Ed’s right. She hates to admit it even to herself, like he might climb inside her head and steal the ego boost he really doesn’t need straight out of her thoughts, but it’s undeniable. Harry has the weirdest concentrating face. Which is exactly why she’s trying to find the right filter to post it all over instagram, one that doesn’t disguise the way his tongue is poking out the corner of his mouth like a character from some kind of kids’ cartoon. It’ll definitely make Ed sulk, but it’s not like he doesn’t spend half his time doing that anyway.
She’s just finishing typing out the caption when he shakes his head and sits back, pen clattering on the table top.
“I don’t get it.”
“See?” She hits post with a triumphant sound, dropping her phone carelessly onto the table. It’s fine, it has a case on. “You don’t get it and you’re supposed to be a teacher!”
“An english teacher!” He protests, but she’s having none of it.
“A-level maths is impossible.” Gemma declares, because she knows she’s right. The whole subject is a waste of time. “I bet that’s why mum made me take it anyway. No point in having me study anything I might actually be good at, or she wouldn’t be able to keep calling me useless.”
“She wouldn’t have,” Harry insists, because he clearly doesn’t know Jane Thompson even remotely as well as he should. He always was a bit stupidly optimistic about her. Gemma doesn’t even dignify that with a response, only a look, but the effect is totally ruined when her phone chimes.
Gayboy, just now: What do you think you’re doing
Gayboy, just now: Does mum know where you are?
Gayboy, just now: Don’t ignore me Gemma
Ugh. She rolls her eyes as she types out a response because god, why does he always have to be so dramatic? Like, she gets that he’s gay, but can’t he be more fun? Where’s all his good gossip and rainbows?
Ofc mum knows idiot who’s idea do u think this tutoring was
“Are you even listening to me?” Harry sounds more amused than offended which, of course, because he’s so much less boring than her actual brother.
“Err, of course.” She hadn’t even realised he was talking, but that’s totally beside the point.
“Err, doesn’t look like it.” He mimics her tone, eyeing her phone curiously. “Who’s that? A secret admirer?”
“Yeah, yours.” She replies unthinkingly, almost regrets it when Harry’s face does something funny and he stands up abruptly with some excuse about getting another cup of tea. Almost. “You know mum still doesn’t really believe you broke up? She keeps pulling this suspicious face like you’re about to jump out of a cupboard or something.”
She watches as he hesitates, as all the tension drains out of him and he runs a hand through his hair with a sigh.
“You know it’s not like that.” He says eventually, softly. Something in his tone almost makes her want to cry - of course she doesn’t, because that would be weird and pathetic, but she wants to.
“It should be.” She says, because it’s the truth. There’s something wrong about not being able to tease her brother for the gross way his face lights up when he takes a phone call, something missing without their constant boring arguments and takeout Fridays at their flat and it’s just not right .
“Maybe it shouldn’t.” Harry says, although he’s so obviously wrong that even he doesn’t sound convinced. “He wasn’t ready for it, Gem, and it wasn’t fair on either of us.”
She hates that he can be so calm and logical and reasonable about it. She hates that Ed had to be such an idiot . “He misses you.”
“Yeah.” And looking up was a mistake, because Harry’s wearing the saddest smile she’s ever seen and shit, is he crying? “Yeah, I know.”