Two Straws 8: Say Ok

"Is it true!?" Harry asked in his deep booming voice as he stormed Milkshake City. I was crouched under the counter, picking off the gum obnoxious teenagers left underneath. I stood up too quickly, hitting my head against the counter with a loud thud. 

"Ughh. Oww..," I groaned, falling to the floor and rubbing my head with my hand. 

"Megan! Are you ok?" Harry rushed over to me, kneeling next to me and looking into my eyes, searching for any sign of pain.

"No, I’m fine. A little hit to the head is probably good every now and then," I said laughing.

"You’re such a kltuz," Harry said shaking his head. He stood up and turned to the kitchen.

"Hey! You’re not allowed in there!" I called out. Harry ignored me, and pushed the doors to the kitchen open, disappearing inside. He came back a few seconds later with a bag of ice. He sat next to me on the floor, our backs pressed against the wall. Harry smiled at me softly, putting the bag of ice near the slightly sensitive spot on my head. 

"Feel good?" he asked concerned.

"Mhmm," I nodded, truly appreciating his caring gesture.

"So….." Harry started, closing his eyes and gathering his thoughts. He sucked on his cheeks as he tried to figure out what to say. But I already knew what he wanted to say. He knew.

"I’m going to Afghanistan," I blurted out, looking forward and avoiding Harry’s steady gaze on me.

"So it’s true?" Harry whispered softly.

"Yeah."

"Why didn’t you tell me sooner?"

"I was going to tell you. I swear."

"But then Liam showed up, and you forgot all about me, right?"

"No, Harry! I promise you, you were probably one of the first people I wanted to call."

"It’s alright, Megs. I just came by to here it from you yourself and not through Liam and his ridiculous ideas."

"He thinks that something bad is going to happen to me over there."

"Can you blame him for being concerned? Don’t get me wrong Megan, we’re all proud of you. I know you’ve worked hard for this, but don’t you think think that it’s all a little too much? I mean, it’s Afghanistan. It’s a war zone. Things happen, people get hurt."

"This is what I want to do, photo journalism. People risk their lives all the time for their jobs."

"People like police officers and firemen and soldiers have jobs that require them to risk their lives, in order to save other people’s lives. And what about you? You choose to do the stupid thing and willingly go to a war zone. And in the end, you’re just risking your life for a dumb photo!”

"It’s not just a dumb photo, Harry. It actually means something."

"I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant."

"No, that’s exactly what you meant."

"Megan, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way."

"Whatever, Harry. You sounded just like my parents, disappointed and discouraging."

"Megan, I already said I’m sorry. Are you really getting mad at me for caring?"

"Caring!? Is that what caring means now!? Because if you really cared about me Harry, you would be supportive. I thought at least you of all people would actually be happy for me. But instead, you insult my decisions and imply that my job is pitiful. How could you do that to me? I thought friends are supposed to support each other no matter what."

"Megan. we are friends! I keep apologizing but you’re not listening!"

"Maybe apologies don’t mean anything after you keep saying them."

"Megan, c’mon. Don’t be like that. You’re leaving in three weeks, we should make the most of this."

"I’m going to spend the next three weeks with people who care and support me. And if that’s not going to be with you, then I’m perfectly fine with it."

"Megs…"

"Just leave, Harry. I have work to do."

He sighed in defeat, seeing how upset I was. Harry bent down, placing a kiss on my forehead as he said good bye softly. I turned away from him, and waited for him to shut the door before getting up. I pushed myself off the ground, dragging my cast to the kitchen and grabbing a sponge. I began to scrub the counter furiously. I was so upset with Harry. I really wanted him to be excited for me, or at least be supportive. But he couldn’t do that for me. He just had to open his big mouth and say stupid things without thinking. I continued to clean up the shop, taking out all my frustrations on the mops, brooms, sponges, everything. By the time I was done, I sat on  the counter, exhausted. From the corner of my eye I saw my phone blinking, new message. I quickly opened it, and to my surprise the message wasn’t from Harry. It was from Grace, a bride to be who hired me to photograph her wedding a while back, reminding me that her wedding was this weekend.

"Crap," I groaned out loud, completing forgetting this prior commitment. It was too late to back out now, and she was offering a fairly large pay. And I’ve always secretly liked to photograph weddings. So I had no choice but to reply, confirming that I’d be there on time. 

Hey Grace,

As promised I will be there on time for your wedding. And I was also wondering if it’s too late to confirm my +1?

-Megan

Just a few minutes later, my phone vibrated again. Grace responded quickly, assuring me that it’d be fine if I brought someone with me. And her little text made my day a whole lot better. 

(Liam’s POV)

"Wow," I gasped as I took in Megan’s appearance. She kept me waiting in her living room for the longest time as she finished getting ready for this wedding she was hired to do. And trust me, the wait was worth it. Just looking at her made me want to run up to her, and hold her in my arms forever. She was absolutely breath taking. The deep purple colored dress hugged her long slender body, emphasizing her curves. It was floor length, and as she moved the silky fabric resembled wine flowing. Her cast was hidden under her dress, but her tanned back was exposed through the intricate criss cross design of the dress. Megan’s hair was simply done, with intricate braids creating a perfectly messy updo. Tiny ringlets fell softly from her updo, framing her pretty face. Her make up was simple, which was probably for the best considering that her face would be hidden behind a camera majority of the time. The only jewelry she had were tiny diamond tear drop earrings that hung from her ear. 

"You like it?" Megan asked as she gathered her things.

"You look beautiful," I said resisting the urge to just walk up to her and kiss the life out of her.

"Personally, I think you look better than me," Megan joked, winking at me as she gently put her camera inside its bag.

"And it only took me 10 minutes to look this hot," I smiled at her. She laughed at me, shaking her head in amusement. Then Megan walked slowly towards me, and with each step she made, I felt myself lose my sanity as I inhaled her sweet strawberry scent. She placed her small hands on my chest and looked up at me with a curious expression.

"Looks like someone doesn’t know how to tie their tie," Megan said as she held my tie in front of my face.

"Don’t make fun of me," I grinned at her.

"Boys can’t do anything right," she told me as she put my tie around my neck, her fingers moving quickly, and with one tug a perfectly tied tie completed my outfit.

"How did you do that?" I asked her, clearly impressed.

"I have four older brothers. They couldn’t figure it out, so I had to always be there just to fix their ties," Megan shrugged.

"You have brothers?"
"Yup, all older than me."

"Are you all close?"

"It’s a complicated relationship. But that doesn’t matter now. We have a wedding to go to."

"Shall we?" I asked her offering my arm.

"Yeah, no. You’re not taking my arm, you’re taking my things," Megan said grinning at me. She handed me about a dozen different bags to hold as she walked into the elevator, holding it open for me.

"Remind me why I agreed to do this?" I asked her, raising an eyebrow.

"Because you absolutely, completely adore me," Megan said dramatically.

"Oh do I now?"

"Yes. I get the fan mail you send me, Liam. Don’t think for a second I don’t."

"You’re ridiculous."

"And you look adorable in your outfit," Megan complimented me, as she walked happily out of the elevator. I followed behind her, trying to hide how pleased I was that Megan actually liked what I was wearing. I felt like such a girl, as I was faced with the dilemma regarding what to wear for this wedding. But when I found the outfit, I knew this was the one. I chose gray dress pants with a matching vest. A white dress shirt was buttoned up all the day, and a black skinny tie hung around my neck, with my vest buttoned over it. Shiny, black Italian dress shoes completed the outfit. I mentally reminded myself to text Harry a thank you, since he was the one who suggested the outfit.

"Alright, here’s the address," Megan said, handing me a small paper with the address of the wedding scribbled inside. I typed the address into the GPS, and once we were all set, I began to drive us to the venue. Megan decided that she was going to play DJ for the night as she searched through radio channels available.

"Hey you guys, it’s DJ Harry here today for Radio One," Harry’s voice boomed through the speakers of my car.

"Wait, leave it," I said seeing Megan’s hand flinch towards the radio button as she heard Harry’s voice. She pulled her hand away from the radio, placing them on her lap.

"Alright, so tonight’s playlist is dedicated to a person who I owe an apology to. She’s incredible and I’ve never had a friend like her. She makes me feel like I can do anything with her by my side, which sometimes scares me. And I find myself all tongue tied around her, and I say stupid things. So here’s to the girl who needs to hear me say I’m sorry," Harry said softly through the radio. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket and I read the new message from Harry, asking me if she’s listening. I replied quickly, assuring him that his plan is working just fine and that Megan was sitting in the car listening to his Apologize playlist. The car ride consisted of us quietly listening to Harry on the radio, and Megan just sitting there baffled as she heard:

Apologize-One Republic

Baby Come Back-Vanessa Hudgens

Back To December-Taylor Swift

What Hurts the Most-Rascal Flatts

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word-Elton John

So Cold-Chris Brown

Want You Back-Jackson 5

Without You-David Guetta

Sorry-Jonas Brothers

Don’t Forget-Demi Lovato

The One That Got Away-Katy Perry

Don’t Walk Away-Hannah Montana

I held back a laugh as I heard the last few songs Harry played. Megan turned to me in disbelief. I shrugged back at her, and she just turned away continuing to gaze out the window.

"And our final song tonight. Not really an apology song, but it had the word sorry in it so I figured Why not? Hope you all have a lovely night, and to the girl who I dedicated this to, I hope you forgive me. Good night, ladies and gentlemen. Here’s LMFAO with Sorry For Party Rocking,” Harry said, ending his radio show. I burst out laughing, hearing Harry’s last song choice. Sorry for Party Rocking? He must have run out of songs. Even Megan cracked a smile at that one.

"Did he really just play an LMFAO song to apologize to me?" Megan said, giggling this time.

"You got to admire his efforts," I said 

"Did you both plan this?" Megan asked turning to me.

"He practically begged Radio One to let him be the DJ while you were in the car with me," I answered.

"Oh god," Megan said, covering her face in disbelief.

"He did. Which is exactly why you need to forgive him."

"I don’t know if I can. He really said some screwed up things."

"Megs, you can’t ignore him forever. It’s been like 3 days since you’ve last talked to him, and it’s driving him crazy. You need to talk to him, acknowledge his existence, make eye contact with him. At this point, he’ll appreciate anything."

"Why are you even helping him?"
"Because he’s my friend too." And I did owe him a lot, he helped me with my relationship with Megan. It was only fair that I helped him with his friendship with Megan.

"Is he really going crazy?"

"Yes! Just call him. Talk to him. Please."

"I’ll think about it."

"Megan, I know you miss him too."

"I do. It’s just hard, because I’m so tired of hearing people tell me what’s best for me, and what I should do. And I couldn’t believe that Harry was the type of person to tell me all these things. It was really hard for me hear him say those things."

"He didn’t mean it. He said it because he was scared of losing you and he just wanted to make sure you knew what you were doing."

Megan sat in silence, thinking to herself. I pulled into the entrance of the hotel, where the wedding was located. I chose to valet the parking, and grabbed all of Megan’s bags in the back. Megan still sat in the car and from the rearview mirror on her side, I could see her on her phone.

(Megan’s POV)

I wasn’t sure what was going to me in Afghanistan. There was no guarantee that I’d live. But there was no guarantee that I’d die. But right now I needed  people to have fate in me. I needed them all to think good things, and support me in this decision. Photo journalism isn’t an easy career. It’s demanding. You’re forced to give up so much, just to prove your point. Sometimes you lose people through your job, other times you gain new people. In my case, I lost my family. To them, I was inferior because of my dream. It was a useless dream they called it. But I was never truly upset that they didn’t want me to become a photographer. It was the fact that they didn’t believe in me. But my friends did believe in me. Liam, Niall, Zayn, Louis, even my boss, Kevin, knew I had it in me to become a photographer. So when Harry wasn’t the one who was super supportive, it reminded me of the disappointment I saw in my parents’ eyes. It just brought back all these mixed feelings. But tonight, hearing him come up with such a thoughtful playlist really meant something to me. Friends mess up, but that didn’t matter. What matters is what you when you mess up. And that’s to forgive and forget. So I quickly grabbed my phone and texted Harry. There was no real note but I knew he’d get it.

Dear Harry,

You’ve Got a Friend in Me-James Taylor

Lean On Me-Bill Withers

Umbrella-Rihanna

Long Live-Taylor Swift

Say Ok-Vanessa Hudgens

Count on Me-Bruno Mars

I’ll Be There-Jackson 5

True Friend-Hannah Montana

Love, Megan

I hit send feeling relieved that everything was going to be ok. Liam tapped on the window, grinning at me widely.

"So who were you texting?" Liam asked as he helped me out of the car.

"We are not here to gossip, Liam," I said with as much authority as I could, failing to keep a straight face.

"Oh, sorry, I didn’t get the memo," Liam said sarcastically, laughing at my failed attempt to be serious.

"Well if you got the memo, there would be a small note at the bottom thanking you for fixing my friendship with Harry," I told him, looking straight ahead, searching for the wedding in Ballroom A.

"So it worked?" Liam asked hopefully.

"Yes it did work, and now we’re here to work," I said, looking for any sign of a wedding.

"I see what you did there," Liam grinned.

"I’m just so freaking clever," I told him smiling.

"You’re just amazing," Liam said softly, placing a hand on the small of my back, and leading me inside the ballroom. I felt butterflies in my stomach, as I felt Liam so close to me. The way he made me feel was indescribable, and I just wished I had the courage to tell him that. But right now that wasn’t my worry, I had a wedding to photograph. And lucky me, I got to do it with Liam. That’s what she said.