got the next chapter of summer love uppp sorry if it’s absolute shit, i’m rather caught up with APs at the moment so i have to get back to that but i felt so bad about not updating that aikhrweohbfwwiuwefiuergf. anyway, hope you like it and i will hopefully get some firefly up relatively soon (aka not in the course of two months srysly elena what were you thinking). and thank you all sooooo very much for sticking with me, it means loads more than you can imagine.
love you all lots! xx
January 10th, 2016
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes. I struggle to find any truth in your lies. And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know. My weakness I feel I must finally show.
-Mumford and sons
“This looks nice,” Harry said as he held up a pretty white blouse with cut-out shoulders. I appraised it slowly.
“Too fluffy.” I answered, and he put it back on the rack with a bored sigh. I kept shifting through the fabrics, hoping to god that I’d find something soon because I could tell Harry was getting a little impatient. He kept looking at his watch. Never a good sign.
I picked a couple simple shirts and a skirt and brushed past him to the dressing room. He didn’t even notice, too obsessed with tapping away at his phone to even look up.
The shirts were shit. Kinda like this day. I had gotten up in the morning, with a desperate desire to get out of the house for the first time in what felt like months. The winter winds had been suffocating me to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. So I called up the first person who came to mind.
I told him I needed an outfit for my date that night. Wasn’t completely true until after I got off the phone with the grumbling pop star and onto the phone with my boyfriend. I really needed a reason to get out.
The problem was though, that Harry had been in a mood ever since I picked him up that morning. I didn’t know what it was, but it was pre-occupying him to the tenth degree. He would listen to me or talk to me for about five minutes then he would be back to his mobile, tapping away, swiping up down and around.
It was horrible.
It put me in a mood.
Speaking of which, why would I ever even consider an orange shirt? Just goes to show you how out of it I was. I never wore orange, did nothing for my complexion. Besides, Harry always used to say I looked like a fruit when I wore it so I basically cut it out right then and there.
“Knock knock,” Harry’s tired voice came from behind the door. I swung it open a little and he handed me a new bit of fabric, “Try this. And don’t worry about the price; if you like it I’ll buy it for you.”
I looked at the tag and my eyebrows shot up. But one look from Harry and I was slipping back into the stall, slipping into the dress and slipping up the zipper.
This was it. This was the one.
I didn’t even know what I was going to wear it to. I did know however, that I was in love with this dress. He couldn’t have picked anything better for me.
Opening the door with a wide grin on my face, I waltzed right up to the biggest mirror at the end of the dressing room and twirled round. Harry smiled as well. Finally.
Sheer rose fabric clung tight to my chest in a sweetheart neckline and a corset waist. Flowing out at my hips, the silky smooth shimmering skirt flowed like water down to my knees and faded into a clearer silvery gold at the ends. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
“Beautiful, just like I thought,” Harry hummed, his eyes roving up and down my newly accentuated curves. A familiar feeling built up in my chest and I tried to stifle it before it could grow any larger. Might as well be fanning the flame though because in the next instant he was saying, “Better not show up to any of my parties in that or I might do something I’d regret.”
I smirked a little and pretended that my cheeks weren’t becoming such embarrassing blotches of blush, “In that case, I guess I’ll just have to buy it.”
Grinning at how his cheeks were now warming to match mine, I twirled round and back into my dressing room, changed, and came back out quickly, sweeping past Harry (who was already back on his Iphone) and skipping over to the cash register.
“I’ve got this, remember?” Harry muttered in my ear and I jumped as he handed his credit card over to the clerk. How did he get behind me so fast? And why was he standing so close? I needed to get out of there and quick. The lack of fresh air in the shop was making me light-headed.
I thanked him once we were back on the street and he nodded, pulling out his mobile yet again. Trying to talk to him one more time and being brutally ignored, I finally just snatched the phone away from his huge hands.
“Hey!” He exclaimed, trying to snatch it back. I just held it farther away, “What’d you do that for?”
“Guess” I responded, narrowing my eyes and crossing my arms, letting my weight fall back on my right foot. My left foot tapped impatiently as Harry’s eyebrows furrowed in that classic look of his.
“Erm…” He was obviously racking his brain for a reason why I would take his precious away, “You want to tweet for me?”
I made a sound similar to the ‘wrong answer’ beep that blares out of far too many television shows these days, and my eyes narrowed further.
He shifted from one foot to the other, “You… want to change your contact?” He managed, still utterly perplexed. I let out an aggravated sigh and shook my head, “Well, why then?”
“Because, Harry, you’ve been texting and tweeting and updating and doing whatever the hell popstars do these days… from the minute you pulled up in my drive this morning. Honestly, we barely get any time together and now that we actually get to see one another, all you’re actually focused on is your stupid phone!”
His lips pressed tighter and tighter together as I talked. It was to the point where I couldn’t see their strawberry milkshake color anymore, only a stark, tense white. We stood there for a while, my chest heaving from the fire of my little rant and his kept pace coolly, his calculating, darkened eyes staring at the hand holding his mobile intently.
People brushed past us, hurrying with their heads down towards the pavement and their shoes clip-clapping in a steady rhythm against the ground in which they were so desperately immersed. Harry was only a few steps ahead of me, and the people walking briskly by were not in great enough numbers to separate us. Yet for some reason, I felt as if he were worlds away.
Finally, he opened his mouth to talk but the buzzing of his Iphone interrupted him. I let my eyes travel to the screen, then to his hardly composed face, my eyebrows raising until they met my hairline. He gulped.
“You’re still with her then?” I whispered, completely unable to raise my voice to the proper scream I should have been using at that point. His head fell just barely then lifted slightly in a reluctant nod. My jaw set and I could’ve broken his mobile with the type of grip I was using on it.
“You told me you left her,” I said slowly, watching his reaction as some of the pieces came together in my mind, “… You did. Oh my god you did but you just got back together with her. This morning yeah? That’s what she means by ‘I’m so glad you called me earlier’. Jesus Harry, why would you do that?”
I was shaking now, and it was just one more physical reminder of how upset I was with him at that moment. Seeing my frame tremble like a beach umbrella in the middle of a tornado, Harry tried to step foreword, his suddenly worried eyes trained on me and his curiously caring hands reaching out to steady me. I stepped back.
He let out a sigh and let his hands drop, “I… I know you don’t like her and that’s why I… didn’t tell you. I was going to… see where it goes first then let you know.”
“You hated her!” I was nearly screaming now. Good. “You told me she was dull! You said she controlled you! You already saw where it went and that was down the drain god damnit. She was a monster, she didn’t deserve you. Why the fuck would you go through all that again?”
“What about you Summer?” He winced at the volume of his own raised voice, “What about that fucking wanker you call a boyfriend? Does he excite you? Does he let you take control? Does he make you happy? I don’t fucking think so. If you were happy you wouldn’t be calling me to hang out, you’d already be with him. You wouldn’t even fucking think of me.”
His words had stolen the air right from my lungs and the refute I had been thinking of went flying out of my mind. Out of my mind. He was driving me mad, this one.
“I try not to,” I hissed, thrusting his phone back at him. I’d had enough of this conversation. Spinning on my heel, I started walking quickly in the direction of my flat, working against the crowd of drones weaving their ways around me, heads down to watch the pavement run by their clip-cloping shoes. None of them looked up. None of them noticed as I pushed my way through. They just kept on watching the ground, never to see the sun brun bright through the cerulean sky.
“Summer, wait,” Harry pleaded, his voice softer than before but none the less desperate, “Summer, please slow down.”
I shook my head vehemently and kept walking, letting my head fall and forcing my eyes to stay trained on the pavement. No crying Summer. No letting him know how weak you are.
“Please,” He tried one last time. His voice was strained, cracking in pain. My heart broke. But I kept walking. Walking walking walking. Walking away from the forlorn boy standing in the middle of the rough cement sideway, a lonely island with silent tears streaming slowly from hopeless eyes breaking up the endless stream of people all alike, all with their heads down, all clip-clopping away.
Just like me.
I rounded the corner and stopped walking, turning my back to the wall and letting my tears get the better of me. I slid to the ground, watching the people float by like ghosts.
Somehow, I knew this wasn’t just a fight. Somehow I knew it meant something more. Somehow, I knew I wouldn’t be seeing that boy again for a long time.
And with my head down and my heart torn, it was a very long time before I saw the sun light up the sky in the same way again.
hahahhaha you’re a little late to the party but okay thanks a bunch i’m glad you liked it:”’)
p.s. you like cheese too much anyway and you know it brah :*
woaoaahhhh just found my original draft of darling we’ll make it. i thought i completely lost this one so i just started a new one (which is the one i have posted). i was going in basically the same direction with the story but it’s told wayy differently. it’s like a blast from the pastt omg so weird.
“Are you sure you’re okay with this?” Michelle asked for about the twentieth time. She had her bags in her hands and the car was just pulling up behind her. But she still needed to know if Zayn approved. And she still felt guilty, even as he said,
“It’s fine love. You go have fun. Anyway, if you didn’t go I’d be the one feeling bad,” He stepped closer and slinked his long arms around her waist. She felt herself being pushed back against the car, her bags dropping from her arms to the ground. As he leaned in, Michelle breathed in his aftershave scent and felt a small smile curl her lips, “I don’t want to leave you. Just be sure to call me every day, yeah? I’ll be missing you like crazy.”
Michelle sighed happily, “I’ll miss you too, noob,” He chuckled and shook his head, then closed the distance and placed a short kiss on her lips. They both smiled as they unraveled themselves from each other, Zayn shuffling slowly back as Michelle slipped into the car behind her, pulling in her fallen luggage as well. As the car pulled away, she kept her eyes on the boy still standing on the curb, both hands stuffed deep in the pockets of his low-slung pants.
The car turned a corner and she lost sight of him. She felt a twinge in her chest and she settled back in the seat, glancing over at the driver. He looked just as tense as she felt, back rigid, knuckles white on the wheel, and blue eyes set straight ahead. Then he caught her look and relaxed, a shy smile on his lips.
“You ready for an adventure?” He asked. Hearing Niall’s soothing voice let Michelle relax a bit as well.
“I’m always ready for an adventure,” She answered with a grin as Heathrow loomed up in the windshield, “Question is, are you?”
He just beamed back.
The morning was dusky and dark. Streetlights shed wane light on the quiet avenues of London, throwing shadows over everything the light couldn’t reach. Long stretches of darkness separated each lamp, swooping out over sidewalks and shop signs.
Zayn watched the car pull away with hooded eyes. He wasn’t sure how he felt about her going away. It was like there was that angel on his shoulder was telling him it was for the best, but then that man in the little read suit on the other side couldn’t help but voice his resentment.
He could feel a small ball of stress building up in his chest, and he started patting his pockets, looking for his pack. Pulling out a cigarette, he had raised it halfway to his mouth before he remembered. He wasn’t supposed to be smoking anymore. That’s what had caused all these problems in the first place.
Michelle had asked him to stop smoking. She wasn’t the first he had dated to ask him that, and he had almost expected it. Didn’t make quitting any easier though.
He liked Michelle. He liked her a lot more than he expected to. That didn’t make it any easier either.
He tried. He really did. It had been months and he hadn’t even thought of reaching for his pack. But then there was that bad review, those few awful rumors, the typical gossip about the biggest boyband out there. Usually he could handle that, but then he got some bad news from his family. It all seemed to be piling up. He had to get a smoke.
The first drag of that poisonously sweet smoke was like falling right back into routine. His lungs filled with the sickly stuff, and he got a few puffs in before the doorbell rang inside. He snuffed the cig out quickly, stepping back into his flat from the balcony and headed for the door. Michelle greeted him with a smile and a kiss. Then she drew back; his mouth tasted of smoke again. After that, there was a lot of yelling and explaining and more yelling and then it just got silent. And it had kind of been that way ever since.
The cigarette still hung limp in his hand. He remembered what they had said,
“I know, but it’s been so hard lately. I just… I had to.”
“I know it’s hard, but you know you can talk to me instead.”
“It’s not the same, you know that. And I’ve been trying, I really have. I’m sorry.”
“I… I just want what’s best, you know that right? It’s hard but we can get through this. Can’t we?”
His head dropped and he looked at the smoke that was still between his fingers. That little tense ball of stress hadn’t gone away. It was just growing, and the more he thought of putting the stick back in the box, the tenser her got.
Shaking his head and letting guilt replace stress, Zayn raised the cigarette to his lips and searched for a light.
Light. Yeah. Light was exactly what he was searching for.
Spring was coming. You could feel it. Literally, you could feel the temperature climbing to a more suitable degree of Celsius. And the birds, those lovely loud little birds were back to their tittering outside your windows and on top of the telephone lines. You could also feel it in a different sense, like in the way your blood had started churning, yearning for you to be out in the fresh new air, running or jumping or flying even if you had no business doing any of those things.
Louis could feel spring coming. He could feel the restlessness that had started to rush through his veins. All he wanted to do was to be out in the open air, even if the open air would mean the ‘sort-of spring but really more of winter briskness’ that came with London at the end of the coldest months. He didn’t care. He was just itching to get out and enjoy it.
His foot twitched in a rhythm as sat at the island in his kitchen. It was early. So early in fact that the sun hadn’t even started to breach the tops of the buildings outside of his window. Energy seemed to be coursing through the room, winding in and out of the elongating shadows, bouncing off the walls, floor, ceiling, and coursing like a whirlpool around him. He would start bounding off the walls if he didn’t get up and do something soon.
Picking up his phone, he scrolled through his recent messages. He knew he could just take a jog or catch a bite to eat by himself but for some reason he didn’t want to be alone any longer. And he knew exactly who he wanted to spend the morning with. But he also knew exactly who he should be spending the morning with.
It was the constant struggle between doing what was right and doing what made him happy. But why should it be a struggle? He shouldn’t have to sacrifice his happiness for someone who obviously didn’t sacrifice the same for him.
“Fuck it,” he muttered, typing in a name in the search bar and pressing send when it showed up. It rang three times before she picked up.
“There better be a damn good reason for you waking me up this fucking early you little shit,” He heard her grumble into the phone groggily. Chuckling, he clicked his tongue at her bad language.
“Quite the potty mouth, aren’t we?” Louis teased, shifting in his chair so that one of his legs rested on the bar and the other hung down limply. Weird that this was the most comfortable position he could find.
He heard the shifting of sheets and the squeak of a mattress before she nearly growled back, “I have plenty of reason to be potty mouthed. Being up at this hour is inhuman.”
“But this is the best time of day!” He responded, tugging at the loose threads near the pockets of his jeans, “And you’re gonna come here right now and hangout with me otherwise I’m going there and pulling you out of bed myself. You have half an hour. Ready… Set…. Go!”
Laughing at his own mischief, Louis hung up and jumped up out of his chair. There was no possible way she would be ready and waiting on his doorstep in a half hour. He knew that when he was saying it. So, instead of waiting to buzz her in, Louis decided to go get two tall coffees packed with caffeine and sugar and go wake her up himself.
This would be fun.
Six in the morning was not the time to be taking a call from an overly eager boy with spring fever looking to blow off some steam. Six in the morning was not a time to be doing anything but sleeping. Lauren never did anything but sleep when the clock read 6 AM. She did not want to be doing anything but sleeping when the clock read 6 AM.
Blindly placing her phone back on the bedside table (where it was supposed to remain at 6 in the morning), Lauren snuggled back into her sheets. There was no way she was getting up for at least another three hours, not even for a certain famous boyband member. It was Friday and she didn’t have any classes. She’d had classes all week and she had been looking foreword to resting. Plus she got in at one in the morning the night before. Hey, no classes = more glasses. She was regretting that previous night’s logic a bit more in the morning.
Shuffling into a more comfortable position, she drifted off again.
She was dreaming of warm sunny beaches and tall turquoise waves when something heavy slammed onto her bed and jolted her into consciousness. No it wasn’t something, it was someone. Lauren felt his feet making the bed slope down at the end and his hands shaking her shoulder as she woke up slowly.
“Wake up sleepyhead! You’ve had your rest! Time to hang out with Louis! Come on then, up up up.”
Lauren just groaned and pulled the sheets up over her face, blocking the sunlight that had started to pour into the room. The dick had opened the windows. Her frown deepened. She just wanted to sleep.
As she deliberately snuggled deeper into her bed she heard a muffled voice gasp, “Rude” and felt the weight shift off her bed. She let out a sigh of relief. He was leaving. Good.
But then two strong arms snaked their way under the covers and flipped her onto her back, forcing her eyes to fly open and the breath to be forced out of her lungs. She scrambled to retrieve the blankets but he was faster, tugging them away in one fluid movement and holding them above his head as he scampered to the other end of the room, chuckling manically. Lauren rolled her eyes and collapsed back onto her bed in one last feeble attempt at shut-eye. But Louis jumped right back on her bed then, shooting her into the air. She swatted at him as he bounced around her, as he went on yelling ‘rise and shine babe’ and ‘up and at em’.
Groaning in defeat, she rolled onto her back and looked up at him. He stopped bouncing and just watched her with a smug grin on his face, knowing he’d gotten his way.
“Fine you whore. But I need to shower first so get out of my room.”
He shook his head, “I can’t trust you. You go get ready and I won’t look if you tell me not to. Promise.”
She narrowed her eyes at him and he added, “You don’t really have a choice so I suggest you hop to it and hurry up.”
Louis slid off the bed and plopped down on one of the beanbag chairs in the corner of the room. Lauren huffed and rolled over off the bed, sliding onto the floor and making her way across the room with the most unenthusiastic expression she could muster. Picking up her shower bundle and towel as she went, she padded into the bathroom and closed the door tight.
Fifteen minutes later Louis was knocking loudly on the door and telling her to hurry, that it wasn’t a beauty pageant she was attending. Lauren answered with the question of where they were going and Louis stopped knocking and just said ‘out’. She laughed and continued her beauty routine, until Louis resumed knocking and shouting and she actually did hurry up.
“Close your eyes,” Lauren commanded through the door. She opened it slowly, checking to see if Louis actually listened before wrapping her towel tighter around her and nearly running towards the closet. She grabbed the first things she could find, and pulled them on as fast as she could, all the while checking that Louis’ eyes were safely smothered by his hands.
7 AM. Ungodly hour of the morning really, but it wasn’t so bad when you were with someone else. Lauren and Louis walked out of the building chatting casually about their weeks and the weather and whatever else came up. They stopped at a small coffee shop and revived themselves before wandering into downtown London. The streets were quiet and calm, very unlike they would be in just a few hours time. There were a few people here and there, a couple young kids on their way to school, a couple business men on their way to work, a couple women out for a jog, a couple old folks having their morning walk.
It was nice, with the sun just starting to rise and the people just rising with it. Few cars to clog the streets and many birds chirping in the air. Pleasant. Sweet. Pretty.
“How did you get into my dorm anyway?” Lauren asked, switching topics as their previous conversation faded out. Louis smirked and Lauren could see a glint in his eye reflected from the steadily rising sun.
“I have my ways. Being one of the One Direction boys gives me an all-access pass to most places…”
“Is that your twisted way of telling me you seduced my DA?” The brunette gasped dramatically and drew her hands up to her mouth in faux horror.
Laughing and shaking his head, Louis replied sarcastically, “Oh yeah, told me to call her as well, we’ve got a date this Saturday.”
She rolled her eyes, “Always the charmer, Louis. Don’t know how girls resist your natural magnetism.”
Louis paused and looked over at her with a speculative expression, tugging on his bottom lip with his teeth and subtly raising one eyebrow. All of a sudden, Lauren could feel her heart start beating at a faster tempo. No real reason for that now was there?
Blush crept into her cheeks and she scolded herself for the flustered face she must have been making. Her mouth opened but no words came out. Before the temporary silence could become too tense however, Louis broke eye contact with her and glanced to their right.
“We’re here!” He exclaimed, his face crumpling into an ear-to-ear grin. Grabbing her hand, Louis bounded over the few feet of cement and onto a soft expanse of grass. Lauren didn’t know where ‘here’ was, but when she looked, it seemed to be some kind of oasis.
Streets surrounded the area on four sides, yet as soon as Lauren stepped onto the grass she felt worlds away from the city. Small green hills bumped up trees and bushes, and tiny white wildflowers speckled the grass. A wooden fortress was built in one of the trees and a timeworn metal playground rested beside it on a bed of wood chips. Ivy crawled up the trunks of the old, sturdy trees and birds’ nests littered the leafy branches. Sunlight trickled in and pooled in puddles of warmth on the ground, and the first crickets of the year chirped in the bushes.
“It’s beautiful,” Lauren breathed, staring wide-eyed at the tortoiseshell patterns of light on the grassy green floor and the carefully crawling vines tangling themselves up around the metal bars of the swing set. She turned to look at Louis who was already watching her with a strangely strangled emotion in his eyes.
“Yeah, it is,” He whispered, never taking his eyes off of her. The blush rushed back to her cheeks again and a fluttering began in her stomach. Dipping her head to hide her rouge cheekbones, Lauren squeezed the boy’s hand a little before letting go and skipping over to the swings.
Once she was sat down on an old metal seat that creaked a little ominously when she shifted, she risked another glance at those icy blue eyes, “Well don’t just stand there, push me!”
Louis snickered at her childish tone but sauntered over nonetheless, placing his hands at her waist and drawing her back before pushing her foreword gently. Each time she swung back he caught her by the small of her back and helped her on. They talked and laughed together quietly for a few minutes then drifted off into a comfortable silence. Nothing but the song of the birds and the hum of the crickets to fill the quiet air. And that was alright. It was nice, actually.
“Can I tell you something?” His voice wavering, Louis looked sideways at Lauren hesitantly with his brows knitted and his lips pursed. He had stopped pushing her and sat on one of the ancient swings by her side instead, pushing himself forewords and backwards with the gentle sweep of his legs. Lauren nodded and turned to him, her expression mirroring his own.
“Okay… so ever since we meet that night in December I’ve been thinking. And, like, I’ve wondered what if… well what if we-“
But he didn’t finish. Something over Lauren’s shoulder had caught his eye and his expression changed from earnestness to distress in just a few seconds. Lauren swiveled in her seat to see what took his attention and froze immediately as well.
Because there stood Eleanor, mid-stride, with her hand holding her phone so tight that her knuckles shone white. As she took in the scene before her, Louis and Lauren sitting so close on the stationary swings that their breath stirred on each other’s fringe, she let out a small breath that sounded like a sorry sigh and a plaintive “Oh…” of something like defeat all in one.
And suddenly the birds had stopped singing and the crickets had stopped chirping and maybe, just maybe, the world had truly stopped turning on its axis because the look in that girl’s chocolate doe-eyes was enough to make all of these things come to pass.
okay so i have a good 2k written for the next chapter of firefly but i’m at a bit of a standstill. i do have time tomorrow to write in between homework (strangled whale noise) but yeah i might be able to get it up in the next weeeeeek or sooo
sorry it’s been so long babes! i promise it’ll be worth the wait! xx
hahaha oh my god this just made my day, yoURE THE PERF ONE OKAY xx
haha good! let me know what you think yeah?:) xx
thank youu! ah thats so nice to hear! i’m glad you liked it:) xx
right! haha love the excitement:) xx
hahaha yeah it’s a fic, it’s kinda confusing and i need to link the other chapters up on my page but yeah:) thanks so much doll! i put a lot of time into so i’m glad you liked it! xx
November 19th, 2014
Is this what it feels like? Finding out that I’ve got the guts to say anything. Feels like breaking out, when I can give up my reputation. Finally, I can see honestly, I’ve got the guts to say anything.
-All Time Low
So. This was it. I was gonna tell him. I was gonna do it. Today.
It was weird, when I thought about it, that I had known him my whole life and never came to this conclusion. And it was so obvious really, after all these years, that I should be feeling this way now. He was the one person I had consistently wanted to be in my life. So why not ask if he consistently wanted to be in mine?
It was never this easy before. I was never one to put my heart on the line. It always broke in the end anyway, so what was the point? But I guess there didn’t need to be a point this time. I knew it was right. I could feel it.
And when I say I could feel it, I literally mean that I can feel it. When he was around, everything was just lighter, easier, just natural really.
Something was churning around in my stomach, and I could feel vibrations in my hands like an earthquake was going through my bones. A cool wind picked at my hair, throwing blonde wisps in one direction then the other. The sky looked like it was about to belch up a bad one, so I just tucked my head into my collar and walked a little faster.
I didn’t know what I would say. I was never any good at explaining myself. I was rubbish at emotional shit. I usually just let it out in the form of sobs in solitude then throw some makeup on and spritzed my eyeballs with some solution so that no one would ask any questions. I didn’t like questions. My personal life was personal. I liked to keep it that way.
The only one person who had ever seen me cry (besides my parents when I was a child of course) was Harry. The only person who was able to squeeze anything emotion-related out of me was Harry. But I had never gone to him with anything like this before. Obviously.
I pushed open the front doors of his building and strode into the lobby. For a few minutes I just stood there, warming my ungloved hands- not a smart idea on my part- and checking my phone for any texts. I had warned him that I was coming over, which I usually didn’t even pay him the courtesy of doing. Usually I’d just walk on into his apartment after opening his door with the spare key that I’ve had since the day he bought the place. But today I figured it was different. Today I figured, he could afford a little warning. Even if he didn’t know what was coming.
After giving the doorman a little nod, I bypassed the lift and went for the stairs. I had too much energy for the lift. I needed the exercise anyway.
My steps got shorter as I reached his floor and slower still when his door was in sight. Should I just barge in? Should I knock? Ugh, all this indecision. I was never this indecisive about anything to do with the boy behind that door. Where was this all coming from? Why was I so uncomfortable? Something didn’t seem right. My hand faltered as I raised it. There was a stutter in my chest. Then I lowered my hand to my purse instead and pulled out the spare. Might as well not mess with tradition.
The door creaked open when I pushed it, and I stepped inside, placing my purse on the counter and kicking off my shoes. It was kind of quiet. I didn’t want to think it, but it was too quiet. The kind of quiet that a place gets when it knows more than you do. Like if the walls could talk, they would be warning me right then to turn my arse around and get out of there before I could see what they had known all along. Unfortunately, walls can’t talk, so I had nothing and no one to tell me what was waiting for me.
I padded through a couple rooms, being silent as I could just because if I made any normal-volume sound it would probably sound like a billion pots and pans clanging to the wub-wub of a screamo-dupstep mix. Okay, a little exaggeration, but I couldn’t help but feel this mounting tension that was building on top of the cutting silence. Maybe it was the walls trying to warn me.
The last room I went into was Harry’s bedroom. Piles of clothes were scattered around the floor, making a pattern at the end of the bed. That was odd. Usually Harry was very neat about his clothes. Never liked to get them dusty or dirty or wrinkled. Huh. The bed sheets and comforters were a mess as well, toppling in great waves around a large lumpy form in the middle of the mattress. The blankets were piled so high that I couldn’t even see that messy mop of curls from over top of it, so I shuffled around to the side of the bed and whispered his name softly.
Just as the too-familiar brown locks came into view so did an additional head of hair. My breath caught in my throat and I felt my feet lifting me closer. No, no no no. I was then leaning over the bed, my hand half-outstretched as I had been about to shake Harry awake, and I saw her. She was nuzzled into his back, one of her little hands curled up into a fist on his shoulder blades and the other resting in his own. She had a permanent frown on her pouted lips and tiny worry lines were etched into her forehead and in-between her eyebrows even as she slept. Pretty though. Even with her eyes closed too tight, she was pretty.
I started backing up slowly, making sure not to make any floorboards creak. Something had taken a big bite of that crucial part of my chest, and there must have been a lot of dust or freshly cut onions nearby cause suddenly I couldn’t help the little sniffles I made or the stinging feeling that started at the back of my eyes. Big fat tears dropped onto my cheeks and I brought my hand up to my mouth to stifle a sob.
I wasn’t crying. Just tearing up really. And there was this big hole in my chest that had replaced a bunch of vital organs. But it was okay right, because I didn’t really need any of those parts that it had replaced. I could go on living without lungs, cause they really didn’t seem to be doing the trick right now. None of the air that was supposedly in the space around me seemed to be getting to my lungs, and I guess that was because that great big hole had replaced them. And I knew my heart wasn’t working anymore cause I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel anything but this dark monster that had taken up residence there, frothing at the mouth and tearing at my insides. The beast was hurting me. That’s why hot tears just kept falling and falling and falling.
The walls were yelling at me. They knew how stupid I had been. I should have listened to them.
I was almost at the door when I heard something creak behind me. It wasn’t me; it was the bed. And then someone’s husky morning voice cut through that terrible silence that had been suffocating me since before I even stepped into the apartment.
Something like a boulder was stuck in my throat and I tried swallowing but it wouldn’t budge. I guess it was cold in this apartment because just then I noticed that I was shaking uncontrollably. The weird thing was that I didn’t have any goosebumps. Gulping down the pathetic mews that I had been holding down, I turned slowly on the balls of my feet to face the person who had addressed me.
He was propped up on one tattooed arm, using the other to raise his hand to his face so he could rub his eyes like the little kid he really was. His brows were knotted in confusion but there was no anger or embarrassment or anything in his sleepy eyes. I let out an involuntary sniff.
“Summer, what are you doing here? It’s way too early to be up,” He yawned, stopping in his rubbing to cover his mouth. Then he propped himself up on both hands and leaned foreword, his eyes narrowing, “Hold on, what’s wrong?”
I still couldn’t swallow that boulder in my throat so I just shook my head. But he knew better than to leave it alone. He always knew better.
Pushing his piles of comforters aside gently and making sure his little friend didn’t stir in her sleep, he slid off the mattress and slipped into some joggers that had been discarded on the ground near his feet. As he got closer to me he seemed increasingly worried; his eyes widening and his mouth pressed into a thin line.
“What’s wrong?” He asked again, this time more forcefully. When continued in my oath of silence, he mumbled a little ‘come on’ and led me by the small of my back from the room.
Once we reached the living room, Harry turned and faced me, a stern look taking over his features, “Tell me. What happened? Why are you crying?”
“I’m not crying,” I said, finally finding my voice. My words cracked though, and I could feel another bout of tears coming on.
“Okay, sure, you’re not crying. But you came here for a reason. And you’re upset Why are you upset? Summer, you can tell me. Shh, it’s okay. I’m right here. Now tell me what made you sad.”
I swallowed a couple more times because that pesky rock had come back and I couldn’t speak again. My arms were crossed tightly around my waist because I was sure that he had seen that giant hole that I had developed there and the monster that had subsequently moved in to tear me apart from the inside. I tried to ignore how soothing his hands were as they rubbed up and down my arms in an attempt to calm me down. Searching for my voice, I stumbled over my words.
“I… I can’t.”
Harry narrowed his eyes,
I shook my head and choked back a sob. I couldn’t tell him. Not now. Not ever.
“Do you remember… all those years ago, w-when we promised each other we’d never lose each other?”
“…Yes,” He whispered, and his voice was suddenly very soft and small; it had lost all of the force that he had been using to make me speak. Now it was like he almost didn’t want to hear what I had to say.
“I’m afraid that… that if I tell you what I have to say now, I won’t be able to keep that promise.”
His hands stopped rubbing my arms and his lips hardened into a thin line. Through the renewed silence I could hear him gulp.
“Don’t tell me then,” His eyes lowered to the floor, “Just… Is there anything I can do? I don’t want you to cry anymore.”
I almost laughed. He wanted to help. The look in his eyes told me that he would do anything to get the tears to stop falling from my eyes. But I knew there was only one way to make those tears go away. And I couldn’t ask him to do that.
Sniffling, I brought a hand up to wipe away the salt water on my cheeks but before I could, Harry stopped me and wiped them away himself. Then his strong arms wrapped around my shoulders and he pulled me close to his chest. I wrapped myself around him and hugged him tight, as if he would disappear if I ever let go.
“Promise me again,” His warm voice mumbled in my ear. I had to remind myself to breathe because at that moment there was absolutely nothing left in my chest but a aching pain, “Promise me we’ll never lose each other.”
One more deep breath. But that air wasn’t going anywhere. Whatever had been left of my heart was gone. My words were painfully empty as I nodded into his shoulder,
“… I Promise.”