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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 22

I was almost asleep when I heard the knocking.
Someone was at the door. Why was someone at the door at 2 AM?
There it was again, the knocking on the goddamn door. I was so tired after today; all I wanted to do was sleep. But I assumed Louis, the heaviest sleeper I have ever seen in my life, wasn’t getting up any time soon, so it was on me. I literally rolled out of bed, padding across the hardwood floor until I reached the door, opening it slowly. I wasn’t prepared for what stood in front of me. Or who.
“Wh- I- what are you doing here?” I asked, suddenly wide awake and completely dumbfounded.
“I saw. You. Tonight. On TV.”
“You did?” I had sent her that text, hoping that she might watch. But honestly, I had doubted it.
“Yes. I did.”
“So, uh… What’d you think of it?”
“Did you mean what you said.”?
“Every word.” I said without hesitation.
“Even that last part?” I knew what she was talking about. I hadn’t been planning on saying that last bit. Not because I didn’t mean it, but because I didn’t think it was the right timing.
“Yes. Of course. And- it may seem I dunno, weak, to say it on live TV instead of just to you. So I’m sorry for that. But I did mean it. I was just, overwhelmed. But I meant it- I mean, I MEAN it. I love you.” She took a deep, shaky breath before closing the gap between us, practically jumping up to reach my lips. I immediately pulled her against me. Kissing Anna was even better than I had let myself remember. I felt her let out a breath, her heart beating against mine. I shut the door with my foot, guiding her into the flat, never letting my arms leave her waist. She backed up against the now closed door as I tried to lift her chin so I could reach her mouth more comfortably.
“I think I’m a little short for this.” She whispered.
“Not in the slightest.” I responded, while simultaneously putting my hands under her bum, lifting her up. She wrapped her legs around my waist. Suddenly, things got more intense. Her breaths were faster, both of our hands roaming. I couldn’t help but stop for a split second and think about what was going on right now.
“I missed you. So much.” I breathed into her ear, my one free hand cupping her cheek. She pressed herself as close to me as possible which was seriously driving me insane.
“I love you, Harry.”

I had been lying in bed for hours until I decided I was being insane. What was I doing? I had to go see him.
So, with that, I pulled on my jacket and practically sprinted over to Harry.
So, that is how we ended up stumbling across his apartment until reaching his bedroom. I lifted his t-shirt off of his head, messing his curls up more than they already were. I trailed kisses down his neck and along his collarbone. Harry gently placed me down on his bed, his hands slipping from where they had been placed under my legs. I looked up at him and his green eyes were boring into mine, so intense it took my breath away. My heart was pounding and I could feel Harry’s too, which actually managed to calm me down a little, knowing that I wasn’t the only one who was a little, I guess, scared?
I’m not sure why I’m so nervous. This wasn’t our first time. But it did seem like this was an important moment. This, right here, was me deciding that I was willing to do whatever it took to be with Harry. And I really think I was.
So after that, I just let everything go. I let Harry ease my sweater off my shoulders, along with my loose t-shirt. His large hands were gentle as they roamed across my bare skin, causing goose bumps to arise. His hot breaths were deep and even as he explored every inch of my body. Now, even more than our first time together in the bungalow, I felt like I was my true, vulnerable self. We had been through a lot together in such a short amount of time. And right now, I couldn’t imagine what would bring us down.

I woke up the next morning happier than I can ever remember being. Anna lay next to me, her light blonde hair fanned out all around her. I just stayed there for a while, watching as her eyelashes fluttered, with her hand resting on my chest. Eventually I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait any longer. I leaned over, giving her a gentle kiss. She rolled over a little, her blue eyes opening and a smile forming on her face.
“Good morning.” She said. Her voice was husky and filled with sleep, it was actually one of the sexiest things ever.
“Morning. You know you look really beautiful when you sleep?” Her eyes widened a little.
“Really? Well, you look about 5 years old when you sleep.” She giggled and tucked her head in the crock of my shoulder.
“Oh, gee, thanks.”
“No! It’s cute!” She responded, cupping my chin in her hand playfully.
“Are you hungry?”
“Me too. Let’s see if we can find something slightly edible. But I’m not making any promises.”
I tried not to stare too much as Anna pulled on one of my far-too-long-for-her jumpers, her legs still completely exposed. But I was still a guy with hormones, so I guess I couldn’t really help myself. I have to say I was slightly disappointed when she pulled on her black leggings from last night.
After searching our kitchen for all of 5 minutes, we realized unless we wanted to drink beer and eat saltines at 8 AM, we were going to need to go out. So, we decided to make the short trek to one of my favorite places for breakfast. It was really one of the only restaurants I go to besides our regular pub. We did the usual semi-disguise-but-not-in-an-obvious-way thing, slipping out of the front door as discreetly as possible.
It wasn’t too bad actually. Besides a few stares, we weren’t at all recognized which was nice for a change. Anna and I arrived at the restaurant and took our own seat at a small table for two in the back. It was a typical morning crowd; businessmen mostly; hunched over their tea or coffee, reading the newspaper or taking some important business calls. And then, there was the two of us, debating on whether we should get eggs or French toast, our constant jokes, and Anna’s utter disgust of the quality of British coffee. There was a specific moment during breakfast that I couldn’t help but remember randomly throughout the rest of the day. It wasn’t even a big deal, I doubt she even would remember it; we were just laughing about something, when suddenly a sound that I guess you could consider somewhere between a squeak and a hiccup escaped her mouth. She immediately covered her mouth with her hands, but this only caused her to laugh more. The reason I remember it so often is because I realized to myself that we were really, REALLY being ourselves with each other. I felt so completely and 100% comfortable with Anna. I was never self-conscious or nervous that she might judge me. And that was quite possibly the best feeling that I’ve ever had in my life.

Showing up at Harry’s door in the middle of the night had been the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done. I was scared, and nervous, and part of me wondered if he would even want to talk. But then I saw him, and everything just fell into place. I wasn’t going to question it for once. I was just going to let everything go the way that I felt like it was supposed to. And that’s exactly what happened.
Even though neither of us ever said this, it seemed like the breakfast we had the next day was sort of the beginning of something new for us. It was different than before, but in the best way possible. I could joke and laugh with Harry like we were best friends, but still feel my heart flutter when he looked at me, or when he casually linked his fingers with mine. I felt like I had the best of both worlds with hm, and it was incredible.
“So, isn’t there this pretty major American holiday coming up in like, two days? I think they call it Thanksgiving where you’re from?”” Harry asked jokingly as we walked back to his apartment after breakfast.
“Oh yeah, that….”
“So are you flying out, or…?”
I had actually talked to my Mom about Thanksgiving just a few days ago;
“Well, sweetie…Your Dad and I just think it’s best if we spend this one year apart? I’m sure you understand. You can come home of course! But it’s just not going to be….”
“Like before”
“Yes. It isn’t going to be like before. But that’s okay, Anna!”
I remembered the sound of her voice. It had been so fake and like she was really trying to make me believe that everything was fine. But I didn’t believe a word of it. And to be honest, I wasn’t interested in flying all the way to New York just to spend a few days there were my mom, who I know is miserable and will spend the whole time ranting about my dad. So I decided to just, not go.
“Um, actually…. I’m not going home for Thanksgiving this year.” I held my head down, my hand grasped in Harry’s as we walked.
“What? Why not?” I could see that he was watching my out of my peripheral vision, but I didn’t turn my head.
“Well, I mean… It’s not like it would be a real holiday anyway. My mom just seems, uninterested. And it’s a really long flight for only a few days. So, I don’t know. I just think it’s the best thing for now, you know?”
“Yeah.” He said unconvincingly. “But I mean, are you sure? Have you talked to your brother about it?” I knew Harry was just trying to help, but I just didn’t really want to dwell on it any more.
“No, not really. If anything, he would urge me to stay here. He knows how crazy my parents can be. But It’s fine, seriously.” He looked at me for a second with a questioning look. “I promise.” I said, smiling up at him and reaching up to give him a peck on the corner of his mouth. “Don’t worry about me, Harry. I’m happy, REALLY happy. And if anything, going home for Thanksgiving would just bring me down. Which is the last thing I want right now.” He smiled, squeezing me hand and kissing the top of my head. Then he leaned down and whispered in my ear; “I’m really happy too.”

I’m not sure why, but It was difficult for me to let go of the fact that Anna wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving. I mean, I wouldn’t know, but it seemed like a pretty major holiday in America. And I understand her reasons for staying here, but it was still difficult for me to not want better for her. I had told the boy’s about it later that same day when we were in an office at Syco Records, signing copy after copy of the CD for a promo a few stores were doing. Signing your own name over and over again got sort of boring, so it was good to have people to talk to.
“So, she says she’s okay with it. And what, you don’t believe her?”
“I dunno. I guess I believe that going home might be more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s still sorta sad, right?”
“For sure man. I just don’t know what you can do about it. It seems like her mind is made up.” Zayn said as he scribbled his signature over his face.
“I know, that’s the problem…” I said.
“I HAVE AN IDEA!” I suddenly heard Niall yell. I looked down the table at him, a bright smile on his face.
“Lets hear it then!” We all agreed. It was clear he was trying to build suspense.
“We could make Anna a Thanksgiving dinner here! We could do it at your flat. I’ve had an American Thanksgiving dinner before, I know how it’s done!”
“That’s actually not a bad idea, mate.” I said, nodding at Niall, grinning.
“We could get some help from El and Dani. They LIVE for this type of thing.” Liam said, nodding towards Louis.
“You guys sure you’re up for this?” I asked, knowing it was sort of asking a lot of them.
“For Anna? Of course we’re up for it.” They all nodded.

Harry had been sort of weird ever since I told him about not going home for Thanksgiving. I know it IS sort of a strange situation, but it’s what I feel good about. Max isn’t even coming home, so it’s not like I’m missing out on seeing him. It would just be me and my mom, most likely ordering takeout while she drinks a bottle of wine. And anyways, I’m coming home for Christmas in a month anyway.
So, it’s Thanksgiving Day back home, but here it’s just a normal day in London. Harry called a little while ago and asked if I wanted to come over so I was on my way there now. The brisk winds blew my hair all over the place as I walked, making me wish I had worn a wormer jacket.
A few minutes later, I was knocking on Harry’s door, dying for warmth. It took him a strangely long time to answer the door. Finally it flew open, revealing Harry wearing an unusually nice outfit for just hanging out on his couch.
“Hey. What’s going on?” I asked. He looked slightly frazzled.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, what’s with the sweater?” I said, laughing a little. He wore a pair of dark brown chinos, a burnt oranage cable knit sweater, and suede Clark’s shoes.
“You don’t like my sweater?” He said with mock astonishment.
“No, I love the sweater. I’m just wondering why you’re wearing the sweater.” He opened the door a little wider, revealing the reason for the sweater.
Everyone; Niall, Zayn, Louis, Liam, Harry, Danielle, and Eleanor, stood around their dining room table. The dining room table that looked like it might collapse due to the insanely large amount of foot piled onto it.
“Oh my god.”
“HAPPY THANKSGIVING!” They all cheered in unison. And then I couldn’t help it; I felt my eyes fill with tears. I was honestly just so overwhelmed and happy and grateful that the only reaction I could have were tears.
“You guys! You didn’t have to do this for me!” I said, covering my face with my hands.
“For you? This was all for Nialler over here. It might be the only excuse he’ll ever get to have a whole day dedicated to eating.” Liam said.
“That’s every day, mate.” Louis pointed out. Everyone laughed.
“But, seriously. Anna. We did do this for you. You’re part of the family, and after doing some research on Wikipedia, we’ve learned that this day is about family, and giving thanks. So that’s all we really wanted to do.” Danielle came over and gave me a huge hug, then Eleanor, then everyone else piled in and we had a big group hug. To an outsider, I’m sure this would look insanely cheesy and cliché and whatever else, but I really couldn’t care less. I was so glad to have people like this who cared enough about me to do something so special.
I looked across the room at Harry, who was smiling at me with his hands stuffed into his pockets. I walked over to him and threw my arms around his neck, burying my face in his chest.
“Thank you.” I said quietly. He hugged me back and I heard a laugh escape his mouth.
“Of course.” He said, like this was the simplest thing in the world. But it wasn’t. It was so incredibly far from that. This meant so much to me, more than I think he will ever know. Because, even growing up when my parents WERE together, it was never like this. Thanksgiving, or any holiday really, was never just happy and fun and special. It was always about getting dressed in uncomfortable clothes and sitting around a silent dinner table, glancing over at Max every few minutes and trying not to laugh when he pulled silly faces. Thanksgiving was catered, Christmas was spent with our extended family in Greenwich, and nothing ever felt the way it did right now, with a bunch of foreigners, celebrating Thanksgiving in London, England.


@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! :)