I exited the bathroom and headed back down the hallway towards my room. I glared at Kale, who still had his arse parked on the floor right next to my doorway. I shook my head as I stepped over his legs and entered my room, closing the door behind me.

Again, he said nothing to me; he didn’t make a single sound.

Damn stubborn lad.

I busied myself for the next hour with homework and some reading. I couldn’t get into either one, though. Anna’s cruel words and Ally’s shrill laughter replayed over and over in my mind on an endless loop. I glanced at my bedroom door, and after a moment I stood up and walked over to it. I reached out for the handle, and after a few seconds of hesitation, I gripped the handle and pulled the door open.

He was still there.

Still sitting outside my room, waiting for me to let him in. I stepped back and opened the door as wide as it would go. I said nothing, but Kale knew what I was offering. He pushed himself to his feet and entered my room.

I closed the door and turned around to face him. He was standing in the middle of my room, with his hands shoved into the front pockets of his jeans as he stared at me. He gazed at me with sad hazel eyes. I was more than ready to tell him off and be mad at him, but when he silently lifted his arms and opened them to me, I broke down.

I felt a lump form in my throat as I walked into his embrace. I wrapped my arms around his waist and pressed my head against his chest. His arms tightly closed around me; he even rubbed his right hand up and down my back to soothe me like he usually did when I was sad.

Damn him.

Why does he make it so hard to stay mad at him? I angrily thought.

I didn’t know how long we stood there holding onto one another, but when I calmed down enough to speak, I pulled back and looked up at him. He smiled down at me, his beautiful barely there dimples creasing his cheeks.

“Hey, Laney Baby,” he whispered.

I burst into tears and rewrapped my arms around his body. He lightly vibrated as he chuckled and put his arms back around me.

I pulled back once more. “I’m sad, Kale.”

He looked at me, his eyes heavy with anguish. “If I have to convince you that Anna O’Leary and Ally Day are just jealous of you, then you aren’t the smart girl I know you are.”

I grunted and moved away from him, and walked over to my mirror, where I glared at my appearance.

“They were right, though,” I said as I gazed at the hideous flaws Anna had evilly pointed out. “Look at me. I’m disgusting.”

Kale came up behind me and looked me in the eye; he was over a head taller than me, so he did this easily.

“Tell me what you see when you look into the mirror and see your reflection,” he urged.

I felt heat stain my cheeks. “A fat, ugly cow.”

He shook his head. “Do you want to know what I see?”

“No, not really,” I replied.

He ignored me and said, “I see a beautiful girl whose smile brightens up a room. I see a beautiful girl whose eyes are so warm and welcoming, they make people feel at ease with one glance. I see a beautiful girl who cares for others and loves so hard it’s impossible not to love her back just as hard. I see a beautiful girl who is so stunningly gorgeous, she will break her father’s and brothers’ hearts when she realises just how incredible she is and decides to give her heart to another. I see a beautiful girl who just doesn’t see how beautiful she really is.”

That was it; I was once again a blubbering mess.

“Damn you, Kale Hunt,” I cried, and turned to him once more, wrapping myself around him.

He held me to him and kissed the crown of my head. “There isn’t a hair on your head that isn’t beautiful, Laney Baby. Everything about you is beautiful; I’ve known that since the first day I saw you.”

I surprisingly laughed through my blubbering. “You first met me when I was two hours old. I probably looked like a shrivelled-up prune.”

“You did,” Kale agreed, “but a beautiful shrivelled-up prune.”

I shoved him, and he laughed, so I laughed with him. I pulled back from him and walked over to my bed.

“How can you remember back so far? You were only three when I was born.” I climbed onto my bed and turned to face Kale, who took a seat on the chair in front of my desk.

“I remember everything about the day I first saw you, Lane. It was the first time I ever saw an angel in the flesh.”

I covered my face as it burned up.

“Shut up. You’re so full of it!” I screeched.

He laughed. “Give over – you know you’re my angel.”

On the inside I purred with delight; on the outside I played it off with a roll of my eyes.

“Yeah, well, this angel is getting a makeover,” I said and pushed my long, dull brown hair over my shoulder.

Kale raised his eyebrows. “A makeover? What does that mean exactly?”

I shrugged. “I’m going to get a haircut and buy make-up and clothes that don’t come from the kids’ sections in shops.”

He blinked. “Lane, you don’t need to change your appearance to seek approval from people who don’t matter.”

I shook my head. “I’m not doing this for Anna and Ally; I’m doing it for me. I want to be the one that boys notice. I’m so done with being everyone’s ‘friend’.”

The latter was directed at Kale, but he didn’t need to know that.

He stared at me for a long moment, and then he licked his lips and dug his phone out of his pocket when it rang. He answered it and had a brief conversation, then shook his head and looked up to me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

He shrugged. “Just Drew being Drew. Nothing to worry about.”

Drew Summers was his current girlfriend.

I didn’t like her. I never had.

I didn’t like any of Kale’s girlfriends, but Drew was different because she kept reappearing. She and Kale would be together, then break up for a while and then get back together. They were on and off like a light switch. It bugged the hell out of me that she wouldn’t just go away and stay away.

“Are you sure?” I asked, hoping to be a shoulder to cry on if he needed one.

He nodded. “Yep, she’ll get over whatever is up her arse eventually.”

I chuckled. “Always the charmer.”

Kale gestured to himself. “But of course.”

I smiled and looked down to my fingers, picking out the dirt from under my nails.

“Can I stay tonight?” he asked.

I looked up and raised an eyebrow. “It’s a Thursday, though. When you stay over, it’s usually on the weekends.”

“I know, but your mum said it was okay for me to crash since you weren’t feeling so hot – uh, I mean good. Shit. I didn’t mean that as in appearances—”

I cut Kale’s brain fart off with my laughter. “I get what you mean, loser.”

He relaxed. “Good.”

I glanced at my bedroom door and then back to him. “Are the lads okay with you staying?”

He snorted. “Please. Your brothers love me.”

Everyone in my house loved Kale; he was part of our family.

Kale never looked at me like anything other than a sister, and while I hated it, I respected his respect for me. He was completely fine with sleeping in my brothers’ room, and so were my brothers. I seemed to be the only person who wanted him to sleep in my room with me; I kept that to myself, though. I kept everything about how I really felt about Kale to myself – unless my Uncle Harry was around for me to vent to.

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