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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 2

30 minutes after I had built up enough courage to text Harry, I was walking down to the ground floor of the dorm building and out into the cloudy day. I took the short walk to the end of the block, not expecting to see him there yet since I was a few minutes early. But right as I was about to sit on a bench by the bus stop to wait for him, I spotted a tall figure leaning against the wall of the corner store. He was wearing dark jeans that fell off his hips perfectly, a pair of white converse, a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up and first few buttons undone, a pair of dark Ray Bans, a grey beanie pushing his hair back, and he had his face buried in a magazine.
“Um, hey.” I said, walking over to him and laughing.
“Oh, hey! I didn’t spot you there.” He smiled and rolled the magazine in his hands.
“Yeah, I didn’t see you either. Must’ve been from the truly fantastic disguise.”
“I know, right?! Probably should’ve told you what to look out for, or else you never would’ve found me.” He gave me that same perfect dimpled smile that I remembered from last night.
“But seriously, you think people aren’t going to recognize you just from putting on a pair of sunglasses?” I laughed.
“Well, so far so good.” He said, extracting himself from the stone wall. “So I know this place we can go for lunch, but it’s a bit of a walk.”
“That’s fine, I don’t have anywhere else to be.” He seemed to like my answer, and we crossed the street.
“I also think we should take a bit of a shortcut, fairly less populated.” He said as we walked side-by-side. I noticed he kept his head down whenever people passed us by.
“You sure you’re okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, yeah. I just- I’m sort of trying to keep a low profile.”
“I’m sorry. I’m not really that good at this.”
“Good at what?” I asked, confused.
“Like, chit chat, going out, that sort of thing…” His voice trailed off and he gave sort of a snort-laugh “I should like such an idiot. I’m sorry. Um, it’s just, like, ever since everything has happened for us- This is sort of the first time I’ve been able to do things with someone who isn’t related to work, or who doesn’t know everything about me already. I guess I’m a bit out of sorts.” He was seriously adorable.
“Harry? Seriously, there is no need to worry. It’s not like I’m some expert at this either.”
“Oh, please- you’re- I mean, you must go on a lot of dates and stuff.”
“Why ‘must’ I?” I said. But the only thing I could focus on was the fact that he said the word ‘date’. I wasn’t aware that this was a date.
“I don’t know, I just… I mean, why wouldn’t you?” He asked it so innocently, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I honestly didn’t know what to say. No one had ever said anything like that to me before. I decided that changing the subject would be my best bet in this situation.
“Okay, so. You’re trying to tell me that you haven’t gone on dates with one of the millions of girls that are most likely always fawning over you. I sense a lie…” I smiled up at him and I could see the hint of a blush on his cheeks.
“I’ve gone on dates, yeah. But like, it’s always been the same, you know? They’re either famous themselves, or they only want to go out with me because they know who I am or they like, want something from me. I don’t really know- It was never just normal. Like this is.” He smiled and neither of us said anything for a second. I just looked at him, at his perfectly defined jaw line, the hint of stubble on his face, and wondered how the hell I had ended up here, because I couldn’t even explain it to myself.

I knew I probably looked like a complete arse, but I really didn’t want to screw this up by causing a riot in the middle of the street. So yes, I was continuously ducking my head and pretending to tie my shoe when groups of teenage girls walked by for a descent reason.
“Here, come on.” I said, deciding to make a bold move and grab her hand as I guided her towards my shortcut through a park. It was a place I always liked to walk whenever I just wanted to clear my head. The only people I ever saw here were either 80 year old men playing chess or little kids, neither of which paid any attention to me. I felt like it was one place I could be invisible, anonymous. It wasn’t until we were walking down the small pathway that I realized I still had her hand clasped in mine. I pulled away reluctantly.
“So this is the super secret shortcut?” She asked, watching two infants play with a puppy in the grass. The smile on her face was so incredible; I wish I could take a picture and save it.
“Yup. I actually come here quite a bit.”
“Well, thanks for showing me your special spot. I won’t tell a soul.” I smiled down at her and willed myself to look away, to tell myself that this was just a friendly lunch, two new friends having lunch together. Nothing else. I couldn’t handle anything else right now. Actually, that was a lie. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle anything; I just wouldn’t want to have to put someone through what dating me would require. I mean, everything has been so wild for the past months, ever since The X Factor. We’re constantly traveling… All I would do in a relationship was let the person down. I wouldn’t be able to call; she would automatically think I was ignoring her. I would try and take her out, and end up spending the whole night signing autographs. Not that I don’t absolutely adore the fans, of course I do. They mean everything to us. But once in a while I wish I could live the life I had before everything changed. Just for one single day, to remember what it was like.
“So you ready to continue with our questions match?” I asked, snapping out of my thoughts and back to Anna. She nodded and I thought for a second.
“If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”
“Ugh god, no! Not a food related question, I’ll never be able to choose!” She was legitimately putting a serious amount of thought into her answer until she finally responded with; “Waffles.”
“Really? Waffles?”
“Yeah! They’re the best! Plus, you can have like different kinds and stuff, so it wouldn’t get as boring.”
“Mmm, good point.”
We continued walked for a while longer, going back and forth with questions until we had reached our destination. I hope she wasn’t expecting anything fancy, because that definitely wasn’t this. It was a tiny restaurant, if you could even call it that, pretty much in the center of the park. It consisted of a single tiny room with no indoor seating. just a counter. We ordered sandwiches and ate them outside under a tree in the grass. Anna sat facing me with her legs crossed, her knees barely touching mine. A soft breeze blew past and a few strands of her hair fell across her face, which she gently pushed out of her eyes as she told me about her life back home. I had asked if she had any siblings, and she was telling me about her brother, Max, and her parents, who she admitted were most likely getting a divorce.
“My parents are divorced.” I said, “ It was quite strange, really. But ultimately I think it was the best thing for both of them. By the time it happened, they were both just, unhappy.I don’t remember much, just a few faint memories.” I had never really talked much about my parents before like this, not even with the boys really. I don’t know why, but I felt like I could say things I never had the courage to, and I was fully confident that she wasn’t ever going to try and use it against me. Or, even worse, use it for her own benefit. Trust me, I know that there are the people constantly fishing for a story to sell to the press. I could usually spot them quite easily. And Anna hadn’t asked any of those types of questions. She asked questions that she could’ve gotten the answer to by google. And the fact that she was wondering if I had siblings, where I was originally from, and what music related things I did before the band, was proving to me that she hadn’t gone home last night and learned every single thing about me from Wikipedia. It was comforting, knowing she didn’t already know the answers to what she was asking before I had a chance to answer, she was genuinely interested in knowing these things about me.
“You’re probably right. It’s still strange, you know? I mean, I remember when I was little we were all so close. My dad traveled a lot. But when he would come home, we would all watch movies together and everything. But I mean, obviously we haven’t done that in a while…” It was horrible, seeing her upset. She looked broken, but I didn’t know what to do to help.
“Hey, It’ll be alright. And I guess it’s sort of good that you’re here, maybe? You can just focus on your life here, on all the new things?” She looked up at me and smiled.
“Yeah, you’re right-“ I think it was then that she realized how serious our conversation had gotten. “I’m sorry, it didn’t mean to make this about, this…”
“No, no. It’s okay. Really.” She shook her head, plastered a smile on her face, and quickly diverted to a different topic.
“Alright, Harry Styles. I believe it is your turn.” She said, referring to what we had turned into a game of questions. It was getting harder, after going through the easy ‘favorite color’, ‘favorite movie’, and ‘favorite animal’ questions.
“Yes, alright.. Hmm… okay, how about- LEAST favorite movie of all time?” I knew she wanted to forget about everything with her family, but it wasn’t easy for me to forget when I had seen how unhappy she really was.

I had spent the whole day with Harry in that park. We just sat around and talked and laughed, and I made one of those crown things out of flowers that you tied together that everyone made in Kindergarten when we would go into Central Park. At one point I found myself lying down with my head leaning on Harry’s legs as he told me a story about him and Louis playing a prank on Niall, both of whom he talked about as if they were his brothers, along with all the other boys in the band. It was so obvious how close they were, how much they really cared about each other.
It was almost 10:00 that night and I was sitting in my room in my pajamas, about to got to bed when I heard my phone vibrate on the bedside table next to me. I picked it up and saw I had a text, from Harry.

Had a lovely time today, hope I can see you again soon?

I immediately felt my heart beat faster. I couldn’t believe what was happening right now… it was too crazy. So I typed a quick response, the first thing that popped into my head. The last thing I wanted to do was over think this more than I already was.

Absolutely! I had a good time too. Thanks for listening to all my craziness.

After I had returned home from our long day, I had been sort of embarrassed over how much I had told him.

Anytime. Really. I’ll talk to you tomorrow :)

Goodnight. I’ve got to get some sleep if I’m going to get through my classes tomorrow haha.

Goodnight, love. Sweet dreams.

I had woken up late the next day with barely enough time to throw my hair into a ponytail and throw on a pair of black leggings, my black boots, and a slouchy dark green sweater. I rushed into my first class of the day, French, with about 30 seconds to spare.
“Bonjour!” Madame Debriossoin said cheerfully. I was still half asleep when she jumped right into the conjugation of the subjunctive tense. I was trying to take notes when I felt my phone vibrate in my tote bag. I pulled it out and held it under my desk, opening 1 new text message.

Have a lovely day at school!

You’re so sweet, thank you. Have a great day of… whatever it is you do on a daily basis.

Haha VERY funny! If you must know, I have a very busy day of recording with the boys. But we were going to go out to eat afterwards if you’d like to come?

That would be great. But I’ll have to see how much work I have. I’ll let you know.

Very studious, I like that. Haha I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

I quickly stashed my phone away in my bag and tried to pay attention to my class, but it was seriously impossible. My thoughts constantly went to yesterday. It had been one of the best days that I had had in a long time. I can’t remember the last time I just felt completely comfortable around someone, the way I did with him. Which was strange, considering he WAS you know, ‘The Harry Styles’. It really didn’t seem that way when we talked though. Other than the occasional reference to being on the show, or the boys, or you know, basically anything about the band. But even when he did talk about that, it wasn’t like he was showing off, or trying to impress me or whatever. It was just another part of what made him, Him.
After French the day seemed to go by in slow motion. Each of my classes was more boring and agonizing than the last. All I wanted to do was be done with school and go see Harry.
God, what the hell was wrong with me? When had I turned into THIS girl? I had never been this girl before; the girl who can think of nothing but some guy, the girl who will drop anything for that guy. Yet, here I was.
“Hey, Anna!” I heard someone call my name form behind me after my last class of the day. I turned around to see Oliver racing towards me.
“Hey, Oliver. What’s up?” I asked.
“I was wondering if you wanted to go study at that café down the road? Keenan and Molly were gonna come too.”
“Like a, uh, double date?” I said, suddenly feeling super uncomfortable.
“No, I mean- it doesn’t have to be.” He said.
“Oh, well. I’m really sorry but I sort of had plans. Some other time? I promise.” He gave a half-hearted smile and even though I felt bad for declining his offer, I didn’t want to lead him on. Plus the fact that the thought of NOT seeing Harry was making me feel even worse than saying no to Oliver.
“Sure. Sounds good.” He said before walking off in the opposite direction. I only had about a minute to feel bad until I pulled out my phone and texted Harry.

Still on for later?

Absolutely. 4:30 too soon?

Nope. I’ll see you soon.

Can’t wait.


@notarealhipster Who do you imagine anna as?


I'm from the US, outside of Philly :)
Where are you from? My side of the pond (United States) or the other one?
I love this story it's my favorite one I've read so far! :)