"I still don't see why you two have got to come as well. You're practically ancient," Josie complains. She, her twenty-two year old brother Harry, their father Mark, and their stepmother Tina are in the car, on their way to Italy, Josie and Harry's cousin Ella is getting married, and she is celebrating it by taking most of the family to a camping in Italy for two weeks.
"We are coming because you are only twelve years old, and we're not leaving you alone for two weeks with those idiots," Tina answers.
"Thanks," Harry dryly says, while staring out of the window.
"Not you, you're clever. But your cousins can get quite wild."
"Whatever," Josie sighs. Harry loves his family, but he isn't looking forward to this week. He hasn't even met Ewan, Ella's fiancé, or his brother, Cam, who is also coming. For all he knows, they're like his dad, macho-men, who only care about cars, fighting, egos and woman. Harry is basically the complete opposite. He loves his big floppy hair, skinny jeans and band t-shirt. Books and music are his world. And he loves women, but only as friends. Good friends, like his cousins Ella, who is two years older than Harry, and Millie, Ella's nineteen-year old sister. She is pregnant at the moment, but there was no way that she was going to let that stop her from coming to Italy.
They've been driving for hours and hours, but in the end they finally arrive at the camping. When they get there, they find out that the rest of their family is already there, and a man takes them to the field were they will be staying for the next two weeks. Two men, both in their late twenties, who Harry assumes are Ewan and his brother Cam, are setting up two tents, while Ella and Millie are sunbathing in the grass. But as soon as they see their family, they jump up to greet them. Mark parks the car, and as soon as they get out, the girls give the four of them a big hug. The two men join them, and they indeed introduce themselves as Ewan and Cam.
"Why don't us men set up the tents, while the ladies go get a cocktail?" Ewan suggests, a cheeky smirk on his face.
"Yeah, why not?" Mark laughs, and the girls thank them and quickly leave. Mark goes to help Cam, so Harry is left to help Ewan. He isn't sure if he likes him though, because that smirk on his face seems arrogant.
"Ah, so you're the famous Harry, eh?" Ewan asks, but Harry ignores it. "Ella talks about you all the time, you know? She sees you as a little brother and all that."
"Yeah, we're pretty close," Harry says, as he continues setting up the tent.
"You must've been pretty surprised to hear that she was engaged then?"
"Yeah, we all were," Harry admits. "The last time any of us saw her, she was still single."
"Yeah, it all went pretty fast, but I love your cousin, she's a great girl," Ewan says, but Harry ignores him. "You don't like me very much, do you?"
"I don't know you."
"Well, we're going to have to do something about that then in the next two weeks, don't we?" Ewan smirks, and for a seconds there, Harry thinks he's flirting with him. But he ignores it, and goes up to his father and Cam.
"You go help him," he says.
"What? Why?" Mark asks, looking confused, but Harry just shrugs. So Mark joins Ewan, and they get along famously once they start talking about cars. And Harry and Cam get along just fine. Harry finds him much easier to get along with than Ewan.
"Wow!" Ella says when she walks back onto the transformed field. The tents are up, tables and chairs have been put up, and they have put lights up. This is really their space now.
"You did a great job," Ella adds, and she gives her fiancé a big kiss. Ewan still has that big smirk on his face, and Harry has to look away to not get too irritated.
"So who's sleeping with who?" Josie asks, and of course Mark, Ewan and Cam start laughing. This is so not Harry's type of humour, and he really wishes he was home right now.
"Obviously I'm sharing a tent with Ewan," Ella says.
"Me and Tina are sharing one, and you're sharing one with your brother," Mark says, and Josie sighs.
"But I want to have a sleepover with Ella and Millie," she says, a big pout on her face.
"We can swap somewhere this week. You don't expect me to share a tent for two weeks with this one, do you?" Millie laughs, and she winks at Cam.
"Oi," Cam laughs, and it's obvious that they get along perfectly fine. They all do. Except for Harry, who feels somewhat on the outside, because he doesn't like Ewan. All of them go to put their belongings in their tents, and to get ready to go to the beach. Harry is ready first, and when he sits down at the table, Ewan joins him not much later.
"Ah, Hazza," he says, and Harry looks up at him, slightly annoyed at the nickname. "Do you know, the tent swapping we'll be doing later on?" Ewan asks, keeping his voice down. "Maybe you and I will get to share a tent one night, eh?"
"Let's hope not," Harry answers, and he goes back to reading his book. But from the corner of his eye he can see that big stupid smirk on Ewan's face.
The girls and the brothers are playing some game, while Mark and Tina are in the sea, making out, leaving Harry alone to read his book.
"So tell me," Ella says, when she alone, joins him. "Why are you in a bad mood?"
"I'm not. I guess I'm just tired," Harry lies, and his cousin raises an eyebrow. "I'll be fine tomorrow. I promise."
"You would tell me if something is wrong, wouldn't you?"
"Of course," Harry lies. Because there is no way that he is going to tell her that her fiancé is a closet case who keeps flirting with him. He isn't going to ruin her big day for her. Not after everything she's been through.
Harry had wanted to go to bed early, but his cousins, Ewan and Cam are going out, and although he had said told them that he didn't want to come, Ella had simply not taken no for an answer. So he's now at the bathroom-building, fixing his hair. But all of the sudden Ewan pops up behind him with a big smirk on his face, and he starts checking him out.
"Nice, Hazza, very nice," he says, and Harry turns around, an angry look on his face.
"Look, I don't know what your deal is, if you're gay or bi, or whatever. But Ella is a sweet girl, and she deserves better than some low-life, arrogant, cheating, closet case," Harry spits out, but the smirk on Ewan's face only grows bigger.
"Impressive, very impressive."
"She knows, Hazza," Ewan says, but Harry just looks at him, a confused look on his face. "That I like men. And so does she, so it's no big deal."
"No big deal? You're a cheater."
"Your cousin and I have got an open relationship until the wedding," Ewan explains. "So we're not doing anything wrong," he says, and he takes a step closer towards Harry, so their mouths are almost touching.
"We are not doing anything at all. You stay away from me," Harry says, and he storms out of the building, back to their tents. He joins his sister for a game of cards, and truth be told, he doesn't want to go out at all anymore. But when his cousins arrive back at the tents, all dressed up and excited, and he tells them he's too tired to go out, they don't just accept it.
"Aww, come on," Millie says, a big pout on her face. "Ella is going to be married soon, so this might be one of our last chances to go out before she becomes a boring little housewife."
"Excuse me," Ella laughs, "says miss 'I'm going to be a stay at home mum.'"
"No way. I'm still going to work, and party, of course."
"Anyway, we really want you to come with us," Ella says.
"Yeah, so don't be tired and boring."
"I just don't think it's a good idea…"
"You're coming with us, and that's that. So get off your lazy ass," Millie says, a big smile on her face. Her sister looks just as stubborn, and Harry sighs.
"Fine, I'll come with you guys," he says, and both his cousins give him a big hug.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
At the club, Harry tries his best to avoid Ewan, and for most of the night it's actually quite easy. Because Ewan is all over Ella, while Millie won't let Harry out of her sight for even a minute, because she's scared he'll go back to the tent. But then Ella grabs Millie's hand, and they start dancing together, so Harry goes outside, to get some fresh air. He is genuinely tired now, but he isn't going to leave. He doesn't want to disappoint his cousins, because they were right. Things are about to change, and they might never get the chance to go out like this again. So he takes a deep breath, tells himself to get over it, and goes back into the club. He orders a drink, and another, and another. And not long after midnight, he is quite drunk, just like the rest of their little group, except for Millie.
"Ah, Hazza," Ewan says, when he joins Harry at the bar. The girls are dancing together again, and Cam has left with some random girl.
"Hi," Harry says, not feeling annoyed anymore. He is too drunk to care.
"You look much nicer when you smile, do you know that?"
"Piss off, Ewan," Harry laughs, and he grabs his drink. "Go to Ella."
"Nah, I'd much rather stay here with you."
"Why?" Harry asks, feeling a bit dizzy and giddy. And a bit more courageous than when he hasn't had anything to drink. "Why me? I've only know you for a couple of hours, and you've already made me feel uncomfortable. I can tell you're rubbish for Ella, she deserves much better, and you're basically just really annoying."
"Have I?" Ewan asks, a cheeky smile on his face. Harry looks a bit confused, and Ewan's smirk grows. "Have I really made you feel uncomfortable, or are you flattered?"
"What?" Harry asks, laughing. "As if."
"I think you are," Ewan laughs, and he takes a step towards Harry. The mood changes from flirty and fun, to serious, and they both stop laughing.
"Don't," Harry says, but Ewan ignores him, and kisses him. Harry wants to stop him, or at least knows he should stop him, but he can't. He doesn't want to. Not really. So he kisses him back.
"Told you so," Ewan says, after they have kissed, and he turns and leaves. But something about the way he said it, about the tone in his voice, it betrayed him. It's not as big of a joke to him as he tries to make it out to be. Harry looks over to his cousins, but they are still dancing. They haven't seen what has just happened. Harry feels his entire body burning, simply out of guilt, but also from excitement, which in return only makes him feel more guilty. He is glad that his cousins haven't seen it, so Ella didn't get hurt, but at least if she'd had seen it, it wouldn't have been his secret, his burden to bear. He takes a deep breath, and goes up to his cousins.
"I'm so glad you're here," Ella says, a big smile on her face. "I can't believe I'm going to get married. I'm so excited!"
"Yeah…," Harry says, sounding anything but excited. But Ella doesn't even notice it.
"He is so fit, isn't he?" she continues. "And I know that he can come across as a bit of a macho, no-brain, well… twat, but he's so lovely," Ella gushes as she drags her cousin out of the club, Millie following. "I am the luckiest girl in the world!"
"Yes, you are," Ewan laughs, popping up behind them. "I love you too, babe," he says, and he gives her a big kiss.
"Let's get back to the tent," Ella suggests.
"I guess that's our cue to leave then," Millie laughs, and she and Harry follow the soon to be married couple back to the field. The couple quickly get into their tent, but not before Ewan has look back at Harry and winked. Harry sighs, and quietly goes back to his tent. But he can't get to sleep, because he keeps thinking about that day, about Ewan, about that kiss. About everything that it will lead to.
Harry is still awake when the rest of the family wakes up and start getting out of their tents. He knows that today is going to be difficult, but he tells himself that he is going to be okay, and he joins his dad and Josie to go and get bread for the family at the camping shop. They do comment on how tired he looks, but he simply tells them it's a hangover, which they believe to be true. Why wouldn't they?
"Good morning," Ewan says, when they come back with the bread, a big smile on his face. "Last night was fun, wasn't it?"
"Yeah…," Harry answers, feeling very uncomfortable.
"We should do it again soon," Ewan says, as he sits down at the table, while Cam and Josie set it, and Tina and Mark make them all coffee and tea. Apparently Cam had come back to his tent some time last night, and the rest hadn't even noticed that he was gone for half of the night. It's a thought that only upsets Harry more, because of how easy it is for this family to keep things from each other.
After having had breakfast, they all go to the bathroom-building, to go and get ready so they can go into town. Harry tries to take as long as possibly can, hoping to avoid seeing Ewan. But when he gets out of his shower stall, he gets pushed back into it by Ewan.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Harry asks, his heart nearly beating out of his chest.
"I want to talk to you."
"Here? Now? What if someone hears us?" Harry asks.
"They've already gone back to the tents. But Hazza…"
"You have got to admit that there's something between us, right?" Ewan asks, a smile on his face. But Harry can see how nervous he really is.
"You're getting married to my cousin, Ewan."
"I know that, but until then, can't we just…," Ewan begins, but he doesn't finish his sentence. He simply kisses Harry, who knows he shouldn't kiss him back, but he does anyway. "That, that is what I am talking about. Haven't we got chemistry, Hazza?"
"I guess…," Harry admits, but truth be told, he doesn't have a clue how he feels about any of this anymore.
"So, let's not let it go to waste. Let's have a bit of fun until the wedding," Ewan suggests, that big smirk now back on his face. "And don't go all 'you're getting married to Ella' on me again. Because yes, I am, and no, you're not going to stop that. You're not that hot," Ewan laughs, and without saying another word, he leaves, leaving Harry behind, feeling more confused than ever before. He follows Ewan not much later, and when he gets back to the field, everyone is waiting for him. He sees Ella, and when he looks at her face, he feels tears stinging in his eyes. He has never felt this guilty before in his life.
All throughout the day, Harry feels sick with guilt, and he tries his best to avoid his cousin. She does notice it, and so do the others, but he still claims to have a bad hangover. And after their late dinner, when they're all going down to the beach to watch the sunset, he tries to stay at the tent. But his cousins eventually manage to persuade him into coming with them.
They're all at the beach now, looking at the sky turning from the brightest blue, into a beautiful red colour. It's beautiful, but Harry can't enjoy it right now because of the things he is feeling. He looks over to Ella and Ewan, who are standing in the sand, their arms around each other, staring out into the sunset. Harry feels tears stinging in his eyes again, and just at that moment, Ewan turns around to look at him. He flashes a smile, but it's not his cocky smirk, it's nothing like that at all. It's a sweet, loving smile, and it makes Harry feel even worse. Ewan looks back at the sunset, and Harry sits down in the sand. Screw the sunset, screw the beach, screw Italy, and screw this trip. All he wishes right now, is that he would have stayed home.