Long Time Coming

[ - ]
Printer ePub eBook
Table of Contents | - Text Size +
Story Notes:
Having two full weeks off isn’t something Wayne is used to, but Helen called in the Big Guns when she started nagging him about working too much. His mum still scares him even if he’s twenty-three years old, and she knows how to use guilt just as well as Gram Caldwell, who is a bloody master at it. He spent the first week back at the village trying not to work at the family pub, distracting himself with Edward and Helen, both of whom are teenagers and growing up faster than he can keep up.

Now, he’s back in Hogsmeade, and he’s bored out of his mind. He didn’t line up any catering events this week, and the owl he sent to Pansy inquiring about available work received a smug reply explaining what a holiday meant as well as a warning to stop pestering her for work when he’s supposed to be taking a break. Rosmerta had even banned him from the pub when he tried sneaking into the kitchen to help prep for the evening meal.

After four years, he’s so used to having his time filled with one job or another that he doesn’t know what to do when he has neither thing to occupy his time. There are always friends he could see, but he doesn’t feel the urge to owl any of them right now. There’s no girlfriend, either, which is something he’s had to listen to Mum sigh about for days. There’s been a time or two that he thought he might be falling for someone, but he’s always been ‘the friend’ to the women in his life, and none of them ever think about him as a potential partner. It’s his own fault, really, since he respects them too much to try romancing them once he realizes they don’t see him sexually.

At least, he’s never tried before.

That’s going to change tonight. Since he’s had nothing but time, he’s been thinking too much. He really hates thinking. It never does him any good, and he just ends up getting into trouble. It’ll probably be the same this time, not that that’ll stop him from going through with it. Now that he’s got it in mind, he won’t be able to let it go until he does something about it.

The owl has already been sent inviting Eloise for dinner, and he’s making her favorite meal. She’s been his best friend for over a decade, so he isn’t anxious or nervous about telling her that he’s been half in love with her for the last few years. It’ll probably surprise her, and he isn’t sure she’d ever feel the same way, but he’s thought about moments they’ve shared that seem to indicate she might have similar thoughts, so there’s enough possibility that he isn’t hopeless for confessing it all. And, if he is, well, they’ve survived much worse than a bit of unrequited love, so he can’t see their friendship going away no matter how she feels.

Wayne gets dinner cooking and pours out a glass of pumpkin juice before he sits down and waits for Eloise to arrive. If this goes terribly, he’ll use it as proof to Helen as to why he shouldn’t take a holiday. If it all goes well, maybe he’ll finally have a reason to take a break occasionally.